Page images

other kind, which may happen to be in their poffeffion, or within their reach, to Meffrs. Rivingtons; a refpect and kindness to his memory which will be thankfully acknowledged by those friends to whom, in dying, he committed the facred truft of his reputation.






NEW Edition of the Works of Mr.

Burke having been called for by the Publick, the opportunity has been taken to make fome flight changes, it is hoped for the better,

A different diftribution of the contents, while it has made the volumes, with the exception of the firft and fixth, more nearly equal in their respective bulk, has, at the fame time, been fortunately found to produce a more methodical arrangement of the whole. The first and fecond volumes, as before, feve


rally contain thofe literary and philosophical works by which Mr. Burke was known, previous to the commencement of his publick life as a statesman, and the political pieces which were written by him between the time of his first becoming connected with the Marquis of Rockingham, and his being chofen Member for Bristol. In the third are comprehended all his speeches and pamphlets from his first arrival at Bristol, as a candidate, in the year 1774, to his farewell addrefs from the huftings of that city, in the year 1780. What he himself published relative to the affairs of India occupies the fourth volume. The remaining four comprize his works fince the French revolution, with the exception of the Letter to Lord Kenmare on the Penal Laws against Irish Catholicks, which was probably inferted where it ftands from its relation to the fubject of the Letter addreffed by him, at a later period, to Sir Hercules Langrishe. With the fame exception, too, ftrict regard


has been paid to chronological order, which, in the last edition, was in fome instances broken, to infert pieces that were not difcovered till it was too late to introduce them in their proper places.

In the Appendix to the Speech on the Nabob of Arcot's Debts the references were found to be confused, and, in many places, erroneous. This probably had arisen from the circumstance that a larger and differently constructed Appendix seems to have been originally defigned by Mr. Burke, which, however, he afterwards abridged and altered, while the speech and the notes upon it remained as they were. The text and the documents that support it have throughout been accommodated to each other.

The orthography has been in many cafes altered, and an attempt made to reduce it to fome certain ftandard. The rule laid down


for the discharge of this task was, that whenever Mr. Burke could be perceived to have been uniform in his mode of spelling, that was confidered as decifive; but, where he varied, (and as he was in the habit of writing by dictation, and leaving to others the fuperintendance of the prefs, he was peculiarly liable to variations of this fort) the best received authorities were directed to be followed. The reader, it is trufted, will find this object, too much disregarded in modern books, has here been kept in view throughout. The quotations which are interfperfed through the works of Mr. Burke, and which were frequently made by him from memory, have been generally compared with the original authors. Several mistakes in printing, of one word for another, by which the fenfe was either perverted or obfcured, are now rectified. Two or three fmall infertions have alfo been made from a quarto copy corrected by Mr. Burke himself. From the fame fource fomething

« PreviousContinue »