« PreviousContinue »
carefully studied and, with their permission, most freely used. The Notes, as far as possible, give easily accessible reference when the citation is made, but every student of this speech should study carefully the contributions made to the elucidation of its form, context, and influence, as an exercise in criticism. The work of C. A. Goodrich has long been known and drawn upon by succeeding workers. Other contributors are E. J. Payne, Clarendon Press, 1892; F. G. Selby, the Macmillan Company, 1895. But as far as possible, every student ought to consult the admirable editions of Professor Albert S. Cook, Longmans, Green & Co., and of Hammond Lamont, Ginn & Company, 1897. Both these editions have interesting and suggestive points of view that the scholarly student cannot afford to overlook. TI use of material from both these books has been most kindly accorded by the authors and their publishers.
Thanks are also due for similar courtesy from Longmans, Green & Co. for the use of valuable extracts from Miss Follett's “The Speaker of the House of Representatives” and Trevelyan's “American Revolution.'
American Revolution.” The citations from Fiske's “Beginnings of New England,” “The War for Independence,” and from Tyler's “Patrick Henry” and Hosmer's “Samuel Adams” are used by permission of, and by special arrangement with, Houghton, Mifflin & Co., publishers of the works of the authors named.
The extensive and fundamentally necessary use made of Prof. Moses Coit Tyler's “ American Literature” is by the kind and generous permission of G. P. Putnam's Sons. The student of Burke should, if possible, keep at hand for reference a copy of Professor Tyler's book.
Thanks are due the Macmillan Company for permission to use important characterizations from Goldwin Smith's “United States” and John Morley's “Studies in Literature.”
The use of material from Fiske's “American Political Ideas" has been courteously permitted by Messrs. Harper and Brothers.
M. A. J. NORTHAMPTON, Mass., April 30, 1900.
“The historic method, fitting in with certain dominant conceptions in the region of natural science, is bringing men round to a way of looking at society for which Burke's maxims are exactly suited; and it seems probable that he will be more frequently and more seriously referred to within the next twenty years than he has been within the whole of the last eighty.”—John Morley.
LIFE OF EDMUND BURKE.
ACCORDING to the register of Trinity College, Dublin, Edmund Burke was born in 1728. The tablet in Beaconsfield Church gives the date as 1729. The failure of the parish registers of Dublin to give any more exact evidence leaves the subject to the controversy of experts, and the conjectures of interested laymen. The best authorities seem to accept January 12, 1829, as the day. The place was a house on Arran Quay, Dublin. Claims have been made for the gentility, and even noble rank, of Burke's ancestry, but very little is known of his family beyond the fact that his father was an irritable man, a Protestant and an attorney, that his mother was a Roman Catholic of the Nagle family. Of his mother's many children, only Edmund, Garrit, Richard, and a sister, Juliana, lived to grow up. The sister followed the religious faith of her mother. From this fact and from the frequent intercourse that Edmund's delicate health made desirable with his mother's farmer brothers at Castletown Roche, Roman Catholic interests and associations were from the first familiar to him. The impressions he then gained were most favorable, as well as most valuable, in forming his character on those lines of intelligent liberality which it afterward so notably displayed. In 1741 the three brothers were sent to school to a Quaker, Abraham Shackleton, of Ballitore, in Kildare. Edmund's education had been of the most desultory sort. When he was with his uncle
he used to take the pleasant walk to Kilcolman, and on the spot where Spenser and Raleigh had talked of love and poetry and war, the delicate child had conned his Faerie Queene, and dreamed out—who shall say what lasting convictions for himself? At all events years afterward he wrote: “Whoever relishes and reads Spenser as he ought to be read, will have a strong hold of the English language. Shackleton was a good classicist and an excellent teacher, but even under these more formal conditions the master found opportunity to study and to appreciate the best qualities of a boy not previously considered the peer of his brothers. Still better, perhaps, the boy learned to love the charitable, simple-minded scholar. Burke never forgot the two years he spent at Ballitore, and never lost sight of his old schoolmaster's son, with whom he maintained a cordial friendship through all his own widely different occupations and vexations. In the House of Commons he paid tribute to the memory of Abraham Shackleton, declaring him an honor to one of the purest of sects.
Burke's rather insignificant experience in Trinity College began in 1743. Oliver Goldsmith and Henry Flood, who was two years younger than Burke, afford examples of two other interesting ways of getting what the world is pleased to call an education. Burke was not idle nor dissipated; he was simply not academic timber. He read his classics more like a gentleman than like a pedant; he had fits of almost mad devotion to mathematics, logic, and metaphysics, but he always saw through his own prepossession to its inevitable end, and commented on his own symptoms with fatally clear-sighted liberality. His father was most anxious that he should adopt the profession of law, and Edmund felt no insuperable objection to it apparently. In 1847 he entered his name at the Middle Temple, and in 1850 went to London to keep his terms. But he must have