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the House of Commons, than those of either of his great rivals, and which enabled him to take the lead for so many years in that assembly, besides drawing the then (1774) very unusual honour of an invitation to represent, free of expence, one of the chief cities of the kingdom. At other times, hints are dropped of how much better his genius would have been exerted in many other ways than in politics. This opinion is at best but mere assumption and trifling. For though doubtless calculated to excel in any thing to which he vigorously applied his mind, we have no right to speculate on what he might have been, but what he really was. And his whole career proves, that, added to an early bias towards the consideration of public affairs, there is perhaps little doubt but that more of the strength of his mind was put forth by the contentions inseparable from politics than could have been effected by any other species of discussion. But independent of this, if he has left behind in the track of life which he ultimately adopted, more materials for fame than either of his contemporaries or predecessors, namely, the finest orations in the English language, the ablest political disquisitions, the introduction or support of a series of important constitutional measures for nearly thirty years together, and a reputation perhaps above any other for practical wisdom, not resting on the mere opinion of the moment but on record in his speeches and writings;-surely it savours of folly or impertinence to say that he would have succeeded better in any other pursuit.
It is time that this ungenerous warfare against his fame should cease. No man, indeed, intimately conversant with public affairs, has been misled by it, as the debates in parliament almost every night of every session testify; but it has served its turn pretty effectually among that multitude of persons who are little acquainted with such matters, and who, suspecting no sinister views, take for granted what is told them without undergoing the labour of inquiring for themselves. Should the present attempt enable any of these to appreciate more justly the powers or character of one to whom his country is under very important obligations, the writer will not deem his labour misapplied. His testimony at least is impartial. He has no party purpose to answer; no influence to court; no interest to push, except it be that common interest felt by every generous mind, of rendering to a distinguished and virtuous character those honours which are its due.
List of the chief Writings of the Right Hon. EDMUND BURKE, arranged, as nearly as possible, in Chronological Order, and with Reference to the Volumes of his Works (8vo. edit.) in which they may be found.
It may be necessary to observe, that the speeches, and notes of speeches, enumerated in the following catalogue, are such only as have a place in his works published by his executors. Four volumes of speeches, most of them not inserted in his Works, have been collected, and given to the world by a different Editor; and though necessarily imperfect, as being taken from casual and unauthorised reports, when reporting was at a low ebb, they are probably the best that can now be procured.
The letters specified in this enumeration are all upon public affairs; some of them published soon after being written, some not; and the greater number forming pamphlets of considerable size.
The pieces marked thus (**) are likewise not included in his Works, though no doubt is entertained of their authenticity.
**Translation of an Idyllium of Theocritus,
**Several Scenes of a Play, on the Subject of
Alfred the Great
**Ballitore, a short Poem
*Lines on the River Blackwater
**Translation of the concluding Portion of the
2d Georgic of Virgil
**Lines to Mr. Richard Shackleton, on his
**And several shorter Pieces, still known to
be in existence.
Hints for an Essay on the Drama......about 1754.
Vindication of Natural Society
In what Vol. contained. X
In what Vol.
Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our
America, 2 vols. 8vo
Essay towards an Abridgment of English His-
Short Account of a late Short Administration 1766. 11 **Humourous Reply to the preceding, signed
Whittington, a Tallow Chandler, of Cateaton-street; and Ship News for 1765both believed to be Mr. Burke's........ 1766. Observations on a late Publication, intituled
the Present State of the Nation ........ 1769. Thoughts on the Cause of the present Discon
Notes of a Speech on the Middlesex Election,
a Bill for explaining the
Powers of Juries in Prosecutions for
a Bill to quiet the Pos
sessions of the Subject against Dormant
+ Doubts being still expressed of his participation in this publication, fac-similes of his hand-writing of the receipts for the copy-money of the volume for 1761, alluded to at page 61, vol. i. is appended to this list.