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traced until Professor Cook gathered from such valuable but obvious sources as the Parliamentary History, the Annual Register and the histories of Bancroft and Lecky a considerable body of material relating to the debates on America. Of such notes some in this volume are specially credited to him ; some are substantially identical with his, because the present editor, before seeing Professor Cook's edition, made a systematic study of the same sources; and many are now published for the first time.
For helpful suggestions the thanks of the editor are due Professor John Matthews Manly of Brown University.
PROVIDENCE, R. I.,
May 13, 1897.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH BURKE. “I must be in a wretched state indeed when your company would not be a delight to me." These words, which the dying Dr. Johnson addressed to Edmund Burke, can be sincerely repeated even now by any one who really gets acquainted with him. Without some acquaintance, however, with Burke himself and with his environment, one may fail to realize that, far from being a mere eloquent declaimer about matters settled a hundred years before we were born, he is rather the greatest of statesmen, discussing the very problems which vex us today. To understand him wholly, even in the Speech on Conciliation with America, one must have a considerable knowledge of the social conditions in his time, of the political situation, of his character, his principles of statecraft and his style.
The social conditions of England in Burke's day are most fully laid before us in the clear-cut pictures of Boswell's Life of . Johnson, Horace Walpole's Letters, Madame D'Arblay's Diary
1 Boswell's Life of Johnson, edited by G. Birkbeck Hill, Oxford, 1887, IV, 407.