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THE object of this volume is to present in compact form all the material needed by teacher or student for a complete understanding of Burke's greatest speech, that on Conciliation with America. The text, except for modernized capitalization, spelling and punctuation, follows a copy of the Second Edition, London, 1775, in the Harvard Library. The Introduction contains no newly discovered facts, but simply attempts to show how those already known in regard to the condition of Great Britain, the relations between the mother country and her colonies, Burke's career, his principles and his style, bear upon the subject-matter and the form of this speech. It also supplies references to the proper authorities on matters concerning which the student may desire fuller details. The Notes indicate some of the sources from which Burke drew elements in his style, mark the similarity in ideas and expression between this speech and his other writings, and explain, not only obscurities, but the many allusions which appealed to his hearers but which are partly or wholly lost on modern readers. The notes referring to Greek and Latin authors, to the Bible and to English poets for passages which have been quoted by Burke, or which seem to have affected his thought or style, were mostly collected by C. A. Goodrich, in his Select British Eloquence, and by E. J. Payne, Burke's Select Works, Clarendon Press, 1892, vol. I; they have appeared in several subsequent editions, and the substance of the more important is here reprinted without further acknowledgment. The definitions of obsolete or peculiar words and the explanations of parliamentary usages have been handed down from Goodrich, with more or less addition at each transmission; but they have been treated with special fulness by F. G. Selby, Burke's Speeches, Macmillan, New York, 1895. Some of the parallel passages from Burke himself have also been pointed out by Payne, Selby or Professor A. S. Cook, Speech on Conciliation, Longmans, New York, 1896; but the great majority of them are new in this edition. The most important notes are those which throw light on Burke's inferences from the events which had already estranged England and her colonies; on his manner of summing up everything said on all sides during ten years of discussion of American affairs; on the political or personal bearing of many remarks which we might deem insignificant; on his dexterity in turning against his opponents their own phrases, convicting them out of their own mouths; in short, on the force of this speech as an argument. Notes of this kind, in so far as they are needed to elucidate matters which Burke directly mentions, are given in most editions. Some of the allusions, however, are difficult to trace, owing to the fragmentary state even of the completest reports of parliamentary proceedings, and but few actually were traced until Professor Cook gathered from such valuable but obvious sources as the Parliamentary History, the Annual Aegister 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.,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.