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Right Hon. Edmund Burke
Memoir and Historical Introductions
A LITTLE more than a hundred years ago, a young Irishman, the son of a Dublin attorney, arrived in London, without possessing powera ful friends or ample means, and entered on the books of the Middle Temple the name of EDMUND BURKE.
Thirty-seven years afterwards this man died. He had in the meantime won for himself a name which sheds lustre on his country and his age; earned a place in the front rank of philosophic inquirers; soared on the majestic wing of a gorgeous eloquence to every clime where there was a wrong to be redressed ; asserted in fervid and glowing oratory the rights of insalted America and of trampled India; largely swayed the destinies of a great nation in a great era; and with one hand paralyzed sceptred despotism, while with the other he repulsed rude anarchy from the altar and the throne.
Such is the man whose intelleetual triumphs will be found in the volume now presented to the reader. I cannot, of course, but feel that in following the able writers who have edited the former volumes of the “ Orators of Ireland," I labour under the disadvantage of having my efforts brought into contrast with the literary achievements of a Madden, a MacNevin, and a Davis. But I can, at least, honestly say, that I have endeavoured to make up for the deficiency by industry; I have placed no speech in this volume, of the authenticity of which I had not obtained clear evidence. In the introdụctory observations which I have prefixed to each speech, I have sought to convey to the reader all the circumstances connected with its delivery, and to point out the principal characteristics which