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BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

No. XCVI.

JANUARY, 1825.

VOL. XVII.

LIFE OF BURKE.* MR Prior's book contains many in- scendent powers and services to the teresting particulars respecting Burke, gaze of the world. His mighty genot given by his other biographers; it nius soared far above these, for the exhibits much just sentiment and means of benefiting his country, and good feeling, and it displays suffi. the most important of its triumphs, cient evidence that much careful in- were too vast, complex, and exalted in quiry has been employed in\its pro- their nature, to be judged of by the duction. Of the dictionl we cannot ofdinary modes of definition and vaspeak very favourably: it is generally luation. In consequence, much of the perspicuous and spirited, but it is too glory which belongs to him has been often inaccurate and faulty, and it given to others. The nation annualsometimes makes attempts at eleva- ly heaps new honours on the tomb of tion and effect which are by no means Pitt, while that of Burke-of the man successful. Notwithstanding these and who smote, divided, and paralysed a other drawbacks, the work is a sen- mighty revolutionary Opposition sible and a valuable one. If Mr Prior crushed an almost irresistible multihave not accomplished all that the tude of revolutionary teachers-stayed fame of Burke demanded, some excuse the frenzy of the community-conmay be found for him in the difficul- verted apostacy and terror into imties which beset his undertaking. He passioned fidelity and chivalrous dacould not have chosen one less capable ring—in a word, who formed the area of successful execution.

na for Pitt, and created the host by Perhaps the empire stands more which he conquered—is forgotten. deeply indebted to Burke, looking at Nothing could well be more unnewhat it has been preserved from, at cessary than to add to the legitimate what has been preserved to it, and fame of Pitt the fame belonging to at what it has obtained, than to any another ; but, nevertheless, those who other individual-perhaps no other in adopt his name, and revere his medividual ever equalled him in great mory, will not suffer any portion that and extraordinary achievements, ac- has been assigned to him to be taken complished by the mere force of intel- away. In addition to this, those who lect-butnomartial victories, no splen- call themselves his followers, have did series of ministerial labours, scarce- lately embraced principles and policy ly any of the things which generally which clash greatly with those which give shape and perpetuity to the high Burke recommended in similar cirest kind of fame, embody his tran- cumstances. Our other political par

• Memoir of the Life and Character of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, with Speci. mens of his Poetry and Letters, and an Estimate of his Genius and Talents, compared with those of his great Contemporaries. By James Prior, Esq. London: Baldwin and Co. 1824.

VOL. XVII.

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