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Claims.-Sir Joshua Reynolds.-Negro Code.- Letter
on the Death of Mr. Shackleton.-War.-Conduct of the
Minority, and Policy of the Allies.-Letter to Mr. Mur-
phy.- Preface to Brissot's Address, ......... 403
Junction of the Old Whigs with Ministry.-Mr. Burke
loses his Son, and excessive Grief.-Letters to W. Smith,
Esq. to Sir Hercules Langrishe (2d) to W. Elliot, Esq.
- Thoughts on Scarcity.-Receives a Pension.--Letter
to a Noble Lord. Letters on a Regicide Peace...... 436
Page 83, line 26 from the top, for East Indies read West
Few things interest the curiosity of mankind more, or prove so instructive in themselves, as to trace the progress of a powerful mind, by the honourable exertion of its native energies, rising in the teeth of difficulties from a very private condition to stations of public eminence and trust, with the power to influence the destiny of nations. Such a person, as sprung not from the privileged few, but from ainong the mass of the people, we feel to be one of ourselves. Our sympathies go along with him in his career. The young imagine that it may possibly be their own case; the old, that with a little more of the favour of fortune it might have been theirs; and at any rate we are anxious to ascertain the causes of his superiority, to treasure up his experience, to profit by what he experienced to be useful, to avoid what he found to be disadvantageous. And the lesson becomes doubly instructive to that large class of society who are born to be the architects of their own fortune, when it impresses the great moral truth, that natural endowments, however great, receive their highest polish and power, their only secure reward, from diligent study—from continued, un
wearied application—a plain, homely faculty, within the reach of all men, one which is certain to wear well, and whose fruits bear testimony to the industry of the possessor, and to the intrinsic value of the possession. Of the great results of such endowments, fostered and directed by such cultivation, we have not a more distinguished example than Edmund Burke.
To an attentive reader of our political and literary history during the sixty years past, no name will more frequently interest him, for the large space he occupied in public esteem, for the original genius he possessed, the diversified talents he displayed, the great events with which the whole of his public life was connected, and the alternate eulogy and abuse with which, particularly since the period of the French Revolution, his narne has been assailed.
Two biographies of this remarkable man have been written: one a quarto volume of slander, dictated by the most envenomed party spirit; the other more just to his deserts; but both very deficient in facts, and particularly so as to his earlier life, very little being known or stated of him until his entry into the House of Commons. Obvious as this deficiency is, accident alone suggested to the present writer the attempt to clear up part of this obscurity. Contemplating his qualities and career as very extraordinary and successful, he · drew up a character of him at some length, in the