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BEFORE I proceed to acknowledge my obligations to Gentlemen who have communicated to me materials for this second edition, it becomes me to discharge a prior debt of gratitude due to the public, for its reception of the first. In my thanks I have the satisfaction to include readers of very different views and opinions. Those who have not concurred in my sentiments respecting the political conduct of my illustrious subject have done me the honour to approve of its literary execution.
The Monthly Reviewer, whose consideration the Life of Burke first engaged, en
tered into the work with an accuracy and extent of analysis, a particularity of critical disquisition, to which I consider myself as peculiarly indebted, and from which I flatter myself he will perceive I have reaped great benefit. Though I cannot concur in his objections to Mr. Burke's consistency, I admit that his arguments are fair, candid, and strong, on the grounds which he takes.
The British Critic is, as he has always been, entitled to my peculiar gratitude. He will find that I have paid particular attention to his very important advice, and will see that the result is the difference which he anticipated.
The Reviewer of the Life of Burke, in the European Magazine, has expressed hinnself in terms so flattering, that I must impute them to the partiality of a friend, instead of the justice of an unbiassed judge. At the same time he displays such a degree
of ingenuity and vigour, that had I to plead a literary cause, I could not have an abler advocate.
To the Critical Reviewers I have been formerly much obliged; and earnestly wish that, when it shall suit their convenience to take notice of either the last or present edition, I may meet with an equally favourable reception.
To the New Annual Register, issuing from the same house, I have to offer my thanks for their notice both of Burke's Life and my former productions. Considering diversity of opinion respecting the conduct of my subject as no expression of literary objection, the writer will find that I have admitted the justness of his only censure, in my endeavours to prevent its repetition.
The Monthly Magazine, with the same diversity of political sentiment as the New
Annual Register, has treated me with similar favour. The Monthly Mirror has a strong claim to my grateful acknowledge. ments for notice at once early and favourable. On the former ground I am also indebted to the Analytical Reviewer. That gentleman, I find, was offended that I called Mr. Lucas a demagogue apothecary. One part of my assertion I have discovered to be erroneous, as the said demagogue was a graduate doctor. With regard to the criticism, I must confess it was more favourable than I expected from that quarter ; and, as to ability, taking for my guide experience instead of speculation, I did not look for it in the panegyrist of Paine. The late Analytical Reviewers may say, that I violate the maxiin de mortuis nil nisi bonum. If not desirous of being consigned to oblivion, they must wish the rule to be violated. . “And who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,' &c.
• Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind.'