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Burke's own hand-writing; from which he hopes he has succeeded in making a pretty correct transcript of it, as well as in the attempt he has made to supply the marginal reference alluded to in Mr. Burke's Letter to Mr. Dundas.
XIII. Letter to the Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Meeting.
Of the occasion of this Letter an account is given in the Note subjoined to it.
XIV. Tracts and Letters relative to the Laws against Popery in Ireland.
These Pieces consist of,
1. An unfinished Tract on the Popery Laws, Of this Tract the Reader will find an account in the Note prefixed to it.
2. A Letter to William Smith, Esq. Several copies of this Letter having got abroad, it was printed and published in Dublin without the permission of Mr. Burke, or of the Gentleman, to whom it was addressed.
3. Second Letter to Sir Hercules Langrishe. This may be considered as supplementary to the first Letter, addressed to the same
person in January 1792, which was published in the 3d volume.
4. Letter to Richard Burke, Esq. Of this Letter it will be necessary to observe, that the first part of it appears to have been originally addressed by Mr. Burke to his son in the manner, in which it is now printed, but to have been left unfinished; after whose death he probably designed to have given the substance of it, with additional observations, to the Publick in some other form; but never found leisure or inclination to finish it.
5. A Letter on the Affairs of Ireland, written in the year 1797. The name of the person, to whom this Letter was addressed, does not appear on the manuscript; nor has the Letter been found, to which it was written as an answer. And as the gentleman, whom he employed as an Amanuensis, is not now living, no discovery of it can be made, unless this publication of the Letter should produce some information respecting it, that may enable us in a future Volume
to gratify, on this point, the curiosity of the Reader. The Letter was dictated, as he himself tells us, from his couch at Bath; to which place he had gone by the advice of his physicians in March 1797. His health was now rapidly declining; the vigour of his mind remained unimpaired. This, my dear friend, was, I believe, the last Letter dictated by him on publick affairs: -here ended his political labours.
XV. Fragments and Notes of Speeches in Parliament.
1. Speech on the Acts of Uniformity.
2. Speech on the Bill for the relief of Protestant Dissenters.
3. Speech on the Petition of the Unitarians. 4. Speech on the Middlesex Election.
5. Speech on a Bill for shortening the duration of Parliaments.
6. Speech on the Reform of the Representation in Parliament.
7. Speech on a Bill for explaining the Powers of Juries in Prosecutions for Libels.
7. Letter relative to the same subject.
8. Speech on a Bill for repealing the Marriage Act.
9. Speech on a Bill to quiet the possessions of the Subject against dormant Claims of the Church.
With respect to these Fragments, I have already stated the reasons, by which we were influenced in our determination to publish them. An account of the state, in which these manuscripts were found, is given in the Note prefixed to this article.
XVI. Hints for an Essay on the Drama.
This fragment was perused in manuscript by a learned and judicious Critick, our late lamented friend Mr. Malone; and under the protection of his opinion we can feel no hesitation in submitting it to the judgment of the Publick.
XVII. We are now come to the concluding article of this volume-The Essay on the History of England.
At what time of the Author's life it was written cannot now be exactly ascertained; but it was cer tainly begun before he had attained the age of 27
years, as it appears from an entry in the books of the late Mr. Dodsley, that eight sheets of it, which contain the first seventy-four pages of the present edition*, were printed in the year 1757. This is the only part, that has received the finishing stroke of the Author. In those, who are acquainted with the manner, in which Mr. Burke usually composed his graver literary works, and of which some account is given in the advertisement prefixed to the Fourth Volume, this circumstance will excite a deep regret; and whilst the Publick partakes with us in this feeling, it will doubtless be led to judge with candour and indulgence of a work left in this imperfect and unfinished state by its Author.
Before I conclude, it may not be improper to take this opportunity of acquainting the Publick with the progress, that has been made towards the completion of this undertaking. The Sixth and Seventh Volumes, which will consist entirely of papers, that have a relation to the affairs of the East-India Company, and to the impeachment of Mr. Hastings, are now in the press. The suspension of the consideration of the affairs of the EastIndia Company in Parliament, till its next session, has made me very desirous to get the Sixth Volume
* Quarto Edition.