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JANUARY, 1825.


MR PRIOR'S book contains many interesting particulars respecting Burke, not given by his other biographers; it exhibits much just sentiment and good feeling, and it displays sufficient evidence that much careful inquiry has been employed in its production. Of the diction we cannot speak very favourably: it is generally perspicuous and spirited, but it is too often inaccurate and faulty, and it sometimes makes attempts at elevation and effect which are by no means successful. Notwithstanding these and other drawbacks, the work is a sensible and a valuable one. If Mr Prior have not accomplished all that the fame of Burke demanded, some excuse may be found for him in the difficulties which beset his undertaking. He could not have chosen one less capable of successful execution.

Perhaps the empire stands more deeply indebted to Burke, looking at what it has been preserved from, at what has been preserved to it, and at what it has obtained, than to any other individual-perhaps no other individual ever equalled him in great and extraordinary achievements, accomplished by the mere force of intellect but nomartial victories, no splendid series of ministerial labours, scarcely any of the things which generally give shape and perpetuity to the highest kind of fame, embody his tran


scendent powers and services to the gaze of the world. His mighty genius soared far above these, for the means of benefiting his country, and the most important of its triumphs, were too vast, complex, and exalted in their mature, to be judged of by the ordinary modes of definition and valuation. In consequence, much of the glory which belongs to him has been given to others. The nation annually heaps new honours on the tomb of Pitt, while that of Burke of the man who smote, divided, and paralysed a mighty revolutionary Oppositioncrushed an almost irresistible multitude of revolutionary teachers-stayed the frenzy of the community-converted apostacy and terror into impassioned fidelity and chivalrous daring-in a word, who formed the are na for Pitt, and created the host by which he conquered-is forgotten.

Nothing could well be more unnecessary than to add to the legitimate fame of Pitt the fame belonging to another; but, nevertheless, those who adopt his name, and revere his memory, will not suffer any portion that has been assigned to him to be taken away. In addition to this, those who call themselves his followers, have lately embraced principles and policy which clash greatly with those which Burke recommended in similar circumstances. Our other political par

Memoir of the Life and Character of the Right Hon. Edmund Burke, with Specimens 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.



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