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Trial of Hastings—Burke's opening Speech. “ I impeach him in the name of the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, whose parliamentary trust he has betrayed. ... I impeach him in the name and by virtue of those eternal laws of justice, which he has violated."
“ Vir bonus dicendi peritus”-a virtuous man skilled in the art of speaking—such is the definition of an orator given by Cato the elder, and handed down by Quinctilian. Certainly no one on record more aptly accords with the description than the illustrious subject of this biography. Perfect in private and in public life, as far perhaps as the common failings of humanity would permit, EDMUND BURKE presents throughout his whole course an example pleasing to contemplate, and of infinite advantage to study. Burke's speeches and writings have, by frequent repetition, reference, and quotation, become known to 'most people in and out of Parliament. Few political emergencies occur—few measures of imminent interest and importance fall into discussion and debate—without recourse, either for guidance or encouragement, to the lessons and language of Edmund Burke; and thus it is that his thoughts of wisdom and his words of fire have become familiar to us all. Yet his own history, like that of Shakespeare, is far less known than his works. This circumstance, the truth of which will be readily