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E believe there is no need of an apology to
the public for offering to them any genuine speeches of Mr. Burke: the two contained in this publication undoubtedly are so.
The general approbation they met with (as we hear) from all parties at Bristol persuades us that a good edition of them will not be unacceptable in London ; which we own to be the inducement, and we hope is a justification, of our offering it.
We do not presume to descant on the merit of these speeches; but as it is no less new than honorable to find a popular candidate, at a popular election, daring to avow his dissent to certain points that have been considered as very popular objects, and maintaining himself on the manly confidence of his own opinion, so we must say that it does great credit to the people of England, as it proves to the world, that, to insure their confidence, it is not necessary to flatter them, or to affect a subserviency to their passions or their prejudices.
It may be necessary to premise, that at the opening of the poll the candidates were Lord Clare, Mr. Brickdale, the two last members, and Mr. Cruger, a considerable merchant at Bristol. On the second day of the poll, Lord Clare declined ; and a considerable body of gentlemen, who had wished that the city of
Bristol should, at this critical season, be represented by some gentleman of tried abilities and known commercial knowledge, immediately put Mr. Burke in nomination. Some of them set off express for London to apprise that gentleman of this event; but he was gone to Malton, in Yorkshire. The spirit and active zeal of these gentlemen followed him to Malton. They arrived there just after Mr. Burke's clection for that place, and invited him to Bristol.
Mr. Burke, as he tells us in his first speech, acquainted his constituents with the honorable offer that was made him, and, with their consent, he immediately set off for Bristol, on the Tuesday, at six in the evening; he arrived at Bristol at half past two in the afternoon, on Thursday, the 13th of October, being the sixth day of the poll.
He drove directly to the mayor's house, who not being at home, he proceeded to the Guildhall, where he ascended the hustings, and having saluted the electors, the sheriffs, and the two candidates, he reposed himself for a few minutes, and then addressed the electors in a speech which was received with great and universal applause and approbation..