Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke

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There can be no hesitation in according to him a station among the most extraordinary men that ever appeared; and we think there is now but little diversity of opinion as to the kind of place which it is fit to assign him. He was a writer of the first class, and excelled in almost every kind of composition. Possessed of most extensive knowledge, and of the most various description; acquainted alike with what different classes of men knew, each in his own province, and with much that hardly any one ever thought of learning; he could either bring his masses of information to bear directly upon the subjects to which they severally belonged,—or he could avail himself of them generally to strengthen his faculties, and enlarge his views,—or he could turn any of them to account for the purpose of illustrating his theme, or enriching his diction. Hence, when he is handling any one matter, we perceive that we are conversing with a reasoner or a teacher, to whom almost every other branch of knowledge is familiar: his views range over all the cognate objects; his reasonings are derived from principles applicable to other themes, as well as the one in hand; arguments pour in from all sides, as well as those which start up under our feet,—the natural growth of the path he is leading us over; while to throw light round our steps, and either explore its darkest places, or serve for our recreation; illustrations are fetched from a thousand quarters, and an imagination marvelously quick to descry unthought of resemblances, points to our use the stores, which a love yet more marvelously has gathered from all ages and nations, and arts and tongues. - Summary by Sir James Mackintosh (18 hr 15 min)


Introductory Essay 38:05 Read by InTheDesert
Appendix 4:40 Read by InTheDesert
Nature and Functions of the House of Commons — Retrospect and Resignation — Mod… 8:41 Read by Elijah Fisher
Induction and Comparison — Divine Power on the Human Idea — Union of Love and D… 5:45 Read by Elijah Fisher
Nature Anticipates Man — Self — Inspection — Power of the Obscure — Female Beau… 4:48 Read by Elijah Fisher
Pleasures of Analogy — Ambition — Extensions of Sympathy — Philosophy of Taste … 5:12 Read by Ariphron
Unity of Imagination — Effect of Words — Investigation — Sublime — Obscurity 4:52 Read by Ariphron
Principles of Taste — the Beautiful — the Real and the Ideal — Judgment in Art … 7:45 Read by Ariphron
Security of Truth — Imitation an Instinctive Law — Standard of Reason and Taste… 5:36 Read by earl
Injustice to Our Own Age — False Coalitions — Political Empiricism — a Visionar… 6:35 Read by earl
Decorum in Party — not So Bad as We Seem — Politics Without Principle — Moral D… 6:08 Read by earl
Judgment and Policy — Popular Discontent — the People and Their Rulers — Govern… 6:00 Read by Bob Goodwin
Influence of the Crown — Voice of the People — Fallacy of Extremes — Private Ch… 8:28 Read by drandall
Confidence in the People — False Maxims Assumed as First Principles — Lord Chat… 16:31 Read by drandall
Party and Place — Political Connections — Neutrality — Weakness in Government —… 10:05 Read by Ted Lienhart
Combination, not Faction — Great Men — Power of Constituents — Influence of Pla… 7:10 Read by Ted Lienhart
Good Member of Parliament — Fisheries of New England — Preparation for Parliame… 10:28 Read by Ted Lienhart
Wisdom of Concession — Magnanimity — Duty of Representatives — Prudential Silen… 4:52 Read by Ted Lienhart
Government and Legislation — Parliament — Moral Levellers — Public Salary and P… 8:42 Read by Ted Lienhart
Ireland and Magna Charta — Colonies and British Constitution — Reciprocal Confi… 12:31 Read by Steve C
Feudal Principles and Modern Times — Restrictive Virtues — Libellers of Human N… 11:35 Read by Ted Lienhart
Patriotism and Public Income — American Protestantism — Right of Taxation — Con… 9:42 Read by Ted Lienhart
Prudence of Timely Reform — Difficulties of Reformers — Philosophy of Commerce … 8:35 Read by Ted Lienhart
Reform Ought to Be Progressive — Civil Freedom — Tendencies of Power — Individu… 7:00 Read by Ted Lienhart
Cruelty and Cowardice — Bad Laws Produce Base Subserviency — False Regret — Bri… 12:20 Read by Ted Lienhart
Evils of Distraction — Charles Fox — the Impracticable Undesirable — Constituti… 10:21 Read by Ted Lienhart
Moral Distinctions — Electors and Representatives — Popular Opinion a Fallaciou… 10:21 Read by Ted Lienhart
Just Freedom — England's Embassy to America — Howard, the Philanthropist — Parl… 8:09 Read by Ted Lienhart
Reformed Civil List — French and English Revolution — Armed Discipline — Gilded… 10:59 Read by Ted Lienhart
Sir George Saville — Corruption not Self — Reformed — the Bribed and the Briber… 14:14 Read by Ted Lienhart
Confidence and Jealousy — Economy of Injustice — Subsistence and Revenue — Auth… 9:24 Read by Ted Lienhart
Burke and Fox — Peers and Commons — Natural Self — Destruction — the Carnatic —… 14:08 Read by Ted Lienhart
Politics and the Pulpit — Idea of French Revolution — Patriotic Distinction — K… 12:10 Read by Ted Lienhart
Jargon of Republicanism — Conservative Progress of Inherited Freedom — Conserva… 16:25 Read by Ted Lienhart
Our Constitution, not Fabricated, But Inherited — Low Aims and Low Instruments … 22:17 Read by Ted Lienhart
Natural and Civil Rights — Marie Antoinette — Spirit of a Gentleman and the Spi… 21:46 Read by Ted Lienhart
Sacredness of Moral Instincts — Parental Experience — Revolutionary Scene — Eco… 41:22 Read by Ariphron
Unity Between Church and State — Triple Basis of French Revolution — Correspond… 19:31 Read by Ariphron
Britain Vindicated in Her War with France — Polish and French Revolution — Euro… 20:38 Read by Ted Lienhart
Danger of Abstract Views — Appeal to Impartiality — Historical Estimate of Loui… 14:45 Read by Ted Lienhart
Tremendousness of War — English Officers — Diplomacy of Humiliation — Relation … 13:34 Read by Ted Lienhart
Difficulty the Path to Glory — Robespierre and His Counterparts — Accumulation,… 17:16 Read by Ted Lienhart
Sir Sydney Smith — a Moral Distinction — Infidels and Their Policy — What a Min… 21:20 Read by Ted Lienhart
European Community — Perils of Jacobin Peace — Parliamentary and Regal Prerogat… 24:36 Read by Ted Lienhart
"Labouring Poor" — State Consecrated by the Church — Fate of Louis XVIII — Nobi… 22:49 Read by Ted Lienhart
Principle of State-Consecration — British Stability — Literary Atheists — City … 23:20 Read by Ted Lienhart
Parsimony not Economy — Majesty of the British Constitution — Duty not Based on… 17:34 Read by Ted Lienhart
Use of Defects in History — Social Contract — Prescriptive Rights — Madness of … 16:11 Read by Ted Lienhart
Metaphysical Depravity — Personal and Ancestral Claims — Monastic and Philosoph… 18:24 Read by Ted Lienhart
Fictitious Liberty — French Ignorance of English Character — the "People," and … 13:11 Read by Ted Lienhart
Rousseau — Moral Heroes — Kingdom of France — Grievance and Opinion — Perplexit… 13:49 Read by Ted Lienhart
Historical Instruction — Montesquieu — Articles, and Scripture — Problem of Leg… 10:31 Read by Ted Lienhart
Regicidal Legislature — Government not to Be Rashly Censured — Etiquette — Anci… 10:51 Read by Hedwig819
Patriotism — Necessity, a Relative Term — King John and the Pope — Consumption … 13:12 Read by Elijah Fisher
"His Grace" — Speculation and History — Labour and Wages — a Complete Revolutio… 27:15 Read by Ted Lienhart
Money and Science — Political Axioms — Disappointed Ambition — Difficulty an In… 22:28 Read by mleigh
Prudery of False Reform — Exaggeration — Tactics of Cabal — Government, Relativ… 21:04 Read by mleigh
Magnitude in Building — Society and Solitude — East — India Bill and Company — … 28:35 Read by Ted Lienhart
Persecution, False in Theory — Irish Legislation — Henry of Navarre — Test Acts… 11:21 Read by Elijah Fisher
Grievances by Law — Revolutionary Politics — Toleration Become Intolerant — Wil… 30:27 Read by Ted Lienhart
Politics in the Pulpit — William the Conqueror — King Alfred — Druids — Saxon C… 32:59 Read by Ted Lienhart
Ministerial Responsibility — Monastic Institutions and Their Results — Common L… 57:01 Read by Elijah Fisher
Public Prosecutions — True Nature of a Jacobin War — National Dignity — Princip… 27:08 Read by Ted Lienhart
Moral Diet — King William's Policy — Distemper of Remedy — War and Will of the … 18:09 Read by Remy
Moral Essence Makes a Nation — Public Spirit — Progressive Growth of Christian … 16:47 Read by mleigh
Extinction of Local Patriotism — Walpole and His Policy — Political Peace — Pub… 31:01 Read by Ted Lienhart
Constitution not the People's Slave — Modern "Lights" — Republics in the Abstra… 14:08 Read by Elijah Fisher
The Eye — Abolition and Use of Parliaments — Cromwell and His Contrasts — Delic… 23:24 Read by Ted Lienhart
"Omnipotence of Church Plunder" — Ugliness — Grace — Elegance and Speciousness … 9:25 Read by Ted Lienhart
The Beautiful in Sounds — British Church 8:47 Read by Ted Lienhart