A Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol: A Speech at Bristol on Parliamentary Conduct; a Letter to a Noble Lord

By Edmund Burke; W. Murison | Go to book overview

SPEECH ON PARLIAMENTARY CONDUCT

MR MAYOR, AND GENTLEMEN,

I am extremely pleased at the appearance of this large and respectable meeting. The steps I may be obliged to take will want the sanction of a considerable authority; and in explaining any thing which may appear doubtful in my publick conduct, I must naturally desire a very full audience.

I have been backward to begin my canvass.-- The dissolution of the parliament was uncertain; and it did not become me, by an unseasonable importunity, to appear diffident of the fact of my six years' endeavours to please you. I had served the city of Bristol honourably; and the city of Bristol had no reason to think, that the means of hononrable service to the publick were become indifferent to me.

I found on my arrival here, that three gentlemen had been long in eager pursuit of an object which but two of us can obtain. I found, that they had all met with encouragement. A contested election, in such a city as this, is no light thing. I paused on the brink of the precipice. These three gentlemen, by various merits, and on various titles, I made no doubt were worthy of your favour. I shall never attempt to

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