er transaction. Perhaps the true explanation of his seemingly reckless extravagance (if any explanation is needed) is that the conventional standards of his time forced it upon him; and it may be that Burke himself sympathized to some extent with these standards, and felt a certain satisfaction in maintaining a proper attitude before the public.
The celebrated case of Wilkes offered an opportunity for discussing the narrow and corrupt policy pursued by George III. and his followers. Wilkes, outlawed for libel and protected in the meantime through legal technicalities, was returned to Parliament by Middlesex. The House expelled him. He was repeatedly elected and as many times expelled, and finally the returns were altered, the House voting its approval by a large majority. In 1770 Burke published his pamphlet [Footnote: Present Discontents] in which he discussed the situation. For the first time he showed the full sweep and breadth of his understanding. His tract was in the interest of his party, but it was
This book is amazing; I actually got a bit of an endorphin rush reading it. If all our politicians spoke so eloquently C-Span would be fun to watch... and Burke did it without a teleprompter. I love how so much of what he said over a hundred years ago is still relevant today.