1833 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Edmund Burke

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 8 April 1833; in Table Talk (1884) 207.



Burke was, indeed, a great man. No one ever read history so philosophically as he seems to have done. Yet, until he could associate his general principles with some sordid interest, panic of property, Jacobinism, &c. he was a mere dinner bell. Hence you will find so many half truths in his speeches and writings. Nevertheless, let us heartily acknowledge his transcendent greatness. He would have been more influential if he had less surpassed his contemporaries, as Fox and Pitt, men of much inferior minds in all respects.