Edmund Burke's letter to the sheriffs of bristol and the texture of prudence

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The problem with prudence, as Emerson understood, is that it can raise questions not easily answered. "What right have I," he asked, "to write on Prudence, whereof I have little, and that of the negative sort?"1 The same sort of question might be asked of those who would link that concept with the name of Edmund Burke, whose virtues are not ordinarily associated with restraint, decorum, or golden means. To his critics, the "sublime and beautiful" Burke was if anything the very embodiment of rhetorical excess, given to flights of metaphoric fancy and speeches of inordinate length on causes known to be lost. His was, as one historian has graphically demonstrated, a life lived in caricature.2 What right have we, then, to speak of Burke in the same breath with prudence?.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrudence
Subtitle of host publicationClassical Virtue, Postmodern Practice
PublisherPenn State University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)0271022558, 9780271025278
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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