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King George III (1760-1820)
Portrait of a Lady : Edmund Burke takes time off from campaigning for liberty to reflect on the delights of captivity.
Portrait of a Lady

Abridged from ‘The District School Reader’, edited by William D. Sawn.

Edmund Burke remains one of the most significant statesmen in British history, who spoke up for the American colonists and the people of India as well as the English working man. Around the time of his marriage to Jane Mary Nugent in 1757, Burke also shared with us some thoughts on his ‘Idea of a Woman’.

SHE has a face that just raises your attention at first sight; it grows on you every moment, and you wonder it did no more than raise your attention at first.

Her eyes have a mild light, but they awe you when she pleases; they command, like a good man out of office, not by authority, but by virtue.

Her stature is not tall. She is not made to be the admiration of every body, but the happiness of one.

She has all the firmness that does not exclude delicacy: she has all the softness that does not imply weakness.

Her smiles are inexpressible.

Her voice is a low, soft music, not formed to rule in public assemblies, but to charm those who can distinguish a company from a crowd. It has this advantage — you must come close to her to hear it.

No person of so few years can know the world better; no person was ever less corrupted by that knowledge.

Abridged from ‘The District School Reader’, edited by William D. Sawn.

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Picture: By George Romney (1734-1802), via Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
Laetitia à Court, née Wyndham, second wife wife of Sir William Pierce Ashe à Court, 1st Baronet, soldier and MP for Heytesbury in Wiltshire.
By Edmund Burke MP

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