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THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT,
Earliest Periods to the Present Time.
NOTICES OF EMINENT PARLIAMENTARY MEN,
AND EXAMPLES OF THEIR ORATORY.
Compiled from Authentic Sources by
THE scantiness of available information on the subject of the British Parliament, its history and its leading men, is a surprising fact, in days when historical writing may be said to superabound. Much information was to be found, no doubt, in bulky volumes, or scattered through the material of extensive libraries, but there was nothing for the general reader at once comprehensive and readily accessible. An attempt was made some years back, by two fellow-workers who had experienced the want, to supply it, by bringing together, in anecdotal form, “ some of the more striking facts in the history of our Parliaments, and the public lives of distinguished statesmen.”* Their work met with a favourable reception, and a cordial appreciation of its purport, not only in this country but abroad. One correspondent-a member of the legal profession in Italy-expressed himself warmly in praise of the book, which he was desirous of translating into his own tongue, as showing compendiously the history of constitutional liberty in the nation which has striven most
*“A Book of Parliamentary Anecdote,” by G. H. Jennings and W. S. Johnstone, 1872. The writer takes this opportunity of expressing his satisfaction that in his earlier labours he was aided by the co-operation of his valued friend Mr. William Steven Johnstone. That gentleman, although prevented by arduous engagements from continuing the work, has kindly placed at the disposal of his colleague his own gatherings towards the former book.