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OR

SKETCHES FROM THE STRANGERS' GALLERY

OF

THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

BY

J. EWING RITCHIE,

AUTHOR OF THE "NIGHT SIDE OF LONDON,"

," “ THE LONDON PULPIT,"
"HERE AND THERE IN LONDON," ETC. ETC.

“For these are the men that when they have played their parts, and had their exits, must
step out and give the moral of their scenes, and deliver unto posterity an inventory of their
virtues and vices.”—SIR Thomas BROWNE.

LONDON:
WILLIAM TWEEDIE, 337, STRAND.

MDCCCLXI.

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TO

JOHN CASSELL, ESQ.,

THE POPULAR EDUCATOR,"

THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED, AS A MEMORIAL OF MANY

YEARS OF FRIENDSHIP AND LITERARY

CO-OPERATION.

Ivy Cottage, Ballard's-lane, Finchley.

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MODERN STATESMEN.

LORD PALMERSTON.

This is a great, free, self-governed country. I must believe it, for I read it in the newspapers every day. The aristocracy tell us this when they condescend to adorn our public dinners, and popular lecturers at Mechanics' Institutions and Athenæums repeat it. Our Constitution is the growth of ages, and has attained a perfection of which Hobbes despaired and of which Locke never dreamt. The franchise, we are told, is a trust; that trust is placed in the most trustworthy hands. (Cato was the original ten-pound householder.) Our elections are the envy of surrounding nations. There is at them a studious abstinence from beer; no one is solicited for a vote. The great manufacturer, or railway contractor, or the neighbouring peer, always retire to the Continent when an election takes place, in order that the honest voter may act in accordance

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