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PREF A C E
THESE Lectures were delivered by me last winter, at the request of the “ National Union of Conservative Associations,” to various audiences of Conservative working-men, both in London and the country. As my only object in writing them was to extend to my fellowcountrymen a knowledge of the leading facts and principles of our Constitution, I endeavoured, as far as possible, to avoid giving expression to anything like party-feeling, and confined my attempts to placing before my hearers those salient points in our system of Government, without some knowledge of which no man can be considered justly entitled to give an opinion on political questions. The temperate tone I studied to maintain throughout these Lectures was approved by audiences that included, besides Conservatives, Liberals of all shades of opinions.
It is hoped that the Crown and its Advisers' may serve as a useful constitutional Manual, and be the means of causing many to examine more fully for themselves the working of that great machine, the State. If it should help to make our working-classes understand a whit better the nature of the constitution under which they have the happiness to live, and induce them to search for themselves the pages of our great constitutional authorities, instead of being content with mere “ clap-trap” opinions, the object of the Author will be most fully gained.
It only remains for me to make my grateful acknowledgments to the writers on our Constitution and its History from whose rich stores I have so freely drawn, and to whose antecedent labours these Lectures are indebted for their existence. The following is a list of
the chief authorities I have consulted : May's * Constitutional History' and ' Parliamentary. Practice;' Cox's 'Institutions of the English Government;' Alpheus Todd, “On Parliamentary Government in England ;' Hallam’s • Constitutional History of England;' Blackstone's ‘Commentaries on the Laws of England;' the Histories of England by Hume, Lingard, and Mackintosh ; Cooke's History of Party ;' Earl Grey, 'On Parliamentary Government;' R. Palgrave's · Lectures on the House of Commons ;' R. Dudley Baxter's * English Parties and Conservatism ;' De Lolme, “On the Constitution,' edited by Stephens; Dod's ‘Parliamentary Companion;' 'Encyclopædia Britannica ;' and various constitutional articles in the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and Saturday Reviews. To those works in italics I am under the deepest obligations.
JUNIOR CARLTON CLUB,
“The country has a deep-rooted affection for kingly government, and would highly resent any attempt to change or destroy this key-stone of the Constitution : nor, as far as I can observe, is this sentiment confined to particular orders of men; it pervades the whole country, from one end to the other.”—EARL RUSSELL, English Government and Constitution.
“ A land of just and old renown,
GENTLEMEN,—I intend to lecture to you to-night upon the office and prerogatives of her Majesty the Queen. I shall endeavour to show you what