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special mention of many able and excellent individuals. Though it may contain errors of fact and opinion, yet, as it is confined to those phases of events, and incidents in the lives of persons, which history too seldom dwells upon, it may be found not wholly valueless to those who would examine the most interesting and instructive period in the recent annals of England.
The chronological plan of the work is, generally, to notice prominent popular movements in their order of time, and, in connection with each, to give sketches, more or less full, of persons who bore a leading part in it. But such slight regard has been paid to chronological arrangement, that each subject stands by itself, having only a general connection with what precedes or follows it
As to my statistics, I have occasionally been compelled to reach conclusions much in the same manner as juries agree upon verdicts—consult a dozen authorities, each one differing with all the others-get the sum total of the whole, divide it by twelve, and adopt the result.
This Book is submitted to the reader as an humble attempt to make some of the Reformers of America better acquainted with some of the Reformers of the Old World—to show that the Anglo-Saxon love of liberty, which inspires so many hearts on both sides of the Atlantic, flows from the same kindred fountain—to prove that, though when measured by her own vaunted standards, Great Britain is one of the most oppressive and despicable Governments on earth, her radical reformers constitute as noble a band of democratic philanthropists as the world has ever seen-to induce candid Americans to make just discriminations in their estimate of “ England and the English,” and to draw distinctions between the privileged orders of that country and a small, but increasing, and even now powerful body of its people, who admire the free institutions of the United States, and are laboring with heroic constancy, and a zeal tempered with discretion, to secure for themselves and their fellow-subjects the rights and privileges enjoyed by transAtlantic republicans,—and, finally, to record my admiration of those rare and true men, who, during the past half century, and while struggling against difficulties and enduring persecutions, of which we have but the faintest conceptions, have achieved so much for the cause of Humanity and Freedom.