OF THE MODE OF PROCEEDING IN A POLITICAL ASSEMBLY IN THE FORMATION OF ITS DECISIONS.
THE subject we are now about to engage in, is in its own nature abstract, intricate, and obscure. Of these undesirable qualities in the subject, but too strong a tincture must inevitably be imbibed by the work. To judge by the celerity with which a motion is oftentimes made, and an order framed in consequence, the path may at first glance appear short and simple. But, in this as in other instances, practice may be short and simple, where description and discussion are tedious and involved. To put in action the whole muscular system, is the work but of an instant; but to describe the parts concerned in that action, and the different modifications it admits of, is to exhaust the stores of a copious and recondite science.
For affording a clue to this labyrinth at the first entrance, no expedient seemed to promise better, than that of singling out, and laying before the reader at one view, the essential points upon which the due conduct of the business seemed principally to turn; suggesting at the same time such regulations as the dictates of utility seemed to prescribe in relation to those points. Chronological order, the order of the incidents, has for this purpose been broken in upon, lest these points of primary importance should have been lost, as it were, in the multitude of less essential details. But though broken in upon, it is not anywhere reversed: and, in the subsequent discussions, strict order will reassume its empire.b
On these few points turn the essential differences between the British and (what, as far as I have been able to learn, has been) the French practice in this line. In these points, too, if the reasoning which the reader will find as he advances be not erroneous, resides the singular excellence, or rather exclusive fitness, of the former mode.____________________