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It might have been quite heart-breaking, but for Dora, who was the
stay and anchor of my tempest-driven bark. Every scratch in the
scheme was a gnarled oak in the forest of difficulty, and I went on
cutting them down, one after another, with such vigour, that in
three or four months I was in a condition to make an experiment on
one of our crack speakers in the Commons. Shall I ever forget how
the crack speaker walked off from me before I began, and left my
imbecile pencil staggering about the paper as if it were in a fit!

This would not do, it was quite clear. I was flying too high, and
should never get on, so. I resorted to Traddles for advice; who
suggested that he should dictate speeches to me, at a pace, and
with occasional stoppages, adapted to my weakness. Very grateful
for this friendly aid, I accepted the proposal; and night after
night, almost every night, for a long time, we had a sort of
Private Parliament in Buckingham Street, after I came home from the

I should like to see such a Parliament anywhere else! My aunt and
Mr. Dick represented the Government or the Opposition (as the case
might be), and Traddles, with the assistance of Enfield's Speakers,
or a volume of parliamentary orations, thundered astonishing
invectives against them. Standing by the table, with his finger in
the page to keep the place, and his right arm flourishing above his
head, Traddles, as Mr. Pitt, Mr. Fox, Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Burke, Lord
Castlereagh, Viscount Sidmouth, or Mr. Canning, would work himself
into the most violent heats, and deliver the most withering
denunciations of the profligacy and corruption of my aunt and Mr.
Dick; while I used to sit, at a little distance, with my notebook
on my knee, fagging after him with all my might and main. The
inconsistency and recklessness of Traddles were not to be exceeded
by any real politician. He was for any description of policy, in
the compass of a week; and nailed all sorts of colours to every
denomination of mast. My aunt, looking very like an immovable
Chancellor of the Exchequer, would occasionally throw in an
interruption or two, as 'Hear!' or 'No!' or 'Oh!' when the text
seemed to require it: which was always a signal to Mr. Dick (a
perfect country gentleman) to follow lustily with the same cry.

But Mr. Dick got taxed with such things in the course of his
Parliamentary career, and was made responsible for such awful
consequences, that he became uncomfortable in his mind sometimes.
I believe he actually began to be afraid he really had been doing
something, tending to the annihilation of the British constitution,
and the ruin of the country.
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