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As Good as his Word : Benjamin Disraeli did not make a promising start to his Parliamentary career - but he did start with a promise.
As Good as his Word

From ‘Self-Help’ by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904).

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881), Queen Victoria’s favourite Prime Minister, oversaw the expansion of the electorate as well as a range of social reforms aimed at improving the living and working conditions of the poorer classes. He was also an accomplished novelist, though his first attempts had been cruelly mocked by the critics, and his early political career fared little better.

AS an orator too, his first appearance in the House of Commons was a failure. Though composed in a grand and ambitious strain, every sentence was hailed with “loud laughter.” But he concluded with a sentence which embodied a prophecy.

Writhing under the laughter with which his studied eloquence had been received, he exclaimed, “I have begun several times many things, and have succeeded in them at last. I shall sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me.”

He did not, as many young men do, having once failed, retire dejected, to mope and whine in a corner, but diligently set himself to work. He carefully unlearnt his faults, studied the character of his audience, practised sedulously the art of speech, and industriously filled his mind with the elements of parliamentary knowledge.

The recollection of his early failure was effaced, and by general consent he was at length admitted to be one of the most finished and effective of parliamentary speakers.

From ‘Self-Help’ by Samuel Smiles (1812-1904).

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Picture: Photo by Jabez Hughes, from Wikimedia Commons. Licence: Public domain. View original
A photograph of Benjamin Disraeli, taken by Jabez Hughes of Ryde on the Isle of Wight on July 22nd, 1878. Disraeli, Britain’s only Prime Minister so far of Jewish heritage, was a Conservative, who served in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880. His fractious relationship with William Gladstone of the Liberal Party remains one of the great rivalries of British political history.
By Samuel Smiles

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