Those who have done me the honour of
reading my previous writings will probably receive no strong
impression of novelty from the present volume; for the principles are
those to which I have been working up during the greater part of my
life, and most of the practical suggestions have been anticipated by
others or by myself.
 There is novelty, however, in the fact of
bringing them together, and exhibiting them in their connection; and
also, I believe, in much that is brought forward in their support.
Several of the opinions at all events, if not new, are for the present
as little likely to meet with general acceptance as if they were.
It seems to me, however, from various
indications, and from none more than the recent debates on Reform of
Parliament, that both Conservatives and Liberals (if I may continue to
call them what they still call themselves) have lost confidence in the
political creeds which they nominally profess, while neither side
appears to have made any progress in providing itself with a better.
Yet such a better doctrine must be possible;
 not a mere compromise, by
splitting the difference between the two, but something wider than
either, which, in virtue of its superior comprehensiveness, might be
adopted by either Liberal or Conservative without renouncing anything
which he really feels to be valuable in his own creed. When so many
feel obscurely the want of such a doctrine, and so few even flatter
themselves that they have attained it, any one may without presumption
offer what his own thoughts, and the best that he knows of those of
others, are able to contribute towards its formation.