has not been determined at what precise time this step was taken, but it no doubt long antedates the Norman conquest.
It is mentioned by Professor Stubbs as being already, in the reign of Henry III., a custom of immemorial antiquity.
Stubbs, Select charters, 401. It was one of the greatest steps ever taken in the political history of mankind.
In these four discreet men we have the forerunners of the two burghers from each town who were summoned by Earl Simon to the famous Parliament of 1265, as well as of the two knights from each shire whom the King had summoned eleven years before.
In these four discreet men sent to speak for their township in the old county assembly, we have the germ of institutions that have ripened into the House of Commons and into the legislatures of mod ern kingdoms and republics.
In the system of representation thus inaugurated lay the future possibility of such gigantic political aggregates as the United States of America.
In the ancient city, on