On visiting Parliament, by Carl Moritz:
"I was much shocked by the open abuse which Members of Parliament fling at each other... they enter the house in greatcoats, boots and spurs! It is not unusual to see a member stretched out on one of the benches while the rest are in debate. One Member may be cracking nuts, another eating an orange or whatever fruit may be in season; they are constantly going in and out... whenever one of them speaks badly or the matter of his speech lacks interest for the majority, the noise and laughter are such that the Member can hardly hear his own words."
This seems to be entirely accurate. Edmund Burke, today regarded as one of the best speech-makers of the 18th century, was violently hated in Parliament. The other MPs nicknamed him 'dinner bell' because when he got up to speak, everyone left.