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ceased to think of. Their looks as well as their apparel proclaim the sad change in their situation.' This is we daresay a somewhat overcoloured sketch of the condition of factory-workers in the good old war-times-the speaker's imagination, and the necessities of his striking oratory, forbidding a strict adherence to prosaic accuracy; still there can be no doubt that the retaliatory measures were very injurious to trade; and so fiercely did the popular clamour rage, that ministers were finally compelled to rescind them - not, however, till after a bitter and protracted struggle, in which Mr Brougham was the most effectual combatant on the side of plain justice and equity. Amongst the articles which the Orders peremptorily prohibited to be conveyed to France by neutrals was Jesuits' bark. This 'bark’warfare against Napoleon was an especially favourite mode of battle with Mr Perceval. He did not place much reliance upon Wellington and his army; but he had unbounded confidence that his own pro-sever tactics would prove more than a match for the military prowess of the French ruler. A more legitimate mark for Mr Brougham's unrivalled sarcasm can scarcely be imagined, and the opportunity was not neglected. The Orders were, as we have said, rescinded, but not till after Mr Perceval's death.

Mr Brougham entered parliament in 1810 as the nominee of the Earl of Darlington, afterwards Duke of Cleveland. The noble earl returned him for his borough of Camelford, vacated by the translation of Lord Henry Petty to the Upper House as Marquis of Lansdowne. The new member of course attached himself to the Whig Opposition of those days; an opposition which, from various causes - - the chief of which was the slight sympathy expressed by some of the leaders with the successes of the British arms against the French emperor—was about the feeblest and most unpopular known to the annals of English party-warfare. It was not till the war had ceased, and the echoes of its triumphant conclusion had died away–or, to speak more correctly, had changed to a dismal, lugubrious wail at the enormous charges entailed by so much glory—that discredited Whiggery raised its head, and 'aggravated' its voice in time and unison with the rising storm of discontent, which at no distant day resolved itself into a passionate demand for parliamentary reform, realised to a great extent by the famous measure of Earl Grey for transferring the nomination of the House of Commons from the close-borough proprietary to the middle-classes of the three kingdoms. Besides his speeches relative to the Orders in Council, Mr Brougham's parliamentary efforts, till the dissolution in 1812, were chiefly confined to the slavery question, upon which he early associated himself with Clarkson, Granville Sharp, Wilberforce, and other leading abolitionists. It was greatly owing to his exertions that in 1811 it was made felony for any British subject to engage in the slave-traffic. At the dissolution he contested Liverpool against Mr Canning. He was beaten by a large majority, and remained out of parliament till 1816, when he was again nominated by the Earl of Darlington, this time for his lordship’s borough of Winchelsea. Mr Brougham was consequently not in the House when Mr Frederick Robinson (the Earl of Ripon) brought in, and, by the aid of ministers and the country party, carried (1815) his famous bill for maintaining wheat at 'the fair, legitimate price of 80s. a quarter. In a speech, however, which he delivered on the 19th of April

1816 upon agricultural distress—a disease which appears to be ineradicable in this country by any mode of state treatment—he remarked that he was disposed to think favourably of it.' The distress on this particular occasion was said to have resulted from an agency over which acts of parliament, however craftily framed, have no control-namely, a baffling continuance of fine weather, propitious seed-time and harvest-time, bringing forth such heavy crops that down corn would come spite of all the law-props in the world. This misfortune Lord Castlereagh said was not confined to Great Britain. 'In many parts of the continent,' quoth he, "corn was such a drug that it would not pay for the labour of reaping! Mr Brougham himself, if the truth must be told, was scarcely less brilliant upon the calamity of abundance than the secretary for foreign affairs. He, however, did not impute the distress so much to the favourable harvest-weather as to excess of cultivation;' and not entirely either to excess of cultivation, as the following passage of his speech clearly shews :— Excess of cultivation is not the only cause of the evil we complain of, and may warn us against the error of imputing it to any one cause alone, for I am certainly disposed to rank the great extension of cultivation among the principal causes, or at least to regard it as lying at and near the foundation of the mischief.' Who shall say that inconsistency of opinion is not a virtue when he perceives the folly which such a man as Brougham could utter in 1816, upon a subject he discussed with truthful power and eloquence a quarter of a century afterwards? The reasoning we have quoted, however statesmanlike and philosophical the ministry and their supporters might consider it, did not at all satisfy the country gentlemen, who insisted that as there was an act of parliament avowedly intended to keep wheat at 80s., it ought by some means or other to be raised, and then the country might have a chance of getting through its difficulties. They had not, unhappily, long to wait. To the plethora of agricultural distress succeeded scarcity and commercial ruin. On the 13th of March 1817, manufacturing distress was the sad theme of Mr Brougham's eloquence, and a frightful picture of the state of the northern counties was exhibited to the House. Seasons of partial dearth followed, and a stern cry from famishing millions rang through the land against the legislation which had interposed between labour and a free supply of food. This was the era of tumults, riots, menacing assemblages of men and women, with hunger at their hearts and unreasoning grief and rage in their thoughts and upon their tonguesstifled for awhile by the blood poured forth at Manchester, and the stringent provisions of the Six Acts. A mournful time for all men, save indeed the reckless demagogue and incendiary, who traded on the deep indignation of the multitude, and incited them to deeds which gave a colour of necessity to the high-handed measures of the cabinet. Mr Brougham and others resisted the more objectionable of the new enactments, unsuccessfully of course. The measures passed, some misguided people were made examples of, and discontent was exultingly said to be put down'-after the old fashion of thrusting it out of sight-there to germinate in a rank, untended soil, and in due season again burst forth with augmented power and unabated virulence.

About this time Mr Brougham directed his attention to the flagrant abuses which in the lapse of time had crept into the numerous educational and other corporation charities of England, in respect of which he discovered and exposed practices the most scandalous and revolting. After several able speeches, which enlisted a large amount of public opinion in his support, an expensive commission was appointed to inquire into and report upon the alleged abuses. Little ultimate good was effected, if we are to believe Jeremy Bentham, who many years afterwards accused Brougham of allowing the subject to be frittered away, and declared that the only result was a batch of expensive Chancery suits. The utilitarian sage, it is well to remark, had no very great esteem or liking for Brougham. Bentham, a man of much originality of thought and considerable mental power, had one grand fixed idea, to which all others were subsidiary, and this

was, that utilitarian codification was the sovereign panacea for all human ills: 'a system whereby,' remarks Mr Carlyle with his usual caustic humour, 'any people, for a reasonable consideration, may be accommodated with a patent code-more easily than curious individuals with patent breeches, for the people does not need to be measured first.' Mr Brougham, although friendly to many of the law reforms suggested by the great master of codification, demurred to many of his suggestions, and a kind of civil enmity arose between them. Bentham thought, too, that Brougham had set the 'Edinburgh Review' upon him, and informed him of his suspicion. Mr Brougham indignantly denied the dishonouring imputation. “How can you imagine,' he says in a note dated November 21, 1831, Hill Square, 'that I could ever have let slip the dogs in E. R. at you?' A preposterous accusation truly: indeed it was declared in the same note that Lord Brougham—this was after he was chancellor—had almost quarrelled with his friend Jeffrey for inserting the offensive article. Jeremy Bentham does not appear to have been withal effectually mollified ; and for this supposed offence, or other more positive ones, he indited the following lines, which his editor, Dr Bowring, calls a jeu d'esprit: its more appropriate title is that of a jeu de mots; and not, to our judgment, a very brilliant one either :

"O Brougham! a strange mystery you are ;
Nil fuit unquam sibi tam dispar :
So foolish and so wise, so great, so small,

Everything now-to-morrow nought at all.' It is quite evident, therefore, that we must receive Mr Bentham's dictum upon the utter failure of Mr Brougham's exertions in the matter of corporation-charities with much reserve. The learned gentleman's letter to Sir Samuel Romilly upon the subject breathes tone of earnest sincerity, of resolute indignation, which justifies the belief that nothing was neglected on his part to correct the evils which he so eloquently denounced. And a large allowance must be made for the powerful influences which, in those days especially, could be brought into successful opposition to the exertions of an individual member of parliament, however sincere, able, and earnest he might be.

A series of events which shook the kingdom to its centre, affording as they did a rallying-cry for all the otherwise discordant griefs, resentments, discontents of the people, occurred in 1820. We allude to the arrival in England of Queen Caroline, to claim the crown-matrimonial, legally devolved

No. 88.


upon her by the demise of George III., and the subsequent proceedings before the House of Lords. Mr Brougham had been for some time lawadviser to the unfortunate lady when Princess of Wales : he was now her majesty's attorney-general – Mr, now Lord Denman, was the queen's solicitor-general-Mr Wilde, the present lord chancellor—Mr Tindal, who died chief-justice of the Common Pleas--Mr Williams, who succeeded to the bench-and Dr Lushington, were also of counsel to her majesty. We have no wish to revive the painful memories connected with the prosecution of the queen-to recall what were on every account best forgotten. We have merely to remark that Mr Brougham and his able coadjutors displayed great professional talent and vigorous eloquence in the conduct of a case beset with unexampled difficulties, and urged with unscrupulous legal acumen and power. Mr Sergeant Copley (Lord Lyndhurst) was the king's solicitor-general: upon him fell the chief burden of the prosecution, and it cannot be denied that he sustained it with giant vigour and ability. The speech of Mr Brougham in defence, after the hearing of the king's witnesses in support of the Bill of Pains and Penalties, produced a great effect at the time out of doors; but read now, when emotions of compassion, sorrow, indignation, no longer colour and light up the speaker's periods, affects the mind but feebly. It displays much logical acuteness, skilful contrasts of evidence, abundance of the suppressio vcri and suggestio falsi, ever freely indulged in by practised and successful counsel, but there are few bursts of the electric eloquence which one might have expected to leap from the burning lips of a fiery and indignant orator in presence of such an accusation. The peroration, which has been much praised, is short enough for quotation :- My lords, I pray you to pause : I do earnestly beseech you to take heed. You are standing on the brink of a precipice —then beware. It will go forth your judgment if sentence shall go against the queen. But it will be the only judgment you ever pronounced which, instead of reaching its object, will return and bound back upon those who gave it. Save the country, my lords, from the horrors of this catastrophe; save yourselves from this peril; rescue the country, of which you are the ornaments, but in which you can flourish no longer when severed from the people than the blossom when cut off from the roots and stem of the tree. Save the country, that you may continue to adorn it; save the crown, which is jeopardised—the aristocracy, which is shaken ; save the altar, which must stagger with the blow that rends its kindred throne. You have said, my lords—you have willed-the church and the king have willed—that the queen should be deprived of its solemn service. She has instead of that solemnity the heartfelt prayers of the people. She wants no prayer of mine ; but I do now pour forth my humble supplication at the Throne of Mercy, that that mercy may be poured down upon the people in a larger measure than the merits of its rulers deserve, and that your hearts may be turned to justice.'

The accessories of a crowded, eminent, and attentive auditory—the presence of the distinguished, ill-starred personage whose fate was trembling in the balance—the breathless excitement of the people, gave a force and effect to this elaborate rhetoric which intrinsically it cannot be said to possess. Indeed the most successful speeches upon subjects of passing interest are generally the least readable in aftertimes, and for the very obvious


reason, that the personal allusions, the telling sneer, the veiled but bitter virulence, which elicit the applause of a contemporary audience, lose all point with the passing away of the circumstances and memories which gave them significance and power. It is this which renders Hansard such dismal reading, and has wrecked every effort made to force political speeches into the abiding literature of the country.

The shining phrases we have quoted were lost upon the Peers, who read the Bill of Pains and Penalties a second time by a considerable majority. In consequence, however, of the retention of the divorce-clause-voted for by the Whigs-several of the supporters of the bill divided against the third reading, which, being carried by a majority of nine only, the measure was abandoned amidst the jubilant exultation of the great majority of the nation, and Mr Brougham was a power in the state.

The obstreperous applause which greeted Mr Brougham's successful exertions in defence of his royal client drowned the murmurs which a remarkable bill he brought into parliament on the 28th of June 1820—with a view to provide gratuitous education for the poor of England and Wales -excited amongst dissidents from the established church, or squeamish sectaries,' as the learned gentleman politely termed them. It was nothing less than a scheme for placing the education of the people under the sole, irresponsible control of the established clergy. Schools were to be founded upon the recommendation or presentment of a grand jury-of a rector, vicar, perpetual curate or actual incumbent of a parish—or of two justices of the peace acting for an ecclesiastical district, the appeal as to the necessity of the school lying to the magistrates at quarter-sessions. The salary of the schoolmaster was to be not less than £20 nor more than £30 a year, and no one could be a candidate for the office without a certificate of character and ability from a clergyman of the establishment. The rate-payers might, however, at a roperly-convened meeting presided by the senior parish-officer, raise the master's salary,' with the permission of the resident parson.' But the most extraordinary feature of the measure, coming from such a quarter, was the absolute veto given to the clergyman upon the appointment of the master, as well as a power of summary dismissal; and if the rate-payers elected a person whom he disapproved, he could peremptorily annul their choice, and order a fresh election. This, as Mr Brougham emphatically remarked, would give the parson a veto not nominal but real.' No question that it would; but why the ratepayers were to assemble and go through the farce of an illusive nomination is difficult of comprehension. The improvement of the old educational establishments of the country was also a professed object of the bill. The introductory speech was thoroughly an established-church speech. Mr Brougham's first principle was, that a religious education was the great desideratum—the indispensably one thing needful; and from this premise it followed, according to him, that that which could alone afford a security

that this system would be a religious one, was placing it under the control of those who taught the doctrines of the church.' 'Let the House,' said the learned gentleman,' look at the alacrity, the zeal, the established clergy manifested for the education of the poor. .... The clergy were the teachers of the poor-not only teachers of religion, but, in the eye of the law, teachers generally. What, then, he asked, could be more natural than that

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