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what 'purpose, we are not told ; but so it was, that the Queen took alarm; and, while the two deputies were in consultation or correspondence upon the business in which they were concerned, the royal personage put an end to their labours, by setting off for Dover without taking leave of either one or the other.
Mortifying as this was, Mr. Brougham had too much sympathizing feeling not to make allowance for the irritability of a mind ill at ease, and liable to be imposed upon by bad advisers. He hastened back to London, where, on his arrival, he found that the door of hope was closed against that adjustment which it had been his earnest wish to accomplish. The contracted space to which we are confined precludes any further detail on a subject that belongs to general history; and to do justice to which, would call for amplification in the narrative, incompatible with biography. Nor can we even descant upon the eloquence displayed by the Queen's advocate, without injuring the force of the reasoning, and the elegance of the language.
It cannot be expected that we should attempt to enumerate the speeches or motions made by this great orator and statesman, while a member of the lower house of parliament. We shall, therefore, confine ourselves to a few of the most important, and such as relate to subjects of permanent interest.
On the eleventh of February, 1822, we find Mr. Brougham bringing forward, at the close of a very elaborate speech, the following resolution“ That it is the bounden duty of this house, well considering the pressure of the public burdens on all classes of the community, and particularly on the agricultural classes, to pledge itself to obtain, for a suffering people, such a reduction of taxation, as would afford them effectual relief.”
The proposition was strenuously opposed by ministers, as leading to no practical purpose. The motion was negatived by a considerable majority. In the course of his speech, on this occasion, Mr. Brougham passed an encomium upon Mr. Pitt's great financial measure of the sinking fund, though he hinted the necessity of reducing the interest of the public debt.
On the twenty-fourth of June, in the same year, Mr. Brougham proposed a resolution-i That the influence of the Crown is unnecessary to the maintenance of its due prerogatives, destructive of the independence of Parliament, and inconsistent with the well government of the State.” This resolution was introduced by a long speech; in the course of which, the honourable and learned mover displayed his peculiar taleuts for irony with singular brilliancy and success. It need scarcely be observed, that the motion was lost.
The parliamentary history of the following year was remarkable for a schism in the opposition, occasioned by the Catholic question, then brought in by Mr. Plunket; and though supported by Mr. Canning, it was evident that the weight of the cabinet was on the other side. This produced a violent attack on Mr. Canning by Mr. Brougham, who charged the secretary with tergiversation, and truckling to the Lord Chancellor. At this Mr. Canning took fire, and, turning to the speaker, said, “ I rise to declare that the accusation is false." Upon this he was called to order; and, no explanation being given, a motion was made that Mr. Canning and Mr. Brougham be committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Arms. The friends of the parties here interfered, and with no little difficulty succeeded in bringing about, if not a reconciliation, yet a suspension of hostilities. When the question for the order of the day was read, all the
opposition members left the house, and Mr. Plunkett's motion was lost.
On the 1st of June 1824, Mr. Brougham introduced a motion for an address to the king relative to the proceedings at Demerara against Mr. Smith the Missionary. This produced a long debate, and an adjournment, at the end of which the motion was negatived by the small majority of forty-six only. The second day of the discussion was marked by an extraordinary occurrence. Just as Mr. Brougham was entering the house, he was assaulted in the lobby by a man named Gourlay, who had been lying in wait for the purpose. The offender was taken into custody, and committed to the House of Correction in Cold Bath Fields, where he remained a long time, to prevent his doing more serious mischief, being pronounced insane by the faculty.
On the 15th of May 1826, Mr. Brougham, after a long and impressive speech, moved a resolution to the effect, that the Colonial Legislatures having obstinately resisted the declared wishes of Parliament, and of his majesty's government, the House of Commons would early in the next session take the subject of West India slavery into consideration. The motion was rejected by an overwhelming majority.
We now come to the most splendid period in the life of Mr. Brougham, as a lawyer and legislator. In pursuance of a notice which he had given in the preceding session, he brought forward on the 7th of February, 1828, a motion “ touching the state of the law, and its administration in the courts of justice, with a view to such reform as time may have rendered necessary, and experience may have shewn to be expedient.” The speech which introduced this motion was as remarkable for its length, as its luminousness; and though it occupied six hours and a half in the delivery, the attention of the auditory was riveted in a fixed admiration during the whole time. On its conclusion, an adjournment of the question took place until the 20th, when the motion, with some amendments, was carried.
In the same session Mr. Brougham spoke with powerful effect in support of the motion of Lord John Russell, for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts. The success with which this was attended, prepared the people to expect what followed. At the commencement of the next session, Mr. Peel, who had hitherto been the zealous opponent of Catholic Emancipation, actually proposed it as a cabinet measure, on the ground of political expediency. The bill was carried triumphantly through both houses, and on the 13th of April received the royal assent.
In the following year, Mr. Brougham moved for leave to bring in a bill to establish local jurisdictions in certain districts in England. The learned member took a very comprehensive view of the expenses attendant upon legal process. What, therefore, he intended to propose was, that a barrister, of practical experience, should be appointed in every county, before whom any person might cite another, who was indebted to him ten pounds or less, and that the judge should decide on the merits of the case by hearing the parties, and appointing payment by instalments, if he should think proper. If the debt should exceed ten pounds, but not one hundred, the parties to be allowed to employ a legal advocate to plead their cause. But this judge should in no instance be allowed to decide in cases of freehold, copyhold, or leasehold. From his decision an appeal should be made to the judges of the assize, or the courts of Westminster. The bill was accordingly brought in; but its further progress was impeded by the demise of the crown, the commencement of a new reign, and the dissolution of parliament.
Mr. Brougham was now invited to the representation of the county of York. He acceded of course to so flattering a proposal, and his election was secured without any expense.
The first parliament of William the Fourth assembled on the 26th of October, and in less than a month the Wellington administration terminated. In the new arrangement which was soon formed, Henry Brougham received the Great Seal, with the dignity of Baron Brougham and Vaux, to which last title he is said to have had an hereditary claim.
Here we shall close the public history, properly so termed, of this illustrious personage; for the circumstances which connect his name with passing events are too fresh in remembrance, to require our feeble notice and observation. We shall, therefore, wind up this sketch with stating, that, in 1824, his Lordship took an efficient part in promoting and estalishing the London Mechanics’ Institution ; that in the same year he published “ Practical Observations upon the Education of the Poor;" that in 1825, he was elected Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow, when he delivered an admirable speech at his installation, which was printed ; that, soon after, he assisted his friend Campbell in founding the London University; and that, in 1827, he became President of the “ Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.” To enumerate the literary productions of his Lordship, is beyond our means of information ; but there is one which particularly merits notice, namely, “A Vindication of the Inquiry into Charitable Abuses, in answer to the Quarterly Review :" printed in 1819.
Lord Brougham, in 1816, married Mary Anne, the widow of John Slade, Esq., and a distant relative of the Auckland family. By this lady he has had two daughters, one of whom died in infancy.
The following characteristic sketch of his Lordship, before his elevation, was drawn up by the late William Hazlitt; and, in the main, is a correct delineation :
“Mr. Brougham speaks in a loud and unmitigated tone of voice; sometimes almost approaching to a scream. He is fluent, rapid, vehement, full of his subject, with evidently a great deal to say, and very regardless of the manner of saying it. As a lawyer, he has not hitherto been remarkably successful. He is not profound in cases and reports, nor does he take much interest in the peculiar features of a particular cause, or shew much adroitness in the management of it. He carries too much weight of metal for ordinary and petty occasions : he must have a pretty large question to discuss, and must make thorough-stitch work of it. Mr. Brougham writes almost, if not quite, as well as he speaks. In the midst of an election contest, he comes out to address the populace, and goes back to his study to finish an article for the Edinburgh Review. Such indeed is the activity of his mind, that it appears to require neither repose, nor any other stimulus than a delight in its own exercise. He can turn his hand to any thing, but he cannot be idle. Mr. Brougham is, in fact, a striking instance of the versatility and strength of the human mind, and also, in one sense, of the length of human life; for if we make a good use of our time, there is room enough to crowd almost every art and science into it. Mr. Brougham, among other means of strengthening and enlarging his views, has visited, we believe, most of the courts, and turned his attention to most of the constitutions, of the Continent. He is, no doubt, a very accomplished and admirable person."
ON THE IMMEDIATE AND TOTAL A BOLI.
TION OF COLONIAL SLAVERY,
worth of slaves to cultivate the latter, and that they are on the estate, and to be sold
with it. Will any one presume to say that At the present crisis, when a very consider- the estate with the slaves will be worth one able number of the members of the house thousand pounds more than the other ? Both of commons stand pledged to their consti- estates being of the same extent, equal in tuents to support this measure, it is the fertility, and requiring the same number of duty of every friend of the human race, to labourers to cultivate them, would produce raise his voice in behalf of a legislative alike at the same expense; and consequently enactment for the IMMEDIATE and TOTAL the one with the slaves would be worth no abolition of colonial slavery, as being just more than the one without them, as what and necessary; and although there are not would be given for the slaves ought to be a few who loudly declare that such a mea deducted from the value of the estate, to sure would be fraught with the grossest make it equal with the one which required injustice, that those who advocate it are no such outlay. Now, as the emancipation destitute of common honesty, and that by of the slaves will only change the condition recommending such a measure to the Go of the estates from the latter to that of the vernment, they are endeavouring to convert former, no reduction in the value of the them into robbers, instead of protectors of property will take place; and thus no injusthe public; their arguments are įbut few tice will be committed, and no compensation and weak in support of such a declaration, to slave-owners be required. and arise from mistaken views of the subject. Having thus disposed of this objection, I
It has been asserted, with some show of shall have an easy task with the remainder, reason, that slaves being a marketable com. as the advocates of slavery, in their anxiety modity, and fetching a definite price, to to refute the charges of the abolitionists, emancipate them, without giving their owners have put forth such a variety of contradican adequate value, would subject those tory statements, as only require to be proowners to a positive loss of real property. perly arranged, to present the most complete But this is a mistake; and I think it may be answer to all that has been advanced against easily proved, that so far from the slave- immediate emancipation, that can be deowners suffering loss, they will eventually sired. For example-it has been asserted, be gainers by the measure. The farmers of That the negroes are at present in such a England and the planters of the Colonies state of brutal ignorance, that if they were are similarly situated thus far-they both to be emancipated without waiting until, by have land to cultivate, and labourers to cul- their instruction and moral improvement, tivate it, to whom they give a maintenance they are fitted to receive and benefit by it, for their labour-free labourers getting little the property of the planters would be enmore, and slaves having no less. The dif- dangered, if not destroyed, and their very ference between them is, in their manner of lives put in jeopardy. But surely those procuring labourers. The English farmer who make this assertion have forgotten that goes to a fair, and engages as many as he instructions were sent out, and provision has occasion for, giving them board, lodging, made, by Government, for the instruction and a trifle for clothes, or wages to procure and moral culture of the slaves, some years those things for themselves; the planter, ago, with a view to fitting them for emanwhen he wants labourers, finds they all are cipation. Now, either the statement rethe property of some one or other, and he specting the ignorance of the slaves is false, cannot obtain their services unless he pur or the planters have neglected the instrucchases them, after which he must board, tions of Government. Some persons who lodge, and clothe them : whereby it is evi- delight in traducing the planters, would be dent that the latter is just the purchase- ready to affirm that the latter was the case, money worse off than the former, who, in and that the planters would not permit their that respect, gets his labourers for nothing. slaves to be instructed, knowing that it
But many are possessed of slaves, and would be a step towards their emancipation, when a colonial estate is to be sold, the and that their ignorance was an apology for slaves upon it form an important article, continuing them in bondage; and that to and, if struck off, would reduce the value of delay the emancipation of the slaves until the property. To place this case in a cor- they are fitted for it by instruction and moral rect point of view, I will suppose two culture, while their owners are resolved to estates to be ofiered for sale, both of the keep them in ignorance, would be to delay same value, but one in a situation where free it for ever. labour is to be got, and the other where it is But the planters assure us, on the word not; that it requires one thousand pounds of gentlemen, that they have always listened 2D SERIES, NO. 11.-VOL. I.
to the suggestions of Government, and that, of the free negroes all tend to refute this anxious to promote the moral improvement base calumny on the negro character. It is of their slaves, they have done all that lay also asserted, that the abolitionists are no in their power; and therefore we are bound friends to the negroes, as that measure, so to believe that the objection is an impudent far from improving their condition, will falsehood, and that the slaves are not in make it much worse, since at present all such a state of ignorance. Besides, it is an their wants are provided for by their kind absurdity to suppose that granting to even owners; but when they are no longer the an ignorant people, what they want, would property of their masters, they will be left to drive them to insurrection : a continuance shist for themselves, and will be as bad, if of slavery will, in all probability, do it, and not much worse off, than the agricultural emancipation alone will prevent it. The labourers of this country. I will presume planters affirm, that this measure would that the slaves are well provided for; but cause the tragic deeds of St. Domingo to be surely he is no friend to the planters, who repeated; but they must know, that it was would insinuate that their kindness arises not the abolition of slavery, but the continu- from interested motives, and that when they ance of it, which gave rise to that dreadful cease to have a property in their labourers, affair. And as to their lives and property they will no longer reward them with their being endangered by the measure we advo- present liberality, and thus cast an additional cate, how long, we may ask, would they stain ou characters which some people think hold either, in the present state of things, are already sufficiently black. if it were not for the powerful military force' The refuse of the Newfoundland fishery is kept up in all the colonies? They are in certainly not sumptuous fare; but as these danger now, and they know it: the dissen- good gentlemen can afford to deal out in sion and the rejection of the measure daily rations to their slaves, whom they purchase increase their danger, and the adoption of at a great expense, surely, when they get it is the only means whereby they may labourers for nothing, and thus save the avert an evil which, otherwise, will sooner purchase money, they will be able to give or later certainly overtake them.
such wages as will enable the labourers to But if we do not lose our property by live as well as they do at present; and I insurrection, it will become valueless, says hope better things of them than to believe an advocate for slavery, as-negroes will not they are so sordid as to allow their labourers work except by compulsion, and, as we to want, merely because they no longer cannot compel free labourers to work, no have a property in them. If they have a work will be done; our plantations will go predilection for serving out rations as they uncultivated, we shall be ruined, the colo- have been wont, they may follow the exnies abandoned, and then some other nation ample of an amiable author at Kensington, will obtain them, which has no such scru who pays his labourers in food instead of ples about slavery; and thus an irreparable money, and thus prevents their mispending injury will be inflicted on our country. This their hard earnings, and secures their being would be a very serious complaint, and one well fed. In that case neither masters nor extremely probable, provided that the ne labourers would find much difference from groes could manage to live on common the present state of things, and yet all the atmospheric air ; for I suppose, in the advantages of freedom would be secured. colonies, as in other places, this is the only It has been asserted, that the planters will thing to be procured for nothing. Perhaps
Perhaps turn the negroes out of the little houses and that would not satisfy them, after having gardens they at present occupy on the been used to the more substantial food served estates, and they will become houseless and out by their old masters; and in that case homeless wanderers. In answer, I would they would be obliged to work, although ask-Will the planters have no occasion for they were free; for they would soon discover their labour after they are emancipated ; that freedom did not consist in an exemp- will they not still require them on their tion from labour, but in choosing their own estates ? If so, they must not, and will not, masters, and starving when they do not turn them adrift thus. The objection supplease to work.
poses, that the slaves have their houses and But this account of the lazy disposition of gardens for nothing, but that is a mistake. the negroes, ill accords with the many little Labourers must be lodged, and it matters stories told by West India gentlemen, about not whether masters lodge their labourers, or the savings and wealth of slaves, which pay them such wages as will enable them to must be acquired by extra and uncompul. lodge themselves. sory labour over and above their daily tasks; One of the objectors wishes to know who and the accounts of the wealth and finery will then maintain the sick, infirm, agerl,