Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/348

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

feeding of the cart-horses. After dinner the account books were brought, and the young Buxtons were beckoned up to the top of the table by their father to hear the words of wisdom which flowed from the lips of my Lord Chancellor. He affected to study the ledger, and made various pertinent remarks on the manner of book-keeping. There was a man whom Brougham called 'Cornelius' (Sefton did not know who he was), with whom he seemed very familiar. While Brougham was talking he dropped his voice, on which 'Cornelius' said, 'Earl Grey is listening,' that he might speak louder and nothing be lost. He was talking of Paley, and said that 'although he did not always understand his own meaning, he always made it intelligible to others,' on which 'Cornelius' said, 'My good friend, if he made it so clear to others, he must have some comprehension of it himself;' on which Sefton attacked him afterwards, and swore that 'he was a mere child in the hands of "Cornelius;" that he never saw anybody so put down.' These people are all subscribers to the London University,[1] and Sefton swears he overheard Brougham tell them that 'Sir Isaac Newton was nothing compared to some of the present professors,' or something to that effect. I put down all this nonsense because it amused me in the recital, and is excessively characteristic of the man, one of the most remarkable that ever existed. Lady Sefton told me that he went with them to the British Museum, where all the officers of the Museum were in attendance to receive them. He would not let anybody explain anything, but did all the honours himself. At last they came to the collection of minerals, when she thought he must be brought to a standstill. Their conductor began to describe them, when Brougham took the words out of his mouth, and dashed off with as much ease and familiarity as if he had been a Buckland or a Cuvier. Such is the man, a grand mixture of moral, political, and intellectual incongruities."[2]

If the part which Brougham's position as attorney-general to Queen Caroline obliged him to take at the memorable period of the "Bill

  1. In which Lord Brougham took a special interest.
  2. Greville's "Memoirs," ii., p. 148.