Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/352
adulations, and the ridiculous manner in which his eccentric and embarrassing Chancellor tortured any personal attention to himself (Brougham) into a personal compliment to his royal master, thoroughly disgusted him. For some weeks previously The Times had attacked the eccentric Chancellor with a constancy and vigour of satire quite unexampled; the tide of ridicule was swelled by contributions from the London and provincial press; Brougham made some foolish speeches at Aberdeen and Dundee, which excited the laughter of his enemies and the alarm of his friends. "Those who are charitably disposed," remarks the unfriendly Greville, "express their humane conviction that he is mad, and it probably is not very remote from the truth."
Intellectually strong as he was, a Chancellor so eccentric as this was an incubus to be got rid of at the first convenient opportunity. In May, 1834, Mr. Stanley, Sir James Graham, the Earl of Ripon, and the Duke of Richmond, seceded from the ministry; but the Whig party, in spite of these resignations and the subsequent one of Lord Grey in July, continued in office under Lord Althorp till the following November, when the latter being called (by the death of his father) to the Upper House as Earl Spencer, the king seized the opportunity which he had so long desired of placing a less embarrassing and self-willed Chancellor on the woolsack. This circumstance prompted the clever sketch of the Fall of Icarus. Icarus in this instance is of course Brougham, who, flying in defiance of the injunctions of Daedalus too near the sun that is to say, William the Fourth—the wax of his mechanical wings melted and he fell into the sea. That there may be no mistake as to the artist's meaning, the wings aforesaid are labelled with the titles of various publications which were loudest in sounding the praises of the King and of the "noble and learned lord," and to which he himself, with the questionable taste which distinguished him, was reputed (with justice) to be a contributor.
Whether my Lord Chancellor Brougham caught the infection from his client, Queen Caroline, we know not; but his conduct, whether in or out of office, appears to have been of the most