Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/350

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

on the shores of this country, a free man in all respects: to make him eligible to sit in Parliament, either in the House of Lords, if it should be his Majesty's pleasure to give him a title to a seat, or in the other House if he should be elected." HB, with his usual facility for seizing an idea, took his lordship at his word, and forthwith elevated the emancipated "nigger" to the woolsack, clothing him in the wig and gown of Lord Chancellor Brougham, and giving him the features of the noble and learned lord himself: this sketch bears the title of A Select Specimen of the Black Style.

The House of Lords was a lively place whilst my Lord Chancellor Brougham was in office, and in the "scenes" in which he figured, and which drew down upon him the hatred and resentment of his contemporaries, he not unfrequently displayed a want of judgment which was nothing less than lamentable. We might give many instances of these regrettable scenes, but one shall suffice. On the 29th of September, 1831, the Lord Chancellor made the following answer to a question put by the Marquis of Londonderry:—"My lords," he said, "I beg to state to you once for all, that I will not sit here to be bothered with questions which emanate from the ridiculous ideas of certain absurd individuals who cannot or will not see anything, however clear, and seem lamentably incapacitated by nature from comprehending what is going on. Moreover, I beg to state to the noble marquis, that for the future I will answer no question of his,—will give him no information whatever." The amazed patrician said in reply, "As to the language which the noble and learned lord has ventured to apply to me here, I will only say that I shall wish those words to be repeated in another place." The Lord Chancellor rejoined that he had said nothing which he was not prepared to repeat elsewhere; and here the matter appears to have ended, for strange to say it was the Marquis of Londonderry and not the irascible Brougham who subsequently apologised, a circumstance which occasioned the artist's satirical and telling sketch of The Duel that did Not Take Place. These scenes do not appear to have been the result of any mere ebullition of temper; on the contrary, Brougham would seem to have delighted in these