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(1778–1868) KN NOVEMBER 22d, 1830, Henry Brougham, still a commoner,
took his seat as Speaker of the House of Lords, Keeper of Ne the Great Seal, and Lord High Chancellor of England.
Nothing could be more characteristic than this of the system which has given England its greatness. It is a system which, during the last two hundred years at least, has made possible the highest promotion for every man with the intellect and strength of will to force himself forward and keep his position at the front in spite of the determined opposition of all whom hereditary rank, privilege, or fortune have made powerful without effort of their own.
To promote every such strong and persistent (upstart is the studied policy which has steadied and perpetuated English aristocracy against the powerful attacks of such men as Brougham. It does not buy them. It could not have bought Brougham. It honors them and so disarms them. “You are one of us,” it says to them, « and even if you are against us, we are for you! » So we have two Broughams - both great, but one with an increasing, the other with a waning greatness. It is Henry Brougham, commoner, plain barrister, champion of popular liberties, the greatest Liberal orator of his day, who takes his seat as presiding officer of the chamber which represents hereditary privilege against those very rights as the champion of which he had risen to greatness. A day later the patent of his peerage had been made out. He is Baron Brougham and Vaux) and is introduced among the peers as one of them - as, indeed, from that time, he never ceased to be. He still fought strenuously the battles of his youth, and the Reform Bill of 1832 had no more ardent champion than he. But he fought as “Baron Brougham," and every day of his life brought him closer to the old age he spent in prattling of his associations with the royal family and of ancestors in the ancient peerage- of ancestors who existed, as even his friendly biographers fear, only in his always active and at last uncontrolled imagination. He had not been bought with honors and titles. He could not have been purchased. He was merely assimilated, but in the end his power went out from him completely. Henry Brougham, the greatest mind of England, showing in statesmanship, in oratory,
After a Portrait from Life by Mayall.
PORD BROUGHAM's portraits are numerous and nearly all good. No
man knew better than he how a great orator should look at his de climaxes. He has illustrated in his pose the superiority of conscious intellectual power.