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Brougham, in our opinion, to no secondary rank amongst lawyers: and although, perchance, he may be excelled by some few members of his profession, in knowledge of technicalities, and details of practice, yet, if any deficiency in this respect exist, it is, we conceive, more than compensated for by his unceasing exertions both in his legislative and judicial character, to secure the great end and object of all our legal institutions—the pure, and prompt, and cheap, administration of justice.
We should, however, form but an imperfect estimate of his Lordship’s great talents, did we consider him only as an orator, a statesman, ora lawyer, or even as uniting, in his own person, the highest excellencies of all those characters : we must remember his varied and almost universal knowledge both of books and of the world, his extensive scientific acquirements, his refined literary taste; and, to become perfectly acquainted with his distinguished merits, we must not consider his prodigious talents and surprising industry apart from the great ends and noble objects to which they have been directed : we must not forget that his wit, his
eloquence, and his knowledge, have ever been devoted to the grand design of dispelling the evils of misgovernment, bigotry, and ignorance, enlightening the minds, adding to the happiness, and improving, in every possible way, the moral and political condition of mankind.
Those who have had the honour of being personally acquainted with his Lordship, represent him as a truly amiable man, a kind and sincere friend, an agreeable companion, and as discharging all his domestic duties in the most exemplary and admirable manner. Lord Brougham married, in 1819, Mary Anne, eldest daughter of Thomas Eden, Esq. (brother of Lords Auckland and Henley,) and relict of John Spalding, Esq., by whom he has had two daughters, viz. Sarah Eleanor, who died very young; and Eleanor Louisa, who is now in her tenth year: in default of male issue, the title will expire on his Lordship's death.
Since the foregoing Memoir was put to press, events have occurred of which it is necessary to make some mention in the present work, although they are as yet fresh in the memory of every one.
His Majesty's Ministers having, on the 7th of May, been left in a minority on a division in the Lords' Committee on the Reform Bill, Earl Grey and Lord Brougham waited on the King, and advised the creation of a sufficient number of Peers to ensure the success of that great National Measure: His Majesty declining to act on this advice, the Cabinet felt it necessary to tender their resignations, which were afterwards accepted ; and on Saturday, the 12th of May, Lord Brougham took leave of the Chancery
Bar. After informing them that he should leave no cause undecided, and a very trifling arrear in the business of the Court, his Lordship dwelt briefly on the improvements he had contemplated in our Equitable Judicature, and the beneficial results they were likely to have produced. He then, in a very impressive manner, and under considerable emotion, concluded in these words. Upon quitting this Court, I should, in ordinary circumstances, feel nothing but the pain of parting with those to whom my kind and respectful thanks are so justly due, for the unvaried respect and kindness which I have experienced from them. But, in my
voluntary retirement from hence, which is only painful as it causes this separation, I am supported by the principles which have directed the course I pursue. I am more than supported. The personal feelings to which I have adverted, are lost in those which now compel me, I trust, without
undue sense of pride, to regard the abandonment of power at the command of public duty, not as misfortune, but glory.”
The Duke of Wellington (to whom His Majesty had consigned the task of composing a