managed it better in their own way, for they appointed men, not because they were already rich, but that they might become so. In either case, after the thing was done, who cared for its being thought ridiculous?
Certainly not the Englishman, for he obtained by it far more than any American could give or receive.
Mere money perishes with the spending and may not found a family, but the owner of a peerage bought with money cannot help founding a family, except by remaining childless.
A peer may sink to the lowest depths of poverty or of sin, and yet know that some grateful heiress is waiting somewhere eager to marry his heir.
This climax of wealth is English
, not American; it is only that this country has lately taken to supplying the heiresses.
When we complain even of the political influence of wealth among ourselves, we forget how recently it is that anything but wealth has been represented, not merely in the British
House of Lords, but in the House of Commons.
John Bright said at Birmingham
, thirty years ago (1867): “I am not able to say what it has cost to seat those 658 members in that House
, but if I said that it has cost them and their friends a million of money [pounds], I should ”