The Queen entered, attended by the great officers of state, with her heavy crown on her head, the great guns sounding, and the trumpets adding to the glow of the scene. She took her seat with sufficient dignity, and in an inaudible voice directed the Commons to be summoned. In the mean time, all eyes were directed to her. Her countenance was flushed, her hands moved on the golden arms of the throne, and her fingers twitched in her gloves. There she was, a Queen; but a Queen's nerves and heart are those of a woman, and she showed that little nervousness and restlessness which amply vindicated her sympathy with us all. And yet she bore herself well, and many, whose eyes were not as observing as you know mine are, did not note these pleasing tokens. I was glad to see them, more by far than if she had sat as if cut in alabaster. The Commons came in with a thundering rush, their Speaker at their head. Her Majesty then commenced reading her speech which had been previously handed to her by the Lord Chancellor. It was a quarter or a third through before she seemed to get her voice so that I could understand her. In the paragraph about Belgium, I first caught all that she said, and every word of the rest of her speech came to me in as silver accents as I have ever heard. You well know I had no predisposition to admire the Queen, or any thing that proceeds from her; but her reading has conquered my judgment. I was astonished and delighted. Her voice was sweet, and finely modulated, and she pronounced every word slowly and distinctly, with a just regard to its meaning. I think I have never heard any thing better read in my life than was her speech; and I could but respond to Lord Fitzwilliam's remark to me when the ceremony was over, ‘How beautifully she performs!’ This was the first sovereign's speech he had ever heard. In the evening the Lords met for business, and the Lord Chancellor read the speech to the House: but how unlike that of the girl Queen was the reading of the learned Lord! You remember Wilkes's comparison: it is too unsavory, however, for this connection. In the evening's debate Brougham was wonderful. Lord Holland had placed me on the steps of the throne, so that I saw and heard with every advantage. Brougham spoke for an hour and a half or two hours. His topics were various, his spirits high, his mastery of every note in the wide music of the human voice complete, and his command of words the greatest I have ever known. Add then, the brimful house interrupting him with vociferous applause, and old Wellington nodding his head, and adding his cheer. You will read his speech, but the report is utterly inadequate. I have heard many say that they thought it the best speech in point of eloquence and effect they ever heard. The thunders he hurled at O'Connell seemed blasting, and the Tory benches, which were crowded to excess, almost rent the walls with their cheers. Then followed the funeral oration on Lord Norbury,1 and— ‘He changed his hand and checked his pride;’ his voice fell from its high invective to a funeral note, and we almost saw the lengthened train that followed the murdered nobleman to the tomb
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 16 : events at home.—Letters of friends.— December , 1837 , to March , 1839 .—Age 26 - 28 .
Chapter 17 : London again.—characters of judges.—Oxford.—Cambridge— November and December , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 18 : Stratford-on-avon.—Warwick.—London.—Characters of judges and lawyers.—authors.—society.— January , 1839 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 19 : Paris again.— March to April , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 20 : Italy .— May to September , 1839 .—Age, 28 .
Chapter 21 : Germany .— October , 1839 , to March , 1840 .—Age, 28 - 29 .
Chapter 22 : England again, and the voyage home.— March 17 to May 3 , 1840 . —Age 29 .
Chapter 23 : return to his profession.— 1840 - 41 .—Age, 29 - 30 .
Chapter 24 : Slavery and the law of nations.— 1842 .—Age, 31 .
Chapter 25 : service for Crawford .—The Somers Mutiny.—The nation's duty as to slavery.— 1843 .—Age, 32 .
Chapter 27 : services for education.—prison discipline.—Correspondence.— January to July , 1845 .—age, 34 .
Chapter 28 : the city Oration,— the true grandeur of nations. —an argument against war.— July 4 , 1845 .—Age 34 .
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