We are generally inclined in this country to suppose that the United States
is the only land in which men ever rise from obscurity to exalted station and influence.
Such, however, is not the case, and instances to the contrary are almost innumerable in Europe
If men cannot rise by the force of their talents in the old world to the highest station, they often obtain that which is next to it in nominal rank and superior in real power.
The absolute monarchies of Russia
, &c., afford no exception to this truth.
It requires brains to govern empires, and monarchs are compelled to avail themselves of this valuable article, which is as often found among men of low as men of high estate.
The military glory of France
is thickly studded with stars which have arisen from a low horizon.--Men of genius in literature and science are also as highly appreciated in monarchies as in Republics; perhaps, even more so. Shakespeare
were all men of low degree; but kings and nobles are proud to do them reverence.
Some of the brightest lights of the English
bar and Parliament were men of humble extraction.
Lord Eldon was the son of a barge maker; Lord Stovell, of a small coal dealer; Lord Tenteeden, of a barber; Lord Gifford, prior to his being called to the bar, was the poor clerk of a solicitor; Sir Jno. Williams
, one of the Judges
of the Queen
's Bench, was the son of a very poor horse dealer in Yorkshire
; Lord Truro (who married a first cousin of Queen Victoria,) was son of a very poor man in Cornwall
; Mr. Baron Gurney
, son of a poor lady in London
; Lord Campbell, the present Lord Chancellor, was for many years reporter to the Morning Chronicle
; Lord St. Leonards
was son of a barber; Chief Justice Saunders
was a beggar boy; Lord Kenyon, boot-black and errand boy; Lord Hardwick, an errand boy; Geo. Canning
, son of a poor strolling player.
Hundreds of others, titled and untitled, have risen from obscurity to political and judicial eminence in Great Britain