Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/334

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ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

of the "sketches" he shows us his Majesty in the character of Johnny Gilpin carried along at headlong speed by his unmanageable grey steed "Reform." He flies past the famous hostelry at Edmonton, where his wife and her friends (represented by the Duke of Wellington and a party of Tories) are anxiously awaiting his arrival. The turnpike-keeper (John Bull) throws open the gate to let him pass, too delighted with the fun to think of any personal expense to himself, and conscious that if the gate is shut the inexpert horseman must come to unutterable grief. The bottles dangling at Gilpin's waist are filled with "Birmingham froth" and "Rotunda pop," in allusion to the stump oratory of the Birmingham Political Union and the Rotunda in Blackfriars Road. Hume and O'Connell, the ardent supporters of the bill, cheering with might and main, closely follow John on horseback; while Sir Francis Burdett and Sir T. C. Hobhouse, equally ardent advocates of Reform, join the cry on foot. The frightened geese with coroneted heads represent, of course, the peers, who had offered such determined opposition to the measure, while the old apple woman rolling in the mud is no other than poor Lord Eldon. The bird of ill-omen foretelling disaster is Mr. Croker, Secretary to the Admiralty. Later on the same year (1832), we find his Majesty represented as Mazeppa bound to the grey steed Reform, several of the Conservative members of either houses of Parliament doing duty as the wolves and "fearful wild fowl" that accompany the rider in his perilous course. In another satire, the king, supposed to have discovered his mistake, figures as Sinbad the Sailor, vainly endeavouring to shake himself free of the old man of the sea (Earl Grey), who however is too firmly seated on his shoulders to be disloged.

Unpopularity of the Duke of Wellington.The Duke of Wellington's political convictions having prompted him to be among one of the leading opponents to the Reform Bill, he narrowly escaped serious injury at the hands of the London rabble. On the 18th of June, 1832, having occasion to pay a visit to the Mint, a crowd of several hundred roughs collected on Tower Hill to await his return; and on making his appearance at the gate he was hissed and hooted by the crowd, who followed him along the