Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/341

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253
POLITICAL DOUBLE SHUFFLERS.

one of the most shifty, unstable men of his day, he can scarcely be called a politician, for like all agitators, the person he really sought to serve was himself alone. He chopped and changed just as it suited his purpose, and is properly introduced by the artist amongst the most adroit and vigorous of the political double shufflers.

The Duke of Wellington and Sir Robert Peel find themselves vis-à-vis, in allusion to their conduct with reference to Catholic Emancipation. Both had originally been consistent opposers of the measure, which was at last carried by the influence of the very men who before had been its most persistent adversaries.

But, if any one had "turned about and wheeled about," it was Sir Francis Burdett, and accordingly the artist introduces him as indulging in a very flourishing pas seul; he wears a self-satisfied smirk, and carries his thumbs in his waistcoat, in allusion to his own contention that he had been always consistent. Yet this self-satisfied aristocratic-looking personage not many years before had distinguished himself as the most prominent of radical malcontents, and had been drawn by his enthusiastic dupes through the city of Westminster in a triumphal car, decorated with the symbols of liberty, and preceded by a banner bearing the inscription, "Westminster's Pride and England's Glory."

The queer figure in the cocked hat is Sir de Lacy Evans, who figures as one of the dancers in allusion to his practice as compared with his professions. In 1833 he obtained a seat for Westminster, triumphing over his opponent Sir J. C. Hobhouse, who for fifteen years had represented that constituency, both candidates professing to be zealous advocates for the abolition of flogging in the army. Sir de Lacy nevertheless, when commanding the British Legion at St. Sebastian, "jumped Jim Crow" by flogging his soldiers without mercy. Lord John Russell once sneered at every project of Reform, but his Lordship, as we have seen, "jumped Jim Crow" by repeatedly introducing the Reform Bill into the House of Commons, which was mainly passed by his persistent exertions; very properly, therefore, Lord John figures in HB's clever sketch among the most prominent of " Jim Crow" double shufflers.