Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/358

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270
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

of the parties would give such assurance, the motion was put from the chair and carried. The Prisoners of War portrayed in the sketch are of course Mr. Shiel and Lord Althorp. After a brief absence from the House, each having given the required assurance was discharged from custody, and there the matter ended. The benefits of the Act were almost immediately made apparent. The association, which called itself, by the way, "The Irish Volunteers" (the Land League of 1833), was promptly suppressed by the Lord Lieutenant; and the list of offences during the month of March which preceded and the month of May which followed the passing of the Act most conclusively proved its efficiency, for, while in the former month the records of crime in eleven counties reached a sum total of 472, they had declined in the latter month to 162.[1]

O'Connell.Irish agitators of the nineteenth century are all more or less "tarred with the same brush," but the conditions under which an Irish agitator of 1883–4 must be content to figure in that character are, it must be remembered, widely different from those which influenced the agitators of 1833. The Irish "Home Rulers" have sown the wind and have reaped the whirlwind which carries them along in its progress, and we doubt whether if they wished to stop the hideous Frankenstein they have created, it would allow them to do so. The Home Rulers, however, are not in any way to be pitied. Not content with Land League terrorism, they sought to force their measures upon John Bull himself by an unheard-of system of parliamentary obstruction, which has inevitably recoiled upon themselves. O'Connell was far too sharp-sighted—far too intelligent and clever a man to make so grave a mistake as this. By the sheer force of his genius he exercised for many years of his life a most powerful influence on English politics. He figures in one of John Doyle's sketches in the character ascribed to him probably by most of his contemporaries. In the sketch referred to, the Governor of Barataria is represented by the typical Irish peasant; O'Connell appears in the character of the Doctor; and Lord John Russell as

  1. For this interesting table, see "Annual Register," 1833, p. 83.