Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/360

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272
ENGLISH CARICATURISTS.

O'Connell himself, and his colleague, Mr. Ruthven, secured their own seats by comparatively small majorities. At the previous flection O'Connell had obtained a majority of 1,549. and Mr Ruthven of 1,490 above the highest Conservative candidate: at the election in 1835, O'Connell's majority had fallen to 217, and Mr. Ruthven's to 169. The "Irish agitator" was manifestly no favourite with HB, who depicted him as the comet of 1835. Comets being supposed by the vulgar to portend disaster, it is represented as leaving Ireland in a flame, and passing over St. George's Channel to exercise a malign influence on peaceful England. The head of course is that of O'Connell, while the tail is studded with the countenances of the Irish members who made up his "following." In a previous sketch he had figured as the Wolf to Lord John Russell's "Little Red Riding Hood," in allusion to a statement made by the opposition journals that the Government had made a league with the restless agitator with the view of securing his support in the House of Commons. We have heard something very like this lately, in relation to what is now known as the "Kilmainham Treaty."

Sir Robert Peel. The rapidity with which John Doyle caught an inspiration from a few chance words in a speech, may be aptly illustrated by the manner in which he served Sir Robert Peel. On the occasion of his being installed Lord Rector of Glasgow University, in November, 1836, the distinguished statesman made a speech to his patrons, in which he meant to tell them that, admiring Scotland and Scottish scenery, he thought the best mode of seeing both was on horseback instead of travelling in a public or private conveyance. He expressed the idea, however, in the following round-about fashion:—"I wished," he said, "to see something of Scotland which I could not have seen from the windows of a luxurious carriage; I wished to see other habits and manners of life than those which the magnificent hospitable castles of the nobility presented. Yes," he continued, "in Glasgow I hired an humble but faithful steed; I travelled partly on horseback and partly on foot through almost every county that lies southern of Inverness; I have read the map