Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/A Prospect of an Election.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 31.

A Prospect of an Election.


A Prospect of an Election.

[Thurfday, September 27, 1849.]

UP, and by Railway with Mr. Wagstaffe to Guzzleford to my Cosin Peg her Wedding, and did marvel to hear the Bells a ringing at 9 o'clock, the Marriage not to be till 11, but found they were rung for an Election; 'Squire Callow and Mr. Fairport ſtanding for County Members in the Room of Mr. Brownjohn. So, the Wedding over, and the Bride and Bridegroom drunk, and Mr. Wagstaffe did ſay, divers of the Company too, we about the Town to ſee the Fun. A Fellow the worſe for Beer demanding, as well as he could ſpeak, whoſe Colours we wore, meaning our Wedding-Favours, Mr. Wagstaffe did pleaſantly anſwer, Hymen's, whereupon the Fellow, crying "Callow for ever! " did ruſh full at us, but, we parting, ſlip between us and tumble headlong into the Mud. Good Lack! to ſee what Numbers of Ragamuffins everywhere with their Hats awry, Noſes bleeding, or Eyes blacked, ſtaggering under huge Placard Boards, whereon, in great Letters, "Callow and Agriculture," or, "Vote for Fairport and Commerce!" The Windows and Balconies full of Ladies, dreſſ mighty fine, and ſome pretty, to whom I did kiſs my Hand, and am glad my Wife was not nigh to ſee me. But to think of the Ladies wearing the Colours of the Candidates, Blue and Yellow, not caring a Pin what Politics either Colour meant, but only for an Excuſe to deck themſelves out with Ribbons! In the Streets, Horſemen did keep galloping to and fro, to tell the State of the Polls, and the Mob cheering and bantering them, was mighty droll. 'Squire Callow did put up at the Barley-Mow, and Mr. Fairport at the Riſing Sun over the Way, and between the two Inns, with a few plump roſy Farmers in Top-Boots, was a noiſy Rabble, quarrelling and fighting, with Skins unwarned, and unſhorn Muzzles, whom the Candidates' Committee-Men, ſpeaking to them from the Windows, did call Free and Independent Electors. To ſome that harangued them, the Mob did cry, "Go Home," and "Who cheated his Waſherwoman?" or, "How about the Workhouſe Beef?" yet liftened to a few that were familiar and cracked old Jokes with them. Preſently they addreſſed by the Candidates in Turn; and naſty to ſee them pelt each Speaker with bad Eggs. But to hear, as well as might be for the Shouting and Hilling, 'Squire Callow promiſing the Farmers to reſtore the Corn Laws, and laying the Potato Blight and late Sickneſs to Free Trade; while Mr. Fairport did as loudly charge all the Woes and Grievances of the Country on the Landlords. By-and-by, Mr. Fairport, the Poll going ſo much againſt him, did give in, and then 'Squire Callow come forward, and make a brave Speech about our Glorious Inſtitutions and the Britiſh Lion, and ſo away to have his Election declared, to the Town Hall, in a Carriage and Four, and the Rabblement after him. Then the Mob left behind did ſet to on both Sides to fling Stones, and 'Squire Callow's Party did break the Windows of the Riſing Sun, and {small-caps|Mr. Fairport's}} the Windows of the Barley-Mow; which the Townſmen did ſay would be good for the Glaziers, and Mr. Wagstaffe do obſerve that the Conſervative Squire Callow hath deſtructive Conſtituents. What with Publicans, and Lawyers, and Damage, the Election will coſt the Candidates £6000, or £7000 a-Piece, and to think what a good Motive one muſt have to become a Parliament-Man, that will ſpend ſo much Money for the Chance of a Seat.