Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/Ye Commons Ressolved into a Commyttee of Ye Whole Hovse.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 8.

Ye Commons Ressolved into a Commyttee of Ye Whole Hovse.


Ye Commons Ressolved into a Commyttee of Ye Whole Hovse.

[Friday, April 27, 1849.]

TO the Houſe of Commons, where an Iriſh Debate on the Rate-in-Aid Bill, which did make me drowſy. The Houſe in Committee; the Iriſh Members moving all Sorts of frivolous Amendments, abuſing the Government, and quarrelling among themſelves. Sir H. Barron did accuſe Mr. Reynolds of being ready to Vote away other People's Money becauſe he had none of his own, and Mr. Reynolds did ſay that he never ſaw fuch Miſery as on Sir H. Barron's Eſtate; whereupon Sir H. Barron up in a Rage, and did deny the Fact with vehement Geſtures, flouriſhing his Fiſts gallantly. Then Mr. Reynolds did fall foul of Mr. Bateson, one that had been a Captain, for queſtioning the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning young Reynolds's Place; and did make a Joke upon Mr. Bateson's Muſtachios: whereat much Laughter. But a ſmall Joke do go a great Way in the Houſe of Commons. Before the Debate, Lord John Russell marching up one of the ſide Galleries, and taking the Meaſure of the Houſe through his Eye-Glaſs: a ſharp delicate little Man, with a mild Voice, but do carry himſelf vtately. Methought his Obſervations amuſed him, for he ſmirked a little, and looked as if he knew the Cuſtomers he had to deal with. But to ſee him and the Home Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer trying to perſuade the Iriſh Members not to preſs their ridiculous Motions to a Diviſion, wheedling and coaxing them, as (railing and civil as Haberdaſhers! The Bill to be reported to-morrow; and then the Houſe to a little ordinary Bufineſs; and Mr. Horsman's Bill poſtponed, through the Iriſh cavilling and squabbling. Then a Debate on naming the Committee on Savings Banks; and made an Iriſh Queſtion too; the Diſpute how many Iriſh Members were to ſerve on the Committee: and the End, the Naming of the Committee delayed. This Way of doing Buſineſs in the Houſe of Commons makes it no Wonder how little is done; and the chief Cauſe is the Iriſh Members haranguing upon Nothing and quarrelling about Straws, which do ſeem to me a childiſh and ſpiteful Attempt to give Trouble to Government. I did hope to hear a Speech from Sir Robert Peel, but was diſappointed, which did vex me; but heard a few Words from Colonel Sibthorp, which made mighty Laughter, and were as ſenſible as any Thing I heard all the Evening: and the Colonel in a brave Waiſtcoat, with his droll figure, did divert me much. Laſt of all, a Settlement of the Smithfield Committee: and I do wonder this became not an Irivh Matter too. The Houſe adjourning at half-paſt One in the Morning; and to ſee the Number of Members lying aſleep on the Gallery Benches! All this While Nothing whatever done of more Importance than Pariſh Buſineſs at a Veſtry. I off to Supper in the Haymarket on pickled Salmon and Stout, coſt me 1s. 6d., and then Home and to Bed, paſt 1 o'Clock, and my Wife do ſay that the Houſe of Commons keep worſe Hours than any Tavern in Town.