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ELECTION OF M.P.
For the BOROUGH of TWEEDLEDUM.
CONSISTING OF SEVERAL ACTS
IN ONE SCENE.
BY ROBINSON CRUSOE,
AND HIS MAN
EDITED BY SAMUEL LAYCOCK.
PAUL SLAPDASH, ESQ.,
the Liberal Candidate.
HON. TIMOTHY WAGSTAFF,
ESQ., the Conservative Candidate.
OVERDOSE GAMMON, ESQ.,
the Mover of SLAPDASH.
ABRAHAM PUGGINS, ESQ.,
the Seconder of SLAPDASH.
BOLUS SOAPWELL, ESQ.,
the Mover of WAGSTAFF.
PETER BLUNT, ESQ., the
Seconder of WAGSTAFF.
THE MAYOR OF TWEEDLEDUM.
THE BOROUGH CLERK.
A crowd of Electors and Non-electors in front, who are very
boisterous at intervals, and interrupting the Speakers.
The characters enter upon the Platform, wearing blue and yellow
favours—according to their supposed political Parties. As they
make their appearance, the mob in front shout with all their might,
"SLAPDASH for ever!" "WAGSTAFF
The Mayor presides. He calls out, "Silence!" "Order!"
Quiet having been restored, he proceeds to address the crowd as
follows: "Electors and Non-electors of the Borough of
Tweedledum.—The proud distinction devolves upon you this day of
electing a member to represent you in that greatest of all
representative assemblies in the entire universe, viz., the English
House of Commons. ("Hear, hear.") I have no doubt you will
discharge that all-important duty to your own satisfaction, as well
as to the entire satisfaction of the nation at large. ("Hear,
hear.") I need scarcely remind you that the event of to-day is
the most important that can, under any circumstances, take place
within the British Dominions, upon which, as has been nobly
observed, the sun never sets and the moon never goes to bed.
(Cheers.) The eyes of the the world are upon us. ("Hear,
hear.") They are all staring with the intentness of throttled
alligators at you, this day, to discover what is the policy which
from henceforth is to guide the destinies of this great nation.
("Hear, hear.") I have no doubt you can and will find a man
amongst you who will fitly represent you. (" Hear, hear.") You
want a man of ability—a man of position and standing—a man of
influence and wealth—a man who will never turn his back upon a
friend, or run away from an enemy. (Cheers.) Such is the man
we want—and it is a proud thing to know that such men grow like
mushrooms in this locality. ( "Hear, hear.") I will now call
upon the Borough Clerk to read the proclamation, and entreat you to
assist me in preserving order throughout the entire proceedings of
this day." (Cheers.)
The Borough Clerk reads the proclamation: "Know all men by
these presents, that in this election of a member to represent this
Borough in Parliament, you are strictly forbidden to either treat
the electors with meat and drink, or bribe them with money, or to
use force or intimidation of any kind. Any person guilty of
such or any other unlawful practices, will have to pay a fine of
five hundred thousand pounds, and be imprisoned for not less than
three years in Tweedledum gaol, under the custody of Sergeant
Holdfast. And as loyal subjects, and the most intelligent of
any people in this or any other kingdom, you are expected and called
upon to keep the peace, observe the laws, and elect a fit and proper
person to represent you. May the King and all the people of
Tweedledum live for ever." (Cheers.)
will now call upon some gentleman to nominate a fit and proper
person to represent you."
ESQ. (received with cheers by his
friends).—"Electors and Non-electors.—Unaccustomed as I am to
public speaking, it is with the utmost reluctance that I rise to
address you on the present occasion. ("Sit thee deawn again
then—there's nobody ax'd thee to rise.") Nothing but a strong
feeling of duty has compelled me to leave my domestic hearth, and
run the risk of getting my death of cold at this inclement season of
the year. ("Get some wayter gruel when tha gets whoam, and
have a reet deawn good sweat.") I stand forth on this
momentous occasion to nominate a fit and proper person to represent
this important borough in Parliament. ("Hear, hear.")
The gentleman I am about to introduce to your notice is no stranger
to you—he has lived with you, and spent all his days with you.
("Where has he spent all his neets?") You know him to be a
generous-hearted landlord, a kind father, and an affectionate
husband. ("Let him stop awhoam and nurse childer!") If
you return him to Parliament, he will protect our glorious
Constitution from all political incendiaries—"Spell that word for
us"—from all seditious designs and designers, both within and
without the pale of the Constitution, and preserve our institutions
in all their integrity and greatness, and hand them down as an
heirloom to our remotest posterity. (Cheers.) Without
any further remarks, I beg leave to propose the Honourable Timothy
Wagstaff as a fit and proper person to represent the Borough of
Tweedledum in Parliament. (Cheers and hisses.)
PETER BLUNT, ESQ.
(received with cheers and hisses).—"Gentlemen, I beg to
second the nomination of the Honourable Timothy Wagstaff, I do so
because he's a townsman. ("Hear, hear.") We know all
about him, and if you choose him, you will not be buying a pig in a
poke. ("It'll be a pig eawt ov a poke.") You blackguard
there, shut your potato trap up, and it will improve the appearance
of your ugly features. ("Thoin are nowt to brag on, at ony
rate.") I am Blunt by name and blunt by nature. I came
into the world without a rag to my back or a shoe to my feet.
("Th' most o' folk come in i' that way.") I mean I came into
the Borough of Tweedledum in that fashion. ("Tha'd look
queerish, lad, i' that fashion.") What I have is my own, and I
have made it myself. ("Nobody wants it.") I have had to
work hard, and had nobody to give me a lift, and you see where I am
now. ("We see, mon; shut up.") I shan't shut up till I
have a mind to do it. ("Tha'd better have a moind, then.")
A man that's attained to my position in life, by his own exertions,
is not doubled up in a minute by a parcel of ragamuffins.
("Throw a turnip at him.") Do if you dare. You want to
upset Church and State, and sweep away the national debt ("A good
sweep, too ")—and it's time for us to put a good check upon a lot of
discontented rebels. ("Hear, hear," and hisses.) I would
not give twopence for a whole cart-load of our sneaking opponents,
who are neither useful nor ornamental. ("Shut up, tha'rt fear
enough.") If you have any sense left you'll vote for Wagstaff.
He'll stand by our old institutions—he'll protect you and your
property—and keep us safe from foreign invasion—and if you don't
return him at the head of the poll, I should say every man Jack of
you will deserve sending to the lunatic asylum." (Cheers and
hisses ; and, "We'll follow thee to that shop.")
ESQ. (received with cheers and hisses).—"Gentlemen.—I
stand before you on this occasion to introduce a gentleman to your
notice as worthy to be your representative. He is no old woman
in politics. ("Theaw art.") He is for going on, pushing
along, and continually moving. He won't sing, 'As it was in
the beginning, is now, and ever shall be'—("Thee sing it.")—he is
for economy, retrenchment, and reform. I ask you to return
Slapdash by an overwhelming majority, so as to make all the tyrants
in creation tremble on their bloodstained thrones. (Cheers,
and "Grand.") Vote for Slapdash and liberty of conscience—vote
for Slapdash and reform—vote for Slapdash and freedom throughout the
world—and you will confer immortal lustre upon yourselves and the
world-renowned city of Tweedledum. (Cheers.) With these
few broken remarks, I beg leave to sit down, and propose Paul
Slapdash, Esq., as a fit and proper person to represent the Borough
of Tweedledum in Parliament." (Cheers and hisses.)
ESQ. (received with cheers and hisses).—"Electors
and Non-electors of the Borough of Tweedledum.—I have had the
unexpected and distinguished honour conferred upon me of being
requested to second the nomination of my most esteemed friend, Paul
Slapdash, Esq. This is the most important event that ever
happened in Tweedledum, and this is the most memorable day in its
entire history. (Cheers.) If you should return our
opponent, a man who would turn things backward, and keep all our
clocks at one time of the day, why, then, I say, it's time to drop
it. ("It's time for thee to drop it.") Where are we?
("Why we're here, to be sure.") This is the twentieth
century—it's the age of steam engines—of railroads—of
telegraphs—wireless, and motor cars. ("An moudywarp
catchers.") And shall it be said we shall send to Parliament
one who will go in for maintaining all the old rotten, wornout,
tumbledown machinery that jolts and creaks like a broken-winded
railway engine? (Cheers.) I say, 'No'—a thousand times
'No.' ("Yes, yes.") So I call upon you to send Wagstaff
wagging away about his business, and to send Slapdash right slap in.
(Cheers.) Therefore vote for Slapdash; be at the poll in the
morning as soon as you get up, if not a bit before." (Cheers and
now call upon the Honourable Timothy Wagstaff to stand forth."
THE HON. TIMOTHY
WAGSTAFF (loud cheers and hisses).—"Electors
and Non-electors of the Borough of Tweedledum.—I have the
distinguished honour of appearing before you to-day as a candidate
to represent this important, this thriving, this great, and this
famous constituency in Parliament. I consider it to be the
greatest distinction that any public man can attain to, if chosen to
represent such an intelligent body of men as you, the citizens of
Tweedledum. ("No soft sawder—dunna lay it on so thick, mon.")
As my proposer, Mr. Soapwell, has well remarked, I am no stranger.
(Cheers.) My mother knew your mothers. ("Heaw's thi
gronmother?") I have been brought up with you; and went to
school with you. ("An' very little tha learned when tha wur
theer.") I have rambled over the hills with you. ("When
tha wur playin' th' truant.") I know all your favourite walks;
I am no stranger to the lovely scenery you have about here; I am
well known, and I believe I am loved by most right-thinking people
round about this neighbourhood. (Cheers.) I know you
all; I know your wants and feelings, and I can tell you what will do
you good. ("Tha'rt a sharp 'un then, lad.") I am
prepared to give a modified support under certain circumstances and
qualified conditions to the present government, so long as it
pleases me and I think proper to do so. ("That's as clear as
very thick mud.") And I would not put them out unless there
was somebody else to put in, which I believe there is.
(Cheers.) I am for maintaining the defences of this country in
a state of efficiency, and for that purpose I would put that
important arm of defence, the battery at Ottiwalls, into a condition
that would astonish creation. (Cheers.) I would station
a fleet of men-of-war and steam rams on the top of Werneth Low, so
as to stop the enemy if they effected a landing at Chester.
(Cheers.) I would keep a standing army on Rivington Pike,
ready to seize upon any hostile fleet that might sail to this
country, when nobody saw it. (Loud cheers—"that's reet, lad.")
I would hang all revolutionary persons who attempted to meddle with
our glorious constitution in Church and State. (Cheers.)
I would introduce a bill into Parliament for sending political
firebrands to Jericho. (Cheers, hisses, and a voice, "We'll
send thee to that shop.") Such miscalled statesmen would
destroy our army and navy. ("No, no.") They would leave
us at the mercy of every tyrant who wished to see this glorious old
country ruined. ("No, no.") They would abolish all
taxes. ("An' not a bad thing, noather.") They would
confiscate our property, and our wives and children. ("No, no
... ... Yes, yes.") These are some of my principles, and I
have a lot more in stock, equally good and equally sound I know they
will wash well, and wear well. ("Art theaw a wesherwoman?")
I have the utmost confidence that you will return me—("No, no," ...
Yes, yes.")—in order that I may attend to your interests, and help
to keep the country straight, to protect it against the designs of
all enemies at home and abroad, whether foreigners or
revolutionists, and thus keep it a decent place, fit for decent
people like you and me to live in." (Loud cheers.)
Slapdash, Esq., will now address you."
ESQ. (cheers and hisses.)—"Electors
and Non-electors of the Borough of Tweedledum.—I appear before you
this day as a candidate in consequence of the numerous and highly
respectable requisition presented to me, requesting myself to be put
in nomination to-day. I could not resist the flattering
invitation. ("Did to try?") My honourable opponent who
has just spoken, is for keeping things as they are, and I am for
altering them all. My honourable friend would, I dare say,
allow the women—God bless them—to put a little rum in their tea, as
a medicine. (Cheers.) I would go further. I would
allow them to put a little tea into their ruin. I know they
like it. (Loud cheers, "That's reet, lad.") Passing on
to other topics, I must confess that when I look upon this important
and thriving borough—when my mind's eye takes in the prospect from
Oldham to Chowbent—when I see your factories, your foundries, your
schools, your rag and bone warehouses, your new bridges, your old
bridges, your no bridges, and an invisible poorhouse that's gone to
ruin for lack of paupers—when, I say, I see these things, I cannot
but stand amazed and speechless while I exclaim, "Let Tweedledum
jump up and stop up." (Tremendous cheers.) I am for
annual Parliaments, and oftener if necessary. (Cheers.)
I would put up gas lamps along your roads, at the national expense;
and I would make all those pay for the gas consumed that don't vote
for me. (Cheers, "That's reet and fair.") I would
release the good people of this neighbourhood from all kinds of
taxes, and lay them upon somebody else. (Cheers.) I
would make a level road from here to Heartshead Pike.
("Cuckoo, Cuckoo.") I would increase incomes and abolish
income tax. (Cheers, and "That's the ticket.") I would
take off the dog tax, and put it upon tom cats. (Cheers.) I
would make the bachelors pay one half of the taxes of this country,
and the old maids the remainder. (Cheers.) I would amend the
marriage laws, and let every man marry all his wife's sisters, if
they wished it. (Cheers.) If, after these sweeping
financial reforms, any taxes accidentally remained, I would take
them all off you, and lay them upon other people. (Cheers.)
I would go in for non-intervention in foreign affairs. I
decidedly think every nation should mind their own business; still,
if other countries did not act as I thought best for us, I would
compel them to alter their policy. (Cheers.) I am for
retrenchment; I would reduce the army to nothing, the navy to less,
and convert the ships of war into washing tubs for your wives and
sweethearts. (Cheers and hisses, and, "A good wesh 'ud do thee
good.") These are some of my views, these are some of my
principles; and when I go up to London, I'll astonish the natives,
and tell them London's nowhere where Tweedledum comes." (Loud
and continued cheers.)
QUESTIONS PUT TO HON.
ELECTOR.—"Are you in
favour of still further extension of the suffrage; and if so, how
far would you extend it?"
CANDIDATE.—"I am in favour of a
considerable extension of the suffrage, so far as it can be
accomplished without increasing the number of electors.
("Hear, hear.") I should be disposed to alter the
qualifications so as to give a vote to every man who minds his own
business and lets other people's alone. ("That's the ticket.")
ELECTOR.—"Will you vote for the
disestablishment of the Church?"
CANDIDATE.—"Not if I know it."
ELECTOR.—"Would you abolish
CANDIDATE.—"I would abolish
Church rates in all cases where it could not be helped, and I would
keep them whenever I could retain them. So far I am in favour
of abolition. ("Thank thee for nowt.")
ELECTOR.—"Are you in favour of
an increase in the national expenditure?"
CANDIDATE.—"If by a judicious
curtailment of the public expenditure you can, without any detriment
to the public service, pay as much as you do now, and get as little
for it—and, at the same time, make any important remissions of
taxation, without lessening the national burthens—such a course of
sound financial policy should have my warmest support."
("That's very fine talk, an' nowt at th' eend on't.")
tha's feathered thi own neest, will ta spare a few fithers for moine?"
CANDIDATE.—"It will afford me
extreme gratification to do so, though I have a tolerable strong
opinion that your share of feathers will be a pretty considerable
time in getting to you." ("Sit thee deawn, lad; tha's said
enuff for one day.")
QUESTIONS TO SLAPDASH.
vote for annual Parliaments, and equal electoral districts?"
CANDIDATE.—"I would, if
desirable, make annual Parliaments come twice a year. As
regards electoral districts, I would give each district where the
inhabitants knew how to behave themselves a member each."
ELECTOR.—"How about the
punishment of criminals?"
CANDIDATE.—"I would give the
overfed rascals more to do and less to eat."
ta abolish th' game laws?"
CANDIDATE.—"I would abolish the
game laws, and make it compulsory upon the game to come and be shot
at." ("That's reet. ")
ELECTOR.—"Would you bring in a
bill to enable a man to marry his wife's mother?"
CANDIDATE.—"Yes, provided her
husband be living."
ELECTOR.—"Would you bring a bill
into the House of Commons to make Tweedledum a seaport?"
possessing such natural advantages as Tweedledum does, and such
invaluable water privileges it seems as if nature intended
Tweedledum to be a seaport and bathing place. It only requires
a connection forming with the English Channel." ("That'll soon be
done ... .. "Question.")
SHOW OF HANDS. A BOARD
WITH THE NAMES ON.
show of hands is so evenly balanced that I cannot say which has the
majority; I will therefore send them both as members of Parliament.
I think Tweedledum is more deserving of two members than any other
place is of one. Therefore I hereby declare Timothy Wagstaff,
Esq., and Paul Slapdash, Esq., duly elected to serve in the present
House of Parliament." (Cheers.)