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Radicalior Radicalibus Ipsis

1867-8: Representation of the People Acts

Author: James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Publication: Kilmarnock Standard

Published: 1 June 1867

Place of publication: Kilmarnock, Scotland

Publication type: Newspaper/Periodical

Featured individuals:
John Bright (1811-1889)
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

No full copy of this poem is available.

Archive/Library: Burns Monument Centre
Classmark(s): Microfilm
Pages(s): 3

This is an eight-line extract from James Russell Lowell's Biglow Papers (1848), a series of satirical poems in Yankee dialect. It begins: 'Ez to my principles, I glory / In hevin' nothin' o' the sort. / I ain't a Wig, I ain't a Tory, / I'm just a candidate, in short.' In its original American context, it lampoons the shifting political loyalties of Zachary Taylor, who was elected President in 1848; here, it is applied to the situation of the Radical John Bright after Disraeli had entered his Reform Bill in February 1867 and proposed an extension of the franchise that was broader even than his Liberal opponents had envisioned. The introductory paragraph claims that Disraeli has 'taken the wind out of his sails' and Bright has 'been obliged to confess that Disraeli had beaten him in Radicalism'. It is attributed to the 'Mail of Wednesday': the Glasgow Daily Mail for 29 May.