Sow-west And The Wigs

The following humorous scene took place in the Court-house,

Green-street, Dublin:

The city of Dublin was often contested by Mr. John B. West--a

conservative barrister of no ordinary talents, whose early end caused

much regret. That gentleman was very heavy and clumsy in appearance, and

moved very awkwardly. Lord Plunket humorously called him Sow-West, a

name that adhered to him most tenaciously. O'Connell was opposed to West

on three or four different occasions. It is remarkable that the opening

scenes at the Dublin elections are conducted with far more decorum than

similar scenes in other parts of Ireland. All the masses are not

admitted indiscriminately to the Court where the hustings are

placed--the people are admitted by tickets, half of which are allotted

to each rival party. It is the interest of both parties to keep order,

and the candidates and their friends are therefore heard with tolerable

fairness. On the first day of a Dublin election, the most eloquent

members of either party come forward to uphold their favorite


On the occasion referred to, O'Connell, in addressing the people,

referred to the appearance of Sow-West, whom he humorously quizzed

upon the beauty of his appearance.

In reply Mr. West said, Ah, my friends! it's all very well for Mr.

O'Connell to attack me upon my appearance; but I can tell you, if you

saw Mr. O'Connell without his wig, he does not present a face which is

much to boast of.

To the surprise of the spectators, no less than of Mr. West himself,

O'Connell walked across, pulled off his wig, stood close by West, and

cried out--There, now, which of us is the better-looking--my wig is


This sally of practical humor was received with bursts of laughter and

cheering. O'Connell looked admirably, exhibiting a skull which, for

volume and development, was not to be surpassed.

Sir R Peel's Opinion Of O'connell Swift Among The Lawyers facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail