- Museum number
- Object: The soliloquy of Reynard!
Heading to a printed black-bordered broadside. Fox, with a fox's head, lies full length on a table, his hands together like a recumbent figure on a tomb, as in BMSat 6470. One mourner stands at his head (left), another at his feet (right), each holding a handkerchief to his eyes. Round their flat hats and over their shoulders are mourning-scarves. The mourner at his head is identified in an old hand as Burke. Both are poorly characterized. Beneath the (printed) title is printed, 'Alias the Goose-Catcher! [cf. BMSat 5843] - alias Carlo-Khan! [cf. BMSat 6473] - alias the Westminster Mountebank! - alias the Man of the People! - &c. To which is added, a Devonshire Lamentation! and an Epitaph! by the Widow of the Murdered Man'.
Beneath are verses in two columns: first, 'Soliloquy' (40 ll.), beginning,
"The gloomy Crisis of my Fate draws near;
"And in Despight of all my puffing Friends,
"(Whose subtile Paragraphs, and well-fram'd Lies,
"Made Truth itself seems false, and Falshood true)
"My Fame Politic dies! . . .
"But, Oh! the King would hear his Subjects Cries!
"And (Spite of all my Efforts to prevent it)
"Their Charters, Rights, and Liberties maintain'd!"
Having 'discharged the above tremendous Cataract of Oratory', Fox fell into a trance, as represented in the plate. Cf. BMSat 6405.
In 'The Devonshire Lamentation' (18 ll.) the Duchess asks rhetorically:
"Did I the Tongue of Calumny defy,
And o'er the Bounds of Delicacy fly?
Forget my Sex's softness, to defend
The sinking Cause of my politic Friend;
And all for nought? -"
In the 'Epitaph' (14 ll.) the widow mourns her 'butcher'd Husband' (killed in an election riot, cf. No. 6593).' c. 8 April 1784
Etching with letterpress text
- Production date
Height: 175 millimetres (plate)
Height: 484 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 227 millimetres (plate)
Width: 340 millimetres (sheet)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A satire on the Westminster Election, see BMSat 6474, &c. From 3 to 17 or 19 Apr. Fox's defeat seemed certain, see Appendix I and Russell, 'Corr. of Fox', ii. 267-8. See BMSat 6513, a sequel. For the canvassing of the Duchess, see BMSat 6493, &c. For the broadside obituary, a traditional form both of eulogy and satire, see J. W. Draper, 'A Century of Broadside Elegies'.
BMSat 6513 is dated 8 Apr. 1786 by Mr. Stephens. Nicholas Casson, a constable, was killed on 10 May. If he is 'the murdered man' BMSat 6513 would appear to relate to the prospects of a scrutiny or to the defeat of the Coalition in the election.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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