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- Object: A Cheap and Easy Method of Improving English Swine's Flesh by a German method of Feeding; Also a proper Material for Smoaking it, Whereby in a short Time we may emulate, if not execeed Westphalia Bacon. By a Norfolk man for the Use of the Royal Society
Satire on the allocation of government posts following the fall of Robert Walpole. The king (A) stands in a farmyard in front of a grand house wielding a whip (B) and holding a branding iron (C) lettered "D[et]t[in]g[e]n". In the foreground to right, Carteret (D), his hat labelled "Worms" (a reference to his effort in concluding the treaty signed on 13 September 1743), holds in his right hand pig food (E), labelled with the titles of high offices in the Treasury, and in his left "materials for ye Compost" (F), titles of other offices. Four pigs (G), the first two with rings in their noses lettered, "H[a]n[ove]r", stand in a line in the foreground. The largest pig, labelled "Sussex" is Henry Pelham, M.P. for that county, devours Carteret's pig food (he became Chancellor of the Exchequer on 25 August 1743) and excretes "Paymaster[ship of the Forces]" which is eaten by the second, slightly smaller, pig, labelled "Worcester" (i.e. Thomas Winnington who took that post). The next pig is his fellow-member for Worcester, Samuel Sandys, who eats the post of "Cofferer" excreted by Winnington; he is lettered H and described as "measly" or diseased (see below). Sandys, in turn excretes the "L[or]d[ship] of Treasury" which is taken by the smallest pig, Henry Fox, M.P. for New Windsor (appointed to that post in December 1743) who excretes his post at the "Board of Works" which is swept up together with other places by the Duke of Newcastle (I), wearing a long dark wig and heavy spectacles. The names of other government positions lie on the ground at the pigs' feet; a large key, labelled "for my brother" lies between Newcastle's feet. Behind Newcastle the swineherd (K, unidentified) feeds other pigs (L) escaping from a sty with further offices (M), represented by coins in barrels hanging from a yoke on his shoulders. Behind these pigs is "The great Feeding Trough" (N) lettered with yet more offices for the benefit of a mass of pigs still within the sty representing the "271" members who voted for retaining Hanoverian troops at British expense. On the right is the "Smoaking House" (O, the House of Lords), its interior (P) open to show a row of flitches and hocks (Q) labelled with the names of new peers, "Orford" (Robert Walpole), "Bath" (William Pulteney), "Ilchester" (Stephen Fox-Strangways), "Edgecome" (Richard Edgcumbe), and "Omberley measly" (Samuel Sandys). The peers hang from "Hooks on which They ought to be Hang'd" (R) while beneath them burn the "Materials for Smoaking", "Habeas Corpus/Bill of Rights/Mag[na] Char[t]er". The king fears that the pigs/politicians will not eat, but his ministers assure him that they will do so.
Etching and engraving
- Production date
Height: 237 millimetres (image)
Height: 265 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 324 millimetres (image)
Width: 339 millimetres (trimmed?)
- Curator's comments
- The OED gives a definition of "measly" as "a pig, or pork, affected with cysticercosis"
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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