- Museum number
- Object: The state dunces
Britannia (right) seated, with her shield and spear, on a raised dais; she is addressing George III, who supports on his back Lord North, who is being flogged by Charles Fox. Britannia, holding up her right hand, says, "My Dominion diminish'd my Blood spilt my Treasure exhausted my People burdend with Taxes my Colonies Revolted Deserted by my Allies my Flag insulted and now no longer Mistress of the Ocean and shall the abettors go Unpunished? forbid it Justice." The king, who wears long robes, bends forward, holding North by the wrists. He says, "For supporting them in their Design's thus am I obliged to carry them through condign Punishment." Under his feet is a document, "Petition of the People". Fox, raising his knotted scourge above his head, says, "Was I to give as many lashes as he has made blunders in the State I should not be done these three hours by G------d". North says, "D------n Patriotism for its stripes I dont like to bear". Four onlookers (members of the Opposition) stand behind North and Fox; one (left) somewhat resembling the Duke of Richmond says, "When you are tired F------x let me have a spell"; another says, "This is all Pro bono Publicoo therefore its hoped our Labour will not be in vain". On the left is a group of five men: Sandwich (centre) stands full-face biting his thumbs, his knees knocking together; a member of the Opposition holds him by the arm and shoulder, saying "Thou shall not fly from the Wrath to come for it will be your turn Next." Sandwich is saying, "D------the Minority for they are always taking me to task to drub me for Something or Other." From his coat pocket extends a label inscribed "Merit Rewarded or Sr H------h [Hugh] at Greenwich a New Song the Burden
'Tis my Maxim still I say,
To favour him that Runs away.'"
Under Sandwich's feet is a paper inscribed "Britannia Rules the Waves". On the left stands Lord George Germain biting his nails and saying "At Minden my Exploits will will [sic] be handed down to Posterity as will my feats ever since". Under his arm is a paper "The Hum Gazett[e] or Extraordinary bad News from America". A man standing by him says, "My L------d you may take the Dutchmans Comfort 'Tis well its no worse.'"
In the foreground (left) is a cock looking at itself in a looking-glass; beneath it is etched:
"The Cock who can see and not feel for the Elf } British
Who at home and abroad is fighting itself. Breed"
In the back ground is Westminster Hall. Beneath the design is inscribed:
"Let Britons behold, and glory to See,
The Min-----y flogg'd as they ought well to be
For those evils Britannia is heard to relate,
Is the cause of thair numerous blunders in State,
For which those behind who stand biting their nails
Will shortly be hoisted and get the nine Tails." 2 December 1780
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 352 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
On 13 Nov. 1780 Fox had pledged himself to move for the dismissal of Sandwich and for "bringing him to condign punishment" for the appointment of Palliser to Greenwich Hospital and for shameful neglect of the Navy. 'Ann. Reg.', 1781, p. 156. See BMSat 5705.
Resembles the manner of W. P. Carey.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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