- Museum number
- Object: The Man of Moderation
The façade of the King's Arms tavern in Palace Yard, from the central first-floor bow-window of which Fox, a fox with a human head, addresses the electors of Westminster, who are geese with human heads (cf. BMSat 5843, &c). Fox's more prominent supporters, also as geese, look from the windows. (For this incident see BMSat 6421, &c.) Above the window is an escutcheon with the arms of Fox reversed, surmounted by a royal crown on which sits a fox with Fox's head. The supporters are: dexter, a fox with the head of Burke, its brush inscribed ‘Old Nick’; sinister, a fox with the head of North, its brush inscribed ‘Old Fox’. It has the family motto ‘Faire sans Dire’ (used by Fox on his book-plates). On the window beneath is inscribed ‘Young F------'s Arms’. Beneath the window the words ‘King's Arms’ have been scored through and ‘Westminster Hall’ substituted. The name ‘Coulson’ is on each side of the central bay.
Fox says, “Gentlemen, Electors, for heaven's sake! recollect that some of the present men supported the American War; but do not recollect that my now dear Coalition Friend was the Author and conductor of that accursed war - . (Fox, as reported in the Press, said, inter alia, “Gentlemen, I need not tell you that the present Administration were the greatest enemies to the reform of abuses, nor that they supported the American War------“, ‘Hist. of the Westminster Election’, p. 62, &c.)
Five heads on the long necks of geese surround Fox at his central window; next him is Keppel, with a scowl. In the adjacent windows are similar heads, all much caricatured. Lord Derby, grinning, says “No back stairs” (cf. BMSat 6417).
From two windows on the second floor, which flank Fox's coat of arms, more heads emerge. One of three heads in the left window says, “The Man of the People for ever”. In the right window are the Prince of Wales and Mrs. Robinson (Perdita); she leans out, he puts a webbed foot on her neck.
The ground-floor windows are also crowded with human geese and partly obscured by the geese in the street outside. Sam House looks from the central window shouting, “Huzza huzza”. Outside the window is a coach without horses, on the box of which stands a goose with the head of the Earl of Surrey. It is ready for the procession to Devonshire House, see BMSat 6421. On the roof stands Jeffery Dunstan, saying, “Old Wigs and Charley for ever and a fig for Charters”; his accustomed bag is thrown over his back and inscribed ‘Poison Bag’ (cf. BMSat 6425). Another goose, perhaps Sheridan, leans out of the coach window.
In the foreground two processions of geese meet; the one advancing from the left is headed by a goose with a club, wearing a hat and spectacles, saying ‘No secret influence’. He is Hall the apothecary. He is faced by the leader of the other procession, holding a flag with a bust portrait of Cromwell inscribed ‘Fox for Ever’, the staff surmounted by the cap of Liberty. 24 February 1784
- Production date
Height: 348 millimetres
Width: 250 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The heads, which are much caricatured, are probably all portraits. Fox’s committee for the occasion consisted of Mr. Byron, Mr. Byng, Mr. Burke, Mr. Sheridan, General Burgoyne, Lord Derby, Lord Surrey, Lord Foley, Colonel Fitzpatrick, and others. The address was left for signature at 'Mr House's, Pall-mall; Mr Hall's Long Acre; Mr Chaplin's Bridges-street.. . and Mr Debrett's, Bookseller, Piccadilly'. ‘History of the Westminster Election’, 1784, pp. 60, 66.
For Fox as Cromwell see BMSat 6380, &c.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number