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- Object: Bad Memory, an imperfect work
A coat (left) in back view, round whose waist is a rope inscribed 'Manager's'. The wig and the legs belonging to the owner of the coat are beside it; between wig and legs are a number of sealed letters; to these objects and to a heart inscribed 'Truth' strings are attached held by Hastings, whose head and hands appear on the extreme right. He says, "But for equivocation I had been thus" (i.e. headless, like the wig to which he points). The wig is inscribed 'Frontispiece Index', the letters are 'Select Passages', the legs are 'Loose Leaves'. On the back of the coat is a placard inscribed 'M.. . .n's [Middleton's] Select Oriental Tales'. A cravat (?) showing over the left shoulder is inscribed 'False Title'. From the coat-pockets jewels are falling. Beneath the title (and included in the design) is etched:
'An original Bengal Edition, exceeding scarce, if not the only copy extant, curiously bound in the Indian style, with handy clasps, conveniently lettered, and most admirably gilt------of undoubted value, tho' mutilated of the head, middle and conclusion, which are said to have been bought up at a vast expence for the Hastonian compilation.
The above Work is composed in Asiatic Hieroglyphics (cast for the purpose,) by the celebrated Scottonian Genius [Major Scott], and revised with infinite art by Black Brow Brav'em [Thurlow].
A translation of the above has been attempted by a select committee of managing Reviewers, who, notwithstanding, the most minute examination, from the duplicity and blotted state of the Characters, have not been able to produce more than a few explanatory notes from the senatorial Press, in the British Language, towards clearing the Transactions of the East from mysterious Obscurity.' 27 May 1788
- Production date
Height: 194 millimetres
Width: 108 millimetres
- 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 examination of Nathaniel Middleton on 7 and 8 May 1788, cf. BMSat 7326. His books of correspondence were produced, and it appeared that pages had been torn out and loose pages placed among the others. The Managers maintained that letters to Hastings had been destroyed or suppressed. Middleton was confused and agitated and was accused by Sheridan of contradicting himself. 'Trial of Warren Hastings', 1796, pp. 54-9. For the trial see BMSat 7269, &c.; for the allegations against Thurlow BMSat 7278, &c.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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