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- Object: Humility or the canvassing candidate | Effrontery or the candidate returned
Two adjacent designs: on the left Sheridan drink-sodden and blear-eyed, stoops obsequiously, r. hand on heart, hat held low, directed to the right. He says, slyly, "Gentlemen, it is with the most unfeigned submission I present myself to Your Notice, most Humbly requesting your kind suffrages to return me (although unworthy) one of Your representatives for the great City of Westminster, and when I consider whom I succeed, I cannot but sincerly [sic] deplore his loss, but much more so my inadequacy to fill his place, and can only most solemnly promise to exert the utmost of my poor abilities to keep my place."
On the r. Sheridan with legs astride, hands thrust in his breeches pocket, hat on his head, still drink-sodden and sly, but more alert, says, looking to the left.: "Electors, I feel a satisfaction in my own bosom (which I cannot refrain from expressing,) that my transcendant Merit fully entitle me to be chosen your representative, and that you have barely done yourselves justice in returnig [sic] me, why you must have been cursed fools if you had not, & as to that Mr Paul & Mr Cobbett, their speeches are so ungentlemanlike that I do not think it worth my while to answer them, why the fellows say I get drunk one half the day, & lie in bed the other, I dont chuse to answer that, they say I don't pay my Debts Fools! what did I want to get into Parliament for, they say I have never signed those measures since I have been in administration which I so strongly declared necessary while out of Office, this shews their Ignorance! why should I propose reform now when all my Friends have got to be served." December 1806
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
Sheridan's election addresses, though deferential, were not servile or even modest: e.g., 'I make no professions; I am confident you do not want any from me. What I have been I shall continue to be: the maintenance of the principles of Mr. Fox is now, more than ever, a sacred duty.' See 'Hist. of the Westminster and Middlesex Elections', 1806, p. 1 f. In his address after the election he said: 'I forego my first intention of refuting all foul and foolish calumnies.. ..' Ibid., p. 298*. The most damaging attack was that of bilking his creditors. See BMSat 10619, &c.
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