- Museum number
- Object: Law verus humanity or a Parody on British liberty.
Above the design (as a second title): 'A Suprising Hone for smoothing the rugged edge of Legal Oppression—Ut Prosim—' Hone (a good portrait) leans against a barrier in profile to the left, addressing Ellenborough who is seated behind a higher barrier. Hone, who supports himself by one hand on the barrier, says: "Pray may I be allowed to S—it?" Ellenborough, on the extreme left, inflates his cheeks to utter a furious "NO,O O O O O O . . .", the ciphers extending across the court and breaking a window on the extreme right. A barrister stands in the narrow space between judge and accused; he holds an ear-trumpet to his ear, directing it towards the judge, and exclaims with an outraged expression: "Not S—t!!" Three men stand behind Hone, all astonished at Ellenborough's pronouncement; they exclaim "Oh Loh!!!" and "O Loh!!" Above the barrister's head is a child-angel, holding a book and weeping; he is supported on clouds and is flying away from Ellenborough, having dropped a pen. At Hone's feet are papers: 'Society of the Poor Mans Friend' and 'The Beggar Girl—Pity, kind Gentlemen friends of Humanity'. After the title: 'And the Recording Angel let fall a tear,—sterne ['e' being scored through]' ['Tristram Shandy', bk. vi, ch. 8, misquoted, cf. No. 8014].
26 December 1817.
- Production date
Height: 243 millimetres
Width: 297 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Hone began his long defence in his first trial (18 Dec.) with an account of the inhumanity of his arrest and treatment on 5 May: 'at a moment when he was retiring for the purposes of nature he was put into a coach', and taken to Westminster Hall to plead to the information. Feeling ill, he asked to be allowed to sit: 'The answer of Lord Ellenborough was "No" and it was pronounced with an intonation that might have been heard at the further end of the hall.' 'First Trial', 1817, p. 12 f. The barrister should be Garrow [Garrow had been appointed a Baron of the Exchequer, and took leave of the bar on that day, making a farewell address in Court; 'Examiner', 1817, p. 304], then Attorney-General, who informed Hone 'with great humanity' that he might leave the Court. But the ear-trumpet indicates Shepherd. See No. 12899, &c.
Reproduced, Hackwood, 'William Hone', 1912, p. 174.
On one impression is an inscription in pen below the title: 'Frontispiece to Hone's Trials—Price 1/-'; spelling of 'Suprising' corrected.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number