- Museum number
- Object: The Meeting of Parliament
A pugilistic encounter between Fox (left) and Pitt (right), the former's backer being North, the latter's Pepper Arden, the Attorney-General. Pitt, tall and slim, Fox, slightly shorter but far stouter. All four stand with clenched fists; the two combatants are stripped to the waist and blood is indicated on their fists and persons. North says, "Touch him about the Lights brother Charley - I'll warrant he'll be glad to commute with you - and I'll cool Master Pepper". Arden, in legal wig and gown, says, "Courage Billy, zounds! - dont be afraid, use Dispatch - the Law is on your side - ". 22 January 1785
- Production date
Height: 222 millimetres
Width: 317 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The Commutation Act was Pitt's measure for reducing the tea duties to prevent smuggling and reduce prices and in compensation to put additional duties on windows or 'lights'. 'Parl. Hist.' xxv. 1374 ff. (1 Aug. 1784). See BMSat 6634, &c.
The print anticipates the opening of the session on 25 Jan. Its especial application is perhaps to the Westminster Scrutiny, see BMSat 6553, &c. For Arden, see Wraxall, 'Memoirs', 1884, iii. 179, 204 ff., &c. 'Lights' and 'Commute' are punning allusions to the Commutation Tax, see BMSat 6634, &c.
This is a later re-issue of BMSat 6773, mistakenly catalogued by Dorothy George as a separate print, and pre-dated to ?August 1784.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number