A hasty Sketch of Yesterday's Business.Mr ----- in one of the most animated Speeches he ever made in his Life engaged the Attention of the whole house - he began with saying That he should have sat a silent Spectator of the business of the day if a very personal Attack had not been made upon him by calling him the Head of a Faction, he assured the Gentleman nothing was farther from his Heart, all now wished for was a Union upon a broad basis, upon a fair, tho' not an equal footing, and if the Right honourable Gentleman over the Way would but submit to a Capitulation, he would most cordially concorporate with him. As to the Idea of his having lost any part of his Weight with his Constituents he assured the Right Honble Gentleman he was convinced he never stood higher in their good Opinion than in his present Situation. For although (said he) a Host of Ruffians (I will not call them Electors) desperate as Chairmen from Brookes's lately made an Attempt upon my Life (here somebody sneezed, Ld Mahon laughed and was called to order by the Chair) I say upon my Life Sir I have no doubt but that in Case a Dissolution takes place I shall be prepared to meet it with as high a head as any Member of this House. "Sublimi feriam sidera vertice, Mr ------ then brought forward to their View the only means of securing a permanent and popular Administration ridiculed the Impropriety of attending to Addresses from corporate Bodies, accused Sr Richd Hill of throwing Scripture and Rochester in his Teeth, and concluded with an earnest Exhortation to the Country Gentlemen to lay their Heads together and take into Consideration the Measures which had brought Charles to the Block. Sir Richd Hill said he should neither quote the Bible or Rochester, though he couldn't help saying he would recommend to some Gentn of that house the Precepts of the one and the Repentance of the other, he also recommended That in order to ease the Landed Interest the Reckoning of the Gentlemen at the St Albans should be paid out of the Balance remaining in Mr Rigby' hands, - Mr P------s [Powys] rose, and was going to enter into an Explanation of the Consistency of his own Conduct but the House seemed not disposed to hear him, so he was angry. The Remainder of this important Debate will be given in our next.
Published 3d March 1784 by Jas Bretherton New Bond Street 20th January 1784.
Etching on thick watermarked laid paper, 230 x 160mm. 9 x 6¼". Glue stains from verso to wide margins, uncut.
Political satire: the figure of Whig statesman Charles James Fox (1749 - 1806) standing as if addressing the House of Commons, but headless. His right arm is raised, his hat is in his right hand, a handkerchief clutched in the left. Fox's speeches to the House on 28 February and 1 March 1784 are lampooned. Fox was an opponent of Pitt the younger. Reckless in politics as at the gaming tables, Fox held office briefly as a Tory under Lord North during 1783 but soon switched sides, leading the opposition through a long political life. He championed the French revolutionary cause, America, Ireland, reform and George, Prince of Wales. A supporter of the revolutionary cause in France, his credibility was diminished from 1792 by the excesses of the French revolutionaries. By James Sayers (1748 - 1823). Sayers's caricatures were so powerful and direct in their purpose that Fox is said to have declared that they did him more harm than all the attacks made on him in parliament or the press.
BM Satires 6437.
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