St. Vetus's Dance or the Panegyrist and the Patron or a |||||Sley Push for Power.Who aspires, must down as low" As high as soar'd; obnoxious first or last", To basest things.
Pub.d Feb.y 1813 by S.W. Fores No.50 Piccadilly corner of Sackville St.
Hand-coloured etching; paper watermarked. 248 x 387m38m (9¾ x 15¼"). Cut, crease; some spotting.
Satire combining two subjects: the letters of Vetus (later revealed as Edward Sterling) to 'The Times' in 1812 praising Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington in terms of hero-worship, and the controversy over the India Charter Bill. Vetus, on stilts, heads a procession trying to force its way into the Treasury. On the donkey sits Lord Wellesley in oriental dress, much be-jewelled, and carrying on his head a model of the India House. He has a shield inscribed in large letters 'Aut Cæsar aut Nullus'; on this is depicted a realistic hand about to grasp a small crown resting on clouds. His ass has one (superfluous) wooden leg, its own leg being bent back at the knee, and it tramples on two papers inscribed 'Fr[ee] Trade' and 'Free Port[s]'. Behind Wellesley is a second ass, with a thick sheaf of newspapers, 'The Times', bound to its back in place of a saddle and labelled 'Qui Veut'. Beside it walks Canning, who puts out a protesting arm.He is identified by a paper which he holds, inscribed 'To the Electors of Liverpool'. Vetus is dressed like the zanies who accompanied quack doctors for purposes of advertisement. He wears a conical hat in which a pen labelled 'Venial' [? Venal] is thrust. In his sash is a sheaf of papers inscribed 'Vetus Letters'. A gridiron (or 'save-all') decorates the front of his tunic and he wears wide trousers; he blows a trumpet. The other trumpet, held in his left hand and directed from his posterior towards Wellesley. He is followed by a subordinate trumpeter, plainly dressed, who blows through a small trumpet, he holds out a sheaf of 'Vetus's Letters'. Seven other well-dressed men follow Wellesley and Vetus; three of them hold out documents inscribed respectively 'Liverpool', 'Glasgow', and 'H[ull] Petition', showing that they represent the out-ports which were agitating for a share in the trade with India. John Bull stands on the pavement in front of the Treasury door, holding out a spear with which he prods Vetus on the papers in his sash; to the spear shaft is attached a banner inscribed 'Free Trade' in large letters. Castlereagh peeps through the partly open door; other faces are indicated behind him.
BM Satires: 12009.
[Ref: 30562] £220.00