The storming of monopoly fort or the directors in dismay

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The storming of monopoly fort or the directors in dismay
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Charles Williams

The storming monopoly fort or the directors in dismay.

London, M. Jones February 1st. 1813, The Scourge

Etching

Original hand colouring

196 x 497 mm

Traces of old folds as issued.

£380

On the left Ministers assail a young woman in classical draperies, representing the East India Company. On the right the fort of Monopoly is attacked from the sea by gun-boats flying the flags of 'Free Trade' and the Out Ports. The Company, in a fainting condition, sits on the ground directed to the right and leaning against a large tea-chest inscribed 'Con[gou]', next which is one inscribed 'Bohea'; under her dropping hand is the 'Chater [sic] Granted to the East I[ndia] Co.' Her left arm rests on a pile of three bales of textiles inscribed respectively 'Chinz', 'Muslins', 'Nankeens'. The weapons of the Ministers (as in No. 12008) are bulky rolled documents, all inscribed 'India Bill', which they hurl against her or use as bludgeons. The three foremost are Melville in Highland dress, Castlereagh, and Sidmouth. Behind them (left) runs up the fat Buckinghamshire, who has hurled one roll, and has two more under his arm. A paper inscribed 'a tour in Buckinghamshire' projects from his pocket. He is followed on the extreme left by Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer, bringing up a load of 'India Bill' ammunition, and with papers inscribed 'Budget for 1813' in his pocket. Facing the distressed woman is a man who runs towards her with a protecting gesture, saying: "In Hume-man Man." A paper in his pocket inscribed 'Jack my Son's Speech' indicates Randle Jackson. A low circular building on the sea-shore (right) inscribed 'Monopoly', flies the East India Company's flag, a striped ensign (see Perrin, 'British flags', 1922, p. 130); it is already damaged, and the only weapons of the defenders are bladders inscribed 'Sophistry', documents inscribed 'Speech', small framed mirrors inscribed 'Delusion', and 'Squibs' and 'Crackers' representing pamphlets, &c. Bladders, speeches, and mirrors are being hurled towards the nearest gun-boat. One of the defenders uses a cylindrical 'Long Speech' as a speaking-trumpet. The boat flies the flag of 'Liverpool' with a pendant inscribed 'Free Trade'. One man propels it with a pole, the other fires the gun in the bows; its blast inscribed 'Free Trade' shatters the masonry of the little fort. Three similar boats are approaching, all with the 'Free Trade' pendant, and with flags inscribed respectively 'Bristol', 'Glasgow', and 'Hull'. In the fort, and on the extreme right, is a wide breech within which men prepare 'Squibs' and 'Crackers'. One carries up a basketful to the defenders; a sheaf of 'Impartial Letters' in his pocket; other papers are inscribed 'Crœsus' and 'impar[tial] Letters'. Among them stands a man scattering coins and holding up a sheaf of 'India Bonds', showing that these pamphleteers are venal. On the ground by the breech in the fort lies a large paper headed: 'Proofs of utility of E.I.C. debts 3.000.000 l, loss to the public £16 000 000 000 gain to the company 10 pr Cent'. In the foreground (right) and in front of the fort is a large chest inscribed 'Commercial Liberty' within which crouches a young woman holding a caduceus. One well-dressed man tries to raise the lid, while another holds it down. The former says: "In the cause of Freedom my impoliteness must be Excused"; the latter: "I cannot Grant it ('Grant' in large letters)," showing that he is Charles Grant. On the right stands John Bull, a stout 'cit' in dilapidated clothes, with a large cudgel. He turns to a haughty Oriental (right) to say: "Hapless me to be out-elbowed—impoverished—and insulted—by my own children." In the centre foreground John's dog, inscribed 'Bull', lies facing a dish of 'Pillaw', his mouth dripping saliva. Beside the dish are a jar of 'Currie powder', and another (overturned) of 'Pickle ...' In the background, across the water, is a flat (Indian) landscape with tiny figures: a procession headed by an ornate palanquin with a reclining figure, and many bearers. This is followed by a man regally enthroned on an elephant, probably Lord Moira, the Governor-General. [Moira's appointment was dated 18 Nov. 1812; he took over from Minto on 4 Oct. 1813.] Behind, a man prostrates himself at the feet of a boy. Some of the attendants caper gleefully in a ceremonial dance.