The Mirror

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The Mirror
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The Mirror

London, S Fores, May 17th. 1784

Etching

Old hand colouring

200 x 300 mm

Trimmed close to image

£150

An election crowd is being addressed by Fox (left) from the hustings. The lower part of the pillars of the portico and the door of St. Paul's Church are behind Fox; the houses of the NW. corner of Covent Garden Piazza, with spectators looking from the windows, form a background on the right. A voter with 'Hood Wray' in his hat approaches the hustings. Fox stands, right fist raised, saying: "Gentlemen I sincerely do wish you to lead To Greatness to Glory to Freedom - indeed Notwithstanding this Hubbub & this Hurly-Burly Am conscious you nee'r to your Friends will be Churly The Victory gained & Treachery o'erthrow Gratefully - in what ee'r you Wish I am your own." He is surrounded by supporters, one of whom (left) holds out a bottle to two men who advance from the left as if to vote. Beneath and in front is the crowd. Among the more conspicuous figures in the foreground (left to right) are: a boy astride a small cask which is labelled 'Small-beer Sr C W [Cecil Wray]', its tap is padlocked (see BMSat 6492, &c); he wears a key, shouting "No back Stairs" (see BMSat 6564, &c). Behind him is a man with a flag inscribed 'Fox & the Constitution'. A tall lank man leaning on a crutch is 'Corruption'. Next him a man sits on the shaft of his ginger-bread barrow, saying, "Here's your Spice Nuts". The barrow, on which is a bottle and glass, is inscribed "Fox Gin & Gingerbread for ever". A small dog befouling the ground represents 'Ease'. A very stout man is shouting: "May your Understanding lax For making the Receipt Tax." He is 'Alderman Calipash', representing the clamour raised in the City against the Receipt tax proposed by the Coalition and attacked by Wray, see BMSat 6244, &c. A man wearing top-boots and a riding-hat is labelled 'Politician'; he shakes his fist at Fox, saying: "Thou Oliver Caesar Machiavilian In that deep plot the Coalition" [see BMSat 6380, &c.]. A poor woman holding an infant labelled 'Virtue' appears to be addressing the back of the 'Politician'; she says: "As Virtuous I am The Vicious I damn." An 'Indian Tyrant' holding a tasselled cane, his coat-pocket labelled 'Extent', is saying: "Had he passed the India Bill I could no more my Coffers fill With Rupees. Or in Blood have glutted Oh! I should like the Reformer guted" [see BMSat 6519]. Behind him a man holding the dark-lantern which indicates Lord Temple (cf. BMSat 6417) is saying: "The back Stairs I say Is the forwardest way" [see BMSat 6564, &c.]. A scuffling group (right) appears to represent an honest citizen being attacked by a bruiser. Beneath is inscribed 'Rights of the People'. A large house at the NW. corner of the piazza is evidently the headquarters of one of the candidates. A flight of steps leads to a balcony or terrace on each side of the front door; people look from the windows and from the balcony. Beneath the design is etched: 'The Mirror of Truth is here held up to view A Candidate Right Honourable & true Who always has been the Peoples Protector A stanch friend to the rights of every Elector Yet Envy & Avarice has made a great rout Because the Shoe pinches they'r heard to cry out.' BM 6582