The Wrangling friends or opposition in disorder

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The Wrangling friends or opposition in disorder
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Isaac Cruikshank the Elder

The wrangling friends or opposition in disorder

London, S W Fores ,May 10th. 1791

Etching

Original hand colouring

265 x 365 mm

Neat marginal repairs, trimmed within platemark.

£180

Fox and Burke stand side by side on the floor of the House of Commons. Behind and between them is the Speaker, just risen from his chair, behind the table with its books and mace. On each side are members, their gestures and expressions showing great agitation. Fox (left) stands full face weeping, holding up a handkerchief; his left hand is on his breast. Large tears fall to the ground, where a boy on his knees is baling up a pool into a full bucket. Fox says, "Ah well a day my poor heart will allmost Break, 25 years Friendship & use me thus Oh - Oh - Edmund!!!" Burke turns away from Fox, but frowns at him over his shoulder, saying: "Black Spirits & White Blue Spirits & Grey & Old nick at their head, to H--l take you away" [see BMSat 7865, &c] He holds a document in each hand: 'French Constitution' and 'Treason conspiricy Poor Old England'. From his coat pocket protrude two papers: 'Bastile' and (reversed) 'Queen of F------e'. He tramples on a paper: 'Canada Bill'. A demon hovers over Burke, applying a pair of bellows to his head, from which issues an expanding cloud; he says, "by Lucifer it Boils bravely". The Speaker (Addington) says: "This is a sight I wish to see no more a man does weep who never wept Before" The Opposition members are grouped (incorrectly) on the left. Sheridan steps forward with clenched fist, saying, "Oh Lord oh Lord Order Order the man that betrays his friend &c &c. School for Scandal" A man behind calls for "Mops & pails"; a member dressed like a schoolboy to indicate his youth (probably Grey) shouts "perfectly in Order". On the right Pitt sits composedly watching the pair; he says, "If they'd cut each others Throats I should be Relieved from these Troublesome Fellows". Behind him stands a member, with his hand raised, shouting "Chair Chair". Beneath the title is etched: 'I think myself justified in Saying this, because I do Know that there are People in this Country avowedly endeavouring to Disorder its Constitution its Government & that in a very Bold Manner - Vide Burk's Speech – BM 7855