The Cabinetical - Balance

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The Cabinetical - Balance
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James Gillray

The Cabinetical - Balance

London, H. Humphrey Ferb 16th. 1806

This is a later impression of 1813

Etching

Original hand colouring

355 x 250 mm

£750

After the title: 'NB. The representation of, the astonishing strength & Influence of the Rays from the Rising-Sun, is taken from Sir Isaac Newtons Theory of Light.' The beam of a pair of scales is suspended from a vertical bar terminating in a ring which encircles one of many solid rays from a large sun (l.) surmounted by the Prince of Wales' coronet and feathers. The 'Rising-Sun' (see BMSat 10258) is partly obscured by dark clouds, but its rays extend across the design and illuminate especially Sidmouth and Ellenborough. The former is poised triumphantly on the cross-beam, depressing the r. scale with his foot, while he holds on his shoulders Ellenborough in judge's wig and gown, who manipulates the scale in the same direction. This lower scale contains the 'Broad-Bottomites' ie the Grenvillites, or New Opposition, the other, the 'No-Bottomites', i.e. the Foxites, or Old Opposition. In the latter (l.) the occupants hold the ropes with expressions of anxiety; the inscription suggests that they lack 'bottom' or endurance (a pugilistic phrase). Fox is the most prominent, between Erskine (l.), in Chancellor's wig and gown and with the Purse of the Great Seal, and Grey (r.). Moira, in cocked hat and regimentals, stands stiffly behind. Fox and Grey have bonnets rouges but do not wear them. The other bowl contains Grenville, one hand on his fat nephew Lord Temple; the heavy posteriors for which the family were noted take up much of the bowl. Windham waves his hat triumphantly. Of two other partly obscured occupants one resembles Lord Henry Petty. The scales are suspended above the curve of the globe on which Great Britain and the Continent are indicated. Behind the North Pole (r.) is a setting sun containing a royal crown; its feeble rays are outshone by the heavy beams of the rising sun (or son). Above it, among clouds, flies the ghost of Pitt, weeping BM 10530