The Porcupine's Den

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The Porcupine's Den
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Samuel De Wilde

The Porcupine’s Den

London, S Tipper, 1st. November 1808

Etching with aquatint

190 x 320 mm

Repair to old fold


Cobbett, a monster whose naked trunk terminates in two scaly serpents (like that of 'Sin' in BMSat 8105), crouches on the floor of his cave. Spikes, intended for the quills of a porcupine, radiate from behind his head and shoulders. Some of these dart towards an opening in the cave (l.) through which a sun inscribed 'Monthly Meteor' directs its rays at Cobbett. He flinches in terror, holding up a pen, and with his left hand raises a 'Veil of Infamy'. This is suspended above an open book: 'Memorantda of Infamy'. The quills fly towards the 'Monthly Meteor', but, on reaching the aperture in the cave, fall back. They are inscribed: 'Rage', 'Lies', 'Vulgar', 'Abuse', 'Envy', 'Lies', 'Disappointment', 'Malice'. On the r. of the cave are two oth monsters, skinny naked creatures with talons, webbed wings, and tail; they are Horne Tooke and Burdett. They are pushing a large bonnet rouge inscribed 'Jacobin's Extinguisher' over an open book whose pages are inscribed: 'Cobbetts Register 1802 - Sr F Burdett a Seditious Demagogue, Mr Pitt a God, Horne Tooke a Devil, Loyalty, England Happy'. Burdett is struck by rays from the 'Monthly Meteor'. Before Cobbett are two open books: 'Cobbetts Register 1807 - Sr F Burdett a God. Mr Pitt a Devil. Horne Tooke an Angel. Sedition England at her last Gasp.' and 'Instructions from Lord Edward Fitzgerald.' BM 11049