Patriotic regeneration, viz

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Patriotic regeneration, viz. parliament reform'd, a la francoise, that is honest men (i.e. opposition,) in the seat of justice. The interior of the House of Commons. The Speaker's chair and the table are in the foreground on the extreme left. Only the Opposition benches are visible and are crowded with English sansculottes wearing bonnets-rouges who eagerly watch the denunciation of Pitt. Fox sits in the Speaker's chair, as the presiding judge, a bonnet-rouge pulled over the crown of his hat. Opposite (right), on a low platform surrounded by a rail, stands Pitt; a rope round his neck is held by Lauderdale who stands behind him on the extreme right with a headsman's axe in his left hand. In front of Pitt, leaning eagerly forward over the rail is Stanhope, gesticulating violently and holding out a large scroll. Pitt, anxious and bewildered, his hands manacled, wearing only his shirt which has been torn from his shoulder, stands in profile to the left. Fox sits inscrutable, his clenched fists on the desk before him, a bell at his right hand, looking sideways at Pitt. Below him at the table are Erskine and Sheridan. Erskine, in wig and gown, as the accusing counsel, stands with outstretched hand pointing to Pitt and addressing the rabble on the benches. In his left hand is a paper and from his pocket protrudes a brief. Sheridan writes busily. Books are on the table. A large scroll hangs from the table. On the ground the head of the mace projects from under the tablecloth. Beside the table (left) are five large money-bags. On the Speaker's chair, in place of the royal arms, is a tricolour shield. In the foreground, immediately in front of Pitt and Lauderdale, is an iron stove with an open door showing Magna Charta and Holy Bible burning. Holding their hands to the flames are Grafton (left) and Norfolk (right) facing each other. Each sits on an inverted ducal coronet. Beside and behind Grafton sits Lord Derby. Slightly to the left and behind this group Lansdowne kneels, weighing in a pair of scales a weight resembling a cap of liberty against a royal crown. The crown rests on the ground, Lansdowne tries to pull down the other scale. Beside the crown two large sacks stand on the floor (the Jews of Duke's place were supposed to dispose of stolen plate). From one protrudes the Prince of Wales's coronet and feathers, an earl's coronet and a Garter ribbon; from the other, a mitre and chalice. In the foreground lie a bundle of papers. On the crowded benches a fat butcher is conspicuous, sitting arms akimbo. Near him are a hairdresser and a tailor in delighted conversation. A chimney-sweeper holds up brush and shovel, grinning delightedly. The faces register ferocity, anger, surprise, amusement, brutishness. In the back row, under the gallery, stand dissenting ministers wearing clerical bands (BM). Artist: Gillray, James, 1756-1815. Date: March 2, 1795. Sourced from Digital Commonwealth website.

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