Westminster school. or-Dr Busby settling accounts with Master Billy and his playmates.
Bohn c. 1850
360 x 260 mm
Originally published 4th. February 1785 Fox as Dr. Busby birches Pitt and his supporters in a lofty hall with stone walls. Fox (left) sits under a statue of Justice which is in an alcove above his head, a birch-rod in her right hand, in the left, her scales evenly balanced. Pitt lies across Fox’s knee, his posteriors scarred; he says, "O pardon me & I’ll promise you on my honor that I will Honestly & boldly endeavour a reform!" Fox, his birch-rod raised to smite, says, "That’s all Twaddle! – so here’s for your India Task! there! there! there! & there’s for blocking up the old Womens Windows & making them drink Tea in the dark! – there! there! & there’s for——O I’ve a a a hundred accounts to settle – there! there! there! there! there! there." Those who have been already chastised are borne off (right), a sea of heads, on the backs of the Foxite party. The last three only are characterized: Robinson is carried off on North’s back; he is identified by the rats which leap from his rolled-up coat, cf. BMSat 6427, &c. Sheridan (identified by the ‘School for Scandal’ which protrudes from his pocket) carries off Sir Richard Hill, identified by two papers projecting from his coat: ‘Bible Joke’ and ‘Rochester Sermon’ (see ‘The Rolliad’, No. III, ‘Probationary Odes’, No. IV). Next, Burke carries off Richard Atkinson (‘the minor Kinson’ of ‘The Rolliad’, No. VIII), from whose pocket projects ‘Rum Contr[act]’. Beneath the title is engraved :"Illustrious Bums, might merit more regard; Ah! Bums too tender for a stroke so hard" ‘Vide Rolliad’. See BMSat 6816.(A parody of the lines on the Treasury bench: ‘No sattin covering decks th’unsightly boards; No velvet cushion holds the youthful Lords, And claims illustrious Tails such small regard? Ah! Tails too tender for a seat so hard.’ With the gloss, ‘Alas! that flesh, so late by pedants scarr’d Sore from the rod, should suffer seats so hard.’)