Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Dissolution of P___t, c1774

The Dissolution of P___t, artist unknown, c1774, American Antiquarian Society.

Members of Parliament are making haste on a special coach designed explicitly to carry them to their 'Corrupted Boroughs' in this satirical piece. Scattered in the street are papers representing their offensive acts against America: the 'Boston Port Bill,' 'General Warrants,' and 'Quebec' (undoubtedly referring to the Quebec Act).

The scattered commoners about the street speak derisively of the failed public servants. Among them is a sailor turned beggar, who tries his hand at a groan inducing pun. 'Ah, rot such Members, my Members are better,' meaning his wooden legs, one of which is broken.

He wears a reversed cocked hat, bob wig, a single breasted jacket, and torn breeches fitted tight to his wooden legs.

1 comment:

  1. That would be a "play on words," not a pun. In the 18th century, they made a firm distinction between the two, with the former considered much wittier than the latter.