Tis so hot! I'll return to the place whence I came

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John Thomas Smith
Tis so hot! I'll return to the place whence I came
Peel 1916
Formerly owned by Sir Robert Peel.

Plate from 'The Scum Uppermost ... ".


The hustings at Brentford stretch across the design, packed with a grotesquely dense crowd behind the characterized figures in front. Below and in the foreground are the "scum" or rabble. In the centre the Devil sinks through an aperture in front of the hustings, surrounded by thick smoke which floats back; his words, the only title, are inscribed over his head in a placard on the roof of the hustings. An election favour is tied to one of his long horns; a miniature demon cools him with a fan. Burdett, just behind, clasps his hands in despair at the departure. Many of the tiny figures are well characterized; a few can be identified. George Hanger (left), above the others, clasps one of the uprights, grasping a noose which hangs from the roof. Standing up by the opposite post (right) is a parson (? Horne Tooke), shouting and holding out a bottle towards the Devil. Other recognizable figures to the right of the cloud of smoke are Sheridan (amused), Fox (alarmed at the Devil), Dr. Parr, and Erskine. On the left between Hanger and Burdett is Lord Derby. Among the others a poll-clerk is prominent, his pen in his mouth, tying up his books (left). [Others mentioned in the verses, concealed under initials, include 'Delegate Frost', Lord Thanet (who tried to help O'Connor to escape from Maidstone assizes), Peter Moore, who had contested Coventry, and Finnerty, n.] On the front of the hustings is a placard: 'Burdett', 'Fox and Ld W. Russel'. Among the crowd on the ground below the hustings are butchers with marrow-bones and cleavers, a man holding up a gigantic key, another holding up a makeshift flag inscribed 'No Bastile'. A man in a barrister's wig flourishes a bottle towards a man (? Byng) who leans from the hustings holding out a glass. The former is probably Henry Clifford, who declared the mill votes legal, a firebrand. Men fight. A carter in a smock has on his back a device of a man on a gibbet. On the hustings' roof are dead cats and other missiles.

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