Disciples catching the mantle : the spirit of darkness overshadowing the priests of Baal / Js. Gillray invt. & fect.

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James Gillray
Disciples catching the mantle : the spirit of darkness overshadowing the priests of Baal / Js. Gillray invt. & fect.
[London] : Publish'd June 25th 1808, by H Humphrey, St James's Street, [1808]
Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987.
[London] : Publish'd June 25th 1808, by H. Humphrey, St James's Street, [1808]
From the library of Gordon N. Ray.

Print shows Pitt borne upwards in a chariot of swirling clouds of flame drawn by four horses abreast, and snorting fire, while his eyes are fixed on a broad beam of light inscribed 'Immortality'. He drops his mantle, which his disciples below hold up their arms to receive. Rays from the mantle strike down on the disciples; thunderbolts radiate from it, against the 'Republican-Mantle' with which the ghost of Fox tries to shelter the Opposition, and also against a tiny Napoleon. The disciples are grouped on a cliff, 'The Rock of Ages', rising from the sea. They surround an altar: 'The Altar of the Constitution'. Its two pilasters are 'Prudence' and 'Fortitude'. On this is a book inscribed 'Truth' on which is a royal crown. At its base lies 'Magna Charta'. The central and most prominent of the disciples, in the place of Elisha, is Canning, as the pupil of Pitt; he stands behind the altar. Before it kneel Eldon and Perceval and Portland. On each side of Canning stand Hawkesbury and Castlereagh. In the foreground, separated from the 'Rock of Ages' by a narrow chasm, is the 'Broad-Bottom-Dunghill'. On this are the Opposition fleeing in terror from the thunderbolts from Pitt's despite the gigantic figure of Fox who flies over them, protectingly spreading his cloak. The most prominent of the 'Priests of Baal' is Grenville, shown clutching at his rent breeches, a cardinal's hat flying from his head. Grey, naked and emaciated, drops his 'Torch of Discord' and around his body a thin snake is twined. Grattan runs off with his 'Catholic Petition' under his arm, dropping a dark lantern. Next him an overturned barrel pours its frothing contents down the dunghill, carrying off the head of the cask on which are the features of Whitbread. Sidmouth is on his back, dropping a bottle of 'Gentle Emetic' and St. Vincent appears in naval uniform and holding a crutch. Behind him flees Lauderdale, wearing Highland dress with a dagger in his belt. On the right are Erskine, and Sheridan in his Harlequin suit. Above these are Windham and Holland. The two figures at the apex of the group are the spectacled Buckingham in Papal robes and Moira. The former drops his crosier, and his tiara falls off, the latter loses his cocked hat in the blast from the Mantle. On the dunghill are toadstools, and three toads which sit in a row spitting at the 'Rock of Ages'. In the background is the sea, with a British man-of-war, the 'Royal George', firing at the French coast, where a tiny Napoleon drops his horse's reins and loses his hat. Behind are encampments and a French army.

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