The Ministers. The Words by John Luffman. –– Tune, Ally Croker …

Engrav’d & publishd (sic) Feby 14. 1800 by J. Luffman, Sweeting’s Alley, Royal Exchange

4to. engraved song (plate 6¾ x 4½ inches), with a small coloured emblematical heading with a crown (‘Corona triumphalis’) enclosed in a Garter and the text ‘Obsequium hoc tempore amicos parit’, a scroll at the top (‘Liberty and Loyalty’) surmounted by a bonnet-rouge (inscribed ‘Defloccatus’); paper watermarked ‘Hayes & Wise / 1799’, one marginal tear repaired but in very good condition.


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Sole edition, six six-line stanzas by the engraver, author and goldsmith John Luffman (fl. 1776-1820), beginning ‘Inspire my Muse, propitious Gods! Do list to my invoking’.

My theme the rulers of our state, no matter whig or tory,
Who’d give their lives and fortunes too, to raise Britannia’s Glory;
[Refrain] No Minsters e’er took such pains, from despot rule to save ye,
Charles Fox and North, were barley broth, but, these are richest gravy.

Windham, Spencer, Dundas, Grenville, and, ‘chief of all’, Pitt are praised. ‘But just one verse for Johnny Bull, whom some have call’d a Nincum, / Because he did not growl and roar, about the Tax on Income’.

B.M. Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, 9518.

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