Princeton University Library Catalog

Tom Paine's nightly pest.

Gillray, James, 1756-1815 [Browse]
Visual material
[London?] : Hannah Humphrey, 1792.
1 sheet ; 30 x 36 cm
  • Etching with engraving. Colored.
  • "Published Dec. 10th, 1792 by H. Hamphrey [sic], no 18, Old Bond Street, Js. Gy. design et fecit - pro bono publico."
  • This British cartoon shows nightly terrors that plague Thomas Paine as he lies asleep on a bed of straw, his nightcap labeled "Libertas." Above him on the headboard are two figures, labeled guardian angels, thought to be on the left, Thomas Erskine or Joseph Priestley, and one the right, Whig leader, Charles James Fox. The bed's night curtain is patterned with fleurs-de-lys, alluding to Paine's sympathies with revolutionary France. Out the bedroom window flees a demon with a fiddle and sheet music titled "Ça ira." On the left, occupying more than half the image, is the panorama of justice and retribution that awaits Paine, with gallows, three judges holding scrolls of punishments, charges, and pleas, heavenly beams of light, the scales of justice, and a scroll reading "The Scourge inexorable, and the tort'ring hour awaits thee." Paine is draped in various pieces of literature reading: "The golden age, or the age of equalizing the property of princes and pikemen;" "The rights of farthing candles, proving their equality with the sun and moon and the necessity of a reform to the planetary system;" and "Common Sense, or convincing reasons for Britons loving sans-culottes."
  • Ex copy: Forms part of: The Sid Lapidus '59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution.
Source acquisition:
Ex copy: Gift, Sidney Lapidus, Princeton Class of 1959, 2010.
Paine, Thomas, 1737-1809Caricatures and cartoons [Browse]
Other views:
Staff view