The Impostor Unmasked; or The New Man of the People

new-man3Richard Brinsley Sheridan [above] says: “Gentlemen – I am proud on this occasion to pay you my respects – I will bring in a bill of rights – I will give your oppressors a ‘Check.”

The electors shout: “You know your Checks are worth nothing.”

Princeton is the only library in OCLC with a recorded copy of this thin volume with a folding frontispiece: The Imposter Unmasked; or, The New Man of the People; with anecdotes, never before published … inscribed, without permission, to that superlatively honest and disinterested man, R.B.S-R-D-N, esq. … (London: Tipper and Richards, 1806). Hand colored frontispiece by Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811). Graphic Arts Collection Cruik 1806 Isaac

The scene is described by Dorothy George: “The Westminster election mob is seen from the hustings, where Sheridan, isolated from a group of supporters, is speaking. He tramples on a paper inscribed ‘Electors of Stafford’. From his pocket hangs a ‘List of Promisses’. A dog with a human head (Lord Percy), his collar inscribed ‘True Northumberland breed’, befouls his leg. A poll-clerk sits by an open poll-book but no one is voting.”

new-man6Thomas Rowlandson designed a satirical print a year or two earlier entitled “Ride to Rumford. Let the Gall’d Jade winch,” which may have inspired the title page quote here.