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This is Gravelot's drawing for an engraving published in 1741, satirising the General Election. The principal figure is the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole. He is carried across a stinking quagmire by his
political allies.


To the left are MPs who have voted for an excise scheme. They have waded through the mire, and are now trying to clean themselves. In the background, to the right, two politicians are busy canvassing electors. One offers a cap of liberty, while the other bribes them with money stolen from the pocket of Britannia, who stands beside him weeping.


September 2004