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This drawing was made whilst Rowlandson was working on a print satirising George III and his Poet Laureate, Joseph Warton. Warton's New Year Ode for 1787 was lampooned in Peter Pindar's poem Ode upon Ode.

On the right is the masked figure of the clown, Harlequin. He has whacked the rump of the winged horse, Pegasus, a traditional emblem of poetic flight. The King falls backwards from his saddle, his hands in the air, while his hapless poet falls to the ground.

September 2004