Print, The LOSS of EDEN,! - AND EDEN,! LOST.
The lower margin reads: London Printed & Published, 21 Dec. 1785 by W. Hinton N.o 5 Sweetings Alley Royal Exchange./ Two PATRIOTS (in the self same (Age was Born.)/ And both alike have gain'd the Public scorn,/ This to America did much pretend./ The other was to Ireland a Friend./ Yet SWORD or ORATORY, would not do,/ As each had different Plans in Veiw [sic],/ AMERICA lost! ARNOLD & Alass!/ To loose our EDEN now is come to pass."
William Eden had a proclivity to alter his political thinking to correspond to popular opinion. Rowlandson comments on one such change that suggested similarities to Benedict Arnold's treasonous actions during the Revolution. This was not the first time that Eden had come under satiric attack. Having held a number of official positions and having been highly successful in solving the Irish economic problems, Eden chose to leave the government, in opposition to many policies. When William Pitt, the younger, needed a qualified minister to negotiate an important but highly controversial commercial treaty with France, he solicited Eden's aid. Eden's former associates immediately criticized his capitulation to the "enemy", and Rowlandson was provided material for his satire.
Holding a pen in one hand and a paper inscribed "liberty" in the other, Eden approaches Arnold, who, sword outstretched behind him, is saying "liberty". From his coat Eden trails papers labeled "commissn to America: (lb symbol) 6,000 pr Annum" and "Commercl Negotiator to France". The subtitle notes, "NB every Man has his Price Sr Robt Walpole's Politicks" and the verse in the lower margin comments on the comparison of Eden and Arnold.