Print, The Colossus of the North; or The Striding Boreas.

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  • London, England
  • 1774
  • Black and White Line Engraving
  • 1960-50

The lower margin reads: "See our Colossus strides with Trophies crown'd,/ And Monsters in Corruption's Stream abound."

This print was published in the London Magazine. Lord North is pictured as a Colossus to depict overwhelming political power. With his feet firmly planted on two raised blocks labeled "Tyranny" and "Venality, North straddles a stream in which members of Parliament swim. In his left hand North holds a burning torch, America, and in his right schemes to raise funds for the impoverished British exchequer. The reference in the title to Boreas, god of the north wind, further symbolizes the political power that North has acquired in the pre-Revolutionary period.

Wilkes, recently elected lord mayor of London, and Britannia stand on the far side to the stream. Britannia holds a banner protesting that those who should preserve her are actually destroying her. As suggested in the subtitle, with his broom Wilkes tries to stem the flow of monsters (members of Parliament) who are easily swept along in the stream of Corruption.

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