The children of India worshiping the golden calf

“Indian men and women kneel before a large rectangular pedestal on which stands a golden calf with the head of Hastings. Three Indians lie on the pedestal at Hastings’s feet, making gestures of despair and entreaty. From his mouth protrudes a sword (left) inscribed ‘The Brand of Devastation’. On his back sits Wilkes facing the tail (right) which he lifts with one hand; in the other is the cap of ‘Liberty’ in which he catches large jewels excreted by the Golden Calf. He wears a livery gown and says: “Who would not wipe a Calf’s Backside, To gain the Sparks of Eastern Pride”. At the Calf’s feet lie a crown, sceptre, and orb, with (?) scimitars. On the ground and on the extreme left a well-dressed man stands before an altar holding a knife which drips blood over the altar; he says, pointing to an Indian who lies at his feet, stabbed through the heart: ‘When British Judges rule the Coast, The Natives must obey, No palliative means we boast, By G——you die or pay’. In the foreground (right) stand Thurlow and a military officer. The Chancellor, who wears his wig and robe, is blindfolded; in his right hand he holds erect the ‘Sword of Justice’, which is being taken from him by the officer who holds a diamond against the blade. In Thurlow’s left hand is a bag inscribed ‘Gold Moors’; he says: “Which Powerful God my wavering mind controuls, And my Sage Brows with Golden bands infolds, ‘Tis Mammons self I can be Just no more, Take thou the Sword give me the Golden Store”. The officer, who wears a wallet or haversack inscribed ‘Diamonds’, says: “So shall we Triumph while the Diamond’s smile, Can melt the Soul and Justice’s beguile.” Three Indians who kneel in the foreground below the pedestal of the Golden Calf are offering money (a bag inscribed ‘Gold Moors’) and jewel-boxes to Hastings.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Title:¬†The children of India worshiping the golden calf [graphic] : this be thy God O India! who has brought thee to the verge of destruction.
  • Publication:[ London] : Publish’d May 15, 1788, by J. Berry, No. 129 Oxford Road, [15 May 1788]

Catalog Record 

Drawer 788.05.15.01

Acquired October 2017

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