The triumph of truth, or, The ghost of Diogenes

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“Diogenes stands in the House of Commons between the two front benches; both arms are thrown out towards Burdett with a dramatic gesture; in one hand is his lantern, illuminating the patriot at close range; small clouds at his feet indicate that he is a ghost. He turns his head to look steadily at three members on the front Ministerial bench (left), saying: “An Honest Man is the noblest work of God” [Pope, ‘Essay on Man’, quoted by Burns, cf. British Museum Satires No. 11562]. The three culprits (unrecognizable) register shame and terror, their hair standing on end. Burdett stands by the front bench (right) on which is his hat, displaying to the frightened Ministers (one intended for Perceval) a document headed ‘Magna Charta–Pro Rege, lege, grege’ [see British Museum Satires No. 11547]. Except for one member on the front bench, those behind Burdett stand, five being depicted, three of whom wave their hats. All the occupants of the gallery wave still more emphatically. In the background and on the left is the Speaker’s Chair; the diminutive Abbot, author of the famous Warrant, see British Museum Satires No. 11545, &c., holds up a hand in astonished alarm. Burdett was in the Tower during May, see British Museum Satires No. 11558. ‘Hair on end’ is an allusion to Lethbridge, see British Museum Satires No. 11538.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The triumph of truth, or, The ghost of Diogenes, more hair on end [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. May 1810 by T. Tegg, 111 Cheapside, [May 1810]

Catalog Record


Acquired March 2021

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