It depicts Lord North holding scales – labelled 1720 and 1772 – and despite him laying on documents – such as the “reduction in navy” and “suspension of supervision” [East India Company] – the national credit in 1772 is shown as still worse than at the time of the South Sea Scheme in 1720.
Brittania, seated on the left, proclaims that “An Able Minister would Balance it” and her foot points to “Hayes” and “Stowe” on a map of England implying that such more able ministers might be found in William Pitt (Hayes) and Earl Temple (Stowe).
Meanwhile George III leans out of a window lowering a begging box from a fishing-rod – the box is inscribed “Date Obolum Belisario” [“Give a farthing to Bellisarius”] which may alludes to a print – The Colonies Reduced – of 1767 which shows “Britannia, as the Roman general Belisarius, dismembered, her torso leaning against a globe with a banner “Date Obolum Belli Sario” or to van Dyck’s engraving Date Obolum Belisario.
In George’s left hand he holds a paper inscribed “Arrears of Civil List” – implying his penury is not his fault but the governments.
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