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James Gillray, 1756–1815
Evidence to Character; - being a Portrait of a Traitor, by his Friends & by Himself
Materials & Techniques:
Etching with hand coloring in watercolor

Lettered in image: "He favour an Invasion of his Country by the French? - no! no! - quite the contrary! - I know his Character | I consider him attached to constitutional principles, in the Same way as myself | His friends, are all MY friends! and I therefore, feel MYSELF intitled upon MY Oath, to say, that he is incapable, in MY judgement, of acting with treachery, & upon MY oath, I never had any reason to think that his principles differed from MY own so help ME god | I know him intimately; - I treated him, & he treated me, with Confidence! - & I Swear, that, I never met with any man, so determined against encouraging French Assistance | I swear that he is perfectly well affected to his Country, - a Man totally without dissimulation - i know his principles are the principles of the Constitution | I confess that I became an United Irishman in 1796. | & a Member of the National Executive, from 1796 to 1798. | I knew the offer of French assitance was accepted at a meeting | of the Executive in Summer 1796: I accompanied the Agent of the Executive (the late Lord Edward Fitzgerald) through Hamburgh | to Switzerland, had an interview with General Hoche (who af- | terwards had the command of the Expedition against | Ireland, on which occasion every thing was settled be- | tween the parties | with a view to | the descent. | I knew that in 1797 | a Fleet lay in ye Texet(?) | with 15000 Troops | destined for Ireland. | I knew of the loan | negociating with | France for | Half a | Million | for the | new | Irish | Govern- | ment."; lettered below image: "Evidence to Character! - being a Portrait of a TRAITOR, by his Friends & by Himself. | Oct'r 1, 1798."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
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