THE CHRISTMAS TALE, a poetical Address and Remonstrance to the…

~ THE CHRISTMAS TALE, a poetical Address and Remonstrance to the young Ministry... London: Printed for R. Faulder... 1784.

4to (240 × 190 mm), pp. [4], 27, [1]; complete with half-title; with a quotation from Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2 to the title; uncut, disbound.

Sole edition, scarce: ESTC locates 9 copies only (BL, Bodley, Harvard, NYPL, Library of Congress, Kansas, Yale, Monash, Pretoria State Library).

Pitt became Britain’s youngest Prime Minister in December 1783. This poem, dated New Year’s Day 1784, criticises the new ‘mince-pie’ administration, as it was known and which, it had been predicted, would not last the Christmas season. ‘What is the state of England all this time? / I answer, in one word—a pantomime— / A speaking pantomime—where nothing’s meant, / No business, but a deal of incident... For bus’ness while we look in vain from each, / No one gets farther than an empty speech... Nothing does either party think about, / But how to drive the other party out...’ (p. 25). In the event, Pitt survived for 17 years. Jackson, p. 105.

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