The Old Print Shop

Between Two Stools My B____ Comes to the Ground.

  • ARTIST: William Charles

  • MEDIUM: Copper plate engraving

    DATE: c.1809.

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 12 3/4 x 8 13/16" (32.4 x 22.3 cm)

  • DESCRIPTION: Wm. Charles del et Sculp.<br><br> A rare and unusual William Charles caricature depicting the predicament of Thomas Paine at the end of his life, having alienated the public with his attacks on Christianity and various American leaders, including George Washington.<br><br> Paine is shown here having fallen on his keister after failing to find a firm seat on either of two stools, one labeled "Secy. of the State" and the other labeled "Govr. of the State." An old woman sticks her head in a window above him yelling "I say-- you below there-- this is the 'Crisis'!!, punning on The American Crisis, the title of the series of pamphlets he published during the Revolutionary War. Paine replies “It is indeed a most unfortunate ‘Crisis’!!! But since I cannot be Aisey I must be as Aisey as I can_I wish I had let this letter writing alone_I have got no thanks from any party.”

  • ADDITIONAL INFO: Faint ink stamp on verso: “Montgomery County Historical Hall, Norristown, Pa.” Deaccessioned and sold at auction. Ink accession stamp at top edge of verso.

  • CONDITION: Good condition. Original hand coloring.