Mr.Choppart takes his son in one hand, and with his other hand the cane (used for loading a musket), made from flexible and supple whalebone. A colleague suggested, “Mr Choppart grabbed his son with one hand, and with the other the rod of his gun, as flexible and cutting (or biting) as a whalebone.”
The French text nearest this delightful engraving is:
The picture shows a man holding a boy by his ear and brandishing a cane; the boy looks very unhappy. Please don’t try this at home – there are laws against corporal punishment for boys and girls!