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Updated: 14 April 2015
A Levee Day.
- A Levee Day.
Plate from the 'Meteor', p. 315. The Regent, registering physical and mental distress, with eyes almost closed, sprawls in his chair, one inflated gouty foot on a cushion, while he is approached from left and right on national and personal affairs respectively. He wears a dressing-gown over his bulging waistcoat and a night-cap which a tiny McMahon adjusts, saying, "Oh! by the Powers my Honey you must not go & leave all these good things behind you." From the Prince's forehead a malignant little demon springs up, extending feet and talons, while his barbed tail is against the cap; he is surrounded by a cloud inscribed 'Va pou rs'. Across the invalid's paunch straddles a hideous bloated imp inscribed 'Dropsy', raising a glass and shouting: "Punch cures the Gout the Colic & the Phthisic [see No. 9449]." Three demons fiercely assail the gouty foot with jaws, talons, barbed spear, and barbed tail (in evident imitation of Gillray's 'The Gout', No. 9448). At the Regent's right hand stands Lady Hertford, weeping, wearing a coronet like a spiky crown; she holds out a rectangular tureen of soup, saying, "Come Deary take a little of my Turtle Soup." On his left stands Lord Yarmouth, touching his arm, and holding out an open book: The 'Meteor N° 3', showing a plate from No. 5: No. 12210. He says: "Accept my Prince a correct account of my Travels in Holland which cannot fail but afford you considerable information & amusement." Next the Regent, and between himself and Yarmouth, is a round close-stool, inscribed 'G P R' with a tasselled lid on which stands a crown. The Prince's right foot rests on an open number of the 'Meteor', showing the plate 'Belvoir Frolic's or Punch's Christening' [No. 12181]. The chair is not on a dais, but on a fringed rug, and is backed by hangings.
On the left Liverpool hurries forward, with both hands extended, followed by Sidmouth who brings in a canvas, on which are two caricatures divided by a horizontal line. Liverpool exclaims: "Dispatches from Lord Wellington ye defeat of Soult!!! Bourdeaux in our possession!!! Bounaparte defeated by Blucher!!!" In his pocket is a document: 'To Lord Liverpool'. Sidmouth says: "I beg leave to lay before My Prince a Correct account of the Opposition Hoax upon the Stock Exchange which I pronounce to be as alarming in its proposed consequences as ye famous Gunpowder Plot in the Days of James." In the upper caricature a post-chaise with four galloping horses and two postilions approaches a house inscribed 'Green Street' [Cochrane's house]. An officer (de Beranger) waving an olive-branch leans out: the chaise flies a flag: 'Death of Buonaparte'. Below, the foremost of a group of four men holds up the mirror of Truth, directing its rays upon a cask on which stands a cock wearing a cocked hat on a pair of sailor's trousers, with a sabre hanging from the waist (Lord Cochrane); it says "Cockadoodel." An officer (de Beranger) with immense moustaches reclines against the cask, struck down by Truth's rays. Behind the cask is a second cock (Cochrane Johnstone), on the ground are papers inscribed 'Omnium'. The men are 'Ye Sub. Committee'.
On the right behind Yarmouth, a grotesque tailor advances; he says: "I hope your Highness's Breeches sit easy I trust the padings are rightly placed." Under his arm are three bulky dossiers: 'Instructions for the Coat NB the collar as before'; 'further instructions'; 'instructions for ye Breeches'. Two long streamers hang from his pocket, both inscribed 'unpaid Bills'. Close behind is a man holding up a wig-block on which is the Prince's wig; he says: "Your Royal Highness's Wig which I confidently present as the best in Christendom." Behind and on the extreme right stands the Recorder (John Silvester) in wig and gown. He points at the tailor and barber, saying, "I must wait till these weighty matters are settled." He holds a bag inscribed 'Black Jacks Black Bag'. From it project papers inscribed '10 for Ste . . . g Cheese'; '100 for Stealing Bread'; '50 for Stealing meat'. He is bringing to the Regent the list of persons condemned to death, to arrange who are to be reprieved and who executed, and on which the Regent's decisions were notoriously dilatory.
1 April 1814.
- Published in: London
- (Europe,British Isles,England,London)
- Height: 198 millimetres
- Width: 477 millimetres
Inscription ContentLettered with title, text within image, artist's name and publication line 'G. Cruikshank fect/ Pubd April 1st 1814 for the Meteor.'
(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A cruel satire on the Regent in which the Hertford family are again in favour (cf. No. 12173). For the Stock Exchange fraud by which Omnium and other stocks rose sharply on false news of victory and Napoleon's death, see No. 12209, &c. The news brought in by Lord Liverpool, though true as regards Wellington, is probably intended to be misleading as regards the defeat of Napoleon by Blücher: the news of his defeat at Arcis-sur-Aube, cf. No. 12206, did not reach London till 2 Apr., when its significance was not understood, and there were reports that the Austrian Army was in a dangerous position, see 'Examiner', 3 Apr. The first direct reference to the savage penal code which Romilly had long been attempting to reform; the Recorder was a notoriously severe judge.
Reid, No. 312. Cohn, No. 553.
British XIXc Unmounted Roy
- Associated with: Francis Charles Seymour Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford
- Associated with: Right Hon Sir John McMahon
- Associated with: De Berenger
- Associated with: Sir John Silvester
- Associated with: George IV, King of the United Kingdom
- Associated with: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
- Associated with: Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult
- Associated with: Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth
- Associated with: Napoléon I, Emperor of the French
- Associated with: Isabella Anne Ingram Shepherd, 2nd Marchioness of Hertford
- Associated with: Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher
- Associated with: Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (known as Lord Cochrane)
- Associated with: Hon Andrew James Cochrane-Johnston
- Associated with: Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Prints & Drawings
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Object reference number: PPA148450
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