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A Levee Day.

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1868,0808.12768

  • Title (object)

    • A Levee Day.
  • Description

    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.
    Hand-coloured etching.

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1814
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 198 millimetres
    • Width: 477 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title, text within image, artist's name and publication line 'G. Cruikshank fect/ Pubd April 1st 1814 for the Meteor.'
  • Curator's comments

    (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.

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  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 12208 bibliographic details
    • Reid 312 bibliographic details
    • Cohn 556 bibliographic details
  • Location

    British XIXc Unmounted Roy

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1868

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1868,0808.12768

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 April 1814.
Hand-coloured etching.

Recto

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 April 1814. Hand-coloured etching.

Image description

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