Heading to a printed broadside. Sir William Curtis, dressed as in No. 11353, steps from a Thames wherry which a man is punting towards the shore, into the arms of Castlereagh who is splashing through the water to meet him. Their noses touch, that of Castlereagh very aquiline, that of Curtis grotesquely carbuncled. In the boat (right) is a pile of hampers, labelled 'Empty Bottles', one of which spills its contents into the water. Curtis clasps a paper: 'Return of empty Bottles'. In the background (left) are wherries and warehouses of the Thames below Bridge; in the river is Curtis's yacht, with the sails being lowered; she flies the flag (reversed) of the City of London. The verses: I. Ring out!—ring out!—renown'd Bow Bells! and eke St. Bride's so merry, Fill high your sparkling Glasses, Cits, with claret, port, and sherry; At Stock-Exchange, at Bank, at Lloyds, your bus'ness now adjourn, To celebrate with Wine and Song Sir William's safe return. II. Again with dainty Viands let the groaning table smoke, Whilst you with laughter hold your sides as William cracks the joke; How Flushing lost some men from what you never would suppose— The terror the Mynheers felt at his Aldermanic Nose. III. Some said 'twas Elliot's red hot ball [see No. 6035], and that 'twould be the lot, That their broad heavy bottoms, Sirs, should soon be brought to pot; In fear they cried, "We'll fight no more, so great indeed our loss is;" But what they thought a red hot ball, was William's red 'Proboscis'. IV. But this deceit soon cost the Knight a heavy cannonade, Which made poor William think to fly, for he was sore afraid, A Dutchman from the heights then cried, as sail'd his yacht away, "A 'Cur 'tis' that hath soon turn'd tail! and quickly runs away." v. Sure none like Castlereagh rejoic'd to see him safe again; "My dear fat Knight!" aloud he cried, "Why did you trust the main? "Whitbread, that Wight who always did, and still sticks to my coat, "I'd rather far was hang'd or drown'd, than lose my William's 'Vote'. VI. "Thine ear then, William, never lend that Patriotic band, "The Loaves and Fishes 'tis they want, whilst we might famish'd stand; "Each contract I'll take care is thine that most brings in the money, "And thou shalt live amidst a land that flows with Milk and Honey." VII. Then ring!—ring out!—renown'd Bow Bells! and eke St. Bride's so merry, Fill high your sparkling Bumpers, Cits, with Claret, Port, and Sherry; Let Turtle, Venison, Fish, and Fowl, your smoaking boards adorn, Our 'Corporation' need be fed on William's safe return. 4 September 1809 Hand-coloured etching with letterpress text
© The Trustees of the British Museum
Using this image
To license images for charged-for journals and publications, and other commercial uses, please contact British Museum Images.
Contact BM images
The image will be released to you under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license. You can read more about the British Museum and Creative Commons here.
Download this image
If you cannot see an image that you want on the British Museum website, you can order new photography from us.
Order new image