- Museum number
- Object: The Corsican-pest:-or-Belzebub going to supper.
The Devil, seated with his back to a dinner-table made of a butcher's block, roasts Napoleon on a pitchfork in the flames of Hell; excrement falls into a dish below. Attendant demons act as cooks. The Devil is obese and hairy with barbed tail, webbed wings, and carbuncled nose emitting flames. He wears a bonnet rouge in the form of a fool's cap, with tricolour cockade and scarf. The back of his ornate chair is a guillotine; beneath it is a pile of skulls over which is a tricolour ribbon inscribed 'Robespiere Marat'. A tricolour table-cloth only partly hides the dripping butcher's block. On it are a carving-knife, the blade inscribed 'Taleyrand', and fork; a chalice inscribed 'Atheism' and 'Cup of French Faith'; a salt-cellar, the salt spilled, inscribed 'Sal Infernal'. Beside it stands an ornate wine-cooler inscribed 'Favourite French Wines of the Consular Vintage'; bottles are labelled 'Sang des Suisse[s]', 'Sang des Anglais', 'Sang des Holland[ais]'. Near it lies a ballad: 'Invasion of Great Britain a Catch to be performed after Supper with a full Chorus of his Highness's Band'. Two demon attendants on the extreme right., partly concealed by the r. margin, enter with a steaming tureen of 'Crocodile Soup' [see BMSat 11057] and a sauce-boat of 'Mahomedan Gravy.'
A little wingless female demon sits on a sack of 'Fuel for Everlasting Flames', plying bellows. Papers pour from the sack and others are already burning: 'Poisoning 580 wounded French soldiers' [see BMSat 10063], 'Massacre of 3800 Turks at Jaffa' [see BMSat 10062], 'Murdering 1500 Women at Toulon' [see BMSat 10095, &c.], 'Assassination of captive Swiss', 'Destruction of St Domingo' [cf. BMSat 10090], 'Fire', 'Swo[rd]', 'extermination', 'Murder', 'Treachery', 'Blasphemy', 'Blood', 'Breach of Faith', 'Cruelty', 'Envy', 'Perjury', 'Ingratitude', 'Devestation', 'Avarice'. There are three other demon cooks, winged, wearing bonnets rouges and aprons: each holds his nose. One flying above Bonaparte bastes him with a ladle-full of Brimstone. The others (l.) hold ready for the fire a pan of vipers and three skewered frogs. Across a vault up which the flames ascend is a beam inscribed 'L'Armée D'Angletarre' [sic] from which are suspended by the neck simian creatures wearing French military coats. Winged monsters dart towards Napoleon. Below the title, in two columns, verses are etched, attributed ('Illustrative Description', 1830) to Paul Sandby. The 2nd of eight verses (printed in full by Grego):
'When these Gallic Foisters, [Cheat, pickpocket, a cant term current in the 16th and 17th centuries. Partridge, Dict. of Slang.'] gape wide for our Oisters,
Old Neptune will rise up with Glee,
Souse and Pickle them quick, to be sent to Old Nick,
As a Treat from the God of the Sea, - Tol de rol.'
The verses are coarse invective and contain none of the detailed allegation of the print. 6 October 1803
- Production date
Height: 403 millimetres
Width: 328 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
An invasion print, see BMSat 10008, and one of a long succession of 'atrocity' satires, cf. BMSat 10062. Cobbett writes, 12 Nov. 1803: 'the same window, nay the same pane of glass, which, a few months ago, discovered him shaking hands with our king, while the French and English flags united waved over their heads, that very identical pane of glass now shows the Consul, no longer in company with King George III, but with the Devil, who has the little hero upon a toasting fork, writhing before the flames of hell!' 'Cobbett's Ann. Reg.' iv. 712 (cf. (e.g.) BMSat 10047). See BMSat 10108.
Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 303-4. Wright and Evans, No. 285. Broadley, i. 200 f. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830. Reproduced (with verses), Grand-Carteret, 'Napoléon'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 Feb-Aug, BM, Rm 90, Bonaparte and the British
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number