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- Object: A Bear and his Leader.
Grenville (r.) displays a dancing bear with the head of Fox enclosed in a muzzle. He holds a chain attached to the muzzle and a long heavy staff: 'Cudgel for Disobedient Bears'. The bear obediently and clumsily repeats the dancing-step of his master; he holds in both paws his bonnet rouge trimmed with tricolour, and tramples upon two torn and discarded songs: 'Caira, Ca . . .' [see BMSat 9735] and 'A Begging we will go' [an allusion to the subscription raised for Fox in 1793 [This is confirmed by Lord Holland.]: see BMSat 8331, &c., and cf. BMSat 9885]. The bear and Grenville face each other in profile; the latter is neatly dressed, wearing top-boots with round hat and bag-wig. In his pocket is a book: 'Rewards for Obedient Bears'. He says: "dont be afraid of my Bear, Ladies & Gentlemen! \ "I have tamed & muzzled tarn, & reformed his Habits." The rest of the troupe is on the left, behind the bear's back. An ape with the head of Lord Henry Petty, and wearing the gown of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, capers in time, clasping the bear's stump of tail, and holding up, with a delighted grin, a fool's cap trimmed with bells. The music is provided by Sidmouth, a ragged fiddler, with a patch over eye. He stands on the pavement, his head in profile to the right., wearing cocked hat, bag-wig, and Windsor uniform, with tattered breeches, and a foot projecting through a remnant of boot. His r. knee rests on a wooden leg or stump. He plays 'God save the King' [as a protégé of George III]; from his the pocket hangs a paper: 'Pray remember your poor and Old Blind-Fiddler'. On the wall behind him are three bills: (1) 'Pro Bono Publico - Superbly fine Exhibition, at the Bear Garden, Broad-bottom'd Alley. - Orpheus Charming the Brutes, with a Grand Accompaniment by Dr Sangrado [Sidmouth]'. (2) 'in the Press. - Pease Soup or Bruins Delight - a Ballad [cf. BMSat 9848]'. (3) 'Bubble & Squeak, a Duet.' After the title: ' - "what tho' I am Obligated to Dance a Bear a Man may be a Gentleman for all that, - My Bear ever dances to the Genteebtt of Tunes" - [Goldsmith, 'She Stoops to Conquer'].' 19 May 1806
Hand-coloured etching, alightyl aquatinted
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
Fox was virtual head of the Coalition Ministry under the nominal leader ship of Grenville, and was conducting peace negotiations with France see BMSat 10549, &c. It was the 'Broad Bottom' Ministry, see BMSat 10530. Bubble and Squeak were nicknames for Sir Watkin and Charles Williams Wynn Grenville's nephews, the latter having a squeaky voice; cf. BMSat 10540.
Grego, 'Gillray', p. 333. Wright and Evans, No. 317. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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