- Museum number
- Object: John Bull humbugg'd alias both-ear'd
Three half length figures: George III (John Bull) between Fox. (left) and Pitt (right), both addressing him through the horns used by news-boys for crying their wares. The King, goggling with dismay, stands in profile to the right, facing Pitt, who grasps in his right hand a paper inscribed 'True Britton', saying, "Great News arriv d from France, Paris taken and more Cannon, Cartridge, Balls, Bombs & Assignats, than they can find room for, also 100,000 Skelletons of Sans Culotts, Carmignoles &c &c ready Dried for the Surgeons!! - NB will prevent the Robbing of Church Yards, & to be Sold remarkably cheap - too - too - too - Rare News for Old England!!!" Fox, in ragged coat and bonnet-rouge, holds under his arm a sheaf of the 'Chronicle'. He tootles into the King's ear the words: "Horrid Bloody News just arrived from France the Combin'd Armies after a Severe Engagement were all Cut into Cabbage for the National Convention!! ! too - too - too." The King, who wears the Windsor uniform with a broad-brimmed hat and holds a riding-whip, exclaims: "What - what - what Cabbage and Carmignoles Frederick killd he Frederick." Fox has the expression of a conspiratorial scaremonger, Pitt is blandly reassuring. 12 May 1794.
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 398 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
Cf. BMSat 8425. The Duke of York defeated the French in the cavalry action of Willems on 10 May, but was left in great numerical inferiority to the French, pending the battle of Turcoing 18 May, when the English and Austrian armies were defeated in detail before they could form a junction. Fortescue, 'Hist. of the British Army', iv. 248 ff.
The 'True Briton' was a Ministerial (cf. BMSat 8981), the 'Morning Chronicle' an Opposition paper, cf. BMSat 9240. The title probably derives from 'John Bull bother'd', BMSat 8141. Grose, 'Dict. Vulgar Tongue', gives 'Bothered or Both-eared, Talked to at both ears by different persons at the same time, confounded, confused. Irish phrase'. Bother had also the meaning of blarney or humbug, both verb and noun; the earliest instance in the 'O.E.D.' is 1803, but cf. BMSat 8385. For Fox as news-boy, cf. BMSat 8981.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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