- Museum number
- Object: Alecto and her train, at the gate of Pandaemonium:-or-The recruiting sarjeant enlisting John-Bull, into the Revolution Service.
Alecto, a fantastic hag (as in BMSat 7721), stands outside the Crown and Anchor tavern between a diminutive Sheridan (left), playing a fife, and Fox (right), a burly drummer, both wearing regimentals. She towers above them, holding a long pike surmounted by a cap of 'Liberty' and holding out to John Bull, a yokel (as in BMSat 8141), a handful of 'Assignats'. Hissing serpents form her hair and serpents suck at the pendent breasts which her ragged garments do not cover. She has webbed wings, and wears a French cocked hat with a tricolour cockade inscribed 'Liberty'. She says: "Come on my brave Lad, take this bounty-money, & enter into my Company of Gentlemen Volunteers enlisted in the cause of Liberty - I'll find you present pay and free quarters, & I'll lead you where you shall fill your knapsack with Plunder; - nay Man, never talk about your old Master the Farmer, I'll find you Hundreds of Masters as good as he; Zounds I'll make you one of the Masters of England yourself: - come on, I say, here's riches for you, - come on; the glorious 14th of July is approaching, when Monarchs are to be crush'd like maggots, & brave men like yourself are to be put in their places - here hold your hand, enter boldly in the cause of Freedom, & cry Huzza - Vive la Nation! Huzza". John Bull stands on the left, scratching his head with a puzzled grin; he wears a smock and very wrinkled gaiters; his hat and a pitchfork are in his left hand. He answers: "Wounds, Measter Sarjeant, an I should enter into your sarvice, what'll Varmer-George say to I, for leaving of 'en without warning? - and yet I is half in love with the sound of your drum; & wishes to leave off Ploughing & dunging, & wear one of your vine cockades, & be a French Gentleman; - & yet, dangs it, it goes against ones heart to leave the Varmer; - ah Varmer George has been a rare good Measter to I! - but, am I to have all them fine paper Moneys - but to leave my old Measter! Ah me! I dozes'nt know what to do, not I!"
Sheridan stands between Alecto and John Bull; from his fife issues a label inscribed:
''Tho' I am but a very silly Lad
Yet as Piping Men cannot be had,
For want of a better I may do,
To give you a tune with my too, too, too,
my too-too too &c &c.'
Fox is much larger than Sheridan, both wear French Grenadier's caps. On his drum is the head of a Medusa (Discord) with snaky locks. He smiles, watching John Bull with a stare of eager calculation, saying:
"Then come, my Lad, our glory share,
Let your honest heart, British Valour crown,
At Freedom's call to our Standard repair,
And follow the beat of my tow, row, row -
my row, row, row - &c &c."
Behind him and on the extreme right. Stanhope runs off to the right, stooping as if to conceal himself; in his right hand is a letter: 'To Lord Stanhop[e] from W. Pitt.' He says: "Ah this damn'd threat'ning caution from my brother in law Billy, has put me into a terrible funk; - I must be off & leave the Black-Sarjeant to muster up recruits without me: - well if the recruits should grow riotous, & do any mischief I cannot be blamed: - thank Heav'n I have scratched my name out of his muster Book: but however it is best to be off, before the review - oh zounds! I'm in a terrible funk - a damn'd funk indeed."
The door of the Crown & Anchor Tavern is immediately behind Fox and Alecto. From it issue flames and smoke in which imps and demons are flying. 4 July 1791
- Production date
Height: 398 millimetres
Width: 453 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A satire on the radicals who were admirers of the French Revolution and especially on the Revolution Society (founded to celebrate the English Revolution of 1688). Stanhope resigned his membership on 12 Aug., 1790, but lost none of his enthusiasm for the French Revolution; see G. Stanhope and G. P. Gooch, 'Life of Charles, third Earl Stanhope', 97 f. The dinners celebrating the anniversary of the taking of the Bastille ['The fourteenth of July being the Anniversary of the late glorious Revolution in France . . . the Friends of Liberty in England are invited to celebrate [it] . . . Tickets 7s 6d. each.' Press cutting from 'The Diary', 14 July 1791.] were held at the Crown and Anchor in the Strand. Neither Fox, Sheridan, nor Stanhope attended the dinner on 14 July 1791, their absence being not improbably due to this and similar prints and to the newspaper attacks on the forthcoming celebration; see Laprade, 'England and the French Revolution', 1909, 40-2. The landlord refused to allow the dinner of 4 Aug. 1791 to celebrate the second anniversary of the abolition of feudal privileges in France to be held at his tavern. For Stanhope and the Revolution Society see BMSats 7629, 7639, 7824, 7895. For the dinner see BMSats 7890, 7892. For Fox as a friend of the French Revolution cf. BMSat 8142, &c.
Grego, 'Gillray', 130. Wright and Evans, No. 56.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number