- Museum number
- Object: England and France Contrasted
Companion designs on one plate placed side by side.  Harvest rejoicings outside a village inn. A young man, in shirtsleeves, with a sickle thrust through his belt, dances with a young gleaner who holds corn in her apron. Beside them is the sign of the inn, a wheat-sheaf tied to the upright post. An older man dances, facing him, holding up a frothing jug in one hand, a glass in the other. An old man in the foreground (right), seated on a low stool, plays the pipe and tabor, a little girl leaning against his shoulder. Beside him are a frothing beer jug, rake, and pitch-forks. Behind is the door of the inn, in which is the landlord, bringing out two frothing jugs to harvesters at a table beside the door: a couple kiss, two men have tankards. In the background is a barn, a cart laden with sheaves, and in the distance (left) the sea with ships in full sail.
 A scene in Paris, in front of the high doorway of a building, over which is a (broken) escutcheon with fleurs-de-lis and a crown. From a projecting lamp-bracket hang a man and woman, back to back, an infant hanging from the woman's neck. On it sits a man playing a fiddle as in BMSat 8300, but reversed, and wearing a cocked hat in place of a cap. A ragged sansculotte with an evil smile seizes a despairing woman whom he has dragged from the building. An old aristocrat kneels on one knee (left), holding out a purse towards the ravisher, regardless of a man who stands over him with dagger raised to strike. A monk kneels with clasped hands, a stout virago raises a chalice to smite him; in a pocket in her ragged petticoat are two daggers. A man holds a crucifix with which he is about to brain the monk. Two men carry plunder from the building. Behind (right) is a mob with pikes and in the distance a large domed church is on fire (as in BMSat 8300). In the foreground (right) lie the naked bodies of two infants (unfinished) impaled on a spit. An axe and dagger also lie on the cobbles.
The design of the lamp-bracket with its corpses and its fiddler has been altered and used (in reverse) in BMSat 8300, probably after this (unfinished) plate had been discarded. The scene appears to be that of BMSat 8300, viewed from the street level and without the guillotine. For similar contrasts between England and France, cf. BMSat 8284, &c. 1793
Etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 332 millimetres
Width: 490 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
Adaptations of both designs were published by G. Humphrey, 25 Mar. 1822, as 'Lawful Liberty' and 'Lawless Liberty' ('Caricatures', vii. 190, 191).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1989 May-Sep, BM, Shadow of the Guillotine: Britain and French Revolution
1990 Jan-Mar, Manchester, Whitworth AG, Britain and French Revolution
1990 Jun-Sep, Vizille, Mus Rev/Francaise, Britain and French Revolution
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number