- Museum number
- Object: Hell broke loose, or the John Bulls made Jack Asses-
A fantastic scene just outside Paris which is represented in the background by a high gate or triumphal arch (the Arc de Triomphe) inscribed 'Paris'; this is surmounted by a guillotine and bonnet rouge, flanked by axes and heads on poles, and surrounded by carrion birds. There are also high gibbets each with ladder and dangling noose. Outside the city (right) is a hill, 'Mons Marte' [Montmartre], on the summit of which stands Napoleon, leading French soldiers in close formation, with flags and bayonets. He holds a flag and a sword, and says: "Aye Aye I shall catch some of the John Bulls, & I'll make them spend their money & their time too in France." He is about to descend the slope. On an opposite slope (left), Louis XVIII runs up-hill to the left, with arms outstretched; his crown, with the sceptre thrust through it, flies off borne on a pair of wings. He says: "curse the Allies for giveing the Monster his Liberty."
The foreground and middle distance are filled with British fugitives (cf. No. 12506). A narrow river, the Seine, with a small stone bridge forms an obstacle. The bridge is thronged with tourists on foot. Three men ride a cow, a fourth clutches its tail; one man rides a horse. The approach to the bridge (right) is densely packed. In front of it men and women scramble through the water. A man carries on his back a fashionably dressed woman with a sack on her back, followed by a man with a bandage round his head wearing a long braided overcoat; some fall in, others try to scramble out. A dog swims across. On the extreme right, a travelling carriage and pair approaches the water, with an English postilion, and on the roof a footman in livery, seated on a portmanteau. He exclaims: "Oh! that I had never left Old England." A Frenchman, wearing spurred jack-boots, and holding a knife, stops the horses, saying to the postilion, "We want de Coach to join de grand Emperor—we teach you now to recover our lost honor & fight like Devils." A horrified couple, fashionably dressed, are seen through the carriage windows. On the opposite side of the river are those who have already crossed: a pair on horseback, the woman seated pillion, are stopped by a Frenchman. He seizes the animal's head and says: "Me vant de horse to meet my old master Boney." The man, a typical John Bull wearing top-boots, his hat tied to his head, answers "The Devil you do." His wife exclaims: "Oh lork what vill become of us!!! Jonney?" An open gig just in front is heaped with men, women, and children; an amateur whip (cf. No. 11700) lashes the horses. A man stands at the back with a package tied to his back, and an umbrella under his arm; a woman clasping an infant exclaims: "Oh! dear! Oh Dear I have left all my valuables in Paris"; another says: "How they will laugh at us at home, for being so fond of spending our money in Foreign Countries." Beside them is a small invalid chair or child's go-cart in which sits a bearded Jew with twisted legs; it is dragged by a footman in livery. A boar's head serves as crest on the chair, showing that the Jew is a convert. On the ground are scattered a band-box, a dead goose, hat, parasol, shoe, &c. A sign-post points (left) 'To Calis'. In the background tiny figures run down the road leading from the gateway.
? March 1815
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 355 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
Probably published after the news of Napoleon's entry to Paris on 20 Mar. The 'Examiner' of 19 Mar. quotes the 'Courier': 'the roads are literally covered with men, women, and children, of the highest ranks of society, and of the most delicate forms, all walking on foot, and many of them carrying their baggage. . . . The English in general meet with many insults, having had their horses and carriages stopped, and their property seized by individuals.' Napoleon alludes to the British visitors who were prisoners from 1803 to 1814. For the swarm of British tourists cf. No. 12354, &c.
Reid, No. 469. Cohn, No. 1193. Broadley, i. 375 f.
Dated by M. D. George, ? Mar. 1814.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number