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Political pamphlet by Hone in the form of a verse-satire of 60 pages, divided into books i and ii, entitled "The Right Divine of Kings to Govern Wrong!"
Below the title a mock dedication "'To the visible and invisible members of the Holy Alliance" in Gothic type and beneath this, in capital letters: "By the author of 'The Political House that Jack Built.'"; below the illustration:
"London: Printed for William Hone, 45 Ludgate Hill, 1821, Eighteenpence."
Title Page Illustration (BM Satires 14133): the coronation of a tyrant. A savage fellow sits full-face in royal robes, a huge sword with notched blade in the right hand, a fool's bauble in the left as sceptre, topped by a tiny skull wearing a fool's cap, to which a bladder is tied. He has fierce gaunt features, bristling hair and beard, and huge teeth. He wears coronation robes with a girdle of nooses of rope and great spurs with three rowels. One foot is planted on a footstool in which a dagger is thrust. A fat and drink-blotched bishop stands on a ladder (left) to anoint him with 'Oil of Steel', while in the left hand is a lamp-lighter's (or incendiary's) oil torch inscribed 'Discord'. A thin bishop (Manners-Sutton) stands on a sheaf of corn (emblem of tithes), raising two fingers in blessing, while he crowns the tyrant with an extinguisher (cf. BM Satires 13504) topped by a crown. The head of the king and the torch are irradiated as if with flame. Below: '"The devil will not have me damn'd, but the oil that is in me should set hell on fire" Shakespeare' [Falstaff in 'Merry Wives', V. v]."
Tailpiece (BM Satires 14134): The crowned tyrant has become a monster and tramples over the bodies of men, women, and children, brandishing sabre and fire-brand, about to destroy the 'Tree of Liberty' (right), a pole up which climbs a plant, and topped by a cap of Liberty. Its (crowned) head is a cannon-ball, with an aureole of daggers. The body is a mortar, the arms and thighs are shackles, the legs from the knee down are cannons, a royal robe floats from its shoulders. Buildings blaze in the background, and there is a scaffold, with two bodies hanging from a gibbet, while an executioner holds up a head. Below:
'A thing of no bowels - ["Troilus and Cressida", II. i.]
- from the crown to the toe, top full
Of direst cruelty ["acb eth", v]—His Realm a slaughter-house ["3 Hen. VI", V. iv.]
The swords of soldiers are his teeth— ["John", II. i.]
Iron for [orig. "of"] Naples hid with English gilt ["3 Hen. VI", "II. ii.]
Wood-engraving, letterpress pamphlet
- Production date
Height: 218 millimetres (approx. page size)
Width: 136 millimetres (approx. page size)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
Bound as part of "Political Tracts Volume 1." A compilation of satirical and political pamphlets published circa 1819-1822, one of 10 volumes.
By implication the tyrant is George IV, whose coronation was pending. A theme of the satire is a speech of the Bishop of London (Howley) on the divorce clause in the Bill of Pains and Penalties (7 Nov. 1820): 'It was a maxim of the constitution . . . that the King could do no wrong. It was said by an able writer, that the king could not be guilty of a folly much less a crime.' 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. iii. 1711. It is implied that the King is secretly a member of the Holy Alliance, see No. 14113, &c. Despite Castlereagh's circular of 19 Jan. 1820 to all British Representatives in foreign courts stating that England was not a party to the principles of the Alliance, or to their application in the case of Naples, the Ministry was attacked in Parliament for admitting Austria's right of intervention. Webster, 'Foreign Policy of Castlereagh', 1934, ii. 320 ff.; 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. iv. 742 ff., 837 ff. (Feb. 19, 21). Title from Pope, 'Dunciad':
May you my Cam and Isis, preach it long!
The Right Divine of Kings to govern wrong.
Cf. BM Satires 14111, 14126, 14169.
Reprinted, 'Hone's Facetiæ', 1827.
Bound as part of "Political Tracts Volume 1." A compilation of satirical pamphlets published circa 1819-1822. One of 10 volumes. Part of the Maskelyne Collection.
"The allusions are to Peterloo, see BM Satires 13258, &c., to the executions of 1820, see BM Satires 13707, &c., and to the revolution in Naples, see BM Satires 14132. The cuts are more explicit than the text. Cf. 'Examiner', 18 Mar., p. 169: 'Another sybilline leaf from Mr. Hone's shop. . . . The conspirators at Laybach seem as if they had been sitting for the picture. . . . The wood-cut at the end, representing a personification of Royalty in its excess is still more striking. . . . It is Spenser's "Iron Man" brought forward in his real character. . . .'Cf. BM Satires 14169.
Advertised, 'Examiner', 21 Jan., 'in a week'; announced, ibid., 18 Mar., as just published.
- Not on display
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