- Museum number
Political pamphlet entitled 'The political showman - at home! Exhibiting his cabinet of curiosities and creatures - all alive!' consisting of 32 pages with 23 woodcut illustrations; a prose satire by Hone (reprinted in his 'Facetiæ', 1827). Lettered below the title “By the Author of the Political House that Jack Built” and the quotation from Bunyan “I lighted on a certain place where was a Den” and below the image: “London Printed for William Hone, 45 Ludgate Hill, 1821, One Shilling.”
1. Title Page (BM Satires 14148): A monster with seven hydra-heads, webbed wings, stands erect on the splayed legs of a bird of prey. The heads are those of sovereigns of Europe, crowned, and with the addition of bird's beaks. They are: the Pope, tonsure downwards, his tiara falling; Ferdinand VII, crown downwards, choked by bulky papers inscribed 'Constitution' [see No. 13709]; Louis XVIII, looking up, a tricolour cockade in his beak; Alexander, at the apex, swallowing an orb ; Frederick William III with a paper, 'Promised Constitution', in his beak; Ferdinand of Naples, head downwards, his gaping beak receiving the impact of an eruption from Vesuvius (the revolution of Naples, see No. 14132). On the monster's chest hang emblems of the Saint Esprit. Below: '"The putrid and mouldering carcase of exploded Legitimacy." 'Mr. Lambton'.
2. 'The showman' (BM Satires 14149): An animated printing-press, supported on human legs; the letters 'P R E S S' are arranged to form the features, which are topped by an inkstand with pen-feathers as the hat. The whole is irradiated with flame and smoke. Below, quotations from Marvell's 'Rehearsal transprosed', 1672, and 'A Whip for the Devil', 1669, on the power of the Press.
3. 'The transparency' (BM Satires 14150): Liberty stands beside a printing-press on which she rests a bust-portrait of Queen Caroline, framed in laurel (copied in BM Satires 14180); in her left hand is the staff of a cap of 'Liberty', also decorated with laurel. She tramples on broken fetters. She is the centre of rays which dispel the creatures of BM Satires 14151-69, together with the head of the Duke of York and the jack-booted legs of George IV (see BM Satires 14220) which project from water or mire and are encircled by a ribbon: 'Honi Soit.' Lettered below “The Transparency, of which this is a copy, was exhibited by William Hone, during the Illumination commenced on the 11th and ending of the 15th November 1820, is in celebration of the victory obtained by The Press for the Liberties of the People, which had been assailed in the Person of The Queen: the words “Triumph of the Press” being displayed in variegated lamps as a motto above it. On the 29th, when The Queen went to St Paul’s, it was again exhibited, with Lord Bacon’s immortal words: “Knowledge is Power,” displayed in like manner- The Transparency was painted by Mr George Cruikshank.
4. 'Bags. – (a Scruple Balance.)' (BM Satires 14151): Eldon's ('Old Bags', see BM Satires. 12883) face, rectangular between two pendent bags representing his wig, is supported on a body formed by the Purse of the Great Seal. A hammer indicates the coal of his origin, cf. BM Satires. 13761.
5. 'A Crocodile' (BM Satires 14152): A quasi-realistic animal on a river bank, weeping, wearing a judge's wig composed of a pair of bags (the Green Bags, see BM Satires. 13735), seemingly Leach [Gifford, according to Reid, but see BM Satires 14159], the Vice-Chancellor, see BM Satires 13740.
6. 'A mask. - (an Incrustation - a Relique.)' (BM Satires 14153): A face covered by a black mask, supported on clerical bands, one inscribed '41' [? 1641], the other '39' [Articles]. It is framed by a bushy episcopal wig, and supports a mitre on which are crossed canons. This is topped by a weathercock on which sceptre and crown are poised. The Archbishop of Canterbury, cf. BM Satires. 13276.
7. 'The locust.' (BM Satires 14154): A scaly and fantastic locust wearing coronet and mitre represents the bishops.
8. 'A scorpion.' (BM Satires 14155): A scorpion with the (ferocious) profile of Wellington wearing a cocked hat. Its tail is a chain terminating in a sabre.
9. 'The lobster.' (BM Satires 14156): A lobster's claws hang from a saucepan boiling on a grid over a fire of sticks. The steam is covered with repetitions of 'Hiss s s s'. The military 'in hot water'. 'Lobster' is a disparaging term for a British soldier.
10. 'A prime crutch. - (From the Westminster Infirmary - upper ward).' (BM Satires 14157): The head of Liverpool in profile to the left is supported on a breaking crutch. A large bag (his places) is tied to his wig. He is stigmatized as an imitator of Pitt.
11. 'The opossum.' (BM Satires 14158): An opossum hangs from a dilapidated tree inscribed 'People', his tail curled round a rotten branch inscribed 'Lords'. An upper branch is inscribed 'King'; a branch inscribed 'Commons' projects over a printing-press (right) which props the tree and is topped by a cap of Liberty (cf. No. 13296). The opossum is 'a boroughing creature' (a borough-owner in the Lords).
12. 'Black rats. - (Stuffed.)' (BM Satires 14159): Two rats with the heads and wigs of the Attorney- and Solicitor-General (as in No. 13519), run in furtive haste from left to right.
13. “Black rats. - (Stuffed.) Tailpiece.” (Description in BM Satires 14159)
14. 'A cadge anchor. - (a Remora - a sucking fish.)' (BM Satires 14160): The head of the Duke of Clarence is supported on a broken anchor round which twines a serpent inscribed 'Evil be to him who evil thinks'; from its mouth issue clouds of smoke. See No. 14031, &c.
15. 'A water scorpion.' (BM Satires 14161): The insect, formed of a Garter star, with claws, tail, and legs, inscribed 'Honi . . .', crawls towards water. It 'wastes twenty times as much as its appetite requires' and is clearly the King.
16. 'Dirkpatrick. (a petrified putrifaction, - a bloodstone.)' (BM Satires 14162): The head of Castlereagh, frowning to the left, rests on a dagger, whose hilt forms his extended arms, the blade, dripping blood, his body. In the right hand is a scourge, in the left a bleeding shamrock. See BM Satires 14135.
17. 'The bloodhound.' (BM Satires 14163): A dog with spiked collar tears at the fettered and prostrate Erin, her broken harp and cap of Liberty beside her. A shackle is inscribed 'Union'. In the background are a wheel (instrument of torture), two gibbets, and a man tied to a triangle (see No. 14135). The text associates this brute with Spain as well as Ireland, cf . No 13009
18. 'The doctor. - (a dejection.)' (BM Satires 14164): The head of Sidmouth, in profile to the right, rests on clyster-pipe (cf. No. 9849), whose inflated bag forms his body. The bag of his wig is inscribed 'When taken to Be well Shaken'.
19. 'The booby.' (BM Satires 14165): A quasi-gull with bag-like body and bag-wig for tail. He is a stupid placeman and borough-member.
20. 'A twopenny flat for a cobbler's stall' (BM Satires 14166): The booby of No. 14165, with a lighted wick held in its beak, is transformed into a lump of tallow, or makeshift candle.
21. 'The slop pail.' (BM Satires 14167): Stoddart, 'Dr. Slop', empties a huge 'Slop Pail' into a large overturned crown; a (tricolour) cockade floats in the contents.
22. 'My eye' (BM Satires 14168): A giant eye, the pupil containing a tiny printing-press, cf. No. 13508, looks down upon characters represented in other illustrations of the satire, who lie in a confused heap, revengeful or despairing, while the 'Great Boots', representing George IV, see No. 14220, are in wild flight to the left. Wellington with his sword, and Castlereagh with dagger and scourge, attempt retaliation. The others are the Duke of York, Eldon, Liverpool, Sidmouth, the Archbishop, the Law Officers, and Clarence. Below: 'I'll watch them "tame" [him in orig.] "Shakspeare"' ['Othello', III. iii.] See Nos. 13801, 14180 (a parody).
23. 'The legitimate vampire.' (BM Satires 14169): A scaly serpentine monster with huge fanged jaw, a crown of spikes, webbed wings, barbed tail, and spouting like a whale, swallows a heap of tiny men and women, and crushes others.
At the end of the pamphlet are 3 pages of advertisements a “Catalogue of William Hone’s Publications.”
Wood-engraved illustrations to a letterpress pamphlet
- Production date
Height: 213 millimetres (approx. page size)
Width: 135 millimetres (approx. page size)
- Curator's comments
- One of 22 pamphlets bound together as one of a series of 10 volumes of “Political Tracts.”
(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 pamphlets published circa 1819-1822. One of 10 volumes.
The main theme of the pamphlet is the power of the Press, with Parliamentary Reform and Legitimate Monarchy as secondary topics.
'Examiner', 1821, p. 249.
'Fourth Edition, just published', advertised 'Examiner', 22 Apr.; eighth ed., ibid., 29 Apr. Perhaps identical with 'The Triumph of the Press', announced by Hone in No. 14135.
- Not on display
- Associated names
Associated with: Alexander I, Tsar of Russia
Associated with: Ferdinand I, King of the Two Sicilies
Associated with: Ferdinand VII, King of Spain
Associated with: Frederick William III, King of Prussia
Associated with: John George Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham
Associated with: Louis XVIII, King of France
Associated with: Pope Pius VII
Representation of: Caroline of Brunswick
Representation of: Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany and Bishop of Osnabrück
Representation of: George IV, King of the United Kingdom
Representation of: John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon
Representation of: Sir John Leach
Representation of: Charles Manners-Sutton, Archbishop of Canterbury
Representation of: Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Representation of: Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd Earl of Liverpool
Representation of: William Pitt the Younger
Representation of: John Singleton Copley, Baron Lyndhurst
Representation of: Robert Gifford, Baron Gifford
Representation of: William IV, King of the United Kingdom
Representation of: Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh and 2nd Marquess of Londonderry
Representation of: Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth
Representation of: John Stoddart
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The political showman - at home!
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number