- Museum number
Satirical pamphlet of 24 pages on the Queen Caroline affair entitled: 'The green bag: A dainty dish to set before a King; A ballad of the nineteenth century, ...' Lettered below the title, “By the Author of the Political A, Apple Pie.”
1.The frontispiece illustration, BM Satires 13771, represents George IV (right) in royal robes twiddling his thumbs facing a bag standing in a large dish which covers a round table. An imp looks from the mouth of the bag at the King; on the bag are a leech (Leach, see BM Satires No. 13740) and serpents; in the dish are more serpents and a toad. (The cut is signed except in the first edition.)
Lettered beneath the image with the quotation: “Be advised: Heat is not a furnace for your foe so hot/ That it do singe yourself- King Henry VIII.” Quotations, mainly from Shakespeare, are printed in italic type beneath each illustration throughout the text.
With the publisher’s line at the foot of the page: London, Published by J.Robins and Co, Ivy Lane, Paternoster Row. 1820, Price One Shilling.”
On verso, a quotation of 9 lines from Cymbeline commencing: “How! Of adultery? Wherefore write you not…” beneath which is printed: “Note, All Drawings for this Publication are by Mr. G. Cruikshank.”
The pamphlet concerns the notorious “green bag” used by the Milan Commission to gather evidence of the Queen’s alleged infidelity. The rhythm and words of the verse satire allow it to be set to the tune of the nursery rhyme: “Sing a Song of Sixpence.”
2. BM Satires 13772. 'A "green bag" full of lies' - A judge (Leach) presides over a huge open bag in which men place papers inscribed 'Lies'; a barrister (right) is evidently Cooke, his vis-à-vis probably Powell. Italian witnesses (see BM Satires No. 13762, &c.) stand behind. Similar verses are on BM Satires No. 13849.
3. BM Satires 13773. 'The K-g was in his cabinet, | There counting out his money.' George IV, wearing a crown, sits at a table counting money, but turns to a lady, taking her chin. He is 'calling some sweet lady fair / His jewel and his honey'.
4. BM Satires 13774. 'So C-ke and his attorney, both | Approv'd by Cas-h.' Castlereagh stands by a doorway (right) inscribed 'Foreign Office'; he takes the shoulder of a judge (Leach) whom he is sending after a barrister (Cooke) and his attorney (Powell) who are walking off, each peering through a telescope. Leach also has a telescope, and, like Powell, a large bag. The mission to the 'spies' of the Milan Commission, see BM Satires No. 13755, &c.
5. BM Satires 13775. 'And there was one great Omp-a, | A mighty German lord.' A grotesque hussar, Baron Ompteda, directs the proceedings of a ruffian with skeleton keys, who is rifling a bureau. See BM Satires No. 13745, &c.
6. BM Satires 13776. 'Two hundred ragg'd Italians, | With dancing-dogs and mice.' Street musicians (cf. BM Satires No. 13047) stand in a circle, singing and playing their instruments, with performing dogs and a monkey. They are 'Prepar'd for any dirty job, and for all sorts of vice'. In the background are a church and a mountain decked with gibbets. See BM Satires No. 13762.
7. BM Satires 13777. 'At length these great commissioners | Return'd to England's shore' Scene in the House of Lords, with Eldon on the woolsack; in front of this is a bench on which Sidmouth, Liverpool and Castlereagh (MP for Downshire) are conspicuous. The peers receive with delight a huge (green) bag presented to them by Leach, Cooke, and Powell in single file.
8. BM Satires 13778. 'And so they sent a messenger, | To meet the Queen half-way;' Lord Hutchinson faces the Queen, who registers righteous indignation; he holds out alternatives: '50,000 pr. an', and an axe. See BM Satires No. 13730, &c. (A copy, Hindley, 'Life and Times of James Catnach', 1878, p. 95.)
9. BM Satires 13779. 'What though no royal yacht appear'd | To waft her to our shore.' The Queen, in royal robes, crowned and holding a sceptre, sits with a stern expression in a chair; this is placed in a large flat dish. '"God bless the Queen - The fittest dish / "To set before a King!"'.
10. BM Satires 137780. But Wilb-ce, the pious man, | When he the bag survey'd, Wilberforce registering horror at the sight of the (green) bag on a table. On 22 June Wilberforce made his motion for a compromise, see BM Satires No. 13741, &c.; he said 'he only desired most ardently to avoid the opening of the fatal Green Bag -' and 'Every man... must dread the time when the offensive contents... should become the topic of conversation in his family'. See Parliamentary Debates xli. 1223,1229.
11. BM Satires 13781. 'And so he went with other Lords, | And knelt before the Queen.' Wilberforce, in court dress, kneels at the Queen's feet, kissing her hand, and proffering a paper; three other men stand behind him, bowing. The other men are Stuart-Wortley, Sir T Acland, and Henry Bankes, who visited the Queen on 24 June, with the proposal that she should accept the omission of her name from the Liturgy. See BM Satires No. 13741, &c.
12. BM Satires 13782. 'Now, fearing lest their courage should/ In time begin to flag.' Framed by curtains, 'These lords' open the bag secretly. They sit round it; smoke and a demon rise from its open mouth. Castlereagh, Sidmouth, and Liverpool are the only 'Lords' characterized. For the Secret Committee see BM Satires No. 13735; it did not include Castlereagh (a commoner).
13. BM Satires 13783. 'For they had so misguided him, | And led him so astray.' Castlereagh and Sidmouth, having blindfolded the King (who has a gouty leg), lead him by a string. The text continues: 'That though his heart was very good / His head was the wrong way'. The King had notoriously forced the proceedings against the Queen on his unwilling ministers. See BM Satires No. 13760, &c.
The printer's address:"J. Robins and Co. Albion Press, Ivy Lane." is printed at the end of the satirical text and the back page carries advertisements for “New Works Published by J. Robins and Co.”
c. July 1820
Wood-engraved vignette illustrations to a letterpress pamphlet
- Production date
Height: 221 millimetres (approx. page size)
Width: 133 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 5.' Number 5 of 10 volumes of political pamphlets, published circa 1819-1822. For another edition of this pamphlet, see 'Political Tracts' Volume 8.
A verse-satire by the author of BM Satires No. 13588, illustrated by woodcuts, see BM Satires Nos. 13772-83 (Reid, Nos. 2967-78). Cf. BM Satires No. 13849. For the Green Bag see BM Satires No. 13735.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The Political A-Apple Pie (The inscription states "By the Author of the Political A-Apple Pie.")
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number