- Museum number
- Object: Look at me, I'm an object!
Illustration to verses printed beneath the (printed) title. Lt.-General David Dundas stands (right) in profile to the left drilling a file of foot-soldiers on an open heath. These are stepping backwards up a slight incline and all but the four men nearest the spectator have fallen, or are falling, on their backs. Dundas holds the tip of his drawn sword with his left hand. A pyramid in the distance is inscribed 'Lexden', and the verses show that the incident depicted took place at manoeuvres on Lexden Heath. The verses are to the tune of "When the Fancy-stirring Bowl". The first and last are:
'This Object is a wondrous Thing,
In common Sense's Spite, Sir;
He'll wheel you thro' the Gordian Ring,
But never make you fight, Sir.
On Pivot-points he'll bid you move,
Right, left, and right about them,
Whilst all his Circles only prove
That we might do without them.
Now backward wheel, . . .
A Porcupine and Oblong Square
By Echellon surprize, Sir;
To take alignement here and there,
Is likewise very wise, Sir;
But when, to guard the Common Weal,
Our Soldiers pull their Triggers,
One Charge, in Line, with British Steel,
Is worth Ten Thousand Figures.
Then while you wheel, . . .' 28 June 1797
Hand-coloured etching with letterpress
- Production date
Height: 345 millimetres
Width: 436 millimetres (trimmed)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
Dundas worked out a new system of tactics for the British army based on. a study of Prussian manoeuvres, and his 'Rules and Regulations . . .' were issued (1792) as the official orders for the British Army. He was made Q.M.G. in Dec. 1795, and had much to do with reorganizing the army after the disasters in Flanders (1794) and commanded the camps of exercise at Weymouth and Windsor. Before his regulations 'no two regiments moved in unison'. Sir H. Bunbury, quoted 'D.N.B.' Cornwallis, fearing invasion, wrote, 23 Feb. 1798, 'I have no doubt of the courage or fidelity of our militia but the system of David Dundas, and the total want of light infantry, sit heavy on my mind.' 'Corr.', 1859, ii. 331.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number