- Museum number
Object: A new tale (tail) of a tub!
Series: Political Sketches
No. 674. Sketch based on Bayley's illustrated poem founded on an Indian adventure; in a landscape at left, a tiger (Daniel O'Connell) caught in a barrel lettered with 'Irish Registration Bill', his tail coming through the bung-hole, and assailed with a brick by a man standing at right (Lord Stanley), and with two bottles by a man standing behind him at far right (Lord Granville Somerset). 1841
- Production date
Height: 261 millimetres
Width: 356 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For preliminary drawing see 1882,1209.494
Text from 'An Illustrative Key to the Political Sketches of H.B.', London 1844:
The ludicrous Indian Adventure referred to in this sketch is most admirably told in verse by F. W. N. Bayley, Esq., and illustrated by a series of sketches designed by Lieut. J. S. Cotton, and lithographed by Aubry. But the adventure must be briefly told to render this sketch intelligible.
Two Bengalese gentlemen, the one tall and thin, the other short and stout, go forth on a fine day to enjoy a kind of gypseying duett, to which end they dispatch a couple of servants, as Avants Couriers, with their provisions, which is to be left for them at the spot where they propose to rest and refresh themselves, and to be placed in a large hogshead, in order to be kept shady and cool. Arriving here in due time, they sit down with their backs against the shady side of the tub, and regale themselves with sundry dainties, till the popping of a champagne bottle disturbs the slumber of a huge tiger who, unknown to the luxurious Bengalese, has been reposing in a jungle within a very short distance of them. He arises, and attracted by the smell of the ham and other eatables makes for the spot. Terrified at the approach of so unwelcome an intruder, they spring from the ground, and having no better resource, endeavour to elude him by dodging him round the tub. The tiger, however, grows impatient, and to cut the matter short, makes a spring at them across the tub: but putting his fore paws upon its edge, his weight turns the tub over, and the two intended victims, with an alertness which danger alone could inspire, turn the tub fairly bottom upwards, (the tiger being within) and jump upon it to keep him down. This manoeuvre brings matters to a short pause, during which the tiger keeps turning himself round in the tub, in the vain hope of finding an exit, and the Bengalese strain every nerve of their bodies to keep the tub down, and every faculty of their minds to discover a method of escaping from their danger. At length, the thin man, looking over the side of the tub, sees the tiger's long tail close against the bung-hole, and without a moment's hesitation seizes and drags it out. Down from the tub they simultaneously jump, the thin man holding fast the tail, and the fat man lending assistance by tugging at the skirts of the thin man's coat, and leaning backwards with all his weight. The tiger scrambles to get out of the tub: the Bengalese hold fast on by the tail. But where is this to end? to let go is instant death: to hold on - how long can they hold out? Despair suggests a remedy. A capital idea rushes at once into the mind of the thin man; and with the dexterity of a thorough-bred seaman belaying the sheet in a taught gale, he ties a knot in the tiger's tail, and thus attaches him inseparably to the tub, like a snail to his shell.
It is now the reader's turn to employ his ingenuity in the task of discovering the points of resemblance between the story just told, and the political circumstances pointed at in the present sketch. To assist him in this it must be mentioned, that the tiger is Mr. Daniell O'Connell, whose power of doing mischief, after much struggling, and many dodges, is proposed to be circumscribed by Lord Stanley's Irish Registration Bill, the political tub. Mr. O'Connell's long tail, (the Irish Members who are returned to Parliament by his influence,) has been the subject of many comparisons in these sketches. Lord Stanley, by means of his bill (the tub) has now got it fixed, so that its owner must either bear it about encumbered with the said bill, (or tub) a useless burden to its owner, or by a desperate and painful effort, part from it altogether. The short companion of the thin man, laughing in extacy at the joke, is Lord Granville Somerset, the seconder of the motion for bringing in the Irish Registration Bill.
- Not on display
- Associated titles
Associated Title: The new tale of a tub
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- Prints and Drawings
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