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- Object: Our tough old ship steered safely into Harbour.
After the title: 'Maugre; the Dreams of Folly & Madness—'. The ship 'Constitution. G.P.R. Commander.', steers a slanting course to the left, between a low cliff (left) and a lighthouse on a rock (right), pursued by impotent sea-monsters with human heads. The stern is decorated with a book inscribed 'Laws', resting on a cushion and surmounted by crown, sceptre, and sword; two large cannon project from it towards a monster with the head of Burdett who spouts a towering cascade of water which falls close to the ship and is inscribed: 'Daring Misrepresentations' and 'My Imitations of Old Declaimers'. Castlereagh holds the helm, and points at the monster, saying, "Look'ee Mr Golumpus if you don't belay yr Jawing tackle & call all hands from yr pumps; shiver my timbers, if I don't send you to Old Davy with one of my Stern Chasers!" Behind him is a pyramid of cannon-shot: 'Composing Pills'. The ship flies the Royal Standard and Union Jack; some of her sails are furled. Beside her (left) and nearer the spectator is a ship's boat rowed by Liverpool and Canning. Sidmouth stands in the stern, fiercely aiming a harpoon at the head of Cobbett, who spouts water at the boat. Cartwright, just behind Cobbett, spouts a small ineffective jet, as does Hunt, wearing a hunting cap, and some way behind (right). Behind Burdett is Cochrane, much caricatured, spouting a stream of 'Political Hoaxing', see No. 12209, &c. Burdett, Cartwright, and Cochrane have serpentine bodies and resemble whales or dolphins; in the background, lying on its back, is a (dead) sharklike creature, with the head of Evans, inscribed 'Spences Plan' [see No. 12868]. Two rocks emerge from the waves: 'Treasonable Machinations' and 'Libel'.
On the cliff and on the extreme left is the gable-end of a rustic inn with a sign of figures dancing round a wheatsheaf: 'Good Old Times New Revived'. In front of it, leaning against a rail that borders the cliff, are John Bull (the landlord) and his family; two boys wave their hats to the ship; John waves hat and wig, saying, "Come my hearty's let us give 'em three cheers—see! one of the sharks [Evans] is dead, & gone. & the others are pretty well smoaked on all hands already.! Huzza! huzza!—huzza!—Old England Honor & Security for ever!" Rays from the lighthouse, which is inscribed 'Integrity', illuminate dark clouds against one of which birds are flying. A colossal figure in high relief of a man (? Pitt) wearing Roman draperies and a laurel-wreath covers much of the tall building.
19 March 1817.
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire approving the measures against sedition. Castlereagh's 'Stern Chasers' are evidently the Seditious Meetings Act and the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, see No. 12871, &c. For the theme cf. No. 8320, 'Britannia between Scylla and Charybdis', and No. 10762, 'British Tars . . .', both by Gillray.
There is a second state, not in B.M., dated 25 Mar. 1817, title altered to '. . . Maugre Sharks of the Day', in place of 'the Dreams . . .'.
Reid, No. 665. Cohn, No. 1819.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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