- Museum number
- Object: The loves of the fox and the badger, - or the coalition wedding.
A design in compartments arranged in two strips, five above and four below, similar to 'Two new Sliders for the State Magic Lanthern', BMSat 6287; Fox and North are represented throughout as a fox and a badger as in BMSat 6176, &c, 6428.
 THE FOX BEATS YE BADGER IN YE BEAR GARDEN
An arena, surrounded by a pillared portico, part of which is visible, crowded with cheering spectators, men on the roof holding a large flag inscribed 'Victoria Victoria'. They applaud the fox, who stands on the prostrate body of the badger. This indicates Fox's victory over North in the House of Commons in March 1782, cf. BMSat 6187.
 THE FOX'S DREAM
The fox, an impoverished gambler, sits meditatively on his haunches by the side of a road on a heath, opposite a signpost pointing to Hounslow. At his feet are dice and a dice-box. Above his head, in circles surrounded by rays, are a barred window and a pitcher reversed and spilling its contents. [So it seems to be; Grego describes it as a head on a pole] He is contemplating the career of a highwayman.
 THE BADGER'S DREAM
The badger crouches dejectedly on a settee; above his hand, in circles surrounded by rays, are a gallows and ? a block. He is dreaming of the fate with which he had often been threatened by the Opposition during his Ministry, cf. BMSat 5660, 6179, &c.
 SATHAN UNITES THEM
A winged Devil joins the hands of the fox (left) and the badger (right). He is saying "Necessity". The Coalition is thus begun. Cf. BMSat 6189.
 THEY QUARTER THEIR ARMS
The escutcheon is a full money-bag, inscribed 'Treasury Bag', its open mouth is full of guineas. Its string is supported on the head of 'John Bull', who has ass's ears. The supporters are the fox, dexter, and the badger, sinister, each about to help himself to the contents of the bag. The motto is 'Money Money Money' (cf. BMSat 6213, &c); see BMSat 6441.
 THE PRIEST ADVERTISES YE WEDDING
The Devil stands behind a counter inscribed 'Pay Table', handing out money to three journalists. One says "Harry will take both sides," - he is probably Henry Bate Dudley, then editor of the 'Morning Herald' (cf. BMSat 5676, &c); the second, "Me will Post them", - probably an allusion to the 'Morning Post' (editor W. Jackson); the third, "I'll Chronicle The Coalition", - probably an allusion to the 'Morning Chronicle' (editor W. Woodfall).
 THE HONEY MOON - OR EDISTONE LIGHTHOUSE
The fox and badger beside a large bonfire on the sea-shore. The fox applies a long shovel to the burning summit of the pile; the badger leans against the pile, resting on his shovel. They are perhaps burning charters, cf. BMSat 6364. A full moon shining over a small boat at sea is inscribed 'Honey Moon'.
 THE NEW ORATOR HENLEY - OR THE CHURCHING
Another scene in Parliament: the fox and badger sit side by side on a settee on a dais facing a parson, who stands in a tub supported on a block inscribed 'Honest Jack L - e'. He holds out a charter with a dangling seal, saying "A charter is nothing but a piece of parchment with a great Seal dangling to it". An allusion to the speech of John Lee, Attorney-General under the Coalition, on the East India Company's Charter; see Wraxall, 'Memoirs', 1884, iii. 182, and 'Parl. Hist.' xxiv. 49; cf. BMSat 6364, &c. Behind him, supporting the tub, is the Devil. In front of the tub, holding out his hand towards the wedded pair, is a man on a seat inscribed 'A Seat for Portsmouth'. He is Erskine, brought in for Portsmouth on the accession to power of the Coalition. He says, "Necessity Amen". Under the colonnades are heads on poles, above them is inscribed 'mopstick Majority'. A satire on Fox's majority in the House of Commons, see BMSat 6380, &c. For Henley cf. BMSat 2835, &c.
 THE WEDDING DANCE AND SONG -
The Devil (left), the badger (centre), and the Fox (right) dance hand in hand. In the Devil's left hand is a string, the ends of which are attached to the noses of the fox and the badger.
Above their heads is a scroll inscribed:
Come were all Rogues together
The People must pay for the Play
Then let us make Hay in Fine Weathear
And keep the Cold winter away.
Come were all Rogues together' 7 January 1784
- Production date
Height: 239 millimetres (cropped)
Width: 333 millimetres (cropped)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
For the idea of a honeymoon applied to the Coalition see BMSat 6186, &c, and the debate of 17 Feb. 1783 ('Parl. Hist', xxiii. 469, 483). Cf. BMSat 6393, 6399. &c.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', i. 112-13; 'Gillray', pp. 52-3.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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