- Museum number
- Object: The ganders addressing the lion, to have the elephant remov'd.
The Lion (George III) sits under a canopy, holding a sceptre; on his right is a bull (John Bull), on his left an elephant (Pitt). Before him (right) stands a deputation of ganders; the foremost gander holds a paper inscribed 'We Ganders' and walks between a bear (North) on his left and a fox (Fox) on his right. The fox leads the bear by a chain which passes over the back of the gander; in his right hand is a pair of spectacles. The ganders are the supporters of the Coalition in the House of Commons. c. March 1784
- Production date
Height: 350 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
A satire on the repeated motions for the removal of Ministers from Jan. to 1 Mar., when Fox's motion for an address to the king was carried by twelve only. 'Parl. Hist', xxiv. 687-713. Wraxall, 'Memoirs', 1884, iii.309-10. Cf. BMSat 6373, &c, 6473.
'The Ganders Address
We Ganders beg, your Majesty
would condescend, most graciously
to send yon ['your' corrected to 'yon' in a contemporary hand] Elephant away
( beast that feeds on beans and hay
and therefore never should pretend
with high-fed creatures to contend,)
who got by stealth into a place,
by others fill'd with far more grace.
We have a noble Bear and Fox
who feast on honey, fowls, and ducks;
Their pow'r and wisdom we can swear for
and have informer days paid dear for;
But they're become fast friends of late
and resolv'd to uphold that state,
which their contentions had o'erthown [sic],
and they'll rebuild what they've pull'd down.
Besides our noble Renard has
a pair of Spectacles of glass,
which if your Majesty but chose,
to let him place upon your nose,
h'ed [sic] make you see in darkest night
whatever he thinks wrong or right.
As to yon ['Your' corrected to 'yon' in a contemporary hand] stripling Elephant,
though ['Through' corrected to 'though'] all your Grandees of the Land
should foolishly attempt to prop him,
Renard and Boreas would stop him.
And We, your faithful Ganders, say:
that none but they should bear the sway.
The Lion's Answer
Gentlemen Ganders! we are pleas'd
with your harangue, it is confess'd
that bears & fox's rule with grace
o'er any flocks of Sheep and Geese.
But we've more Cattle in the Stable,
whom elephants are better able
to govern, than your Bear and fox.
For besides Sheep and Geese and Ducks
we reign o'er many a noble Stag
and many an usefull Bull and Nag,
who do not relish (as we hear)
the Government of Fox and Bear.
Tis true our Elephant is young,
But he's no fool and will grow Strong.
We trust he never will disgrace
a father, who once fill'd that place,
And here's our old good friend the Bull
who knows his merits to the full;
He thinks him a good honest creature
endow'd with sense and with good nature,
and will stand by him to the last
(says he) whatever it may cost.
With vices none of you can charge him;
Thus we have no mind to discharge him.
For Spectacles we have no need,
But thank ye as much, as if we did.'
- Not on display
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