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- Object: The aristocratic crusade, or chivalry revived by Don Quixote de St Omer and his friend Sancho
Burke as Don Quixote, dressed as in BMSat 7678, &c, with a Jesuit's biretta, stands on the back of a monster with five heads (four wearing coronets) on long necks. The monster, which resembles the traditional Beast of Rome (cf. BMSat 5534), except that it has only five heads, tramples on four prostrate bodies inscribed 'base born Plebeians'. Burke stands in profile to the right, using his open book, 'Refletions [sic] on the Revolution', as a shield; in his right hand is a long sword. He is inscribed: 'Horridum Monstrum! Procerum potentum Saeva Potestas!!!' Three long labels issue from his mouth directed towards three groups: On the right a procession of well-dressed men carrying placards on poles advances from the right; they march before and after an open cradle-shaped car drawn by two horses in which Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette sit facing each other, each wearing a crown and holding a sceptre. The placards are (left to right) 'The Rights of man', 'The People the Fountain of Power', 'no exclusive Priveleges', 'at Ranks honorable', 'all men born equal', 'Liberty founded on Law', 'Soveriegn the Choice of his peopl', 'Limited Monarchy but no Aristocracy', 'Geneal [sic] Toleration', 'All Citizens equally Eligable', 'Church Lands & National Property', 'Destruction to the aristocratic Gam [sic] Laws', 'away with the whole Feudal System', 'The Blessings of Liberty to the whole human Race'. Each man wears a ribbon across his shoulder, coloured blue, but perhaps intended to be tricolour. Four men wave their hats to the procession, shouting 'Vive la Liberty'. Parallel with the French procession, but in the foreground, advances a group of eight men, headed by Price, who holds a paper inscribed 'congratulation', and Lord Stanhope with a banner inscribed 'Revolution Soceity'. The last man holds up on a pole a medallion of the head of William III wearing a laurel wreath. The labels issuing from Burke's mouth are directed: (1) towards the King and Queen: 'angel just above the Horizon like the morning Star glittering! alas! the age of Chivalry is gone & the glory of Europe lost for Ever.' (2) Towards the men marching before the royal carriage: 'a set of low bred illiterate Traders Lawyers & Country Clowns not able to write & Read The Momentum of Ignorance Rashness & Presumtion Incapable of forming any thing noble or Exellent & born only to be contrould, their Liberality is illiberal their Science Presumption & their Humanity Savage & Brutal.' (3) Towards the Revolution Society: 'Damn their oracular Tripods & Babylonian pulpite Pisgay Perorations! Prepared in the hot Alembic of the Furies of Hell.'
On the left of the design processions advance towards Burke: in front is a group of five bishops wearing mitres and carrying banners inscribed: 'Majesty of the Church'; 'crackg her Mitred front'; 'Hierarch & Monoply & Test act'; 'prescription Antiquity'. One says, "Blessed are all those that are led by the nose"; he holds a thread attached to the noses of three men, the foremost of whom resembles Pitt (probably an allusion to Pitt's reference of the question of the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act in 1787 to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Rose, 'Pitt and National Revival', p. 215). They are followed by a procession of five peers wearing coronets. The first carries a banner inscribed 'Exclusive Priveledge' and wears a shield inscribed 'ancient Nobility'. The next two carry banners: 'place & Pension' and 'heridatary'. Two others ride on the backs of men on hands and knees, both hold drawn swords: the first, with a shield inscribed 'noble Birth', says, "the son of a Slave shall never be free"; the second says, "Born with Sadles on their backs". In the foreground, as a pendent to the Revolution Society, advances a band of (seven) members for close boroughs. They carry papers inscribed 'self Elected', 'bribery', 'Corporation Bribed', 'old Sarum', and a banner: 'Ruffin burrough corporation'. 31 January 1791.
- Production date
Height: 270 millimetres
Width: 415 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
One of many satires on Burke's 'Reflections on the French Revolution', see BMSat 7675, &c. For Stanhope and the Revolution Society see BMSat 7889, &c. One of the few references to Parliamentary Reform in this volume.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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