- Museum number
- Object: Continental amusements or John Bull paying the piper.
Five European potentates caper on a platform which runs diagonally across the design. Below it (left) is the piper (half length) bending over his music, a placard which rests against the platform: 'An Old German Tune Indemnity for the Past, and Security for the Future Indemnity for the Past and Security f . . .' Perched on the back of his chair is a double-headed eagle, intended to show that the piper is Prussian (see BMSat 9694).
Behind him stands John Bull, naively admiring with an.amiable smile; he empties his purse on to the platform, saying, "Waunds, they do hop about rarely thats for sartain - and his Worships holiness the Pope, seems to jig it as well as the best of un - here measter Piper take all the money I ha got, - for I never saw a prettier Stage Play in all my born Days." He is a countrified fellow, with round hat, cane, and cravat. On the stage (left to right) are the Pope wearing his tiara and holding his cross; Spain as a don in feathered hat and ruff; behind him, (?) Naples or Portugal; and, more prominent, Bonaparte, waving his cocked hat and gazing fixedly at the piper, is clearly calling the tune; a fat Dutchman is smoking a pipe, looking over his shoulder at the others. 17 February 1801
- Production date
Height: 288 millimetres
Width: 382 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
The tune represents the declared war aims of the Allies in 1793, see BMSats 9195, 9364, 9866. Those allies (except Portugal) are now actual or potential allies of Bonaparte, but John Bull still naively pours out cash. Cf. BMSats 9719, 9847, 10075.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number