- Museum number
- Object: Iohn Bull's prayer to peace, or the flight of discord.
John Bull (left) kneels in prayer to Peace, a young woman standing in clouds. Next her is a bust profile of Bonaparte, as a handsome young man, irradiated and encircled in a palm branch. Above him is an eye, directed towards John, and inscribed 'Providence'. On the extreme right Pitt, as the demon of discord, flees to the right. Putting out his tongue, he turns his hideous head in profile towards Bonaparte, at whom the serpents which form his hair spit flames; larger serpents encircle his legs. A dagger drops from each hand. Beside him are flames and in the distance is a burning town. John Bull says: "Sublime Descendant of Happyness, incline thine ear to the Petition of thy poor Patient worn out Oppressed I. Bull, who humbly Prayeth thee that thou would'st in the first place - Exert thy Influence and be the means of restoring to me again those lost Liberties & Privilages I have been so Basely rob'd of, & that you would'st be pleased also, to put a speedy stop to cruel Monopolizing - & e'er it be long send me thy attendant Plenty, to comfort me & my long suffering numerous Family, & may that Horrid Demon Discord never return again". Peace answers benignly: "Thy Prayer shall be fulfill'd. Plenty admits thee into all her Blessings, her pace is slow, but sure". In the background (left) the tiny figure of Plenty advances, scattering fruits and grain from a cornucopia. 1801
- Production date
Height: 262 millimetres
Width: 353 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
Though extreme, the satire follows logically from attacks on Pitt as a warmonger and oppressor, especially in 1795, cf. BMSat 8669, &c. According to Cobbett, a song at the Foxite dinner of 10 Oct. (see BMSat 9735) extolled Bonaparte:
'Blest be the man by Heav'n design'd
To set the world from slavery free; . . .
Hail lovely peace with olive crown'd
O come and spread thy blessings round.'
'The man' was identified by a paper handed round on which was a red Liberty cap between the letters N.B.: 'Cobbett's Ann. Reg.' ii. 220. Cobbett maintained that the rejoicings at the Preliminaries (see BMSat 9726, &c.) were pro-French, and 'nineteen transparencies out of every twenty were expressive of attachment to Buonaparte's person or to the cause of France!' His portrait in a print shop window was cheered, while the King and Pitt were threatened with violence. 'Letters to Lord Hawkesbury', 1802, pp. 26-8. For the changed attitude to Bonaparte see BMSat 9733, &c.; for Peace and Plenty, BMSat 9732; for dearth and monopoly, BMSat 9717, &c. For attacks on Pitt cf. BMSats 9712, 9739, 9863, 9865, 9872, 9873, 10533.
Broadley, 1. 145.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 Feb-Aug, BM, Rm 90, Bonaparte and the British
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number