- Museum number
- Object: Dutch embarkation; or, needs must when the devil drives!!
Napoleon (l.), sword in hand, and wearing his huge bicorne, forces fat Dutchmen into tiny boats, each with a gun in the bows, representing the flotilla of gunboats. He says to a Dutchman who steps into his boat, but clenches his fists and scowls over his shoulder resentfully, "Come, Come Sir, - No grumbling [cf. BMSat 8646] I insist on your embarking and destroying the modern Carthage - dont you consider the liberty you enjoy - and the grand flotilla that is to carry you over!" The man answers: "D-n such Liberty and D-n such a flotilla!! I tell you we might as well embark in walnut shells." The men and boats recede in perspective, dotted on the ocean; the boats resemble walnut-shells, in which each man squats with difficulty. All are fat civilians smoking pipes, miserable and angry, but all wear military caps or helmets, with tricolour plumes, and two have muskets strapped to their backs. Two clasp their hands in agonized prayer. January 1804
- Production date
Height: 247 millimetres
Width: 350 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
On 30 Nov. 1803 the Ambassador of the Batavian Republic was ordered to give information on the two expeditionary forces that the Republic was bound by Treaty to provide. His lengthy answer shows the exacting demands of Napoleon and the impossibility of meeting these in full; it concludes: 'Mon gouvernement aime à se persuader que le Premier Consul appréciera les efforts d'un pays épuisé par . . . d'aussi énormes sacrifices ... la situation financière de ma malheureuse patrie est vraiment déchirante. ..." In Jan. 1804 official complaints were made of Dutch lack of zeal, and Decrès reported, 17 Jan., on the 60-ton gunboats: 'J'ai fait embarquer 80 hommes à bord d'un bateau . . . ils y étaient passablement, mais je crois que pour une sortie, il ne faudrait pas en mettre plus de 70.' Desbrière, 'Projets et tentatives de débarquement aux Îles britanniques 1793-1805', 1902, iii. 357 ff. See also BMSat 10277 and cf. BMSats 8642 (1795), 9034 (1797), 10412. For the invasion flotillas in general see BMSat 10222, &c.
Broadley, i. 210.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1993 May-Jun, Southampton City AG, Europeans in Caricature
1993 Jul-Sep, Bolton Museum & AG, Europeans in Caricature
1993 Oct-Nov, Newton Powys, Oriel 31, Europeans in Caricature
1994 Feb-Mar, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Europeans in Caricature
1994 May-Jul, Eastbourne, Towner AG, Europeans in Caricature
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number