- Museum number
- Object: Genial rays, or John Bull enjoying the sunshine.
John Bull (left), a fat 'cit', his hat and bludgeon beside him, reclines on his back against a grassy bank covered with roses. He looks up ecstatically to the sky where the profile head of Burdett is enclosed in a circle or sun inscribed 'Clarior e Tenebris'; this is irradiated, the rays illuminating a distant view of London and John himself, who recites:
"The Lover's ardour, the fond parent's care,
The husband's soft endearments strongly move;
But when the welfare of our country calls,
These passions set—and the great Patriot shines"
The rays are inscribed: 'Magna Charta' [see No. 11547], 'King and Constitution', 'Loyalty', 'Reform', 'Good of the People', 'Integrity', 'Laws of the Land', 'Trial by Jury', 'Lords', 'Habea[s Corpus]', 'Liberty', 'Candour', 'Justice', 'Truth', 'Freedom of the Pr[ess]', 'Bill of Rights', 'Commons', 'Free Representation' [see No. n 551]. A circle of clouds is still not entirely dispersed by the rays: on the right they are over the Tower of London and on the left they surround three evil stars: 'Corrupti[on]', 'Imbe[cillity]', 'Democ[racy]'. After the title: 'on Thursday June 21st or near that time the Sun of Patriotism will emerge from Reginon [sic] of darkness in the East and again cheer, the inhabitants of the west with the warmth of his Rays, the malignant Planets will for some time at least lose their balefull influence under the cloud which Ought to obscure them for ever,—vide Political Almanack. 1810'.
- Production date
Height: 248 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)
Burdett's imprisonment, see No. 11548, &c., would end automatically with the prorogation of Parliament. During it, his popularity reached its peak: he had added to his former merits that of martyrdom, the defence of Magna Carta, and the inviolability of the Englishman's home. For his release see No. 11567. The implication of 'Democracy' in a Burdettite print is noteworthy, cf. vol. vii, Index, s.v. Democracy and Democrats.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number