- Museum number
- Object: Boxiana- or- the fancy.
Plate from the 'Scourge', x. 241. Illustration to verses (reprinted from the 'Morning Chronicle'): 'Epistle from Tom Cribb to Big Ben, concerning some foul Play in a late Transaction.' A boxing-match between the Regent and Napoleon, both stripped to the waist. The Regent (left), immensely corpulent, stands over Napoleon, who lies on the ground, and kicks him. Two of the Prince's feathers lie on the ground; a little chimney-sweep has picked up the third and shows it to Napoleon's second, who is supporting the fallen man by the shoulders; the boy says: "Master I found a white feather"; the second exclaims: "Foul! Foul! by all the rules of honor! why even Blackey cries shame." Behind the second stands Tom Cribb, raising both arms in protest: he says to the Regent:
"What! Ben my big hero is this thy renown?
Is this the new go?—kick a man when he's down!
When the foe has knock'd under, to tread on him then—
By the fist of my father, I blush for the [sic] Ben!"
The other supporters of Napoleon are on the right. His black bottle-holder watches in dismay, one foot on Napoleon's (green) coat which lies with his cocked hat. Behind, two Englishmen, much shocked, stand between two Frenchmen. One of the latter asks, with raised hands: "Ah! Je vois, you be de Jentelman! n'est pas bien Sauvage Sare!" The Englishman answers: "Bien shove-a . . e! no d—e! mounseer, I think it more like kicking, than shoving." The second Englishman holds his friend by the shoulders, saying, "vy Charley vot sort of a go d'you call this!" The other Frenchman, an officer taking snuff, says to Napoleon: "Vi you no go to de Russia you only get little squeeze."
The Regent's supporters on the extreme left are only three: his bottle-holder is Lord Yarmouth with a decanter of 'Curacoa'; he says obsequiously: "He is only kicking to try if ther is any honor there Blackey!" McMahon holds the Regent's stays under his arm, a purse (the Privy Purse, cf. No. 11874) hangs from his pocket. He says: "Themistocles will be well treated if we can find any honor in him!" Eldon, in wig and gown, holds a paper: "Rules of the new Fancy, Kicking allowed Scratching all . . . "; he says: "Or we may send Themistocles to acquire honor at Botany!"
1 October 1815
- Production date
Height: 237 millimetres
Width: 337 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
An attack on the Regent for Napoleon's exile, see No. 12592, &c.; for Themistocles see No. 12608, &c. The negro is probably an allusion to Napoleon's abolition of the slave trade, see No. 12546. Big Ben was Bryan (or Brain), d. 1794, see No. 7646. Tom Cribb's words are from Tom Moore's 'Epistle from Tom Cribb to Big Ben concerning some foul play in a late transaction'. They were reprinted from the 'Morning Chronicle' in 'The Fudge Family in Paris', 1818. In the 'Diary of John Newton', 1933, they are transcribed in full, under date 25 July 1816, and attributed to Dr. Worthington. The last lines:
To show the 'white feather' is many men's doom,
But what of 'one' feather?—Ben shows a 'whole Plume'.
Broadley, ii. 8 f.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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