- Museum number
- Object: For sale,... this defective (hone)
An engraved inscription simulating a small poster or advertisement in which the word 'Hone' is represented by a hone: a (cracked) rectangular slab, with a wooden base and handle supported on the back of a crocodile with long jaws merging into the head of Cochrane, shedding tears (see No. 12995). On the wooden handle (right) is a face intended for that of Hone, with a round hole above the eyes through which the tip of the crocodile's tail passes. The crocodile extends across the design with three lines of the text above it, and fourteen below. The portion covered by the text is divided into six vertical strips, coloured alternately yellow and pale brown. The text: 'Kings Bench Prison, Staircase N° 7. / For Sale, at a price infinitely below that delicately hinted at C—lt—n House, a cracked &, it must be con-/-fessed, rather dirty article, mounted on a brazen Crocodile lately thrown out of the Nelsonian Collection as blemished / (see the tail) but which now serves as a very becoming appendage & supporter to this defective'
'This article, certainly contemptible as to intrinsic Value, nevertheless is greatly esteemed.—.—.— by barbers / & the frequenters of barbers shops; some of these even reprobate its use, for the Thing itself is soft, / dull, liable to woeful scratches, & void of every thing like Keenness, still it possesses the singular power of / giving a more cutting edge, to substances of superior solidity even, that are made to rub against / this otherwise clumsy & vulgar article, provided always that it frequently is spit upon*, for which it seems / purposely formed.
'It was found at Botley after Mr Cobbet's departure, & altho' the latter had consigned it among some / useless rubbish (for satisfactory proof see Hone's twopenny publication N° 20,) persons may value it, on / account of the particular &, "for aught is known", perhaps only use* to which that industrious writer / may have devoted it—Fond hopes had been cherished, that the black Dwarf would avail him-/-self of this Lump of stone (or rather Wood petrified,) but on trial it became manifest, that that sly & / skilful workmans cutting tools were so keenly tempered, that, instead of being improved by the contact, / they inflicted such depreciating marks on its soft surface, that it senms [sic] more than probable that this poor / mutilated Hone, & which just now goes begging, will have to be sent to Dorchester to be new faced!'
Both (visible) legs of the crocodile are inscribed 'Affidavit', 'Perjury'. The sections of the tail are 'Ava[rice]', 'Hypoc[risy]', 'Falshoo[d]', 'Treacher[y]', 'Bribery', 'Oppres[sion]', 'Perjury', 'Blasphemy'; the last word is on the tip of the tail which has pierced Hone's forehead.
c. June/July 1817
- Production date
Height: 169 millimetres
Width: 196 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A satire on Hone, see No. 12899, &c., and on Cochrane, convicted of a fraud involving perjury, in association with Berenger, see No. 12209, for which he was removed from the Navy List ('Nelsonian Collection'). Cochrane repeated in Parliament (17 Feb. 1817) the substance of an attack in Hone's 'Register' on Brougham after his reactionary speech, see No. 12867, to show his inconsistency, the information in both cases being supplied by Francis Place. Wallas, 'Life of Place', p. 124 f. The date should be between 21 June, when No. 20 of Hone's 'Reformist's Register' appeared, and 5 July when he was released on his own recognizances from the King's Bench, having been arrested on 5 May on an 'ex officio' information, see No. 12898. Wooler was Hone's neighbour in the King's Bench and was tried on 5 and 6 June on two charges of seditious libel in his 'Black Dwarf', a twopenny weekly more radical than Hone's paper, in which he had defended Hone, see No. 12982. Hackwood, 'William Hone', 1912, pp. 111 ff. For Cobbett's departure see No. 12878; for Dorchester prison, No. 13319.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number