- Museum number
- Object: Hobbies- the cheapest rideing in the fair or Johnny Bulls royal roundabout.
A roundabout or merry-go-round revolves round a centre pole topped by a royal crown on a cushion. The motive force is given by John Bull who runs inside the circle, pushing at a cross-bar. In the foreground are three riders on the roundabout: in front (right) the Regent mounted on a Chinese dragon, a crutch in each hand, his gouty legs thrust out, his coat-tails flying. He looks over his shoulder to say to John Bull, who is just behind him: "Thats right Johny keep us going! dont flag Man & you shall never know what I'll do for you!" Princess Charlotte rides the British Lion whose head is just behind John Bull; she holds the mane and looks over her shoulder at her husband, holding up a German sausage (cf. No. 12759). She says: "Well! how do you come on with your old German Boar! I warrant you would like to mount my Hobby Leo, but I would not change for Dads five claw'd Dragon." Behind her on the lion stands a money-bag: '50.000 Pr An'. John looks up at her, saying, "Stick to that young Mistress! and tho I am pretty near stript to the skin, egad I'll off with my shirt to keep you going to the last!" He is in his shirt-sleeves, his wig, hat, coat, and cudgel lie on the ground (left), together with a detached pocket, inscribed 'M. T.' (empty), and a paper: 'Joh Bull, caterer in general to the [Roya]l Family—NB provides music & pays the Piper.' Prince Leopold's boar is at the Lion's heels, he holds it by the ears, his long legs reaching nearly to the ground. He wears British uniform with plumed cocked hat and many stars, and says: "Ah Mr Bull, too fast I giddy!" The rest of the circle which is the base for the hobbies is behind the centre pole. A seat behind the Princess is in the form of a disk-shaped cheese placed vertically and inscribed 'Gloucester'. Behind the circle, directed to the left, are Princess Mary and the Duke of Gloucester, both resting their hands on a horizontal pole (a bâton) inscribed 'Feild Marshal'. He shouts: "Holla stop a minute Johnny this place is for me I know!" She exclaims: "And here's a Gloucester for me so I'll stride that!"
In the middle distance (left), the new Duchess of Cumberland, in an advanced state of pregnancy, is weeping; in her hand is a book inscribed 'Psalms' [Salms]. Her husband, in hussar uniform, embraces her, saying, "Dont cry my Princess weell be off to Kent & Sussex Salms will be welcome there." On the extreme right and facing the Regent stands McMahon, very small, holding up a huge frothing tankard; he says: "a snug little Family Party so here's a pleasant ride to you all!" Behind him is a tent flying a flag inscribed 'Syllabubs and Trifle'. On the left are other tents of a fair with inscribed flags: 'Emporium for Genuine German Sausage' [cf. No. 12759]; within it a crowd of women eagerly stretch out their arms for a sausage held above their heads by a man. Next is 'The Booth for Wellington Brown Stout'. On the ground (right) is a paper lying across another inscribed 'Iohn Bulls Fair: "This world is a fair "wher the crowd is bent wholly "on gewgas [sic] & rattles noise nonscence and folly "Where titles & honors are trades most prolific. And gold is the one universal styptic.'
Plate numbered 382.
- Production date
Height: 251 millimetres
Width: 352 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 the burdens on John Bull imposed by the marriages of Princess Charlotte (see No. 12748, &c.) and Princess Mary (see No. 12783, &c.), and the Regent's extravagance, see No. 12747, &c. As in No. 12785, the popularity of Princess Charlotte is stressed. In discussions on the Civil List Bill in May the Opposition had attacked the expenditure on the 'fantastical furniture' of the Pavilion and its Chinese décor. 'Parl. Deb.' xxxiv. 840, &c. See No. 12749. For the refusal by Parliament to make an allowance to the Duke of Cumberland on his marriage to the Princess of Solms, and her ostracism by Queen Charlotte (but not by the Dukes of Kent and Sussex) see No. 12591, &c. Cf. No. 12987, &c.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number