- Museum number
- Object: The r-l masquerade.
Heading to a broadside printed in three columns below the (printed) title, which is transcribed from a 'Letter of the Black Dwarf in London to the Yellow Bonze in Japan', in the 'Black Dwarf', ii. 214-19, 8 Apr. 1818, see No. 12982. The principal figures have numbers referring to the text. Persons at a masquerade are closely grouped, the centre figure being the 'Regent', '1', as Nobody, with head arms, and legs but no body, as in No. 12438, &c.; he raises his glass. Beside him (right) stands the Duke of York, '2', as a bishop, holding a crosier, and wearing a mitre, and bishop's robes over military boots and breeches. The Duke of Clarence, '3', on the extreme left, in uniform as 'an Admiral on shore', holding a mask, is ridiculed for 'his method of making love'. He sang 'Young froggee would a wooing go . . .' (cf. No. 11525, &c.). Beside him are Princess Elizabeth, '5', preparing to dance with the Prince of Hesse-Homburg, '4'; they are a 'Dutch-looking damsel' and 'A Fortune Hunter', who sing and dance, ending with the last three lines quoted in No. 12992: from their mouths float the words: "What joy to be humbugged by thee!!" and "We'll both Humbug the Nation!!!" Behind the Duke of Clarence is '6', 'A Principal of the Inquisition, by Lord S— [Sidmouth]', with the profile of Castlereagh. He was attended by members of the Inquisition, not depicted: 'Mr W—b—e [Wilberforce], the Att—y-G— [Shepherd], and several great legal characters.' Behind the Regent (left) stands Canning, '8' (unrecognizable), as 'A Mountebank', grinning and gesticulating. In front of him is '10', a little man, his body hidden by an open book covered with meaningless figures: 'An Account Book, by Mr. V—t [Vansittart]', containing only 'a few unintelligible reckonings, all supposed to be wrong'. A pendant to this is a tombstone inscribed 'Hic Jac[et] Leges Ang [sic] Angliae', representing 'The Laws of England'. Behind the Duke of York is '9', 'A Villain, by the Worst Man in his Majestys dominions ... the "apostate", the "renegade", the "parricide", the "traitor", the "tyrant", the "cheat", the "bully", and the "ingrate" were equally conspicuous'. He is (perhaps intentionally) unrecognizable, but is evidently the Duke of Cumberland. A little man in old-fashioned dress (right) runs in profile to the right, holding up a dark lantern and clutching a newspaper: 'New Times'. He is '"The New Times", by Dr. Slop ("7")', i.e. Stoddart. Behind him is a wretched-looking man, perhaps representing 'English Liberty, by a "Lancashire Weaver . . ." dressed in a complete suit of heavy irons, from the manufactory of Sidmouth, Castles, and Co.'. On the extreme right stands a diminutive black man, 'Black Dwarf', registering amused astonishment as a spectator of the scene, and representing Wooler, as in No. 12982. On the extreme left is a post inscribed 'Morning Post'. Heads of other masqueraders are suggested in the background. A chandelier with lighted candles hangs from the upper margin.
c. April 1818
Hnad-coloured etching and letterpress
- Production date
- 1818 (c.)
Height: 154 millimetres (image)
Height: 380 millimetres (sheet)
Width: 220 millimetres
Width: 221 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
A comprehensive satire on the Regent, his brothers, and his Ministers, with references to the marriage of Princess Elizabeth, see No. 12986, &c., the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, see No. 12871, the State Trials of 1817, see No. 12887, &c., and the newspaper Press. Other allusions in the text are to 'a group of borough-mongers' representing the Nation, to the House of Commons as 'a "walking ledger", with a great majority of "cyphers"', the House of Lords as a grown-up baby with a rattle inscribed 'Hereditary Legislation'. A song of twenty lines is attributed to Dr. Slop; the third verse:
Yet curse the unmannerly fools! 'they wont pay.'
Though I laboured so hard to 'get rid of the Day!'
My "NEW TIMES" is the toast and the boast of the wise,
So no light, truth, or reason! friends, put out your eyes!
Having quarrelled with 'The Times' Stoddart ('Slop') started the 'New Times' in 1817, shortly afterwards incorporating with it 'The Day'. The Duke of York had been titular Bishop of Osnabrück, cf. No. 11227, &c. The Duke of Clarence's attempts to marry were many and varied, see (e.g.) No. 11748.
Reid, No. 954. Cohn, No. 1923. Reproduced, 'Cruikshankian Momus', p. 96.
Douglas impression inscribed 'Designed by G. C. and part of the etching by his brother, I. R. C.'. Cohn.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number