- Museum number
- Object: "And Henry told a flattering tale."
The Duke of Clarence, in admiral's uniform, introduces to John Bull (right) Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen (left), who takes his right arm. John is a stout 'cit' wearing an ill-fitting wig, who sits at a plain wooden table on which is an overturned and empty tankard, his arm rests on a paper headed 'Tax upon Income' [repealed, see No. 12750]; he looks over his shoulder with angry suspicion at the couple who bow ingratiatingly. The Duke says: ""Clarence is Come", nows your time to rejoice John Bull for I'm the boy that can do it (Jordan for that) I will exert every nerve to produce an Heir, I'll Spend all my time in Bushey Park?—you know I am no Humbug. [In much smaller script:] I hope you'll not forget me next Parliament!" Princess Adelaide, pretty and amiable, holding a reticule, says: "On my part nothing to that end shall fail. I'll not leave a Stone unturned." Behind the pair on the extreme left stands a woman with a Jewish nose, who must be the bride's mother (see No. 13005). She registers cunning satisfaction, saying, "Bless me how easy Mr Bull is Humbugged!" Over John's table is a picture: two contrasted figures holding out frothing tankards towards each other. One, 'New Times', in modern dress, is thin and melancholy, his tankard, though large, is smaller than that of the other and is inscribed '6d'; 'Old Times' is a stout John Bull in old-fashioned dress, with a tankard inscribed '3d'. After the title:
'"Quoth C ..... e heav'n inspir'd" I'll wed,
I'll live no more in fornication,
But take a Virgin to my bed,
And serve and gratify the nation.'
c. July 1818
- Production date
Height: 245 millimetres
Width: 345 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
The Duke of Clarence, despite his assertion that he had given up his projected marriage on the refusal of Parliament to make him an adequate grant, see No. 12987, married on 11 July 1818 at Kew Palace. They retired to Hanover for reasons of economy, leaving London on 3 August. The word 'Humbug' was associated with royal marriages by the nickname of the Prince of Hesse-Homburg, see No. 12986, &c. The Duke's opening words imply the rest of the quotation: 'false, fleeting, perjured Clarence . . .', 'Richard III', 1. iv. For the Fitzclarences see (e.g.) No. 9009; for the abandonment of Mrs. Jordan, No. 11744. For the sensitiveness of John Bull to the price of porter cf. No. 9430, &c. See also No. 13005.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number