- Museum number
- Object: Ministerial husbandry- or- cutting up the usefull plants, and nourishing the thistles-ie- saving at the spickett and letting out at the bung hole.
A fantastic road-side scene. In the foreground a man kneels to cut corn with a sickle, a paper in his pocket: [?] Cro . . , seems to indicate Croker, Secretary to the Admiralty. Beside him are four small sheaves being devoured by rats, one of whom, distended with grain, walks off on crutches; a gardener (left) waters a large clump of thistles with a watering-pot inscribed Husky's Son; the plants are inscribed 2,000, 2,500, 1400 [&c, &c.]. On the right Wellington, in uniform, fires a cannon point-blank at a beehive, Industry, which he overturns so that the honeycomb falls out and bees fly off. He turns, with a gesture of negation, towards Justice holding up her scales; in the lighter scale is a paper inscribed (?) Injuries. From the hive the road branches left and right, beside a signpost pointing (left) To Long's Hotel [a fashionably raffish hotel in Bond Street, cf. No. 15198, here used as a pun] £3.500 miles and (right) To Bromley Hall £750 miles; along the latter a coach and four drives off in the background. On the left are two gibbets from each of which a cat dangles; rats dance at the foot of a gibbet and run up the posts. A dog runs off with a bag of Cats [?] meat. Four (?) dogs on hind-legs carry coffins on their shoulders. Behind, the trunk of a decayed tree is placarded:
'Truly the case of Clerks will n'er be mended,
Till like the Cats, the Rats are all suspended.'
c. July 1821
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 353 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
A satire on national finance. Its general tenor may reflect the debate on Hume's motion for economy and retrenchment (27 June), Parl. Deb., N.S. v. 1345 ff. The prominence of Huskisson implies a reference to the famous Report on the depressed state of Agriculture (18 June). The thistles are sinecures, &c. The signpost derives from the Black Book, p. 59, in which Charles Long's receipts are given as a pension of £1,500, a salary as Joint Paymaster of £2,000, with a pension to Mrs. Long of £750 from his death. Long (see vols, vii, viii) lived at Bromley Hill, Kent (Royal Kalendar). The couplet implies economies by the dismissal of ill-paid clerks, cf. No. 12786. For the spigot and bung-hole theme cf. Nos. 7842, 12762; it was repeated in 1830.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number