- Museum number
- Object: A vision of judgment!!!
Wellington, haggard and unrecognizable, starts up from a sofa, horrified at a vision enclosed in a circle from which huge lightning flashes dart towards him. He wears uniform with jack-boots, gauntlets, ribbon, and orders. In his left hand is a sceptre. At his feet are the crown on a cushion, a skull inscribed 'Memento' [mori], and a mitre. Just behind him, the King, in dressing-gown and night-cap, sleeps in an armchair, a bottle of Brandy beside him. The vision is of a boat propelled by Charon on the 'River Styx'. In it are Canning, holding up a banner inscribed 'Turkey | Portugal | Russia'; Perceval, seated, in a blood-stained robe, and Londonderry (Castlereagh) with a gash in his throat. All look towards Wellington. Charon: 'I hope your Grace will not forget my fee'. Canning: 'And then remember me': he holds a paper: 'Map. of Sou[th] Amer'[ica]. The others repeat 'And me'. Wellington, with right arm extended, exclaims:
'What do I see—Old Caron and his ferry?
And Canning, Percival, and Londonderry?
This is too bad by G— ; twas all my own—
The Church and State, the Sceptre and the Throne,—
Caesar himself I have put fast asleep
While Lords and Commons are afraid to peep—
What can those shawdows [sic] mean? What can they want?
Resign my mighty power! no that I shant—
And yet—I am half afraid that I shall fall,
Thus "Conscience still makes Cowards of us all"—' ['Hamlet', III. i]. [February 1829]
- Production date
- 1829 (?)
Height: 231 millimetres
Width: 334 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The date 'Feb? 1829' is inscribed in the bottom right corner with pen and ink.
(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', XI, 1954)
One of many attacks on Wellington for aiming at sovereign power, see No. 15774, &c. He is attacked for non-intervention in Portugal, in contrast with Canning's dispatch of troops to the Tagus in Dec. 1826; for failure vis-à-vis Russia and Turkey, see No. 15865, in contrast with Canning's "judicious opportunism" over the Greek question. See Comb. 'Hist. of Br. Foreign Policy', ii. 99 ff.; Webster, 'Foreign Policy of Palmerston', 1951, i. 237 ff., 259 ff. For Canning's ghost and the Ministry cf. No. 15706; for Perceval's death see No. 11881, &c. The only allusion in these prints to Castlereagh's suicide, see vol. x, p. 321. For Wellington's foreign policy see also Nos. 15679, &c, 15855, 15921, 16134, 16338, 16538. The title echoes Southey's poem (see No. 14226) and Byron's parody (see No. 14496). For Charon's boat cf. No. 10748 by Gillray.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number