- Museum number
- Object: Delicious Dreams!
Above the design: 'Castles in the Air! Glorious Prospects!' A parody of No. 10979 by Gillray. Queen Caroline and her supporters, realistically depicted, sleep round the dinner-table after dessert (at Brandenburgh House), their dreams are supported on clouds which hide the upper part of the wall. The Queen (left), dressed much as in No. 14103, but with trailing draperies, lies back in an arm-chair, arms extended, her knees crossed and shoes kicked off. She wears the accustomed miniature of Bergami, see No. 13858; her bracelets are inscribed 'C B'. Lieut. Flinn leans on the back of her chair, looking down at her protectingly, the only one awake. At her right hand sleeps Joseph Hume, identified by a paper in his pocket: 'Humes motion upon Queenboro'. Facing him and on the Queen's left sits Lady Anne Hamilton, wearing a feathered (Scots) bonnet. In an arm-chair facing the Queen Alderman Wood (right) leans back, one thin leg on the table. On his right is Dr. Parr; on his left Hownam, in naval uniform, bestrides his chair with his back to the table, his head buried in his hands which are folded on the back of his chair (inscribed 'C R'). Decanters are labelled 'C BR'; a (gold) centrepiece for fruit is supported by three naked nymphs. On the floor are glasses and many more decanters: 'Brandy' (by the Queen); 'Rum', 'Madeira', 'Port' by Wood. The carpet is patterned with hearts and arrows.
In the centre of the wall is a large fireplace flanked by fire-screens, each with a half length portrait surmounted by a crescent. On the chimneypiece are three dancing figurines: the Queen apparently as Columbine (see No. 14120) between a Turk (Mahomet, see No. 13929) and a Harlequin (Bergami as in No. 14120). Two bell-pulls terminate in satyrs' heads; similar heads decorate the chairs. The pictures are (left) a half length of Bergami as a courier above two smaller pictures: a tent on a ship, see No. 13818, and the Queen walking with Wood. On the right a half length of Bergami after his promotion above a picture of Bergami and the Queen walking together, and one of Bergami rowing her in a boat (on Como). A globe enclosing a lamp mounted with rams' heads hangs from the ceiling.
On the cloud, behind the lamp, is a vision of loaves and fishes, above, an open book inscribed 'Bless the [Qu]een'. The topmost dream is a coronation, realistically depicted: the King, crowned, and Queen kneel face to face, the Archbishop about to place a crown on her head. Peeresses stand behind the Queen, peers behind the King. On the right and left are two disks of light, which illuminate the scenes below. One is 'R I G H T S' (the letters in a circle) above a view of Buckingham House ('the Queen's House'). The other is 'P R I V I LE G E S': the Queen, wearing a crown, stands on a dais, a lady kisses her hand, other ladies stand on the left and right. Below the title:
'Thus Queen Mab Gallops Night by Night
Thro' Lover's brains, & then they dream of Love;
Sometimes she gallops oe'r a Courtiers Nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a Place,
And sometimes comes she as a tythe pigs tail
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
But, 'tis the baseless fabric of a Vision,
that leaves not a rack behind. Altered from Shakespeare.'
['Romeo and Juliet', I. iv; 'Tempest', IV. i.]
30 April 1821
- Production date
Height: 387 millimetres
Width: 289 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 the collapse of the agitation on behalf of the Queen (see No. 14145), and the disappointed hopes of her supporters, cf. No. 14131. One of several prints on the Queen's propensity to brandy: Lady Granville writes (14 Oct. 1820): 'They say that one of the Queen's habits to be proved by ocular demonstration every evening, is that of excessive drinking.' 'Letters', 1894, i. 188. See also Nos. 14122, 14144, 14170, 14188, 14191, 14205; Grantley Berkeley asserts that she drank only milk, tea, and coffee, but filled decanters with tea to deceive. 'My Life and Recollections', 1866, iv. 167. Hume, her active supporter in Parliament, moved on 12 Apr. the disfranchisement of Ordnance officials on the ground that their votes made Queenborough a Treasury borough. 'Parl. Deb.', N.S. v. 180 ff. Cf. No. 14196. The plate appears in No. 14206. 'Mother Cole', pub. Humphrey, 20 July 1821, is also on brandy-drinking (De Vinck, No. 10450).
De Vinck, No. 10431.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number