- Museum number
- Object: The march of intellect. Political
Six vignettes. The central and largest:  'Illuminati'. Interior of a cheap coffee-house, the tables divided by high-backed seats; on the wall: 'All to be paid for on delivery and a bill of fare: Coffe [sic], 1d, Tea 1½, Hot . mufs 1, Toast 1, Egg 1, Ham . . .'. In the foreground, in the middle of the room, are books and scientific apparatus: 'Euclid, Locke, Algebra, Boyle, Newton, Smith, &c.', with a terrestrial globe, retort, &c. and a newspaper headed 'Literature Fine Arts'. The customers read, or argue and listen. A dustman sleeps over the 'Times', a man pores over the 'Observer'. An old sailor finishes a speech: 'So Gemmen I've given you my opinion of the circulating medium [see BM Satires No. 15919], the Sinking fund [seeBM Satires No. 15887] & Commercial systim, expos'd the fallacy of Smith, Malthus, Owen [see BM Satires No. 12891] & others show'd you how Ministers might pay off the National debt; how no Man need work, (have every thing done by Steam) prov'd to you that Government dont know what they're about; and now I'd be glad to hear any other Gemman.' Several speak at once: 'Gentlemen I rise to reply, countered by 'I rose first'; an old sailor with a hook for hand shouts 'Avast there belay, belay!'; a butcher says 'I should think—'. A smartly dressed serving-woman with a steaming bowl addresses a man holding a cigar who says: 'Vot, not smoke! I'll go to the Divan'. The room is lit by a flaring gas-jet in a pipe from the ceiling (3⅛ x 5⅜ in.).
 'Grateful Automaton. To save Cringing at Elections'. The automaton in court dress bows, tilting on its toes, hand on breast. It stands on a box on the hustings filled with white balls and placarded: 'Please to put a White ball or Vote, into the hole at top & the Gentleman above will bow his thanks'. As the ball rolls in a spring is moved which makes the automaton bow. A man stands on the hustings, shouting, 'This way with your votes: the politest Gemman, on the Hustings'. The gangway is crowded with bucolic electors; behind is a market-place filled with heads (3 x 3⅝ in.).
 'Royal Chemical Apparatus. For reducing Patriots'. The 'Parliament' building has a dome like a retort or boiler from which issues a large pipe; patriots, thrown headfirst into a hopper on the roof inscribed 'Rotten Borough Melting Pot', emerge from the pipe as little grovelling M.P.'s. Top-booted legs disappear down the hopper, while a courtier with a wand of office holds up Cobbett and is about to hurl him into the "Melting Pot". Cobbett kicks, brandishing his gridiron (see BM Satires No. 16123) and his 'Register'. The courtier says to the Chancellor, who stands in the foreground, holding a purse and a birch-rod, 'Here's a most outrageous one, my Lord'. Lyndhurst (unrecognizable): 'Oh! in with him' (2⅝ x 3⅝ in.).
 'A Cobbettite'. In a poverty-stricken, ramshackle room a dustman (right) (apparently named after C. J. Fox) adjusts his cravat before a fragment of looking-glass by the light of a guttering candle. His wife, seated with an infant on her lap, looks up from her book, 'Rights of Women', to ask: 'Vere are you going Charles James?' C. J.: 'To the House of Commons to be sure to see vot the're debating on'. A little boy next his mother is absorbed in a "Register" marked with Cobbett's gridiron. On the floor are another "Register" and two books,
Smith, 'Wealth of Nations' and [?] 'Black Book' [see BM Satires Nos. 13588, 16318]. A child sleeps in a bed on the floor. A wall-clock shows that the time is eleven. (2⅝ x 3 5/16 in.)
 'A Malthusian'. A butcher sits on his block beside his almost empty stall, a book, 'Malthus' ["Essay on Population"] on his knee, while he frowns over a paper of 'Calculations'; through an open door his wife is seen, giving food to a number of children. He reflects: 'Let's see! I've eight Children, then if they each have 8 that's 64 they the same that's 512 again 4096 they the same 32768 again 262144 they 8 a piece that's 2097152 then if they should have all have 8 that's 16617210 [sic] my Conscience!!! there wont be bread enough for the Scraggs Family'. (2¾ x 3⅝ in.)
 'Promotion Ladder'. A man stands in a Gothic niche in an old stone building, high above the ground, having reached it by a human ladder of five persons, one a woman, who stand on each other's shoulders. He kicks the top man, saying, 'Go to the Devil'; the man asks 'Didnt we help you up?' The "ladder" bends; all are about to fall. (2 x 1 15/16 in.) 1829
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 347 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', XI, 1954)
See No. 15604, &c. Cf. No. 15989.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number