- Museum number
- Object: The man of the woods & the cat-o'mountain.
A kitchen scene [with a satire based on the fable of the "catspaw"]. A monkey with Wood's head squats beside a plump cat with the head in profile of Queen Caroline. She sits gazing at the fire with an eagerly expectant smile. He puts his left hand on her shoulder and takes her right paw which is supported on his knee, looking fixedly at her with greedy expectation. Between the bars of the grate are four chestnuts like large potatoes. These are inscribed respectively: 'Privileges', 'Rights', 'Liturgy', 'St Catherines'. Beside the grate and attached to a chain is a 'Kettle of Fish'. Behind the cat is a big trap with steel teeth inscribed '50 000 per Annum'. Behind it is a dresser, neatly arranged above a cupboard inscribed 'Lately from St Omers' [see No. 13730]. On the dresser are a teapot and butterdish, each with a bust portrait of Bergami, and two cups, inscribed 'BB'. There are also pans inscribed 'Hash' and 'Stew', a 'Tinder' box and bottle of 'Brim-Stone'. On the chimneypiece, with other utensils, is a box of 'Matches'. Below the title:
'A Cat and Monkey tired of play,
Basking before the fire lay,
Pug in the fire a Chesnut spied,
Puss, lend me your paw, he slyly cried!
And we the Booty will divide!!!—Gay.'
27 March 1821
- Production date
Height: 312 millimetres
Width: 227 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
Popular enthusiasm for the Queen had subsided; the Whigs were in a painfully small minority on every question relating to her, the final trial of strength being on her exclusion from the Liturgy. Encouraged by the prospect of a large subscription to be got up by the Whigs, she first refused, on Brougham's advice, the Ministerial offer of £50,000 a year. The subscription was a failure, the Queen then accepted the £50,000 and ceased to be a subject of political controversy. Aspinall, 'Brougham and the Whig Party', 1927, pp. 119 f.; 'Creevey Papers', ed. Maxwell, 14, 16 Feb. See No. 14145. Wood, as in Nos. 14110, 14248, is anxious to become Warden of St. Catherine's by the Tower, a sinecure (still) in the gift of the Queens of England (cf. No. 14175). See 'Diary of Mme D'Arblay', 1905, iv. 84-7, 231, for an appointment in 1788. Cf.:
"Huzza!" says Mat
"I've found the Cat,
"Whose paw shall find the rhino." 'John Bull', 13 Apr. 1821.
The theme was introduced by Hook in 'Tentamen; or the History of Whittington and his Cat', by Dr. Vicesimus Blenkinsop, 1820 (a gibe at V. Knox, cf. No. 14136), attributed to a MS. volume in the B.M.: 'Messalina, 2'. The plate is depicted in No. 14206.
De Vinck, No. 10423.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number