The siege of St. Quintin

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The siege of St. Quintin
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Charles Williams

The siege of St Quintin

London, M. Jones December 1st. 1814, The Scourge


Original hand colouring

198 x 510 mm

Traces of old folds as issued


On the left the Regent and the Duke of York (in uniform) haul ropes by which a mounted hussar officer is being dragged from a deep water-filled ditch; the rope passes round the latter's posteriors. This officer, Colonel Quentin, has dropped his reins and clasps the head and neck of the horse; he exclaims with a distressed expression: "Oh, my de-a-r la-dy." The Regent (left) turns to his brother to say: "He must be sav'd—for on my life, / He hath a very pretty wife. / And, chief commander of our Forces / You know he buys me all my horses / Pull away Fred." The Duke answers: "Saved by a woman! how many have we known that have been disgraced by one? [an allusion to Mrs. Clarke, see No. 11216, &c.] —well here goes." They are walking towards the Horse Guards (left). Mud from the horse struggling in the water splashes the Regent's stocking. On the right of the ditch a fire, in which papers are burning, blazes on the ground, inscribed 'Conspiracy'. On this a stream of water descends from dark clouds that surround a pair of scales; a paper inscribed 'Sentance' in one scale much outweighs the other, which is heaped with papers inscribed 'Evidence'. The scales are held by two hands emerging from the clouds; a label, inscribed 'Ora et Labora', containing the words of the (concealed) holder of the scales, floats towards a body of hussar officers (right), who are pursuing Quentin. These officers are also faced with a large extinguisher inscribed 'FINIS' and 'Adjut Geners Office' which is held out to them by another hussar officer standing next the Duke of York, but facing in the opposite direction; he says: "Aye Aye you may sheathe up Gentlemen—I have orders to extinguish you!!" The officers, suddenly halted by fire and extinguisher, sheath their swords. The foremost says: "I could not palm the the [sic] conspiracy on the Court Martial." The next looks over his shoulder at two officers, who wear, in place of busbies, plumed chamber-pots on which are the Royal Arms, emblems of Mrs. Jordan, see No. 7908. He says: "I'll henceforth to the Worcester potteries, and manufacture Jordans for your mother." They answer: "For that matter, she is well stock'd already Marqs but we may want them amongst us, for we are all going to pot." Another officer says "A worse check was never presented at my old dad's in Lombard Street—I wish Palmer had let me a loan." Two officers are on the extreme right, one falls head first from his horse, saying, "This is a complete Somerset." The other says: "This is as bad as charging up Hill—." Behind, less characterized, are two young officers waving their busbies; one exclaims: "Aye, Aye; I thought the Old Soldier was too good a rider to be unhorsed." Others follow. All wear hussar uniform with dolmans hanging from their shoulders over braided tunics. Facing them is a bearded Jew with his sack for old clothes over his shoulder. He bows and doffs his hat, saying, "I will purchase your casht off shentlemen." From his pocket hangs a paper: 'Levy. Samult at the sign of the King of Hanover deals in cash'. In the foreground is a mortar emitting a puff of smoke. There is a landscape background.