The high wind of March blowing events from all quarters

Tags: Recent items, scourge magazine.
The high wind of March blowing events from all quarters
Hover your mouse over to magnify

George Cruikshank

The high wind of March blowing events from all quarters-

London, M. Jones April 1st .1815, The Scourge

Etching

Original hand colouring

210 x 520 mm

Traces of old folds as issued.

£420

A sequence of four designs, each with a caption; they illustrate an article in the form of a letter from John Bull, describing a dream, and headed 'Wonders! Wonders." Wonders!!!'(cf. No. 6162). [1] 'Administering a Mild antidote to Starvation! ! !—' John is tied to a pillar representing the Constitution; on it are a Bible, a cushion supporting the crown which is transfixed by a dagger, and the (lop-sided) scales of Justice. A fire blazes under his feet, kindled by Vansittart in his Chancellor of the Exchequer's gown, who, using a mace as a torch, feeds it with burning papers: 'New Taxes'; '[Tax] on Shops'; 'on. . . on Houses'; '. . . Batchelors'; 'Cuts on Manufactory'. He says: "I think this will melt him now." Liverpool and Castlereagh attack John with bayonets. The former rams into his mouth a large document inscribed 'Corn Bill'; John cries: "No Corn Bill no, no." Liverpool says: "No compulsion Johnny but you must." Castlereagh directs his bayonet, on which a loaf inscribed '1s. 6d' is spitted, against John's stomach. Mounted Life Guards, sabre in hand, are drawn up in a row to protect the torturers. In the foreground, destined for the fire, are papers and a large open book: 'On the gret Utility of Petitiong Parliament'. Several papers are inscribed 'Petition agst Corn Bill', and a heap of these together with 'Magna Charta' and 'Bill of Rights' is surmounted by a paper inscribed 'Waste Paper Dirty Parchment &c &c'. In the background is a grassy slope down which cavalry gallop towards burning houses, from which tiny figures are hurling furniture; the words' no Corn Bill' (twice) appear in the flames. Infantry fire point-blank at the rioters. [2] 'Cochrane and Brooshooft or a return to quarters!!!—N° 2' A note below this and [3]: '* by Mistake these Subjects are Misplaced, N° 2 preceeding N° 1'. A procession approaches the King's Bench Prison (left). Lord Cochrane, dressed as in No. 12514, but heavily shackled and with a rope round his neck, is led by a smartly dressed man wearing top-boots who holds two large keys. In front marches a man holding up a pole to which are tied four pistols, a large bag of 'Snuff', a smaller one of 'Balls', and a horn of 'Powder'. A constable with a crowned staff walks behind Cochrane, holding a heavy chain padlocked to his prisoner's wrists. Other constables are indicated behind, in the doorway (right) in the wall surrounding the prison. From the mouths of the escort rise the words "See the Conquering Hero comes." A sign-post points (left) 'To Ellenborough Castle' (the King's Bench Prison was under the control of the C. J. of the King's Bench) and (right) 'To New Bedlam'. On steps leading to the door a man hails the approach, waving his hat. In the foreground a ragged boy jeers and a dog barks. See No. 12514. [3] 'N° 1 An if & a Butt or how to Escape—' At the foot of steps leading from a door in the King's Bench Prison a man rolls (right to left) a large barrel, inscribed 'Cockruns Intire', from which emerge Cochrane's head and shoulders. His profile faces the ground and he says: "Rowly Powly Gammon & Spinage [a phrase for humbug dating from c. 1845, according to Partridge's 'Slang Dict.', but apparently deriving from 'A frog he would a-wooing go ...', see No. 11525, &c., 11843] I'm off says Anthony Rowly." The man who rolls the barrel says, grinning, I'm afraid his Lordship will settle at a heavy discount—I shall get blamed for this." A man standing on the steps watches the departure with folded arms. The barrel is about to be rolled up a slanting ladder on to the back of the dray, on which is another cask. A high wall with a frieze of spikes joins two blocks of buildings; in it is a large double door, closed. [4] 'The Lyon & the Unicorn fighting for the Crown—&c—' On a small platform which serves as dais for the throne of Louis XVIII, Napoleon (left) and Louis fight, each tugging at the crown. Napoleon, who wears a large plumed bicorne, lifts his sabre and plants the toe of his jack-boot on the King's gouty foot. The latter raises his sceptre to smite, saying, "Tyrant, Usurper thy time is come thy blood shall expiate thy crimes." Napoleon: "Yeild Bourbon. the Throne is mine Mine by Treachery & broken Faith fly then to Elba. do you not tremble at yon grim Monster whose Bloody Jaws are open to receive you." He alludes to a fantastic guillotine, dripping blood, immediately behind Louis. This seems to have two supports, one emerging from a huge jack-boot, the other resting on the decollated head of Louis XVI, which is carried on a staff by the headless owner, who plucks at his brother's coat-tail. The guillotine is topped by a grotesque head with gaping mouth, wearing a bonnet rouge in which an axe is thrust, and flanked by two lean and eager hands. From the mouth issue the words: "Gentlemen you will have the goodness to settle your own private disputes—one of you must have the Throne but I must have the other." On the opposite side of the platform, behind Napoleon, are the flames of Hell; in these stands a grinning demon, holding on his shoulders a skeleton, Death, who holds a javelin and touches Napoleon's back, crying, "Huzza Boney for Ever." Tiny demons, like insects, but representing men with muskets and flags, ascend in the flames. Below the front of the platform and forming the base of the design are French spectators, three-quarter length figures. Old soldiers shout "Vive l'Empereur," one of them, wearing a bonnet rouge, transfixes with his bayonet an elderly royalist shouting "Vive le Roi." One man shouts ecstatically "Vive les Bourbons." An elderly woman, fashionably dressed, registers consternation, her back to the platform. Behind the (fallen) throne is a high canopy surmounted by a fleur-de-lis.