Nebuchadnezzar's Dream

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Nebuchadnezzar's Dream
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George Cruikshank

Nebuchadnezzar's Dream-.

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


Original hand colouring

209 x 505 mm

Traces of old folds as issued


A sequence of three designs. [1] The Regent, in bed (right), raises himself on his arms to gaze in terror at a gigantic figure of himself wearing armour and standing on clouds, the head irradiated and surmounted by the world 'ROYALTY'. It stands full-face with hands on hips. The head is coloured yellow, the cuirass coloured to represent silver, the thighs brass, the legs iron; the feet, being bare, represent clay. The arms are inscribed 'Nobility', the thighs 'Commoners', the legs 'Nobility', the feet 'Swinish Multitude'. The pelmet of the bed is decorated with the Prince's feathers and motto; a set of three bed-side steps stands against the bed, beside which is a tall wig-block, with the Prince's features, supporting his wig and whiskers. Above the bed: 'One night fatigued with State affairs He sought his Royal couch, & said his prayers, Then on his pillow gently laid his head, And stretch'd like other folk his limbs in bed. His heavy eye-lids soon in slumber close; But short his sleep & transient his repose, For dreadful visions now before him roll And dreams of fearful import, scare his soul.' [2] The Regent seated on a throne in profile to the right, orders McMahon to drive away his advisers, who fly, terror-struck, to the right. He wears a spiky crown and quasi-oriental robe, and holds a sceptre which terminates in a wine-bottle. Pointing imperiously, he says: 'Quick from our presence drive this rabble rout Quick,—we repeat,—turn all these Varlets out, To further measures soon w'll have recourse, And put the Vagrant Act in rig'rous force! See to it—Mah—n, that the thing be done, See they be pilloried, every Mothers son!' McMahon, who wears a turban and robe over breeches and top-boots, wields a whip whose lash is a long purse, the Privy Purse, see No. 11874, &c. In his haste Liverpool has fallen on his face, losing his turban. Eldon scuttles off sideways holding up the Purse of the Great Seal. Castlereagh runs, holding up both arms, and is about to lose his turban. On the extreme right are the Archbishop of Canterbury, Manners-Sutton, wearing a mitre and grotesque clerical wig, and the profile head of Sidmouth, his bag-wig flying out behind. On the floor is a clyster-pipe dropped by Sidmouth (cf. 9849) and two books: 'The Black Art—by Lord Liver[pool]' and 'The Art of Hum-Buging'. From behind the curtain of the throne peeps the head of Yarmouth. The ornate canopy of the throne is decorated with a frieze of naked roisterers, dancing hand in hand, and with the Prince's feathers. On the dais by the Regent is a wine-cooler filled with bottles. The throne is placed within the courtyard of Carlton House, the screen and gate being on the right. [3] The Regent, crouching on a settee, flinches in horror from a sequel to the dream which is being expounded by an ugly little man in (ragged) clerical dress. The gigantic figure, still irradiated and surrounded by clouds, is struck on the feet and legs by an enormous rock inscribed 'National Bebt—Millions! Millions!! Millions!!' The head, the word 'Royalt[y]' smaller and fainter than before, is broken off, the arms are severed at elbows and wrists, the legs fall from the trunk. The interpreter stands in profile to the right, a large book under his arm; he declaims: 'Thus grew the evil which will crush you yet; The Stone, That monstrous Stone—the Public Debt! Which like a Mill-Stone fastned round your neck, Must lead at last to universal wreck,"— "What at the feet begins, will quickly spread, And fall, with heaviest vengenance [sic] on the head!"' On the extreme left is the profile figure of McMahon, gazing terror-struck. On the wall is a picture of the Regent on his hands and knees, raising his head from his diet of grass to look at his astonished advisers, five tiny figures on the left headed by Eldon, and all in quasi-oriental dress.