John Bull bother’d; - or – The Geese alarming the Capitol

Tags: Gillray.
John Bull bother’d; - or – The Geese alarming the Capitol
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An uncoloured aquatint. A night scene. William Pitt stands on top of a crenellated fort, with cannon poking out between the crenellations. He peers through a small telescope at a flight of geese, knees quaking with fear, clutching the arm of a stout yokel militiaman, armed with an old fashioned musket and broken bayonet. John Bull, frightened and bemused, has two pamphlets poking out from his waistcoat pockets – Tom Paine’s Rights of Man and the libellous Pennyworth of Truth by Rev. William Jones. A satire on the calling out of the militia on Dec. 1st in response to bad news from Scotland and Ireland, riots in London and Pitt’s well known fears of sedition. The title refers to the invasion of Rome by the Gauls in 390 BC when the guards on the Capitol were alerted to an attempted sneak attack by the cackling of Juno’s sacred geese. BM 8141.