Economy – Anticipation
London, J. Johnson May 1st .1816, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
208 x 492 mm
Traces of old folds as issued
Two designs placed side by side, see No. 12767. Brougham, in the guise of John Bull, wearing top-boots and a round hat, appears to the Regent, holding up a broom which points towards a small scene surrounded by clouds, in the upper right corner of the design. The Regent, who has been revelling over a large bowl of punch, falls back terrified, overturning his chair. Brougham, his left arm extended towards the Regent, declaims: "Retrench! Retrench [debauched Prince (almost obliterated)], reflect on the distressed state of your Country, & remember the Security of ye Throne rests on the happyness of ye People; that its lusture [sic] does not consist in finery, or five-Clawed Dragons—neither is its stability consulted, by treating its supporters with contempt.—" Venienti Occurrite Morbo"— meet the evil; take timely warning, & retrench, before it be too late." The Regent falls on to McMahon, a tiny figure on hands and knees, gazing up at Brougham; he supports himself with his right hand on the knee of Lady Hertford (see No. 11853, &c.) who is seated beside him. All three register astonishment and terror. The Regent exclaims: "D—n such Economy say I, why I might as well turn to eating husks at once! What the Devil do You want? have I not recommended Economy [in my speech (almost obliterated)]? have I not enforced precept, by Example? Have I not discharged four of my footmen? What more would you have?!!" Behind the Regent and Lady Hertford are the fringed curtains of a canopy. Four terrified heads, on the extreme left, peep round the curtain, one above the other. The lowest resembles John Nash, the next (? Lord Hertford, Lord Chamberlain) says: "Have we not turn’d away a number of petty clerks & supernumeraries? what other retrenchments wod these Grumblers wish for?" A pair of legs from a prostrate courtier projects into the design (left). Another pair belongs to a man who crawls under the table-cloth of the round table on which are punch-bowl, decanters, and dessert. From behind the punchbowl looks an angry face (? Castlereagh), saying: "curse that Broom ’tis always conjuring up something to frighten us." The vision above Brougham’s head is of the Regent and McMahon, both ragged, seated facing each other at a plain wooden table on which are a jar of ‘Spring Water’ and a lighted candle-end stuck in a bottle. The Regent gnaws a bare bone; McMahon (in miniature) takes up a small fish by the tail.