Princely amusements or the humors of the family.
London, M. Jones March 1st. 1812, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
197 x 508 mm
Traces of old folds as issued
In a long room or gallery the Regent, and the Dukes of Clarence, York, and Sussex are engaged in appropriate recreations. The Regent is one of a set of four dancing a reel with crossed hands; he capers vigorously, his outstretched arm pointing as if in derision to the Princess of Wales, who leaves the room; she is in back view, identified by her head-dress of coronet, feathers, and motto: ‘Ich Dien.’ The Prince says: "Off she goes." He holds Princess Charlotte’s hand; the other couple are Mrs. Fitzherbert (deserted since June 1811, see No. 11904, &c.), and a floridly obese man. The Prince wears a cap with his motto and three wildly swirling ostrich-feathers. On the ground is a broken ribbon inscribed ‘Restrictions’, and a music-book with the Prince’s feathers: ‘List of Tunes Morgan Rattler &c.’ Close to them are three musicians (left), much caricatured; two play respectively fiddle and pipe and tabor, while an aged flautist stops to receive a cheque or note signed ‘Rd Wilson’ from a grotesquely caricatured McMahon who holds ‘John Bulls Purse’. Behind him and on the extreme left. Lady Hertford holds up a ‘Political Barometer’, in which two figures alternately advance and recede in accordance with the weather (like the man and woman of the cottage-barometer). The figure in advance is Grenville, with a disgruntled expression, while ensconced in a recess is Wellesley, in quasi-oriental dress, wearing a star and coronet (as in No. 11864), who points at Grenville derisively. On the side-wall against which she is standing is her whole length portrait, standing arrogantly and holding a sceptre. This is unrecognizable, but is inscribed ‘Harford’. Beside it is a bust portrait of Fox, hung upside down. These groups fill the left half of the design. On the extreme right a lady in back view sits at a square piano with an open music-book showing her identity: ‘The Sussex Tune—I told a flattering Tale—by Mrs Billington’. Beside her stands the Duke of Sussex, more grotesquely paunchy than his brothers; he smokes a long German pipe with a curved stem and covered bowl, and tramples on a print of ‘Lady Ag[usta] Murry’. He wears uniform with jackboots and a Scots cap with feathers (as in his portrait), one drooping down his back. Between piano and a fire-place which is in the centre of the back wall is a round card-table, at which the Duke of Clarence plays opposite Mrs. Jordan, and Mrs. Carey partners the Duke of York. Clarence wears admiral’s uniform with trousers and sword; he throws down a card, saying defiantly, " I revoke!!!" Mrs. Jordan watches him with quiet dignity. Mrs. Carey is identified by a basket under her chair inscribed ‘Mother Careys Chickens’ [see No. 11050] and containing coins. She shows the Duke a card: ‘Knave Col Wardle’; on the table is another: ‘Mrs Clarke’; the Duke registers surprised dismay. On the back wall pictures are symmetrically arranged. Over each of the two doors is a round profile portrait: George III looking through his spyglass as in No. 10019, &c., says: "What What" [his accustomed phrase]; this is ‘Tony Lumkin’ [sic]. The other (right) is inscribed ‘Old Snuffy’: Queen Charlotte (her head perhaps copied from No. 6918), taking snuff. Next each is a square picture, one above the Regent’s head covered with a curtain; the other, over the card-table, is ‘The Adoration’: a woman crowned and enthroned arrogantly holds out a sceptre; on one side of the triple dais stands a bishop, on the other a woman holding out a book and a birch-rod. Above the chimney-piece are two smaller picture-frames. One contains a realistic bust portrait of the Regent, the other is empty, to show that a portrait of the Princess of Wales has been removed. Between the two is a long upright ‘Pole’ [Wellesley-Pole], standing in the middle of the mantelshelf; on its summit is a cock’s head; a (?) hen clings to the pole close to this, while at its base is a dog with the head of the Duke of Clarence (its collar marked ‘C.’), trying to climb up. On the other side of the pole is a medicine-bottle labelled ‘For The Kings Evil’.