The Project Gutenberg EBook of English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon
I.  Volume II (of 2), by John Ashton

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Title: English Caricature and Satire on Napoleon I.  Volume II (of 2)

Author: John Ashton

Release Date: October 12, 2015 [EBook #50185]

Language: English

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A HISTORY OF THE CHAP-BOOKS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. With nearly 400 Illustrations, engraved in facsimile of the originals. Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 7s. 6d.

SOCIAL LIFE IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN ANNE. From Original Sources. With nearly 100 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 7s. 6d.

HUMOUR, WIT, AND SATIRE OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. With nearly 100 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. cloth extra, 7s. 6d.

London: CHATTO & WINDUS, Piccadilly.






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The Volunteer movement was well shown in a print by A. M., November 1803: ‘Boney attacking the English Hives, or the Corsican caught at last in the Island.’ There are many hives, the chief of which has a royal crown on its top, and is labelled ‘Royal London Hive. Threadneedle Street Honey’—which Napoleon is attacking, sword in hand. George the Third, as Bee Master, stands behind the hives, and says, ‘What! what! you plundering little Corsican Villain, have you come to rob my industrious Bees of their Honey? I won’t trust to your oath. Sting, Sting the Viper to the heart my good Bees, let Buz, Buz be the Word in the Island.’ The bees duly obey their master’s request, and come in clouds over Napoleon, who has to succumb, and pray, kneeling, 2‘Curse those Bees they sting like Scorpions. I did not think this Nation of Shopkeepers could sting so sharp. Pray good Master of the Bees, do call them off, and I will swear by all the three creeds which I profess, Mahometan, Infidel, and Christian, that I will never disturb your Bees again.’

‘Selling the Skin before the Bear is caught, or cutting up the Bull before he is killed,’ is by I. Cruikshank (December 21, 1803), and represents a Bull reposing calmly on the English shore, whilst on the opposite or French coast is Bonaparte, Talleyrand, and several Generals. Bonaparte, pointing to the Bull, says: ‘I shall take the Middle part, because it contains the Heart and Vitals—Talley, you may take the head, because you have been accustomed to take the Bull by the horns.’ Britannia stands, fully armed, behind the Bull, by an ‘alarm post,’ on which hangs a bell, ‘British Valor,’ which she is preparing to ring: ‘When these Mounseers have settled their plan, I will just rouse the Bull, and then see who will be cut up first.’

‘New Bellman’s Verses for Christmas 1803!’ is an extremely inartistic work of an unknown man (December 1803); the only thing worth quoting about it are these verses:—

This little Boney says he’ll come
At Merry Christmas time,
But that I say is all a hum,
Or I no more will rhyme.
Some say in wooden house he’ll glide,
Some say in air Balloon,
E’en those who airy schemes deride,
Agree his coming soon.
Now honest people list to me,
Though Income is but small,
I’ll bet my Wig to one Pen—ney,
He does not come at all.

‘More than expected, or too many for Boney’ (artist unknown, December 1803), shows him as an Ass, on whose3 back is John Bull, Russia, Prussia, and Germany. Says Russia, ‘We all depend upon you Mr. Bull—give him a little more spurring, and we’ll soon make him feel the Rowels.’ John mildly expostulates with his quadruped: ‘Come—come, don’t be sulky—if you won’t go in a snaffle, you must be forced to go in a curb.’

Dean Swift’s immortal book did yeoman’s service to the caricaturists, and we find it again employed in a print by West, December 1803: ‘The Brobdingnag Watchman preventing Gulliver’s landing.’ It is very feeble, and merely consists of George the Third as a watchman turning the light of the ‘Constitutional Lanthorn’ upon Bonaparte and his companions, who are attempting a landing.

Another print, by West (December 1803), shows ‘Mr. and Mrs. Bull giving Buonaparte a Christmas Treat!’ The latter is bound to a post in sight of, but beyond reach of, the national fare of this festival. John Bull says, holding up a piece of beef, in derision, ‘Yes, yes—the Beef is very good, so is the pudding too—but the deuce a morsel do you get of either, Master Boney.’ Mrs. Bull too, who is drinking from a frothing tankard, says: ‘Your health Master Boney, wishing you a merry Christmas,’ but offers him none.

An unknown artist gives an undated picture of ‘a Cock and Bull Story.’ Napoleon, as the Gallic Cock, on his side of the Channel, sings

Cock a dudle doo, I shall come over to you.
I’ll fight true game, and crow my Fame,
And make you all look blue.

John Bull, who is peacefully reposing in his pastures rejoins:—


You impertinent Cock, I’ll have you to know
On this side the Brook, you never shall Crow,
And if you’re not quick, and give up your jaw,
I’ll teach you the nature of English Club Law.

In 1803 was published an amusing squib, in which the names of various plays are very ingeniously made into a patriotic address:—

Threatened Invasion.

Should the Modern Tamerlane revive the tragedy of England Invaded, and, in the progress of his Wild goose Chace, escape the Tempest, he will find that, with us, it is Humours of the Age to be Volunteers. He will prove that we have many a Plain Dealer, who will tear off the Mask, under which the Hypocrite, this Fool of Fortune, this Choleric man, has abused a credulous world. Should he, to a Wonder, attempt a Trip to Scarborough, to set them all alive at Portsmouth, or to get on both sides of the gutter, he will assuredly meet a Chapter of Accidents on his Road to Ruin; for Britannia and the Gods are in Council, to make him a Castle Spectre: he will, too late, discover the Secret of Who’s the Dupe; and that it is the Custom of the Country of John Bull, to shew the Devil to pay to any Busybody, who seeks to enforce on us Reformation.

This Double Dealer, who has excited dismay Abroad and at Home, and gained Notoriety by the magnitude of the mischiefs he has achieved, still presumes, by the Wheel of Fortune, like another Pizarro, to satiate his Revenge, and to learn How to grow Rich, by renewing the distressing scenes of the Siege of Damascus; until amongst the desolated ruins of our City, he should establish himself like a London Hermit. That he Would if he Could, is past all doubt; but if he will take a Word to the Wise, from a Man of the World, he will believe He’s much to blame, and All in the Wrong; for the Doctor and the Apothecary are in the Committee; and by good Management, are forward in the Rehearsal of the5 lively Comedy of the Way to keep Him under Lock and Key. They may not be able to produce for him a Cure for the Heartache, or for the Vapourish Man, but they will shew him at least Cheap Living, and prove that he has sown his Wild Oats, in a Comedy of Errors.

The Poor Soldier, whose generous heart expands to render Love for Love, is like the gallant and gay Lothario, armed for either field, and prepared to give Measure for Measure; and to convert the Agreeable Surprize, which the Acre Runaway anticipates in the Camp, from the Beaux Stratagem into a Tale of Mystery. Appearances are against him, as well as the Chances; but he is a desperate Gamester; and although his schemes of Conquest will end in Much ado about Nothing, like a Midsummer’s night’s Dream, or a Winter’s Tale, yet he is Heir at Law to our hate; and Every one has his Fault, if he does not unite to revive the splendid scenes of Edward the Black Prince, and Henry the Fifth, when France trembled beneath our arms at Cressy and Agincourt; and give to this unprincipled Bajazet an exit corresponding with his crimes.


Bonaparte the Bully resolved to come over,
With flat-bottomed Wherries, from Calais to Dover;
No perils to him in the billows are found,
For if born to be hang’d, he can never be drown’d.’
From a Corsican dunghill this fungus did spring,
He was soon made a Captain and would be a King;
But the higher he rises the more he does evil,
For a Beggar, on horseback, will ride to the Devil.’
To seize all that we have and then clap us in jail,
To devour our victuals, and drink all our ale,
And to grind us to dust is the Corsican’s will—
For we know all is grist that e’er comes to his mill.’
To stay quiet, at home, the First Consul can’t bear6
Or, mayhap, ‘he would have other fish to fry there’;
So, as fish of that sort does not suit his desire,
He leaps out of the frying pan, into the fire.’
He builds barges and cock boats, and craft without end
And numbers the boats which to England he’ll send;
But in spite of his craft, and his barges and boats
He still reckons, I think, without one of his hosts.’
He rides upon France and he tramples on Spain,
And holds Holland and Italy tight in a Chain;
These he hazards for more, though I can’t understand,
How one bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.’
He trusts that his luck will all danger expel,
But the pitcher is broke that goes oft to the well’;
And when our brave soldiers this Bully surround,
Though he’s thought Penny Wise, he’ll be foolish in Pound.’
France can never forget that our fathers of yore,
Used to pepper and baste her at sea and at shore;
And we’ll speedily prove to this mock-Alexander,
What was sauce for the goose, will be sauce for the Gander.’
I have heard and have read in a great many books,
Half the Frenchmen are Tailors, and t’other half Cooks;—
We’ve fine Trimmings in store for the Knights of the Cloth,
And the Cooks that come here, will but spoil their own broth.’
It is said that the French are a numerous race,
And perhaps it is true—for ‘ill weeds grow apace’;
But come when they will, and as many as dare,
I expect they’ll arive a day after the fair.’
To invade us more safely these warriors boast
They will wait till a storm drives our fleet from the Coast,
That ’twill be an ‘ill wind,’ will be soon understood,
For a wind that blows Frenchmen, ‘blows nobody good.’
They would treat Britain worse than they’ve treated Mynheer,7
But they’ll find ‘they have got the wrong sow by the ear.’
Let them come then in swarms, by this Corsican lead,
And I warrant ‘we’ll hit the right nail on the head.’

The year 1804 was a most eventful one for Napoleon. With all his hatred of England, and his wish for her invasion, he was powerless in that matter, and had plenty to employ him at home. The English had got used to their bugbear the flotilla, and the caricaturist had a rest. Napoleon had his hands full. First and foremost was that conspiracy against his life and government, in which Georges Cadoudal, Moreau, and Pichegru figure so prominently, and which entailed the execution of the Duc d’Enghien.

The Bourbon house he so detested,
He had the Duke d’Enghien arrested;
A sort of trial then took place,
And sentence passed—the usual case.
’Tis said that Boney chose a spot,
To see the gallant fellow shot.

Whatever may have been Napoleon’s conduct in this affair, these two last lines are undoubtedly false. The duke had been residing at Ettenheim, in the duchy of Baden, and was thought to be there in readiness to head the Royalists in case of need, that his hunting was but a pretext to cover flying visits to Paris, and that he was the person whom Georges Cadoudal and his fellow conspirators always received bareheaded. He was seized, brought to Paris, and lodged in the Château de Vincennes. A few hours’ rest, and he was roused at midnight to go before his judges. It was in vain he pleaded the innocence of his occupations, and begged to have an interview with the First Consul; yet he declared he had borne arms against France, and his wish to serve in the war on the English side against8 France; and owned that he received a pension of one hundred and fifty guineas a month from England. He was found guilty and condemned to death, and two hours afterwards was led out into the ditch of the fortress, and there shot, a priest being refused him. O’Meara, describing a conversation with Napoleon on this subject, says: ‘I now asked if it were true that Talleyrand had retained a letter written by the Duc d’Enghien to him until two days after the duke’s execution? Napoleon’s reply was, “It is true; the duke had written a letter offering his services, and asking a command in the Army from me, which that scelerato, Talleyrand, did not make known until two days after his execution.” I observed that Talleyrand, by his culpable concealment of the letter, was virtually guilty of the death of the duke. “Talleyrand,” replied Napoleon, “is a briccone, capable of any crime. I,” continued he, “caused the Duc d’Enghien to be arrested in consequence of the Bourbons having landed assassins in France to murder me. I was resolved to let them see that the blood of one of their princes should pay for their attempts, and he was accordingly tried for having borne arms against the republic, found guilty, and shot, according to the existing laws against such a crime.”’

Ansell (June 2, 1804) gives us ‘The Cold Blooded Murderer, or the Assassination of the Duc d’Enghien,’ in which the duke is represented as being bound to a tree, a soldier on either side holding a torch, whilst Napoleon is running his sword into his heart. D’Enghien bravely cries out, ‘Assassin! your Banditti need not cover my Eyes, I fear not Death, tho’ perhaps a guiltless countenance may appall your bloodthirsty soul.’ Napoleon, whilst stabbing his victim, says: 9‘Now de whole World shall know de courage of de first grand Consul, dat I can kill my enemies in de Dark, as well as de light, by Night as well as by Day,—dare—and dare I had him—hark, vat noise was dat? ah! ’tis only de Wind—dare again, and dare—Now I shall certainly be made Emperor of de Gulls.’1 Devils are rejoicing over the deed, and are bearing a crown. They say: ‘This glorious deed does well deserve a Crown, thus let us feed his wild ambition, untill some bold avenging hand shall make him all our own.’

A Captain Wright figures in this plot; and, as he was an Englishman, and his name is frequent both in the caricature and satire of the day, some notice of him must be given. He was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and somehow got mixed up with this conspiracy. He took Georges Cadoudal and others on board either at Deal or Hastings, and crossed over to Beville, where there was a smuggler’s rope let down from an otherwise inaccessible cliff. By means of this they were drawn up, and went secretly to Paris. The plot failed, and they were thrown into prison, Wright being afterwards captured at sea. Cadoudal went to the scaffold, Pichegru was found strangled in his cell; and Wright, the English said, after being tortured in prison, to compel him to give evidence against his companions, was assassinated by order of Napoleon.

The latter, however, always indignantly denied it, saying that Captain Wright committed suicide. In O’Meara’s book he denies it several times, and an extract or two will be worth noting. ‘In different nights of August, September, and December 1803 and January 1804, Wright landed Georges, Pichegru, Rivière, Costa, St. Victor, La Haye, St. Hilaire, and others at Beville. The four last named had been accomplices in the former attempt to assassinate me by means of the infernal machine, and most of the rest were well known to be chiefs of the Chouans,’ &c. ‘There was something glorious in Wright’s death. He preferred10 taking away his own life, to compromising his government.’ ‘Napoleon in very good spirits. Asked many questions about the horses that had won at the races, and the manner in which we trained them; how much I had won or lost; and about the ladies, &c. “You had a large party yesterday,” continued he. “How many bottles of wine? Drink, your eyes look like drink,” which he expressed in English. “Who dined with you?” I mentioned Captain Wallis amongst others. “What! is that the lieutenant who was with Wright?” I replied in the affirmative. “What does he say about Wright’s death?” I said, “He states his belief that Wright was murdered by orders of Fouché, for the purpose of ingratiating himself with you. That six or seven weeks previous, Wright had told him that he expected to be murdered like Pichegru, and begged of him never to believe that he would commit suicide; that he had received a letter from Wright, about four or five weeks before his death, in which he stated that he was better treated, allowed to subscribe to a library, and to receive newspapers.” Napoleon replied, “I will never allow that Wright was put to death by Fouché’s orders. If he was put to death privately, it must have been by my orders, and not by those of Fouché. Fouché knew me too well. He was aware that I would have had him hanged directly, if he attempted it. By this officer’s own words, Wright was not au secret, as he says he saw him some weeks before his death, and that he was allowed books and newspapers. Now, if it had been in contemplation to make away with him, he would have been put au secret for months before, in order that people might not be accustomed to see him for some time previous, as I thought this * * * intended to do in November last. Why not examine the gaolers and turnkeys? The Bourbons have every opportunity of proving it, if such really took place. But your ministers11 themselves do not believe it. The idea I have of what was my opinion at that time about Wright, is faint; but, as well as I can recollect, it was that he ought to have been brought before a military commission, for having landed spies and assassins, and the sentence executed within forty-eight hours. What dissuaded me from doing so, I cannot clearly recollect. Were I in France at this moment, and a similar occurrence took place, the above would be my opinion, and I would write to the English Government: ‘Such an officer of yours has been tried for landing brigands and assassins on my territories. I have caused him to be tried by a military commission. He has been condemned to death. The sentence has been carried into execution. If any of my officers in your prisons have been guilty of the same, try, and execute them. You have my full permission and acquiescence. Or, if you find, hereafter, any of my officers landing assassins on your shores, shoot them instantly.’”’



The most important event of the year to Napoleon himself, was his being made Emperor. Although First Consul for life, with power to appoint his successor, it did not satisfy his ambition. He would fain be Emperor, and that strong will, which brooked no thwarting, took measures to promote that result. In the Senate M. Curée moved, ‘that the First Consul be invested with the hereditary power, under the title of Emperor,’ and this motion was but feebly fought against by a few members, so that at last an address was drawn up, beseeching Napoleon to yield to the wishes of the nation. A plébiscite was taken on the subject, with the result that over three millions and a half people voted for it, and only about two thousand against it. On May 18, Cambacérès, at the head of the Senate, waited upon Napoleon, at St. Cloud, with an address detailing the feelings and wishes of the nation. It is needless to say that Napoleon ‘accepted the Empire, in order that he might labour for the happiness of the French.’


The brave First Consul now began
To set on foot his fav’rite plan;
The Senate, when the door was clos’d,
As Emperor of France, propos’d
Brave Boney, and his heirs, and then
They call’d him worthiest of men;
So much accustom’d down to cram a lie,
They prais’d, too, his illustrious family.
What sweet addresses, what kind answers,
A proof mankind, too, oft in France errs;
All these were equally prepared
In Boney’s closet, ’tis declared.
Addresses from the army came,
Which were in tendency the same.
Nap manag’d matters with facility,
Such was the people’s instability.
A deputation waited on him,
And by solicitation won him;
In a fine sentimental speech,
Began they Boney to beseech,
That he would graciously agree
The Emperor of France to be;
Elected by the general voice,
They said he was the people’s Choice,
And begg’d the title to confer
On one who was not prone to err.
Nap much humility pretended,
But to accept it condescended.
The business settled thus, nem. con.
He put th’ imperial purple on,
More gay appear’d his lovely wife,
Than e’er she did in all her life;
It was enough to make her grin,
As she was Empress Josephine.
Nap now sent letters by the dozens,
To the French Bishops, his new cousins,
Informing them that Heav’n, indeed,
His elevation had decreed;
And, trusting for the same, that they
Wou’d order a thanksgiving day.
As Nap—’twas wise we must allow—
A Roman Catholic was now;
A prayer had been, to this intent,
By the Pope’s legate to them sent.
Moreover, all the Christian Nations,
Received the same notifications.
Soon made they every preparation
For a most brilliant Coronation.

The flotilla, on the other side of the Channel, was still looked upon with uneasiness, and watched with jealous care. Still, we find that it was only at the commencement of the year that it was caricatured, Napoleon’s being made Emperor proving a more favourite subject; and, besides, a feeling sprung up that there was not much mischief in it.

One of the most singular caricatures, in connection with the projected invasion, that I have met with is by Ansell, January 6, 1804. ‘The Coffin Expedition, or Boney’s Invincible Armada Half seas over.’ The flotilla is here represented as gunboats, in the shape of coffins: all the crews, naval and military, wearing shrouds; whilst at the masthead of each vessel is a skull with bonnet rouge. It is needless to say they are represented as all foundering, one man exclaiming, ‘Oh de Corsican Bougre was make dese Gun boats on purpose for our Funeral.’ Some British vessels are in the mid distance, and two tars converse thus: ‘I say Messmate, if we dont bear up quickly, there will be nothing left for us to do.’ ‘Right, Tom, and I take them there things at the Masthead to be Boney’s Crest, a skull without brains.’

‘Dutch Embarkation; or Needs must when the Devil drives!!’ (artist unknown, January 1804) represents Bonaparte, with drawn sword, driving fat, solid Dutchmen each into a gun-boat about as big as a walnut-shell. One remonstrates: ‘D—n such Liberty, and D—n such a Flotilla!! I tell you we might as well embark in Walnut Shells.’ But Bonaparte replies: 15‘Come, come, Sir, no grumbling, I insist on your embarking and destroying the modern Carthage—don’t you consider the liberty you enjoy—and the grand flotilla that is to carry you over!’

As good a one as any of Gillray’s caricatures is the King of Brobdingnag and Gulliver, February 10, 1804—scene, ‘Gulliver manœuvring with his little boat in the cistern.’ The king and queen (excellent likenesses) and two princesses are looking on at Bonaparte sailing, whilst the young princes are blowing, to make a wind for him. Lord Salisbury stands behind the royal chair, and beefeaters and ladies of the court complete the scene. This, however, is specially described as ‘designed by an amateur, etched by Gillray.’


‘A French Alarmist, or John Bull looking out for the Grand Flotilla!!’ (West, March 1804.) He is on the coast, accompanied by his bull-dog, and armed with a sword, looking through a telescope. Behind him is a Frenchman, who is saying, 16‘Ah! Ah! Monsieur Bull,—dere you see our Grande flotilla—de grande gon boats—ma foi—dere you see em sailing for de grand attack on your nation—dere you see de Bombs and de Cannons—Dere you see de Grande Consul himself at de head of his Legions. Dere you see——’ But John Bull replies, ‘Mounseer, all this I cannot see—because ’tis not in sight.’

We now come to the caricatures relating to the Empire.

A print, attributed to Rowlandson (May 1804?), shows ‘A Great Man on his Hobby Horse, a design for an Intended Statue on the Place la Liberté at Paris.’ Napoleon is riding the high horse ‘Power,’ which prances on a Globe.

‘A new French Phantasmagoria’ is by an unknown artist (May 1804). John Bull cannot realise the fact of Napoleon being Emperor, but stares at him through an enormous pair of spectacles. ‘Bless me, what comes here—its time to put on my large spectacles, and tuck up my trowsers. Why, surely, it can’t be—it is Bonny too, for all that. Why what game be’st thee at now? acting a play mayhap. What hast thee got on thy head there? always at some new freak or other.’ Bonaparte, in imperial robes, and with crown and sceptre, holds out his hand, and says: ‘What! my old Friend, Mr. Bull, don’t you know me?’

Ansell gives us (May 28, 1804) ‘The Frog and the Ox, or The Emperor of the Gulls in his stolen gear.’ Napoleon, very small, is depicted as capering about in imperial robes, with an enormous crown made of coins, daggers, and a cup of poison; his sceptre has for its top a guillotine. George the Third is regarding him through his glass. Napoleon says, ‘There Brother! there! I shall soon be as Big as you, it’s a real Crown, but it’s cursed heavy, my Head begins to ache already. I say Can’t we have a grand meeting like Henry the 8th and Francis the 1st?’ King George cannot quite make out the mannikin. 17‘What have we got here, eh? A fellow that has stolen some Dollars, and made a Crown of them, eh? and then wants to pass them off for Sterling; it won’t go, it won’t pass Fellow.’ Beside the King is a bull, and behind Napoleon is a frog, who is trying to swell to the bull’s proportions, whilst John Bull laughingly remarks, ‘Dang it, why a looks as tho a’d burst: a’l nerr be zo big as one of our Oxen tho.’

‘Injecting blood Royal, or Phlebotomy at St. Cloud,’ shews Napoleon, in his new phase of power, having the blood of a Royal Tiger infused into his veins. He says, ‘It’s a delightful operation! I feel the Citizenship oozing out at my fingers’ ends.—let all the family be plentifully supplied! Carry up a Bucket full to the Empress immediately!!!’

In June 1804 I. Cruikshank drew a picture called ‘the Right Owner.’ Louis the Eighteenth appears to Napoleon, and, pointing to his crown, says, ‘That’s Mine.’ Napoleon, who is seated on his throne, armed with sword, pistols, and dagger, shrinks back in violent alarm, exclaiming, ‘Angels and Ministers of Grace defend me.’

‘A Proposal from the New Emperor’ is a caricature by Ansell (July 9, 1804). He comes, cap, or rather crown, in hand, to John Bull, saying, ‘My Dear Cousin Bull—I have a request to make you—the good people whom I govern, have been so lavish of their favors towards me—that they have exhausted every title in the Empire—therefore, in addition, I wish you to make me a Knight of Malta.’ John Bull replies, ‘I’ll see you d—d first!! You know I told you so before.’

‘The Imperial Coronation’ is a very inartistic sketch by an unknown artist (July 31, 1804). Napoleon is being crowned by the Pope, who says, ‘In a little time you shall see him, and in a little time you shall not see him,’ and then lets down the crown, with cruel force, by a rope and18 pulley from the gibbet from which it has been suspended. Its weight crushes him through the platform on which he has been sitting, and he exclaims, ‘My dear Talleyrand, save me; My throne is giving way. I am afraid the foundation is rotten, and wants a deal of mending.’ Talleyrand sympathisingly answers, ‘Oh, Master, Master, the Crown is too heavy for you.’

I. Cruikshank drew ‘Harlequin’s last Skip’ (August 23, 1804). Bonaparte is represented in a harlequin’s suit, enormous cocked hat, boots, and a blackened face. His sword is broken, and, with upraised hands, in a supplicating attitude, he exclaims, ‘O Sacre Dieu! John Bull is de very Devil.’ John Bull, with upraised cudgel, says: ‘Mr. Boney Party, you have changed Characters pretty often and famously well, and skipped about at a precious rate. But this Invasion hop is your last—we have got you snug—the devil a trap to get through here—Your conjuration sword has lost its Power; you have lied till you are black in the face, and there is no believing a word you say—so now you shall carry John Bull’s mark about with you, as every swaggerer should.’

‘British men of war towing in the Invader’s Fleet,’ artist unknown (September 25, 1804), shows a number of English sailors seated on the necks of French and Dutch men, whom they are guiding over the sea to England. One sailor, evidently a Scotchman, is pulling his opponent’s ears; the poor Frenchman cries out, ‘Oh Morbleu! de salt water make me sick; O mine pauvre Ears!’ but his ruthless conqueror has no pity, ‘Deil tak your soul, ye lubberly Loon, gin ye dinna mak aw sail, I’ll twist off your lugs.’ An English sailor rides the redoubtable Boney, and pulls his nose: 19‘Steady Master Emperor, if you regard your Imperial Nose. Remember a British Tar has you in tow—No more of this wonderful, this great and mighty nation who frighten all the world with their buggabo invasion.’ But Boney pleads, ‘Oh! mercy, take me back, me will make you all Emperors; it will be Boney here, Boney there, and Boney everywhere, and me wish to my heart me was dead.’ An Irish sailor on a Dutchman yells out, ‘By Jasus, my Jewel, these bum boats are quizzical toys and sure—heave ahead, you bog trotting spalpeen, or I shall be after keel hauling you. Huzza, Huzza, Huzza, my boys, Huzza! ’Tis Britannia boys, Britannia rules the waves.’ Another Dutchman complains, ‘O Mynheer Jan English you vill break my back.’ But the relentless sailor who bestrides him takes out his tobacco-box, and says, ‘Now for a quid of comfort! pretty gig for Jack Tars. Good bye to your bombast, we’re going to Dover, Was ever poor Boney, so fairly done over.’

A most remarkable caricature by Ansell (October 25, 1804) shows to what length party spirit will lead men—making truth entirely subservient to party purposes. It probably paid to vilify Napoleon, and consequently this picture was produced. It is called ‘Boney’s Inquisition. Another Specimen of his Humanity on the person of Madame Toussaint.’ Whatever may be our opinion of his treatment of Toussaint l’Ouverture, the only record we have in history (and I have expended much time and trouble in trying to find out the truth of the matter) is that his family, who were brought to France at the same time as himself, took up their residence at Agen, where his wife died in 1816. His eldest son, Isaac, died at Bordeaux in 1850. Now to describe the picture. Madame l’Ouverture is depicted as being bound to a stretcher nearly naked, whilst three Frenchmen are tearing her breasts with red-hot pincers. Another is pulling out her finger-nails with a similar instrument. She exclaims: 20‘Oh Justice! Oh Humanity, Oh Deceitfull Villain, in vain you try to blot the Character of the English: ’tis their magnanimity which harrasses your dastard soul.’ One of the torturers says: ‘Eh! Diable! Why you no confess noting?’ Napoleon is seated on his throne, watching the scene with evident delight, chuckling to himself, ‘This is Luxury. Jaffa, Acre, Toulon and D’Enghien was nothing to it. Slave, those pincers are not half hot, save those nails for my Cabinet, and if she dies, we can make a confession for her.’

‘The Genius of France nursing her darling’ is by a new hand, T. B. d——lle (November 26, 1804). 21‘France, whilst dandling her darling, and amusing him with a rattle, sings—

There’s a little King Pippin
He shall have a Rattle and Crown;
Bless thy five Wits,2 my Baby,
Mind it don’t throw itself down!
Hey my Kitten, my Kitten, &c.

An unknown artist (December 11, 1804) gives us ‘The death of Madame Republique.’ Madame lies a corpse on her bed. Sieyès, as nurse, dandles the new emperor. John Bull, spectacles on nose, inquires, ‘Pray Mr. Abbé Sayes—what was the cause of the poor lady’s Death? She seem’d at one time in a tolerable thriving way.’ Sieyès replies, ‘She died in Child bed, Mr. Bull, after giving birth to this little Emperor.’

‘The Loyalist’s Alphabet, an Original Effusion,’ by James Bisset (September 3, 1804), consists of twenty-four small engravings, each in a lozenge.

‘A, stands for Albion’s Isle,’—Britannia seated.

‘B, for brave Britons renown’d.’—A soldier and sailor shaking hands.

‘C, for a Corsican tyrant,’—Napoleon, with a skull, the guillotine, &c., in the background.

‘D, his dread downfall must sound.’—Being hurled from his throne by lightning.

‘E, for embattl’d we stand,’—A troop of soldiers.

‘F, ’gainst the French our proud Foes,’—shews England guarded by her ships,’ and the flotilla coming over.

‘G, for our glorious Gunners,’—Three artillerymen, and a cannon.

‘H, for Heroical blows,’—shews a ship being blown up.

‘I, for Invasion once stood,’—Some soldiers carousing. The English flag above the tricolour.

22 ‘J, proves ’twas all a mere Joke.’—A soldier laughing heartily, and holding his sides.

‘K, for a favorite King, to deal against Knaves a great stroke.—Medallion of George the Third.

‘L, stands for Liberties’ laws,’—A cap of liberty, mitre, pastoral staff, crown, and open book.

‘M, Magna Charta’s strong chain.’—A soldier, sailor, Highlander, and civilian, joining hands.

‘N, Noble Nelson, whom Neptune, near Nile crown’d the Lord of the Main,’—is a portrait of the Hero.

‘O, stands for Britain’s fam’d Oak,’—which is duly portrayed.

‘P, for each brave British Prince.’—The three feathers show the Prince of Wales, in volunteer uniform.

‘Q, never once made a Question, Respecting the Deeds they’d evince,’—is an officer drawing his sword.

‘If R, for our Rights takes the field,’—is a yeomanry volunteer.

‘Or S, should a signal display,’—The British Standard.

‘They’d each call with T for the Trumpet. To Horse my brave boys and away.’—A mounted Trumpeter.

‘U, for United, we stand, V for our bold Volunteers,’—represents one of the latter.

‘Whom W welcomes in War, and joins loyal X in three Cheers.’—A soldier and sailor, with hands clasped, cheering.

‘With Y all our Youths sally forth, the standards of Freedom advance,’—is a cannon between two standards.

‘With Z proving Englishmen’s Zeal, to humble the Zany of France,’—shews Napoleon with a fool’s cap on, chained to the wall in a cell.



Napoleon’s coronation was the great event of the year; but some time before it was consummated the English caricaturist took advantage of it, and J. B. (West), in September 1804, produced a ‘Design for an Imperial Crown to be used at the Coronation of the New Emperor.’ A perusal of the foregoing pages will render any explanation unnecessary.

Cushion of Usurpation

Napoleon omitted no ceremony which could enhance the pageant of his coronation. The Pope must be present:24 no meaner ecclesiastic should hallow this rite, and he was gently invited to come to Paris for this purpose. Poor Pius VII. had very little option in the matter. His master wanted him, and he must needs go; but Napoleon gilded the chain which drew him. During the whole of his journey he was received with the greatest reverence, and could hardly have failed to have been impressed with the great care and attention paid to him. For instance, the dangerous places in the passage of the Alps were protected by parapets, so that his Holiness should incur no danger. On his arrival at Paris he was lodged in the Tuileries, and a very delicate attention was paid him—his bedchamber was fitted as a counterpart of his own in the palace of Monte-Cavallo, at Rome.

The eventful 2nd of December came at last; but, before we note the ceremony itself, we must pause awhile to see how the English caricaturist treated the procession.

Hardly any one of Gillray’s caricatures (January 1, 1805) is as effective as ‘The Grand Coronation Procession of Napoleone the 1st, Emperor of France, from the Church of Notre Dame, Dec. 2nd, 1804. Redeunt Satania regna, Iam nova progenies cœlo demittitur alto!’ Huge bodies of troops form the background, whose different banners are—a comet setting the world ablaze; an Imperial crown and the letters SPQN; un Dieu, un Napoleon; a serpent biting its tail, surrounding a crowned N. and a Sun, ‘Napoleone ye 1st le Soleil de la Constitution.’

The procession is headed by ‘His Imperial Highness Prince Louis Buonaparte Marbœuf’ (a delicate hint as to his paternity), ‘High Constable of the Empire,’ who, theatrically dressed, struts, carrying a drum-major’s staff fashioned like a sceptre. Behind him come 25‘The Three Imperial Graces, viz. their Imp. High. Princess Borghese, Princess Louis (cher amie of ye Emperor) & Princess Joseph Bonaparte.’ These ladies are clad in a most diaphanous costume, which leaves little of their forms to the imagination, and they occupy themselves by scattering flowers as they pass along.


After them comes ‘Madame Talleyrand (ci-devant Mrs. Halhead the Prophetess),’ a stout, Jewish-looking woman, who is ‘Conducting the Heir Apparent in ye Path of Glory’—and a most precocious little imp it looks. After them hobbles ‘Talleyrand Perigord, Prime Minister and King at Arms, bearing the Emperor’s Genealogy,’ which begins with ‘Buone Butcher,’ goes on with ‘Bonny Cuckold,’ till it reaches the apex of ‘Boney Emperor.’ Pope Pius VII. follows, and under his cope is the devil disguised as an acolyte, bearing a candle; Cardinal Fesch is by, and acts as thurifer. The incense is in clouds: 26‘Les Addresses des Municipalités de Paris—Les Adorations des Badauds—Les Hommages des Canailles—Les Admirations des Fous—Les Congratulations des Grenouilles—Les Humilités des Poltrons.’


Then comes the central figures of the pageant, ‘His Imperial Majesty Napoleone ye 1st and the Empress Josephine,’ the former scowling ferociously, the latter looking blowsy, and fearfully stout. Three harridans, ‘ci-devant Poissardes,’ support her train, whilst that of Napoleon is borne by a Spanish don, an Austrian hussar, and a Dutchman, whose tattered breeches testify to his poverty. These are styled ‘Puissant Continental Powers—Train Bearers to the Emperor.’ Following them come ‘Berthier, Bernadotte, Angerou, and all the brave Train of Republican Generals;’ but they are handcuffed, and their faces display, unmistakably, the scorn in which they hold their old comrade. Behind them poses a short corpulent figure, ‘Senator Fouché, Intendant General of ye Police, bearing the Sword of Justice.’ But Fouché is not content with this weapon.27 His other hand grasps an assassin’s dagger, and both it, and the sword, are well imbrued in blood. The rear of the procession is made up of a ‘Garde d’Honneur,’ which consists of a gaoler with the keys of the Temple and a set of fetters; a mouchard with his report, ‘Espionnage de Paris;’ Monsieur de Paris, the executioner, bears a coil of rope with a noose, and a banner with a representation of the guillotine—and a prisoner, holding aloft two bottles respectively labelled Arsenic and Opium. More banners and more soldiers fill up the background.

What a sight that must have been on the morning of the 2nd of December! Visitors from all parts of France were there; and the cathedral of Notre-Dame must have presented a gorgeous coup d’œil, with its splendid ecclesiastical vestments, its magnificent uniforms, and the beautiful dresses and jewels of the ladies. It can hardly be imagined, so had better be described in the words of an eyewitness, Madame Junot.3

‘Who that saw Notre-Dame on that memorable day, can ever forget it? I have witnessed in that venerable pile the celebration of sumptuous and solemn festivals; but never did I see anything at all approximating in splendour to the coup d’œil exhibited at Napoleon’s Coronation. The vaulted roof re-echoed the sacred chanting of the priests, who invoked the blessing of the Almighty on the ceremony about to be celebrated, while they awaited the arrival of the Vicar of Christ, whose throne was prepared near the altar. Along the ancient walls of tapestry were ranged, according to their rank, the different bodies of the State, the deputies from every City; in short, the representatives of all France assembled to implore the benediction of Heaven on the sovereign of the people’s choice. The waving plumes which adorned the hats of the28 Senators, Counsellors of State, and Tribunes; the splendid uniforms of the military; the clergy in all their ecclesiastical pomp; and the multitude of young and beautiful women, glittering in jewels, and arrayed in that style of grace and elegance which is only seen in Paris;—altogether presented a picture which has, perhaps, rarely been equalled, and certainly never excelled.

‘The Pope arrived first; and at the moment of his entering the Cathedral, the anthem Tu es Petrus was commenced. His Holiness advanced from the door with an air at once majestic and humble. Ere long, the firing of cannon announced the departure of the procession from the Tuileries. From an early hour in the morning the weather had been exceedingly unfavourable. It was cold and rainy, and appearances seemed to indicate that the procession would be anything but agreeable to those who joined it. But, as if by the especial favour of Providence, of which so many instances are observable in the career of Napoleon, the clouds suddenly dispersed, the sky brightened up, and the multitudes who lined the streets from the Tuileries to the Cathedral, enjoyed the sight of the procession, without being, as they had anticipated, drenched by a December rain. Napoleon, as he passed along, was greeted by heartfelt expressions of enthusiastic love and attachment.

‘On his arrival at Notre-Dame, Napoleon ascended the throne, which was erected in front of the grand altar. Josephine took her place beside him, surrounded by the assembled sovereigns of Europe. Napoleon appeared singularly calm. I watched him narrowly, with the view of discovering whether his heart beat more highly beneath the imperial trappings, than under the uniform of the guards; but I could observe no difference, and yet I was at the distance of only ten paces from him. The length of29 the ceremony, however, seemed to weary him; and I saw him several times check a yawn. Nevertheless, he did everything he was required to do, and did it with propriety. When the Pope anointed him with the triple unction on his head and both hands, I fancied, from the direction of his eyes, that he was thinking of wiping off the oil rather than of anything else; and I was so perfectly acquainted with the workings of his countenance, that I have no hesitation in saying that was really the thought that crossed his mind at that moment. During the ceremony of anointing, the Holy Father delivered that impressive prayer which concluded with these words:—“Diffuse, O Lord, by my hands, the treasures of your grace and benediction on your servant, Napoleon, whom, in spite of our personal unworthiness, we this day anoint Emperor, in your name.” Napoleon listened to this prayer with an air of pious devotion; but just as the Pope was about to take the crown, called the Crown of Charlemagne, from the altar, Napoleon seized it, and placed it on his own head. At that moment he was really handsome, and his countenance was lighted up with an expression, of which no words can convey an idea. He had removed the wreath of laurel which he wore on entering the church, and which encircles his brow in the fine picture of Gérard. The crown was, perhaps, in itself, less becoming to him; but the expression excited by the act of putting it on, rendered him perfectly handsome.

‘When the moment arrived for Josephine to take an active part in the grand drama, she descended from the throne and advanced towards the altar, where the Emperor awaited her, followed by her retinue of Court ladies, and having her train borne by the Princesses Caroline, Julie, Eliza, and Louis. One of the chief beauties of the Empress Josephine was not merely her fine figure, but the elegant30 turn of her neck, and the way in which she carried her head; indeed, her deportment, altogether, was conspicuous for dignity and grace. I have had the honour of being presented to many real princesses, to use the phrase of the Faubourg St.-Germain, but I never saw one who, to my eyes, presented so perfect a personification of elegance and majesty. In Napoleon’s countenance, I could read the conviction of all I have just said. He looked with an air of complacency at the Empress as she advanced towards him; and when she knelt down—when the tears, which she could not repress, fell upon her clasped hands, as they were raised to Heaven, or rather to Napoleon—both then appeared to enjoy one of those fleeting moments of pure felicity, which are unique in a lifetime, and serve to fill up a lustrum of years. The Emperor performed, with peculiar grace, every action required of him during the ceremony; but his manner of crowning Josephine was most remarkable: after receiving the small crown, surmounted by the Cross, he had first to place it on his own head, and then to transfer it to that of the Empress. When the moment arrived for placing the crown on the head of the woman, whom popular superstition regarded as his good genius, his manner was almost playful. He took great pains to arrange this little crown, which was placed over Josephine’s tiara of diamonds; he put it on, then took it off, and finally put it on again, as if to promise her she should wear it gracefully and lightly.’

It is almost painful, after reading this vivid and soul-stirring description, to have to descend to the level of the caricaturist descanting on the same subject; it is a kind of moral douche bath, giving all one’s nerves a shock.



Soon made they every preparation
For a most brilliant coronation:
’Twas on, as must each bard remember,
The nineteenth day of dark November4
When all the streets were strew’d with sand,
T’ exhibit a procession grand;
And the Cathedral, lately scorn’d,
With sumptuous frippery adorn’d.
Brave Bonaparte and Josephine,
Preceded by the Pope, walked in;
His Holiness the crown anointed,
And Boney Emperor appointed.
Then Corsica’s impatient son,
Snatch’d up the Crown, and put it on.
The Crown was decked with French frippery,
And with the oil, was rendered slippery;
Nap kept it on, tho’, without dread,
To let them know he had a head.
And as to dally he was loth,
He rapidly pronounc’d the oath—
As soon as he the oath had swallow’d,
Another Coronation follow’d—
Fair Josephine advanced, and lo!
Nap put on her a crown also.
‘Ah me!’ thought she, ‘there’s something wrong,
I fear it will drop off ’ere long.’
Of holy oil, it seems, the fair
Had got too plentiful a share.
This pantomimic business o’er,
Now marched they grandly as before;
For, tinsell’d pageantry united
With an equestrian troop, delighted
The new-made Emperor of Paris,
As much as Covent Garden Harris;
And all the people, for this wise end,
Were in the finest garments dizen’d;
They finish’d with illuminations,
Songs, music, dancing and orations.
The white wine, which in fountains flow’d,
Considerable mirth bestow’d.
The folks enjoy’d, free of expence,
The glare of lights, which was immense:
And the new Emperor, with glee,
Drank, till no longer he could see.



Authentic news of the coronation did not reach England for nearly a fortnight, and it was not till December 15 that the ‘Times’ was able to give its readers a full account of the ceremony. ‘The Thunderer’ waxed very wroth about it, as may be seen by the following extract from its leader of that date:—

‘The “Moniteur” merely insinuates that the sun miraculously penetrated through a thick fog, to be present at it: a compliment which is a little diminished by a subsequent assertion, that the lamps were afterwards able to supply his place by giving a noon-day brilliancy to the night. Then follows a disgusting hypocritical panegyric upon the union of civil and religious acts and ceremonies, the sublime representation of all that human and divine affairs could assemble to strike the mind—the venerable Apostolic virtues of the poor Pope, and the most astonishing genius of Buonaparte crowned by the most astonishing destiny!

‘The public will find these details, under their proper head, in this paper. To us, we confess, all that appears worthy of remark or memory in that opprobrious day is, that amongst all the Royalists and Republicans of France, it was able to produce neither a Brutus nor a Chœreas!

‘The day subsequent to the coronation, the people of Paris were entertained upon the bridges, boulevards, and public places, with popular sports, dancing, and other pastimes and diversions.

‘Upon the Place de Concorde, still stained with the blood of the lawful sovereign of France, were erected saloons and pavilions for dancing waltzes. Medals were given away to the populace; illuminations, artificial fireworks, pantomimes, and buffoons, musicians, temporary theatres, everything was represented and administered that could intoxicate and divert this vain and wicked people from contemplating34 the crime they were committing. To the profanation of the preceding day, it seems that all the orgies of wantonness and corruption succeeded in the most curious and careful rotation, and that all the skill and science of the Davids and Cheniers has been exhausted to keep them for four and twenty hours from thinking upon what they had done.’

But not only in leaders did the ‘Times’ pour forth its wrath; it published little jokelets occasionally, which were meant to be very stinging, as, for instance: Monsieur Napoleon has distributed his Eagles by thousands. What his talents might be doubtful of accomplishing, he expects from his talons.’

The ‘Daily Advertiser’, too, of December 15 contains some pretty sentiments on the coronation, such as, 35‘If Modern Europe will, after such fair notice, and a notice so often repeated, by the French Government, still remain in sluggish inaction, in stupid astonishment, at the success of that Ruffian, who now wields the sceptre of Charlemagne, and has dragooned the Pope to his Coronation, it is evident that nations so besotted are only fit to be enslaved.’



Very shortly after his coronation, and with the commencement of the year 1805, Napoleon wrote a letter to George the Third, intimating how beneficial peace would be to both countries.

The text of this letter, and its answer, are as follow:—

Sire, my brother,—Called to the throne by Providence, and the suffrages of the Senate, the people, and the army, my first feeling was the desire for peace. France and England abuse their prosperity: they may continue their strife for ages; but will their governments, in so doing, fulfil the most sacred of the duties which they owe to their people? And how will they answer to their consciences for so much blood uselessly shed, and without the prospect of any good whatever to their subjects? I am not ashamed to make the first advances. I have, I flatter myself, sufficiently proved to the world that I fear none of the chances of war. It presents nothing which I have occasion to fear. Peace is the wish of my heart; but war has never been adverse to my glory. I conjure your Majesty, therefore, not to refuse yourself the satisfaction of giving peace to the world. Never was an occasion more favourable for calming the passions, and giving ear only to the sentiments of humanity and reason. If that opportunity be lost, what limit can be assigned to a war which all my efforts have been unable to terminate? Your Majesty has gained more during the last ten years than the whole extent of Europe in riches and36 territory: your subjects are in the very highest state of prosperity: what can you expect from a war? To form a Coalition of the Continental powers? Be assured the Coalition will remain at peace. A coalition will only increase the strength and preponderance of the French Empire. To renew our intestine divisions? The times are no longer the same. To destroy our finances? Finances founded on a flourishing agriculture can never be destroyed. To wrest from France her Colonies? They are to her only a secondary consideration; and your Majesty has already enough and to spare of these possessions. Upon reflection, you must, I am persuaded, yourself arrive at the conclusion, that the war is maintained without an object; and what a melancholy prospect, for two great nations to combat merely for the sake of fighting! The world is surely large enough for both to live in; and reason has still sufficient power to find the means of reconciliation, if the inclination only is not wanting. I have now, at least, discharged a duty dear to my heart. May your Majesty trust to the sincerity of the sentiments which I have now expressed, and the reality of my desire to give the most convincing proofs of it.

George the Third could not, constitutionally, personally reply to this letter, so Lord Mulgrave answered it, under date of January 14, and addressed it to Talleyrand. It ran thus:

His Britannic Majesty has received the letter addressed to him by the Chief of the French Government There is nothing which his Majesty has more at heart, than to seize the first opportunity of restoring to his subjects the blessings of peace, provided it is founded upon a basis not incompatible with the permanent interests, and security, of his dominions. His Majesty is persuaded that that object cannot be attained but by arrangements, which may at the same time provide for the future peace, and security, of Europe, and prevent a renewal of the dangers, and misfortunes, by which it is now overwhelmed. In conformity with these sentiments, his Majesty feels that he cannot give a more specific answer to the overture which he has received until he has had time to communicate with the Continental powers to whom he37 is united in the most confidential manner, and particularly the Emperor of Russia, who has given the strongest proofs of the wisdom, and elevation, of the sentiments by which he is animated, and of the lively interest which he takes in the security and independence of Europe.

Apropos of this pacific overture, there is a very badly drawn picture by Woodward (February 1, 1805), ‘A New Phantasmagoria for John Bull.’ Napoleon is seated on the French coast, directing his magic lantern towards John Bull, exclaiming, ‘Begar de brave Galanté shew for Jonny Bull.’ The magic lantern slide shows Napoleon coming over on a visit, with a tricoloured flag in one hand, the other leading the Empress Josephine, whose dress is semée with bees. ‘Here we come Johnny—A flag of Truce Johnny—something like a Piece! all decked out in Bees, and stars, and a crown on her head; not such a patched up piece as the last.’ The Russian bear is on one rock, John Bull on another—the latter having his sword drawn. He says: ‘You may be d—d, and your piece too! I suppose you thought I was off the watch—I tell you, I’ll say nothing to you till I have consulted Brother Bruin, and I hear him growling terribly in the offing.’

So we see that there was no hope of peace, as yet, and the war goes on. I can hardly localise the following caricature:—

Argus (January 24, 1805) drew ‘The glorious Pursuit of Ten against Seventeen.

God like his Courage seem’d, whom nor Delight
Could soften, nor the Face of Death affright.’

The French and Spaniards are in full flight, calling out, ‘By Gar dare be dat tam Nelson dat Salamander dat do love to live in de fire, by Gar we make haste out of his way, or he blow us all up.’ Nelson leads on nine old sea38 dogs, encouraging them thus: ‘The Enemy are flying before you my brave fellows, Seventeen against Ten of us. Crowd all the Sail you can, and then for George, Old England—Death or Victory!!!’ His followers utter such sentences as the following: ‘My Noble Commander, we’ll follow you the world over, and shiver my Timbers but we shall soon bring up our lee way, and then, as sure as my name is Tom Grog, we’ll give them another touch of the Battle of the Nile’—‘May I never hope to see Poll again, if I would not give a whole month’s flip if these lubberly Parly vous would but just stop one half watch,’ &c. &c.

The style in which our sailors worked is very aptly illustrated in a letter from an officer on board the Fisgard, off Cape St. Vincent, dated November 28, 1804.5 We must remember that war was not officially declared against Spain until January 11, 1805; but this gentleman writes: ‘We cannot desire a better station; we heard of hostilities with Spain on October the 15th, and on that very day we captured two Ships. Lord Nelson received from us the first intelligence—we have already taken twelve ships and entertain hopes of as many more. Yesterday we fell in with the Donegal, Capt. Sir R. Strachan, who has taken a large Spanish Frigate, the Amphitrite, after a chase of 46 hours, and 15 minutes’ action, in which the Spanish Captain was killed; the prize was from Cadiz, with despatches for Teneriffe and the Havana, laden with stores. The Amphitrite Frigate, of 42 Guns, was one of the finest Frigates in the Spanish Navy. The Donegal chased the Amphitrite for several hours, sometimes gaining upon her, and sometimes losing; at length the Amphitrite carried away her mizen top mast, which enabled the Donegal to come up with her. A Boat was then despatched by Sir Richard for the purpose of bringing the Spanish Captain39 on board. Some difficulty arose from neither party understanding the language of the other; at length Sir Richard acquainted the Spanish Captain, that in compliance with the Orders he had received from his Admiral, he was under the necessity of conducting the Amphitrite back again to Cadiz, and he allowed the Spanish Captain three minutes to determine whether he would comply without compelling him to have recourse to force. After waiting six minutes in vain for a favourable answer, the Donegal fired into the Amphitrite, which was immediately answered with a broadside. An engagement then ensued, which lasted about eight minutes, when the Amphitrite struck her colours. During this short engagement the Spanish Captain was unfortunately killed by a musket ball. The Donegal has also captured another Spanish ship, supposed the richest that ever sailed from Cadiz, her cargo reported worth 200,000l.

Another letter, dated November 29, adds, ‘We have this day taken a large Ship from the River de la Plata.’

They had captured the following ships previous to December 3:—

Nostra Signora del Rosario value £10,000
Il Fortuna 8,000
St. Joseph 12,000
La Virgine Assumpto 6,000
Apollo 15,000
Signora del Purificatione 40,000
Fawket 1,100
Gustavus Adolphus 1,000
A Settee 600
A Ship with Naval Stores 40,000

On February 26, 1805, Gillray published ‘The Plumb Pudding in danger; or State Epicures taking un Petit Souper—’ the great globe itself, and all which it inherits,40 ‘is too small to satisfy such insatiable appetites.’ Napoleon is taking all Europe, whilst Pitt is calmly appropriating all the ocean to himself.


There is now almost a total cessation of caricature until the autumn; and it probably was in this wise. Napoleon did not actively bother this country; his thoughts were, for the time, elsewhere. On March 17 a deputation from the Italian Republic waited upon him, stating that it was the desire of their countrymen that he should be their monarch, and accordingly on April 2 he and Josephine left Paris for Milan.


Another project fill’d his head,
For vanity must still be fed;
A second Charlemagne to prove,
Our hero resolutely strove.
Addresses manufactured he,
All which were sent to Italy;
To get additional renown,
He to restore the iron crown
Of Italy resolved,—by which
He hoped his pockets to enrich.
T’ obtain, was certainly his aim,
O’er the Peninsula, a claim.
Now, Nap, while filling out his wine,
Told Josephine his bold design—
‘My dear,’ said he, and kiss’d her lip,
To Italy, we’ll take a trip.’
To bring about this great event,
The Emperor and Empress went.
When in Milan they both arrived,
To coax the people Nap contrived;
And being a great Saint believed,
With adulation was receiv’d;
He, by his condescension, proved
How dearly he his children loved.
And on the Twenty Sixth of May
Began our hero to display
Another Coronation splendid,
While on a throne he sat attended.
Now highly honor’d and rever’d,
The diadem of France appear’d
On his right hand, and inter alia,
All its magnificent regalia.
Whilst on his left hand, to the sight,
The crown of iron sparkled bright;
Tho’ iron, this they used to call,
The cross was iron, that was all.6
The rest was diamonds and pure gold,
And very lovely to behold.
The Cardinal Archbishop then
Began the ceremony—when
Nap was Italian King protested,
And with th’ insignia too invested;
The altar steps he hasten’d soon up,
And taking quick the precious boon up,
He placed the Crown upon his head,
And in a voice of thunder said
‘Since heav’n has giv’n to me this Crown,
Who dares to touch it, I’ll knock him down.’7

An amateur drew, and Gillray etched (August 2, 1805), ‘St. George and the Dragon, a Design for an Equestrian Statue from the Original in Windsor Castle.’ Napoleon (a most ferocious dragon) has seized upon poor Britannia, who, dropping her spear and shield, her hair dishevelled, and her dress disordered, with upraised arm, attempts to avert her fate; but St. George (George the Third) on horseback, comes to the rescue, and, smiting that dragon, cleaves his crown.

As a practical illustration of the servile adulation with which he was treated, take the following etching by Woodward (September 15, 1805): ‘Napoleon’s Apotheosis Anticipated, or the Wise Men of Leipsic sending Boney to Heaven before his time!!! At the German University of Leipsic, it was decreed that the Constellation called Orion’s Belt should hereafter be named Napoleon in Honor of that Hero.—Query—Did the Wise men of Leipsic mean it as an honor, or a reflection on the turbulent spirit of Boney, as the rising of Orion is generally accompanied with Storms and Tempests, for which reason he has the Sword in his hand.’ Orion has his belt round Napoleon’s neck, and is hoisting him up to heaven thereby; Napoleon is kicking and struggling, and exclaims, ‘What are you about—I tell you I would rather stay where I was.’ The German savants are watching him through their telescopes, saying, ‘He mounts finely’—43‘I think we have now made ourselves immortal’—‘It was a sublime idea’—‘Orion seems to receive him better than I expected.’ This is confirmed in ‘Scot’s Magazine,’ 18078: ‘The University of Leipzig has resolved henceforth to call by the name of Napoleon that group of stars which lies between the girdle and the sword of Orion; and a numerous deputation of the University was appointed to present the “Conqueror” with a map of the group so named!’

Napoleon hardly reckoned on Austria taking up arms against him without a formal declaration of war, and was rather put to it to find men to oppose the Allies, whose forces were reckoned at 250,000 men; whilst France, though with 275,000 men at her disposal, had 180,000 of them locked up in the so-called ‘Army of England.’ We can imagine his chagrin in having to forego his cherished plan of invasion, and being compelled to withdraw his troops from the French shores.

The ‘Times’ (how different a paper it was in those days to what it is now!) is jubilant thereupon.9 ‘The Scene that now opens upon the soldiers of France, by being obliged to leave the coast and march eastwards, is sadly different from that Land of Promise, which, for two years, has been held out to them, in all sorts of gay delusions. After all the efforts of the Imperial Boat-Builder, instead of sailing over the Channel, they will have to cross the Rhine. The bleak forests of Suabia will make but a sorry exchange for the promised spoils of our Docks and Warehouses. They will not find any equivalent for the plunder of the Bank in another bloody passage through “the Valley of Hell”; but they seem to have forgotten the magnificent promise of the Milliard.’

The French papers affected to make light of this death-blow to their hopes; one of them, quoted in the44 ‘Times’ of September 13, says: ‘Whilst the German Papers, with much noise, make more troops march than all the Powers together possess, France, which needs not to augment her forces in order to display them in an imposing manner, detaches a few thousand troops from the Army of England to cover her frontiers, which are menaced by the imprudent conduct of Austria.’

The caricaturist, of course, made capital out of it, and Rowlandson (October 1, 1805) designed ‘The departure from the Coast or the End of the Farce of Invasion.’ Napoleon, seated on a sorry ass, is sadly returning, inland, homeward, to the intense delight of some French monkeys. His Iron Crown is tottering off his head, and his steed is loaded with the Boulogne Encampment, the Army of England, and Excuses for non-performance. The British Lion on the English cliffs lifts his leg and gives Boney a parting salute. The latter exclaims, ‘Bless me, what a shower! I shall be wet through before I reach the Rhine.’

The action of the Allies is shown by the caricature, ‘Tom Thumb at Bay, or the Sovereigns of the Forest roused at last,’ by Ansell (October 1805), which shows the Lilliputian Emperor, who has thrown away his crown and sceptre, being fiercely pursued by a double-headed eagle, a bear, and a boar, and is rushing into the open jaws of a ferocious lion. ‘Which way shall I escape? If I fly from the Bear and the Eagle, I fall into the jaws of the Lion!!’ Holland, Spain, and Italy, all have yokes round their necks—but, seeing Bonaparte’s condition, Holland takes his off and lays it on the ground. The Spaniard, surprised, exclaims, ‘Why! Mynheer, you have got your yoke off!’ And the Italian, who is preparing to remove his, says, ‘I think Mynheer’s right, and now’s the time, Don, to get ours off.’ An army of rats is labelled, 45‘Co-Estates ready to assist.’


Meantime the Austrians were in a very awkward position. General Mack was, from October 13, closely invested in Ulm, and Napoleon had almost need to restrain his troops, who were flushed with victory and eager for the assault. The carnage on both sides would, in such a case, have been awful; but Napoleon clearly pointed out to Mack his position: how that, in eight days, he would be forced to capitulate for want of food: that the Russians were yet far off, having scarcely reached Bohemia; that no other aid was nigh:—and on October 20, the gates of Ulm were opened, and 36,000 Austrian troops slowly defiled therefrom. Sixteen generals surrendered with Mack, and Napoleon treated them generously. All the officers were allowed to go home, their parole, not to fight against France until there had been a general exchange of prisoners, only being required; and Napoleon sent 50,000 prisoners into France, distributing them throughout the agricultural districts.

Gillray drew (November 6, 1805) ‘The Surrender of Ulm, or Buonaparte and Genl Mack coming to a right understanding—Intended as a Specimen of French Victories—i.e. Conquering without Bloodshed!!!’ It shows a little Napoleon, seated on a drum, whilst Mack and some other generals are grovelling on all fours, delivering up their46 swords, banners, and the keys of Ulm, to the conqueror. Napoleon, pointing to three large sacks of money, borne by as many soldiers, exclaims: ‘There’s your Price! There’s Ten Millions—Twenty!! It is not in my Army alone that my resources of Conquering consists!! I hate victory obtain’d by effusion of blood.’ ‘And so do I,’ says the crawling Mack; ‘What signifies Fighting when we can settle it in a safer way.’ On the ground is a scroll of ‘Articles to be deliver’d up. 1 Field Marshal. 8 Generals in Chief. 7 Lieutenant Generals. 36 Thousand Soldiers. 80 pieces of Cannon. 50 Stand of Colours. 100,000 Pounds of Powder. 4,000 Cannon Balls.’

This subject also attracted the pencil of I. Cruikshank (November 19, 1805): ‘Boney beating Mack—and Nelson giving him a Whack!! or the British Tars giving Boney his Hearts desire, Ships, Colonies and Commerce.’ Mack is kneeling in a suppliant manner before Bonaparte, who stamps upon his captive’s sword, addressing him: ‘I want not your Forts, your Cities, nor your territories! Sir, I only want Ships, Colonies and Commerce’—a very slight variation from the real text of his address to the vanquished Austrian officers: ‘I desire nothing further upon the Continent. I want ships, colonies, and commerce; and it is as much your interest, as mine, that I should have them.’ During this peroration military messengers are arriving. One calls out, ‘May it please your King’s Majesty’s Emperor. That Dam Nelson take all your ships. Twenty at a time. Begar, if you no come back directly they vill not leave you vone boat to go over in.’ Another runs along crying, ‘Run, ma foi, anoder Dam Nelson take ever so many more ships.’ This is an allusion to the battle of Trafalgar (October 21, 1805),10 where Nelson paid for his47 victory with his life. This is further illustrated in another portion of the engraving, by Nelson, who is towing the captured vessels, kneeling at Britannia’s feet, saying: ‘At thy feet, O Goddess of the seas, I resign my life in the service of my country.’ Britannia replies: ‘My Son, thy Name shall be recorded in the page of History on tablets of the brightest Gold.’

Rowlandson (November 13, 1805) further alludes to the surrender of Ulm and the battle of Trafalgar: ‘Nap Buonaparte in a fever on receiving the Extraordinary Gazette of Nelson’s Victory over the combined Fleets.’ Boney is very sick and miserable, the combined effects of the news which he has read in the paper which falls from his trembling hands—the ‘Extraordinary Gazette. 19 Sail of the line taken by Lord Nelson.’ He appeals to four doctors, who are in consultation on his case: ‘My dear Doctors! those Sacré Anglois have play’d the Devil vid my Constitution. Pray tell me what is the matter with me. I felt the first symptoms when I told Genl Mack I wanted Ships, Colonies and Commerce. Oh dear! oh dear! I shall want more ships now—this is a cursed sensation—Oh I am very qualmish.’ One doctor opines it is ‘a desperate case,’ another that he is ‘Irrecoverable.’ One recommends bleeding; but one has thoroughly investigated the case, and found out the cause: ‘Begar, me have found it out, your heart be in your breeches!’

Now with such fury they push’d on,
Memmengen the French Army won,
And by the treachery of Mack,
Ulm surrendered in a crack—
Soon after the capitulation,
The Austrians with consternation
Laid down their arms, and to their shame,
Napoleon’s prisoners became——

48 There were no caricatures of the battle of Trafalgar—the victory was purchased at too great a cost; but Gillray executed a serious etching in memory of Nelson, published on December 29, 1805, the funeral of the hero taking place on the subsequent 9th of January.

The following caricature shows the quality of news supplied to our forefathers:—

‘John Bull exchanging News with the Continent’ is by Woodward, December 11, 1805, and represents Napoleon and a French newsboy on a rock called Falsehood, disseminating news the reverse of true. The ‘Journal de l’Empire’ says that Archduke Charles is dead with fatigue; the ‘Journal de Spectacle’ that England is invaded. The ‘Gazette de France’ informs us that the English fleet is dispersed, and the ‘Publicité’ follows it with the news that the combined fleets are sent in pursuit. False bulletins are being scattered broadcast. These, however, have but little effect on John Bull, who, attired as a newsboy, stands on the rock of Truth, flourishing a paper, ‘Trafalgar London Gazette extraordinary,’ and bellowing through his horn, ‘Total defeat of the Combin’d Fleets of France and Spain,’ which is vividly depicted in the background.

‘Tiddy doll, the great French Gingerbread Baker, drawing out a new Batch of Kings—his man Hopping Talley mixing up the Dough,’ is a somewhat elaborate etching by Gillray (January 23, 1806). The celebrated gingerbread maker has, on a ‘peel,’ three kings, duly gilt—Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and Baden—which he is just introducing into the ‘New French Oven for Imperial Gingerbread.’ On a chest of three drawers, relatively labelled Kings and Queens, Crowns and Sceptres, and Suns and Moons, are a quantity of ‘Little Dough Viceroys, intended for the next batch.’ Under the oven is an 49‘Ash hole for broken Gingerbread,’ and a broom—‘the Corsican Besom of Destruction’—has swept therein La République Française, Italy, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Holland, and Venice. On the ground is a fool’s cap and bells, which acts as a cornucopia (labelled ‘Hot Spiced Gingerbread, all hot; Come, who dips in my lucky bag’), which disgorges stars and orders, principalities, dukedoms, crowns, sceptres, cardinals’ hats, and bishops’ mitres; and a baker’s basket is full of ‘True Corsican Kinglings for Home Consumption and Exportation.’


Talleyrand—with a mitre on his head, and beads and cross round his waist, to show his ecclesiastical status; with a pen in his mouth, and ink-pot slung to his side, to denote his diplomatic functions—is hard at work at the ‘Political Kneading Trough,’ mixing up Hungary, Poland, Turkey, &c., whilst an eagle (Prussia) is pecking at a piece of dough (Hanover).

To thoroughly understand this caricature, we must first of all know something about Tiddy Doll. He was a seller50 of gingerbread, and was as famous in his time as was Colly Molly Puff in the time of Steele and Addison. He had a refrain, all his own, like a man well known to dwellers in Brighton and the West End of London—‘Brandy balls.’ Hone11 gives the best account of him that I know. Discoursing on May fair, he says: ‘Here, too, was Tiddy-doll; this celebrated vendor of gingerbread, from his eccentricity of character and extensive dealings in his way, was always hailed as the king of itinerant tradesmen.12 In his person he was tall, well made, and his features handsome. He affected to dress like a person of rank: white, gold-laced, suit of clothes, laced ruffled shirt, laced hat and feather, white silk stockings, with the addition of a fine white apron. Among his harangues to gain customers, take this as a specimen: “Mary, Mary, where are you now, Mary? I live, when at home, at the second house in little Ball Street, two steps under ground, with a wiscum, riscum, and a why not. Walk in ladies and gentlemen; my shop is on the second floor backwards, with a brass knocker at the door. Here is your nice gingerbread, your spice gingerbread; it will melt in your mouth like a redhot brickbat, and rumble in your inside like Punch and his wheelbarrow.” He always finished his address by singing this fag end of some popular ballad.

Ti - tid - dy, ti - ti ti - tid - dy, ti - ti ti - tid-dy, ti - ti
tid-dy did-dy dol - lol, ti - tiddy, ti - diddy ti - ti, tid-dy, tiddy, dol.’

Pitt died on January 23, 1806, and Fox succeeded him.51 It is probable that Napoleon reckoned somewhat on Fox’s friendship, and hence the following caricature:—


‘Boney and the Great Secretary’ (Argus, February 1806) gives a good portrait of Fox. Napoleon wishes to be friendly: ‘How do you do, Master Charley, why you are so fine, I scarcely knew ye—don’t you remember me, why I am little Boney the Corsican—him that you came to see at Paris, and very civil I was to you, I’m sure. If you come my way I shall be glad to see you, so will my wife and family. They are a little changed in their dress, as well as you. We shall be very happy to take a little peace soup with you, whenever you are inclined, Master Charley.’ But Fox shakes his fist at him: 52‘Why, you little Corsican Reptile! how dare you come so near the person of the Right Honble C—— J—— F—— one of his M—— principal Secretaries of State, Member of the P.C. &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c., &c.—go to see You!!! Arrogant little Man, Mr. Boney—if you do not instantly vanish from my sight—I’le break every bone in your body—learn to behave yourself in a peaceable manner, nor dare to set your foot on this happy land without My leave.’

Of ‘Pacific Overtures, or a Flight from St. Cloud, “over the Water to Charley,” a new Dramatic Peace now rehearsing’ (Gillray, April 5, 1806), only a portion is given in the accompanying illustration, but quite sufficient to explain the negotiations for peace then in progress.

This caricature is far too elaborate to reproduce the whole, and the allusions therein are extremely intricate and, nowadays, uninteresting. A theatrical stage is represented, with Napoleon descending in clouds, pointing to Terms of Peace, which are being displayed by Talleyrand, and saying, ‘There’s my terms.’ These are as follow: 53‘Acknowledge me as Emperor; dismantle your fleet; reduce your army; abandon Malta and Gibraltar; renounce all Continental connexion; your Colonies I will take at a valuation; engage to pay to the Great Nation, for seven years annually, £1,000,000; and place in my hands as hostages, the Princess Charlotte of Wales, with ten of the late administration, whom I shall name.’

King George has stepped from his box on to the stage, and is surveying this vision through his glass, exclaiming: ‘Very amusing terms indeed, and might do vastly well with some of the new made little gingerbread kings13; but we are not in the habit of giving up either “ships, or commerce, or colonies” merely because little Boney is in a pet to have them!!!’

Ansell (April 1806) drew ‘Roast Beef and French Soup. The English Lamb * * * and the French Tiger,’ and it seems merely designed for the purpose of introducing Daniel Lambert, who was then on exhibition—‘Daniel Lambert who at the age of 36 weighed above 50 Stone, 14 Pounds to the Stone, measured 3 yards 4 inches round the Body, and 1 yard 1 inch round the leg. 5 feet 11 inches high.’ It shows the redoubtable fat man seated on a couch, carving a round of beef, which is accompanied by a large mustard-pot, a huge loaf, and a foaming pot of stout. Napoleon, seated on a similar couch, on the opposite side of the table, is taking soup—then an unaccustomed article of food with Englishmen—and looks with horror at the other’s size and manner of feeding.

Daniel Lambert was like Mr. Dick in ‘David Copperfield,’ who would persist in putting King Charles the First’s head into his Memorial; he could hardly be kept out of the caricatures. Ansell produced one (May 1806)—54‘Two Wonders of the World, or a Specimen of a new troop of Leicestershire Light Horse.—Mr. Daniel Lambert, who at the age of 36 weighed above 50 Stone, 14 Pounds to the Stone, measured 3 yards 4 inches round the body and 1 yard 1 inch round the leg, 5 feet 11 inches high. The famous horse Monarch, the largest in the World is upwards of 21 hands high, (above 7 foot)14 and only 6 Years old.’ Lambert is mounted on this extraordinary quadruped, and, sword in hand, is riding at poor little Boney, who exclaims in horror, ‘Parbleu! if dis be de specimen of de English light Horse, vat vill de Heavy Horse be? Oh, by Gar, I vill put off de Invasion for anoder time.’

Yet once more are these two brought into juxtaposition, in an engraving by Knight (April 15, 1806), ‘Bone and Flesh, or John Bull in moderate Condition.’ Napoleon is looking at this prodigy, and saying, ‘I contemplate this Wonder of the World, and regret that all my Conquered Domains cannot match this Man. Pray, Sir, are you not a descendant from the great Joss of China?’ Lambert replies, ‘No Sir, I am a true born Englishman, from the County of Leicester. A quiet mind, and good Constitution, nourished by the free Air of Great Britain, makes every Englishman thrive.’

Another of Gillray’s caricatures into which Napoleon is introduced, but in which he plays a secondary part, is called ‘Comforts of a Bed of Roses; vide Charley’s elucidation of Lord C—stl—r—gh’s speech! Nightly Scene near Cleveland row.’ This is founded on a speech of Lord Castlereagh’s, in which he congratulated the Ministry as having ‘a bed of roses.’ But Fox, in reply, recounted his difficulties and miseries, and said: ‘Really, it is insulting to tell me I am on a bed of roses, when I feel myself torn, and stung, by brambles, and nettles, whichever way I turn.’

Fox and Mrs. Fox are shown as sleeping on a bed of roses, some of which peep out from underneath the rose-coloured counterpane, but which display far more of thorns than of roses. There is the India rose, the Emancipation55 rose, the French rose, the Coalition rose, and the Volunteer rose. Fox’s slumbers are terribly disturbed; his bonnet rouge, which he wears as night-cap, has tumbled off; his night-shirt is seized at the neck, on one side by the ghost of Pitt, who exclaims: ‘Awake, arise, or be for ever fall’n!’ The other side is fiercely clutched by Napoleon, who, drawn sword in hand, has just stepped on to the bed from a cannon labelled ‘Pour subjuguer le monde.’ Amidst a background of smoke appear spears, and a banner entitled ‘Horrors of Invasion.’ The Prussian eagle is preparing to swoop down upon him, and, from under the bed, crawls out a skeleton holding an hour-glass, whilst round its fleshless arm is entwined a serpent ‘Intemperance, Dropsy, Dissolution.’ John Bull, as a bull-dog, is trying to seize Napoleon.

‘John Bull threatened by Insects from all Quarters’ is by an unknown artist (April 1806). John Bull is on ‘The tight little Island,’ and seated on a cask of grog. With one hand he flourishes a cutlass, and the other grasps a pistol, of which weapon two more lie on the ground. With these he defies the insects, which come in swarms. There are Westphalian mites, American hornets, Dutch bluebottles, Italian butterflies, Turkish wasps, Danish gnats, and, worst of all, a French dragon-fly, in the shape of Napoleon. John Bull is saying: ‘Come on my Lads—give me but good sea room, and I don’t care for any of you—Why all your attacks is no more than a gnat stinging an Elephant, or a flea devouring Mr. Lambert of Leicester.’

A very clever caricature is by Knight (June 26, 1806) of ‘Jupiter Bouney granting unto the Dutch Frogs a King. The Frogs sent their deputies to petition Jupiter again for a King. He sent them a Stork, who eat them up, vide Æsop’s fables.’ The discontented Dutch spurn their King Log, and pray, 56‘We present ourselves before the throne of your Majesty. We pray that you will grant us, as the supreme Chief of our Republic, Prince Louis.’ Napoleon, as Jupiter, seated on an eagle (which is made to look as much like a devil as possible), says: ‘I agree to the request. I proclaim Prince Louis, King of Holland. You Prince! reign over this People.’ And the stork is duly despatched on its mission. Talleyrand, as Ganymede, supplies Jupiter with a cup of comfort for the discontented.



Apropos of the negotiations for peace, there is a picture of Woodward’s (July 1806), in which Fox is just closing the door behind a messenger laden with despatches. John Bull, whose pockets are stuffed with Omnium and Speculation on Peace, entreats him with clasped hands: ‘Now do Charley, my dear good boy, open the door a little bit farther, just to enable me to take in a few of my friends at the Stock Exchange.’ But Fox remonstrates: ‘Really, Mr. Bull, you are too inquisitive—don’t you see the door for Negotiation is opened? don’t you see the back of a Messenger? don’t you see he has got dispatches under his arm? what would you desire more?’

‘Experiments at Dover, or Master Charley’s Magic Lanthorn,’ is by Rowlandson (July 21, 1806), and shows Fox seated on the seashore, projecting images on to the opposite coast. The slide he is passing through the lantern begins with a ‘Messenger from Boulogne,’ then a ‘Messenger to Paris,’ then ‘More Dispatches’; and he is now showing Bonaparte as a newsboy, with his horn, calling out ‘Preliminaries of Peace.’ The next, and final, picture to come is a man waving his hat and shouting ‘Huzza.’ Fox is saying: ‘There, Master Bull, what do you think of that—I told you I would surprize you. Preliminaries of Peace! Huzza!’ But John Bull is not58 quite satisfied with his conduct, and fancies there has been something kept from him. ‘Why yes, it be all very foine, if it be true. But I can’t forget that d—d Omnium last week—they be always one way or other in contradictions! I tell thee what, Charley, since thee hast become a great man—I think in my heart thee beest always conjuring.’

‘The Pleasing and Instructive Game of Messengers—or Summer Amusement for John Bull,’ by Ansell (August 1806), shows us the Channel, on both sides of which a lively game is being kept up by means of racket bats, a constant supply of balls, in the shape of messengers, between the two countries, being kept in the air. Their messages are Peace, Hope, Despair, No peace, Passports, Peace to a Certainty, No peace, Credentials, Despatches, &c. On the French side, Napoleon and Talleyrand keep the game alive, ‘Begar Talley, dis be ver amusant—Keep it up as long as you can, that we may have time for our project.’ Sheridan, Fox, and others play on the English side; John Bull being merely a spectator, not too much amused, as a paper, protruding from his pocket, shows: ‘Very shy at the Stock Exchange.’ Sheridan calls out: ‘That’s right my lads, bang ’em about. John Bull seems quite puzzled.’ Fox asks: ‘Is not it a pretty game Johnny?’ Johnny, however, says: ‘Pretty enough as to that, they do fly about monstrous quick to be sure: but you don’t get any more money out of my pocket for all that!!’


Gillray gives us a veritable caricature in ‘News from Calabria! Capture of Buenos Ayres! i.e. the Comforts of an Imperial Dejeune at St. Clouds’ (September 13, 1806), a portion only of which is given in illustration. Boney is here, terrific in his wrath; poor Talleyrand, who has brought the news, is receiving grievous punishment from his Imperial master. Not only is his ear pulled (a favourite59 trick of Napoleon’s), but he is being belaboured with the tea-urn, which is made in the form of the world: his master crying out: ‘Out on ye Owl, noting but song of Death!!’ Napoleon has kicked over the breakfast-table, and the scalding contents of the tea-urn are being deposited in the lap of Josephine, who screams with agony and terror. The maids of honour and courtiers, though refraining from open demonstration, look aghast at the imperial violence, which is not diminished by the presence of a number of messengers, whose news is particularly unwelcome: ‘Spain in despair for the loss of her Colonies.’ ‘All Germany rising, and arming en Masse.’ ‘Holland starving, and ripe for a revolt.’ ‘St. Petersburg: refusal to ratify the French Treaty.’ ‘Prussia rousing from the Trance of Death.’ ‘Swedish defiance. Charles XII. redivivus.’ ‘Switzerland cursing the French yoke.’ ‘Italy shaking off her Chains.’ ‘La Vendée again in motion.’ 60‘Portugal true to the last gasp.’ ‘Sicily firing like Etna.’ ‘Denmark waiting for an opportunity.’ ‘Turkey invoking Mahomet.’ Naturally, all this bad news contributes towards making it a ‘hard time’ for Talleyrand.

Argus gives us (September 1806) ‘The Continental Shaving Shop. Boney beats Jemmy Wright, who shaved as well as any man, almost, not quite’ (September 1806). As a barber, he is going to shave the Grand Turk, and, flourishing an enormous razor of Corsican steel, seizes his beard. This the Turk naturally objects to, saying: ‘By the Holy Prophet, I must not part with my beard, why, my people will not acknowledge me for the grand Signor again at Constantinople.’ Talleyrand, as assistant, is lathering the Turk’s face, persuading him, ‘Come, come, don’t make such a fuss, my Master will cut away when he catches anybody in his shop.’ Boney calls out: ‘Lather away Talley. I’ll soon ease him of his superfluities and make him look like my Christian customers.’

The sort of treatment they are likely to get is clearly set forth in an announcement on the wall. ‘Nap Boney, shaver general to most of the Sovereigns on the Continent, shaves expeditiously, and clean, a few gashes excepted; is ready to undertake any new Customer who is willing to submit to the above.’ His treatment is exemplified by the appearance of Austria, whose gashed face and head is ornamented with strips of court-plaister. He is talking to John Bull, who looks in at a window: ‘Come, Johnny, come in and be shaved, don’t be frightened at the size of the razor, it cuts very clean, I assure you.’ His reply is, ‘By Goles so it seems, and leaves a dom’d sight of gashes behoind, as you and Mynheer can testify!!’ Poor Holland is in even a worse plight than Austria, and is talking to Prussia, who is sitting in a chair, ready lathered for shaving. Says he to the Dutchman: ‘I hope he don’t61 mean to shave me as he has you, and my neighbour Austria there? I should not sit here so quietly with my face lathered.’ Holland replies: ‘Yaw Mynheer very close shaver, its nix my doll when you are used to it.’

‘Political Quadrille’ is by Ansell (October 1806), and represents two sets playing that game of cards. One set is composed of George the Third, Russia, Spain, and Prussia. The other consists of Napoleon, Italy, Holland, and Austria. George the Third says: ‘I never had luck when the Curse of Scotland15 was in my hand—however I have now discarded it—Ay this will do—I have now a strong suit, without a knave among them.’ Russia observes: ‘I never had such luck since I have been a Russian, compleatly bested off the board—but that I must endeavour to forget, and try to play better in future.’ Spain says: ‘I was obliged to play, tho’ it was forced Spadille. My Queen deceived me—but however I must not now give myself Ayres, as I have lost all my Dollars.’ Prussia remarks: ‘Shall I play or not? If I play, I fear I shall be bested, and if not, they will call me Prussian Cake.’

In the other set of players, Napoleon says: ‘I begin to fancy I can play alone—No, I can call a King when I please, I am strong in my suits—besides I know how to finesse my Cards.’ Austria says: ‘For the present I fear the game is up with me, so I pass.’ Italy says: ‘I fear it is nearly over with poor Ponto.’ Holland reflects: ‘I have got a King without calling one—but I have no Trump now, and I fear I shall lose all my fish.’

Fox died in September 1806, and was buried, October 10, in Westminster Abbey, close to the remains of his rival Pitt. With him were buried the last hopes of a peace with France, and, in October, finding all negotiations unsuccessful (Great Britain requiring Russia to be made a party62 to the Treaty, which France refused), Lord Lauderdale demanded his passports, and left for England.

Meanwhile, Napoleon marched on from victory to victory. The battle of Jena, the occupation of Erfurth, Greissen, Hall, Leipzig, Ascherleben, Bemburg, Spandau, Potsdam, and, lastly, of Berlin, were all in his triumphal march.

A public entry having made,
At Berlin he his airs display’d;
A Court day absolutely held,
And due attendance there compell’d.
Of Prussia’s King he made a scoff,
And all his little taunts play’d off.
And here he issued a decree,
The most invet’rate that could be,
In hopes t’annoy Great Britain’s trade,
All Commerce with her he forbade.
The Capture he ordain’d, ’tis true,
Of British ships—the seizure, too,
Of letters, if in English written,
Or if directed to Great Britain;
And this he styled—a strange romance!
The fundamental law of France.

The decree is dated from Berlin, November 21, 1806, and, after a preamble, states:—63‘1. The British Islands are declared in a state of blockade. 2. All trade and intercourse with the British Islands is prohibited; consequently letters or packets addressed to England, or written in the English language, will not be conveyed by post, and will be seized. 3. Every native of England, whatever his rank and condition, who may be found in the countries occupied by our troops, or by those of our allies, shall be made prisoners of war. 4. Every warehouse, and all merchandise and property of any description whatever, belonging to an English subject, or the produce of English manufactures or colonies, is declared good prize. 5. Trade in English merchandise is prohibited, and all merchandise belonging to England, or the produce of her manufactures, and colonies, is declared good prize. 6. One half of the produce of the confiscation of the merchandise, and property, declared good prize by the preceding articles, will be appropriated to the indemnification of the merchants, for losses they have sustained, through the capture of trading vessels, by English cruisers. 7. No vessel coming directly from England, or her colonies, or having been there since the publication of the present decree, will be received in any port. 8. Any vessel which, by means of a false declaration, shall contravene the above article, shall be seized, and the Ship and Cargo shall be confiscated as if they were English property,’ &c.

The Times, of December 8, commenting on this proclamation, says:—‘If our orders of Council, and our Navy are not competent to seal up the ports of France, we should be glad to know how Buonaparte, who can scarce venture to steal a ship to sea, is to retaliate with effect upon this country. We believe none of the nations, which are yet free to trade with us, will be deterred by a Decree emitted at Berlin, from sending their produce to the markets of Britain. Of all the follies that have ever escaped from Buonaparte, in the extravagance, and intoxication, of his ambition, and success, this we consider as one of the greatest. He, in fact, pledges himself to that which he has no adequate means whatever of carrying into effect. His Decree will have as little influence upon the trade of England, as his Navy has.’

Ansell designed (December 1806) ‘Jack Tars conversing with Boney on the Blockade of Old England.’ Napoleon is vapouring about behind his fortifications, flourishing his sword, ‘The Terror of the Continent,’ and64 saying: ‘Begar by my Imperial decree, England is in a State of Blockade.’ Two sailors are in a small boat called the Nelson, and one says: ‘Why what do you mean by that, you whipper snapper—Heres Tom Pipes, and I, in this little cock boat, will Blockade you so that you dare not bring out a single vessel—Blockade, indeed! you are a pretty fellow to talk of blockading!’ His companion contemptuously adds: ‘I wonder, Jack, you throw away your precious time in talking to such a lubber.’ John Bull, pipe in hand, stands on the cliffs of Albion, roaring with laughter. ‘I cannot help laughing at the whimsical conceit.’

Souley (December 1806) drew ‘Bonaparte blockading John Bull.’

Boney for want of proper Sail,
By threats bombastic would prevail.

Boney and his army are crossing the Channel in their cocked hats; he, presenting sword and pistol at John Bull, says: ‘I’ll Blockade ye, ye English Scoundrel. ’Tis you thwart all my designs—’Tis you and you only who dare oppose MY WILL. But I’ll Blockade ye—and not one of your rascally Craft shall stir.’ John Bull, convulsed with laughter, is dancing, and saying: ‘Shiver my timbers, here’s a go! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Why Master Boney you look like Neptune crossing the Line. I suppose next you will be blockading the moon.’

And so ends the year 1806.



1807 commences with ‘John Bull playing on the Base Villain’ (artist unknown, January 1, 1807), in which we see that revered personage playing ‘Britains Strike home’ on poor Boney, with a sword in lieu of a bow, and grasping him tightly round the neck.

In November 1806, Napoleon, with his army, had entered Poland, and, on December 18 of the same year, he entered Warsaw.

An unknown artist (January 1807) depicts ‘The Entrance into Poland or another Bonne Bouche for Boney.’ On their knees are the Polish magnates, who exclaim: ‘What a happy day for Poland!’ The foremost is kissing the toe of Napoleon, who says: ‘Rise up free and independent Polanders, depend upon it you shall have a King, and I’ll be Vice Roy over him.’ Behind, a standard-bearer carries a flag, on which is shown a pair of shackles, a guillotine, and two crossed swords, with the legend, ‘Comfort for the Poles.’ Beside him, another French soldier is emptying a sack of fetters.

The Russians withdrew for a time, but only to return in force, and Napoleon had to change his tactics to meet them; he therefore proposed to concentrate his forces, and compel the Russians to give battle, with the Vistula in their rear, and he himself between them and Russia. His66 despatches, however, were intercepted, and the battle was precipitated. Augereau’s division lost its way, and was cut up by the Russians; and Bernadotte did not come, as the despatches, bidding him do so, had been captured. The fight in the snow at Preuss Eylau was fearful, and the carnage, especially in the churchyard, was horrible. Four thousand men died there. The French put down their loss in this battle as 2,000 killed, 6,000 wounded; while the loss of the Russians was 7,000 dead, 16,000 wounded, 12,000 prisoners, and 45 cannon taken.

That the blockade still galled us is evidenced by a caricature of Woodward’s (January 27, 1807), who designed ‘The Giant Commerce overwhelming the Pigmy Blockade.’ Commerce is a strange figure: its cap is Wedgwood ware, its face Staffordshire ware, its eyes Derby Porcelain, and its mouth Worcester porcelain. Its body is Wool, arms of printed calico, and its hands are encased in Woodstock gloves. It wears a Norwich shawl, has leather breeches, Fleecy hosiery stockings, and Staffordshire shoes. It is actively employed in hurling various missiles at Napoleon, who is sheltered behind his fortifications. These implements of offence consist of such articles as Birmingham steel, pig iron, scissors, combs, knives and forks, block tin, sugar, patent coffins, Birmingham buttons, and a cask each of London porter, Maidstone, Geneva, and British spirits. Napoleon entreats: ‘Pray Mr. Commerce don’t overwhelm me, and I will take off de grande Blockade of old England.’

The two following caricatures were designed and published before the news had arrived in England of the crushing defeat of the Russians at Eylau, which only appeared publicly in the ‘Times’ of March 10.

Ansell (March 1807) gives ‘Boney and his Army in Winter Quarters.’ In the background is a State Prison for67 Prisoners of War; and, in the centre of the picture, the Russian bear hugs poor Boney, and prepares to drop him in the river Bug, in which is a board inscribed, ‘Hic Jacet. Snug in the Bug several thousands of the great nation.’ Bruin growls: ‘Hush a bye! Hush a bye! take it all quietly, you’ll soon find yourself as snug as a bug in a rug.’ But Boney, writhing in the embrace, cries out: ‘Oh D—n the Bug, I wish I had never seen it. My dear Talley—don’t tell my faithful subjects the true state of my situation. Any thing but the truth, my dear Talley—Oh this Cursed Russian bear, how close he hugs me.’ Talleyrand, with one foot in the Vistula, and the other on land, replies: ‘Leave me alone for a Bulletin’—applies his lips to a trumpet, from which issues a true and a false report. The true one, ‘4000 prisoners, 3000 drowned, 12 Eagles taken, 12000 killed,’ is disappearing into thin air; whilst that ‘For Paris’ is as follows: ‘Grand Bulletin. The august Emperor of the great Nation informs his faithful, and beloved, subjects, that, having performed wonders on the banks of the Bug, he has now closed a glorious campaign for the season, and retired with ease, and comfort, into Winter quarters.’

‘The Political Cock horse’ (Souley, March 10, 1807) shows Napoleon’s somewhat ragged white charger stumbling over a stone, ‘Insatiable Ambition.’ Benningsen has jumped up behind him, seized the reins, and hurled Boney to the ground. In his fall he loses his sword ‘Oppression,’ and cries out pitifully, ‘Stop, stop, good Benningsen, don’t kill a poor fellow! An Armistice! an Armistice! I have very good proposals of peace for you.’ But the relentless Russian prepares to run him through with his sword, saying: 68‘You Bombastic Scoundrel, Robber, Murderer, Violator, Incendiary, &c., &c., &c. You thought of reigning with your Iron Crown (in) the North, as well as the South. But know, Tyrant, that the Sons of the North are to be your Superior.’ John Bull encourages him with ‘Bravo, bravo, brave Russians: One home stroke more, and good bye to Master Boney.’


Of Gillray’s caricature of ‘The New Dynasty; or the little Corsican Gardener Planting a Royal Pippin Tree,’ only a portion is given—that relating to Napoleon. The Old Royal Oak is being hewn down by ‘All the Talents,’ and Talleyrand is busy digging a hole to receive Napoleon’s royal pippin, which is to take its place. The topmost pippin, which is crowned, represents Lord Moira, who claimed to be descended from the old kings of Ballynahinch. The others are, ‘Countess of Salisbury beheaded 1505,’ ‘Duchess of Cleves put to death in 1453,’ ‘Henry de la Pole beheaded in 1538,’ ‘Plantagenet beheaded in 1415,’ ‘Crookback Richard killed at Bosworth,’ 69‘Edmund, 4th son of Henry 2, beheaded.’ The royal pippins behind, which have already been planted, and have taken root, are labelled respectively, ‘Etruria, Wurtemburg, Saxon, Holland, and Italian;’ whilst on the ground, by a basket, are grafts, which respectively represent Sir Francis Burdett, Cobbett, and Horne Tooke.

Napoleon pursued his victories over the Russians. Dantzig was taken; at Friedland the Russians lost 18,000 men and 25 generals, killed and wounded, and at last Königsberg was taken by Soult, after having been evacuated by the Russians. It was time for them to beg for an armistice, and on June 21 one was concluded. Napoleon was asked to have an interview with the Emperor of Russia, to which he consented, and Tilsit was the place appointed; and, in order that this meeting should be quite private, and free from interruption, Napoleon ordered a large raft to be moored in the middle of the Niemen, on which was erected a room with two antechambers, all elegantly furnished and decorated. Both the roof and the doors were ornamented with French and Russian eagles. On June 25 they met; Napoleon reached the raft first, and stood on its edge to welcome Alexander. They met and parted in a most friendly manner. This incident, it is needless to say, afforded a fine subject to the caricaturist.

Ansell gives us, certainly, a more comic representation of the meeting of the Emperors than any other caricaturist (July 1807). Bonaparte is hugging the Emperor of Russia in a most exaggerated style, saying: ‘My dear Brother—receive this Fraternal Embrace out of pure affection.’ But Russia, finding the raft tilting violently, and not liking such demonstrative affection, exclaims, ‘Zounds, Brother, you’ll squeeze me to death—besides, I find my side of the raft is sinking very fast.’ Poor Prussia is floundering in the water, his crown floating away from him: 70‘What a Prussian cake I was to listen to him—I am afraid I shall never recover it.’


Nap, with the hopes of peace delighted,
The Russian Emperor invited,
And for this interview, with craft,
Had been prepar’d a pretty raft,
Which on the river Niemen floated,
With two commodious tents, devoted
To the sole use of the contractors,
Who were indeed conspicuous actors;
The signal given, as commanded,
Each from his boat together landed,
And on this raft, their ends to get,
By Nap, was Alexander met—
Exchanging the fraternal hug
They took their seats in manner snug;
When Nap began his wheedling jargon,
And made, depend on’t, a good bargain.
The peace of Tilsit, as recorded,
A temporary rest afforded.
And now three sovereigns, they say,
Sat down together very gay:
Meaning the Emperor of Russia,
Our hero, and the King of Prussia:
Their visits to each other, they
Alternately were wont to pay.
Napoleon talk’d of this and that,
And entertain’d them with his chat.
Their life guards, who were much delighted,
To dinner, were by Nap invited,
The brotherly embrace went round,
There was not a discordant sound.
In harmony the day they spent,
Each countenance display’d content.
Now matters were so well arrang’d,
A while they uniforms exchang’d,
And after they had dined, and talk’d,
Together through the streets they walked.

Ansell drew (July 1807) ‘An Imperial Bonne bouche, or the dinner at Tilsit.’ Napoleon, attended by his guards, sits on one side of the table, and the Emperor of Russia opposite to him; the latter has but an empty plate, and a castor of cayenne pepper before him, whilst Napoleon is stuffing his mouth with ‘Continental slices,’ and has besides, immediately before him, ‘Austerlitz biscuit,’ ‘Friedland Pye,’ and ‘Eylau Custard,’ which he intends carving with his sword. But he banters his brother Emperor with ‘My dear Brother, you dont eat; What is the matter with you? see what a hearty meal our other beloved Cousin, and brother, is making, from the Crumbs that fall from the table.’ And Prussia is seen on his knees, picking up some fragments of a ‘Prussian Cake.’ Russia, with expectant knife and fork, looks very blankly at his confrère, and replies: ‘How the deuce, brother, am I to eat when you keep everything to yourself?’

‘Mutual Honors at Tilsit, or the Monkey, the Bear and the Eagle’ (August 1807), by Ansell, represents Napoleon,72 as a monkey, seated on a drum, having a plaque upon his breast, inscribed ‘Order of St. Andrew, to our Faithful &c. &c. &c. Fudge,’ decorating a bear with ‘The Legion of Honor. To our trusty and beloved Cousin &c. &c. Fudge.’ The poor bear wears a fool’s cap and bells, and is muzzled, whilst its throat is galled by a spiked collar, called, in irony, ‘Collar of Independence.’ Napoleon says, ‘Really, Brother Bruin—you never look’d so fine in your life. You cannot think how the medal, and cap and bells, become you.’ But the bear ruefully ruminates, ‘I shall really be ashamed to return to my own Fraternity. I wonder what my old Friend, the Lion, will say.’ The Prussian eagle is also decorated with the collar of the Legion of Honour, but is in a wofully dilapidated condition, which is well explained by its own reflections: ‘It is certainly very fine—but, what with having one of my heads chopped off—and the crown half cracked of the other; besides having my wings cropp’d, I think, somehow, I was better off before.’

The English, perforce, had to keep up their courage, and one etching, by Ansell (August 1807), represents, in the background, Napoleon on his throne, and all the European sovereigns grovelling before him. The foreground is occupied by Britannia and John Bull. The former asks: ‘Do give me your advice—what am I to do—All my foreign Allies have deserted me,—even Russia has joined them, they are bending at the feet of the usurper.’ John Bull, a truculent-looking sailor, with oaken Cudgel, replies: ‘What are you to do? Why stick to me, your old and faithful ally John Bull, who will never desert you while he has a timber to support him.’ The picture is called ‘Britannia in tribulation for the loss of her Allies, or John Bull’s advice.’

In ‘The Polish Pie, or the Effects of the Peace at Tilsit’ (artist unknown, September 10, 1807), we see the73 Emperor of Russia, and Napoleon, carving a huge ‘Polish pie,’ the Russian’s opinion of which is ‘I think I never relished a Pie so well in all my life.’ Whilst thus engaged, comes poor, wounded, tattered Prussia, humbly, with hat in hand: ‘Pray give a part of the Pie to a poor broken-down Prussian—You know you promised me formerly you would not touch it; but now you have reduced me to poverty, crutches, and a wooden leg—you’ll not allow me a mouthfull, ’tis a very hard case indeed! Pray remember a poor Prussian!’ Napoleon turns to his brother Emperor, and opines, ‘Suppose, Cousin, we give him a small piece of the Crust, just to keep him from grumbling.’

The Danes sought to curry favour with Napoleon, or perhaps they were obliged to act as they did; but they closed their ports, such as Holstein, &c., to British ships, which John Bull could not stand. So Admiral Gambier, with a fleet, having on board 20,000 troops, sailed to set matters right. Negotiations failed, and the admiral used the force majeure at his disposal. Copenhagen was bombarded, and on September 8 the British took possession of the fortifications, &c., of Copenhagen, captured the whole Danish fleet, fully armed and equipped, consisting of 18 sail of the line, 15 frigates, 6 brigs, and 25 gun-boats, which were safely navigated to England, with the exception of one ship, which was stranded. Unfortunately, Copenhagen itself suffered severely, guns not being so scientifically constructed as at present, and accuracy as to range was impossible.

‘Gulliver towing the Fleet into Lilliput!’ (I. Cruikshank, October 16, 1807) shows Admiral Gambier swimming towards England, towing the captured vessels. George the Third, on a Martello tower, watching him through his spy-glass, and saying, with his accustomed iteration, 74‘What, What, Gulliver the 2nd—he—Gulliver the 2nd—More Nelsons—more Nelsons—brave fellows!’ On the Continent Napoleon is seen furious, and the countries under his sway are in different attitudes of despair. Napoleon shouts out, ‘Curse that fellow; here, Tally, stop him: what! will nobody stop him? Then begar, we never shall invade England, and all our schemes are frustrated.’ On the coast of Zealand a Jack Tar is thus explaining to a native: ‘Hold your jaw; You know as how you used to rob our forefathers, you lubber, and so you wanted to assist that French Monkey to do it again, but it would not do.’

Ansell published (October 21, 1807) ‘Malignant Aspects looking with envy on John Bull and his Satellites, or, a New Planetary System.’ In a centre medallion sits John Bull, happily smoking, and with a jug of good October by his side. He is surrounded by the British navy, and a halo of glory. Rushing towards him is ‘A Corsican Comet Frenchified,’ and chained to him is ‘A Russian bear with two heads, an appendage to the Comet.’ There is a ‘Danish Mouse,’ an ‘Italian Greyhound,’ an ‘American Torpedo,’ a ‘Swiss Cheese,’ a ‘Spanish Puff,’ a ‘Dutch frog,’ besides many 75‘minor Constellations with malignant aspects.’



On October 18 or 19 Junot entered Portugal, and then it was that John Bull began to fear for his stock of port wine. This is very amusingly put in a picture: ‘In Port, and Out of Port, or news from Portugal,’ which is the title of a caricature by Woodward (November 10, 1807), and it represents Bonaparte seated on a pipe of ‘Genuine Old Port.’ With folded arms he thus speaks: ‘Now Master Jean Bull—more news for you. You’ll soon be out of Port.’ A miserable-looking ‘Portugee’ approaches John Bull, with cap in hand, saying: ‘I be, d’ye see, de poor Portuguese. Vat he mean be de Port Wine; which he will be glad to change for your bag of guineas dere—begar—but dat is mine—between ourselves.’ John Bull, who is sitting down, smoking, with a jug of ale and a huge bagful of guineas by his side, replies: ‘D—n him, and his Port too—I am snug in Port, and while I have the port holes of my wooden walls, and a glass of home brew’d ale, his conquests shall never trouble me.’

Napoleon, in a decree dated from Hamburg, November 10, and also in another dated Milan, December 27, again declared England in a state of blockade, and he made all under his sway to cease all connection with that country, as far as commercial matters were concerned; and this is how the caricaturist met it:—

76 ‘Blockade against Blockade, or John Bull a Match for Boney’ (Ansell, November 1807), shows the different sides of a ‘Wall of Blockade.’ John Bull is well victualled, and has a fine surloin of beef, and a full tankard, &c.; and he says: ‘Now Master Boney, we shall see which will hold out the longest, my wall against yours. Aye, aye, I can see you. I have left a peep hole. I believe you will soon be glad to change your Soup Maigre for my Roast beef.’ Boney, with only a basin of Soup Maigre before him, looks very disconsolate: ‘Who could have thought that he would build a wall also—I really think I had better have left him alone—Some how I don’t relish this Soup Maigre.’

‘The Continental Dockyard,’ by Woodward (November 27, 1807), shows a very tumbledown erection, called ‘The Gallic Storehouse for English Shipping,’ but it contains none. It only holds the ‘Yaw Mynheer,’ the ‘Don Diego,’ the ‘Swede,’ the ‘Dane,’ and the ‘Napoleon,’ on which a number of shipwrights are engaged, being driven to their task by Napoleon, with drawn sword. He thus addresses the master shipwright: ‘Begar you must work like de Diable, ve must annihilate dis John Bull.’ The unlucky foreman replies: ‘Please you, my Grand Empereur, ’tis no use vatever. As fast as ve do build dem, he vas clap dem in his storehouse over de way.’ Accordingly, we see in ‘John Bull’s Storehouse’ a large collection of captured vessels from the Armada—‘Portobello,’ ‘Camperdown,’ ‘St. Vincent,’ ‘Nile,’ and ‘Trafalgar.’ John Bull and a number of sailors enjoy this cheering sight. Says he to them: ‘I say my lads, if he goes on this way we shall be overstocked.’ And a sailor remarks: ‘What a deal of pains some people take for nothing.’

I. Cruikshank (December 20, 1807) gives us ‘The Bear, the Monkey, the Turkey, and the Bull, or the true cause of the Russian war.’ Bonaparte, as the French77 Monkey, is leading the Russian Bear by a collar and chain, and thus addresses him: ‘The case is this, if you will make war against that overgrown Bull over the way, you shall have a slice of that fine Turkey! and the Eastern Star.’ The Turkey is represented as saying: ‘I wish I was well out of their clutches, but I am afraid they will have me at last.’ The Eastern Star appears on the horizon, and represents the Indies. A Bull, on the opposite coast, is in a menacing attitude, and bellows forth: ‘You had better beware, for, remember the old adage—When you play with a Bull, take care of his horns.’

‘John Bull refreshing the Bear’s Memory’ is by I. Cruikshank (December 20, 1807), and shows the former worthy opening an enormous volume, his journal, and thus addressing a crowned bear, who has a collar round his neck inscribed ‘This bear belongs to Napoleon,’ and who regards the book through an enormous pair of spectacles. ‘So you say, Master Bruin, that my visit to Denmark has no parallel in History—do be so good as to turn your spectacles to this page, and refresh your memory.’ And he points to a page of his journal, in which is written: ‘The Great, the Magnanimous, Catherine of Russia seized upon one third of the Kingdom of Poland, and kept it to herself. These peaceful Danes seized on the City of Hamburgh.’

On January 1, 1808, I. Cruikshank published ‘Boney stark mad, or more Ships, Colonies, and Commerce.’ It shows the fleet in the Tagus, and the British Admiral (Sir Sidney Smith) calling out through his speaking-trumpet, ‘Bon jour, Monsieur, if you would like a trip to the Brazils, I’ll conduct you there with a great deal of pleasure; perhaps you would like a taste of Madeira by the way.’ This is to Talleyrand, on whom Bonaparte is venting his rage, kicking him, and tearing off his wig, saying: 78‘Stop them, stop them. Murder, fire! Why did you not make more haste, you hopping rascal? now, all my hopes are blasted, my revenge disappointed, and—I’ll glut it on you—Monster—Vagabond—Villain!!!’

The explanation of this caricature is, that as the French army was marching direct to Lisbon, the whole of the Portuguese Royal family embarked for the Brazils, on November 29, under convoy of a British squadron.

‘Delicious Dreams! Castles in the Air! Glorious Prospects! vide an Afternoon Nap after the Fatigues of an Official Dinner,’ is by Gillray (April 10, 1808), and shows the Cabinet asleep, a punch-bowl on the table, and full and empty bottles all around. They are so quiet that the mice are licking the Treasury plates. Behind Castlereagh’s chair is a cat (Catalani). Mr. Perceval sleeps with his arms on the table; the Duke of Portland in the chairman’s seat; Lord Liverpool with his back to the table; Canning, negligently lolling back in his chair, uses Lord Melville, who is under the table, as a footstool. The delicious dream they see has for its background the Tower of London, before which passes Britannia seated on a triumphal car, fashioned somewhat like a ship, and drawn by a bull; and, behind the car, chained to it, come, first, Bonaparte, the Russian Bear, Prussia, Austria, and Spain.

‘The Corsican Tiger at Bay’ (Rowlandson, July 8, 1808) shows Napoleon as a Tiger (or rather, as the artist has depicted him, a leopard), with his fore-feet on four79 Royal Greyhounds, whilst a pack of Patriotic Greyhounds are rushing to attack him. John Bull, standing on the white cliffs of Albion, presents his gun at him, singing the nursery rhyme—

‘There was a little man,
And he had a little gun,
And his bullets were made of lead——

D—me, but we’ll manage him amongst us.’ The Russian Bear and Austrian Eagle are chained together; but Austria thus proposes: ‘Now, Brother Bruin, is the time to break our chains.’ The Dutch frog, too, joins in the chorus: ‘It will be my turn to have a slap at him next.’

‘Boney Bothered, or an unexpected meeting’ (Ansell, July 9, 1808). This shows Boney having gone right through the world, and, coming out on the other side, planting his foot on the East Indies, at Bengal; but he is utterly astonished to find John Bull there also, armed with his redoubtable oaken cudgel. ‘Begar,’ says he, ‘Monsieur Jean Bull again! Vat! you know I was come here?’ To which John Bull, from whose pocket peeps a bundle of Secret Intelligence, replies, 80‘To be sure I did—for all your humbug deceptions. I smoked16 your intentions, and have brought my Oak Twig with me, so now you may go back again.’

We now come to a period of our history which is interesting to all of us—the Peninsular War. Napoleon had turned his attention to Spain, and the Spanish king had abdicated, and been sent to Fontainebleau, with ample allowances. Joseph Bonaparte had been chosen king of Spain, and Murat had his kingdom of Naples. But the Spanish nation did not acquiesce in these arrangements. They broke into open revolt, the English helping them with arms and money, and, on June 6, the Supreme Junta formally declared war against Napoleon. This much is necessary to explain the following caricature:—

Gillray (July 11, 1808) drew ‘The Spanish Bull fight, or the Corsican Matador in danger,’ and kindly tells us that ‘The Spanish Bull is so remarkable for Spirit, that, unless the Matador strikes him dead at the first blow, the Bull is sure to destroy him.’ In the Theatre Royale de81 l’Europe sits George the Third, a trident in one hand, his spy-glass in the other, keenly watching the exciting fight, as also are the delighted sovereigns of Europe, the Pope, the Sultan of Turkey, and the Dey of Algiers. The Spanish Bull has broken the Corsican chain and collar which bound him, and, trampling on his king, has gored and tossed the Matador, Napoleon, whose sword is broken in an ineffectual attempt to despatch the animal. On the ground are three wounded bulls—Prussian, Dutch, and Danish—bellowing for help.

Woodward gives us a capital caricature in ‘The Corsican Spider in his web’ (July 12, 1808). Napoleon is there represented as a bloated spider, ‘Unbounded ambition,’ and he is just swallowing a Spanish fly. There are plenty of flies in his web—Austrian, Dutch, Portuguese, Hanoverian, Etrurian, Prussian, Hamburg, Italian, Venetian, and small flies innumerable. The Pope fly is just being entangled, and says, ‘I am afraid I shall be dragg’d in.’ ‘The Russian Fly’ has touched the fatal web, and exclaims, ‘I declare I was half in the web before I made the discovery.’ In fact, the only two that are as yet free from the baneful mesh is the Turkish fly, who thinks, ‘I am afraid it will be my turn next,’ and the British fly, who, well and hearty, calls out, ‘Ay, you may look, master Spider, but I am not to be caught in your web.’

To understand the next caricature, which, though dated July 27, must have been published somewhat later, we must note that Joseph Bonaparte entered Madrid, in state, on July 20, but, ominously, without any welcome from the people: although money was scattered broadcast, none but the French picked it up. He knew little of what was going on—how Moncey had been obliged to raise the siege of Valencia, and that Dupont had surrendered at Baylen. This latter piece of news he did not receive till82 the 26th or 27th of July; when he learned also that Castaños, with constantly increasing forces, was marching towards Madrid, he left that city for Vittoria.

A broadside caricature (artist unknown, July 27, 1808) shows Joseph leaving Madrid, his crown falling off, heading his troops, who are carrying off heaps of treasure. It is headed ‘Burglary and Robbery!!! Whereas on the night of the 20th of July last, a numerous gang of French Banditti entered the City of Madrid, and burglariously broke into the Royal Palace, National Bank, and most of the Churches thereof, murdering all who opposed them in their infamous proceedings.

‘The said banditti remained in Madrid until the 27th of the said month, and then suddenly departed, laden with immense booty, having stolen from thence several waggon-loads of plate, and every portable article of value, taking the road to France; all patriotic Spaniards are hereby requested to be aiding, and assisting, in the apprehension of all, or any, of the said robbers; and, whoever apprehends all, or any, of them, shall receive the thanks, and blessings, of every well-disposed person in Europe.

‘The said Banditti were headed by Joe Nap, a ferocious ruffian of the following description:—He is about five feet seven inches high, of a meagre, squalid aspect, saffron-coloured complexion. He was, when he escaped, habited in a royal robe, which he is known to have stolen from the King’s Wardrobe at Naples. He is a brother of the noted thief who has committed numberless robberies all over Europe, murdered millions of the human race, and who was latterly at Bayonne, where it is supposed he tarried, for the purpose of receiving the stolen goods which his brother was to bring from Spain.’

The war, in aid of Spain, against France, was now taken83 up in earnest, and Sir Arthur Wellesley was sent to Spain with a large body of troops, whilst reinforcements were to come from other quarters.

Almost one of the last of Gillray’s political caricatures, and a very good one it is, is ‘Apotheosis of the Corsican Phœnix’ (August 2, 1808). It has an imaginary quotation from a supposed ‘New Spanish Encyclopædia, edit. 1808. When the Phœnix is tired of Life, he builds a Nest upon the mountains, and setting it on Fire by the wafting of his own Wings, he perishes Himself in the Flames! and from the smoke of his Ashes arises a new Phœnix to illumine the world!!!’ This very graphic etching shows, on the summit of the Pyrenees, a globe, which is the nest of the Phœnix—Napoleon, with orb and sceptre, but, his crown falling off, he has fanned all Europe into a blaze with his wings. Around his neck is a ‘cordon d’honneur’ of daggers, and, amid the smoke which rises from the pyre, is seen a dove with olive branch, having on its wings ‘Peace on earth.’

I. Cruikshank still kept up the idea of Tiddy-Doll in ‘The Oven on Fire—or Boney’s last Batch entirely spoiled!!!’ (August 24, 1808.) He is on his knees, with arms outspread in consternation, for, in putting Dupont, on a ‘peel,’ into the oven—‘Spain and Portugal’—flames burst out, labelled Asturian Legions, Army of Portugal, Biscay, Catalonian Army, Army of Galicia, Andalusian Army, Army of New and Old Castille, British Army and Fleet, Estramadurean Army, Leon, Army of Valencia, Murcia, and Army of Granada; whilst in the centre of the flames is the legend ‘A people United can never be conquered.’ Poor Dupont exclaims, ‘Oh Nap, Nap! what is this? Instead of a King, you’ve only made me a Dup(e)ont.’ Bonaparte himself cries out, 84‘Zounds, I shall be overwhelmed with this Patriotic Blaze. I did not think there was a single spark left, but I find there is more than all the Engines of France can extinguish.’ Talleyrand, who stands by his kneading-trough, which is labelled ‘State Prison,’ rests quiet, and says, ‘Aye Aye, I told you that you would burn your fingers at that batch of Ginger-bread—but I have nothing to do with it. I am only a Jailor, so there is an end to all my glory.’

We have seen the European monarchs sitting down to a game of quadrille. Ansell (August 1808) gives us its conclusion. Spain has suddenly arisen, and, upsetting the table, seizes Napoleon by the throat, accusing him of foul play: ‘I tell you, you are a Scoundrel, and if you do not restore my King, whom you have stolen from the other table, and reinstate Ponto—by the honor of a Spanish Patriot, I will strangle you.’ Trembling Bonaparte replies, ‘Don’t be so boisterous, I only borrowed him, merely to make up the pack.’ The Pope is on the floor, and the stolid Dutchman, with his hat in hand, says, ‘Donder and Blixens, I be quite tired of de game. Yaw! Yaw! now is de time for me to rise.’ At the other table all take a lively interest in the squabble. George the Third rises from his seat and grasps his ‘heart of oak’ stick, saying, ‘What! what! a dust, eh? so much the better. Boney got the worst of the game. I must lend a hand.’ Russia, with hand on sword, turns in his chair, remarking that ‘Now is the time to rub off the rust of Tilsit.’ Prussia rises, exclaiming, ‘If I don’t take advantage of the present opportunity, I shall indeed be a Prussian Cake.’ Austria reaches his hat and sword from its peg on the wall, and says, ‘Ah! Ah! the game has taken a different turn from what I expected, I must not be idle.’

The next caricature relates to the bad success of Napoleon’s arms. The raising the siege of Saragossa, the defeat of Vimiera, and the Convention of Cintra, by which the85 French were to evacuate Portugal, were not facts likely to be relished in France.

‘The Fox and the Grapes’ is another of Woodward’s (September 15, 1808), where the Corsican Fox interviews the Gallic Cock. The former says, ‘Believe me, my dear Doodle doo, you would not like them—I found them so sour that I absolutely could not touch them,’ in answer to the Cock’s query—‘But my good friend, you promised to bring me home some Spanish Grapes and Portugal plums: where are they?’

‘Prophecy explained’ is by Rowlandson (September 17, 1808), and the text taken is from the Revelation of St. John (chap. xvii. verse 10): ‘And there are seven kings, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh he must continue but a short space.’ The five that are fallen are the Kings of Würtemberg, Saxony, Holland, Bavaria, and Prussia, and these have fallen into a ‘Slough of Disgrace and Ridicule.’ The ‘one that is,’ it is needless to say, is Napoleon; and the ‘one that continued but a short space,’ is King Joseph, who, having been chased beyond the Pyrenees, has his crown snatched from him. There are many other caricatures on this subject of the flight of Joseph, but, although interesting, they hardly come within the scope of personal satire on Napoleon.

Rowlandson gives us (September 20, 1808) ‘Napoleon the little in a Rage with his great French Eagle!!’ Napoleon, with his sword drawn, and his hands clenched, is in a terrible rage with his brother Joseph, who, under the guise of a crowned eagle, is limping along with one leg in a sling. Napoleon thus addresses him: ‘Confusion and Destruction—what is this I see? Did I not command you not to return till you had spread your Wing of Victory over the whole Spanish Nation?’ And the poor bird86 meekly replies: ‘Aye, its fine talking Nap, but if you had been there, you would not much have liked it—The Spanish Cormorants pursued me in such a manner, that they not only disabled one of my legs, but set me a moulting in such a terrible way that I wonder I had not lost every feather; besides, it got so hot, I could not bear it any longer.’

There is a caricature (September 24, 1808) of ‘A hard passage, or Boney playing Base on the Continent.’ He is here represented as playing on the bass viol from the score of the ‘Conquest of Spain and Portugal.’ His task seems hard, and he exclaims: ‘Plague take it! I never met with so difficult a passage before. But, if I can once get over the Flats, we shall do pretty well, for you see the Key will then change into B sharp.’ A muzzled Russian bear is trying to play on the French horn, and says: 87‘Why that is Natural enough, brother Boney, though this French horn of yours seems rather out of order.’


‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’ is, as far as I know, the last caricature of Gillray (September 24, 1808) in connection with Napoleon—if, indeed, it can be called a caricature, for it is far too serious in its conception. Napoleon’s situation at the moment is here firmly grasped. He is surrounded by enemies. With notched sword in hand, he leads the Russian bear. He is pursued by the German eagle and the spirit of Charles XII. Above is the ‘Turkish New Moon Rising in blood,’ the obscured portion of which is represented by ‘French Influence,’ the bright crescent as ‘English Influence,’ and the whole is dropping blood. A fiery comet, with a tiara as a nucleus (the Pope), is darting thunderbolts of excommunication upon him; whilst Junot and Dupont, shackled together at their necks, amidst clouds, seem to warn him of his fate. Immediately in front of him is a Portuguese wolf, which has broken its88 chain, a Sicilian terrier, and the Leo Britannicus. Death also appears, lance in one hand, hour-glass in the other, on a mule of ‘True Royal Spanish breed.’ In the Ditch of Styx is disappearing ‘Rex Joseph,’ whose hands and crown alone appear above water. Creeping upwards from the slime of the Lethean Ditch, is ‘The Rhenish Confederation of starved Rats, crawling out of the Mud,’ also ‘Dutch Frogs spitting out their spite’; whilst the ‘American Rattle Snake is shaking his tail,’ and the ‘Prussian scarecrow is attempting to fly.’

Certainly ‘Nap and his Partner Joe’ is not one of Rowlandson’s happiest efforts (September 29, 1808). Some Dons are kicking the brothers into the gaping jaws of a devil, singing meanwhile, ‘So seeing we were finely nick’d. Plump to the Devil we boldly kick’d. Both Nap and his Partner Joe.’

‘Nap and His fiends in their glory’ (October 1, 1808) shews him, his brother Joseph, Death, and the Devil, carousing. Napoleon is rising and giving a toast. ‘Come, gentlemen, here is success to Plunder and Massacre.’ There is below a song to the tune of 89‘Drops of Brandy.’



These Spaniards are terrible rogues,
They will not submit to my fetters;
With patience so gracefully worn,
Nay, sought for, by Nations their betters.
But let us return to the Charge
And no longer with lenity treat them.
Once get them to lay down their arms,
And I warrant, brave boys, we shall beat them.
Rum ti iddidy—iddidy
Rum ti iddidy—ido.


Brother Boney, we’ll never despair,
A trusty good friend I have found you.
Kill, plunder, and burn and destroy,
And deal desolation around you.
Then gaily let’s push round the glass,
We’ll sing and we’ll riot and revel,
And I’m sure we shall have on our side
Our very good friend, here, the Devil.
Rum ti, &c.


Believe me, friend Death, you are right.
Although I’m an ugly old fellow,
When mischief is getting afloat,
O! then I am jolly and mellow.
As soon as these Spaniards are crush’d,
Again we’ll be merry and sing Sirs,
And that we will quickly accomplish,
And Joey here, he shall be King, Sirs.
Rum ti, &c.


Excuse me from lending my aid,
You may jointly pursue them and spike them;
But lately, I’ve seen them—and own,
I speak the plain truth,—I don’t like them.
They Liberty cherish so dear,
That they constantly make her their guide, O,
Who pleases may make themselves King,
But may I be d—d if I do.
Rum ti, &c.

‘Apollyon, the Devil’s Generalissimo, addressing his legions,’ a portion of which is here reproduced, is by I. Cruikshank (October 7, 1808). His speech is as follows: ‘Legions of Death. After having ravished, murdered, and plundered, on the banks of the Danube, and the Vistula, I shall order you to march through France, without allowing you a moment’s rest!! I have occasion for you—the hideous presence of Religion, and Loyalty, contaminates the Continent of Spain, and Portugal. Let your aspect drive them away from thence; let us carry our conquering91 Eagles to the gates of Heaven: there also we have an injury to avenge—you have exceeded all modern murderers—you have placed yourselves on a level with the most ferocious cannibals—Eternal War, Robbery, and Plunder shall be the reward of your Exertions, for I never can enjoy rest till the Sea is covered with your Blood!!’ And the army rejoice, shouting: ‘Ha, Ha, more Blood!’

A rather clever broadside, artist unknown (October 1808), shows us ‘General Nap turned Methodist Preacher.’ Napoleon, in a black gown, occupies the pulpit, having in his hand a musket with fixed bayonet, on which is a windmill, and, in his wig, he has fixed a cross, tricoloured flag, surmounted by a cap of liberty, and a crescent. In the vestry hang a military uniform, an episcopal mitre, and chasuble, or cope—a Turkish costume, a bottle of arsenic for the poor sick of Jaffa, a musket labelled ‘Scarecrow,’ and a bloody dagger, which does duty as the ‘Imperial Cross.’ A general acts as clerk, the organ pipes are cannon, and the audience, when not military, is seated on drums. The letterpress is as follows: 92‘General Nap turned Methodist Preacher, a new attempt to gull the credulous; dedicated to Mr. Whitbread. “Dear Sam, repeat my Words, but not my Actions.” “Dearly beloved brethren, Honour, Country, liberty! this is the order of the day; far from us all idea of conquest, bloodshed, and war. Religion and true Philosophy must ever be our maxim. Liberty, a free Constitution, and no Taxes, that is our cry. No Slave trade; humanity shudders at the very thought of it!! The brave, the excellent, English detest it. Yea, we shall all be happy. Commerce, Plenty, and all sorts of pretty things will be our lot. Good Jacobins, rise and assert your rights. And you, brave soldiers, the honour of France, Plunder and Blood shall once more be your cry. Double pay and cities burnt will come down in showers upon you. Yea! ye shall all be Generals, all be members of the Legion of Honour! The Eagles will once more cover the world. Now is the time to destroy Great Britain, that treacherous country which always seeks our ruin. Honour and Victory will lead us.

‘“Dear Countrymen, without good faith there is no tie in this world. Dear Jacobins, we all acknowledge no God, and nothing else. Let the Altars be lighted up, and your organs play the Marseillois, that sacred air, which fires every Frenchman’s breast. Yea, I swear by this holy Cross I now hold in my hands, and in this sacred place, that you are all free, and without restraint, that my intentions are pure, and that I wish for nothing else but Peace, Plunder, and Liberty! Amen!!”’

‘Political Quacks, or the Erfurt Co-partnership commencing Business’ (artist unknown, November 1808) shows Napoleon, as a quack doctor, on a stage with a muzzled bear (Russia), who is distributing handbills, and says: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to say, as well as my muzzle will permit me, that I have a large share in the concern.’ Seated behind Napoleon are his different patients, whilst Death, grinning through a curtain, calls out: ‘Walk up, walk up, kill or cure.’ Napoleon himself, as the quack doctor, has in his hand one of his famous cannon-ball pills, one of which ‘is a dose,’ and a trayful of them is on the floor of the stage. They are named Naples, Egypt, Lodi, Alps, Switzerland, &c.; and he declaims: ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, depend upon it here is no deception. Observe the patients ranged behind me. On my right, a Prussian Gentleman, who was much afflicted with a complication of disorders, till I cured him by administering a few leaden Boluses—next to him is an Austrian patient, entirely reliev’d by my Austerlitz draught, next to him is a93 Spaniard, whose case is rather doubtful—I won’t say much about it. The next is a Dutchman—he was a little crack’d, but I have made him as lame as a frog—beyond him is an old gentleman of the Popish persuasion, whom I cured with one bottle of my Italian drops—there are many more in the background, whom I have cured of various disorders, or have now in my care—but, Ladies and Gentlemen, let me particularly draw your attention to the great Russian bear, once a very fierce animal, but dumb like the rest of his species, but after taking a dose of my Friedland Pills, and an application of the Tilsit powder, he is able to converse like a rational being!!!’ Talleyrand, who is on the stage, calls out: ‘Ah, Master Bull, what, are you among the crowd? come now, you and your Sweedish Friend had better step up into the Booth, and take a dose or two of my Master’s pills.’ But John Bull surlily declines the invitation with, ‘We’ll see you and your Master d—d first.’

This of course refers to the meeting of Napoleon and Alexander at Erfurt, where, besides, were collected the Kings of Prussia, Saxony, Bavaria, Würtemberg, and Westphalia, the Prince Primate, the Princes of Anhalt, Coburg, Saxe Weimar, Darmstadt, Baden, Nassau, and Mecklenburg. The two great potentates rivalled each other in their courtesies. But solid business was also to be done; they did not meet simply to waste their time in fêtes. Napoleon engaged not to meddle with Alexander’s designs on Sweden and Turkey, and not to help the Poles. Alexander, on his side, promised not to interfere in Spain, and to recognise the Kings of Spain and Naples. And they wrote a joint letter to George the Third, proposing a general peace, on the basis that each should keep what he had. The English Government, however, asked that Spain and Sweden should be parties; but this, not suiting the94 designs of the Imperial thieves, the negotiations came to an end.

Nap, with the Russian Emp’ror, now,
Became quite free, we must allow;
At Erfurth, the appointed spot,
They met together, as I wot,
And German kings and princes, too,
Were present at this interview;
Save Emp’ror Francis,17 who, they say,
Sent an apology that day.
How many compliments were paid,
How great the pomp that was display’d.
Oh, nothing—nothing could be grander
Than Bonaparte and Alexander!
Alternately they dined together,
And often rode out in fine weather;
To be so jovial, gay, and free,
Suited Napoleon to a T.
Thro’ Alexander’s mediation
With England, a negociation
Was set a going, for the end
Of leaving Spain without a friend.
The British monarch, ever wise,
Refus’d t’ abandon his allies,
Still Spain by England was protected,
And Boney’s terms with scorn rejected.

An unknown artist (November 19, 1808) gives ‘The Progress of the Emperor Napoleon.’ At first he is represented as ‘A Ragged Headed Corsican Peasant’; next, ‘Studying mischief at the Royal Academy at Paris’; then ‘An Humble Ensign in a Republican Corps requesting a situation in the British Army’; afterwards, 95‘A determined Atheistical Republican General, ordering his men to fire on the Parisians vollies of grape shot.’ He then changes to ‘A Turk at Grand Cairo’; afterwards he became ‘A runaway from Egypt’; then ‘A devout Catholic,’ and, finally, ‘An Emperor on a throne of iniquities’: on which throne is inscribed, ‘Murders—Duke d’Enghien, Prisoners at Jaffa, Palm, Capt. Williams, Pichegru, Cahon, Toussaint, &c., &c. Robberies innumerable.’



In the year 1809 there are very few caricatures of Napoleon. After the taking of Madrid, Sir John Moore thought it prudent to retreat, which he did, and, after many difficulties, reached Corunna. The repulse of the French there, although at the cost of Sir John Moore’s life, enabled the troops to be embarked.

Napoleon had but little rest, for in March the Austrians again took up arms against him, to which he replied by victoriously marching to Vienna, which was bombarded before it capitulated. One incident in this campaign was seized upon by the caricaturist. There had been much fighting about Aspern and Essling, with pretty equal fortune, until the destruction of a bridge, caused by a sudden rise of the Danube, which brought down timber rafts, barges, &c., deprived Napoleon of all the advantage he had gained, and compelled him to retreat to the island of Lobau.

There is a caricature by Rowlandson (June 12, 1809) of ‘Boney’s Broken Bridge.’ An aged general, cocked-hat in hand, is thus addressing Napoleon: ‘With all due deference to your little Majesty—It was the Austrian Fire-boats that destroyed the Bridge.’ Napoleon, however, turns on him savagely, and, pointing to the broken bridge, says, 97‘Ah! who is it that dares contradict me, I say it was some floating timber, and the high swell of the river that caused the Shocking Accident.’ The Austrian army, on the opposite bank, are singing a paraphrase of ‘London bridge is broken down’:—

Boney’s Bridge is broken down,
Dance over the Lady Lea—
Boney’s Bridge is broken down,
By an Arch Duke—ee.18

Ansell gives his version of this event, shewing the Austrian Archduke, pickaxe in hand, having destroyed the bridge, and, pointing to some ducks and geese, he sings:—

The Ducks and the Geese with ease swim over,
Fal de rol de rido, Fal de rol de rido.
The Ducks and the Geese with ease swim over,
Fal de rol de rido, Fal de rol de rido.

But Napoleon, dancing with rage, on the other side, yells out, ‘You Rascal you! How dare you break down my Bridge, If I knew how to get over, this invincible arm should make you repent your rashness.’ In the background an officer calls out to the army, ‘Invincible Army go back, the bridge is broke down and we should not be able to run away.’

It was in this retreat that Lannes was killed—but it was avenged at Wagram, a battle that so crippled the Austrians that they had to ask an armistice, which afterwards led to a peace between the rival nations.


It seems he wanted satisfaction,
So Wagram was the scene of action.
By some, however, ’tis believ’d,
The Emp’ror Francis was deceiv’d,
That Boney had, in his caprice,
Made secret overtures for peace,
And a connubial match propos’d
With which the Cabinet had clos’d;
They having been assured, that by it
They should be peaceable and quiet.
And that great Bonaparte might seem
A victor worthy of esteem,
Unknown to Francis they acceded,
To such a battle as he needed;
So that the battle of Wagram,
They say was nothing but a sham—
In other words,—tho’ low, but certain,
‘’Twas all my eye and Betty Martin.’
But if a sham, as it is said,
The farce was admirably played,
For twenty thousand men each lost,
So that they acted to their cost;
But, be ’t a real one, or a mock,
They fought both days till six o’clock;
Nap to the vict’ry laid claim,
And saved the credit of his name.
Hostilities began to cease,
It seems both parties thought of peace.

Sauler (August 1809) shews us ‘The rising Sun, or a view of the Continent.’ This rising sun is inscribed ‘Spain and Portugal,’ and gives great uneasiness to Napoleon, who says, ‘The rising sun has set me upon thorns.’ He is employed in rocking a cradle, in which peacefully reposes a Russian bear, muzzled with ‘Boney’s Promises.’ Behind is Sweden, who brandishes his sword, calling to Russia to ‘Awake thou Sluggard, ere the fatal blow is struck, and thou and thy execrable ally sink into eternal oblivion.’ Holland is fast asleep, and leans against Napoleon. Poland is represented by a shadow, and Denmark wears a huge extinguisher on his head. Turkey is virtually dead, on the ground; but Austria is springing into activity, exclaiming,99 ‘Tyrant, I defy thee and thy Cursed Crew.’ Prussia is depicted as a lunatic, with straws in his hair, wearing a strait-waistcoat, and, with a very vacuous expression of countenance, is singing, ‘Fiddle diddle dee, Fiddle diddle dee, The Mouse has married the humble bee—and I am Emperor of the Moon.’ Underneath are the following lines:—


Just as the Rising Sun dispels
The gloom of night to bless us with new day,
So genuine Patriotism expels
Vindictive Tyrants from despotic Sway.
Thus Spain, the source of patriotic worth
(A Rising Sun of Freedom to the Earth),
Invites the Captive Nations to forego
The Yoke and crush their sanguinary foe.
Why then, ye Nations, will ye not embrace
The proffer’d Freedom smiling in your face?
Why dilly-dally when to sink or rise
Rests with yourselves—dare ye contemn the prize—
Is Freedom nothing worth, that for her sake
Ye dare not e’en one gen’rous effort make?
Alas! infatuated Monarchs see,
What is, and what your Fate must ever be.
Spain is a Sun arising to illume
The threefold horrors of your future doom,
While she on Freedom’s golden wings shall tow’r,
The Arbitress of Continental pow’r.
Russia’s a Bear amid impending woes,
Rock’d by th’ insidious Tyrant to repose.
Sweden’s a Warrior of distinguished worth,
Sweden hath giv’n to many heroes birth.
Austria’s a Phœnix rising renovated,
Whose genial warmth with Spain, incorporated,
Longer disdains to crouch at the fell shrines
Of Usurpation, and the foulest crimes.
Prussia, poor Prussia, with straightjacket on,
And Crown of Straw, proves what delays have done.
Denmark too, half extinguish’d, shows,
The fruits of leaguing with old England’s foes.
And Holland, drowsy Holland, dreams
Of aggrandizement, potent Kings and Queens.
While Poland, a mere shadow in the rear
(As proof of something once existent there),
Yields to the Yoke, nor dares its shackles break,
Lest by so doing, she her Freedom stake.
Poor silly mortals, will ye ever bow
To the dread Shrine of Tyranny and Woe;
Or by co-operation overwhelm
The Scourge of Nations, and resume the Helm?

One of the great events of this year, as regards Napoleon, was his divorce from Josephine. That he loved her, as far as he could love any woman, there is no doubt; but there were State reasons why he should have another consort. His ambition could not be satisfied till he had an heir male of his own. The dynasty he fondly hoped to found ought not to descend to any of his brothers; and none but his own son could have any hold upon the affection of the French nation.


Nap oftentimes began to swear
That he must get a son and heir—
He, with affected sorrow, told
His present lady was too old,
He might as well have her grandmother,
And therefore he must seek another;
Yes, seek another,—so of course,
He intimated a divorce—
That with propriety, like Harry
The Eighth, another he might marry.
This was enforc’d by his mamma,
And recommended by Murat.
Yet at this very time, good lack!
He had a violent attack,
A kind of stupor he was in,
Attended by his Josephine;
And, as a certain author says,
It lasted very near two days;
On his recovery, he cried,
‘A son and heir I must provide;’
Then giving Josephine a look,
His head repeatedly he shook,
He said—(he could refrain no longer)—
‘I wish, my dear, that you were younger,
But you are old, and I despair
Of ever getting now an heir.’
While this he said, with doleful phiz,
She told him that the fault was his;
For several children she’d before,
And hoped to have as many more.
Now Josephine display’d her spirit,
Of patriotism she made a merit:
‘If,’ she observ’d, ‘our separation
Will be of service to the nation,
Then I agree, with all my heart,
My dearest Emperor—to part—
That you may seek another fair,
And, if you can, provide an heir.’
When kindly her consent she gave
Nap scarcely knew how to behave;
At Josephine awhile he star’d,
He humm’d a bit, and then declar’d,
For fifteen years to him she’d been
All that was lovely and serene,
And that no better for himself e’er
Wou’d wish, but for his country’s welfare—
Of course, for a successor’s sake,
The sacrifice he needs must make.
He found no fault, as it appears,
But that she was advanc’d in years;
To follies past he ne’er alluded,
For no such sentiment intruded;
’Twas not for this he wish’d to sever,
Her virtue he suspected never;
On this occasion, Nap, ’tis said,
A fine speech to the Senate made,
Assuring them it was with pain,
He a divorce strove to obtain;
For still he Josephine regarded,
Tho’ as a consort now discarded;
But, notwithstanding, she should reign
And be considered as a queen.
Josephine, with an air divine,
Declar’d the throne she would resign,
And hop’d her Boney might, ere long,
Meet with a lady fair and young,
And in nine months procure a boy,
To be his comfort and his joy.
’Twas on the 15th of December,19
As the Parisians well remember,
The parties in full court appear’d
And by a large assembly cheer’d;
A kind of form took place, of course,
Which fully strengthened the divorce—
The Senate sent a deputation,
To ratify the separation,
Which, that it might be ne’er repeal’d,
Was, in their presence, sign’d and seal’d.
Nap was a long time ere he sign’d—
A proof of a perturbed mind;
But some have thought, and so they might,
’Twas inability to write.
Soon as the pen the lady took,
Her hand for several minutes shook,
A proof of sorrow and regret,
Tho’ she did not appear to fret.
And ’twas the opinion of the sage
That it proceeded from old age.
When thus divorc’d—a parting kiss
Was confirmation of their bliss.’

How Josephine herself felt on this subject is pathetically told by Madame Junot, with an excessively womanly grace:—

‘I had an interview with the Empress at Malmaison: I went thither to breakfast by invitation, accompanied by my eldest daughter Josephine, to whom she was much attached.... “And Madame Mère, have you seen her since your return?” “Certainly, Madame, I have already been in waiting.” Upon this, the Empress drew closer to me—she was already very near—and, taking both my hands, said, in a tone of grief which is still present to my mind after an interval of four-and-twenty years: “Madame Junot, I entreat you to tell me all you have heard relating to me. I ask it as an especial favour—you know they all desire to ruin me, my Hortense, and my Eugène. Madame Junot, I again entreat, as a favour, that you will tell me all you know!”

‘She spoke with the greatest anxiety; her lips trembled, and her hands were damp and cold. In point of fact she was right, for there could be no more direct means of knowing what was passing, relative to her, than by learning what was said in the house of Madame Mère. But it was indiscreet, perhaps, to ask these questions of me. In the first place, I should not have repeated the most insignificant sentence which I had heard in Madame’s drawing-room; in the second, I was quite at ease upon the subject; for, since my return, I had not heard the word divorce uttered by Madame, or the princesses. The strength of mind of the unfortunate wife failed totally on hearing the dreadful104 word pronounced; she leant upon my arm and wept bitterly. “Madame Junot,” she said, “remember what I say to you this day, here, in this hothouse—this place which is now a paradise, but which may soon become a desert to me—remember that this separation will be my death, and it is they who have killed me?”

‘She sobbed. My little Josephine, running to her, pulled her by the shawl to shew her some flowers she had plucked, for the Empress was so fond of her, as even to permit her to gather flowers in her greenhouse. She took her in her arms, and pressed her to her bosom, with an almost convulsive emotion. The child appeared frightened; but, presently, raising her head, and shaking the forest of light silken curls which clustered round her face, she fixed her large blue eyes upon the agitated countenance of her godmother, and said: “I do not like you to cry.” The Empress again embraced her tenderly, and setting her down, said to me: “You can have little idea how much I have suffered when any of you has brought a child to me! Heaven knows, I am not envious, but in this one case I have felt as if a deadly poison were creeping through my veins, when I have looked upon the fresh and rosy cheek of a beautiful child, the joy of its mother, but, above all, the hope of its father! And I! struck with barrenness, shall be driven in disgrace from the bed of him who has given me a crown! Yet God is witness that I love him more than my life, and much more than that throne, that crown, which he has given me!”

‘The Empress may have appeared more beautiful, but never more attractive, than at that moment. If Napoleon had seen her then, surely he could never have divorced her.’

We have a most touching account in ‘Memes’s Memoirs of the Empress Josephine:’ 105‘The divorce was, unquestionably, a melancholy reverse of fortune for Josephine, which she felt most severely, but she bore it with magnanimity. The particulars of the interview between her and the Emperor are very affecting. When Napoleon mentioned the necessity of a Divorce, he approached Josephine, gazed on her for a while, and then pronounced the following words: “Josephine, my excellent Josephine, thou knowest if I have loved thee! To thee, to thee alone do I owe the only moments of happiness which I have enjoyed in this world. Josephine! my destiny overmasters my will. My dearest affections must be silent before the interests of France.” “Say no more,” she replied, “I was prepared for this; but the blow is not less mortal!”

‘Josephine, on hearing from his own lips the determination of the Emperor, fainted, and was carried to her chamber. At length the fatal day arrived.

‘On December 15, 1809, the Imperial Council of State was convened, and, for the first time, officially informed of the intended separation. On the morrow, the whole of the family assembled in the grand salon at the Tuileries. All were in Court costume. Napoleon’s was the only countenance which betrayed emotion, but ill concealed by the drooping plumes of his hat of ceremony. He stood motionless as a statue, his arms crossed upon his breast: the members of his family were seated around, showing in their expression less of sympathy with so painful a scene, than of satisfaction, that one was to be removed, who had so long held influence, gently exerted as it had been, over their brother. In the centre of the apartment was placed an armchair, and, before it, a small table with a writing apparatus of gold. All eyes were directed to that spot, when a door opened, and Josephine, pale but calm appeared, leaning on the arm of her daughter, whose fast falling tears shewed that she had not attained the resignation106 of her mother. Both were dressed in the simplest manner. Josephine’s dress of white muslin exhibited not a single ornament. She moved slowly, and with wonted grace, to the seat provided for her, and there listened to the reading of the act of separation. Behind her chair stood Hortense, whose sobs were audible, and a little farther on, towards Napoleon, Eugène, trembling as if incapable of supporting himself. Josephine heard in composure the words that placed an eternal barrier between her and greatness, between her and the object of her affection. This painful duty over, the Empress appeared to acquire a degree of resolution from the very effort to resign with dignity the realities of title for ever. Pressing, for an instant, the handkerchief to her eyes, she rose, and, with a voice which, but for a slight tremor, might have been called firm, pronounced the oath of acceptance; then, sitting down, she took the pen from the hand of the Comte Regnault St. Jean d’Angely, and signed it. The mother and daughter now left the salon, followed by Eugène, who appeared to suffer most severely of the three.

‘The sad incidents of the day had not yet been exhausted. Josephine had remained unseen, sorrowing in her chamber, till Napoleon’s usual hour of retiring to rest. He had just placed himself in bed, silent and melancholy, when suddenly the private door opened, and the Empress appeared, her hair in disorder, and her face swollen with weeping. Advancing with a tottering step, she stood, as if irresolute, near the bed, clasped her hands, and burst into an agony of tears. Delicacy seemed at first to have arrested her progress, but, forgetting everything in the fulness of her grief, she threw herself on the bed, clasped her husband’s neck, and sobbed as if her heart would break. Napoleon also wept while he endeavoured to console her, and they remained a few minutes locked in each other’s107 arms, silently mingling their tears, until the Emperor, perceiving Constant20 in the room, dismissed him to the ante-chamber.

‘After an interview of about an hour, Josephine parted, for ever, from the man whom she so long and so tenderly loved. On seeing the Empress retire, which she did in tears, the attendant entered to remove the lights, and found the chamber silent as death, and Napoleon sunk among the bed-clothes, so as to be invisible. Next morning he still showed the marks of suffering. At eleven, Josephine was to bid adieu to the Tuileries, never to enter the palace more. The whole household assembled on the stairs, in order to obtain a last look of a mistress whom they loved, and who carried with her into exile the hearts of all who had enjoyed the happiness of access to her presence. Josephine was veiled from head to foot, and, entering a close carriage with six horses, drove rapidly away, without casting one look backward on the scene of past greatness and departed happiness.’

The only drawback to Memes’s narrative is, that it does not exactly tally with the ‘Register of the Conservative Senate,’ of Saturday, December 6, 1809, extracts from which are given in the ‘Times’ of December 27, 1809. In that document Napoleon makes a speech, a portion of which is as follows:—

‘The politics of my monarchy, the interest, and the wants, of my people, which have constantly guided all my actions, require that, after me, I should leave to children, inheritors of my love for my people, that throne on which Providence has placed me. Notwithstanding, for several years past, I have lost the hope of having children by my well-beloved consort, the Empress Josephine. This it is which induces me to sacrifice the sweetest affections of my108 heart; to attend to nothing but the good of the State, and to wish the dissolution of my marriage.

‘Arrived at the age of forty years, I may indulge the hope of living long enough to educate, in my views and sentiments, the children which it may please Providence to give me: God knows how much such a resolution has cost my heart; but there is no sacrifice beyond my courage, that I will not make, when it is proved to me to be necessary to the welfare of France. I should add, that far from ever having had reason to complain, I have only had to be satisfied with the attachment and affection of my well-beloved consort. She has adorned fifteen years of my life, the remembrance of which will ever remain engraven on my heart. She was crowned by my hand. I wish she should preserve the rank and title of Empress; but, above all, that she should never doubt my sentiments, and that she should ever regard me as her best and dearest friend.’

English opinion on this act of Napoleon’s may be gathered from the ‘Times’ of December 28, which thus comments upon it:—

‘While the affair of the dissolution of Buonaparte’s marriage was transacting in the Senate, he retired to Trianon. The repudiated Josephine withdrew, at the same time, to Malmaison, probably never to behold him again; or, at most, only for a few minutes, during a visit of cold ceremony. Whatever errors there might have been in the early conduct of this woman, were in a great measure redeemed by her behaviour during her slippery, and precarious, exaltation. She has often stepped in between the rage of the tyrant to whom she was united, and the victim he had marked for destruction, and by her tears, and entreaties, softened him into pity and pardon. Such instances of feeling, and humanity, had wrought a powerful impression in her favour among the inhabitants of Paris, amongst109 whom, her unmerited disgrace has probably occasioned no less grief than astonishment. The temporary seclusion to which Buonaparte appears to have condemned himself, may possibly be for the purpose of preventing any opportunity of an explosion of public sentiment on this subject. We think, on the whole, that Josephine has been hardly treated. The reasons assigned for her repudiation have existed in equal force for many years; and the act itself might have been carried into effect, with less outrage to her feelings, at a former period.’




In closing the record of this year, I cannot omit to mention the fact of the failures of the expeditions to Spain, Portugal, and Holland. The latter, or Walcheren expedition, as it was called, was just returning in a woful plight, fever having thoroughly done its work among the troops; and, in December, the City of London, through the Lord Mayor, memorialised the King on the subject of this latter expedition, and prayed ‘your Majesty will direct enquiry to be forthwith instituted, in order to ascertain the causes which have occasioned it.’

‘To which Address and Petition his Majesty was graciously pleased to return the following answer:—

‘“I thank you for your expressions of duty and attachment to me and to my Family.

‘“The recent Expedition to the Scheldt was directed to several objects of great importance in the interest of my Allies, and to the security of my dominions.

‘“I regret that, of these objects, a part only has been accomplished. I have not judged it necessary to direct any Military Inquiry into the conduct of my Commanders by sea or land, in this conjoint service.

‘“It will be for my Parliament, in their wisdom, to ask for such information, or to take such measures upon this subject as they shall judge most conducive to the public good.”’

111 This was the Royal, or Ministerial, snubbing to those men who were then giving of their blood, and treasure, without stint, and without grumble.

The ‘Times’ of December 21, 1809, is very wroth about it, and the sturdy citizens answered it by having a Common Hall on January 9, 1810, at which it was resolved that instructions be given to the representatives of the City, to move or support an address to his Majesty, praying an inquiry into the cause of the failures of the late expeditions to Spain, Portugal, and Holland; they also voted a similar address themselves; and asserted a right to deliver their addresses or petitions to the King upon his throne. But they got no redress.

The year 1810 is mostly noteworthy to the caricaturist by Napoleon’s second marriage. On February 1, 1810, a grand council was called together to help the Emperor in selecting another empress. But Napoleon had not been wasting his time since his divorce from Josephine. He had sent to the Emperor Alexander, proposing to marry his sister, the Grand Duchess Anna Paulovna; but the Russian Emperor, although he professed great friendship for Napoleon, hardly cared about a closer alliance with him, and the proposal was declined.

The Council, in their wisdom, thought of an Austrian princess, and a proposal was made to the Austrian ambassador for the hand of the Arch-Duchess Maria Louisa, the result of which should have been, if there is any truth in the old rhyme,

Happy’s the wooing
That’s not long a-doing,

the perfection of bliss to the principal parties concerned. It was all settled in four-and-twenty hours, and Berthier, as Napoleon’s proxy, married Maria Louisa at Vienna on112 March 11, and, two days afterwards, she started on her journey to France.

We are indebted to Madame Junot for an insight into her innocent and childlike character: ‘At length the day of departure arrived. The young Empress bade farewell to all the members of her family, and then retired to her apartment, where etiquette required that she should wait till Berthier came to conduct her to her carriage. When Berthier entered the cabinet, he found her bathed in tears. With a voice choked with sobs, she apologised for appearing so childish: “But,” says she, “my grief is excusable. See how I am surrounded here by a thousand things that are dear to me. These are my sister’s drawings; that tapestry was wrought by my mother; those paintings are by my uncle Charles.” In this manner she went through the inventory of her cabinet, and there was scarcely a thing, down to the carpet on the floor, which was not the work of some beloved hand.

‘There were her singing birds, her parrot, and, above all, the object which she seemed to value most, and most to regret—a little dog. It was of course known at the Court of Vienna how greatly the Emperor used to be annoyed by Josephine’s favourite pet dogs, with Fortuné at their head. Therefore, Francis II., like a prudent father, took care that his daughter should leave her pet dog at Vienna. Yet it was a cruel separation, and the princess and her favourite parted with a tender duo of complaint.’

But the surprises in store for her on her journey soon made her forget her dog and parrot. She was met at Braunau by Caroline Bonaparte, Queen of Naples, and sister of the Emperor. At this place, on the frontier of Austria and Bavaria (the latter of which was then part of the French empire), a wooden building had been erected for the use of the French and Austrian suites. Napoleon113 could play many parts, and he played the rôle of devoted lover to perfection. At Munich an officer met the new Empress with a letter from her husband. At Strasburg a page was waiting for her with another letter, some choice flowers, and some pheasants shot by the imperial gun; and every morning brought a page with a letter, which the young bride immediately answered.

Every detail of her progress had been settled with rigid ceremonial, and at one place (Compiègne) it was appointed that he was to meet her, when ‘the Empress should prepare to kneel, and the Emperor should raise her, embrace, and seat her beside him.’ But the imperial bridegroom was far too impatient for that. Accompanied by the King of Naples (Murat), he left the palace privately, and pushed on to the village of Courcelles, where he anxiously awaited her arrival. When the carriage stopped, he ran towards it, opened the door himself, and jumped in without any announcement, the bride being only advised of his advent a moment before by the startled exclamation of the Queen of Spain: ‘It is the Emperor!’

Two days afterwards they made their state entry into Paris, where Napoleon, from a balcony at the Tuileries, presented his young bride to the assembled multitude.

Once more to quote Madame Junot: 114‘On returning from the balcony, he said to her, “Well, Louise, I must give you some little reward for the happiness you have conferred on me,” and, leading her into one of the narrow corridors of the palace, lighted only by one lamp, he hurried on with his beloved Empress, who exclaimed, “Where are we going?”—“Come, Louise, are you afraid to follow me?” replied the Emperor, who now pressed to his bosom, with much affectionate tenderness, his young bride.

‘Suddenly they stopped at a closed door, within which they heard a dog that was endeavouring to escape from the apparent prison. The Emperor opened this private door, and desired Louise to enter. She found herself in a room magnificently lighted; the glare of the lamps prevented her for some moments from distinguishing any object. Imagine her surprise when she found her favourite dog from Vienna was there to greet her; the apartment was furnished with the same chairs, carpet, the paintings of her sisters, her birds—in short, every object was there, and placed in the same manner as she had left them on quitting her paternal roof.

‘The Empress, in joy and gratitude, threw herself in Napoleon’s arms, and the moment of a great victory would not have been to the conqueror of the world so sweet as this instant of ecstasy was to the infatuated heart of the adoring bridegroom. After a few minutes had been spent in examining the apartment, the Emperor opened a small door; he beckoned to Berthier, who entered. Napoleon then said, “Louise, it is to him you are indebted for this unexpected joy: I desire you will embrace him, as a just recompense.” Berthier took the hand of the Empress; but the Emperor added, “No, no, you must kiss my old and faithful friend.”’

The civil marriage was celebrated on April 1 at St. Cloud, and the religious marriage on the 2nd in the Chapel of the Louvre; Napoleon’s uncle, Cardinal Fesch, officiating.

We have just read the real story of the wooing and home-coming; I will not spoil it by repeating the caricaturist’s version, quoting only a few lines:—


Louisa off for Paris set,
And by her anxious swain was met.
To see the lady, what a throng!
The road with flow’rs they strew’d along.
No sooner Nap beheld her charms
Than round the maid he threw his arms,
And gave her a true lover’s kiss,
As prelude to his greater bliss.
* * * * *
Oh what rejoicings and what fêtes!
What hurly-burly in the streets!
The marriage, as it was advised,
Now publicly was solemnized;
The first of April, as they say,
Was chosen for the happy day,
When children, in and out of school,
Are trying to make each a fool.

This year is so unproductive of Napoleonic caricatures, that I can only find one worth mentioning, and this is apropos of the marriage: it is called ‘Three Weeks after Marriage, or the Great little Emperor playing at Bo-peep,’ and is by Rowlandson (May 15, 1810). It shows the conjugal relations of Napoleon and his Empress, as they were supposed to be. She is in a violent rage, and, having knocked down Talleyrand, she hits him over the head with a sceptre; he, meanwhile, making moan: ‘Begar she will give us all de finishing stroke. I shall never rise again.’ She has plucked off her crown, and is about to throw it at the Emperor, who dodges behind an armchair, calling out,116 ‘Oh Tally, Tally, rise and rally.’ She fiercely declaims, ‘By the head of Jove, I hate him worse than Famine or Disease. Perish his Family; let inveterate Hate commence between our Houses from this Moment, and, meeting, never let them bloodless part.’ Somebody, probably one of the marshals, has got behind the curtains for safety, calling out, ‘Marblue. Vat a Crown Cracker she be.’

At the time of the marriage the English newspapers were much taken up with Sir Francis Burdett, and consequently Napoleon’s marriage did not receive the attention it otherwise might have claimed. In a notice of the religious ceremony, however, the ‘Times’ breaks out with a little bit of spite, ‘The Imperial Ruffian, and his spouse, again knelt at the “Ite, missa est.”’

The only other great event during this year, connected with Napoleon, was the abdication of the crown of Holland by his brother Louis, and the absorption of his kingdom into the French empire.

The birth of the King of Rome (on March 20, 1811) at last gave Napoleon the hope of founding a dynasty. He was very anxious about the welfare of Maria Louisa, hardly bestowing a thought upon his son, until assured of her safety.

‘As21 soon as the King of Rome was born, the event was announced by telegraph to all the principal towns of the empire. At four o’clock the same afternoon, the marks of rejoicing in the provinces equalled those in Paris. The Emperor’s couriers, pages, and officers, were despatched to the different foreign Courts, with intelligence of the happy event. The Senate of Italy, and the municipal bodies of Rome and Milan, had immediate notice of it. The different fortresses received orders to fire salutes; the seaports were enlivened by the display of colours from the117 vessels; and everywhere the people voluntarily illuminated their houses. Those who regard these popular demonstrations as expressions of the secret sentiments of a people might have remarked that in all the faubourgs, as well as the lowest and poorest quarters of Paris, the houses were illuminated to the very uttermost stories. A fête was got up on the occasion by the watermen of the Seine, which was prolonged until a late hour of the night. Much of all this was not ordered: it came spontaneously from the hearts of the people. That same people, who, for thirty-five years previously, had experienced so many emotions, had wept over so many reverses, and had rejoiced for so many victories, still showed, by their enthusiasm on this occasion, that they retained affections as warm and vivid as in the morning of their greatness.

‘The King of Rome was baptized on the very day of his birth (March 20, 1811). The ceremony was performed, at nine in the evening, in the chapel of the Tuileries. The whole of the imperial family attended, and the Emperor witnessed the ceremony with the deepest emotion. Napoleon proceeded to the chapel, followed by the members of the household, those of the Empress, of Madame Mère, the princesses, his sisters, and of the kings, his brothers. He took his station under a canopy in the centre of the chapel, having before him a stool to kneel on. A socle of granite had been placed on a carpet of white velvet embroidered with gold bees, and on the socle stood a gold vase destined for the baptismal font. When the Emperor approached the font bearing the King of Rome in his arms, the most profound silence pervaded. It was a religious silence, unaccompanied by the parade which might have been expected on such an occasion. This stillness formed a striking contrast with the joyous acclamations of the people outside.’

118 The news was announced to the British public in the ‘Times’ of March 25; and in the ‘Morning Herald’ of March 26 is an amusing


On the French General Victor’s Defeat before Cadiz.

His Victor vanquish’d, and his Eagle taken,
Boney will stay at home to save his bacon;
Sip Caudle with his wife, and for young Nap,
Make with parental daddle, sugar’d pap;
Content to see the Nurs’ry colours fly,
By holding out his bantling’s clouts to dry.

Rowlandson caricatures the birth of the King of Rome (April 9, 1811) in ‘Boney the Second, or the little Babboon created to devour French Monkies.’ The young Napoleon, naked, with the exception of a cocked hat, but with the cloven hoofs, and tail, of a devil, is being presented on a cushion to his father by a very buxom nurse. The cushion rests on a cradle, on which is inscribed ‘Devil’s Darling.’ Napoleon is looking after the nursery arrangements, and is cooking a caudle of ‘French blood,’ which is to be drunk out of a ‘Bitter Cup.’ He turns his face towards his little son, and exclaims: ‘Rejoice O ye Frenchmen, the Fruits of my Labour has produced a little image of myself. I shall, for the love I owe to your country, instill in my Noble Offspring the same principles of Lying, Thieving, Treachery, Letchery, Murder, and all other foul deeds for which I am now worshipped and adored.’ The Pope is on his knees pronouncing a benediction, which, however, is of rather doubtful character.


The Owl shrieked at thy Birth, an evil Sight,22
The Night Crow cry’d foreboding luckless time,
Dogs howl’d, and hideous Tempests shook down Trees,
The Raven rook’d her on the Chimney Top,
And Chattering Pies in dismal discord sung.

Napoleon was very fond of his little boy, and the caricaturist represents him in the nursery, thus—

But in his babe he found relief,
This was a cure for all his grief,
For his delightful dulcet squall
Wou’d not allow a tear to fall.
What wondrous splendor was devised
When the dear Infant was baptized;
For Emperors, Kings, Queens, and Dukes
Assembled with their smiling looks,
Bestowing their congratulations,
And making curious observations.
With curiosity they eyed
The King of Rome—the father’s pride,
And some old gossips cried ‘Oh la!
How he resembles his papa.’

Madame Junot gives some interesting details of Napoleon as a father:—120‘On my return to France, I found the Emperor much altered in appearance. His features had acquired a paternal character. What a beautiful child was the young King of Rome! How lovely he appeared as he rode through the gardens of the Tuileries in his shell-shaped calèche, drawn by two young deer, which had been trained by Franconi, and which were given him by his aunt, the Queen of Naples. He resembled one of those figures of Cupid which have been discovered in the ruins of Herculaneum. One day I had been visiting the young King, the Emperor was also there, and he was playing with the child—as he always played with those he loved—that is to say, he was tormenting him. The Emperor had been riding, and held in his hand a whip, which attracted the child’s notice. He stretched out his little hand, and when he seized the whip, burst into a fit of laughter, at the same time embracing his father. “Is he not a fine boy, Madame Junot?” said the Emperor; “you must confess that he is.” I could say so without flattery, for he certainly was a lovely boy. “You were not at Paris,” continued the Emperor, “when my son was born. It was on that day I learned how much the Parisians love me.... What did the army say on the birth of the child?” I told him the soldiers were enthusiastic during many days; he had already heard so, but was happy to receive a confirmation of their joy. He then pinched his son’s cheek and his nose; the child cried. “Come, come, sir,” said the Emperor, “do you suppose you are never to be thwarted, and do kings cry?”... He used to take the King of Rome in his arms, and toss him up in the air. The child would then laugh, until the tears stood in his eyes. Sometimes the Emperor would take him before a looking-glass, and work his face into all sorts of grimaces; and, if the child was frightened and shed tears, Napoleon would say: “What, Sire, do you cry? A King, and cry? Shame, Shame!”

‘The hours at which the young King was taken to the Emperor were not precisely fixed, nor could they be, but his visits were most frequently at the time of déjeûner. On these occasions the Emperor would give the child a little121 claret, by dipping his finger in the glass, and making him suck it. Sometimes he would daub the young Prince’s face with gravy. The child would laugh heartily at seeing his father as much a child as he was himself, and only loved him the more for it. Children invariably love those who play with them. I recollect that once when Napoleon had daubed the young King’s face, the child was highly amused, and asked the Emperor to do the same to Maman Quiou, for so he called his governess, Madame de Montesquiou.’

Rowlandson’s idea of the royal infant is given in a caricature (published April 14, 1811) called, ‘Nursing the Spawn of a Tyrant, or Frenchmen Sick of the Brood.’23 Maria Louisa is aghast at her offspring, who, screaming, threatens her with a dagger. She thus pours out her woes: ‘There’s no condition sure, so curst as mine! Day and night to dandle such a dragon—the little angry cur snarls while it feeds; see how the blood is settled in its scarecrow face; what brutal mischief sits upon his brow. Rage and vengeance sparkle in his cheeks; the very spawn and spit of its tyrant father. Nay, now I look again, he is the very picture of his grandfather, the Devil!’ This must have been pleasant for Napoleon to hear, which he evidently does, as he is but partially concealed behind a curtain.

Some one (name unknown, August 20, 1811) has given us, ‘The Deputeys apointed by the Legislative Body, doing Homage to the King of Rome in the Nursery at St. Cloud.’ His gouvernante, Madame de Montesquiou, presents him to the Deputies, who kneel and kiss him, saying: 122‘Madam Governess—not one of us can behold without a most lively interest, that August Infant—on whom rest so many Destinies, and whose Age and Charming Qualities inspire the most tender sentiments in the French and surrounding Nations.’ The lady replies: ‘Monsieurs—I thank you for the polite and flattering encomiums you are pleased to bestow on me—I thank you in the name of the young prince, whose Charms are inexpressible, and regret that he cannot add his personal sentiments to those which I entertain, to the Legislative Body.’ In another portion of the picture the foul linen of the precious child is being washed and hung to dry.





The next caricature requires some little explanation. We find in the ‘Courier’ of September 20, 1811, the following paragraph:—‘Dover, September 19. Early this morning we heard a heavy firing on the opposite shore; it continued at times all the morning, and was very hot about one o’clock; the wind is to the southward, and eastward, which makes us hear very plain; no news has arrived as to the cause; by some it is conjectured that Buonaparte is at Boulogne, and by others, that the flotilla is out, and some of our cruisers firing at them. It still continues, though not so heavy as in the early part of the day.’

Details did not arrive till the 22nd, and then the ‘Courier’ published an account of the naval engagement off Boulogne, on which the caricature is evidently grounded: ‘The cause of the incessant firing on the French Coast, is now ascertained to be an engagement between the Naiad, 3 sloops, and a cutter, and 7 large French praams, each as large as a frigate, 11 gun brigs, and other small craft, 27 in all. The following letter gives an account of the engagement:—We took the Port Admiral in his praam, but afterwards ran off—However we took another, and brought her away—Buonaparte saw the engagement—he was in a boat with Marshall Ney.’

All accounts, though they do not agree in the number124 of French vessels engaged, are singularly unanimous as to the presence of Napoleon and Ney.

‘The first glorious exploit of the Invincible Flotilla. Devils among the Flats, or Boney getting into Hot Water’ (unknown artist, September 20, 1811), represents one of the Flotilla returning much damaged, and full of corpses, only the captain and a steersman alive on board. Napoleon, who is in another boat, is in a fearful rage, tries to get at him, and is restrained by one of his marshals (Ney)—who remarks, ‘Ma foi, take care, your Majesty will be in hot water up to the chin’—from throwing himself into the boiling water. ‘You scoundrel,’ says he, ‘how dare you run away when you were 27 to 5. I’ll order the guns of the batteries to sink every one of you.’ But the captain excuses himself, ‘Eh bien, mais, mon Empereur, you tell us de Jack Anglais be men, mais, by Gar, we find dem Devils.’ To which a man in Napoleon’s boat replies, ‘Very true Monsieur Ney, de devils Jack Bulls make hot water all over de Vorld.’ The spirit of Nelson appears, like a comet in the sky, darting lightning at the Flotilla.

The year 1812 was not fruitful in caricature of Napoleon. In May, accompanied by Maria Louisa, he visited the eastern part of France, met the King and Queen of Saxony at Freyburg, and entered Dresden in state. There he met the Emperor and Empress of Austria, the King of Prussia, and the Kings of Saxony, Naples, Würtemberg, Westphalia, and Bavaria, besides a heap of smaller potentates. The Emperor of Russia was not present; he had concluded an alliance with Sweden against France, an alliance which was afterwards, during this year, joined by Great Britain. In June, Napoleon visited Dantzig, and left it on the 11th. As a final measure, Count Lauriston was sent to Alexander, to see if the difference could be patched up, but the breach was made inevitable by the refusal of that monarch, or his ministers, to see him.

125 This decided Napoleon, and, from his head-quarters at Wilkowisky, he issued the following proclamation: ‘Soldiers! the second war of Poland has commenced. The first was terminated at Friedland and Tilsit. At Tilsit, Russia swore eternal alliance with France, and war against England. She has openly violated her oath; and refuses to render any explanation of her strange conduct, till the French eagles shall have repassed the Rhine, and, consequently, left their Allies at her discretion. Russia is impelled onward by fatality. Her destiny is about to be accomplished. Does she believe that we have degenerated? that we are no longer the soldiers of Austerlitz? She has placed us between dishonour and war: the choice cannot for a moment be doubtful. Let us march forward then, and, crossing the Niemen, carry the war into her territories! The second war of Poland will be to the French arms as glorious as the first; but our next peace must carry with it its own guarantee, and put an end to that arrogant influence which, for the last fifty years, Russia has exercised over the affairs of Europe.’

In No. 1 of a series of caricatures on the Russian campaign, published in April 1813, and seemingly by G. Cruikshank, is represented, ‘The Parting of Hector-Nap, and Andromache, or Russia threatened.’ Napoleon’s horse is waiting for him, the windows are crowded with ladies to see the departure. Napoleon is ecstatic at the sight of his little son, who is held aloft by Maria Louisa. The young King of Rome flourishes a sword, and says, ‘I will kill the people, as my Papa does.’ His mother wishes him to ‘Kiss him, then, my dear! and he will bring you some of the naughty Russians to kill.’ Napoleon bids ‘Farewell! I go, I’ll see, I’ll conquer. On my return I’ll greet our Son with a new Title.

That’s right, my boy, cause war to rage
And rise the Tyrant of a future age.’

126 Napoleon started on this disastrous campaign, which was the prelude to his downfall, with an army of about four hundred and twenty thousand men, most of them doomed to perish in the snows of Russia. The river Niemen was crossed, and, on June 28, Napoleon made his public entry into Wilna, which had not long since, and very hurriedly, been evacuated by the Emperor Alexander.

But even the commencement of this campaign was marked by disaster. Napoleon had arranged all the details; but the incompetence, or worse, of his subordinates failed to carry them out. After the Niemen had been crossed, not a third of the provisions necessary for the army had arrived, and at Wilna it was found that some hundreds of men had perished from want and fatigue. The mortality was worse among the horses, having lost about ten thousand. Before a battle was fought, and scarcely a month from the commencement of the campaign, there were twenty-five thousand sick men in the hospitals at Wilna.

Napoleon waited a fortnight at Wilna; but the Russians were driven back from Ostrovno, by Murat, and more time was consumed at Witepsk. Then came the attack on Smolensko, on August 16 and 17, when the French lost 15,000, and the Russians 10,000 men, and the Russians still kept the city. But next day, when the French again advanced against it, they found it deserted. For this the Russian general, Barclay de Tolly, was deprived of his command, forasmuch as he had given up a holy city to the enemy without fighting a pitched battle for its preservation.

But, to proceed somewhat chronologically, we must remember that, on July 22, Wellington gained a great victory at Salamanca, where the French lost eleven pieces of cannon, two eagles, and six colours, one general, 136127 other officers, and 7,000 prisoners. The general public did not know this news till the 4th of August, and the illuminations in its honour did not take place till the 17th, 18th, and 19th of August. It is to this event, doubtless, that the following refers.

In September 1812 was published a caricature of ‘British Welcome or a Visit from the Bantam to the Lion.

Though Bantam Boney claps his wings,
Yet this we may rely on:
He’ll turn his tail and run away
Whene’er he meets the Lion.’

And that is precisely as he is represented in the caricature. The pursuing lion says, ‘So, my little Bantam, you are come to pay me a visit—Well lets have a shake of your claw.’ But the bantam, with a very terrified expression of countenance, declines: ‘Excusé moi, Monsr le Lion, you gripe too hard.’

The battle of Borodino (or, as the French call it, Moskowa) was fought on September 7, and was, probably, the bloodiest of all Napoleon’s battles, but it laid Moscow open to the conqueror.


But soon the cloudless sun was gone,
And a thick fog arose thereon—
Nap prais’d the fog—indeed he did,
Because his movements would be hid—
And to the army, in array,
This was the order of the day—
‘Brave soldiers! fight for endless glory,
The wish’d-for field now lies before ye,
You’ll with abundance be supplied,
Good winter quarters, too, beside—
A quick return home—that is more;
Then fight, my lads, as heretofore;
Posterity will say—There’s one
Who was at Moscow when ’twas won.’
The French and Russians now engaged,
And furiously the battle raged;
In great confusion, and dismay,
Poor Boney’s scatter’d troops gave way;
Our hero his assaults repeated,
And still the wounded French retreated.
‘This battle,’ Nap exclaim’d, ‘has been,
The greatest that was ever seen.’
And true enough, our hero said,
For eighty thousand men lay dead.

The French entered Moscow on September 14, a day that Napoleon must have bitterly rued. I do not think the burning of this city could be better told than by Napoleon’s own words24: 130 ‘Had it not been for that fire at Moscow, I should have succeeded. I would have wintered there. There were in that city about forty thousand citizens, who were, in a manner, slaves. For you must know that the Russian nobility keep their vassals in a sort of slavery. I would have proclaimed liberty to all the slaves in Russia, and abolished vassalage and nobility. This would have procured me the union of an immense and powerful party. I would either have made a peace at Moscow, or else I would have marched the next year to Petersburg.

‘Alexander was assured of it, and sent his diamonds, valuables, and ships to England. Had it not been for that fire, I should have succeeded in everything. I beat them, two days before, in a great action at Moskowa; I attacked the Russian army of two hundred and fifty thousand strong, entrenched up to their necks, with ninety thousand, and totally defeated them. Seventy thousand Russians lay upon the field. They had the impudence to say that they had gained the battle, though two days after, I marched into Moscow. I was in the midst of a fine city, provisioned for a year, for in Russia they always lay in provisions for several months before the frost sets in. Stores of all kinds were in plenty. The houses of the inhabitants were well provided, and many had left their servants to attend upon us. In most of them there was a note left by the proprietor, begging the French officers who took possession to take care of their furniture and other things: that they had left every article necessary for our wants, and hoped to return in a few days, when the Emperor Alexander had accommodated matters, at which time they would be happy to see us. Many ladies remained behind. They knew that I had been in Berlin and Vienna with my armies, and that no injury had been done to the inhabitants; and, moreover, they expected a speedy peace. We were in hopes of enjoying ourselves in winter quarters, with every prospect of success in the spring. Two days after our arrival, a fire was discovered, which, at first, was not supposed to be alarming, but to have been caused by the soldiers kindling their fires too near the houses, which were chiefly of wood. I was angry at this, and issued very strict orders on the subject to the commandants of regiments and others.

‘The next day it had advanced, but still not so as to give serious alarm. However, afraid that it might gain upon us, I went out on horseback, and gave every direction to extinguish it. The next morning a violent wind arose, and the fire spread with the greatest rapidity. Some hundred miscreants, hired for that purpose, dispersed themselves in different parts of the town, and, with matches, which they concealed under their cloaks, set fire to as many houses to windward as they could, which was easily done, in consequence of the combustible materials of which they were built. This, together with the violence of the wind, rendered every effort to extinguish the fire ineffectual. I, myself, narrowly escaped with life. In order to shew an example, I ventured into the midst of the flames, and had my hair and eyebrows singed, and my clothes burnt off my back; but it was in vain, as they had destroyed most of the pumps, of which there were above a thousand; out of all these, I believe that we could only find one that was serviceable. Besides, the wretches that had been hired by Rostopchin ran about in every quarter, disseminating fire with their matches, in which they were but too much assisted by the wind.

‘This terrible conflagration ruined everything. I was prepared for everything but this. It was unforeseen, for who would have thought that a nation would have set its capital on fire? The inhabitants themselves did all they could to extinguish it, and several of them perished in their endeavours. They also brought before us numbers of the incendiaries, with their matches, as among such a popolazzo we never could have discovered them ourselves. I caused about two hundred of these wretches to be shot.

‘Had it not been for this fatal fire, I had everything my army wanted: excellent winter quarters; stores of all kinds were in plenty; and the next year would have decided it. Alexander would have made peace, or I would have been in Petersburg.’ I asked if he thought that he could entirely subdue Russia. ‘No,’ replied Napoleon; 131‘but I would have caused Russia to make such a peace as suited the interests of France. I was five days too late in quitting Moscow. Several of the generals were burnt out of their beds. I, myself, remained in the Kremlin until surrounded by flames. The fire advanced, seized the Chinese and India warehouses, and several stores of oil and spirits, which burst forth in flames, and overwhelmed everything.

‘I then retired to a country-house of the Emperor Alexander’s, distant about a league from Moscow, and you may figure to yourself the intensity of the fire, when I tell you that you could scarcely bear your hands upon the walls or windows on the side next to Moscow, in consequence of their heated state.

‘It was the spectacle of a sea and billows of fire, a sky and clouds of flame; mountains of red rolling flames, like immense waves of the sea, alternately bursting forth, and elevating themselves to skies of fire, and then sinking into the ocean of flame below. Oh! it was the most grand, the most sublime, and the most terrific sight the world ever beheld.’

Napoleon, however, returned to the Kremlin on September 20, and, the main portion of the building being uninjured, a theatre was improvised therein. Early in October, he stated his determination to march on St. Petersburg, but never acted on it. Instead, he entered into negotiations for peace. Snow began to fall on October 13, a portent of an early winter, and winter quarters must be found. Events, however, did not march as he would have had them. On the 18th the Russians, under Beningsen, attacked and defeated Murat, and on the 19th Napoleon left Moscow, and the famous flight from thence began. Of the horrors of that flight, it is hardly the province of this work to dilate upon—mine is more to chronicle the feeling in England with regard to the events then passing. It may be said that it was bad taste to caricature such an appalling disaster—but when did a question of taste deter a satirist or caricaturist? Take, as an instance, an event which many of us well remember, the death of the Emperor Nicholas of Russia in 1855. That solemn event132 might well have been passed by, but it was food to the caricaturist, and he made money out of it. See ‘Punch’ of March 10, 1855, and note the ghastly cartoon of ‘General Février turned Traitor. “Russia has Two Generals in whom she can confide—Generals Janvier and Février.” Speech of the late Emperor of Russia.’

‘Jack Frost attacking Boney in Russia’ was published in November 1812. A fearful-looking monster, mounted on a northern bear, pursues Bonaparte (who flees), pelting him all the way with huge snowballs. Napoleon is on skates, and holds his poor frost-bitten nose, crying out, ‘By gar, Monsieur Frost this is a much colder Reception than I expected. I never experienced such a pelting before—I find I must take care of my nose, as well as my toes. Pray forgive me this time, and I swear by St Dennis never to enter your dominion again.’ Jack Frost makes answer, ‘What, Master Boney! have I caught you at last. I’ll teach you Russian fare. Take that, and that, as a relish, and digest it.’

‘General Frost shaveing Little Boney’ (December 1, 1812) is very grim in its humour. Bonaparte begs, but in vain, for pity: ‘Pray Brother General, have Mercy. Don’t overwhelm me with your hoary element. You have so nipped me, that my very teeth chatter. O dear—I am quite chop fallen.’ But the unrelenting and unpitying Frost replies, ‘Invade my Country, indeed! I’ll shave, freeze, and bury you in snow, you little Monkey.’

‘Polish Diet with French Desert’ is the title of a caricature published December 8, 1812. It represents Bonaparte spitted, and being roasted before an enormous fire, on which is being cooked a frying-pan full of frogs, which, however, jump out of it into the fire. A Westphalian bear is turning the spit and jeering at the poor victim. 133‘How do you like Benningsen baisting, Master Boney? and your Frogs?’ This ‘Benningsen baisting’ is being very liberally supplied to Boney by a gigantic Russian, who holds a huge ladleful of it in one hand, whilst with the other he grasps a red-hot poker of Russian iron. This ferocious Cossack says, ‘I’ll Roast—Beast (baste)—Dish—& Devour you! He smoaks Brother Bruin—another turn and he is done.’ Poor Napoleon, in his agony, calls out, ‘Our situation may be fun to you, Mr. Bear—but Death to us.’


The following shows the estimation in which Bonaparte’s bulletins were held by the English.

In December 1812 G. Cruikshank gave his idea of134 ‘Boney hatching a Bulletin, or Snug Winter Quarters.’ With the exception of one Frenchman, who wears pieces of board for snow-shoes, and who exclaims, ‘By Gar, he is almost lost!!’ Boney and all his army are up to their necks in snow. A general asks him, ‘Vat de devil shall ve say in de Bulletin?’ Boney replies, ‘Say!!!! why say we have got into comfortable Winter Quarters, and that the weather is very fine, and will last 8 days longer. Say we have got plenty of Soup Maigre, plenty of Minced Meat—Grill’d Bears fine eating—driving Cut-us-off to the Devil. Say we shall be at home at Xmas to dinner—give my love to darling—dont let John Bull know that I have been Cow poxed—tell a good lie about the Cossacks. D—n it, tell anything but the truth.’


There was another version of ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death,’ published December 18, 1812, but it is not so good as that by Gillray already given (September 24, 1808):—


By conflagrations always harass’d,
No man was ever so embarrass’d;
He sought in vain a lurking place,
Destruction star’d him in the face;
Hemm’d in—he sought for peace in vain—
No peace could Bonaparte obtain;
He swore, when peace he could not get,
The Russians were a barb’rous set.
Intending now to change his rout,
He sent Murat on the look out;
Murat, tho’, met with a defeat,
Which play’d the deuce with Nap’s retreat.
How great was Bonaparte’s despair!
He raved, he swore, he tore his hair—
His troops were absolutely frozen,
No man was sure he had his nose on.
The Cossacks, too, made rude attacks,
And laid some hundreds on their backs;
So, in the midst of an affray,
Nap thought it best to run away.

According to the caricaturist, during the retreat Napoleon was nearly caught by Cossacks, and only saved by jumping out of window; but as the same story is told of him during his retreat from Leipsic, they may as well be combined, and the reader will thus be enabled to apply it to whichever event he prefers:—


He chang’d his dress—his horse bestrode,
And in full speed to Wilna rode;
As soon as he began to fly,
The Russians rais’d a hue and cry;
A great reward, as it is said,
Was offer’d for our hero’s head,
That some to take him might be bribed,
Thus Boney’s person was described—
His figure rather short and thin—
Black hair—black beard—projecting chin—
Nose aquiline, with marks of snuff,
Arch’d eyebrows—manners very rough—
Stern countenance, dress’d rather mean,
And in a grey surtout oft seen.
But, notwithstanding his dismay,
Poor Bonaparte got safe away.
When he to Wilna’s borders came,
He very wisely changed his name;
And in a sledge—’twas so contriv’d,
At Paris in the night arriv’d.

‘Nap nearly nab’d or a retreating jump just in time. Never did trusty squire with knight, Or knight with squire, e’er jump more right—Vide Boney’s Russian Campaign,’ was published in June 1813. It shows the Cossacks arriving, and Napoleon jumping out of window, to the great detriment of the flower-pots, pigs, and poultry. A general inside the house calls out, ‘Vite, Courez, mon Empereur, ce Diable de Cossack dey spoil our dinner!!!’



He by the Cossacks was pursued,
But luckily a dwelling view’d—
And, while his legions bravely fought,
Protection in this house he sought;
The guards, who had the place surrounded,
Were cut to pieces, kill’d and wounded.
Nap pricked his ears up at the rout,
He op’d the window and jump’d out—
Jump’d out! how great, then, was his dread,
Fell he upon his feet—or head?
No—not his feet—because he sat
He could not fall like a Tom cat—
Nor would he break his pretty nose,
And so—another part he chose—
’Tis true—his bum was very sore,
His breeches, here and there, he tore;
But such a trifle little matters,
A Man can run altho’ in tatters—
So oft was Boney sore afraid
That he a pris’ner might be made;
But, as the man would fain his cracks hide,
He tuck’d his skirts about his backside.

There is another caricature of Napoleon’s escape from the Cossacks, by G. Cruikshank, published some time in 1813, entitled ‘The Narrow escape, or Boney’s Grand Leap à la Grimaldi!! No sooner had Napoleon alighted & entered a miserable house for refreshment, than a party of Cossacks rushed in after him. Never was Miss Platoff so near Matrimony!!! Had not the Emperor been very alert at Vaulting, and leapt through the Window, with the nimbleness of an Harlequin, while his faithful followers were fighting for his life, there would, probably, have been an end at once to that Grand Bubble, the French Empire.’ There is nothing particular about this picture; it is the same as the others—the same Cossacks, and the same episode of the leap.



One of the last caricatures of this year is a very elaborate picture—‘The Arms and Supporters of Napoleon Bonaparte the self created Emperor, alias the Corsican, and now the Curse of Europe.’ It was published December 1812, but the artist is unknown, which is a pity, as the execution is very good. The animus that inspired it will be seen in the following Explanation, which accompanies it:—

The Crest represents the World, which, England and Sweden excepted, is set on fire everywhere by the incendiary Corsican; his bloody actions and designs are expressed by the bloody hand and dagger reaching towards Spain. Tyranny, Hypocrisy, Barbarity and Villany are his standards, which are distinguishable through the smoke, and the fire, and have nearly enveloped the whole Globe.

His supporters are The French Devil, and the Corsican Devil.

The French Devil, or le diable boiteux, formerly a Nobleman and a priest: any body may easily guess that he, and Talleyrand, are one and the same creature: by the hour glass he indicates, however, that time is running away, and that Boney’s downfall is fast approaching. The Gallic cock destroying religion is his emblem.

The Corsican Devil, who, being intoxicated with unbounded ambition, wears an Iron crown ornamented with thorns: he cuts139 down the cap of liberty, because tyranny is his idol. The Serpent and the hyena are very proper emblems of his infamous character and conduct.

Description of the Arms divided into Eight Quarters.

1. The Mushroom on a dunghill denotes his descent, or origin of family. The Crocodile expresses his treacherous transactions in Egypt, his apostacy, and his cowardly desertion from his army. The bloody hand, the guillotine, and the black heart, can only belong to such a monster.

2. Represents the shooting of 800 defenceless Turkish prisoners, near the town of Jaffa, ordered very coolly by the monster Boney.

3. Shews the poisoning his own sick soldiers in the hospital at Jaffa, by his express orders.

4. Exhibits a scene never known before in the Civilized World. The foul murder (for it cannot be called anything else, though Boney excuses it by his mock Court Martial) of the Duke d’Enghien.

5. Here the monster compels the Pope to come to Paris, and to assist at a blasphemous coronation, where Boney stands upon no ceremony with the Holy Father. Boney puts on the iron crown himself with one hand, whilst the other hand is employed in robbing the Catholic Church of its head.

6. Exhibits another shocking scene; the truly English patriot, Captain Wright, is put to death, because he will not be a traitor to his king and country.

7. Here we behold the massacre of the defenceless citizens of Madrid, on the 2nd of May, 1808.

8. Represents the imprisonment of King Ferdinand the 7th because he will not renounce the Crown of Spain, nor marry Boney’s niece.

The Motto is taken from Proverbs, chapter xxviii. verse 15—‘As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear, so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.’

On December 16 of this year was published an 140‘Extraordinary Gazette’ which perfectly electrified this country. It contained detailed reports of the successes over the French—news which filled every English heart with joy.

The ‘Times’ of December 17 says:—‘We hardly know the terms in which we are to address the people of this and every other European country, on the subject of the Extraordinary Gazette contained in this day’s paper. It does more than confirm our hopes—it does more than justify the ardent expressions of triumph, in which we indulged yesterday. And really, in speaking of the successes of the Russians, we are obliged to abate the excess of our joy. Not from any doubt of their magnitude, or reality, for upon these our countrymen may rely; but from mere apprehension, lest the vicissitude of human affairs, which does not usually suffer mankind to exult beyond measure upon any occasion whatever, should, by we know not what unexpected reverse, abate somewhat of the transcendent felicity which is promised the world, by the overthrow, and disgrace, of its most detested and detestable tyrant. We shall only say, therefore, in so many words, that Buonaparte is wholly defeated in Russia; he is conquered, and a fugitive. And what can we say more? We have seen his army pass from victory to victory; we have seen it overthrow kingdoms, and subjugate realms,—insult sovereigns, and oppress peasants—violate every human right, and diffuse every species of human misery. And now where is it? Where shall we look for it? “A wide and capable destruction hath swallowed it up.” In this awful event we rather admire in humility the dispensations of Providence, than exult with pride over the fall of a haughty foe; it is hardly to be viewed as an occurrence between man and man, or between nation and nation; but as a divine judgment upon the earth.’

141 To give an idea of the state of tension at which men’s minds then were held, I may be pardoned if I give the following extract25: ‘He [Professor Sedgwick] gave a curious account of Commemoration Day, on December 16, 1812. He was then a Fellow, and, on that day, not feeling well, had not been drinking his port wine so freely in the Combination Room, as it was, in those days, the custom of the Fellows to do. A man, he said, who did not then drink pretty hard, was considered a milksop. Leaving the other Fellows over their wine, he went to the gate, where the porter gave him a Newspaper, on opening which, he found the official announcement by Napoleon of the destruction of his grand army (sic). With this news he returned to the Combination Room, and there read the tidings, to the intense joy and excitement of all present. Old and young, he said, wept like children.’26

The Russians estimated the French losses by capture from their first invasion of Russia to December 26, 1812, at 41 generals, 1,298 inferior officers, 167,510 non-commissioned officers and privates, and 1,131 pieces of cannon.

Buturlin estimated the total loss sustained by the French in the Russian campaign at ‘Slain in battle, one hundred and twenty-five thousand; died from fatigue, hunger, and cold, one hundred and thirty-two thousand; prisoners (comprehending forty-eight generals, three thousand officers, and upwards of one hundred and ninety thousand men), one hundred and ninety-three thousand; total, four hundred and fifty thousand,’ and this takes no count of the thousands of non-combatants who perished.

The destruction of his army, his crushing defeat, and Mallet’s conspiracy, all determined Napoleon to return to France, and he reached Paris about half-past eleven at142 night on December 18. How different from his hitherto triumphal entries! Maria Louisa had retired to rest, and was woke by the cries of her attendants, who were frightened at the sight of a man muffled up in furs, not knowing he was their august master. And thus he slunk home!

In June 1813 was published ‘Naps glorious return or the conclusion of the Russian Campaign.

A few Usurpers to the Shades descend.
By a dry death, or with a quiet end.’

In this plate we see Maria Louisa preparing to go to bed, Madame Letitia, Napoleon’s mother, pulling off her stockings. The old lady cries out, ‘Ah, de Ghost!! de Ghost of mon Nap.’ The Empress is frightened, and exclaims, ‘Jesu Maria, what is this so woe begone? It cannot be my husband, he promised to return in triumph, it must be his Ghost.’ Even his little boy, the King of Rome, doubts his identity. He is getting ready for bed, and already has his nightcap on, but he runs away in fright, crying, ‘That ain’t my Papa!! he said he would bring me some Russians to cut up. I think they have cut him up.’ Whilst Bonaparte, who enters in a most dilapidated condition, with his toes coming through his boots, his sword and scabbard broken, and his face besmeared with dirt, calls out dolefully, ‘Me voici! your poor Nap escape from de Cossack—by gar, I jump out of de window for my life, and I now jump into bed vid my wife.’ The ladies-in-waiting have fainted, and one, having left the warming-pan in the bed, has set it on fire, and it is burning brightly.

On January 1, 1813, was published another caricature of the retreat from Moscow: 143‘Boney returning from Russia covered with Glory, leaving his Army in Comfortable Winter Quarters.

Nap and Joe, from France would go
To fill the world with slaughter,
Joe fell down, and broke his crown,
And Nap came tumbling after.’

Napoleon, with one of his generals, is in full retreat, in a sledge, leaving his army pursued by the Russians, and the ground strewn with dead men and horses. The general asks, ‘Will your Majesty write the Bulletin?’ ‘No,’ answers Napoleon, ‘you write it! tell them we have left the Army all well, quite gay, in excellent Quarters, plenty of provisions—that we travelled in great Style—received everywhere with congratulations, and that I have almost compleated the repose of Europe.’

George Cruikshank (February 22, 1813) produced, after a picture by David, a most laughable caricature, called ‘The Hero’s Return.

Dishonest, with lopp’d arms, the man appears,
Spoil’d of his nose, and shorten’d of his ears.
She scarcely knew him, striving to disown
His blotted form, and blushing to be known.’
Dryden’s Virgil, Book 6.

Poor Napoleon, in very evil case, sans nose, ears, fingers, and toes, is borne in, supported by two Mamelukes, and riding on the back of another, who is on all fours. The Empress is tearing her hair, and weeping violently, whilst a maid-of-honour is holding a smelling-bottle to her nose. Another lady-in-waiting has seized the King of Rome, who is yelling with fright at the sight his father presents. His very dog barks at him, and universal consternation prevails. The Oriental on the floor holds a glass bottle containing Napoleon’s nose; whilst three others in the rear bear respectively bottles which hold the Emperor’s fingers, toes and ears.

144 After the return of Napoleon from Moscow, the following jeu d’esprit was published:—

When Emperor Nap to France returned,
He much admired his boy;
The nurse, whose anxious bosom burned
T’ increase the father’s joy.
‘How much he talks! how much he’s grown!’
Would every moment cry;
‘Besides he has learnt to run alone.’
Says Boney, ‘So have I.’

Here is another:—

Napoleon a Runaway from his Army.

‘A new Achilles, I,’ spake Gaul’s stern chief,
Nor spake a lie—albeit he were a thief;
For, like Achilles, to the untimely grave
Hosts he had hurled, the bravest of the brave;
Insate of wrath, stiffnecked, implacable,
Wrecker of towns; and fleet of foot as well;
So like was he in much; yet not in all;—
The heel, that slew the Greek, has saved the Gaul.

Napoleon was not the man to sit still under defeat, and, very shortly after his return, he set himself to repair losses. These were heavy; there was an entirely new artillery to be provided, remounts for his cavalry, and, what was of the greatest importance, a new army to be made. This he got by anticipating the conscription of 1814, and the patriotism of his people helped him largely with the remainder. The caricaturist has sharp eyes, and he produced ‘Bonaparte reviewing his Conscripts,’ which is an anonymous picture, dated February 23, 1813, and represents the Emperor, who is mounted on a jackass, and who has a very motley following, reviewing his Dutch light horse, who are mounted on frogs, every man with a keg of Hollands under his arm.

145 There is a very comical picture of ‘Bonaparte addressing the Legislative Body’ after his return from Russia (designed December 1, 1812, published February 24, 1813). Here the discomfited Emperor is in very sorry plight: his coat is in tatters, his breeches cover only a very small portion of his legs, his toes are well out of his boots, and he in vain tries, with his handkerchief, to stop the tears which flow so copiously, as he says, ‘I myself entered Russia. The Russian Armies could not stand before our armies. The French Arms were constantly victorious—A swarm of Tartars turned their parricidal hands against the finest provinces of that vast Empire which they had been called upon to defend—But the excessive and premature rigour of the winter brought down a heavy calamity upon my army—In a few nights I saw everything change.—The misfortunes produced by rigour of hoar frosts, have been made apparent in all their extent—I experienced great losses—they would have broken my heart, if under such circumstances, I could have been accessible to any other sentiments than those of the interest—the glory—and the future prosperity of my people—I have signed with the Pope, a Concordat, which terminates all the differences that unfortunately had arisen in the Church—The French Dynasty reigns—and will reign in Spain—I am satisfied with all my allies—I will abandon none of them—The Russians shall return into their frightful climate.’

On March 6, 1813, appeared ‘The Wags of Paris or Downfall of Nap the Great. “But the circumstance said to have annoyed the Emperor most, was, some Wags of Paris taking of Dogs, and for sev’ral nights together, tied Tin Kettles to their tails, and labels round their necks, with the words ‘Run away from Moscow,’ & giving them liberty, they ran with velocity, and fury, in various directions, to the great Entertainment of the Parisians.” Courier146 1 Mar. 1813.’ One of these dogs has got between Napoleon’s legs, and is throwing him down, while he calls out, ‘Sacré Dieu!! Plot Anglais!! Not a Dog in Paris but shall feel my Vengeance!! Shoot! hang them all! Not the Empress’s Favorite shall escape. D—d John Bull—d—d Russian bears, not content with hunting Me from the frightful climate, but sends Mad Dogs to Hunt Me in my own Capital!!!’ The Governor of Paris replies, ‘Sire, be pacified. All the Dogs in Paris shall be tried by a Military Commission for a Conspiracy against your Sacred Majesty. All John Bull’s bull dogs shall be destroyed! Pomeranian Danish Mastiffs & all but your Majesty’s own breed of Blood hounds.’

‘Anticipation for Boney—or, a Court Martial on the Cowardly Deserter from the Grand Army,’ by G. Cruikshank (March 6, 1813), is an imaginary scene of what might happen, did the Emperor meet with his deserts. The Parisian mob have the upper hand, and a cobbler has been proclaimed Emperor in his stead. Before this awful being, Boney is dragged by a ferocious butcher, who, with an enormous axe in one hand, holds in the other the halter which encircles the neck of poor trembling Boney, who is on his knees, with upraised, supplicating hands. The sans-culotte Emperor Crispin is seated in a chair, on a haut pas; a cap of liberty, on a pole, behind him. In one hand he holds a hammer, and one foot rests on a lapstone. Pointing to the wretched culprit, he says, ‘Well! you are found guilty of cowardly deserting from the grand army, and, by repairing here with your cobbling defence, you have done a d—d bad job for yourself, and, as your time waxes near its end, I would have you prepare your Sole for your Last. So off with his head, Mr. Butcher.’ The butcher looks unutterable things at Boney, saying, ‘Ah, D—n you we’ll cut off your head, and your Tail too!’ The poor craven147 wretch, with streaming eyes, and upstanding hair, pitifully supplicates that at all events his head should be spared. But the yelling mob cry out, ‘Off with his head.’ ‘Aye, Aye, he has butchered Millions.’ And the women and children scream, ‘Where’s my husband, wretch?’ ‘Where’s my Father?’ ‘Where’s my Daddy?’ &c.

Drilling went on, a necessary step to the formation of a new army, and the French temperament is well shown in a caricature, published in April 1813, of ‘Nap reviewing the Grand Army, or the Conquest of Russia anticipated,’ in which, during the march past, he points to his soldiers with his sword, and says to two of his generals, ‘With this Army will I crush those Russian Scourges, and make all Nations tremble at my wrath.’ One general, in his enthusiasm, exclaims, ‘Parbleu! vid dis Armée ve vil conquer de Heaven!!!’ The other, evidently an Anglophobe, says, ‘And de Hell too, dat we may send dere de dam Anglais.’

In April Napoleon judged that his army was in a fit state to take the field, and the caricaturist’s idea of a council of war is humorously told in the picture of ‘Boney and the Gay lads of Paris calculating for the next Triumphal entry into Moscow.’ This broadside, which made its appearance in April 1813, represents Bonaparte and his generals in council. The latter are in different stages of dilapidation, some having lost their noses, others with their feet bound up, and all more or less suffering from frost-bite. One, pointing to a map, says, ‘By Gar, Sire, we had better go to Petersburgh at once.’ Napoleon replies, ‘Aye, and then we can march to Siberia, and release the Exiles, who will gladly join us, and abjure their tyrant.’ Two generals, in conversation together, do not seem to relish the plan. One remarks, 148‘Sacre Dieu, I no like de Russia Campaign. I lose my nose, my fingers, and toes, in de last.’ And the other replies, ‘Eh bien, den now we lose all our odds and ends.’ The letterpress is as follows:—


Master Boney was fain, after fighting with Spain,
And loseing some thousands of men;
To make an attack on the Russian Cossack,
With Nations to assist him full Ten.
He began with a boast, that he’d scower their Coast,
And drive them all into the Sea;
He continued his blow, till he got to Moscow,
His designed Winter quarters to be.
But when he got there, Lord how he did stare
To see the whole place in a flame,
Not a house for his head, not a rug for his bed,
Neither plunder, nor victuals, nor fame. ·
So he sent every Scout, who ran in and out,
But brought neither forage, nor food;
For that d—d Wittgenstein, so compleat hem’d him in,
That they dared not to venture a rood.
Now the fire having ceas’d, and the frost much encreas’d,
No cov’ring, no clothes to protect ’em;
Boney thought to be packing, Kutusoff began hacking,
And the Cossacks did fairly dissect ’em.
Says this Corsican wight, Why let my Friends fight,
As for me, the old Proverb I’ll follow,
He that fights and then runs, may, in spite of their guns,
Live! and some future day beat them hollow.
But take care, Master Nap, you meet with no trap,
To poke either leg or your head in;
Loss of legs stops your flight, lose your head, why the sight
Will be welcome at Miss Platoff’s27 wedding.
In a sledge it is said, this King was convey’d,
Like a criminal back into France;
But his Army and Friends, to make them amends,
He gave them a precious cold dance.
The frost kill’d one half, the rest Kutusoff
Kill’d, or prisoners made in their flight;
Thus the Russians did beat Nap and Friends so compleat,
That no Armies e’er suffered such plight.
Now this madman, ’tis said, has ta’en in his head
To attempt at another Campaign,
With but half of his friends, yet still he intends
To venture to Moscow again.
But if Nap, and Ten more, were beaten before,
By raw Russian troops single handed;
With what chance can he hope against Russia to cope,
When their force with Allies is extended?
No, No, Master Nap, you’ll not feather your cap
Any more, for your race is near run;
And your murderous heart, is destined, Bonaparte,
To suffer for crimes it has done.
Then ye Nations whose voice through fear, not from choice,
To this tyrant its homage has paid,
Join the brave Russian throng, that your miseries ere long
May with Nap in Oblivion be laid.



An armistice was signed between the allies and Napoleon on June 4, 1813, to last till July 20: six days’ notice to be given of the recommencement of hostilities. But Wellington seems to have disregarded it; for, on June 21, he defeated the French army commanded by Joseph Bonaparte, who had Marshal Jourdan under him, at Vittoria; completely routing them, and taking 151 pieces of cannon, 415 ammunition waggons, all their baggage, besides many prisoners.

Needless to say, the caricaturist did not omit his opportunity. ‘Mad Nap breaking the Armistice’ (June 1813) is said to be taken ‘from the original Picture at Dresden.’28 Two messengers bring him their reports. One is ‘English near Bayonne, Rising in South of France, 200,000 men joined the Bourbon Standard, Revolt at Toulon, Discontent at Paris, All Spain evacuated, and more losses.’ The other messenger tells the furious Emperor: ‘Diable! Your Grand Army in Spain is totally routed, 180 Cannon, 400 Ammunition Waggons, All the Baggage! 9000 head of Cattle, Military Chest full of money taken. Your brother, King Joey, gallop’d away on horseback, Devil knows where! M. Jourdain has lost his wig and stick! and the151 Enemy pursuing in all directions.’ Bonaparte is in a towering rage, brandishing a poker, and kicking the last messenger, to whom he roars out: ‘Away, base slaves. Fresh Torments! Vile Cowards! Poltroon Joe! Traitor Jourdain! Cursed Anglais! I’ll make Heaven and Earth tremble for this! but ’tis lies! base lies! Give me my horse, I’ll mount, and away to Spain! England! Wellington! and Hell! to drive Lucifer from his Infernal Throne for Treachery to Me!!’ A frightened general standing by exclaims: ‘My Poor Master! is it come to this? I must whip on this Strait Jacket, or he’ll break all our bones, as well as the Armistice.’

As a corollary to this, although it does not belong to Napoleon proper, I cannot abstain from noticing a picture published July 9, 1813, of ‘Jourdan and King Joe or Off they go—a Peep at the French Commanders at the battle of Vittoria.’ The British troops have routed the French, who fly in all directions; King Joseph and Marshal Jourdan, in the foreground, are doing the same. Says the king: ‘Parbleu Monsr Marshal, we must run! a pretty piece of business we have made of it. If my Brother Nap sends for me to the Congress, the Devil a clean shirt have they left me! Could you not try your hand at a Convention again, my dear Jourdan! as our friend Junot did in Portugal?’

But Jourdan replies: ‘Convention! No, ma foi! there is no tricking ce Lord Wellington, we have nothing to trust to but our heels, but I dont think they will save us, you need not be uneasy about a clean shirt for the Congress, Monsr Joe. Allons donc, run like de Devil! run like your Brother Nap from Russia.’

George Cruikshank drew (July 8, 1813) a very humorous picture of 152‘Boney receiving an account of the Battle of Vittoria—or—the Little Emperor in a great Passion!’ A ragged postilion, mounted on the back of a kneeling soldier, holds up a long roll: ‘King Joseph has been defeated by Wellington with the loss of 151 pieces of Cannon, 415 Ammunition Waggons, Bag and Baggage, Provisions, &c., &c., &c. The French have one very fine little Howitzer left. One Quarter of the Army is killed, the other wounded, the third Quarter taken prisoners, and the English are playing the Devil with the rest.’

Napoleon, before his throne, is stamping, tearing his hair, and flourishing his sword, to the undisguised terror of his Mameluke Roustem; he roars out: ‘Oh!—!—!—!—!—!—!—! oh! Hell and the Devil! Death and D—na—on!!! that cursed fiend John Bull will drive me mad! Villains! Villains! ’tis all a lie, ’tis false as Hell, I say!! away with the —— scroll—it sears my very eyeballs!!! I’ll cut it in Ten Thousand pieces—I’ll kick ye to the Devil—away with it!!!’ Russia, Prussia, and Austria are spectators. Russia suggests: ‘Now is the time!’ In this Prussia cordially agrees, and says to Austria: ‘Now or never, will you not join us?’

Only a portion is given of G. Cruikshank’s ‘A Scene after the Battle of Vittoria, or More Trophies for Whitehall!!!’ (July 10, 1813). The Duke of Wellington, on horseback, is receiving the captured colours, &c., which his officers lay at his feet. He is evidently satisfied with the result, for he exclaims: ‘Why! here’s enough for three Nights Illumination!’ A general replies: ‘Three times three, my lord.’ One presents him with a bâton: ‘Here’s Marshal Jourdan’s Rolling pin’; and another, bringing in a captured standard, points to the group which forms our illustration, saying: ‘And here comes their last Cannon!!’

The following caricature will do for any time during the year:—‘John Bull teazed by an Earwig’ bears only the date of 1813, and is by an unknown artist. The old153 boy is at his frugal meal of bread, cheese, and beer, and has been reading the ‘True Briton,’ when he is interrupted by little Boney, who, perched on his shoulder, pricks his cheek with a Lilliputian sword. John Bull turns round half angrily, and says: ‘I tell you what, you Vermin! if you won’t let me eat my bread and cheese in peace, and comfort, I’ll blow you away, depend upon it.’ To which the insect replies: ‘I will have the cheese, you Brute you—I have a great mind to annihilate you, you great, over grown, Monster!!!’


In October 1813 came out an etching of ‘Tom Thumb and the Giant, or a forced March to Franckfort. Kings are his Centinels, vide Sheridan’s speech. A letter from Stralsund states that Buonaparte, on his journey to Paris, sent a Courier to the King of Wi——g29 with orders for him to proceed to Franckfort on the Maine, and the latter would meet him there accordingly.’ Tom Thumb, Napoleon, on horseback, prods on the King with his sword, telling him at the same time: 154‘On, Sir, to Franckfort, and there await my coming.’ The poor fat King, with perspiring brows, piteously exclaims: ‘Well, I am going as fast as I can—— Pretty work this for a Man of my Importance!! Was it for this you put a Crown upon my head!’

Napoleon’s power was rapidly drawing to an end, and the crushing defeat he received at Leipsic on October 16, 17, 18, 19, gave it its death-blow. The news was promulgated throughout England by a ‘London Gazette Extraordinary’ of November 3. The ‘Times’ of the same date had hinted of reverses sustained by Napoleon, and on November 4 broke into jubilation thus: ‘“Justice demands the sacrifice of the Tyrant,”30 such was the sentiment which concluded our last article,—a sentiment not dictated by any feeling of transient growth, but adopted after long and serious reflection on what is due to the moral interests, which are the best and surest interests of nations. The French people will now determine between the sacrifice of their Tyrant, and sacrifices of a very different description, sacrifices of their lives, their children, their treasure, their honour.

‘We had already communicated to our readers the private information which we had received, stating that he had sustained “dreadful reverses” in a “series of actions,” which had caused him “not only a great diminution in the numbers of his men, but also a serious loss of artillery”; and that he had himself “escaped with the utmost difficulty to a place of comparative, and but comparative, safety.” Such were the accounts which we believed “would be found to contain a very moderate statement of the Tyrant’s losses”; but we own our most sanguine hopes have been exceeded by the Official Statements received yesterday by155 Government, and made public; first, in a brief form, by a letter from Lord Castlereagh to the Lord Mayor, and a Bulletin from the Foreign Office; and, afterwards, in most gratifying detail, by an Extraordinary Gazette.’

The ‘Morning Post’ of the same date heads the intelligence as ‘The most Glorious and Important News ever received;’ and the Prince Regent, who opened Parliament on November 4, alluded to it in his speech in these terms: ‘The annals of Europe afford no examples of victories more splendid, and decisive, than those which have been recently achieved in Saxony.’ London was brilliantly illuminated, and joy reigned throughout the kingdom.

One of the first caricatures on the subject is the ‘Execution of two celebrated Enemies of Old England, and their Dying Speeches, 5 Nov. 1813,’ which was by Rowlandson (published November 27, 1813), and is stated to be a representation of a ‘Bonfire at Thorpe Hall near Louth, Lincolnshire, on 5 Nov. 1813, given by the Rev. W. C. to the boys belonging to the Seminary at Louth, in consequence of the arrival of news of the Decisive Defeat of Napoleon Buonaparte, by the Allies, at 11 o’clock on ye 4th, & Louth Bells ringing all night.’

Guy Faux, who is got up like one of the old watchmen, is swinging on one gallows, and Napoleon, in traditional costume, on another, with a roaring bonfire under him. Men, women, and boys are rejoicing around. ‘Guy Faux’s Dying Speech. I, Guy Faux, meditating my Country’s ruin, by the clandestine, and diabolical, means of the Gunpowder plot, was most fortunately discovered, and brought to condign punishment, by Old England, and here I bewail my fate.’ ‘Napoleon Buonaparte’s Dying Speech. I, Napoleon Buonaparte, flattered by all the French Nation that I was invincible, have most cruelly, and most childishly, attempted the subjugation of the world. I have lost my156 fleets, I have lost the largest, and the finest, armies ever heard of, and I am now become the indignation of the world, and the scorn, and sport, of boys. Had I not spurned the firm wisdom of the Right Hon. Wm Pitt, I might have secured an honourable Peace, I might have governed the greatest Nation; but, alas, my ambition has deceived me, and Pitt’s plans have ruined me.’

Rowlandson drew a ‘Copy of the Transparency exhibited at Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, During the Illuminations of the 5th and 6th of November 1813, in honour of the splendid victories obtained by the Allies over the Armies of France, at Leipsig and its Environs.


‘The Two Kings of Terror.

‘This Subject, representing the two Tyrants, viz. the Tyrant Bonaparte, and the Tyrant Death, sitting together on the Field of Battle, in a manner which promises a more perfect intimacy immediately to ensue, is very entertaining. It is also very instructing to observe, that the former is now placed in a situation, in which all Europe may see through him. The emblem, too, of the circle of light from mere vapour, which is so soon extinguished, has a good moral effect; and as the Gas represents the dying flame, so does the Drum, on which he is seated, typify the hollow, and noisy nature of the falling Usurper.

‘The above description of the subject, appeared in the Sun of Saturday, the 6th of November. These pointed comments arose from the picture being transparent, and from a circle, indicative of the strength, and brotherly union, of the Allies, which surmounted the same, composed of gas31 of brilliant brightness.’

‘Cossack Sports—or the Platoff Hunt in full cry after French Game’ (November 9, 1813), shows Leipsic in the background, and the river Elster, into which the Cossacks, plunge, in full cry, after the ‘Corsican Fox.’ The Hetman, Platoff, cries, ‘Hark forward! my boys, get along! he runs in view—Yoics, Yoics—There he goes—Tally ho!’ His daughter, about whom the story is told (see footnote p. 148), is in mid stream, lashing her horse, and calling out, ‘Hi! ho! Tally ho! For a husband!’ An army of French frogs in vain attempt to stop the Cossacks—they are routed, and fleeing.

A very cleverly drawn caricature is ‘Caterers—Boney Dished—a Bonne Bouche for Europe’ (November 10, 1813), and it gives us the sovereigns of Europe seated around a table, on which is a large dish, in the centre of which poses Napoleon, surrounded with a garnish of his marshals, seated, and with their hands tied behind them. The different sovereigns express their opinions upon the dish. Thus Russia says, ‘I think Brother of Austria, this dish will be relish’d by all Europe.’ ‘And I think Brother of Russia they will admire the garnish!’ ‘Pray let Wurtemburg join in that dish.’ ‘And Bavaria, if you please.’ Holland thinks that ‘Donder and Blikins, dat dish will please mein Vrow.’ Poland says, ‘It is rather too highly seasoned for my taste, but French.’ The Switzer opines that ‘William Tell never invented a better dish, I hope we shall have a taste of it!’ Italy swears ‘By the God of Love! that is better dish den Maccaroni.’ With tears streaming down his face, a poor monarch prays, ‘Oh dear! oh dear! I hope they won’t Dish the poor old King of Saxony.’ Prussia remarks to England, ‘We must reduce the quantity of irritating articles, before we can produce it as a finished dish—What say you Steward of the Feast?’ who replies, 158‘I agree with your Highness, John Bull prefers moderation.’

On November 10, 1813, was published ‘The Daw Stript of his Borrow’d Plumes, vide Gay’s Fables of the Daw and the other Birds,’ which shows the different birds despoiling the poor Daw, Napoleon. The double-headed eagle, Russia, with one beak strips him of his Legion of Honour, the other head takes off his crown. Austria, Prussia, and Sweden are rapidly denuding him of his borrowed plumes; whilst Spain, Poland, and Bohemia are hovering around. The background is taken up with a Cossack spitting runaway Frenchmen on his lance.


Rowlandson gives us (November 25, 1813) ‘A Long pull, a Strong pull, and a pull altogether.’ Here we see the allies’ ships riding freely on the ocean, the sun of tyranny setting, and the allies giving all their strength in helping to float the Texel fleet, which the Dutch are assisting them to launch. Napoleon and his brother Joseph are in the background, the former dancing with rage, and crying out, ‘Oh Brother Joe—I’m all Fire. My Passion eats me up. Such unlooked for storms of ill fall on me. It beats down all my cunning, I cannot bear it. My ears are filled with noise, my eyes grow dim, and feeble shakings seize every Limb.’ Joseph, whose crown has dropped off, says, 159‘Oh Brother Nap, brother Nap, we shan’t be left with half a crown apiece!’


‘The Corsican toad under a harrow’ (Rowlandson,160 November 27, 1813) also alludes to the defection of Holland, the agonised Emperor calling out, ‘Oh, this heavy Dutchman! O’ had I enough to bear before!!!’


Rowlandson gives us (November 29, 1813) ‘Dutch Nightmare, or the Fraternal Hug, returned with a Dutch Squeeze,’ which represents Napoleon lying on a state bed, suffering the tortures of nightmare, his incubus being a very heavy Dutchman, who sits upon his breast calling out, ‘Orange Boven,’ and puffing his smoke right into the face of his victim.

Mr. Grego credits Rowlandson with the ‘Head Runner of Runners from Leipsic Fair’ (March 2, 1814), but both the design and drawing manifestly show that it is not by him. On the contrary, its internal evidence clearly shows it to be a German engraving, and much earlier in date, the town in the background being labelled Maynz. Napoleon is here represented as a running courier, and the speed at which he is going is shown by his being able to keep pace with a hare. The top of his staff is Charlemagne—or, as in the etching, Carolus Magnus. In his161 rapid flight he is losing from his wallet all the things entrusted to him—Italy, Holland, Switzerland, the Rheinbund, &c.


His flight from Leipsic was well caricatured, and one episode, the premature blowing up of the bridge over the Elster, came in for severe comment. Colonel Montfort had orders to blow up the bridge, which was mined, as soon as the last of the troops had passed over. He, however, entrusted this duty to a corporal and four miners. The corporal, hearing shouting and cannonading, thought the allies were in possession of the city and pursuing the French forces. He therefore fired the bridge, which blew up, cutting off the retreat of four corps d’armée, and more than 200 cannon. Of course, the men so circumstanced had no option but to yield themselves as prisoners, after many had been driven into the river and drowned.


At Dresden still our hero staid,
Because to budge he was afraid,
And when he did, it was to meet
At Leipsic, a severe defeat:
The bridge here, as the story goes,
Nap wished to blow up with his foes;
This to a col’nel he imparted,
Who was, perhaps, too tender hearted.
For to a captain, (so we’ve heard)
The Colonel the task transferred,
And he a corporal employ’d,
By whom the bridge should be destroy’d;
But scarce had Nap the bridge passed thro’,
When, helter skelter, up it flew!
It seems the truth cannot be traced;
Either the corp’ral was in haste,
Or by some means, ’tis suspected,
’Twas just as Boney had directed;
For the Explosion soon confounded
His waggon loads of sick and wounded:
And by these means, as oft he did,
He got of them immediate rid.

‘Bonaparte’s Bridge, to the Tune of This is the House that Jack built’ (December 1, 1813), supposed to be drawn by la Nourrice du Roi de Rome, is in eight compartments, which are thus described:—


This is the bridge that was blown into air.
These are the Miners who had the care
Of mining the Bridge that was blown into air.
This is the Corporal stout and strong,
Who fired the Mine with his match so long,
Which was made by the Miners, &c.
This is the Colonel of Infantry,
Who ordered the Corporal stout and strong
To fire the Mine, &c.
This is the Marshall of high degree
Who whispered the Colonel of Infantry
To order the Corporal, &c.
This is the Emperor who scampered away,
And left the Marshall of high degree
To whisper the Colonel, &c.
These be the thousands who cursed the day,
Which made him an Emperor, who scampered away, &c.
These are the Monarchs so gen’rous and brave,
Who conquer’d the Tyrant, and Liberty gave,
To thousands & thousands who cursed the day, &c.



‘Grasp all Lose all—Atlas enraged—or the punishment of unqualified ambition’ is the title of a picture (December 1, 1813) which represents Atlas, who is kneeling down, preparing to drop the whole world on Napoleon. The latter, who has been touching those parts of the earth which are in his possession, and boasting, ‘France be mine! Holland be mine! Italy be mine! Spain and Poland be mine! Russ, Prussia, Turky, de whole world vil be mine!!!!’ staggers back, exclaiming, ‘Mons. Atlas, hold up, dont let it fall on me.’ Atlas, whose look is fearful, says, ‘When the Friends of Freedom, and Peace, have stopped your shaking it on my shoulders, and got their own again, I’ll bear it. Till then you may carry it yourself, Master Boney.’ Russia and Prussia are rushing away in fright. Says one, ‘By Gar ’tis true, ’tis fall on you Head! votre Serviteur! we no stop to be crush vid you.’

This very clever caricature portrait of Napoleon was published by Ackermann, 101 Strand, on December 1, 1813. It is in the form of a broadside, and contains the following letterpress:—


NAPOLEON the First and Last, by the wrath of Heaven Emperor of the Jacobins, Protector of the Confederation of Rogues, Mediator of the Hellish League, Grand Cross of the Legion of Horror, Commander in Chief of the Legions of Skeletons left at165 Moscow, Smolensk, Leipzig, &c. Head Runner of Runaways, Mock High-Priest of the Sanhedrim, Mock Prophet of Mussulmen, Mock Pillar of the Christian Faith, Inventor of the Syrian Method of disposing of his own sick by sleeping Draughts, or of captured enemies by the Bayonet; First Grave Digger for burying alive; Chief Gaoler of the Holy Father and of the King of Spain, Destroyer of Crowns, and Manufacturer of Counts, Dukes, Princes, and Kings; Chief Douanier of the Continental System, Head Butcher of the Parisian, and Toulouese, Massacres, Murderer of Hofer, Palm, Wright, nay of his own Prince, the noble and virtuous Duke of Enghien, and of a thousand others; Kidnapper of Ambassadors, High Admiral of the Invasion Praams, Cup Bearer of the Jaffa Poison, Arch Chancellor of Waste paper Treaties, Arch Treasurer of the Plunder of the World, the sanguinary166 Coxcomb, Assassin, and Incendiary ... to MAKE PEACE WITH!!!

This Hieroglyphic Portrait of the Destroyer is faithfully copied from a German Print, with the Parody of his assumed Titles. The Hat of the Destroyer represents a discomfited French Eagle, maimed and crouching, after his Conflict with the Eagles of the North. His visage is composed of the Carcases of the Victims of his Folly and Ambition, who perished on the plains of Russia and Saxony. His throat is encircled with the Red Sea, in allusion to his Drowned Hosts. His Epaulette is a Hand, leading the Rhenish Confederation, under the flimsy Symbol of a Cobweb. The Spider is an Emblem of the Vigilance of the Allies, who have inflicted on that Hand a deadly Sting!

‘The Corsican Munchausen humming32 the Lads of Paris’ (Rowlandson, December 4, 1813) shews Napoleon and his son on a stage, upon which is a throne, tottering, and an overthrown globe. The King of Rome is dressed in counterpart of his father, with long trailing sword, and using a stick as a cockhorse. Napoleon is vapouring to the assembled audience: 167‘Did I not swear I would destroy Austria? Did I not swear I would destroy Prussia? Did I not leave the Russians 1200 pieces of cannon to build a monument of the victory of Moscow? Did I not lead 498,000 men to gather fresh laurels in Russia. Did I not burn Moscow and leave 400,000 brave soldiers to perish in the snow for the good of the French Nation? Did I not swear I would destroy Sweden? Did I not swear I would have Colonies and Commerce? Did I not build more ships than you could find sailors for? Did I not burn all the British Produce bought, and paid for, by my faithful merchants, before their faces, for the good of them, and my good people of Paris? Have I not called my troops from Holland, that they might not winter in that foggy Climate? Have I not called my troops from Spain, and Portugal, to the ruin of the English? Did I not change my religion, and turn Turk, for the good of the French Nation? Have I not blown up the Corporal for blowing up the Bridge? Have I not robbed the Churches of twenty flags to send to my Empress, for the loss of my own flags and Eagles? And now, for the good of my Empire, Behold! O ye Lads of Paris! I have put the King of Rome in breeches.’

Rowlandson gives us ‘Funcking33 the Corsican’ (December 6, 1813). A representation of all the crowned heads of Europe, each of whom is smoking a pipe very vigorously, uniting in tormenting Bonaparte with their tobacco smoke. The little Corsican, who is on the top of a cask of ‘Real Hollands Geneva,’ is dancing with rage, and yells out: ‘Oh you base Traitors and Deserters, Eleven Hundred Thousand Lads of Paris shall roast every one of you as soon as they can catch you!’ In his excitement he has split the head of the cask, and there seems every probability of his disappearing. ‘The fly that sips, is lost in the sweet.’

‘The Mock Phœnix!!! or a vain attempt to rise again’ is by Rowlandson (December 10, 1813). Napoleon is in a furnace, which is being diligently stoked and blown by Russia and Holland. Serpents come from the mouth of the furnace, and the soots, the products of combustion, take the form of fiends—Napoleon is partially consumed, and his crown is in a blaze.

‘Friends or Foes—Up he goes—Sending the Corsican Munchausen to St. Clouds’ is by Rowlandson (December 12, 1813), and shows the whole of the sovereigns of Europe combining to toss Napoleon in a blanket.

A most amusing caricature by Rowlandson (December 14, 1813) is 168‘Political Chemists and German Retorts, or dissolving the Rhenish confederacy.’ John Bull naturally finds coal for a ‘German Stove,’ the fire in which a Dutchman blows with a pair of bellows. All the sovereigns of Europe stand round, enjoying Boney’s discomfiture. The Emperor, who is vainly appealing to them, ‘Oh spare me till the King of Rome is ripe for mischief yet to come,’ is being put into a glass receiver, and is about to be covered up. Bernadotte is pouring in a bottle of sulphate of Swedish iron, and the Pope is hurrying forward with two bottles, one of fulminating powder, the other a vial of wrath. The products being distilled from him are Intrigue and Villainy, Ambition and Folly, Gasconade and Lies, Fire and Sword, Arrogance and Atrocity, Murder and Plunder. A Spaniard is pounding at a mortar inscribed ‘Saragossa.’

In ‘Town Talk’ (December 1, 1813) is published ‘Gasconading—alias the Runaway Emperor Humbugging the Senate.

Some are Short and some are Tall,
But it’s very well known that he hums them all,
And then sings fal de ral tit.’

Napoleon crowned, and en grande tenue, stands before the throne, pointing to some trophies borne by soldiers, and thus addresses the Senate: 169‘Senators! the glorious success of our Arms has forced me to give way to the impulse of quitting the field of honour, that I might have the satisfaction of presenting to my faithful Senate the glorious trophies of our Victories. Senators! your restless, envious enemies shall be humbled to the dust; your Emperor wills it so; this Arrogant Confederacy shall be punished for their temerity, and our brave Soldiers shall repose in peace. Senators! for this purpose I shall require the small sum of 250,000,000, a sum the flourishing state of our finance will easily produce, and, to replace the vacancy made in my Army, 500,000 (men) from the conscription of 4 years to come will be all that I demand. Frenchmen, the Will of your Emperor, and the glory of the great Nation, requires it.’ The Devil, peeping round from behind the throne, applauds: ‘That’s right my Boy. Humbug them out of another conscription to send me, before you come yourself.’

One Senator, as spokesman, thus addresses Napoleon: ‘Great Emperor of the Great Nation, the Senate devotes the lives and property of the People to your service.’ But this does not appear to be the universal consensus of opinion; for one grumbles, ‘C’est dire un peu trop, cela!’ Another asks: ‘What has he done with the last Grand Army, that he wants so many again?’ and one replies: ‘They are gone to see how their friends in Russia do.’ Another doubts the authenticity of the trophies: ‘Why! these trophies belong to our Allies, c’est drôle cela!’

On December 12, 1813, George Cruikshank published ‘Bleeding and Warm Water! or the Allied Doctors bringing Boney to his Senses.’ Here poor Boney is in very evil case. With shaven head, and in an ‘Allied strait waistcoat’ (one sleeve of which is held by Russia, the other by Poland), he is seated on the stool of Repentance in a tub of hot water, consisting of a ‘sea of troubles,’ which is warmed by the flames of Moscow. He is surrounded by all the European sovereigns as doctors, each of whom prescribes his own remedy. Russia gives, as his opinion: ‘I have found a constant application of this Russian Knout to work wonders!!’ John Bull is giving him a fearful bolus, ‘Invasion of France,’ saying at the same time, ‘Work away my Masters, I’ll pay you your fees. Ay, ay, rave and rant, Master Boney, but the Devil will Bone you at last.’ Holland is trying ‘what Dutch drops will do,’ by emptying out of a huge cannon a legion of170 armed Dutchmen on his shaven head. Poland bleeds him by stabbing his arm with a lance, and Prussia catches the blood in a ‘Crown bowl,’ congratulating himself, ‘I think my Crown Razors have shaved his Crown pretty close.’ Spain is applying a plaster to his back: ‘Here is a Plaster of Spanish flies for him.’ Poor Boney, one of whose legs is in the hot water, resists this treatment as far as possible, and yells out, ‘Hence with your Medicines—they but drive me Mad. Curse on your Dutch Drops, your Leipsig Blister, and your Spanish flies; they have fretted me to what I am. D—n your Cossack Lancets, they have drained my veins, and rendered me poor and vulnerable indeed—Oh! how I am fallen—But I will still struggle—I will still be great—Myriads of Frenchmen still shall uphold the glory of my name, the grandeur of my Throne, and write my disgrace in the hearts of ye—ye wretched creatures of English gold.’

‘The Head of the Great Nation in a Queer Situation,’ by G. Cruikshank (December 1813), shows frightened Bonaparte, his magic wand broken, surrounded by his enemies. Wellington points a huge blunderbuss at him, telling the others to ‘Take a good aim at the Head, gentlemen, and we shall soon settle the business.’ Austria, Prussia, and Russia all point pistols at his head. Prussia thinks that ‘by Gar, we shall make de Head look like de Plumb Pudding;’ and Russia says, ‘I’ll rattle a few Snow balls at his Cranium.’ Holland has a cannon which he is filling with bales of Orange Boven, saying, ‘I’ll deal out my oranges to him wholesale.’ From the heavens, the hand of Justice is putting the ‘Allied Extinguisher’ upon him. This picture is copied bodily from a French caricature, ‘Le Chef de la Grande Nation dans une triste position.’

On December 25, 1813, was published one of Rowlandson’s171 caricatures called the ‘Mock Auction—or Boney selling Stolen Goods.’ There is an announcement that ‘speedily will be sold the 13 cantons of Switzerland,’ and, among the property he has for sale, are the Papal Tiara, and several crowns, a lot of useless eagles, the kingdom of Bavaria, twenty flags the property of the Empress, the kingdom of Prussia, Saxony, kingdom of Westphalia, and the United Provinces. Some French officers are among the audience, which includes the crowned heads of Europe. The crown of Spain is on sale, and is lifted upon high for inspection. Spain jeeringly asks: ‘That a Crown? It’s not worth half a crown.’ Napoleon, seeing no chance of selling it, says: ‘What! no bidding for the Crown of Spain. Then take the other crowns and lump them into one lot.’ Maria Louisa carries the King of Rome, who is like a little monkey, and who exclaims: 172‘I suppose daddy will put us up for sale.’


This ends the caricatures for the year 1813, at the close of which Napoleon was in Paris. Wellington and Soult were fighting their prolonged duel in Spain, to the great advantage of the former. One after another did the French garrisons surrender, until, at the close of the year, Santona alone remained to the French. His troops, shut up in garrison in Germany and Prussia, were in very evil case, from hardships and sickness. St. Cyr abandoned Dresden, and all the garrison were made prisoners of war. Stettin surrendered, and the Dutch revolted; whilst at home the life-blood of the nation was being drained by a new conscription of 300,000 men, and the taxes were increased by one half.

And here, as well as at any other place, I may introduce Napoleon’s familiar spirit, ‘l’Homme Rouge.’ The belief in ‘the red man,’ in connection with the Emperor, was very widely spread; but details of his personal appearance, and the times of his visits, are rarely to be met with, and are invariably contradictory. Napoleon’s success had been so marvellous, that it is easily to be imagined it was popularly ascribed to supernatural agency.

In a small and very rare French book,34 is an account of 174 The little red and green men, or the genius of Evil triumphing over the genius of Good. Many persons, astonished at the success of Buonaparte in all which he undertook, asked by what tutelary divinity he was protected?

‘Some said, It is Europe which is being destroyed by itself, an effect natural to every country, over-populated, and too flourishing—Was it not thus with Egypt, Greece, Judea, and Rome? Others, less philosophic, but easier given to conjecture, said, When he was in Egypt he several times absented himself from his staff.—Somebody generally came to him before he fought a battle, or undertook any enterprise.

‘He frequently repeated, God has given me the strength and the will to overcome all obstacles. There was something supernatural ... and thenceforth endless questions were asked of those who were with him in the Egyptian expedition. At length, by dint of research, a part of the truth was discovered, which is as follows:—

‘On the eve of the battle of the Pyramids, Buonaparte, at the council which was held in the morning, formally opposed the proposition to give battle. In the afternoon of that day, having gone, with some of the officers of his suite, to make a reconnaissance, and having approached one of the monuments of the pride of the Pharaohs,35 he suddenly saw, coming out from it, a little man clothed in a long red robe, his head being adorned with a pointed cap of the same colour, after the manner of the priests of Isis, or the Chaldean sages, known under the name of Magi. He carried a little ring in his hand.

‘This mysterious man only said these words to him: “Approach, young man, and learn the high destinies to which you are called, if you wish to be prudent and wise.”

‘Immediately, Buonaparte, as if he had been drawn by a supernatural force, descended from his horse, and followed him into the interior of the pyramid, where he remained more than an hour.

‘The officers of his suite, at first, paid little attention to this rencontre, taking the red man to be one of those charlatans, with which the world abounds, to the detriment of science and real knowledge; they were even astonished that their general, to whom they accorded so much merit, lost precious time in interviewing a wretched cheat; but, when they saw Buonaparte come out, all radiant with joy, saying to them, “Friends, let us give battle; we shall conquer!” and when they saw, that in spite of the inferiority of their forces, they should gain the most complete victory, they could only think of the red man. Is he a God? Is he a Genius? That was what they asked.

‘Thenceforth the French, in Egypt, only marched from victory to victory, until the departure of Napoleon for France.

‘We believe that all the deeds with which the red man has been credited are only fables which conjecturors have invented; but, at least, in him they discover the emblem of a good Genius, who pointed out to Buonaparte what he ought to do to assure at least the love and gratitude of the people. But an evil Genius, whom they suppose to have been clothed in green, appeared to him at St. Cloud, at the time of the 18th Brumaire, and gave him counsels, which prevailed, for the misfortune of the world, over those of the red man, and led him to his ruin.’

Balzac, in a delicious booklet,36 in which an old soldier gives the history of his beloved Emperor, makes him say, 175‘There is one thing which it would be unjust, if I did not tell you: In Egypt, in the Desert, near Syria, The Red Man appeared to him, in the mountain of Moses, to tell him, “All went well.”

‘Then at Marengo, on the evening of the Victory, he saw, standing before him, the Red Man, who said to him:

‘“Thou shalt see the world at thy feet, and thou shalt be Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Master of Holland, Sovereign of Spain, Portugal, the Illyrian Provinces, Protector of Germany, Saviour of Poland, First Eagle of the Legion of Honour.”

‘This Red Man, do you see, was his idea, his own: a kind of lackey, who helped him, as many say, to communicate with his star. I, myself, have never believed that but the Red Man is a veritable fact, and Napoleon has spoken of him himself, and has said that he visits him in troublous moments, and that he stays at the palace of the Tuileries, in the upper apartments. Then at his Coronation, Napoleon saw him, in the evening, for the third time, and they were in deliberation about many things. Then the Emperor went straight to Milan to crown himself King of Italy....

‘At length we found ourselves, one morning, encamped at Moskowa.37 It was there that I gained the Cross, and I take the liberty of saying that it was a cursed battle! The Emperor was uneasy: he had seen the Red Man, who said to him:

‘“My child, thou art going too fast, men will fail thee, and friends will betray thee.”’

And the old soldier, almost at the end of his story, says, ‘The remainder is sufficiently well known. The Red Man passed over to the Bourbons, like a scoundrel, as he is. France is crushed,’ &c.

It is needless to say that this legend was known in England, and was not lost sight of by the satirist.



Poor Bonaparte, now, every day,
Endeavoured to be wondrous gay;
To concerts, plays, and balls, he went,
To hide, it seems, his discontent.
Folks thought hostilities would cease,
For gaiety’s a sign of peace.
But soon, alas! returned his gloom,
And now our hero kept his room.
One day he wish’d to be alone,
And said he was at home to none,
When suddenly there came a knock,
Which dealt around a dreadful shock—
His counsellor of State, ’tis said,
Saw a tall man dressed all in red!
‘Your business, Sir?’—‘A secret that—
I must see Bonaparte, that’s flat’—
‘He’s not at home,’ was the reply,
The red man answer’d—‘that’s a lie!’
The Counsellor to Boney ran,
Apprising Nap of this red man—
How very great the Emp’ror’s dread—
‘Art sure? and was he dress’d in red?’
Affecting then a kind of grin—
‘No matter—shew the red man in.’
The red man, tho’, as people say,
Ne’er waited to be shewn the way,
For in he bolted—and, what’s more,
Immediately he clos’d the door—
The Counsellor of State, so shock’d
His ear, then, at the keyhole cock’d,
And tho’ the red, tall, man he fear’d,
This conversation he o’erheard—
‘Well, Emp’ror Boney—pray how do you?
This is my third appearance to you,
At Egypt once—next at Wagram—
You must remember who I am.’
‘Yes, I remember, but what is it
Has now induced this sudden visit?’
‘What is it! Nap, how can you ask?
Have you accomplish’d, pray, your task?
Four years, I for that purpose granted,
It was the very time you wanted;
And then I said—and say it now—
No longer time wou’d I allow;
’Twas quite sufficient, as you said,
And solemnly a vow you made,
That either Europe you’d subdue,
Or peace shou’d in that time ensue;
I told you, if I tricks foresaw,
That my protection I’d withdraw,
And therefore am I come again
To tell you but three months remain;
If Europe then, you have not got,
Or peace confirm’d—you’ll go to pot.’
Our hero seem’d quite panic struck,
‘Alas!’ said he, ‘I’ve had no luck—
I can’t in three months undertake
An honourable peace to make—
A longer period, therefore, fix,
Let the three months, I pray, be six.’
‘It cannot be—I’ll grant no more’—
Nap followed him unto the door—
‘Five months, I’m sure, you may allow’—
‘I won’t—mark well your sacred vow,
One or the other you must do—
Or else, depend on it you’ll rue.’
‘Then grant four months.’—‘It cannot be—
Conquer, or be at peace, in three
Such was the task you undertook’—
Then giving a contemptuous look,
Three months—no longer—so good-bye’—
He said—nor waited a reply.
With indignation Boney burn’d,
While to his cab’net he return’d—
And there, as many people say,
He sullenly remain’d all day.

The English gave Napoleon the character of being very superstitious, and I believe, even now, ‘Napoleon’s Book of Fate,’ and ‘Napoleon’s Dream Book,’ are procurable.

In 1795 it is said that Napoleon paid a visit to a sorcerer named Pierre le Clerc, and expressed some doubt of his power. ‘You are wrong,’ said the magician, ‘to doubt my art. I know more than you probably imagine. There was a prophecy of a certain Count Cagliostro, uttered ten years ago, on the French Revolution, which was not then thought of. This announced that a Corsican voted or elected by the people, would finish it, probably by a Dictatorship.’ Napoleon left the old man, and, it is said, did not visit him again until the eve of the fateful 18th Brumaire.

The seer gave him a number of cards, on each of which he was to write one letter of the question he wanted to ask, which was: ‘What will become of the Corsican Napoleon Bonaparte, general, on account of the Coup d’Etat risked by him, at Paris, the 18th Brumaire, 1799?’ These cards were well mixed and handed to the conjurer, who,179 after some manipulation, settled on thirteen cards, having the letters B, O, P, P, I, A, I, B, I, P, A, U, F, each of which letters he interpreted as the commencement of a Latin word; and, on this basis, he constructed the following sentence: ‘Bis Oriens, Populi Princeps, In Altum Incedit; Bis Incidit; Per Anglos Ultima Fata,’—or, He rises twice Prince of the People, and hovers over the heights; twice he falls; his last fatality will come from the English.

Napoleon then took fresh cards, and wrote: ‘Josephine Marie Rose de Tascher de la Pagerie, wife of the General Napoleon Bonaparte.’ Of these Pierre le Clerc selected three letters, H, E, A, which he interpreted as ‘Herois Extinctus Amor,’—or, Love extinguishes itself in the heart of a hero.

There was a curious article in the ‘Frankfurter Journal’ of September 21, 1870, on the influence of the letter M on the life of Napoleon: ‘Marbeuf was the first to recognise the genius of Napoleon at the Military College. Marengo was the first great battle won by General Bonaparte, and Melas made room for him in Italy. Mortier was one of his best generals, Moreau betrayed him, and Marat was the first martyr to his cause. Maria Louisa shared his highest fortunes; Moscow was the abyss of ruin into which he fell. Metternich vanquished him in the field of diplomacy. Six marshals (Massena, Mortier, Marmont, Macdonald, Murat, Moncey) and twenty-six generals of division under Napoleon had the letter M for their initial. Marat, Duke of Bassano, was his most trusted counsellor. His first battle was that of Montenotte, his last Mont St. Jean, as the French term Waterloo. He won the battles of Millesimo, Mondovi, Montmirail, and Montereau; then came the storming of Montmartre. Milan was the first enemy’s capital, and Moscow the last, into which he entered victorious. He lost Egypt through Menou, and employed180 Miellis to take Pius VII. prisoner. Mallet conspired against him; Murat was the first to desert him, then Marmont. Three of his ministers were Maret, Montalivet, and Mallieu; his first chamberlain was Montesquieu. His last halting place in France was Malmaison. He surrendered to Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon, and his companions at St. Helena were Montholon and his valet Marchand.’




On January 1, 1814, Rowlandson published ‘The double humbug, or the Devil’s Imp praying for peace,’ a picture in two parts. One represents Napoleon addressing the Senate from his throne, which stands on divers crowns: his friend, the Devil, being perched a-top. A soporific effect among his audience seems to be the outcome of his address, which is as follows: ‘Extracts of Bonyparty’s Speech, Sunday, 19 December, 1813. Senators, Counsellors of State, Deputies from the Department to the Legislative Body. Splendid Victories have raised the Glory of the French Arms, during the Campaign. In these weighty circumstances, it was my first thought to call you around me. I have never been seduced by prosperity. I have conceived and executed great designs for the Prosperity and the happiness of the world, as a monarch and a father. I feel that Peace adds to the security of Thrones and that of Families. I have accepted proposals, and the preliminaries. It is necessary to recruit my armies by numerous Levies, and an increase of Taxes becomes indispensable—I am satisfied with the sentiment of my people of Italy, Denmark, Naples, America, and the nineteen Swiss cantons; and have acknowledged the laws which England has, in vain, sought, during four centuries, to impose on France—I have ordered discharges of Artillery on my coming and leaving you.’

182 The other portion of the picture shows the powers of Europe, before whom Napoleon kneels, surrendering colours and crowns; all, save one of the latter (the French crown), and this he tucks under his arm. His deportment is abject, as is his speech: ‘Gentlemen, Emperors, Kings, Rhenish Confederations, &c., &c., &c. Behold unto you a fallen Impostor, who has for many years been drunk, and intoxicated, with Ambition, Arrogance, and Insolence, who has foolishly and wickedly lost within a twelve Months, a Million of brave but deluded Frenchmen. Who has conceived the great and diabolical design of enslaving the world, and has lost all his friends except Yankee Maddison. Now, Gentlemen, to make amends for my sins, I solicit your pardon, and ask for Peace, on your own Terms, Gentlemen, and I will strictly adhere to all ******** You may take all those Crowns back again, except the one belonging to the Bourbons. My Empress sends you also back the 20 flags I found in some of the Churches, in the course of my flight from Leipsig. As for the story, Gentlemen, of the Corporal and the blowing up the bridge, you must know ’twas a mere Humbug to gull the Lads of Paris.’ Talleyrand also assures the crowned heads, that ‘What my Master has said is true, so help me G—d. Amen.’

On January 21, 1814, Napoleon once more set out from Paris at the head of an army, and in this month he fought at Saint-Dizier, Brienne, Champ-Aubert, Montmirail, Chateau-Thierry-Nangis, and Montereau, but then the French arms were almost everywhere defeated. People could discern the beginning of the end. Meanwhile the caricaturist was busy.

‘The Devil’s Darling’ is another by Rowlandson (March 12, 1814); but it possesses no merit, except the very excellent likeness of Napoleon. He is in swaddling clothes, and being dandled by the arch-fiend.

183 Wm. Elmes (the ‘W. E.’ of occasional caricatures) drew (March 21, 1814) ‘John Bull bringing Boney’s nose to the Grindstone’; but it is not a new subject, as there is a contemporary caricature of the Scots bringing Charles the Second’s nose to the grindstone. Russia is turning the stone—the allied Powers looking on—and John Bull, who is performing the operation, says: ‘Aye, Aye, Master Boney, I thought I should bring you to it one of these days. You have carried on the trade of grinding long enough, to the annoyance of your oppressed neighbours—One good turn deserves another—Give him a Turn brother Alexander—and let us see how he likes a taste.’


‘The Allied Bakers, or the Corsican Toad in the hole’ (April 1, 1814), is taken bodily from a French caricature,184 ‘Le Tour des Alliés, ou le Corse près à être cuit,’ although it bears on it ‘G. H. invt Cruickshank fecit.’ The King of Prussia, Woronzow, and Blücher have a baker’s peel, on which is a dish containing Boney, screaming, ‘Murder, Murder,’ as he is being put into the Allied Oven. Holland sits on the floor blowing the fire. A Frenchman, whose fickleness is shown by the weather-cock on his hat, is opening the oven door for his former master’s destruction, saying: ‘This door sticks! I don’t think I shall get it open!’ Blücher shouts, ‘Pull away Frank,38 you keep us waiting.’ Woronzow says, ‘In with it, Blucher,’ and the King of Prussia’s opinion is, ‘I tell you what, Woronzow, the Hinges want a little Russia Oil.’ Wellington, who is bearing a tray on which is a Soult pie and a Bordeaux pie, shouts out, ‘Shove altogether, Gentlemen! D—n me, shove door and all in.’

Meanwhile, the allied Austrian, Russian, and Prussian troops had marched on to Paris, and, having defeated Marmont, March 30, 1814, the city was virtually at their mercy. Maria Louisa and the young King of Rome left Paris on March 29, and on the 31st the city capitulated, and the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia entered the city with the allied armies. The Emperor of Austria did not join them, probably out of deference to his paternal feelings. The ‘Times’ of April 6, 1814, thus gives the news of the capitulation:—‘Babylon the great is fallen! Paris, the proud city, the city of philosophy, has bowed her neck to the Conqueror.’

‘Boney forsaken by his Guardian Angel’ (April 3, 1814) shows the Emperor kneeling, one crown already having been taken from him by the arch-fiend, who now is taking another from off his head. The flames of hell are185 prominent in the distance. Bonaparte implores—‘My Guardian Angel, my Protector, do not desert me in the hour of Danger.’ But the Devil, exultant, says, ‘Poh! Poh! you cannot expect to reign for ever; besides I want you at home, to teach some of the young Imps wickedness.’

On April 3 the fickle French destroyed their idol, for the Provisional Government declared Napoleon deposed, and his dynasty abolished.

On April 5 Bonaparte formally abdicated the throne of France; and, when we consider how long he had troubled the peace of this country, we can pardon the almost brutal exultation of the ‘Times’ of April 11:—

‘The most hateful of Tyrants has finished by proving himself the most infamous of cowards.

‘Two Extraordinary Gazettes were published on Saturday; the latter of which contained Buonaparte’s renunciation of sovereignty, in the following terms:—

The Allied Powers having proclaimed that the Emperor Napoleon was the only obstacle to the re-establishment of the peace of Europe, the Emperor Napoleon, faithful to his oath, declares that he renounces for himself and his heirs, the Thrones of France and Italy; and that there is no personal sacrifice, even that of his life, which he is not ready to make in the interest of France.

Done at the Palace of Fontainebleau the —— April, 1814.

‘Thus has the last act of this wretch’s public life been marked by the same loathsome hypocrisy which characterised him throughout his guilty career. When he has been solemnly deposed by his own confederates; when the execrations of all France, and of all Europe, are ringing in his ears; when his last army is deserting him by thousands, and an overwhelming force of the Allies is approaching, to drag him to a shameful death, if he refuses the186 proffer’d mercy—then, forsooth, his forced submission is a voluntary sacrifice, he is actuated by a principle of public spirit, he feels a religious regard for his oath!!!

‘We did not think to have troubled our heads what should become of him, or his worthless carcase—whether he should crawl about upon the face of that earth, which he had so long desolated; or end a miserable existence by his own desperate hand; or be helped out of the world by the guillotine, the halter, or the coup de grâce. Certainly, if we had to choose the finest moral lesson for after ages, we could not have preferred any to that, which should at once expose the selfishness, the baseness, and the cowardice of a vainglorious mortal, whom adulation has raised almost to divine honours. And, as to any danger from his life—why, Jerry Sneak was a hero to him. Twice before, had he run away from the field of battle—but that, in the opinions of his besotted admirers, was profound imperial policy.

‘When he first attempted to act Cromwell, unlike the tough old Puritan, he had nearly fainted; but this was a transient qualm, that “overcame him like a summer’s cloud;” and, besides,

Men may tremble, and look paler,
From too much, or too little valour.

‘The abandonment of his throne was an act of undisguised, deliberate cowardice, not altogether unanticipated by us; for it will be remembered that some months ago, in comparing the terms offered to him by the Allies, with Fluellen’s offer of the leek to ancient Pistol, we said, that though he might vow “most horrible revenge,” he would eat the leek. We had not then any reason to believe that he would be required to yield up crown and all; but now that circumstances have led to such a point, his conduct187 in respect to it occasions us no surprise. That which displeases us, however, is, that in the very document which ought to have contained nothing more than his subscription to his own disgrace, he has been allowed to lay claim to something like honour—to shuffle in a lying pretence to virtue. This was not a time to indulge his vanity. The record of his punishment ought rather to have referred to real crimes than to fictitious merits.’

The illuminations on this occasion were very splendid—but perhaps the best of them all, as illustrating the popular feeling, was one which was simply ‘Thank God.’

The following caricature must have been published before the news of the abdication reached England.

‘Blücher the Brave extracting the groan of abdication from the Corsican Bloodhound’ is by Rowlandson (April 9, 1814). The Prussian general having stripped Bonaparte of his crown and uniform, &c., is administering to him a sound shaking, whilst Louis the Eighteenth is being welcomed by Talleyrand and the whole French nation.

‘The Corsican Shuttlecock, or a pretty Plaything for the Allies’ (April 10, 1814), is by G. Cruikshank. Napoleon188 is the shuttlecock, which is kept in the air by Schwartzenberg and Blücher. The former has just sent him to his comrade with—‘There he goes!! why Blücher! this used to be rather a weighty plaything; but d—— me if it isn’t as light as a feather now.’ Blücher replies, ‘Bravo Schwartzenberg, keep the game alive! send him this way, and d—— him, I’ll drive him back again.’

‘Europe,’ by Timothy Lash ’em (April 11, 1814), gives us a pyramid formed by all the States of that Continent. It is surrounded by clouds, from whence issue the heads of Napoleon’s victims—‘Wright, Georges, Pichegru, Moreau, Palm, and Hofer’—and on the summit of the pyramid, planting the Bourbon flag, is the ghost of the Duc d’Enghien, who hurls Napoleon into hell, where Robespierre and Marat are awaiting him.


His operations Nap pursued,
And frequently the troops reviewed.
One day, the first of April too,
Boney attended the review.
He thought the soldiers still his own,
Tho’ well the contrary was known.
Some of the Generals, ’tis said,
The Paris newspapers had read,
And of the news, before the crowd,
They talk’d together very loud.
Our hero still retained his cheer,
For he pretended not to hear.
As soon as the review was done,
Brave Marshal Ney (to have some fun,
And let him know his fatal doom),
Followed poor Boney to his room.—
‘In Paris there’s a revolution—
You’ve heard of the new constitution.’
Nap, seeming not to understand,
Ney clapp’d the paper in his hand;
He read, with evident attention,
’Twas gaining time tho’ for invention.
Alas, poor Nap! ’tis as he feared—
And like fall’n Wolsey he appear’d.
Exactly the same scene indeed—
There is that paper for you—read:
Then with what appetite you can—
Go, eat your breakfast, my good man.
Nap, spite of all, was very cool,
Tho’ certainly an April fool:
But great indeed was his vexation,
When bade to sign his abdication;
He looked aghast, he sigh’d, and trembled
Before the Generals all assembled—
Twas hard on Boney, we must own,
Thus to renounce his crown and throne.
How could he help it? for—oh Lord!
There was a Cossack with a sword!
To add to brave Napoleon’s dread,
There was a pistol at his head!
So very furious look’d the men,
Poor Nap could scarcely hold the pen.
And when he did, so great his fright,
His name poor Nap could scarcely write;
At length, while he was sitting down,
He sign’d—‘I abdicate my Crown.

The scene, however, was not quite as the poet makes it out, but it was bad enough, if we may credit Madame Junot: ‘We have read of the revolutions of the seraglio: of those of the Lower Empire: of the assassinations of Russia; we have seen the blood-stained crowns of India given to vile eunuchs; but nothing in the pages of history presents any parallel to what passed at Fontainebleau during the days, and above all the nights, passed there by the hero, abandoned by fortune, and surrounded by those whom he supposed to be his friends. A thick veil was drawn over the event, for the principal actors in it carefully concealed their baseness from the eye of the world. Few persons are aware that Napoleon was doomed to death during the few days which preceded his abdication, by a band of conspirators composed of the most distinguished chiefs of the army.

‘“But,” said one of them in the council in which these demons discussed their atrocious project, “what are we to do with him? There are two or three among us, who, like Antony,39 would exhibit their blood stained robes to the people, and make us play the part of Cassius and Brutus. I have no wish to see my house burned, and to be sent into exile.” “Well,” said another, “we must leave no trace of him. He must be sent to heaven like Romulus.” The others applauded, and then a most horrible discussion commenced. It is not in my power to relate the details. Suffice it to say that the Emperor’s death was proposed and discussed for the space of an hour, with a degree of coolness which might be expected among Indian savages armed with tomahawks. “But,” said he who had spoken191 first, “we must come to some determination. The Emperor of Russia is impatient. The month of April is advancing, and nothing has been done. Now, for the last time, we will speak to him of his abdication. He must sign it definitely—or——” A horrible gesture followed the last word.

‘Yes, the life of Napoleon was threatened by those very men whom he had loaded with wealth, honours, and favours; to whom he had given lustre from this reflection of his own glory. Napoleon was warned of the conspiracy, and it must have been the most agonising event of his whole life. The torments of St. Helena were nothing in comparison with what he must have suffered when a pen was presented to him by a man who presumed to say, “Sign—if you wish to live.” If these last words were not articulated, the look, the gesture, the inflection of the voice, expressed more than the tongue could have uttered.’

How these rats left the falling house!—Berthier, with a lie on his lips, promising to return, yet knowing full well he never meant to; Constant, his valet, running away with 100,000 francs, and burying them in the forest of Fontainebleau; and Rustan, the faithful Mameluke, running away to Paris. Is it not a sickening sight to see these pitiful rogues deserting their master?

On April 11 the treaty of abdication was signed by the allies, and by it Napoleon was to keep his title of Emperor, and have the sovereignty of the Island of Elba, where, however, he must permanently reside. He was guaranteed a revenue of 6,000,000 francs. Josephine and the other members of the Emperor’s family were to have 2,000,000 francs divided amongst them; and Maria Louisa and the King of Rome were to have the Duchies of Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla.

But, when all was finished, he felt his position too hard192 to bear. He would have recalled his abdication—but it was too late. Tom from his high estate, separated from his wife and child, deserted by the creatures of his bounty, life was not worth living for; existence was wretched, and he tried to put an end to it by poison on the night of April 12. Baron Fain, in ‘The Manuscript of 1814,’ gives a good account of this occurrence, but not nearly as graphic as does Madame Junot:—

‘Throughout the day his conversation turned on subjects of the most gloomy kind, and he dwelt much on suicide. He spoke so frequently on the subject, that Marchand,40 his first valet de chambre, and Constant were struck with it. They consulted together, and both, with common consent, removed from the Emperor’s chamber an Arabian poniard, and the balls from his pistol-case. The Duke of Bassano had also remarked this continued allusion to suicide, notwithstanding his efforts to divert Napoleon’s thoughts from it. The Duke spoke to Marchand, after he had taken leave of the Emperor, previous to retiring to rest, and he expressed himself satisfied with the precautions which had been taken. The Duke had been in bed some time, when he was awoke by Constant, who came to him pale and trembling: “Monsieur le Duc,” he exclaimed, “come immediately to the Emperor. His Majesty has been taken very ill!” The Duke of Bassano immediately hurried to the bedside of the Emperor, whom he found pale and cold as a marble statue. He had taken poison!

‘When Napoleon departed for his second campaign in Russia, Corvisart gave him some poison of so subtle a nature, that in a few minutes, even in a few seconds, it would produce death. This poison was the same as that193 treated of by Cabanis, and consisted of the prussic acid which has subsequently been ascertained to be so fatal in its effects. It was with this same poison that Condorcet terminated his existence. Napoleon constantly carried it about him. It was enclosed in a little bag hermetically sealed, and suspended round his neck. As he always wore a flannel waistcoat next his skin, the little bag had for a long time escaped the observation of Marchand, and he had forgotten it. Napoleon was confident in the efficacy of this poison, and regarded it as the means of being master of himself. He swallowed it on the night above mentioned, after having put his affairs in order and written some letters. He had tacitly bade farewell to the Duke of Bassano and some of his other friends, but without giving them cause for the slightest suspicion.

‘The poison was, as I have already observed, extremely violent in its nature; but, by reason of its subtlety, it was the more liable to lose its power by being kept for any length of time. This happened in the present instance. It caused the Emperor dreadful pain, but it did not prove fatal. When the Duke of Bassano perceived him in a condition closely resembling death, he knelt down at his bedside and burst into tears: “Ah! Sire!” he exclaimed, “what have you done?” The Emperor raised his eyes and looked at the Duke with an expression of kindness; then, stretching to him his cold and humid hand, he said: “You see, God has decreed that I shall not die. He, too, condemns me to suffer!”’



After a sad parting with his old guard at Fontainebleau, on April 20, Napoleon left for Elba, embarking on board an English frigate on the 28th. We can now resume the caricatures.

Rowlandson produced (April 12, 1814) ‘Bloody Boney, the Carcass Butcher; left off Trade and retiring to Scarecrow Island.’ Napoleon and the Empress, together with a bag of brown bread, are mounted on a donkey—he wears a fool’s cap, and she belabours the ass with a ‘Baton Marechale’; the young King of Rome precedes them on a Corsican dog. The usual direction-post (a gallows) shows the road to Elba, and ravens are hankering after him, saying, ‘We long to pick your bones.’ A heavy-booted postilion is calling out, ‘Be Gar, you Cocquin, now I shall drive my old Friends and bonne customers de English. Vive le Roi et le Poste Royale.’

Rowlandson plagiarised Gillray by almost slavishly copying ‘Death of the Corsican Fox’ (Vol. I. p. 204), only he substituted Blücher for George the Third, and changed the names on the dogs’ collars to Wellington, Swartzenberg, Kutusoff, Duke of York, and Crown Prince. This etching is called ‘Coming in at the death of the Corsican fox. Scene the Last’ (April 12, 1814).

‘A Grand Manœuvre! or, the Rogues march to the195 Island of Elba,’ G. Cruikshank (April 13, 1814). Here Napoleon is shewn weeping bitterly at his own disgrace. His hands are bound behind him, his tattered uniform is put on wrong side in front, his boots have no soles nor toes, and his spurs are strapped in front; some gamins are tugging at a halter which is round his neck, and are dragging him to a boat, in which sits the Devil, waiting for him; Talleyrand is doing all in his power to expedite matters by pushing him behind with an ‘Allied broom,’ and he goes to his doom amidst universal execrations. The little King of Rome is in one of his coat-tail pockets, and calls out, ‘By Gar, Papa, I have von grand manœuvre in your pocket.’


‘The Rogue’s March’ is by Rowlandson (April 15, 1814),

From fickle Fortune’s gamesome lap
What various titles flow;
The Emperor of Conj’rors Nap,
The King of Beggars, Joe!

196 a portion of which is reproduced. Blücher is dragging Napoleon and his brother, who are handcuffed, and on a placard which he bears on his shoulder is inscribed ‘Napoleon, late Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Grand Arbiter of the fate of Nations, &c. &c. &c., but now, by the permission of the Allied Sovereigns, Exile in the Isle of Elba, an outcast from Society, a fugitive, a vagabond. Yet this is the conceited mortal who said, I have never been seduced by prosperity—Adversity will not be able to overcome me.’ In the background drummers are playing ‘The Rogue’s March,’ and all the European Powers dancing round the old Bourbon flag, on which is written ‘Rejoice O ye Kings, Vive le Roi!’

‘The Sorrows of Boney, or Meditations in the Island of Elba!!!’ (April 15, 1814) shews the disconsolate Emperor, seated on the rocky isle, weeping copiously, and staring anxiously at the Continent of Europe which is so well guarded by ships. This engraving did former duty as ‘Crocodile’s tears’ (see Vol. I. p. 241).

On April 17, 1814, Rowlandson published ‘The Affectionate farewell, or kick for kick,’ which gives us Talleyrand kicking Napoleon and striking him with his crutch. ‘Va t’en Coquin, I’ll crack your Crown, you pitiful vagabond.’ The fallen Emperor not only puts up with these insults, but, turning round, says, ‘Votre très humble serviteur, Monsieur Tally.’ His maimed soldiery call out, ‘Bone him, my tight little Tally,’ and one even goes so far as to shout out, ‘What! let him sneak off without a mark or a scratch! No, no, I’ll darken his daylights for him.’

‘The Last March of the Conscripts, or Satan and his Satellites hurled to the land of oblivion’ (April 17, 1814), represents Napoleon and his brothers all chained together in a gang, heavily fettered, in tatters, and being whipped197 by a most ferocious Cossack. To add to poor Boney’s miseries, his little child is pulling at his coat-tails crying, ‘Didn’t you promise me I should be a King?’ Talleyrand is rejoicing, and a large box of crowns and sceptres is labelled, ‘To the right owners.’

‘A delicate finish to a French Usurper’ is by T. N. (April 20, 1814), although Mr. Grego places it as one of Rowlandson’s—who possibly may have etched it.

Boney, Canker of our joys,
Now thy tyrant reign is o’er;
Fill the Merry Bowl, my Boys,
Join in Bacchanalian roar.
Seize the villain, plunge him in;
See, the hated miscreant dies.
Mirth and all thy train come in,
Banish sorrow, tears, and sighs.

This represents Bonaparte, seated on a throne of skulls and bones, very ill indeed. His crown of tyranny has fallen off and is broken, and he is in the act of disgorging ‘The Throne of France,’ having already done so with Holland, Rome, Portugal, &c.—in fact, all his previous successes: nay, the very bees are flying away from off his imperial mantle. Time is putting an extinguisher on his head; whilst the Duke of Wellington, the Emperor Alexander, he of Austria, and the Crown Prince, stand looking at Blücher, who is administering his ‘black draught’ to the patient. Three dancing females—two of them holding a shield charged with the Bourbon lilies over the head of the third—typify the joy of France at the Emperor’s downfall and Louis the Eighteenth’s accession to the throne.

‘Boney at Elba—or, a Madman’s Amusement’ (April 20, 1814), is a very characteristic caricature.


So high he’s mounted on his airy Throne,
That now the wind has got into his Head,
And turns his brains to Frenzy.

Bonaparte, crowned with a straw crown, and wielding a straw sceptre, is setting light to a straw cannon, with which he is supposed to be aiming at straw dummies of Russia, Prussia, Austria, and Sweden. The cannon naturally catches alight, and his army (one corporal) calls out, ‘Ah! Diable, mais you was burn Le Materiel, you burn your playtings.’ The mad monarch, however, persists, and replies, ‘Now these fellows shall know what the Conqueror of the World can do —— Corporal! D—— you Sir! don’t you blow up the Bridge till I order you.’


‘“Cruce dignus,” the Grand Menagerie, with an exact representation of Napoleon Bonaparte,41 the little Corsican monkey, as he may probably appear at the island of Elba,’ is a reproduction of the engraving by Lee in 1803 of ‘Pidcock’s Grand Menagerie,’ and, as the letterpress is199 almost identical, it is not worth giving again (published April 20, 1814).

The following broadside was published April 23, 1814, price 3d.:—

Cruce Dignus
Underneath a Gibbet over a Dunghill
at Elba.

Underneath this Dunghill
Is all that remains of a mighty Conqueror
Who, with inflexible Cruelty of Heart,
And unexampled Depravity of Mind,
Was permitted to scourge the Earth, for a Time,
With all the Horrors of War.
Too ignorant and incapable to do good to Mankind
The whole force of his mind was employed
In oppressing the weak, and plundering the industrious.
He was equally detested by all:
His enemies he butchered in cold blood:
And, fearing to leave incomplete the Catalogue of his Crimes,
His friends he rewarded with a poisoned Chalice.
He was an Epitome
Of all that was vicious in the worst of Tyrants;
He possess’d their Cruelty, without their Talents;
Their Madness without their Genius;
The Baseness of one, and the Imbecility of another.
Providence at last,
Wearied out with his Crimes,
Returned him to the Dunghill from which he sprung,
Ere you pass by,
Kneel and thank thy God,
For all the Blessings of thy glorious Constitution;200
Then return into the peaceful Bosom of thy Family, and continue
In the practice of those Virtues
By which thy Ancestors
Have obtained the Favor of the Almighty.


Tiddy doll, the gingerbread manufacturer, is once more introduced into caricature (April 21, 1814): ‘Broken Gingerbread (G. H. invt—G. Cruikshank fect). Napoleon is at Elba, in an extremely dilapidated condition; a wretched thatched hut has on it a board painted, ‘Tiddy Doll, Gingerbread baker. N.B.—Removed from Paris.’ On his head he carries a tray of broken gingerbread, and calls out, ‘Buy my Images! Here’s my nice little gingerbread Emperors and Kings, retail and for exportation.’ In the201 background can be seen the coast of France, on which the people are rejoicing and dancing round a flag, ‘Vivent les Bourbons!’

‘The HellElbaronian Emperor going to take possession of his new Territory’ (April 23, 1814), by G. H., engraved by G. Cruikshank. Here Napoleon, ragged and heavily fettered, is in an iron cage, which is drawn by a mounted Cossack. Others surround and guard him, and we can well understand the captive’s ejaculatory ‘Oh—d—n these Cossacks.’

‘Nap dreading his doleful Doom or his grand entry into the Isle of Elba’ (April 25, 1814), represents the exiled Emperor at the moment of his landing. He has just been put ashore in a small boat, and his slender luggage, which is guarded by his solitary follower, a Mameluke, is deposited on the shore. With one hand in the breast of his coat, and the other thrust deep into his breeches pocket, suffering, too, from the impertinent inquisitiveness of the natives, it is no wonder that he appears downcast, and says, 202‘Ah, Woe is me, seeing what I have, and seeing what I see.’ He is, however, tried to be comforted by a blowsy bumboat woman, who, offering him her long clay pipe, pats him on the back with ‘Come cheer up my little Nicky, I’ll be your Empress.’

George Cruikshank (May 1, 1814) gives us ‘Snuffing out Boney,’ an operation which is being performed by a gigantic Cossack.

Hardly a caricature, is a picture attributed to Rowlandson (May 1, 1814), in which is depicted Napoleon’s throne overturned, together with his crown and sceptre. The Devil himself is clutching Napoleon, who is terrified at the heavenly apparition of a hand holding a flaming sword, and the legend, ‘Thou ’rt doom’d to Pain, at which the Damn’d will tremble, and take their own for Joys.’ This etching is called 203‘The Tyrant of the Continent is fallen. Europe is free. England Rejoices. Empire and Victory be all forsaken; To Plagues, Poverty, Disgrace, and Shame. Strip me of all my Dignities and Crowns. Take, O Take your sceptres back, Spare me but life!’


In the ‘Satirist’ of May 1, 1814, is a picture by G. Cruikshank, called ‘Otium cum dignitate, or a view of Elba.’ It is not a good one. Napoleon, ragged and stockingless, smoking a short clay pipe, is blowing up the fire with a pair of bellows. Bertrand is kissing a female, probably Pauline, on the sly, and Jerome Bonaparte is mending nets.

‘Boney’s Elbowa Chair, a new Throne for a new Emperor; or an old sinner brought to the stool of repentance. A dialogue between one of his admirers & John Bull, on his being laid up with a cutaneous or skin disorder’ (G. Cruikshank, May 5, 1814). Boney is in his rocky home raggedly dressed, with a fool’s cap on his head, and sitting on a close stool. He is surrounded with medicine-bottles and pots of brimstone and itch salve, and he is scratching himself violently. John Bull says:—


‘So! your poor friend Nap Boney is kick’d from a throne,
And must sit on a stool close at Elba alone.’
‘He is not poor,’ said Nic, ‘he has got fat and grown flabby.’
‘He has also,’ said John, ‘got the Itch, or grown scabby.
For not even his wife will consent to go nigh him;
And all his old Mamelukes flout and defy him;
Perhaps thou, in pity, will lift up his latch,
And rub him with Brimstone or help him to scratch.
Pray go, and take with thee the birds of thy feather,
And all catch the Itch, or grow scabby together.’




These three pictures are all on one plate, and are by Rowlandson, published May 1, 1814.

‘Needs must when Wellington Drives, or Louis’s Return!!’ (May 1814) is a very badly drawn picture by Marks. Louis the Eighteenth, unable to walk, by reason of the gout, is being drawn along in a sort of Bath chair by Napoleon, and attended on either side by Blücher and Wellington. The latter is punishing poor Napoleon with a birch-rod, saying meanwhile, ‘I desire, you will sing God save the King.’ Boney, with his handkerchief to his eyes, says, ‘I’ll be d—d if I do.’ Blücher is of opinion, ‘You’l be d—d whether you do or not.’

A very commonplace caricature is ‘The Tyrant, overtaken by Justice, is excluded from the world,’ and it would not be noticed here did it not introduce us to a new artist, L. M. (? Lewis Marks). Napoleon, chained to his rock, disconsolately gazes at that world which he may not reach, the Devil meanwhile pointing the finger of scorn at him (May 1814).

In ‘the departure of Apollo and the Muses—or Farewell to Paris’ (May 1814), by I. Sidebotham, we have the restitution of the art treasures, taken by Napoleon, to their different owners—a long string of waggons, filled with pictures, &c., are labelled Holland, Italy, Venice, Berlin, and Vienna. Louis the Eighteenth, at the Louvre, laments it, and says, ‘Dear Talley, persuade them to leave us a few of these pretty things for my chambers, they will pacify the Deputies, and amuse the people.’ Talleyrand replies, ‘I have tried every scheme to retain them, but it seems they have at last found us out, and are not to be humbug’d any longer.’ Apollo and the Muses have mounted a fine gold car, which is drawn, not only by horses, but by the British Lion as well—the former being postilioned by Blücher;206 the latter by the Duke of Wellington, who calls out, ‘Go along, Blucher, let us haste to restore the stolen Goods.’


Of his entry into Elba the poet thus sings:—


On board th’ Undaunted he embark’d—
‘A noble vessel,’ he remark’d,
And now the banish’d malefactor
(So late a wild and busy actor),
His entry into Elba made
Upon the fourth of May. ’Tis said
To see the wondrous little man
Th’ inhabitants all eager ran.
A great blue coat our hero sported,
And was most pompously escorted;
Three fiddles and two fifes preceded,
For he some consolation needed;
Pity my fall became the strain
Which they struck up to sooth his pain;
‘Oh change that doleful air,’ he said,
And therefore the musicians played,
In hopes to comfort the poor elf,
Go to the De’il, and shake yourself.
‘Give me a horse,’ he cried; of course
Nap was provided with a horse,
And round the island quick he rode,
Which his wild disposition shewed;
The little children, at his view,
Cried out, ‘Oh, there’s a bug-a-boo!’
Without a wife—without a mother,43
Without a sister, or a brother,
And even of a friend bereft,
Poor Nap is to his conscience left.

On June 4, 1814, was published (artist unknown) ‘An Imperial vomit’ in which Bonaparte is disgorging the kingdoms he has swallowed up. The Prince Regent, behind him, says, ‘I think now my little fellow, you are pretty well clear’d out, and I hope you will never give us the trouble to Prescribe or Proscribe any more.’

‘Drumming out of the French Army!!!’ is the title of a picture published in June 1814. Blücher has Bonaparte in a drum, which he carries before him, beating him alternately with a birch-rod and a drum-stick, Russia, Prussia, and Austria looking on.

Lewis Marks produced, in June 1814, ‘Boney and his new subjects at Elba.’ The poverty-stricken condition to which the Emperor is reduced is too graphically portrayed, and his ragged army of four is very vividly illustrated. He thus addresses them: ‘Gentlemen, my friends despise and d—n England, Russia, Prussia, Germany, and Sweden, and obey me—and I will make kings of you all.’

Napoleon might well say that his ‘territory was somewhat small;’ but, small as it was, his restless activity set to work to improve it. He made roads where none had existed, canals and aqueducts, a lazaretto, and stations for tunny-fishing. Vineyards were improved, and the little island was quite prosperous. Numerous visitors came to pay their respects to the Emperor, causing money to be spent; vessels brought provisions, and took away what the208 inhabitants had to export. Porto Ferrajo was gay and lively, its name being changed to Cosmopoli. A new flag was manufactured, having a red bend dexter, charged with three bees on a white field, and Moorish pirates were very chary of touching vessels bearing this flag. In May Cambrone brought out some volunteers of the old guard, and Napoleon exercised and inspected his little army.


But these things cost money, and that was one of the things wanting to Napoleon. The conditions of the treaty with him were shamefully broken. Hear what he says himself about it:44 209‘It was stipulated and agreed to, that all the members of my family should be allowed to follow me to Elba; but, in violation of that, my wife and child were seized, detained, and never permitted to join a husband and a father. They were also to have had the Duchies of Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla, which they were deprived of. By the treaty, Prince Eugene was to have had a principality in Italy, which was never given. My mother and brothers were to receive pensions, which were also refused to them. My own private property, and the savings which I had made on the civil list, were to have been preserved for me. Instead of that, they were seized in the hands of Labouillerie the treasurer, contrary to the treaty, and all claims made by me rejected. The private property of my family was to be held sacred: it was confiscated. The dotations assigned to the army on the Mont Napoleon were to be preserved: they were suppressed; nor were the hundred thousand francs which were to be given as pensions to persons pointed out by me, ever paid. Moreover, assassins were sent to Elba to murder me. Never,’ continued Napoleon, ‘have the terms of a treaty been more evidently violated, and indeed openly scoffed at, than those were by the allies.’

Louis the Eighteenth was very tame after Napoleon, who, in spite of his draining France of men and treasure, had implanted a deep personal love for him in the hearts of his people; and, from some fancied saying of his, that ‘he would return in the spring,’ the violet, the flower of spring, was taken as his emblem, and so worn. He was spoken of under the name of Caporal Violette, or Papa Violette, and the people comforted themselves with ‘En printemps il reviendra.’

There were several coloured engravings of bunches of violets, bearing the portraits of Napoleon, Maria Louisa, and the King of Rome—or Prince of Parma, as he was then called—published in France; notably one by Cann, ‘Violettes du 20 Mars 1815,’ from which, in all probability, Cruikshank took his caricature of 210‘The Peddigree of Corporal Violet (G. H. invt et del. etched by G. Cruikshank 9 June 1815)’; but, in the arrangement of the flowers, it is superior to any of the French pictures that I have seen.


For want of space, I have but partially reproduced it. It is described ‘First as a Consular Toad Stool, rising from a Corsican Dunghill, then changing to an Imperial Sun Flower, from that to an Elba fungus’ (where the illustration commences), ‘and lastly to a bunch of Violets, which are so disposed as to represent a whole length Profile of Buonaparte, with a bust of Maria Louisa, and her Son, the Prince of Parma,’ which portraits, undoubtedly existing in211 the picture, will be a pleasing exercise of patience on the part of my readers to discover.

Although not English caricature, I may be pardoned for giving, as a type of then French feeling, a song sung by the troops amongst themselves. It is full of slang of the period, which the notes will elucidate:—

Pendant que Louis Dix-huit à gogo45
Mangeait, buvait, faisait dodo,46
Un beau jour, le Papa
Quitte son île, et le voilà!
Chorus. Chantons le père de la violette
Au bruit de sons,47 et de canons!
Quand à la cour on sait cela,
Le Comte d’Artois monte son dada,48
Mais pour barrer le Papa,
Il faut un autre luron49 que ça!
Chantons, &c.

During Napoleon’s exile Josephine had died, on May 29. She had lived quite long enough, and had experienced as many, and as great, vicissitudes as any woman.

In June the Emperor of Russia, the King of Prussia and his sons, with a numerous suite, visited London, and were made LL.D.’s at Oxford, great fun being made at the time about conferring the degree on Blücher, Dr. Blücher figuring in many caricatures.

‘John Bull mad with Joy! or the First of August 1814,’ shows the old fellow in ecstasies of delight. He has thrown away his hat, and is waving his wig, dancing all the time. The Prince Regent says, ‘Ah, ha! Johnny, I knew you’d be delighted,’ and shows him the 212‘Bill of Fare of the Grand National Jubilee for the Peace of 1814. Hyde Park—A grand fair—Messrs Gyngall, Richardson, and Punches shows—a grand sea fight upon the Serpentine—Fireworks in Kensington Gardens—plenty of gin and beer—St. James’ Park—a Balloon—Chinese bridge and Pagoda—Boat race on the Canal—fireworks—plenty of port, sherry, claret, champagne, &c., &c., &c. Green Park—Castle and Temple—Fireworks and Royal Booths.’ In his right hand the capering and joyous John swings a miniature gallows, on which hang the prince’s enemies, and he cries out in his joy, ‘Huzza for the Prince of Princes! Damn the lying London Papers! May Whitbread be drown’d in one of his own butts! and Tierney be choked with his long speeches. Here I have your enemies as they should be! I shall stick this in my Corn field to frighten the Crows! so Huzza, again and again, for the Prince of Princes.’

This was the outcome of the Grand Jubilee on August 1, which was celebrated in London—notably in the parks. ‘Mad with joy’ was the proper expression. See what this peace meant for the nation—a revival of trade, a remission of taxes, cheaper provisions, the reuniting to their families of beloved ones who had undergone so much for their country. No one can wonder that the people went ‘mad with joy,’ and were not ashamed to confess it. There was a pagoda on a Chinese50 bridge thrown over the canal in St. James’s Park, and at night fireworks were displayed thereon. Chinese lanterns all along the Mall and Birdcage Walk. In the Green Park was a ‘Temple of Concord,’ near which was a fine booth for the accommodation of the foreign ambassadors and guests whom the Regent delighted to honour. Small men-of-war waged a mimic sea-fight on the Serpentine, and in Hyde Park was a regular fair. Sadler went up in his balloon, but nearly came to213 grief, and descended somewhat precipitately in Mucking Marshes, on the Essex coast, sixteen miles below Gravesend. Sad to say, about midnight the pagoda caught fire, and two people lost their lives. The fair in Hyde Park was kept going for several days afterwards.

So we leave the year 1814, with Napoleon seemingly safe, yet far from contented, and the English people revelling in the new and welcome blessings of peace.




A somewhat elaborate caricature is by George Cruikshank (January 1815), and is entitled ‘Twelfth Night, or What you Will! now performing at the Theatre Royal Europe, with new Scenery, decorations, &c., &c., &c.’ It represents a theatre, on the stage of which sit Wellington, Austria, Russia, and Prussia. The former has been dividing an enormous Twelfth Cake, with the help of a huge knife and Britannia’s trident. Austria simply takes the whole of Germany, and remarks, ‘I shall get my piece cut as large as I can. I don’t think it is large enough.’ Russia, who is not content with his huge piece of Russia in Europe, puts his hand on Poland, and, turning to a Pole, who is drawing his sword, says: ‘Here brother, take possession of this piece, I think I can manage them both; besides, this has more plumbs on it, which will mix with mine.’ Prussia, besides his own country, lays hands on Saxony, exclaiming: ‘If I add this Saxon piece to my Prussian one, and put the figure of an Emperor on it, I think my share will look respectable.’ Wellington, however, reflects, ‘I have been assisting to divide the Cake, but I don’t much like my office, the Gentlemen seem so dissatisfied.’ Bernadotte comforts himself with ‘Now I have got Norway, I can get a wind to blow which way I please.’ Louis the Eighteenth and a Dutchman are in a215 private box; and in one of the stage-boxes is John Bull and his dog, the former of whom shakes hands with and welcomes an American Indian, saying, ‘I hope you won’t disturb the peace.’ In the opposite box are two Turks and a Hungarian; whilst in the box above is Spain, his crown stuck all over with gallows, and attended by a fearful-looking Jesuit, reading from a ‘list of Prisoners to be hung for supporting a free Constitution.’ The other Powers are on their knees on the stage, abjectly begging, ‘Pray, Gentlemen, spare us a few of the small pieces, for we are almost starving.’

Napoleon was still at Elba, and Europe was enjoying a fool’s paradise, as cannot be better shown than by a quotation from Rogers’s ‘Recollections’ (if reliable): ‘When Buonaparte left Elba for France, I (the Duke of Wellington) was at Vienna, and received the news from Lord Burghersh, our Minister at Florence. The instant it came, I communicated it to every member of the Congress, and all laughed; the Emperor of Russia most of all.’

Doubtless they thought themselves secure, for they left Elba unguarded in the most singular manner. As Napoleon told O’Meara: ‘I do not believe that Castlereagh thought I should have ventured to leave Elba, as otherwise some frigates would have been stationed about the island. If they had kept a frigate in the harbour, and another outside, it would have been impossible for me to have gone to France, except alone, which I would never have attempted. Even if the King of France had ordered a frigate, with a picked crew, to cruise off the island, it would have prevented me.’

Napoleon did not leave Elba till February 26, nor did he land at Cannes till March 1, when the news of his landing spread like wildfire. The ‘Times’ of March 11 says: 216‘Early yesterday morning we received by express from Dover, the important, but lamentable intelligence, of a civil war having been again kindled in France, by that wretch Buonaparte, whose life was so impoliticly spared by the Allied Sovereigns. It now appears that the hypocritical villain, who, at the time of his cowardly abdication, affected an aversion to the shedding of blood in a civil warfare, has been employed during the whole time of his residence at Elba, in carrying on secret and treasonable intrigues with the tools of his former crimes in France,’ &c.

The caricaturists soon fastened on this event, which fell upon Europe like a thunderbolt, and some time in March was published ‘The Devil to pay, or Boney’s return from Hell BayElba, 25 Feb. 1815,’ by I. L. Marks. Napoleon is crossing the sea in a boat filled with soldiers, rowed by the Devil, and steered by Death. He sees the dove of peace, and immediately kills it with his pistol, saying, ‘Away from my sight, Peace, Thou art hateful to me.’ The Devil opines, ‘We shall wade through seas of Blood after this;’ and Death, waving a tricoloured flag on his dart, says, ‘A more expert hand at my Trade does not exist.’ The populace are running to the shore to meet their returned Emperor with effusion, whilst poor gouty Louis is being carried away on pickaback, lamenting, ‘Oh Heartwell,51 I sigh for thy peacefull Shades.’

I. L. Marks drew ‘1 Mar. 1815. The European Pantomime. Princeaple Caracters Harliquin Mr. Boney. Pantaloon Louis XVIII. Columbine Maria Louiza. Clowns &c. by Congress.’ Here Napoleon is making a terrific leap from Elba to the French coast, where the poor pantaloon, all gouty, shakes his crutch in impotent rage. The Empress and her little son welcome him, and Congress is represented by the different sovereigns of Europe, who are217 in a tent; Russia pointing to a globe in the midst of them.

Here is a somewhat homely, but contemporary, account of how the news of Napoleon’s escape was received in London:—

Twang went the horn! ‘confound that noise!’
I cried, in pet—‘these plaguy boys
Are at some tricks to sell their papers,
Their blasts have given me the vapours!’
But all my senses soon were stranded,
At hearing ‘Buonaparte’s landed!’
‘Landed in France!’ so ran the strain,
And ‘with eleven hundred men.’
‘Ho, post!’ ‘Who calls?’ ‘This way.’ ‘I’m coming!’
‘The public surely he is humming,’
Said I. ‘A paper—what’s the price?’
‘A shilling.’ ‘Why, that’s payment twice!’
‘As cheap as dirt, your honour, quite;
They’ve sold for half a crown to-night.’
‘But is the News authentic, friend?’
Ofishul, sir, you may depend.—
The Currier, third edition.’ ‘So!
Well, take your money, boy, and go.’
Now for the news—by what strange blunder
Has he escaped his bounds, I wonder.

The flight of the British who were in France, upon hearing the news of Napoleon’s landing, is amusingly shown in ‘Hell broke loose or the John Bulls made Jack Asses,’ which is the euphonious title of a caricature by G. Cruikshank, published March 20, 1815. In it we see depicted the flight of Louis the Eighteenth and all the English then resident in Paris. They are departing in fearful haste, and by all kinds of conveyances. One reflects, ‘How they will laugh at us at home for being so fond of spending our Money in Foreign Countries.’ Another complains, 218‘Oh dear, Oh! dear, I have left all my valuables in Paris. I wish I had never brought my prosperity into France.’ One man, gouty, is being dragged along in a go-cart. Three men are mounted on a cow, whilst another holds on by its tail; whilst those on horseback, or in carriages, are having their quadrupeds and vehicles requisitioned, ‘Me vant de horse to meet my old master Boney.’ ‘We want de coach to join de grand Emperor; we teach you now to recover our lost honour and fight like devils.’ Napoleon, at the head of his army, says, ‘Aye, Aye, I shall catch some of the John Bulls, and I’ll make them spend their money, and their time, too, in France.’

‘Boney’s Return from Elba, or the Devil among the Tailors (G. H. invt etched by G. Cruikshank, 21 March, 1815)’ is indeed a scare. Before describing the picture, it would be as well to read the following lines which are at its foot:—

Hush’d was the din of Arms and fierce debate,
Janus once more had clos’d his Temple gate;
Assembled Congress fix’d the flattering Plan,
For Europe’s safety, and the Peace of Man.
When, like a Tiger, stealing from his den,
And gorg’d with blood, yet seeking blood again;
From Elba’s Isle the Corsican came forth,
Making his sword the measure of his worth.
Hence plunder, force, & cunning blast his fame,
And sink the Hero in the Robber’s name;
Hence guiltless Louis from the throne is hurl’d,
And discord reigns triumphant o’er the world.
Swift as the vivid lightning’s shock,
The Exile darts from Elba’s Rock!
And like the Thunderbolt of fate
Dethrones a King! transforms a State!

219 Bonaparte, suddenly leaping from Elba, enters at an open window, knocking off the board, on which he had been sitting, the unlucky Louis the Eighteenth, who lies prone on the floor, crying, ‘Help, help! Oh! I am knocked off my Perch.’ John Bull goes to his assistance, comforting him with, ‘Never fear old boy, I’ll help you up again; as for that rascal Boney, I’ll sew him up presently.’ Boney, meanwhile, is calmly seated on the tailor’s bench, saying, ‘Dont disturb yourselves, shopmates, I have only popped myself here as a cutter out. Where is my wife and son, Father Francis?’ Trembling Austria, goose in one hand, scissors in the other, says, ‘I will send an answer shortly.’ Terrified Holland exclaims, ‘Donder and Blizen dat is de Devil!’ Russia, pointing to a knout, says, ‘I’ll take a few Cossack measures to him.’ Old Blücher, with a huge pair of shears, advances to Napoleon, exclaiming, ‘Cutter out indeed!!! Yes, Yes, I’ll cut you out, Master Boney.’ Prussia, still seated, sewing, thinks, ‘You have cut out a little work for us to be sure, but d—— me if you shall be foreman here.’ Bernadotte opines that ‘This looks like another subsidy.’ Talleyrand is hiding himself under the bench; and the poor Pope, sprawling on the floor, forgets all Christian charity and language, and cries out, ‘Oh! curse the fellow, I wish I had the power of a Bull, I’d kick him to Hell. D—n me if it isn’t enough to make a saint swear.’

‘A Review of the New Grand Army’ (artist unnamed, March 1815) shows, in the background, a host of very tattered troops. In front is Napoleon, the aghast Emperor, and his two friends and Pillars of the State, Death and the Devil. On one side of him is a Captain of Starved Banditti from the Alps, whose aim and object is plunder, and he acts as aide-de-camp; whilst a ferocious Butcher from Elba, reeking knife, and halter, in either hand, guards220 his other side, and acts as generalissimo. In a flood of light over Napoleon’s head appears the Dæmon of War presiding over the Tyrant, bearing in one hand a flag, inscribed ‘We come to redress Grievances,’ and with the other pointing to ‘Boundless Ambition.’

G. Cruikshank etched (April 4, 1815) ‘The Genius of France expounding her Laws to the Sublime People.’ An enormous monkey, his tail ornamented with tricoloured bows, unfolds a tricoloured scroll, which a lot of much smaller monkeys are reading. It is ‘The French Code of Laws.—Ye shall be vain, fickle, and foolish—Ye shall kill your King one day, and crown his relative the next.—You shall get tired of Him in a few weeks—and recal a Tyrant, who has made suffering humanity bleed at every pore—because it will be truly Nouvelle—Lastly, ye shall abolish and destroy all virtuous Society and worship the Devil.—As for Europe, or that little dirty Nation, the English, let them be d—d. France, the Great Nation, against the whole World.’

‘The Congress dissolved before the Cake was cut’ is the title of an etching by G. Cruikshank (dated April 6, 1815), in which the sovereigns are seated round an enormous cake of Europe, which they were going to cut up and divide, but are startled by the sudden apparition of Napoleon, who, with drawn sword, strides into the room, trampling on the decrees of the Congress, An account of the Deliverance of Europe, and a plan for the security of Europe. The Dutchman falls off his stool, and spills his bottle of Hollands: ‘Oh! Donder and Blizen, my Hollands is all gone,’ is his consolatory reflection. Russia starts up with ‘Who the Devil expected you here,—this is mal à propos.’ Prussia ‘Thought England had promised to guard him.’ Austria, in terror, yells out for somebody to ‘hold him, seize him.’ The Pope pathetically laments, 221‘Oh dear, oh dear, what will become of me?’ Bernadotte shouts, ‘Seize him, Kill him’; but Poland, with folded arms, calmly asks, ‘Who’ll begin? there’s the Rub!!!’ The only one of the whole of them who has any presence of mind is Wellington, who jumps alertly to his feet and draws his sword.


‘The flight of Bonaparte from Hell-Bay’ is by Rowlandson (April 7, 1815). It represents the arch-fiend, seated in his own peculiar dominions, engaged in blowing bubbles, on one of which he has mounted Napoleon, and222 sent him once more aloft, to the intense delight of admiring devils.

Rowlandson etched ‘Hell Hounds rallying round the Idol of France’ (April 8, 1815), which certainly is not a pleasant picture. A colossal bust of Napoleon, with a halter round his neck, is mounted on a pyramid of human heads, and around him, to testify their delight at his return, are dancing Savary, Fouché, Caulaincourt, Vandamme, Davoust, Ney, and Lefèbre. Devils, who say ‘He deserves a crown of pitch,’ are bringing one already alight. The foreground is strewn with corpses.

‘Vive le Roi! vive l’Empereur! vive le Diable! French Constancy, French Integrity’ (date uncertain, but some time in April 1815) is credited to Rowlandson. A French soldier, musket in one hand, snuff-box in the other, has three different knots of ribbon in his hat—a red one, ‘Vive le Diable!’ a white one, ‘Vive le Roi!’ and a tricoloured one, Vive l’Empereur!’ A windmill typifies French stability, and a monkey and cat, embracing and fondling, show ‘French union between the National Guard and troops of the Line.’

On April 12, 1815, was published an etching, not signed, but accredited to Rowlandson, ‘Scene in a New Pantomime to be performed at the Theatre Royal, Paris. With entire new Music, Dances, Dresses, Scenery, Machinery, &c. The principal Characters to be supported by most of the great Potentates of Europe. Harlequin by Mr Napoleon. Clown by King Wirtemberg. Pantaloon, Emperor of Austria. To conclude with a comic song to be sung by the Pope, and a Grand Chorus by the crown’d heads.’

In this caricature we see Napoleon, habited as harlequin, a dagger in each hand, leaping into the unknown, through a ‘practicable’ portrait of ‘Louis le bien aimé.’ He is pursued by all the European Powers. Clown fires223 two pistols at him, but overthrows Spain, who has just drawn his sword. Russia pricks him in the rear with a lance. Holland and Prussia are firing at him; whilst some one is taking down from the wall the portrait of the Empress as Columbine.

In horrible taste is Rowlandson’s picture of ‘The Corsican and his Bloodhounds at the Window of the Thuilleries, looking over Paris’ (April 16, 1815). The scene is a balcony, in which are Napoleon and some of his marshals. The balcony is inscribed ‘More horrors, Death and Destruction.’ The Devil is hugging Ney and Napoleon, and Death is pointing to the streets of Paris, where is a surging mob, with heads on pikes, &c.


‘The Corsican’s last trip under the guidance of his Good Angel’ (April 16, 1815) has no artist’s name attached. It represents Bonaparte, and the Devil, taking a prodigious leap from Elba, to the throne, and sovereign power.

‘The Phenix of Elba resuscitated by Treason’ is by G. Cruikshank (May 1, 1815), and is a very elaborate plate.224 A witch, whose hands drop gore, presides over the resuscitation, saying, ‘Rise, Spirit, that can never rest, sweet Bloodthirsty Soul! Offspring of Treason! come forth.’ Obedient to her exorcisms, the Phœnix (Napoleon) rises from a caldron, exclaiming, ‘Veni, Vidi, Vici!’ Around the caldron gleefully dance the marshals of the Empire, singing, ‘Ah! ha! by gar, now we shall begin our Bloody work again;’ and in the heavens is shown a genius, having a crown and sceptre in one hand, and a guillotine in the other, who says, ‘Rise, rise, thou favor’d son of Fate! Death or a Diadem shall reward thy labours.’

In one part of the picture is shown the Prince Regent indolently reclining on a divan, a huge decanter by his side, the prime minister presenting him with the news of the Return of Boney to Paris and the Decision of Congress: saying at the same time, ‘May it please my Prince, but these are events we never calculated upon. I had no objection to the sacrifice of Saxony to the ambition of Prussia: I had no objection to the views of Alexander upon Poland: I had no objection to the transfer of Norway to Sweden: I had no objection to the union of Belgium with Holland: I had no objection to all these things; but I could not foresee that the people would be dissatisfied and wish for the return of Buonaparte—to which I have every objection.’ The Regent, his eyes starting out of his head, exclaims, ‘How? shall I lose Hanover? shall I lose all we have been fighting for?’

In another part is Solomon’s Temple, in which sit the Congress, wrangling over the division of a huge cake. Gouty Louis the Eighteenth, mounted on a donkey, is off, hard gallop, to Vienna, calling out, ‘Gee up, Neddy—adieu to the Lily in the Violet season! adieu to my good City of Paris!’ whilst Wellington, on horseback, is going full speed to Belgium.




‘The Royal Allied Oak and self-created mushroom Kings’ is a curiosity on account of the many profiles contained therein. An account of them is given as under:—

Behold the Oak whose firm fix’d stay
Doth check Oppression’s course,
Whose slightest branch can ne’er decay,
While strong with Virtue’s force.
Our much lov’d Sovereign decks the branch,
The highest of the Tree:
And peaceful Louis tho’ driven from France,
Among its boughs you’ll see.
The Regent’s Portrait next behold,
Whose Councils Wisdom guides;
And Russia’s noble Monarch bold,
Who check’d the Tyrant’s strides.
Immortal Wellington next is seen,
Whose fame can ne’er expire;
And vet’ran Blucher’s warlike mien
That kindled Napoleon’s ire.
The Mushroom race you have to seek
In weeds about the root,
Who scarce dare at the Oak to peep,
Or at its princely fruit.

226 This clever picture is by I. Field, and was published May 29, 1815.


S. T. Taw, a new caricaturist, gives us ‘The Crown Candidates, or a modest request politely refused’ (May 1815). Louis the Eighteenth, Napoleon, and the young King of Rome are seated at a table. The former is saying, in the hopes of an amicable settlement being come to, ‘Sire, when you have done with the Empire, I will thank you to let me have it.’ Napoleon replies, ‘I am sorry, Sire, it is engaged for that young Gentleman.’ The King of Rome has a torn map, which he is trying to piece, and he says, 227‘I think I shall be able to unite them.’

G. Cruikshank drew (June 1, 1815) ‘Preparing for War,’ which is somewhat elaborate in detail. The centre is occupied by a funeral pyre, to which fire has already been applied, ‘Sacred to the Bourbon cause, and dedicated to the Downfall of illegitimate Tyranny.’ Atop of this is chained a bull, decked with flowers for the sacrifice, and draped with a cloth, on which is inscribed: ‘Land Tax—Ditto Personal—Tax on Windows, Dogs, Houses, Servants, Clerks, Shopmen, Carts, Hair powder, Horses, Waiters, Travellers, Income, Armorial bearings,’ &c. &c. Poor John Bull bellows, ‘Alas, and must I come to this! have I bled for so many years in your service, and will you now take my life?’ A typical representative of the House of Commons assures him that it is ‘Better to die Johnny, than live, and see thrive the thing we hate—Let us arm—war—war—interminable war I say, down with the Regicide—no quarter to the Usurper—So I said at Congress, so I now repeat, and if it is your fate to expire at the Altar, Johnny, all I ask is that I may live to preach your funeral sermon.’ A typical House of Lords is about to give him the coup de grâce with a pole-axe inscribed ‘New War Taxes,’ comforting him with ‘No grumbling Johnny, you are a Noble Sacrifice and worthy of the Cause.’ A number of empty bags are waiting to be filled—‘Subsidies,’ ‘The Army,’ ‘The Navy,’ ‘Contractors,’ &c.

The left-hand portion of the picture shows the Prince Regent reclining idly on the throne undergoing his toilet. His idea of the gravity of the situation may be gathered from his speech: 228‘Why this looks like war! Order me a brilliant Fête, send me a Myriad of Cooks and Scullions—say to me no more of Civil Lists and deserted wives, but of lascivious Mistresses and Bacchanalian Orgies—To it, Pell mell—my soul is eager for the fierce encounter—What, are my Whiskers52 easier than they were?’ One of his valets says, ‘Your highness shall in all things be obey’d’; whilst one, who is measuring him round the waist, tells him, ‘I think these will be the best stays your highness has had yet.’

In the background are seen soldiery, and Wellington and Blücher sharpening their swords. Poor gouty Louis is clad in armour, and is mounted on Talleyrand as a charger. He is accompanied by an army of two men, armed with bottles of Eau Medicinal, and his artillery is composed of rolls of flannel. He soliloquises: ‘Well—we’ve Tally for the Field to-morrow! but don’t forget the Eau Medicinal and the Fleecy Hosiery; alas! these gouty limbs are but ill adapted to Jack boots and spurs—I think I had better fight my battles over a cool bottle with my friend George.’

The extreme right of the engraving shews Napoleon giving orders to ‘Let loose the Dogs of War;’ which is obeyed by one of his marshals, who delightedly exclaims, 229‘Here is a glorious pack already sniffing human blood, and fresh for slaughter——On—comrades—on! the word is Bonaparte, Beelzebub and Blood.’

It was time to prepare for war, with a vengeance. On March 25 a treaty had been concluded at Vienna between Great Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, binding themselves to maintain the Treaty of Paris, to keep each 150,000 men in the field, and not to leave off until Napoleon had been rendered harmless.

British gold had to be lavishly employed: the King of Würtemberg receiving from our Government 11l. 2s. for each man, to the number of 29,000, which he bound himself to bring into the field.53 But the campaign in Belgium was to be a short one. We all know it, and its glorious end, at Waterloo. The news of that victory flew as never news flew before, for on the 22nd inst. was published the following official bulletin:

‘Downing Street, June 22, 1815.

‘The Duke of Wellington’s Dispatch, dated Waterloo, the 19th of June, states that on the preceding day Buonaparte attacked, with his whole force, the British line, supported by a corps of Prussians; which attack, after a long and sanguinary conflict, terminated in the complete overthrow of the Enemy’s Army, with the loss of One Hundred and Fifty Pieces of Cannon, and Two Eagles. During the night, the Prussians under Marshall Blücher, who joined in the pursuit of the Enemy, captured Sixty Guns, and a large part of Buonaparte’s Baggage. The Allied Armies continued to pursue the enemy. Two French Generals were taken.’

Although jubilant exceedingly, the nation hardly yet comprehended the value of that victory; in fact, in reading the immediate contemporary comments thereon, there seems to be a dread of Napoleon’s powers of resource and recuperation, and the illuminations which followed were230 not so enthusiastically described as on some other occasions.

One caricaturist seems to have been gifted with prescience, for before the victory became known he had produced a caricature which was called ‘A Lecture on Heads,54 as Delivered by Marshalls Wellington and Blucher’ (artist unknown, June 21, 1815), which shews these heroes dealing death and destruction on the French all round them, making the heads fly all over the place. Blücher shouts out, ‘Blister ’em, Fire ’em, shoot ’em, Kick ’em, Lump ’em, Thump ’em, whack ’em, smack ’em.’ Wellington sings—

Bold as Hector or Macbeth,
Ri tol, lol, la.
Where’s the Fun like meeting Death,
Tol de ridy Tol de ray.

‘Monkey’s Allowance, more Kicks than Dumplings. A Farce Perform’d with Great Eclat at the National Theatre in the Netherlands,’ is the title of a not particularly good picture by an unnamed artist in June 1815. It represents Napoleon, with his hands tied behind him, getting ‘Monkey’s Allowance’ from the principal sovereigns of Europe.

Wellington (sings whilst kicking him).

Master Boney with his fol der lol, le,
I buffet away on the plain, Sir;


And I’ll assist your Worship’s fist,
With all my might and main, Sir.


And I’ll have a Thump,
Although he’s so plump,


And we’ll make such a woundy racket,


We’ll ramp, we’ll swear


We’ll tear—oh rare,


I warrant we’ll pepper his jacket.

‘R. Ackermann’s Transparency on the Victory of Waterloo’ is said to be by Rowlandson, and is without date. It, doubtless, was got up on the news of that great battle, but it is a very weak production. It simply represents Napoleon between Wellington and Blücher: the latter meets him with artillery, the former pursues him on horseback. Of course his crown has tumbled off. It is not an artistic picture by any means, but, doubtless, it evoked the enthusiasm of the masses, who were intoxicated with joy at the famous victory.

After the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon hastened to Paris, and, tired and covered with dust as he was, he immediately met his Ministers, and told them the extent of his disasters. They laid the intelligence before the Houses of Legislature, and on the morning of June 22 Napoleon received a deputation from the Chamber, who submitted to him that ‘the state of war in which France was involved concerned much less the nation than himself, and that the Assembly had the means at command, if he would act so disinterested a part as to restore to it freedom of action according as circumstances might dictate.’

This was a pretty broad hint to Napoleon to abdicate, and he took it as such, and sent the following reply:—


‘Frenchmen! When I began the war to uphold national independence, I relied on the union of all efforts, all wills, and on the co-operation of all national authorities. I was justified in anticipating success, and I braved all the declarations of the Powers against my person. Circumstances seem to be changed. I offer myself as a sacrifice to the hatred against France. May your enemies prove sincere, and may it appear that they wage war against me alone! My political life is terminated. I proclaim my son, under the title of Napoleon II., Emperor of the French. The present Ministers will form the Council of the Provisional Government. The interest which I take in my son induces me to invite the Chambers to organize a Regency without delay, by a special law. Unite for the general safety, and to secure national independence.


At the Palace of the Elysée, the 22 June, 1815.

The ‘Times,’55 as usual, must speak bitter things of the fallen foe, and, anent his abdication, says, 233‘The wretch, with the blood of so many thousands on his head, seemed to carry about him all the coolness of that apathy which is part of his physical constitution; and so degraded and demoralised are the Parisian populace, that they could see the butcher of their race without the least emotion. He is, however, spoken of in the journals, and in the debates, without any share of that respect which but lately was attached to his name. After his former abdication, he was invariably termed the “Emperor”; but now he is called nothing but plain Napoleon.’


Napoleon retired to Malmaison, but was not long there before General Becker came to him and informed him that he was appointed by the Provisional Government to command the troops detailed for his protection. Napoleon knew the meaning of this message, but even being made a prisoner by his own soldiery did not quell his spirit.

But the presence of Napoleon at Malmaison embarrassed the Government, and Becker had orders to convey Napoleon with all speed to the Isle of Aix. Accordingly they set out, and reached Rochefort on July 3, where he remained until the 8th, when he embarked on board the ‘Saale’ frigate, but without any hope of getting to sea, because of the blockade of the port by the ‘Bellerophon’ and other English men-of-war. He occasionally landed on the Isle of Aix; but all hopes of reaching America seem to have been abandoned, as Las Cases and Savary were sent on board the ‘Bellerophon’ to inquire of Captain Maitland whether he knew anything of the passports Napoleon expected from the British Government, and whether any opposition would be offered to his sailing to the United States. Captain Maitland replied that he knew nothing of the intentions of his Government, but he certainly could not allow any ship-of-war to leave the234 port, and in the course of conversation asked, ‘Why not seek an asylum in England?’

The hint thus dropped fructified; for, after another visit of Las Cases and General Lallemand on board the ‘Bellerophon’ on July 14, avowedly to repeat their previous questions, the matter was openly discussed, and on mentioning the result of their interview to the Emperor he agreed to this course, and desired Las Cases to tell Captain Maitland to prepare and receive him and his suite the next day. At the same time he entrusted General Gourgaud with an autograph letter to the Prince Regent, directing him to take it to England and deliver it into the Prince’s own hands.

From the date of this letter, which was the 13th, it would seem that Napoleon had, on the previous day, made up his mind what course to pursue. The following is the text of the letter:—

Your Royal Highness,

Exposed to the factions which divide my Country, and to the enmity of the greatest Powers of Europe, I have terminated my political career; and I come, like Themistocles, to throw myself upon the hospitality of the British People. I place myself under the protection of their laws, which I claim from your Royal Highness, as the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous, of my enemies.


Rochefort, 13th July, 1815.

On the 15th, then, Napoleon and suite went on board the ‘Bellerophon,’ where they were received by Captain Maitland and his officers; the Emperor saying, ‘I am come to throw myself on the Protection of your Prince and Laws.’

Caricature of such a scene seems to be in very bad235 taste, but as it was done, and is so truly comic, I cannot refrain from reproducing it.


‘Compliments and Congées, or Little Boney’s surrender to the Tars of Old England!!!’ is a highly humorous picture by G. Cruikshank (July 24, 1815). Napoleon surrenders himself, cringing and weeping, together with his suite, whom he describes, on board the ‘Bellerophon,’ and is received with due respect by Captain Maitland. The ex-Emperor says, ‘O, Mr. Bull, I am so happy to see you, I always had a great regard for the British Sailors, they are such noble fellows, so brave, so generous!! You see I am in a great deal of trouble, but I hope you will take pity on me and my suite, namely my barber, my cook, and my washerwoman, together with a few of my brave generals who ran away with me from the Battle of Waterloo, and I do assure you we will have great pleasure in surrendering to the good English—I should feel extremely obliged if you would take us to America, but if you will not, I beg you will take us to England, for I hate those Bears, and cursed Cossacks, and as for the French Nation now—why they may be d—d. Old England for ever I say.’ And his suite servilely follow their fallen master’s lead with cries of 236‘Vivent les Anglais!’

Captain Maitland receives him with doffed hat and his hand on his heart, saying, ‘Indeed Mr. Boney I am greatly obliged to you for your compliments, and I assure you we are as happy to receive you, as you are to surrender. I’m afraid they would not take that care of you in America, that they will in England. Therefore I shall conduct you to the latter place, as quick as possible.’ The opinions of the sailors are more graphic than polite: ‘My eyes, what a sneaking hound he is!!’ ‘I say Jack, do you think they’ll clap him in Exeter Change amongst the wild beasts?’ ‘No, I suppose as how he’ll be put in the Monkey’s den in the Tower, or else they’ll send him about with the dancing bear!’

Charles etched (July 15, 1815) ‘The Bone-a-part in a fresh place.’ This represents Bonaparte caught in a spring man-trap, which has broken his leg. He surrenders his sword to John Bull, who is dressed as a gardener: ‘Here take this Mr. Bull, you have me in your power—I must trust to your usual generosity, and most humbly acknowledge that I am truly sorry I ever came here.’ John Bull makes no answer, but soliloquises thus instead: ‘He has plundered most of his neighbours’ Gardens, but I thought he would be sorry if ever he set his foot in mine. I suppose this big sword is what he intended to cut my cabbages with, and perhaps my head too! but I’ll have it for a pruning knife, ’twill serve me to lop his Branches with, if any should spring up after I have taken care of him.’

G. Cruikshank, in August 1815, published a contrast—‘Buonaparte on the 17th of June—Buonaparte on the 17th of July, 1815.’ On the former date he is seen vapouring on the French coast, flourishing his sword, and calling out, 237‘Ha, ha, you Bull beast, you Blackguard Islander, you see I am come back again, and now you shall see what I shall do with you, you wretch! you thought I was done over, did you? you thought I was going to stay at Elba? D—n all Elbas, abdications, Englishmen and their Allies. I’ll play Hell with them all.’ John Bull, seated securely on his own shore, calmly enjoying his tankard of ale and his long clay pipe, puffs out a huge mouthful of smoke at his adversary, with a contemptuous ‘You may be d—d. I’ll make a Tobacco stopper of you.’

But within one short month what a change had come over the scene! Napoleon, a weeping, kneeling suppliant, on board the ‘Bellerophon,’ moans out:—

O good Mr. Bull! I wish you to know
(Although you are my greatest foe,)
That my career is at an end:
And I wish you now to stand my friend.
For, though at the Battle of Waterloo
I was by you beat black & blue,
Yet you see I wish to live with you,
For I’m sure what is said of your goodness is true.
And now if in England you’ll let me remain
I ne’er will be guilty of bad Tricks again.

John Bull, however, knowing the slippery customer he has to deal with, reflects: ‘Let me see;—first of all you sprung from the Island of Corsica, and when you was kick’d out of France, and went to the Island of Elba, you made another spring into France again.—And now when you are kick’d out of France a second time, you want to come and live on my Island—But it won’t do, Master Boney;—you’ll be making another spring into France again, I suppose—so I tell you what—I’ll send you to the Island of St. Helena, and we’ll see what sort of a spring you’ll make then.’

George Cruikshank contributes a very badly drawn etching (September 1, 1815) of ‘Boney’s threatened Invasion brought to bear,—or, taking a View of the English238 coast from ye Poop of the Bellerophon.’ The English coast is represented by a ‘Citadel,’ in front of which is a gallows prepared. One of his suite points it out to him: ‘By gar! mon Emperor, dey have erect von prospect for you.’ Napoleon, who is mounted on a breech of the gun, looks through his telescope and says, ‘Me no like the d—n prospect.’ A Jack Tar sitting on another gun gives as his opinion, 239‘I thinks as how, Master Boney, that instead of sending you to Hell bay, they should have sent you to Hell at once.’



On board the ‘Bellerophon’ he was treated with every consideration by Captain Maitland. He was still looked upon as Emperor, and dined off his own gold plate, the dinner being ordered by his own maître d’hôtel; and when he visited the ‘Superb’ he was received with all the honours accorded to royalty, with the exception of a salute being fired. On the 16th July they set sail for England, and at daybreak on the 24th they were close to Dartmouth. Napoleon rose at six and went on the poop, surveying the coast, which he much admired: ‘What a beautiful country! it very much resembles Porto Ferrajo at Elba.’

About eight A.M. they anchored at Torbay, and no sooner was it known that Napoleon was on board the ‘Bellerophon’ than the bay was covered with vessels and boats full of people. A neighbouring gentleman sent the Emperor a present of fruit. What a different reception from the language of the ‘Times’56:—

‘Our paper of this day will satisfy the sceptics, for such there were beginning to be, as to the capture of that bloody miscreant, who has so long tortured Europe, Napoleon Buonaparte. Savages are always found to unite the greatest degree of cunning to the ferocious part of their nature. The cruelty of this person is written in characters of blood in almost every country in Europe, and in the240 contiguous angles of Africa and Asia which he visited and nothing can more strongly evince the universal conviction of his low, perfidious craft, than the opinion which was beginning to get abroad, that even after his capture had been officially announced, in both France, and England, he might yet have found means to escape. However, all doubts upon this point are at an end, by his arrival off the British coast; and, if he be not now placed beyond the possibility of again outraging the peace of Europe, England will certainly never again deserve to have heroes such as those who have fought, and bled, at Waterloo, for this, his present overthrow. The lives of the brave men who fell on that memorable day will have been absolutely thrown away by a thoughtless country; the grand object attained by their valour will have been frustrated, and we shall do little less than insult over their remains, almost before they have ceased to bleed. But Fortune, seconding their undaunted efforts, has put it in our power to do far otherwise.

‘Captain Sartorius of the Slaney frigate, arrived yesterday with dispatches from Captain Maitland of the Bellerophon, confirming all the antecedent accounts of Buonaparte’s surrender, with various other details, and closing them by their natural catastrophe—his safe conveyance to England. He is, therefore, what we may call, here. Captain Sartorius delivered his dispatches to Lord Melville, at Wimbledon, by whom their contents were communicated to Lord Liverpool, at his seat at Combe Wood; summonses were immediately issued for a Cabinet Council to meet at 12 o’clock; what passed there was, of course, not suffered to transpire; our narrative must therefore revert to the Slaney frigate, and the accounts brought by her. She had been sent forward by Captain Maitland to Plymouth, with the dispatches announcing that Buonaparte241 was on board the Bellerophon, with a numerous suite. But it was the intention of Captain Maitland himself, to proceed to Torbay, and not to land his prisoners until he had received orders from Government.

‘Buonaparte’s suite, as it is called, consists of upwards of 40 persons, among whom was Bertrand, Savary, Lallemand! Grogan,57 and several women. He has been allowed to take on board carriages and horses, but admission was denied to about 50 cavalry, for whom he had the impudence to require accommodation. This wretch has really lived in the commission of every crime, so long, that he has lost all sight and knowledge of the difference that exists between good and evil, and hardly knows when he is doing wrong, except he be taught by proper chastisement. A creature—who ought to be greeted with a gallows as soon as he lands—to think of an attendance of fifty horsemen! He had at first wanted to make conditions with Captain Maitland as to his treatment, but the British officer very properly declared that he must refer him upon this subject to his Government.

‘When he had been some time on board, he asked the Captain what chance two large frigates, well manned, would have with a seventy-four. The answer, we understand, which he received to this enquiry, did not give him any cause to regret that he had not tried his fortune in a naval combat with the relative forces in question. By the way, we should not have been surprised if he had come into an action with the two frigates, and then endeavoured to escape in his own, and leave the other to her fate. It has been the constant trick of this villain, whenever he has got his companions into a scrape, to leave them in it, and seek his own safety by flight. In Egypt, in the Moscow expedition, and at Waterloo, such was his conduct.

242 ‘He likewise had the assurance to address a letter to the Prince Regent, and M. Grogan, one of his party, was put on board the Slaney as the bearer of it; but when this vessel reached Plymouth, the officer on duty there, with a decision that does him credit, refused Grogan permission to land: the letter is said to have been conveyed by Captain Sartorius, and its purport was understood, on board, to be a request for passports for America. We should have supposed that he had received too many checks before, for his presumption in addressing letters to the British Government, ever to have hazarded that experiment again; but all reproofs are thrown away upon his callous heart;—not that we should object to his humbly addressing the British throne for mercy, if he has anything to urge in extenuation of his crimes; but the time has not yet come; a momentary gleam of resolution on the part of his own Government, indicated by the imprisonment of Labédoyère, and others, led us to hope that his trial might have been safely entrusted to those to whom it primarily, and of natural right, belongs; but, though this hope may have proved transitory, he is not, therefore, above the criminal justice of other countries, where established law, and a regular execution of it, prevails.

‘The first procedure, we trust, will be a special commission, or the appointment of a court martial, to try him for the murder of Captain Wright. It is nonsense to say, as some have, that courts martial are instituted only to try offences committed by soldiers of the country to which they belong: it was an American court martial that tried and shot Major André as a spy; and Buonaparte himself appointed commissions of all kinds, and in all countries, to try offences committed against himself.’

The same paper says: 243‘As soon as an august personage was informed of the capture of Buonaparte, he communicated this important intelligence to a prince of his family—“The ancient fable is at length realised: the Chimera is in the power of Bellerophon, and will not this time escape again.”

‘[Every reader knows that the Chimera was a terrible monster that vomited fire.]’

Rowlandson gives us (July 28, 1815) ‘Boney’s Trial, Sentence and Dying Speech, or Europe’s injuries revenged.’ Boney is in the felon’s dock, backed up by his old friend the Devil. His indictment sets forth thus: ‘Napolean Boneparte, The first and last, by the wrath of Heaven, Ex Emperor of Jacobins and Head Runner of Runaways, stands indicted 1st for the murder of Captain Wright, in the Temple at Paris. 2nd for the murder of the Duke d’Enghien, Pichegru and Georges. 3rd for the murder of Palm, Hofer, &c. &c. 4th for the murder of the 12 inhabitants of Moscow. 5th for innumerable Robberies committed on all Nations in Christendom, and elsewhere. 6th for bigamy, and lastly for returning from Transportation, and setting the World in an uproar.’ Blücher presides, assisted by all the European sovereigns, and gives sentence thus: ‘You, Nap Boneparte, being found guilty of all these crimes, it is fell to my lot to pronounce sentence of Death upon you. You are to be hung by the neck for one hour, till you are Dead, dead, dead, and your body to be chained to a mill stone, and sunk in the sea at Torbay.’

Napoleon, terrified at this sentence, weepingly implores, ‘Oh Cruel Blucher! Oh Cruel Wellington! it is you that have brought me to this end. Oh, magnanimous Emperors, Kings and Princes! intercede for me, and spare my life, and give me time to atone for all my sins. My Son, Napoleon the Second, will reward you for mercy shewn me.’

On July 26 orders came for the ‘Bellerophon’ to go to Plymouth; which being reached, two frigates, the 244‘Liffey’ and ‘Eurotas,’ were anchored, one on either side of her, and kept strict guard over her. No boat from the shore was allowed to come within a cable’s length of her, and ships’ boats continually rowing around kept that space clear.

The following description is by an eye-witness58:—


There is nothing so dull as mere fact, you’ll admit,
While you read my detail, unenlivened by wit.
My friends will believe, though they’re told it in rhyme,
That I thought to return in a far shorter time.
When at once we’re resolv’d, by half past on the move,
And by two, but a trio, we reach Mutton Cove;
When approaching the quay, such a rabble and rout,
That we ask ‘My good friend, what is all this about?’
‘They are rowing a race, and some boats are come in,
While these people are waiting till t’ others begin.’
Well aware of our folly, with risible lip,
The boatman we told to make haste to the ship;
On the colours of fish,59 here by hampers-full landing,
We gaze for amusement, while still we’re kept standing;
At length to the Admiral’s stairs we have got,
See his party on board, and hear tunes from his yacht.
The day is delightful, the gale just enough
For the sea to look lively without being rough.
With those first at the ship, our sight costs the dearer,
As we’ve longer to wait, and not, in the end, nearer;
For by land, and by water, so different the case is,
’Twas long before we were jam’d into our places;
But on further advice we’ll at present be dumb,
For half the spectators you know, are now come:
In one boat, a bevy, all sarcenet and veil,
In the next some good fellows while toping their ale.
‘Avast! here’s the guard boat.’ ‘Aye here it comes smack.’
And the ladies cry ‘Captain they’ll drive us all back.’
Then some bully our men, with ‘Skull out there, skull out,’
And others check these with ‘Mind what you’re about.’
Here’s a crazy old boat, laded dry by a shoe,
There, a gay painted barge is forced on our view;
In this, while Don Solus is jeered by the mob,
‘See that empty boat, turn it out.’ ‘Here’s a fine job.’
Cries one, of some dozens squeezed into the next,
‘I’ve left the pork pie, Oh dear I’m so vex’d.’
In the long boat, that shews us profusion of oar,
From the Captain bursts forth, a most terrible roar
At his men, but the anger about who, or what,
Though they still remember, we soon had forgot.
Here infants were crying, mothers scolding downright,
While the next party laughs at some comical sight.
Now watches and spy-glasses make their appearance,
And Impatience, that vixen, begins interference;
To beguile her, through portholes we eagerly stare,
For the nobles on deck are all taking the air.
‘Hey dey what a bustle!’ then ‘All safe, all safe.’
The crowd is return’d to its chatter and laugh.
‘Pray what was the matter?’ ‘From that boat, near the ship,
A woman fell over, and so got a dip.’
But a hum of applause, yes, his triumph is full,
Yet this hum of applause has betrayed our John Bull,
‘What hum of applause? come I prithee be brief:’
Why John was delighted to see them ship beef.
With a smile ’tis observed by the Briton polite,
How the glee of the crowd was improv’d, by the sight,
For the rough, honest tar, had declared from his heart,
That he thought this a sight that would beat Bonaparte.
Some, again, with composure, predict peace and war,
Others look at the great folks, and fancy a star;
But we, much fatigued, six o’clock now approaching,
And on our good nature we thought them encroaching,
When boats are made bridges, nay, tempted to think,
That through some of these freedoms, not strange we should sink.
But here I must mention, when all was most merry,
As here is each size, from the long boat to wherry,
When the crowd should disperse, I was fearful, I own,
Lest your small boats, by barges, should then be run down.
But a truce with our hopes, our predictions and fears,
For now, yes at last, our grand object appears;
And now every eye to the ship is directed,
Though to see Bonaparte, I no longer expected;
For between us what number of men! and aghast
We stood, as still thicker and thicker the mast. [? mass]
But now see Napoleon, who seems in his figure,
What we call mediocre, nor smaller, nor bigger;
For in spite of our fears, how it was, I can’t tell,
What our distance allowed of, we saw very well.
But in this we’re full right, for now, hurry scurry,
Boat rows against boat, with the madness of fury;
The show was all over, but time was outstaid
By some, and by others, attempts were still made
To get round the ship, in hopes Bonaparte might
At some place yet be seen, thus to perfect their sight.

This doggerel helps us to realise the intense desire of the British public to get at least a glimpse at Boney, that great bugbear who for so many years had been so great a terror to them, and whose existence everyone, from the highest to the lowest, had acutely felt in that tenderest place of our social economy—the breeches pocket. They all but carried out the threat, made twelve years previously, of putting him in Pidcock’s Menagerie, vide the following extracts from a contemporary pamphlet60:—

‘The desire of all ranks to see him was excessive; the guardboats were unable to prevent them from closing the ship, and it was amusement on board to look at the boats contending for places. Napoleon generally walked the247 quarterdeck about eleven in the forenoon, and half past six in the afternoon. He ate but two meals in the day, both alike, meat of every description, different wines, coffee, fruit, &c. Immediately after each meal he rose first, and the others followed; he then either went on the quarterdeck or in the after-cabin to study. The comedy of The Poor Gentleman61 was performed before him; he was much pleased at it; it went off very well; the scenery was good, but somewhat better dresses were wanted for the female midshipmen.62

‘The immense number of persons who daily flock from all parts of the country to take a view of the person of Napoleon is incalculable. He generally gratified the public curiosity by making his appearance every afternoon for two hours.

‘Upwards of one thousand boats were from morning to night round the Bellerophon. The seamen of the Bellerophon adopted a curious mode to give an account to the curious spectators in the boats of the movements of Napoleon. They wrote in chalk, on a board, which they exhibited, a short account of his different occupations—“At breakfast”—“In the cabin with Captain Maitland”—“Writing with his officers”—“Going to dinner”—“Coming upon deck,” &c.’

Las Cases says: ‘It was known that he always appeared on deck towards five o’clock. A short time before this hour, all the boats collected alongside of each other; there were thousands; and so closely were they connected, that the water could no longer be seen between them. They looked more like a multitude assembled in a public square than anything else. When the Emperor came out, the noise and gestures of so many people presented a most248 striking spectacle; it was, at the same time, very easy to perceive that nothing hostile was meant, and that, if curiosity had brought them, they felt interested on going away. We could even see that the latter sentiment continued to increase; at first, people merely looked toward the ship, they ended by saluting; some remained uncovered, and, occasionally, went so far as to cheer. Even our symbols began to appear amongst them. Several individuals of both sexes came decorated with red carnations.’

Napoleon knew that St. Helena had been fixed upon as the place of his future residence, and did not at all relish the idea; but it was not officially announced to him until July 30 or 31, when Lord Keith went on board the ‘Bellerophon’ and presented him with the following despatch:—


Communication made by Lord Keith, in the name of the English Ministers.

‘As it may, perhaps, be convenient for General Buonaparte to learn, without further delay, the intentions of the British Government with regard to him, your Lordship will communicate the following information.

‘It would be inconsistent with our duty towards our country and the Allies of his Majesty, if General Buonaparte possessed the means of again disturbing the repose of Europe. It is on this account, that it becomes absolutely necessary he should be restrained in his personal liberty, so far as this is required by the foregoing important object.

‘The island of St. Helena has been chosen as his future residence; its climate is healthy, and its local position will allow of his being treated with more indulgence than could be admitted in any other spot, owing to the indispensable precautions which it would be necessary to employ for the security of his person.

‘General Buonaparte is allowed to select amongst those persons who accompanied him to England (with the exception of Generals Savary and Lallemand) three officers, who, together with his surgeon, will have permission to accompany him to St. Helena; these individuals will not be allowed to quit the island without the sanction of the British Government.

‘Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, who is named Commander in Chief at the Cape of Good Hope, and seas adjacent, will convey General Buonaparte and his suite to St. Helena; and he will receive detailed instructions relative to the execution of this service.

‘Sir G. Cockburn will, most probably, be ready to sail in a few days; for which reason, it is desirable that General Buonaparte should make choice of the persons who are to accompany him, without delay.’

Of this interview Las Cases says: 250‘I was not called before the Emperor. The bearers of his sentence spoke and understood French; they were admitted alone. I have since heard that he objected, and protested, with no less energy than logic, against the violence exercised on his person. “He was the guest of England,” said Napoleon, “and not its prisoner; he came of his own accord to place himself under the protection of its laws; the most sacred rights of hospitality were violated in his person; he would never submit voluntarily to the outrage they were preparing for him: violence alone should oblige him to do so,” &c.’


That the Government was in earnest, as to his departure, was soon shown, for orders came on August 4 for the ‘Bellerophon’ to weigh, and join the ‘Northumberland,’ which was the ship in which Napoleon was to take his passage to St. Helena. He issued a formal protest:—

I hereby solemnly protest in the face of heaven and mankind against the violence that is done me; and the violation of my most sacred rights, in forcibly disposing of my person and liberty. I voluntarily came on board the Bellerophon—I am not the prisoner, I am the guest of England. I came at the instigation of the Captain himself, who said he had orders from the Government to receive and convey me to England, together with my suite, if agreeable to me. I came forward with confidence to place myself under the protection of the laws of England. When once on board the Bellerophon, I was entitled to the hospitality of the British people. If the Government, in giving the Captain of the Bellerophon orders to receive me and my followers, only wished to lay a snare, it has forfeited its honour, and disgraced its flag.

If this act be consummated, it will be in vain for the English, henceforth, to talk of their sincerity, their laws, and liberties. British faith will have been lost in the hospitality of the Bellerophon.

I appeal to History; it will say, that an enemy, who made war for twenty years against the English people, came spontaneously, in the hour of misfortune, to seek an asylum under their laws. What more striking proof could he give of his esteem and251 confidence? But how did England reply to such an act of magnanimity? It pretended to hold out a hospitable hand to this enemy: and on giving himself up with confidence, he was immolated!


Bellerophon, at Sea. Friday, Aug. 4th, 1815.

On the 6th they anchored off Start Point, and were soon joined by the ‘Northumberland’ and two frigates, full of soldiers, who were to form the garrison of St. Helena. By order, their arms were taken from them, with the exception of Napoleon, who was allowed to keep his sword; all their money, diamonds, and saleable effects were put under seal; but Napoleon might keep his plate, baggage, wines, and provisions. The search of his personal effects greatly exasperated him.

Between one and two o’clock P.M. of the 7th, the transfer from the ‘Bellerophon’ to the ‘Northumberland’ was made, and then, as there was nothing else to wait for, ‘Cæsar and his fortunes’ sailed for St. Helena.

The ‘Times’ (August 11, 1815) has the following short leader: 252‘We trust that we now, at last, take a long leave of Napoleon Buonaparte, except that we may, occasionally, have to instance him as an example of every crime, for the benefit of others: and, if the hand of man has dealt too leniently by his offences, it must not, on that occasion, be conceived that he is exempt from every other punishment. To what profession of faith he may now belong, we know not, as we believe he has been Atheist, Mahometan, and Roman Catholic, in succession, as best suited the particular purpose of the moment: indeed, such was the inherent baseness of the man, notwithstanding his eminent talents, and incessant activity, that he was in the habitual practice of the meanest arts of deception for the promotion of his interest, never blushing at the subsequent exposure of his falsehoods, or the discovery of his expedients, provided they had first promoted the object he had in view.

‘Yet if he is still a man, he must, now that he is reduced to solitude and leisure, have some religion or other engraven in his soul, that will make him feel compunction for the many horrible atrocities of which he has been guilty. It is said that he needs incessant exercise for the relief of his bilious complaint; perhaps, also, he may now first discover that he has need of incessant bustle also, in order to abstract his attention from a certain mental malady, called an evil conscience. In the midst of the horror which his crimes always excited in well-constituted minds, throughout Europe, there was a certain mixture of contempt, or derision, excited by the little knaveries which he practised, and the same feeling will not fail to mingle itself in this the closing scene of his drama, on observing the attendants of such a man, who had been used to sport with oaths, to laugh at engagements, to make a mockery of religion, to commit or direct murder in all its forms, from the midnight assassination, up to the boundless slaughter of the tented field, anxious to provide for the amusement of his, and their, declining years, by a stock of cards, domino and backgammon tables.’

Whilst they are on their journey, we will just glance at the few remaining caricatures.

‘The Ex-Emperor in a bottle’ is a somewhat serious, and well-executed, engraving (August 25, 1815). Napoleon is enclosed in a glass bottle, which the Prince Regent, who wears a superb hussar uniform, has just sealed with a seal bearing the imprint of a cannon and the legend Martial Achievements; around are grouped the figures named in the following verses—Louis the Eighteenth being on his knees, his eyes being raised in pious thankfulness to Heaven.


Ambition’s dread career at length is o’er,
And weeping Europe hopes for peace once more;
Sov’reigns in arms, at length the world have freed,
And Britain’s warlike sons no more shall bleed:
The great Napoleon now resigns his sway,
And in a bottle seal’d is borne away.
England’s great Prince, whom Europe does confess
The potent friend of Freedom in distress,
With Allies brave, to the world impartial,
Seal’d up their foe with Achievements martial,
That he no more disturb the tranquil World,
Nor be again his bloody flag unfurl’d.
’Twas Alexander great, of generous mind,
With zealous Frederick, who to peace inclined,
Resolv’d with Francis, in propitious hour,
To free old Gallia from the Despot’s power.
Her tyrannic Lord from rule is driven,
And grateful Louis offers thanks to Heaven.
The Martial Heroes next a tribute claim,
First Wellington, immortal is his fame:
And Blücher, who, for valour long renown’d,
Compell’d the Tyrant’s legions to give ground:
The cautious Swartzenberg, of wise delays,
And the brave Platoff, ask their share of praise.

‘The downfall of Tyranny and return of Peace’ is by George Cruikshank, and, although not dated, is undoubtedly of the autumn of 1815. Justice, with a flaming sword, has banished Napoleon to his rock of St. Helena, where, chained, he is seized upon by the fiend as his own. Peace with her olive branch, Plenty with her cornucopia, Agriculture and Commerce, are welcomed by Britannia with open arms.

Marks (August 1815) drew 254‘The Exile of St. Helena, or Boney’s Meditation,’ in which there is a fairly accurate delineation of the Rocky Island and its little town. Napoleon is standing with his feet astride, each planted on a rock on either side the bay; he weeps copiously, and the expression of his countenance is very rueful.


The Devil addressing the Sun.—Paradise Lost, Book IV.

‘Napoleon’s trip from Elba to Paris, and from Paris to255 St. Helena’ is the title of three engravings on one sheet, by G. Cruikshank (September 1, 1815). In the first compartment is shown the battle of Waterloo, with the French army in full flight. Napoleon is seated on the French Eagle, which, however, has but one wing, for, as it mournfully observes, ‘My left wing has entirely disappeared.’ The Emperor, whose crown and sceptre have fallen from him, clutches the bird round the neck, exclaiming: ‘Sauve qui peut—the Devil take the hindmost—Run, my boys, your Emperor leads the way—My dear eagle, only conduct me safe to Paris this time, as you did from Moscow and Leipsig, and I’ll never trouble you again—Oh! d—n that Wellington!’

The middle picture shows Napoleon in the stern gallery of the ‘Bellerophon,’ talking to John Bull, who sits by his fireside placidly smoking his pipe as usual. Says the ex-Emperor: ‘My most powerful and generous enemy, how do you do? I come, like Themistocles, to seat myself upon your hearth—I am very glad to see you.’ John Bull replies: ‘So am I glad to see you Mr. Boney, but I’ll be d—d if you sit upon my hearth, or any part of my house—it has cost me a pretty round sum to catch you, Mr. Themistocles, as you call yourself, but now I have got you, I’ll take care of you.’

The third is a sad one. Napoleon is at St. Helena, reduced to the sport of catching rats. Across his breast he wears a broad leather scarf, covered with brass rats, and sits moodily before a baited trap, into which the rats decline to enter. He thus soliloquises:—


Alas! that I who caught Imperial flats,
Should now sit here to watch these scurvy rats.
I, who Madrid, Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, took,
Am doom’d, with cheese, to bait a rusty hook!
Was it for this I tried to save my bacon.
To use it now for Rats, that won’t be taken?
Curse their wise souls! I had not half such trouble
Their European brethren to bubble.
When I, myself, was hail’d as Emperor Nap,
Emperors and Kings I had within my trap:
And to this moment might have kept them there,
Had I not gone to hunt the Russian bear.

One of his suite sees a rat coming: ‘Ah! mon Dieu! Dere, your Majesty, dere be de vilain rogues—Ah, monsieur rat, why you not pop your nose into de trap, and let de august Emperor catch you?’ A female attendant, with a slice of bacon on a fork, says, ‘Will your Majesty be please to try dis bit of bacon? Ah! de cunning rascal! Dere! ma foi! he sniff at de bacon.’

‘General Sans Pareil’ (September 1, 1815) is an extremely elaborate picture, far too much so for reproduction; therefore it will be better to give the description at the foot of the figure: ‘The above Portrait of Buonaparte, may be considered as an emblematical Index of his extraordinary Life. The Design reflects the highest credit on the Artist, who is a Frenchman: he has judiciously formed the Hat of the different Crowns which Buonaparte placed on other Men’s Heads. The position of the forefinger and thumb are particularly deserving of notice, with the words Moreau and Pichegru on them, indicating that Moreau was his guide or finger-post to all his victories; and the word Pichegru being on his thumb, is meant to imply that he always had him in view as being one great obstacle to his rising greatness; while in the other hand he holds a nooze, or rope, as the means of ridding himself of so formidable an enemy. The words on his Breast are the names of the different kingdoms he has overrun or conquered. His Waistcoat is ornamented with the figures of the different257 Kings he had made; the French call them “La folie fabrique de sire”: indicative, that while the dark clouds of despotism hung over Buonaparte’s empire, his Kings reflected their borrowed lustre; but when once the Sun of universal restitution darted forth its rays, they melted “like wax before the sun.” The artist has well contrived to put the little King of Rome, as a monkey, above the heads of the other Kings. The Bales and Casks of Goods, on his left thigh, denote the stoppage of Trade which his system of warfare had brought on the French People. The Beet root refers to the Decree issued for making Sugar of that plant, when he had lost all his West India Possessions. On his legs are represented Skulls, symbolic of Death, who accompanied him wherever he trod—His sword, which so often paralyzed the world, and conquered with a rapidity hitherto unknown, is placed in the form of a Comet or Meteor. Such is this brief and imperfect delineation of the above extremely curious and interesting Portrait.’

‘Boxiana—or the Fancy’ (artist unknown), October 1, 1815, shows the popular idea of the treatment Napoleon received. The gross, corpulent Prince Regent has thrown down his traditional three feathers, and is, like the ex-Emperor, stripped for the fight. Napoleon is on the ground, and the Regent is kicking him. A sweep has picked up one of the Prince’s feathers, and shows it to Napoleon’s backer, saying, ‘Master, I found a white feather.’ The backer calls out, ‘Foul! foul! by all the rules of honor! why even blackey cries shame.’ A negro, who is acting as bottle-holder, cries out:—

What, Ben, my big hero, is this thy renown?
Is this the new go? Kick a man when he’s down!
When the foe has knock’d under, to tread on him then,
By the fist of my father, I blush for thee, Ben!

The Regent’s backer explains, ‘He’s only kicking, to258 try if there’s any honor there, Blackey.’ One of the spectators imagines that ‘Themistocles will be well treated if we can find any honor in him!’ Another says, ‘Or we must send Themistocles to acquire honor at Botany.’

A French spectator turns to an Englishman, saying, ‘Ah, je vois, you be de Jentelman! n’est ce pas bien Sauvage, Sare?’ The reply is, ‘Bien shove a——e No, d——e! mounseer, I think it more like kicking than shoving.’ Another astonished looker-on exclaims, ‘Vy, Charly, vot sort of a go d’you call this?’ And a Frenchman advises his defeated champion, 259‘Vy you no go to de Russia, you only get little squeeze.’


The ‘Northumberland’ crossed the Line on September 23, and the sailors had their then usual bit of fun. Neptune and Amphitrite came on board, and Napoleon’s suite were introduced to them in a ceremonious and courtly manner, escaping the usual ordeal by some small presents to their Majesties. Napoleon, of course, was sacred, and, when he was told of the extreme, and unusual, tenderness with which his followers had been treated, he wanted to give the crew a hundred napoleons; but the admiral would not allow it. The caricaturist, however, gives a different version of the affair.

‘Boney crossing the Line’ is by Marks (September 1815), and illustrates the rough sports which then obtained on board ship. Napoleon, blindfolded, is thrown into a tub, where he is being subjected to the usual rough usage, at the command of Neptune, who, with his spouse, are drawn on a gun-carriage by sailors. Neptune says, ‘I command you’l cleanse him from his iniquities.’ Poor Boney little likes his treatment, ‘I no like de English valet de Chambre, Have mercy.’ Two French generals stand by, blindfolded, ready to undergo the same treatment. One says, ‘I wish de Dirty Job was over;’ the other, ‘Be gar, me no like de shaving shop.’ But a sailor remarks to them, ‘Have Patience Gentlemen, and we’ll shave you260 directly, and give you a good lathering as Old Blucher did!!!’


The last caricature I shall reproduce is called ‘Fast Colours, Patience on a monument smiling at grief, or the Royal Laundress washing Boney’s Court dresses (G. H. invt, G. Cruikshank fect October 26, 1815).’ It shows the poor fatuous Bourbon trying to wash out the tricolour, thus bemoaning the task: ‘Bless me, how fast these colours are, I’m afraid I shall not get them white,63 altho’ I have got such a strong lather.’ Napoleon, seated on his rocky home, says, ‘Ha, ha! such an old woman as you, may rub a long while before they’ll be all white, for they are tricoloured in grain.’ There is another print of the same date and subject, uncoloured, which has the addition of Wellington, Russia, Prussia, and Austria stirring linen in a copper of Holy Water.

From this time the caricatures of Napoleon practically ceased; and, in the collection of prints in the British Museum, I can find but two more, published in 1816—the ‘Mat de Cocagne’ and ‘Royal Christmas boxes’—both of which are too silly to reproduce or describe. It is to the credit of the English, that, in this instance, they respected the fallen. Napoleon had been captured, disarmed,261 and held in safe durance, and from that time, until his death, we hear but very little of him, and none of that news is either satirical or spiteful. Clearly, therefore, this book ends here. It has nothing to do with the voyage to St. Helena, or with the perpetual squabbles of Napoleon and his suite with Sir Hudson Lowe, which are fully recorded by O’Meara and Las Cases. To all intents and purposes, Napoleon was dead to the English when he left our shores; and when he passed to his rest on May 5, 1821, all animosity died with him. Years had even tamed the bitter scribes of the ‘Times,’ as is evidenced by the leader in that paper (July 5, 1821) announcing and commenting on his decease:—

‘Thus terminates in exile, and in prison, the most extraordinary life yet known to political history. The vicissitudes of such a life, indeed, are the most valuable lessons which history can furnish. Connected with, and founded on, the principles of his character, the varieties of fortune which Buonaparte experienced are of a nature to illustrate the most useful maxims of benevolence, patriotism, or discretion. They embrace both extremes of the condition of man in society, and therefore address themselves to all ranks of human beings. But Buonaparte was our enemy—our defeated enemy—and, as Englishmen, we must not tarnish our triumphs over the living warrior by unmanly injustice towards the dead.

‘The details of his life are notorious, and we omit them. The community of which Buonaparte was in his early days a member, and the military education which he received, may, independently of any original bias of character, have laid the foundation of the greatness to which he attained, and of that mischievous application of unbridled power, through which he fell very nearly to the level whence he first had started. Nothing could be more corrupt than the morals262 of military society among the French before the Revolution—nothing more selfish, or contracted, than the views (at all times) of a thoroughbred military adventurer.

‘Buonaparte came into active life with as much (but we have no reason to think a larger share of) lax morality and pure selfishness as others of his age and calling. The public crisis into which he was thrown, gave to profound selfishness the form of insatiable ambition. With talents and enterprise beyond all comparison greater than any against which he had to contend, he overthrew whatever opposed his progress. Thus, ambition in him was more conspicuous than others, only because it was more successful. He became a sovereign. How, then, was this pupil of a military school prepared to exercise the functions of sovereignty? An officer, as such, has no idea of divided power. His patriotism is simply love of his troops and his profession. He will obey commands—he will issue them—but, in both cases, those commands are absolute. Talk to him of deliberation, of debate, of freedom of action, of speech, nay, of opinion—his feeling is, that the body to which any of these privileges shall be accessible, must fall into confusion, and be speedily destroyed.

‘Whatever pretexts may have been resorted to by Buonaparte—whatever Jacobin yells he may have joined in, to assist his own advance towards power—every subsequent act of his life assures us, that the military prepossessions in which he was educated, became those by which he was influenced as a statesman; and we are well persuaded of his conviction, that it was impossible for any country, above all, for France, to be governed otherwise than by one sole authority—undivided and unlimited. It may, we confess, be no satisfaction to the French, nor any great consolation to the rest of Europe, to know through what means it was, or by what vicious training, that Buonaparte263 was fitted, nay, predestined almost, to be a scourge and destroyer of the rights of nations, instead of employing a power irresistible, and which, in such a cause, none would have felt disposed to resist, for the promotion of knowledge, peace, and liberty throughout the world.

‘In hinting at what we conceive to be the fact, however, we are bound by regard for truth; our business is not to apologize for Buonaparte; but, so far as may be done within the brief limits of a newspaper, to analyze, and faithfully describe, him. The factions, also, which he was compelled to crush, and whose overthrow obtained for him the gratitude of his country, still threatened a resurrection when the compressing force should be withdrawn. Hence were pretexts furnished on behalf of despotism of which men, more enlightened, and better constituted, than Buonaparte, might not soon have discovered the fallacy. Raised to empire at home, his ambition sought for itself fresh aliment; and foreign conquest was at once tempting and easy.

‘Here the natural reflection will obtrude itself—what might not this extraordinary being have effected for the happiness of mankind, and for his own everlasting fame and grandeur, had he used but a moiety of the force, or perseverance, in generous efforts to relieve the oppressed which he wasted in rendering himself the monopolist and patron of oppression! But he had left himself no resource. He had extinguished liberty in France, and had no hold upon his subjects, but their love of military glory. Conquest, therefore, succeeded to conquest, until nothing capable of subjugation was left to be subdued. Insolence, and rapacity, in the victor, produced, among the enslaved nations, impatience of their misery, and a thirst for vengeance. Injustice undermined itself, and Buonaparte, with his unseasoned empire, fell together, the pageant of a day.

‘His military administration was marked by strict and264 impartial justice. He had the art, in an eminent degree, of inciting the emulation, and gaining the affections of his troops. He was steady and faithful in his friendships, and not vindictive, on occasions where it was his power to be so with impunity.

Of the deceased Emperor’s intellectual, and characteristic, ascendency over men, all the French, and some of the other nations besides the French, who had an opportunity of approaching him, can bear witness. He seems to have possessed the talent, not merely of command, but, when he pleased, of conciliation and persuasion. With regard to his religious sentiments, they were, perhaps, of the same standard as those of other Frenchmen starting into manhood at a time when Infidel writings had so domineered over the popular mind, that revealed religion was become a public laughing stock, and in a country where the pure Christian faith was perplexed with subtilties, overloaded with mummeries, and scandalized and discountenanced by a general looseness of morals. Upon the whole, Buonaparte will go down to posterity as a man, who, having more good at his disposal than any other potentate of any former age, had actually applied his immense means to the production of a greater share of mischief and misery to his fellow creatures—one who, on the basis of French liberty, might have founded that of every other State in Europe—but who carried on a series of aggressions against foreign States to divert the minds of his own subjects from the sense of their domestic slavery; thus imposing on foreign nations a necessity for arming to shake off his yoke, and affording to foreign despots a pretext for following his example.

‘The sensation produced by the death of Buonaparte will be a good deal confined, in this country, to its effects as a partial relief to our finances, the expense of his custody265 at St. Helena being little short of 400,000l. per annum. In France, the sentiment will be more deep and complex, and, perhaps, not altogether easy to define. The practical consequence of such an event may be remotely guessed at by those who have had occasion to watch, in other Governments, the difference between a living and an extinct Pretender. A pretext for suspicion and severity in the administration of affairs may be taken away by a Pretender’s death; but then, a motive to moderation—a terror, now and then salutary, of popular feelings being excited in the Pretender’s favour by misgovernment—is, at the same time, removed from the minds of reigning Princes. Buonaparte’s son still lives, it is true; but how far he may ever become an object of interest with any great party of the French nation, is a point on which we will not speculate.’

The last individual memorial I can find of Napoleon, in a popular form, was published by Hone in May 1821. It is a black-edged sheet, having, as heading, profile portraits of Napoleon, Maria Louisa, and the King of Rome, and down the sides four full-length portraits of Napoleon. It is called:—


Born 15 Aug. 1769. Died 5 May 1821.

He put his foot on the neck of Kings, who would have put their yokes upon the necks of the People: he scattered before him with fiery execution, millions of hired slaves, who came at the bidding of their Masters to deny the right of others to be free. The monument of greatness and of Glory he erected, was raised on ground forfeited again and again to humanity—it reared its majestic front on the ruins of the shattered hopes and broken faith of the common enemies of mankind. If he could not secure266 the freedom, peace, and happiness of his country, he made her a terror to those who by sowing civil dissension, and exciting foreign wars, would not let her enjoy those blessings. They who had trampled upon Liberty could not at least triumph in her shame and her despair, but themselves became objects of pity and derision. Their determination to persist in extremity of wrong, only brought on themselves repeated defeat, disaster, and dismay: the accumulated aggressions their infuriated pride and disappointed malice meditated against others, returned in just and aggravated punishment upon themselves: they heaped coals of fire upon their own heads: they drank deep and long, in gall and bitterness, of the poisoned chalice they had prepared for others: the destruction with which they had threatened a people daring to call itself free, hung suspended over their heads, like a precipice, ready to fall upon and crush them. ‘Awhile they stood abashed,’ abstracted from their evil purposes, and felt how awful Freedom is, its power how dreadful. Shrunk from the boasted pomp of royal state into their littleness as men, defeated of their revenge, baulked of their prey, their schemes stripped of their bloated pride, and with nothing left but the deformity of their malice, not daring to utter a syllable or move a finger, the lords of the earth, who had looked upon men as of an inferior species, born for their use, and devoted to be their slaves, turned an imploring eye to the People, and with coward hearts and hollow tongues invoked the Name of Liberty, thus to get the people once more within their unhallowed grip, and to stifle the name of Liberty for ever.

He withstood the inroads of Legitimacy, this new Jaggernaut, this foul Blatant Beast, as it strode forward to its prey over the bodies and minds of a whole People, and put a ring in its nostrils, breathing flame and blood, and led it in triumph, and played with its crowns and sceptres, and wore them in its stead, and tamed its crested pride, and made it a laughing stock and a mockery to the nations. He, one man, did this, and as long as he did this (how or for what end, is nothing to the magnitude of this mighty question) he saved the human race from the last ignominy, and that foul stain that had been so long intended, and was at last, in an evil hour, and by evil hands, inflicted on it.

267 If Napoleon was a conqueror, he conquered the Grand Conspiracy of Kings against the abstract right of the Human Race to be free. If he was ambitious, his greatness was not founded on the unconditional, avowed surrender of the rights of human nature. But, with him, the state of Man rose exalted too. If he was arbitrary and a tyrant, first, France as a country was in a state of military blockade, on garrison duty, and not to be defended by mere paper bullets of the brain; secondly, but chief, he was not, nor could he become, a tyrant by ‘right divine.’ Tyranny in him was not ‘sacred’: it was not eternal: it was not instinctively bound in league of amity with other tyrannies: it was not sanctioned by all ‘the laws of religion and Morality.’


Disgusting crew! who would not gladly fly
To open, downright, boldfac’d tyranny,
To honest guilt that dares do all but lie,
From the false juggling craft of men like these,
Their canting crimes, and varnish’d villanies;
These Holy Leaguers, who then loudest boast
Of faith and honour when they’ve stain’d them most;
From whose affection men should shrink as loath
As from their hate, for they’ll be fleec’d by both;
Who, even while plund’ring, forge Religion’s name
To frank their spoil, and, without fear or shame,
Call down the Holy Trinity to bless
Partition leagues, and deeds of devilishness!


Even his old enemy, George Cruikshank, whose peculiarly impetuous temper had found a free vent in caricaturing Napoleon, left off doing so when he was in safe keeping, and only designed (in a publication called the ‘Omnibus’) a ‘Monument to Napoleon’ when he died. In a note to this design he says, 268‘As for me, who have skeletonised him prematurely, paring down the prodigy even to his hat and boots, I have but “carried out” a principle adopted almost in my boyhood, for I can scarcely remember the time when I did not take some patriotic pleasure in persecuting the great enemy of England. Had he been less than that, I should have felt compunction for my cruelties; having tracked him through snow and through fire, by flood and by field, insulting, degrading, and deriding him everywhere, and putting him to several humiliating deaths. All that time, however, he went on “overing” the Pyramids and the Alps, as boys “over” posts, and playing at leapfrog with the sovereigns of Europe, so as to kick a crown off at every spring he made—together with many crowns, and sovereigns, into my coffers. Deep, most deep, in a personal view of matters, are my obligations to the agitator—but what a debt the country owes to him!’




Spottiswoode & Co., Printers, New-street Square, London.


1 Gauls.


False of Heart, light of Ear, bloody of Hand,
Fox in Stealth, Wolf in Greediness, Dog in Madness,
Lion in Prey;—bless thy five Wits.

King Lear, act iii. scene 4.

3 Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 345.

4 Coombe evidently did not think chronological accuracy of any importance, for Napoleon’s coronation was on December 2, even if reckoning old style.

5 The Naval Chronicle, 1805.

6 As a matter of fact, the crown is a broad circle of gold, set with large rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, on a ground of blue and gold enamel. The reason of its being called the ‘Iron Crown’ is that, running round the centre of the interior of the circle is a thin and narrow band of iron, which is supposed to be manufactured from one of the nails used in the Crucifixion of our Saviour, and given by St. Helena to her son Constantine as a talisman to protect him in battle.

7 Free translation for ‘God has given it me—let him beware who would touch it,’ the usual form of words when this crown was used.

8 Vol. xlix. p. 763.

9 September 11, 1805.

10 The news of the victory at Trafalgar was only published on November 6.

11 Everyday Book, vol. i. p. 575.

12 He was a constant attendant in the crowd on Lord Mayor’s show.

13 On March 31 Joseph Bonaparte was made King of Naples, and Murat Grand Duke of Berg and Cleves. A few months subsequently, Louis Bonaparte was made King of Holland, and the following year Jerome King of Westphalia.

14 A ‘hand,’ as a measure in horse-flesh, is four inches.

15 The nine of diamonds.

16 Suspected.

17 Of Austria.

18 ‘The Broken Bridge, or Boney outwitted by General Danube,’ June 1809.

19 The divorce took place on December 16.

20 His second valet.

21 Memoirs of Madame Junot.

22 Third part of King Henry VI., act v. scene 6.

23 See next page.

24 Napoleon in Exile, by B. O’Meara.

25 My Reminiscences, by Lord Ronald Gower, vol. i. p. 209, ed. 1883.

26 The italics are mine.—J. A.

27 The Hetman, Platoff, is said to have promised his daughter in marriage, and a fortune for her dowry, to whoever would bring him Napoleon’s head.

28 Napoleon was at Dresden when he heard the news of the defeat at Vittoria.

29 Würtemburg.

30 The real quotation is: ‘Justice demands of her the sacrifice of her bloodguilty tyrant.’

31 Gas was just then coming into notoriety as an illuminating power. Westminster Bridge was lit by gas December 31, 1813, but its use did not become general in London until 1816.

32 Deceiving.

33 ‘Funking’ is smoking, or causing a great smell.

34 Buonapartiana, ou Choix d’Anecdotes curieuses. Paris, 1814.

35 One of the pyramids.

36 Histoire de l’Empereur, racontée dans une Grange par un vieux Soldat.

37 Borodino.

38 In the French original it is ‘Tirez donc, François, vous nous faites attendre!

39 They alluded to the Duke of Bassano, Caulaincourt, Bertrand, and some others.

40 He accompanied the Emperor to Elba. Constant, as we have seen, left him.

41 Anagram upon Bonaparte’s name, on his attempting to steal the Crown, &c. ‘Bona rapta pone, Leno! Lay down the goods you have stolen, Rascal!’

42 The first twenty-seven verses of the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah.

43 As a matter of fact, both his mother, Madame Letitia, and his sister, Pauline went to Elba, soon after his arrival.

44 A Voice from St. Helena. O’Meara.

45 Plentifully.

46 Slept.

47 Rolls of the drum.

48 Horse, or, as we should say, ‘gee-gee.’

49 Stronger.

50 We must recollect that George the Magnificent was then Regent, and his taste in architecture was decidedly Eastern.

51 Or Hartwell, in Buckinghamshire, where he resided whilst in England.

52 There is a very amusing skit about these ‘R—l Whiskers,’ which were assumed to be as false as the historical wigs, published early in 1816. It is too long to reproduce, although it is really laughable; but, at all events, space can be found for the first few lines.


From a puissant Prince to his Cast-off Whiskers, on his leaving London to make an Excursion.

Adieu, my dear Whiskers! dear Whiskers, adieu!
I ne’er shall love Whiskers as I have lov’d you,
So becoming your form, and so brilliant your hue,
I ne’er admir’d Whiskers as I’ve admired you.
Your curve was so lovely, so like a horse-shoe,
Not a Whisker at Court was so lovely as you.
The Baron Geramb’s were immense, it is true,
But they didn’t sweep round half so tasty as you.

53 Times, June 1, 1815.

54 George Alexander Stevens gave the famous ‘Lecture on Heads’, circa 1763 or 1764, by which it is said that here and in America he cleared nearly 10,000l.

55 June 30, 1815.

56 July 25, 1815.

57 General Gourgaud.

58 A visit to Bonaparte in Plymouth Sound, by a Lady. Plymouth, 1815.

59 Mackerel.

60 Interesting Particulars of Napoleon’s Deportation for Life to St. Helena, &c. London, 1816. Printed for W. Hone.

61 By George Colman the younger.

62 i.e. the midshipmen who took female parts.

63 The Bourbon colour.

Transcriber’s Notes

Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed. Vernacular spellings not changed. The spelling and accent marks of non-English words have not been thoroughly checked.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

Text uses both “Blücher” and “Blucher”; both retained.

Text uses “Wurtemberg”, “Würtemberg”, “Wurtemburg”, and “Würtemburg”; all retained.

Illustrations in the middle of poems have been moved so as to either precede or follow those poems.

Some materials in Volume II also appeared in Volume I.

Index references not checked for accuracy. Some index links are approximate, and links to pages in Volume I. may or may not work, depending on the reading device being used.

Page 87: “far too serious in its conception” was followed by a wide space, then “Napoleon’s”, in two editions of this book. Transcriber added a period after “conception”.

Page 117: The reference number to footnote 22 has been moved from the beginning to the end of the line on which it appears.

Page 201: The “Hell” of “Hellbaronian Emperor” was printed with a strikethrough, above which is “El”. In the text version of this eBook, this is represented by “Hellbaronian/Elbaronian”.

Page 203: The “ow” of “Elbow” was printed with a strikethrough, above which is “a”. In the text version of this eBook, this is represented by “Elbow/Elba”.

Page 216: “Hell Bay” was printed with a strikethrough, above which is “Elba”. In the text version of this eBook, this is represented by “Hell Bay/Elba”.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of English Caricature and Satire on
Napoleon I.  Volume II (of 2), by John Ashton


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