Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/214

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

England, a circumstance to which a subsequent caricature (etched by the artist) has reference. On the 6th of September was published by Fores, Boney's Threatened Invasion brought to bear, or Taking a View of the English Coast from ye Poop of the Bellerophon. The little emperor, confined to the mast by a chain fastened to his leg, leaps on the breech of one of the Bellerophon's guns, spy-glass in hand. "By gar, mon Empereur," says Count Bertrand, "dey have erect von prospect for you." The "prospect" is far from encouraging a fort with the English flag flying from the central tower, and a gibbet erected in front of it. No wonder that the emperor expresses himself dissatisfied with a "prospect" of so lugubrious a character. An English sailor seated on a neighbouring gun, delivers the sentiments of the day after the plain-spoken fashion of his countrymen. This design, which is by no means in the artist's usual style, was etched by him from the design of some one whose name or initials are not recorded.

The actual circumstance to which the foregoing sketch refers is related to us by the commander of the Bellerophon:—

"At daybreak on the 24th of July, we were close off Dartmouth. Count Bertrand went into the cabin and informed Bonaparte of it, who came upon deck about half-past four, and remained on the poop until the ship anchored in Torbay. He talked with admiration of the coast, saying, 'You have in that respect a great advantage over France, which is surrounded by rocks and dangers.' On opening Torbay, he was much struck with the beauty of the scenery, and exclaimed, 'What a beautiful country! It very, very much resembles the bay of Porto Ferrago, in Elba.'"[1]

The same year, and on the same subject, the artist gives us Boney's Meditations on the Island of St. Helena, or the Devil addressing the Sun, in which the idea is manifestly borrowed from a design by James Gillray; The Corsicans Last Trip under the Guidance of his Good Angel [the devil]; The Genius of France Expounding her Laws to the Sublime People; and a very admirable and original

  1. "Narrative of Captain Maitland," p. 109.