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The "Ministry of all the Talents", personified by Charles James Fox, promising to convey John Bull towards the promised land, but really to hell. Coloured etching by James Gillray, 1806.

  • Gillray, James, 1756-1815
Feb.y 8th 1806
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About this work


Fox, with the features of the devil, flies upwards, supported by crutches topped with the heads of Sidmouth and Grenville. He turns to John Bull behind him and says "Come along Johnny! take fast hold of my cloak, & I'll bring you to the land of milk and honey!!!" His cloak is inscribed "Loyalty, Independence & Public good". John Bull replies "O yes, I will try to hold fast! but I'm damnably afraid that your cloak will slip off before we get there, & I may chance to break my neck!" Fox flies towards Carlton House, the home of the Prince of Wales and shown as a den of vice, ignoring St Paul's Cathedral and St James's Palace.


London (27 St James's Street) : H. Humphrey, Feb.y 8th 1806.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark approximately 34.5 x 25 cm


Le diable boiteux, or, the devil upon two sticks, conveying John Bull to the land of promise. Vide Le Sage. J. Gillray invt & fect.

Creator/production credits

The idea of a devil taking a man on a flight over a city to observe the follies of human life is derived from the play Le diable boiteux by Alain-René Le Sage, Paris 1707, who in turn had taken the idea from El diable cojuelo by Luis Velez Guevara, Madrid 1641, who in turn was no doubt aware of the temptation of Christ by the devil in the Gospels

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, London 1947, vol. 8, no. 10525


Wellcome Library no. 533358i



  • English

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