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A day in the life of George, Prince Regent, 1814. Coloured etching by C. Williams, 1814.

  • Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830.
Date
July 1814
Reference
652571i
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About this work

Description

One in a pair of prints contrasting the healthy lifestyle of the Tsar Alexander I with the overindulgence of the Prince Regent. For the print of the Tsar see Wellcome Library catalogue no. 652537i, and British Museum catalogue, op. cit., no. 12290

Publication/Creation

[London] (111 Cheapside) : Thomas Tegg, July 1814.

Physical description

1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark 24.7 x 34.6 cm

Lettering

The two journals. Journal II

Contents

[Scene 1] The Regent lies in bed under fringed draperies; he supports his head on his hand; the bed-clothes are disordered. Lettering: Boozy and sick, with aching head, / Toss'd sleepless, on my swan down bed. / Sunk tow'rds morning in a dose, / When dreams of frightfull import rose.-- [Scene 2] The Regent lies uneasily asleep, clutching the bed-clothes. The Princess of Wales, standing with her back to the bed, puts out her arms to ward off a demon who is rising among clouds from the floor; the apparition clutches a serpent, and has hair composed of serpents. Lettering: Methought my wife, with looks benign, / Fix'd her forgiving eyes on mine, / And strove with guardian hand to quell, / The threat'ning progeny of hell.-- [Scene 3] The Regent, wearing a dressing-gown, sits in an arm-chair facing a cheval glass, surrounded by four foreign valets, three of whom are at work on his hair or wig. He holds an open book: Memoirs of modern Lais-Ban (lettering indistinct). Lettering: At twelve awoke, rang for La Gloire / Skimm'd a licentious French memoir / Dress'd for two hours before the glass, / With Schwartz, Antoine,Francois, La Place.-- [Scene 4] The Regent sits in an arm-chair with a small table at his elbow on which is a tray with coffee-pot, &c; the Prince's private secretary John McMahon (right) holds the back of his chair and looks over his shoulder at a sheet of patterns which he is inspecting. A man points to this sheet, a second stands by with more packets of patterns. Lettering: Finish'd by three, took chasse caffe, / Qualmish and splenetic all day / Inspected twentyseven packets / Of patterns for embroidring jackets.-- [Scene 5] The Regent, in back view and chapeau-bras, runs on tiptoe towards a door in a garden wall that McMahon furtively holds open. Outside a fat man stands behind the back wheels of a carriage. Beside the Regent run Lord Yarmouth (later 3rd Marquess of Hertford) and another courtier. Lettering: Held with my friends a consultation / How to shun public observation, By the back gate slip'd out, was known / Saluted with a general groan.-- [Scene 6] The Regent's coach and pair drives at a gallop towards the gateway in the screen of Carlton House, the coachman lashing the horses; two footmen stand behind. In the foreground well-dressed spectators watch with amusement. (On 2 June the Prince Regent, on his way to the Drawing Room at Buckingham House, was hooted when his carriage entered the Park. Examiner, 184, p. 363. This was on account of his exclusion of the Princess Caroline, Princess of Wales from the Drawing Room, at which she made her first appearance.) Lettering: From hissing mobs compell'd to drive, / Return'd full gallop, home by five / Swore in reveng [sic] to spend my life / In daily insults to my wife.-- [Scene 7] The Regent sits at a writing-table, writing to his friend Lady Hertford at Manchester Square, and looking round to his right. On a stool near him is a pair of stays; on a high wig-block (left) is his curled wig. On the wall is a large mirror, and against the wall stands a sofa. Lettering: Worn with ennui, devour'd with spleen, / Yawn'd, trifled, cursed and drank between / Wrote to the square, got dressed once more, / New stay, new wig, new whiskers wore.-- [Scene 8] The Regent's empty chair (left) stands at a dinner-table on which are decanters and glasses, some overturned or broken. Three guests lie under the table. The Prince, staggering tipsily, is being conducted from the room by McMahon and Yarmouth. Lettering: At eight my dinner table graced / With friends select, of kindred taste. / I quaff'd till half were on the floor, / Then reel'd to bed, quite drunk, at four.

References note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. IX, London 1949, no. 12291 (from which the descriptions of the scenes given here are taken)

Lettering note

The verses are from the Champion, 19 June 1814 (Spirit of the Public Journals, 1814-, pp. 172-174)--British Museum catalogue, loc. cit.

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 652571i

Type/Technique

Languages

  • English


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