England

England drawn by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and engraved by C. Armstrong. Source: Complete Works. [Larger Image] Scanned image and caption by Philip V. Allingham [This image may be used without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose.]

See John the Soldier, Jack the Tar,
With sword and pistol arm'd for war,
Should Mounseer dare come here;
The hungry slaves have smelt our food,
They long to taste our flesh and blood,
Old England's beef and beer.

Britons, to arms! and let 'em come;
Be you but Britons still, strike home,
And, lion-like, attack 'em,
No power canb stand the deadly stroke
That's given from hands and hearts of oak,
With LIberty to back 'em.

From the unpropitious regions of France, our scene changes to the fertile fields of England —

"England! bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shores beat back the envious siege
Of wat'ry Neptune."

Patriot "Britons," a term encompassing English, Welsh, and Scots, prepare to defend the country against French invasion, a scene made ironic at the time of the book's publication by Britain's alliance with France in the Crimean War. To the right, a young farmer, eager to enlist, is measured against a halberd, one of those details connecting the two illustrations. A little fifer plays "God Save The King," and the martial nature of the scene is underscored by the sign above the public house, "The Duke of Cumberland" (he of Culloden fame and then dubbed "Butcher Cumberland, here depicted on a prancing charger). On the sign, too, is inscribed "Roast and Boiled every day." Here, the people eat well, are happy and contented, and willingly embrace the national cause. "The soldier's sword laid upon the round of beef, and the sailor's pistol on the vessel containing ale, intimate that these great bulwarks of our island are as tenacious of their beef and beer, as of their religion and liberty" (132).

References

Complete works of William Hogarth ; in a series of one hundred and fifty superb engravings on steel, from the original pictures / with an introductory essay by James Hannay, and descriptive letterpress, by the Rev. J. Trusler and E.F. Roberts. London and New York: London Printing and Publishing Co., c.1870.


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Last modified 9 February 2010