The wounded lion

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James Gillray
The wounded lion
[London] : Pubd July 16th 1805, by H Humphrey, 27 St James's Street, [1805]
Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987.
[London] : Pubd July 16th 1805, by H. Humphrey, 27 St James's Street, [1805]
From the library of Gordon N. Ray.

Following caption title: "and now, all the sculking herd of the forest, some out of Insolence, others in Revenge, some, in fine, upon one Pretence "some upon another, fell upon him by Consent. - but nothing went so near the Heart of him in his Distress, as to "find himself batter'd by the Heel of an Ass." - Vide Aesop's Fables.


Print shows a wounded lion, with the face and wig of Melville, with blood falling on the papers under his paws: 'Plans for Manning tfthe Navy - List of ships built in 1804 . . . of ye Line'; 'Abolition of Impress'. He is struck by the blast from a blunderbuss whose muzzle is a tankard inscribed 'Whitbreads Entire'. This is fired by St. Vincent who crouches behind a withered tree. The blast issues from a circle of froth inscribed 'Report'. Part of it, inscribed 'Condemnation without Trial', passes above the lion and strikes Britannia to the heart. The blast that strikes Melville is inscribed 'Invectives', 'Popular Clamour', 'Envy', 'Disappointed Jacobins', 'Malice'. On the upper part of the tree sits a monkey with the head of Wilberforce, holding up an open book: 'Solution of Vital Xianity', but directing at Melville a blast from his posteriors inscribed 'Cant! - Envy! - Abuse! - Hypocrisy! - Cruelty.' Three asses are kicking up their heels at Melville, the nearest has the head of Sidmouth, with ass's ears. He is laden with panniers inscribed 'Physick for the Lion.'; these are heaped with medicine-bottles, one labelled 'Emetic for ye Lion'; there are also a 'Clyster for the Lion', and a box of 'opening Pills'. The other asses are Hiley Addington and Bragge. The latter turns his head to say: "Very highly indebted to the Lion, brother Heeley!" His panniers are inscribed 'Provisions for the Doctors Family' and 'Trifles procured thro' the Lions Generosity'; they are piled high with papers: 'Pension to Brother Brag &...'; 'Annuity to all our Cousins'; '£40000 pr Ann'; 'Sinecure'; 'Pension for Aunts'; 'Pension for Brother Hely'; 'Pension'. Hiley answers: "Then give him another kick, Brother Braggey". He is laden with a sack of 'Candid Whorehound'. The lion is also assailed by a fox (Fox) who viciously bites his hindquarters, and by a serpent with the head of Grey (Whitbread's brother-in-law) who bites his neck. Three small rats, wearing legal wigs and bands run toward the lion; they are Jekyll, Erskine, and Robert Adair. A dog, its collar inscribed 'Kinard' (Kinnaird), bites the lion's tail, while one foot is in a plate containing a bare bone, and inscribed 'Melville-Castle' with a coronet.

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