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New morality; -or- the promis'd installment of the high-priest of the theophilanthropes, with the homage of Leviathan and his suite (BM 1868,0808.6762)


New morality; -or- the promis'd installment of the high-priest of the theophilanthropes, with the homage of Leviathan and his suite (BM 1868,0808.6762)



Folding pl. (also issued separately) to the 'Anti-Jacobin Review and Magazine', i. 115, facing a quotation (32 ll.) from Canning's 'New Morality' ('Anti-Jacobin', 9 July 1798), which is also etched beneath the plate, prefixed with the additional lines:
' - "behold!
"The Directorial Lama, Sovereign Priest -
"Lepaux - whom Atheists worship - at whose nod
"Bow their meek heads - the Men without a God!'

The quotation ends:

"In puffing and in spouting, praise Lepaux! - Vide Anti-Jacobin'

The design closely follows the poem; the Jacobin Clubs have installed Larevellière-Lépeaux, protected by 'Buonaparte's victor fleet', [The date of publication is that of the Battle of the Nile, news of which reached England on 26 Sept., confirming a report in the 'Rédacteur' of 14 Sept.] 'The holy Hunch-back in thy Dome, St Paul': indicated by the bases of three great pillars. He stands in profile to the left on a three-legged stool before the altar, and is approached by a fantastic procession of English Jacobins who 'wave their Red Caps'. He reads from a book, 'Religion de la N[ature]', his right forefinger raised admonishingly. He is surrounded by four hideous, subhuman creatures, two with short tails, who, as news-boys, cry their respective papers: one has the 'Morning Post - Forgeri L'Eclair', its columns headed 'Puf', 'Puff', 'Puf'. (For Gillray's dislike of newspaper puffs cf. BMSats 7584, 9085, 9396.) Facing him is the vendor of the 'Morning Chronicle', its three columns headed 'Lies', 'Blasphemy', 'Sedition', and above each is written a lire (see BMSat 9194). These two blow their horns. A sansculotte in enormous jack-boots holds up a paper torch inscribed 'Courier'; his papers are inscribed 'French Paper' (cf. BMSat 9237). His 'vis-à-vis' holds a torch inscribed 'Star', whose flame is star-shaped. Two have 'Bloody News' on the front of their caps (cf. BMSat 8981). These are

'"Couriers and Stars, Sedition's Evening Host,
"Thou Morning Chronicle, and Morning Post,'

The group is on a circular stone dais supporting the altar, on which stand three figures on bases inscribed respectively (left to right) 'Justice', 'Philanthropy', 'Sensibility': (1) A frenzied hag ('The avenging angel of regenerate France'), with the snaky locks of Discord, holds a dagger in each hand; her breasts hang to her belt, which is inscribed 'Egalite'; she tramples on the sword and scales of Justice. (2) A stout woman clasps a globe on which 'Europe', 'Asia', and 'Africa' are indicated, squeezing it out of shape. (She 'glows with the general love of all mankind'.) She tramples upon papers: 'Ties of Nature and Amor Patriae.' (3) A weeping woman looks down at a dead bird in her right hand; in her left is a book Rosseau [sic]; she tramples on the decollated head of Louis XVI. She illustrates the lines (not quoted) on 'Sweet Sensibility' (mourning for 'the widow'd dove'). A pillar beside the altar is encircled with the names of 'Voltaire', 'Robertspierre', 'Mireabeau'. Against the altar step (right) lies a bundle of three books, two being 'Common Prayer' and 'Holy Bible', tied up with a tricolour scarf inscribed 'pour les Commodites'. Next it is a sack bulging with church plate, including a chalice and mitre; this is 'Philanthropic Requisition'.
Poets head the procession, carrying and escorting a large 'Cornucopia of Ignorance' from which pour papers and pamphlets; Southey, with an ass's head and hoofs, kneels beside it in obeisance to Lepeaux, holding out 'Southeys Saphics' (see BMSat 9045); his 'Joan of Arc' protrudes from his pocket. Coleridge, also with an ass's head, holds out 'Coleridge Dactylic[s]'. Two little ragged men (with a third who is partly hidden) support the cornucopia, convolutions of which are inscribed 'Critical Review', 'Monthly Review', 'Analytical Review'. Their bonnets-rouges have the dangling bells of a fool's cap (cf. BMSat 9374). Two frogs squat beside the cornucopia holding up a large paper: 'Blank Verse by Todd & Frog ['Blank Verse by Charles Lloyd and Charles Lamb', 1798; see 'Anti-Jacobin Review', i. 178 n.]. They are the 'five other wandering bards': 'C------dge and S--th--y, L------d and L------b and Co'. With these (and next Coleridge) Lord Moira (not mentioned in 'The New Morality', but a butt of the 'Anti-Jacobin', see BMSat 9184) stands stiffly in profile, offering his sword to Lépeaux, and holding out a paper: 'Relief for Irish Philanthropists'. Behind the cornucopia is a man supporting a basket on his head containing plants, on each of which sprouts a bonnet-rouge. It is labelled 'Zoonomia or Jacobin Plants' (an appropriate offering to the botanist Lepeaux). He is Darwin (not caricatured in 'The New Morality'), whose Loves of the Plants had been parodied in the 'Anti-Jacobin'; 'his 'Zoonomia; or, the Laws of Organic Life', was published 1794, 1796. The last of the literary group are Priestley and Wakefield, each holding a pen and paper; the former, from whose pocket projects a paper, 'Inflam[mable] Air', holds out 'Priestley's Political Sermons' (see BMSat 7887). The other partly conceals his face with 'Wakefields answer to Llanda[ff]'. In his 'Reply . . .' (1798) to Watson's 'Address . . .' (see BMSat 9182) he welcomed the prospect of a French invasion (cf. BMSat 9371),
The papers pouring from the cornucopia are 'Envy \ Lies \ Wilful Perversi[on] \ Abuse \ Ignorance'. It has disgorged a pile of pamphlets which lie in the foreground at the altar step: 'Letter to Peers of Scotland' [probably Lauderdale's 'Letters to the Peers of Scotland', 1794]; 'Curwens Speech' [Curwen [Mentioned in the poem for his sympathy for Lafayette.] M.P. for Carlisle, published a speech made at a meeting convened in 1797 to petition the King to dismiss his Ministers]; 'The Question' [probably 'The Question as it stood in March 1798', by Sir P. Francis, against the war]; 'The Enquirer'; 'Wrongs of Women' [M. Wollstonecraft's 'Maria, or the Wrongs of Women', 1798, reviewed 'Anti-Jacobin Review', i. 91-3]; 'Mrs Godwin Memoir' [Godwin's 'Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman', 1798, reviewed ibid. i. 94-102]; 'Tarltons Principl[es]'; 'Monthly Magazine'; 'Tookes Speeches' [see BMSat 8817]; 'Kingsbury rep[ly]' [Benjamin Kingsbury, like Wakefield, wrote an 'Answer . . .', 1798, to Watson's 'Address . . .', reviewed ibid. i. 78-82, telling him that the number of republicans 'is not small; but it increases rapidly, and will continue to increase']; 'Walsingham' [Perdita Robinson's novel, 'Walsingham; or, the Pupil of Nature', 1797, reviewed ibid. i. 160-4]; 'Lauderdale on Finance' ['Letter on the present measures on Finance', 1798]; 'Knave or not' [a comedy by Holcroft, Drury Lane, 25 Jan. 1798, reviewed ibid. i. 51-4, and in 'Monthly Review', Feb. 1798: 'As Mr. Holcroft is obnoxious to the predominant party, this play has sustained strong and increasing marks of hostility']; 'Letter to Bishops'; 'Young Philosoph[er]' [a novel by Charlotte Smith, 1798, reviewed 'Anti-Jacobin Review', i. 187-90]; 'Councel Mc Fungus Speech' [cf. the parody of a speech by Mackintosh (Macfungus) in the 'Anti-Jacobin', 4 Dec. 1798]; 'Bob Adair's half Letter' [Part of a Letter from Robert Adair to C. J. Fox . . .', ridiculed in the 'Anti-Jacobin', 22 Jan. 1798: 'Wrote Half a Letter, - to demolish Burke']; 'Morris's Bawdy Songs' [cf. BMSat 9023; he had recently published a patriotic song, see Wright, 'Caricature History of the Georges', pp. 522-3; since the death of a favourite son he had 'renounced singing any of his light songs'. 'Lady Holland's Journal', ii. II]; 'Monroe's Justification' [James Monroe published, 1797, 'View of the Conduct of the Executive in the foreign affairs of the United States . . .', defending his mission to France, 1794-6]; 'Original Letters [probably 'Copies of Original Letters . . . by persons in Paris' [H. M. Williams and J. H. Stone] to Dr Priestley in America, Taken on Board a neutral Vessel', 1798, reviewed 'Anti-Jacobin Review', i. 146-51. This elicited from Priestley a repudiation of the writers' desire for a French invasion of England, cf. also 'Monthly Magazine', v. 488]; 'Pacification' ['Pacification; or, the Safety and Practicability of a Peace with France demonstrated: . . .', 1798, see 'Critical Review', xxii. 459-60].
Behind Priestley advances Leviathan, with the head of the Duke of Bedford, a barbed hook through his nose: "Thou in whose nose by Burke's gigantic hand \ "The hook was fix'd to drag thee to the land, an allusion to the letter to a Noble Lord', see BMSat 8788. The monster has a gigantic ear, a scaly body whose convolutions support a paunch and thighs terminating in a forked tail; it is on the edge of waves in which its followers are swimming. On its neck sits Thelwall, spattered with dirt, holding out oratori-cally 'Thelwalls Lectures' [see BMSat 8685]. Across its broad back straddle Fox, Tierney, and Nicholls, all wearing their bonnets-rouges; from the pockets of the two last issue respectively 'Tierney's Address' and 'Nicols Speec[hes]'. In the water swims Erskine, pen in hand, holding 'Causes of the War 132d Edit' [his 'Causes and Consequences of the War with France', 1798, rapidly went through forty-five editions]. Behind him floats a barrel, 'Whitbreads intire' [see BMSat 8638]; it contributes to 'the yeasty main'. Immediately behind it is Norfolk, holding up a frothing glass, with a paper in his right hand: 'Whig Toasts & Sentiments' [see BMSat 9168, &c.]. Near him the much smaller head and shoulders of Sir George Shuckburgh emerge from the water. Behind Norfolk is Burdett, cap in hand, holding up a paper: 'Glorious Acquittal O'Conner [see BMSat 9245, &c] dedicated to Lady Ox------d' (an early allusion to the liaison between them). Erskine, Norfolk, and Bedford have tails like that of Leviathan; the other swimmers may be presumed to have them. Behind them is Lord Derby, waving his cap and revealing small horns on his head (cf. BMSat 9074). Next is Byng, holding up 'Coco's Address to the Electors] of Middlesex' [cf. BMSat 8782]. He is followed by Courtenay, holding up a pamphlet: 'Stolen Jests upon Religion'; the point of his cap has a bell indicating Folly (cf. BMSat 7052). All these are 'wallowing in the Yeasty main' which froths around them. Watching the procession is a crowd of humbler Jacobins, who wave caps and arms and shout in frenzied homage to Lépeaux. Among them is the inevitable chimney-sweeper waving brush and shovel. Above them (left) fly five birds with human heads, the largest being Lansdowne with his inscrutable smile; his wings are feathered, those of the four smaller creatures are webbed. The foremost is (?) Stanhope, [Identified in the key to the plate in Edmond's 'Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin' as Grafton; he also allocates the three following names differently.] next a tiny Horne Tooke, then M. A. Taylor, and last, Lauderdale.
In the foreground, in front of Leviathan, and on dry land, is a procession of small monstrosities. First, a crocodile wearing a pair of stays, to indicate Tom Paine, see BMSat 8287; his jaws are wide, and he weeps; under his forelegs is a paper: 'Paines Defence of the 18 Fructidor' (reviewed by John Gifford in the 'Anti-Jacobin Review', i. 21-5, 140-6: 'Letter of Thomas Paine to the People of France and the French Armies, on the Event of the 18th Fructidor . . .', Paris, 1797; not in B.M.L.: Gifford calls it the only copy in England. 'To drive the King of Great Britain from his throne ... he represents as an indispensable preliminary of peace.') Next stands a little creature, wearing only leg-irons and spectacles, and writing: 'Letter from an Acquitted Felon'. [The epithet was applied by Windham to those indicted with Hardy and others (see BMSat 8502); he was called to order for it by a Member and reproved by Fox. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxi, 1029, 1050 (30 Dec. 1794). See also Horne Tooke's attack on Windham in 'Divisions of Purley', 1798, p. 247.] He is Holcroft, writing probably his 'Letter to the Right Hon. W. Windham on the intemperance and dangerous tendency of his public conduct', 1795. (Southey writes, 15 Aug. 1798, 'Holcroft's likeness is admirably preserved.') Next is an ass, Godwin, on his hind legs, reading his 'Political Justice'. Last is a serpent, spitting fire, advancing over a paper: 'Williams's Atheistical Lectures'. David Williams (1738-1816), founder of the Royal Literary Fund, published deistic lectures (1779) and anticipated Theophilanthropy by opening a deistic chapel in London. Mathiez, 'La Théophilanthropie et le Culte décadaire', 1904, pp. 392-5. He incurred odium by visiting France, 1792-3, being made a French citizen. These four are:

'"All creeping creatures, venomous and low,
"Paine, W--ll--ms, G--dw--n, H--Ic--ft, praise Le Paux!' 1 August 1798

Hand-coloured etching

According to the New Testament, Paul, who was originally known as Saul, was a devout Jew and a zealous opponent of the Christian Church. However, on the road to Damascus, Paul had a vision of Jesus, who revealed himself to him and called him to be an apostle. After his conversion, Paul became one of the greatest missionaries of the early Church and is credited with establishing many Christian communities throughout the Mediterranean world. The sword he is depicted holding symbolizes his earlier life as a persecutor and his later life as a defender of the faith.



1850 - 1950


Duke University

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