The Age of George III

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The Political House that Jack Built: 1819

This political pamphlet, published by John Hone, followed the events of the Peterloo Massacre on 16 August 1819.

Enlargements of the illustrations and accompanying text are provided as links.

This WORD is the Watchword - the talisman word,
That the WATERLOO-MAN's to crush with his sword
It will set both his sword and him at defiance;
And assist its best Champions, who then dare invade it?
Tis the terrible WORD OF FEAR night and morn, To the Guilty Trio all covered with scorn;

"Burghers, men immaculate perhaps in all their private functions, once combin'd, become a loathsome body, only fit for dissolution.
Power usurp'd is weakness when oppos'd; conscious of wrong, 'tis pusilanimous and prone to flight.
I could endure chains nowhere patiently' and chains at home, where I am free by birthright, not at all.

First, to the Doctor of Circular fame, a Driv'ller, a Bigot, a Knave without shame:
And next Derry Down Triangle by name, from the Land of Mis-rule, and Half-hanging, and Flame.
And then, to the Spouter of Froth by the hour, the worthless Colleague of their infamous power;
Who dubb'd him 'the Doctor', whom now he calls 'brother',
And, to get at his Place, took a shot at the other;
Who haunts their Bad House, a base living to earn,
By playing Jack-Pudding, and Ruffian in turn;
Who bullies for those, whom he bullied before;
Their Flash-man, their Bravo, a son of a -----

THE DOCTOR: "At his last gasp - as if with opium drugg'd.
DERRY-DOWN TRIANGLE: "He that sold his country".
THE SPOUTER OF FROTH: "With merry descants on a nation's woes - there is a public mischief in his mirth".
THE GUILTY TRIO: "Great skill have they in palmistry, and more to conjure clean away the gold they touch.
Converying worthless dross into its place; Loud when they beg, dumb only when they steal.
* * * * *
Dream after dream ensues' and still they dream that they shall still succeed, and still are disappointed

The hate of thePeople, all tattered and torn, who curse the day wherein they were born
On account of taxation too great to be borne, and pray for relief from night to morn,

Portentous, unexampled, unexplain'd!
What man seeing this, and having human feelings, does not blush and hang his head, to think himself a man?
I cannot rest a silent witness of the headlong rage or heedless folly by which thousands die - bleed gold for Ministers to sport away.

Who in vain Petition in every form, who peaceably Meeting to ask for Reform
Were sabred by Yeomanry Cavalry, who

"Ruffians are abroad - Leviathan is not so tamed".

Were thank'd by THE MAN all shaven and shorn, all covered with Orders - and all forlorn;
THE DANDY OF SIXTY, who bows with a grace, and has taste in wigs, collars, cuirasses, and lace;
Who to tricksters and fools, leaves the State and its treasure,
And when Britain's in tears, sails about at his pleasure;
Who spurned from his presence the Friends of his youth,
And now has not one who will tell him the truth;

"Great offices will have great talents"

Who took to his counsels, in evil hour,
the Friends to the Reasons of Lawless Power
that back the Public Informer, who

The seals of office glitter in his eyes;
He climbs, he pants, he grasps them -
To be a pest where he was useful once

would put down the Thing, that, in spite of new Acts, And attempts to restrain it, by Soldiers or Tax,

"Once enslaved, farewell!
Do I forebode impossible events, and tremble at vain dreams? Heaven grant I may!"

Will poison the Vermin

"A race obscene, spawn'd in the muddy beds of Nile, came forth, polluting Egypt: gardens, fields, and plains, were covered with the pest
The croaking nuisance lurked in every nook' nor palaces, nor even chambers, escaped; and the land stank - so numerous was the fry.

that plunder the Wealth

"Not to understand a treasure's worth till time has stolen away the slighted good,
Is cause of half the poverty we feel, and makes the world the wilderness it is".

that lay in the House that Jack built.

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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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