Long Live the Goose


Designed and published by William Hone (1780-1842) and etched by George Cruikshank (1792-1878), The Royal Shambles or the Progress of Legitimacy & Reestablishment of Religion & Social Order - !!! - !!!, 1816. Etchings. Graphic Arts Cruikshank. Gift of Richard W. Meirs, Class of 1888.


Louis XVIII (1755-1824) was King of France from 1814 to 1824, except for 100 days in 1815. Napoleon Bonaparte had escaped his island prison and was headed to Paris. The soldiers stationed outside Paris defected to Bonaparte and Louis XVIII quickly left France. Happily for him, the Duke of Wellington defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo and the King was able to return, reentering Paris on July 8, 1815.

There was a celebration the following July and in August 1816, the British artist William Hone (1780-1842) published this panoramic caricature of the French King’s procession, literally on the backs of the French people. Princeton is fortunate to own three copies, a hand colored proof, an uncolored proof, and a finished copy with lettering added.

In Hone’s procession, Louis XVIII rides on a cannon pulled by Wellington. Four men/countries march along, including Francis I, Emperor of Austria; Frederick William III, King of Prussia; John Bull; and Alexander I, Tsar of Russia. Behind, on a crowned donkey are two couples, Louis Antoine de Bourbon, Duc d’Angoulême (1775-1844), Charles, Duc de Berry (1686-1714), and their wives.

On the scaffolding above, a variety of executions, hangings, and mutilations continue in-between cheers. Rather than “Long live the King” the crowd shouts “Vive l’Oie,” (Long live the goose).