Bonaparte, as a crocodile, in the Orangery of St Cloud on 19 Brumaire (10 Nov.); the Council of Five Hundred are depicted as frogs, some wearing bonnets-rouges and red cloaks. He wears a sabre and military boots, and, prophetically, an imperial crown. On each side is a helpless frog, one frog advances towards him with a dagger, clearly useless against the scaly giant.
Lettered with title below, and in the image with publication line ‘London Pub by W.Holland Oxford Street Nov 1799’
(Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, ‘Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum’, VII, 1942)
The two incursions of Bonaparte into the Council are combined, the first when the alleged dagger attack occurred and he retired discomfited, the second when he returned in force and the members fled through the windows. See BMSat 9426, &c. The crocodile indicates Bonaparte’s return from Egypt, see BMSat 9523, probably also hypocrisy, besides showing the helplessness of the group before military force. For Bonaparte’s crown cf. BMSat 9433, &c.
Broadley, i. 131.
See David Bindman, ‘Britain and the French revolution’, BM 1989, cat.178