The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hogarth's Works. Vol. 1 of 3, by 
John Ireland and John Nichols

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most
other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions
whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of
the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at  If you are not located in the United States, you'll have
to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this ebook.

Title: Hogarth's Works. Vol. 1 of 3
       With life and anecdotal descriptions of his pictures

Author: John Ireland
        John Nichols

Release Date: April 29, 2016 [EBook #51821]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


Produced by Chris Curnow, John Campbell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)


Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the book text, and before the publisher's Book Catalog. Some Footnotes are very long.

To avoid duplication, the page numbering in the publisher's Book Catalog at the back of the book has a suffix C added, so that for example page [23] in the Catalog is denoted as [23C].

The cover was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

More detail can be found at the end of the book.










First Series.




[Pg 5]



Portrait of William Hogarth, with his dog Trump,Frontispiece
Full-length Portrait of William Hogarth, by Himself, Engaged in Painting the Comic Muse,18
The Battle of the Pictures,44
Analysis of Beauty
Plate I.,60
Plate II.,64
Time Smoking a Picture,80
The Harlot's Progress
Plate I. At the Bell Inn, in Wood Street—Mary Hackabout and the Procuress,102
Plate II. The Jew's Mistress quarrelling with her Keeper,106
Plate III. The Lodging in Drury Lane—Visit of the Constables,110
Plate IV. Mary Hackabout beating Hemp in Bridewell,112
Plate V. The Harlot's Death—Quacks Disputing,114
Plate VI. The Funeral,118
[6] The Rake's Progress
Plate I. Tom Rakewell taking possession of the rich Miser's effects,124
Plate II. The young Squire's Levee,128
Plate III. The Night House,132
Plate IV. The Spendthrift arrested for Debt—Released by his forsaken Sweetheart,136
Plate V. Marylebone Church—Rakewell married to a Shrew,140
Plate VI. The Fire at the Gambling Hell,144
Plate VII. The Fleet Prison,148
Plate VIII. The Madhouse—The Faithful Friend,154
Southwark Fair,162
A Midnight Modern Conversation,184
The Sleeping Congregation,192
The Distressed Poet,200
The Enraged Musician,206
The Four Times of the Day
Morning. Miss Bridget Alworthy on her way to Church,216
Noon. A Motley Congregation leaving Service,222
Evening. The Shrew and her Husband going home—By the New River at Islington,226
Night. The Drunken Freemason taken care of by the Waiter at the Rummer Tavern,230
Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn,240
Mr. Garrick in the Character of Richard the Third,255
[7] Industry and Idleness
Plate I. The Fellow-apprentices, Thomas Goodchild and Thomas Idle, at their Looms,270
Plate II. The Industrious Apprentice performing the duty of a Christian,272
Plate III. The Idle Apprentice at play in the Churchyard during Divine Service,274
Plate IV. The Industrious Apprentice a favourite, and trusted by his Master,276
Plate V. The Idle Apprentice turned away and sent to sea,278
Plate VI. The Industrious Apprentice out of his time, and married to his Master's Daughter,280
Plate VII. The Idle Apprentice returned from sea, and in a Garret with a Common Prostitute,282
Plate VIII. The Industrious Apprentice grown rich, and Sheriff of London,284
Plate IX. The Idle Apprentice betrayed by a Prostitute, and taken in a Night-cellar with his Accomplice,286
Plate X. The Industrious Apprentice Alderman of London—The Idle one brought before him and impeached by his Accomplice,288
Plate XI. The Idle Apprentice Executed at Tyburn,290
Plate XII. The Industrious Apprentice Lord Mayor of London,292
Roast Beef at the Gate of Calais,298
The Country Inn Yard—Preparing to Start the Coach,306



It is a singular fact, that, notwithstanding the enormous popularity enjoyed by Hogarth in the minds of English people, no perfectly popular edition has been hitherto brought before the public. Were a foreigner to ask an ordinary Briton who was the most thoroughly national painter in the roll of English artists, the answer would be undoubtedly William Hogarth; but the chances are that our countryman would not have at command a tangible proof that his statement was correct. Such editions as have hitherto appeared have been either expensive or unsatisfactory,—even the handsome and costly volume by Nichols is far from complete. To sup[10]ply the want, the present issue has been projected. The illustrative text of Ireland—undoubtedly the best in existence—has been given in full, and is supplemented by addenda from the works of Nichols. The three volumes form certainly the most complete gallery of Hogarth's drawings yet given to the public. The rapid progress of science has provided means by which the pictures have been reduced from their original size to the compact form of this page; while, at the same time, the most perfect truthfulness has been preserved.

Hogarth is essentially English—brave, straight-forward, manly; never pandering to fashion or fancy. When he had to deal with sin and misery, he met them full in the face, bating no whit of their repulsiveness; and in all his works, wherever a moral is to be drawn, it is a noble and a healthy one. In his merry moods he is irresistibly comic; when he stands forward as a censor of morals, he is terrible in his truth; when he creates a character, it is always human and complete,—a true reflex of the age in which he lived. Times may change, and costumes, but humanity remains much the same.[11] Take any series of the splendid list, and the people who crowd the canvas live and move amongst us with different names and other attire. Such suggestive cognomens as Mary Hackabout are not in use; nor do procuresses haunt such localities as Wood Street in pursuit of their vile calling. The course of fashion, as of empire, has taken its way westward; but the whole story of the Harlot's Progress is as fresh and as applicable to a season in 1873 as it was a hundred and forty years before. Have we not Tom Rakewells in scores among us; and had Hogarth been living now, would he not have interpolated another picture of the degradation attained by the spendthrift when he enters the employment of the moneylender as a decoy to poor flies such as he was himself at the beginning of the chapter? The function of the satirist is still needed, and there is no danger of the works of William Hogarth proving to be out of date. Probably no artist ever told stories so well; certainly no one ever acquired such a reputation, and there is no reason why his splendid monuments should be found only in the libraries of the wealthy. Every one should know something[12] of him besides his moral lessons, since, of all the moral lessons he ever taught, his life formed the most pointed. Fearlessness and honesty were his watchwords from his early career of art, after being released from the silversmith's apprenticeship in 1720 until the day of his death in 1764, when he retired from mundane existence full of years and honours. As Ireland declares him to have asserted, his drawings were meant for the crowd rather than for the critics; and with that intention his book was commenced, the original design being to comprise in one volume "a moral and analytical description of seventy-eight prints;" but as the work advanced, such an amount of anecdote and illustrative comment suggested itself, that he was compelled to adopt the three-volume form which is here followed, with the further addition to which we have alluded, of such a full description and reproduction as the original compiler, from accident or design, omitted. These will be found in the third volume, and include many of the most important and meritorious works of the great artist. It has been found advisable to change the ornamental and sometimes indistinct lettering[13] of the original plates, and to adopt a consistent and uniform style of titles. At the same time the elaborate catalogue compiled by Ireland is preserved, since it is still highly valuable as a chronological list of every effort of Hogarth's hand, although it would be folly to attempt a reproduction of every variation it contains. The system pursued by Ireland and Nichols is followed, and the Publishers venture to congratulate themselves on submitting to the notice of the artistic and literary world, as well as to the public generally, the best and cheapest edition of Hogarth's complete works ever brought forward.



Mr. Hogarth frequently asserted that no man was so ill qualified to form a true judgment of pictures as the professed connoisseur; whose taste being originally formed upon imitations, and confined to the manners of Masters, had seldom any reference to Nature. Under this conviction, his subjects were selected for the crowd rather than the critic;[1] and explained in that universal language common to the world, rather than in the lingua technica of the arts, which is sacred to the scientific. Without presuming to support his hypothesis, I have endeavoured to follow his example.

My original design was to have comprised in one volume a moral and analytical description of seventy-eight prints; but as the work advanced, such variety of anecdote and long train of et cetera clung to the narrative, that these limits were found too narrow. With the explanation of fifteen additional plates, the letterpress has expanded to near seven hundred pages.


Where the artist has been made a victim to poetical or political prejudice, without meaning to be his panegyrist, I have endeavoured to rescue his memory from unmerited obloquy. Where his works have been misconceived or misrepresented, I have attempted the true reading. In my essay at an illustration of the prints, with a description of what I conceive the comic and moral tendency of each, there is the best information I could procure concerning the relative circumstances, occasionally interspersed with such desultory conversation as frequently occurred in turning over a volume of his prints. Though the notes may not always have an immediate relation to the engravings, I hope they will seldom be found wholly unconnected with the subjects.

Such mottoes as were engraven on the plates are inserted; but where a print has been published without any inscription, I have either selected or written one. Errors in either parody or verse with the signature E, being written by the editor, are submitted to that tribunal from whose candour he hopes pardon for every mistake or inaccuracy which may be found in these volumes.




"By heaven, and not a master, taught."


When Leonardo da Vinci lay upon his death-bed, Francis the First, actuated by that instinctive reverence which great minds invariably feel for each other, visited him in his chamber. An attendant informing the painter that the king was come to inquire after his health, he raised himself from the pillow, a lambent gleam of gratitude for the honour lighted up his eyes, and he made an effort to speak. The exertion was too much; he fell back; and Francis stooping to support him, this great artist expired in his arms. Affected with the awful catastrophe, the king heaved a sigh of sympathetic sorrow, and left the bed-chamber in tears. He was immediately surrounded by a crowd of those kind-hearted nobles who delight in soothing the sorrows of a sovereign; and one of them entreating him not to indulge his grief, added, as a consolatory reflection, "Consider, sire, this man[18] was but a painter." "I do," replied the monarch; "and I at the same time consider, that though, as a king, I could make a thousand such as you, the Deity alone can make such a painter as Leonardo da Vinci."

Shall I be permitted to adopt this remark, and, without any diminution of the Italian's well-earned fame, assert that the eulogy is equally appropriate to the Englishman whose name is at the head of this chapter; for he was not the follower, but the leader of a class, and became a painter from divine impulse rather than human instruction.

The biographers who have written of artists, especially if the hero of their history was of the Dutch school, generally began by informing us that he received the rudiments of his art from the great Van A—, who was a pupil of the divine Van B—, first the disciple, and afterwards the rival, of the immortal and never enough to be admired Vander C.

This palette pedigree was not the boast of William Hogarth; he was the pupil,—the disciple,—the worshipper of nature!

I do not learn that his family either obtained a grant of lands from our first William, or flourished before the Conquest; but from Burn's History of Westmoreland, it appears that his grandfather was an honest yeoman, the inhabitant of a small tenement in the vale of Bampton, a village fifteen miles north of Kendal, and had three sons. The eldest, in conformity[19] to ancient custom, succeeded to the title, honour, and estate of his father, became a yeoman of Bampton, and proprietor of the family freehold.

The second was not endowed with either land or beeves, but had in their stead a large portion of broad humour and wild original genius. Like his nephew, he grasped the whip of satire; and though his lash was not twisted with much skill, nor brandished with much grace, it was probably felt by those on whom his strokes were inflicted, more than would one of the most exquisite workmanship.

He was the Shakspeare of his village, and his dramas were the delight of the country; though, being written by an uneducated yeoman, it may naturally be supposed they were sufficiently coarse. Mr. Nichols, in his Anecdotes, tells us that he has seen a whole bundle of them, and want of grammar, metre, sense, and decency is their invariable characteristic. This may possibly be true, for in refinement Westmoreland was many, many years behind the capital; and our libraries contain sundrie black-letter proofs that those pithie, pleasaunte, and merrie comedies, which in the same century were enacted by the Kingis servantes with universal applause, had similar wants; notwithstanding which, these unalloyed chronicles of our ancestors' dulness are now purchased at a price considerably higher than virgin gold. Let it not from hence be imagined that I[20] mean to sanction one folly by the mention of another; but as every human production is relative, if auld Hogarth, under the circumstances he wrote, was the admiration of his neighbours, we may fairly infer that his talents, properly cultivated, would, in a more polished situation, have ensured him the admiration of his contemporaries.[2]


Richard was the third son, and seems to have been intended for a scholar,—the scholar of his family!—for he was educated at St. Bees, in Westmoreland, and afterward kept a school in the same county. Of learning he had a portion more than sufficient for his office, for he wrote a Latin and English dictionary, which still exists in MS., and one of his Latin letters,[22] dated 1657, preserved in the British Museum. However well he might be qualified for a teacher, he had few pupils; and finding that his employment produced neither honour nor profit, removed to London, and in Ship Court, Old Bailey, renewed his profession.


It was fortunate for literature that Doctor Samuel Johnson was not successful in an application for the place of a provincial schoolmaster. It was fortunate for the arts that Richard Hogarth was not able to establish a village school, in which situation he would probably have qualified his son William for his successor; and those talents which were calculated to instruct, astonish, and reform a world, might have been wasted in teaching some half a hundred of the young Westmoreland gentry to scan verses by their fingers, and call English things by Latin names. The fates ordained otherwise; it was his destiny to marry and reside in London, where were born unto him one son and two daughters.

The girls had such instructions as qualified them to keep a shop; and the son, who drew his first breath in this bustling world in the year 1697, was author of the prints which, copied in little, form the basis and give the value to these volumes.

Of his education we do not know much; but as his father appears to have been a man of understanding, I suppose it was sufficient for the situation in which he was intended to be placed. That it was not more liberal, might arise from the old man finding erudition answer little purpose to himself, and knowing that in a mechanic employment it is rather a drawback than an assistance. Added to this, I believe young Hogarth had not much bias towards what has obtained the[24] name of learning. He must have been early attentive to the appearance of the passions, and feeling a strong impulse to attempt their delineation, left their names and derivations to the profound pedagogue, the accurate grammarian, or more sage and solemn lexicographer. While these labourers in the forest of science dug for the root, inquired into the circulation of the sap, and planted brambles and birch round the tree of knowledge, Hogarth had an higher aim,—an ambition to display, in the true tints of nature, the rugged character of the bark, the varied involutions of the branches, and the minute fibres of the leaves.

The first notices of his prints were written in French, by a Swiss named Rouquet, who in 1746 published "Lettres de Monsieur * * à un de ses Amis à Paris, pour lui expliquer les Estampes de Monsieur Hogarth."[3] This pamphlet describes the Harlot's and Rake's Progress, Marriage à la Mode, and March to Finchley. In the remarks, there is great reason to believe Rouquet was assisted by Hogarth, who long afterwards expressed an intention of having them translated and amplified. From such a junction, the reader will naturally expect this book to contain more information than he will find.

The second publication was by the Reverend Doctor Trusler, and extends farther than the preceding.[25] It was begun immediately after the artist's death, is baptized Hogarth Moralized, and interspersed with seventy-eight engravings, printed on the same paper with the letterpress. It contains two hundred pages, built upon Rouquet's pamphlet, and the information he received from Mrs. Hogarth, who, conceiving her property would be essentially injured by such a publication, purchased the copyright. As the Doctor does not profess an intimate acquaintance with the arts, and confines himself to morality!—I hope and believe my work will not much clash with his.

Of the artist and his prints, we had no regular narrative until the appearance of Mr. Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting,—a work in which refined taste and elegant diction gave rank and importance to a class of men whose history, in the writings of preceding biographers, exhibited little more than a catalogue of names, or a dry uninteresting narrative of uninteresting events. To the pen of this highly accomplished writer, William Hogarth owes a portion of his deserved celebrity; for in near fifty pages devoted to his name, we find the history of a great man's excellencies and errors written with the warmth of a friend and the fidelity of a chronologist. With the first tolerably complete catalogue of his works, there was such remarks upon their meaning and tendency, as have given the artist a new character; for though his superlative merit secured him admiration from the[26] few who were able to judge, he was considered by the crowd as a mere caricaturist, whose only aim was to burlesque whatever he represented.

The Reverend Mr. Gilpin, in his valuable Essay on Prints, has made some observations on one series by Hogarth. The remarks were evidently written in haste; and though in a few instances I cannot coincide with a gentleman for whose worth and talents I have the most unfeigned respect, I am convinced that the candour of the Vicar of Boldre will forgive the freedom taken with the critic on the Rake's Progress.

In 1781, Mr. Nichols published his Anecdotes, which since that time have been considerably enlarged. This work contains much useful information relative to the artist; and much monumental miscellany from the Grub Street Journal, and other ancient sources, concerning his contemporaries, that were it not there enniched, would in all probability have sunk in dark and endless night. Where Mr. Walpole and preceding writers threw a hair-line, he cast the antiquarian drag-net, and brought from the great deep a miraculous draught of aquatic monsters and web-footed animals, that swam round the triumphal bark of William Hogarth. For the information which I received from his volume, he has my best thanks; where I depart from his authorities, it is on the presumption that my own are better. In many cases, it is more than possible both of us are frequently mistaken.


In this I believe we agree,—that young Hogarth had an early predilection for the arts, and his future acquirements give us a right to suppose he must have studied the curious sculptures which adorned his father's spelling books, though he neglected the letterpress; and when he ought to have been storing his memory with the eight parts of speech, was examining the allegorical apple-tree which decorates the grammar. These first lines of nature inclined his father to place him with an engraver; but workers in copper were not numerous, neither did the demand for English prints warrant a certainty of any additional number obtaining constant employment. Engraving on plate seemed likely to afford a more permanent subsistence, required some taste for drawing, and had a remote alliance with the arts. These reasons being seconded by his own inclination, our juvenile satirist was apprenticed to Mr. Ellis Gamble, who kept a silversmith's shop in Cranbourn Alley, Leicester Fields. This vendor of salvers and sauce-boats had in his own house two or three rare artisans, whose employment was to engrave cyphers and armorial symbols, not only on the articles their master sold, but on any that he might have to mark from cunning workmen, in silver or meaner metals. In this branch he covenanted to instruct William Hogarth, who about the year 1712 became a practical student in Mr. Gamble's Attic Academy. In this[28] school of science, we may fairly conjecture his first essays were the initials on tea-spoons; he would next be taught the art and mystery of the double cypher, where four letters in opposite directions are so skilfully interwoven, that it requires almost an apprenticeship to learn the art of deciphering them. Having conquered his alphabet, he ascended to the representation of those heraldic monsters which first grinned upon the shields of the holy army of crusaders, and were from thence transferred to the massy tankards and ponderous two-handled cups of their stately descendants. By copying this legion of hydras, gorgons, and chimeras dire, he attained an early taste for the ridiculous; and in the grotesque countenance of a baboon or a bear, the cunning eye of a fox, or the fierce front of a rampant lion, traced the characteristic varieties of the human physiognomy. He soon felt that the science which appertaineth unto the bearing of coat armour was not suited to his taste or talents; and tired of the amphibious many-coloured brood that people the fields of heraldry, listened to the voice of Genius, which whispered him to read the mind's construction in the face,—to study and delineate MAN.

As the first token of his turn for the satirical, it may be worth recording, that while yet an apprentice, when upon a sultry Sunday he once made an excursion to Highgate, two or three of his companions and[29] himself sought shelter and refreshment in one of those convenient caravanserais which so much abound in the vicinity of the metropolis. In the same room were a party of thirsty pedestrians, washing down the dust they had inhaled in their walk, with London porter. Two of the company debating upon politics, and the palm of victory being, at the moment Hogarth and his companions entered, adjudged to the taller man, he very vociferously exulted in his conquest, and added some sarcastic remarks on the diminutive appearance of his adversary. The little man had a great soul, and having in his right hand a pewter pot, threw it with fatal force at his opponent: it struck him in the forehead,—and

"As the mountain oak

Nods to the axe, till with a groaning sound

It sinks, and spreads its honours on the ground,"—

he sunk to the floor, and there,—as the divine Ossian would have sublimely expressed it,—The grey mist swam before his eyes. He lay in the hall of mirth as a mountain pine, when it tumbles across the rushy Loda.—He recovered; lifted up his bleeding head, and rolled his full-orbed eyes around. He ascended as a pillar of smoke streaked with fire, and streams of blood ran down his dark brown cheeks, like torrents from the summit of an oozy rock, etc. etc.

To descend from the pinnacle of Parnassus to the plain of common sense,—the fellow being deeply,[30] though not dangerously, wounded in the forehead, extreme agony excited a most hideous grin. His woe-begone figure, opposed to the pert triumphant air of his tiny conqueror, and the half suppressed laugh of his surrounding friends, presented a scene too ridiculous to be resisted. The young tyro seized his pencil, drew his first group of portraits from the life, and gave, with a strong resemblance of each, such a grotesque variety of character as evades all description.

When we consider this little sketch was his coup d'essai, the loss of it is much to be regretted.

He probably made many others during his apprenticeship. When that expired, bidding adieu to red lions and green dragons, he endeavoured to attain such knowledge of drawing as would enable him to delineate the human figure, and transfer his burin from silver to copperplate. In this attempt he had to encounter many difficulties; engraving on copper was so different an art from engraving on silver, that it was necessary he should unlearn much which he had already learned; and at twenty years of age, habits are too deeply rooted to be easily eradicated; so that he never attained the power of describing that clear, beautiful stroke which was then given by some foreign artists, and has since been brought, I believe, to its utmost perfection by Sir Robert Strange.

In his first efforts he had little more assistance than[31] could be acquired by casual communications, or imitating the works of others;[4] those of Callot were probably his first models; and shop-bills and book-plates his first performances. Some of these, with impressions from tankards and tea-tables which escaped the crucible, have, by the laudable industry of collectors, been preserved to the present day. How far they add to the artist's fame, or are really of the value at which they are sometimes purchased, is a question of too high import for me to decide. By the connoisseur it is asserted, that the earliest productions of a great painter ought to be preserved, for they soar superior to the mature labours of plodding dulness, and though but seeds of that genius intended by nature to tower above its contemporaries, invariably exhibit clear marks of mind; as every variety in the branches of a strong-ribbed oak is, by the aid of a microscope, discoverable in the acorn.


By the opposite party it is urged, that collecting these blotted leaves of fancy, is burying a man of talents in the ruins of his baby-house; and that for the honour of his name, and repose of his soul, they ought to be consigned to the flames, rather than pasted in the portfolio.

I must candidly acknowledge, that for trifles by the hand of Hogarth or Mortimer, I have a kind of religious veneration; but, like the rebuses and riddles of Swift, they are still trifles, and except when considered as tracing the progress of the mind from infancy to manhood, are not entitled to much attention. If examined with this regard, especial care should be taken that their names are not dishonoured by the unmeaning and contemptible productions of inferior artists, some of whose prints have found a place in the catalogue of Hogarth's works. Mr. Nichols properly questions the plate of Æneas in a Storm: he might safely put the same query to Riche's Triumphal Entry into Covent Garden, and a few other plates, which some of the collectors have very positively asserted to be his. The Jack in Office and Pug the Painter, I believe, belong to other collectors. That the design for General Wolfe's monument should ever be supposed the work of Hogarth, has often astonished me. I do not see the most distant resemblance of his manner, in mind, conception, design, or execution.


Many stories, similar to those which are told of the manner that other painters revenged an insult, or supplied the exigencies of the moment, are related of young Hogarth. If true, these volumes would gain little interest by their insertion, for few of them are worthy of a memorial; and if false, they ought not to be admitted.

That a young artist, just emancipated from the obscurity of a silversmith's garret, should be unknown, we naturally suppose; that talents, however exalted, should not be noticed by the public until the professor gave some proofs of superiority, may be readily credited.

That a youth of volatile dispositions, who had neither inheritance nor protection, must frequently want money, follows as certainly as night to day; and we place full confidence in the assertion, when told that he has frequently said, "I remember the time when I have gone moping into the city with scarce a shilling in my pocket; but having received ten guineas there for a plate, returned home, put on my sword and bag, and sallied out again, with all the confidence of a man who had ten thousand pounds in his pocket."

I can believe that the elder Mr. Bowles was his first patron; but when Mr. Nichols informs us, on the authority of Doctor Ducarrel, that this patron offered the young engraver half-a-crown a pound for[34] a plate just finished, rejoice that the inauspicious period when such talents had such patronage[5] is past.

Mr. Horace Walpole well observes, that the history of an artist must be sought in his works. The earliest date I have seen on any of Hogarth's engravings is his own shop-bill, bordered with two figures and two Cupids, and inscribed April 20, 1720. From this and similar mechanic blazonry, he ascended to prints for books, in the execution of which it was not necessary to have much knowledge of the arts. If they were copperplates, the public were satisfied; neither spirit of design, accuracy of drawing, nor delicacy of stroke were demanded. Six engravings, containing six compartments each, for King's History of the Heathen Gods, I should apprehend were among the earliest. I have heard them doubted, and they are not mentioned in either Mr. Walpole's or Mr. Nichols' list; but I believe them to be as certainly Hogarth's as the Rake's Progress.


In two emblematical prints on the lottery, and the South Sea Bubble, published in 1721, there is not much merit; and in the fifteen for Aubrey de la Mottraye's Travels, dated 1723, we only regret that so much time and copper should be wasted.

The Burlington Gate, which appeared in 1724, is in a very superior style, and in the spirit of Callot. With some very well pointed satire on the general passion for masquerades, and other ridiculous raree-shows, it unites a burlesque of Kent the architect, who upon the pediment of his patron's gate is exalted above Raphael and Michael Angelo. From this circumstance I think it probable that the print was engraved as a sort of admission ticket to Sir James Thornhill's academy, which was opened that year. The knight would unquestionably be gratified by this ridicule of his rival, and might in consequence admit the young artist to such a degree of intimacy as enabled him to gain the heart and hand of Miss Thornhill. The burlesque copy of Kent's altar-piece at St. Clement's Church was published in 1725; and fifteen headpieces for Bever's Military Punishments in the same year.[6]

By seventeen small plates, with a head of the[36] author for Butler's Hudibras, printed in 1726, he first became known in his profession. In design, these are almost direct copies from a series inserted in a small edition of the same book, published sixteen years before. Whether this originated in a wish to save himself the trouble of making original designs, or in the twenty booksellers for whom this edition was published, is not easy to determine. These midwives to the Muses might think he was upon safer ground while copying the designs of an artist sanctioned by public approbation, than in following his own inventions, and in this opinion our young engraver might possibly join. Taking these circumstances into the account, I do not agree with Mr. Walpole, when he observes that we are surprised to find so little humour in an undertaking so congenial to his talents. If these prints are considered as copies, they ought not to be produced as a criterion; if compared with those from which they are taken, it is not easy to conceive a greater superiority than he has attained over his originals. Neatness was not required; and for such subjects I prefer the spirited etchings of a Hogarth to the most delicate finishing of a Bartolozzi.


Copies of them are inserted in Grey's Hudibras, published 1744, and Townley's French translation, printed à Londres, 1757. In Grey's edition, the head of Butler is not copied from Hogarth, who certainly had for his pattern White's mezzotint of John Baptist Monoyer the flower painter, from Sir Godfrey Kneller: to any portrait that I have ever seen of Samuel Butler, it has not the faintest resemblance; and how the artist came to give it that name, it is difficult to guess.[7]

The large series on that subject were published the same year, and are thus entitled: Twelve excellent and most diverting prints taken from the celebrated poem of Hudibras, written by Mr. Samuel Butler, exposing the villany and hypocrisy of the times, invented and engraved on twelve copperplates, by William Hogarth, and are humbly dedicated to William Ward, Esq. of Great Houghton, in Northamptonshire, and Mr. Allan Ramsay of Edinburgh.[8]


"What excellence can brass or marble claim!

These papers better do secure thy fame:

Thy verse all monuments does far surpass;

No mausoleum's like thy Hudibras."

Allan Ramsay subscribed for thirty sets. The number of subscribers in all, amounts to 192.

The late Mr. Walker of Queen Anne Street had a sketch of Hudibras and Ralpho, painted by Isaac Fuller, very much in the manner of Hogarth, who I think must have seen, and, in the early part of his life, studied Fuller's pictures.

Seven of the drawings were in the possession of the late Mr. Samuel Ireland, three are in Holland, and two are said to have been in the collection of a person in one of the northern provinces about twenty years ago, but are now probably destroyed. Thus are the works of genius scattered like the Sibyl's leaves.

Hogarth seems to have been particularly partial to this subject; for, previous to engraving the twelve large plates, he painted it in oil. The twelve original pictures, somewhat larger than the prints, are in the possession of the editor of these volumes.


The variety with which the characteristic distinctions of the figures are marked, the firm and spirited touch with which each of the characters are pencilled, is peculiar to this artist: they come into that class of pictures, which to those who have not seen them cannot be described; to those who have, a description is unnecessary.

In a masquerade ticket, published 1727, he has a second time introduced John James Heidegger, of ill-favoured memory. Notwithstanding Lord Chesterfield's wager, that this Surintendant des plaisirs d'Angleterre did not produce a man with so hideous a countenance as his own, and Pope having honoured him with a place in his Dunciad, when describing

"A monster of a fowl,

Something between a Heidegger and owl,"

and his ugliness being in a degree proverbial, an engraving of his face from a mask, taken after his death, and inserted in Lavater's Physiognomy, has strong marks of a benevolent character, and features by no means displeasing or disagreeable.

The print of our decollating Harry and Anna Boleyne, is engraved from a painting once in Vauxhall Gardens.[9] Whatever might be the picture, the[40] print is in every point of view contemptible. His frontispieces to Apuleius and Cassandra, Perseus and Andromeda, John Gulliver, and the Highland Fair, come in precisely the same class. Those to Terræ Filius, the Humours of Oxford, and Tom Thumb, have some traces of comedy.

Various temporary satires on the local follies and vices of the day, which he engraved about this time, are enumerated by Mr. Walpole and Mr. Nichols, but have not in general much merit. The compliments he paid to Sir James Thornhill, by ridiculing William Kent, have been noticed in the preceding pages; but Hogarth's partiality was not confined to the knight, he extended it to the knight's daughter, and finding favour in her sight,—without the formal ceremony of asking consent, or the tedious process of a settlement,—took her to wife. This union being neither sanctioned by her father,[10] nor accompanied with a fortune, compelled him to redouble his professional exertions.

His first large print was Southwark Fair, a natural and highly ludicrous representation of the plebeian amusements of that period; but by the Harlot's Progress,[41] he in 1734 established his character as a painter of domestic history. When his wife's father saw the designs, their originality of idea, regularity of narration, and fidelity of scenery, convinced him that such talents would force themselves into notice, and when known, must be distinguished and patronized. Among a great number of copies which the success of these prints tempted obscure artists to make, there was one set printed on two large sheets of paper, for G. King, Brownlow Street, which, being made with the author's consent, may possibly contain some additions suggested and inserted by Hogarth's directions. In Plate I., beneath the sign of the Bell, PARSONS INTIER BUTT BEAR. In Plate II., to the picture of Jonah under a gourd, a label, Jonah, why art thou angry? and under one of the portraits is written, Mr. Woolston. Below each scene, an inscription describes, in true beaux' spelling; the meaning of the prints, and points out two of the characters to be Colonel Charteris and Sir John Gonson. To the strong resemblance the latter of these delineations bore to the original, Mr. Hogarth is said to be indebted for much of his popularity. The magistrate being universally known, a striking portrait in little would then, as now, have a more numerous band of admirers than the best conceived moral satire.

In 1735, when he published his Rake's Progress with a view of stranding the pirates of the arts, he[42] solicited and obtained an Act to vest an exclusive right in designers and engravers, and restrain the multiplying copies of their works without their consent.

Like many other Acts of Parliament, it was inaccurately worded, and very inadequate to the evil it professed to cure; for Lord Hardwicke determined that no assignee, claiming under an assignment from the original inventor, could receive advantage from it: though after Hogarth's death, the Legislature, by Stat. 7th, Geo. III., granted to his widow a further term of twenty years in the property of her husband's works.

In 1736, at the particular desire of a nobleman, whose name deserves no commemoration, he engraved two prints, entitled Before and After. There are few examples of this artist making designs from the thoughts of others. The Sleeping Congregation, Distressed Poet, Enraged Musician, Strolling Actresses, Modern Midnight Conversation, and many genuine comedies of a new description, where the humour of five acts is brought into one scene, were the productions of his own mind. From these and other mirrors of the times, he was considered as an original author; and being now in the plenitude of his fame,—conceiving himself established in reputation, and conscious of being first in his peculiar walk,—he, on the 25th of Jan. 1744-5, printed proposals, offering the paintings of his Harlot's and Rake's Progress,[43] Four Times of the Day, and Strolling Actresses, to public sale, by an auction of a most singular nature.

"I. Every bidder shall have an entire leaf numbered in the book of sale, on the top of which will be entered his name and place of abode, the sum paid by him, the time when, and for which picture.

"II. That on the last day of sale, a clock (striking every five minutes) shall be placed in the room; and when it hath struck five minutes after twelve, the first picture mentioned in the sale book will be deemed as sold; the second picture, when the clock hath struck the next five minutes after twelve; and so on successively till the whole nineteen pictures are sold.

"III. That none advance less than gold at each bidding.

"IV. No person to bid on the last day, except those whose names were before entered in the book. As Mr. Hogarth's room is but small, he begs the favour that no person, except those whose names are entered in the book, will come to view his paintings on the last day of sale."

A method so novel possibly disgusted the town: they might not exactly understand this tedious formulæ of entering their names and places of abode in a book open to indiscriminate inspection; they might wish to humble an artist, who, by his proposals, seemed to consider that he did the world a favour in suffering them to bid for his works; or the rage for[44] paintings might be confined to the admirers of old masters. Be that as it may, for his nineteen pictures he received only four hundred and twenty-seven pounds seven shillings,—a price by no means equal to their merit.[11]

The prints of the Harlot's Progress had sold much better than those of the Rake's; yet the paintings of the former produced only fourteen guineas each, while those of the latter were sold for twenty-two! That admirable picture, Morning, twenty guineas,—Night, in every point inferior to almost any of his works, six-and-twenty!

As a ticket of admission to this sale, he engraved the annexed plate.


"In curious paintings I'm exceeding nice,

And know their several beauties by their price;

Auctions and sales I constantly attend,

But choose my pictures by a skilful friend.

Originals and copies, much the same;

The picture's value is the painter's name."


In one corner of this very ludicrous print he has represented an auction-room, on the top of which is a weathercock, in allusion perhaps to Cock the auctioneer. Instead of the four initials for North, East, West, and South, we have P, U, F, S, which, [45]with a little allowance for bad spelling, must pass for Puffs! At the door stands a porter, who from the length of his staff may be high-constable of the old school, and gentleman-usher to the modern connoisseurs. As an attractive show-board, we have an high-finished Flemish head, in one of those ponderous carved and gilt frames, that give the miniatures inserted in them the appearance of a glow-worm in a gravel pit. A catalogue and a carpet (properly enough called the flags of distress) are now the signs of a sale; but here, at the end of a long pole, we have an unfurled standard, emblazoned with that oracular talisman of an auction-room, the fate-deciding hammer. Beneath is a picture of St. Andrew on the cross, with an immense number of fac-similes, each inscribed ditto. Apollo, who is flaying Marsyas, has no mark of a deity, except the rays which beam from his head; he is placed under a projecting branch, and we may truly say the tree shadows what it ought to support. The coolness of poor Marsyas is perfectly philosophical; he endures torture with the apathy of a Stoic. The third tier is made up by a herd of Jupiters and Europas, of which interesting subject, as well as the foregoing, there are dittos, ad infinitum. These invaluable tableaux being unquestionably painted by the great Italian masters, is a proof of their unremitting industry;—their labours evade calculation; for had they acquired the polygraphic art of striking off[46] pictures with the facility that printers roll off copperplates, and each of them attained the age of Methusaleth, they could not have painted all that are exhibited under their names. Nothing is therefore left us to suppose, but that some of these undoubted originals were painted by their disciples.[12] Such are the collections of fac-similes; the other pictures are drawn up in battle array; we will begin with that of St. Francis, the corner of which is in a most unpropitious way driven through Hogarth's Morning. The third painting of the Harlot's Progress suffers equal[47] degradation from a weeping Madonna, while the splendid saloon of the repentant pair in Marriage à la Mode is broken by the Aldobrandini Marriage. Thus far is rather in favour of the ancients; but the aerial combat has a different termination: for, by the riotous scene in the Rake's Progress, a hole is made in Titian's Feast of Olympus; and a Bacchanalian, by Rubens, shares the same fate from the Modern Midnight Conversation. Considered as so much reduced, the figures are etched with great spirit, and have strong character.


In ridicule of the preference given to old pictures, he exercised not only his pencil, but his pen. His advertisement for the sale of the paintings of Marriage à la Mode, inserted in a Daily Advertiser of 1750, thus concludes:

"As, according to the standard so righteously and laudably established by picture-dealers, picture-cleaners, picture-frame makers (and other connoisseurs), the works of a painter are to be esteemed more or less valuable as they are more or less scarce, and as the living painter is most of all affected by the inferences resulting from this and other considerations[49] equally candid and edifying, Mr. Hogarth by way of precaution, not puff, begs leave to urge that probably this will be the last sale of pictures he may ever exhibit, because of the difficulty of vending such a number at once to any tolerable advantage; and that the whole number he has already exhibited of the historical or humorous kind does not exceed fifty, of which the three sets called the Harlot's Progress, the Rake's Progress, and that now to be sold, make twenty: so that whoever has a taste of his own[50] to rely on, and is not too squeamish, and has courage enough to own it, by daring to give them a place in a collection till Time (the supposed finisher, but real destroyer of paintings) has rendered them fit for those more sacred repositories where schools, names, heads, masters, etc., attain their last stage of preferment, may from hence be convinced that multiplicity, at least, of his, Mr. Hogarth's pieces, will be no diminution of their value."[14]


In the same year with the Battle of the Pictures he etched the subscription-ticket for Garrick in Richard III.; where, in a festoon with a mask, a roll of paper, a palette, and a laurel, he combines the drama and the arts.


Soon after the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle he visited France. A people so different from any he had before seen, and manners so inimical to his own, greatly disgusted him. Ignorance of the language, added[53] to some unpleasant circumstances that had their rise in his own imprudence, form a slight apology for these prejudices; he told them to the world in a view of the Gates of Calais, under which article I have inserted a cantata written by his friend Forest. The portrait in a cap, with a palette, on which is the waving line of beauty and grace, he this year engraved from his own painting. Beneath the frame are three books, labelled, Shakspeare, Milton, Swift; and on one side his faithful and favourite dog Trump. As Hogarth afterwards erased the human face divine, and inserted the divine Churchill in the character of a bear, the print is become very scarce; a small copy adorns the title-page to this volume. Some despicable rhymes on the dog and painter were published in the Scandalizade. Thus do the lines conclude:

"The very self same,—how boldly they strike!

And I can't forbear thinking they're somewhat alike.

Oh fie! to a dog would you Hogarth compare?

Not so,—I say only, they're like as it were;

A respectable pair, all spectators allow,

And that they deserve a description below,

In capital letters, BEHOLD WE ARE TWO."

Those who are personally acquainted with Hogarth deem this print a strong likeness: the picture is remarkably well painted, better than any I have seen from his pencil, except the head of Captain Coram, now in the Foundling Hospital. To that charity Hogarth and several contemporary painters pre[54]sented some of their performances. The attention they obtained from the public induced the members of an academy in St. Martin's Lane to attempt an extension of the plan. With this view, a letter was printed, and sent to the different artists. As it was the cornerstone of that stupendous structure, now become a Royal Academy, I have inserted a copy, with which I was favoured by the gentleman to whom it is addressed.


Academy of Painting, Sculpture, etc.,
St. Martin's Lane, Tuesday, October the 23d, 1753.

"Sir,—There is a scheme set on foot for erecting a public academy for the improvement of the arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture; and as it is thought necessary to have a certain number of professors, with proper authority, in order to the making regulations, taking in subscriptions, erecting a building, instructing the students, and concerning all such measures as shall be afterwards thought necessary, your company is desired at the Turk's Head, in Greek Street, Soho, on Tuesday the 13th of November, at five o'clock in the evening precisely, to proceed to the election of thirteen painters, three sculptors, one chaser, two engravers, and two architects; in all twenty-one, for the purposes aforesaid.—I am, Sir, your most humble servant,

"Francis Milner Newton, Sec.


"P.S.—Please to bring the enclosed list, marked with a cross before the names of thirteen painters, three sculptors, one chaser, two engravers, and two architects, as shall appear to you the most able artists in their several professions, and in all other respects the most proper for conducting this design. If you cannot attend, it is expected that you will send your list, sealed and enclosed in a cover, directed to me, and write your name in the cover, without which no regard will be paid to it.

"The list in that case will be immediately taken out of the cover, and mixed with the other lists, so that it shall not be known from whom it came; all imaginable methods being concerted for carrying on this election without favour or partiality. If you know any artist of sufficient merit to be elected a professor, who has been overlooked in drawing out the list, be pleased to write his name, according to his place in the alphabet, with a cross before it."

Their measures did not meet the approbation of Mr. Hogarth. He thought that the establishment of an academy would attract a crowd of young men to neglect studies better suited to their powers, and depart from more profitable pursuits: that every boy who could chalk a straight-lined figure upon a wall, would be led, by his mamma discovering that it was prodigious natural! to mistake inclination for[56] ability, and suppose himself born for shining in the fine arts!—that the streets would be crowded by lads with palettes and portfolios, print-shops be as numerous as porter-houses, and finally, that which ought to be considered as a science, become a trade; and what was still worse, a trade which would not support its professors.

In near fifty years, that have sunk like a sunbeam in the sea, the arts have assumed a new face; they at this period form a very profitable branch of our commerce, and his prophecy pertaining unto print-shops is partly fulfilled.

It has been before observed that Mr. Hogarth, in his own portrait, engraved as a frontispiece to his works, drew a serpentine line on a painter's palette, and denominated it—The line of beauty.

In the preface to his Analysis, he thus describes the consequence of this denomination:—

"The bait soon took, and no Egyptian hieroglyphic ever amused more than it did for a time; painters and sculptors came to me to know the meaning of it, being as much puzzled with it as other people, till it came to have some explanation. Then indeed, but not till then, some found it out to be an old acquaintance of theirs; though the account they gave of its properties was very near as satisfactory as that which a day-labourer, who occasionally uses the lever, could give of that machine as a mechanical power.


"Others, as common face-painters, and copiers of pictures, denied that there could be such a rule either in art or nature, and asserted it was all stuff and madness; but no wonder that these gentlemen should not be ready in comprehending a thing they have little or no business with. For though the picture-copier may sometimes, to a common eye, seem to vie with the original he copies, the artist himself requires no more ability, genius, or knowledge of nature, than a journeyman weaver at the Gobelins, who in working after a piece of painting, bit by bit, scarcely knows what he is about; whether he is weaving a man or a horse; yet at last, almost insensibly, turns out of his loom a fine piece of tapestry, representing, it may be, one of Alexander's battles painted by Le Brun.

"As the above-mentioned print thus involved me in frequent disputes, by explaining the qualities of the line, I was extremely glad to find it (which I had conceived as only part of a system in my own mind) so well supported by a precept of Michael Angelo, which was first pointed out to me by Dr. Kennedy, a learned antiquarian and connoisseur, of whom I afterwards purchased the translation, from which I have taken several passages to my purpose."[15]


To explain this system, he in 1753 commenced author, and published his Analysis, the professed purpose of which was to fix the fluctuating ideas of taste, by establishing a standard of beauty. This he expected would be considered by his contemporaries, as the ancients considered the little soldier modelled by Policletus, the grammar of proportion, criterion of elegance, and rule of perfection. It must be ac[59]knowledged that this was expecting somewhat more than his system deserved; but he received much less. Sheets of good copper were defaced to prove, in the first place, that there was no such line, and in the next, that he had stolen it from the ancients. Some called it the line of deformity, and others the line of drunkenness. By a lady he was more flattered: she told him it was precisely the line[60] which the sun makes in his annual motion round the ecliptic.

His book is divided into chapters, treating of fitness, variety, symmetry, simplicity, intricacy, quantity, lines, forms, composition with the waving line, proportion, light and shade, colouring, attitude, and action. The hypothesis which he endeavours to establish is illustrated by near three hundred explanatory figures, with references to each.



"So vary'd he, and of his tortuous train

Curl'd many a wanton wreath in sight of Eve,

To lure her eye." —Milton.


If the figures which compose this plate are considered independent of the volume, they will appear sufficiently incongruous. He has given us curves and curvatures, straight lines and angles, circles and squares. He has ransacked the garden for examples, and drawn from the shops of the blacksmith, founder, and cabinetmaker, illustrations of his doctrine. To the beauteous and elegant Grecian Venus,[16] he has [61]opposed the venerable English judge, arrayed in an ample robe, with his head enveloped in a periwig like the mane of a lion. The naked majesty of the Apollo Python is contrasted with an English actor, dressed by a modern tailor and barber, to personate a Roman general. The elegant winding lines of an Egyptian sphynx are opposed by a bloated, overcharged, recumbent Silenus. The uniform, coldly correct figures of Albert Durer's drawing-book, that never deviate into grace, to the antique torso, in which Michael Angelo asserted he discovered every principle that gave so grand a gusto to his own works. Three anatomical representations of the muscles which appear in a human leg when the skin is taken off, are placed close to a shapeless pedestal in a shoe and stocking, which by disease has, in the painter's phrase, lost its drawing.

A fine wire, properly twisted round the figure of a cone, represented in Number 26, as giving that elegant wave which adds grace to beauty, is the leading principle on which he builds his system of serpentine lines. Of this ancient grace, opposed to modern air, he could not have selected better examples than[62] Numbers 6 and 7, where Mr. Essex, an English dancing-master, places himself in such an attitude as he thinks the sculptor ought to have given the Antinous, who he is ludicrously enough handing out to dance a minuet.

Number 19 represents the deep-mouth'd Quin! dressed in all the dignity of a playhouse wardrobe, to perform the part of Brutus. That this (and not Coriolanus) is the character meant by the artist, I am inclined to think, from the statue of Julius Cæsar, with a rope round his neck, immediately before him.[17] The rope is passed through a pulley, inserted in one of those triple supporters of great weights, which some of our provincial carpenters call a gallows, and passes to upright beams intersected by poles, in the front of[63] a monument, on which is seated a judge, over whose head is another noosed pulley. How far this may hint at any connection between the law and the rope I cannot determine; but a weeping naked boy, who is seated below, has in his hand what may pass for the model of a gibbet as well as a square. Over the judge's head is written, BIT DECEM. 1752, ÆTATIS; the O preceding BIT is covered: I apprehend the same judge may be found in a print of THE BENCH.

A new order was Hogarth's favourite idea: he has here made an attempt at a capital composed of hats and periwigs.[18] An infant with a man's wig and cap on, is a miniature representation of Mr. Quin's Roman general; and a monkey child, led by a travelling tutor, gives the painter's opinion of those young gentlemen who visited Rome for improvement in connoisseurship.[19] It is copied from a burlesque of Cav. Ghezzi, etched by Mr. Pond.



"Though rosy youth embloom the sprightly fair,

And beauty mold her with a lover's care,

If motion to the form denies a grace,

Vain is the beauty that adorns the face."


The fatigued figures that labour through this dance, Mr. Hogarth in his 16th chapter thus explains:


"Such dispositions of the body and limbs as appear most graceful when seen at rest, depend upon gentle winding contrasts, mostly governed by the precise serpentine line, which in attitudes of authority are more extended and spreading than ordinary, but reduced somewhat below the medium of grace in those of negligence and ease; and as much exaggerated in insolent and proud carriage, or distortions of pain (see Number 9, in Plate I.), as lessened and[65] contracted into plain and parallel lines, to express meanness, awkwardness, and submission.

"The general idea of an action, as well as of an attitude, may be given with a pencil in very few lines. It is easy to conceive that the attitude of a person upon the cross may be fully signified by the true straight lines of the cross; so the extended manner of St. Andrew's crucifixion is wholly understood by the X-like cross.

"Thus, as two or three lines at first are sufficient to show the intention of an attitude, I will take this opportunity of presenting my reader with the sketch of a country-dance, in the manner I began to set out the design. In order to show how few lines are necessary to express the first thoughts, as to different attitudes, see Number 71 (top of the plate), which describes in some measure the several figures and actions, mostly of the ridiculous kind, that are represented in the chief part of Plate II.

"The most amiable person may deform his general appearance by throwing his body and limbs into plain lines; but such lines appear still in a more disagreeable light in people of a particular make. I have therefore chose such figures as I thought would agree best with my first score of lines, Number 71.

"The two parts of curves next to 71, served for the figures of the old woman and her partner, at the farther end of the room. The curve, and two straight[66] lines at right angles, gave the hint for the fat man's sprawling posture. I next resolved to keep a figure within the bounds of a circle, which produced the upper part of the fat woman, between the fat man and the awkward one in the bag-wig, for whom I had made a sort of an X. The prim lady his partner, in the riding habit, by pecking back her elbows, as they call it, from the waist upwards, made a tolerable D, with a straight line under it, to signify the scanty stiffness of her petticoat; and the Z stood for the angular position the body makes with the legs and thighs of the affected fellow in the tie-wig; the upper part of his plump partner was confined to an O, and this changed into a P, served as a hint for the straight lines behind. The uniform diamond of a card was filled up by the flying dress, etc. of the little capering figure in the Spencer wig, whilst a double L marked the parallel position of his poking partner's hands and arms: and lastly, the two waving lines were drawn for the more genteel turns of the two figures at the hither end."[20]

Such is the author's alphabetical analysis of his[67] serpentine system, which some of my readers may possibly think borders on the visionary: certain it is, that however he may have failed in his two specimens of grace, those of awkwardness are carried as far as they could have been in a Russian dance, when Peter the Great ordained that no lady of any age should presume to get drunk before nine o'clock.

I have seen the print framed as a companion to Guido's Aurora; nothing surely can form a stronger contrast to the golden age, when

"Universal Pan,

Knit with the Graces and the Hours, in dance

Led on th' eternal Spring."

They are said to represent the Wanstead assembly, and contain portraits of the first Earl Tylney, his Countess, their children, tenants, etc. In the tall young lady he has evidently aimed at Milton's description of motion—smooth sliding without step; but her air is affected. Her noble partner was originally intended for a portrait of the present King, then Prince of Wales; and though I learn from Mr. Walpole that it was afterward altered to the first[68] Duke of Kingston, still retains so much of its original designation as to bear a resemblance.

The design was made about the year 1728, and might be a just representation of the Wanstead belles and beaux; but since that period we have had so many ship-loads of grace imported from the Continent, and such numbers of well-educated gentlemen,[21] who have exerted their talents in perfecting this divine art, that the picture would not do for the present day.

The sighing Celadon, privately delivering a letter fraught with love to his fair Amelia, is evidently the native of a country that has furnished many of our English heiresses with good husbands. Her impatient father's watch is precisely twelve, which determines what were then thought late hours, on so particular an occasion as a wedding-ball, the sketch being[69] originally designed for a series illustrative of a happy marriage.[22]

Hogarth is said to have boasted that each of the hats which lie upon the floor are so characteristic of their respective proprietors, that any man who understood the form of the human caput might assign each to its owner. Among them is a cushion, which was formerly part of the ball-room furniture, for what was called the cushion-dance, in the progress of which the gentleman kneels down and salutes his partner.

The light diffused from the chandelier shows an attention to nature worthy the study and imitation of many modern painters, whose figures are illuminated by beams unaccountable!

Thus much may suffice for the prints; as to the book, a pen was not Hogarth's instrument. His life had been devoted to the study of the pencil; and[70] however clear in idea, he felt the consciousness that his language might be rendered more worthy public attention by the advice and assistance of literary friends. This he acknowledges, in the style of a man who felt that his character did not depend on the power of constructing a sentence, in which branch of the work he was aided by Doctor Hoadley, Doctor Morrell, and his friend the Reverend Mr. Townley,[23][71] whose son told me, that when his father corrected the first sheet, he found a plentiful crop of errors; the second and third were less incorrect; and the fourth much more accurate than the preceding. Such is the power of genius, whatever its direction.

I will not go so far as Mr. Ralph, who says, "that by means of this volume composition is become a science; the student knows what he is in search of,[72] the connoisseur what to praise, and fancy or fashion, or prescription, will usurp the hackneyed name of taste no more; because I think with Lady Luxborough, that in the line of beauty no man can literally fix the precise degree of obliquity;" but I think with the same lady, "that between his pencil and his pen, he conveys an idea which enables one to conceive his meaning,"[73] and that he gives many hints which may be of great use to the artist, actor, dancer, or connoisseur.[24]

Though many profitable opportunities were offered by the politics of the day, it does not appear that Hogarth ever degraded his character by either servile adulation or interested abuse of the powers which were.

In an account of the March to Finchley, it will be found that when the print was presented to George II., the king returned it in a way that must have mortified and wounded the artist, who, though he was tremblingly alive to professional indignity, made no graven retaliation. He could not therefore be considered as an opponent it was proper to silence, or as an advocate[74] it was necessary to retain; notwithstanding which, on the 16th of July 1757, when Mr. Thornhill (son to Sir James) resigned his place of sergeant painter, William Hogarth was appointed his successor; and very soon after, engaged in a pencil competition that did not terminate to his advantage.

I have had frequent occasion to mention the opinion he entertained of ancient paintings. By ridiculing copies and contemptible originals, he got a habit of laughing at them all; and when, in 1758, Sir Thomas Sebright, at Sir Luke Schaub's sale, gave £404, 5s. for Correggio's Sigismunda, [25] Hogarth, in evil hour, asserted that, were he paid as good a price, he could paint a better picture. Sir Richard (afterwards Lord) Grosvenor unluckily gave him an order for the same subject, guarded with the qualifying monosyllable IF. The work was finished,—sent to the purchaser,—and returned to the artist,—because,—as the ironical epistle[26] which accompanied it expressed,—"Contemplating such a subject must excite melancholy ideas, which a curtain being drawn before it would not diminish."[27]


This rejection produced a letter from Hogarth to a friend, relating the whole transaction, in rhymes that might perhaps give our painter a niche amongst the minor poets; but which, having neither the harmony of Pope nor the ardour of Dryden, shall find no place here. The prophecy it concludes with has not been absolutely fulfilled, but in the form of a wish may be a suitable motto for the next print.


"Let the picture rust;

Perhaps Time's price-enhancing dust,

As statues moulder into earth,

When I'm no more, may mark its worth;

And future connoisseurs may rise,

Honest as ours, and full as wise,

To puff the piece, and painter too,

And make me then what Guido's now."

Hogarth's Epistle.


A competition with either Guido or Furino would to any modern painter be an enterprise of danger: to Hogarth it was more peculiarly so, from the public justly conceiving that the representation of elevated distress was not his forte, and his being surrounded by an host of foes, who either dreaded satire or envied genius. The connoisseurs considering the challenge as too insolent to be forgiven,—before his picture appeared, determined to decry it. The painters rejoiced in his attempting what was likely to end in[76] disgrace; and to satisfy those who had formed their ideas of Sigismunda upon the inspired page of Dryden, was no easy task.

The bard has consecrated the character, and his heroine glitters with a brightness that cannot be transferred to the canvas. Mr. Walpole's description, though equally radiant, is too various for the utmost powers of the pencil.

Hogarth's Sigismunda, as this gentleman poetically expresses it, "has none of the sober grief, no dignity of suppressed anguish, no involuntary tear, no settled meditation on the fate she meant to meet, no amorous warmth turned holy by despair; in short, all is wanting that should have been there, all is there that such a story would have banished from a mind capable of conceiving such complicated woe; woe so sternly felt, and yet so tenderly." This glowing picture presents to the mind a being whose contending passions may be felt, but were not delineated even by Correggio. Had his tints been aided by the grace and greatness of Raphael, they must have failed.

The author of the Mysterious Mother sought for sublimity, where the artist strictly copied nature, which was invariably his archetype, but which the painter, who soars into fancy's fairy regions, must in a degree desert. Considered with this reference, though the picture has faults, Mr. Walpole's satire is surely too severe. It is built upon a comparison[77] with works painted in a language of which Hogarth knew not the idiom,—trying him before a tribunal whose authority he did not acknowledge; and from the picture having been in many respects altered after the critic saw it, some of the remarks become unfair. To the frequency of these alterations we may attribute many of the errors:[28] the man who has not confidence in his own knowledge of the leading principles on which his work ought to be built, will not render it perfect by following the advice of his friends. Though Messrs. Wilkes and Churchill dragged his heroine to the altar of politics, and [78]mangled her with a barbarity that can hardly be paralleled, except in the history of her husband,—the artist retained his partiality, which seems to have increased in exact proportion to their abuse. The picture being thus contemplated through the medium of party prejudice, we cannot wonder that all its imperfections were exaggerated. The painted harlot of Babylon had not more opprobrious epithets from the first race of reformers, than the painted Sigismunda of Hogarth from the last race of patriots.[30]

When a favourite child is chastised by his preceptor, a partial mother redoubles her caresses. Hogarth, estimating this picture by the labour he had bestowed upon it, was certain that the public were prejudiced, and requested, if his wife survived him, she would not sell it for less than five hundred pounds. Mrs. Hogarth acted in conformity to his[79] wishes; but after her death, the painting was purchased by Messrs. Boydell, and exhibited in the Shakspeare Gallery. The colouring, though not brilliant, is harmonious and natural: the attitude, drawing, etc., may be generally conceived by the print engraved by Mr. Benjamin Smith. I am much inclined to think, that if some of those who have been most severe in their censures, had consulted their own feelings, instead of depending upon connoisseurs, poor Sigismunda would have been in higher estimation. It has been said that the first sketch was made from Mrs. Hogarth, at the time she was weeping over the corse of her mother.

Hogarth once intended to have appealed from the critics' fiat to the world's opinion, and employed Mr. Basire to make an engraving, which was begun, but set aside for some other work, and never completed.[31]



"To nature and yourself appeal,

Nor learn of others what to feel."—Anon.


This animated satire was etched as a receipt-ticket for a print of Sigismunda. It represents Time, seated upon a mutilated statue, and smoking a landscape, through which he has driven his scythe, to give proof of its antiquity,—not only by sober, sombre tints, but by an injured canvas. Beneath the easel on which it is fixed the artist has placed a capacious jar, on which is written VARNISH,—to bring out the beauties of this inestimable assemblage of straight lines. The frame is dignified with a Greek motto:

Crates,—Ὁ γὰρ χρόνος μ' ἔκαμψε, τέκτων μὲν σοφὸς,
Ἅπαντα δ' ἐργαζόμενος ἀσθενέστερα.

See Spectator, vol. ii. p. 83.

This, though not engraved with precise accuracy, is sufficiently descriptive of the figure.

Time has bent me double; and Time, though I confess he is a great artist, weakens all he touches.

"From a contempt" (says Mr. Walpole) "of the[81] ignorant virtuosi of the age, and from indignation at the impudent tricks of picture-dealers,[32] whom he saw continually recommending and vending vile copies to bubble-collectors, and from having never studied, indeed having seen few good pictures of the great Italian masters, he persuaded himself that the praises bestowed on those glorious works were nothing but the effects of prejudice. He talked this language till he believed it; and having heard it often asserted, as is true, that Time gives a mellowness to colours, and improves them, he not only denied the proposition, but maintained that pictures only grew black and[82] worse by age, not distinguishing between the degrees in which the proposition might be true or false."

Whether Mr. Walpole's remarks are right or wrong, Hogarth has admirably illustrated his own doctrine, and added to his burlesque, by introducing the fragments of a statue, below which is written,

As statues moulder into worth.   P. W.

By part of this print being in mezzotinto and the remainder etched, it has a singularly striking and spirited appearance.

Hogarth, the following year, published that admirable satire, The Medley, which completely refutes the[83] reproach thrown on his declining talents by his political opponents, whose violent, and in some respects vindictive attack, is erroneously said to have hastened his death. That he was wounded with a barbed spear, hurled by the hand of a friend, it is reasonable to suppose; but armed with the mailed coat of conscious superiority, he could not be wounded mortally. What!—broken-hearted by a rhyme!pelted to death with ballads!—He was too proud! I am told by those who knew him best, that the little mortification he felt, did not arise from the severity of the satire, but from a recollection of the terms on which he had lived with the satirist.

To the painter's recriminations in this party jar, Mr. Nichols I suppose alludes, page 97 of his Anecdotes, where he says, that "in his political conduct and attachments, Hogarth was at once unprincipled and variable." These are harsh and heavy charges, but I am to learn on what they are founded. He never embarked with any party, nor did he publish a political print before the year 1762; and the principles he there professes he retained until his death.

In the same page of the Anecdotes, I find, after a complimentary quotation from one of Mr. Hayley's poems, several severe strictures to which I cannot assent.[33] The assertion, that all his powers of delighting[84] were confined to his pencil, is in a degree refuted by the Analysis. That he was rarely admitted into polite circles, I can readily believe; but if by polite circles, Mr. Nichols means those persons of honour who deem dress the grand criterion of distinction, think making an easy bow the first human acquirement, and Lord Chesterfield's code the whole duty of man,—the artist had no great cause to regret the loss of such society. But his sharp corners not being rubbed off by collision with these polite circles, he was, to the last, a gross, uncultivated man. Engaged in ascertaining the principles of his art, he had not leisure to study the principles of politeness; but by those who lived with him in habits of intimacy, I am told he was by no means gross.

"To be member of a club consisting of mechanics, or those not many degrees above them, seems to have been the utmost of his social ambition."—Yet we find in the[85] list of his social companions, Fielding, Hoadley, Garrick, Townley, and many other names who were an honour to their age and country. Though excluded from polite circles, by these and such men he was received as a friend. Some of his evenings were probably passed among his neighbours, and being above dissimulation, I suppose he resented what he disliked, and was, as Mr. Nichols informs us, often sent to Coventry. "He is said to have beheld the rising eminence and popularity of Sir Joshua Reynolds with a degree of envy; and, if I am not misinformed, spoke with asperity both of him and his performances." It has been said, and I believe with equal truth, that Rubens envied the rising eminence and popularity of Vandyke: neither the Englishman nor the Fleming were capable of so mean a passion. The walk of William Hogarth was diametrically opposite to that of Sir Joshua Reynolds. They saw nature through a different medium: one of them almost invariably dignifies his characters; whilst the other, from the nature of his subjects, sinks, and in some measure degrades them. The man whose portrait is painted by the President feels exalted; whilst he who looks in the mirror displayed by Hogarth, finds a resemblance better calculated to gratify his good-natured friends than himself. These circumstances considered, I can conceive Hogarth might have been pleased if he could have united the elegance of Sir Joshua to his[86] own humour, and that the knight might be proud of adding the powers of Hogarth to his own taste, without either of them possessing a particle of the diabolical passion alluded to by Mr. Nichols, who thus winds up the character: "Justice, however, obliges me to add, that our artist was liberal, hospitable, and the most punctual of paymasters." This is fair and unequivocal praise,—but justice obliges me to add, seems given upon compulsion. Why the biographer feels so much reluctance at being thus obliged to commend the hero of his own history, we are not told,—though the cause of a lady being most indecently caricatured, is, in the same book, frankly acknowledged.

"She is still living, and has been loud in abuse of this work, a circumstance to which she owes a niche in it!"—Nichols' Anecdotes, p. 114.

Hogarth, with all the indelicacy of which he is accused, would have blushed at the perusal of this overcharged character. Though nothing fastidious, I cannot quote so disgusting a combination of abominable images. In page 59 we are presented with a series equally delectable.

Mr. Walpole remarks that the Flemish painters, as writers of farce and editors of burlesque nature, are the Tom Brownes of the mob; and in their attempts at humour, when they intend to make us laugh, make us sick; that Hogarth resembles Butler,[87]—amidst all his pleasantry, observes the true end of comedy, REFORMATION, and has always a moral. To prove this truth, is one great object of these volumes. But Mr. Nichols, thinking it necessary to examine whether the scenes painted by our countryman are wholly free from Flemish indelicacies, has with laudable industry culled some sixteen or eighteen delicious examples, to convince us that they are not. I omit the catalogue; yet let me be permitted to suggest, that without the aid of a commentary, these indelicacies are not generally obtrusive. I once knew a very grave and profound critic, who employed several years of his life in collecting all Shakspeare's double entendres; these he intended for publication, to prove that his plays were not fit for the public eye, but was prevented, by a friend suggesting that it would be thought he had acted like the birds—pecked at that fruit which he liked best.

Leaving these and all other indecencies to the contemplation of those who seek for them, let us return to our narrative.

Finding his health in a declining state, Hogarth had some years before purchased a small house at Chiswick.[34] To this he retired during the summer months,[88] but so active a mind could never rust in idleness;—even there he pursued his profession, and employed the last years of his life in retouching and superintending some repairs and alterations in his plates. From this place he, on the 25th October 1764, returned to Leicester Square, and though weak and languid, retained his usual flow of spirits; but being on the same night taken suddenly ill, died of an aneurism, in the arms of his friend Mrs. Lewis, who was called up to his assistance.

"The hand of him here torpid lies,

That drew th' essential form of grace;

Here cloath'd in death th' attentive eyes,

That saw the manners in the face."[35]

His will, which bears date August 16, 1764, has the following bequests:—

"I do hereby release, and acquit, and discharge my sister Ann Hogarth, of and from all claims and demands which I have on her at the time of my decease[89] on any account whatsoever; and I do hereby give and bequeath unto my said sister Ann, eighty pounds a year, to be paid her during her natural life, by my executrix hereinafter named, out of the profits which shall arise from the sale of the prints taken from my engraved copperplates; which yearly payment shall commence within three months after my decease, and be paid in quarterly payments: and my will is, that the said copperplates shall not be sold or disposed of without the consent of my said sister, and my executrix hereinafter named; but the same shall remain in the custody or possession of my executrix hereinafter named, for and during her natural life, if she continues sole and unmarried; and from and immediately after her marriage, my will is that the three sets of copperplates, called Marriage à la Mode, the Harlot's Progress, and the Rake's Progress, shall be delivered to my said sister, by my said executrix, during her natural life; and immediately after the decease of my said executrix, the said copperplates, and the whole profits arising from such prints as aforesaid, shall be and of right belong to my said sister; and in case my executrix shall survive my sister, the same shall in like manner become the sole property, and of right belong to my said executrix hereinafter named: and I hereby give and bequeath unto Mary Lewis, for her faithful services, one hundred pounds, to be paid her immediately after my decease by my executrix hereinafter[90] named: and my will is, that Samuel Martin, Esq., of Abingdon Buildings, be requested to accept of the portrait which I painted of him for myself. Item, that a ring, value ten guineas, be presented to Doctor Isaac Schomberg, in remembrance of me. Item, that Miss Julian Bence be presented with a ring, value five guineas: and my will is, that the remainder of my money, securities for money, and debts due to me, shall of right belong to my said executrix hereinafter named; and all my other goods, pictures, chattels, and estates, real or personal whatsoever, I do give and bequeath the same and every part thereof unto my dear wife Jane Hogarth, whom I do ordain, constitute, and appoint my sole executrix of my will. And I do hereby revoke all the other wills by me made at any time. In witness thereof, I do hereunto set my hand and seal, this day, August 16th, 1764.

"William Hogarth (L.S.).

"Signed, sealed, and published, and delivered by William Hogarth, to be his last will and testament, in the presence of us, who in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witness thereto.—Richard Loveday, George Ellsom, Mary Graham."

His remains were removed to Chiswick, where, on a plain but neat pyramidical monument, are the following inscriptions:—


On the first side is engraven:



On the second:

SHE DIED NOV. 12, 1757,

On a third:


On the front, in basso-relievo, is the comic mask, laurel wreath, rest-stick, palette, pencils, a book inscribed Analysis of Beauty, and the following admirable lines by his friend Mr. Garrick:—

"Farewell, great painter of mankind,

Who reached the noblest point of art;

Whose pictured morals charm the mind,

And through the eye correct the heart.

If genius fire thee, reader, stay;

If Nature touch thee, drop a tear:

If neither move thee, turn away,

For Hogarth's honoured dust lies here."[36]


Time will obliterate this inscription, and even the pyramid must crumble into dust; but his fame is engraven on tablets which shall have longer duration than monumental marble.

During the twenty-five years which his widow survived, the plates were neither repaired nor altered,[37] but being necessarily entrusted to the management of others, were often both negligently and improperly[93] taken off.[38] On Mrs. Hogarth's demise, in 1789, she bequeathed her property as follows:—

"Imprimis, I give and devise unto my cousin Mary Lewis, now living with me, all that my copyhold estate, lying and being at Chiswick, in the county of Middlesex, to have and to hold, during the term of her natural life; and after her decease, I give and devise the said copyhold estate unto Richard Loveday, surgeon, of Hammersmith, to have and to hold during his natural life; and after his decease, to his son Francis James Loveday, to him and his heirs for ever. Item, I give and bequeath unto the said Mary Lewis all my personal estate, of what kind soever, the legacies hereinafter mentioned excepted. Item, I give unto my god-daughter Jane Amelia Loveday, the sum of one hundred pounds. And I do make, constitute, and appoint my said cousin Mary Lewis, my sole executrix of this my last will and testament, written with my own hand, this third day of August, in the year of our Lord, 1770. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal.

"Jane Hogarth (L.S.).

"Witnesses—Michael Impey, Jane Sarah Home.


"This stock of £479, 10s. 3d. I give to M. Lewis; and to Charles Stilewell, if he is with me at the time of my death, twenty pounds.—May the 17th, 1789.

"Jane Hogarth."

Mrs. Lewis, soon after the death of her friend, on condition of receiving an annuity for life, transferred to Messrs. Boydell her right in all the plates; and since in their possession, they have not been touched upon by a burin. It may be proper to add, that every plate has been carefully cleaned; and the rolling-presses now in use being on an improved principle, the paper superior, and the art of printing better understood, impressions are more clearly and accurately taken off than they have been at any preceding period.

Thus much may suffice for the state of his plates: their general intention and execution is the proper basis on which to build his


Were it considered by a connoisseur, he would probably assert that this man could not be a painter, for he had never travelled to Rome; could not be a judge of art, for he spoke irreverently of the ancients; gave his figures neither dignity nor grace; was erroneous in his distribution of light and shade, and inattentive to the painter's balance; that his grouping was inartificial, and his engraving coarse.


To traverse continents in search of antique paintings, explore caverns for mutilated sculpture, and measure the proportions of a statue with mathematical precision, was not the boast of William Hogarth. The Temple of Nature was his academy, and his topography the map of the human mind. Disdaining to copy or translate, he left the superior class of beings that people the canvas of Poussin and Michael Angelo to their admirers; selected his images from his own country, and gave them with a truth, energy, and variety of character,[39] ever appropriate, and invariably original. Considering his peculiar powers, it is fortunate for his fame that he was a native of Britain. In Switzerland, the scenery is romantic,—the rocks are stupendous; in Italy, the models of art are elevated and majestic,—the ruins of ancient Greece still continue a school of architecture and proportion;—but in England, and in England alone, we have every variety of character that separates man from man. To these he resorted, and rarely attempted to heighten nature, either by ideal or elevated beauty; for though he had the eye, he had not the wing of an eagle; when he attempted to soar, particles of his native clay clung to his pinions, and retarded his flight.


His engravings, though coarse, are forcible in a degree scarcely to be paralleled. Every figure is drawn from the quarry of nature; and, though seldom polished, is always animated.

He has been accused of grossness in some of his single figures: but the general vein of his wit is better calculated to make the man of humour smile than the humourist laugh;—has the air of Cervantes rather than Rabelais,—of Fielding rather than Smollett.

I do not know in what class to place his pictured stories. They are too much crowded with little incidents for the dignity of history; for tragedy, are too comic; yet have a termination which forbids us to call them comedies. Being selected from life, they present to us the absurdities, crimes, punishments, and vicissitudes of man: to-day, basking in the bright beams of prosperity; to-morrow, sunk in the gloom of comfortless despair. Be it recorded to his honour, that their invariable tendency is the promotion of virtue, and the diffusion of such a spirit as tends to make men industrious, humane, and happy. If some of the incidents are thought too ludicrous, and a few of the scenes rather border on the licentious, let it be remembered, that since they were engraved the standard of delicacy has been somewhat altered: that species of wit which this sentimental and double-refined age deems too much debased for common currency,[97] was then, with a still larger portion of alloy, the sterling coin of the kingdom.

On canvas he was not so successful as on copper. Scripture history, which was one of his first attempts,[40] did not add a leaf to his laurel. In small portraits of conversations, etc., he was somewhat more successful; but in a few years the novelty wore off, and the public grew tired. Though he had great facility[41] and general success in his resemblances, his eye was too correct and his hand too faithful for those who wished to be flattered. The fantastic fluttering robes, given by contemporary painters, were too absurd for him to imitate; and he painted all his figures in the exact habits they wore. Compared with the dignified dresses of Vandyke, the Germanic garb, which then prevailed, gave a mean and unpicturesque formality to his portraits.

With respect to his person, though hardly to be classed as a little man, Hogarth was rather below the middle size; he had an eye peculiarly bright and piercing, and an air of spirit and vivacity. From an accident in his youth, he had a deep scar on his forehead: the mark remained; and he frequently wore his hat so as to display it. His conversation was [98]lively and cheerful,[42] mixed with a quickness of retort that did not gain him friends. Severe in his satire on those who were present, but of the absent he was usually the advocate;[43] and has sometimes boasted that he never uttered a sentence concerning any man living, that he would not repeat to his face. In the relations of husband, brother, friend, and master, he was kind, generous, sincere, and indulgent. In diet abstemious; but in his hospitalities, though devoid of ostentation, liberal and free-hearted. Not parsimonious, yet frugal;—but so comparatively small were the rewards then paid to artists, that, after the labour of a long life, he left a very inconsiderable sum to his widow, with whom he must have received a [99]large portion of what was bequeathed to her.[44] His character, and the illustrations I have attempted, are built upon a diligent examination of his prints: if in any case it should be thought that they have biassed my judgment, I can truly say that they have informed it. From them I have learnt much which I should not otherwise have known, and to inspecting them I owe many very happy hours. Considering their originality, variety, and truth, if we take from the artist all that he is said to have wanted, he will have more left than has been often the portion of man.





"The snares are set, the plot is laid,

Ruin awaits thee, hapless maid!

Seduction sly assails thine ear,

And gloating, foul desire is near;

Baneful and blighting are their smiles,

Destruction waits upon their wiles:

Alas! thy guardian angel sleeps,

Vice clasps her hands, and virtue weeps."—E.


The general aim of historical painters has been to emblazon some signal exploit of an exalted and distinguished character. To go through a series of actions, and conduct their hero from the cradle to the grave, to give a history upon canvas, and tell a story with the pencil, few of them attempted. Mr. Hogarth saw with the intuitive eye of genius, that one path to the temple of Fame was yet untrodden: he took Nature for his guide, and gained the summit. He was the painter of nature; for he gave not merely the ground-plan of[102] the countenance, but marked the features with every impulse of the mind. He may be denominated the biographical dramatist of domestic life. Leaving those heroic monarchs who have blazed through their day with the destructive brilliancy of a comet to their adulatory historians, he, like Lillo, has taken his scenes from humble life, and rendered them a source of entertainment, instruction, and morality.

This series of prints gives the history of a Prostitute. The story commences with her arrival in London, where, initiated in the school of profligacy, she experiences the miseries consequent to her situation, and dies in the morning of life. Her variety of wretchedness forms such a picture of the way in which vice rewards her votaries, as ought to warn the young and inexperienced from entering this path of infamy. The first scene of this domestic tragedy is laid at the Bell Inn, in Wood Street, and the heroine may possibly be daughter to the poor old clergyman who is reading the direction of a letter close to the York waggon, from which vehicle she has just alighted. In attire, neat, plain, unadorned; in demeanour, artless, modest, diffident; in the bloom of youth, and more distinguished by native innocence than elegant symmetry; her conscious blush and downcast eyes attract the attention of a female fiend who panders to the vices of the opulent and libidinous. Coming out of the door of the inn we discover two [103]men, one of whom is eagerly gloating on the devoted victim. This is a portrait, and said to be a strong resemblance of Colonel Francis Chartres,[45] whose epitaph was written by Doctor Arbuthnot: in that epitaph his character is most emphatically described.[46]

The old procuress, immediately after the girl's alighting from the waggon, addresses her with the familiarity of a friend rather than the reserve of one who is to be her mistress.

Had her father been versed in even the first rudiments of physiognomy, he would have prevented her [104]engaging with one of so decided an aspect; for this also is the portrait of a woman infamous in her day:[47] but he, good, easy man, unsuspicious as Fielding's Parson Adams, is wholly engrossed in the contemplation of a superscription to a letter addressed to the bishop of the diocese. So important an object prevents his attending to his daughter, or regarding the devastation occasioned by his gaunt and hungry Rozinante having snatched at the straw that packs up some earthenware, and produced

"The wreck of flower-pots, and the crash of pans!"

From the inn she is taken to the house of the procuress, divested of her home-spun garb, dressed in the gayest style of the day, and the tender native hue of her complexion encrusted with paint and disguised by patches. She is then introduced to Colonel Chartres, and by artful flattery and liberal promises becomes intoxicated with the dreams of imaginary greatness. A short time convinces her of how light a breath these promises were composed. Deserted by her keeper, and terrified by threats of an immediate arrest for the pompous paraphernalia of prostitution, after being a short time protected by one of the tribe[105] of Levi, she is reduced to the hard necessity of wandering the streets for that precarious subsistence which flows from the drunken rake or profligate debauchee. Here her situation is truly pitiable! Chilled by nipping frost and midnight dew, the repentant tear trickling on her heaving bosom, she endeavours to drown reflection in draughts of destructive poison. This, added to the contagious company of women of her own description, vitiates her mind, eradicates the native seeds of virtue, destroys that elegant and fascinating simplicity which gives additional charms to beauty, and leaves in its place art, affectation, and impudence.

Neither the painter of a sublime picture nor the writer of an heroic poem should introduce any trivial circumstances that are likely to draw the attention from the principal figures. Such compositions should form one great whole: minute detail will inevitably weaken their effect. But in little stories which record the domestic incidents of familiar life, these accessory accompaniments, though trifling in themselves, acquire a consequence from their situation; they add to the interest, and realize the scene. In this, as in almost all that were delineated by Mr. Hogarth, we see a close regard paid to things as they then were; by which means his prints become a sort of historical record of the manners of the age.

The balcony, with linen hanging to dry; the York[106] waggon, which intimates the county that gave birth to our young adventurer; parcels lying on the ground, and a goose, directed To my lofen coosin in Tems Stret London, prove the peculiar attention he paid to the minutiæ. The initials M. H. on one of the trunks give us the name of the heroine of this drama,—Hackabout was a character then well known, and infamous for her licentiousness and debauchery.[48]

Of elegant beauty Mr. Hogarth had not much idea; but he has marked his heroine with natural simplicity. To the old procuress he has given her physiognomical distinction, and to the Colonel his appropriate stamp.[49]


"Ah! why so vain, though blooming in thy spring;

Thou shining, frail, adorn'd, but wretched thing!

Old age will come; disease may come before,

And twenty prove as fatal as threescore!"


Entered into the path of infamy, the next scene exhibits our young heroine the mistress of a rich [107]Jew, attended by a black boy,[50] and surrounded with the pompous parade of tasteless profusion. Her mind being now as depraved as her person is decorated, she keeps up the spirit of her character by extravagance and inconstancy. An example of the first is exhibited in the monkey being suffered to drag her rich head-dress round the room, and of the second in the retiring gallant. The Hebrew is represented at breakfast with his mistress; but having come earlier than was expected, the favourite has not departed. To secure his retreat, is an exercise for the invention of both mistress and maid. This is accomplished by the lady finding a pretence for quarrelling with the Jew, kicking down the tea-table, and scalding his legs, which, added to the noise of the china, so far engrosses his attention, that the paramour, assisted by the servant, escapes discovery.

The subjects of two pictures with which the room is decorated are, David dancing before the ark, and Jonah seated under a gourd.[51] They are placed there, not merely as circumstances which belong to Jewish story, but as a piece of covert ridicule on the old [108]masters, who generally painted from the ideas of others, and repeated the same tale ad infinitum. On the toilet-table we discover a mask, which well enough intimates where she had passed part of the preceding night, and that masquerades, then a very fashionable amusement, were much frequented by women of this description; a sufficient reason for their being avoided by those of an opposite character.

Under the protection of this disciple of Moses she could not remain long. Riches were his only attraction, and though profusely lavished on this unworthy object, her attachment was not to be obtained, nor could her constancy be secured; repeated acts of infidelity are punished by dismission; and her next situation shows that, like most of the sisterhood, she had lived without apprehension of the sunshine of life being darkened by the passing cloud, and made no provision for the hour of adversity.

In this print the characters are marked with a master's hand. The insolent air of the harlot, the astonishment of the Jew,[52] eagerly grasping at the falling table, the start of the black boy, the cautious trip of the ungartered and barefooted retreating gallant, and the sudden spring of the scalded monkey, are admirably expressed. To represent an object in its descent has been said to be impossible: the attempt[109] has seldom succeeded; but in this print, the tea equipage really appears falling to the floor.[53]


"Reproach, scorn, infamy, and hate,

On all thy future steps shall wait;

Thy form be loathed by every eye,

And every foot thy presence fly."


We here see this child of misfortune fallen from her high estate! Her magnificent apartment is quitted for a dreary lodging in the purlieus of Drury Lane: she is at breakfast, and every object exhibits marks of the most wretched penury; her silver tea-kettle is changed for a tin-pot, and her highly-decorated toilet gives place to an old leaf-table, strewed with the relics of the last night's revel, and ornamented with a broken looking-glass. Around the room are scattered tobacco-pipes, gin measures, and pewter pots,—emblems of the habits of life into which she is initiated, and the company which she now keeps: this is further intimated by the wig-box of James Dalton, a notorious street-robber, who was afterwards executed. In her hand she displays a watch, which might be either presented to her, or stolen from her last night's gallant. By the nostrums which ornament[110] the broken window, we see that poverty is not her only evil. The dreary and comfortless appearance of every object in this wretched receptacle, the bit of butter on a piece of paper,[54] the candle in a bottle, the basin upon a chair, the punch-bowl and comb upon the table, and the tobacco-pipes, etc. strewed upon the unswept floor, give an admirable picture of the style in which this pride of Drury Lane ate her matin meal. The pictures which ornament the room are, Abraham offering up Isaac, and a portrait of the Virgin Mary; Dr. Sacheverell[55] and Macheath the highwayman are companion prints. There is some whimsicality in placing the two ladies under a canopy,[56] formed by the unnailed valance of the bed, and characteristically crowned by the wig-box of a highwayman.


A magistrate,[57] cautiously entering the room with his attendant constables, commits her to an house of correction, where our legislators wisely suppose, that being confined to the improving conversation of her associates in vice, must have a powerful tendency towards the reformation of her manners!


"With pallid cheek and haggard eye,

And loud laments, and heartfelt sigh,

Unpitied, hopeless of relief,

She drinks the bitter cup of grief.

In vain the sigh, in vain the tear,

Compassion never enters here;

But justice clanks her iron chain,

And calls forth shame, remorse, and pain."—E.


The situation in which the last plate exhibited our wretched female was sufficiently degrading, but in this her misery is greatly aggravated. We now see her suffering the chastisement due to her follies; reduced to the wretched alternative of beating hemp,[112] or receiving the correction of a savage taskmaster.[58] Exposed to the derision of all around, even her own servant, who is well acquainted with the rules of the place, appears little disposed to show any return of gratitude for recent obligations, though even her shoes, which she displays while tying up her garter, seem by their gaudy outside to have been a present from her mistress. The civil discipline of the stern keeper has all the severity of the old school.[59] With the true spirit of tyranny, he sentences those who will not labour to the whipping post, to a kind of picketing suspension by the wrists, or having a heavy log fastened to their leg. With the last of these punishments he at this moment threatens the heroine of our story; nor is it likely that his obduracy can be softened [113]except by a well-applied fee. How dreadful, how mortifying the situation! These accumulated evils might perhaps produce a momentary remorse, but a return to the path of virtue is not so easy as a departure from it. The Magdalen hospital has been since instituted, and the wandering female sometimes finds it an asylum from wretchedness, and a refuge from the reproaches of the world.

To show that neither the dread nor endurance of the severest punishment will deter from the perpetration of crimes, a one-eyed female, close to the keeper, is picking a pocket. The torn card may probably be dropped by the well-dressed gamester, who has exchanged the dice-box for the mallet, and whose laced hat is hung up as a companion trophy to the hoop-petticoat.

One of the girls appears scarcely in her teens. To the disgrace of our police, these unfortunate little wanderers are still suffered to take their nocturnal rambles in the most public streets of the metropolis. What heart so void of sensibility as not to heave a pitying sigh at their deplorable situation? Vice is not confined to colour, for a black woman is ludicrously exhibited as suffering the penalty of those frailties which are imagined peculiar to the fair.

The figure chalked as dangling upon the wall, with a pipe in his mouth, is intended as a caricatured portrait of Sir John Gonson, and probably the pro[114]duction of some wou'd-be artist whom the magistrate had committed to Bridewell as a proper academy for the pursuit of his studies. The inscription upon the pillory, BETTER TO WORK THAN STAND THUS, and that on the whipping-post, near the laced gambler, THE REWARD OF IDLENESS, are judiciously introduced.

In this print the composition is tolerably good: the figures in the background, though properly subordinate, sufficiently marked; the lassitude of the principal character well contrasted by the austerity of the rigid overseer. There is a fine climax of female debasement, from the gaudy heroine of our drama to her maid, and from thence to the still lower object who is represented as destroying[60] one of the plagues of Egypt.


"With keen remorse, deep sighs, and trembling fears,

Repentant groans, and unavailing tears,

This child of misery resigns her breath,

And sinks, despondent, in the arms of death."—E.


Released from Bridewell, we now see this victim to her own indiscretion breathe her last sad sigh, and [115]expire in all the extremity of penury and wretchedness. The two quacks, whose injudicious treatment has probably accelerated her death, are vociferously supporting the infallibility of their respective medicines, and each charging the other with having poisoned her.[61] While the maid-servant is entreating them to cease quarrelling, and assist her dying mistress, the nurse plunders her trunk of the few poor remains of former grandeur. Her little boy turning a scanty remnant of meat hung to roast by a string; the linen hanging to dry; the coals deposited in a corner; the candles, bellows, and gridiron hung upon nails; the furniture of the room, and indeed every accompaniment, exhibit a dreary display of poverty and wretchedness. Over the candles hangs a cake of Jew's bread, once perhaps the property of her Levitical lover, and now used as a fly-trap. The initials of her name, M. H., are smoked upon the ceiling as a kind of memento mori to the next inhabitant. On the floor lies a paper inscribed ANODYNE NECKLACE, at that time deemed[116] a sort of CHARM against the disorders incident to children;[62] and near the fire, a tobacco-pipe and paper of pills.

A picture of general, and, at this awful moment, indecent confusion, is admirably represented. The noise of two enraged quacks disputing in bad English, the harsh vulgar scream of the maid-servant, the table falling, and the pot boiling over, must produce a combination of sounds dreadful and dissonant to the ear. In this pitiable situation, without a friend to close her dying eyes or soften her sufferings by a tributary tear,—forlorn, destitute, and deserted,—the heroine of this eventful history expires; her premature death brought on by a licentious life, seven years of which had been devoted to debauchery and dissipation, and attended by consequent infamy, misery, and disease. The whole story affords a valuable lesson to the young and inexperienced, and proves this great, this important truth, that A DEVIATION FROM VIRTUE IS A DEPARTURE FROM HAPPINESS.

The emaciated appearance of the dying figure, the boy's thoughtless inattention, and the rapacious, unfeeling eagerness of the old nurse, are naturally and forcibly delineated.

The figures are well grouped; the curtain gives[117] depth, and forms a good background to the doctor's head; the light is judiciously distributed, and each accompaniment highly appropriate.


"No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear,

Pleas'd thy pale ghost, or grac'd thy mournful bier:

By harlots' hands thy dying eyes were clos'd;

By harlots' hands thy decent limbs compos'd;

By harlots' hands thy humble grave adorn'd;

By harlots honoured, and by harlots mourn'd."


The adventures of our heroine are now concluded. She is no longer an actor in her own tragedy; and there are those who have considered this print as a farce at the end of it: but surely such was not the author's intention.

The ingenious writer of Tristram Shandy begins the life of his hero before he is born; the picturesque biographer of Mary Hackabout has found an opportunity to convey admonition, and enforce his moral, after her death. A wish usually prevails, even among those who are most humbled by their own indiscretion, that some respect should be paid to their remains; that their eyes should be closed by the tender hand of a surviving friend, and the tear of sympathy and regret shed upon the sod which covers their grave; that those who loved them living should[118] attend their last sad obsequies, and a sacred character read over them the awful service which our religion ordains with the solemnity it demands. The memory of this votary of prostitution meets with no such marks of social attention or pious respect. The preparations for her funeral are as licentious as the progress of her life, and the contagion of her example seems to reach all who surround her coffin. One of them is engaged in the double trade of seduction and thievery; a second is contemplating her own face in a mirror. The female who is gazing at the corpse displays some marks of concern, and feels a momentary compunction at viewing the melancholy scene before her: but if any other part of the company are in a degree affected, it is a mere maudlin sorrow, kept up by glasses of strong liquor. The depraved priest does not seem likely to feel for the dead that hope expressed in our liturgy.[63] The appearance and employment of almost every one present at this mockery of woe, is such as must raise disgust in the breast of any female who has the least tincture of delicacy, and excite a wish that such an exhibition may not be displayed at her own funeral.

In this plate there are some local customs which [119]mark the manners of the times when it was engraved, but are now generally disused, except in some of the provinces very distant from the capital; sprigs of rosemary were then given to each of the mourners: to appear at a funeral without one, was as great an indecorum as to be without a white handkerchief. This custom might probably originate at a time when the plague depopulated the metropolis, and rosemary was deemed an antidote against contagion. It must be acknowledged that there are also in this print some things which, though they gave the artist an opportunity of displaying his humour, are violations of propriety and custom: such is her child, but a few removes from infancy, being habited as chief mourner, to attend his parent to the grave; rings presented, and an escutcheon hung up in a garret at the funeral of a needy prostitute.[64] The whole may be intended as a burlesque upon ostentatious and expensive funerals, which were then more customary than they[120] are now. Mr. Pope has well ridiculed the same folly:

"When Hopkins dies, a thousand lights attend

The wretch who, living, saved a candle's end."

The figures have much characteristic discrimination: the woman looking into the coffin has more beauty than we generally see in the works of this artist. The undertaker's gloating stare, his companion's leer, the internal satisfaction of the parson and his next neighbour, are contrasted by the Irish howl of the woman at the opposite side, and evince Mr. Hogarth's thorough knowledge of the operation of the passions upon the features. The composition forms a good shape, has a proper depth, and the light is well managed.

Sir James Thornhill's opinion of this series may be inferred from the following circumstance. Mr. Hogarth had without consent married his daughter: Sir James, considering him as an obscure artist, was much displeased with the connection. To give him a better opinion of his son-in-law, a common friend one morning privately conveyed the six pictures of the "Harlot's Progress" into his drawing-room. The veteran painter eagerly inquired who was the artist; and being told, cried out, "Very well! Very well indeed! The man who can paint such pictures as these, can maintain a wife without a portion." This[121] was the remark of the moment; but he afterwards considered the union of his daughter with a man of such abilities an honour to his family, was reconciled, and generous.

When the publication was advertised, such was the expectation of the town, that above twelve hundred names were entered in the subscription book. When the prints appeared, they were beheld with astonishment. A subject so novel in the idea, so marked with genius in the execution, excited the most eager attention of the public. At a time when England was coldly inattentive to everything which related to the arts, so desirous were all ranks of people of seeing how this little domestic story was delineated, that there were eight piratical imitations,—besides two copies in a smaller size than the original, published, by permission of the author, for Thomas Bakewell. The whole series were copied on fan-mounts, representing the six plates, three on one side, and three on the other. It was transferred from the copper to the stage, in the form of a pantomime, by Theophilus Cibber; and again represented in a ballad opera, entitled, The Jew Decoyed, or the Harlot's Progress.

A Joseph Gay, and several other wretched rhymers, published what they called poetical illustrations of Mr. Hogarth's six plates: but these effusions of dulness do not deserve enumeration; nor would they deserve mention, but as collateral proofs of the great[122] estimation in which these prints were held, when their popularity could force the sale of such miserable productions. Happily they are now consigned to those two high priests of the temple of oblivion, the trunkmaker and the pastrycook.

The six original pictures were sold on the 25th of January 1744-5, and produced eighty-eight pounds four shillings. Mr. Beckford, a late Lord Mayor of London, was, I believe, the purchaser. At a fire which burnt down his house at Fonthill, Wiltshire, in the year 1755, five of them were consumed.

When a messenger brought him intelligence of this unfortunate event, he said nothing, but took out his pocket-book, and wrote down a number of figures, which he seemed inspecting with the cool precision of a true disciple of Cocker, when a friend who was present, expressing some surprise at his being so collected after so heavy a loss, asked him what was the subject of his meditation? to which he answered, with the most philosophical indifference, "I am calculating how much it will cost me to rebuild my house."




"Oh, vanity of age untoward!

Ever spleeny, ever froward!

Why these bolts and massy chains,

Squint suspicions, jealous pains?

Why, thy toilsome journey o'er,

Lay'st thou up an useless store?

Hope along with Time is flown;

Nor canst thou reap the field thou'st sown.

Had'st thou a son? In time be wise;

He views thy toil with other eyes.

Needs must thy kind paternal care,

Lock'd in thy chests, be buried there?

Whence, then, shall flow that friendly ease,

That social converse, heartfelt peace,

Familiar duty without dread,

Instruction from example bred,

Which youthful minds with freedom mend,

And with the father mix the friend.

Uncircumscrib'd by prudent rules,

Or precepts of expensive schools;

Abus'd at home, abroad despis'd,

Unbred, unletter'd, unadvis'd;

The headstrong course of life begun,

What comfort from thy darling son?"



In the last series of prints Mr. Hogarth delineated, with a master's hand, the miseries attendant upon a female's deviation from virtue. In this he presents to us the picture of a young[124] man, thoughtless, extravagant, and licentious; and, in colours equally impressive, paints the destructive consequences of his conduct. The first print most forcibly contrasts two opposite passions,—the unthinking negligence of youth, and the sordid avaricious rapacity of age. It brings into one point of view what Mr. Pope so exquisitely describes in his Epistle to Lord Bathurst:

"Who sees pale Mammon pine amidst his store,

Sees but a backward steward for the poor;

This year a reservoir, to keep and spare;

The next a fountain, spouting through his heir."

It represents a young man taking possession of a rich miser's effects, and is crowded with the monuments of departed avarice. Everything, valuable or not valuable, has been hoarded. A chest of old plate, an old coat, a worn-out boot, and the caul of a periwig, are preserved with equal care. The thread-bare garments are hung up; the rusty spur put into a closet; and even a spectacle-frame, without glasses, is thought worthy of preservation. The contents of his armoury are curious, and valuable as the lumbering furniture of his room: they consist of two swords, which may be considered as trophies of his youthful prowess, or protectors of his cankered pelf. [125] The crutch and walking-stick, those unequal supporters of his feeble frame, now lean unheeded against the wall. His fur cap and greatcoat seem to have been winter substitutes for fire, as the grate in which a withered Sibyl is laying wood has no marks of even a remaining cinder. The remnant of candle in a save-all, the Jack taken down as an useless piece of furniture, and, with the spit, hoisted into a high cupboard, give strong indications of the manner in which this votary of Mammon existed, for such a being could scarcely be said to live. The gaunt appearance of an half-starved cat proves not only the rigid abstinence practised by this wretched slave to his wealth, but that in his miserable mansion

"No mouse e'er lurk'd, no rat e'er sought for food."

The iron-bound chests, the hidden gold falling from the breaking cornice, and indeed every article that is displayed in this dreary tomb of buried wealth, give additional marks of a suspicious and sordid disposition. The picture of a miser counting his gold; the escutcheons, those gloomy ornaments of departed wretchedness, with the armorial bearings of avarice, three vices hard screwed, are adjuncts highly appropriate to the place; the motto, BEWARE, inscribed under the arms, is a well-directed caution, and ought to be seriously considered by those who feel a propensity to this meanest of passions. An old shoe,[126] soled with the cover of a Bible, and the little memorandum, May 5th, 1721, put off my bad shilling, are strong proofs that extreme avarice destroys all reverence for religion, and eradicates every principle of honesty.

The introduction to this history is well delineated, and the principal figure marked with that easy, unmeaning vacancy of face which speaks him formed by nature for a DUPE. Ignorant of the value of money, and negligent in his nature, he leaves his bag of untold gold in the reach of an old and greedy pettifogging attorney,[66] who is making an inventory of bonds, mortgages, indentures, etc. This man, with the rapacity so natural to his profession, seizes the first opportunity of plundering his employer. Hogarth had a few years before been engaged in a lawsuit, which gave him some experience of the PRACTICE of those pests of society.

The figure of the young woman with a wedding-ring is not alluring, neither is her face attractive; but her being pregnant, and accompanied by her mother with an apron full of letters, gives her a claim to our pity, as it clearly intimates that this is meant as a[127] visit to entreat the promised hand of her seducer; but he violates every former protestation, refuses her marriage, and attempts by a bribe to get a release from the obligation. Her mother violently reproaches him for his conduct, and invokes the curses of offended Heaven upon his falsehood.

In this print the drawing and disposition of the figures are tolerably good, the light is properly distributed, and the perspective accurately represented; but the whole wants mass. To display the hoards, it was necessary to open the boxes and doors; and though an exhibition of the heterogeneous collection heaped together by this wretched defrauder of himself most forcibly describes the disposition of the man, it hurts the repose of the picture. Breaking the background into so many parts, destroys that breadth which ought to be considered as a leading excellence.


"Prosperity (with harlot's smiles,

Most pleasing when she most beguiles),

How soon, sweet foe, can all thy train

Of false, gay, frantic, loud, and vain,

Enter the unprovided mind,

And memory in fetters bind?

Load faith and love with golden chain,

And sprinkle Lethe o'er the brain!

Pleasure, on her silver throne,

Smiling comes, nor comes alone;


Venus comes with her along,

And smooth Lyæus, ever young;

And in their train, to fill the press,

Come apish Dance, and swoln Excess,

Mechanic Honour, vicious Taste,

And Fashion in her changing vest."



The sordid avarice of the wretched miser is in this print contrasted by the giddy profusion of his prodigal heir. The old man pined in the midst of plenty, starved while surrounded by abundance, and refused himself enjoyment of the absolute necessaries of life from an apprehension of future poverty.

"Not so his son; he mark'd this oversight,

And quite mistook reverse of wrong for right."

Three years have elapsed, and our giddy spendthrift, throwing of the awkwardness of a rustic, assumes the character and apes the manners of a modern fine gentleman. To qualify himself for performing the part, he is attended by a French tailor, a milliner, a Parisian dancing-master,[67] a Gallic fencing-master,[68] an English prize-fighter,[69] and a teacher of [129]music.[70] Besides this crowd of masters of arts, he has at his levee a blower of the French horn, an improver of gardens,[71] a bravo,[72] a jockey,[73] and a poet! the latter having written a panegyric in honour of this exalted character, already anticipates approbation and reward. Surrounded by such a multitude of attentive friends and warm admirers, the dissolution of his fortune is inevitable; it must melt like snow beneath the solar beam.

How exactly does Bramston describe the character in his Man of Taste:

"Without Italian, and without an ear,

To Bononcini's music I adhere.

To boon companions I my time would give,


With players, pimps, and parasites I'd live;

I would with jockeys from Newmarket dine,

And to rough riders give my choicest wine.

My evenings all I would with sharpers spend,

And make the thief-taker my bosom friend;

In Figg the prize-fighter by day delight,

And sup with Colley Cibber every night."

On the back of the musician's chair hangs a list of presents which Farinelli, an Italian singer, received the day after his performance of a favourite character at the Opera House. Among others, a gold snuff-box, chased with the story of Orpheus charming the brutes, from T. Rakewell, Esq.

Another memento of musical extravagance is the frontispiece to a poem lying on the floor, and dedicated to Esquire Rakewell, in which the ladies of Great Britain are represented as sacrificing their hearts to this idol of sound, and crying out with great earnestness, One God, one Farinelli! This intimates the violent rage of the fashionable world for that most frivolous of all amusements, the Italian Opera. The taste which our prodigal has imbibed for the turf is pointed out by the jockey presenting a silver punch-bowl, which one of his horses is supposed to have won; his passion for another royal amusement, by the portraits of two fighting-cocks, hung up as the ornaments of his saloon. A picture which he has placed between them bears a whimsical allusion; it[131] is the "Judgment of Paris."[74] The figures in the background consist of such persons as are general attendants in the ante-chamber of a dissipated man of fashion. The whole is a high-wrought satire on those men of rank and fortune whose follies render them a prey to the artful and rapacious.

Of the expression in this print we cannot speak more highly than it deserves. Every character is marked with its proper and discriminative stamp. It has been said by a very judicious critic,[75] from whom it is not easy to differ without being wrong, that the hero of this history, in the first plate of the series, is unmeaning; and in the second, ungraceful. The fact is admitted; but, for so delineating him, the author is entitled to our praise rather than our censure. Rakewell's whole conduct proves he was a fool, and at that time he had not learned how to perform an artificial character; he therefore looks as he is, unmeaning and uninformed. But in the second plate he is ungraceful—granted. The ill-educated son of so avaricious a father could not have been introduced into very good company; and though, by the different teachers who surround him, it evidently appears that he wishes to assume the character of a gentleman, [132]his internal feelings tell him he has not attained it. Under that consciousness, he is properly and naturally represented as ungraceful and embarrassed in his new situation.

The light, it must be acknowledged, is very ill distributed, and the figures most inartificially grouped. To infer from hence, with Mr. Gilpin, that the artist was at a loss how to group them, is not quite fair: his others compositions prove that he was not ignorant of the art, but in many of them he has been inattentive to it. In this he may have introduced in his print figures which were not inserted in the sketch, merely because they were appropriate to his story. The expression of the actors in his drama was always his leading object; composition he considered as secondary, and was little solicitous about their situation on the stage.


"O vanity of youthful blood,

So by misuse to poison good!

Woman, framed for social love,

Fairest gift of powers above,

Source of every household blessing;

All charms in innocence possessing:

But, turn'd to vice, all plagues above;

Foe to thy being, foe to love!

Guest divine, to outward viewing;

Ablest minister of ruin!

And thou, no less of gift divine,

Sweet poison of misused wine!

With freedom led to every part,


And secret chamber of the heart,

Dost thou thy friendly host betray,

And show thy riotous gang the way

To enter in, with covert treason,

O'erthrow the drowsy guard of reason,

To ransack the abandoned place,

And revel there with wild excess?"


This plate exhibits our licentious prodigal engaged in one of his midnight festivities: forgetful of the past, and negligent of the future, he riots in the present. Having poured his libation to Bacchus, he concludes the evening orgies in a sacrifice at the Cyprian shrine; and, surrounded by the votaries of Venus, joins in the unhallowed mysteries of the place. The companions of his revelry are marked with that easy, unblushing effrontery which belongs to the servants of all work in the isle of Paphos;—for the maids of honour, they are not sufficiently elevated.

He may be supposed, in the phrase of the day, to have beat the rounds, overset a constable, and conquered a watchman, whose staff and lanthorn he has brought into the room as trophies of his prowess. In this situation he is robbed of his watch by the girl whose hand is in his bosom; and, with that adroitness peculiar to an old practitioner, she conveys her acquisition to an accomplice, who stands behind the chair.

Two of the ladies are quarrelling; and one of them delicately spouts wine in the face of her opponent,[134] who is preparing to revenge the affront with a knife, which, in a posture of threatening defiance, she grasps in her hand. A third, enraged at being neglected, holds a lighted candle to a map of the globe, determined to set the world on fire though she perish in the conflagration! A fourth is undressing. The fellow bringing in a pewter dish,[76] as part of the apparatus of this elegant and attic entertainment, a blind harper,[77] a trumpeter, and a ragged ballad-singer roaring out an obscene song, completes this motley group.

This design may be a very exact representation of what were then the nocturnal amusements of a brothel;—so different are the manners of the year 1805 from those of 1734, that I much question whether a similar exhibition is now to be seen in any tavern of the metropolis. That we are less licentious than our predecessors, I dare not affirm; but we are certainly more delicate in the pursuit of our pleasures.

The room is furnished with a set of Roman emperors,—they are not placed in their proper order; for in the mad revelry of the evening this family of [135]frenzy have decollated all of them except Nero; and his manners had too great a similarity to their own to admit of his suffering so degrading an insult: their reverence for virtue induced them to spare his head. In the frame of a Cæsar they have placed the portrait of Pontac, an eminent cook, whose great talents being turned to heightening sensual rather than mental enjoyments, he has a much better chance of a votive offering from this company than would either Vespasian or Trajan.

The shattered mirror, broken wine-glasses, fractured chair and cane; the mangled fowl, with a fork stuck in its breast, thrown into a corner, and indeed every accompaniment, shows that this has been a night of riot without enjoyment, mischief without wit, and waste without gratification.

With respect to the drawing of the figures in this curious female coterie, Hogarth evidently intended several of them for beauties; and of vulgar, uneducated, prostituted beauty, he had a good idea. The hero of our tale displays all that careless jollity which copious draughts of maddening wine are calculated to inspire; he laughs the world away, and bids it pass. The poor dupe without his periwig, in the background, forms a good contrast of character: he is maudlin drunk, and sadly sick. To keep up the spirit of unity throughout the society, and not leave the poor African girl entirely neglected, she is making[136] signs to her friend the porter, who perceives, and slightly returns, her love-inspiring glance. This print is rather crowded,—the subject demanded it should be so; some of the figures thrown into shade might have helped the general effect, but would have injured the characteristic expression.


"O vanity of youthful blood,

So by misuse to poison good!

Reason awakes, and views unbarr'd

The sacred gates he wish'd to guard;

Approaching, see the harpy Law,

And Poverty, with icy paw,

Ready to seize the poor remains

That vice has left of all his gains.

Cold penitence, lame after-thought,

With fear, despair, and horror fraught,

Call back his guilty pleasures dead,

Whom he hath wrong'd, and whom betray'd."


The career of dissipation is here stopped. Dressed in the first style of the ton, and getting out of a sedan chair, with the hope of shining in the circle, and perhaps forwarding a former application for a place or a pension, he is arrested! To intimate that being plundered is the certain consequence of such an event, and to show how closely one misfortune treads upon the heels of another, a boy is at the same moment picking his pocket.

The unfortunate girl whom he basely deserted is [137]now a milliner, and naturally enough attends in the crowd to mark the fashions of the day. Seeing his distress, with all the eager tenderness of unabated love, she flies to his relief. Possessed of a small sum of money, the hard earnings of unremitted industry, she generously offers her purse for the liberation of her worthless favourite. This releases the captive beau, and displays a strong instance of female affection, which, being once planted in the bosom, is rarely eradicated by the coldest neglect or harshest cruelty.

The high-born, haughty Welshman, with an enormous leek, and a countenance keen and lofty as his native mountains, establishes the chronology, and fixes the day to be the first of March; which, being sacred to the titular saint of Wales, was observed at court.[78]

The background exhibits a view of St James's Palace, and White's Chocolate House, then the rendezvous of the first gamesters in London. At this fountainhead of dissipation the artist has aimed a flash of lightning; and to show the contagion of example, and how much this ruinous vice prevails even in the lowest ranks of society, he has in one corner of the print represented an assembly composed of shoe-blacks, chimney-sweepers, etc.,[79] who, aping the vices [138]of their superiors, are engaged at cards, dice, cups and balls, and pricking in the belt. To intimate how eagerly these minor gamblers enter into the spirit of what they are engaged in, one of them is naked, and having staked and lost his clothes, is now throwing for his stock in trade, a basket, brushes, and blacking. The little smutty smoking politician is reading the Farthing Post; his attention is exquisitely marked; his whole soul is engaged; and, regardless of the confusion which reigns around, he contemplates

"The fate of empires, and the fall of kings."

A chimney-sweeper peeping at the postboy's cards, and informing his adversary that he has two honours, by holding up two fingers, is a fine stroke of humour; as the inscription Black's, being on a post[80] close to where this congress of the privileged orders are assembled, is an excellent antithesis when contrasted to White's, on the opposite side.

The grouping is good, the perspective agreeable,[139] and the expression admirable. The trembling terror of the beau, agitated to the very soul, is well contrasted by the hard unfeeling insolence of two bailiffs; and that, again, opposed by the tender solicitude of the poor girl. The gunpowder mark of a star on the side of the naked shoe-black, who is putting his last stake on the hazard of a die, is another well-pointed piece of satire on the conduct of those high-born gamesters, who at the opposite house, with a dignified disregard for the future fate of themselves or their families, put their last acre on the same issue. The boy with a pipe and little pewter measure and glass by his side, shows that smoking and drinking drams was not peculiar to adults, but sometimes practised by young gentlemen before their attainment of what the law calls years of discretion.


"New to the school of hard mishap,

Driven from the ease of fortune's lap,

What schemes will nature not embrace

T' avoid less shame of drear distress?

Gold can the charms of youth bestow,

And mask deformity with show:

Gold can avert the sting of shame,

In Winter's arms create a flame:

Can couple youth with hoary age,

And make antipathies engage."


To be thus degraded by the rude enforcement of the law, and relieved from an exigence by one whom he[140] had injured, would have wounded, humbled, I had almost said reclaimed, any man who had either feeling or elevation of mind; but, to mark the progression of vice, we here see this depraved, lost character, hypocritically violating every natural feeling of the soul to recruit his exhausted finances, and marrying an old and withered Sibyl, at the sight of whom nature must recoil.

The ceremony passes in Marybone Church, which was then considered at such a distance from London, as to become the usual resort of those who wished to be privately married.[81] That such was the view of this prostituted young man, may be fairly inferred from a glance at the object of his choice. Her charms are heightened by the affectation of an amorous leer, which she directs to her youthful husband, in grateful return for a similar compliment which she supposed paid to herself. This gives her face much meaning, but meaning of such a sort, that an observer being asked, "How dreadful must be this creature's hatred?" would naturally reply, "How hateful must be her love!"


In his demeanour we discover an attempt to appear at the altar with becoming decorum: but internal perturbation darts through assumed tranquillity; for though he is plighting his troth to the old woman, his eyes are fixed on the young girl who kneels behind her.[82]

The parson and clerk seem made for each other: a sleepy, stupid solemnity marks every muscle of the divine, and the nasal droning of the lay brother is most happily expressed. Accompanied by her child and mother, the unfortunate victim of his seduction is here again introduced, endeavouring to enter the church and forbid the banns. The opposition made by an old pew-opener, with her bunch of keys, gave the artist a good opportunity for indulging his taste in the burlesque, and he has not neglected it.

A dog[83] paying his addresses to a one-eyed quadruped of his own species, is a happy parody of the unnatural union going on in the church.


The Commandments are broken:[84] a crack runs near the tenth, which says, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife;" a prohibition in the present case hardly necessary. The Creed is destroyed by the damps of the church; and so little attention has been paid to the poor's box, that—it is covered with a cobweb!!! These three high-wrought strokes of satirical humour were perhaps never equalled by an exertion of the pencil; excelled they cannot be.

On one of the pew-doors is the following curious specimen of churchyard poetry and mortuary orthography:—

These : pewes : vnscrud : and tane : in : svnder
In : stone : thers : grauen : what : is : vnder
To : wit : a valt : for : burial : there : is
Which : Edward : Forset : made : for : him : and : his.[85]

A glory over the bride's head is whimsical.

The bay and holly, which decorate the pews, give [143]a date to the period, and determine this preposterous union of January with June to have taken place about the time of Christmas,

"When Winter linger'd in her icy veins."

Addison would have classed her among the evergreens of the sex.

It has been observed, that "the church is too small, and that the wooden post, which seems to have no use, divides the picture very disagreeably."[86] This cannot be denied: but it appears to be meant as an accurate representation of the place, and the artist delineated what he saw.

The grouping is good, and the principal figure has the air of a gentleman. The light is well distributed, and the scene most characteristically represented.



"Gold, thou bright son of Phœbus, source

Of universal intercourse;

Of weeping Virtue soft redress:

And blessing those who live to bless:

Ye oft behold this sacred trust,

The tool of avaricious lust;

No longer bond of human kind,

But bane of every virtuous mind.

What chaos such misuse attends,

Friendship stoops to prey on friends;

Health, that gives relish to delight,

Is wasted with the wasting night;

Doubt and mistrust is thrown on Heaven,

And all its power to chance is given.

Sad purchase of repentant tears,

Of needless quarrels, endless fears,

Of hopes of moments, pangs of years!

Sad purchase of a tortur'd mind,

To an imprison'd body join'd."


Though now, from the infatuated folly of his antiquated wife, in possession of a fortune, he is still the slave of that baneful vice which, while it enslaves the mind, poisons the enjoyments, and sweeps away the possessions of its deluded votaries. Destructive as the earthquake which convulses nature, it overwhelms the pride of the forest, and engulfs the labours of the architect.

Newmarket and the cock-pit were the scenes of his early amusements; to crown the whole, he is now exhibited at a gaming-table, where all is lost! His countenance distorted with agony, and his soul [145]agitated almost to madness, he imprecates vengeance upon his own head.

"In heartfelt bitter anguish he appears,

And from the bloodshot ball gush purpled tears!

He beats his brow, with rage and horror fraught;

His brow half bursts with agony of thought!"

That he should be deprived of all he possessed in such a society as surround him, is not to be wondered at. One of the most conspicuous characters appears, by the pistols in his pocket, to be a highwayman: from the profound stupor of his countenance, we are certain he also is a losing gamester; and so absorbed in reflection, that neither the boy who brings him a glass of water, nor the watchman's cry of Fire! can arouse him from his reverie. Another of the party is marked for one of those well-dressed Continental adventurers, who, being unable to live in their own country, annually pour into this, and with no other requisites than a quick eye, an adroit hand, and an undaunted forehead, are admitted into what is absurdly enough called good company.

At the table a person in mourning grasps his hat, and hides his face in the agony of repentance,[87] not having, as we infer from his weepers, received that[146] legacy of which he is now plundered more than a little month. On the opposite side is another on whom fortune has severely frowned, biting his nails in the anguish of his soul. The fifth completes the climax; he is frantic, and with a drawn sword endeavours to destroy a pauvre miserable whom he supposes to have cheated him, but is prevented by the interposition of one of those staggering votaries of Bacchus who are to be found in every company where there is good wine; and gaming, like the rod of Moses, so far swallows up every other passion, that the actors, engrossed by greater objects, willingly leave their wine to the audience.

In the background are two collusive associates eagerly dividing the profits of the evening.

A nobleman in the corner is giving his note to an usurer.[88] The lean and hungry appearance of this cent. per cent. worshipper of the golden calf is well contrasted by the sleek contented vacancy of so well-employed a legislator of this great empire. Seated at the table, a portly gentleman,[89] of whom we see very little, is coolly sweeping off his winnings.


So engrossed is every one present by his own situation, that the flames which surround them are disregarded,[90] and the vehement cries of a watchman entering the room are necessary to rouse their attention to what is generally deemed the first law of nature, self-preservation.[91]

The grouping of the figures in this print is masterly; but the light, being reflected from various sources, overbalances the shadow, and fatigues the eye. The perspective, though formal, is natural.



"Happy the man whose constant thought

(Though in the school of hardship taught)

Can send remembrance back to fetch

Treasures from life's earliest stretch;

Who, self-approving, can review

Scenes of past virtues, which shine through

The gloom of age, and cast a ray

To gild the evening of his day!

Not so the guilty wretch confin'd:

No pleasures meet his conscious mind;

No blessings brought from early youth,

But broken faith, and wrested truth;

Talents idle and unus'd,

And every trust of Heaven abus'd,

In seas of sad reflection lost,

From horrors still to horrors toss'd,

Reason the vessel leaves to steer,

And gives the helm to mad Despair."


It is pithily and profitably observed by Mr. Hugh Latimer, or some other venerable writer of his day, that "the direct path from a gaming-house is unto a [149]prisonne, for the menne who doe neeste themselves in these pestiferous hauntes, being either fooles or cheates, be punished: if fooles, by their own undoing; if cheates, by the biting lash of the beadle, and the durance of their vile bodies."

In the plate before us this remark is verified. Our improvident spendthrift is now lodged in that dreary receptacle of human misery—a prison. His countenance exhibits a picture of despair; the forlorn state of his mind is displayed in every limb, and his exhausted finances by the turnkey's demand of prison fees not being answered, and the boy refusing to leave a tankard of porter unless he is paid for it.

We learn by a letter upon the table, that a play which he sent for the manager's inspection "will not doe;"[92] and we see by the enraged countenance of[150] his wife, that she is violently reproaching him for having deceived and ruined her. To crown this catalogue of human tortures, the poor girl whom he deserted is come with her child,—perhaps to comfort him, to alleviate his sorrows, to soothe his sufferings: but the agonizing view is too much for her agitated frame; shocked at the prospect of that misery which she cannot remove, every object swims before her eyes, a film covers the sight, the blood forsakes her cheeks, her lips assume a pallid hue, and she sinks to the floor of the prison in temporary death. What a heart-rending prospect for him by whom this is occasioned! Should he in the anguish of his soul inquire, "Who is it that hath caused this?" that inward monitor, which to him must be a perpetual torment, would reply in the words that Nathan said unto David, "Thou art the man!" Such an accumulation of woe must shake reason from her throne. The thin partitions which divide judgment from distraction are thrown down, the fine fibres of the brain are overstrained, and in the place of godlike apprehension,

"Chaos and anarchy assume the sway."

That balm of a wounded mind,—the recollection of connubial love, parental joys, and all the nameless tender sympathies which calm the troubled soul,—in his blank and blotted memory find no place. Remorse[151] and self-abhorrence rankle in his bosom! his groans, heaved from the heart, pierce the air! he is chained! rages! gnashes his teeth, and tears his quivering flesh! At this dreadful crisis he sees, or seems to see,

"A fiend, in evil moments ever nigh,

Death in her hand, and frenzy in her eye!

Her eye all red, and sunk! A robe she wore,

With life's calamities embroidered o'er.

From me (she cries), pale wretch, thy comfort claim,

Born of Despair, and Suicide my name."

He attempts to take away that life which is become hateful to him; is prevented, and removed to a cell more dreadful than even a prison:

"Where Misery and Madness hold their court."

But let us for a moment return to the present scene. The wretched, squalid inmate who is assisting the fainting female, bears every mark of being naturalized to the place: out of his pocket hangs a scroll, on which is inscribed, "A scheme to pay the national debt, by J. L., now a prisoner in the Fleet." So attentive was this poor gentleman to the debts of the nation, that he totally forgot his own. The cries of the child, and the good-natured attentions of the two women, heighten the interest, and realize the scene. Over the group are a large pair of wings, with which some emulator of Dedalus intended to escape from his confinement; but finding them inadequate to the[152] execution of his project, has placed them upon the tester of his bed. They would not exalt him to the regions of air, but they o'er-canopy him on earth. A chemist in the background, happy in his views, watching the moment of projection, is not to be disturbed from his dream by anything less than the fall of the roof or the bursting of his retort; and if his dream affords him felicity, why should he be awakened? The bed and gridiron, those poor remnants of our miserable spendthrift's wrecked property, are brought here as necessary in his degraded situation; on one he must try to repose his wearied frame, on the other he is to dress his scanty meal.

The grated gate, secured with tenfold bars of iron, reminds us of Milton's

"Infernal doors, that on their hinges grate

Harsh thunder!"

The principal figure is wonderfully delineated. Every muscle is marked, every nerve is unstrung; we see into his very soul. The poor prisoner who is assisting the fainting woman is ill drawn; the group of which she is the principal figure is unskilfully contrived: it forms a round heavy mass. The opposite group, though better, is not pleasing.



"Madness! thou chaos of the brain,

What art? that pleasure giv'st and pain,

Tyranny of fancy's reign!

Mechanic fancy! that can build

Vast labyrinths and mazes wild,

With rule disjointed, shapeless measure,

Fill'd with horror, fill'd with pleasure!

Shapes of horror, that would even

Cast doubt of mercy upon Heaven;

Shapes of pleasure, that but seen,

Would split the shaking sides of Spleen.

O vanity of age! here see

The stamp of Heaven effac'd by thee!

The headstrong course of youth thus run,

What comfort from this darling son?

His rattling chains with terror hear,

Behold death grappling with despair!

See him by thee to ruin sold,

And curse thyself, and curse thy gold!"


"Last scene of all,—which ends this strange eventful history!"

But in this scene, dreary and horrid as are its accompaniments, he is attended by the faithful and kind-hearted female whom he so basely betrayed. In the first plate we see him refuse her his promised hand. In the fourth she releases him from the harpy fangs of a bailiff; she is present at his marriage. In the hope of relieving his distress, she follows him to a prison. Wishing to soothe his misery and alleviate his woe, she here attends him in a madhouse! What a return for deceit and desertion!


The Reverend Mr. Gilpin, in his elucidation of these eight prints, asserts that "this thought is rather unnatural, and the moral certainly culpable."[93] With the utmost deference for his critical abilities, I must entertain a different opinion. We have had many similar examples of female attachment. If it be culpable to forgive those which have despitefully used us, to free those which are in bonds, to visit those which are in prison, and to comfort those which are in affliction, what meaning have the divine precepts of our holy religion?

The female mind is naturally credulous, affectionate, and—in its attachments—ardent. If, in her peculiar situation, her assiduities must be deemed in any degree culpable, let us remember that this is but a frail vessel of refined clay. When the awful record of her errors is unrolled, may that sigh which was breathed for the misery of a fellow-mortal waft away the scroll, and the tears which flowed for the calamities of others float the memorial down the stream of oblivion!

On the errors of women, let us look with the allowance and humanity of men. Enchanting woman! thou balm of life! soother of sorrow! solace of the [155]soul! how dost thou lessen the load of human misery, and lead the wretched into the valley of delight! Without thee, how heavily would man drag through a dreary world; but if the white hand of a fascinating female be twined round his arm, how joyous, how lightly doth he trip along the path!

That warm and tender friend, who in the most trying situations retains her enthusiastic fondness, and in every change of fortune preserves unabated love, ought to be embraced as the first bension of heaven, the completion of earthly happiness! Let man but draw such a prize in the lottery of life, and glide down the stream of existence with such a partner, and neither the cold averted eye of a summer friend, nor the frowns of an adverse fortune, should ever produce a pang or excite a murmur. But enough,—let not the chaste feelings of blushing innocence be wounded by this rhapsody, or for a moment suppose that the episode, or effusion, or e'en whatever she pleases, is intended as a vindication of female folly; in good truth it is not. The writer would not wish it delivered to the cold-fingered portress of Diana's temple, but it may be laid upon that altar which is sacred to Friendship, to Hymen, to Love.—There we will leave it, and return to the plate before us.

A gentleman[94] from whom I have once or twice reluctantly[156] presumed to differ, says that "the drawing of the principal figure is a more accurate piece of anatomy than we commonly find in the works of this master." The observation is perfectly just, but the inaccuracies of Mr. Hogarth did not arise from inability, but from inattention. He says further, that "the expression of the principal figure is rather unmeaning." The late and ever to be lamented Mr. Mortimer, whose wonderful abilities as an artist were only equalled by his amiable and kind-hearted virtues as a man,—the late Mr. Mortimer, of whom I can never think without a sigh of regard and regret, thought very differently. He was once requested to delineate several of the passions, as they are personified by Mr. Gray. One of the subjects proposed was,—

"Moody madness, laughing wild, amid severest woe."

The instant this line was read to him, he opened a portfolio, took out the eighth plate of the "Rake's Progress," and pointing to the principal figure, exclaimed, "Sir, if I had never seen this print, I should say it was not possible to paint these contending passions in the same countenance. Having seen this, which exactly displays Mr. Gray's idea, I dare not attempt it. I could only make a correct copy; for the alteration of a single line would be a departure from the character."


The reclining figure, with a cross leaning near him, is in a high degree terrific.[95]

"With horror wild,

'Tis Devotion's ruin'd child,

Sunk in the emphasis of grief;

Nor can he feel, nor dares he ask relief."

In the cell are the portraits of three saints, whose systems were built on the necessity of propagating the religion of mercy by the sword and the wheel.

Near him are two astronomers, one with a paper rolled up to imitate a telescope, gazing at the roof, in the idea that it is

"The spacious canopy of heaven, fretted with golden fires."

The other, delineating the firing off a bomb and a ship moored at a distance, is an immediate ridicule of Whiston's project for the discovery of the longitude,—an object which at this time engaged the attention of the philosophical world, and in the fruitless search after which many a feeble head hath become mad, north—north-west!

The opposite group form a whimsical trio. A mad musician, a counterfeit presentment of St. Peter, and a poor gentleman, with his hands clasped together, that appears by the inscription of "Charming[158] Betty Careless," which he has chalked upon a board, to be

"Craz'd with care, and cross'd by hopeless love."

He is absorbed in thought, and his whole soul so engrossed by the charms of his Dulcinea, that neither the discordant sounds of the fiddler, whose trembling strings

"Grate harshly on the nerve auricular,"

nor the roar of the pope, who is furiously denouncing destruction on all heretics, nor the ear-piercing noise of a barking cur, can awake him from his reverie.

A crazy tailor and a mimic monarch complete this congregation of calamity.

Two women, impelled by a most unaccountable curiosity, are walking in the background. Devoid of that delicacy which gives beauty new attractions, they forget that an eagerness to witness woe which they cannot alleviate, gives strong indication of an hardened and unfeeling heart.

The halfpenny stuck against a wall, and dated 1763, was inserted by Mr. Hogarth the year before his death, and is designed to intimate that Britannia was then mad. This is one of the few instances wherein he has called in the aid of allegory, but his allegory was always seasoned with wit.

Of the expression I have already spoken. The disposition of the figures is good. That group in which the usurper of St. Peter's chair is the principal[159] object, is well contrived. There is great simplicity and breadth in the background, and the light and perspective are judicious.

"Protract not, curious ears, the mournful tale;

But o'er the hapless group low drop Compassion's veil."

The eight prints of the "Rake's Progress," with "Southwark Fair," were advertised in the London Daily Post to be delivered June 25th, 1735, with an apology for the publication being deferred, which Mr. Hogarth states to have been occasioned by his waiting until the royal assent was given to an Act intended to secure all new invented prints from being copied, etc.

This series are in every respect superior to those which preceded them, but were not honoured with an equal attention by the public.

From what did this arise? Were the town more interested in the story of an harlot than in the adventures of a rake, or had this new mode of engraving history lost its novelty?

On this occasion was published an octavo pamphlet, entitled, "The Rake's Progress, or the Humours of Drury Lane, a Poem in eight Cantos, in Hudibrastic verse; being the Rambles of a modern Oxonian: which is a complete Key to the eight Prints lately published by the celebrated Mr. Hogarth. Printed for John Chetwood, and sold at Inigo Jones' Head,[160] against Exeter Change, Strand, 1735." This is a most contemptible and indecent performance. In some of the copies are inserted eight prints; but they are only the designs of Hogarth mutilated, and perhaps were originally engraved for the decoration of some other work.

There is reason to believe that the artist once intended to have introduced the ceremony of a marriage contract, instead of the levee, as an unfinished painting of the scene is still preserved. In this sketch he appears to have thought of taking the same ground with Mr. Pope:

"What brought Sir Visto's ill-got wealth to waste?

Some demon whisper'd, 'Visto, have a taste.'"

For our Rake is there turned connoisseur; and among a number of articles which prove him a man of virtu, is a canvas containing the representation of a human foot.[96]

In the year 1745 the eight pictures were sold by auction, at Mr. Hogarth's in Leicester Fields, and produced twenty-two guineas each; total, one hundred and eighty-four pounds, sixteen shillings. They are now, I believe, in the possession of Mr. Beckford of Fonthill, in Wiltshire.



"The crowded scene will please us then,

And the busy hum of men;

The Thespian throng, and champions bold,

Their jubilee of triumph hold:

With store of wenches, whose bright eyes

Rain influence, and judge the prize

Of hat or shirt,—while all contend

To catch her glance whom all commend.

Come, Sport, that wrinkled Care derides;

And Laughter, holding both his sides;

And puppet-show, and quaint device,

And Troy in flames, and rattling dice:

And Comedy, with wreathed smiles;

And Music, that dull care beguiles;

Here let the droning bagpipe be,

And there the cheerful fiddle see.

Nor be our joys to earth confin'd,—

But, light as air, swift as the wind,

Let Cadman cut the liquid sky,

And on the rope Violante fly.

Our trumpet's loud clangour

Excites not to arms;

No shrill notes of anger,

No horrid alarms,

The double, double, double beat

Of the thundering drum,

Tells—the actors are come;

Let us follow, nor think of retreat.

I'll to the well-trod stage anon,

If Settle's[97] 'cumber'd sock be on;


Or heavy Howard,[98] Folly's child,

In native nonsense soareth wild.

These joys if Southwark Fair can give,

In Southwark Fair a week I'll live."


At a time when martial hardihood was the only accomplishment likely to confer distinction, when war was thought to be the most honourable pursuit, and agriculture deemed the only necessary employment, there was little social intercourse, and so few retail dealers, that men had no [163]very easy means of procuring those articles which they occasionally wanted. To remove this inconvenience, it was found necessary to establish some general mart, where they might be supplied. Fairs were therefore instituted, as a proper medium between the buyer and seller, and were at first considered as merely places of trade.[99] They were generally held on saints' days. Some of them continued open many weeks, and had peculiar privileges to encourage the attendance of those who had goods upon sale. The pedlar travelled from city to city, or from town to town, with his moveable warehouse, and furnished his customers with what served them until his periodical return.

As men grew more polished their wants increased, their intercourse became more general, and the importance of commerce was better understood. The merchant deposited his goods in a warehouse, and the trader opened a shop. Fairs, deserted by men of business, gradually changed their nature, and, instead of being crowded by the active and the industrious, were the haunts of the idle and the dissolute.[100] Such were they at the time of this delineation, which was made about the year 1733, and may be considered as [164]a true picture of the holiday amusements of that period. At the head of these we must place what were than called stage-plays,—a most favourite diversion of your Englishman ever since the time

"When sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,

Warbled his native woodnotes wild."

In these humble representations some of our greatest actors made their first appearance; and not a few of them, even after they had attained high eminence, ranted, strutted, and bellowed through all the days the fairs were kept open, to their own emolument, and the heartfelt pleasure of the Wapping beaux and the black-eyed beauties of Saltpetre Bank.

The play now enacting appears to be the Fall of Bajazet,[101]—and it is performed to the life; for the[165] unsure scaffolding, not being built to bear the terror-working stamps of the furious Turk, tumbles to the ground. The tyrant's turban is shaken from his head, the truncheon is dropped from his hand, and with the moralizing Tamerlane he joins the general crash, and threatens destruction to the china jars and bowls which are beneath. Not only the heroes and heroine of the drama, but both band and musical instruments are involved in the ruin. The band, it is true, con[166]sists of—a solitary fiddler; and the instruments are—a violin and a salt-box. The monkey and the merry-andrew seem the only two animals likely to evade injury in this universal wreck. Corporeal dexterity at such a time is more useful than mental acquirements.

The Amazonian, with a hat, feather, and drum, is a beauty of Mr. Hogarth's school, belongs to a company of comedians, and is beating up for an audience. The gaping astonishment of two rustics who are looking at her is inimitably described. One of them, awe-struck by her figure, has pulled off his hat in reverence of her charms; the other "wonders with a foolish face of praise."

A buskined hero, arrayed perhaps for an Alexander, has his career of glory stopped by a sheriff's officer, who pays no respect

"To Macedonia's madman, or the Swede."

The hero puts his hand to his sword, but the bailiffs follower secures his other arm, and aims a bludgeon at his head.

A younger branch of the family of the Simples, with a whip in one hand and the other hooked on a young girl's arm, is so lost in gaping astonishment at the variety of objects around him, that he neglects his pockets, which an adroit candidate for Tyburn is clearing of their contents. While one fellow kisses a[167] girl,[102] another endeavours to decoy her two companions. A prize-fighter, furrowed with scars, makes his triumphal entry on a blind horse, and, calling up a face of terror, and grasping his sword, hurls a proud defiance to all who dare appear as his competitors.

A juggler, in a senatorial wig, displays magic wonders with the cups and balls; and above him is a fellow with a pair of artificial legs extended on a board: one of these legs a man beneath is either attempting to break, or using as a lever to give a summerset to a tumbler, who kneels upon the other. A hat displayed on the end of a pole is the prize of the best wrestler on the green; and a holland chemise will reward the fair racer swiftest of foot.

A quack doctor, in laced hat, long periwig, and embroidered coat, mounted upon a stage and attended by his merry-andrew, dispenses his infallible medicines. To attract the notice of a gaping crowd, this iron-throated descendant of Paracelsus eats fire.

That ancient puppet-show joke of Mr. Punch's horse picking the pocket of the chequered fool of the farce, is exhibited in a balcony, on one side of which is a bout at cudgels by puppets all alive!

Under a show-cloth, which announces "The Siege[168] of Troy[103] is here," are a company rehearsing some part of the play. By a sun upon the breast of the figure in a mitre, we know him to be the high-priest of Apollo, the venerable Chryses. While one arm of this sage of many sorrows is twined round the pole which supports the wooden horse, the other is stretched out in moving supplication, entreating the hearers to

"Relieve a wretched parent's pain,

And give Chryseïs to his arms again."

Chryseïs, however, is perfectly satisfied with her situation. Seated in all the pride of conscious beauty close to the haughty Atrides, and glorying in his protection, she prefers the lover to the parent. The inexorable chief nods his plumed crest, grasps his truncheon, and "looks with threatening brow on all around."

"No tears subdue him, no entreaties move,

He dares avenging Phœbus, son of Jove."

A little fellow with long hair, playing upon the bagpipes,[104] is attended by a dancing dog, dressed [169]en militaire, and with his foot dances his Fantoccini figures. His Madame Catharina does not excite the attention she merits: the woman with a dice-box has superior attractions; and a country fellow, in a coat which seems to have been the Sunday habiliment of his forefathers for many generations, is trying his fortune, though earnestly dissuaded by his more prudent son from putting his pence in so perilous a situation. The woman, with that energetic eloquence which marks the orators of Billingsgate, rates the boy for daring to doubt her honesty. On the other side, a Savoyard music-grinder, with her galante show, is attended by a dwarf drummer, and collecting pence from the little people who prefer a wonderful and surprising prospect of every court in Europe to a pennyworth of gingerbread. In the distance, a set of figures have been engaged at quarter-staff, then a favourite amusement; and the conqueror, waving his flag of victory, is hoisted upon the shoulders of another man; and thus triumphantly exalted, the air echoes with loud and reiterated acclamations in honour of his prowess.

Having despatched the herd[105] of characters who people the scene on earth, I reserved to a class by[170] themselves those who are buoyant in the air. The figure vaulting on a rope was designed for Signora Violante, who signalized herself in the reign of George I. She was followed by some inferior performers; but the science of rope-dancing and riding has now arrived at its acme, and is rising into such estimation with the public, that Dr. Johnson's prophecy may, at a future day, be wholly fulfilled in our royal theatres. In part it has been already verified:

"Perhaps where Lear has rav'd and Hamlet died,

On flying cars new sorcerers may ride;

Perhaps (for who can guess th' effects of chance?)

Here Hunt may box, or Mahomet may dance."

The man descending from a steeple represents one Cadman, who, in the memory of some persons now living, performed the same feat at St. Martin's in the Fields, from the steeple of which he descended into the Mews. In an experiment of the like nature at Shrewsbury, the rope breaking, he was dashed to pieces.

A show-cloth over the Fall of Bajazet is almost a direct copy from a very coarse etching made by John Laguerre, son of Louis Laguerre, whom Pope has immortalized for his sprawling saints. On the upper[171] part of the print is inscribed, "The Stage Mutiny." It alludes to some disputes between the managers of Drury Lane and such of the actors as were spirited up to rebellion by Theophilus Cibber, and seceded to the Haymarket in 1733. As this made much noise in its day, it may not be unentertaining to narrate some of the circumstances which occasioned it.

The patent for Drury Lane being renewed, Mr. Booth, who found his health decline, began to think it was time to dispose of his share and interest in the theatre. The purchaser was John Highmore, Esq., a gentleman who had unhappily contracted an attachment to the stage, from having one night performed the part of Lothario for a wager.[106] He gave Booth £2500 for half his share in the property, and his whole right in the management. Mr. Wilkes had previously appointed Ellis his deputy; and Colley Cibber, extremely displeased that two strangers[172] should be thus empowered to interfere, authorized his son to act for him in everything that concerned his share in the management. The first season ended with some profit to the new patentees; but Mr. Highmore being disgusted by the impertinence of young Cibber, determined to exonerate himself from his interference, and, for the sum of three thousand guineas, purchased the elder Cibber's right in the theatre. Two years had hardly passed before the principal actors, encouraged by Theophilus Cibber, determined to revolt from the patentee; and as the little theatre in the Haymarket was then unoccupied, agreed to rent it from the proprietor, and opened their campaign with the comedy of Love for Love, at which they were attended by an elegant and crowded audience. The patentees, though weakened by this desertion, began to act at the usual time. To supply the place of those who had left their service, they had recourse to such actors as could be procured from the itinerant companies. With all the help they could obtain, their performances were inferior to those exhibited at the Haymarket, and losses came so heavy upon Mr. Highmore, that he was under the necessity of giving up the contest, and sold the whole property to Mr. Charles Fleetwood for about half the sum he had originally paid for it.'

Upon this circumstance is built the print from which the show-cloth was copied; it probably an[173]nounces the performance of a farce entitled "The Stage Mutineers, a tragi-comic farcical ballad opera, acted at Covent Garden in 1733;" which is a burlesque on the whole contest. Theophilus Cibber, who was the leader of the malcontents, is in this farce characterized by the name of Ancient Pistol, all his speeches being in that high-flown mock-heroic style with which Shakspeare has marked that boasting coward. The scene is supposed to be in the playhouse, and the time, during a rehearsal.

In 1740, a pamphlet was published for J. Mechell, at the King's Arms, Fleet Street, entitled, "An Apology for the Life of T—— C——, Comedian; being a proper sequel to the Apology for the Life of Mr. Colley Cibber; with an historical view of the stage to the present year. Supposed to be written by himself, in the style and manner of the poet-laureate:" but in reality the work of Harry Fielding. The following passage, relative to this subject, occurs in page 16, etc:—"In that year, when the stage fell into great commotions, and the Drury Lane company, asserting the glorious cause of liberty and property, made a stand against the oppressions of the patentees;—in that memorable year, when the theatric dominions fell in labour of a revolution, under the conduct of myself; that revolt gave occasion to several pieces of wit and satirical flirts at the conductor of the enterprise. I was attacked, as my father had been before[174] me, in the public papers and journals; and the burlesque character of Pistol was attributed to me as a real one. Out came a print of Jack Laguerre's, representing, in most vile designing, this expedition of ours, under the name of 'The Stage Mutiny;' in which, gentle reader, your humble servant, in the Pistol character, was the principal figure. This I laughed at, knowing it only a proper embellishment for one of those necessary structures to which persons out of necessity repair." Again, p. 88: "At the fair of Bartholomew we gained some recruits; but, besides those advantages over the enemy, I myself went there in person, and publicly exposed myself. This was done to fling defiance in the patentees' teeth; for, on the booth where I exhibited, I hung out 'The Stage Mutiny,' with Pistol at the head of his troop; our standard bearing the motto, 'We eat.'" Whether this account which Cibber is made to give of his own conduct is entirely jocular, or contains a mixture of truth and falsehood, cannot now be ascertained. Hogarth may have transferred a circumstance from Bartholomew to Southwark Fair; or Fielding, by design, may have misrepresented it, alluding at the same time to Hogarth's print.

To return to the show-cloth. The figure seated in the corner, with his head bound with laurel, is intended to represented old Cibber, then poet-laureate. With a bag of money upon his knee, he rejoices in the sum[175] he has realized, and laughs at those who are enduring the storm. Under his feet is inscribed "Quiet and snug." The tall, thin figure, stooping, is meant for Mr. Highmore. He holds in his hand a scroll, on which is written, "It cost 6000 pounds." He is again characterized in the figure of a monkey astride the sign-iron of the Rose Tavern, with a label, on which is written, "I am a gentleman."[107]—The man in his shirt, with a paint-pot and brushes at his feet, who takes up the cudgels for the new patentees, is John Ellis the painter. He was the pupil of Sir James Thornhill, deputy-manager for Mr. Wilkes, and principal scene painter to the theatre. By the favour of the Duke of Montagu and Sir Robert Walpole, he was appointed to be great master of the wardrobe, and keeper of the lions in the Tower. He was much happier in attending a pugilistic exhibition at Broughton's academy than in the exercise of his profession. His figure appears muscular, but hardly leads one to suppose, what is yet certainly a fact, that Rysbrack—when he produced what Mr. Walpole very emphatically calls that exquisite summary of his skill, knowledge, and judgment, the "Hercules," now in Mr. Hoare's temple at Stourhead—modelled the legs of the god from those of Ellis.—The figure in the background, with a tremendous plume of[176] feathers, and a flowing periwig, grasping his truncheon in a style of defiance, may be Mills, in the character of Bajazet. On the flag which is borne between Mr. Highmore and Ellis, is inscribed, "We'll starve them out." On that borne in the rear of the seceders, on the opposite side, is written, "We eat." The figure near it is probably intended to represent Johnson, in Sir Hugh Evans; as that with a truncheon in his hand, who stands next him, may be intended for Bardolph; but who the performer was, I am not well enough versed in dramatic history to determine: it would probably be known at that time, by the ends of two cudgels, which rise in parallel lines immediately behind his head, and may perhaps intimate that this gentleman, as well as Theophilus Cibber, was under some obligations to his wife for giving him a title he was not born with.—The Sir John Falstaff was certainly intended for Harper,[108] who was eminent in that character; as Pistol, with the inscription,[177] "Pistol's alive," was indisputably meant for the younger Cibber. The masculine gentlewoman, waving a flag on which is inscribed "Liberty and Property," is, I think, clearly intended as a portraiture of the notorious Mistress Doll Tearsheet; but who was the actress that personated this fair friend of the fat knight, I really do not know.[109]

The show-cloth underneath, with the tall figure and two spectators, is a representation of Maximilian, a giant from Upper Saxony. That with the wooden horse is explained by the inscription above it, "The Siege of Troy is here." Mr. Victor, in an eulogium upon Boheme the actor, says that "his first appearance[178] was at a booth in Southwark Fair, which in those days lasted two weeks, and was much frequented by persons of all ranks and both sexes. He acted the part of Menelaus, in the best droll I ever saw, called The Siege of Troy."


The Adam and Eve upon another show-cloth may probably allude to the representation of somewhat compiled from an old mystery called The Creation.[110]

The old puppet-show joke of Punch wheeling his wife into the jaws of destruction, which is underneath, is well known. By the paper lantern, dwarf drummer, and little figure at a temporary door, it appears that the royal waxwork and whole Court of France are at the Royal Oak.

It is a little remarkable, that in this almost endless variety of holiday amusements there should be no exhibition of wild beasts[111] or wonderful quadrupeds. A roaring lion, raging tiger, and fierce cat a-mountain, [180]would have had a large audience; and a learned pig or an overgrown Lincolnshire ox might have made the proprietors' fortunes at that time, as they have done at this.

The amusements of the fair at this period continued a fortnight,[112] and were unquestionably attended with much loss of time, and productive of some habits of dissipation among the lower ranks of people who attended them. A visit to a family in the vicinity must have been a delightful entertainment, and the pleasure much heightened if the lady of the mansion happened to be fond of dumb creatures. A whistle, drum, and trumpet, in the possession of three little masters, with a barking lap-dog, screaming parrot, and canary bird[181] in full song, must form a concert of such heavenly harmony, as

"Would bring an angel down!"

For those who delight in pointing out examples of Hogarth's bad spelling, this print affords a fine field. The name of Cibber is spelt with only one b. In the Fall of Bajazet, the z appears to have been originally an s. "We'l starve them out." The e final in waxworke, these syllable dissectors may perhaps deign to acknowledge was then customary.

In my enumeration of some of the actors who appear on the show-cloth, etc., I may sometimes be wrong: let it be received as conjecture founded on the best information I could obtain; and let it be remembered, that to procure positive information of circumstances which happened near fifty years ago is not easy. The memoranda to be found in magazines, and other perishable prints of the day, are not always to be depended upon. Even now these authentic documents sometimes lead those who implicitly believe them into error.[113]



"Think not to find one meant resemblance there;

We lash the vices, but the persons spare.

Prints should be priz'd, as authors should be read,

Who sharply smile prevailing Folly dead.

So Rabelais laught, and so Cervantes thought;

So Nature dictated what Art has taught."


Notwithstanding this inscription, which was engraved on the plate some time after its publication, it is very certain that most of these figures were intended for individual portraits; but Mr. Hogarth, not wishing to be considered as a personal satirist, and fearful of making enemies among his contemporaries, would never acknowledge who were the characters. Some of them the world might perhaps mistake; for though the author was faithful in delineating whatever he intended to portray, complete intoxication so far caricatures the countenance, that, according to the old though trite proverb, "the man is not himself." His portrait, though given with the utmost fidelity, will scarcely be known by his most intimate friends, unless they have previously seen him in this degrading disguise. Hence it becomes difficult to identify men whom the painter did not choose to point out at the time; and[184] sixty years having elapsed, it becomes impossible,—for all who composed the group, with the artist by whom it was delineated,

"Shake hands with dust, and call the worm their kinsman."

Mrs. Piozzi told me that the divine with a corkscrew,[114] occasionally used as a tobacco-stopper, hanging upon his little finger, was the portrait of Parson Ford, Dr. Johnson's uncle; though upon the authority of Sir John Hawkins, of anecdotish memory, it has been generally supposed to be intended for Orator Henley.[115] [185] As I have been told that both these worthies were distinguished by that clerical rubicundity of face with which it is marked, the reader may decree the honour of a sitting to which he pleases. We may say of either one or the other:

"No loftier theme his thought pursues,

Than punch, good company, and dues.

Easy, and careless what may fall,

He hears, assents, and fills to all;

Proving it plainly by his face,

That cassocks are no signs of grace."[116]

The roaring Bacchanalian who stands next him,[186] waving his glass in the air, has pulled off his wig, and in the zeal of his friendship crowns the divine's head. He is evidently drinking destruction to fanatics and success to Mother Church, or a mitre to the jolly parson whom he addresses.

The lawyer who sits near him is a portrait of one Kettleby, a vociferous bar-orator, who, though an utter barrister, chose to distinguish himself by wearing an enormous full-bottom wig, in which he is here represented. He was further remarkable for a diabolical squint and a Satanic smile. In the Causidicade are a number of lines dedicated to the honour of this amiable person. They begin with—

"Up Kettleby starts with a horrible stare."

A poor maudlin miserable who is addressing him, when sober, must be a fool; but, in this state, it would puzzle Lavater to assign him a proper class. He seems endeavouring to demonstrate to the lawyer[187] that in a poi—poi—point of law he has been most cruelly cheated, and lost a cau—cau—cause that he ought to have got,—and all this was owing to his attorney being an infernal villain. This may very probably be true; for the poor man's tears show that, like the person relieved by the good Samaritan, he has been among thieves. The barrister grins horribly at his misfortunes, and tells him he is properly punished for not employing a gentleman.

Next to him sits a gentleman in a black periwig. He politely turns his back to the company, that he may have the pleasure of smoking a sociable pipe.

The justice, "in fair round belly, with good capon lin'd,"—the justice, having hung up his hat, wig, and cloak, puts on his nightcap, and with a goblet of superior capacity before him, sits in solemn cogitation. Meditating severe punishments on the dissolute peasant who tipples ale or viler liquors, he resolves for the future to act with magisterial harshness, that he may convince his neighbours of his zeal for the law, and detestation of drunkenness. His left elbow supported by the table and his right by a chair, with a pipe in one hand and a stopper in the other, he puffs out the bland vapour with the dignity of an alderman, and fancies himself as great as Jupiter seated upon the summit of Mount Olympus, enveloped by the thick cloud which his own breath has created.


With folded arms and open mouth another leans back in his chair.[117] His wig is dropped from his head, and he is asleep: but though speechless, he is sonorous; for you clearly perceive that where nasal sounds are the music, he is qualified to be leader of the band.

The fallen hero, who with his chair and goblet has tumbled to the floor, by the cockade in his hat we suppose to be an officer. His forehead is marked, perhaps with honourable scars. To wash his wounds and cool his head, the staggering apothecary bathes it with brandy.

A gentleman in the corner, who, from having the Craftsman and London Evening in his pocket, we determine to be a politician, very unluckily mistakes his ruffle for the bowl of his pipe, and sets fire to it.

The person in a bag-wig and solitaire, with his hand upon his head,[118] would not now pass for a fine gentleman, but in the year 1735 was a complete beau. [189]Unaccustomed to such joyous company, he appears to have drank rather more than agrees with him.

The company consists of eleven,[119] and on the chimney-piece, floor, and table, are three-and-twenty empty flasks. These, added to a bottle which the apothecary holds in his hand, prove that this select society have not lost a moment. The overflowing bowl, full goblets, and charged glasses, prove that they think "'tis too early to part," though the dial points to four in the morning!

"What have we with day to do?

Sons of Care, Sons of Care, 'twas made for you."

The clock, like the company, is irregular; for the minute finger and hour hand do not agree. Over the chimney-piece is a picture, of which we can discover enough to guess that it has once been a landscape; but, like the understandings of the gentlemen present, is so obscured by smoke and vapour as to appear a mere chaos, without one clear and distinct form. The fumes of punch, the smoke of pipes, and[190] effluvia of candles sunk into the sockets, must render the air delightfully balmy, and produce ambrosial fragrance.

The different degrees of drunkenness are well discriminated, and its effects admirably described. The poor simpleton who is weeping out his woes to honest lawyer Kettleby, it makes mawkish; the beau it makes sick; and the politician it stupifies. One is excited to roaring, and another lulled to sleep. It half closes the eyes of justice, renders the footing of physic unsure, and lays prostrate the glory of his country and the pride of war.

On the 22d of March 1742, for the benefit of Mr. Hippisley, was acted at Covent Garden Theatre a new scene, called A Modern Midnight Conversation, taken from Hogarth's print, in which was introduced Hippisley's Drunken Man, with a comic tale of what really passed between him and his old aunt, at her house on Mendip Hills, in Somersetshire.

Having described the individuals of which this print is composed, let us for a moment reflect upon the vice it is intended to satirize; and considered in a moral point of view, it may have as good an effect as the sight of an intoxicated slave had upon the young men of Sparta. This people sometimes made a slave drunk, that their sons, disgusted by the sight, might avoid the practice.

In a book published about a century and a half[191] ago, I remember to have read a tale, which recounteth that, "Once uponne a tyme, the Divelle was permitted to tempte a yonge manne. Sathanne had noe sooner power gyven hym, than hee didde appeere in the guyze of a grave bencher of Graie's Inne, and didde tell himme that hee was impoweryd to compelle hys doing one of these three thynges: eyther he shoulde morthere his fathere, lie wythe his mothere, or gette dronke. The young manne," saith my author, "shockyd atte the two first proposycyons, didde ymbrace the laste. He gotte verie dronke, and in thatte state, havying neyther the use of reasonne nor the dredde of sinne, hee was guyltie offe bothe the unaturalle deedes hee hadde before soe shudderydde atte, and for hys naughtinesse and wyckednesse hee was hangydde."

I have been told that the original picture was some years since found at an inn in Gloucestershire, and is now in the possession of J. Calverley, Esq., of Leeds, in Yorkshire.



"Beneath this antique roof, this hallow'd shade,

Where wearied rustics holy Sabbath keep,

Compos'd as if on downy pillows laid,

The sons and daughters of the hamlet sleep."


The shepherd is not much more awake than his sleeping flock, whose appearance convinces us that, though there is no organ, there is much melody. The nasal music of the congregation, joined to the languid monotony of the preacher,[120] which sounds like the drowsy hum of a drone bee, must form such a concert as neither Tubal Cain nor Sir John Hawkins ever dreamed of. The text is perfectly applicable to the audience, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." His parishioners have not troubled themselves much about the Greek version; good, easy men, they take these words in their literal sense, and, after the toil of six days, find the church a comfortable and convenient dormitory. By the preacher's aspect and attitude, we are convinced that he would lull to soft repose the most lively assembly [193]that ever congregated in the capital. How, then, must his manner operate here? As an opiate more powerful than poppies. It is as composing as are the very descriptive lines that conclude the second book of Pope's Dunciad; which are so perfectly an echo to the sense, that they ought to be inscribed on the front of the first temple which is dedicated to Somnus. He

"In one lazy tone,

Through the long, heavy, painful page, drawls on.

Soft creeping words on words the sense compose;

At every line they stretch, they yawn, they doze.

As to soft gales top-heavy pines bow low

Their heads, and lift them as they cease to blow,

Thus oft they rear, and oft the head decline,

As breathe or pause by fits the airs divine:

And now to this side, now to that they nod," etc.

The clerk,[121] infinitely more important than the divine, is kept awake by contemplating the charms of a voluptuously blooming damsel, who, in studying the Service of Matrimony, has sighed her soul to[194] rest. The eyes of this pronouncer of Amen are visibly directed to her.

In the pew opposite are five swains of the village;

"Each mouth distended, and each head reclin'd,

They soundly sleep."

To render this rural scene more pastoral, they are accompanied by two women who have once been shepherdesses, and perhaps celebrated by some neighbouring Theocritus as the Chloe and Daphne of their day. Being now in the wane of their charms, poetical justice will not allow us to give them any other appellation than old women. They are awake. Whether the artist intended by this to show that they are actuated by the spirit of contradiction, for the preacher entreats them to go to rest, or meant it as a compliment to the softer sex, as being more attentive than men, I cannot tell; let those who have studied their characters more than I have, determine as seemeth best in their eyes.

In the gallery are two men joining in chorus with the band below. One of them has the decency to hide his face; but the other is evidently in full song.

The heavy architecture and grotesque decorations lead us to conjecture that this now venerable edifice was once the cottage of Baucis and Philemon, so exquisitely described by Swift:


"Grown to a church by just degrees

—— The ballads pasted on the wall,

Of Joan of France, and English Moll,

Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,

The little Children in the Wood,

Now seem to look abundance better,

Improv'd in picture, size, and letter,

And, high in order plac'd, describe

The heraldry of every tribe."

The "Children in the Wood" are now exalted above the Gothic windows. One of them we see transformed to an angel; which, to prove its being of a more exalted species, and no longer a mere mortal, has four thighs.

"The pretty Robin Redbreasts, which

Did cover them with leaves,"

have undergone a transmigration much to their advantage. It has somewhat sullied their plumage, but they have assumed a more important appearance, and the loss of beauty is compensated by an abundant increase in bulk and dignity. Exalted to the upper part of a fluted pillar, and seated in heraldic state, they seem to mortal eyes the emblems of wisdom, the symbols of Minerva.[122]


A lion and companion unicorn, concealed by the pillar, was originally an headpiece to that excellent old ballad, beginning with

"The fierce lyon of faire Englonde

Didde swallowe the lillie of France."

With jaws extended wide enough to swallow a bed of lilies, he is one of the supporters to the king's arms.

The pews carry evident marks of having been once a Gothic bedstead. The cumbrous load of oak with which it was canopied, still supported by large square posts, is become a gallery. The lower part retains much of its original form, and answers its original purpose; but why should I attempt to describe that which is already described by the Dean?

"A bedstead of the antique mode,

Compact of timber many a load;

Such as our ancestors did use,

Is metamorphos'd into pews,

Which still their ancient nature keep,

Of lodging folks dispos'd to sleep."

The pulpit in which our dozing divine is groaning out the gospel, was once a groaning-chair for the good wife of the cottage. The cushion on which she sat for many a winter's eve is now ornamented with tassels. The arm still retains its original form, though somewhat more upright than when it served for a rest to the old dame's elbow. Swift describes the exact manner of the metamorphosis:


"The groaning-chair began to crawl,

Like an huge snail against the wall;

There stuck aloft, in public view,

And with small change a pulpit grew."

The crutches, which erst supported Dame Baucis, now prop the clerk's reading-desk.

The triangle, environed by a glory, was placed in the church by old Philemon. In his youth he had been a very good carpenter, and, when become a divine, retained so much of his original disposition as to suppose he could explain an awful mystery by a mechanical representation. The only misfortune which attended this curious delineation was, that not one of his parishioners could understand it: they however, were silent; they thought it too serious an affair to dispute or call names about. It would perhaps have been as well if many of our learned and right grave divines had been silent upon this subject on the same principle.

Swift says that the jack was turned to a clock; in this circumstance he must have been mistaken, for the hour-glass, which was the constant companion of Dame Baucis at her wheel, retains its old form, and is placed at the parson's left hand.[123] Underneath it[198] is the following applicable inscription from St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians: "I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain."

The windows are evidently intended for companions, but there is a considerable difference in their proportions, panes of glass, etc. At the time this massy temple was erected, our countrymen neither studied Vitruvius, nor considered uniformity as a requisite in architecture.

This print was published on the 26th of October 1736; but we learn, by an inscription on the sinister side of the plate, that on the 21st April 1762 it was retouched and improved by the author.

There is a printed copy, tolerably executed, but not quite so large, nor has it any price affixed beneath.

The original picture was in Sir Edward Walpole's collection; who is the present proprietor I do not know. There are some variations in it; the face of the clerk is different from the print, and he does not appear leering at the girl, but, to keep in unison with the rest of the congregation, is half asleep.



"Furnish'd with paper, pen, and ink,

He gravely sat him down—to think:

He bit his nails, and scratch'd his head,

But wit and fancy both were dead:

Or, if with more than usual pain,

A thought came slowly from his brain,

It cost him Lord knows how much time

To shape it into sense or rhyme;

And what was yet a greater curse,

Long thinking made his fancy worse."


Such is the fate of many a miserable scribbler who usurps the sacred name of a poet. Parnassus must be peopled, and the fashionable versifiers that have no other aim than feeding on the mountain have sometimes cropped better pasturage at the foot of the hill than has been found by those hallowed bards who have attained the summit. Of gentle readers that demand the strains of gentle writers, there are in this our city an innumerable host. They are sober and well-disposed persons, good subjects to their king, and useful members of the community; but being by their various avocations confined to a smoky town, are debarred from the cheering prospects of purling streams, waving woods, and shady groves. They have nevertheless great comfort and delectation in reading descriptions of scenes so profusely beautified[200] with the amenities of nature. Happily for such admirers of rural simplicity, there is a band of pastoral poets who make the press groan with description. Seated like this unfortunate labourer of the Muses in their attic storey, and scarcely ever seeing a green tree except in the Moorfields Mall, they daily present the public with amplifications of verdant meads, glistening dew-drops, and liquid rains. In the sublime strains of these gentlemen,

"The misty mountains lift their cloud-capt heads;

The enamell'd mead its velvet carpet spreads;

The groves appear all drest with wreaths of flowers,

And from their leaves drop aromatic showers."[124]

Upon the same principle with our town-made rhymers, who have generally written about things which they have neither seen, felt, heard, nor understood, this our distressed poet is now spinning a poem upon riches. Of their use he probably knoweth little; and of their abuse, if judgment can be formed from externals, certes he knoweth less.


Seated upon the side of his bed, without a shirt, but wrapped in an old night-gown,—enchanted, impressed, inspired with his subject,—he is disturbed by a nymph of the Lactarium. Her shrill sounding voice awakes one of the little loves, whose chorus disturbs his meditations. A link of the golden chain is broken!—a thought is lost! To recover it, his hand becomes a substitute for the barber's comb: enraged at the noise, he tortures his head for the fleeting idea; but, ah! no thought is there!

Proudly conscious that the lines already written are sterling, he possesses by anticipation the mines of Peru, a view of which hangs over his head. Upon the table we see Byshe's Art of Poetry;[125] for, like the packhorse who cannot travel without his bells, he cannot climb the hill of Parnassus without his jingling-book. On the floor lies the Grub Street Journal,[126] to which valuable repository of genius and [202]taste he is probably a contributor. To show that he is a master of the profound, and will envelope his subject in a cloud, his pipe and tobacco-box—those friends to cogitation deep—are close to him.

His wife, mending that part of his dress in the pockets of which the affluent keep their gold, is worthy of a better fate. Her figure is peculiarly interesting.[127] Her face, softened by adversity, and[203] marked with domestic care, is at this moment agitated by the appearance of a boisterous woman, insolently demanding payment of the milk-tally. In the excuse she returns, there is a mixture of concern, complacency, and mortification. As an addition to the distresses of this poor family, a dog is stealing the remnant of mutton incautiously left upon a chair.

The sloping roof and projecting chimney prove the throne of this inspired bard to be high above the crowd;—it is a garret. The chimney is ornamented with a dare for larks; and a book, a loaf, the tea-equipage, and a saucepan, decorate the shelf. Before the fire hangs half a shirt and a pair of ruffled sleeves. His sword lies on the floor; for though our professor of poetry waged no war, except with words, a sword was in the year 1740 a necessary appendage to every thing which called itself gentleman. At the feet of his domestic seamstress, the full-dress coat is become the resting-place of a cat and two kittens: in the same situation is one stocking; the other is half immersed in the washing-pan. The broom, bellows, and mop are scattered round the room. The open door shows us that their cupboard is unfurnished, and tenanted by an hungry and solitary mouse. In the corner hangs a long cloak, well calculated to conceal the threadbare wardrobe of its fair owner.

Mr. Hogarth's strict attention to propriety of[204] scenery is evinced by the cracked plastering of the walls, broken window, and uneven floor, in the miserable habitation of this poor weaver of madrigals.[128]

The original picture is in the collection of Lord Grosvenor.



"With thundering noise the azure vault they tear,

And rend, with savage roar, the echoing air:

The sounds terrific he with horror hears;

His fiddle throws aside,—and stops his ears."—E.


The last plate displayed the distress of a poet; in this the artist has exhibited the rage of a musician. Our poor bard bore his misfortunes with patience, and, rich in his Muse, did not much repine at his poverty. Not so this master of harmony—of heavenly harmony! To the evils of poverty he is now a stranger; his adagios and cantabiles have procured him the protection of nobles; and, contrary to the poor shirtless mendicant of the Muses that we left in a garret, he is arrayed in a coat decorated with frogs, a bag-wig, solitaire, and ruffled shirt. Waiting in the chamber of a man of fashion, whom he instructs in the divine science of music, having first tuned his instrument, he opens his crotchet-book, shoulders his violin, flourishes his fiddlestick, and

"Softly sweet, in Lydian measure,

Soon he soothes his soul to pleasure."

Rapt in Elysium at the divine symphony, he is[206] awakened from his beatific vision by noises that distract him:

"An universal hubbub wild,

Of stunning sounds, and voices all confus'd,

Assails his ears with loudest vehemence."

Confounded with the din, and enraged by the interruption, our modern Terpander starts from his seat, and opens the window. This operates as air to a kindling fire; and such a combination of noises burst upon the auricular nerve that he is compelled to stop his ears,—but to stop the torrent is impossible!

"A louder yet, and yet a louder strain,

Break his bands of thought asunder!

And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder,

At the horrible sound

He has rais'd up his head,

As awak'd from the dead,

And amazed he stares all around."

In this situation he is delineated; and those who for a moment contemplate the figures before him, cannot wonder at his rage:

"A crew of hell-hounds never ceasing bark,

With wide Cerberean mouth, full loud, and ring

A hideous peal."

Of the dramatis personæ who perform the vocal parts, the first is a fellow in a tone that would rend hell's concave, bawling, "Dust, ho! dust, ho! dust!" Next to him, an amphibious animal, who nightly pillows his head on the sedgy bosom of old Thames, [207]in a voice that emulates the rush of many waters, or the roaring of a cataract, is bellowing, "Flounda-a-a-rs!" A daughter of May-day, who dispenses what in London is called milk, and is consequently a milkmaid, in a note pitched at the very top of her voice, is crying, "Be-louw!" While a ballad-singer dolefully drawls out The Ladie's Fall, an infant in her arms joins its treble pipe in chorus with the screaming parrot, which is on a lamp-iron over her head. On the roof of an opposite house are two cats, performing what an amateur of music might perhaps call a bravura duet; near them appears

A sweep, shrill twittering on the chimney-top.

A little French drummer, singing to his rub-a-dub, and the agreeable yell of a dog, complete the vocal performers.

Of the instrumental, a fellow blowing a horn with a violence that would have almost shaken down the walls of Jericho claims the first notice; next to him, the dustman rattles his bell with ceaseless clangour, until the air reverberates the sound.

The intervals are filled up by a pavior, who to every stroke of his rammer adds a loud, distinct, and echoing "Haugh!" The pedestrian cutler is grinding a butcher's cleaver with such earnestness and force, that it elicits sparks of fire. This, added to the agonizing howls of his unfortunate dog, must afford[208] a perfect specimen of the ancient chromatic. The poor animal,[129] between a man and a monkey, piping harsh discords upon a hautboy, the girl whirling her crepitaculum, or rattle, and the boy beating his drum, conclude the catalogue of this harmonious band.

Thus much we may be almost said to hear; and we see, by the flag displayed at the church, that the fanciers of corals for grown gentlemen are performing a round of double bob-majors in the belfry. "John Long, pewterer," is inscribed over a door, and intimates the business going on in the house, where the strokes of some thirty or forty hammers ringing incessantly upon pewter, produce a sound more sonorous than that which is echoed from the forge of Vulcan.

This delineation originated in a story which was told to Hogarth by the late Mr. John Festin,[130] who is the hero of the print. He was eminent for his skill in playing upon the German flute and hautboy, and much employed as a teacher of music. To each of his scholars he devoted one hour each day. "At nine o'clock in the morning," said he, "I once waited upon my Lord Spencer; but his lordship being out of town, from him I went to Mr. V——n, now Lord V——n. It was so early, that he was not arisen. I [209]went into his chamber, and, opening a shutter, sat down in the window-seat. Before the rails was a fellow playing upon the hautboy. A man with a barrow full of onions offered the piper an onion if he would play him a tune. That ended, he offered a second onion for a second tune; the same for a third, and was going on: but this was too much,—I could not bear it,—it angered my very soul—'Zounds!' said I, 'stop here! This fellow is ridiculing my profession—he is playing on the hautboy for onions!'"

The whole of this bravura scene is admirably represented. A person quaintly enough observed that it deafens one to look at it.

The roar of the fisherman, with one hand so placed as to become a sort of sounding-board, and give reverberation, is admirably depicted. You perceive that he has, professionally speaking, not merely a volume, but a folio volume of voice. As well as that of the dustman, it is a thorough bass; and, added to the tenor and treble of the other performers, must form a concert, though not quite so harmonious, yet nearly as loud, as those which have been graced with the royal presence in Westminster Abbey.

The scene seems to be taken from the lower part of St. Martin's Lane; it is certainly intended to represent the steeple of St. Martin's Church.

A heap of bricks, scientifically piled up close to the[210] little girl, have been said to be a contrivance of some boy to catch birds. Is it not more likely that the modern architecture of this little Babel, as well as the adjoining plantation and pond, originated in the united efforts of the young lady and young gentleman in a corner cap? The latter has been dragging a slate fastened to a string, and tied round his waist, over a rough pavement, that he also might make a pretty noise.

A play-bill on the wall describes the unaccountable run of that very popular and pernicious performance, The Beggar's Opera, to have been sixty-two nights. In a copy of this opera, published in 1729, the dramatis personæ are printed as here written; and the good fortune which followed Miss Fenton's attractions in Polly are universally known.

The figures are well grouped and judiciously characterized: those in the background have great force; but the boy with a drum is ill drawn, and the milk-pail is too large.

In the London Daily Post for November 24, 1740, is the following advertisement:—"Shortly will be published, a new print, called The Provoked Musician, designed and engraved by Mr. William Hogarth; being a companion to a print representing a Distressed Poet, published some time since. To which will be added, a third on painting, which will complete the set; but as this subject may turn upon an[211] affair depending between the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor and the author, it may be retarded for some time."

Humphry Parsons was at that time Lord Mayor; but the business alluded to not being in the city records, must remain obscure until some one who knows more about it than I do shall explain it.

In Dr. Beattie's Essay on Laughter and Ludicrous Composition, quarto edition, p. 608, speaking of the modes of combination by which incongruous qualities may be presented to the eye or the fancy, so as to provoke laughter, he observes, that "this extraordinary group form a very comical mixture of incongruity and relation: of incongruity, owing to the dissimilar employment and appearances of the several persons, and to the variety of dissonance of their respective noises; and of relation, owing to their being all united in the same place, and for the same purpose of tormenting the poor fiddler. From the various sounds co-operating to this one end, the piece becomes more laughable than if their meeting were conceived to be without any particular destination; for the greater number of relations, as well as of contrarieties, that take place in any ludicrous assembly, the more ludicrous it will generally appear. Yet though this group comprehends not any mixture of meanness and dignity, it would, I think, be allowed to be laughable to a certain degree, merely from the[212] juxtaposition of the objects, even though it were supposed to be accidental."

Of the immense fortunes realized by the Italian professors of music, we have many examples in this island; but the success of Lully, in France, was greater than any of his countrymen ever experienced here. He was by birth a Florentine. By his fiddle and his impudence, he raised himself from the Queen of France's kitchen to be chief of the band of music, and carried the art to a degree of perfection hitherto unknown in that kingdom. Louis XIV. gave him letters of nobility, and on his account enacted that the profession of music should consist with the quality of a gentleman. He died by excessive drinking, and left an immense fortune. The nobleman who had entertained him when he drank what proved his quietus, paying him a visit, "Ah! my lord," said his wife, with a deep sigh, "you are the last who made my husband drunk." Lully, who was dying, heard the remark, and had just voice enough left to add, "He shall be the first who makes me so again, when I get upon my legs!"



In the "Progress of an Harlot," and the "Adventures of a Rake," Mr. Hogarth displayed his powers of painting history. Holding the mirror up to Nature, he shows

"Virtue her own feature, Vice her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure."

Had he exhibited no other specimen of his art, these fourteen prints would have given him a right to the title of a moral painter; and thus was he denominated by the late Mr. Fielding, in his Adventures of Joseph Andrews.

In the series before us he treads poetic ground. A description of the day, particularly the morning, has been generally deemed the bard's peculiar province. Considering Homer as the father of poesy, the whole family of Apollo have echoed his notes, and run their divisions of fancy upon his scale. With one of them,

"The morn, wak'd by the circling hours,

Unbars the gates of light."

With another, she "sows the earth with orient pearl." At one time, with a star as her gentleman usher, she


"Draws night's humid curtains, and proclaims

The new-born day forth dawning from the east;"

is now the grey Aurora, then the meek-ey'd morn, array'd in a dewy robe, with saffron streamers, placed in a glittering chariot, and drawn by etherial coursers, where, holding the reins with her red hands, she drives the day.

These heathenish descriptions may be very beautiful in their way; but hear our own Shakspeare:

"Night's tapers are burnt out, and jocund day

Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain's top."


"The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,

And 'gins to pale her ineffectual fire."

This comes home to all men's business and bosoms: it is picturesque, it is poetical; it is intelligible to the peasant or the philosopher, to the classic admirer of ancient mythology, or the man who never heard that the gates which Aurora unbars are made of the purest crystal.

The pictures drawn by Homer, and those feeble imitators who debase his splendid images by the mixture of their own dross, have their scenes laid in the country; but Hogarth has represented his dramatis personæ in the centre of a great city. Had the learned author of Hudibras been a painter, I believe he would have done the same. It will not be easy to select two[215] lines that have more wit than his description of the morning:

"Now, like a lobster boil'd, the morn

From black to red began to turn."

This is appropriate to either city or country.

In Mr. Hogarth's "Four Times of the Day" there is only one scene laid out of town; and that may, I think, be properly enough called a London pastoral, for it is at the pleasant village of Islington. The three others are described as in the most public parts of the metropolis, and exhibit a picture which will give a very correct idea of the dresses and pursuits of the inhabitants of London in the year 1738.


"Keen blows the blast, and eager is the air;

With flakes of feather'd snow the ground is spread;

To step, with mincing pace, to early prayer,

Our clay-cold vestal leaves her downy bed.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .

And here the reeling sons of Riot see,

After a night of senseless revelry.

.       .       .       .       .       .       .

Poor,—trembling,—old,—her suit the beggar plies;

But frozen chastity the little boon denies."—E.


This withered representative of Miss Bridget Alworthy, with a shivering footboy carrying her prayer-book, never fails in her attendance at morning service. She is a symbol of the season,


"Chaste as the icicle

That's curdled by the frost from purest snow,

And hangs on Dian's temple,"

she looks with scowling eye, and all the conscious pride of severe and stubborn virginity, on the poor girls who are suffering the embraces of two drunken beaux that are just staggered out of Tom King's Coffeehouse. One of them, from the basket on her arm, I conjecture to be an orange girl: she shows no displeasure at the boisterous salute of her Hibernian lover. That the hero in a laced hat is from the banks of the Shannon, is apparent in his countenance. The female whose face is partly concealed, and whose neck has a more easy turn than we always see in the works of this artist, is not formed of the most inflexible materials.

An old woman, seated upon a basket; the girl, warming her hands by a few withered sticks that are blazing on the ground; and a wretched mendicant,[131] wrapped in a tattered and party-coloured blanket, entreating charity from the rosy-fingered vestal who [217]is going to church, complete the group. Behind them, at the door of Tom King's Coffeehouse, are a party engaged in a fray likely to create business for both surgeon and magistrate; we discover swords and cudgels in the combatants' hands.

On the opposite side of the print are two little schoolboys. That they have shining morning faces we cannot positively assert, but each has a satchel at his back, and, according with the description given by the poet of nature, is

"Creeping like snail unwillingly to school."

The lantern appended to the woman who has a basket on her head, proves that these dispensers of the riches of Pomona rise before the sun, and do part of their business by an artificial light. Near her, that immediate descendant of Paracelsus, Doctor Rock,[132] is expatiating to an admiring audience on the never-failing virtues of his wonder-working medicines. One hand holds a bottle of his miraculous panacea, and the other supports a board, on which is the king's arms, to indicate that his practice is sanctioned by royal letters patent. Two porringers and a spoon, placed on the bottom of an inverted basket, intimate that the woman seated near them is a vendor of rice-milk, which was at that time brought into the market every morning.


A fatigued porter leans on a rail; and a blind beggar is going towards the church: but whether he will become one of the congregation, or take his stand at the door, in the hope that religion may have warmed the hearts of its votaries to "pity the sorrows of a poor blind man," is uncertain.

The clock in the front of Inigo Jones' barn has the motto, "SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI." Had Mr. Hervey of Weston Favel written upon the works of Hogarth, he would have expatiated for ten pages upon the relation which this motto has to the smoke which is issuing from the chimney beneath; he would have written about it, and about it, and told his readers that the glory of this world is typified by the smoke, and like the smoke it passeth away; that man himself is a mere vapour, etc. etc. etc.

Snow on the ground, and icicles hanging from the pent-house, exhibit a very chilling prospect; but, to dissipate the cold, there is happily a shop where spirituous liquors are sold pro bono publico, at a very little distance. A large pewter measure is placed upon a post before the door, and three of a smaller size hung over the window of the house.

The character of the principal figure[133] is admirably delineated. She is marked with that prim and awkward formality which generally accompanies her[219] order, and is an exact type of a hard winter; for every part of her dress, except the flying lappets and apron, ruffled by the wind, is as rigidly precise as if it were frozen. Extreme cold is very well expressed in the slipshod footboy,[134] and the girl who is warming her hands. The group of which she is a part is well formed, but not sufficiently balanced on the opposite side.

The church dial, a few minutes before seven; marks of little shoes and pattens in the snow; and various productions of the season in the market, are an additional[220] proof of that minute accuracy with which this artist inspected and represented objects which painters in general have neglected.

Covent Garden is the scene, but in the print every building is reversed.[135] This was a common error with Hogarth; not from his being ignorant of the use of the mirror, but from his considering it as a matter of little consequence.

The propriety of exhibiting a scene of riot in Tom King's Coffeehouse is proved by the following quotation from the Weekly Miscellany for June 9, 1739:—"Monday, Mrs. Mary King, of Covent Garden, was brought up to the King's Bench bar, at Westminster, and received the following sentence for keeping a disorderly house, viz. to pay a fine of two hundred pounds, to suffer three months' imprisonment, to find security for her good behaviour for three years, and to remain in prison till the fine be paid." When her imprisonment ended, she retired from trade, built three houses on Haverstock Hill, near Hampstead, and in one of them, on the 10th of September 1747, she died. Her mansion was afterwards the residence of Nancy Dawson, and with the two others constitutes what is still distinguished by the appellation of Moll King's Row.



"Hail, Gallia's daughters! easy, brisk, and free;

Good-humour'd, debonnaire, and degagée:

Though still fantastic, frivolous, and vain,

Let not their airs and graces give us pain:

Or fair, or brown, at toilet, prayer, or play,

Their motto speaks their manners,—'Toujours gai.'

But for that powder'd compound of grimace,

That capering he-she thing of fringe and lace;

With sword and cane, with bag and solitaire,

Vain of the full-dress'd dwarf,—his hopeful heir,

How does our spleen and indignation rise,

When such a tinsell'd coxcomb meets our eyes,

So twisted out of God and Nature's plan,—

Yet know that coxcomb must be call'd a man!"—E.


Among the figures who are coming out of church, an affected, flighty Frenchwoman, with her fluttering fop of an husband, and a boy, habited à-la-mode de Paris, claim our first attention. In dress, air, and manner, they have a national character. The whole congregation, whether male or female, old or young, carry the air of their country in countenance, dress, and deportment. Like the three principal figures, they are all marked with some affected peculiarity. Affectation in a woman is supportable upon no other ground than that general indulgence we pay to the omnipotence of beauty, which in a degree sanctifies whatever it adopts. In a boy, when we consider that the poor fellow is attempting to copy what he has been taught to believe[222] praiseworthy, we laugh at it—the largest portion of ridicule falls upon his tutors; but in a man, it is contemptible!

The old fellow in a black periwig has a most vinegar-like aspect, and looks with great contempt at the frippery gentlewoman immediately before him. The woman with a demure countenance seems very piously considering how she can contrive to pick the embroidered beau's pocket. Two old sibyls joining their withered lips in a chaste salute, is nauseous enough, but, being a national custom, must be forgiven. The divine seems to have resided in this kingdom long enough to acquire a roast-beef countenance. A little boy, whose woollen night-cap is pressed over a most venerable flowing periwig, and the decrepid old man, leaning upon a crutch-stick, who is walking before him, I once considered as two vile caricatures, out of nature, and unworthy the artist. Since I have seen the peasantry of Flanders and the plebeian youth of France, I have in some degree changed my opinion, but still think them rather outré.

Under a sign of the Baptist's Head is written, "Good Eating;" and on each side of the inscription is a mutton chop. In opposition to this head without a body, unaccountably displayed as a sign at an eating-house, there is a body without a head, hanging out as the sign of a distiller's. This, by common consent, has been quaintly denominated "The Good [223]Woman."[136] At a window above, one of the softer sex proves her indisputable right to the title by her temperate conduct to her husband, with whom having had a little disagreement, she throws their Sunday's dinner into the street.

A girl, bringing a pie from the bakehouse, is stopped in her career by the rude embraces of a blackamoor, who eagerly rubs his sable visage against her blooming cheek.

Good eating is carried on to the lower part of the picture. A boy,[137] placing a baked pudding upon a post with rather too violent an action, the dish breaks, the fragments fall to the ground; and while he is loudly lamenting his misfortune, and with tears anticipating his punishment, the smoking remnants are eagerly snatched up by a poor girl. Not educated according to the system of Jean Jacques Rousseau, she feels no qualms of conscience about the original proprietor, and destitute of that fastidious delicacy which destroys the relish of many a fine lady, eagerly swallows the hot and delicious morsels with all the concomitants.

The scene is laid at the door of a French chapel in Hog Lane,—a part of the town at that time [224]almost wholly peopled by French refugees or their descendants.

A kite blown from an adjacent field,[138] being entangled on the roof of the chapel, hangs pendant on the wall. One of Mr. Hogarth's commentators asserts, that "this is introduced only to break the disagreeable uniformity of a wall."[139] It certainly has that effect; but Hogarth so rarely presents any object without a particular and pointed allusion, that I am inclined to think he had some other meaning. May it not be designed to intimate that the good people who compose the congregation, after being blown out of their own country by a religious storm, found a peaceful harbour under this roof, safely sheltered from the hurricanes of enthusiasm and the blasts of superstition?

By the dial of St. Giles' Church, in the distance, we see that it is only half-past eleven. At this early hour, in those good times, there was as much good eating as there is now at six o'clock in the evening. From twenty pewter measures, which are hung up before the houses of different distillers, it seems that good drinking was considered as equally worthy of their serious attention.

The dead cat and choked kennels mark the little [225]attention shown to the streets by the scavengers of St. Giles'. At that time noxious effluvia was not peculiar to this parish. The neighbourhood of Fleet Ditch, and many other parts of the city, were equally polluted.

Even at this refined period, there would be some use in a more strict attention to the medical police of a city so crowded with inhabitants. We ridicule the people of Paris and Edinburgh for neglecting so essential and salutary a branch of delicacy, while the kennels of a street in the vicinity of St. Paul's Church are floated with the blood of slaughtered animals every market day. Moses would have managed these things better: but in those days there was no physician in Israel!


"One sultry Sunday, when no cooling breeze

Was borne on Zephyr's wing to fan the trees;

One sultry Sunday, when the torrid ray

O'er nature beam'd intolerable day;

When raging Sirius warn'd us not to roam,

And Galen's sons prescrib'd—cool draughts at home;

One sultry Sunday, near those fields of fame

Where weavers dwell, and Spital is their name,

A sober wight, of reputation high

For tints that emulate the Tyrian dye,

Wishing to take his afternoon's repose

In easy-chair, had just began to doze,

When, in a voice that sleep's soft slumbers broke,

His oily helpmate thus her wishes spoke:


"'Why, spouse, for shame!—my stars! what's this about?

You's ever sleeping!—come, we'll all go out;—

At that there garden,—pr'ythee, do not stare!—

We'll take a mouthful of the country air;

In the yew bower an hour or two we'll kill;

There you may smoke, and drink what punch you will.

Sophy and Billy each shall walk with me,

And you must carry little Emily.

Veny is sick, and pants, and loathes her food;

The grass will do the pretty creature good.

Hot rolls are ready as the clock strikes five—

And now 'tis after four, as I'm alive!'

"The mandate issued, see the tour begun,

And all the flock set out for Islington.

Now the broad sun, refulgent lamp of day,

To rest with Thetis, slopes his western way,

O'er every tree embrowning dust is spread,

And tipt with gold is Hampstead's lofty head.

The passive husband, in his nature mild,

To wife consigns his hat, and takes the child;

But she,—a day like this hath never felt—

'Oh! that this too, too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!'—

Such monstrous heat—dear me!—she never knew.

'Adown her innocent and beauteous face,

The big, round pearly drops each other chase;'

Thence trickling to those hills, erst white as snow,

That now like Ætna's mighty mountains glow,

They hang like dew-drops on the full-blown rose,

And to the ambient air their sweets disclose.

Fever'd with pleasure, thus she drags along;

Nor dares her antler'd husband say 'tis wrong;

The blooming offspring of this blissful pair,

In all their parents' attic pleasures share.

Sophy the soft, the mother's earliest joy,

Demands her froward brother's tinsell'd toy;

But he, enrag'd, denies the glittering prize,

And rends the air with loud and piteous cries.

Thus far we see the party on their way;


What dire disasters mark'd the close of day,

'Twere tedious, tiresome, endless to obtrude:

Imagination must the scene conclude."—E.


It is not easy to imagine fatigue better delineated than in the appearance of this amiable pair. In a few of the earliest impressions, Mr. Hogarth printed the hands of the man in blue, to show that he was a dyer, and the face and neck of the woman in red, to intimate her extreme heat.[140] The lady's aspect lets us at once into her character; we are certain that she was born to command. As to her husband, "God made him, and he must pass for a man;" what his wife has made him is indicated by the cow's horns, which are so placed as to become his own. The hope of the family, with a cockade in his hat, and riding upon papa's cane, seems much dissatisfied with female sway. A face with more of the shrew in embryo than that of the girl, it is scarcely possible to conceive. Upon such a character, the most casual observer pronounces with the decision of a Lavater.

Nothing can be better imagined than the group in the alehouse. They have taken a refreshing walk into the country, and, being determined to have a cooling[228] pipe, seat themselves in a chair-lumbered closet with a low ceiling; where every man pulling off his wig, and throwing a pocket-handkerchief over his head, inhales the fume of hot punch, the smoke of half a dozen pipes, and the dust from the road. If this is not rural felicity, what is? The old gentleman in a black bag-wig, and the two women near him, sensibly enough, take their seats in the open air.

From a woman milking a cow, we conjecture the hour to be about five in the afternoon; and from the same circumstance, I am inclined to think this agreeable party are going to their pastoral bower rather than returning from it.

The cow and dog appear as much inconvenienced by heat as any of the party: the former is whisking off the flies; and the latter creeps unwillingly along, and casts a longing look at the crystal river in which he sees his own shadow. A remarkably hot summer is intimated by the luxuriant state of a vine creeping over an alehouse window. On the side of the New River, where the scene is laid, lies one of the wooden pipes employed in the waterworks. Opposite Sadler's Wells there still remains a sign[141] of Sir Hugh Middleton's head, which is here represented.


This print is engraved by Baron, but some touches of Mr. Hogarth's burin are visible on the faces.

Dr. Johnson, I think it is, who observes, that an ardent pursuit of pleasure generally defeats its own purpose; for when we have wasted days and nights, and exhausted our strength in the chase, it eludes our grasp, and vanishes from our view.



"Now burst the blazing bonfires on the sight,

Through the wide air their coruscations play;

The windows beam with artificial light,

And all the region emulates the day.

"The moping mason, from yon tavern led,

In mystic words doth to the moon complain

That unsound port distracts his aching head,

And o'er the waiter waves his clouded cane."—E.


Mr. Walpole very truly observes, that this print is inferior to the three others; there is, however, broad humour in some of the figures.

The wounded freemason, who, in zeal of brotherly love, has drank his bumpers to the craft till he is unable to find his way home, is under the guidance of a waiter. This has been generally considered as intended for Sir Thomas de Veil, and, from an authenticated portrait which I have seen, I am inclined to think it is, notwithstanding Sir John Hawkins asserts that "he could discover no resemblance." When the knight saw him in his magisterial capacity, he was probably sober and sedate: here he is represented a little disguised. The British Xantippe showering her favours from the window upon his head, may have its source in that respect which the inmates of such [231]houses as the Rummer Tavern had for a justice of peace.[142]

The waiter who supports his worship seems, from the patch upon his forehead, to have been in a recent affray; but what use he can have for a lantern it is not easy to divine, unless he is conducting his charge to some place where there is neither moonlight nor illumination.

The Salisbury flying coach oversetting and broken, by passing through the bonfire, is said to be an intended burlesque upon a right honourable peer, who was accustomed to drive his own carriage over hedges, ditches, and rivers; and has been sometimes known to drive three or four of his maid-servants into a deep water, and there leave them in the coach to shift for themselves.

The butcher and little fellow who are assisting the terrified passengers, are possibly free and accepted masons. One of them seems to have a mop in his hand;—the pail is out of sight!

To crown the joys of the populace, a man with a pipe in his mouth is filling a capacious hogshead with British Burgundy.

The joint operation of shaving and bleeding, performed[232] by a drunken 'prentice on a greasy oilman, does not seem a very natural exhibition on a rejoicing night.

The poor wretches under the barber's bench display a prospect of penury and wretchedness which I hope is not so common now as it was then.

In the distance is a cart laden with furniture, which some unfortunate tenant is removing out of the reach of his landlord's execution.

There is humour in the barber's sign and inscription: "Shaving, bleeding, and teeth drawn with a touch. Ecce signum!"

The Rummer Tavern still retains its old situation. It was then quaintly distinguished as the New Bagnio.

By the oaken boughs on the sign, and the oak leaves in the freemasons' hats, it seems that this rejoicing night is the 29th of May, the anniversary of our second Charles's restoration; that happy day when, according to our excellent old ballad, "the king enjoyed his own again." This might be one reason for the artist choosing a scene contiguous to the beautiful equestrian statue[143] of Charles I.


In the distance we see a house on fire,—an accident very likely to happen on such a night as this.

The original pictures of "Morning" and "Noon" were sold to the Duke of Ancaster for fifty-seven guineas; "Evening" and "Night" to Sir William Heathcote for sixty-four guineas.




As the Act prohibiting performance of any play or interlude which was not sanctioned by the Lord Chamberlain passed about the time that this print was published, and is particularly referred to in the engraving, a short view of the English drama, and the circumstances which occasioned the Bill's being brought into the House of Commons, seems immediately connected with the subject.

Our first theatrical exhibitions had a religious tendency;[144] they were under the direction of the clergy, represented a story compiled from the Bible, or some legendary tale of a canonized saint, and were denominated mysteries. In the year 1378, the scholars of Paul's School presented a petition to Richard II.,[235] praying his Majesty to prohibit some unexpert people from presenting the History of the Old Testament, to the great prejudice of the clergy, who had been at much expense in order to represent it publicly at Christmas. In 1390, interludes were played at Skinner's Well; and again, in 1409, the parish clerks of London performed plays for eight days successively at Clerkenwell, which took its name from these right learned and worthy performers. Their play had for its subject the creation of the world, and was honoured with the presence of most of the nobility in the kingdom, and very many gentry also attended. This unenlightened period has been properly called "the dead sleep of the Muses." They did not presently awake: the moralities which followed were produced in a kind of morning dream. They, however, had some shadow of meaning, which is more than can be said of the exhibitions which preceded them. The mysteries represented, in a confused and senseless manner, some incredible tale; but in the moralities a plan was aimed at, and something like poetry was attempted. The virtues, vices, and affections of the mind were frequently personified; good actions were rewarded, and wickedness chastised. Religion was at that time professed to be the leading object, and even their amusements had a tendency to promote it: were moralities performed now, they would unquestionably turn upon politics.


In the reign of that most righteous prince Henry VIII., very properly distinguished from the monarchs who preceded him as "Defender of the Faith," and so forth, an Act was made for the promoting of true religion. In this Act a clause is inserted, "restraining all rimours or plaiers from singing in songs, or playing in interludes, anything that should contradict the acknowledged doctrines."

It was customary at this time to enact these moral and religious dramas in private houses; and the dramatis personæ were so contrived, that five or six actors might represent twenty characters. "Players," says honest John Stowe, "were in former times retainers to noblemen; and none had the privilege to act plays but such as were so retained. These divertissements were then a recreation, and used, therefore, now and then occasionally; but afterwards, by abuse, they became a trade and calling, and so remain unto this day."

In 1574, Sir James Hawes being Mayor, the Common Council of London passed an Act, wherein it was ordained that no play should be openly acted within the liberties of the city, wherein should be uttered any words, examples, or doings, of any unchastity, sedition, or such like unfit or uncomely matters, under the penalty of five pounds, and fourteen days' imprisonment. And further, that no plays should be acted till first perused and allowed by the Lord[237] Mayor and Court of Aldermen. But even these sagacious and judicious laws failed in their effect, for the drama remained not only dead, dull, and unprofitable, but depraved; when, like the sun bursting through a cloud,

"Immortal Shakspeare rose;

Each change of many-colour'd life he drew,

Exhausted worlds, and then imagin'd new:

Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,

And panting Time toil'd after him in vain:

His pow'rful strokes presiding truth confess'd,

And unresisted passion storm'd the breast."

From that period to this, theatrical amusements have undergone many changes, which do not come into my plan to relate, and the Legislature have passed many Acts to check their licentiousness, which it is not my province to enumerate.

A short time previous to the publication of this print, our dramatic writers thought proper to dip their pens in the sea of politics. To check this growing evil, it has been said that the minister contrived to have a very indecent performance (fabricated for the express purpose of showing the enormities of writers for the theatre) presented to one of the managers. It was brought from the manager to the minister, shown to a number of persons in power, and made a pretence for bringing in a Bill to prohibit the performance of any play or interlude until it had been perused and received the sanction of the Lord[238] Chamberlain for the time being. By the friends of the ministers of that day this account has been contradicted. They assert that a piece called the Golden Rump, containing much personal abuse of George II. and Queen Caroline, was on the point of being acted at the theatre in the Haymarket. Sir Robert Walpole having notice of it, procured a copy, in consequence of which the performance was stopped, and the Act passed. It was introduced as intended to explain, amend, and enforce so much of an Act made in the twelfth year of the reign of Queen Anne as related to rogues, vagabonds, and common players of interludes.

Lord Chesterfield, in a very long speech, reprobated the principle upon which it was founded, and exerted all his eloquence to prevent its passing into a law. This oration gave a temporary popularity to the speaker, but did not serve the cause for which it was made. The Bill passed; but the people were so irritated that the power which it gave the Lord Chamberlain should be exerted in favour of foreigners, that in the year 1738, when some French actors, authorized by his licence, attempted to perform a French play at the Haymarket, a mob in the street broke the windows, and attempted to pull down the house, though many persons of high rank, and the French ambassador, were in the boxes.

The print to which this little account is introduc[239]tory, receives a title from its female performers only; and yet in this theatrical house of commons we discover at least four representatives of the other sex, viz. Apollo, Cupid, and two male devils.



"Since Thespis, mighty father of the art,

Declaim'd, and rav'd, and ranted in a cart,

His wandering offspring, to their parent true,

Have kept their great original in view:

Patents they scorn, as modern innovation,

And here have humbly made a barn their station:

A barn!—in which though time has made a breach,

They cleave the general air with horrid speech.

"The wearied rustic now the flail suspends,

And the drum's thunder all the region rends;

Where erst the reapers sung their Harvest Home,

The martial trumpet echoes through the dome;

Remov'd, the chaff-dispersing, winnowing fly,

Lo! the Norwegian banners flout the sky:[145]

Where perch'd the moping owl, we now behold

The Roman eagle wave his wings in gold;

And where the circling bat each night was seen,

Medea's dragons draw their barbarous queen:

On that oak floor, once pil'd with sheaves of corn,

See Juliet's bier in sad procession borne;

Where the sleek rat was wont to pilfer grain,

The fiery Tibbald falls, and Hamlet's slain!

And where each night the cunning weazel crept,

Richard has roar'd, and Desdemona wept."—E.


Mr. Horace Walpole thinks that this print, for wit and imagination, without any other end, ought to be ranked as the first of Hogarth's works; and Rouquet, in the only mention he makes of it, says: "Les comédiens de campagne sont représentés dans une grange, au milieu d'un mélange ridicule de misere et de pompe théatrale, se préparant à jouer une tragédie."

The scene is laid in a barn,[146] and intended to represent the state dressing-room of a strolling company. Here at one hour the gallant Hotspur laces on his leathern armour, and at another the lively Beatrice laces on her stays. The time is evening, and the actors from the London theatres are preparing to perform a farce, which, by the play-bill, is declared to be The Devil to pay in Heaven. The dramatis personæ are principally deities, and deities of the first order. On the bill are the names of Jupiter, Juno, Diana, Flora, Night, Siren, Aurora, Eagle, Cupid, two devils, a ghost, and attendants. To this divine catalogue is added rope-dancing, tumbling, etc. The inferior performers are: two musical kittens, a pair of fiery dragons, one Roman eagle, and though last[242] mentioned, not least in consequence, a venerable monkey.

Seated upon an inverted wheel-barrow, which may occasionally serve for a triumphal car, a lady, who by her haughty demeanour and imperial crown we know to be the ox-eyed Juno, is majestically stretching out her leg, and pathetically rehearsing her part. Descended from her ebon car, with a sooty face, and star-bespangled robe sweeping the ground, the sable goddess Night is mending her majesty's stocking. The Star of Evening, which sheds its sober light above her head, is apparently formed of a brass instrument used in making pastry. A venerable female, with one eye, who by the dagger in her mantle we conjecture to be the Tragic Muse,[147] is cutting off a cat's tail, in order to extract a sanguine stream for some murderous representation, or that

"The mailed Mars may on his altar sit

Up to the ears in blood."

But this savage amputation, which seems to excite no emotion in the operator, is warmly resented by the feline sufferer, who, enraged at the pain, revenges this[243] barbarous indignity by tearing, with teeth and talons, the female tumbler who holds her; and, could she speak, would vehemently exclaim, in the words of Shakspeare,

"Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence."

Two little devils, with horns just budded, are eagerly contesting the right in a flagon of ale, out of which one is drinking, and seems determined to get to the bottom, if it were a mile. The flagon has been placed on a Grecian altar, with a loaf of bread and a pipe of tobacco, which being still lighted, the smoke ascends in curling eddies; the grateful incense is inhaled by all present,

"And heavenly fragrance fills the circuit wide."

The fascinating female stripped to her chemise, her head decorated with feathers and flowers, is marked by her crescent to be the goddess of the silver bow—the chaste Diana. A principal figure in the picture, with one foot resting upon her hoop, the other behind the altar,

"She stands like feather'd Mercury

New lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;"

impressed with the dignity of her character, and inspired with divine fervour, she is rehearsing her part. At her right hand the blooming Flora is seated at[244] her toilet: and the toilet of Flora is a wicker hamper, to which is appended a label inscribed Jewels; from whence we may naturally infer that it contains the glittering regalia of the company. "Her robe of various dyes" is carelessly thrown over it as a veil; and placed upon it is somewhat like part of a coffee-mill with a candle in it, a broken looking-glass, a broken ivory comb, and an oyster-shell, containing what Mr. Warren emphatically calls "love-inspiring rouge," "to dye the white rose to a bloody red." One hand holds a candle, with which she delicately pastes up her hair—"sweets to the sweet!" the other grasps a dredger to powder her head.

Apollo and Cupid are jointly engaged in reaching down a pair of stockings that are hung to dry on a cloud. The little archer—

"Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,

The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,

Liege of all loiterers and malcontents"—

the little archer has wings, but they will not exalt him to the clouded canopy; he is obliged to mount a ladder.

On the ground, beneath him, is Aurora, designated by "the bright morning star, day's harbinger," glittering in her hair. Her rosy fingers are employed in the service of the charming though intoxicated siren, who offers the hero (that is perhaps intended to per[245]sonate Ganymede) a glass of spirits. This the cupbearer of Jupiter very gladly accepts, in the hope of relief from an aching tooth, the agony of which is intimated by his countenance, and the handkerchief, which was once lost by the chaste Desdemona, being held up to his face:

"There was never yet philosopher

That could endure the toothache patiently;

However they have writ the style of gods,

And made a pish at chance and sufferance."

In one corner a lady, who personates Jove's eagle, is feeding a child.

"Within the hollow crown

That rounds the mortal temples of a king,"

is placed a tin saucepan with the infant's food. The child, terrified with the enormous beak hanging over its head, refuses the proffered nourishment. This crown once pressed the brow of haughty Bolingbroke:

"And when young Harry did the crown purloin,

He wept—because it was not current coin."

In the other corner, a monkey, in a long cloak, a bag-wig, and solitaire, is degrading the plumed helmet of Alexander.

Two kittens seem happily engaged: one of them, in a style that shows she has a fine finger, "touches[246] the trembling lyre;" the other rolls an orb imperial. Near them are a number of balls,[148] and two cups; which intimate that this company of comedians practise sleight of hand, and to fill their house will sometimes condescend to play legerdemain tricks. In the same part of the print are three emblems of the law—two judges' periwigs, and a halter.

A mitre filled with tragedies and farces, and a dark lantern, are placed upon a pulpit-cushion. Whether the artist intended these for symbols of the church, and designed to hint at the dark cloud which long enveloped the mysteries of religion, or had any other meaning, must be determined by those who have studied polemic divinity, and considered ecclesiastical history.

A trunk, which has occasionally served for the concealment of Iachimo, and been displayed as the coffin of Juliet, is now placed with the end upwards, and become the reading-desk of the ox-eyed Juno. Upon it is a tinder-box, and the thunderbolt of Jove, a salt-box, and a rolling-pin. The two last articles have much importance in the catalogue of the properties of their orchestra. Their leading musical instrument,[247] the sonorous bass-viol, leans against the altar, and the sweet-sounding lyre lies on the floor.

Ten small tallow candles, stuck in clay, will be fastened to a hoop, which, suspended by a packthread over the centre of the stage, must form a most magnificent chandelier.

On that bed which has been pressed by the gentle Desdemona, and softened the sleep of beauteous Imogen, are two play-bills and four eggs. One of the eggs is broken: the others may perhaps be intended to render the silver-toned siren's voice more softly musical.

Two sets of waves, which gave the tempest-tossed vessel an appearance of being suspended

"'Twixt the green sea and cloudy canopy

Of o'er-arching heaven,"

are in a dead calm, resting against the wall. One of them is become the roosting place of a hen and chickens.

The frieze, festooned column, and arched door, form part of their grand scene; but they, as well as the vase with flowers, are in too elegant a style for their accompaniments.

The spirit-stirring drum, martial trumpet, and enchanted besom, make an admirable trophy. The two first may serve to call the shallow Richmond to arms, or rouse Macbeth to more than mortal deeds;[248] the latter is unquestionably used in the incantations of Hecate, and may be sometimes bestrid by one of the weird sisters, to "ride in the whirlwind, and direct the storm."

The two dragons will astonish a rustic audience; and the rattling car, rolled over elastic planks, will make dreadful thunder.[149]

The British flag must wave for every nation upon earth;[150] may be borne before Macedonia's madman in his triumphal entry, or wave upon the battlements of Macbeth's castle. It is either the ensign of Henry or the standard of Coriolanus.

The straw deposited in a corner may serve for the bed of Lear, the head of Edgar, or the hands of the fair Ophelia.

Canopied by an opaque cloud, inscribed "Oedipus" and "Jocasta," and evidently intended as a scene in [249]Lee's mad play,[151] we discover the heads of two figures reposing in the straw, instead of the garden, "as was their custom in the afternoon."

A fellow, clambered to the top of the barn, is profanely prying into the hallowed mysteries of the green-room. A little lower is the Roman eagle and standard; close to them a paint-pot, palette, and pencils. The very natural appearance of two rural scenes which lean against the wooden wall, evince that some eminent artist has united the two professions, and is both painter and hero to the company. "Hills and dales are of his dressing." He can delineate the blasted oak or nodding turret, the lofty castle or humble cottage, with such brilliancy of colouring and splendour of effect, that the astonished connoisseur sometimes exclaims,

"There is something in this more than nature,

If philosophy could find it out."

A target, close to the altar, is richly embossed with Medusa's head. A salt-box, before the divine Juno, is chalked with hieroglyphic marks that might have been originally made by this sovereign daughter of the drama as a check upon an alehouse score. This[250] economical attention to Cocker's Arithmetic is very necessary with even a royal revenue; for

"He who to-night is seated on a throne,

Calls subjects, empires, kingdoms, all his own,

Who wears the diadem and regal robe,

Next morning shall awake as poor as Job.

"Hard is the fortune of a strolling player,

Necessity's rough burden doom'd to bear;

And scanty is the pittance he can earn,

Wandering from town to town, from barn to barn.

Where are my forty knights? cries frantic Lear.

A page replies, Your majesty, they're here,—

When, lo! two bailiffs, and a writ appear."[152]


The chemise, apron, cap, and ruffles, hanging upon a rope to dry, display marks of a laudable industry, and prove that these dignified personages, maugre their exalted rank, wash their own linen. The gridiron, close to the bed, intimates that they are not above broiling their own beefsteaks.

The expression of the figures in this print is admirable.[252] Nothing can exceed the mock-heroic dignity of Juno;[153] she is as haughty as one of her own peacocks. The Tragic Muse has been so frequently up to the ears in blood, that she laughs at the tortures of the poor quadruped whose tail she is cutting off. The faces of the tumbler, the cat, and the Medusa, in beauty and character, "contend for mastery."

A little devil, who has his fist clenched, and threatens the other for drinking so deep, is admirably marked; from the eyes of his twin-brother, with the vessel to his mouth, we see that he highly relishes and greedily inhales the delicious draught.

The group, formed by the five preceding characters,[253] is well composed, and their various dispositions most forcibly delineated. In the ranting representative of the pale moon, unblushing, unabashed impudence; in the siren, mawkish intoxication; and in Ganymede, an appearance of that agony which arises from the toothache.

Notwithstanding the candle that is near setting fire to the hamper of jewels, we see through a breach in the thatch that this is a daylight picture; in so shattered a tenement, it is not easy to determine from what source the figures are illuminated.

From the Act of Parliament which lies upon the bed, we learn that this diabolical drama will be their last performance; and when this abstract and brief chronicle of the times have fretted their little hour[254] upon the stage, and made their exit, the barn will be appropriated to its proper uses:

"Rich harvests bury all their pride has plann'd,

And laughing Ceres reassume the land."

That time come,

"This glittering show

Of canvas, paint, and plaister shall lie low;

These gorgeous palaces, yon cloud-capt scene—

This barn itself will be a barn again:

The spirit-stirring drum will cease to roar,

The prompter's whistle will be heard no more;

But echoing sounds of rustic toil prevail,

The winnowing hiss, and clapping of the flail:

Hither once more may unhous'd vagrants fly,

To shun the inclement blast and pelting sky:

On Lear's own straw gipsies may rest their head,

And trulls lie snug in Desdemona's bed."

The original picture is in the possession of Mr. Wood of Lyttlecote, who purchased it for twenty-six guineas!



"Give me another horse,—bind up my wounds,—

Have mercy, Jesu!—Soft; I did but dream.—

O coward conscience, how dost thou afflict me!—

The lights burn blue!—Is it not dead midnight?

Cold, fearful drops hang on my trembling flesh."


Such is the exclamation of Richard, and such is the disposition of his mind at the moment of this delineation. In character and expression of countenance the artist has succeeded, but in resemblance—he has failed. The features have no likeness to the features of Mr. Garrick, and the figure gives an idea of a larger and more muscular man. The lamp, diffusing a dim religious light through the tent, the crucifix placed at his head, the crown and unsheathed sword at his hand, and the armour lying on the ground, are judicious and appropriate accompaniments. His helmet is crested with a boar passant, the armorial ensign of his family. Near it lies a piece of paper, on which is written,

"Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,

For Dickon thy master is bought and sold."

This paper was put in the Duke of Norfolk's tent the[256] night before the engagement; but not being brought to Richard until after the time represented in this scene, can only be admitted by that poetical licence which has been generally allowed to poets and painters.

The figures in the distance, two of whom,

"Like sacrifices by their fires of watch,

With patience sit, and inly ruminate

The morning's danger,"

are properly introduced, and highly descriptive.

The tents of Richmond are so near,

"That the fix'd sentinels almost receive

The secret whispers of each other's watch."

Considered as a whole, the composition is simple, and the figures well drawn. The drapery illustrates his own precepts in the Analysis, where he says: "The robes of state are always made large and full, because they give a grandeur of appearance suitable to offices of the greatest distinction. The judges' robes have an awful dignity given them by the quantity of their contents; and when the train is held up, there is a noble waving line descending from the shoulders of the judge to the hand of his train-bearer. So, when the train is gently thrown aside, it generally falls into a great variety of folds, which again employ the eye, and fix its attention.


"The grandeur of the Eastern dress, which so far surpasses the European, depends as much on quantity as costliness. In a word, it is quantity which adds greatness to grace."

There was some propriety in Hogarth choosing to paint Mr. Garrick in this character. It was the first he appeared in, on the 19th of October 1741, at Goodman's Fields, and his performance gave proof of talents which merited the celebrity he afterwards attained. At that time Quin was the popular player; but his laboured action, hollow tones, and the manner in which he heaved up his words, were not borne after Garrick's easy, familiar, and yet forcible style had been seen by the town. The surly actor's remark upon this heresy of the critics was, that "all this was a new religion; but though Whitfield was followed for a time, the people would soon return to the true church." Garrick's epigram, in reply, has some point:

"Poor Quin, who damns all churches but his own,

Complains that heresy corrupts the town:

'Schism,' he cries, 'has turned the nation's brain;

But eyes will open,—and to church again!'

Thou great infallible forbear to roar,

Thy bulls and errors are rever'd no more;

When doctrines meet with general approbation,

It is not heresy, but reformation."

His soliloquy, written in the character of Quin, on seeing Duke Humphrey at St. Albans, has humour:


"A plague on Egypt's arts, I say,

Embalm the dead!—on senseless clay

Rich wines and spices waste!

Like sturgeon, or like brawn, shall I

Drown'd in a precious pickle lie,

Which I can never taste!

"Let me embalm this flesh of mine

With turtle fat and Bourdeaux wine,

And spoil the Egyptian trade;

Than Humphrey's Duke, more happy I—

Embalm'd alive, old Quin shall die,

A mummy ready made."

By Lord Orrery's[154] persuasions, Mr. Pope went to Goodman's Fields and saw Garrick in the first dawn[259] of his fame. This great poet, who had formed his taste upon the solemn and dignified elevation of voice which distinguished Betterton (to whom he was so partial, that he once painted his portrait, which, until it was burnt in the riots of 1780, was in the possession of Lord Mansfield);—this great poet was so struck with the natural elocution of Mr. Garrick, that he exclaimed, "The young man will be flattered, and ruined; for there will be no competitor that can excite his emulation." His prophecy was in part fulfilled; for though Garrick had many competitors, he had no equal. In the course of his theatrical[260] career he had frequent attacks, but they were generally foiled. One great source of his success was, that Shakspeare's plays were at that time becoming much more popular than they had been at any preceding period. Let it be recorded to the honour of our fair countrywomen, that this was in some degree owing to several ladies of the first rank and most distinguished[261] taste, who had some years before formed themselves into a society to support, by their presence and encouragement, all the best plays of Shakspeare. They were called the Shakspeare Club, and every week ordered some favourite play of our divine bard; but the feeble powers of the performers were not sufficient to support the reviving taste of the public. The best[262] among them thought that the whole art of playing consisted in measured, pompous periods, and that an approach to nature was a departure from eloquence. The pellucid stream of Avon was congealed by the coldness of their declamation, and the beams of Shakspeare enveloped in the vapour of their mock-heroic recitative. Until the appearance of this our Newton of the theatre, the drama was under a dense cloud: "he came, and all was light."

Mr. Garrick's profession was not adopted from necessity, but choice; and to him the profession is very materially obliged, for he has placed it in a much more respectable point of view than it ever had before.

His various powers as an actor, to those who have seen him, it is unnecessary to describe; to those who have not, it is impossible. His abilities as a writer were not of the first order, but they were by no means of the last. It has been remarked, that his prologues and epilogues had generally some allusion to eating: considered as local and temporary compositions, they have merit; and his epigrams, which usually turned upon some little circumstance of the day, have point. They sometimes drew forth additional flashes from his friends, and sometimes the retort of those at whom they were aimed; as in the following, addressed to the redoubted and eccentric Doctor Hill:—


"For physic and farces,

Thy equal there scarce is;

Thy farces are physic,

Thy physic a farce is."

The two next were afterwards inserted in the public prints, and said to be the productions of some of Mr. Garrick's friends:—

"Thou essence of dock, of valerian, and sage,

At once the disgrace and the pest of this age,

The worst that we wish thee for all thy d—-d crimes,

Is to take thy own physic, and read thy own rhymes.

—"The Junto."

Answer to the Junto.

"Their wish in form must be revers'd

To suit the doctor's crimes;

For he who takes his physic first,

Will never read his rhymes.

—"Another Junto."

This was too bad, and the Doctor sent the following answer to one of the papers:—

"Ye desperate Junto, ye great, or ye small,

Who combat dukes, doctors, the devil and all,

Whether gentlemen scribblers, or poets in jail,

Your impertinent curses shall never prevail:

I'll take neither sage, dock, nor balsam of honey:

Do you take the physic, and I'll take the money.


Like his brethren of the sock and buskin, our English Roscius was honoured with much attention from the public prints. They gave us critical examinations of his powers, and critical disquisitions[264] upon his defects; from an enumeration of which it was proved, clearly proved, that he would never be a good actor. The remarks of these ingenious gentlemen were soon forgotten: the testimony of an applauding public answered and refuted them. By way of antidote to these poisons, it must be acknowledged that Mr. Garrick's friends nearly surfeited the town with injudicious praise. Their flattery was gross enough to have disgusted any other man; but he had been so accustomed to strong doses of panegyric, that he could at last swallow them double distilled. I have said that he was an actor by choice; I might have added, that he was always an actor. Goldsmith's lines in retaliation are a true portrait:

"Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,

And the puff of a dunce—he mistook it for fame;

Till his relish grown callous almost to disease,

Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.

But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,

If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind:

Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, ye Woodfalls so grave,

What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!

How did Grub Street re-echo the shouts that you rais'd,

While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were be-prais'd!

But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,

To act as an angel, and mix with the skies," etc.

The ode to the memory of Shakspeare, which he wrote and spoke at Stratford, with many weak lines, has some that show strong marks of a fervid imagination and vigorous mind. To instance the following:


"When Philip's fam'd, all-conquering son,

Had every blood-stain'd laurel won,

He sigh'd that his creative word,

Like that which rules the skies,

Could not bid other nations rise,

To glut his yet unsated sword.

"But when our Shakspeare's matchless pen,

Like Alexander's sword, had done with men,

He heav'd no sigh, he made no moan;

Not limited to human kind,

He fir'd his wonder-teeming mind,

Rais'd other worlds and beings of his own."[155]

Many of his jeu d'esprits are related; the following I never saw recorded. When he and Quin strutted at the same theatre, and in the same play, the performance ending, and the night being rainy, each of them ordered a chair, and walked to the door of the playhouse. To the mortification of Quin, Garrick's chair came first: "Let me get into the chair," cried[266] the surly veteran, "let me get into the chair, and put little Davy into the lantern." "By all means," replied Garrick, "I shall be happy to give Mr. Quin light in anything."

The little tribute which Doctor Johnson has paid to his memory is written from the heart: I cannot resist transcribing it:—

"At this man's (Mr. Walmsley's) table I enjoyed many cheerful and instructive hours with companions such as are not often to be found; with one who has heightened, and who has gladdened life: with Dr. James, whose skill in physic will be long remembered; and with David Garrick, whom I hoped to have gratified with this character of our common friend. But what are the hopes of man! I am disappointed by that stroke of death, which has eclipsed the gaiety of nations, and impoverished the public stock of harmless pleasure."—Life of Edmund Smith.

Mr. Hogarth lived in habits of intimacy with David Garrick, who being President of the Shakspeare Club at the time of the Stratford Jubilee, our painter made him a drawing of a chair, which was afterwards wrought in mahogany. A medallion of Shakspeare, carved by Hogarth from a piece of the Stratford mulberry-tree, is suspended to the back of it.

The paintings of the "Harlot's Progress," and "Strolling Players," produced little more than a hundred guineas; but in such estimation are portraits,[267] that the original picture from which this print was copied, in every point of view inferior, was purchased by the late Mr. Duncombe, of Duncombe Park, Yorkshire, at two hundred pounds! It still remains in his family. The print, by Mr. Hogarth's permission, was copied for a watch-paper.




The following description of Mr. Hogarth's design in these twelve plates is copied from his own handwriting:—

"Industry and Idleness exemplified in the conduct of two fellow-'prentices; where the one by taking good courses, and pursuing points for which he was put apprentice, becomes a valuable man, and an ornament to his country; the other, by giving way to idleness, naturally falls into poverty, and ends fatally, as is expressed in the last print. As the prints were intended more for use than ornament, they were done in a way that might bring them within the purchase of those whom they might most concern; and lest any print should be mistaken, the description of each print is engraved at top."

Such is the professed intention of the artist, and such his apology for the manner in which these plates are engraved; for, as Mr. Walpole justly remarks, they have more merit in their intention than execution.

As a contrast to an idle and vicious character, who is brought to consequent misery and shame, his fellow-'prentice is depicted moral, attentive, and industrious;[269] and, by regular and natural gradations, attains the highest dignities of the greatest city in Europe. This is making the pencil an instrument in the cause of virtue, holding up the mirror of morality and truth, and showing the fair reward of industry and integrity to be happiness, honour, and independence; and the inevitable consequences of idleness and vice to be poverty, misery, and shame.

The hint for contrasting these two very opposite characters is taken from the old play of Eastward Hoe, written by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston, printed for William Aspley, 1605, and reprinted in Dodsley's collection. In this comedy, Touchstone, a plain and honest old citizen and goldsmith, has two apprentices, Golding and Quicksilver: the former is a counterpart of Hogarth's Goodchild, and the latter has many of the dispositions of Mr. Thomas Idle. Touchstone, in a proverbial and formal style, advises all who wish to become respectable, and acquire independence, to conduct themselves on the same principles that he had done, and by adherence to which he had gained his fortune:

"I hired me a little shop, bought low, took small profits, kept no debt book; garnished my shop (instead of plate) with good, wholesome, thrifty sentences: such as, 'Touchstone, keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee;' 'Light gains make a heavy purse;' 'It is good to be merry and wise,' etc. etc.


'Seek not to go beyond your tether,

But cut your thong unto your leather;

So shall you thrive by little and little,

'Scape Tyburn, Counter, and the Spittal.'"

The prologue concludes with what may serve as an explanatory apology for the prints as well as the play:

"Bear with our willing pains,—or dull or witty,

We only dedicate it to the City."

Golding marries Touchstone's favourite daughter; and the old citizen, in the quaint style of that day, wishes he may live to see him "one of the monuments of the city, and reckoned among her worthies; to be remembered the same day with Lady Ramsey and grave Gresham, when the famous fable of Whittington and his puss shall be forgotten, and thou and thy acts become the posies for hospitals; when thy name shall be written upon conduits, and thy deeds played i' thy lifetime by the best company of actors, and be called their 'Get-penny;' this I divine and prophesy."

In the comedy, as in the prints, one of the scenes is laid at Cuckold's Haven; young Golding becoming a magistrate, Quicksilver is brought before him as a criminal, etc. etc.




"The drunkard shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags."—Proverbs xxiii. 21.

"The hand of the diligent maketh rich."—Proverbs x. 4.


At the time these twelve prints were published, the business of a silk weaver was considered as much more respectable and important than it has been since the general fashion of wearing linen. The first view we have of the two heroes of our history, is at the looms of their master, an inhabitant of Spitalfields. The assiduity of one of these young artisans is manifested in his countenance, and attention to the business he is engaged in. Over his head hang those two excellent old ballads, Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London, and The Valiant Apprentice. On the floor near him is the 'Prentice's Guide, a book which our citizen probably presented to every young man he had under his care; for we see the same title on a mutilated volume at the feet of Mr. Thomas Idle, who, being asleep, has dropped his shuttle, which a cat is playing with. On the wall hangs the ballad of Moll Flanders, and very near him is a tobacco-pipe[156] and a porter pot; the somniferous qualities of[272] these two narcotics have perhaps contributed to close his eyes. His appearance is consonant to his disposition; hair uncombed, collar unbuttoned, and worn-out coat, are strong indications of negligence and sloth. With angry eye, and cane lifted up, the master, just entering the room, seems very well disposed to punish his indolence and drowsiness; but these habits are too strongly rooted to be eradicated by chastisement.

Thus far is admirably thought, and intelligibly depicted; but the delineation, as far as regards the picturesque effect, is beneath criticism. The head of Master Francis Goodchild, placed between two square posts, looks as if it were stuck in the pillory; the physiognomy of Mister Thomas Idle is correctly correspondent with his depraved character; but the introduction of such a number of angles and parallel lines as the scene demanded, the artist's eye could never have borne upon any other principle than that given in his introductory declaration, "that the prints were intended for use more than ornament."




"O how I love Thy law! it is my meditation all the day."—Psalm cxix. 97.


This plate displays our industrious young man attending divine service, in the same pew with his master's daughter, where he shows every mark of decent and devout attention.

Mr. Hogarth's strong bias to burlesque was not to be checked by time or place. It is not easy to imagine anything more whimsically grotesque than the female Falstaff. A fellow near her, emulating the deep-toned organ, and the man beneath, who, though asleep, joins his sonorous tones in melodious chorus with the admirers of those two pre-eminent poets, Hopkins and Sternhold. The pew-opener is a very prominent and principal figure; two old women adjoining Miss West's seat are so much in shadow, that we are apt to overlook them: they are, however, all three making the dome ring with their exertions.

"Ah! had it been King David's fate

To hear them sing...."

The preacher, reader, and clerk, with many of the small figures in the gallery and beneath, are truly[274] ludicrous; and we regret their being on so reduced a scale, that they are scarce perceptible to the naked eye. It was necessary that the artist should exhibit a crowded congregation, but it must be acknowledged he has neglected the rules of perspective. The print wants depth. In the countenance of Miss West and her lover there is a resemblance. Their faces have not much expression, but this is atoned for by a natural and pleasing simplicity. Character was not necessary.



"Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools."—Proverbs xix. 29.


While the industrious and sedate apprentice is engaged in such exercises as mend the heart and improve the understanding; while properly devoting the seventh day to the praise of his Creator, he attends divine service, returns thanks for the blessings he enjoys, and prays for their continuance, an inmate of the same house, about the same age, and of the same rank in society, who might have participated in all his advantages, is stretched upon a grave-stone in the churchyard, and gambling with a group of [275]mendicants. Their amusement seems to be the favourite old English game of hustle-cap, and our idle and unprincipled youth is endeavouring to cheat, by concealing some of the halfpence under the broad brim of his hat. This is perceived by the shoeblack, and warmly resented by the fellow with the black patch over his eye, who loudly insists on the hats being fairly removed. The eager anxiety which marks these mean gamblers is equal to that of two peers playing for an estate. The latter could not have more solicitude for the turn of a die which was to determine who was the proprietor of ten thousand acres, than is displayed in the countenance of Mr. Thomas Idle. Their debate has been loud, and their attention is so much engrossed, that they have not heard the cautious steps of a beadle, who seems likely to terminate the dispute by a smart stroke from his rattan, which is aimed with apparent goodwill at the back of our disciple of indolence. His three associates are of the lowest order; among them is a half-naked shoeblack. Like his companion, with one hand lifted up to his head, he is disturbing part of that clan who have been always distinguished for their tenacious adherence to the slothful. The tombstone—inscribed, "Here lies the body of"—applies very well to the young gentleman who, in an attitude highly expressive of idleness, is recumbent upon it. Even the skulls, on the ground near the new-opened[276] grave, have character. These, with the other mementos of mortality, are indiscriminately scattered on the earth, and trampled upon by the most contemptible survivors. "How rich, how honoured once, avails them not."

The figures in this print are well grouped, and the countenances of the gamblers and beadle admirably marked.



"Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things."—Matthew xxv. 21.


From attention to business and propriety of conduct, the industrious apprentice has gained the confidence of his employer. He is now in the counting-house, entrusted with the management of the business; has the day-book, purse, and keys in his hands, and attentively listens to the directions of his friendly master, who, with a face expressive of the highest partiality and regard, familiarly leans upon his shoulder. A partnership, on the eve of taking place, is covertly intimated by a pair of gloves upon the writing-desk. The young merchant's sedulous application is well [277]hinted at by an headpiece to the London Almanac, "Industry taking time by the forelock." A city porter, bringing in bales of goods, has a true Bardolphian face. The mastiff that attends him is violently opposed by the domestic cat, who, considering this house as her own peculiar domain, and having an hereditary dislike to the canine species, endeavours to drive him from the premises. Neither cat, dog, nor porter are well drawn, nor is much regard paid to perspective; but the general design is carried on by such easy and natural gradations, and the consequent success of an attentive conduct displayed in colours so plain and perspicuous, that little errors in execution should be overlooked or forgiven.



"A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother."—Proverbs x. 1.


Corrupted by sloth, and contaminated by bad company, the idle apprentice, having forfeited the regard and tired the patience of his master, is sent to sea, in the hope that a separation from his associates, joined to the inevitable hardships of a maritime life, may in some degree reclaim him. He is exhibited in the ship's boat, accompanied by his afflicted mother,[278] whose dress intimates that she is a widow, and who had naturally formed hopes of this boy's being a comfort to her old age. The waterman, with a significant face, points to a figure on a gibbet, advising him to look at it as emblematical of his future fate. A boy shows him a cat-o'-nine tails as a specimen of the discipline on board a ship; this water-wit the abandoned young man returns by holding up two fingers in the form of horns, and recommending this Joe Miller of the Thames to look at Cuckold's Point, which is in the distance. Having forfeited his indentures, he has thrown them into the river, is totally lost to reflection, and insensible to the grief of his mother, the ridicule of his companions, or his own unhappy situation.

That great geographer of the human face, Lavater of Zurich, has very properly thought a copy of this print worthy a place in his Essays on Physiognomy. His observations deserve attention:—

"Here are the traits of drunkenness combined with thoughtless stupidity. Who can look without disgust? Would these wretches have been what they are, had they not by vice erased nature's marks? Can perversion be more apparent than in the middle profile?"




"The virtuous woman is a crown to her husband."—Proverbs xiii. 4.


The reward of industry is success. Our prudent and attentive youth is now become partner with his master,[157] and married to his daughter. To show that plenty reigns in this mansion, a servant distributes the remains of the table to a poor woman, and the bridegroom pays one of the drummers, who, according to ancient custom, attend with their thundering gratulations the day after a wedding. A performer on the bass viol, and a herd of butchers armed with marrow-bones and cleavers, form an English concert![158] A cripple, with the ballad of Jesse, or the Happy Pair, represents a man known by the name of Philip in the Tub, who had visited Ireland and the United Provinces, and in the memory of some persons now living was a general attendant at weddings. From those votaries of Hymen, who were honoured with [280]his epithalamiums, he received a small reward. To show that Messieurs West and Goodchild's habitation is near the Monument,[159] the base of that stately column appears in the background.

A footman and butcher at the opposite corner, compared with the other figures, are gigantic; they might serve for the Gog and Magog of Guildhall.

It has been said that the thoughts in this print are trite, and the actions mean, which must be in part acknowledged; but they are natural and appropriate to the rank and situation of the parties, and to the fashions of the time at which it was published.



"The sound of a shaken leaf shall chase him."—Leviticus xxvi. 36.


The profligate and degraded apprentice, returned from his voyage, is now exhibited in a garret with a [281]common prostitute. Tired of a seafaring life, where we may naturally suppose he met with punishment adequate to his crimes, he returns to London. By the pistols, watches, etc. which lie upon and near the bed, it seems evident that the source of his present subsistence is from robbery on the highway. Horror and dismay are strongly depicted in his agitated and terrified face.—What a contrast to the serenity displayed in the countenance of his fellow-'prentice! To prevent surprise, the door is locked, double bolted, and barricaded with planks from the floor; notwithstanding these precautions, the noise occasioned by a cat having slipped down a ruinous chimney, throws him into the utmost terror. Not so his depraved companion; solely engrossed by the plunder upon the bed,[160] she looks with delighted eyes at a glittering earring. The broken jug, pipe, knife, plate, dram-bottle, glass, and pistols, are very properly introduced; and the rat, who makes a precipitate retreat, instinctively conscious that its natural enemy is near, renders this filthy and disgusting scene still more nauseous. The lady's hoop is a good specimen of the fashion of that day, when this cumbrous, inconvenient, and ungraceful combination of whales' bones was worn by women of the lowest as well as the highest rank.




"With all thy gettings, get understanding. Exalt her; and she shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her."—Proverbs iv. 7, 8.


From industry become opulent, from integrity and punctuality respectable, our young merchant is now Sheriff of London, and dining with the different companies in Guildhall. A group on the left side are admirably characteristic; their whole souls seem absorbed in the pleasures of the table. A divine,[161] true to his cloth, swallows his soup with the highest goût. Not less gratified is the gentleman palating a glass of wine. The man in a black wig is a positive representative of famine; and the portly and oily citizen, with a napkin tucked in his button-hole,[162] has evidently burnt his mouth by extreme eagerness.

The backs of those in the distance, behung with bags, major perukes, pinners, etc., are most laughably ludicrous. Every person present is so attentive to business, that one may fairly conclude "they live to eat, rather than eat to live."


But though this must be admitted to be the case with this party here exhibited, the following recent instance of city temperance proves that there are now some exceptions:—

When the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs, Aldermen, Chamberlain, etc. of the city of London were once seated round the table at a public and splendid dinner at Guildhall, Mr. Chamberlain Wilkes lisped out, "Mr. Alderman B—ll, shall I help you to a plate of turtle or a slice of the haunch,—I am within reach of both, sir?" "Neither one nor t'other, I thank you, sir," replied the Alderman; "I think I shall dine on the beans and bacon which are at this end of the table." "Mr. Alderman A——n," continued the Chamberlain, "which would you choose, sir?" "Sir, I will not trouble you for either, for I believe I shall follow the example of my Brother B—ll, and dine on beans and bacon," was the reply. On this second refusal the old Chamberlain rose from his seat, and with every mark of astonishment in his countenance, curled up the corners of his mouth, cast his eyes round the table, and in a voice as loud and articulate as he was able, called "Silence!" which being obtained, he thus addressed the prætorian magistrate, who sat in the chair: "My Lord Mayor, the wicked have accused us of intemperance, and branded us with the imputation of gluttony. That they may be put to open shame, and their profane tongues be from this day[284] utterly silenced, I humbly move that your lordship command the proper officer to record in our annals, that 'two Aldermen of the city of London prefer beans and bacon to either turtle-soup or venison.'"

Notwithstanding all this, there are men who, looking on the dark side, and perhaps rendered splenetic, and soured by not being invited to these sumptuous entertainments, have affected to fear that their frequent repetition would have a tendency to produce a famine, or at least to check the increase, if not extirpate the species of those birds, beasts, and fish with which the tables of the rich are now so plentifully supplied.[163] But these half-reasoners do not take into their calculation the number of gentlemen so laudably associated for encouraging cattle being fed so [285]fat that there is no lean left; or that more ancient association, sanctioned and supported by severe Acts of Parliament, for the preservation of the game. From the exertions of these and similar societies, we may reasonably hope there is no occasion to dread any such calamity taking place; though the Guildhall tables, often groaning under such hecatombs as are recorded in the following account, may make a man of weak nerves and strong digestion shake his head, and shudder a little:—

"On the 29th October 1727, when George II. and Queen Caroline honoured the city with their presence at Guildhall, there were nineteen tables covered with 1075 dishes. The whole expense of this entertainment to the city was £4889, 4s."

To return to the print! A self-sufficient and consequential beadle, reading the direction of a letter to Francis Goodchild, Esq., Sheriff of London, has all the insolence of office. The important and overbearing air of this dignified personage is well contrasted by the humble simplicity of the straight-haired messenger behind the bar. The gallery is well furnished with musicians busily employed in their vocation.

"Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast,

And therefore proper at a sheriff's feast."

Besides a portrait of William III. and a judge, the hall is ornamented with a full length of that illus[286]trious hero Sir William Walworth; in commemoration of whose valour, the weapon with which he slew Wat Tyler was introduced into the city arms.



"The adulteress will hunt for the precious life."—Proverbs vi. 26.


From a picture of the reward of diligence, we return to the consequence of sloth. The idle and incorrigible outcast, mature in vice, and lost to society, is here represented in a night-cellar.[164] In this dreary and horrid cavern of vice and infamy he is dividing the spoil produced by robbery with one of his wretched accomplices. The woman that seems his favourite, and in whose garret we saw him in the seventh plate, deliberately betrays him. The officers of justice are entering, and he is on the point of being seized. The corpse of a gentleman, who has been murdered, is with unfeeling indifference put down a cavity made in the floor for the purposes of concealment. [287]To show that the grenadiers company were then, as now, a virtuous body of men, one of them, in a true Dutch attitude, is smoking in the corner. A scene of riot, likely to terminate in blood, passes in the background. The countenances of the combatants, and a noseless woman bringing the porter, are finely marked. A rope, hanging immediately over a fellow who is asleep, should not be overlooked. The watches, which are in a hat, exhibit another instance of Hogarth's peculiar accuracy; each of them is a little after ten. Some cards scattered on the floor show the amusements of this earthly Pandemonium.



"Thou shalt do no unrighteousness in judgment."—Leviticus xix. 15.

"The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands."—Psalm xix. 16.


He who was an industrious apprentice is now an alderman and a magistrate; his depraved and atrocious contrast, who was once his fellow-'prentice, and the last plate exhibited in a night-cellar, is now brought handcuffed before him, and accused of robbery, aggravated by murder. Shocked at seeing the companion of his youth in so degraded a situa[288]tion, he instinctively covers his eyes. Agitated, trembling, terrified, self-convicted, and torn by remorse, the wretched culprit is unable to support his tottering frame. Did he not lean upon the bar, he would sink to the earth.

His distressed and heart-broken mother intercedes with the swollen and important constable to use his interest for her unhappy son. This application the mighty magistrate of the night answers by—"We that are in power must do justice!" A number of watchmen attend the examination, and one of them holds up the sword and pistols which were found on the prisoner. A young woman[165] bribes the swearing clerk to befriend the one-eyed wretch who has turned evidence against his accomplice, by suffering him to take the usual oath with his left hand laid upon the book, instead of his right.[166]

This debased villain was first introduced to us gambling on a grave-stone; his second appearance was in a night-cellar, where he divided the evening's plunder with the man he now deliberately betrays!

The alderman's clerk is making out a warrant of commitment directed to the turnkey of Newgate.




"When fear cometh as desolation, and their destruction cometh as a whirlwind: when distress cometh upon them, then they shall call upon God, but He will not answer."—Proverbs i. 27, 28.


After a life of sloth, wretchedness, and vice, the career of our degraded character terminates at Tyburn. His pale and ghastly look denotes the remorse and horror of his mind; and it must embitter his last moments to hear a Grub Street orator proclaim his dying speech. The ordinary of Newgate leads the procession, but the criminal's spiritual concerns are left to an enthusiastic follower of John Wesley, who zealously exhorts him to repentance.[167] On the right side of the print we see his afflicted mother: her coming to view this dreadful spectacle does not seem consonant to strict propriety, but there have been similar examples. In a cart above her is a curious trio of females; an old beldam, who might have been Sam. Foote's model for Mother Cole,[290] breathing out a pious ejaculation, and swallowing a bumper of spirits at the same moment; a young woman taking a glass from beneath, and a third dissuading a fellow from ascending the vehicle. While a vendor of gingerbread[168] expatiates on the excellence of his delicious cakes, a minor pickpocket purloins his handkerchief. A female grimalkin, enraged at a man oversetting her orange-barrow, is literally tearing his eyes out. To show the reverence which an English mob have for anything that bears the appearance of religion, and the effects which this exhibition has upon their minds, an inmate of St. Giles' seizes a dog by the tail, and is on the point of throwing it at the Methodist parson. A female pugilist, near the centre of the print, is so earnest in punishing a fellow who has offended her, that she neglects her child, which, lying on the ground, is probably destined to be crushed to death. A tall butcher has suspended an old legal periwig on the end of his cudgel: in this, the artist might intend to display an emblem of the sanguinary complexion which marks our courts of justice.[169] The porter, with his pipe; a cripple; the soldier sunk knee-deep in a bog, and two boys laughing at him, are well imagined. Among the figures in [291]the background, we must not overlook a gentleman emphatically called the "Finisher of the law," who sedately smokes his best Virginia upon the gallows.

A carrier pigeon is despatched at the time the criminal arrives at Tyburn.[170] Two initials on the coffin, not having been reversed from the original drawing, are wrong in the print; I. T. instead of T. I.

In the background we have a view of Highgate and Hampstead hills.

The arch look of a young pickpocket, the savage ferocity of a woman tearing a fellow's face, and the yell of another crying the dying speech, are admirably expressed. Many of the smaller figures are full fraught with character; for the grouping, let us hear Mr. Gilpin, with whom I entirely agree:—

"We seldom see a crowd more beautifully managed than in this print. If the sheriff's officers had not been placed in a line, and had been brought a little lower in the picture, so as to have formed a pyramid with the cart, the composition had been unexceptionable."—Gilpin's Essay.

Two skeletons hanging on the outside of the frame are emblematical; the body of a murderer being usually consigned to Surgeon's Hall.[171]


The trophies, composed of fetters, whips, and halters, with the swords, maces, gold chains, etc., with which the framework of the preceding prints are decorated, must be admitted to be beneath the dignity of historical painting; but considered as addressed to young persons, and exhibiting a view of the different consequences of industry and sloth, are strictly proper.



"Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour."—Proverbs iii. 16.


In the last print we saw a crowd witnessing the ignominious death of a murderer; in this are a cheerful assembly joining the procession of a chief magistrate; some reeling, some roaring, and all rejoicing.[172]


The scene is laid at the east side of St. Paul's Church, just turning into Cheapside; and in particular honour of this day, the artist has introduced the late Prince and Princess of Wales at a balcony, in view of the pageant. A group on the scaffolding beneath is formed of the most comic characters. Who can abstain from laughter at the city militia, which are below? They were at that time composed of undisciplined men, of all ages and descriptions; young, old, tall, short, crooked, straight, fat, and lean, made up the motley band.

The man in a grenadier's cap, with a pot of porter in his left hand, might perform the part of Sir Tunbelly Clumsy.[173] A neighbouring gentleman, in a cut wig, is scarcely able to support his firelock. The fellow firing off his musket exclaims, "Who's afraid?" The next may be a very great man, though nature has treated his exterior, as she did that of our third Richard, rather unkindly, by placing an envious mountain on his back. The hero in a bag-wig, resting upon his arms, is made[294] from a splinter of the monument; "his dimensions to any thick sight are invisible." Far different is the strong-built man of war at his left hand: by his back front he seems to have grown out at the sides; what nature denied in height, she has abundantly made up in breadth. His long sword is so placed as to give the idea of a bluebottle impaled on a pin. A plank, supported by a tub and stool, having given way, two of the fair sex fall to the ground. The most obtrusive figure in his lordship's coach is Mr. Swordbearer, in a cap like a reversed saucepan, which this great officer wears on these grand occasions. The company of journeymen butchers, with their marrow-bones and cleavers, appear to be the most active, and are infinitely the most noisy of any who grace this solemnity.

Near the left corner, a blind man, conscious that he has but a poor chance in a crowd, endeavours to preserve his hat and wig from the depredating multitude. The Bunhill Fields trooper, who leans against a post, with one of his bandeliers in his left hand, has made a little mistake. A young man in the booth above, not having the fear of dignity before his eyes, is eagerly kissing a girl: the lady, irritated at this indecorum, seems likely to leave marks of her talons upon his forehead. At the opposite corner, a vendor of the Grub Street classics proclaims "a full, true, and particular account of[295] the ghost of Thomas Idle, which appeared to the Lord Mayor."

Numberless spectators, upon every house, and at every window, dart their desiring eyes on the procession. Of the figures on a tapestry, hanging from a balcony[174] at the King's Head, I cannot discover the meaning. Two flags beneath are blazoned with the arms of the Stationers' Company; and that in a stand which exhibits the ardent salutation before mentioned, belongs to the pinners and needlers. The cornucopiæ on the outside of the frame are symbolical of that abundance which fills the hands of the diligent.

Many of the characters in this and the foregoing print bear a strong resemblance to some which Mr. Hogarth etched about twenty years before for Butler's Hudibras.

The following year was published a pamphlet, entitled, "The Effects of Industry and Idleness, illustrated in the life, adventures, and various fortunes of two fellow-'prentices of the city of London: showing the different paths, as well as rewards, of virtue and vice," etc. Printed for C. Corbet, at Addison's Head, Fleet Street.

In the chamber of London where the apprentices[296] are bound, these twelve prints very properly ornament the room.

The late Mr. James Love, comedian (otherwise Dance), dramatized this eventful history, and Mr. King performed the good apprentice.



"O the roast beef of Old England," etc.


The thought on which this whimsical and highly characteristic print is founded, originated in Calais, to which place Mr. Hogarth, accompanied by some of his friends, made an excursion in the year 1747.

Extreme partiality for his native country was the leading trait of his character; he seems to have begun his three hours' voyage with a firm determination to be displeased at everything he saw out of Old England. For a meagre powdered figure, hung with tatters, à-la-mode de Paris, to affect the airs of a coxcomb and the importance of a sovereign, is ridiculous enough; but if it makes a man happy, why should he be laughed at? It must blunt the edge of ridicule to see natural hilarity defy depression; and a whole nation laugh, sing, and dance under burdens that would nearly break the firm-knit sinews of a Briton. Such was the picture of France at that period, but it was a picture which our English satirist could not contemplate with common patience. The swarms of grotesque figures who paraded the streets excited his indignation, and drew forth a torrent of coarse abusive[298] ridicule not much to the honour of his liberality. He compared them to Callot's Beggars, Lazarus on the painted cloth, the Prodigal Son, or any other object descriptive of extreme contempt. Against giving way to these effusions of national spleen in the open street he was frequently cautioned, but advice had no effect; he treated admonition with scorn, and considered his monitor unworthy the name of Englishman. These satirical ebullitions were at length checked. Ignorant of the customs of France, and considering the gate of Calais merely as a piece of ancient architecture, he began to make a sketch. This was soon observed; he was seized as a spy, who intended to draw a plan of the fortification, and escorted by a file of musqueteers to M. la Commandant. His sketch-book was examined leaf by leaf, and found to contain drawings that had not the most distant relation to tactics. Notwithstanding this favourable circumstance, the Governor with great politeness assured him, that had not a treaty between the nations been actually signed, he should have been "under the disagreeable necessity of hanging him upon the ramparts:" as it was, he must be permitted the privilege of providing him a few military attendants, who should do themselves the honour of waiting upon him while he resided in the dominions of the Grande Monarque. Two sentinels were then ordered to escort him to his hotel, from whence they conducted [299]him to the vessel; nor did they quit their prisoner until he was a league from shore, when, seizing him by the shoulders, and spinning him round upon the deck, they said he was now at liberty to pursue his voyage without further molestation.

So mortifying an adventure he did not like to hear recited, but has in this print recorded the circumstance which led to it. In one corner he has given a portrait of himself, making the drawing; and to show the moment of arrest, the hand of a serjeant is upon his shoulder.

Mr. Hogarth's friend Forest soon afterwards wrote the following cantata, which contains so whimsical a description of the principal figures, that I make no apology for inserting it:—



'Twas at the gate of Calais, Hogarth tells,

Where sad despair and famine always dwells;

A meagre Frenchman, Madame Grandsire's cook,

As home he steer'd, his carcase that way took,

Bending beneath the weight of fam'd sirloin,

On whom he often wished in vain to dine;

Good Father Dominick by chance came by,

With rosy gills, round paunch, and greedy eye;

And when he first beheld the greasy load,

His benediction on it he bestow'd;

And while the solid fat his fingers press'd,

He lick'd his chops, and thus the knight address'd:



O rare roast beef, lov'd by all mankind,

Was I but doom'd to have thee,

Well dress'd, and garnish'd to my mind,

And swimming in thy gravy;

Not all thy country's force combined,

Should from my fury save thee!

Renown'd sirloin! ofttimes decreed

The theme of English ballad,

E'en kings on thee have deign'd to feed,

Unknown to Frenchman's palate;

Then how much must thy taste exceed

Soup-meagre, frogs, and salad!


A half-starv'd soldier, shirtless, pale, and lean,

Who such a sight before had never seen,

Like Garrick's frighted Hamlet gaping stood,

And gaz'd with wonder at the British food;

His morning mess forsook the friendly bowl,

And in small streams along the pavement stole;

He heav'd a sigh, which gave his heart relief,

And thus in plaintive tones declar'd his grief:


Ah, sacre Dieu! vat do I see yonder,

Dat look so tempting red and vite?

Begar, it is the roast beef from Londre!

O grant to me one letel bite.

But to my guts if you give no heeding,

And cruel fate this boon denies,

In kind compassion to my pleading,

Return, and let me feast mine eyes.


His fellow guard, of right Hibernian clay,

Whose brazen front his country did betray,


From Tyburn's fatal tree had hither fled,

By honest means to get his daily bread:

Soon as the well-known prospect he espy'd,

In blubb'ring accents dolefully he cried:


Sweet beef that now causes my stomach to rise,

Sweet beef that now causes my stomach to rise,

So taking thy sight is,

My joy, that so light is,

To view thee, by pailfuls runs out of my eyes.

While here I remain my life's not worth a farthing,

While here I remain my life's not worth a farthing,

Ah! hard-hearted Lewy,

Why did I come to ye?

The gallows, more kind, would have saved me from starving.


Upon the ground hard by poor Sawney sate,

Who fed his nose and scratched his ruddy pate;

But when old England's bulwark he descried,

His dear lov'd mull, alas! was thrown aside.

With lift'd hands he blest his native place,

Then scrubb'd himself, and thus bewailed his case:


How hard, O Sawney, is thy lot,

Who was so blithe of late,

To see such meat as can't be got,

When hunger is so great.

O the beef, the bonny bonny beef,

When roasted nice and brown,

I wish I had a slice of thee,

How sweet it would gang down!


Ah, Charley! had'st thou not been seen,

This ne'er had hapt to me;

I would the de'il had pick'd mine e'en

Ere I had gang'd with thee.

O the beef, etc.


But see my muse to England takes her flight,

Where health and plenty cheerfully unite;

Where smiling Freedom guards great George's throne

(And chains, and racks, and tortures are not known),

Whose fame superior bards have often wrote,

An ancient fable give me leave to quote:


As once on a time a young frog pert and vain,

Beheld a large ox grazing over the plain,

He boasted his size he could quickly attain.

O the roast beef of Old England,

And O the Old English roast beef!

Then eagerly stretching his weak little frame,

Mamma, who stood by like a knowing old dame,

Cried, 'Son, to attempt it you're greatly to blame.'

O the roast beef, etc.

But deaf to advice, he for glory did thirst,

An effort he ventur'd more strong than the first,

'Till swelling and straining too hard, made him burst.

O the roast beef, etc.

Then, Britons, be valiant, the moral is clear,

The ox is Old England, the frog is Monsieur,

Whose puffs and bravadoes we never need fear.

O the roast beef, etc.

For while by our commerce and arts we are able

To see the sirloin smoking hot on our table,

The French may e'en croak, like the frog in the fable.

O the roast beef, etc.


The French sentinel is so situated as to give some idea of a figure hanging in chains: his ragged shirt is trimmed with a pair of paper ruffles, on which is written "Grand Monarch. P." The old woman, and a fish which she is pointing at, have a striking resemblance. The abundance of parsnips and other vegetables indicate what are the leading articles in a Lenten feast.

Mr. Pine the painter sat for the friar, and from thence acquired the title of Father Pine. This distinction did not flatter him, and he frequently requested that the countenance might be altered, but the artist peremptorily refused.

Part of the print was engraved by C. Mosley, but the heads are evidently by Hogarth.[175]

A copy has been repeatedly engraven as an head-piece to the cantata before mentioned: the profile of the artist was traced for a watch-paper; and a wooden representation of the starved soldier has frequently decorated advertisements for recruits, where it is opposed to the figure of a well-fed gourmand, characteristically christened a valiant British soldier.


The original picture is in the possession of Lord Charlemont.

Soon after this painting was finished, a nail was by some accident run through the cross at the top of the gate. Hogarth strove in vain to repair the blemish with paint of the same colour; he therefore introduced a half-starved crow looking down on the beef, and thus completely covered the defect.



"The poet's adage, 'All the world's a stage,'

Has stood the test of each revolving age;

Another simile perhaps will bear,

'Tis a Stage-coach, where all must pay the fare;

Where each his entrance and his exit makes,

And o'er life's rugged road his journey takes.

Some unprotected must their tour perform,

'And bide the pelting of the pitiless storm:'

While others, free from elemental jars,

By fortune favour'd, and propitious stars,

Secure from storms, enjoy their little hour,

Despise the whirlwind, and defy the shower.

Such is our life,—in sunshine or in shade,

From evil shelter'd, or by woe assay'd:

Whether we sit, like Niobe, all tears,

Or calmly sink into the vale of years:

With houseless, naked Edgar, sleep on straw,

Or keep, like Cæsar, subject worlds in awe,—

To the same port our devious journeys tend,

Where airy hopes and sickening sorrows end;

Sunk every eye, and languid every breast,

Each wearied pilgrim sighs, and sinks to rest."—E.


Among the writers of English novels, Henry Fielding holds the first rank. He was the novelist of nature, and has described some scenes which bear a strong resemblance to that which is here delineated. The artist, like the author, has[306] taken truth for his guide, and given such characters as are familiar to all our minds. The scene is a country inn yard, at the time passengers are getting into a stage-coach, and an election procession passing in the background. Nothing can be better described; we become of the party.—The vulgar roar of our landlady is no less apparent than the grave, insinuating, imposing countenance of mine host. Boniface solemnly protests that a bill he is presenting to an old gentleman in a laced hat is extremely moderate. This does not satisfy the paymaster, whose countenance shows that he considers it as a palpable fraud, though the Act against bribery, which he carries in his pocket, designates him to be of a profession not very liable to suffer imposition: they are in general "less sinned against than sinning." An ancient lady getting into the coach is, from her breadth, a very inconvenient companion in such a vehicle; but to atone for her rotundity, an old maid of a spare appearance, and in a most grotesque habit, is advancing towards the steps.

A portly gentleman, with a sword and cane in one hand, is deaf to the entreaties of a poor little deformed postilion, who solicits his customary fee. The old woman smoking her short pipe in the basket, pays very little attention to what is passing around her: cheered by the fumes of her tube, she lets the vanities of the world go their own way. Two passengers on [307]the roof of the coach afford a good specimen of French and English manners. Ben Block, of the Centurion, surveys the subject of La Grande Monarque with ineffable contempt.

In the window are a very curious pair: one of them blowing a French horn, and the other endeavouring, but without effect, to smoke away a little sickness, which he feels from the fumes of his last night's punch. Beneath them is a traveller taking a tender farewell of the chambermaid, who is not to be moved by the clangour of the great bar-bell, or the more thundering sound of her mistress's voice.

The background is crowded with a procession of active citizens; they have chaired a figure with a horn-book, a bib, and a rattle, intended to represent Child, Lord Castlemain, afterwards Lord Tylney, who, in a violent contest for the county of Essex, opposed Sir Robert Abdy and Mr. Bramston. The horn-book, bib, and rattle are evidently displayed as punningly allusive to his name.[176]

Under the sign of an angel, who seems dancing a minuet on a cloud, is inscribed, "The Old Angle In Toms Bates from London."


Some pains have been taken to discover in what part of Essex this scene is laid; but from the many alterations made by rebuilding, removal, etc., it has not been positively ascertained, though it is probably Chelmsford.



[1] Two of the prints must be excepted: "Time smoking a Picture," and "The Bathos," are addressed to the connoisseurs.

[2] Mr. Walker, who has so eminently distinguished himself by his lectures on natural philosophy, has described the effect resulting from one of this rude bard's productions:—

"To Mr. Nichols.

"I must leave you to the annals of fame for the rest of the anecdotes of this great genius, and shall endeavour to show you that his family possessed similar talents; but they were destined, like the wild rose,

'To waste their sweetness in the desert air.'

"Happy should I be to rescue from oblivion the name of auld Hogarth, whose songs and quibbles have so often delighted my childhood! These simple strains of this mountain Theocritus were fabricated while he held the plough, or was leading his fuel from the hills. He was as critical an observer of nature as his nephew, for the narrow field he had to view her in: not an incident or an absurdity in the neighbourhood escaped him. If any one was hardy enough to break through any decorum of old and established repute; if any one attempted to overreach his neighbour, or cast a leering eye at his wife, he was sure to hear himself sung over the whole parish, nay, to the very boundaries of the Westmoreland dialect! so that his songs were said to have a greater effect on the manners of his neighbourhood, than even the sermons of the parson himself. But his poetical talents were not confined to the incidents of his village; I myself have had the honour to bear a part in one of his plays (I say one, for there are several of them extant in MS. in the mountains of Westmoreland to this hour). The play was called The Destruction of Troy; it was written in metre, much in the manner of Lopez de Vega, or the ancient French drama. The unities were not too strictly observed, for the siege of ten years was all represented: every hero was in the piece, so that the dramatis personæ consisted of every lad of genius in the whole parish. The wooden horse;—Hector dragged by the heels;—the fury of Diomede;—the flight of Æneas;—and the burning of the city, were all represented. I remember not what fairies had to do in all this; but as I happened to be about three feet high at the time of this still talked of exhibition, I personated one of these tiny beings. The stage was a fabrication of boards, placed about six feet high, on strong posts; the green-room was partitioned off with the same materials; its ceiling was the azure canopy of heaven; and the boxes, pit, and galleries, were laid into one by the great Author of nature, for they were the green slope of a fine hill. Despise not, reader, this humble state of the provincial drama: let me tell you, there were more spectators, for three days together, than your three theatres in London would hold; and let me add, still more to your confusion, that you never saw an audience half so well pleased.

"The exhibition was begun with a grand procession from the village, to a great stone (dropped by the Devil, about a quarter of a mile off, when he tried in vain to erect a bridge across Windermere; so the people, unlike the rest of the world, have remained a good sort of people ever since),—I say, the procession was begun by the minstrels of five parishes, and followed by a yeoman on bull-back. You stare—stop then, till I inform you that this adept had so far civilised his bull, that he would suffer the yeoman to mount his back, and even to play upon the fiddle there. The managers besought him to join the procession; but the bull not being accustomed to much company, and particularly to so much applause,—whether he was intoxicated with praise, thought himself affronted and made game of, or whether a favourite cow came across his imagination, certain it was that he broke out of the procession, erected his tail, and, like another Europa, carried off the affrighted yeoman and his fiddle over hedge and ditch, till he arrived at his own field. This accident rather inflamed than depressed the good humour arising from the procession; and the clown, or Jack Pudding of the piece, availed himself so well of the incident, that the lungs and ribs of the spectators were in manifest danger. This character was the most important personage in the whole play; for his office was to turn the most serious parts of the drama into burlesque and ridicule; he was a compound of Harlequin and the Merry-Andrew, or rather the arch-fool of the ancient kings. His dress was a white jacket covered with bulls, bears, birds, fish, etc., cut in various-coloured cloth; his trousers were decorated in like manner, and hung round with small bells; and his cap was that of folly, decorated with bells, and an otter's brush impending. The lath sword must be of great antiquity in this island, for it hath been the appendage of a Jack Pudding in the mountains of Westmoreland time out of mind.

"The play was opened by this character, with a song, which answered the double purpose of a play-bill and a prologue, for his duty gave the audience a foretaste of the rueful incidents they were about to behold; and it called out the actors one by one to make the spectators acquainted with their names and characters, walking round and round, till the whole dramatis personæ made one great circle on the stage. The audience being thus become acquainted with the actors, the play opened with Paris running away with Helen, and Menelaus scampering after them. Then followed the death of Patroclus, the rage of Achilles, the persuasions of Ulysses, etc. etc., and the whole was interlarded with apt songs, both serious and comic, all the production of auld Hogarth. The bard, however, at this time had been dead some years, and I believe this fête was a jubilee to his memory: but let it not detract from the memory of Mr. Garrick to say, that his at Stratford was but a copy of one forty years ago on the banks of Windermere. Was it any improvement, think you, to introduce several bulls into the procession instead of one?—But I love not comparisons, and so conclude.—Yours, etc.,

"Adam Walker."

[3] It was written for the information of Marshal Belisle, then a prisoner in Windsor Castle.

[4] In Mr. Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, vol. iv. p. 161, we are told that "his apprenticeship was no sooner expired, than he entered into the academy in St. Martin's Lane, and studied drawing from the life." In this circumstance, which is in itself trifling, I think the Right Honourable author has not displayed his usual accuracy. Hogarth was emancipated from his Cranbourn Alley confinement about the year 1718, at which time, I believe, there was not an academy either in that or any other part of London. The first for the use of students in drawing was opened in 1724, by Sir James Thornhill, at his house in Covent Garden. On his death, which was in May 1734, the casts, models, benches, etc., were sent to Mr. Hogarth (who had four years before married Miss Thornhill); by him they were afterwards lent to an academy established at what had previously been Roubiliac's workshop, in St. Martin's Lane.

[5] This gentleman was also a patron to the late Mr. Major the engraver, who told me that when very young, and on the point of going to Paris for improvement in his profession, he took two plates of small landscapes, which he had just finished, to Mr. Bowles, who expressed himself much pleased with the performance of them, and generously proffered him two pieces of plain copper, of the same size and weight,—by practising on which, he might still further improve himself. When I add, that one of the engravings delivered to this patron was that very pretty little landscape inscribed Evening, it is scarcely necessary to say—the offer was rejected.

[6] On a piece of newspaper, dated 1786, and pasted in one of Dr. Lort's books, was the following remark:—

"The Hogarth mania is as strong as ever. On Thursday the 6th of April,—it should have been the first,—the Roman Military Punishments, a paltry work for which no bookseller seven years ago would have offered more than a few shillings, was sold at Greenwood's for six pounds, on account of some trifling plates in it by Hogarth."

In the sale of Doctor Lort's library at Leigh and Sotheby's, in 1790, a copy of Bever's book produced a still larger sum.

[7] In this improved era we have seen examples of striking portraits which every year assume a new title. A head of Dr. Franklin was lately transferred from the book for which it was engraven to the memoirs of a man executed for forgery, whose name it now bears; another age may see the same print honoured with the name of some eminent pugilist, who at the close of the eighteenth century wore the collar of his order! Such are the transmigrations of the arts,—or, if it better please the reader, the arts of transmigration. Among the Paternoster Row classics, there is no other distinction between a bruiser, a felon, or a philosopher, than arises from the sale of their memoirs.

[8] On the print of Hudibras and the Lawyer is William Hogart delin. et sculp'. This Mr. Nichols considers as a proof that Hogarth had not yet disused the original mode in which he spelt his name.

From his shop-bill, and every preceding print, I am inclined to think he never had more than one mode of spelling his name. The concluding h being in this instance omitted, might arise from carelessness, or a failure of the aquafortis. His father's Latin letter, dated 1697, proves that he inserted the final h, and I can discover no reason why his son should discard it.

[9] For this, and some other assistance, Mr. Tyers presented Hogarth with a gold ticket of admission for himself and friends. On the face, two figures, one nearly naked, the other armed with a helmet and shield, are represented on the point of joining hands:—motto round them, VIRTUS VOLUPTAS; and at the lower part, FELICES UNA. On the reverse, HOGARTH——IN PERPETUAM BENEFICII MEMORIAM.

This ticket is now in the possession of Mrs. Lewis, of Chiswick.

[10] It seems probable that Sir James was very soon reconciled, for we find in the Craftsman of March 10, 1732-3, that when Hogarth painted the portrait of Sarah Malcolm, Sir James Thornhill was present.

[11] The sum and purchasers of each are noticed in the account of the engravings.

[12] Among the papers of a lately deceased Virtuosi, I met with a few MS. sheets, entitled Hints for a History of the Arts in Great Britain, from the Accession of the Third George. The following extract proves that painting pictures, called after the ancient masters, was not confined to Italy: we had in England some industrious and laborious artists who, like the unfortunate Chatterton, gave the honours of their best performances to others. The narrative has no date, but some allusions to a late sovereign determine it was a short time before we discovered that there were in our own poets subjects as worthy of the pencil as any found in the idle tales of antiquity, or the still more idle legends of popery:—

"The late edict of the Emperor, for selling the pictures of which he has despoiled the convents, will be a very fortunate circumstance for many of the artists of this country, whose sole employment is painting old pictures; and this will be a glorious opportunity for introducing modern antiques into the cabinets of the curious.

"A most indefatigable dealer, apprehensive that there might be a difficulty, and enormous expense in procuring from abroad a sufficient quantity to gratify the eagerness of the English connoisseurs, has taken the more economical method of having a number painted here. The bill of one of his workmen, which came into my hands by an accident, I think worth preservation, and have taken a copy for the information of future ages. Every picture is at present most sacredly preserved from the public eye, but in the course of a few months will be smoked into antiquity, and may probably be announced in manner and form following:—


"Mr. —— has the heartfelt pleasure of congratulating the amateurs of the fine arts upon such an opportunity of enriching their collections, as no period from the days of the divine Apelles to the present irradiated era ever produced; nor is it probable that there ever will be in any future age so splendid, superb, brilliant, and matchless an assemblage of unrivalled pictures as he begs leave to announce to the connoisseurs are now exhibiting at his great room in ——, being the principal part of that magnificent bouquet which have been accumulating for so many ages, been preserved with religious care, and contemplated with pious awe, while they had an holy refuge in the peaceful gloom of the convents of Germany. By the edict of the Emperor they are banished from these consecrated walls, and are now emerged from obscurity with undiminished lustre! with all their native charms, mellowed by the tender, softening pencil of time, and introduced to this emporium of taste! this favourite seat of the arts! this exhibition-room of the universe; and when seen, must produce the most pleasing and delightful sensations.

"When it is added, that they were selected by that most judicious and quick-sighted collector, Monsieur D., it will be unnecessary to say more; for his penetrating eye and unerring judgment, his boundless liberality and unremitting industry, have ensured him the protection of a generous public, ever ready to patronize exertions made solely for their gratification!

"N.B.—Descriptive catalogues, with the names of the immortal artists, may be had as above."


"Monsieur Varnish to Benjamin Bister, debtor.

To painting the Woman caught in Adultery, upon a green ground, by Hans Holbein330
To Solomon's Wise Judgment, on pannel, by Michael Angelo Buonorati2126
To painting and canvas, for a naked Mary Magdalen, in the undoubted style of Paul Veronese220
To brimstone, for smoking ditto026
Paid Mrs. W—— for a live model to sit for Diana bathing, by Tintoretto0168
Paid for the hire of a layman, to copy the robes of a Cardinal, for a Vandyke050
Portrait of a Nun doing Penance, by Albrecht Durer220
Paid the female figure for sitting thirty minutes in a wet sheet, that I might give the dry manner of that master[13]0106
The Tribute-money Rendered, with all the exactness of Quintin Metsius, the famed blacksmith of Antwerp2126
To Ruth at the feet of Boaz, upon an oak board, by Titiano330
St. Anthony Preaching to the Fishes, by Salvator Rosa3100
The Martyrdom of St. Winifred, with a view of Holywell bath, by old Frank1116
To a large allegorical altar-piece, consisting of men and angels, horses and river gods; 'tis thought most happily hit off for a Rubens550
To Susannah Bathing; the two Elders in the background, by Castiglione220
To the Devil and St. Dunstan, highly finished, by Teniers220
To the Queen of Sheba falling down before Solomon, by Morillio2126
To a Judith in the Tent of Holofernes, by Le Brun1160
To a Sisera in the Tent of Jael, its companion, by the same1160
Paid for admission into the House of Peers, to take a sketch of a great character, for a picture of Moses breaking the Tables of the Law, in the darkest manner of Rembrandt, not yet finished026

[13] Some of the ancient masters acquired a dry manner of painting from studying after wet drapery.—Webb on Painting.

[14] The annexed letter, which was published about this time, I have been informed was written by Hogarth; add to this authority, of which I have no doubt, I think it carries internal evidence of his mind. It is printed in the London Magazine for 1737, and thus prefaced:

The following piece, published in the St. James's Evening Post of June 7th, is by the first painter in England, perhaps in the world, in his way:

"Every good-natured man and well-wisher to the Arts in England, must feel a kind of resentment at a very indecent paragraph, in the Daily Post of Thursday last, relating to the death of M. de Morine, first painter to the French king, in which very unjust as well as cruel reflections are cast on the noblest performance (in its way) that England has to boast of,—I mean the work of the late Sir James Thornhill, in Greenwich Hall. It has ever been the business of narrow, little geniuses, who by a tedious application to minute parts have (as they fancy) attained to a great insight into the correct drawing of a figure, and have acquired just knowledge enough in the art to tell accurately when a toe is too short or a finger too thick, to endeavour, by detracting from the merits of great men, to build themselves a kind of reputation. These peddling demi-critics, on the painful discovery of some little inaccuracy (which proceeds mostly from the freedom of the pencil), without any regard to the more noble parts of a performance (which they are totally ignorant of), with great satisfaction condemn the whole as a bad and incorrect piece.

'The meanest artist in the Emelian square,

Can imitate in brass the nails or hair;

Expert at trifles, and a cunning fool,

Able to express the parts, but not the whole.'

"There is another set of gentry, more noxious to the art than these, and those are your picture-jobbers from abroad, who are always ready to raise a great cry in the prints, whenever they think their craft is in danger; and indeed it is their interest to depreciate every English work as hurtful to their trade of continually importing ship-loads of Dead Christs, Holy Families, Madonnas, and other dismal dark subjects, neither entertaining nor ornamental, on which they scrawl the terrible cramp names of some Italian masters, and fix on us poor Englishmen the character of universal dupes. If a man, naturally a judge of painting, not bigoted to those empirics, should cast his eye on one of their sham virtuoso pieces, he would be very apt to say: Mr. Bubbleman, that grand Venus, as you are pleased to call it, has not beauty enough for the character of an English cook-maid. Upon which the quack answers, with a confident air: 'Sir, I find that you are no connoisseur; the picture, I assure you, is in Alesso Baldminetto's second and best manner, boldly painted, and truly sublime: the contour gracious: the air of the head in the high Greek taste; and a most divine idea it is.—Then spitting in an obscure place, and rubbing it with a dirty handkerchief, takes a skip to t'other end of the room, and screams out in raptures, 'There's an amazing touch! A man should have this picture a twelvemonth in his collection before he can discover half its beauties!' The gentleman (though naturally a judge of what is beautiful, yet ashamed to be out of the fashion, by judging for himself) with this cant is struck dumb; gives a vast sum for the picture, very modestly confesses he is indeed quite ignorant of painting, and bestows a frame worth fifty pounds on a frightful thing, which, without the hard name, is not worth so many farthings. Such impudence as is now continually practised in the picture trade must meet with its proper treatment, would gentlemen but venture to see with their own eyes. Let but the comparison of pictures with nature be their only guide, and let them judge as freely of painting as they do of poetry, they would then take it for granted, that when a piece gives pleasure to none but these connoisseurs, or their adherents, if the purchase be a thousand pounds, 'tis nine hundred and ninety-nine too dear; and were all our grand collections stripped of such sort of trumpery, then, and not till then, it would be worth an Englishman's while to try the strength of his genius to supply their place, which now it were next to madness to attempt, since there is nothing that has not travelled a thousand miles, or has not been done a hundred years, but is looked upon as mean and ungenteel furniture. What Mr. Pope in his last work says of poems, may with much more propriety be applied to pictures:

'Authors, like coins, grow dear as they grow old;

It is the rust we value, not the gold.'

"Sir James Thornhill, in a too modest compliance with the connoisseurs of his time, called in the assistance of Mr. Andre, a foreigner, famous for the fulness of his outline, to paint the Royal Family at the upper end of Greenwich Hall, to the beauties or faults of which I have nothing to say; but with regard to the ceiling, which is entirely of his own hand, I am certain all unprejudiced persons, with (or without) much insight into the mechanic parts of painting, are at the first view struck with the most agreeable harmony and play of colours that ever delighted the eye of a spectator. The composition is altogether extremely grand, the groups finely disposed, the light and shade so contrived as to throw the eye with pleasure on the principal figures, which are drawn with great fire and judgment; the colouring of the flesh delicious, the drapery great and well folded; and upon examination, the allegory is found clear, well invented, and full of learning: in short, all that is necessary to constitute a complete ceiling-piece is apparent in that magnificent work. Thus much is in justice to that great English artist.


"N.B.—If the reputation of this work were destroyed, it would put a stop to the receipt of daily sums of money from spectators, which is applied to the use of sixty charity children."

[15] The book alluded to is, "A Tracte containing the Artes of curious Paintinge, Carvinge, and Buildinge, written first in Italian by Jo. Paul Lomatius, Painter of Milan, and Englished by R. H. (Richard Haydocke), Student in Physick." Published 1598.

From this visionary writer he could not borrow much, great part of his book treating of the different important consequences which had resulted from the study of the proportions of the human body. It is dedicated to the Right Worshipful Thomas Bodley, Esquire, warmly recommended by John Case, doctor of physic; and in the following quaint lines, the translator apologizeth for thus employing himself:—


"How hard a matter it is to withstand any natural instinct, and habitual inclination whatsoever, the storie of the Syracusane Archimedes (besides divers others to this purpose) may sufficiently persuade; who was so rapt with the sweetness of his mathematical conclusions, that even then when the enemie had entered the gates of the citie he was found drawing of lines upon the sand, when perchance it had bin fitter for a philosopher to have bin advising in the counsell-house.

"Not much unlike to whome I may peradventure seeme, who at this time especially, when the unappeasable enimies of health, sicknesse, and mortality have so mightily prevailed against us, am here found drawing of lines and lineaments, portraitures, and proportions, when (in regard of my place and profession) it might much better have beseemed mee to have bin found in the colledge of physicians, learning and counselling such remedies as might make for the common health; or if I must needes be doing about lines, to have commented upon this proposition, mors ultima linea rerum.

"Howbeit, as I find not him much taxed in the storie for this his diligent carelessness, because he was busied about matters which were not onlie an ornament of peace, but also of good use in warre, so my hope is (ingenious reader), that my sedulous trifling shall meete with thy friendliest interpretation; insomuch as the arte I now deale in shall be proved not onlie a grace to health, but also a contentment and recreation unto sickeness, and a kind of preservative against death and mortality; by a perpetual preserving of their shades, whose substances physicke could not prolong, no, not for a season," etc. etc.

In his treatise of colours, he makes the following addresse to his faire countrie wommen:—

"Having intreated of so many and divers thinges, I could not but say something of such matters as woemen use ordinarilly in beautifying and imbelishing their faces; a thing well worth the knowledge, insomuch as many women are so possessed with a desire of helping their complexions by some artificial meanes, that they will by no meanes be diswaded from the same." He then enumerates ceruse, plume alume, juice of lemons, oil of tartarie, camphire, and sundry other cosmetics of the day, all which he takes many pages to prove are enemies to health, and hurtful to the complexion, and thus adviseth: "Wherefore if there bee no remedie, but women will be meddling with this arte of pollishing, let them, instead of those mineral stuffes, use the remedies following.

"Of such helpes of Beauty as may safely be used without danger.

"There is nothing in the world which doth more beautifie and adorne a woman than chearfulness, contentment, and good temper. For it is not the red and white which giveth the gracious perfection of beauty, but certaine sparkling notes and touches of amiable chearfulness accompanying the same. The truth whereof may appear in a discontented woman, otherwise exceeding faire, who atte that instant will seem yll favoured and unloovely; as contrariwise, an hard-favoured and browne woman, being merry, pleasaunte, and jocund, will seem sufficient beautiful."

[16] Of this figure he thus writes in his chapter on Compositions with the Serpentine Line:—

"We have had recourse to the works of the ancients, not because the moderns have not produced some as excellent, but because the works of the former are more generally known; nor would we have it thought that either of them has ever yet come up to the utmost beauty of nature. Who but a bigot to the antiques will say, that he has not seen faces and necks, hands and arms, in living women, that even the Grecian Venus doth but coarsely imitate?"

[17] Hogarth might possibly have some oblique allusion to the manner in which Cæsar suffered in the capitol of an English theatre.—They might as well have hanged him; or, the actor deserved hanging for so personating the character,—which the reader likes best.

In an early impression of the print I have seen written (I believe by Hogarth) on the pedestal upon which this figure is placed, tu Brute. That he greatly disliked Quin, is evident from the following epigram, with the injustice or justice of which I have nothing to do, but to the painter it is attributed:—

"Your servant, Sir," says surly Quin.—

"Sir, I am yours," replies Macklin.—

"Why, you're the very Jew you play,

Your face performs the task well."—

"And you are Sir John Brute, they say,

And an accomplished Maskwell."

Says Rich, who heard the sneering elves,

And knew their horrid hearts,

"Acting too much your very selves,

You overdo your parts."

[18] In the Analysis, he asserts that a completely new and harmonious order of architecture might be produced by making choice of variety of lines, and then again, by varying their situations with each other; in a word, that the art of composing well is the art of varying well. In the frontispiece to Brook Taylor's perspective, he has given an example, by a broken sceptre, somewhat resembling the Roman fasces, and girt round with the Prince of Wales' coronet, as an astragal, through which the fasces rise, and swell into a crown adorned with embroidered stars.

[19] Mr. Shee, in his Rhymes on Art, has very happily introduced a similar character, accompanied by congenial connoisseurs:—

"No awkward heir that o'er Campania's plain,

Has scamper'd like a monkey in his chain;

No ambush'd ass, that, hid in learning's maze,

Kicks at desert, and crops wit's budding bays;

No baby grown, that still his coral keeps,

And sucks the thumb of science till he sleeps;

No mawkish son of sentiment who strains

Soft sonnet drops from barley-water brains;

No pointer of a paragraph, no peer,

That hangs a picture-pander at his ear;

No smatterer of the ciceroni crew,

No pauper of the parish of Virtú;

But starts an Aristarchus on the town,

To hunt full cry dejected merit down;

With sapient shrug assumes the critic's part,

And loud deplores the sad decline in art."

[20] "The dancing-room is also ornamented purposely with such statues and pictures as may serve to a further illustration. Henry VIII., Number 72, makes a perfect X with his legs and arms; and the position of Charles I., Number 51, is composed of less varied lines than the statue of Edward VI., Number 73, and the medal over his head is in the like kind of lines; but that over Queen Elizabeth, as well as her figure, is in the contrary; so are also the two other wooden figures at the end. Likewise the comical posture of astonishment (expressed by following the direction of one plain curve) as the dotted line in a French print of Sancho (where Don Quixote demolishes the puppet show); Number 75 is a good contrast to the effect of the serpentine lines, in the fine turn of the Samaritan woman; Number 74, taken from one of the best pictures Annibal Carrache ever painted."—Hogarth's Analysis, p. 137.

[21] A newspaper of 1781 has the following advertisement:—


"A gentleman of merit, well educated and properly qualified by seven of the best masters that ever trod on English ground, teaches the above minuets to noblemen and real ladies only, for the sum of five guineas, paid down, with all the excelled graces of the head, body, arms, wrists, hands, fingers, toes, sinks, risings, bounds, rebounds, twirls, twists, fourfold mercuries, coupees, borees, flourishes, demi-corpus, curtseys à-la-mode, hat on, off, giving hands and feet, in an advanced octagon adorned style, and divided into one, two, three, or four steps exact to time or bars; introducing at the same moment the à-la-mode form, Chassa's springs, five and nine orders of the graces, and annexed with the rigadoon, Louvre, cotillion, and ancient and modern hornpipe steps and elegant country-dance positions.—The said gentleman is no common dancing-master, has some character to lose; therefore ladies of a common capacity may soon attain to dance equal to the best French or Italian dancer in this kingdom, only for five guineas, on applying to Number 79 in the Haymarket, between ten and eleven in the morning, and four and six in the afternoon, and they will be seen by the aforesaid gentleman himself."

In his Analysis, Mr. Hogarth thus writeth:—

"The minuet is allowed by dancing-masters themselves to be the perfection of all dancing. I once heard an eminent dancing-master say, that the minuet had been the study of his whole life, and that he had been indefatigable in the pursuit of its beauties, yet at last could only say with Socrates, he knew nothing; adding, that I was happy in my profession as a painter, in that some bounds might be set to the study of it."

[22] Mr. Wilkes informs us that this subject was not thought of until after the publication of Marriage à la Mode. In CHRONOLOGY, the Chamberlain is not so accurate as Doctor Trusler!

[23] Mr. Townley, under the signature of a connoisseur, wrote the following lines to Mr. Hogarth on his Analysis of Beauty:—

"How could you dare, advent'rous man,

To execute so bold a plan,

Or such unheard of truths advance?

At once so rashly to oppose

Those fierce, outrageous, hardy foes,

Fraud, Prejudice, and Ignorance!

"To their despotic, cruel sway,

Fair Science long has been a prey,

All modern art they trampled down;

The rising genius they deprest,

The British taste they turned to jest,

And damn'd at once—because our own.

"The slavish principle I caught,

The southern land of merit sought,

And learn'd to think, to see, to say

Eager I ran through every town,

Penn'd every observation down,

And gather'd judgment by the way.

"On foreign tales and terms of art,

On scraps of French, got well by heart,

And learned guides, was my reliance;

With light and shade my head I fill,

The style of schools was all my skill.

The painter's name was all my science.

"Thus deeply tutor'd, I return'd,

And o'er my tasteless country mourn'd;

I pitied first, then laugh'd and sneer'd;

Then curs'd the crude unfinish'd tints,

The statues, busto's, vases, prints,

When lo! th' Analysis appear'd.

"I smil'd and read; grew grave—read on;

Was pleas'd; the truths apparent shone;

Nor could my prejudice resist 'em.

The Line of Beauty I survey'd,

The arguments I fairly weigh'd,

And then acknowledg'd all your system.

"With reverence, and respect, like you,

The ancient works of art I view;

But, like you, see with my own eyes;

Abhor the tricks so grossly play'd,

Lament the science sunk to trade,

And dealers from my soul despise.

"Pursue, unrivall'd yet, that art,

Which bounteous nature did impart

(Ne'er to be so profuse again):

Our sons, in time to come, shall strive

Where the chief honour they shall give,

Or to your pencil or your pen."

Hogarth had previously presented this gentleman with a volume of his prints, in return for which he received the following very flattering testimony to his talents:—

"Trinity Lane, Feb. 28, 1750.

"Dear Sir,—Having been confined to my house by a violent cold, I have had many hours for contemplation, which at such a time generally turns on my friends, among whom you have been so good to let me call you one. Your late kind intention came into my mind, and gave me an uncommon degree of satisfaction; not on my own account only, but with respect to my family. Your works I shall treasure up as a family book, or rather as one of the classics, from which I shall regularly instruct my children, just in the same manner as I should out of Homer or Virgil. You will be read in your course,—and it will be no unusual thing to find me in a morning in my great chair, with my three bigger boys about me, construing the sixth chapter of the Harlot's Progress, or comparing the two characters in the first book of the 'Prentices.

"You are one of the first great men I ever was acquainted with, and the first great man I desire to be acquainted with, because you have neither insolence nor vanity. Your character has been sketched in different pieces, by different authors, and great encomiums bestowed on you here and there in English, French, Latin, and Greek: but I want to see a full portrait of you. I wish I were as intimate with you, and as well qualified for the purpose, as your friend Fielding,—I would undertake it. I have made an humble attempt here towards something, but I am afraid it has more of a death's head than the face of a man.—You won't be dispirited because my character of you is in the form of an epitaph, for you will observe at the bottom that I have given you a great length of days.

"In the corner, near Shakspeare, in Westminster Abbey, on a monument, elegant only by neatness and symmetry, the next generation may see something like the enclosed inscription, the freedom of which you will excuse, and consider it as coming from a man confined to his room, but from one who is ever, dear sir, your constant admirer, and most obliged servant,

"James Townley.

"To Mr. Hogarth in Leicester Fields.


[24] The work was translated into German, under the author's inspection, by Mr. Mylins; and with two large plates and twenty-two sheets of letterpress, printed in London at five dollars.

A new and correct edition was (July 1st, 1754) proposed for publication at Berlin by Ch. Fr. Vok, with an explanation of Mr. Hogarth's satirical prints, translated from the French; the whole to subscribers for one dollar, but after six weeks to be raised to two dollars.

An Italian translation was published at Leghorn, 1761, octavo, dedicated Al illustrissime Signora Diana Molineux dama Inglese.

That Sterne had read the Analysis, appears by the following reference recommendatory, in the first volume of Tristram Shandy:—

" ... Such were the outlines of Doctor Slop's figure, which, if you have read Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty, and if you have not, I wish you would, you must know may be as certainly caricatured and conveyed to the mind by three strokes as three hundred." Hogarth's engraving of the air-balloon figure is said to be intended for Doctor Burton, the Jacobite physician of York; a microscopic miniature of the plate (so small that it requires the aid of a glass) is in the engraved frontispiece to these volumes.

[25] He bought the picture in for Lady Schaub, and she has since sold it to the present Henry Duke of Newcastle.

[26] The original letter is in the possession of the editor, and with all the circumstances relating to the transaction, copied from Hogarth's handwriting, published in the third volume of this work.

[27] The correspondence between Sir Richard Grosvenor and Mr. Hogarth relative to the picture of Sigismunda is in the 3d volume of this work.

[28] I mean to speak of alterations suggested by his friends: to the public at large, if we can confide in the following note, which I found in a volume of the late Doctor Lort's, he paid little attention:—

"Hogarth's Sigismunda.

"He placed that picture, which in spite of all the critics could say against it, had infinite merits in the view of the public, and at the same time placed a man in an adjoining room to write down all objections that each spectator made to it. Of these there were a thousand at least, but Hogarth told the writer of this[29] that he attended only to one, and that was made by a madman; and perceiving the objection was founded, he altered it. The madman, after looking stedfastly on the picture for some time, suddenly turned away, exclaiming,—Hang it, I hate these white roses. The artist then, and not till then, observed that the foldings of Sigismunda's chemise sleeves were too regular, and had more the appearance of roses than of linen. I know not in whose possession this picture now is, but I will venture to pronounce, that nowhere can distress be more forcibly exprest on canvas: it is a distress, not of the minute, but the day."

[29] The late Philip Thicknesse, Esq.

[30] The attack was commenced in No. 17 of the North Briton, which was published on the 17th of September 1762. On the 16th, Mr. Hogarth being at Salisbury, called upon the colonel of the Buckinghamshire militia (who was then quartered in the neighbourhood), with the good-natured intention of shaking hands: as his old friend was not at home, they neither met then, nor at any future period. In my account of the Times there are a few strictures on this political pasquinade, which was followed by much metrical lampoon from the reverend Mr. Churchill. Let us hear his coadjutor, Robert Lloyd, who in a fable entitled Genius, Envy, and Time, gives Time the following speech:—

"Yet, Genius, mark what I presage,

Who look through every distant age:

Merit shall bless thee with her charms,

Fame lift thy offspring in her arms,

And stamp eternity of grace

On all thy numerous, various race.

Roubiliac, Wilton, names as high

As Phidias of antiquity,

Shall strength, expression, manner give,

And make e'en marble breathe and live,

While Sigismunda's deep distress,

Which looks the soul of wretchedness;

When I, with slow and soft'ning pen,

Have gone o'er all the tints agen,

Shall urge a bold and proper claim

To level half the ancient fame;

While future ages yet unknown,

With critic air shall proudly own,

Thy Hogarth first of every clime,

For humour keen, or strong sublime,

And hail him from his fire and spirit,

The child of Genius and of Merit."

Lloyd's Works, p. 204.

[31] I learn from Mr. Nichols, that he was a dupe to flattery; that his easiness of disposition should be practised on is natural, but that any of his friends should boast of such an imposition as the following, is extraordinary:—

" ... A word in favour of Sigismunda might have commanded a proof print, or forced an original sketch out of our artist's hand. The furnisher of this remark owes one of his scarcest performances to the success of a compliment which might have stuck even in Sir Godfrey Kneller's throat."—Nichols' Anecdotes, p. 55.

[32] Having given Mr. Walpole's remarks, it is but fair to insert that part of the Analysis which gave rise to them:—

"Notwithstanding the deep-rooted notion, even amongst the majority of painters themselves, that Time is a great improver of good pictures, I will undertake to show that nothing can be more absurd. Having mentioned the whole effect of the oil, let us now see in what manner Time operates on the colours themselves, in order to discover if any changes in them can give a picture more union and harmony than has been in the power of a skilful master with all his rules of art to do. When colours change at all, it must be somewhat in the manner following; for as they are made, some of metal, some of earth, some of stone, and others of more perishable materials, Time cannot operate on them otherwise than as by daily experience we find it doth, which is, that one changes darker, another lighter, one quite to a different colour, whilst another, as ultra-marine, will keep its natural brightness even in the fire. Therefore, how is it possible that such different materials, ever variously changing (visibly, after a certain time), should accidentally coincide with the artist's intention, and bring about the greater harmony of the piece, when it is manifestly contrary to their nature; for do we not see, in most collections, that much time disunites, untunes, blackens, and by degrees destroys, even the best preserved pictures?

"But if, for argument's sake, we suppose that the colours were to fall equally together, let us see what sort of advantage this would give to any sort of composition: we will begin with a flower-piece. When a master hath painted a rose, a lily, an african, a gentinnella, or violet, with his best art and brightest colours, how far short do they fall of the freshness and rich brilliancy of nature! And shall we wish to see them fall still lower, more faint, sullied, and dirtied by the hand of Time, and then admire them as having gained an additional beauty, and call them mended and heightened, rather than fouled, and in a manner destroyed? How absurd! instead of mellowed and softened, therefore, always read yellow and sullied; for this is doing Time, the destroyer, but common justice. Or shall we desire to see complexions, which in life are often literally as brilliant as the flowers above mentioned, served in the like ungrateful manner? In a landscape, will the water be more transparent, or the sky shine with a greater lustre, when embrowned and darkened by decay? Surely no.—These opinions have given rise to another absurdity, viz. that the colours now-a-days do not stand so well as formerly; whereas colours well prepared, in which there are but little art or expense, have, and will always have, the same properties in every age; and without accidents, damps, bad varnish, and the like (being laid separate and pure), will stand and keep together for many years in defiance of Time itself."

[33] "It may be truly observed of Hogarth, that all his powers of delighting were confined to his pencil. Having rarely been admitted into polite circles, none of his sharp comers had been rubbed off, so that he continued to the last a gross, uncultivated man. The slightest contradiction transported him into rage. To be member of a club consisting of mechanics, or those not many removes above them, seems to have been the utmost of his social ambition; but even in these assemblies he was oftener sent to Coventry, for misbehaviour, than any other person who frequented them. He is said to have beheld the rising eminence and popularity of Sir Joshua Reynolds with a degree of envy; and, if I am not misinformed, spoke with asperity both of him and his performances. Justice, however, obliges me to add that our artist was liberal, hospitable, and the most punctual of paymasters; so that, in spite of the emoluments his works had procured to him, he left but an inconsiderable fortune to his widow."—Nichols' Anecdotes, p. 97.

[34] In furniture, decorations, etc., this place has not been altered since his death. There is not one of his own prints, but in the parlour are framed engravings from Sir James Thornhill's paintings in St. Paul's Cathedral, and the Houbraken heads of Shakspeare, Spencer, and Dryden. The garden is laid out in a good style: over the door is a cast of George the Second's mask, in lead, and in one corner a rude and shapeless stone, placed upright against the wall, and inscribed,

OB. 1760.

Beneath the inscriptions are two cross bones of birds, surmounted with a heart and death's head. The sculpture was made with a nail, by the hand of Hogarth, and placed there in memory of a favourite bullfinch, who is deposited beneath.

[35] This is Doctor Johnson's epitaph, and he wrote only four. He has broken his own rule, that the name should always be inserted in the body of the verse.

[36] The verses, as first written by Mr. Garrick, and now in the possession of Mr. James Townley, are as follows:—

"If thou hast genius, reader, stay;

If thou hast feeling, drop the tear;—

If thou hast neither,—hence, away,

For Hogarth's dear remains lie here.

His matchless works, of fame secure,

Shall live our country's pride and boast,

As long as nature shall endure,

And only in her wreck be lost."

[37] In the Daily Advertiser of January 27, 1783, I find the following advertisement:—


"As an opinion generally prevails, that the genuine impressions of Hogarth's works are very bad, and the plates retouched, Mrs. Hogarth is under the necessity of acquainting the public in general, and the admirers of her deceased husband's works in particular, that it has been owing to a want of proper attention in the conducting this work for some years past that the impressions in general have not done justice to the condition of the plates; and she has requested some gentlemen, most eminent in the art of engraving, to inspect the plates, who have given the following opinion:—

"London, January 21, 1873.

"We, whose names are underwritten, having carefully examined the copperplates published by the late Mr. Hogarth, are fully convinced that they have not been retouched since his death.

"Francis Bartolozzi.
"Wm. Woollet.
"Wm. Wynne Ryland."

[38] Notwithstanding this, Mrs. Lewis told me, that a gentleman who possessed a collection of Hogarth's works, once requested she would lend him the plates for the purpose of having a set faintly taken off, as a contrast to his own. It is scarcely necessary to say this modest request was refused, and she received much consequent abuse.

[39] He frequently drew sketches of heads upon his nail, and when he came home, copied them on paper, from whence they were transferred to his plates.

[40] See two large pictures of the Good Samaritan, and the Pool of Bethesda, which he presented to St. Bartholomew's Hospital.

[41] G. M. Stainforth, Esq., of Berkeley Square, has in his possession a portrait of the late Justice Walsh, which, for a wager, Mr. Hogarth painted in less than an hour, and it is said to be a strong resemblance.

[42] This observation extends no further than to his conversations among his intimates.

"Mr. Walpole once invited Gray the poet and Hogarth to dine with him; but what with the reserve of the one, and a want of colloquial talents in the other, he never passed a duller time than between these two representatives of tragedy and comedy, being obliged to rely entirely on his own efforts to support conversation."—Nichols' Anecdotes, p. 97.

Johnson, though his colloquial powers were gigantic, could not speak in the Society of Arts: he could not, as he himself expressed it, get on.

[43] In this he resembled a man whose simplicity of manners and integrity of life give me a pride in avowing myself one of his descendants.

"He could not bear that any one should in their absence be evil spoken of; and in such cases frequently recommended the person who censured to peruse that verse in Leviticus xix. 14, which says, Thou shalt not curse the deaf"; adding, "Those that are absent are deaf."—Life of Rev. Philip Henry, Orton's edition, p. 252.

[44] A merchant named Purse, whom he never saw, left him a legacy of one hundred pounds, as a trifling acknowledgment for the pleasure and information the testator had received from his works. By this solitary testimony to his talents he was highly gratified.

[45] The attendant represents John Gourlay, the Colonel's favourite and confidant.

[46] To show how fair an object for satire the painter has selected, and how properly he has hung up such a miscreant as an example for posterity to avoid, part of it is inserted:—

Here continueth to rot,
the body of Francis Chartres;
who, with an INFLEXIBLE CONSTANCY, and
in spite of AGE and INFIRMITIES,
in the practice of EVERY HUMAN VICE,
His insatiable AVARICE exempted him from the first;
his matchless IMPUDENCE from the second.

Oh, indignant reader!
think not his life useless to mankind;
Providence connived at his execrable designs,
to give to after ages a conspicuous
proof and example
of how small estimation is EXORBITANT WEALTH
in the sight of God, by His bestowing it on

[47] Mother Needham, who stood in the pillory at Park Place on the 5th of May 1734, and was so roughly treated by the populace that she died a few days afterwards. The crime for which she suffered was, keeping a disorderly house.

[48] The Grub Street Journal for August 6, 1730, giving an account of several prostitutes who were taken up, informs us that "the fourth was Kate Hackabout (whose brother was lately hanged at Tyburn), a woman noted in and about the hundreds of Drury, etc."

[49] Among a great number of copies which the success of these prints tempted obscure artists to make, there was one set printed on two large sheets of paper for G. King, Brownlow Street, which, being made with Hogarth's consent, may possibly contain some additions suggested and inserted by his directions. In this plate, beneath the sign of the Bell, is inscribed, Parsons Intier Butt Bear.

[50] The attendant black boy gave the foundation of an ill-natured remark by Quin, when Garrick once attempted the part of Othello. "He pretend to play Othello!" said the surly satirist; "he pretend to play Othello! He wants nothing but the tea-kettle and lamp to qualify him for Hogarth's Pompey!"

[51] In the copies printed for G. King, this picture has a label, Jonah, why art thou angry? and under the lower portrait is written, Mr. Woolston.

[52] This has been said to be a portrait, but of whom I never could get any information.

[53] In Rembrandt's "Abraham's Offering," in the Houghton collection now at Petersburgh, the knife dropping from the hand of the patriarch appears in a falling state.

[54] This paper is a pastoral letter from Gibson Bishop of London, and intimates that the writings of grave prelates were sometimes to be found in chandlers' shops, as they are even unto this day.

[55] Following the Doctor's name are the letters S.T.P., sanctæ theologiæ professor. A fellow not knowing the import of these dignifying capitals, well enough translated them, SAUCY TROUBLESOME PUPPY.

[56] When Theodore, the unfortunate king of Corsica, was so reduced as to lodge in a garret in Dean Street, Soho, a number of gentlemen made a collection for his relief. The chairman of their committee informed him by letter, that on the following day, at twelve o'clock, two of the society would wait upon his Majesty with the money. To give his Attic apartment an appearance of royalty, the poor monarch placed an arm-chair on his half-testered bed, and seating himself under the scanty canopy, gave what he thought might serve as the representation of a throne. When his two visitors entered the room, he graciously held out his right hand, that they might have the honour of—kissing it!

[57] Sir John Gonson, a justice of peace, very active in the suppression of brothels. In a view of the town in 1735, by T. Gilbert (Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge), are the following lines:—

"Though laws severe to punish crimes were made,

What honest man is of these laws afraid?

All felons against judges will exclaim,

As harlots tremble at a Gonson's name."

Pope has noticed him in his Imitation of Dr. Donne, and Loveling in a very elegant Latin Ode. Thus, between the poets and the painter, the name of this harlot-hunting justice is transmitted to posterity. He died on the 9th of January 1765.

[58] Such well-dressed females are rarely met with in our present house of correction; but her splendid appearance is sufficiently warranted by the following paragraph in the Grub Street Journal of September 14, 1730:—

"One Mary Moffat, a woman of great note in the hundreds of Drury, who about a fortnight ago was committed to hard labour in Tothill Fields Bridewell, by nine justices, brought his Majesty's writ of habeas corpus, and was carried before the Right Honourable the Lord Chief-Justice Raymond, expecting to have been either bailed or discharged; but her commitment appearing to be legal, his lordship thought fit to remand her back again to her former place of confinement, where she is now beating hemp in a gown very richly laced with silver."

[59] The notorious breaches of trust and cruelties of which Bainbridge, Cuthbert, and other keepers of prisons were about this time guilty, attracted the attention of the House of Commons, who appointed a committee to inquire into the abuses, which were afterwards in a degree corrected.

[60] There may be some who will object to this word, as too important for the action. I have the example of a very eminent personage, dignified with the pompous addition of B.D., to justify its insertion. This great man, a few years ago, placed against the wall of his house, in the neighbourhood of Hatton Garden, a board, broad as a church-door, on which was inscribed, in letters of two feet long, THE DESTROYER LIVES HERE. On a close inspection of the sign, it appeared to be sprinkled over with a number of little black dots intended to represent bugs.

[61] The meagre figure is a portrait of Dr. Misaubin, a foreigner, at that time in considerable practice.

These disputes, I have been told, sometimes happen at a consultation of regular physicians, and a patient has been so unpolite as to die before they could determine on the name of his disorder.

"About the symptoms, how they disagree,

But how unanimous about the fee!"

[62] The enumeration of its various virtues and never-failing efficacy, at this enlightened and philosophical period, covers one side of a house in Long Acre.

[63] The woman seated next to the divine was intended for Elizabeth Adams, who, on the 10th of September 1737, at the age of thirty, was executed for a robbery which had been attended with circumstances that aggravated the crime.

[64] When the celebrated Nancy Elliot found that she must pass "that bourne from whence no traveller returns," she was very solicitous to see her sister, whose life had not been strictly virtuous, to deliver her last advice and dying admonition. Her father used his best endeavours to effect this pious purpose, but was too late; and reached her house, accompanied by his other daughter, a few moments before she died.

When her death was announced, he grasped his remaining child by the hand, and, pointing to her emaciated sister, pathetically exclaimed, "Look there!"—and sunk down in a swoon, from which he was with difficulty recovered.

[65] Under a pirated set of the "Harlot's Progress," published by Boitard, were inscribed six miserable verses; our painter of domestic story, finding they had some effect, requested his friend Dr. Hoadley to explain the "Rake's Progress" by poetical illustrations. The request was complied with, and the verses to each print are added to this work.

[66] It has been generally said that this is an appraiser and undertaker; let not these venerable dealers in dust any longer suffer the disgrace of so unjust an insinuation. That the artist intended to delineate a lawyer, is clearly intimated by his old, uncurled tie-wig and the baize bag. We cannot mistake these obtrusive ensigns of the craft, or mystery, or profession, of which this hoary villain is a member.

[67] That this gentleman is a Parisian, there can be little doubt. He has all the violent grace and outré air of his country and profession.

[68] One Dubois, a Frenchman, memorable for his high opinion of the science of defence, which he declared superior to all other arts and sciences united. On the 4th of May 1734, he fought a duel with an Irishman of his own name—and was killed!

[69] Figg, the famous prize-fighter, who raised himself to the pinnacle of the temple of fame by conquering a number of hardy Hibernians, before that time deemed invincible. Under a print of his head is the following inscription:


[70] This has been generally said to be intended for Handel, and bears a strong resemblance to his portrait.

[71] Old Bridgeman, eminent for his taste in the plans of gardens and plantations. As he was a worshipper of the modern style, scorned the square precision of the old school, and attempted to "create landscape, to realize painting, and improve nature," Hogarth might have given him a better design than that which he holds in his hand; it has all the regular formality that distinguishes the aquatic froggery of a Dutch burgomaster:

"Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,

And half the platform just reflects the other."

[72] A bravo is more properly an Italian than an English character; but even in England, the aid of an assassin may be useful, when a man dare not resent an affront in propria persona.

This gunpowder hero being introduced, and evidently waiting for orders, seems covertly to intimate that Thomas Rakewell, Esq., in addition to his other excellent qualities, is a coward.

[73] On the silver cup which the jockey is presenting, we see inscribed, "Won at Epsom by Silly Tom." Our sagacious esquire seems to have lent his own name to his favourite horse.

[74] The attitude of Venus is graceful; but the cool indifference and sang froid of the Trojan shepherd, carelessly and coolly seated while the fair competitors for the prize are standing up, is intolerable.

[75] The Reverend Mr. Gilpin.

[76] This is the portrait of one Leathercoat, many years a porter at the Rose Tavern, and remarkable for his universal knowledge of women of the town.

[77] Hogarth seems to have had a great fancy for bringing King David into bad company. He is in the second plate of the "Harlot's Progress" depicted in the bed-room of a prostitute, and here represented as perched on a harp, at a brothel in Drury Lane.

[78] It was further commemorated as the anniversary of Queen Caroline's birthday.

[79] The chief of these, who appears in something that has once been a tye-wig, was painted from a French boy that cleaned shoes at the corner of Hog Lane.

[80] This post, and that close to the feet of the strutting Cambrian, shows that these safeguards to the pedestrian were then thought necessary: on new-paving the streets soon after his present Majesty's accession, they were removed. During the short time of Lord Bute's administration, an English gentleman who reprobated the idea of making a Scotch pavement in the vicinity of St. James's, being asked by a North Briton who was present how he or any other Englishman could reasonably object to even Scotchmen mending their ways in the neighbourhood of a palace? replied, "We do not object to your mending our ways, but you have taken away all our posts."

[81] This is probably a true delineation of the church as it was then. The print was published in 1735, and the year 1741 the church was rebuilt. It seems likely that Marybone, from a neighbouring village, may become the centre of the city: the alteration since the Revolution, 1688, justifies this supposition. In that year the annual amount of the taxes for the whole parish was four-and-twenty pounds; in 1788 the annual amount was four-and-twenty thousand.

[82] From the antiquated bride, and young female adjusting the folds of her gown, is taken a French print of a wrinkled harridan of fashion at her toilet, attended by a blooming Coiffeuse. It was engraved by L. Surugue, in 1745, from a picture in crayons by Coypell, and is entitled, La Folie pare la Decrepitude des Ajustemens de la Jeunesse. From the Frenchman, however, the Devonshire Square dowager of our artist has received so high a polish, that she might be mistaken for a queen-mother of France.

[83] "Trump," Mr. Hogarth's favourite dog, which he has introduced in several of his prints.

[84] This probably gave the hint to a lady's reply, on being told that thieves had the preceding night broken into the church, and stolen the communion plate, and the Ten Commandments. "I can suppose," added the informant, "that they may melt, and sell the plate; but can you divine for what possible purpose they could steal the Commandments?"—"To break them, to be sure," replied she; "to break them."

[85] This is a correct copy of the inscription. Part of these lines, in raised letters, now form a pannel in the wainscot at the end of the right-hand gallery, as the church is entered from the street. No heir of the Forset family appearing, the vault has been claimed and used by his Grace the Duke of Portland, as lord of the manor. The mural monument of the Taylors, composed of lead gilt over, is still preserved: it is seen in Hogarth's print, just under the window. The bishop of the diocese, when the new church was built, gave orders that all the ancient tablets should be placed as nearly as possible in their former situations.

It appears from an examination of the registers, etc., that Thos. Sice and Thos. Horn were really churchwardens in the year 1725, when the repairs were made. This print came out only ten years afterwards; and the present state of the building seems to intimate that Messieurs Sice and Horn had cheated the parish, when they officially superintended the affairs of their church. The coat, shoes, and stockings of the charity-boy convey a similar satire, though that is directed to another quarter.

[86] The Reverend Mr. Gilpin.

[87] The thought is taken from a similar character to be found among the figures of the principal personages in the court of Louis XIV., folio. This work has no engraver's name, but was probably published about the year 1700.

[88] This is said to be old Manners (brother to John Duke of Rutland), to whom the old Duke of Devonshire lost the great estate of Leicester Abbey. Manners was the only person of his time who had amassed a considerable fortune by the profession of a gamester.

[89] It has been thought intended for a portrait of William Duke of Cumberland; but this cannot be, for the Duke was not more than fifteen years of age when these prints were published.

[90] Such an accident as is here represented really happened at White's Chocolate House, St. James's Street, on the 3d of May 1733.

[91] A masquerade is not often considered as the school of morality: it frequently leads to vice, but seldom reclaims from error. That it once had a salutary effect, the following story will evince. Lord C——e, with many amiable virtues, and many brilliant accomplishments, had a most unfortunate propensity to gaming; in one night he lost upwards of thirty thousand pounds to the late General Scott. Mortified at his ill-fortune, he paid the money, and wished to keep the circumstance secret: it was, however, whispered in the polite circles, and his lordship, to divert his chagrin, a few nights after slipped on a domino, and went to a masquerade at Carlisle House. He found all the company running after three Irish ladies of the name of G——e, in the characters of the three weird sisters. These ladies were so well acquainted with everything that was going on in the great world, that they kept the room in a continued roar by the brilliancy of their bon-mots, and the terseness of their applications to some ladies of rank who were present. They knew Lord C——e, and they knew of his loss, though he did not know them. He walked up to them, and in a solemn tone of voice addressed them as follows:—

"Ye black and midnight hags,—what do ye do?

Live ye, or are ye aught that man may question?

Quickly unclasp to me the book of fate,

And tell if good or ill my steps await!"

First Witch. "All hail, C——e! all hail to thee!

All hail! though poor thou soon shalt be!"

Hecate. "C——e, all hail! thy evil star

Sheds baleful influence—oh, beware!

Beware that Thane! beware that Scott!

Or poverty shall be thy lot!

He'll drain thy youth as dry as hay—

Hither, sisters, haste away!"

At the concluding word, whirling a watchman's rattle which she held in her hand, the dome echoed with the sound; the terrified peer shrunk into himself,—retired,—vowed never to lose more than a hundred pounds at a sitting, abode by the determination, and retrieved his fortune.

[92] There has been almost as much debate about Hogarth's orthography as about Shakspeare's learning. One of these knotty points Dr. Farmer's admirable pamphlet has put out of the reach of doubt, the other is not of much consequence. I am afraid there are too many damning proofs that Mr. William Hogarth was ignorant of spelling, for his warmest admirers to contest the point any longer. His fame is fixed upon a firmer basis. It was not necessary for him to study the language of the schools; he searched into the grammar of nature, and was himself the founder of an university, in which his pencil, usurping the office of a pen, describes the passions as they affect the countenance, and narrates the incidents that mark our little life with the minuteness of a chronologist and the fidelity of an historian. It has been truly said, that our divine poet saw nature "without the spectacles of books." Our great artist could never have delineated the workings of the human mind with that precise accuracy which marks all his works, if he had studied the language of the passions from the books of your philosophy.

[93] In his remarks on the seventh print, he speaks of this female being introduced in the prison-scene as an episode. It cannot, however, be called a digression; it naturally arises from the main subject, and with the main subject it is materially connected.

Episodium: Res extra argumentum assumpta.—Ainsworth.

[94] The Reverend Mr. Gilpin. See Essay on Prints, article Hogarth.

[95] It is designed from one of the two figures at the gate of the hospital in Moorfields, which Mr. Pope, with more malignity than truth, calls "Cibber's brainless brothers." The sculptor was Mr. Cibber's father.

[96] This has been said to be an allusion to the "Leda" painted and afterwards cut to pieces by Jacques Antoine Arlaud; but it appears, by Mr. Walpole's Anecdotes, vol. iv. p. 81, that Arlaud did not anatomize his "Leda" until the year 1738.

[97] Elkannah Settle was born in the year 1648. In 1680, he was so violent a Whig, that the ceremony of Pope-burning, on the 17th of November, was entrusted to his management. He wrote much in defence of the party, and with the leaders was in high estimation. Politicians and patriots were formed of much the same materials then as they are now. Settle, being disappointed in some of his views, became as violent a Tory as he had been a Whig, and actually entered himself a trooper in King James's army at Hounslow Heath. The Revolution destroyed all his prospects; and in the latter part of his life he was so reduced as to attend a booth, which was kept by Mrs. Minns and her daughter Mrs. Leigh, in Bartholomew Fair. From these people he received a salary for writing drolls, which were generally approved. In his old age he was obliged to appear in these wretched exhibitions; and in the farce of St. George for England, performed the part of a dragon, being enclosed in a case of green leather of his own invention. To this circumstance Doctor Young refers in his Epistle to Pope:

"Poor Elkannah, all other changes past,

For bread, in Smithfield-dragons hiss'd at last;

Spit streams of fire, to make the butchers gape;

And found his manners suited to his shape."

[98] The Honourable Edward Howard, brother to the Earl of Berkshire and to Sir Henry Howard, was much more illustrious from his birth than distinguished by his talents. Poetry was his passion rather than his power. He mistook inclination for ability, and wrote a number of very dull plays, in which want of genius and invention was atoned for by that turgid, inflated language so acceptable to an audience whose admiration is most excited by that which they least understand.

[99] The fairs at Chester, and some few other places, still keep up the spirit of the original institution.

[100] They were at last carried to such a height of licentiousness, as to demand the interposition of the Legislature; and no reformation being wrought by lenient measures, Southwark Fair, and many others, were suppressed.

[101] A booth was built in Smithfield the year this print was published, for the use of T. Cibber, Bullock, and H. Hallam, at which the tragedy of Tamerlane, with the Fall of Bajazet, intermixed with the comedy of the Miser, was actually represented. The bill of fare with which these gentlemen tempted their customers may properly enough be called an olio; and the royal elephant sheet on which the titles of their plays are printed, throws the comparatively diminutive bills of a theatre-royal into the background.

In some of the provinces distant from the capital, their dramatic exhibitions are still given out in the quaint style which marked the productions of our ancestors. This sometimes excites the laughter of a scholar, but it whets the curiosity of the rustic; and whatever helps to fill a theatre or a barn, must be the best of all possible methods. From the recent modes of announcing new plays at the two Royal Theatres, there seems some reason to expect that the admirers of this kind of writing will soon be gratified by having it introduced in the London play-bills, or at least in the London papers, where hints of "the abundant entertainment which is to be expected sometimes make their appearance in the shape of 'a correspondent's opinion.'" But leaving them to their admirers, let us return to humbler scenes, and give one example out of the many which the provinces annually afford.

A play-bill, printed some years ago at Ludlow, in Shropshire, was nearly as large as their principal painted scene, and dignified with letters that were truly CAPITAL, for each of those which composed the name of a principal character were near a foot long. The play was for the benefit of a very eminent female performer, the bill was said to be written by herself, and thus was the evening's amusement announced:

"For the benefit of Mrs. ——. By particular desire of B—— G——, Esquire, and his most amiable lady: This present evening will be performed a deep tragedy, containing the doleful history of King Lear and his three daughters; with the merry conceits of his Majesty's fool, and the valorous exploits of General Edmund, the Duke of Glo'ster's bastard.—All written by one William Shakspeare, a mighty great poet, who was born in Warwickshire, and held horses for gentlemen at the sign of the Red Bull, in Saint John's Street, near West Smithfield; where was just such another playhouse as that to which we humbly invite you, and hope for the good company of all friends round the Wrekin.

"All you who would wish to cry, or to laugh,

You had better spend your money here than in the alehouse, by half;

And if you likes more about these things for to know,

Come at six o'clock to the barn, in the High Street, Ludlow;

Where, presented by live actors, the whole may be seen:

So vivant Rex, God save the King, not forgetting the Queen."—E.

[102] I have heard a person, who was ambitious of being thought able to detect the plagiarisms of painters, assert that the artist took this hint from Jupiter and Io. The Southwark Fair nymph does not, however, appear to be embracing a cloud.

[103] The Siege of Troy was a celebrated droll, in high estimation at fairs, printed in 1707. The author, Elkannah Settle,

"For his broad shoulders fam'd, and length of ears."

[104] Had Hogarth read The Merchant of Venice? or did the poet and the painter see nature with the same eyes? The woman behind the post proves that they thought alike:

"Some men there are love not a gaping pig,

Some that are mad if they behold a cat;

And others 'if the bagpipe sing i' the nose.' etc."

[105] In Mr. Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in the Reign of George II., he prefaces the account of William Hogarth in the following manner: "Having despatched the herd of our painters in oil, I reserved to a class by himself that great and original genius," etc. I thought the term very happily applied, and pointedly appropriate to most of the characters it enumerates; but I remember a second-rate artist being marvellously offended at the freedom of the appellation; and observing that the names of Canaletti, George Lambert, Francis Cotes, Frank Hayman, and Samuel Scott, deserved more respect than to be classed in a herd.

[106] Mr. Highmore was originally a man of considerable fortune, but White's gaming-house, and the Drury Lane patent, exhausted his finances. Having exhibited himself as an unsuccessful actor and an unfortunate manager, he in 1743 completed the climax by publishing a poem entitled Dettingen, which proves him a very indifferent writer. In 1744, he a second time appeared in the character of Lothario, for the benefit of Mr. Horton, but seems to have had no requisites for the stage. He was, however, a man of strict integrity and high honour, and frequently suffered heavy losses rather than violate any engagement, though it might be only verbal, which he had once made. Such a person was very unfit for a coadjutor with men who were so busied in qualifying themselves for personating the characters of others, that they had no leisure for any attention to their own.

[107] The general observation at the time was, "What business had a gentleman to make the purchase?"

[108] It seems that Harper was mentally and corporeally qualified for the character; for we are told that Mr. Highmore fixed upon Harper as the person to take up for a vagabond, because he was naturally a very great coward. One of the prints of the day, dated the 12th of November 1734, speaking of this transaction, concludes with the following remark: "Sir Thomas Clarges and other justices have committed Mr. Harper to Bridewell, in order to his being put to hard labour,—an employment which, by his enormous bulk, he seems as little fit for as he is for a vagrant; being a man so marvellously corpulent, that it is not possible for him either to labour or to wander a great deal." He was, however, a man of very fair character, and soon delivered from his confinement by an order from the Court of King's Bench.

[109] Among the dead stock of a lately deceased antiquarian, there was found, carefully wrapped up in paper that had once been white, four moderate-sized panes of glass, cut lozenge fashion. On the paper, in a kind of law hand, was written what follows:—

"Theese curious peeces of antiquitie I did purchase from a glazyer at Windsor, who informed me that he had them from his father, who was in the same business, and lived for to be very old; and told unto him, that while he was yet but a little scrubbed boy, being apprenticed, his master did send him to put some newe paines of glasse in a cazement at the Olde Kinges Armes in that towne; the old glasse being rendered dimme and obscured, by wicked fellowes having at sundrie times scribbled naughty and unseemly words and verses thereon. Upon the enclosed paines were the fairest inscriptions; he therefore had kept them, and recommended unto his sonne to doe the like. For a small peece of gold they became mine, and I do beleeve were truelie written by the handes of those verie menne whose names are put under each verse, and that Falstaff his lines are meaned to convey a sort of sporting resentmente against his old companion, once Prince Henrie, surnamed of Monmouth, but nowe become kinge, for having banyshed him from his royal presence; though perhappes it may onlie meane to allude unto the signe of the taverne where they did holde their merrie meetinges."

The inscriptions were as follow:—

"Kingis Armes taverne atte Winsor, firste daie of Maye, A.D. 1414. Presente,—I John Falstaff, knight,—Mistris Dorothy,—Ned Poins,—and myne Ancient.

"Onne Mistris Dorothy.

"Doll in the Kingis Armes hath ofte times slept,

And Doll if you will give her halfe a crowne,

If from the Kingis Armes she should be kept,—

Will sleepe in yours, or anie armes in towne.—Falstaff.

"On the feathers which Mistriss Dorothy weareth in her hatte:

"Under Doll's feathers, let 'Ich Dien' bee;

'I serve,' we translate this.—

I own righte welle shee serveth mee,

And would serve you I wisse.—E. Poins.

"On Dol Tearsheete her Garters; the mottoe 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' being worked with worsteades thereon:

"Avaunt, ye peasant slaves! and see from whence

The mottoe 'Honi soit qui mal y pense.'

Dare of Dol's garters but to whisper eville,

With rapier's biting blade I'll drive ye to the deville!—Pistol."


These verses are copied verbatim et literatim from the brittle memorial on which they were found; but should any obstinate sceptic be hardy enough to doubt their antiquity, and, notwithstanding the internal evidence which beams through every line, suppose them the productions of modern days, let him read the numerous volumes of those gentlemen who debated so learnedly and so long about the workis of Maister Rowlie, the Bristowe poet, and the giftis of Maister Cannynge, the Bristowe patron; and if, after he has waded through these clear streams of ancient lore, a doubt remains in his mind—he must be an infidel.

[110] The licentiousness of the present age is a favourite topic with some of our popular writers; yet the drama is considered as the mirror of public manners; and the drama is rather more correct, and less indelicate, than it was in the year 1327, when, in a play of the Olde and Newe Testament, performed at Chester, the actors who played Adam and Eve, trying to represent these two characters to the life, came upon the stage quite naked! What modern manager could have dressed, or rather undressed, his performers with a stricter regard to propriety?

[111] That wild beasts were exhibited, is, however, certain from the following anecdote, which, not being noted by any of Dr. Johnson's biographers, may as well have a place here:—

When the Doctor first became acquainted with David Mallet, they once went with some other gentlemen to laugh away an hour at Southwark Fair. At one of the booths where wild beasts were exhibited to the wondering crowd, was a very large bear, which the showman assured them was "cotched in the undiscovered desarts of the remotest Russia." The bear was muzzled, and might therefore be approached with safety, but to all the company except Johnson was very surly and ill-tempered; of the philosopher he appeared extremely fond, rubbed against him, and displayed every mark of awkward partiality and subdued kindness. "How is it," said one of the company, "that this savage animal is so attached to Mr. Johnson?" "From a very natural cause," replied Mallet; "the bear is a Russian philosopher, and he knows that Linnæus would have placed him in the same class with the English moralist. They are two barbarous animals of one species."

The Doctor disliked Mallet for his tendency to infidelity, and this sarcasm turned that dislike into positive hatred. He never spoke to him afterwards, but has gibbeted him in his octavo Dictionary under the article alias.

[112] I cannot learn in what year the duration of this fair was shortened; but I should suppose from the following circumstance, very soon afterwards. This print was published in 1733, and on the 24th of June 1735 the Court of Aldermen came to a resolution touching Bartholomew Fair, "that the same shall not exceed Bartholomew eve, Bartholomew day, and the day after; and that during that time nothing but stalls and booths shall be erected for the sale of goods, wares, and merchandizes, and no acting be permitted."

[113] A Mr. Banckes, who a few years afterwards published some rhymes on this print, asserts, "that the performance at the booth, on the sign of which is written, The Fall of Bajazet, is the droll of Fair Rosamond." From the dresses, etc., I should imagine this ingenious gentleman is wrong. He also observes, "that young Louis XV., King of France, his queen, children, prime minister, etc., were this year exhibited in Smithfield and the Borough at very reasonable prices, to spectators of all degrees." Our artist, however, had forgot himself in regard to the matter of which these great personages were made, the whole town having been informed by their master of the ceremonies that they were of a composition far exceeding wax. The same writer goes on to inform us:

"There Yeates and Pinchbeck change the scene

To slight of hand, and clock machine;

First numerous eggs are laid, and then,

The pregnant bag brings forth a hen," etc.

From the above lines, I should suppose that the late Mr. Pinchbeck, with his wonderful and surprising piece of mechanism the Panopticon, was at this fair; though he frequently spoke of one of his brothers, "who," he said, "was a showman, and who once gave a very large sum for an elephant, and took a room at Southwark Fair, with an intention of exhibiting it; but the passage to this room," added he, "was so narrow, that though my poor brother 'got the beast into it, a'never could get un out on't; a' stuck in the middle on't and died!' So, sir, you sees my poor brother lost all his money. Ah! he was a most unfortunate dog in everything he took in hand! and so was I, God knows." Cætera desunt.

[114] The late Lord Sandwich, not very eminent for his reverence of the clerical habit, being once in a company where there were a number of clergymen, offered, in a whisper, to lay a considerable wager with the gentleman who sat next him, that among the ten parsons there was not one Prayer-book. The wager was accepted, and a mock dispute gave him occasion to ask for a Prayer-book to decide it. They had not one.—He soon after privately offered to lay another wager with the same gentleman, that among the ten parsons there was half a score corkscrews. This also was accepted; and the butler being previously instructed, coming into the room with a bottle of claret and a broken corkscrew, requested any gentleman to lend him one. Every priest who was present had a corkscrew in his pocket!

[115] Of Henley's absurdities we have heard much; but they had their source in an adoption of that manner which he knew would be agreeable to his auditors, rather than in ignorance. The following circumstance proves he was a man of some humour:—

"I never," says a person who knew little about the doctor, "saw Orator Henley but once, and that was at the Grecian Coffeehouse, where a gentleman he was acquainted with coming in, and seating himself in the same box, the following dialogue passed between them:—

Henley. "Pray what is become of our old friend Dick Smith? I have not seen him for several years."

Gentleman. "I really don't know. The last time I heard of him he was at Ceylon, or some of our settlements in the West Indies."

Henley (with some surprise). "At Ceylon, or some of our settlements in the West Indies! My good sir, in one sentence there are two mistakes. Ceylon is not one of our settlements, it belongs to the Dutch; and it is situated, not in the West, but in the East Indies."

Gentleman (with some heat). "That I deny!"

Henley. "More shame for you! I will engage to bring a boy of eight years of age who will confute you."

Gentleman (in a cooler tone of voice). "Well,—be it where it will, I thank God I know very little about these sort of things."

Henley. "What, you thank God for your ignorance, do you?"

Gentleman (in a violent rage). "I do, sir. What then?"

Henley. "Sir, you have a great deal to be thankful for."

[116] These lines are from Banckes' Poems, p. 87, in which a contracted copy of the print is placed as the headpiece of an epistle to the painter. This good gentleman, with true poetic vanity, pathetically exclaims,

"Alas! that pictures should decay;

That words alone can wit convey:

But words remain—Oh, may this verse

Remain, etc. etc."

Little did this rival of Stephen Duck imagine that the words "which alone can wit convey," would not have preserved his two volumes from the trunkmaker, to whom every verse had been long since consigned, had not this little print, and another copy from the same artist, sometimes induced a collector to purchase the volumes.

The concluding lines of his poem are not, however, so contemptible:

"In vain we ransack Rome and Greece

To match this Conversation piece;

In vain our follies would advance

The names of Italy and France;

Labour and art elsewere we see,

But native humour strong in thee;

In thee—but parallels are vain,

A great original remain.

Go on to lash our reigning crimes,

And live the censor of the times."

[117] I once heard a freemason observe, that this droning disciple of Morpheus, and the heavy politician on the opposite side, were the Jachin and Boaz of the lodge.

[118] On the top of a shop-bill, which contains a list of Doctor ——, I forget his name's, wonderful and surprising cures, performed by elixir of——, I don't know what, this descendant of Sangrado has inserted a wooden print, which displays a reduced copy of his sign. It exhibits a half-length of much such a person as our antiquated beau, with his hand in precisely the same situation. This our quack very emphatically denominates the sign of the headache.

[119] Those gentlemen who wish to enjoy

"The feast of reason and the flow of soul,"

would find some use in adopting the old threadbare adage, "Not more than the Muses, nor fewer than the Graces." Poor Mortimer the painter, whose convivial talents were hardly to be paralleled, had such a dislike to large companies, that he used to say, "If he invited the twelve apostles to supper, he would certainly take two evenings to receive them, six being a sufficient number, be the society ever so good."

[120] The preacher is said to be intended for a portrait of a Doctor Desaguliers.

[121] Our clerk carries every appearance of being the schoolmaster of the hamlet. He has much of that surly, tyrannic dignity which frequently accompanies the character. One of these gentlemen, in a village distant from the capital, having a disagreement with a neighbouring yeoman, the farmer, in his wrath, called him an overbearing Turk, and an insignificant beast. Our haughty Holofernes was irritated beyond description; his rage choked his utterance: he stalked home, and wrote a poetical epistle to the rustic, beginning with the lines which follow:—

"God not a beast did make, but me a man;

And not a Turk, but a true Christian;

And by His grace I am a schoolmaster;

None of the meaner kind, I dare aver."

[122] These moping birds, being the worshippers of darkness consecrated to dulness, closing their eyes against the light, and holding their silent, solitary reign in old buildings which are seldom trodden by human feet, are with great propriety placed in this church.

The cross on an escutcheon in one of the windows is there placed to the memory of the learned and Reverend Ebenezer Muzz; who, his epitaph declareth, after "painfullie labouring in this vineyard for one and fortie years, now sleepeth with his fathers."

[123] An hour-glass is still placed on some of the pulpits in the provinces. Daniel Burgess, of whimsical memory, never preached without one, and he frequently saw it out three times during one sermon. In a discourse which he once delivered at the conventicle in Russel Court, against drunkenness, some of his hearers began to yawn at the end of the second glass. But Daniel was not to be silenced by a yawn; he turned his timekeeper, and altering the tone of his voice, desired they would be patient a while longer, for he had much more to say upon the sin of drunkenness: "therefore," added he, "my friends and brethren, we will have another glass,—and then!"

[124] Doctor Arbuthnot, Mr. Pope, and the Dean, have united their talents to expose the anti-climax, and selected innumerable conceits from the ponderous works of Sir Richard Blackmore and others. They have unkindly neglected their friend Gay; and yet Blackmore's mowing the beard is not much worse than Gay's shaving the grass:

"When the fresh spring in all her state is crown'd,

And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground,

The lab'rer with the bending scythe is seen

Shaving the surface of the waving green;

Of all her native pride disrobes the land,

And meads lays waste before his sweeping hand."

—Gay's Pastorals, p. 5, l. 39, etc.

[125] When I was very young, I once paid a morning visit to a poet. Upon his table was Byshe's Art of Poetry. I naturally observed, "Your manager of a puppet-show is more prudent than you are; he keeps his wires out of sight." So tremblingly alive are these valets to the Muses, that this good-natured hint, which had its source in a wish to serve him, was never forgiven.

[126] This excellent paper is now no more; but our modern poets and poetesses have a still more extended channel in which to pour out their warm effusions. Reams of good white paper are daily metamorphosed, and become magazines, newspapers, and, though last mentioned, not less in regard, auctioneer's catalogues. That the last named is as poetical as are the two former, many examples might be adduced to prove. One shall suffice, and that one is so bespangled with beauteous metaphors, that, though neither in rhyme nor blank verse, yet, from its brilliancy of colouring and splendour of diction, it must be classed amongst the most sublime compositions of our most sublime bards. Thus is a sale announced:—"Particulars and conditions of sale of that elegant freehold villa called Luxborough, which will be sold on the 26th of June 1765, together with the several farms that encompass the premises, containing in the whole near six hundred acres of rich arable meadow, pasture, and woodland, lying and being in an extensive vale, whose surrounding acclivities are nobly clothed, and, rising in magnifique form, exhibit luxuriant prospects of unequalled richness and beauty.

"The pleasure-ground is comprised in a space of eleven acres, encompassed with ha-ha! and grub walls. The elegant disposition of the ground is beautifully improved with vistas, groves, and plantations, through which walks wind in extensive circuit. Store-ponds and elevated basons occupy the areas, regale those fragrant coverts, and afford a constant and inexhaustible supply of water for the house, by means of lead pipes, aqueducts, etc.

"Nature, propitious, hath luxuriantly featured the circumadjacent grounds, and art hath been judiciously introduced to give richness and effect. The lawn swells with gentle rise and easy slopes; clumps of trees are placed in pleasing irregularity; a serpentine stream flows through the vale, heightening the verdure of the divided pasture; and the villages of Chigwell, Woodford, and Woodford Bridge, dawn through that mass of prolific richness which fills the wide expanse."

[127] Had the artist given this speaking countenance to the girl who is exhibited in the first print of the "Rake's Progress," how much more should we have been interested in her situation?

[128] When this was first published, the following quotation from Pope's Dunciad was inscribed under the print:—

"Studious he sate, with all his books around,

Sinking from thought to thought, a vast profound:

Plung'd for his sense, but found no bottom there;

Then wrote and flounder'd on in mere despair."

All his books, amounting to only four, was, I suppose, the artist's reason for erasing the lines.

A reduced copy, with some variations, is placed as the headpiece of an Epistle to Alexander Pope, Esq., by Mr. Banckes. One of the variations is, a cobweb over the grate. If this good gentleman had consulted his own headpiece, he would have recollected that, as even a poet must sometimes eat, and the poor bard had no other room, or grate, it was natural to think he must sometimes have a fire to dress his scanty meal. In almost every other respect he is indeed a much more unaccommodated man than was Stephen Duck when he was a thresher. Duck, having made some rhymes, which for a thresher were deemed extraordinary, was taken out of his barn, furnished with a stock in trade, and set up as a poet. After that time he never wrote a stanza; his Muse forsook him; he was haunted by the foul fiend, and hanged or drowned himself, because Queen Caroline, who had made him a parson, could not make him a bishop.

In one of the journals of the day, dated June 30, 1736, I find written as follows:—"A handsome entertainment was this day given at Charlton, in Wiltshire, to the threshers of that village, by the Lord Viscount Palmerston, who has given money to purchase a piece of land, the produce of which is to be laid out in an annual entertainment, on the 30th of June, for ever, in commemoration of Stephen Duck, who was a thresher at that place." Happy man! patronized by the Queen's Majesty, and

"So lov'd, so honour'd, in the House of Lords!"

[129] This unfortunate creature, in the memory of many persons now living, used to parade the streets of the metropolis with a hautboy, which afforded him a precarious subsistence.

[130] He was brother to Festin who led the band at Ranelagh, and has been dead about thirty years.

[131] "What signifies," says some one to Dr. Johnson, "giving half-pence to common beggars? they only lay them out in gin or tobacco." "And why," replied the Doctor, "should they be denied such sweeteners of their existence? It is surely very savage to shut out from them every possible avenue to those pleasures reckoned too coarse for our own acceptance. Life is a pill which none of us can swallow without gilding; yet for the poor we delight in stripping it still more bare, and are not ashamed to show even visible marks of displeasure, if ever the bitter taste is taken from their mouths."

[132] This is said to be a striking resemblance of that very great man. For many years he attended Covent Garden market every morning.

[133] It has been said that this incomparable figure was designed as the representative of either a particular friend or a relation. Individual satire may be very gratifying to the public, but is frequently fatal to the satirst. Churchill, by the lines,

"Fam'd Vine Street,

Where Heaven, the kindest wish of man to grant,

Gave me an old house, and an older aunt,"

lost a considerable legacy; and it is related that Hogarth, by the introduction of this withered votary of Diana into this print, induced her to alter a will which had been made considerably in his favour: she was at first well enough satisfied with her resemblance, but some designing people taught her to be angry.

[134] Of this there is an enlarged copy, which some of our collectors have ingeniously enough christened, The Half-Starved Boy. It bears the date of 1730, and is inscribed "W. H. pinx. F. Sykes sc." Sykes was the pupil of either Sir James Thornhill or Hogarth, and the 0 might be intended for an 8 or a 9; but the aquafortis failing, it appears to have an earlier date than the print from which it was copied. If the date is right, Sykes undoubtedly copied it from a sketch of his master's, which might then be unappropriated. In any case, it is too ridiculous to imagine for a moment that Hogarth was a plagiary; for supposing, what is not very probable, that his pupil was capable of delineating the figure, he would scarcely have made the sketch without some concomitant circumstances to explain its meaning.

[135] I speak of the large print; in the small copy, which is inserted in this work, they are properly placed.

[136] From what combination is this now made the sign for a colour shop?

[137] This boy is copied from a figure in a picture of The Rape of the Sabines, by N. Poussin, now in the collection of Sir R. Hoare, at Stourhead.

[138] At that period there was a windmill at the bottom of Rathbone Place.

[139] Mr. Nichols, in his Anecdotes.

[140] I have seen more than one modern impression with the hands and face tinged with red and blue. Those only are genuine which are printed in colours.

[141] To the memory of this great and public-spirited citizen I never saw any other memorial. Such a benefactor to the city ought to have had a statue of gold placed in the centre of the Royal Exchange.

He was a native of Denbigh, in North Wales, and a citizen and goldsmith of London. Though there were three Acts of Parliament empowering the freemen of London to cut through lands, and bring a river from any part of Middlesex or Hertfordshire, the project had always been considered as impracticable, till Sir Hugh Middleton undertook it. He made choice of two springs, one in the parish of Amwell, in Hertfordshire, the other near Ware, each of them about twenty miles from town. Having united their streams with immense labour and expense, he conveyed them to London. This most arduous and useful work was begun on the 20th of February 1608, and brought into the reservoir, at Islington, on Michaelmas day, 1613. Like many other projectors, he ruined his private fortune by his public spirit. King James I., however, created him a baronet; and his descendants, in lieu of a very considerable estate, had the honour of being called Sirs. For the benefit of the poor members of the Goldsmiths' Company, he left a share in his New River water; and his portrait is still preserved in their hall.

The seventy-two shares into which this great liquid property was divided, originally sold for one hundred pounds each, and for thirty years afforded scarce any advantage to the proprietors. In the year 1780, shares were sold at nine and ten thousand pounds each; and their price is increasing in proportion to the increase of the dividends, by which their value is regulated.

[142] On the resignation of Mr. Horace Walpole, in February 1738, De Veil was appointed inspector-general of the imports and exports, and was so severe against the retailers of spirituous liquors, that one Allen headed a gang of rioters for the purpose of pulling down his house, and bringing to a summary punishment two informers who were there concealed. Allen was tried for this offence and acquitted upon the jury's verdict declaring him lunatic.

[143] On this spot once stood the cross erected by Edward I. as a memorial of affection for his beloved Queen Eleanor, whose remains were here rested on their way to the place of sepulture. It was formed from a design by Cavalini, and destroyed by the religious fury of the Reformers. In its place, in the year 1678, was erected the animated equestrian statue which now remains. It was cast in brass, in the year 1633, by Le Sœur; I think by order of that munificent encourager of the arts, Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. The Parliament ordered it to be sold, and broken to pieces; but John River, the brazier who purchased it, having more taste than his employers, seeing, with the prophetic eye of good sense, that the powers which were would not remain rulers very long, dug a hole in his garden, in Holborn, and buried it unmutilated. To prove his obedience to their order, he produced to his masters several pieces of brass, which he told them were parts of the statue. M. de Archenholtz adds further, that the brazier, with the true spirit of trade, cast a great number of handles for knives and forks, and offered them for sale, as composed of the brass which had formed the statue. They were eagerly sought for, and purchased,—by the loyalists from affection to their murdered monarch, by the other party as trophies of the triumph of liberty over tyranny.

[144] Doctor Arne, in one instance, seemed to think that they should still continue so. Having composed a very dull opera, and the town disapproving and consigning it to a merited oblivion, the Doctor asked Foote what was his opinion of it; "for," added he, "I really think there is a great deal of good in it." "There is, my dear fellow," replied the wit; "there is a great deal too much good in it; but, setting aside its goodness and piety, there never was anything more justly damned since damning came into fashion."

[145] There may be those who will object to a banner flouting the sky in a barn; let such consider that the roof is not above half thatched, and their objections will vanish. These breaches in the roof will throw a new light upon the line.

[146] Let not this humble situation be considered with contempt. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the loyal inhabitants of Shrewsbury, expecting that her Majesty would pass through their town in one of her northern perambulations, prepared to entertain her with a play, which was to have been performed in a dry marl pit in the quarry; but the Queen's highness did not come.

[147] This gentlewoman has generally been considered as intended for the ghost: from her employment, I rather think she is the representative of tragedy:

"Death in her hand, and murder in her eye."

The sage Melpomene herself could not go through the business with more philosophic indifference.

[148] By the halter near them, it may be conjectured that these balls were intended to represent bullets, and designed to hint that some one of this noble company might on a leisure evening, in humble imitation of the heroic Captain Machcath, endeavour to turn his lead to gold; and, like that very great man, be in consequent danger of making an exit with a rope round his neck.

[149] We are told by John Milton, that cannon were invented by the devil. We are told by Alexander Pope, that stage thunder was invented by that great critic John Dennis; and so jealous was Dennis of his bolt being wielded by an improper hand, that being once in the pit at Drury Lane Theatre, when the company were performing Macbeth, he, on hearing the bowls rattling over his head, started from his seat, grasped his oaken stick, and exclaimed, with an emphasis that drowned the voices of the players, "Eternal curses light on these scoundrels! they have stolen my thunder, and don't know how to roll it!"

[150] Our royal theatres have sometimes neglected and violated the costume. We have seen the head of Cato covered with a periwig that emulated Sir Cloudesley Shovel's; a Prince of Denmark decorated with the order of St. George; Othello habited as a captain of the foot guards; and Kent, the tough old Kent, as a Chelsea pensioner.

[151] In the second act of Oedipus is the following stage direction:—"The cloud draws that veiled the heads of the figures in the sky, and shows them crowned with the names of Oedipus and Jocasta written above, in great characters of gold."

[152] That these representatives of royalty sometimes meet with such accidents, appears by the following letter from a late lecturer upon heads, at a time when he belonged to a company of comedians at Yarmouth:—

"Yarmouth Gaol, 27th May 1761.

"Sir,—When I parted from you at Lincoln, I thought long before now to have met with some oddities worth acquainting you with. It is grown a fashion of late to write lives: I now, and for a long time, have had leisure sufficient to undertake mine, but want materials for the latter part of it; for my existence now cannot properly be called living, but what the painters term still life, having ever since March 13th been confined in this town gaol for a London debt. As the hunted deer is always shunned by the happier herd, so am I deserted by the company, my share taken off, and no support left me except what my wife can spare out of hers:

'Deserted, in my utmost need,

By those my former bounties fed.'

"With an economy which till now I was ever a stranger to, I have made a shift hitherto to victual my little garrison; but then it has been by the assistance of some good friends; and, alas! my clothes furnish me this week with my last resort; the next, I must atone for my errors upon bread and water.

"Themistocles had many towns to furnish his tables, and a whole city had the charge of his meals. In some respects I am like him, for I am fed by the labours of a multitude. A wig has kept me two days; the trimmings of a waistcoat as long; a ruffled shirt has paid my washer-woman; a pair of velvet breeches discharged my lodgings; my coat I swallow by degrees, the sleeves I breakfasted upon for three days, the body, skirts, etc. served me as long; and two pair of pumps enabled me to smoke several pipes. You would be surprised to think how my appetite, barometer-like, rises in proportion as my necessities make their terrible advances. I here could say something droll about a good stomach, but it is ill jesting with edged tools, and I am sure that is the sharpest thing about me.

"You may, perhaps, think I am lost to all sense of my condition, that while I am thus wretched I should offer at ridicule; but, Sir, people constitutioned like me, with a disproportionable levity of spirits, are always most merry when most miserable, and quicken like the eyes of the consumptive, which are brightest the nearer the patient approaches his dissolution. But to show you that I am not lost to all reflection, I here think myself poor enough to want a favour, and humble enough to ask it. Then, Sir, I could draw an encomium on your good sense, humanity, etc. etc.; but I will not pay so bad a compliment to your understanding as to endeavour by a parade of phrases to win it over to my interest. If at the concert you could make a gathering for me, it would be a means of obtaining my liberty.

"You well know, Sir, the first people of rank abroad perform the most friendly offices for the sick; be not therefore offended at the request of the unfortunate.

"George Alexander Stevens."

[153] On the spirited style in which the late Miss Catley, of melodious memory, performed this character, the following lines were written; but I do not recollect having seen them printed:—

"Hail, vulgar goddess of the foul-mouth'd race!

(If modest bard may hail without offence),

On whose majestic, blush-disdaining face,

The steady hand of Fate wrote—IMPUDENCE!

Hail to thy dauntless front, and aspect bold!

Thrice hail! magnificent, immortal scold!

"The goddess, from the upper gallery's height,

With heedful look the jealous fishwife eyes;

Though early train'd to urge the mouthing fight,

She hears thy bellowing powers with new surprise;

Returns instructed to the realms that bore her,

Adopts thy tones, and carries all before her.

"From thee the roaring Bacchanalian crew,

In many a tavern round the Garden known,

Learn richer blackguard than they ever knew:

They catch thy look,—they copy every tone;

They ape the brazen honours of thy face,

And push the jorum with a double grace.

"Thee from his box the macaroni eyes;

With levell'd tube he takes his distant stand,

Trembling beholds the horrid storm arise,

And feels for reinhold when you raise your hand;

At distance he enjoys the boisterous scene,

And thanks his God the pit is plac'd between.

"So, 'midst the starry honours of the night,

The sage explores a comet's fiery course;

Fearful he views its wild eccentric flight,

And shudders at its overwhelming force:

At distance safe he marks the glaring ray,

Thankful his world is not within its way.

"Proceed then, Catley, in thy great career,

And nightly let our maidens hear and see,

The sweetest voice disgust the listening ear,

The sweetest form assume deformity:

Thus shalt thou arm them with their best defence,

And teach them modesty by impudence."

[154] The late Lord Orrery was a singularly formal character. Sir Anthony Branville, in The Discovery, was intended for his portrait, and exhibits a strong likeness. It was sometimes the wish of Mr. Garrick to play upon the suavity of this old nobleman, and induce him to contradict himself. This power he exerted very successfully on the following occasion:—Lord Orrery wrote a letter from Ireland to Mr. Garrick, requesting that Mossop might be engaged. The request of a man of rank was, to the manager of Drury Lane, a command, and Mossop was engaged. When, some months afterwards, the peer came to England, he took an early opportunity of breakfasting with Mr. Garrick: the moment he entered the room, he began his favourite subject.

Orrery. "David, I congratulate you: I inquire not about the success of your theatre; with yourself and Mossop, it must be triumphant. The Percy and the Douglas both in arms, have a right to be confident. Separate, you were two bright luminaries; united, you are a constellation—the Gemini of the theatric hemisphere. Excepting yourself, my dear David, no man that ever trod on tragic ground has so forcibly exhibited the various passions that agitate, and I may say agonize, the human mind. He makes that broad stroke at the heart which, being aimed by the hand of nature, reaches the prince or the peasant, the peer or the plebeian. He is not the mere player of fashion; for the player of fashion, David, may be compared to a man tossed in a blanket: the very instant his supporters quit their hold of the coverlet, down drops the hero of the day. However, as general assertions do not carry conviction, I will arrange my opinions under different heads, not doubting your assent to my declarations, which shall be founded on facts, and built upon experience. First of the first,—his voice; his voice is the vox argentea of the ancients, the silver tone, of which so much has been written, but which never struck upon a modern ear till Mossop spoke,—'then mute attention reigned.'"

Garrick. "Why, my Lord, as to his voice, I must acknowledge that it is loud enough; the severest critic cannot accuse him of whispering his part; for, egad, it was so sonorous, that the people had no occasion to come into the theatre: they used to go to the pastrycook's shop in Russel Court, and eat their custards, and hear him as well as if they had been in the orchestra: 'he made the welkin echo to the sound.' No one could doubt the goodness of his lungs, or accuse him of sparing them; but as to—"

Orrery. "What! you have found out that he roars! you have discovered that he bellows!—Upon my soul, David, you are right; he bellows like a bull. We used to call him 'Bull Mossop'—'Mossop the Bull;'—we had no better name for him in the country. But then, David, his eye is an eye of fire; and when he looks, he looks unutterable things: it is scarce necessary that he should speak, for his eye conveys everything that he means, and excepting your own, David, is the brightest, most expressive, most speaking eye, that ever beamed in a—"

Garrick. "Why, my Lord, with the utmost submission to your Lordship, from whose accurate taste and comprehensive judgment I tremble to differ,—does not your Lordship think there is a—a—a dull kind of heaviness,—a blanket, a—"

Orrery. "What! you have discovered that he is blind?—Egad, David, whatever his eye may be, nothing can escape yours. He is as blind as a beetle. There is an opacity, a stare without sight, a sort of filminess, exactly as you describe. But, notwithstanding I allow that he bellows like a bull, and is blind as a beetle, his memory has such peculiar tenacity, that whatever he once receives adheres to it like glue! he does not forget a syllable of his part."

Garrick. "Upon my honour, my Lord, if his memory was what you describe in Ireland, he must have forgot to bring it with him to London; for here, the prompter is obliged to repeat every sentence, and a whole sentence he cannot retain: there is absolutely a necessity for splitting it into parts."

Orrery. "What! you have found that his head runs out. Upon my soul, it never would hold anything: Lady Orrery used to call him 'Cullender Mossop'—Mossop the Cullender:' the fellow could not remember a common distich. But, notwithstanding this, his carriage is so easy, his air so gentleman-like, his deportment has so much fashion, that you perceive at a glance he has kept the best company; and no one who sees him conceives him a player. He looks like one of our house: he has the port of nobility."

Garrick. "As to his port, my Lord, I grant you that the man is tall, and upright enough; but with submission, the utmost submission to your Lordship's better judgment, don't you think there is an awkwardness, a rigid, vulgar, unbending sort of a—a—. We had fencing masters, dancing masters, and drill sergeants, but all would not do; he looked more like a tailor than a gentleman."

Orrery. "What! you think that he is stiff? By the Lord, David, you are right,—nothing escapes you: he is stiff—stiff as a poker: we used to call him 'Poker Mossop;'—we had no better name for him in the country. But however his body might want (as I must acknowledge it did) the graceful, easy bend of the Antinous, his mind was formed of the most yielding and flexible materials: any advice which you gave him, he would take; from you, I am persuaded, a hint was sufficient."

Garrick. "Why, in this, my Lord, I must be bold enough to differ from you in the most pointed and positive terms; for of all the obstinate, headstrong, and unmanageable animals I ever dealt with, he is the most stubborn, the most untractable, the most wrongheaded. I never knew one instance where he followed my instructions in any the smallest degree. If I recommend him to dress a character plain, he comes upon the stage like a gingerbread king; if I advise him to be splendid in his apparel, he endeavours to get a Quaker's habit from the keeper of our wardrobe; and in everything, he—more than I thought belonged to human nature—had that impenetrable, that—that—that—"

Orrery. "So!—you think him obstinate? Upon my soul he is—as obstinate as a pig; he has more of that animal's pertinacity than any man I ever knew in my life. But yet, David, with all these faults, he is—I have not time to enter into particulars.—Be what he will, you have engaged him? I sincerely wish you may agree together, and am, my dear fellow, your most obedient. Say no more.—Farewell.—To Mrs. Garrick present my compliments."

[155] In an ode to the memory of Le-Stue, cook to the late Duke of Newcastle, this was whimsically parodied by a Mr. Shaw, the writer of a monody addressed to Lord Lyttleton:

"When Philip's fam'd, all-conquering son,

Had every blood-stain'd laurel won,

He sigh'd that his creative word,

Like that which rules the skies,

Could not bid other nations rise,

To glut his yet unsated sword.

"But when Le-Stue's unrivall'd spoon,

Like Alexander's sword, with flesh had done,

He heav'd no sigh, he made no moan;

Not limited to human kind,

To fire his wonder-teeming mind,

He rais'd ragouts and olios of his own."

[156] When a gentleman, whose industry and integrity have raised him to the rank of an Alderman of London, was apprentice, he one Sunday afternoon took a walk with several of his friends to Islington. Considering smoking as a manly accomplishment, he put a pipe in his mouth. A respectable citizen who knew his master, meeting him in the fields, with a grave face accosted him as follows: "How now, Tom! smoking tobacco! pray who was your teacher? If you mean to be rich, unlearn it as fast as you can, for I never knew a man worth a guinea who stuck a pipe in his mouth before he was twenty." "The d—l you did not," replied the boy, "then I will never smoke another." He dashed his clay tube to the ground, and adhered to his resolution.

[157] The sign by which this circumstance is intimated was at first inscribed Goodchild and West. Some of Mr. Hogarth's city friends informing him that it was usual for the senior partner's name to precede, it was altered.

[158] Madame Pompadour, in her remarks on the English taste for music, says "they are invariably fond of everything that is full in the mouth."

[159] The inscription must remind every reader of Pope's lines,—

"Where London's column, pointing to the skies,

Like a tall bully rears its head, and lies," etc.

The Duke of Buckingham's epigram on this magnificent pillar is not so generally known:

"Here stand I,

The Lord knows why;

But if I fall—

Have at ye all!"

[160] To mark the midnight hour, each of the watches is a quarter after twelve.

[161] This reverend gentleman is said to be intended for Mr. Platell, once curate of Barnet.

[162] A copy of this figure on a larger scale is engraved by Mr. Bartolozzi.

[163] The following whimsical notice, written by a believer in transmigration, was a few years ago sent to several country gentlemen, accompanied with a request that the contents might, if possible, be communicated to all the fish and fowl, birds and beasts, in their respective manors:—


"Bustards, pheasants, woodcocks, widgeons,

Wild-ducks, plovers, snipes, and pigeons;

Every fowl of every sort,

To your native haunts resort.

Turbot, salmon, herring, soles,

Plunge into your native holes.

Bucks, and does, and hares, and fawns,

Speed ye to your native lawns.

Each to your closest covers haste!

Beware! beware the man of taste!

All that can escape, away!

You're surely slaughter'd, if you stay,

For Monday next is Lord Mayor's day."

[164] This scene is laid in the cellar of a house near Water Lane, Fleet Street, then known by the name of the "Blood Bowl House;" which curious appellation was given it from the various scenes of riot and murder which were there perpetrated.

[165] This has been supposed to be intended for the same prostitute whom we have before seen exhibited in a garret and a night-cellar: I do not discover the least resemblance.

[166] I have been told that the dealers in perjury at Westminster Hall, as well as the Old Bailey, consider this little circumstance as a complete salvo for false swearing.

[167] A solemn exhortation was formerly given to the prisoners appointed to die at Tyburn, in their way from Newgate. Mr. Robert Dow, merchant tailor, who died in 1612, left £1, 6s. 8d. yearly for ever, that the bellman should deliver to the unhappy criminals, as they went by in the cart, a most pious and awful admonition. An admonition of the same nature was read in the prison of Newgate the night before they suffered.

[168] A man that some persons now living may remember by the name of Tiddy Doll.

[169] Notwithstanding the boasted humanity of our laws, I am told more criminals are annually executed in this little island than in all Europe besides.

[170] I believe it was customary to despatch a second pigeon at the moment the criminal suffered.

[171] Numerous as are the executions, they are not sufficient for the anatomical students. It is not more than four or five years since one of those necessary assistants to the art of chirurgery, called resurrection men, being employed in his vocation of stealing a dead body from a churchyard in the neighbourhood of London, was discovered by a patrole, and shot in the grave. To prevent his employer being disappointed of a subject, and to show her reverence for that art which her husband had lost his life in endeavouring to improve, and save the idle expense of a funeral, his afflicted widow, with the fondness of an Ephesian matron, three days afterwards sold the body of her murdered lord for sixteen shillings, to the very surgeon in whose service he had suffered!

[172] When Oliver Cromwell, attended by Thurlow, once went to dine in the city, the populace rent the air with their gratulations. "Your highness," said the secretary, "may see by this that you have the voice of the people as well as the voice of God."—"As to God," replied the Protector, "I will not talk about Him here; but for the people, they would be more noisy, and more joyful too, if you and I were going to be hanged."

[173] He is somewhat like a porter butt, with a head on it. In the Straits of Thermopylæ he would have been pressed to death; but dead, he might stop a breach better than a better man.

[174] In the second volume of Wood's Body of Conveyancing, p. 180, is a London lease; one of the clauses gives a right to the landlord and his friends to stand in the balcony during the time of "the shows or pastimes upon the day commonly called the Lord Mayor's Day."

[175] In the General Advertiser for March 9, 1748-49, it was thus announced:

"This day is published, price 5s., a Print, designed and engraved by Mr. Hogarth, representing a PRODIGY which lately appeared before the gate of Calais,

'O the Roast Beef of Old England!'

"To be had at the Golden Head in Leicester Square, and at the print-shops."

[176] At this election a man was placed on a bulk, with a figure representing a child in his arms: as he whipped it, he exclaimed, "What, you little child, must you be a member?" This election being disputed, it appeared from the register book of the parish where Lord Castlemain was born, that he was but twenty years of age when he offered himself a candidate.


SEASON 1874.



Chatto & Windus

(Successors to John Camden Hotten),





With Notes by the late WILLIAM MAGINN, LL.D.

"Is our civilization a failure, or is the Caucasian played out?"


Widely known for their Exquisite Pathos and Delightful Humour.



Obvious typographical errors and punctuation errors have been corrected after careful comparison with other occurrences within the text and consultation of external sources.

Footnotes have been moved to the end of the book text, and before the publisher's Book Catalog. Some Footnotes are very long.

The 3-star asterism symbol in the Catalog is denoted by ⁂. On some handheld devices it may display as a space.

To avoid duplication, the page numbering in the publisher's Book Catalog at the back of the book has a suffix C added, so that for example page [23] in the Catalog is denoted as [23C].

Footnotes [13] and [29] are referenced from the prior Footnotes [12] and [28], not from the text itself.

For consistency and to follow the intent of the publisher, the PLATE illustrations have been moved to the beginning of the section describing them. In most cases this was only one or two paragraphs earlier than the original book layout.

Except for those changes noted below, all misspellings in the text, and inconsistent or archaic usage, have been retained. For example, enniched; biasses; dismission; disquisitions; threadbare, thread-bare; shoeblack, shoe-black.

Pg 17, 'Leonarda da Vinci' replaced by 'Leonardo da Vinci'.
Pg 18, 'reply the monarch' replaced by 'replied the monarch'.
Pg 18, 'Leonarda da Vinci' replaced by 'Leonardo da Vinci'.
Pg 46, Footnote [12], 'Albert Durer' replaced by 'Albrecht Durer'.
Pg 57, 'Gobelines' replaced by 'Gobelins'.
Pg 60, Illustration caption: 'BEAUTY, PLATE II.' replaced by 'BEAUTY, PLATE I.'.
Pg 74, 'Corregio's Sigismunda' replaced by 'Correggio's Sigismunda'.
Pg 76, 'even by Corregio' replaced by 'even by Correggio'.
Pg 140, 'similiar compliment' replaced by 'similar compliment'.
Pg 217, 'artifical light' replaced by 'artificial light'.

Catalog of Books:
Pg 15C, 'very beau-ful' replaced by 'very beautiful'.
Pg 38C, 'wholesale de redation' replaced by 'wholesale depredation'.
Pg 43C, 'booh is a mine' replaced by 'book is a mine'.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Hogarth's Works. Vol. 1 of 3, by 
John Ireland and John Nichols


***** This file should be named 51821-h.htm or *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:

Produced by Chris Curnow, John Campbell and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive)

Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions will
be renamed.

Creating the works from print editions not protected by U.S. copyright
law means that no one owns a United States copyright in these works,
so the Foundation (and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United
States without permission and without paying copyright
royalties. Special rules, set forth in the General Terms of Use part
of this license, apply to copying and distributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works to protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm
concept and trademark. Project Gutenberg is a registered trademark,
and may not be used if you charge for the eBooks, unless you receive
specific permission. If you do not charge anything for copies of this
eBook, complying with the rules is very easy. You may use this eBook
for nearly any purpose such as creation of derivative works, reports,
performances and research. They may be modified and printed and given
away--you may do practically ANYTHING in the United States with eBooks
not protected by U.S. copyright law. Redistribution is subject to the
trademark license, especially commercial redistribution.



To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full
Project Gutenberg-tm License available with this file or online at

Section 1. General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works

1.A. By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement. If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or
destroy all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your
possession. If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a
Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound
by the terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the
person or entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph

1.B. "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark. It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement. There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement. See
paragraph 1.C below. There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this
agreement and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works. See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C. The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the
Foundation" or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection
of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works. Nearly all the individual
works in the collection are in the public domain in the United
States. If an individual work is unprotected by copyright law in the
United States and you are located in the United States, we do not
claim a right to prevent you from copying, distributing, performing,
displaying or creating derivative works based on the work as long as
all references to Project Gutenberg are removed. Of course, we hope
that you will support the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting
free access to electronic works by freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm
works in compliance with the terms of this agreement for keeping the
Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with the work. You can easily
comply with the terms of this agreement by keeping this work in the
same format with its attached full Project Gutenberg-tm License when
you share it without charge with others.

1.D. The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work. Copyright laws in most countries are
in a constant state of change. If you are outside the United States,
check the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this
agreement before downloading, copying, displaying, performing,
distributing or creating derivative works based on this work or any
other Project Gutenberg-tm work. The Foundation makes no
representations concerning the copyright status of any work in any
country outside the United States.

1.E. Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1. The following sentence, with active links to, or other
immediate access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear
prominently whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work
on which the phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed,
performed, viewed, copied or distributed:

  This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and
  most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no
  restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it
  under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this
  eBook or online at If you are not located in the
  United States, you'll have to check the laws of the country where you
  are located before using this ebook.

1.E.2. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is
derived from texts not protected by U.S. copyright law (does not
contain a notice indicating that it is posted with permission of the
copyright holder), the work can be copied and distributed to anyone in
the United States without paying any fees or charges. If you are
redistributing or providing access to a work with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the work, you must comply
either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 or
obtain permission for the use of the work and the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.3. If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any
additional terms imposed by the copyright holder. Additional terms
will be linked to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works
posted with the permission of the copyright holder found at the
beginning of this work.

1.E.4. Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5. Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6. You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including
any word processing or hypertext form. However, if you provide access
to or distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format
other than "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official
version posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site
(, you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense
to the user, provide a copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means
of obtaining a copy upon request, of the work in its original "Plain
Vanilla ASCII" or other form. Any alternate format must include the
full Project Gutenberg-tm License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7. Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8. You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
provided that

* You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
  the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
  you already use to calculate your applicable taxes. The fee is owed
  to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he has
  agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation. Royalty payments must be paid
  within 60 days following each date on which you prepare (or are
  legally required to prepare) your periodic tax returns. Royalty
  payments should be clearly marked as such and sent to the Project
  Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the address specified in
  Section 4, "Information about donations to the Project Gutenberg
  Literary Archive Foundation."

* You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
  you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
  does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
  License. You must require such a user to return or destroy all
  copies of the works possessed in a physical medium and discontinue
  all use of and all access to other copies of Project Gutenberg-tm

* You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of
  any money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
  electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days of
  receipt of the work.

* You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
  distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9. If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work or group of works on different terms than
are set forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing
from both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and The
Project Gutenberg Trademark LLC, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm
trademark. Contact the Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.


1.F.1. Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
works not protected by U.S. copyright law in creating the Project
Gutenberg-tm collection. Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may
contain "Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate
or corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other
intellectual property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or
other medium, a computer virus, or computer codes that damage or
cannot be read by your equipment.

of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal

defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from. If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium
with your written explanation. The person or entity that provided you
with the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in
lieu of a refund. If you received the work electronically, the person
or entity providing it to you may choose to give you a second
opportunity to receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund. If
the second copy is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing
without further opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4. Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS', WITH NO

1.F.5. Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of
damages. If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement
violates the law of the state applicable to this agreement, the
agreement shall be interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or
limitation permitted by the applicable state law. The invalidity or
unenforceability of any provision of this agreement shall not void the
remaining provisions.

1.F.6. INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in
accordance with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the
production, promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works, harmless from all liability, costs and expenses,
including legal fees, that arise directly or indirectly from any of
the following which you do or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this
or any Project Gutenberg-tm work, (b) alteration, modification, or
additions or deletions to any Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any
Defect you cause.

Section 2. Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of
computers including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers. It
exists because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations
from people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come. In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future
generations. To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation and how your efforts and donations can help, see
Sections 3 and 4 and the Foundation information page at

Section 3. Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service. The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541. Contributions to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by
U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is in Fairbanks, Alaska, with the
mailing address: PO Box 750175, Fairbanks, AK 99775, but its
volunteers and employees are scattered throughout numerous
locations. Its business office is located at 809 North 1500 West, Salt
Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887. Email contact links and up to
date contact information can be found at the Foundation's web site and
official page at

For additional contact information:

    Dr. Gregory B. Newby
    Chief Executive and Director

Section 4. Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment. Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States. Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements. We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance. To SEND
DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any particular
state visit

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States. U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses. Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations. To
donate, please visit:

Section 5. General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works.

Professor Michael S. Hart was the originator of the Project
Gutenberg-tm concept of a library of electronic works that could be
freely shared with anyone. For forty years, he produced and
distributed Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of
volunteer support.

Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as not protected by copyright in
the U.S. unless a copyright notice is included. Thus, we do not
necessarily keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper

Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.