The Project Gutenberg EBook of Hogarth's Works, Volume 2 (of 3), by 
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Title: Hogarth's Works, Volume 2 (of 3)
       With life and anecdotal descriptions of his pictures

Author: John Ireland
        John Nichols

Release Date: May 3, 2016 [EBook #51978]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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

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Second Series.




[Pg v]



Marriage a la Mode—
Plate I. The Marriage Settlement,Frontispiece
Plate II. The Viscount and his Lady at Home,24
Plate III. The Viscount's Visit to the Quack Doctor,28
Plate IV. The Countess's Morning Levee,36
Plate V. The Husband killed in a Bagnio,40
Plate VI. Death of the Countess,44
First Stage of Cruelty,54
Second Stage of Cruelty,56
Cruelty in Perfection,58
The Reward of Cruelty,62
Beer Street,66
Gin Lane,68
Paul before Felix (Burlesqued),74
Paul Preaching before Felix,76
The Same—Another Engraving,78
[vi] Moses and Pharaoh's Daughter,82
Four Prints of an Election—
Plate I. The Entertainment,88
Plate II. Canvassing for Votes,98
Plate III. The Polling,106
Plate IV. Chairing the Member,112
The March to Finchley,122
The Invasion—
Plate I. France,140
Plate II. England,142
The Cockpit,146
Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism,160
The Times—
Plate I.,180
Plate II.,208
John Wilkes, Esq.,222
The Rev. C. Churchill,228
Boys Peeping at Nature (2 Plates),244
The Laughing Audience,246
The Lecture,250
The Orchestra,254
The Company of Undertakers,258
Character and Caricature,266
[vii] Sarah Malcolm,268
Columbus Breaking the Egg,276
The Five Orders of Periwigs,284
The Bench,290
The Beggars' Opera,292
The Indian Emperor,300
The Bathos,312

[Pg 1]



"'Tis from high life our characters are drawn."

In his preceding prints Mr. Hogarth generally pointed his satire at persons in a subordinate situation, and took his examples from the inferior ranks of society. From the situation of his characters, and the minute precision with which he displayed the scenes he professed to delineate, we sometimes see little violations of that decorum which is perhaps necessary in engravings professedly designed for furniture. For this neglect of delicacy some of his prints were censured; to remove all apprehensions of this series being liable to the same objections, they were thus announced in the London Daily Post of April 7, 1743:—

"Mr. Hogarth intends to publish, by subscription, six prints from copperplates, engraved by the best masters in Paris after his own paintings; the heads,[2] for the better preservation of the characters and expressions, to be done by the author, representing a variety of modern occurrences in high life, and called 'Marriage à la Mode.'

"Particular care is taken that the whole work shall not be liable to exception, on account of any indecency or inelegancy; and that none of the characters represented shall be personal, etc."

The artist has adhered to his engagement: he has struck at an higher order, and displayed the follies and vices which frequently degrade our nobility. He has exhibited the prospect of a fashionable marriage, where the gentleman is attracted by riches, and the lady by ambition. That misery and destruction succeeded an union founded upon such principles is not to be wondered at; the progress of that misery, and the final destruction of the actors, is so delineated as to form a regular and well-divided tragedy. In the first act are represented five principal characters; and three of them, by a regular chain of incidents naturally flowing from each other, fall victims to their own vices. The young nobleman, for attempting to revenge the violation of his wife's virtue, which he never cherished, is killed by her paramour, who for this murder suffers an ignominious death; and the lady, distracted at the reflection of having been the cause of their lives terminating in so horrid a manner, makes her own quietus with a dose of laudanum.[3] This is painting to the understanding, appealing to the heart, and making the pencil an advocate in the cause of morality. It is doing that poetical justice which our dramatists have sometimes neglected, and in which they have perhaps been justified by the common events of human life; for it must be acknowledged, that while virtue is frequently unfortunate, we often see vice successful. Notwithstanding this, those pictures are surely best calculated to encourage men in the practice of the social duties which display the evils consequent upon their violation. Whatever poetical justice may allow, morality demands that some examples should be held up to prove "that the omission of a duty frequently leads to the perpetration of a crime; and that crimes of so black a dye as are here represented, almost invariably terminate in wretchedness, infamy, and death."

The original pictures were, on the 6th of June 1750, purchased by Mr. Lane of Hillingdon, near Uxbridge, for one hundred and twenty guineas!—a price so inadequate to their merit, and to what it might have been fairly presumed they would have produced even at that time, that it becomes difficult to account for it in any other way than by supposing that the strange way in which Mr. Hogarth ordered the auction to be conducted puzzled the public, who, not exactly comprehending this new mode of bidding, declined attending or bidding at all.


The following particulars relative to the sale were communicated by Mr. Lane to Mr. John Nichols:—

"Some time after the pictures had been finished, perhaps six or seven years, they were advertised to be sold by a sort of auction, not carried on by personal bidding, but by a written ticket, on which every one was to put the price he would give, with his name subscribed to it. These papers were to be received by Mr. Hogarth for the space of one month, and the highest bidder at twelve o'clock, on the last day of the month, was to be the purchaser: none but those who had in writing made their biddings were to be admitted on the day that was to determine the sale. This nouvelle method of proceeding probably disobliged the public, and there seemed to be at that time a combination against poor Hogarth, who, perhaps, from the extraordinary and frequent approbation of his works, might have imbibed some degree of vanity, which the town in general, friends and foes, seemed resolved to mortify. If this was the case (and to me it is very apparent), they fully effected their design; for on the memorable 6th of June 1750, which was to decide the fate of this capital work, about eleven o'clock, Mr. Lane, the fortunate purchaser, arrived at the Golden Head, when, to his great surprise, expecting (what he had been a witness to in 1745, when Hogarth disposed of many of his pictures) to have found his painting room full of noble[5] and great personages, he only found the painter and his ingenious friend Dr. Parsons, secretary to the Royal Society, talking together, and expecting a number of spectators at least, if not of buyers. Mr. Hogarth then produced the highest bidding, from a gentleman well known, of £110. Nobody coming in, about ten minutes before twelve, by the decisive clock in the room, Mr. Lane told Mr. Hogarth he would make the pounds guineas. The clock then struck twelve, and Hogarth wished Mr. Lane joy of his purchase, hoping it was an agreeable one. Mr. Lane answered, 'Perfectly so.' Now followed a scene of disturbance from Hogarth's friend the Doctor, and what more affected Mr. Lane, a great appearance of disappointment in the painter, and truly with great reason. The Doctor told him he had hurt himself greatly by fixing the determination of the sale at so early an hour, when the people in that part of the town were hardly up. Hogarth, in a tone and manner that could not escape observation, said, 'Perhaps it may be so!' Mr. Lane, after a short pause, declared himself to be of the same opinion; adding, that the artist was very poorly rewarded for his labour, and if he thought it would be of service to him, would give him till three o'clock to find a better purchaser. Hogarth warmly accepted the offer, and expressed his acknowledgments for this kindness in the strongest terms. The proposal likewise received great encomiums from[6] the Doctor, who proposed to make it public. This was peremptorily forbidden by Mr. Lane, whose concession in favour of our artist was remembered by him to the time of his death. About one o'clock, two hours sooner than the time appointed, Hogarth said he could no longer trespass on his generosity, but that if he was pleased with his purchase, he himself was abundantly so with the purchaser. He then desired Mr. Lane to promise that he would not dispose of the pictures without previously acquainting him of his intention, and that he would never permit any person, under pretence of cleaning, to meddle with them, as he always desired to take that office on himself. This promise was readily made by Mr. Lane, who has been tempted more than once by Mr. Hogarth to part with his bargain at a price to be named by himself. When Mr. Lane bought the pictures they were in Carlo Maratte frames, which cost the painter four guineas a-piece."

On the death of Mr. Lane the six pictures became the property of his nephew Colonel Cawthorne, and were in the summer of 1792 put up by auction at Mr. Christie's, and the proprietor bought them in at nine hundred guineas.

They were a short time afterwards purchased by Mr. Angerstein, at one thousand guineas, and are now in his very fine collection.

If considered in the aggregate,—in conception,[7] character, drawing, pencilling, and colouring,—it will not be easy, perhaps not possible, to find six pictures painted by any artist, in any age or country, in which such variety of superlative merit is united.

Since the publication of the first edition of these volumes, the following description of "Marriage à la Mode" was found among the papers of the late Mr. Lane of Hillingdon; and his family believe it to be Hogarth's Explanation, either copied from his own handwriting, or given verbally to Mr. Lane at the time he purchased the pictures. It is subjoined, that the reader may form his own judgment:—




"Where Titles deign with Cits to have and hold,

And change rich blood for more substantial gold;

And honour'd trade from interest turns aside,

To hazard happiness for titled pride."—Garrick.

The First Picture.

"There is always a something wanting to make men happy: the great think themselves not sufficiently rich, and the rich believe themselves not enough distinguished. This is the case of the Alderman of[8] London, and the motive which makes him covet for his daughter the alliance of a great lord; who, on his part, does not consent thereto but on condition of enriching his son;—and this is what the painter calls marriage à la mode.

"These sort of marriages are truly but too common in England; and it is, moreover, not unfrequent to see them unhappy as they are ill chosen. The two figures of the Alderman and the Earl are in every respect so well characterized that they explain themselves. The Alderman, with an air of business, counts his money like a man used to this employment; and the Earl, full of his titles and the greatness of his birth, which he lets you see goes as high as William the Conqueror, is in an attitude which shows him full of pride; you think you hear him say me, my arms, my titles, my family, my ancestors: everything about him carries marks of distinction; his very crutches, the humbling consequence of his infirmities, are decked with an earl's coronet; these infirmities are introduced here as the usual consequence of that irregularity of living but too frequent among the great. The two persons who are betrothed, on their parts are by no means attentive to one another: the one looks at himself in the glass, is taking snuff, and thinking of nothing; the other is playing negligently with a ring, and seems to hear with indifference the conversation of a kind of a[9] lawyer who attends the execution of the marriage articles. Another lawyer is exclaiming with admiration on the beauty of a building seen at a distance, and upon which the Earl has spent his whole fortune, and has not sufficient to finish the same. A number of idle footmen, who are about the court of this building, finish the representation of the ruinous pageantry in which the Earl is engaged."

The Second Picture.

"That indifference between the parties which preceded marriage à la mode has not been wanting to follow it. We unite ourselves by contract, and we live separately by inclination. Tired and fatigued one of another, such husbands and wives have nothing in common but a house, tiresome to the husband, and into which he enters as late as he can; and which would not be less tiresome to the lady, was it not sometimes the theatre of other pleasures, either in entertainments or routs. There is here represented a room where there has just been one of these routs, and the company just separated, as you see by the wax candles not yet extinguished. The clock shows you it is noon; and this anticipation of the night upon the day is not the slightest of those strokes which are intended to show the disorder which reigns in the house. Madam, who has just had her tea, is in an attitude which explains itself perhaps too[10] much. Be that as it will, the painter's intention is to represent this lady neglected by her husband, under dispositions which make a perfect contrast with the present situation of this husband, who is just come home, and who appears in a state of the most perfect indifference; fatigued, exhausted, and glutted with pleasure. This figure of the husband, by the novelty of its turn, the delicacy and truth of its expression, is most happily executed. A steward of an old stamp, one of those, if such there be, who are contented with their salary, seizes this moment, not being able to find another, to settle some accounts. The disorder which he perceives gives him a motion which expresses his chagrin, and his fear for the speedy ruin of his master."

The Third Picture.

"The bad conduct of the hero of the piece must be shown here; the painter for this purpose introduces him into the apartment of a quack, where he would not have been but for his debauchery. He makes him meet at the same time, at this quack's, one of those women who, being ruined themselves long since, make afterwards the ruin of others their occupation. A quarrel is supposed to have arisen between this woman and our hero, and the subject thereof appears to be the bad condition, in point of health, of a young girl, from a commerce with whom he had[11] received an injury. This poor girl makes here a contrast, on account of her age, her fearfulness, her softness, with the character of the other woman, who appears a composition of rage, madness, and of all other crimes which usually accompany these abandoned women towards those of their own sex. The doctor and his apartment are objects thrown in by way of episode. Although heretofore only a barber, he is now, if you judge by the appearance he makes, not only a surgeon, but a naturalist, a chemist, a mechanic, a physician, and an apothecary; and to heighten the ridicule, you see he is a Frenchman. The painter, to finish this character according to his own idea, makes him the inventor of machines extremely complicated for the most simple operations; as, one to reduce a dislocated limb, and another to draw the cork out of a bottle."

The Fourth Picture.

"This piece is amusing by the variety of characters therein represented. Let us begin with the principal; and this is Madam at her toilette: a French valet de chambre is putting the finishing stroke to her dress. The painter supposes her returned from one of those auctions of old goods, pictures, and an hundred other things which are so common at London, and where numbers of people of condition are duped. It is there that, for emulation, and only not to give place[12] to another in point of expense, a woman buys at a great price an ugly pagod, without taste, without worth, and which she has no sort of occasion for. It is there also that an opportunity is found of conversing, without scandal, with people whom you cannot see anywhere else. The things which you see on the floor are the valuable acquisitions our heroine has just made at one of those auctions. It is extremely fashionable at London, to have at your house one of those melodious animals which are brought from Italy at great expense; there appears one here, whose figure sufficiently distinguishes him to those who have once seen one of those unhappy victims of the rage of Italians for music. The woman there is charmed, almost to fainting, with the ravishing voice of this singer; but the rest of the company do not seem so sensible of it. The country gentleman, fatigued at a stag or a fox chase, is fallen asleep. You see there, with his hair in papers, one of those personages who pass their whole life in endeavouring to please, but without succeeding; and there, with a fan in his hand, you see one of those heretics in love, a disciple of Anacreon. You see likewise, on the couch, the lawyer who is introduced in the first picture, talking to the lady. He appears to have taken advantage of the indifference of the husband, and that his affairs are pretty far advanced since the first scene. He is proposing the masquerade to his[13] mistress, who does not fail to accept of it. The next piece proceeds to present to you the frightful consequences of this step."

The Fifth Picture.

"The houses of bagnio-keepers are yet at Paris what they were heretofore at London: but now the bath is but the accessory, the appendix of the bagnio-keepers of this country, and excepting two or three of their houses, the others have for the principal view of their establishment the reception of any couple, well or ill sorted, who are desirous of a chamber, or a bed, for an hour or a night. The price is fixed in each house: there are some where you pay five shillings, in others half a guinea: you enter both into one and the other at any time with a great deal of safety, and are received there with all the complaisance imaginable. Nothing is better furnished, more clean, and better conducted than these houses of debauchery. The masqueraders often make assignations at these places; and it is for such an assignation that our heroine has accepted of the ticket which her lover offers her in the former piece. A husband, whose wife goes to the masquerade without him, is not without his inquietudes; it is natural that ours here has secretly followed his wife thither, and from thence to the bagnio, where he finds her in bed with the lawyer. They fight;—the husband is mortally[14] wounded: his wife, upon her knees, is making useless protestations of her remorse. The watchmen enter; and the lawyer, in his shirt, is getting out of the window."

The Sixth Picture.

"We are now at the house of the Alderman. London Bridge, which is seen through the window, shows the quarter where the people of business live. The furniture of this house does not contribute to its ornament;—everything shows niggardliness; and the dinner, which is on the table, the highest frugality. You see the tobacco-pipes set by in the corner: this, too, is a mark of great economy. Some pictures you see, upon very low subjects, to give you to understand by this choice that persons who, like the Alderman, pass their whole life in thinking of nothing but enriching themselves, generally want taste and elegance. Besides, everything here is contrasted with what you saw at the Earl's: the pride of one, and the sordidness of the other, are always equally ridiculous by the odd subjects of the pictures which are there seen; but generally in the choice of pictures, neither the analogy, taste, or agreement one with another are consulted. The broker only is advised with, who on his part consults only his own interest, of which he is much more capable of being a judge than he is of painting; like a seller of old books, who knows how[15] to say, Here is an Elzevir Horace, or one of the Louvre edition,—and who knows all this without being acquainted with poetry, or capable of distinguishing an epigram from an epic poem. There is only one difference between a bookseller and a broker: the first has certain marks by which he knows the edition; and the other is obliged to have recourse to inspiration, which is the only way whereby he is able to judge infallibly, as he does, whether a picture is an original or no. But to return to our subject. The daughter of the Alderman, now a widow, is returned to her father. Her lover has been taken and hanged for the murder of her husband: this she has learned from the dying speech which is at her foot upon the floor. A conscience disturbed and tormented with remorse is very soon driven to despair. This woman, who by the consequence of her infidelity has destroyed her husband, her lover, her reputation, and her quiet, has nothing to lose but her life. This she does by taking laudanum. She dies. An old servant in tears makes her kiss her child, the melancholy production of an unfortunate marriage. The Alderman, more sensible of the least acquisition than of the most tragical events, takes, without emotion, a ring from the finger of his expiring daughter. The apothecary is severely reprimanding the ridiculous footman of the house who had procured the poison, the effects of which finish the catastrophe."


Thus ends this explanation; and whether it was copied from what Hogarth wrote, or, as is more probable, made up from verbal remarks which he had made at different times, it does not in any material points differ from the following description of the plates, which was published some years before the editor saw or heard of the above paper.


While the proud Earl of Rollo's royal race

Points to the peers his pompous parchment grace;

Builds all his honours on a noble name,

And on his father's deeds depends for fame;

The wary citizen, with heedful eye,

Inspects what's settled on posterity;

Pours out the pelf by rigid avarice pil'd,

To gain an empty title for his child.

In vain the pomp, in vain the gold,

Love cannot thus be bought and sold;

Such sordid motives he disdains,

Nor can be bound in Mammon's chains.

With cold contempt, disgust, and deadly hate,

The new-made wife regards her tawdry mate;

While he, Narcissus-like, with eager gaze,

Eyes those fine features which his glass displays,

In his own person centres all his pride,

And as his bride loves him, he loves his bride.

Like Satan, whispering in the ear of Eve

(By nature form'd to ruin and deceive),

A black-rob'd, smooth-tongued son of Belial see,

That would betray his Saviour for a fee;

With base, insidious smile, and tender air,

Bend o'er the inexperienc'd, thoughtless fair,


Assaying by his devilish art to reach

The organs of her fancy, and to teach

Pernicious, wicked tenets, that would taint

The pure chaste virgin or the hallowed saint;

Tenets of baneful, deadly, sinful dye,

That lead to shame, remorse, and infamy.—E.

It has been observed that woman, among savages, is a beast of burden; in the East, a piece of furniture; and in Europe, a spoiled child. Under the last denomination we may safely class the heroine of this history. She has all the pouting humours of a boarding-school girl. This alliance originated in her father wishing to aggrandize his family, and the sire of the Viscount wishing to clear his estate. These purposes answered, the two patriarchs troubled themselves no further. A similarity of disposition, or union of hearts, the nobleman considered as too vulgar an idea for a man of rank; and in the citizen's ledger of happiness there were no such items. Their dispositions are strongly marked by the different objects which engage their attention.

The portly nobleman, with the conscious dignity of high birth, displays his genealogical tree, the root of which is "William Duke of Normandy, and conqueror of England." The valour of his great progenitor, and the various merits of the collateral branches which dignify his pedigree, he considers as united in his own person, and therefore looks upon an alliance with his son as the acme of honour, the apex of[18] exaltation. While he is thus glorying in the dust of which his ancestors were once compounded, the prudent citizen, who in return for it has parted with dust of a much more weighty and useful description, paying no regard to this heraldic blazonry, devotes all his attention to the marriage settlement. The haughty and supercilious Peer is absorbed in the contemplation of his illustrious ancestry, while the worshipful Alderman, regardless of the past, and considering the present as merely preparatory for the future, calculates what provision there will be for a young family. Engrossed by their favourite reflections, neither of these sagacious personages regards the want of attachment in those who are to be united as worthy a moment's consideration. To do the Viscount justice, he seems equally indifferent; for though evidently in love—it is with himself. Gazing in the mirror with delight,[1] and in an affected style displaying his gold snuff-box and glittering ring, he is quite a husband à la mode. The lady, very well disposed to retaliate, plays with her wedding-ring, and repays this chilling coldness with sullen contempt;[19] her heart is not worth the Viscount's attention, and she determines to bestow it on the first suitor. An insidious lawyer, like an evil spirit ever ready to move or second a temptation, appears at her right hand. That he is an eloquent pleader, is intimated by his name, Counsellor Silvertongue: that he can make the worse appear the better cause, is only saying in other words that he is great in the profession. To predict that with such an advocate her virtue is in danger, would not be sufficiently expressive. His captivating tones and insinuating manners would have ensnared Lucretia.

Two dogs in a corner, coupled against their inclinations, are good emblems of the ceremony which is to pass.[2]

The ceiling of this magnificent apartment is decorated with the story of Pharaoh and his host drowned in the Red Sea. The ocean on a ceiling proves a projector's taste,[3] and attention to the costume; the [20]sublimity of a painter is exemplified in the hero delineated with one of the attributes of Jove. This fluttering figure is probably intended for one of the Peer's high-born ancestors, and is invested with the Golden Fleece and some other foreign orders. To give him still greater dignity, he is in the character of Jupiter; while one hand holds up an ample robe, the other grasps a thunderbolt. A comet is taking its rapid course over his head; and in one corner of the picture two of the family of Boreas are judiciously blowing contrary ways. To some such supernatural[21] cause we must attribute the drapery and long peruke flying in opposite directions. Immediately before him a cannon is represented in the moment of explosion: to leave the spectator no doubt of its being intended for serious business, and not as a mere feu-de-joie, the ball is seen in its progress. All this is ridiculous enough, but not an iota more absurd than many of the French portraits which Hogarth evidently intended to burlesque by this parody.[4] Their painters have mistaken extravagance for spirit, and violence for freedom. Fine as are many of their engravings,[22] they frequently give us lines that resemble the flourishes of a writing-master more than the free strokes of an artist.

In the painting which represents Goliah slain by David, the gigantic Philistine is stretched on the earth, and, in truth, appears to cover many a rood. Beneath is the merciful Judith: one hand grasps the sword with which she decollated Holofernes, and the other rests upon his bleeding head. The adjoining picture exhibits a view of St. Sebastian pierced with arrows, and that on the other side of the room displays Prometheus and the vulture; beneath is a representation of Cain slaying Abel. St. Lawrence upon the gridiron is placed under a painting of Herod's cruelty. As the ornament of a chandelier, over the sofa on which the hymeneal pair are seated, is a relievo of Medusa's head; both this and other agreeable subjects may possibly have some covert allusions, but to me they are not obvious.

Hogarth's leading object in them all seems to be a ridicule of those who gave these barbarous delineations a preference to his own paintings.

The self-important consequence of the noble inhabitant of this mansion is displayed in every part of his furniture. The coronet glitters not only upon the canopy, but the crutches; is mounted upon the frame of the mirror, and marked on the side of the dog.


Mr. Nichols observes, that "among such little circumstances as might escape the notice of a careless spectator, is the thief in the candle, emblematical of the mortgage on his lordship's estate."—As the mortgage is now paying, one thinks the thief might have been spared. The artist, however, might mean to intimate that his lordship's estate was run to waste by the negligence and carelessness of the proprietor. The same commentator properly remarks that the unfinished edifice seems at a stand for want of money, no workman appearing on the scaffolds, or near them; and adds, that a number of figures which are before the building were designed for "the lazy vermin of his lordship's hall, who, having nothing else to do, are sitting on the blocks of stone, or staring at the building."

The characters in this print are admirably marked. Nothing can be better contrasted than the cautious, calculating countenance of the Alderman, and the haughty overbearing air of the Peer. To this may be added the stare of the Serjeant, astonished at so magnificent an edifice, and the cunning craft of the Usurer delivering up the mortgage.

The plate was engraved by G. Scotin, and published April 1, 1745.



Behold how Vice her votary rewards,

After a night of folly, frolic, cards,

The phantom pleasure flies,—and in its place

Comes deep remorse and torturing disgrace,

Corroding care, and self-accusing shame,

A ruin'd fortune, and a blighted fame.—E.


Wearied, languid, and spiritless from the dissipations of the night, with his sword broken in a riotous frolic, the modish Viscount comes home at noon, and finds his lady just arisen, and seated en déshabillé at her matin meal. From the melancholy cast of his countenance, and both hands being in his pockets, we may infer that he has been unsuccessful at the gaming-table. A cap and riband, which hang out of his coat pocket, lead us to suppose that part of his night has been passed in the company of a female; and from the attention a dog pays to the cap, we are led to suspect that he may have originally belonged to the lady who is its proprietor.

The Viscountess[5] has been contemplating her face [25]in a pocket-mirror, and is scarcely recovered from the fatigue of a rout, which by the cards, instruments, and music book on the floor, we conclude to have been the preceding night's amusement.[6]

An ungartered servant, who is yawning in the background, pays little attention to his master or mistress, and is totally regardless of a chair, which is in great danger from the blaze of an expiring candle; this, with those left burning in the sockets since the conclusion of their nocturnal revelry, must give a pleasing perfume to the breakfast-room.

The old steward's attitude and countenance clearly indicate that he foresees the gulf into which an[26] united torrent of dissipation will inevitably plunge this infatuated pair. He has brought a great number of bills for payment: to one, and only one, is a receipt, which, being dated January 4, 1744, determines the time when vulgar tradesmen are extremely troublesome to men of rank.

Of the paintings in this stately saloon, that of which we see only a part is properly concealed by a curtain. The four cartoons, very judiciously placed in the same line, are, I believe, intended for the four evangelists. Next to that which is opposite the chandelier is a faint representation of another picture. The lines are ambiguous, but seem intended to represent a ship in a storm: a very proper emblem of the wreck which is likely to succeed the negligence and dissipation of this noble family. A marble head, in a cut wig, perhaps intended for one of the Cæsars, with the nose broken, to show that it is a genuine antique, decorates the centre of the chimney-piece. In most of the other grotesque and fantastic ornaments,

"Gay china's unsubstantial forms supply

The place of beauty, strength, simplicity;

Each varied colour of the brightest hue,

The green, the red, the yellow, and the blue,

In every part the dazzled eyes behold,

Here streak'd with silver, there enrich'd with gold."

A painting over the chimney-piece represents Cupid playing upon the bagpipes. Both subject and frame prove the classical taste of the proprietor. The[27] ornaments round a clock are equally elegant and peculiarly appropriate. It is encompassed by a kind of grove, with a cat on the summit and a Chinese pagoda at the bottom. If the branches were tenanted by the feathered tribe, it would be no more than we see every day; it would be vulgar nature. To make it uncommonly grand, and peculiarly magnifique, they are occupied by two fishes.[7]

The crowned chandelier, candlesticks, chairs, footstool, chimney-piece, and grate, are evidently made from the designs of William Kent.[8] To that fashionable architect they are indebted for the plan of the stupendous saloon, which has an air of grandeur and magnificence that is not often seen in Mr. Hogarth's works. It produces such a sensation as Pope describes on seeing Timon's villa, "Where all cry out, what sums are thrown away!"

This plate was engraved by Baron, but the old steward's face is, I think, marked by the burin of Hogarth.



"To Galen's great descendant list,—oh list!

Behold a surgeon, sage, anatomist,

Mechanic, antiquarian, seer, collector,

Physician, barber, bone-setter, dissector.

The sextons, registers, and tombstones tell,

By his prescriptions, what an army fell;

Med'cines—by him compos'd will stop the breath,

And every pill is fraught with certain death."[9]—E.


This has been said to be the most obscure delineation that Hogarth ever published: how far the short explanation copied from Mr. Lane's papers may contribute to sanction my previous description, I do not presume to judge. Hitherto there have certainly been many different opinions as to the meaning of this print, and Churchill is said to have asserted, that from its appearing so ambiguous to him, he once requested Hogarth to explain it, but that the artist, like many other commentators, left his subject as obscure as he found it. "From this circumstance," added the poet, [29]"I am convinced he formed his tale upon the ideas of Hoadley, Garrick, Townley, or some other friend, and never perfectly comprehended what it meant."

How it was possible for Hoadley, Garrick, and Townley, or any other friend, to furnish Hogarth with ideas to compose the third plate of an historical series, I cannot comprehend.

I can suppose it possible that the artist might not choose to explain to Churchill what he himself thought obvious, and therefore declined giving him any explanation. I can suppose that, admirably as Hogarth told a story with his pencil, he might not be qualified to express his verbal meaning with equal accuracy, and therefore be misunderstood; but, above all, I can suppose it not only possible, but probable, that this bitter satirist, making the declaration after the publication of "Wilkes' Portrait," "The Bruiser," and "The Times," might, from resentment to the artist, be provoked to give a poetical colouring to the story about the "Marriage à la Mode."

I think it must be considered as a sort of episode, no further connected with the main subject than as it exhibits the consequences of an alliance entered into from sordid and unworthy motives. In the two preceding prints the hero and heroine of this tragedy show a fashionable indifference towards each other. On the part of the Viscount, we see no indication of any wish to conciliate the affections of his lady.[30] Careless of her conduct, and negligent of her fame, he leaves her to superintend the musical dissipations of his house, and lays the scene of his own licentious amusements abroad. The female heart is naturally susceptible, and much influenced by first impressions. Formed for love, and gratefully attached by delicate attentions; but chilled by neglect, and frozen by coldness,—by contempt it is estranged, and by habitual and long-continued inconstancy sometimes lost.

To show that our unfortunate victim to parental ambition has suffered this mortifying climax of provocation, the artist has made a digression, and exhibited her profligate husband attending a quack doctor. In the last plate he appears to have dissipated his fortune; in this he has injured his health. From the hour of marriage he has neglected the woman to whom he plighted his troth. Can we wonder at her conduct? By the Viscount she was despised; by the Counsellor adored. This insidious, insinuating villain, we may naturally suppose acquainted with every part of the nobleman's conduct, and artful enough to make a proper advantage of his knowledge. From such an agent the Countess would probably learn how her lord was connected: from his subtle suggestions, being aided by resentment, she is tempted to think that these accumulated insults have dissolved the marriage vow, and given her a right to[31] retaliate. Thus impelled, thus irritated, and attended by such an advocate, can we wonder that this fair unfortunate deserted from the standard of honour, and sought refuge in the camp of infamy? To her husband many of her errors must be attributed. She saw he despised her, and therefore hated him; found that he had bestowed his affections on another, and followed his example. To show the consequence of his unrestrained wanderings, the author, in this plate, exhibits his hero in the house of one of those needy empirics who play upon public credulity, and vend poisons under the name of drugs. This quack being family surgeon to the old procuress who stands at his right hand, formerly attended the young girl, and received his fee as having recovered his patient. That he was paid for what he did not perform, appears by the countenance of the enraged nobleman, who lifts up his cane in a threatening style, accompanying the action with a promise to bastinado both surgeon and procuress for having deceived him by a false bill of health. These menaces our natural son of Æsculapius treats with that careless nonchalance which shows that his ears are accustomed to such sounds; but the haggard high priestess of the temple of Venus,[10][32] tenacious of her good name, and tremblingly alive to any aspersion which may tend to injure her professional reputation, unclasps her knife, determined to wash out this foul stain upon her honour with the blood of her accuser.


The nick-nackitory collection that forms this motley museum is exactly described by Doctor Garth; one would almost think Hogarth made the dispensary his model in designing the print.

"Here mummies lie, most reverently stale,

And there, the tortoise hung her coat of mail:

Not far from some huge shark's devouring head,

The flying fish their finny pinions spread;

Aloft, in rows, large poppy-heads were strung,

And near, a scaly alligator hung:

In this place, drugs in musty heaps decay'd,

In that, dry'd bladders and drawn teeth were laid."

An horn of the sea unicorn is so placed as to give the idea of a barber's pole; this, with the pewter basin and broken comb, clearly indicate the former profession of our mock doctor. The high-crowned hat and antique spur, which might once have been the property of Butler's redoubted knight, the valiant Hudibras, with a model of the gallows, and sundry nondescript rarities, show us that this great man, if not already a member of the Antiquarian Society, is qualifying himself to be a candidate. The dried body[11] in the glass-case, placed between a skeleton and the sage's wig-block, form a trio that might serve[34] as the symbol of a consultation of physicians. A figure above the mummies seems at first sight to be decorated with a flowing periwig, but on a close inspection will be found intended for one of Sir John Mandeville's anthropophagi, a sort of men "whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders." Even the skulls have character; and the principal mummy has so majestic an aspect, that one is almost tempted to believe it the mighty Cheops, king of Egypt, whose body was certainly to be known, being the only one entombed in the large pyramid.[12]

By two machines, constructed upon the most complicated principles, though intended for performing very simple operations, we discover that our quack studies mechanics. On one of them lies a folio treatise descriptive of their uses; by which we are informed that the largest is to reduce a dislocated limb, the smallest is to draw a cork!—each of them invented by Monsieur De la Pilulæ, and inspected and approved by the Royal Academy of Paris.



The new-made Countess treads enchanted ground,

And madly whirls in pleasure's airy round;

From Circe's cup delicious poison quaffs,

And, drunk with pomp, at cold discretion laughs.

While the soft warbling of a senseless song,

Pour'd from a neutral nothing,[13] charms the throng;

To love's fond tale the fair her ear inclines,

To Satan's agent all her soul resigns.

Beware his soft insidious smiles,

Fly from his glance, and shun his wiles;

Avoid the serpent's poisonous breath,

'Tis fraught with infamy and death.—E.


By the old Peer's death our fair heroine has attained the summit of her wishes, and become a Countess. Intoxicated by this elevation, and vain of her new dignity, she ranges through the whole circle of frivolous amusements, and treads every maze of fashionable dissipation. Her excesses are rendered still more criminal by the consequent neglect of domestic duties; for, by the coral on the back of her chair, we are led to suppose that she is a mother. Her morning levee is crowded with persons of rank, and attended by her paramour, and that contemptible shadow of man, an Italian singer, with whose dulcet notes two of our right honourable group seem in the highest degree enraptured. This bloated animal, carelessly and consequentially leaning back in his chair, is[36] dressed in a richly embroidered coat, and every finger is loaded with a diamond. Though in a morning, his solitaire, kneebands, and shoes are decorated with gems.[14] He is quavering,

"The seeming echo of what once was song,

Sweet by defect, and impotently strong."

That our extravagant Countess purchased the pipe of this expensive exotic in mere compliance to the fashion of the day, without any real taste for his mellifluous warblings, is intimated by the absorbed attention which she pays to the Advocate, who, with the luxuriant indolent grace of an Eastern effendi, is lolling on a sofa at her right hand. By his pointing to the folding screen, on which is delineated a masquerade revel,[15] at the same time that he shows his infatuated inamorato a ticket of admission, we see [37]that they are making an assignation for the evening. The fatal consequences of their unfortunate meeting is displayed in the two succeeding plates. A Swiss servant, who is dressing her hair, has all the grimace of his country; he is the complete Canton of the Clandestine Marriage. The contemptuous leer of a black footman, serving chocolate, is evidently directed to the singer, and forms an admirable contrast to the die-away lady seated before him,[16] who, lost to every sense but that of hearing, is exalted to the third heaven by the enchanting song of this pampered Italian. On the country gentleman,[17] with a whip in his hand, it has quite a different effect; with the echoing "Tally ho!" he would be exhilarated; by the soft sounds of Italia, his soul is lulled to rest. The fine feeling creature, with a fan suspended from its wrist, is marked with that foolish face of praise which understands nothing, but admires everything that it is the ton to admire! The taper supporters of Monsieur en papillote are admirably opposed to the lumbering pedestals of our mummy of music. The figure behind him[18] blows a flute with every muscle of his face. A little black boy in the opposite corner, examining a collection of grotesque china ornaments which have been purchased at the sale of Esquire Timothy Babyhouse, pays [38]great attention to a figure of Acteon, and with a very significant leer points to his horns. Under a delineation of Jupiter and Leda, on a china dish, is written, "Julio Romano!" The fantastic group of hydras, gorgons, and chimeras dire, which lie near it, are an admirable specimen of the absurd and shapeless monsters which disgraced our drawing-rooms until the introduction of Etrurian ornaments. By the fantastic decorations upon a chimney-piece in the second plate, we saw that our fashionable pair had a taste, and this taste may have been one source of their embarrassments. Another of their follies which, when gaming is united to it, will level their lofty forests and lay their proudest mansions in the dust, is displayed in the cards of invitation scattered on the floor. They afford a good specimen of polite literature, and the writers deserve a niche in the catalogue of royal and noble authors. The list follows:—

"Count Basset desire to no how Lady Squander sleep last nite."

"Lord Squander's company is desired at Lady Townley's drum. Monday next."

"Lady Squander's company is desired at Miss Hairbrain's rout."

"Lady Squander's company is desired at Lady Heathen's drum-major. Sunday next."

The pictures in this dressing-room are well suited to the profligate proprietor, and may be further intended[39] as a burlesque on the strange and grossly indelicate subjects so frequently painted by ancient masters: Lot and his daughters; Ganymede and the Eagle;[19] Jupiter and Io; and a portrait of the young Lawyer, who is the favourite—the cicisbeo—or more properly, the seducer of the Countess.

This print was engraved by Ravenet, who has preserved the characters.


Her dream of dissipation o'er,

The bubble pleasure charms no more;

The spell dissolv'd—broken the chain,

Reason too late resumes her reign.—

In vain the tear and contrite sigh,

In vain the poignant agony.—

Henceforth—thy portion is despair,

Remorse, and deep corroding care;

Misery!—to madness near allied,

And ignominious suicide,

Thy minion's meed, by law's decree,

Is death—a death of infamy!—E.


Our exasperated Peer, suspecting his wife's infidelity, follows her in disguise to the masquerade, and from thence traces these two votaries of vice to a bagnio. Finding they are retired to a bedroom, he bursts open the door, and attacks the spoiler of his honour with a[40] drawn sword. Too much irritated to be prudent, and too violent to be cautious, he thinks only of revenge; and, making a furious thrust at the Counsellor, neglects his own guard, and is mortally wounded. The miscreant who had basely destroyed his peace and deprived him of life is not bold enough to meet the consequences. Destitute of that courage which is the companion of virtue, and possessing no spark of that honour which ought to distinguish the gentleman; dreading the avenging hand of offended justice, he makes a mean and precipitate retreat. Leaving him to the fate which awaits him, let us return to the deluded Countess. Feeling some pangs from a recollection of her former conduct, some touches of shame at her detection, and a degree of horror at the fate of her husband, she kneels at his feet, and entreats forgiveness.

"Some contrite tears she shed."

There is reason to fear that they flow from regret at the detection rather than remorse for the crime; a woman vitiated in the vortex of dissipation is not likely to feel that ingenuous shame which accompanies a good mind torn by the consciousness of having deviated from the path of virtue.

Alarmed at the noise occasioned by this fatal rencontre, the inmates of the brothel called a watchman: accompanied by a constable, this nocturnal guardian [41]is ushered into the room by the master of the house, whose meagre and trembling figure is well opposed to the consequential magistrate of the night. The watchman's lantern we see over their heads, but the bearer knows his duty is to follow his superiors; conscious that though the front may be a post of honour, yet in a service of danger the rear is a station of safety.

Immediately over the door is a picture of St. Luke; this venerable apostle being a painter, is so delineated that he seems looking at the scene now passing, and either making a sketch or a record of the transaction. On the hangings is a lively representation of Solomon's wise judgment.[20] The countenance of the sapient monarch is not sagacious, but his attitude is in an[42] eminent degree dignified, and his air commanding and regal. He really looks like a tyrant in old tapestry; and the arm of a chair is ornamented by a carving fraught with that terrific grace peculiar to the ancient masters. We cannot say that the Hebrew women who attend for judgment are either comely or fair to look upon. Were not the scene laid in Jerusalem, they might pass for two of the silver-toned Naiades of our own Billingsgate.

The grisly guards, with faces all awry,

Like Herod's hang-dogs in old tapestry:

Each man an Askapart, with strength to toss

For quoits, both Temple-bar and Charing-cross.

The grisly guards have a most rueful and tremendous appearance. The attractive portrait of a Drury[43] Lane Diana,[21] with a butcher's steel in one hand and a squirrel perched on the other, is hung in such a situation that the Herculean pedestals of a Jewish soldier may be supposed to be a delineation of her legs continued below the frame.

Our Counsellor's mask lies on the floor, and grins horribly, as if conscious of the fatal catastrophe. Dominoes, shoes, etc., scattered around the room, show the negligence of the ill-fated Countess, unattended by her femme de chambre. From a faggot and the shadow of a pair of tongs, we may infer that there is a fire in the room.[22] A bill near them implies that this elegant apartment is at the Turk's Head bagnio.

The dying agony of the Earl (whose face is evidently retouched by Hogarth), the eager entreaty of the Countess, the terror of mine host, and the vulgar inflected dignity of Mr. Constable, are admirably discriminated.

I have stated in the former editions that the background of this plate was engraved by Ravenet's wife, [44]but am since informed by Mr. Charles Grignion, the engraver, that this is a mistake. See vol. iii. of this work.


Forlorn, degraded, and distrest,

The furies tear her tortur'd breast.

Remorse, with agonizing sigh,

And sullen shame with downcast eye;

Anguish,—by cold reflection fed,

And wan despair, and trembling dread,

In guise terrific hover round,

And ring the knell of thrilling sound.

Scar'd Reason totters on her throne,

And Hope is fled!—and Peace is gone.

Shuddering at phantoms ever in her sight,

Hating the garish sun, and trembling at the night;

To poison,—sad resort! she frantic flies,

And, self-destroy'd, the wretched Countess dies!—E.


The last sad scene of our unfortunate heroine's life is in the house of her father, to which she had returned after her husband's death. The law could not consider her as the primary cause of his murder; but consciousness of her own guilt was more severe punishment than that could have inflicted. This, added to her father's reproaches, and the taunts of those who were once her friends, renders society hateful, and solitude insupportable. Wounded in every feeling, tortured in every nerve, and seeing no prospect of a period to her misery, she takes the horrid resolution of ending all her calamities by poison.


"Dreadful deed, unbidden thus

To rush into the presence of her Judge,

And challenge vengeance. 'Tis said

Unheard-of tortures are reserved

For murderers of themselves. They herd together:

The common damn'd shun their society,

As fiends too foul for converse."

Dreadful as is this resolve, she puts it in execution by bribing the servant of her father to procure her a dose of laudanum. Close to the vial, which lies on the floor, Hogarth has judiciously placed Counsellor Silvertongue's last dying speech, thus intimating that he also has suffered the punishment he justly merited.[23] The records of their fate being thus situated, seems to imply, that as they were united in vice, they are companions in the consequences. These two terrific and monitory testimonies are a kind of propitiatory sacrifice to the manes of her injured and murdered lord.

Her avaricious father, seeing his daughter at the point of death, and knowing the value of her diamond ring, determined to secure this glittering gem from the depredations of the old nurse, coolly draws it from her finger. This little circumstance shows a prominent feature of his mind. Every sense of feeling absorbed in extreme avarice, he seems at this moment calculating how many carats the brilliants weigh.

From a gown hung up near the clock we know him[46] to be an alderman; and from his sleek appearance, we have some right to infer that he is constant in his attendance at city feasts, for so comely a countenance could never be supported by the scanty and meagre viands of his own table. His domestic care is intimated by the gaunt and hungry appearance of a dog, who, taking advantage of this general confusion, seizes the brawn's head.[24]

A rickety child, heir to the complaints of its father, shows some tenderness for its expiring mother; and the grievous whine of an old nurse is most admirably described. These are the only two of the party who[47] exhibit any marks of sorrow for the death of our wretched Countess. The smug apothecary, indeed, displays some symptoms of vexation at his patient dying before she has taken his julap, the label of which hangs out of his pocket. Her constitution, though impaired by grief, promised to have lasted long enough for him to have marked many additional dittos in his day-book. Pointing to the dying speech, he threatens the terrified footboy with a punishment similar to that of the Counsellor for having bought the laudanum. The fellow protests his innocence, and promises never more to be guilty of a like offence. The effects of fear on an ignorant rustic cannot be better delineated; nor is it easy to conceive a more ludicrous figure than this awkward retainer, dressed in an old full-trimmed coat, which in its better days had been the property of his master. By the physician retreating, we are led to conceive that, finding his patient had dared to quit the world in an irregular way, neither abiding by his prescriptions nor waiting for his permission, he cast an indignant frown on all present, and exclaimed in style heroic,

" 'Fellow, our hat!'—no more he deign'd to say,

But stern as Ajax' spectre, stalk'd away."

The leathern buckets immediately over the Doctor's head were, previous to the introduction of fire-engines, considered as proper furniture for a merchant's hall.[48] Every ornament in his parlour is highly and exactly appropriate to the man. The style of his pictures, his clock, a cobweb over the window, repaired chair, nay, the very form of his hat, are characteristic. A silver cup upon the table, and jug on the floor, show us his style of living. The scantiness of his own table is well contrasted by the plenty exhibited in the picture over the old nurse's head, where iron pots, brass pans, cabbages, and lanterns, are indiscriminately huddled together, with no other meaning than to show how highly a Flemish artist could finish. The attic delicacy of this patient and laborious school is displayed in the adjoining picture; and their humour, in that of a fellow wittily lighting his tobacco-pipe by the red nose of his companion.[25] The pipe and bottle placed under the day-book and ledger, and the whole crowned by a broken punch-bowl, intimate that this venerable gentleman united business with pleasure. The view through an open window marks the situation of our plodding merchant's house to be near London Bridge, and represents that absurd and ill-contrived structure in its original state, loaded with houses. A clock points the hour to be a little after eleven, which at this highly polished and refined period would be deemed[49] an early hour for a citizen's breakfast; at that, it was his hour of dinner!

Thus has our moral dramatist concluded his tragedy, and brought his heroine from dissipation and vice to misery and shame, terminating her existence by suicide!

The drama of Shakspeare has been said to be the mirror of life, which to-day we see lighted up with gaiety, and to-morrow clouded with sorrow. Shakspeare had the power of exciting laughter or grief, not only in one mind, but in one composition. That Hogarth had the same power, and exerted it with the same disdain of the little cavils of little minds, is evinced in this series of prints; from the study of which, a peasant, who has never strayed beyond the precincts of his own cottage, may calculate the consequences of dissipation; and he who has lived secluded from society, may form an estimate of the value of riches and high birth when abused by prodigality or degraded by vice.

In the year 1746 was published a coarse and vulgar poem, in doggerel verse, with the following title: "Marriage à la Mode, an humorous tale in six cantos, in Hudibrastic verse, being an Explanation of the six Prints lately published by the ingenious Mr. Hogarth. London, printed for Weaver Bickerton, in Temple Exchange Passage, Fleet Street. Price One Shilling."

The Clandestine Marriage is professedly formed upon the model of these prints.



"The poorest beetle that we tread upon,

In corporal sufferance feels a pang as great

As when a giant dies."

This pathetic lesson of humanity is given by the poet of nature. Aiming at the same end by different means, our benevolent artist here steps forth as the instructor of youth, the friend to mercy, and advocate of the brute creation.

In the prints before us, an obdurate boy begins his career of cruelty by tormenting animals; repeated acts of barbarity sear his heart, he commits a deliberate murder, and concludes in an ignominious death. These gradations are natural, I had almost said inevitable; and that parent who discovers the germ of barbarity in the mind of a child, and does not use every effort to exterminate the noxious weed, is an accessory to the evils which spring from its baneful growth. To check these malign propensities becomes more necessary from the general tendency of our amusements. Most of our rural and even infantine sports are savage and ferocious. They arise from the terror, misery, or death of helpless animals. A child[51] in the nursery is taught to impale butterflies and cockchafers. The schoolboy's proud delight is clambering a tree

"To rob the poor bird of its young."

Grown a gentle angler, he snares the scaly fry, and scatters leaden death among the feathered tenants of the air. Ripened to man, he becomes a mighty hunter, is enamoured of the chase, and crimsons his spurs in the sides of a generous courser, whose wind he breaks in the pursuit of an inoffensive deer or timid hare.

Many of our town diversions have the same tendency. The bird, whose melodious warblings echo through the grove, is imprisoned in a sort of a Bastille, where, like an unplumed biped in a similar situation, it frequently perishes through anguish or want of food. The high-crested chanticleer, whose courage is innate, and only vanquished by death, is furnished with weapons of pointed steel, when, set in opposition to one of the same species, armed in a similar style, these two champions, for the diversion of the humane lords of the creation, lacerate each other until one or both of them are slain.

The faithful dog, whose attachment and gratitude are exemplary, and worthy the imitation of man, when in the possession of a farmer, or country 'squire, is well fed, and has no great cause of complaint,[52] except his ears and tail being lopped to improve nature, and having a rib now and then broken by a gentle spurn; but if the poor quadruped falls into the hands of a tanner, a surgeon, or an experimental philosopher, of what avail are his good qualities?[26]

The Abyssinian cruelties of our slaughter-houses[27] and kitchens[28] I do not wish to enumerate. The catalogue would fill a volume. Humanity demands that the brute creation should be protected by the Legislature.

The Mosaic Law, to guard against tortures being inflicted on animals which were slaughtered for sustenance, ordained them to die by a highly polished [53]and pointed instrument; if the bone was pierced, or the beast mangled, it was deemed unclean, and burnt.


"While various scenes of sportive woe

The infant race employ;

And tortur'd victims bleeding, show

The tyrant in the boy.

"Behold a youth of gentler heart!

To spare the creature's pain,

O take, he cries—take all my tart,

But tears and tart are vain.

"Learn from this fair example, you

Who savage sports delight,

How cruelty disgusts the view,

While pity charms the sight."


Let us suppose a disciple of Pythagoras to contemplate this print, how would it affect him? He would imagine it to represent a group of young barbarians qualifying themselves for executioners; would raise his voice to Heaven, and thank the God of mercy that he is not an inhabitant of such a country; would lament that these degenerate little beings should not have been informed that the animals on whom they are now inflicting such tortures, might, previous to transmigration, have been their fathers, brothers, friends.

The delineation of such scenes must shock every[54] feeling heart, and their enumeration disgust every humane mind. I hope, for the honour of our nature and our nation, that they are not so frequently practised as when these prints were published.

The hero of this tragic tale is Tom Nero: by a badge upon his arm, we know him to be one of the boys of St. Giles' Charity School. The horrible business in which he is engaged was, I hope and believe, never realized in this or any other country. The thought is taken from Callot's "Temptation of St. Anthony." A youth of superior rank, shocked at such cruelty, offers his tart to redeem the dog from torture. This Hogarth intended for the portrait of an illustrious personage, then about thirteen years of age; the compliment was rather coarse, but well intended. A lad chalking on a wall the suspended figure, inscribed Tom Nero, prepares us for the future fate of this young tyrant, and shows by anticipation the reward of cruelty.

Throwing at cocks might possibly have its origin in what some of our sagacious politicians call a natural enmity to France, which is thus humanely exercised against the allegorical symbol of that nation. A boy tying a bone to the tail of his dog, while the kind-hearted animal licks his hand, must have a most diabolical disposition.[29] Two little imps are burning [55]out the eyes of a bird with a knitting-needle. A group of embryotic Domitians, who have tied two cats to the extremities of a rope and hung it over a lamp-iron, to see how delightfully they will tear each other, are marked with grim delight. The link-boy is absolutely a Lilliputian fiend. The fellow encouraging a dog to worry a cat, and two animals of the same species thrown out of a garret window with bladders fastened to them, completes this mortifying prospect of youthful depravity.



"The generous steed in hoary age,

Subdued by labour lies,

And mourns a cruel master's rage,

While nature strength denies.

"The tender lamb, o'er-drove and faint,

Amidst expiring throes,

Bleats forth its innocent complaint,

And dies beneath the blows.

"Inhuman wretch! Say, whence proceeds

This coward cruelty?

What interest springs from barbarous deeds?

What joy from misery?"

If, as the Samian taught, the soul revives,

And shifting seats, in other bodies lives,

Severe shall be the brutal coachman's change,

Doom'd in a hackney horse the town to range;

Carmen, transform'd, the groaning load shall draw,

Whom other tyrants with the lash shall awe!


Tom Nero is now a hackney coachman, and displaying his disposition in his conduct to a horse. Worn out by ill-usage, and exhausted by fatigue, the poor animal has fallen down, overset the carriage, and broken his leg. The scene is laid at Thavie's Inn gate:[30] four brethren of the brawling bar, who have joined to pay threepence each for a ride to Westminster Hall, are in consequence of the accident [57]overturned, and exhibited at the moment of creeping out of the carriage. These ludicrous periwig-pated personages were probably intended as portraits of advocates eminent in their day; their names I am not able to record.

A man taking the number of the coach is marked with traits of benevolence, which separate him from the savage ferocity of Nero or the guilty terror of these affrighted lawyers.

As a further exemplification of extreme barbarity, a drover is beating an expiring lamb with a large club. The wheels of a dray pass over an unfortunate boy, while the drayman, regardless of consequences, sleeps on the shafts.[31]

In the background is a poor overladen ass: the master, presuming on the strength of this patient and ill-treated animal, has mounted upon his back, and taken a loaded porter behind him. An over-driven bull, followed by a crowd of heroic spirits, has tossed a boy.[32] Two bills pasted on the wall advertise cock-fighting [58]and Broughton's Amphitheatre[33] for boxing, as further specimens of national civilisation.

Parts of this print may at first sight appear rather overcharged, but some recent examples convince us that they are not so. In the year 1790, a fellow was convicted of lacerating and tearing out the tongue of a horse; but there being no evidence of his bearing any malice towards the proprietor, or doing it with a view of injuring him, this diabolical wretch, not having violated any then existing statute, was discharged without punishment.


"To lawless love, when once betray'd,

Soon crime to crime succeeds;

At length beguil'd to theft, the maid

By her beguiler bleeds.

"Yet learn, seducing men, not night,

With all its sable cloud,

Can screen the guilty deed from sight:

Foul murder cries aloud!

"The gaping wounds, the blood-stain'd steel,

Now shock his trembling soul;

But ah! what pangs his breast must feel

When death his knell shall toll!"



An early indulged habit of wanton cruelty strengthens by time, chokes every good disposition, corrupts the mind, and sears the heart. We cannot say to the malevolent passions,

"Thus far shall ye go, and no further."

The hero of this print began by torturing a helpless dog; he then beat out the eye of an unoffending horse; and now, under the influence of that malignant rancorous spirit, which by indulgence is become natural, he commits murder—most foul and aggravated murder!—for this poor deluded girl is pregnant by the wretch who deprives her of life. He tempts her to quit a happy situation; to plunder an indulgent mistress, and meet him with the produce of her robbery. Blinded by affection, she keeps the fatal appointment, and comes loaded with plate. This remorseless villain, having previously determined to destroy her, and by that means cancel his promise of marriage, free himself from an expected encumbrance, and silence one whom compunction might at a future day induce to confess the crime and lead to his detection, puts her to death!

This atrocious act must have been perpetrated with most savage barbarity, for the head is nearly severed, and the wrist cut almost through. Her cries are heard by the servants of a neighbouring house, who run to her assistance. 'Tis too late. The horrid deed[60] is done! The ethereal spirit is forced from its earthly mansion,

"Unhousell'd, unappointed, unaneal'd!"

but the murderer, appalled by conscious guilt, and rendered motionless by terror, cannot fly. He is seized without resistance, and consigned to that punishment which so aggravated a violation of the laws of nature and his country demand.

The glimpses of the moon, the screech-owl and bat hovering in the air, the mangled corpse, and above all, the murderer's ghastly and guilty countenance, give terrific horror to this awful scene.[34]

By the pistol in his pocket and watches on the ground, we have reason to infer that this callous wretch has been committing other depredations in the earlier part of the evening. The time is what has been emphatically called "the witching hour!"—the iron tongue of midnight has told ONE!

The letter found in his pocket gives a history of the transaction; it appears to be dictated by the warmest affection, and written by the woman he has just murdered, previous to her elopement:—


"Dear Tommy,—My mistress has been the best of women to me, and my conscience flies in my face as often as I think of wronging her; yet I am resolved to venture body and soul to do as you would have me; so do not fail to meet me as you said you would, for I shall bring along with me all the things I can lay my hands on. So no more at present; but I remain yours till death.

"Ann Gill."

This is the simple effusion of a too credulous heart; whatever would lessen the solemnity of the scene is carefully avoided; neither bad spelling, nor any other ridiculous circumstances that might create laughter are introduced.


"Behold, the villain's dire disgrace,

Not death itself can end;

He finds no peaceful burial-place,

His breathless corpse—no friend.

"Torn from the root that wicked tongue,

Which daily swore and curst;

Those eye-balls from their sockets wrung,

That glow'd with lawless lust.

"His heart exposed to prying eyes,

To pity has no claim;

But dreadful! from his bones shall rise

His monument of shame."


The savage and diabolical progress of cruelty is now ended, and the thread of life severed by the sword of[62] justice. From the place of execution the murderer is brought to Surgeons' Hall, and now represented under the knife of a dissector. This venerable person, as well as his coadjutor, who scoops out the criminal's eye, and a young student scarifying the leg, seem to have just as much feeling as the subject now under their inspection.[35] A frequent contemplation of sanguinary scenes hardens the heart, deadens sensibility, and destroys every tender sensation.

Our legislators, considering how unfit such men are to determine in cases of life and death, have judiciously excluded both surgeons and butchers from serving upon juries.

Hogarth was most peculiarly accurate in those little markings which identify. The gunpowder initials T. N. on the arm, denote this to be the body of Thomas Nero. The face being impressed with horror has been objected to. It must be acknowledged that this is rather "o'er-stepping the modesty of nature;" but he so rarely deviates from her laws, that a little poetical licence may be forgiven where it produces humour or heightens character.

The skeletons on each side of the print are inscribed [63]"James Field" (an eminent pugilist), and "Maclean" (a notorious robber). Both of these worthies died by a rope. They are pointing to the physician's crest which is carved on the upper part of the president's[36] chair, viz. a hand feeling a pulse; taking a guinea would have been more appropriate to the practice. The heads of these two heroes of the halter are turned so as to seem ridiculing the president, "Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp." Every countenance in this grisly band is marked with that medical importance which dignifies the professors. Some of them we discover to be "from Caledonia's bleak and barren clime."

A fellow depositing the intestines in a pail, and a dog licking the murderer's heart, are disgusting and nauseous objects. The vessel where the skulls and bones bubble-bubble, gives some idea of the infernal caldron of Hecate.

Of this print, and that preceding it, there are[64] wooden blocks engraved upon a large scale, invented and published by "William Hogarth, Jan. 1, 1750; J. Bell, sculpt." They were executed by order of Mr. Hogarth, who wished to circulate the salutary examples they contain, by making the price low enough for a poor man's purse; but finding engraving on wood much more expensive than he had calculated, he altered his plan, and engraved them on copper.



"The nature and use of aliments maketh men either chaste or incontinent; either courageous or cowardly; either meek or quarrelsome: let those who deny these truths come to me; let them follow my counsel in eating and drinking, and I promise them they will find great helps thereupon towards moral philosophy. They will acquire more prudence, more diligence, more memory."—Galen.

Fully impressed with the truth of this axiom, Mr. Hogarth engraved the two following prints, in which he has considered porter as the liquor natural to an English constitution; and that villanous distillation, gin, as pernicious and poisonous. While that noble beverage properly termed British Burgundy[37] refreshes the weary,[66] exhilarates the faint, and cheers the depressed, an infernal compound of juniper and fiery spirits debases the mind, destroys the constitution, and brings its thirsty votaries to an untimely grave.

These, as well as the four preceding prints, are calculated for the lower orders of society, and exhibit such a contrast as must strike the most careless observer. In the first, we see healthy and happy beings inhaling copious draughts of a liquor which seems perfectly congenial to their mental and corporeal powers; in the second, a group of emaciated wretches who, by swallowing liquid fire, have consumed both.


"Beer, happy product of our isle,

Can sinewy strength impart;

And wearied with fatigue and toil,

Can cheer each manly heart.

"Labour and art, upheld by thee,

Successfully advance;

We quaff the balmy juice with glee,

And water leave to France.

"Genius of health, thy grateful taste

Rivals the cup of Jove;

And warms each English, generous breast,

With liberty and love."


This admirable delineation is a picture of John Bull in his most happy moments. In the left corner, a butcher and a blacksmith are each of them grasping [67]a foaming tankard of porter. By the King's Speech and the Daily Advertiser upon the table before them, they appear to have been studying politics, and settling the state of the nation. The blacksmith having just purchased a shoulder of mutton, is triumphantly waving it in the air. Next to him a drayman is whispering soft sentences of love to a servant-maid, round whose neck is one of his arms; in the other hand a pot of porter. Two fish-women, furnished with a flagon of the same liquor, are chaunting a song of Mr. Lockman's[38] on the British Herring Fishery. A porter having put a load of waste-paper[39] on the ground, is eagerly quaffing this best of barley wine.

On the front of a house in ruins, is inscribed "Pinch, pawnbroker," and through a hole in the door a boy delivers a full half-pint. In the background are two chairmen.[40] They have joined for threepenny-worth to recruit their spirits, and repair the fatigue they have undergone in trotting between two poles [68]with a ponderous load of female frailty. Two paviors are washing away their cares with a heart-cheering cup. In a garret window a trio of sailors are employed in the same way; and on a house-top are four bricklayers equally joyous. Each of these groups seem hale, happy, and well clothed; but the artist, who is painting a glass bottle from an original which hangs before him, is in a truly deplorable plight, at the same time that he carries in his countenance a perfect consciousness of his talents in this creative art.[41]


"Gin, cursed fiend! with fury fraught,

Makes human race a prey;

It enters by a deadly draught,

And steals our life away.


"Virtue and Truth, driv'n to despair,

Its rage compels to fly;

But cherishes with hellish care,

Theft, murder, perjury.

"Damn'd cup! that on the vitals preys,

That liquid fire contains;

Which madness to the heart conveys,

And rolls it thro' the veins."


From contemplating the health, happiness, and mirth flowing from a moderate use of a wholesome and natural beverage, we turn to this nauseous contrast, which displays human nature in its most degraded and disgusting state. The retailer of gin and ballads,[42] who sits upon the steps with a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other, is horribly fine. Having bartered away his waistcoat, shirt, and stockings, and drank until he is in a state of total insensibility; pale, wan, and emaciated, he is a perfect skeleton. A few steps higher is a debased counterpart of Lazarus, taking snuff; thoroughly intoxicated, and negligent of the infant at her breast, it falls over the rail into an area, and dies an innocent victim to the baneful vice of its depraved parent. Another of the fair sex has drank herself to sleep. As an emblem of her disposition being slothful, a snail is crawling from the wall to her arm. Close to her we discover one of the lords of the creation gnawing a bare bone,[70] which a bull-dog, equally ravenous, endeavours to snatch from his mouth. A working carpenter is depositing his coat and saw with a pawnbroker. A tattered female offers her culinary utensils at the same shrine: among them we discover a tea-kettle pawned to procure money to purchase gin.[43] An old woman, having drank until she is unable to walk, is put into a wheel-barrow, and in that situation a lad solaces her with another glass. With the same poisonous and destructive compound, a mother in the corner drenches her child. Near her are two charity-girls of St. Giles', pledging each other in the same corroding compound. The scene is completed by a quarrel between two drunken mendicants, both of whom appear in the character of cripples. While one of them uses his crutch as a quarterstaff, the other with great goodwill aims a stool, on which he usually sat, at the head of his adversary. This, with a crowd waiting for their drams at a distiller's door, completes the catalogue of the quick. Of the dead there are two, besides an unfortunate child whom a drunken madman has impaled upon a spit.[44] One a barber, who, having probably drank gin until he has lost his reason, has suspended himself by a rope in his own ruinous garret; the other a beautiful woman, whom by [71]direction of the parish beadle two men are depositing in a shell. From her wasted and emaciated appearance, we may fairly infer she also fell a martyr to this destructive and poisonous liquid. On the side of her coffin is a child lamenting the loss of its parent.

The large pewter measure hung over a cellar, on which is engraved "Gin Royal," was once a common sign; the inscription on this cave of despair, "Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence, clean straw for nothing," is worthy observation; it exhibits the state of our metropolis at that period.

The scene of this horrible devastation is laid in a place which was a few years since properly enough called the Ruins of St. Giles'.[45] Except the pawnbroker's, distiller's, and undertaker's, the houses are literally ruins! These doorkeepers to Famine, Disease, and Death, living by the calamities of others, are in a flourishing state.[46]

Mr. Hogarth seems to have received the first idea of these two prints from a pair by Peter Breughel (frequently called Breughel d'enfer), which exhibit a [72]similar contrast. In the one entitled "La Grosse" are a number of comely and well-fed personages; in the other, which is baptized "La Maigre Cuisine," the characters are meagre and wasted: seated on a straw mat are a mother and child, which very much resemble the wretched female we see upon the steps in the print under consideration.

To the perspective little attention is paid, but the characters are admirably discriminated. The emaciated retailer of gin is well drawn. The woman with a snuff-box has all the mawkish marks of debasement and drunkenness. The man gnawing a bone, a dog tearing it from him, and the pawnbroker, have countenances in an equal degree hungry and rapacious.

A print entitled the "Gin Drinkers," which bears strong marks of being one of Hogarth's early productions, may perhaps have been the first thought on which this print was built.

On the subject of these plates was published a catchpenny compilation from Reynolds' "God's Revenge against Murder," entitled "A Dissertation on Mr. Hogarth's six prints—'Gin Lane,' 'Beer Street,' and the 'Four Stages of Cruelty.'"



Designed and etched in the ridiculous manner of Rembrandt, by William Hogarth. Published according to the Act of Parliament, May 1, 1751.

"Each hero is a pillar of darkness, and the sword a beam of fire."[47]Fingal, Book I. p. 21.


For the etchings of Rembrandt, and a herd of servile imitators who, without any of his genius, copied his defects, Hogarth had the most sovereign contempt. He considered their productions as unmeaning scratches, as dingy and violent combinations of light and darkness, which would not bear to be tried by the criterion of either nature or art. How far he was right in his opinion is not my inquiry; but certain it is, that at the time of this publication they had the sanction of those who were deemed good judges, and produced most enormous prices. To correct this vitiated taste, and bring men[74] back to reason and common sense, our whimsical artist etched this very grotesque print.

The Apostle, conformable to the general practice of the Flemish school, is represented as a mean and vulgar character. Among the Lilliputians he might have been a giant; among the Romans he must have been a dwarf. In the true spirit of Dutch allegory, a figure fat enough for a burgomaster, invested with wings "that clad each shoulder broad," is seated on the floor behind him as a guardian angel. At this unpropitious moment the guardian angel is asleep, and a little imp of darkness,[48] ever active in mischief, is busily employed with a hand-saw cutting through the leg of the Apostle's stool, which falling, must inevitably bring the orator to the ground, where he will probably be seized by the snarling dog on whose collar is engraved "Felix," and who seems to have an eye to the saint, though his nose is evidently pointed at his appalled master. Seated in a wicker chair, with the Roman eagle over his head, and the fasces at his left hand, Felix indeed trembles. On an adjoining seat is the all-accomplished Drusilla and her lap-dog. Her olfactory nerves, as well as those of her companion, are violently affected. With a sacrificing knife in his right hand, his left clenched, [75]and a countenance irritated almost to madness, the High Priest appears ready to leap from the bench and put the Apostle to death, but is prevented by a more prudent senator. The audience are worthy of the judges; male and female, young and old, are in dress, deportment, and feature, perfectly Dutch. Of the same school is the statue of Justice, with a bandage over one eye, and grasping, in the place of a flaming sword, a butcher's knife.[49] She stands in awful state, laden with bags of gold, the rewards of legal decisions.

At a table beneath the bench are five curious characters. The first, maugre the thundering eloquence of St. Paul, is asleep; the next, mending a pen; two adjoining are highly offended with a noxious effluvia, while their bearded associate is grinning and pointing at the cause from which it emanates. Regardless of all other objects, an Hebrew counterpart of Shylock is expanding his hands in astonishment at the unguarded vehemence of the preacher. Not less exasperated is Tertullus, who, arrayed in the habit of an English serjeant-at-law,[50] has nothing Roman [76]but his nose. Boiling with rage, and irritated almost to madness, he tears his brief: this, a devil, who to give him peculiar distinction has three horns, is carefully picking up and joining the remnants together.[51] The vase, and silver plates in a recess, the violent stream of light which dazzles the eyes of a priest who stands with his back to it, the boat, bark, and white sail glittering in the wave, and a village and windmill in the distance, are all of Rembrandt's school.

The plate was originally intended as a receipt-ticket to the large "Paul before Felix," and "Pharaoh's Daughter;" and the artist stained many early impressions with that yellow tint which time gives to old prints. For the Paul, and Moses, he afterwards engraved another design, and presented this to any of his friends who requested it; but finding applications increase, he fixed the price at five shillings.[52]



Engraved by William Hogarth, from his original painting in Lincoln's-Inn Hall, and published as the Act directs, Feb. 5, 1752.

"And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled."


This print Mr. Hogarth intended as a serious and sublime representation of the scene which he had so inimitably burlesqued; yet so little are we qualified to judge of our own powers, that he has here produced a print as destitute of elevation and sentiment as are the works of those masters he so successfully ridiculed. With the Roman eagle he could not soar, and has drawn the royal bird like a sparrow-hawk, nailed to the bottom of a writing-desk. The Apostle, with his right foot resting on a lower step than the left, has neither grace, dignity, nor firmness. Felix has the appearance of a vinegar-faced apothecary feeling the pulse of a nervous female patient, and shocked at the velocity of our circulation, dropping the prescription from his left hand. The haughty High Priest biting his nails, is deficient in everything except his drapery: the Jew immediately behind him bears a strong resemblance to an old-clothes-man. The standard-bearer, and woman with her hands closed, are a degree better; but the Herculean advocate,[78] with a brief in his right hand, looks like a journeyman hatter that has drank porter till he is drowsy; by the strength of his muscles and the stupidity of his countenance, he seems better fitted for a bruiser than a pleader.

The listening soldier, at the opposite corner, is meanly conceived and ill drawn.

At the bottom of one of the copies I once saw the following memorandum in the handwriting of Hogarth: "A print of the plate that was set aside as insufficient. Engraved by W. H."


From the original painting in Lincoln's-Inn Hall, painted by Wm. Hogarth.


This is engraved from the same design as the former, but the situation of the figures is reversed, and Drusilla omitted, it being thought that St. Paul's hand was rather improperly placed.

It is somewhat superior to the former, but the light is ill distributed, and the characters too individual for the dignity of historical composition.

Upon this and the following print Doctor Joseph Warton, in his Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope, made the following remark. Trusting to his memory, he confounded two prints together, and [79]remembering to have seen a dog snarling at a cat in the fourth print of "Industry and Idleness," from an error in recollection, transferred them to the "Paul before Felix:"—

"Some nicer virtuosi have remarked, that in the serious pieces into which Hogarth has deviated from the natural bias of his genius there are some strokes of the ridiculous discernible, which suit not with the dignity of his subject. In his Preaching of St. Paul, a dog snarling at a cat; and in his Pharaoh's Daughter, the figure of the infant Moses, who expresses rather archness than timidity, are alleged as instances that this artist, unrivalled in his walk, could not resist the impulse of his imagination towards drollery. His picture, however, of Richard III. is pure and unmixed, without any ridiculous circumstances, and strongly impresses terror and amazement."

On the publication of this criticism, Hogarth engraved the whole quotation under the two prints alluded to without any comment; but on the appearance of the following very ample and candid apology, erased them:—

"The author gladly lays hold of the opportunity of this third edition of his work to confess a mistake he had committed with respect to two admirable paintings of Mr. Hogarth,—his Paul Preaching, and his Infant Moses,—which on a closer examination are not chargeable with the blemishes imputed to them.[80] Justice obliges him to declare the high opinion he entertains of the abilities of this inimitable artist, who shines in so many different lights and on such very dissimilar subjects, and whose works have more of what the ancients called the ΗΘΟΣ in them than the compositions of any other modern. For the rest, the author begs leave to add, that he is so far from being ashamed of retracting his error, that he had rather appear a man of candour than the best critic that ever lived."

Hogarth did not understand Greek, and was for some time doubtful whether the ΗΘΟΣ was meant as complimentary or satirical.

If the original painting in Lincoln's-Inn Hall were destroyed, Hogarth's reputation would not be diminished.



"And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses."—Exodus ii. 10.


Among the many benevolent institutions which do honour to this nation, the hospital for maintaining exposed and deserted infants may be ranked as one of the most humane and political. Let the austere enthusiast censure it as an encouragement to vice, and the rigid moralist declaim against giving sanction to profligacy, it is still an useful and a benevolent foundation.

To protect the helpless, give refuge to the innocent, and render that unoffending being a useful member of society whose parents may be too indigent to give it proper sustenance, or wicked enough to destroy it, is fulfilling one great precept of religion, and must afford a pure and exalted gratification to every philanthropic mind.[53]

That it is found necessary to restrict the plan, and[82] confine the charity in such narrow limits, is much to be lamented. Compassion and policy demand that the doors should be open to every proper object.

To this asylum for deserted infancy Mr. Hogarth was one of the earliest benefactors,[54] and to their institution presented the picture from which this print is engraved; there is not perhaps in holy writ another [83]story so exactly suitable to the avowed purpose of the foundation.

The history of Moses being deserted by his mother, exposed among the bulrushes, and discovered and protected by the daughter of Pharaoh, is known to every one who has read the Bible: those who have not, may find it there recorded, with many other things well worthy their attention. At the point of time here taken, the child's mother, whom the Princess considers as merely its nurse, has brought him to his patroness, and is receiving from the treasurer the wages of her services. The little foundling naturally clings to his nurse, though invited to leave her by the daughter of a monarch. The eyes of an attendant, and a whispering Ethiopian, convey an oblique suspicion that the child has a nearer affinity to their mistress than she chooses to acknowledge.[55]

Considered as a whole, this picture has a more historic air than we often find in the works of Hogarth. The royal Egyptian is graceful, and in some degree elevated.[56] The treasurer is marked with austere dignity, and the Jewess and child with nature. The [84]scene is superb, and the distant prospect of pyramids, etc. highly picturesque and appropriate to the country. To exhibit this scene, the artist has placed the groups at such a distance as crowd the corners and leave the centre unoccupied. As the Greeks are said to have received the rudiments of art from Egypt, the line of beauty on the base of a pillar is properly introduced. A crocodile creeping from under the stately chair may be intended to mark the neighbourhood of the Nile, but is a poor and forced conceit.



I think it is Voltaire who observes that the English nation are mad every seven years: he might have added that there are local fits which seize some parts of the country at other times; but this madness, like the fermentation of liquors, proves the spirit of the people.

In the following series of prints Mr. Hogarth has delineated the progress of this malady, in four of its most remarkable stages, with that broad and characteristic humour peculiar to himself. He has presented us with the mirror of a contested election, the British Saturnalia; in which is displayed what Abbé Raynal most emphatically calls "the majesty of the people!"—an expression, says the same writer, "which would alone consecrate a language."

The first print was published February 24, 1755, and inscribed to the Right Hon. Henry Fox.—Plate II., February 20, 1757, to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, Ambassador to the Court of Russia.—Plate III., February 20, 1758, to the Hon. Sir Edward Walpole, Knight of the Bath.—Plate IV., January 1,[86] 1759, to the Hon. George Hay, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.

The original pictures are now in the possession of Mrs. Garrick, at Hampton.

It appears from the Grub Street Journal of June 13, 1734, that the same subject had been previously attempted by another artist, under the title of "The Humours of a Country Election." It must be acknowledged that the inscriptions to some of the compartments have a striking similarity to the scenes represented by Hogarth. "The candidates very complaisant to a country clown," etc. "The candidates making an entertainment for the electors and their wives; at the upper end of the table the parson of the parish," etc.

In 1759 was published, in four cantos, a poetical description of these prints, introduced by the following remarkable advertisement, dated

"Cheapside, March 1, 1759.

"For the satisfaction of the reader, and in justice to the concealed author, I take the liberty, with the permission of Mr. Hogarth, to insert in this manner that gentleman's opinion of the following cantos, which is—That the thoughts entirely coincide with his own; that there is a well-adapted vein of humour preserved through the whole; and that though some of his works have been formerly explained by other hands,[87] yet none ever gave him so much satisfaction as the present performance.

"John Smith."

Had Mr. Hogarth's taste for poetry been in any degree equal to his skill in painting, he would scarcely have given so strong a sanction to this wretched attempt at Hudibrastic humour, which is coarse, dull, mean, and very unworthy of the scenes which it professes to celebrate.[57]




"Here tumult wild and rude confusion reign,

And hoodwink'd party heads the senseless train;

Here meets her motley tribe—here holds her court,

For pamper'd Gluttony, the grand resort.

From orgies so profane—stern Freedom flown,

Corruption mounts her abdicated throne.

Unhappy Britain—thy degenerate tribe,

Like Esau, barter birthright for a bribe."—E.


The first act of this popular farce is very properly a dinner, which in all public transactions ought to precede every other business.[58] The scene is laid in a country town, at an inn, which in these piping times of peace is kept open for the friends of the Court candidate. All the party, except the divine and the mayor, have ended their repast; but episcopal dignity, [89]or prætorian distinction, gives a right to more indulgence than is allowed to the unhallowed multitude.

The highly polished and accomplished gentleman[59] who aspires to the honour of a seat in the British senate demands our first notice. He has what an Hibernian would call a face of much promise. His dress, air, and grace proclaim that he has travelled. Pope has described him exactly as if he had sat for the picture:

"He saunter'd Europe round,

And gathered every vice on Christian ground,

Saw every court, heard every king declare

His royal sense of operas, or the fair.—

See now half-cured, and perfectly well-bred,

With nothing but a solo in his head,

As much estate, and principle, and wit,

As Jansen, Fleetwood, Cibber, shall think fit;

Stol'n from a duel, follow'd by a nun,

And if a Borough choose him,—not undone," etc.

At this time of general equality and universal[90] levelling, when knight and vassal, esquire and mechanic, are of equal rank, our paragon of politeness is lending an attentive ear to a disgusting old beldam, who from her rotundity may be a descendant of Sir John Falstaff's. In her hand, which is behind him, she holds a letter directed to Sir Commodity Taxem; this we may naturally suppose contains either a request of a favour or an offer of a service, in the sure and certain hope of a return to it. Be that as it may, the gallant knight shows her every attention, and has stretched his long arm half round her ample waist:

"Thus the bold eagle leaves his azure way,

And takes the carrion carcase for his prey;

There dips his beak—but when the banquet's done,

Replumes his wings, and rises to the sun."

While a little girl dazzled with the splendour of his brilliant ring attempts to make it a prize, a fellow who stands upon a chair behind him, with all that easy familiarity which the time warrants, strikes the Baronet's head against that of the old woman, and shakes the ashes out of his tobacco-pipe upon his powdered hair. This is election wit.

The next group form a trio, and are made up by a grinning cobbler, a dirty-faced barber, and a mawkish gentleman, whose hand the son of St. Crispin grasps with an energy that almost cracks the bones. The barber, equally friendly, pinches his arm, and resting[91] one hand upon his shoulder blows the hot fumes from a short tobacco-pipe into his eye. This also is election wit.

A pyramidical group behind is composed of an officer, a drunken counsellor, and a pleasing young woman, over whose head the maudlin advocate, flourishing a bumper of wine, roars out an obscene toast. This is the third and most finished specimen of election wit. At a table a little beneath, stewing "the last lov'd remnant of the forest haunch," sits an oily divine,[60] holding his canonical periwig in his right hand, and wiping his forehead with the left.[92] Behind him is a Scotch bagpiper, who, at the same time that he is pressing out his harsh and unmusical tones, enjoys the royal luxury of scratching.[61] A female player on the violin,[62] and a most consequential performer on the bass viol, when aided by the Caledonian pipe, must form a most melodious concert.

A fourth votary of St. Cecilia holds his musical instrument under his arm, ceasing all dulcet sounds, while he drinks a glass of Burgundy with a gentleman who seems much gratified at seeing a chin of more extravagant length than his own. Adjoining are two country fellows delighted beyond measure at a person[63] making the representation of a face by wrapping a napkin round his hand, and singing, "An old woman clothed in grey," etc. This face, ingeniously designed with charcoal blots for eyes and mouth, bears a strong resemblance to the poor gouty old fellow on his left hand, whose violent contortions lead us to suspect that he feels some disagreeable internal emotion. Behind, is a fellow pouring the contents of [93]a vessel through a window amongst a crowd made up of the opposite party, in return for a shower of stones they are hurling into the room. To annoy and repel these troublesome assailants, a man at the opposite corner throws out a three-legged stool. At the upper end of the table sits a gentleman in a tye-wig, whom we presume to be the Right Worshipful Mr. Mayor. He has ate oysters until his breath is stopped, and is now under the hands of a barber-surgeon. This village Sangrado attempts to breathe a vein; "But ah! the purple tide no more will flow."

Notwithstanding this suspension of vital powers, our absolute monarch of his own corporation, true to the cause, and actuated by his ruling passion, even in death, grasps a fork, on which he has impaled an oyster. Immediately behind him an electioneering agent offers a bribe to a puritanic tailor; but this conscientious wielder of the needle, lifting up his eyes with horror, refuses the money, maugre the terrific threats of his amiable wife, who, while she raises her right fist in a menacing style, rests her left hand on the head of their barefooted boy.

On an opposite chair is an unfortunate man of the law, who, intent on casting up the sure and doubtful votes, is, like the mighty Goliah, struck in the forehead with a stone, and falls prostrate to the floor. "Where be his quirks and quiddits now?"

A champion of the same party, generally called a[94] bludgeon-man,[64] having met with a similar accident in the cause of his country, is taken in hand by a patriotic butcher, who, assuming the office of surgeon, pours gin into the wound. A little boy filling a mashing-tub with punch,[65] and a trading Quaker reading a promissory note, conclude the catalogue. This note is from the candidate to Mr. Abel Squat for fifty pounds, payable six months after date, and probably offered in payment for ribands, gloves, etc., which are to be presented to the electors' wives and daughters. With this note honest Abel is much dissatisfied; and by the manner one hand is laid upon his little bale of goods, it does not seem probable that he will part with them for paper security.


Coming in at the door we see a band of assailants from the opposite party, determined to attack the enemy in their entrenchments; most of them flourish their cudgels, but one of the heroes brandishes a sword. The stag's horns over the door may perhaps be intended to convey some allusion to the trembling Puritan. A party, whom their enemies at that time distinguished by the name of Jacobites, to show their respect for Revolution principles, have mangled the portrait of King William the Third. The escutcheon with the Elector's arms, A CHEVRON SABLE BETWEEN THREE GUINEAS OR, with the crest of a gaping mouth, and motto "Speak and Have," is very applicable to a parliamentary canvas. The landscape over the candidate's head may, it has been observed, be intended as a representation of the town where this business is transacting. On the flag, which is entwined with laurels, is inscribed "Liberty and Loyalty," which cabalistic words, like the Abracadabra, are a sort of charm to the eyes of your Englishman. On another flag, which lies upon the ground, is written, "Give us our Eleven Days."[66] In the tobacco tray is a paper of Kirton's best,[67] and a slip from the Act against [96]Bribery and Corruption is torn to light pipes with. A lobster appears to be creeping towards a mutton chop, which lies unheeded in a corner. A procession in the street are following an effigy,[68] on the breast of which is inscribed, "No Jews." The mottoes on their flags are equally curious: "Liberty and Property, and no Excise;" and, "Marry and Multiply, in spite of the devil."

An inscription on the butcher's cockade is infinitely more classical and elegant: "Pro Patriæ" has a chance of general admiration, because it is not generally understood.

As to the characters of the dramatis personæ. The face and air of the Baronet are perfectly of Lord Chesterfield's school; a fellow scattering ashes on his head, and the cobbler at the table, are marked with mischief. The fat old woman is of Mother Cole's family; and the divine has the corpulence and consequence of a bishop. He must "lard the lean earth as he walks along." The two country fellows looking with delighted eyes at Mr. Parnell, and an old man tortured by the gout, are admirably discriminated. The barber-surgeon and his brother butcher have so much sang froid, and display so little feeling for their suffering patients,[97] that we naturally infer each of them is in great practice.

Hogarth was fond of making experiments; and it has been said, that when engraving this plate he determined to attempt what no artist had ever performed, i.e. to finish the plate without taking a single proof during the process. The consequence was such as might be expected; he made some mistakes that it was scarcely possible to rectify, and on discovering the errors, violently exclaimed that he was ruined. On his passion subsiding, a brother engraver assisted him to correct the faults occasioned by trying to perform an impossibility. It is, however, the highest finished print he ever engraved.

In the first state of the plate were some lemons and oranges lying on a paper by the side of the tub; but Hogarth being informed that vitriol and cream of tartar are the usual acids in election punch, erased them from the copper.




"Although bare merit might in Rome appear

The strongest plea for favour,—'tis not here;

We form our judgment in another way,

And he will best succeed who best can pay."


The centre group in this print represents a rustic freeholder between two innkeepers, each of whom, as agents for their respective parties, are dropping money into his hands. From the arch and significant cast of his eye, we see that though interest induces him to take all that either of them will give, conscience obliges him to vote for the best paymaster.[69] One of the candidates, considering how necessary it is to conciliate the favour of the fair, is purchasing trinkets from a Jew pedlar for two ladies, who express their virtuous wishes in a balcony. Though neither of them have votes, their interest may be very extensive. By the direction upon a letter which a porter, in the hope of a more liberal gratuity, delivers with a bended knee, we perceive that this gentleman is of the numerous and ancient family of the party tools, [99]who have flourished in this island ever since the Revolution. A packet on the ground consists of printed bills to be dispersed among the electors, intimating that Punch's theatre is opened,[70] the company of the worthy electors humbly[71] and earnestly requested, etc. etc. In election business, eating is a leading article; of this, two hungry countrymen in the Royal Oak larder seem perfectly sensible. One [100]of them is voraciously devouring a fowl, and the other slashing away a round of beef. Seated upon an old stern of a ship, which is placed as a kind of national trophy at the inn door, and represents the British lion swallowing the lily of France, is the buxom landlady (at this time a very important personage), counting the money she has received for her interest in the borough; a grenadier watches her with that kind of[101] eagerness which seems to intimate a desire of dividing the spoil. Settling the nation while they drink their ale, a barber and a cobbler are engaged in a dispute upon politics at the door of the Portobello[72] alehouse. The former seems describing, with pieces of broken tobacco-pipes, the great exploits of Admiral Vernon with six ships only. In the progress of this voluble harangue he has advanced something contrary to the cobbler's creed, and Crispin, being no great orator,[102] offers to back his opinion by a wager. This the eloquent flourisher of a razor is either unwilling or unable to answer, and the self-important mender of bad soles triumphantly sweeps his cash from the table to his pocket. A fellow mounted on a cross-beam at the end of the Crown signpost deserves particular notice. Eagerly exercising his hand-saw, he strains every nerve to cut through the beam, totally negligent of his own situation, and forgetting that when the Crown drops—he must fall. To accelerate this operation, and bring the business to a more speedy crisis, two zealous coadjutors are exerting all their strength in pulling at a rope which is tied round the beam. This is one of the neatest pieces of allegory that Hogarth has delineated.

The crowd beneath are a fair representation of what we had occasion to notice before—the majesty of the people. Delighting in devastation, and blind to its consequences, they with one voice "cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war." The landlord, enraged at this wanton attack upon his castle, opens his window and discharges a blunderbuss amongst the assailants. Painted on the upper part of a show-cloth, and hung before the sign of the Royal Oak,[73] is a view of the[103] Treasury, out of which a stream of gold is poured into a bag, which, when filled, will be hoisted into a large waggon now loading with guineas to defray the expense of the approaching elections. Next to this is a view of that solid specimen of Mr. Ware's taste and talents in architecture, the Horse Guards. To the cupola of this ponderous pile the artist has, with very little exaggeration, given the form of a beer barrel. In the centre arch the builder forgot proportion and neglected utility, so that the state coach could not pass through until the ground was lowered. To satirize this violation of the laws of Palladio, and inattention to the dictates of common sense, Hogarth has represented the royal carriage on the point of entering the arch, and the king's body-coachman without a head.[74] Beneath is delineated that ancient favourite of a puppet-show, the facetious Mr. Punch, with a barrow full of guineas, which, with a wooden ladle, he tosses up and scatters in the air, to the great delight of two sylvan freeholders who attempt[104] to catch them in their hats. One of these simple swains,[75] having had his head broken with the gold, endeavours to guard his caput from future mishaps. An old woman standing behind them with a magic wand, I suppose to be Mrs. Punch. Underneath is a very applicable inscription, "Punch, a candidate for Guzzledown." A view in the background, between the Crown and Portobello, of a cottage embosomed[105] in a wood, and a village in the distance, is highly picturesque. The tree, which spreads its foliage before the walls of the Royal Oak, has one withered bough; and enveloped by the luxuriant branches of a vine, hangs a wooden bunch of grapes.

The characters are admirable. Nothing can be superior to the haughty and oracular self-importance of the cobbler; the barber has all his professional volubility; and the leer of the countryman lets you into his whole soul. It is evidently directed to mine host of the Oak,[76] who, added to his superior weight of metal, has a superior weight of body, and a much more persuasive aspect. The Jew has the true countenance of his tribe. Of his customer, we may say in the language of Shylock,

"How like a fawning publican he looks!"




"Time was,—our freeholders, a stout rustic band,

Inhal'd the fresh breeze as they till'd their own land;

Their hearts beam'd with honour, their faces with health,

Their toil gave them strength, and their diligence wealth.

But these sons of misery, disfranchis'd by fate,

Resemble a group at an hospital gate,

All huddled together in one little clan,

To display the calamities common to man.

Yet deaf, blind, or lame, we must trust to their choice;

Sans ears, eyes, or hands,—each may have a good voice.

And—gasping for breath,—it deserves special note,

The expiring Elector is deem'd a dead vote."—E.


With the glorious ambition of serving their country, added to an eagerness of displaying their own importance, the maimed, the lame, the blind, the deaf, and the sick, hasten to the hustings to give their independent votes.[77] The contending candidates, seated at the back of the booth, anticipate the event. One of them, coolly resting upon his cane in a state of stupid satisfaction, appears to be as happy as his nature will [107]admit, in the certainty of success. Very different are the feelings of his opponent, who, rubbing his head with every mark of apprehensive agitation, contemplates the state of the poll, and shudders at the heavy expense of a contest in which he is likely to be the loser. Such are the cares of a candidate.

"A man, when once he's safely chose,

May laugh at all his furious foes,

Nor think of former evil:

Yet good has its attendant ill,

A seat is no bad thing,—but still,

A contest is the Devil."

The first person that tenders his oath to the swearing clerk is an old soldier, and probably a brave one, for he has lost a leg, an arm, and a hand, in the service of his country. They were severed by the sword of an enemy, but the trunk and heart remain entire, and are entitled to more respect than is paid them by the brawling advocate, who, with that loud and overbearing loquacity for which Billingsgate and the bar are so deservedly eminent, puts in a protest against his vote. The objection is not founded upon this heroic remnant of war having forfeited his franchise[108] by any improper conduct, but upon the letter, the black letter of the law, "which," says our quibbling counsellor, "ordains, 'that the person who makes an affidavit shall lay his right hand upon the book.' Now, this man having had his right hand severed from his arm, and, as he informs us, left it in Flanders, cannot comply with the letter of the law, and therefore is not competent to make an affidavit; that being once admitted, which I do contend must be admitted, he cannot be deemed competent to vote." "That," replies another gentleman of the black robe, "I most pointedly deny; for though this valiant veteran, who is an half-pay officer, has lost much of his blood and three of his limbs in the service of his king, and defence of his fellow-subjects, yet the sword which deprived him of his hand has not deprived him of his birthright. God forbid it should! It might as well be argued and asserted, that this gentleman is excluded from the rites of matrimony because he cannot pledge his hand. Thanks to our religion and our constitution, neither law nor gospel holds such language, and it is beneath me to waste any more words in the confutation of it. I will only add,—and I do insist upon my opinion being confirmed by every statute upon the case,—that the law must and will consider this substitute for a hand to be as good as the hand itself; and his laying that upon the book is all which the law ought to[109] require,—all the law can require,—all the law does require."

Leaving these two bright luminaries of their profession to throw dust, and render that obscure which without their explanation would have been perfectly clear, let us attend to the son of Solomon, who is fastened in his chair and brought to give his voice for a fit person to represent him in Parliament. This is evidently a deaf idiot, but he is attended by a man in fetters,[78] very capable of prompting him, who is at this moment roaring in his ear the name of the gentleman for whom he is to vote. Behind him are two fellows carrying a man wrapped in a blanket, apparently in so languid a state, that he cannot be supposed to feel much interest in the concerns of a world he is on the point of leaving.[79] The catalogue of this motley group of electors is concluded by a [110]blind man and a cripple, who are slowly and cautiously ascending the steps that lead to the hustings. In the group an artist is drawing a profile of one of the candidates, and in both air and character this Sayers of his day has given a very striking resemblance of his original. The constable, fatigued by double duty, is at peace with all mankind—a deep sleep is upon him. Many of the crowd are attentively listening to the soft sounds of a female siren, warbling forth a brown paper libel on one of the candidates in that universal language which those that cannot read may yet understand,—the hero of this satire being delineated as suspended to a gibbet on the top of the ballad.

In the sinister corner is a view of Britannia's chariot oversetting, while the coachman and footman are playing at cards on the box. Here is one of the few instances where Hogarth has mounted into the cloudy heights of allegory; and here, as Mr. Walpole justly observes, he is not happy: it is a dark and dangerous region, in which almost every aeronaut of the arts has lost himself, and confused his earth-born admirers. On a bridge in the background is a carriage, with colours flying, and a cavalcade composed of worthy and independent freeholders advancing to give their suffrages with all possible éclat.

The village in the distance has a pretty effect. Of the church we may fairly say, as Charles the Second[111] did of that at Harrow on the Hill, "It is the visible church."

Part of this plate was engraved by Morrilon le Cave, who was a scholar of Picart's. In the year 1733, he engraved from Hogarth's design a small print of Captain Coram, etc., as the headpiece to a power of attorney for the Governors of the Foundling Hospital: he also engraved a head of Doctor Pococke, which is the frontispiece to Twell's edition of the Doctor's works.



When Philip's warlike and victorious son

A kingdom conquer'd or a battle won,

His legions bow'd the head, and bent the knee,

And cried, exulting,—Lo, a Deity!

Bore him triumphant in a glittering car,

While thundering plaudits rent the echoing air.

So,—the Election being finish'd,

His borough gain'd, his coin diminish'd,

Our Knight in mock heroic state

Is now exalted,—but not great.

Beyond all doubt the people's choice,

Ah!—could he check the people's voice?

For some exclaim,—A venal knave!

And others,—A time-serving slave!

While this roars out,—A party tool!

That, sneering cries,—A party fool!

These are hard words, and grating tones;

But what are words to broken bones?

And broken bones he'll soon bewail,

For there's no fence against a flail.


Oh hapless wight!—ah, luckless fray,

Down drops this pageant of the day.

Thus, he most raised above his fellows,

By one rude blast from Fortune's bellows,

Falls, like a tempest-riven tower,

From pomp, pride, circumstance, and power.—E.


The polling being concluded, the books cast up, and the returning-officer having declared our candidate[80] duly elected, he is now exhibited in triumph. Seated in an arm-chair, and exalted upon the shoulders of four tried supporters of the constitution, he is borne through the principal streets, which are promiscuously crowded with enemies as well as friends. In this aerostatic voyage there seems to be some danger of a wreck; for a thresher having received an insult from a sailor, in the act of revenging it flourishes his flail in as extensive an orbit as if he were in his own barn. The end of this destructive instrument coming in contact with the skull of a bearer of our new-made member, the fellow's head rings with the blow, his eyes swim, his limbs refuse their office, and at this inauspicious moment the effects of the stroke, like an electric shock, extend to the exalted senator. He trembles in every joint; the hat flies from his head—and—without the intervention of Juno or Minerva, he must fall from the seat of honour to the bed of stone. Terrified at his impending danger, a nervous [113]lady, who with her attendants is in the churchyard, falls back in a swoon. Regardless of her distress, two little chimney-sweepers upon the gate-post are placing a pair of gingerbread spectacles on a death's head. Their sportive tricks are likely to be interrupted by a monkey beneath, who, arrayed en militaire, is mounted upon a bear's back. The firelock slung over this little animal's shoulder, in a fray between the bear and a biped, is accidentally discharged in a direction that, if loaded, must carry leaden death to one of the gibing soot merchants above.[81]

The venerable musician, delighted with his own harmony, neither takes a part nor feels an interest in the business of the day. Let not his neutrality be attributed to a wrong cause; nor be it supposed that, in a country where every good citizen must espouse some party,[82] this ancient personage would remain an indifferent spectator were he not totally blind. At [114]an opposite corner a naked soldier is taking a few refreshing grains of best Virginia, and preparing to dress himself after the performance of a pugilistic duet. On the other side of the rails a half-starved French cook, a half-bred English cook, and a half-roasted woman cook, are carrying three covers for the lawyers' table. Near them is a cooper inspecting a vessel that had been reported leaky, and must speedily be filled with home-brewed ale for the gratification of the populace. Two fellows are forcing their way through the crowd in the background with a barrel of the same liquor. Coming out of a street behind them, a procession of triumphant electors hail the other successful candidate, whose shadow appears on the wall of the court-house. In Mr. Attorney's[83] first floor are a group of the defeated party glorying in their security, and highly delighted with the confusion below. One of these, distinguished by a riband,[115] is said to be intended for the late Duke of Newcastle, who was eminently active on these occasions. A poor old lady is unfortunately thrown down by a litter of pigs, which, followed by their mamma, rush through the crowd with as much impetuosity as if the whole herd were possessed. One of this agreeable party has leaped, not into the ocean, but the brook, and the whole family are on the point of following its example.

Hogarth had surely some antipathy to tailors; in the background he has introduced one of these knights of the needle disciplined by his wife for having quitted the shop-board to look at the gentlemen. In Le Brun's "Battle of the Granicus," an eagle is represented as hovering over the plumed helmet of Alexander; this thought is very happily parodied in a goose,[84] flying immediately over the tye-wig of our exalted candidate.

Mr. Nichols, in his Anecdotes of Hogarth, very shrewdly observes that "the ruined house adjoining to the attorney's is a stroke of satire that should not be overlooked, because," adds the same writer, "it intimates that nothing can thrive in the neighbourhood[116] of such vermin."[85] In this inference I most sincerely join, but am afraid that in the present instance we cannot establish our data. The house is not in ruins from the inhabitant having been unable to keep it in repair, neither has it been torn by the teeth of time; for it is apparently the wreck of a modern edifice, which has been thus destroyed by a riotous mob, because it belonged to one of the opposite party.

An inscription on the sun-dial, when joined to the mortuary representation on the church gate-post, has been supposed to imply a pun hardly worthy of Hogarth, but which yet I am inclined to suspect he intended. "We must,"[86] on the sun-dial, say some of his illustrators, means—We must die all (dial).

All the incidents in this very whimsical plate are naturally and yet skilfully combined: the whole is in the highest degree laughable, and every figure stamped with its proper character. The apprehensive terror of the unwieldy member, the Herculean strength of the exasperated thresher, and the energetic attitude of the maimed sailor, deserve peculiar praise.


Previous to the publication of this series, Mr. Hogarth's satire was generally aimed at the follies and vices of individuals. He has here ventured to dip his pencil in the ocean of politics, and delineated the corrupt and venal conduct of our electors in the choice of their representatives. That these four plates display a picture in any degree applicable to the present times must not be asserted, because it might, by the help of innuendo, be construed into a libel on the present upright and independent House of Commons: but from the floating memorials of some little transactions that took place some thirty or forty years ago, there is reason to think that the people of Great Britain were so far from being influenced by a reverence for public virtue, that they began to suspect it had no existence. Their faith in violent professions of the amor patriæ had been staggered by several recent instances of political depravity. They had a few years before seen a William Pulteney, the champion of patriots, the idol of the people, the dread of ministers, desert from the party of which he was a leader, quit the cause for which he had been the most violent advocate, and accept a peerage. This, and some similar circumstances, gave an example and an apology for universal venality.

How different was the spirit which actuated the Earl of Bath, from that independent dignity, that patriotic ardour, that holy enthusiasm, which has[118] emblazoned the name of Andrew Marvel[87] with a saint-like glory! Let his name be consecrated by the reverence and the gratitude of every Englishman,[119] and may we live to see a band of senators who will emulate his virtues! Could we have faith in speeches, many which we have heard and read are of much[120] promise; let us hope that the day of performance is at hand.



"Now I behold the chiefs in the pride of their former deeds; their souls are kindled at the battles of old, and the actions of other times. Their eyes are like flames of fire, and roll in search of the foes of the land. Their mighty hands are on their swords, and lightning pours from their sides of steel. They came like streams from the mountains; each rushed roaring from his hill. Bright are the chiefs of battle in the arms of their fathers."[88]Fingal, Book I. p. 7.


That so admirable a representation of the manners of England should be dedicated to the King of Prussia,[89] is one of those odd circumstances which must surprise a man who is not acquainted with the history of the plate. Before publication it was inscribed to his late Majesty, and the picture taken to St. James's, in the hope of royal approbation. George the Second was an honest man and a soldier, but not a judge of either a work of humour or a work of art. The corporal or sergeant he considered [122]as employed in a way which dignified their nature, and gave them a title to the name and rank of gentlemen. The painter or engraver, however exquisite their skill, however elevated their conceptions, were on the King's scale mere mechanics.

When told that Hogarth had painted a picture of the Guards on their march to Finchley, and meant to dedicate a print engraved from it to the King of Great Britain, his Majesty probably expected to see an allegorical representation of an army of heroes devoting their lives to the service of their country; and their sovereign, habited like "the mailed Mars," seated upon a cloud, where he might,

"With a commanding voice,

Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war."

If such was his expectation, we may readily conceive his disappointment on viewing this delineation. His first question was addressed to a nobleman-in-waiting: "Pray, who is this Hogarth?" "A painter, my liege." "I hate bainting; and boetry too! neither the one nor the other ever did any good! Does the fellow mean to laugh at my Guards?" "The picture, an please your Majesty, must undoubtedly be considered as a burlesque." "What! a bainter burlesque a soldier? he deserves to be picketed for his insolence! Take his trumpery out of my sight."

The print was returned to the artist, who, completely [123]mortified at such a reception of what he very properly considered as his first work, immediately altered the inscription, inserting, instead of the King of England, the King of Prussia (as an encourager of the arts).

Though the fine arts were never much encouraged in Prussia, the painter received a handsome acknowledgment for his dedication, and afterwards circulated proposals for publishing his print by subscription. Thus was it announced in the General Advertiser of April 14, 1750:—"Mr. Hogarth is publishing by subscription a print, representing 'The March to Finchley' in the year 1746; engraved on a copperplate 22 inches by 17: the price, 7s. 6d.

"Subscriptions are taken in at the Golden Head, in Leicester Fields, till the 30th of this instant, and no longer, to the end that the engraving may not be retarded.

"Note.—Each print will be half a guinea after the subscription is over.

"In the subscription-book are the particulars of a proposal, whereby each subscriber of three shillings over and above the said seven shillings and sixpence for the print will, in consideration thereof, be entitled to a chance of having the original picture, which shall be delivered to the winning subscriber as soon as the engraving is finished."

General Advertiser, May 1, 1750.—"Yesterday Mr.[124] Hogarth's subscription was closed: eighteen hundred and forty-three chances being subscribed for, Mr. Hogarth gave the remaining hundred and sixty-seven chances to the Foundling Hospital, and the same night delivered the picture to the Governors."

By the fortunate number being among those presented to a charity which he so much wished to serve, the artist was highly gratified. In a private house it would have been in a degree secluded from the public, and by the lapse of time have been transferred to those who could not appreciate its merit, and from either negligence or ignorance, might have been destroyed by damp walls, or effaced from the canvas by picture-cleaners. Here, it was likely to remain a permanent and honourable testimony of his talents and liberality. Notwithstanding all this, Hogarth soon after waited upon the treasurer of the hospital, and acquainted him, that if the trustees thought proper, they were at liberty to dispose of the picture by auction. His motives for giving this permission it is not easy to assign. They might have their origin in his desire to enrich a foundation which had his warmest wishes, or a natural though ill-judged ambition to have his greatest work in the possession of some one who had a collection of the old masters, with whom he in no degree dreaded a competition. Whether his mind was actuated by these or other causes is not important; certain it is that his opinion[125] changed—he requested the trustees would not dispose of it, and never afterwards consented to the measure he himself had originally proposed. The late Duke of Ancaster's father wished to become a purchaser, and once offered the trustees three hundred pounds for it. I have been told that a much larger sum was since proffered by another gentleman.

The scene is laid before the Adam and Eve, in Tottenham Court Road, and entitled, "A Representation of the March of the Guards towards Scotland in the year 1745."

A handsome young grenadier has been denominated the principal figure, but may with more propriety be called the principal figure of the principal group. His countenance exhibits a strong contest between affection and duty; for the manner in which his Irish helpmate clings to his arm, and at the same time with threatening aspect lifts up her right hand grasping the Remembrancer,[90] proves to a moral certainty that to her he has made a matrimonial vow; while the tender, entreating distress of the poor girl at his right hand, seems to intimate that, though she possesses his heart, she can make no claim except to his gratitude and affection, both of which her present situation seems to demand. Her face forms a strong contrast to that of the fury who is on the[126] other side; for while one is marked with grief and tender regret, the other has all the savage ferocity of an unchained tiger: she is an accomplished masculine tramp, perfectly qualified to follow a regiment, and would be as ready to plunder those that are slaughtered as to scold those who escape: being by no means of the class described by Dr. Johnson when, speaking of superfluous epithets, he says, "they are like the valets and washerwomen that follow an army, who add to the number without increasing the force." The papers of which these two claimants are the vendors determine their principles. The mild-tempered, soft-featured gentlewoman with a cross upon a cloak, is evidently a hawker of the Jacobites' Journal, Remembrancer, and London Evening Post, papers remarkable for their inflammatory tendency; while a portrait of the gallant Duke of Cumberland, and the now popular ballad of God save the King, hang upon the basket of her rival.

An old woman immediately behind, with a pipe in her mouth and a child on her back, appears to have grown rather ancient in the service; but notwithstanding her load and her poverty, puffs away care, and carries a cheerful countenance.

Near the child's head a meagre Frenchman is whispering an old fellow, whom Mr. Thornton in his description of the plate calls an Independent; but as in the original painting part of a plaid appears under[127] his greatcoat, the artist most probably intended it for an old Highlander in disguise. Rouquet, who perhaps had his explanation from Hogarth, describes it as follows:—

"A droite du principal group paroit une figure de François, qu'on a voulu représenter comme un homme de quelque importance, afin de lui donner plus de ridicule; il parle à un homme dont la nation est indiquée par l'étoffe de sa veste, qui est celui dont s'habillent les habitans des montagnes d'Ecosse: le François semble communiquer à l'Ecossois des lettres qu'il vient de recevoir, et qui ont rapport à l'évenement qui donne lieu à cette marche. Les Anglois ne se réjouissent jamais bien sans qu'il en coute quelque chose aux François: leur théatre, leur conversation, leurs tableaux, et sur tout ceux de notre peintre, portent toujours cette glorieuse marque de l'amour de la patrie: les Romans même sont ornés de traits amusans sur cet ancien sujet; l'excellent auteur de Tom Jones, a voulu aussi lâcher les siens. Mais le prétendu mépris pour les François dont le peuple de ce pais-ci fait profession, s'explique selon moi d'une façon fort équivoque. Le mépris suppose l'oubli; mais un objet dont on médit perpétuellement occupé: la satire constitue une attention qui me feroit soupçonner qu'on fait aux François l'honneur de les haïr un peu."

A drummer, sick of the remonstrances of his wife[128] and child, each of whom made a forcible seizure of his person, actuated by a spirit similar to that of our third Richard, beats a thundering tattoo upon his own warlike instrument; and aided by the ear-piercing fife[91] at his right hand, drowns the noise of the tell-tale woman who thus endeavours to check his ardour and impede his march. A war-worn soldier contemplating a quack-doctor's bill, and a woman peeping out of a pent-house above, end the group at the left corner.

Under a sign of the Adam and Eve a crowd are gathered round two combatants, who appear to be adepts in the noble science of boxing.

"Amid the circle now each champion stands,

And poises high in air his iron hands;

Hurling defiance; now they fiercely close—

Their crackling jaws re-echo to the blows."

A man, who from his dress seems to be of a rank superior to the crowd, inflamed with a love of glory, enters with great spirit into the business now going on, and tries to inspire the combatants with a noble contempt of bruises and broken bones. This is said to be a portrait of Lord Albemarle Bertie, who is again exhibited in "The Cockpit." The scene being laid in the background, the figures are diminutive;[129] but every countenance is marked with interest, and no one more than a little fellow[92] of meagre frame but undaunted spirit, who with clenched fists and agitated face deals blow for blow with the combatants. Somerville, in his Rural Games, has well described the passions which agitate the audience in a similar scene at a country wake:

"Each swain his wish, each trembling nymph conceals

Her secret dread; while every panting breast

Alternate fears and hopes depress or raise.

Thus, long in dubious scale the contest hung," etc.

With a humour peculiar to himself, the painter has exhibited a figure shrinking under the weight of a heavy burden, who, preferring the gratification of curiosity to rest, is a spectator, and in this uneasy state waits the issue of the combat.

Upon the sign-board of the Adam and Eve is inserted, "Tottenham Court Nursery," allusive to a booth for bruising in the place, as well as a nursery for plants, and the group of figures beneath.

A carriage laden with camp equipage, consisting of drums, halberds, tent-poles, and hoop petticoats, is passing through the turnpike gate. Upon this, two[130] old female campaigners are puffing their pipes, and holding a conversation in fire and smoke. These grotesque personages are well contrasted by an elegant and singularly delicate figure upon the same carriage, suckling her child; which, it has been said, proves that the painter is as successful in portraying the graceful as the humorous. This very beautiful figure is, however, almost a direct copy from Guido's "Madonna." To show that a little boy at her feet is of an heroic stock, the artist has represented him blowing a small trumpet. The sergeant on the ground beneath seems exerting the authority with which his post vests him in calling his men to order: he has a true roast-beef countenance, and is haughty enough for a general.

The foreground in the centre is occupied by a group of figures, which tell their own story in a manner that perhaps no other artist of any age could have equalled. While an officer is kissing a milk-maid, an arch soldier, taking advantage of her neglected pails, fills his hat with milk: this is observed by a little chimney-sweeper, who, with a grin upon his face, entreats that he may have a share in the plunder, and fill his cap. Another soldier pointing out the jest to a fellow who is selling pies, the pastry-cook, gratified by the mischief, forgets the luscious cakes in the tray on his head, and the military Mercury seems likely to convey them all to[131] his own pocket. The faces of this group are in a most singular degree descriptive of their situations, and consonant to their mischievous employments.

An old soldier, divested of one spatterdash, near losing the other, and felled to the ground by all-potent gin, is now calling for more; his uncivil comrade, supporting him with one hand, endeavours to pour water into his mouth with the other; this the veteran toper rejects with disdain, and lifts up a hand to his wife, who is bearer of the arms and the bottle, and being well acquainted with his taste, fills another quartern.

A child with emaciated face extends its little arms, and wishes for a taste of that poisonous potion it is probably accustomed to swallow: "And here" (says Mr. Thornton in the Student), "not to dwell wholly upon the beauties of this print, I must mention an error discovered by a professed connoisseur in painting. 'Can there,' says this excellent judge, 'be a greater absurdity than introducing a couple of chickens so near such a crowd; and not only so, but see their direction is to objects it is natural for them to shun.—Is this knowledge of nature? Absurd to the last degree!' And here, with an air of triumph, ended our judicious critic. How great was his surprise, when it was pointed out that the said chickens were in pursuit of the hen, which appears to have a resting-place in a sailor's pocket!"


An honest tar, throwing up his hat, is crying "God save our noble King, God save the King:" immediately before him an image of drunken loyalty vows de—de—destruction on the heads of the rebels.

A humane soldier perceiving a fellow heavy laden with a barrel of gin, and stopped by the crowd, bores a hole in the head of his cask, and kindly draws off a part of his burden. Near him is a figure of what may, in the army, be called a fine fellow.[93] As I suppose the painter designed him without character, I shall only observe that he is a very pretty gentleman; and happily the contemplation of his own dear person guards him from the attempts of the wicked woman on his right hand.[94]

The invention of a new term must be pardoned—I shall include the whole King's Head in the word Cattery; the principal figure is a noted fat Covent Garden lady,[95] who, with pious eyes cast up to heaven, prays for the army's success, and the safe return of many of her babes of grace. An officer having placed a letter on the end of his pike, presents it to one of [133]the beauties in the first floor; but the fair enamorata, evidently disgusted at the recollection of some part of his former conduct, flutters her fan and rejects it with disdain. Above her, a charitable girl of an inferior order is throwing a piece of coin to a cripple, while another kindly administers a glass of comfort to her companion as a sure relief against reflection. The rest of the windows are crowded with similar characters, and upon the house-top is a Cat coterie, a fair emblem of the company in the apartments beneath.

The substance of the preceding remarks are, in this as in the first edition, taken from the Student, vol. ii. p. 162, and were made by the late Bonnell Thornton. In the Old Woman's Magazine, Doctor Hill has given an explanation which places it in a point of view somewhat different; I have therefore subjoined the greatest part of it.

To the Editor.

"Sir,—As you desire my sentiments on Mr. Hogarth's picture, I shall begin with pointing out what is most defective. Its first and greatest fault, then, is its being new, and having too great a resemblance to the objects it represents: if this appears a paradox, you ought to take particular care of confessing it. This picture has yet too much of that lustre,—that despicable freshness which we discover in nature, and which is never seen in the celebrated cabinets of the curious. Time has not yet obscured[134] it with that venerable smoke, that sacred cloud which will one day conceal it from the profane eyes of the vulgar, that its beauties may only be seen by those who are initiated in the mysteries of art. These are its most remarkable faults: and I am next going to give you an idea of the subject, which is the march of some companies of the foot guards to their rendezvous at Finchley Common, when sent against the Scottish rebels, who were advancing on that side.

"Mr. Hogarth, who lets no opportunity escape him of observing the picturesque scenes which numerous assemblies frequently furnish, has not failed to represent them on the spot where he has drawn the scene of his picture.

"The painter is remarkable for a particular sagacity in seizing a thousand little circumstances which escape the observation of the greatest part of the spectators, and it is a collection of a number of those circumstances which has composed, enriched, and diversified his work.

"The scene is placed at Tottenham Court, where, in a distant view, is seen a file of soldiers marching in tolerable order up the hill. Discipline is less observed in the principal design; but if you complain of this, I must ingeniously inform you, that order and subordination belong only to slaves; for what everywhere else is called licentiousness, assumes here the venerable name of liberty.


"A young grenadier, of a good mien, makes the principal figure in the first group; he is accompanied, or rather seized and beset, by two women, one of whom is a ballad-singer, and the other a news-hawker: they are both with child, and claim this hero as the father, and except this circumstance they have nothing in common; for their figures, their humours, their characters, appear extremely different: they are even of opposite parties, for the one disposes of works in favour of the Government, and the other against it.

"On the left hand of this group is an officer embracing a milk-woman; but her greatest misfortune is, not her being hugged by a young cavalier, but in having one of her milk-pails seized by a wag, who pours her milk into a hat, while he is pretending to defend her. Near them is a pieman, who is mightily rejoiced at this roguery; while a soldier, who is fleering in his face, slily steals the pies he carries on his head. The humour of this group is greatly heightened by a chimney-sweeper's boy, who comes laughing to receive some of the milk into his hat, which he carries in his hand.

"On the right hand of the principal group is a Frenchman, who, to give him a more ridiculous appearance, is represented as a man of some importance. He is speaking to a very odd person, to whom he seems communicating the contents of some letters relative to the event which is the cause of this march.


"Behind the Frenchman just mentioned is seen an old sutler, who carries her child at her back, and is smoking a short pipe. In the front, at a small distance, is a drummer, who by the noise of his drum seems to endeavour to stun all thoughts of the fate of his family, who seek in vain to soften him by taking a tender leave.

"One of the young pipers whom the Duke of Cumberland has introduced into several regiments, joins his noise to that of the drum, and by the agreeable appearance of his little person, is a contrast to the rudeness of the objects who are near him, etc. etc."

To the dramatic effect of the picture, the late Mr. Arthur Murphy, whose acknowledged judgment give weight to his praise, bears the following honourable testimony in the Gray's Inn Journal, vol. i. No. 20:—

"The era may arrive, when, through the instability of the English language, the style of Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones shall be obliterated, when the characters shall be unintelligible, and the humour lose its relish; but the many personages which the manner-painting hand of Hogarth has called forth into mimic life will not fade so soon from the canvas, and that admirable picturesque comedy, 'The March to Finchley,' will perhaps divert posterity as long as the Foundling Hospital shall do honour to the British nation."



In the two following designs Mr. Hogarth has displayed that partiality for his own country, and contempt for France, which formed a strong trait in his character. He neither forgot nor forgave the insults he suffered at Calais, though he did not recollect that this treatment originated in his own ill-humour, which threw a sombre shade over every object that presented itself. Having early imbibed the vulgar prejudice that one Englishman was a match for four Frenchmen,[96] he thought it would be doing his country a service to prove the[138] position. How far it is either useful or political to depreciate the power or degrade the character of that people with whom we are to contend, is a question which does not come within the plan of this work. In some cases it may create confidence, but in others leads to the indulgence of that negligent security by which armies have been slaughtered, provinces depopulated, and kingdoms changed their rulers.

These two glaring contrasts were designed at a time when there was a rumour of an invasion from France. The sober politician treated this idle report with contempt; but by the credulous it was believed, and the timid trembled when they heard it. To dispel this phantom of the day was one motive for Hogarth's publication of these prints. They are not addressed to the philosopher or the legislator, but to the soldier and the sailor. They are not designed for the contemplation of the informed and travelled man, who considers himself as a citizen of the world; but for the true-born and true-bred Briton, that believes this to be the only country where man can enjoy happiness, and thinks an Englishman is the boast of the universe, the glory of creation, and the paragon of nature!




"With lantern jaws, and croaking gut,

See how the half-starv'd Frenchmen strut,

And call us English dogs!

But soon we'll teach these bragging foes,

That beef and beer give heavier blows

Than soup and roasted frogs.

"The priests, inflam'd with righteous hopes,

Prepare their axes, wheels, and ropes,

To bend the stiff-neck'd sinner;

But should they sink in coming over,

Old Nick may fish 'twixt France and Dover,

And catch a glorious dinner."


The scenes of all Mr. Hogarth's prints, except "The Gate of Calais" and that now under consideration, are laid in England. In this, having quitted his own country, he seems to think himself out of the reach of the critics, and in delineating a Frenchman, at liberty to depart from nature, and sport in the fairy regions of caricature. Were these Gallic soldiers naked, each of them would appear like a forked radish, with a head fantastically carved upon it with a knife. So forlorn! that to any thick sight he would be invisible! To see this miserable woe-begone refuse of the army, who look like a group detached from the main body and put on the sick-list, embarking to conquer a neighbouring kingdom, is ridiculous enough,[140] and at the time of publication must have had great effect. The artist seemed sensible that it was necessary to account for the unsubstantial appearance of these shadows of men, and has hinted at their want of solid food, in the bare bones of beef hung up in the window, the inscription on the alehouse sign, "Soup maigre à la sabot Royal," and the spider-like officer roasting four frogs which he has impaled upon his sword. Such light and airy diet is whimsically opposed by the motto on the standard, which two of the most valorous of this ghastly troop are hailing with grim delight and loud exultation. It is indeed an attractive motto, and well calculated to inspire this famishing company with courage: "Vengeance, avec le bon bier, et bon beuf d'Angleterre." However meagre the military, the church militant is in no danger of starving. The portly friar is neither emaciated by fasting, nor weakened by penance. Anticipating the glory of extirpating heresy, he is feeling the sharp edge of an axe to be employed in the decollation of the enemies to the true faith, which if any one doubt, he shall die the death. A sledge is laden with whips, wheels, ropes, chains, gibbets, and other inquisitorial engines of torture, which are admirably calculated for the propagation of a religion that was established in meekness and mercy, and inculcates universal charity and forbearance. On the same sledge is an image of St. Anthony, very properly [141]accompanied by his pig, and the plan of a monastery to be built at Blackfriars.

In the background are a troop of soldiers so averse to this English expedition, that their sergeant is obliged to goad them forward with his halberd. To intimate that agriculture suffers by the invasion having engaged the masculine inhabitants, two women ploughing a sterile promontory in the distance complete this catalogue of wretchedness, misery, and famine.



"See John the Soldier, Jack the Tar,

With sword and pistol arm'd for war,

Should Mounseer dare come here;

The hungry slaves have smelt our food,

They long to taste our flesh and blood,

Old England's beef and beer!

"Britons, to arms! and let 'em come;

Be you but Britons still, strike home,

And lion-like attack 'em,

No power can stand the deadly stroke

That's given from hands and hearts of oak,

With liberty to back 'em."


From the unpropitious regions of France, our scene changes to the fertile fields of England.

"England! bound in with the triumphant sea,

Whose rocky shores beat back the envious siege

Of wat'ry Neptune."


Instead of the forlorn and famished party who were represented in the last plate, we here see a company of well-fed and high-spirited Britons, marked with all the hardihood of ancient times, and eager to defend their country.

In the first group, a young peasant who aspires to a niche in the Temple of Fame, preferring the service of Mars to that of Ceres, and the dignified appellation of soldier to the plebeian name of farmer, offers to enlist. Standing with his back against the halberd to ascertain his height, and finding he is rather under the mark,[97] he endeavours to reach it by rising on tiptoe. This artifice, to which he is impelled by towering ambition, the sergeant seems disposed to connive at—and the sergeant is a hero, and a great man in his way; "your hero always must be tall, you know."

To evince that the polite arts were then in a flourishing state, and cultivated by more than the immediate professors, a gentleman artist, who to common eyes must pass for a grenadier, is making a caricature of le Grand Monarque. The sovereign of France was in that day as general a subject for copper satire as Mr. Fox is in this. I have seen [143]engravings, where his Gallic Majesty made one of the party, that were not a degree better than the grenadier's drawing, where, to render the meaning obvious, and supply the want of character, or story, every figure had a label hanging to its mouth. That given to this king of shreds and patches is worthy the speaker, and worthy observation: "You take a my fine ships: you be de pirate; you be de teef: me send my grand armies, and hang you all."

The action is suited to the word, for with his left hand this most Christian potentate grasps his sword, and in his right poises a gibbet. The figure and motto united, produce a roar of approbation from the soldier and sailor, who are criticising the work. It is so natural, that the Helen and Briseis of the camp contemplate the performance with apparent delight; and while one of them with her apron measures the breadth of this Herculean painter's shoulders, the other, to show that the performance has some point, places her forefinger against the prongs of a fork. The little fifer, playing that animated and inspiring tune "God save the King," is an old acquaintance: we recollect him in "The March to Finchley." In the background is a sergeant teaching a company of young recruits their manual exercise.

This military meeting is held at the sign of the gallant Duke of Cumberland, who is mounted upon a prancing charger,


"As if an angel dropt down from the clouds,

To turn and wield a fiery Pegasus,

And witch the world with noble horsemanship."[98]

Underneath is inscribed, "Roast and boiled every day;" which, with the beef and beverage upon the table, forms a fine contrast to the soup maigre, bare bones, and roasted frogs, in the last print. The bottle painted on the wall, foaming with liquor which, impatient of imprisonment, has burst its cerements, must be an irresistible invitation to a thirsty traveller. The soldier's sword laid upon the round of beef, and the sailor's pistol on the vessel containing the ale, intimate that these great bulwarks of our island are as tenacious of their beef and beer as of their religion and liberty.

These two plates were published in 1756; but in the London Chronicle for October 20, 1759, is the following advertisement:—

"This day are re-published, price 1s. each, Two prints designed and etched by William Hogarth: one representing the preparations on the French coast for an intended invasion; the other, a view of the preparations making in England to oppose the wicked designs of our enemies; proper to be stuck up in[145] public places, both in town and country, at this juncture."[99]

The verses which are inserted under each print, and subjoined to this account, are, it must be acknowledged, coarse enough. They were, however, written by David Garrick, who, had he thought the subject worthy of his muse, could, I believe, have produced more elegant stanzas.



"It is worth your while to come to England, were it only to see an election and a cock-match. There is a celestial spirit of anarchy and confusion in these two scenes that words cannot paint, and of which no countryman of yours can form even an idea."—Sherlock's Letters to a friend at Paris.


Mr. Sherlock is perfectly right in his assertion, that neither of these scenes can be described by words; but where the writer must have failed, the artist has succeeded, and the Parisian who has never visited England may, from Mr. Hogarth's Prints, form a tolerably correct idea of the anarchy of an election, and the confusion of a cockpit. To the right learned and laborious successors of Master Thomas Hearne, it would be matter of curious speculation, and worthy of deep research, to inquire which of these "popular sportes was fyrste practysed in fair Englonde." To their grave and useful investigations I leave the decision of this knotty point. The earliest information of this gentile and royal game which my reading supplies, I find in a treatise, published in 1674, and entitled The Complete Gamester, containing instructions how to play at [147]Billiards, Trucks, Bowls, Chess, etc. "To which is added, The Artes and Mysteries of Riding, Racing, Archery, and Cock Fighting. Printed by A. M. for R. Cutler, and to be sold by Henry Brome, at the Gun, at the west end of St. Paul's." To this curious little vade mecum there is a frontispiece divided into five compartments. One of them represents a cockpit, in the centre of which two of the feathered tribe, not unlike ducks, are fighting. The pit is surrounded by a company of crop-eared figures in round hats, with faces as demure and sanctified as are to be seen at a Quakers' meeting. Before many of these most sedate personages are heaps of gold, and (alluding to the print) the following sublime verses:—

"After these three, the cockpit claims a name;

A sport gentile, and call'd a royal game.

Now see the gallants crowd about the pit,

And most are stock'd with money more than wit;

Else sure they would not, with so great a stir,

Lay ten to one on a cock's faithless spur."

To the respect which our ancestors had for this kingly amusement, the author beareth ample testimony in his 38th chapter, some extracts from which I venture to insert, with the hope that they will be both pleasant and profitable to the lovers of this very refined and humane divertisement:—

"It is a sport or pastime so full of delight and pleasure, that I know not any game in that respect[148] is to be preferred before it; and since the fighting cock hath gained so great an estimation among the gentry, in respect to this noble recreation, I shall here propose it before all the other games of which I have afore succinctly discoursed. That, therefore, I may methodically give instructions to such as are unlearned, and add more knowledge to such who have already gained a competent proficiency in this pleasing art, I shall, as briefly as I can, give you information how you shall choose, breed, and diet the fighting cock, with what choice secrets are thereunto belonging, in order thus:—

"In the election[100] of a fighting cock, there are four things principally to be considered; and they are: shape, colour, courage, and a sharp heel.

"Observe the crowing of your chickens; if you find them crow too soon, that is, before six months old, or unseasonably, and that their crowing is clear and loud, fit them as soon as you can for the pot or spit, for they are infallible signs of cowardice and falsehood: on the contrary, the true and perfect cock is long before he obtaineth his voice, and when he hath got it, observeth his hours with the best judgment."

After much more which I have not room to insert, the[149] author addeth, "To conclude, make your choice of such a one that is of shape strong, of colour good, of valour true, and of heel sharp and ready."

Leaving the book to the study of those whom it may concern, let us now attend to the plate.

The scene is probably laid at Newmarket;[101] and in this motley group of peers, pickpockets, butchers, jockeys, ratcatchers, gentlemen,—gamblers of every denomination,—Lord Albemarle Bertie,[102] being the principal figure, is entitled to precedence. In a former print[103] we saw him an attendant at a boxing match; and here he is president of a most respectable society assembled at a cockpit. What rendered his Lordship's passion for amusements of this nature very singular, was his being totally blind. In this place he is beset by seven steady friends, five of whom at the same instant offer to bet with him on the event of the battle. One of them, a lineal descendant of Filch, taking advantage of his blindness and negligence, endeavours to convey a bank note, deposited in our dignified gambler's hat, to his own pocket. Of this [150]ungentleman-like attempt his Lordship is apprised by a ragged postboy and an honest butcher: but so much engaged in the pronunciation of those important words, "Done! done! done! done!" and the arrangement of his bets, that he cannot attend to their hints; and it seems more than probable that the stock will be transferred and the note negotiated in a few seconds.

A very curious group surround the old nobleman, who is adorned with a riband, a star, and a pair of spectacles. The whole weight of an overgrown carpenter being laid upon his shoulder, forces our illustrious personage upon a man beneath; who being thus driven downward, falls upon a fourth; and the fourth, by the accumulated pressure of this ponderous trio—composed of the upper and lower house—loses his balance, and tumbling against the edge of the partition, his head is broke, and his wig, shook from the seat of reason, falls into the cockpit.

A man adjoining enters into the spirit of the battle—his whole soul is engaged. From his distorted countenance and clasped hands, we see that he feels every stroke given to his favourite bird in his heart's core, ay, in his heart of hearts! A person at the old Peer's left hand is likely to be a loser. Ill-humour, vexation, and disappointment are painted in his countenance. The chimney-sweeper above is the very quintessence of affectation. He has all the airs and[151] graces of a boarding-school miss. There are those who remember the man, and declare that his character is not heightened in the portrait. The sanctified Quaker adjoining, and the fellow beneath, who, by the way, is a very similar figure to Captain Stab in "The Rake's Progress," are finely contrasted.

A French marquis, on the other side, astonished at this being called amusement, is exclaiming Sauvages! sauvages! sauvages! Engrossed by the scene, and opening his snuff-box rather carelessly, its contents fall into the eyes of a man below, who, sneezing and swearing alternately, imprecates bitter curses on this devil's dust, that extorts from his inflamed eyes "a sea of melting pearls, which some call tears."

Adjoining is an old cripple with a trumpet at his ear, and in this trumpet a person in a bag-wig roars in a manner that cannot much gratify the auricular nerves of his companions; but as for the object to whom the voice is directed, he seems totally insensible to sounds, and if judgment can be formed from appearances, might very composedly stand close to the clock of St. Paul's Cathedral when it was striking twelve.

The figure with a cock peeping out of a bag is said to be intended for Jackson, a jockey. The gravity of this experienced veteran, and the cool sedateness of a man registering the wagers, are well opposed by the grinning woman behind, and the heated impetuosity of a fellow, stripped to his shirt, throwing his coin[152] upon the cockpit, and offering to back Ginger against Pye for a guinea.

On the lower side, where there is only one tier of figures, a sort of an apothecary, and a jockey, are stretching out their arms and striking together the handles of their whips in token of a bet. An hiccuping votary of Bacchus, displaying a half-emptied purse, is not likely to possess it long; for an adroit professor of legerdemain has taken aim with an hooked stick, and by one slight jerk will convey it to his own pocket. The profession of a gentlemen in a round wig is determined by a gibbet chalked upon his coat. An enraged barber, who lifts up his stick in the corner, has probably been refused payment of a wager by the man at whom he is striking.

A cloud-capt philosopher at the top of the print, coolly smoking his pipe, unmoved by this crash of matter and wreck of property, must not be overlooked: neither should his dog be neglected; for the dog, gravely resting his fore-paws upon the partition,[104][153] and contemplating the company, seems more interested in the event of the battle than his master.

Like the tremendous Gog and terrific Magog of Guildhall, stand the two cock-feeders; a foot of each of these consequential purveyors is seen at the two extremities of the pit.

As to the birds whose attractive powers have drawn this admiring throng together, they deserved earlier notice—

"Each hero burns to conquer or to die,

What mighty hearts in little bosoms lie!"


Having disposed of the substances, let us now attend to the shadow on the cockpit, and this it seems is the reflection of a man drawn up to the ceiling in a basket, and there suspended[105] as a punishment for having betted more money than he can pay. Though suspended, he is not reclaimed; though exposed, not abashed; for in this degrading situation he offers to stake his watch against money in another wager on his favourite champion.

The decorations of this curious theatre are, a portrait of Nan Rawlins,[106] and the King's arms.

In the margin at the bottom of the print is an oval, with a fighting cock, inscribed "Royal sport," and underneath it is written, "Pit ticket."

Of the characteristic distinctions in this heterogeneous assembly, it is not easy to speak with sufficient praise. The chimney-sweeper's absurd [155]affectation sets the similar airs of the Frenchman in a most ridiculous point of view. The old fellow with a trumpet at his ear has a degree of deafness that I never before saw delineated; he might have lived in the same apartment with Xantippe, or slept comfortably in Alexander the coppersmith's first floor. As to the nobleman in the centre, in the language of the turf, he is a mere pigeon; and the Peer, with a star and garter, in the language of Cambridge, we must class as—a mere quiz. The man sneezing, you absolutely hear; and the fellow stealing a bank note has all the outward and visible marks of a perfect and accomplished pickpocket; Mercury himself could not do that business in a more masterly style.

I hope it will not be thought irrelevant to my subject if I here name a man whose periods have polished the English language, and given to poesy a harmony before unknown.

To Alexander Pope, Hogarth had an early dislike. Pope was the friend of Lord Burlington,—Lord Burlington was the patron of Kent, and Kent was the rival of Sir James Thornhill, who was the father-in-law of William Hogarth. In two of his miscellaneous prints, our mellifluous poet is exhibited in very degrading situations. In one[107] he is represented as whitewashing the gate of Burlington House, and in[156] the violence of his operation bespattering the carriage of his Grace of Chandos, etc.; and in the other, picking John Gay's[108] pocket.

Had the artist been acquainted with a circumstance mentioned by Mr. Tyers in his Rhapsody, our British Horace would very probably have had a place in this group. Tyers tells us that "Pope, while living with his father at Chiswick, before he went to Binfield, took[157] great delight in cock-fighting, and laid out all his schoolboy money, and little perhaps it was, in buying fighting cocks. From this passion, but surely not the play of a child, his mother had the dexterity to wean him."

Admitting the fact, for which I have no other authority than the pamphlet above quoted, it does not tell in favour of that delicate and tender humanity which this elegant poet so much affected. On his conduct to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Lord Bolingbroke, Mr. Addison, and Mr. Broome, I will make no comment; but his bitter satire on the Duke of Chandos,[109] while it exalts his poetical powers, dishonours his moral character. The animation, energy, and elegance of the stanzas would atone for almost anything—but ingratitude!


Lord Orrery observes: "If we may judge of Mr. Pope from his works, his chief aim was to be esteemed a man of virtue." When actions can be clearly ascertained, it is not necessary to seek the mind's construction in the writings; and I regret being compelled to believe that some of Mr. Pope's actions, at the same time that they prove him to be querulous and petulant, lead us to suspect that he was also envious, malignant, and cruel. How far this will tend to confirm the assertion, that when a boy he was an amateur[110] of this royal sport,[111] I do not pretend to decide: but were a child in whom I had any interest cursed with such a propensity, my first object would be to correct it; if that were impracticable, and he retained a fondness for the cockpit, and the still more detestable amusement [159]of Shrove Tuesday,[112] I should hardly dare to flatter myself that he could become a merciful man. The subject has carried me further than I intended. I will, however, take the freedom of proposing one query to the consideration of the clergy, should any of that sacred order do me the honour of perusing this volume. Might it not have a tendency to check that barbarous spirit, which has more frequently its source in an early acquired habit arising from the prevalence of example than in natural depravity, if every divine in Great Britain were to preach at least one sermon every twelve months on our universal insensibility to the sufferings of the brute creation?[113]




"Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world."—1 John IV. 1.


Whoever reads history with a view of tracing the progress of the human mind,—which, by the way, is the great object that renders history useful,—whoever reads history with that regard, must be astonished and shocked at the slow progress of philosophy, and the universal prevalence of credulity, superstition, and fanaticism. If antiquity would give a claim to reverence, this destructive band have a date prior to Christianity; their united power shed baneful influence on the earliest ages.

In the pagan temples there was a kind of incantation for conjuring down deities, to whom were assigned niches according to their different degrees of rank. The histories of Greece and Rome (for the sake of human nature, I wish that the parallel did not reach [161]modern times) display an innumerable host of all ages, sexes, descriptions, and characters, enlisted under the banner of the priesthood, together with a select corps de reserve of augurs and soothsayers, who, by inspecting the entrails of beasts, foretold future events, and from the flight of birds the defeat of armies. Succeeding ages beheld their heathen temples solemnly consecrated; and being thus metamorphosed into Christian churches, the sculptures representing Jupiter, Minerva, Venus, and Diana, by virtue of a new baptism, became saints.[114]

Here also were a legion of arrogant priests, who insolently dictated the terms of salvation, fixed a standard for universal belief, and introduced their own inventions as divine precepts; who forced monarchs to pay tribute by ecclesiastical privilege, assumed the dominion of empires by divine right, and claimed three-fourths of the known world as heirs-at-law to St. Peter. To secure their acquisitions, they entrenched themselves behind ramparts raised on the credulity and folly of mankind. He who attempted to scale these hallowed mounds was[162] deemed guilty of sacrilege; he who questioned the catholic infallibility was an atheist; and whosoever doubted the divine mission of a priest—an infidel.[115]

Finding the multitude were so well inclined to believe that whatever they could not comprehend was supernatural, they construed each phenomenon of nature into a portentous menace from Heaven. An eclipse became the omen of a revolution; an inundation the prognostic of a defeat; and an hurricane foretold the fall of every power that made any opposition to papal authority. By arts like these, the people were brought into a mental vassalage; and the powerful Baron having previously enslaved their persons, they readily gave the care of their souls to the confessor. To him they applied as the proper interpreter of every difficult case; and fraught with a full portion of credulity, each individual considered every cloud that passed over the sun, and every raven that expanded its ebon wing, as bearing some particular direction to himself. Hence arose the doctrine of demonology; and apparitions, witches, dreams, and divinations, formed a creed of superstition. On this was built that notable system, properly enough called "The Philosophy of the Distaff." This mythology of weak minds has been carried through every[163] age and country by oral tradition and unfounded record.

Our earliest histories abound in augury and prediction; the most fabulous tales had credence, not only with the unlearned and ignorant, but with the educated and sagacious. The grave Duke de Sully seriously narrates those which had relation to Henry the Fourth.

It is recorded by Victorius Sirri, that Louis the Thirteenth was from his infancy surnamed Just,—"because he was born under the sign of the Balance!"

Even sorcery was made a leading branch of religion; and one of a priest's duties was to exorcise ghosts by talking Latin, which was considered as a never-failing antidote for a troublesome spirit, and invariably concluded by the ghost being laid in the Red Sea.

Some of these glaring errors have been obliterated, but absurdities of equal magnitude have supplied their place; and modern credulities are nearly as destructive to the interests of society as ancient superstitions.

Though this nation, as well as others, was at an early period enveloped by ignorance, superstition, and their consequent accompaniments, we had some right to expect the clouds would have been dispelled by the Reformation; but credulity kept its ground, and at a still later period—when we had a most learned and sedate monarch, and a most sententious[164] and grave Parliament—an Act was passed for the punishment of witchcraft! By this sagacious union of royal and national wisdom, if a woman lived to a greater age than her neighbour, she was tried, proved guilty of commercing with a familiar in the shape of a tabby cat, and eased of all her sufferings by the ordeal of fire or water.

It is not many years since a fanatic in one of our colonies took a fancy to accuse a neighbour of witchcraft: the crime was clearly proved, and the poor culprit suffered according to law. In credulity and superstition there is something epidemical. The contagion spread; and this being found a summary process for removing a competitor in trade, or revenging an insult, informations for sorcery became frequent. Their sessions-house was crowded with witches, as is that at the Old Bailey with pickpockets. It however brought fees, and so far was well: but these sapient legislators at length discovered that the province was likely to be depopulated; and what affected them still more, their own fraternity were liable to the consequences. A man, who had been cheated by his lawyer, made an affidavit that said lawyer was a wizard. This was too much: the court had a special meeting, and unanimously determined that they would not receive any more informations against wizards. The bye-law had the effect of a charm, and sorcery was no more!


Lord Bacon somewhere remarks that superstition is worse than atheism. It takes from religion every attraction, every comfort; and the place of humble hope and patient resignation is supplied by melancholy, despair, and madness!

To the best minds, credulity is the source of much misery. Our first Charles, who, with all his errors as a king, had the manners and mind of a gentleman, was so much under its influence, that he never enjoyed a day's happiness after consulting the Sortes Virgilianæ.[116]

In our age—an age in many respects enlightened by the beams of philosophy—the effects resulting from credulity, superstition, and fanaticism are dreadful; but while the evils are contemplated with horror, the system is too ridiculous for sober reasoning. It induces the infatuated votary to believe that being in the pale of a particular church will ensure his salvation. The ignorant are confounded with metaphysical subtleties which the wisest cannot comprehend; and by combining different texts of holy writ, we[166] are insulted with conclusions contrary to common sense.[117]

To check this inundation of absurdity, which deemed carnal reason profane, and was not to be combated by argument, Mr. Hogarth engraved this print; it contains what must ever operate as a complete refutation of those who, because they were his opponents in politics, have impudently asserted that he lost his talents in the decline of life: for though the delineation was made in his sixty-fourth year, in satire, wit, and imagination, it is superior to any of his preceding works.

The text "I speak as a fool" is a type of the preacher, whose strength of lungs is a convenient substitute for strength of argument. He is literally a[167] Boanerges; his tones rend the region, and the thunder of his eloquence has cracked the sounding-board. His right hand poises a witch astride upon a broom-stick, and in his left he suspends an emissary of Satan: this embryotic demon wields a gridiron as a terror to the ungodly, and at the witch's breast is an incubus in the shape of a cat.[118] Considering action as the first requisite of an orator, our ecclesiastical juggler throws his whole frame into convulsions: he shakes as the lofty cedar in a storm. Like Milton's devil,

"With head, hands, wings, or feet, he works his way,

And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies."


By these violent agitations his gown flies open, and discovers that this Proteus of the pulpit is arrayed in a Harlequin's jacket; and his wig falling off, displays the shaven crown of a Jesuit. But the loss of a periwig is not attended to, his denunciations are redoubled, his fulminations hurled indiscriminately around; he scatters about firebrands; and darts, pointed with destruction, and barbed with death, pierce the hearts of his terrified hearers. Wrought up to the highest pitch of seraphic fervour, fevered by the heat of his own ecstasies,—the whole man is inspired,—and mounted upon the clouds of mystery, he soars through the dark regions of superstition, settles in the third heaven, and breathes empyreal air.

The train is fired,—the contagion spreads, the cup of delusion is filled to the brim, and each of his infatuated auditors intoxicated with the fumes of enthusiastic madness.

"Broken each link of reason's chain,

Witchcraft and magic hold their reign;

Terror and comfortless despair,

And fond credulity is there.

Circling all nature's vast profound,

Imagination takes her round,

Starting at spectres,—painting fairies,

Fancy, with all her wild vagaries,

Dances on enchanted ground.

Now with wings sublime she flies

Where planets roll in azure skies;

Now o'er clouds where tempests low'r,

To where the rushing waters pour:


Thence through the vasty void descends,

Where Chaos warring atoms blends,

To darksome caves of deepest hell,

Where sullen ghosts and torturing demons dwell."

With a postboy's cap upon his head, to denote that he is a special messenger from above, a little cherubimic Mercury flies through the clouds, and bears in his mouth an express directed to Saint Money Trapp.

Immediately beneath the pulpit are two lambs of the flock in an ecstasy. The young man with a round head of hair is probably a lay preacher; for though he has not a sable coat, he has a black collar. Piously entreating a young maiden, who meets his advances with an holy zeal, he puts the waxen model of a female saint down her bosom.

In the same pew are two fellows very differently affected: one of them, with a despairing countenance, sheds iron tears; the other, like the wet sea-boy on the mast, sleeps through the terrors of the storm, though a malignant imp of darkness, envying his serenity, endeavours to awake him by a whisper,[119] that he also may share such curses as would serve for a supplement to St. Ernulphus.[120]


Between two duck-winged cherubs, who are studying the laughing and crying gamut, is the harpy clerk. This crook-mouthed echo of absurdity, and associate in villany, has the true physiognomy of a Tartuffe: every feature is charged with hypocrisy.

The congregation,[121] many of whom have been imported from Liffey's verdant banks, bear their parts in this enchanting serenade; and the bull roar of the preacher, combined with a chorus of sighs, groans, and shrieks, must produce a symphony that might vie with the Irish howl or Indian war-whoop.


Among the crowd we discover a youthful convert under the guidance of his spiritual confessor,[122] who, pointing to Brimstone Ocean, unfolds a tale which terrifies his disciple to a degree that

"Must harrow up his soul; freeze his young blood;

Make his two eyes like stars start from their spheres;

His knotty and combined locks to part,

And each particular hair to stand on end,

Like quills upon the fretful porcupine."

The sanguinary Jew, while he leans upon an altar, on which lies a knife inscribed "bloody," sacrifices to his revenge an unfortunate insect which he caught carelessly wandering on the environs of his head.

Beneath is Mrs. Tofts, of Godalming, well known in the annals of credulity; in the violence of her paroxysm, she breaks a dram glass with her teeth.[123]


Next to Mrs. Tofts is a possessed shoeblack, coolly clearing his stomach of a quantity of hob-nails and iron staples.[124] In his hand he holds a quart bottle, in which the model of a spirit is closely cribbed—confin'd;[173] but the imprisoned sprite forcing the cork, mounts into the regions of air with a lighted taper in its hand.[125] The book on which our sable professor of necromancy has deposited his basket, is King James's Demonology;[126] this, with Whitfield's Journal, which lies among the implements of his art, covertly intimate the sources where he had sought and found inspiration.

The ridicule is wound up by a Turk, whom we see through a window smoking his tube of Trinidado; lifting up his eyes with astonishment at the scene, he breathes a grateful ejaculation, and thanks his Maker that he was early initiated in the divine truths [174]of the Koran, is out of the pale of this church, and has his name engraven on the tablets of Mahomet.

As all the decorations which are displayed in this temple of credulity, superstition, and fanaticism are suitable to the congregation, the carved figures on the pulpit are worthy of the preacher. We are in the first compartment presented with the apparition which warned Sir George Villiers of the Duke of Buckingham's danger from the knife of Felton;[127] in the second, with Julius Cæsar's ghost reproaching Brutus; and in the third, with the ghost of Mrs. Veale, which appeared to Mrs. Bargrave,[128]—because a very large impression of Drelincourt upon Death lay in the bookseller's warehouse, and would not move without a marvellous relation of an apparition.

Beneath is a figure of the Tedworth drummer, who so wickedly disturbed the family of Mr. Mompesson;[129] [175]and in the frame below, a representation of Fanny, the phantom of Cock Lane, with her hammer in her right hand. These two notable memorials of credulity are placed as a kind of headpiece to a mental thermometer, which ascertains the different degrees of heat in the blood of an enthusiast. When the liquid[176] ascends, it rises from lukewarm to love-heat,—ecstasy! convulsion fits,—madness,—and terminates in raving, which is properly obscured by clouds, and above the ken of human comprehension. In its falling state, the progress of religious depression is most accurately marked. From low spirits it sinks to sorrow, agony, settled grief, despair, madness,—suicide! The whole rests on Wesley's Sermons, and Glanville On Witches.[130]

On the preacher's left hand, suspended to a ring[177] inserted in a human nostril, hangs the scale of vociferation. A natural tone is at the bottom, but the speaker's tone is described by the distended mouth above the scale, crying Blood! blood! blood! and inscribed "Bull roar."


To the hook of the chandelier hangs a small sphere, on which is engraven, "Desarts of new Purgatory." On the globe, out of which spring the branches for candles, is written, "A globe of hell, as newly[179] drawn by R——ne" (Romaine). It is so formed as to give the caricature of a human face, and baptized "Horrid Zone." Round one of the eyes is inscribed "The Bottomless Pit;" round the other, "Molten-lead Lake." On one cheek is "Brimstone Ocean;" on the other, "Parts Unknown;" and round the mouth, "Eternal Damnation Gulf." Horribly profane as are these mottoes, they are mere copies of Tabernacle phraseology. In the same class comes the hymn, which is placed before the clerk:

"Only love to us be given;

Lord, we ask no other heaven."[131]

The poor's box is a mouse-trap, which very fairly intimates that whatever money is deposited will be secured for the faithful collectors. It may be further meant to insinuate, that whosoever is caught in this necromantic snare will be in the state of Sterne's starling, and cannot get out, for it is planted with pointed steel, and tears in pieces those who attempt an escape.




"The gods of old were logs of wood,

And worship was to puppets paid:

In antic dress the puppet stood,

And priests and people bow'd the head."


There are three things of which your Englishman deems himself the best of all possible judges: the art of stirring a fire, religion, and politics. His infallibility in the first no one will presume to question, except his wife; and with her he will dispute as long as disputing is good. The mysteries of the second he understands better than the Archbishop of Canterbury. As to the intricacies of the third, which thinking men are apt to consider in some degree hidden from those who are not admitted into the arcana, he can unravel them with more ease, and point out with more precision what steps ought to be taken, than can the Prime Minister, with all the aggregate wisdom of the Cabinet.

So many of his Majesty's good subjects being thus gifted with an intuitive knowledge of state affairs, it [181]is no wonder that Britain holds so high a rank among the nations; for each act of government is stated and debated, not only in the two Houses of Parliament, but in every tavern, coffeehouse, and porter-house in the metropolis.

To these eloquent leaders of the numerous clubs, we may add a myriad of political writers, who are all but inspired. Without studying either Machiavel, Locke, or Sidney, they pour forth a torrent of lucubrations on the floating subjects of the hour; that hour past, their letters, replies, remarks, and rejoinders are heard of no more.

In the hope of giving their puny offspring a longer life, some of these learned Thebans, or their booksellers, called in the aid of artists, to adorn their labours with taking frontispieces. These graphic ornaments were in general about as lively as the pamphlets they decorated; and it was found that the united efforts of author, printer, painter, engraver, and publisher, could not ensure immortality. Notwithstanding this general failure in their intended operation, they had one very awkward effect. A sort of political influenza was communicated to our engravers, and they also became deep statesmen and profound politicians. While part of this band sharpened their burins, and defaced much good copper in caricaturing the members of administration, their opponents were equally industrious, and equally pointed, in taking off[182] the honourable gentlemen on the other side of the house.

The buzzing of these insects of a day was little attended to: their dulness preserved them from laughter, their weakness protected them from resentment; they excited no passion except contempt.

Very different was the public expectation when it was found that Hogarth intended to publish a series of political prints. From his former productions they knew his powers, and considered him as able to throw any party into ridicule. That which he was expected to attack dreaded the strength of his aquafortis, which they apprehended would have the effect of a caustic, not only on his copper, but on the objects of his satire.

Previous to the publication of "The Times," Mr. Wilkes, who was then at Aylesbury, was informed that the print was political, and that Lord Temple, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Churchill, and himself, were the leading characters held up to ridicule. Under the impression which this intelligence conveyed, he sent Mr. Hogarth a remonstrance, stating the ungenerous tendency of such a proceeding; which would be more glaringly unfriendly, as the two last-mentioned gentlemen and the artist had always lived upon terms of strict intimacy. This produced a reply, in which Hogarth asserted that neither Mr. Wilkes nor Mr. Churchill were introduced, but Lord Temple and Mr. Pitt were,[183] and the print should be published in a few days. To this it was answered, that Mr. Wilkes would hardly deem it worth while to notice any reflections on himself; but if his friends were attacked, it would wound him in the most sensible part, and, well as he was able, he should revenge their cause. This was a direct declaration of war: the black flag was hoisted on both sides, and never did two angry men of their abilities throw mud with less dexterity.

"The Times" was soon after published, and on the Saturday following, in No. 17 of the North Briton, a most unmerciful attack was directed against the King's Serjeant Painter. Since that period, marvellous have been the variations of the patriotic needle; the Colonel of the Buckinghamshire Militia has filled the first offices in the city of London, and is now become chamberlain. Having in these situations seen the errors of his former politics, he would, I must think, be the first to acknowledge that the attack was not only unmerciful, but in many respects unjust. The hand of time having worn down political asperities, I hope—I believe—Mr. Wilkes will have no objection to this nettle, forced in the hotbed of a party, being plucked from that hallowed sod which covers the dust of William Hogarth.

Should the artist and the chamberlain meet in Elysium, why may they not drink oblivion to former feuds in a glass of Lethe? The chamberlain would,[184] I fancy, prefer champagne; but when a gentleman travels in a strange country, he must take up with such beverage as the place affords.

The attack commences with a ridicule of the Analysis of Beauty, or rather of Hogarth's honesty in acknowledging that he was indebted to a friend for a third part of the wording. The artist was sensible of his own strength; but what is much more rare, he was conscious of his own weakness. He knew the principles of his art; but not being accustomed to explaining them with a pen, very prudently asked the aid of those who were, to give his ideas such language as would render them worthy public attention. This was at least honest; but as the author of the North Briton presents us with only part of the apology, let us do the artist justice by inserting the whole.

After some leading remarks on the system which it was his wish to establish, he continues as follows:—

"But observing in the fore-mentioned controversies that the torrent generally ran against me, and that several of my opponents had turned my arguments into ridicule, yet were daily availing themselves of their use, and venting them even to my face as their own, I began to wish the publication of something on this subject; and accordingly applied myself to several of my friends, whom I thought capable of taking up the pen for me, offering to furnish them with materials[185] by word of mouth. But finding this method not practicable, from the difficulty of one man's expressing the ideas of another, especially on a subject which he was either unacquainted with, or was new in its kind, I was therefore reduced to an attempt of finding such words as would best answer my own ideas, being now too far engaged to drop the design. Hereupon, having digested the matter as well as I could, and thrown it into the form of a book, I submitted it to the judgment of such friends whose sincerity and abilities I could best rely on, determining on their approbation or dislike to publish or destroy it. But their favourable opinion of the manuscript being publicly known, it gave such a credit to the undertaking as soon changed the countenances of those who had a better opinion of my pencil than my pen, and turned their sneers into expectation, especially when the same friends had kindly made me an offer of conducting the work through the press; and here I must acknowledge myself particularly indebted to one gentleman for his corrections and amendments of at least a third part of the wording. Through his absence and avocation, several sheets went to the press without any assistance, and the rest had the occasional inspection of one or two friends. If any inaccuracies shall be found in the writing, I shall readily acknowledge them all my own, and am, I confess, under no great concern about them, provided the matter in[186] general may be useful and answerable, in the application of it, to truth and to nature; in which material points if the reader shall think fit to rectify any mistakes, it will give me a sensible pleasure, and be doing great honour to the work."—Preface to Analysis, p. 20, edit of 1772.

The author of the North Briton continues: "We all titter the instant he takes up a pen, but we tremble when we see the pencil in his hand."

As this essay was written in consequence of the artist giving a pictured shape, it seems rather extraordinary that so good a logician as Mr. Wilkes should drag in Hogarth's pen merely to titter at, and acknowledge that he trembles at his pencil, which instrument, by the way, drew forth this paper:—

"I will do him the justice to say, that he possesses the rare talent of gibbeting in colours, and that in most of his works he has been a very good moral satirist." That he has, it is most true. "His forte is there, and he should have kept it. When he has at any time deviated from his own peculiar walk, he has never failed to make himself perfectly ridiculous. I need only make my appeal to any one of his historical or portrait pieces, which are now considered as almost beneath all criticism."

Some of his portraits might have been exempted from this censure: what does Mr. Wilkes think of Captain Coram, now in the Foundling Hospital?


"The favourite 'Sigismunda,' the labour of so many years, the boasted effort of his art, was not human. If the figure had a resemblance of anything ever on earth, or had the least pretence to meaning or expression, it was what he had seen, or perhaps made, in real life, his own wife in an agony of passion, but of what passion no connoisseur could guess."

After asserting that the figure was not human, this is rather too much! From any gentleman, the daughter of Sir James Thornhill had a claim to more politeness; but that so gallant a man as Colonel Wilkes—a perfect knight-errant in all that related to the sex—should make an estimable and respectable woman a party "in the poor politics of the day, and descend to low personal abuse" (I use his own language), because her husband had in these poor politics adopted an opposite creed, excites astonishment!

Had this transaction passed in the year 1791, instead of the year 1762, it would have been less extraordinary; for, alas,

"The days of chivalry are no more."[132]

"All his friends remember what tiresome discourses were held by him, day after day, about the transcendent merit of this 'Sigismunda,' and how the great names of Raphael, Vandyke, and others, were made[188] to yield the palm of beauty, grace, expression, etc. to him, for this long-laboured yet uninteresting single figure. The value he himself set on this, as well as on some other of his works, almost exceeds belief; yet from politeness, or fear, or some other motives, he has actually been paid the most astonishing sums, as the price, not of his merit, but of his unbounded vanity."

That the artist demanded too high a price for his painting of "Sigismunda," I am free to acknowledge; but it has not been peculiar to Mr. Hogarth to mistake his talents, and overrate his worst performances. Mr. Wilkes must know that Milton, and many other great men, have erred in the same way. I do not think that "Sigismunda" was worth what he required; but that he has actually been paid the most astonishing sums for his other pictures, as the price, not of his merit, but of his unbounded vanity, I am yet to learn. The remuneration he received for many of his works is to be found in these volumes; it was seldom in any degree equal to their merits. The painter is no more, but several of his pictures remain; and were the "Marriage à la Mode," "Rake's Progress," etc., now upon sale, the present age would, I am persuaded, sanction my opinion, and the pictures produce much more astonishing sums than were originally paid to the artist.

"He has succeeded very happily in the way of[189] humour, and has miscarried in every other attempt; this has arisen in some measure from his head, but much more from his heart. After 'Marriage à la Mode,' the public wished for a series of prints of a Happy Marriage. Hogarth made the attempt; but the rancour and malevolence of his mind made him soon turn away with envy and disgust from objects of so pleasing contemplation, to dwell, and feast a bad heart, on others of a hateful cast, which he pursued, for he found them congenial, with the most unabating zeal and unrelenting gall."

Should any one assert that the strength of colouring, and astonishing powers, which gave the name of Churchill so exalted a rank among satirists, originated in malevolence and rancour, and that he could not write a panegyric because he delighted in feasting a bad heart on a bad theme, Mr. Wilkes would, I am certain, be the first to defend him from such an aspersion.

That he did not succeed in an attempt to delineate a Happy Marriage, I can readily believe. Hogarth was a painter of manners as they were, not as they ought to be. He considered nature in the abstract, and usually adhered to what he saw. Among those friends with whom Hogarth lived in habits of intimacy, and whose domestic situations he had the best opportunity of studying,—though Mr. Churchill and the Colonel were of the number,—he might not[190] know a family from whence such a scene could be copied.

"I have observed some time his setting sun. He has long been very dim, and almost shorn of his beams."

For a confirmation of the above assertion, see the print of "The Medley," published this very year. My opinion of it the reader is already in possession of, and that opinion corresponds with an authority which, I believe, even Mr. Wilkes will consider as very high:—"For useful and deep satire, 'The Medley' is the most sublime of all Hogarth's works."—Walpole.

"He seems so conscious of this (i.e. that his sun is setting, etc.) that he now glimmers with borrowed light. 'John Bull's house in flames' has been hackneyed in fifty different prints; and if there is any merit in the figure on stilts, and the mob prancing around, it is not to be ascribed to Hogarth, but to Callot."

Callot's was, I acknowledge, the first thought, but Sir Joshua Reynolds will tell Mr. Wilkes that happy appropriation is not plagiarism.

"I own, too, that I am grieved to see the genius of Hogarth, which should take in all ages and countries, sunk to a level with the miserable tribe of party-etchers, and now in his rapid decline entering into the poor politics of the faction of the day, and descending into low personal abuse, instead of instructing the world, as he could once, by manly moral satire."


I too am grieved that Hogarth, or any other man of talents, should descend to the poor politics of the faction of the day. But be it remarked, that this was the first political print he designed; and if so contemptible as it was before stated to be, it is rather singular that this one little satire, the first he engraved on the subject, and "destitute of every kind of original merit, in every part confused, perplexed, and embarrassed, where the story is not well told to the eye, and where we cannot discover the faintest ray of genius," should excite so warm a resentment.

Mr. Wilkes goes on to ask, "Whence can proceed so surprising a change? Is it from the frowardness of old age? or is it that envy and impatience of resplendent merit in every way, at which he has always sickened? How often has he been remarked to droop at the fair and honest applause given even to a friend?" etc.

I am told, by those who lived in habits of intimacy with Mr. Hogarth—never! But let us remember, that what is deemed fair and honest applause by the person who receives it, may by an impartial spectator be thought more than he is entitled to.

"It is sufficient that the rest of mankind applaud; from that moment he begins the attack, and you never can be well with him, till he hears an universal outcry against you, and till all your friends have given you up."


That Hogarth should have wished to render a man infamous in the eyes of society, before he would admit him to the honour of his regards, is a paradox I cannot solve. I believe this kind of preparation for friendship was never practised by any other person, of any age or country.

"The public had never the least share of Hogarth's regard, or even goodwill. Gain and vanity have steered his little bark quite through life. He has never been consistent but with respect to these two principles."

Hogarth was no hypocrite. By the word "public," is frequently meant that party who are immersed in the violent factions of the day. For them he never professed goodwill. But if by the public is meant society in its various branches and different ranks, almost all his works had as great a tendency to make the world wiser and better, as had those of men who made more violent professions. His little bark having been steered through life by gain and vanity, I hardly know how to understand. He lived a long and laborious life; he was admitted to be the first, the very first, in his walk; and died worth a sum that a Jew broker will acquire before breakfast. As to vanity,—of talents superior to any other artist,—he had a right to be vain.

"But all genius was not born, nor will it die, with Mr. Hogarth; and notwithstanding all his ungenerous[193] efforts to damp or chill it in another, I will trust to a discerning and liberal spirit in the English nation to patronize and reward all real merit. It will in the end rise superior to the idle laugh of the hour," etc.

Of this discerning and liberal spirit there is not a stronger instance than the estimation in which Hogarth's works, not excepting the Analysis (however it may be worded), are held thirty years after the publication of the North Briton.

"In the year 1746, when the Guards were ordered to march to Finchley on the most important service they could be employed in,—the extinguishing a Scottish rebellion which threatened the entire ruin of the illustrious family on the throne, and, in consequence, of our liberties,—Mr. Hogarth came out with a print to make them ridiculous[133] to their countrymen, and to all Europe; or, perhaps, it rather was to tell the Scots, in his way, how little the Guards were to be feared, and that they might safely advance. That the ridicule might not stop here, and that it might be as offensive as possible to his own sovereign, he dedicated the print to the King of Prussia, as an encourager of arts. Is this patriotism? In old Rome, or in any of the Grecian States, he would have been punished as a profligate citizen, totally devoid of all principle."


These are heavy charges; but mark how a plain tale shall put them down. From the effects which are described as likely to result from this most seditious print, we are tempted to think it must have been designed, etched, engraved, printed off, and dispersed with so much expedition as to arrive in Scotland before the Guards whom it holds up to ridicule; for one of its designs was "to tell the Scots, in his way, how little the Guards were to be feared, and that they might safely advance." The march was in 1746, and the publication of this print in 1750; therefore[134] it could not have these most direful and dangerous effects! That he dedicated it to the King of Prussia, as an encourager of arts, is true; but this dedication was not inserted until another had been rejected, because it was misunderstood by the King of England; and George the Second, with all his virtues, was neither a judge of humour nor an encourager of the arts. These premises granted, I think we may fairly draw this conclusion: Had old Hogarth been a citizen of old Rome, or a member of any of the Grecian States, and published such a representation of his own times, he would not have been punished as a profligate citizen: he would neither have been flagellated, impaled, decollated, nor thrown from the Tarpeian rock; but his print would have been laughed at by every member of the State[195] who had the least ray of humour, though—as in some cases that we have seen—the length of a grave orator's beard might hide the risible emotions of his muscles, and the amplitude of his robe conceal the shaking of his sides.

To detail the conclusion of this paper, about the dishonour of his being appointed pannel-painter to the King, never suffered to caricature any of the royal family, etc., is scarcely necessary. If the appointment was less respectable than his merits demanded, the disgrace did not fall upon him; but be it remarked, that the office was afterwards held by Sir Joshua Reynolds; and however elevated his taste, however superior his talents, his genius was long distinguished and admired by the public before he had the honour of taking the portraits of their Majesties.

Trusting that Hogarth's own works will sufficiently ascertain his character, I shall not attempt his further vindication, but proceed to the print.

A globe, which must here be considered as the world, though it appears to be no more than a tavern sign, is represented on fire, and Mr. Pitt, exalted on stilts, which are held by the surrounding multitude, blowing up the flames with a pair of large bellows.[135][196] His attendants are composed of butchers, with marrow-bones and cleavers, an hallooing mob armed with[197] clubs, and a trio of London aldermen in the act of adoration. From the neck of this idol of the populace[198] is suspended a millstone, on which is inscribed £3000 per annum, allusive to his pension, and intimating that so ponderous a load must in time sink[199] his popularity.[136] While he is thus increasing the conflagration, a number of Highlanders,[137] grenadiers, sailors, etc., are busily working a fire-engine to extinguish it. The pipe is guided by a Union Office fireman at the top. Defended by an iron cap, and decorated with a badge inscribed "G. R.," this intrepid engineer pays no regard to three streams of water which are furiously driven at his rear from the windows of the Temple Coffeehouse. The Liliputian engines, through which these tiny showers descend, are directed by a nobleman and two garretteers. An [200]inscription over the door determines the title of the former, who is delineated without features: the two gentlemen in the attic were, I believe, originally intended for Mr. Wilkes and Mr. Churchill, but previous to publication the faces were altered.[138] A surplice is still left on the figure over Lord Temple, and the Colonel's coat is lapelled. Upon a sign-iron beneath them is a slaughterman,[139] with a lighted candle in his hat, and a large knife in his pocket; thus intimating that he is ready either to fire a city or murder a citizen. Mounted to the situation he now occupies by a ladder, he is drawing up a sign of the Patriot's Arms, and in this good work is assisted by two strong-sinewed coadjutors, who are dragging the ropes to which it is suspended. The blazonry is four clenched fists in opposition to each other; the date, 1762.[140] This curious delineation will be placed in the front of the Temple Coffeehouse, [201]for the world to wonder at. The Newcastle Arms, nearly broken down, bears allusion to the Duke's resignation.[141] A Highlander, carrying two buckets of water from the fire-plug to the engine, is likely to be impeded by a fellow with a wheelbarrow full of political papers, which are intended to feed the flames. This type of the distressed poet, said to be intended as a representative of the Duke of Newcastle, endeavours to overset the Scot, and burst the engine-pipe by the same operation.

Wholly engrossed by avarice, the crafty Dutchman, with a hand in each pocket and a pipe in his mouth, sits on his bales of goods, and laughs at the destruction raging around him. A fox, fair emblem of his cunning, is creeping out of a kennel beneath.

Close to him is a patriotic trumpeter, blowing the spirit-stirring tube, and pointing to a show-cloth, on which is painted a wild Indian. By the magisterial robe in which this trumpeter is arrayed, and the city arms on the banner of his windy instrument, he is decisively intended to personify Mr. Alderman Beckford,[202] thrice Lord Mayor of London. Beneath the savage to whom he points, is written, "Alive from America." This grotesque figure is placed before two tobacco hogsheads, grasps in each hand a purse inscribed "£1000," and has tied round him, so as to form a sort of Indian dress, eight or ten little bags equally well filled. His countenance leads us to judge that he delights in the devastation by which he is a gainer; and seems to imply that our American brethren, like our Amsterdam allies, were eager to furnish friend or foe with the product of their respective countries. It may further intimate the Alderman's immense riches, and that a leading article of his trade was tobacco.

A table clock, inscribed "Airs by Harrington," representing a company of soldiers in a regular march, has an evident allusion to the military doctrine of man being a machine. "The Norfolk jig, G. T. fecit," hints at the Norfolk Militia, and Mr. George Townshend, who paid unremitting attention to the discipline and appearance of the corps raised in Norfolk.

"The Post Office," painted on a cracked board fastened against the wall, may possibly signify the office of Postmaster-General being then divided.[142]

In the opposite corner of the print, surrounded by[203] his miserable and famished subjects, sits the heroic Frederick of Prussia. Regardless of their distress, and unmoved by their cries, tears, and execrations—like Nero, who fiddled while Rome burnt—he is lost to every feeling, except those which arise from the fine tones of his Cremona. The effects resulting from his insatiable thirst of glory are not confined to his own subjects. Fired by vaulting ambition, he scatters destruction through surrounding states; depopulates provinces, and lays waste kingdoms, to prove himself—a philosopher.

How far the rest of the figures in this group may refer to particular persons or nations, I cannot determine. The female, with clasped hands and eyes raised to heaven, has been supposed to be intended for the Empress Queen; a venerable matron, stealing away with a trunk under her arm, for the late Empress of Russia, Frederick's most inveterate enemy, who ended her earthly reign on the 2d of January 1762. They may be so intended, though I must acknowledge I do not discover anything which will wholly establish the supposition, but am more inclined to consider them as merely exemplifying the horrors of war.

The fleur-de-lis hung from one of the houses in flames, and the black eagle from the other, sufficiently indicate the powers intended to be pointed out. The sign of the Salutation alludes to the treaty between[204] France and Spain, for the dexter figure is Louis Baboon; and the sinister, Lord Strut.

The flames rage with so much violence as to prevent the fluttering dove from alighting on any of the buildings; notwithstanding which, this bird of peace, with an olive branch, hovers over them in the midst of ascending smoke.

The exact point of time is determined by the waggon, inscribed "Hermione," in the background.[143]

Such is my general idea of the preceding plate;[144] [205]there may be those who will discover many things which I do not see, and which possibly never entered into the contemplation of the artist. As the whole alludes to the politics of his own day, all the characters introduced were his contemporaries, and several of them had been his intimate friends, he might[206] intentionally leave some parts obscure;[145] or conceiving his meaning sufficiently obvious to those who lived at the time, forget that it would become impervious to posterity.

I have before observed that in allegory he was not happy; and the dissimilar combinations here brought together are a proof of the assertion. Soldiers and sailors, whose business it is to increase the flames of war, carrying water to extinguish them, is not quite consonant to our general ideas of their dispositions.[207] Highlanders, being universally considered as the soldiers of Europe, make but an awkward appearance in the character of peacemakers.

A sign of the globe on fire, flames bursting out of the Globe Tavern and three other buildings, with each an alehouse sign, to explain what nations are meant, borders upon the bathos. Another nation personified by the sovereign fiddling to his expiring subjects, is not a bad thought, but here it is incongruous. It has not that general unison with the other parts of the picture which either writing or painting demands. Separated from the accompaniments, this group might have made a good print; with the Globe Tavern, the Temple Coffeehouse, the garretteers, and the aldermen, it does not assimilate.

My last remark I shall take the liberty of borrowing from Mr. Wilkes, for in this one point I have the honour of agreeing with him: "The print is too much crowded with figures."


"The Times are out of joint."


A painter engaging in the political disputes of his day, is in a situation similar to a gentleman beginning to rebuild a family mansion. The pencil of one, dipped in these troubled streams, or the fingers of[208] the other but touch-brick and mortar,—it is not in the tables of De Moivre to calculate the conclusion of their labours. Each of them sets out upon a certain plan, determines that he will go so far, and no further: but the gentleman is induced to make a first addition to his original plan, because it will be more convenient; a second, because it will be magnifique; and a third and fourth must be, because without them the building will not be uniform.

The artist engraves a political print, which raises an host of enemies, who buzz about him like a nest of disturbed hornets. To them, wording not being the painter's province, he replies by a second print, which produces a second volume of abuse; "another and another still succeeds," and he must either sink under this load of obloquy, or devote the residue of his days to the defence of his character. Such at least was the political progress of Hogarth.

By his first print of "The Times" he roused two very formidable adversaries, and they treated him with as much ceremony as two deputies from the Bow Street magistrates would an incendiary or an assassin. They did not consider him as a man whose conduct it was needful to investigate, or whose opinions it was necessary to confute, but as a criminal, whose aggravated crimes had outraged every law of society, and whom they would therefore drag to the place of execution. To defend himself from these [209]furious assailants, he had no shield but a copperplate, no weapons but a pencil and a burin. The use he made of them may be seen in the two last prints; but though this was engraved during the time of the contest, it was not published while he lived. Whether a sudden change in politics, a supposed ambiguity in part of his design, or the advice of judicious or timid friends, induced him to suppress his work, cannot now be ascertained; but whatever were the reasons, his widow's respect for his memory induced her to adopt the same conduct. She retained a reverence for even the dust of her husband, and dreaded its being raked from the sepulchre where he had been quietly inurned, mixed with the poisonous aconite of party, and by sacrilegious hands cast into the agitated cauldron of politics. If we add to this the specimen of political candour which she had experienced in her own person, can we wonder that she cautiously avoided whatever could be tortured into a provocation to the renewal of hostilities? From these considerations she never suffered more than one impression to be taken, and that was struck off at the earnest request of Lord Exeter.

In withholding this plate from the public she acted prudently; in attempting to describe it, I may be thought to act otherwise. To enter into a discrimination of characters who now live, "or step upon ashes which are not yet cold," is liable to invidious[210] construction. Let it be remembered, that though I have endeavoured to point out the characters delineated by Hogarth, it does not follow that my explanation will always be right.

Though several of the figures are marked in a style so obtrusive that they cannot be mistaken, there are others where I can only guess at the originals. From those who were engaged in the politics of that day I have sought information, but their communications have been neither important nor consistent with each other. They generally ended in an acknowledgment, that "in thirty years they had forgotten much which they once knew, and which, if now recollected, would materially elucidate." To this was added what I am compelled to admit, that parts of the print are obscure. I have before observed that neither politics nor allegory were Hogarth's forte, and this delineation was made under the impression of resentment.

The exact time of its being engraved I cannot positively ascertain, but conjecture it must have been some time in the year 1762. A small part of the sky was left unfinished, and in that state still remains, as the present proprietors would not suffer any other engraver to draw a line on the copperplate of Hogarth.

On a pedestal in the centre of the print is a statue of the present King in his coronation robes, inscribed "A Ramsay delt;" his right hand is placed on his[211] side, and the left leans upon a plummet, which seems to have been Mr. Ramsay's guide in the delineation; for the drapery is in squares, decided as the ground glass stopper of a decanter, and the whole figure is composed of straight lines. Of these upright figures Hogarth had given his opinion in the Analysis;[146] and Mr. Ramsay being portrait-painter to his Majesty, a post Hogarth thought himself better qualified to fill, he took this opportunity of throwing his manner into ridicule.[147] The head of a lion in bas relief with a leaden pipe in his mouth,[148] being on the front of the pedestal, intimates its connection with a reservoir; and the royal statue on the top denotes this to be the fountain of honour. The able-bodied figure turning a fire-plug is evidently intended for Lord Bute; his [212]employment seems to intimate that he has the power of accelerating or retarding the stream of royal bounty, and wheresoever he willeth it shall flow, there it floweth. A baronial escutcheon, keys, stars, coronets, croziers, mitres, maces, lie close to the pedestal, around which are placed a number of garden pots with shrubs. Two rose trees most plentifully sprinkled by streams from the fountain of favour have been originally inscribed "James III.;" but James being now blotted out, George is put above it, and by a little hyphen beneath the lowest figure, marked as belonging to the lowest line. Three orange trees have the initials "G. R.," and beneath the letters is inscribed "Republican." These also receive drops of favour; but a large laurel planted in a capacious vase, raised upon the base of a pillar, and inscribed "Culloden," is watered by the dew of heaven,—by a copious shower poured from the urn of Aquarius. Besides these six flourishing plants, there are a number of yew and box trees, clipped into true taste by a Dutch gardener. Some of them retain their old situations, but an active labourer is busily clearing the grounds of all these ancient formalities. Many of them he has already wheeled out of their places, and thrown into the ditch that surrounds the platform, into which situation he is now tumbling two venerable box trees of a most orderly and regular cut: each of them having the[213] letters G. R., may apply to the favourites either of George the First or Second. This I suppose is meant to express, by an allegorical figure, the great number of old place-men who resigned on the accession of his present Majesty.

The late Henry Fox, afterwards Lord Holland, being at that time a leading character in the House of Commons, and deemed the partisan of Lord Bute, is here represented as removing these antiquated plants from the vivifying hothouse of royalty to the cold and dank ditch of despair. Hogarth, not thinking a sable countenance and ebon eyebrows would sufficiently indicate the person meant, has given the outline of a fox's head to his cap. In his reforming business he is somewhat impeded by a garden roller, on which is written "£1,000,000,000," meaning possibly the national debt. On the platform lies a broom, shovel, and rake, necessary implements in clearing gardens; and in the surrounding fosse such a collection of fantastic nevergreens, as decked the pleasure-grounds of our ancient sovereigns, "trimm'd with nice art," and cut into the shapes of pyramids, fortifications, globes, and birds. On one of them, clipped into the form of a human head, is a mask, well expressing the taste of our ancestors.

It is observable that Lord Bute and Mr. Henry Fox are the only persons on the platform: one of these gentlemen was, I believe, supposed to have the[214] highest confidence of his sovereign; and the other, a most powerful influence over the people's representatives.

A group in the dexter corner is principally made up of members of the Upper House. A senatorial figure in the chair under the king's arms is intended for Sir John Cust, then Speaker. That beneath him, wiping his forehead, evidently from perturbation of mind, for William Duke of Cumberland. Below him is Lord Mansfield, and still lower Lord Temple, presenting his snuff-box to his Grace of Newcastle, who had a short time before joined the opposition. We also recognise Earl Winchelsea, and George Doddington, afterwards Lord Melcombe.

Who are intended to be hinted at by a number of persons asleep, I do not know: it, however, proves that there were at that period men who were not to be kept awake by the most important interests of their country. Had this print borne relation to the orators of 1790 instead of the speakers of 1762, there would have been no cause for astonishment. Considering the hour at which our present race of senators meet to do business, and that one oration frequently lasts from the twilight of evening to the crowing of the cock, could it excite wonder if half the assembly were under the dominion of Somnus before what one of our fashionable prints so familiarly calls the peroration?


On the other side of a rail, intended, I believe, to divide the Commons from the Lords, are a number of figures firing at the emblem of Peace, which is fluttering in the air near the signs of the zodiac. Mr. Pitt we are enabled to identify, not only by his features, but by his gouty legs. His gun has much the longest barrel, and while he fires it off he prudently turns away his face, fearing a flash in the pan may scorch his eyebrows; or perhaps acting as a waterman, looking one way and rowing another. A figure behind him discharges a blunderbuss; and in the sinister hand of one immediately before him is a horse-pistol. The household artillery of all the band (and from the smoke which is diffused over the centre of the group it appears they are numerous) is directed to the same object. One prudent personage, a little before Mr. Pitt, seems to be in the act of desertion; for though yet seated on the gunpowder bench, he has got his head under the rail, and is half on the other side. This may be pointed at one of that class who go under the denomination of Trimmers, or may intimate that the gentleman is in the way of getting a place or a peerage; but what is his name, or was his future title, I am not enough read in the red book[149] to determine. The[216] next figure resembles Henry Bilson Legge. A hand with an ear-trumpet may perhaps allude to Lord Chesterfield, whose deafness was at this period proverbial. Two figures above him are distinguished, one by a muff, and the other by a pair of spectacles; "to whom related, or by whom begot," baffles my conjecture: the lowest figure has a resemblance to the first Lord Holland, but he is exhibited on the platform. A dog immediately behind Lord Bute, having his eye fixed on the urn of Aquarius, I suppose to be barking at the shower which pours on the laurel inscribed "Culloden." He is a Caledonian cur, and on his collar is written the word "Mercy," allusive, perhaps, to the cruelties said to have been exercised in Scotland in 1745, which accounts for the natives of that country thinking the Duke had more liberal rewards and more distinguished honours than he fairly merited.

Thus much must suffice for the dignified personages who then drove the state machine: to regret that I cannot point out more of the characters would be useless. I am not deeply studied in the political history of that day; to those who are, must be delegated the task of more particular explanation.

The two most distinguished persons in the opposite group are exalted to the pillory. Over a figure of Fanny the Phantom, who is dressed in a white sheet, the engraver has written "Conspiracy." In one hand[217] she holds a small hammer, and in the other a lighted taper, with which she sets fire to a North Briton that is fastened on the breast of Esquire Wilkes, above whose head is written "Defamation." The patriot is depicted with a most rueful countenance and empty pockets. On the steps below are such a company as we generally see assembled on these great occasions. Two Highlanders, one of whom is grasping a purse, and with most significant grin pointing to the profane cheeld who had dared to abuse his clan, and reprinted Howell's Description of Scotland:[150] by his belt and lapels he appears to be military, and is perhaps meant for Colonel Martin. Close to him is a Liliputian chimney-sweeper, and a fellow blowing a cow's horn with force that gives a Boreas-like distension to his cheeks.[151] This resounding clangour is softened by the cheering notes of the sweet-sounding violin, while the growling bagpipe gives a thorough bass to the whole. Still further to keep up the spirits of the company, a woman is retailing gin from a keg inscribed with the two initials "J. W.," and a schoolboy amusing himself, à la Teniers, with Mr. Wilkes' shoes. To complete his degradation, the Bishop's Abigail so skilfully trundles her well-soaked mop, [218]that he enjoys the full benefit of her mud-coloured drops.

The group behind is partly made up of British sailors and soldiers, each of whom exhibit a most melancholy spectacle of the fortune of war. One lion-hearted veteran, having had both legs and arms lopped off in the service of his country, has his oak-like trunk borne to the borders of the platform upon a porter's knot,[152] where, with three other disabled warriors, he waits in the hope of catching a few drops from the fountain of honour; but alas! the stream which ascends from a fire-plug behind the gate falls on the heads of a mob who are in the background. Some of these may possibly be cripples, for a crutch as well as several bludgeons is flourished in the air. At a window, over which is painted "Dr. Cant's," and "Man Midwife," a bishop is confirming two adults by the imposition of hands. Whether by this representation the artist intended to hint that this father of the church confirmed them in their political errors, the reader must determine according to his political creed; but thus far we may venture to decide, Doctor Thomas Seeker, then Archbishop of Canterbury, was the person intended to be delineated. At the rooms where the Society for Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce then met, a number of[219] persons, by the help of a crane, are dragging up a large silver palette, on which is written "Premium." The man instructing the workmen is, I believe, intended for Mr. Peter Templeman, then Secretary to the Society; as one of the figures in the first floor is probably Lord Romney, then their President.

Behind this we discover the New Church in the Strand; and on the opposite side a triumphal column; a structure with the word "Hospital" inscribed on the front, and a scaffolding, with workmen completing a very large new building. These, I apprehend, Hogarth intended as descriptive of the great things which were to be undertaken and carried on during the reign of a monarch who gloried in the name of Briton. That the workmen and scaffolding bear allusion to those extensive and ponderous premises now known by the name of Somerset Place, there can be little doubt: the artist, with an eye of prophetic anticipation, has placed his scaffolding nearly on the spot where the building now stands;[153] and conscious of the time it must take to pile up such a quantity of stone, has not represented it built, but building.

The figure of Lord Bute is a strong likeness, and in the turn of head very similar to Ramsay's portrait which Mr. Ryland engraved. Pointing out the first[220] Lord Holland by making the outline of his cap in the form of a fox's head, is a whimsical idea. Even the sculptured lion's shaggy front has strong markings. He is by no means pleased with the distribution of those honours that he is made a party in bestowing, but goes through his business with a very wry face. To the poor maimed sailors and soldiers, Callot could not have given much more spirit. Though upon so small a scale, they have all the hardihood of their order; and both in them and the elevated party[154] on the opposite side, variety and distinction of character is accurately and nicely discriminated.



Drawn from the Life, and etched in aquafortis, by William Hogarth. Published according to Act of Parliament, May 16, 1763.

"Enough of Patriots,—all I ask of man

Is only to be honest as he can.

Some have deceiv'd, and some may still deceive,

'Tis the fool's curse at random to believe.

Would those who, by opinion plac'd on high,

Stand fair and perfect in their country's eye,

Maintain that honour,—let me in their ear

Hint this essential doctrine—PERSEVERE."



The bitter satire upon Hogarth's domestic habits, talents, taste, originality, and orthography, which has been before noticed, would have discomposed a less irritable man, and warranted any retaliation in the power of the pencil; but he seems to have felt little uneasiness, and under a conviction that the overcharged blunderbuss which had been aimed at him had burst in the explosion and wounded his assailant more than himself, did not think it necessary to point fire-arms at an adversary whose intemperate zeal had defeated his avowed purpose. Under the influence of these impressions, the[222] artist has not attempted to be severe; nor can I comprehend upon what ground this plate has been denominated a satire, for it is not a caricature, but a very accurate and striking resemblance, with the identical accompaniments which I most firmly believe Mr. Wilkes would at that time have chosen as the decorations of his portrait. The cap of liberty, "Heaven-descended, godlike liberty," above his head, and two political papers which he acknowledged himself to have written, on his right hand. One of these papers is marked with that memorable number, which was in its day a kind of shibboleth to the party.[156] On the same table with the two North Britons is a pen and ink, importing that the person delineated is an author, a character the Colonel could hardly be ashamed of. These premises granted to the artist,—and

"The very head and front of his offending

Hath this extent, no more,"—

what crime has he committed? He has given an engraving, which cannot indeed be considered as a compliment, because it is not a flattering likeness; but I do not see why it should have been received as a sarcasm. If we add to this the time when, and place [223]where, it was taken; if we consider how glorious the situation!—how interesting the moment!—it is delineating a general at the instant of victory; and so far from bearing any marks of satire, that it might be almost mistaken for a panegyric. To say the truth, though his friend Churchill has thrown the picture into shadow, and given only the dark tints, Mr. Wilkes seemed willing enough to receive it as such;[157] and I am informed, frequently told his friends that he every day grew into a stronger resemblance. The pleasant and philosophic indifference with which he spoke of it at the time, did honour to his good humour and his good sense. He declared himself very little concerned about the case of his soul, as he was only tenant for life, and that the best apology for his person was, that he did not make himself.[158]

Such was the style of Mr. Wilkes. As to Mr. [224]Churchill, his temper must have forsaken him; and every circumstance taken into the account, when describing this transaction, he seems to have forgotten that satire ought to be at least seasoned with truth. Brilliant diction, animated verse, and high-sounding words, are very apt to impose. Churchill's is a muse of fire, and dazzles the eye like the sun in its meridian splendour; it fascinates the mind, and carries the most sober reason into the airy regions of imagination. This considered, before I insert his bitter satire, it will be but fair to give a candid and dispassionate relation of that which provoked it.

When Mr. Wilkes was the second time brought from the Tower to Westminster Hall, and had in one day an honourable acquittal, an universal acclamation, and a proud triumph, Mr. Hogarth attended in the court of Common Pleas, and, as was his constant custom, carried a port-crayon in his pocket. Surrounded by a crowd of spectators, who came to see how the cause would terminate, he took a portrait of Mr. Wilkes: delineated a patriot at the moment when he was in his own person asserting the cause of liberty, and by his own trial ascertaining the law of his country. But, replies an advocate for Mr. Wilkes, "Hogarth[225] certainly intended to make a caricature."[159] To this I have no other answer than pointing to the print, which, being compared with the original, will prove to every dispassionate inquirer what it is my wish to establish, i.e. that it has been mistaken for a caricature, from the world knowing the provocation which Hogarth had previously received, and which every man felt would have justified the most severe retaliation.

What! Consider it as a satire to hand down to posterity a patriot at the moment of inspiration! "While every breast caught the holy flame of liberty, and all his fellow-citizens were animated in his cause, for they knew it to be their own cause, that of their country, and of its laws. It was declared to be so a few hours afterwards by the unanimous sentence of the Judges of that Court; and they were all present."

From the style in which the bard relates this transaction, a plain reader would be tempted to think that Hogarth had stolen into Westminster Hall with a quiver full of poisoned arrows hung to his girdle, and, like a murderous ruffian, hid himself behind the arras, that he might seize the first opportunity of assassinating this paragon of patriotism.


"When Wilkes, our countryman, our common friend,

Arose, his king, his country to defend;

When tools of power he bar'd to public view,

And from their holes the sneaking cowards drew;

When Rancour found it far beyond her reach,

To soil his honour, and his truth impeach,—

What could induce thee, at a time and place

Where manly foes had blush'd to show their face,

To make that effort which must damn thy name,

And sink thee deep, deep in the grave with shame!

Did Virtue move thee? no, 'twas pride, rank pride,

And if thou hadst not done it, thou hadst died.

Malice (who, disappointed of her end,

Whether to work the bane of foe or friend,

Preys on herself, and driven to the stake,

Gives virtue that revenge she scorns to take)

Had killed thee, tottering on life's utmost verge,

Had Wilkes and Liberty escaped thy scourge.

"When that great charter which our fathers bought

With their best blood, was into question brought;

When big with ruin, o'er each English head,

Vile Slavery hung suspended by a thread;

When Liberty, all trembling and aghast,

Fear'd for the future, knowing what was past;

When every breast was chill'd with deep despair,

Till reason pointed out that Pratt was there.

Lurking most ruffian-like behind a screen,

So plac'd all things to see, himself unseen,

Virtue with due contempt saw[160] Hogarth stand,

The murderous pencil in his palsied hand.

What was the cause of Liberty to him,

Or what was Honour! let them sink or swim,

So he may gratify without control,

The mean resentments of his selfish soul,

Let Freedom perish, if, to Freedom true,

In the same ruin Wilkes may perish too."


This animated and high-coloured rhapsody, beautiful and fervid as it is, when reduced to plain prose, ends in Liberty, Virtue, and Honour being all aghast, because Hogarth took Mr. Wilkes' portrait without the customary fee! But my readers may be weary of the subject. Enough—

"Enough of Wilkes,—to good and honest men

His actions speak much stronger than my pen."




In the Character of a Russian Hercules, regaling himself after having killed the Monster Caricatura, that so sorely galled his virtuous friend, the heaven-born Wilkes.—Published Aug. 1, 1763.

"But he had a club,

This dragon to drub,

Or he had ne'er don't, I warrant ye."

Dragon of Wantley.


Enraged by the publication of Mr. Wilkes' portrait, Mr. Charles Churchill drew his gray goose quill, and wrote a most virulent and vindictive satire, which he entitled An Epistle to William Hogarth. The painter might be a very good Christian, but he was not blest with that meek forbearance which induces those who are smote on one cheek to turn the other also. He was an old man, but did not wish to be considered as that feeble, superannuated, helpless animal which the poet had described. He scarcely wished to live

"After his flame lack'd oil, to be the snuff

Of younger spirits."


Apprehensive that the public might construe his delaying a reply to proceed from inability, he did not wait the tedious process of a new plate, but took a piece of copper on which he had, in the year 1749, engraven a portrait of himself and dog, erased his own head, and in the place of it introduced the divine with a tattered band and torn ruffles,—"No Lord's anointed, but a Russian bear."

In this I must acknowledge there was more ill-nature than wit.[161] It is rather caricature than character, and more like the coarse mangling of Tom Browne than the delicate yet wounding satire of Alexander Pope. For this rough retort he might, however, plead the poet's precedent. His opponent had brandished a tomahawk; and Hogarth, old as he was, wielded a battle-axe in his own defence. A more aggravated provocation cannot well be conceived. The attack was unmerciful, unmanly, unjust. Let the following extracts speak for themselves:—

"Amongst the sons of men, how few are known

Who dare be just to merit not their own!

Superior virtue and superior sense,

To knaves and fools will always give offence:

Nay, men of real worth can scarcely bear—

So nice is jealousy—a rival there."

Such is the introduction to Churchill's Epistle, and I[230] believe the reader will grant that it is quite as applicable to the poet as the painter. After some lines which would apply to any other subject as well as that under consideration, he thus proceeds:

"Hogarth,—I take thee, Candour, at thy word,

Accept thy proffer'd terms, and will be heard;

Thee have I heard with virulence declaim,

Nothing retained of Candour but the name;

By thee have I been charg'd in angry strains,[162]

With that mean falsehood which my soul disdains."

How furious the onset! but if the lines are brought back to plain prose, they will run thus: "Hogarth, thy word is candour. I adopt the same word, and having heard thee declaim with a virulence that retained nothing of candour but the name, thou shalt hear me declaim in the same style."

That this is the precise meaning which the poet intended, I will not presume to assert; but that he has pursued his theme in a manner that amply justifies my supposition, the following lines will abundantly prove:—


"Hogarth, stand forth,—nay, hang not thus aloof,

Now Candour, now thou shalt receive such proof,

Such damning proof, that henceforth thou shalt fear

To tax my wrath, and own my conduct clear.

Hogarth, stand forth,—I dare thee to be try'd

In that great court where Conscience must preside:

At that most solemn bar hold up thy hand;

Think before whom, on what account you stand.

Speak, but consider well—from first to last

Review thy life, view every action past:

Nay, you shall have no reason to complain,—

Take longer time, and view them o'er again:

Canst thou remember from thy earliest youth,—

And as thy God must judge thee, speak the truth,—

A single instance where, self laid aside,

And justice taking place of fear and pride,

Thou with an equal eye didst genius view,

And give to merit what was merit's due?

Genius and merit are a sure offence,

And thy soul sickens at the name of sense."

If Hogarth had so marked an aversion to all genius, merit, and sense, it is rather singular that he should have lived on such intimate terms with Mr. Churchill and Mr. Wilkes.

"Is any one so foolish to succeed?

On Envy's altar he is doomed to bleed.

Hogarth, a guilty pleasure in his eyes,

The place of executioner supplies:

See how he gloats, enjoys the sacred feast,

And proves himself by cruelty a priest."

What does the bard prove himself?

"Whilst the weak artist to thy whims a slave,

Would bury all those powers which nature gave,

Would suffer blank concealment to obscure

Those rays that jealousy could not endure;


To feed thy vanity would rust unknown,

And to secure thy credit, blast his own:

In Hogarth he was sure to find a friend;

He could not fear, and therefore might commend.

But when his spirit, rous'd by honest shame,

Shook off that lethargy, and soar'd to fame;

When with the pride of man resolv'd and strong,

He scorn'd those fears which did his honour wrong;

And on himself determin'd to rely,

Brought forth his labours to the public eye,

No friend in thee could such a rebel know,

He had desert, and Hogarth was his foe."

He must be a very weak artist indeed who would bury the talents which Nature gave, to gratify the whims of another man; but admitting a painter had been found "who suffered blank concealment to obscure those rays which jealousy could not endure," I cannot comprehend how it concerned Hogarth. His walk was all his own: even now he need not dread a rival there. Mr. Churchill acknowledges that in walks of humour

"Hogarth unrivall'd stands, and shall engage

Unrivall'd praise to the most distant age!"

Being unrivalled, I do not see why he should dread a rival; nor can I conceive he could be jealous of talents which he must be conscious were inferior to his own.

After some very harsh lines on envy, in no degree applicable to Hogarth, and the rhapsody about Wilkes and Liberty, which I have noticed in the[233] preceding plate, this high priest of the Temple of Cruelty, rejoicing in his strength and triumphing in the pride of his youth, without any reverence for gray hairs or respect for superior talents, sets up the war-whoop, and springs upon a feeble old man with the ferocity of a hungry cannibal:

"With all the symptoms of assur'd decay,

With age and sickness pinch'd and worn away,

Pale quivering lips, lank cheeks, and faltering tongue,

The spirits out of tune, the nerves unstrung,

The body shrivell'd up, the dim eyes sunk

Within their sockets deep; the weak hams shrunk,

The body's weight unable to sustain,

The stream of life scarce trembling through the vein:

More than half kill'd by honest truths which fell,

Through thy own fault, from men who wish'd thee well;

Canst thou e'en thus thy thoughts to vengeance give,

And dead to all things else, to malice live?

Hence, dotard, to thy closet; shut thee in,

By deep repentance wash away thy sin;

From haunts of men, to shame and sorrow fly,

And on the verge of death learn how to die."

That a man in the vigour of life—for Churchill was not much more than thirty years old—should draw so pitiable a picture of age and decrepitude, and then attack that age and decrepitude with a barbarity so savage, is horrible! But the baleful spirit of party overthrows the barriers of truth, eradicates philanthropy, and severs those social, I had almost said sacred, bonds which ought to unite and attach men of genius to each other. Had Churchill felt his own[234] beautiful apostrophe, he would have blotted the lines with his tears:

"Ah! let not youth to insolence allied,

In heat of blood, in full career of pride,

Possessed of genius, with unhallowed rage,

Mock the infirmities of reverend age.

The greatest genius to this fate may bow."

Churchill's Epistle to Hogarth.

After advising the painter to learn how to die, the bard proceeds; repeats and amplifies what he had before written on Hogarth's envy, gives a metrical version of that North Briton which ridicules the artist's love of flattery, and beautifully versifies Mr. Wilkes' prosaic abuse of poor "Sigismunda."

In the lines which follow, he first throws the gauntlet, and then draws such a picture of the man he has challenged as must have subdued the rancour of an assassin; so far from being a stimulus to revenge, it excites pity, and concludes in the form of an apology:

"For me, who, warm and zealous for my friend,

In spite of railing thousands, will commend;

And no less warm and zealous 'gainst my foes,

Spite of commending thousands will oppose;

I dare thy worst, with scorn behold thy rage,

But with an eye of pity view thy age;

Thy feeble age, in which as in a glass

We see how men to dissolution pass.

Thou wretched being, whom on reason's plan,

So chang'd, so lost, I cannot call a man,

What could persuade thee at this time of life

To launch afresh into this sea of strife?


Better for thee, scarce crawling on the earth,

Almost as much a child as at thy birth,

To have resign'd in peace thy parting breath,

And sunk unnotic'd in the arms of death.

Why would thy gray, gray hairs resentment brave,

Thus to go down with sorrow to the grave?

Now by my soul it makes me blush to know

My spirits could descend to such a foe.

Whatever cause thy vengeance might provoke,

It seems rank cowardice to give the stroke."

Seems, Churchill!—nay, it is!

The following address to the artist may, with infinitely more propriety, be applied to the bard; whose name I have therefore ventured to insert in the place where he has left the name of Hogarth:

"With so much merit, and so much success,

With so much power to curse, so much to bless,

Would he have been man's friend instead of foe,

Churchill had been a little god below.

Why, then, like savage giants fam'd of old,

Of whom in Scripture story we are told,

Dost thou in cruelty that strength employ,

Which Nature meant to save, not to destroy?

Why dost thou, all in horrid pomp array'd,

Sit grinning o'er the ruins thou hast made?

Most rank ill-nature must applaud thy art,

But even Candour must condemn thy heart."

Epistle to Hogarth.

The whole of this unfeeling composition is dictated by the same spirit, and written in much the same style, as the lines I have quoted; it reflects more dishonour on the satirist than on the subject of his abuse.


To enumerate further examples would be painful as well as tedious: the graven image must be attended to.

It represents Mr. Churchill in the character of a bear hugging a foaming tankard of porter,[163] and like another Hercules, armed with a knotted club, to attack hydras, destroy dragons, and discomfit giants!

From the two letters "N. B." inscribed on the club, it appears that the painter considered Churchill as a writer in the North Briton; and from the words "infamous fallacy, Lie the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th," etc., on each of the knots, that he also considered him as a poet who did not pay the strictest regard to truth.

To designate more positively the object of his ridicule, and render this rude representative still more ludicrous, it is decorated with a band and a pair of ruffles; and with these characteristic ornaments, though it remains a good bear, it becomes a sort of overcharged portrait of the reverend satirist, and I really think resembles him.

Hogarth's favourite dog Trump, who had been his companion in the portrait from which this is altered, retains his original situation on the outside of the picture frame, but is now contemptuously treating and trampling upon the Epistle to his master. Near him[237] lie two books, on one of which is written, "A New Way to Pay Old Debts, a comedy, by Massinger:" on the other, "A List of Subscribers to the North Briton." To intimate the poverty of those who wrote it, the pyramid is crowned by a begging-box; and beneath, as emblems of art, lie a pencil and palette.

In this state the print was published; but the gentleman whom it offended asserting that it proved the painter in his dotage, he refuted their calumny by the following spirited addition:—

In the form of a framed picture on the painter's palette, is placed a small drawing, which may serve as a sort of political postscript to his first plate of "The Times," or a kind of prelude to the second. It represents Mr. Pitt reclining in a similar position to that of Sir Isaac Newton in Westminster Abbey, and is probably meant as allusive to his having retired from public business, to enjoy the otium cum dignitate, a short time before. The background is composed of a pyramidical piece of marble, from the top of which is suspended a millstone, inscribed "£3000," in allusion to his saying that "Hanover was a millstone round the neck of England," and afterwards increasing the public burdens by accepting a pension of £3000 a year. It is suspended by a thread, and must, if it falls, dash him to pieces. This was Hogarth's idea of crushing popularity. To heighten[238] the ridicule, though recumbent, he is firing a mortar at the symbol of peace, "a dove with an olive branch" perched on the standard of England; but his artillery is not powerful enough to reach the mark; the powder fails in its effect, the ball falls short of its object. In most of his measures Mr. Pitt was supported by the city of London, and to this our great metropolis Hogarth appears to allude, in making the two Guildhall giants, with each of them a pipe of tobacco in his mouth, supporters of the Monument. The tubes with Indian weed evidently hint at his great Creolian friend, Mr. Alderman Beckford. To denote that Mr. Pitt was the sovereign of their affections, and kept the master-key of their iron chests, one of these representatives of the city is giving him supreme rule, by placing upon his head "the likeness of a kingly crown." The other holds a shield, on which is emblazoned the arms of Austria, which the statesman indignantly spurns. At an opposite corner, the painter has exhibited himself, in the humble character of a showman, drilling Messrs. Churchill and Wilkes through the varying steps of a political minuet. The first he has represented under the type of a bear in a laced hat, and the last as a monkey astride upon a mop-stick, with the cap of liberty at the top of it. In his left hand he holds a check-string, which being fastened to his two pupils, answers the purpose of a bridle, and in his right brandishes a[239] cat-o'-nine-tails. That the two quadrupeds may dance to some tune, a figure without features, intended as a second delineation of Earl Temple, is playing on the fiddle.[164]


Such is Hogarth's representation; and in the poem of Independence, which Churchill published in September 1764, he admirably parries the caricature by a most spirited description of himself. In this he has evidently taken Hogarth's print for his model. Having described a lean, long, lank, and bony figure, designed for a then unpopular nobleman, he thus proceeds:

"Such was the first. The second was a man

Whom Nature built on a quite different plan:

A bear, whom from the moment he was born,

His dam despis'd, and left unlick'd in scorn:

A Babel, which, the power of art outdone,

She could not finish when she had begun:

An utter chaos, out of which no might

But that of God could strike one spark of light.

Broad were his shoulders, and from blade to blade

A H—— might at full length have laid.

Vast were his bones; his muscles twisted strong;

His face was short, but broader than 'twas long.

His features, though by nature they were large,

Contentment had contrived to overcharge,

And bury meaning; save that we might spy

Sense low'ring on the pent-house of his eye,[165]


His arms were two twin oaks; his legs so stout,

That they might bear a mansion-house about.

Nor were they,—look but at his body there,

Design'd by fate a much less weight to bear.

"O'er a brown cassock, which had once been black,

Which hung in tatters on his brawny back,

A sight most strange and awkward to behold,

He threw a covering of blue and gold.

"Just at that time of life when man by rule

The fop laid down, takes up the graver fool,

He started up a fop, and fond of show,

Look'd like another Hercules turn'd beau;

A subject met with only now and then,

Much fitter for the pencil than the pen.

Hogarth would draw him, Envy must allow,

Ev'n to the life,—were Hogarth living now."[166]

In the following letter written to his friend Mr. Wilkes, and dated August 3, 1763, Churchill considers Hogarth as already dead:—

"I take it for granted you have seen Hogarth's print against me. Was ever anything so contemptible? I think he is fairly felo de se. I think not to[242] let him off in that manner, although I might safely leave him to your notes.[167] He has broken into my pale of private life, and set that example of illiberality which I wished; of that kind of attack which is ungenerous in the first instance, but justice in return.[168] I intend an elegy on him, supposing him dead; but *—— *—— tells me, with a kiss, he will be really dead before it comes out; that I have already killed him, etc. How sweet is flattery from the woman we love![169] and how weak is our boasted strength, when opposed to beauty and good sense with good-nature."

Mr. Churchill died at Boulogne in his thirty-second year, and was in November 1764 buried at Dover: at which place, on a small stone in the old churchyard, formerly belonging to the collegiate Church of St. Martin, is the following inscription:

"Life to the last enjoy'd, here Churchill lies."





At the time that Hogarth lived, we were not compelled to have our receipts sanctioned with a royal stamp; but upon the receipts given by Hogarth, there was "the stamp of genius, the broad seal of nature!" Whoever paid a subscription had a written acknowledgment beneath a little print. This invariably abounded in wit, but had seldom any immediate allusion to the series with which it was presented.[170] His great works I consider as giving not only a general mirror of the human mind, but a history of the local and temporary customs of the day when they were published. I have therefore arranged them in the order they were engraved; and thinking that the receipts, or less important prints, would break the chain by which they are in a degree connected, I have reserved the following short memoranda for an appendix:—



"Thou, Nature, art my goddess."


This plate was engraved in 1733, and intended as the subscription-ticket to "The Harlot's Progress;" but in the original design Nature was habited in a petticoat, and the boy who now points to a three-quarters portrait was placed before her, and represented as curiously stooping down to examine the fringe. Some of the artist's friends, suggesting that this was too ludicrous an idea for the public, the copper was thrown aside.

In the year 1751, Hogarth etched his burlesque "Paul," as a receipt-ticket to the large "Paul before Felix." In a printed catalogue of his works, dated 1754, I find "Paul before Felix" marked £0, 7s. 6d., and "Paul before Felix, in the manner of Rembrandt," £0, 0s. 0d. Applications for the gratis etching were very frequent; and he found, to his great mortification, that the public were more eager to possess his little print than either of the large ones. To punish their want of taste, he gave away no more, but fixed the price at two-thirds of the sum at which he published the large print.

This alteration of his first plan left the great "Paul" without a ticket. To have given him the [245]"Peeping Boys" in their original state, would have been a species of sacrilege; they were chastened, grouped as they now are, and transferred from the "Harlot" to the "Apostle."

Though the circumstance from which it received a name was done away, and very little either novel or striking remains, he retained the original title of "Boys Peeping at Nature."[172]



"Let him laugh now, who never laugh'd before;

And he who always laugh'd, laugh now the more."


From the first print that Hogarth engraved to the last that he published, I do not think there is one in which character is more displayed than in this very[246] spirited little etching. It is much superior to the more delicate engravings from his designs by other artists, and I prefer it to those that were still higher finished by his own burin.

The prim coxcomb with an enormous bag, whose favours, like those of Hercules between Virtue and Vice, are contended for by two rival orange girls, gives an admirable idea of the dress of the day; when, if we may judge from this print, our grave forefathers, defying nature and despising convenience, had a much higher rank in the temple of Folly than was then attained by their ladies. It must be acknowledged that since that period the softer sex have asserted their natural rights; and, snatching the wreath of fashion from the brow of presuming man, have tortured it into such forms—that were it possible, which certes it is not, to disguise a beauteous face!—But to the high behest of fashion all must bow.

Governed by this idol, our beau has a cuff that for a modern fop would furnish fronts for a waistcoat, and a family fire-screen might be made of his enormous bag. His bare and shrivelled neck has a close resemblance to that of a half-starved greyhound; and [247]his face, figure, and air, form a fine contrast to the easy and degagée assurance of the grisette whom he addresses.

The opposite figure, nearly as grotesque, though not quite so formal as its companion, presses its left hand upon its breast,[173] in the style of protestation, and eagerly contemplating the superabundant charms of a beauty of Rubens' school, presents her with a pinch of comfort.[174] Every muscle, every line of his countenance, is acted upon by affectation and grimace, and his queue bears some resemblance to an ear-trumpet.

The total inattention of these three polite persons to the business of the stage, which at this moment almost convulses the children of Nature who are seated in the pit, is highly descriptive of that refined apathy which characterizes our people of fashion, and raises them above those mean passions that agitate the groundlings.

One gentleman, indeed,[175] is as affectedly unaffected as a man of the first world. By his saturnine cast of [248]face and contracted brow, he is evidently a profound critic, and much too wise to laugh. He must indisputably be a very great genius; for, like Voltaire's Poccocurante, nothing can please him; and while those around open every avenue of their minds to mirth, and are willing to be delighted, though they do not well know why, he analyzes the drama by the laws of Aristotle, and finding those laws are violated, determines that the author ought to be hissed instead of being applauded. This it is to be so excellent a judge; this it is which gives a critic that exalted gratification which can never be attained by the illiterate: the supreme power of pointing out faults where others discern nothing but beauties, and preserving a rigid inflexibility of muscle while the sides of the vulgar herd are shaking with laughter. These merry mortals, thinking with Plato that it is no proof of a good stomach to nauseate every aliment presented them, do not inquire too nicely into causes; but, giving full scope to their risibility, display a set of features more highly ludicrous than I ever saw in any other print. It is to be regretted that the artist has not given us some clue by which we might have known what was the play which so much delighted his audience: I should conjecture that it was either one of Shakspeare's comedies, or a modern tragedy. Sentimental comedy was not the fashion of that day.

The three sedate musicians in the orchestra, totally[249] engrossed by minims and crotchets, are an admirable contrast to the company in the pit.



"No wonder that science, and learning profound,

In Oxford and Cambridge so greatly abound,

When so many take thither a little each day,

And we see very few who bring any away."


I was once told by a fellow of a college that he would never purchase Hogarth's works, because Hogarth had in this print ridiculed one of the Universities. I endeavoured to defend the artist, by suggesting that this was not intended as a picture of what Oxford is now, but of what it was in days long past: that it was that kind of general satire with which no one should be offended, etc. etc. His reply was too memorable to be forgotten: "Sir, the Theatre, the Bench, the College of Physicians, and the Foot Guards, are fair objects of satire; but those venerable characters who have devoted their whole lives to feeding the lamp of learning with hallowed oil, are too sacred to be the sport of an uneducated painter. Their unremitting industry embraced the whole circle of the sciences, and in their logical disputations they displayed an acuteness that their followers must contemplate with astonishment. The present state of[250] Oxford it is not necessary for me to analyze, as you contend that the satire is not directed against that."

In answer to this observation, which was uttered with becoming gravity, a gentleman present remarked as follows: "For some of the ancient customs of this seminary of learning I have much respect; but as to their dry treatises on logic, immaterial dissertations on materiality, and abstruse investigations of useless subjects, they are mere literary legerdemain. Their disputations being usually built on an undefinable chimera, are solved by a paradox. Instead of exercising their power of reason, they exert their powers of sophistry, and divide and subdivide every subject with such casuistical minuteness, that those who are not convinced are almost invariably confounded. This custom, it must be granted, is not quite so prevalent as it once was: a general spirit of reform is rapidly diffusing itself; and though I have heard cold-blooded declaimers assert that these shades of science are become the retreats of ignorance and the haunts of dissipation, I consider them as the great schools of urbanity, and favourite seats of the belles lettres. By the belles lettres I mean history, biography, and poetry; that all these are universally cultivated, I can exemplify by the manner in which a highly accomplished young man, who is considered as a model by his fellow-collegians, divides his hours.

"At breakfast I found him studying the marvellous [251]and eventful history of Baron Munchausen; a work whose periods are equally free from the long-winded obscurity of Tacitus, and the asthmatic terseness of Sallust. While his hair was dressing, he enlarged his imagination and improved his morals by studying Doctor what's his name's Abridgment of Chesterfield's Principles of Politeness. To furnish himself with biographical information, and add to his stock of useful anecdote, he studied the Lives of the Highwaymen; in which he found many opportunities of exercising his genius and judgment in drawing parallels between the virtues and exploits of these modern worthies, and those dignified and almost deified ancient heroes whose deeds are recorded in Plutarch and Nepos.

"With poetical studies he is furnished by the English operas, which, added to the prologues, epilogues, and odes of the day, afford him higher entertainment than he could find in Homer or Virgil: he has not stored his memory with many epigrams, but of puns has a plentiful stock, and in conundra is a wholesale dealer. At the same college I know a most striking contrast, whose reading"—— But as his opponent would hear no more, my advocate dropped the subject; and I will follow his example.

It seems probable that when the artist engraved this print he had only a general reference to an university lecture; the words datur vacuum were an[252] after-thought. I have seen prints without the inscription, and in some of the early impressions it is written with a pen.

The scene is laid at Oxford, and the person reading, universally admitted to be a Mr. Fisher of Jesus College, registrat of the university, with whose consent this portrait was taken, and who lived until the 18th of March 1761. That he should wish to have such a face handed down to posterity in such company is rather extraordinary; for all the band, except one man, have been steeped in the stream of stupidity. This gentleman has the profile of penetration; a projecting forehead, a Roman nose, thin lips, and a long pointed chin. His eye is bent on vacancy: it is evidently directed to the moon-faced idiot that crowns the pyramid, at whose round head, contrasted by a cornered cap, he with difficulty supresses a laugh. Three fellows on the right hand of this fat, contented "first-born transmitter of a foolish face," have most degraded characters, and are much fitter for the stable than the college. If they ever read, it must be in Bracken's Farriery, or The Country Gentleman's Recreation. Two square-capped students a little beneath the top, one of whom is holding converse with an adjoining profile, and the other lifting up his eyebrows and staring without sight, have the same misfortune that attended our first James—their tongues are rather too large. A figure in the left-hand[253] corner has shut his eyes to think; and having, in his attempt to separate a syllogism, placed the forefinger of his right hand upon his forehead, has fallen asleep. The professor, a little above the book, endeavours by a projection of his under lip to assume importance; such characters are not uncommon: they are more solicitous to look wise than to be so. Of Mr. Fisher it is not necessary to say much: he sat for his portrait for the express purpose of having it inserted in the "Lecture!"—We want no other testimony of his talents. To the whole tribe I bid a long and last adieu.

"Ye dull deluders, truth's destructive foes,

Cold sons of fiction, clad in stupid prose;

Ye treacherous leaders, who, yourselves in doubt,

Light up false fires, and send us far about;

Still may the spider round your pages spin,

Subtle and slow, her emblematic gin!

Buried in dust, and lost in silence dwell,

Most potent, grave, and reverend friends—farewell!"


"O cara, cara! silence all that train;

Joy to great chaos! let division reign."


The oratorio of Judith was written by Esquire William Huggins,[176] honoured by the music of William[254] de Fesch, aided by new painted scenery and magnifique decoration, and in the year 1733 brought upon the stage. As De Fesch[177] was a German and a genius, we may fairly presume it was well set; and there was at that time, as at this, a sort of musical mania, that paid much greater attention to sounds than to sense. Notwithstanding all these points in her favour, [255]when the Jewish heroine had made her theatrical début, and so effectually smote Holofernes,

"As to sever

His head from his great trunk for ever, and for ever,"

the audience compelled her to make her exit. To set aside this partial and unjust decree, Mr. Huggins appealed to the public, and printed[178] his oratorio. Though it was adorned with a frontispiece designed by Hogarth and engraved by Vandergucht, the world could not be compelled to read, and the unhappy writer had no other resource than the consolatory reflection, that his work was superlatively excellent, but unluckily printed in a tasteless age:[179] a comfortable and solacing self-consciousness, which hath, I verily believe, prevented many a great genius from becoming his own executioner.

To paint a sound is impossible; but as far as art can go towards it, Mr. Hogarth has gone in this print. The tenor, treble, and bass of these ear-piercing choristers are so decisively discriminated, that we all but hear them.

The principal figure, whose head, hands, and feet [256]are in equal agitation, has very properly tied on his spectacles; it would have been prudent to have tied on his periwig also, for by the energy of his action he has shaken it from his head, and, absorbed in an eager attention to true time, is totally unconscious of his loss.

A gentleman—pardon me, I meant a singer—in a bag-wig, immediately beneath his uplifted hand, I suspect to be of foreign growth. It has the engaging air of an importation from Italy.

The little figure in the sinister corner is, it seems, intended for a Mr. Tothall, a woollen-draper, who lived in Tavistock Court, and was Hogarth's intimate friend.

The name of the performer on his right hand,

"Whose growling bass

Would drown the clarion of the braying ass,"

I cannot learn; nor do I think that this group were meant for particular portraits, but a general representation of the violent distortions into which these crotchet-mongers draw their features on such solemn occasions.

Even the head of the bass viol has air and character: by the band under the chin, it gives some idea of a professor,[180] or what is I think called a Mus. D.


The words now singing, "The world shall bow to the Assyrian throne," are extracted from Mr. Huggins' oratorio; the etching is in a most masterly style, and was originally given as a subscription-ticket to "The Modern Midnight Conversation."

I have seen a small political print on Sir Robert Walpole's administration, entitled, Excise, a new Ballad Opera, of which this was unquestionably the basis. Beneath it is the following learned and poetical motto:

"Experto crede Roberto."

"Mind how each hireling songster tunes his throat,

And the vile knight beats time to every note:

So Nero sung while Rome was all in flames,

But time shall brand with infamy their names."





"Beareth sable, an urinal proper, between twelve quack heads of the second, and twelve cane heads OR, consultant. On a chief[181] nebulæ,[182] ermine, one complete doctor[183] issuant checkie, sustaining in his right hand a baton of the second. On his dexter and sinister side, two demi-doctors, issuant of the second, and two cane heads issuant of the third: the first having one eye couchant, towards the dexter side of the escutcheon; the second faced per pale proper, and gules guardant, with this motto, 'Et plurima mortis imago.'"

It has been said of the ancients, that they began by attempting to make physic a science, and failed; of the moderns, that they began by attempting to make it a trade, and succeeded. This company are moderns to a man; and if we may judge of their capacities by their countenances, are indeed a most [259]sapient society. Their practice is very extensive, and they go about taking guineas,

"Far as the weekly bills can reach around,

From Kent Street end, to fam'd St. Giles's pound."

Many of them are unquestionably portraits;[184] but as these grave and sage descendants of Galen are long since gone to that place where they before sent their patients, I am unable to ascertain any of them, except the three who are for distinction placed in the chief or most honourable part of the escutcheon. Those whom, from their exalted situation, we may naturally conclude the most distinguished and sagacious leeches of their day, have marks too obtrusive to be mistaken. He towards the dexter side of the escutcheon is determined by an eye in the head of his cane to be the all-accomplished Chevalier Taylor,[185] in whose [260]marvellous and surprising history, written by his own hand, and published in 1761, is recorded such events relative to himself and others[186] as have excited more astonishment than that incomparable romance, Don Belianis of Greece, the Arabian Nights, or Sir John Mandeville his Travels.

The centre figure, arrayed in a harlequin jacket, with a bone, or what the painter denominates a baton, in the right hand, is generally considered designed for Mrs. Mapp, a masculine woman, daughter to one Wallin, a bone-setter at Hindon, in Wiltshire. This female Thalestris, incompatible as it may seem with [261]her sex, adopted her father's profession, travelled about the country, calling herself crazy Sally; and like another Hercules, did wonders by strength of arm! An old gentleman, who knew this lady, assures me, that notwithstanding all the unkind things which her medical brethren said of her ignorance, etc., she was entitled to an equal portion of professional praise with many of those who decried her; for not more than nineteen out of twenty of her patients died under her hands.

The Grub Street Journal, and some other papers of that day, are crowded with paragraphs[189] relative to her cures and her consequence.


On the sinister side is Doctor Ward, generally called Spot Ward, from his left cheek being marked with a claret colour. This gentleman was of a respectable family,[191] and though not highly educated, had talents very superior to either of his coadjutors.


For the chief, this must suffice; as for the twelve quack heads and twelve cane heads OR, consultant, united with the cross-bones at the corners, they have a most mortuary appearance, and do indeed convey a general image of death.

In the time of Lucian, a philosopher was distinguished[264] by three things: his avarice, his impudence, and his beard. In the time of Hogarth, medicine was a mystery,[192] and there were three things which distinguished the physician: his gravity, his cane head, and his periwig. With these leading requisites, this venerable party are most amply gifted. To specify every character is not necessary; but the upper figure on the dexter side, with a wig like a weeping willow, should not be overlooked. His lemon-like aspect must curdle the blood of all his patients. In the countenances of his brethren there is no want of acids; but however sour each individual was in his day—

"A doctor of renown,

To none but such as rust in health unknown,

And save or slay, this privilege they claim,

Or death, or life, the bright reward's the same."[193]


Ward, Taylor, and Mapp were considered as a proper trio by other persons besides Hogarth: some lines beginning as follows, were written about the latter end of 1736:—

"In this bright age three wonder-workers rise,

Whose operations puzzle all the wise;

To lame and blind, by dint of manual slight,

Mapp gives the use of limbs, and Taylor sight.

But greater Ward," etc.



For a further explanation of this difference, see the Preface to Joseph Andrews.[194]


"In Lairesse; still more in Poussin; and most of all in Raphael; simplicity, greatness of conception, tranquillity,[266] superiority, sublimity the most exalted! Raphael can never be enough studied, although he only exercised his mind on the rarest forms, the grandest traits of countenance.

"In Hogarth, alas, how little of the noble, how little of beauteous expression, is to be found in this, I had almost said, false prophet of beauty! But what an immense treasure of features, of meanness in excess, vulgarity the most disgusting, humour the most irresistible, and vice the most unmanly!"—Lavater's Essays on Physiognomy.

In this rhapsody there is some truth; but the philosopher of Zurich should have recollected that Hogarth could not be expected to attain what he never attempted. Sublimity exalted, simplicity angelic, and the ideal grandeur of superior beings, he left to those who delineated subjects which demanded such characters; and contented himself with representing Nature, not as it ought to be, but as he found it. That he had little reverence for the dreams of those who portrayed imaginary beings, I have had occasion to remark; but that he respected their waking thoughts is evinced in this print, where the heads of three figures from Raphael's Cartoons are introduced under [267]the article character, in opposition to the fantastic caricatures of Cavalier Chezze, Annibal Characi,[195] and Leonard da Vinci: the last of whom, I am very sorry to see so classed; for to his anatomical knowledge the late Dr. Hunter gave the strongest testimony, by declaring his intention to publish a volume illustrated by the designs of this artist, as anatomical studies.

I have often seen three engravings from the same picture, by an Italian, an English, and a French artist, which, with a tolerable correctness of outline, have in their general characters a dissimilarity that is astonishing. Each engraver gives his national air. The three heads from Raphael, at the bottom of this print, are etched by Hogarth, and sufficiently marked to determine the master from whence they are copied; but their grandeur, elevation, and simplicity is totally evaporated.

With angels, apostles, and saints, he was not happy. In the group placed above them he has been more successful. Hogarth was less of a mannerist than almost any other artist; for though there are above a hundred profiles, I discover no copy from another painter; no repetition of his own works: they are all delineated from nature, and the most careless observer must discover many resemblances: to the physiognomist, they are an inexhaustible study.


This print was given as a subscription-ticket to the six plates of "Marriage à la Mode."


Executed opposite Mitre Court, Fleet Street, on the 7th of March 1733, for the murder of Mrs. Lydia Duncombe, Elizabeth Harrison, and Anne Price.

"How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?"


The portrait of this sanguinary wretch Mr. Hogarth painted in Newgate; and to Sir James Thornhill, who accompanied him, he made the following observation: "I see by this woman's features that she is capable of any wickedness."

Of his skill in physiognomy I entertain a very high opinion; but as Sarah sat for her picture after condemnation, I suspect his observation to resemble those prophecies which were made after the completion of events they professed to foretell. She has a locked-up mouth, wide nostrils, and a penetrating eye, with a general air that indicates close observation and masculine courage; but I do not discover either depravity or cruelty; though her conduct in this, as well as some other horrible transactions,[196] evinced an [269]uncommon portion of both, and proved her a Lady Macbeth in low life.

Her infatuation in lurking about the Temple after perpetration of the crime for which she suffered, it is difficult to account for upon any other principle than that general remorse and horror which tortures the minds of those who shed a brother's blood; and that overruling Providence, which by means most strange brings their guilt to light and their crimes to punishment;

"For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak

With most miraculous organ."

The circumstances which attended her commitment and execution were briefly as follows:—

At noon, on Sunday the fourth of February 1733, Mrs. Duncombe, a widow lady, upwards of eighty years old (who lived up four pair of stairs, next staircase to the Inner Temple library); Elizabeth Harrison, another elderly person who was her companion; and Anne Price, her servant, about seventeen years of age, were found murdered in their beds. The maid-servant, who was supposed to be murdered first, had her throat cut from ear to ear; but by her cap being off, and her hair much entangled, it was thought she[270] had struggled. The companion, it was supposed, was strangled; though there were two or three wounds in her throat that appeared as if they had been given by a nail. Mrs. Duncombe was probably smothered, and killed last, as she was found lying across the bed with a gown on; though the others were in bed. A trunk in the room was broke open and rifled.

About one o'clock at night, a Mr. Kerrell, who had chambers on the same staircase, came home, and to his great surprise found Sarah Malcolm, who was his laundress, in his room: he asked her how she came to be there at so unseasonable an hour, and if she had heard of any one being taken up for the murder? She replied, "that no person had yet been taken up; but a gentleman who had chambers beneath, and had been absent two or three days, was violently suspected." "Be that as it may," said Mr. Kerrell, "you were Mrs. Duncombe's laundress, and no one who knew her shall ever come into these chambers until her murderer is discovered: pack up your things and go away." While she was thus employed, Kerrell observing a bundle upon the floor, and thinking her behaviour suspicious, called a watchman to whom he gave her in charge. When she was taken away, and he searched his rooms with more care, he found several bundles of linen, and a silver pint tankard, with the handle bloodied. This confirmed his suspicions, and, accompanied by a friend, he went down[271] stairs, and asked the watchman where he had taken Malcolm? This faithful guardian of the night very coolly replied, "that she had promised to come again next day, and he had let her go." Mr. Kerrell declaring that if she was not immediately produced he would commit him to Newgate in her stead, the fellow went in search of her; and though her lodging was in Shoreditch, he found this infatuated woman sitting between two other watchman at the Temple gate. She was then committed to Newgate; and there was found concealed in her hair, eighteen guineas, twenty moidores, five broad pieces, five crown pieces, and a few shillings.[197]

On her examination before Sir Richard Brocas, she confessed to sharing in the produce of the robbery, but declared herself innocent of the murders; asserting upon oath, that Thomas and James Alexander, and Mary Tracy, were principal parties in the whole transaction. Notwithstanding this, the coroner's jury brought in their verdict of wilful murder against Sarah Malcolm only, it not then appearing that any other person was concerned. Her confession they considered as a mere subterfuge, none knowing such people as she pretended were her accomplices.


A few days after, a boy about seventeen years of age was hired as a servant by a person who kept the Red Lion alehouse at Bridewell Bridge; and hearing it said in his master's house that Sarah Malcolm had given in an information against one Thomas and James Alexander, and Mary Tracy, said to his master, "My name is James Alexander, and I have a brother named Thomas, and my mother nursed a woman where Sarah Malcolm lived." Upon this acknowledgment, the master sent to Alstone, turnkey of Newgate; and the boy being confronted with Malcolm, she immediately charged him with being concealed under Mrs. Duncombe's bed, previous to letting in Tracy and his brother, by whom and himself the murders were committed. On this evidence he was detained; and frankly telling where his brother and Tracy were to be found, they also were taken into custody, and brought before Sir Richard Brocas. Here Malcolm persisted in her former asseverations; but the magistrate thought her unworthy of credit, and would have discharged them; but being advised by some persons present to act with more caution, committed them all to Newgate. Their distress was somewhat alleviated by the gentlemen of the Temple Society, who, fully convinced of their innocence, allowed each of them one shilling per diem during the time of their confinement. This ought to be recorded to the honour of the[273] law, as it has not often been the practice of the profession.

Though Malcolm's presence of mind seems to have forsaken her at the time when she lurked about the Temple, without making any attempt to escape, and left the produce of her theft in situations that rendered discovery inevitable, she by the time of trial recovered her recollection, made a most acute and ingenious defence,[198] and cross-examined the witnesses with all the black-robed artifice of a gentleman bred up to the bar. The circumstances were, however, so clear as to leave no doubt in the minds of the court, and the jury brought in their verdict—guilty.

On Wednesday the 7th of March, about ten in the morning, she was taken in a cart from Newgate to the place of execution, facing Mitre Court, Fleet Street,[199] and there suffered death on a gibbet erected for the occasion. She was neatly dressed in a crape mourning gown, white apron, sarcenet hood, and black gloves: carried her head aside with an air of affectation, and was said to be painted. She was [274]attended by Doctor Middleton of St. Bride's, her friend Mr. Peddington, and Guthrie, the ordinary of Newgate. She appeared devout and penitent, and earnestly requested Peddington would print a paper she had given him[200] the night before, which contained, not a confession of the murder, but protestations of her innocence; and a recapitulation of what she had before said relative to the Alexanders, etc. This wretched woman, though only twenty-five years of age, was so lost to all sense of her situation, as to rush into eternity with a lie upon her lips. She much wished to see Mr. Kerrell, and acquitted him of every imputation thrown out at her trial.

After she had conversed some time with the ministers, and the executioner began to do his duty, she fainted away; but recovering, was in a short space afterwards executed. Her corpse was carried to an undertaker's on Snow Hill, where multitudes of people resorted, and gave money to see it: among the rest, a gentleman in deep mourning kissed her, and gave the attendants half-a-crown.

Professor Martin dissected this notorious murderess, and afterwards presented her skeleton, in a glass case, to the Botanic Gardens at Cambridge, where it still remains.


The portrait from which this print was engraved is remarkably well painted, and now in the possession of Mr. Josiah Boydell, at West End. It was probably copied from that which was painted in Newgate, which was in the collection of Mr. Horace Walpole, at Strawberry Hill. It will not appear extraordinary that Hogarth should have delineated her twice, when we consider, that from the print he published there were four copies, besides one in wood, which was engraved for the Gentleman's Magazine.

Thus eager were the public to possess the portrait of this most atrocious woman. All these delineations were what the painters call half-lengths; her whole figure was never engraved, except for this work.


"Why on these shores are we with pride survey'd,

Admir'd as heroes, and as gods obey'd!

Unless great acts superior merit prove,

And vindicate the bounteous powers above;

That when, with wond'ring eyes, our martial bands

Behold our deeds transcending our commands,

Such, they may cry, deserve the sov'reign state,

Whom those that envy dare not imitate?"


Such is the animated apostrophe of Sarpedon in the energetic numbers of Alexander Pope, and it is not more appropriate to Glaucus than to the illustrious character who gives the subject of this print. Had[276] a Greek discovered America, Sculpture would have erected statues and raised altars to his honour; Architecture built temples to perpetuate his fame; and by Poetry he must have been deified.

The new creation of Columbus—for a new creation it may be denominated—absorbed every former discovery, and sunk to insignificance the boasted conquests of Alexander. Previous to this voyage a world of water formed what was deemed an insurmountable barrier between the inhabitants of one planet;—"He spread his canvas wings, and pass'd the mound."

As our own Newton unveiled the celestial globe,[201] and removed that cloud which had before shadowed the face of heaven, Columbus, from the bare inspection of a map of one world, concluded that there must be another. He sailed west, brought together continents that nature had severed, and was the first adventurer in a voyage which, from its consequent enterprises, has added more square miles to the dominions of European powers than the sovereigns by whom he was employed possessed acres.[202] His perseverance [277]must have been equal to his genius; for he had to struggle with the rooted prejudices of his contemporaries,[203] as well as the freezing indifference of those monarchs to whom he tendered his service.

Genoa, which was his native country, treated his scheme as visionary. Our seventh Henry, mean, cold-blooded, and avaricious, would not hazard the loss of that treasure which he adored; and the Emperor had neither gold to fit out a fleet nor harbours to receive shipping. The attention of John the Second[278] of Portugal was engrossed by the coast of Africa, and Charles the Eighth of France was in his minority. The Venetians had maritime power, and maritime spirit; but Columbus was a Genoese, and had too much of the amor patriæ to throw such advantages as he foresaw would accrue to those who prosecuted his plan into the hands of the rivals and enemies of his country. He fixed his hopes on the court of Spain, and his hopes were not disappointed. Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile had by their marriage united all Spain under one dominion: to them he applied; and, with a perseverance that could only be supported by a conscious certainty that his project, if undertaken, must be successful, attended their court eight tedious years! At the end of this time, two merchants, trusting to royal security, and advancing seventeen thousand ducats towards fitting out the vessels, Columbus received his patent; and on the 23d of August 1492 set sail, with three ships only, from the port of Palos in Andalusia.[204]

In less than a month after his departure from the Canaries, he discovered the first island in America;[205] [279]and like our immortal Admiral Drake, found the fair harvest he had hoped to reap in great danger of being blighted by the murmuring and discontent of his crew. To check this mutinous spirit required both resolution and address, and in Columbus they were united. He quieted his companions, and, with true catholic formality, baptized his new discovery St. Salvadore. He soon after made the Lucayan Islands, together with those of Cuba and Hispaniola, now called St. Domingo; and, at the end of nine months, returned with some of the natives, a quantity of gold, and sundry curious productions of the places he had visited,—all of which he laid at the feet of Isabella and Ferdinand.

Their Majesties were neither insensible of his merit nor ungrateful for his services: they suffered him to be seated, and added a privilege heretofore confined to grandees—the honour of being covered in their[280] presence; and crowned their favours by creating him admiral and viceroy of whatever he should add to their dominions.

Columbus having found a new empire, and explored a new world, was now considered as more than mortal. Those who had loudly decried his plan as the chimerical project of a madman, were most eager to patronize the heaven-born navigator, and embark under his command. He a second time set sail, not with three small vessels, but an armament of seventeen ships, manned by a crew who almost adored him, and discovered Jamaica, the Caribbees, and several other islands.

His elevation had been too sudden to be permanent; his talents were too transcendent to be seen without envy. Notwithstanding the services which he had rendered to Spain, the dignities with which he was invested, and the flattering prospects with which he set sail, he was brought home prisoner, by judges who had been sent on board the same vessel as spies upon his conduct; and arrived at the court where he had a short time before been covered with laurels—loaded with chains.

For this mortifying degradation he was indebted to Fonseca, Bishop of Burgos, the intendant of the expedition. Isabella, ashamed of seeing a man to whom she was indebted for the brightest jewel in her crown thus dishonoured, ordered him to be imme[281]diately set at liberty; but it does not appear that either queen or king punished the person by whose machinations he had been so ignominiously treated. Whether his royal protectors feared that he would retain whatever he might acquire, wished personally to scrutinize his actions, or had any other inducement, he was not suffered to leave Spain for upwards of four years. At the expiration of that time he was sent upon another voyage, discovered the continent at six degrees distant from the equator; and saw that part of the coast on which Carthagena has been since built.

After several years' absence he returned to Spain, and in the year 1506 died at Valladolid. By the king's command, he was honoured with a magnificent funeral; and on the marble which covered his remains was the following concise and characteristic epitaph: Columbus gave Castile and Leon a New World.

By the success of his first voyage, doubt had been changed into admiration; from the honours with which he was rewarded, admiration degenerated into envy. To deny that his discovery carried in its train consequences infinitely more important than had resulted from any made since the creation, was impossible. His enemies had recourse to another expedient, and boldly asserted that there was neither wisdom in the plan nor hazard in the enterprise.


When he was once at a Spanish supper, the company took this ground; and being by his narrative furnished with the reflections which had induced him to undertake his voyage, and the course that he had pursued in its completion, sagaciously observed, that "it was impossible for any man a degree above an idiot to have failed of success. The whole process was so obvious, it must have been seen by a man who was half blind! Nothing could be so easy!"

"It is not difficult, now I have pointed out the way," was the answer of Columbus; "but easy as it will appear, when you are possessed of my method, I do not believe that, without such instruction, any person present could place one of these eggs upright on the table." The cloth, knives, and forks were thrown aside, and two of the party, placing their eggs as required, kept them steady with their fingers. One of them swore there could be no other way. "We will try," said the navigator; and giving an egg, which he held in his hand, a smart stroke upon the table, it remained upright.[206] The emotions which this excited in the company are expressed in their countenances. In the be-ruffed booby at his left hand, it raises astonishment; he is a DEAR ME! man, of the same[283] family with Sterne's Simple Traveller, and came from Amiens only yesterday. The fellow behind him, beating his head, curses his own stupidity; and the whiskered ruffian, with his forefinger on the egg, is in his heart cursing Columbus. As to the two veterans on the other side, they have lived too long to be agitated with trifles: he who wears a cap exclaims, "Is this all!" and the other, with a bald head, "By St. Jago, I did not think of that!" In the face of Columbus there is not that violent and excessive triumph which is exhibited by little characters on little occasions: he is too elevated to be overbearing; and, pointing to the conical solution of his problematical conundrum, displays a calm superiority, and silent internal contempt.

Two eels, twisted round the eggs upon the dish, are introduced as specimens of the line of beauty; which is again displayed on the table-cloth, and hinted at on the knife blade. In all these curves there is peculiar propriety; for the etching was given as a receipt-ticket to the Analysis, where this favourite undulating line forms the basis of his system.[207]

In the print of Columbus there is evident reference to the criticisms[208] on what Hogarth called his own [284]discovery; and in truth the connoisseurs' remarks on the painter were dictated by a similar spirit to those of the critics on the navigator: they first asserted there was no such line, and when he had proved that there was, gave the honour of discovery to Lomazzo, Michael Angelo, etc. etc.



Advertisement (inserted under the Print).

"In about seventeen years[210] will be completed, in six volumes folio, price fifteen guineas, The Exact [285]Measurements of the Periwigs of the Ancients; taken from the Statues, Bustos, and Basso Relievos of Athens, Palmyra, Balbec, and Rome; by Modesto, Periwig-meter, from Lagado. N.B.—None will be sold but to Subscribers.—Published as the Act directs, Oct. 15, 1761, by W. Hogarth."

Previous to this print being published, Mr. Stuart, generally denominated Athenian Stuart, advertised that he intended to publish by subscription a book, entitled The Antiquities of Athens, measured and delineated by himself and Nicholas Revitt, painters and architects.[211] The first volume of this excellent work was published in 1762; it received, and we may add it deserved, approbation from every man who had taste enough to relish those stupendous monuments of ancient art, which the barbarians who now possess the country either destroy or suffer to moulder into dust. "To leave a trace behind" was the object of Stuart's book; but Hogarth had so long accustomed himself to laugh at the grand gusto of the Grecian school, that I can readily suppose he at length thought any plan which might damp the public ardour for antiquity would be a correction of national taste.[212] With this view he published the [286]print now under consideration; and if ridicule were a test of truth, it must have effected his purpose. Minute accuracy is the leading feature of Stuart's book; minute accuracy is the leading point in Hogarth's satire.

Under the shadowy umbrage of his remarkable wigs he has introduced several remarkable characters.

Two profiles in the upper row, under the title "Episcopal," or "Parsonic," are said to be intended for Doctor Warburton, late Bishop of Gloucester, and Doctor Samuel Squire, then Bishop of St. David's.

The next row is inscribed "Old Peerian," or "Aldermanic;" the first face, in every sense full, is said to be meant for Lord Melcombe; but considering the class he is placed in, may as well represent some sagacious alderman of the day. At the opposite end of the same line is that remarkable winged periwig, worn by Sir Samuel Fludyer, Lord Mayor of London, at the coronation.

A row beneath is made up of the "Lexonic," and under it is the "Composite," or half-natural, and the "Queerinthian," or Queue de Renard. Even with them is a barber's block, crowned with a pair of compasses, and marked "Athenian measure." This I believe was intended as a caricature of Mr. Stuart, and considered as such is an overcharged resemblance.[287] Above the block is a table of references, and facing it a scale, divided into nodules, or noddles; nasos, or noses; and minutes. To enter fully into the spirit of this whimsical print, the spectator must be acquainted with the terms of architecture.

At the bottom is a portrait of her Majesty, distinguished by the simplicity of her head-dress, and five right honourable ladies, whose different ranks are pointed out by their coronets, and who all wear the tryglyph membretta drop, or neck-lock. Those who knew their persons will find no difficulty in ascertaining their respective titles. The bed-chamber ladies in 1761 were—Duchess of Ancaster, Duchess of Hamilton, Countess of Effingham, Countess of Northumberland, Viscountess Weymouth, Viscountess Bolingbroke.[213] About the centre of the print is the following inscription:—

"Lest the beauty of these capitals should chiefly[288] depend as usual on the delicacy of the engraving, the author hath etched them with his own hand."

They are etched with spirit, and in spelling—incorrect as can be desired by Mr. Hogarth's greatest enemy. The word Advertisement is, in latter impressions, corrected by an e being inserted on the Countess of Northumberland's left shoulder.





"There are hardly any two things more essentially different than character and caricature; nevertheless they are usually confounded and mistaken for each other, on which account this explanation is attempted.

"It has ever been allowed, that when a character is strongly marked in the living face, it may be considered as an index of the mind, to express which with any degree of justness in painting, requires the utmost efforts of a great master. Now, that which has of late years got the name of caricature, is, or ought to be, totally divested of every stroke that hath[290] a tendency to good drawing; it may be said to be a species of lines that are produced rather by the hand of chance than of skill: for the early scrawlings of a child, which do but barely hint an idea of a human face, will always be found to be like some person or other, and will often form such a comical resemblance, as in all probability the most eminent caricatures of these times will not be able to equal with design; because their ideas of objects are so much the more perfect than children's, that they will unavoidably introduce some kind of drawing: for all the humorous effects of the fashionable manner of caricaturing chiefly depend on the surprise we are under at finding ourselves caught with any sort of similitude in objects absolutely remote in their kind. Let it be observed, the more remote in their nature, the greater is the excellence of these pieces. As a proof of this, I remember a famous caricature of a certain Italian singer, that struck at first sight, which consisted only of a straight perpendicular line, with a dot over it. As to the French word outré, it is different from the foregoing, and signifies nothing more than the exaggerated outline of a figure, all the parts of which may be in other respects a perfect and true picture of human nature. A giant or a dwarf may be called a common man outré; so any part, as a nose, or leg, made bigger or less than it ought to be, is that part outré, which is all that is to be understood by this [291]word, injudiciously used to the prejudice of character."—See Excess, Analysis of Beauty, chap. 6.

The unfinished group of heads in the upper part of this print was added by the author in October 1764, and was intended as a further illustration of what is here said concerning character, caricature, and outré. He worked upon it the day before his death, which happened the 26th of that month.

The system which Mr. Hogarth has laboured to establish in the above inscription, and which I think the genuine system, he has not illustrated with his usual felicity in the print to which it is annexed.

It was published in 1758, and in its first state exhibited a view of the Court of Common Pleas, and portraits of the four sages who then sat on that Bench.[214] Lord Chief-Justice Sir John Willes is the principal figure; on his right hand is Sir Edward Clive, and on his left Mr. Justice Bathurst, and the Honourable William Noel.

In this state the print gave character only; for though the robes of my Lord Chief-Justice may have a shade of the outré, they in no degree approach to that caricature which the unfinished group added to the plate in 1764 was intended to display. Had the artist lived to finish them, they might have given weight to his assertions, but in their present state do not much illuminate his doctrine.


The picture, from which each of the prints considerably vary, was originally the property of Sir George Hay, and is now in the possession of Mr. Edwards.


"The charge is prepar'd; the lawyers are met;

The judges all rang'd (a terrible show!)

I go undismayed,—for death is a debt,

A debt on demand,—so take what I owe.

Then farewell, my love,—dear charmers, adieu;

Contented I die,—'tis the better for you.

Here ends all dispute the rest of our lives,

For this way at once I please all my wives."


From the third act of this very instructive and popular opera, Mr. Hogarth has selected the subject of this print. The scene is laid in Newgate, and the point of time seems to be about the fifty-third air, which is sung by the elegant and accomplished


"Which way shall I turn me? how shall I decide?

Wives, the day of our death, are as fond as a bride.

One wife is too much for most husbands to hear;

But two at a time, there's no mortal can bear.

This way, and that way, and which way I will,

What would comfort the one, t'other wife would take ill.


"But if his own misfortunes have made him insensible to mine,—a father, sure, will be more compassionate. Dear, dear sir, sink the [293]material evidence, and bring him off at his trial,—Polly upon her knees begs it of you.

"When my hero in court appears,

And stands arraign'd for his life,

Then think of poor Polly's tears,

For ah! poor Polly's his wife.

Like the sailor he holds up his hand,

Distress'd on the dashing wave;

To die a dry death at land

Is as bad as a wat'ry grave.

And alas, poor Polly!

Alack, and well-a-day!

Before I was in love,

Oh! every month was May.


"If Peachum's heart is hardened, sure you, sir, will have more compassion on a daughter: I know the evidence is in your power. How then can you be a tyrant to me?

"When he holds up his hand, arraign'd for his life,

O think of your daughter, and think I'm his wife!

What are cannons, or bombs, or clashing of swords?

For death is more certain by witnesses' words.

Then nail up their lips: that dread thunder allay;

And each month of my life will hereafter be May."

For more of Mr. Gay's moral dialogue I have not room.

In the year 1727, it was performed sixty-three nights successively, and in the year 1791 retains its primitive attractions, and is become what the Drury Lane diary styles a stock play.

That it is countenanced by the public is an apology for the managers:

"For they who live to please, must please to live;"


but that it should have the sanction of the Chamberlain is astonishing.[215]

We are told in Mr. Boswell's Johnson, that when Gay showed this opera to his patron, the late worthy Duke of Queensberry, his Grace's observation was, "This is a very odd thing, Gay; it is either a very good thing, or a very bad thing." It proved the former, beyond the warmest expectations of the author or his friends; though Quin, whose knowledge of the public taste cannot be questioned, was so doubtful of its success, that he refused to play the part of Macheath, which was therefore given to Walker. In the same volumes I learn that Dr. Johnson did not apprehend that the performance of this opera had the pernicious influence which is ascribed to it.[216] For the Doctor's talents and virtues I have a reverence bordering upon idolatry: in questions of morality he can [295]seldom be contradicted, and without the strongest conviction that in this point he is wrong, I should tremble to dissent from his opinion; but my deductions are drawn from examples that to me are conclusive. With three instances that I had an accidental opportunity of seeing, I was very forcibly impressed. Two boys, under nineteen years of age, children of worthy and respectable parents, fled from their friends, and pursued courses that threatened an ignominious termination to their lives. After much search they were found engaged in midnight depredations, and in each of their pockets was the Beggars' Opera.

A boy of seventeen, some years since tried at the Old Bailey for what there was every reason to think his first offence, acknowledged himself so delighted with the spirited and heroic character of Macheath, that on quitting the theatre he laid out his last guinea in the purchase of a pair of pistols, and stopped a gentleman on the highway.[217]


The accumulation of similiar facts is not necessary. Those who think that lively dialogue, and natural though vulgar repartee, can atone for what gives new attractions to vice, will, I suppose, continue to sanction this performance by attending the representation. If anything could balance the baneful influence it is calculated to disseminate, Gay must be allowed the praise of having attempted to stem Italia's liquid stream, which at that time meandered through every alley, street, and square in the metropolis; the honour of having almost silenced the effeminate song of that absurd exotic, Italian opera, which a little previous to this time was the grand pursuit of the fashionable world. For to the dishonour of true taste, to the disgrace of common sense, the discords and jarrings of Cuzzoni, Faustina, and Senesino, excited as much attention, and were entered into with as much party zeal, as were the political contests between Lord Chatham and Sir Robert Walpole, or those still more recent, between Mr. Charles Fox and Mr. William Pitt.[218]

The method Gay took to rout this army of unnatural auxiliaries does great honour to his generalship. A new disorder had been imported from the Continent, and like the plague which was wont to be[297] imported from Turkey, infected our capital. To lay an embargo upon sound was impossible; to make an echo perform quarantine, ridiculous!—he took a better mode, drew up song against sing-song, and to the soft sonnetteering stanza of Italy, opposed the nervous old ballad of Britain. He brought into the field the whole force of three kingdoms, and took his tunes from the most popular songs of the ancient bards of England, Scotland, and Wales. Britons strike home was the word; Chevy Chase led the van, was followed by a Soldier and a Sailor singing All Joy to great Cæsar, and chorussed by Shenkin of a Noble Race; when An old Woman clothed in Gray, with a Bonny Broom in her hand, swept the whole swarm of buzzing caterpillars Over the Hills and far away. Goldoni's opera, i Viaggiatori Ridicoli tornati in Italia,[219] was in a degree realized.[220]

For Italian music, William Hogarth had about as [298]much respect as John Gay, and was therefore so well pleased with a subject which threw it into ridicule, that he not only painted it three times, but has in several of his miscellaneous prints made these senseless sounds one great object of his satire.

The picture from which this is copied was painted in the year 1729, for Mr. Rich of Covent Garden Theatre; at the sale of his effects in 1762, it was purchased by the late Duke of Leeds,[221] and is at this time (1806) in the collection of the noble peer who now bears that title. When the late Duke permitted Messrs. Boydell to copy it, the print was engraved by Mr. Blake. To these volumes is annexed an outline descriptive of the characters, which it is therefore unnecessary to enumerate in this page.[222] They afford a good example of the dresses, and what was then called the dignified manner, of the old school. That any woman should admire such a figure as Mr. Walker in Macheath, must excite a degree of astonishment; but to believe for a moment that so attractive a female as [299]Miss Fenton would choose such an Adonis,[223] must, even in the year 1727, require a very large portion of dramatic faith. Her charms have fascinated the Duke of Bolton: his eye is fixed on her face, and his mind wholly engrossed by the contemplation of that beauty which he afterwards made his own. Mr. Rich, and Mr. Cock the auctioneer, are properly enough represented as totally inattentive to the scene. The poet immediately behind them, saturated by public approbation, pays no greater regard to the performance than is displayed by the manager. It had made Gay rich, and Rich gay, and that was sufficient.

As Hogarth was invariably faithful in delineating what he saw, I dare believe the characters are represented as they were. Considered in that point, without regard to other merit, it has quite as much value as many groups of portraits which are published in this our day, and denominated "Historical Pictures."

In the beginning of the year 1729, Hogarth painted for a Sir Archibald Grant two original pictures, "The Committee,"[224] and the "Beggars' Opera;" but though Sir Archibald paid half-price for them at the time he [300]gave the order, I cannot positively assert that they were ever in his possession, for they afterwards got into the hands of Mr. Huggins, at the sale of whose effects the latter was purchased by Doctor Monkhouse, of Queen's College, Oxford. It has a frame with a carved bust of Gay at the top. The late Horace Lord Orford had a sketch of a scene in the same play.



As performed at Mr. Conduit's, Master of the Mint, before the Duke of Cumberland, etc.



Act. IV.Scene 4th.—A Prison.


"More cruel than the tiger o'er his spoil,

And falser than the weeping crocodile;

Can you add vanity to guilt, and take

A pride to hear the conquests which you make?

Go; publish your renown, let it be said

You have a woman, and that lov'd betray'd."


"With what injustice is my faith accused!

Life! freedom! empire! I at once refus'd;

And would again ten thousand times for you."



"She'll have too great content to find him true;

And therefore since his love is not for me,

I'll help to make my rival's misery.

Spaniard, I never thought you false before;

Can you at once two mistresses adore?

Keep the poor soul no longer in suspense,

Your change is such, it does not need defence."

The scene of Hogarth's last drama was Newgate; and in this it is a Mexican prison, where his pigmy personages are playing their little parts in one of Dryden's heroic tragedies.

That these minor performers should prefer rhyme to prose, I can readily conceive—the jingling of verse is a great help to your short memory; but that Dryden, "the great high priest of all the Nine," should so far deviate from nature and outrage common sense as thus to fetter his dramatic dialogue, is to be accounted for on no other principle than the vile taste of Charles the Second's vile Court. The play is dedicated to the most excellent and most illustrious Princess Anne, Duchess of Monmouth and Buccleuch, wife to the most illustrious and high-born James Duke of Monmouth; and by that dedication[225][302] appears to have been warmly patronized by the most eminent persons of wit and honour.

It is a sequel to the Indian Queen, written by Dryden and Sir Robert Howard, which was published two years before. Of this connection between the two tragedies, notice was given to the audience by printed bills distributed at the door,[226]—an expedient[303] which the Duke of Buckingham very happily ridicules in The Rehearsal, when Bayes boasts of the number of bills he has printed, to instil into the audience some conception of his plot. By the age of the warlike William of Cumberland, I conjecture that these embryotic heroes and heroines strutted away their little hour about the year 1731; and though the play which they are enacting is beneath the blazing genius of John Dryden, it is well worthy the puny powers of these puny performers.[227] Lady Sophia Fermor,[304] who plays the part of Almeria, in 1744 married Lord Granville, and died in 1750. The prompter was a Mr. T. Hill; and though this reverend gentleman is in rather too conspicuous a situation, he is not quite so obtrusive an object as the prompter at the Opera House. The governess playing with one of the children was Lady Deloraine. Miss Conduit, who appears as Alibeck, was daughter to Catherine, the niece of Sir Isaac Newton, and in 1740 married Lord Lymington, eldest son to John first Earl of Portsmouth.

The names and additions of three of the auditors are[305] inserted under the small print. One of the figures has a resemblance to the courtly Lord Chesterfield. Upon the chimney-piece is the bust of Sir Isaac Newton, and it is fair to conjecture that the two framed portraits represent Mr. and Mrs. Conduit.

The figure leaning on the back of a chair is said to be intended for the Duke of Montagu; and the two in the background, for the Duke and Duchess of Richmond.

Hogarth's original painting is the property of Lord Holland.



The writer of this catalogue is now come to his last chapter, and has before him the last plate that Hogarth engraved, which is properly denominated the Finis to that great painter's works.

Of the various opinions which the numerous readers of these his volumes will form at this his conclusion, he can have no certain judgment; but fears that some of them may be thus anticipated.

The votary of comedy, who considers Hogarth as a mere burlesque painter, with whom he only wishes to laugh, will deem this book too grave; while the saturnine spirit, that looks at him as a mere sermonic moralist, will say it is not grave enough. The man who supposes that every character was individual, and expects the scandalous chronicle of those who were satirized by the artist, will probably complain that there is too little anecdote; while he that considers this as a frivolous, gossiping, and anecdotish age, will say there is too much.

Some will observe that these volumes are too long, and in the style of a tired mariner, exult that they see[307] land. In this their exultation the writer most sincerely participates, but at the same time acknowledges (so predominant is vanity) that he trusts there are who would not regret if the work were still longer, who will correct what they find erroneous without triumphing in their superior sagacity, and candidly forgive the writer's weakness without too much glorying in their own strength.

From the pedantic and quizzical connoisseur I expect no mercy, but suppose that the book and the writer will be arraigned and condemned in manner and form following:—

"I took up these volumes with the expectation of seeing all the characters that Hogarth introduced determined, and all his variations recorded. With respect to the characters, some are mistaken, and others are omitted; and as to the variations, few are noticed.[228] Concerning a multitude of invaluable prints, which have singly produced three times as much as the volume of his prints in their present state sells for, there is not even a catalogue; there are many pages of extraneous matter, which I had not patience to read; every iota of Hogarth I understood without the assistance of this book."


With all possible humility the author declareth, that for your use or benefit he did not compile it.

"Laugh where you may, be candid where you can."

That you may know some of the characters of which the writer is ignorant, he willingly acknowledges; that you may guess at many, where he sees no ground for conjecture, he cheerfully admits; and that both you and himself are very frequently mistaken, he firmly believes.

The prints are described as they are copied from the present state of the plates, and the material alterations incidentally noticed. However great the merit of the tankards and teapots, the waiters and coats of arms, to reduce them did not come into the present plan; to commemorate them was unnecessary.[229] The author of these volumes, from the day he has written man, inspected the works of Hogarth [309]with delight, but was not fully conscious of their superlative merit until the compilation of these remarks,[310] in the progress of which his duty to the public obliged him to examine their design, and endeavour[311] to illustrate their tendency. In this he has engaged with the consciousness that there would be error,—which to such a work is necessarily attached.

To those readers who are not too fastidious to peruse it with this allowance, or who have not hitherto looked at Hogarth with the attention he merits, it is addressed. If it impels them to more minute inspection of his works, the purpose is answered.

Yes, great and unrivalled genius! every contemplation of thy works must be succeeded by admiration!


Inscribed to the dealers in dark pictures.


In five compartments beneath the title are the following inscriptions:—

In the dexter corner is a pyramidical shell inscribed: "The conic form in which the Goddess of Beauty was worshipped by the ancients at Paphos in the Island of Cyprus. See the medal struck when a Roman emperor visited the temple."

"Simulacrum Deæ non effigie humana, continuus orbis latiori initio tenuem in ambitum meta modo, exsurgens et ratio in obscuro."—Tacit. Hist. lib. 2.


In the sinister corner is a white pyramid, round which is twisted the favourite serpentine line inscribed:—

"A copy of the precise line of Beauty, as it is represented on the first explanatory plate of the 'Analysis of Beauty.'"

"Venus a Paphiis colitur, cujus simulacrum nulli rei magis assimile, quam albæ Pyramidi."—Maximus Tyrius, Ann. 157.

"Note.—The similarity of these two conic figures did not occur to the author till two or three years after the publication of the Analysis in 1754."

Thus conclude the inscriptions. We will next inquire into the motives by which the artist was actuated, and the subjects he has intended to satirize in this his concluding enigmatical and pun-ical print.

The labours of this great painter to the passions are now at an end; and this is the last page of his eventful and instructive histories. Those which he had formed into a series, added to the single prints, portraits, etc., had become so numerous as to form a large volume. A concluding plate seemed necessary; and we are told that, a few months before he was seized with that malady which deprived society [313]of one of its greatest ornaments, he had in contemplation a last engraving. After a dinner with a few social friends at his own table, enjoying

"The feast of reason, and the flow of soul,"

the board crowned with wine, and each glass circulating convivial cheerfulness, he was asked, "What will be the subject of your next print?" "The end of all things!" was his reply. "If that should be the case," added one of his friends, "your business will be finished, for there will be an end of the painter." With a look that conveyed a consciousness of approaching dissolution, and a deep sigh, he answered, "There will so; and therefore, the sooner my work is done the better." With this impulse he next day began this plate, and seeming to consider it as a terminus to his fame, never turned to the right or left until he arrived at the end of his journey.

The aim of this Omega to his own alphabet was twofold; to bring together every object which denoted the end of time, and throw a ridicule upon the bathos and profundity of the ancient masters.

That the bathos is not confined to the poet, but hath at sundry times and in divers manners been of sovereign use to the painter, I am well convinced. My opinion was originally formed upon the inspection of many ancient and modern pictures, innumerable volumes of ancient and modern prints, and an annual[314] attendance at the Royal Exhibition: it was confirmed by the perusal of some papers on the arts, which came into my possession by one of those fortunate accidents that happen to few men above once in their lives. Walking some years ago through Harp Alley, I observed a porter carrying an old trunk without a cover, in which was a little picture in a broad and deep ebony frame, a few mutilated pamphlets, a parcel of prints, and an old manuscript volume bound in vellum. He laid down his load at a broker's shop; I inspected it, and seeing the book inscribed "Mart. Scrib.," purchased the whole lot, took a hackney coach, and joyfully conveyed my prize home. Eagerly inspecting the contents, I found the picture was Dutch, and turned to a tint sombre as the frame: by the help of clear water I brought out the colours, and—

"Oh! Jephtha, judge of Israel,—what a treasure!"

To have painted it, must have been the labour of a long life. Such a green stall!—such a cabbage!—a cauliflower!—a string of Spanish onions!—a bunch of carrots!—a lobster!—a brass kettle!—and a sunflower!—I never beheld before. So clear! transparent! vivid!—It was forcible as Rembrandt! brilliant as Rubens!—and for finishing—the most accurate works of Denner!—the most delicate pencilling of the Chevalier Vanderweff!—compared with this charming tableau, would appear hasty sketches.


The pamphlets were German, and touched of the transmutation of metals; to discover which, who can calculate the loads of charcoal that have been burnt, the retorts that have been burst, or the heads that have been turned? That this grand arcanum of nature will at some future day be revealed, I have no doubt; and there is little reason to fear but the benefit of the discovery will be reaped by this island;—because, Britain is highly favoured by the gods; and several great calculators have clearly proved, that without some such miraculous assistance, Britain must be undone by her enormous national debt.

The prints were Flemish; but these subjects are foreign to my manuscript. First craving pardon for the digression, to that I proceed.

By time[232] it was turned to the colour of old parchment, but that it was written by the righte cunnynge hand of Martinus Scriblerus there can be little doubt.

When he sent some literary memoranda to Arbuthnot,[233] he recommended to the Doctor "the recovery of others which lay straggling about the world."[234]

Let it be also remembered, that though this prodigy [316]of science presented to our English Cervantes numerous tracts, he might not think the Doctor would have a proper value for those on painting. That Martinus was a competent judge of the fine arts, is proved by his fifth chapter on Sinking in Poetry. Now as the family of the Scribleri, with all their alliances and collateral relations, have time immemorial been distinguished for the cacoëthes scribendi of whatever he was a judge, certes he would write, and that which he hath written I have happily preserved. A few extracts[235] which I have inserted will give a general idea of the whole, which is entitled, The Art of Sinking in Painting; and is thus introduced in the Prolegomena:—

"Great and manifold have been the benefits (my dear countryman) which poesy hath derived from that innumerable army of critics and commentators, who fabricated fences to keep her in bounds, and bore blazing torches to irradiate her path. Lamentable is it to consider how few lights have been held out to her sister art; who, notwithstanding an equal or prior claim, hath been suffered to wander through her dreary night with no other illumination than the glow-worm on the bank, or the ignis fatuus in the ditches. For the use and service of the poet there is[317] an ocean of commentary; while the painter hath no other stream in which to slake his thirst for instruction than that which creeps among the weeds in the meadow, or gurgles over the pebbles in the valley.

"From intense application to the mysterious tablets of my great ancestors, for ages professors of astrology and chemistry in the universities of Germany, I am empowered to see by anticipation.

"For me it is decreed to strike the rock of nature with the rod of science, and liberate the fountain of truth, whose waters shall fertilize this ungenial isle. Ye whose well-poised pinions enable you to soar above this our terrestrial globe, and dip your pencils in the rainbow! come and contemplate the magic mirror of Martinus Scriblerus.

"Conscious am I that this our divine muse, who hath not unaptly been styled journeywoman to Nature, is now in a profound sleep; but in the coming century she shall awake from her trance, shake the dust from her many-coloured mantle, and dazzle the surrounding nations. Blest with the power of penetrating the cloud of time, which is impervious to vulgar sight, I see, as in a vision, the wonders of another age; and should these my lucubrations be neglected by my contemporaries, happy am I in the confidence that by their posterity they will be properly estimated, and sought for as were the Sibyl's leaves, regarded as the oracles of Apollo, and con[318]sidered as the touchstone of true taste. To the age of whom they are worthy, and who are worthy of them, I dedicate these my labours.

"The few who have written upon the fine arts have endeavoured to inculcate simplicity of action, anatomical correctness, symmetry of parts, harmony of colouring, easy folding of drapery, and due attention to the grouping of figures. These rules can only be classed among the idle dreams of visionary speculation; resign yourselves unto my guidance, and listen unto the lessons of truth.

"In every animal there is an original instinct, tending towards that for which it was by nature designed. In man, there is a natural bias to the bathos; but he must be instructed, or rather compelled into any relish or taste for what is denominated the sublime.

"To prove this my position, show a collection of drawings or paintings to a child: it will be irresistibly attracted by glittering colours, forced expressions, and grotesque, or what are commonly called caricatured countenances. Let the savage, who is not vitiated by idle rules, and has never seen painted canvas, be taken into a picture-gallery,—his natural taste will lead him to similar objects. What the artists call a quiet picture, he will quietly pass; but let the figures be crowded, the attitudes extravagant, and the colours gaudy,—his attention and admiration are ensured.


"These facts being admitted, and they cannot be denied, why should we not take the genuine undebauched disposition of man in his original state of simplicity, as a better criterion of truth than that ideal nature which hath misled many painters and writers; of whose fantastic dogmas I cannot too strongly caution you to beware. Should you, in the course of your early studies, have contracted any of this ancient ærugo,—it is corrosive,—consider it as the dross of science, and scatter it in the air, for with my precepts it cannot coalesce. Ideal beauty is a childish absurdity. Painting is, or ought to be, an imitation of nature; and that can never be a good picture which representeth things that never did or can exist."

After many more pages to the same purport, this great philosopher divideth his subject. The table of contents to a few of his chapters, which will give a general idea of his plan, is hereunto annexed:—

"Chap. 1.Of the Story.

"The principal character in your piece should be an illustrious person; but as great men may sometimes, for their recreation and diversion, or worse purposes, be taken up in mean and trivial matters, in such situations, it is proved from many right worthy examples, they may and ought to be delineated. The Emperor Domitian should be represented killing[320] flies; Nero, playing upon the fiddle; Julius Cæsar, kicking a football; and Commodus, at a bull-baiting.

"Chap. 2.Relateth unto the Allegory.

"To raise an historical picture above vulgar expression, it should be seasoned with allegory, and elevated with metaphorical allusions and figures.

"Chap. 3.Of the Time.

"In this there should be variety; and if your story have not a sufficient number of great and famous persons to render it important and interesting, you may embellish it with such portraitures as suit your purpose. Their not having lived in the same age or nation is of little import.

"Chap. 4.Of the Machinery.

"The machinery, id est, the celestial and infernal powers, must be brought into your picture on every great or difficult occasion. This will not only give your delineation a classical and learned air, but account for any wonderful action which the world might think your hero could not perform without supernatural assistance.

"Chap. 5.Treateth of the Episode.

"To vary the pleasure of the spectator, an historical picture should be diversified with an episode; especial[321] care being taken that it have no congruity with the main subject; for the name deriveth from that which is superadded to the original plan, and ought no more to appear a part of it than an insect appeareth as a part of the animal unto which it adhereth.

"Chap. 6.Describeth the nature and end of the Hyperbola, or Impossible.

"This image is of eminent use in giving a cast of grandeur and greatness to what would, without it, appear trivial and mean. It excites astonishment; and the majority of mankind being most delighted with that which is most marvellous, is a good and sufficient cause for your works being well strewed with wonders."

For the contents of eighteen succeeding chapters, treating of the cumbrous, the inflated, the glittering, the infantine, the pun-ical, the vulgar, and sundry other styles, I have not room, but quitting the bathos of Martinus Scriblerus, must proceed unto that of William Hogarth.

It is well worthy of the title, for a more heterogeneous compound of ludicrous and serious objects was never displayed in one print.

Some of his images the artist has gleaned from the common field of the poor company of punsters, and for others hath soared into the lofty regions of mythological allegory. He ascends from an inch of candle[322] setting fire to a print, to the chariot of the sun, which, with Apollo Pæan and his three fiery coursers, sinks into endless night. Mounts from the cobbler's end, twisted round a wooden last, to the world's end, elegantly exemplified by a bursting globe on an alehouse sign. He has contrasted the worn-out brush with the broken crown; and opposed to the empty purse a commission of bankrupt, which, sanctioned with the great seal of a hero upon a white horse, is issued and awarded against Nature,—by Heaven knows who! He has joined the huge cracked bell of the cathedral to the broken bottle of the tavern; and set in opposition to the mutilated column and capital of Ionia, the rope's end of a man-of-war. The bow which, drawn by the old English archer, gave force fraught with death to the barbed arrow, is unstrung and broken. The mutilated firelock, divested of its tube, shall no more thin the ranks of contending armies. The tottering tower, funeral yew, death's head, cross-bones, and "Hic jacet" of a country churchyard, are opposed by the hard-worn besom, blighted oaks, falling sign-post, and unthatched cottage. In what painters call the sky, we have not only the son of Latona, but Luna in a veil: in the distance a ship is sinking into the bed of the ocean, and a gibbet is erected on the shore; to this, in conformity with the wise institutions of our polished ancestors, and for the luxury of those strong-beaked birds that[323] feast their young with blood,—a lord of the creation is suspended.[236] Once,—

"On our quick'st decrees

The inaudible and noiseless foot of Time

Stole, ere we could effect them."

Now,—his scythe, tube, and hour-glass being broken, his progress is ended! his sinews are unstrung! his hour of dissolution arrived!—and with those five capital letters that have concluded the labours of so many learned authors, and which conjoined form the word FINIS,—

"He ends his mortal coil, and breathes his last!"

By his will,—The great globe itself, and all which it inherits, is bequeathed to Chaos,—appointed sole executor;—and this, his last act, is witnessed by the Parcæ.

The print of "The Times," that gave rise to so much unmerited abuse of this wonderful painter and excellent man, is in a blaze. The palette on which he spread the varying tints of many-coloured life—broken;—the whip of satire, armed with which he

"Dar'd the rage

Of the bad men of this degenerate age,"


and scourged those that were safe from the law, and laughed at the gospel;—the whip of satire—divested of its lash, lies unheeded on the earth.

The book of Nature, in which he was so deeply read, and from whence he drew all his images, is open at the last page. The characters that compose his pictured tragi-comedies have passed in review before us, and with the words engraven on the last leaf of that volume which he so well studied, I will conclude this—

Exeunt Omnes.

Hogarth's Crest.


[1] From some late examples in our courts of justice, I have thought it barely possible that this dignified descendant of crowned heads, at the same time that he is admiring his own person, may be observing the Counsellor's attention to his lady, and hoping that he shall find some future opportunity of detecting her infidelity and obtaining a divorce. But this is merely conjecture. I wish, for the honour of human nature, that there had been no example to justify such a suspicion.

[2] The following whimsical imitation of Chaucer was written, I believe, by Hermes Harris:—

"Right welle my lerned clerkis it is said,

That womanhoode for manne his use was made;

But naughtie manne liketh not one, or soe,

But wisheth aye unthriftilie for mo;

And when by holie church to one he's tied,

Then for his soule he cannot her abide.

Thus when a dogge first lighteth on a bone,

His taile he waggeth,—gladde thereof y-growne;

But if thilke bone untoe his taile thou tie,

Pardie, he fearing it, away doth flie."

[3] Hogarth might intend by this, and the improprieties and violations of order in the unfinished building seen out of a window, to hint at the absurdities of the then fashionable architect, William Kent. As a painter Kent was beneath satire, as an architect he was above it; but he was protected by Lord Burlington, patronized by Lord Pembroke, and employed by all who aspired to a character for virtu. Hogarth saw with disgust bordering upon indignation that his taste in one art, modern gardening (of which he was the acknowledged father), procured him the reputation of excellence in another, in which he was grossly ignorant and glaringly erroneous. In some of the grounds laid out by Kent's directions, he realized that Paradise which Milton had described; his patrons saw that he could improve nature in their plantations, and very kindly gave him credit for a power which he never possessed—that of giving an imitation of nature on his canvas. By the Dryades his sacrifice had been accepted; but the offering he laid upon the altar sacred to the fine arts was rejected with disdain. It was the praise of Hercules that he destroyed monsters and discomfited giants; it was the praise of William Kent that he cleared our gardens of their representatives. Before his time the plantations round the seats of our nobility were a kind of vernal menagerie: the lion shook his shaggy mane in yew; the dragon waved his wings in evergreen; and in box, the wild boar displayed his bristled neck and tusks terrific. Our disciple of true taste cleared away these fantastic forms, and in their place gave us nature,—"nature to advantage dressed." But when consulted about interior decorations, his taste evaporated. The heavy canopy over the nobleman's head, the ponderous chairs and massy frames which decorate the room, are from his designs. In some of the old houses of our ancient nobility we see furniture of a similar appearance, though the greatest part of it, after passing through the purgatory of a broker's shop, has either been placed in very inferior situations or consigned to the flames.

Of Kent's abilities as a painter the public thought so highly, that he was absurdly enough opposed to Sir James Thornhill. This circumstance might be one source of Hogarth's dislike; he, however, took an early opportunity of showing it, by what is called a "Burlesque of Kent's Altarpiece at St. Clement's Church," but which Hogarth declared to be a fair delineation of the original. A reduced copy is in vol. iii. of this work; see p. 17 of the 2d edition.

[4] Some of the portraits of Louis XIV. are quite as absurd. We are told that he once sent to Rome for Poussin, to paint him in the character of Jupiter. This great artist obeyed the summons, and prepared his canvas and colours; when, to his extreme astonishment, the monarch informed him that, although he was to be delineated as the representative of Jove, etiquette did not permit him to appear without his major peruke, and he must consequently be so painted. Poussin, not able to conceive any way of giving appropriate dignity to the thunderer of Olympus with this flowing appendage, declined beginning the picture, and returned to Rome without making his congé.

[5] By the loose negligence of her habit, and some circumstances, I am inclined to think the artist intended to represent her as pregnant. It has been said that after Baron had finished the plate, Mr. Hogarth added a lock of hair with Indian ink, but after a few impressions were taken off, inserted this supplemental ornament with the graver. In his Analysis of Beauty, he makes a remark which in some degree accounts for the introduction of this fascinating attraction:—

"It was once the fashion to have two curls of equal size, stuck at the same height close upon the forehead, which probably took its rise from seeing the pretty effect of curls falling loosely over the face.

"A lock of hair falling thus across the temples, and by that means breaking the regularity of the oval, has an effect too alluring to be strictly decent, as is very well known to the loose and lowest classes of women; but being paired in so stiff a manner as they formerly were, they lost the desired effect, and ill deserved the name of ornaments."

Moralists of different nations have considered hair as calculated to entangle hearts, and one of our pious writers of the last century wrote a furious treatise on the unloveliness of love-locks.

[6] A chair kicked down, an Essay on Whist, cards scattered on the floor, and the general confusion of everything in the room, seem to intimate that this right honourable society were actuated by passions somewhat similar to those which inflame the gentlemen in the sixth plate of "The Rake's Progress." Though a genuine gamester is not apt to lose his presence of mind on slight occasions, yet when a man of rank is stripped of sums that will draw into their vortex many anticipated years of his revenue, he is liable to lose his temper, and on such occasions apt to vent his spleen on inanimate objects. Such things sometimes happen even now.

[7] Absurd as this may seem, yet until Mr. Wedgwood introduced those beautiful Etruscan forms which now decorate the rooms, and form the taste of the possessors, these shapeless monsters disgraced the most splendid apartments in the metropolis.

[8] "Kent was not only consulted for furniture, as frames of pictures, glasses, tables, chairs, etc., but for plate, for a barge, for a cradle. So impetuous was fashion, that two great ladies prevailed on him to make designs for their birthday gowns. The one he dressed in a petticoat decorated with columns of the five orders; the other, like a bronze, in copper-coloured satin, with ornaments of gold."—Walpole's Anecdotes, 2d edit., vol. iv. p. 239.

[9] This race still roll round the metropolis; and while some put their trust in chariots, horses, and impudence, others depend on the credulity of his Majesty's liege subjects.

The following epitaph was written for one of them:—

Beneath lies lean old Fillgrave, once M.D.,

Who hunger felt much oft'ner than a fee;

These were the last, last words the doctor spoke

(And, believe me, sirs, the sentence was no joke),

"The world I leave, but can't the world forgive,

For by my patients I could never live."

In this rejoin'd a friend, "You'd but your due;

Your patients, doctor, ne'er could live by you."—E.

[10] It is said to have been designed for the once celebrated Betty Careless, and the remark is supposed to be countenanced by the initials E. C. on her bosom. This woman, by a transmigration as natural as is that of the chrysalis, from being one of the most fashionable of the Cyprian corps, became keeper of a brothel; and after repeated arrests and many imprisonments, was buried from the poorhouse of St. Paul's, Covent Garden, April 22, 1752. In many of the elegant Latin odes of Loveling her name is immortalized; and of her person and appearance Fielding thus speaks in his Amelia:—

"I happened in my youth to sit behind two ladies in a side-box at a play, where, in a balcony on the opposite side, was placed the inimitable Betsy Careless, in company with a young fellow of no very formal or indeed sober appearance. One of the ladies, I remember, said to the other, 'Did you ever see anything look so modest and so innocent as that girl over the way? What pity it is such a creature should be in the way of ruin, as I am afraid she is by being alone with that young fellow.'

"Now this lady was no bad physiognomist: for it was impossible to conceive a greater appearance of modesty, innocence, and simplicity than what nature had displayed in the countenance of that girl, and yet, all appearances notwithstanding, I myself (remember, critic, it was in my youth) had, a few mornings before, seen that very identical picture of those engaging qualities in bed with a rake at a bagnio, smoking tobacco, drinking punch, talking obscenity, and swearing and cursing with all the impudence and impiety of the lowest and most abandoned trull of a soldier."

Hogarth noticed this woman in a former print: one of the madmen in the last plate of "The Rake's Progress" has written "Charming Betsy Careless" on the rail of the stairs, and wears her portrait suspended to a riband tied round his neck. Mrs. Heywood's Betsy Thoughtless was in MS. entitled Betsy Careless; but, from the infamy at that time annexed to the name, had a new baptism. There are those who say that the letters upon this woman's bosom are not E. C. but F. C., and intended to designate Fanny Cock, daughter of Mr. Cock the auctioneer, with whom the artist had a casual disagreement. After all these conjectures, I think it is probable that these gunpowder initials are merely the marks of a woman of the lowest rank and most infamous description.

[11] From the gallows, immediately over his head, we are led to suppose the artist intended to hint that this gentleman died for the good of his country; but from the records of some of our mortuary historians, it appears that about the time this set of prints were published, a number of bodies thus preserved, which had been exsiccated by some mode of embalming at present unknown, were discovered in a vault in Whitechapel Church.

[12] This royal mummy, being once the sole tenant of one of the largest pyramids, might be more positively ascertained than any of the Cleopatras. It was, however, profanely removed by a wild Arab, who, after he had stolen it, sold it to the Consul of Alexandria, by whom it was transmitted to England: and a right grave antiquary quotes a passage in Sandys' Travels to prove its being genuine; where that learned and accurate voyager assures us that he saw the sepulchre empty, "which agrees exactly," saith he, "with the theft above mentioned." He omits to observe that Herodotus tells the same thing of it in his time.

[13] Carestini.

[14] A short time before the publication of these prints, the greatest part of our nobility acted as if they had been bitten by a tarantula. The sums lavished upon exotic warblers would have supported an army; the applause bestowed upon some of them would have turned the brain of a saint. It was little short of adoration. Persons of inferior rank caught this jingling contagion, and all orders of the people were infected with a musical mania, totally foreign to our national taste, and highly dishonourable to our national character. In one of Hogarth's former prints is a list of the rich presents Signior Farinelli, the Italian singer, condescended to accept from the English nobility and gentry for one night's performance in the opera of Artaxerxes! comprising gold snuff-boxes, diamond rings, diamond buckles, etc. That such presents were actually made is ascertained by the newspapers of the day.

[15] The group of which this is composed is worthy observation. The Counsellor is pointing to a friar and a nun who are in close conversation.

[16] Mrs. Lane (afterwards Lady Bingley).

[17] Fox Lane, her husband.

[18] Weideman.

[19] This curious delineation is whimsically placed immediately over the head of the Italian.

[20] Of the wisdom displayed in this judgment much has been said; I have sometimes thought that a decision of the great Frederick of Prussia's was equally deserving of record. When a list of criminals, who had forfeited their lives by violating the laws of their country, was once brought to him to sign, he observed the name of a soldier convicted of sacrilege.—"That a soldier of mine should be guilty of so atrocious a crime," said the king, "astonishes and distresses me. I will not, however, sign his death-warrant until I have examined him in person." The man was accordingly brought into the royal presence, and two monks, who were his accusers, declared that he had come into their church during the time they were celebrating mass, and placed himself under an image of the Virgin Mary, from whose shoes he had privately taken two pearl bows, and carried them out of the church: they pursued him, and found them in his pocket. The king, turning to the criminal, desired to know what he had to say in his defence? which was simply this: that he was a disbanded soldier, and in great distress for a dinner: that he walked into the churchyard, and earnestly prayed to the Virgin Mary that she would put him in the way of getting one: that she appeared to him, and told him she heard his supplications, and pitied his distress; to relieve which, she begged him to accept of some pearls which were on the feet of her image in the neighbouring church. When the doors opened, he walked into the church and took them out of her shoes, with an intention of converting them into money. "This," said the king, "alters the face of the business; but tell me, most reverend fathers, for you undoubtedly know, is it according to your canons possible that the Virgin could, to relieve distress and preserve a life, appear to this poor man in the way he describes?"—"Undoubtedly, my liege, she could, but it is not probable that she did." "Is it possible?"—"Certainly." "Very well. I will not let a soldier of mine suffer death upon probabilities. He shall be discharged this time; but observe what I say to you, young man; if at any future period I find that you accept another present from either virgin, saint, or angel, you shall be hanged."

[21] It is said to be copied from the frontispiece to a twopenny history of the notified Moll Flanders; but I do not remember seeing it among Mr. Gulston's two-and-twenty thousand portraits of illustrious characters.

[22] This is one among many proofs of Mr. Hogarth's close attention to those little markings which have been generally disregarded by other artists. By a fire in the room he fixes the time to be winter,—a season in which those exotic amusements, masquerades, are most frequent in the metropolis.

[23] "If he do not become a cart as well as another man—a plague on his bringing up!"

[24] A brawn's head, with an orange in its mouth, was at that time a fashionable winter dish; and it was a standing dish which might be marched from the pantry to the parlour, and give the semblance of plenty for forty days. This was perhaps one reason for our votary of Mammon making it the leading article in his bill of fare; the rest and residue of his feast is made up by a solitary egg.

A boiled egg was the usual dinner of Sir Hans Sloane. When he once complained to Dr. Mortimer that all his friends had deserted him, the Doctor observed that Chelsea was a considerable distance from the residence of most of them, and therefore they might be disappointed when they came to find he had so slight a dinner. This gentle remonstrance put the old Baronet in a rage, and he exclaimed, "Keep a table! Invite people to dinner! Would you have me ruin myself? Public credit totters already, and if (as has been presaged) there should be a national bankruptcy, or a sponge to wipe out the national debt, you may yet see me in a workhouse." His landed estate was at that time very considerable, and his museum worth much more than the twenty thousand pounds which was, however, given for it by Parliament.

Scanty as is our citizen's dinner, his table-cloth is ample. The founder of Guy's Hospital, which is the first private foundation in the world, was not so extravagant. His constant substitute for a table-cloth was either a dirty proof sheet of some book or an old newspaper.

[25] Let not any censure fall upon Mr. Hogarth for these indelicate representations. He evidently means to burlesque the gross and ridiculous absurdities of the Dutch painters.

[26] These canine unfortunates are not only useful when living, but frequently die for the good of mankind. Some have their throats cut, to prove the efficacy of a styptic; others are bled to death for a philosophical transfusion; and very many resign their breath in the receiver of an air-pump. Unhappy Dogs!

[27] "It appears to have been a part of that curse which the disobedience of the first man brought upon his posterity, that we were compelled to stain our hands in blood, and to subsist on the destruction of other animals. But surely, if the necessity of our nature obliges us to deprive an innocent being of life, it ought to be done in the easiest and speediest manner! and such was the custom among the peculiar people of God. What shall we say to that luxury which, for a momentary gratification of appetite, condemns a creature endued with feeling, perhaps with mind, to languish in torments, and expire by a protracted and cruel death?"—Sermons by George Gregory, D.D., F.A.S., 2d edit. p. 100.

[28] How much are we the creatures of habit! Those who would shudder at tying a lobster to a wooden spit, and roasting it alive, will coolly place a dozen oysters between the bars of a slow fire; and yet these oysters, notwithstanding their supposed torpor, may have an equal degree of feeling with their armoured brother.

[29] I remember once seeing a practical lesson of humanity given to a little chimney-sweeper, which had, I dare say, a better effect than a volume of ethics. The young soot merchant was seated upon an alehouse bench, and had in one hand his brush, and in the other a hot buttered roll. While exercising his white masticators with a perseverance that evinced the highest gratification, he observed a dog lying on the ground near him. The repetition of "Poor fellow, poor fellow," in a good-natured tone, brought the quadruped from his resting-place: he wagged his tail, looked up with an eye of humble entreaty, and in that universal language which all nations understand, asked for a morsel of bread. The sooty tyrant held his remnant of roll towards him; but on the dog gently offering to take it, struck him with his brush so violent a blow across the nose as nearly broke the bone. A gentleman who, unperceived, had been a witness to the whole transaction, put a sixpence between his finger and thumb, and beckoned this little monarch of May-day to an opposite door. The lad grinned at the silver, but on stretching out his hand to receive it, the practical teacher of humanity gave him such a rap upon the knuckles with a cane as made them ring. His hand tingling with pain, and tears running down his cheeks, he asked "What that was for?" "To make you feel," was the reply. "How do you like a blow and a disappointment?—the dog endured both! Had you given him a piece of bread, this sixpence should have been the reward; you gave him a blow, I will therefore put the money in my pocket."

[30] By a strange and inapplicable mistake, this has sometimes been written Thieves Inn. It was at that time the longest shilling fare from the great fountain of law in Westminster.

[31] Though contrary to an express Act of Parliament, this is done every day.

[32] To the dishonour of our police, the savage custom of driving cattle through the streets, even at high noon, is still continued, though scarce a week passes without a consequent accident. Might not the Fleet Market be removed to Smithfield, and that for live cattle be held in the skirts of the city, with a penalty upon any person driving a beast through the streets after nine in the morning? This may be impracticable; but the number of accidents which happen from the present custom show the necessity of some reform.

[33] Instead of Amphitheatres, these Gymnasia are now more elegantly called Academies.

[34] The scene has been said to be laid in Pancras Churchyard: I think it bears more resemblance to that of Marybone. The building in the background may be on the same eminence where now is the Jew's Harp House. This is only conjecture, and as such let it be received.

[35] Shakspeare saw this in its true light:

"Hamlet. Has this fellow any feeling of his business?

"Horatio. Custom hath made it in him a matter of easiness.

"Hamlet. Tis e'en so: the hand of little employment hath the daintier sense."

[36] The president much resembles old Frieake, who was the master of Nourse, to whom the late Mr. Potts was a pupil.

Mr. Frieake was originally a member of the Barbers' Company, and lived in Salisbury Square. Being desirous of building a carriage on the most reasonable terms, he employed a number of journeymen coachmakers in his own garret. They performed their task, but found it was not possible to get this appendage to modern practice into the street by any other means than unroofing the house. This was done, and a bricklayer's bill for re-covering the attic storey rendered his saving scheme much more expensive than it would have been if he had employed the king's coachmaker.

[37] The importance of the brewery to the revenue will appear by the following statement:—


The duty on malt from July 5, 1785, to the same day 1786, produced a million and a half of money, from a liquor which invigorates the bodies of its willing subjects to defend the blessings they enjoy, while that from Stygian gin enervates and incapacitates.

One of the brewers (or Chevaliers de Malte, as an impertinent Frenchman styled Humphrey Parsons, when the King of France inquired who he was) within one year contributed fifty thousand pounds to his own share. The sight of a great London brewery exhibits a magnificence unspeakable. The vessels evince the extent of the trade. Mr. Meux of Liquorpond Street can show twenty-four vessels containing thirty-five thousand four hundred barrels of wholesome liquor, which enables our London porter-drinkers to perform tasks that ten gin-drinkers would sink under.

[38] This gentleman has been very properly baptized the Herring Poet.

[39] It is directed to the Trunkmaker, and contains five enormous folios, titled as follows:—Lauder on Milton. Politics, vol. 999. Modern Tragedies, vol. 12. Hill on the Royal Society, and Turnbull on Ancient Paintings. The two last are worthy of a better fate, for one has some wit, and the other many sensible remarks.

[40] It is not 400 years since a Baron of this realm was tried for high crimes and misdemeanours, and one of the chief accusations exhibited against him was, that he suffered himself to be carried about his garden by two of his own species.

[41] It is said, I don't know upon what authority, to be intended as a burlesque delineation of John Stephen Liotard, of whom Mr. Walpole thus writes in p. 195 of his Anecdotes:—

"Devoid of imagination, and one would think of memory, he could render nothing but what he saw before his eyes. Freckles, marks of the small-pox, everything found its place; not so much from fidelity, as because he could not conceive the absence of anything that appeared to him."

This miserable personage may, however, be only intended to show the state of the arts at that time, when an English painter, if not excellent in portraits, had no other patronage than that of those gentlemen who put out signs of Blue Lions, Green Dragons, and Red Harts. Thanks to the talents of our immortal bard, it is not so now. Whether the artists of the present day drain copious draughts of humble porter, or fill their flagons with Falernian or French wines, let not the memory of their patron poet be forgotten. "He merits all their wonder, all their praise!"

[42] This wretched being was painted from nature. His cry was, "Buy my ballads, and I'll give you a glass of gin for nothing."

[43] This infernal broth is vulgarly called "Strip-me-naked," and has almost invariably that effect.

[44] This is an unnatural and violent exaggeration.

[45] The church in view is St. George's, Bloomsbury. Ralph, in his Critical Review of the Buildings in London, properly observes that "this structure is ridiculous and absurd even to a proverb. That the builder mistook whim for genius, and ornament for taste, and that the execrable conceit of displaying a statue of the king on the top of it excites laughter in the ignorant, and contempt in the judge of architecture."

[46] Two of these harpies have names highly descriptive of their professions—"Gripe" and "Killman."

[47] I hope I shall not be censured for inserting a quotation from Fingal as the motto to an imitation of Rembrandt. Both poet and painter delighted in darkness, and each of them sometimes introduced a sublime and majestic figure, which beamed through the gloom "like the new moon seen through a gathered mist, when the sky pours down its flaky snow, and the world is silent and dark."

[48] This little winged periwinkle is engraven in a very different style from the rest of the plate, much of which is a sort of aquæ tint. Many impressions were taken off without this figure.

[49] On the blade is engraven a dagger, the arms of our metropolis.

[50] This has been generally thought intended for a portrait of Hume Campbell, who, like some of his boisterous brethren of the present day, distinguished himself by a sort of savage elocution more consonant to Billingsgate than a court of law. Others have said it was designed for Doctor William King, Principal of St. Mary Hall, Oxford, and in proof of their assertion refer to an ascertained portrait in Worlidge's view of "Lord Westmoreland's Installation," 1761, to which it has a striking resemblance.

[51] On the scraps are inscribed, "We have found this man a pestilent fellow, a mover of sedition among the Jews, ringleader of the sect," etc. etc. etc.

[52] While the plate remained in the hands of Mrs. Hogarth impressions were sold at that price, but were afterwards reduced to three shillings.

[53] With each infant was then sent some little memorial by which it might be known at a future day. The following lines were written by an unfortunate widow, and pinned to the breast of a child who was received into the hospital:

"Go, gentle babe, thy future life be spent

In virtuous purity and calm content;

Life's sunshine bless thee, and no anxious care

Sit on thy brow, and draw the falling tear;

Thy country's grateful servant may'st thou prove,

And all thy life be happiness and love."

Some fifteen or sixteen years ago, a person of respectable appearance went to the hospital, and requested to see the chapel, great room, etc. He then desired to speak with the treasurer, to whom he presented a ten-pound bank note, expressing a wish that it might be recorded as a small but grateful memorial from the first orphan who was apprenticed by the charity. He added, "I was that orphan, and in consequence of the education I here received, have had the power of acquiring an independence with integrity and honour."

[54] Several other pictures were presented to the hospital by the few eminent painters who then lived in London.

"The donations in painting which several artists presented to the Foundling Hospital were among the first objects of this nature which engaged the public attention. The artists observing the effects that these paintings produced, came, in the year 1760, to a resolution to try the fate of a public exhibition of their works. This effort had its desired effect. The public were entertained, and the artists were excited to emulation."—Strange's Inquiry into the Rise and Establishment of the Royal Academy, p. 63.

This gives Hogarth a right to be classed, if not among those who were founders of the Royal Academy, as one of the first causes of its establishment.

[55] Be this as it may, certain it is that the boy, who was afterwards so great a Jewish legislator, bears a very strong resemblance to the Egyptian princess. That the artist meant by this family likeness to hint that he was of royal descent, I do not presume to assert.

[56] The head is said to be copied from a youth of the name of Seaton. The attitude and general air very much resemble that of Delilah, in a picture painted by Vandyke, of Samson seized by the Philistines, now in the Emperor's gallery at Vienna.

[57] These prints were promised to the subscribers sooner than they could be completed; and in consequence of their being delayed, the following advertisement was inserted in the Public Advertiser of February 28, 1757:—

"Mr. Hogarth is obliged to inform the subscribers to his Election prints that the three last cannot be published till about Christmas next, which delay is entirely owing to the difficulties he has met with to procure able hands to engrave the plates: but that he neither may have any more apologies to make on such an account, nor trespass any further on the indulgence of the public by increasing a collection already sufficiently large, he intends to employ the rest of his time in portrait-painting; chiefly this notice seems more necessary, as several spurious and scandalous prints have lately been published in his name," etc.

This fretful appeal must have been written under the influence of momentary spleen, which might possibly originate in his coadjutor's disappointing, and by that means forcing him to violate his engagements with the public. There is no other apology for his indulging a thought of quitting that walk in which he indisputably led, for another in which he must not only follow, but be far behind some of his contemporaries.

[58] Sir George Saville saw this in its true light. One of the supporters of the Bill of Rights being desirous of introducing Sir George's name among the members of the society, made application to the worthy Baronet for his permission to propose him. Sir George declined the honour, and pleaded his engagements being so numerous that he had not time to attend, etc. etc. "We do not expect your attendance," replied his friend; "we do not expect your constant attendance; but the sanction of your name would be a tower of strength to the society; and as you see by the public prints, the manner we conduct ourselves, and the business we do, you must approve, I think you cannot refuse us your name." "I do not," said Sir George, "make any objection to your conduct, which I have thought very regular and systematic, but I really dislike the title you have adopted; I observe that you meet, read a string of observations, and then make a motion for adjourning to dinner in the next room; there each man drinks his two bottles to most patriotic and constitutional toasts. In the next paper appear advertisements, that on the following Monday the supporters of the Bill of Rights will meet again. Dinner on table precisely at four o'clock. You dine, and drink your wine; your secretary gives us the same information in the succeeding prints, and again adds, that—dinner will be on the table precisely at four o'clock. All these circumstances induce me to think you should alter your title; instead of 'Supporters of the Bill of Rights,' call yourselves what you really are, 'Supporters of the Bill of Fare!'"

[59] This has been pronounced, I know not upon what authority, to be intended for the late Thomas Potter, Esq.

[60] In page 21 of a quarto pamphlet published in 1755, and entitled, "The Last Blow, or an unanswerable vindication of the society of Exeter College, being a reply to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. King, and the writers of the London Evening Post," is the following paragraph:—

"The next character to whose merits we would do justice is the Rev. Dr. C—ss—t (Cosserat). But as it is very difficult to delineate this fellow in colours sufficiently strong and lively, it is fortunate for us and the Doctor that Hogarth has undertaken the task. In the print of 'An Election Entertainment,' the public will see the Doctor represented sitting among the freeholders, and zealously eating and drinking for the sake of the new interest. His venerable and humane aspect will at once bespeak the dignity and benevolence of his heart. Never did aldermen at Guildhall devour custard with half such an appearance of love to his country, or swallow ale with so much the air of a patriot. These circumstances the pencil of Hogarth will undoubtedly make manifest; but it is much to be lamented that his words also cannot appear in this print, and that the artist cannot delineate that persuasive flow of eloquence which could prevail upon copyholders to abjure their base tenures and swear themselves freeholders. But this oratory (far different from the balderdash of Tully and Doctor King, concerning liberty and our country), as the genius of mild ale alone could inspire, this fellow alone could deliver."

[61] I think it is recorded in Mr. Joseph Miller's Reports, that our British Solomon often asserted that scratching was too great a luxury for a subject to enjoy.

[62] This woman was remarkable for performing at fairs, country hops, etc. in the neighbourhood of Oxford, and known by the name of Fiddling Nan.

[63] This is a portrait of the present Sir John Parnell, nephew to the poet. He was introduced into this print by his own request, declaring at the same time that, from his being so generally known in Ireland, his face would help the sale of the engraving.

[64] It is supposed to be the portrait of an Oxford bruiser who went by the name of Teague Carter.

[65] A mashing-tub seems a sufficiently capacious vessel, but sinks to nothing when compared with a bowl which, it is recorded, was filled with punch on the 15th of October 1694, at the expense of Admiral Russel. The Admiral's punch was made in a fountain situated in the centre of a large garden, the terminus to four long gravel walks, canopied with orange and lemon trees. In each walk was a table the length of the avenue, covered with a cold collation, consisting of every luxury which the season produced; and in the basin of the fountain, which the gallant seaman chose to call a little basin, for the entertainment of a few friends, were the following ingredients:—Four hogsheads of brandy, eight hogsheads of water, twenty-five thousand lemons, twenty gallons of lime juice, thirteen hundredweight of fine Lisbon sugar, five pounds of grated nutmegs, three hundred toasted biscuits, and lastly, a pipe of dry mountain Malaga. Over the fountain was erected a large canopy to keep off the rain, and in a little boat, built for the purpose, a boy belonging to the fleet rowed round the basin, and served this cordial beverage to the company. More than six thousand men partook of this mighty bowl.

[66] This alludes to the alteration of the style in the year 1752, a measure which gave great umbrage, and excited a violent clamour among the advocates for old customs and adherents to ancient forms.

[67] Kirton was a tobacconist in Fleet Street, but injured his circumstances and destroyed his constitution by his active zeal in the Oxfordshire election of 1754.

[68] This is said to be intended for the late Duke of Newcastle, his Grace having exerted all his influence in support of the Naturalization Bill: the nose of the effigy gives some probability to the conjecture.

[69] Under the portrait of a Mr. Cholmondeley of Vale Royal, in Cheshire, engraved about the same time with these prints, are the following quaint lines:

"In this plain garb a senator is shown,

Who never bought a vote, nor sold his own."

[70] This print undoubtedly gave the hint for a transaction in which Punch was made the principal agent at a late Shaftesbury election.

[71] By the condescending humility of men of high rank, and the aspiring ambition of men of no rank, they to all appearance become equal at every general election. The following is one among the few instances of an independent spirit in a candidate's address:—

"To the Gentlemen, Clergy, and Freeholders of the County of York.

"Gentlemen,—I have had the honour to represent the county of York in three successive Parliaments: I have been diligent in my attendance, and have performed my duty with a clear and unbiassed conscience. I have now an opposition declared against me, for what reasons I do not know, except that I am not disposed to obey the dictates of the associators at York. I do not wish to serve you upon such terms. I will never go to Parliament in fetters; nor did I, nor ever will I disguise my principles, which all go to the support of our excellent constitution in Church and State. I avow myself an enemy to tumults, sedition, and rebellion, and will never support any but a British interest. Consistently with that, I am a friend to the people, and am determined to preserve my independency, yielding neither to any influence of ministers, nor to any clamours of a faction.

"Upon these principles I shall esteem it a high honour to be returned for this great county, and shall be thankful for your support.—I am, gentlemen, etc.,

"Edwin Lascelles.

"September 12, 1780."

In Mr. Edmund Burke's speech to the electors of Bristol, on the 3d of November 1774, he gave such cogent reasons for not signing any engagement to obey in all cases the instructions of his constituents, that I cannot resist the temptation of inserting an extract, for the contemplation of those who are advocates of a contrary system:—

"Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfaction to theirs; and above all, ever and in all cases to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any men, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you not only his industry, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

"My worthy colleague says his will ought to be subservient to yours. If that be all, the thing is innocent. If government were a matter of will upon any side, yours, without question, ought to be superior. But government and legislation are matters of reason and judgment, and not of inclination; and what sort of reason is that in which the determination precedes the discussion, in which one set of men deliberate and another decide, and where those who form the conclusion are three hundred miles distant from those who hear the argument?

"To deliver an opinion is the right of all men; that of constituents is a weighty and respectable opinion, which a representative ought always to rejoice to hear, and which he ought always most seriously to consider. But authoritative instructions; mandates issued, which the member is bound blindly and implicitly to obey, to vote, and to argue for, though contrary to the clearest conviction of his judgment and conscience; these are things utterly unknown to the laws of the land, which arise from a fundamental mistake of the whole order and tenor of our constitution.

"Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate against other agents and advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member, indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of Parliament. If the local constituent should have an interest, or should form an hasty opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the community, the member of that place ought to be as far as any other from any endeavour to give it effect."

[72] In the year 1739 Admiral Vernon took Portobello with six ships only. The public gratitude to him was boundless: he was sung in ballads; at the ensuing general election in 1741 he was returned for three different corporations; but above all, his portrait covered every signpost; and he may be, figuratively, said to have sold the ale, beer, and purl of all England for six years.

[73] This sign has a very whimsical appearance: it represents our merry monarch in a great tree, enveloped in a black wig, decorated with a point lace cravat, and environed with three crowns. Two Parliamentary troopers, riding beneath the branches, do not perceive that this faithless "Defender of the Faith," and so forth, is immediately above them. This curious delineation is evidently copied from some country sign, and gives a very exact representation of one I remember to have seen in a village in Shropshire, with the following poetical inscription:—

"This oak, the glory of the wood, may well be called a royal thing,

For once upon its branches there perched a great king;

And while the king was perched upon the branches so high,

The Roundhead rebels under him they all passed by."

[74] When Ware the architect was told of this piece of satire, he said the artist must be a very foolish fellow; for if he had painted the coachman as a shorter man, or made him stoop, he might have driven through the gateway with his head upon his shoulders.

[75] John Shoreditch, in the reign of Edward III., sued the county of Middlesex (for which he was returned to Parliament) to recover his wages. In some letters from the dead to the living, published about the year 1761, one signed with his name concludes as follows:

"If I was now upon earth—either nobleman or commoner—I should choose peace and quiet, both public and private: I should be happy in preserving religion and morality among my countrymen, instead of suborning them to take the oath falsely about bribery and corruption; debauching their minds, by giving them money that is of no use to their families, and keeping them in continual drunkenness, that renders them incapable of serving themselves or their country.

"To this I attribute the loss of that which was common in my time, but in yours is found only in romances and novels—I mean simplicity of manners among the country people. Rustic innocence was then as common among the men as among the women; but there is scarce any mode of vice or folly which is not at this period equally known and practised by both sexes; and in the most obscure villages to as great a degree as in the most polished cities. Let us consider that a million of money was spent in treats and bribery at the last general election; and if we take into the calculation the contested elections, for some of which there were three or four candidates, and the money that is spent by their friends on these occasions, we shall not find the computation too high. What place, then, will not the influence of this immense sum extend to? Not even the smallest hamlet can escape; and you may as well look for purity of manners, innocence and simplicity, among the Capuans of old, or in your Covent Garden, as in any place that an election guinea has found its way to.—I am, etc."

[76] I am tasteless enough to prefer this to Garrick between Tragedy and Comedy. From Hogarth the hint was indisputably taken; but exquisite as is the face of Thalia, the countenance of the actor, from the contention of two passions, has assumed a kind of idiotic stare, of which our honest farmer has not an iota. In the true spirit of Falstaff, he says, or seems to say, "D'ye think I do not know ye? Ha! ha! ha! he! he! he!!"

[77] Swift boasted that he made it a rule never to give his voice for the appointment of any man to any situation for which that man was not better qualified than his opponent. Being once applied to for his interest in the recommendation of a curate, because he was a very good sort of man, though a very vile preacher, he said he would willingly, if in his power, recommend him to be a bishop, because that was a business in which preaching was not wanted, but in a curate it was wanted every week. Being once asked by one of his parishioners which of two candidates he would advise him to vote for as a Parliament man, in a warmly contested Irish election, Swift desired he would first consider what was the business of a Parliament man; and secondly, which of the parties was best qualified for that business; and then he would want no advice. If your vote, added he, could make a lord or a duke, as they are people who need not do any business at all, you might toss up a halfpenny, and vote for the man who came up heads.

[78] By a letter we see out of his pocket, this appears to be Doctor Shebbeare, who was put on the pillory, and confined in prison; not for writing in the cause of his country, but for printing and publishing the sixth letter to the people of England, in which he most impudently and audaciously abuses George the First and the present royal family. The Doctor frequently said in a public coffeehouse, that he would have a pillory or a pension. In each of these points he was gratified; Lord Mansfield complimented him with the first, and Lord Bute rewarded him with the second. The honour he enjoyed long ago, the emolument he died in the receipt of a very few years since.

[79] The late Doctor Barrowby persuaded a dying man, that being much better he might venture with him in his chariot to the hustings in Covent Garden, to poll for Sir George Vandeput. The unhappy voter took his physician's advice, and in less than an hour after his return—expired.

[80] This sagacious-looking gentleman is said to be intended as a portraiture of the late Bub Doddington, afterwards Lord Melcombe.

[81] It has been thought that this carries some allusion to a circumstance which happened at the contested Oxfordshire election in 1754, when an outrageous mob, in the old interest, surrounded a post-chaise and attempted to throw it into the river; but Captain T——, who was in the carriage, shot a chimney-sweeper that was a ringleader in the assault, and his followers dispersed.

[82] About the year 1740, when party disputes ran very high, a gentleman of superior talents and undeviating integrity offered himself as a candidate for a town in the West of England. The first person whose vote he solicited asked him if he was a Whig or a Tory? "Neither," was the reply; "I profess myself a moderate man, and when administration act right, will vote with them,—when wrong, against them." "And be these really thy principles!" said the elector; "be these really thy principles! Then thou shalt not have my vote; but I'll give thee a piece of advice. Thou seest my door; it leads into the street, the right-hand side of which is for the Tories, the left for the Whigs; and for a cold-blooded moderate man like thee, there is the kennel, and in it I advise thee to walk, for thee be'st not decided enough for any other situation."

[83] This must indisputably be considered as the lawyer's mansion, not merely because it has a better appearance than any house we have seen in the foregoing prints, but because a parchment label, which hangs out of an upper window where a clerk is writing, is inscribed "Indintur." Had the artist thought it worth while to have consulted Master Henry Dilworth, or any other eminent schoolmaster, this orthography had been corrected.

[84] When many of those gentleman who had been very active in the Revolution, and materially contributed to the success of our great deliverer, applied to a nobleman high in office for the first places in the State, he answered their requests by referring them to the Roman history: "There," says he, "you will find that geese twice saved the Capitol; but I never heard that those geese were made Consuls."

[85] "Vermin" is a coarse phrase, but I think in a degree appropriate. How similar are the effects attendant on a swarm of pettifogging lawyers settling in a country town, to those resulting from a swarm of noxious and destructive insects settling in a garden!

[86] A nobleman, whose name it is not necessary to record, was so struck with the wit of this motto, that he had it inscribed upon a common eight-day clock.

[87] The life of Andrew Marvel forms a fine contrast to the life of a modern patriot. He was the son of a clergyman who resided at Kingston-upon-Hull, in Yorkshire, at which town he was born in the year 1624. His first appearance in public business was as an assistant to John Milton, when that inspired poet was Latin secretary to the Protector. A little before the Restoration he was chosen representative for his native town, and afterwards re-elected for the same place, and had a seat in that Parliament which began at Westminster, May 8, 1661. In this station he discharged his trust with the utmost fidelity, and always displayed a particular regard for those by whom he was elected; for he regularly sent the particulars of every proceeding in the House to the heads of the town which he represented, and to these accounts always joined his own opinion. This gained so much upon their affections, that they allowed him an honourable pension during the whole time he sat in Parliament, which was until his death. By his actions and writings he rendered himself obnoxious to the ruling powers; notwithstanding which, Charles the Second much delighted in his company. Having one evening passed some hours with this good-humoured monarch, his Majesty next morning sent Lord Treasurer Danby to find out his lodgings. Mr. Marvel's apartments were up two pair of stairs, in a little court in the Strand, where he was writing when the Lord Treasurer rather abruptly opened the door. Surprised at so unexpected a visitor, Mr. Marvel told his Lordship he believed he had mistaken his way. Lord Danby replied, "Not, now I have found Mr. Marvel;" adding, "I come with a message from his Majesty, who wishes to know what he can do to serve you." "I know," replied Marvel, "the nature of courts too well to lay myself under the obligation; for whoever is distinguished by a prince's favours, is certainly expected to vote in his interest." Lord Danby told him that his Majesty was sensible of his merits, and on that account alone desired to know if there were any place at Court which he would be pleased with. These offers, though urged with the greatest earnestness, had no effect. He told the nobleman, that to accept them with honour was impossible; because, added he, "I must either be ungrateful to the King in voting against him, or false to my country in giving in to the measures of the Court. The only favour therefore which I beg of his Majesty is, that he will esteem me to be as dutiful a subject as any he has; and more in his proper interest by refusing these offers than if I had accepted them." The Lord Danby, finding that no argument would prevail, told him that the King had ordered him a thousand pounds, which he requested him to receive as a token of royal favour. This last offer was rejected with the same stedfastness as the first, though, soon after the Lord Treasurer was gone, he was under the necessity of sending to a friend to borrow a guinea. The greatest temptations of riches or honours could never bribe him to depart from what he thought the interest of his country, neither could the most imminent dangers deter him from pursuing it.

He died, not without strong suspicions of being poisoned, August the 16th, 1678, in the fifty-eighth year of his age, and was interred in the Church of St. Giles' in the Fields. Highly to the honour of the inhabitants of Kingston-upon-Hull, they in the year 1683 contributed a sum of money for a monument to the memory of this best of men and most incorruptible of senators; but the then minister of St. Giles' forbade its being erected in that church, on account of the following epitaph which was inscribed on it:—

"Near this place lieth the body of Andrew Marvel, Esq., a man so endowed by nature, so improved by education, study, and travel; so consummated by experience and learning, that joining the most peculiar graces of wit with a singular penetration and strength of judgment, and exercising all these in the whole course of his life with unalterable steadiness in the ways of virtue, he became the ornament and example of his age; beloved by good men, feared by bad, admired by all, though imitated, alas, by few, and scarce paralleled by any. But a tombstone can neither contain his character, nor is marble necessary to transmit it to posterity; it is engraved in the minds of this generation, and will be always legible in his inimitable writings. Nevertheless, he having served near twenty years successively in Parliament, and that with such wisdom, dexterity, integrity, and courage as became a true patriot, the town of Kingston-upon-Hull, from whence he was constantly returned to that assembly, lamenting in his death the public loss, have erected this monument of their grief and gratitude.

"Heu fragile humanum genus! Heu terrestria vana!

Heu quem spectatum continet urna virum!"

In Mr. Mason's animated Ode to Independency, the dignified virtue of this truly patriotic character is described

"In thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."

[88] "Such were the words of the bards in the days of song, when the king heard the music of harps, and the tales of other times."—Songs of Selma, p. 302.

[89] In the early impressions it is spelt Prusia. It has been said with great confidence, that after twenty-five were worked off, this error in orthography was discovered and amended. I have seen at least fifty, and think it probable that all which were subscribed for were delivered before any alteration was made in the spelling.

[90] This word is explained in the Slang Dictionary as a cant expression for the threat of a blow.

[91] The fifer is designed for the portrait of a young lad who was much noticed by the late William Duke of Cumberland; and who, from the propriety of his conduct, was first rewarded with a halberd, and afterwards promoted to a pair of colours.

[92] This is said to be the portrait of a fellow known by the name of Jockey James, a most frequent attendant on the nursery for bruising, under the management of the mighty Broughton. Jockey had a son who rendered himself eminent by boxing with Smallwood, and many other athletic pugilists. The French pieman, grenadier, and chimney-sweeper, are also taken from the life, and said, by those who recollect their persons, to be very faithful resemblances of the persons intended.

[93] This gentleman displays the great difference between an officer, and a officer: he comes under the latter description.

[94] This is Mr. Thornton's remark, and rather too severe. Lord North once declared in the House of Commons that he saw no harm in the officers of the Guards. "They have nothing to do," added he, "but walk in the park, kiss the nursery-maids, and drink the children's milk."

[95] This figure is introduced in the very curious print of "Enthusiasm Delineated," and in the eleventh print of "Industry and Idleness," and was designed as a portrait of Mother Douglass of the Piazza.

[96] Lavater's character of this people is not exactly similar to Hogarth's delineation; it is, however, curious: "The form of a Frenchman is different from that of all other nations, and difficult to describe in words. No other man has so little of the firm or deep traits, or so much motion. He is all appearance, all gesture; therefore the first impression seldom deceives, but declares who and what he is. His imagination is incapable of high flights; and the sublime in all arts is to him offence. Hence his dislike of whatever is antique in art or literature, his deafness to true music, his blindness to the highest beauties of painting. His last most striking trait is, that he is astonished at everything, and cannot imagine how it is possible men should be any other than they are at Paris."

[97] Among the number of ingenious allusions which the seekers of Hogarth's meanings have pointed out, I have never heard it remarked that the standard waves immediately over this under-sized hero, who is consequently under the standard!

[98] Let not the reader imagine that this quotation alludes to the Duke's ponderous equestrian statue in Cavendish Square. That glittering monument of burnished brass bears no very striking resemblance to either an angel or a fiery Pegasus. It must, however, be considered as a monument of the taste, vanity, and gratitude of Colonel Salter.

[99] Grotesque delineations have more influence upon the populace than the philosopher is apt to imagine. Sir Robert Walpole inspected every political print and political ballad that was published, and said that from these vulgar effusions he could form a certain judgment of the genuine spirit and local prejudices which actuated the multitude.

[100] Election is, I believe, in its general sense, the act of choosing. We see by the application of the word in this book, it was not then confined to choosing a member of Parliament, but applied indiscriminately to either bird or beast.

[101] This is mere conjecture; but from Jackson the humpbacked jockey, and some other sedate personages who were present, I think it is more likely to be designed for that place than any other.

[102] A man of rank with these plebeian propensities might in the year 1759 be considered as a phenomenon: in this age of elegant accomplishment and universal refinement, the thing is common. We now see men of family and fortune ambitious of becoming umpires in battles between Big Ben and the Ruffian!

[103] The "March to Finchley."

[104] When Garrick first came on the stage, and one very sultry evening in the month of May performed the character of Lear, he in the first four acts received the customary tribute of applause. At the conclusion of the fifth, when he wept over the body of Cordelia, every eye caught the soft infection—the big round tear ran down every cheek. At this interesting moment, to the astonishment of all present, his face assumed a new character, and his whole frame appeared agitated by a new passion: it was not tragic, for he was evidently endeavouring to suppress a laugh. In a few seconds the attendant nobles appeared to be affected in the same manner; and the beauteous Cordelia, who was reclined upon a crimson couch, opening her eyes to see what occasioned the interruption, leapt from her sofa, and with the majesty of England, the gallant Albany, and tough old Kent, ran laughing off the stage. The audience could not account for this strange termination of a tragedy in any other way than by supposing the dramatis personæ were seized with a sudden frenzy; but their risibility had a different source. A fat Whitechapel butcher, seated on the centre of the front bench in the pit, was accompanied by his mastiff, who being accustomed to sit on the same seat with his master at home, naturally thought he might enjoy the like privilege here. The butcher sat very back, and the quadruped finding a fair opening, got upon the bench, and fixing his fore-paws on the rail of the orchestra, peered at the performers with as upright a head and as grave an air as the most sagacious critic of his day. Our corpulent slaughter-man was made of melting stuff, and not being accustomed to a playhouse heat, found himself much oppressed by the weight of a large and well-powdered Sunday peruke, which, for the gratification of cooling and wiping his head, he pulled off, and placed on the head of his mastiff. The dog being in so conspicuous, so obtrusive a situation, caught the eye of Mr. Garrick and the other performers. A mastiff in a churchwarden's wig (for the butcher was a parish officer) was too much: it would have provoked laughter in Lear himself, at the moment he was most distressed; no wonder, then, that it had such an effect on his representative.

[105] In the second canto of a poem entitled The Gamblers, are the following notes:—

"By the cockpit laws, the man who cannot or who will not pay his debts of honour, is liable to exaltation in a basket."

"Stephen's exaltation in a basket, and his there continuing to bet though unable to pay, is taken from a scene in one of Hogarth's prints, humorously setting forth that there are men whom a passion for gaming does not forsake, even in the very hour that they stand proclaimed insolvents."

[106] Frequently called Deptford Nan, and sometimes dignified with a title—Duchess of Deptford! She was a famous cock-feeder, well known at Newmarket, and did the honours of the gentlemen's ordinary at Northampton, while a bachelor presided at the table appropriated to the ladies.

[107] A small print published in the year 1732, of which there are three copies.

[108] I have inserted the name of Gay on the authority of Mr. Nichols' Anecdotes, in page 177 of which is the following remark from a correspondent:—

"That Pope was silent on the merits of Hogarth (as one of your readers has observed) should excite little astonishment, as our artist's print on the South Sea exhibits the translator of Homer in no very flattering point of view. He is represented with one of his hands in the pocket of a fat personage, who wears a horn-book at his girdle. For whom this figure was designed is doubtful; perhaps it was meant for Gay, who was a fat man, and a loser in the scheme, etc. The horn-book he wears at his girdle perhaps refers to the fables he wrote for the Duke of Cumberland. The conclusion to the inscription under this plate—'Guess at the rest, you'll find out more'—seems also to imply a consciousness of such personal satire as it was not prudent to explain."

The conjecture that this is designed for Gay is fair, but I think not quite conclusive. Hogarth would not have represented the translator of Homer diving into the coat pocket of a brother bard for coin, and Gay could not be robbed of anything else. May not the label with A—B—, etc., be intended to point out Arbuthnot: he also was a fat man, and so careless of fame, that he suffered Pope, and some other eminent contemporary authors, to plunder him of the best part of his writings, which they afterwards modestly published as their own; vide a very large portion of Martinus Scriblerus, particularly Pope's own edition, published in 1742.

Pope is again introduced in a print published about the year 1728, entitled "Rich's Glory, or The Triumphant Entry into Covent Garden," improperly said to be the production of Hogarth.

[109] This satire is wound up with a well-turned apology for the folly, but even here a dart must be hurled at the Duke.—The dart recoils, and returns to him who threw it; for although his Grace was vainly ostentatious, and absurdly extravagant, he was kind-hearted and beneficent to a fault:—

"Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed:

Health to himself, and to his infants bread,

The lab'rer bears: what his hard heart denies,

His charitable vanity supplies.

Another age shall see the golden ear

Embrown the slope, and nod on the parterre;

Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd,

And laughing Ceres re-assume the land."

It is a singular circumstance that the prophecy in the last four lines (for a prophecy it must be called) should be fulfilled, I had almost said in the poet's lifetime. A very few years after his death, when Hallet the upholsterer purchased Canons, the park was ploughed up and sown with corn.

I have somewhere seen an epigram, written soon after the publication of this epistle:—

"What Chandos builds let Pope no more deride,

Because he took not Nature for his guide,

Since, mighty Bard—in thy own form we see

That nature may mistake, as well as he."

[110] We have amateurs of boxing, and why not of cock-fighting?

[111] This noble diversion may with more propriety be called royal in India than in England, for it is not peculiar to Great Britain, neither is it confined within the narrow boundaries of Europe. In a picture which Mr. Zoffani designed from nature, he has exhibited the Nabob of Oude, and a crowd of his courtiers, dressed in their robes of state surrounding a cockpit. The Asiatic Sovereign, his brother, and his attendants, display as much eagerness for gain, and rapacity of physiognomy, as is to be seen in the most notorious of our Newmarket gamblers.

[112] Throwing at cocks on this day is, I hope and believe, a less prevalent custom than it once was. Our ancestors must have formed strange notions of the duties that were acceptable to the Deity on commencement of Lent, when they set apart the eve as a proper time for the martyrdom of this inoffensive animal.


"Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods,

Draw near them then in being merciful;

Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge."

[114] "A beautiful Diana, with her trussed-up robes, the crescent alone wanting, stands on the high altar to receive homage in the character of St. Agnes, in a pretty church dedicated to her (fuor della Porte), where it is supposed she suffered martyrdom: and why? Why, for not venerating that very goddess Diana, and for refusing to walk in her procession at the new moons, like a good Christian girl. Such contradictions put one from oneself, as Shakspeare says."—Mrs. Piozzi's Letters.

[115] A catalogue of the massacres, slaughters, and assassinations which have taken place for little differences of opinion, would fill a library. Superstition has been the general cause of man destroying man.

[116] The infatuation of the lower order of the people during the drawing of a lottery is hardly to be conceived. They cannot consult Virgil, but they consult every star in the firmament, and every male and female astrologer in the parish, to find out lucky numbers. Figures chalked on the wall, and dreams, have great credit; and much respect is paid to the year of their birth, a husband's or wife's death, etc. etc. The destructive consequences of this thirst for divination it is not necessary to enumerate,—they are recorded in the annals of Bethlehem Hospital and the Newgate Calendar.

[117] A field preacher in one of the provinces, from the strength of his lungs and length of his extemporary harangues, being for some months attended by a more numerous congregation than the parson of the parish, began to think himself the more orthodox man. Fraught with this idea, he one Sunday evening went to the vestry-room, waited until the service concluded, and then very rudely attacked the clergyman, telling him he came to convince him, to confound him, and to convert him by the word! This was followed by the recital of a thousand texts from various parts of the Holy Scriptures, so combined as to prove whatever he wished; and concluded by, "This is all from the Bible, and by the Bible I desires to abide.—Answer me by the same book." The clergyman being a man of some humour, after hearing him with much patience, very coolly asked this labourer in the vineyard if he recollected a text in the book of Kings, where it is written, "Then Ahithophel set his house in order, and went and hanged himself." "Certainly," replied the man, "I know it to be scripture." "Good," added the divine; "examine the Gospel of St. Luke, and you will find it written, 'Go and do thou likewise.' This I earnestly recommend, and so farewell."

[118] "Some witches, examined and executed at Mohra, in Sweden, in 1670, confessed that the devil gives them a beast about the bigness and shape of a young cat, which they call a carrier, etc."—Glanville On Witches, p. 494.

"For their being sucked by their familiar, we know so little of the nature of demons and spirits, that it is no wonder we cannot certainly divine the reason of so strange an action. And yet we may conjecture at some things that may render it less improbable. For some have thought that the Genii (whom both the Platonic and Christian antiquity thought embodied) are re-created by the reeks and vapours of human blood, and the spirits that proceed from them: which supposal (if we grant them bodies) is not unlikely, everything being refreshed and nourished by its like. And that they are not perfectly abstracted from all body and matter; besides the reverence we owe to the wisest antiquity, there are several considerable arguments I could allege to render it probable: which things supposed, the devil's suckling the sorceress is no great wonder, nor difficult to be accounted for. Or perhaps this may be only a diabolical sacrament and ceremony to confirm the hellish covenant."—Glanville, p. 10.

In the above, and any future quotations I may find it necessary to make from this great and sagacious author, I beg it may be observed that I quote from the fourth edition, published in 1726.

[119] Master Lilly remarketh that angels (and he must unquestionably mean to include fallen angels) very rarely speak unto any one; but when they do, it is like the Irish—very much in the throat.—Lilly's Life, p. 88.

[120] Curses are not peculiar to one church; John Boys, D.D., Dean of Canterbury, 1629, educated at Clare Hall, in Cambridge, was famous for his postils in defence of our liturgy, and was also much esteemed for his good life. He gained great applause by turning the Lord's Prayer into the following execration, when he preached at Paul's Cross:—"Our Pope which art in Rome, cursed be thy name; perish may thy kingdom; hindered may thy will be, as it is in heaven, so in earth. Give us this day our cup in the Lord's Supper, and remit our monies which we have given for thy indulgences, as we send them back unto thee; and lead us not into heresy, but free us from misery, for thine is the infernal pitch and sulphur, for ever and ever. Amen."

[121] "Several of the female devotees have waxen images in their hands. Master Glanville observeth that the devil frequently bringeth unto witches a waxen picture, which they, having christened it by the name of the person they wish to torment, thrust pins into; using these words as they perform their ceremonies, Thout tout, a tout, tout, throughout and about.—Rentum, tormentum, etc. etc."—Glanville, p. 297.

How wonderful has Shakspeare appropriated these idle tales in his tragedy of Macbeth! He did not build upon the fables of Greece and Rome; but leaving the mob of heathen deities to range over the classic ground which gave them birth, leaving those writers who draw all their supplies from the fountain of antiquity to take their copious draughts unmolested, he adopted the creed of his own nation, and on the dim legends of superstition, and oral traditions of credulity, raised a superstructure which has stood the test of ages, become more admired as it has been more minutely examined, and is now gazed at with an almost idolatrous veneration.

[122] The influence of these men is astonishing. They have the mind, body, and outward estate of their proselytes under their absolute direction; all their assertions are considered as prophecies, and every request has the force of a command.

Men seem to have a natural tendency to a belief in divination; and we have many instances where the commanders of armies have made great use of this easy faith. When Cromwell was in Scotland, a soldier stood with Lilly's Almanac in his hand, and as the troops passed him, roared out, "Lo! hear what Lilly saith: you are promised victory! Fight it out, brave boys; and when you have conquered—read the month's prediction."

[123] Whosoever wisheth to know more of this Surrey Semiramis and her brood of rabbits, may consult the Memoirs of M. St. Andre, and some twelve or fifteen ingenious pamphlets, published about the year 1726, at which time a number of surgeons subscribed a guinea each to Mr. Hogarth, for a print from a whimsical design he had previously made on this very philosophical subject.

[124] The figure is, I believe, intended for the boy of Bilson, who, with an ostrich-like appetite, swallowed as many tenpenny nails as would have furnished a petty ironmonger's shop. This young gentleman, who in his day deceived a whole county, was only thirteen years of age. His extraordinary fits, agitations, and the surprising distempers with which he seemed to be afflicted, induced those who saw him to believe he was bewitched, and possessed with a devil. During the time he was in fits, he appeared both deaf and blind; writhing, groaning, and panting; and although often pinched, pricked with needles, tickled, severely whipped, and otherwise corrected, never seemed sensible of what was done to him. When he was thought to be out of his fits, he digested nothing that was given him for nourishment, but would often astonish those present by bringing up thread, straw, crooked pins, nails, needles, etc. At this period his throat swelled, his tongue grew rigid, and he appeared to be incapable of speaking.

This juvenile impostor accused a poor honest industrious old woman of witchcraft, and asserted that she had bewitched him. By his artful behaviour when she was brought into the room where he was, he raised in the minds of those about him a strong presumption of his accusations being founded. Under these impressions, the woman was tried at Stafford assizes, but the jury had sense enough to acquit her. By the judge's recommendation, the boy was committed to the care of the Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, who happened to be present in court. His Grace took him to his palace at Eccleshall, and there, having the previous advice of several physicians, intended to try the effect of severity; but being in the meantime informed that the boy always fell into violent agitations upon hearing that verse of St. John's Gospel, "In the beginning was the Word," etc., resolved to try another experiment. Assuming a grave and austere countenance, he thus addressed him:—

"Boy, it is either thou thyself or the devil that abhorrest these words of the Gospel; and if it be the devil, there is no doubt of his understanding all languages, so that he cannot but know and show his abhorrence when I recite the same sentence out of the Gospel in the Greek text; but if it be thyself, then thou art an execrable wretch, who playest the devil's part in loathing that portion of the Gospel of Christ, which above all other scripture doth express the admirable union of the Godhead in one Christ and Saviour, which union is the arch pillar of man's salvation. Wherefore look unto thyself, for now thou art to be put unto trial, and mark diligently whether it be the same scripture which shall be read unto thee out of the Greek Testament, at the reading whereof in the English tongue thou dost seem to be so much troubled and tormented."

This experiment succeeded, for neither the boy nor the devil understood the Greek version.

[125] It was deemed an approved remedy for witchcraft, to put a small wax model of any one under this baneful influence into a quart bottle with water, cork it up to confine the spirit, and place it before the fire. Notwithstanding all these precautions, the spirit sometimes forced the cork, and cast the contents of the bottle a considerable height.

[126] Of the writings of this paragon of English monarchs—so wise that he was called the Solomon of Great Britain—it has been truly said, "They are to be found in chandlers' shops even unto this day."

[127] A very grave historian relates, that the ghost of Sir George Villiers appeared to one who had been his servant, charging him to inform his son of the plan laid to destroy him! The servant obeyed his instructions, and informed his Grace, but the Duke wanted faith—was negligent—and was assassinated: though it does not seem probable that the crazed enthusiast who committed the murder had sufficient coherence of mind to lay any regular plan.

[128] Drelincourt's Defence against the Fears of Death is well written; and in the confidence that a translation would sell, the bookseller struck off a very large impression. They lay undisturbed in his warehouse until Daniel Defoe added this ridiculous narrative, which carried the book through one-and-twenty editions.

[129] This drummer was in the early part of his life a trooper in Cromwell's army; and as almost all this regiment of saints considered themselves in St. Paul's dragoons, our drummer occasionally preached, exhorted, and expounded. When the Parliamentary army was disbanded, or put under other commanders, the manners of the people had a sudden and violent change; extreme strictness was succeeded by universal dissipation, and the whole nation displayed their abhorrence of their late rulers, and loyalty to their new sovereign, by general licentiousness. A drum beat to a psalm tune would no longer attract an audience; but still it was a favourite instrument, and our heroic trooper, being free from military engagements, drummed his way through the kingdom with a forged pass. Happening to beat up in the neighbourhood of Tedworth, he attracted the notice of a Mr. Mompesson, who seized the martial instrument, and punished the bearer. From that time his ears were assailed by a perpetual drumming, and his house for two or three years haunted by apparitions. It attracted the notice of several of the neighbouring clergy, and his Majesty Charles the Second, wishing to be satisfied about every particular, sent down a number of persons to converse with this noisy spirit; but during the time they stayed no spirit appeared, neither was the sound of a drum heard. Notwithstanding this, poor dub-a-dub was tried at Salisbury assizes, found guilty of being a wizard, and luckily escaped with only transportation for life.

Upon this story was founded Addison's play of The Drummer, or the Haunted House, which has too much good sense to be generally relished at the theatres.

The Cock Lane ghost was engaged in scratching and hammering a very short time before the plate was published. This ridiculous imposture attracted the notice of many respectable characters. That one man, whose writings are a mirror of truth and philosophy, and whose life was an honour to human nature, should be so far under the influence of superstition as to attend this nocturnal nonsense, draws a pitying sigh.

[130] On the late John Wesley's particular opinions I do not presume to make any comment; but his zealous and unremitting exertions in what he deemed a good cause, added to the primitive simplicity of his manners, entitled him to high respect.

Mr. Glanville was the patriarch of witchcraft, and therefore a very proper high priest in the temple of credulity. As his book gained him a good benefice, and as a number of his proselytes consider Sadducismus Triumphatus entitled to equal credence with holy writ, I have subjoined a few extracts for the edification of those who may not think the volume from which they are taken worth perusal. It abounds with examples of barbarity, flowing from a blind and bigoted credulity, at which human nature shudders.

A relation of the strange witchcraft, discovered in the village of Mohra, in Swedeland, about the year 1670:—

"The news of this witchcraft coming to the king's ear, his Majesty was pleased to appoint commissioners, some of the clergy and some of the laity, to make a journey to the town above mentioned to examine the whole business. The commissioners met on the 12th of August at the parson's house, and to them the minister and several people of fashion complained, with tears in their eyes, of the miserable condition they were in, and therefore begged of them to think of some way whereby they might be delivered from that calamity. They gave the commissioners very strange instances of the devil's tyranny among them: how, by the help of witches, he had drawn some hundreds of children to him, and made them subject to his power; how he hath been seen to go in a visible shape through the country, and appeared daily to the people; how he had wrought upon the poorer sort, by presenting them with meat and drink, and this way allured them to himself; with other circumstances to be mentioned hereafter. They therefore begged of the Lords Commissioners to root out this hellish crew, that they might regain their former rest and quietness; and the rather, because the children, which used to be carried away in the country or district of Esdaile, since some witches had been burnt there, remained unmolested.

"Examination being made, there were discovered no less than three-score and ten witches in the village aforesaid; three-and-twenty of which, freely confessing their crimes, were condemned to die; the rest, one pretending she was with child, and the others denying, and pleading not guilty, were sent to Faluna, where most of them were afterwards executed.

"Fifteen children, which likewise confessed they were engaged in this witchery, died as the rest; six-and-thirty of them, between nine and sixteen years, who had been less guilty, were forced to run the gauntlet: twenty more, who had no great inclination, yet had been seduced to these hellish enterprises, because they were very young, were condemned to be lashed with rods upon their hands for three Sundays together, at the church door; and the aforesaid six-and-thirty were also doomed to be lashed this way once a week for a whole year together. The number of seduced children was about three hundred, etc. The above narrative is taken out of the public register, where all this, with more circumstances, is related."—Glanville, p. 494.

"At Stockholm, in the year 1676, a young woman accused her mother of being a witch, and swore positively that she had carried her away at night; whereupon both the judges and ministers of the town exhorted the old woman to confession and repentance. But she stiffly denied the allegations, pleaded innocence; and though they burnt another witch before her face, and lighted the fire she was to burn in before her, yet she still justified herself, and continued to do so till the last; and remaining obstinate, was burnt. A fortnight or three weeks after, her daughter, who had accused her, came to the judges in open court (weeping and howling), confessed that she had accused her mother falsely, out of a spleen she had against her for not gratifying her in a thing she desired, and had charged her with a crime of which she was perfectly innocent. Hereupon the judges gave orders for her immediate execution."—Horneck's Introduction to a Narrative of Witchcraft, etc.Glanville, p. 481.

These are the horrid effects of credulity. For the dreadful devastations made among the human race by superstition, we may read the history of the Inquisition. Among myriads of examples, I was much struck by the following:—

"Along with the Jews that were to be burnt at an auto-da-fe, there was a girl not seventeen years of age, who, standing on that side where the queen sat, petitioned for mercy. She was wonderfully pretty; and looking at the queen, while her eyes streamed with tears, in a most pathetic tone of voice exclaimed, 'Will not the presence of my sovereign make an alteration in my fate? Consider how short a period I have lived, and that I suffer for adherence to a religion which I imbibed with my mother's milk. Mercy! mercy! mercy!' The queen turned away her eyes,—was evidently moved by compassion, but—durst not ask the holy fathers for even a respite."—M. d'Aunoy, p. 66.

What unlimited power! A queen dares not intercede for the pardon of a young girl, guilty of no other crime than adhering to the faith of her ancestors!

One of the most shocking circumstances that attend these consecrated murders, is the indulgences which the Roman pontiffs have attached to the executioners. Those who lead the poor condemned wretches to the fire, and throw them into the flames, gain indulgences for one hundred years. They who content themselves with only seeing them executed, obtain fifty. What horror! The most detestable crimes, the most unnatural cruelties, are made a means of obtaining pardons from the God of mercy!

[131] Whitfield's Hymns, p. 130.

[132] See Mr. Burke's pamphlet on the French Revolution.

[133] This is a fair representation of what the Guards were then. The highly-disciplined troop commanded by his Royal Highness of York defy satire.

[134] See John Wilkes' history of the man after God's own heart.

[135] Hogarth seems to have thought that Mr. Pitt wished to be a perpetual dictator; and, in truth, the Secretary's own assertion in some degree justified the supposition: "He would not be responsible for measures which he was no longer allowed to guide." Whether the artist was right or wrong in his opinion, I do not presume to assert: I have endeavoured to describe characters as he has delineated them; but with respect to this great man, the safest way will be to quote his contemporaries. I have subjoined two portraits, drawn in his own day; let the reader adopt that which pleases him best. They prove how difficult it is to ascertain what were the abilities of a statesman from any accounts given during his life. One party assert that Mr. Pitt unites, with the eloquence of Cicero and the force of Demosthenes, the conciseness of Sallust and the polished periods of Isocrates! Another,—but to extract a part is not doing justice to the writers.


"As this lord has long been dead to the world, we shall speak of him as a man that has been.

"A remarkable reflection, arising from the character of Lord Chatham, strikes us: No statesman was ever more successful, and no statesman ever deserved less to have been so.

"This man entered into the army very early in life, and there he ought to have remained. His enterprise, his rashness, and his scrupulous sense of honour, were qualities extremely proper in the profession of arms, and would have adorned any military station, except that of a chief commander. But the field he renounced for the Cabinet, and ceased to be a good soldier that he might be a bad statesman. In nature, he was rash, impetuous, haughty, and uncontrollable; and these dangerous properties were neither tempered nor improved by education. To those advantages which are acquired by study, and those great views which are communicated by habits of reflection, he was entirely a stranger. His quickness was not corrected by judgment, and his mind frequently was tired of the objects presented to it before it could perceive or comprehend them. In a country where eloquence is little known, his noise and vociferation acquired that name; and without the experience of common sense, he was extolled as superior to Demosthenes or Tully. His speeches were not wanting in fire, but they were innocent of thought. He was perhaps the only man of his time who could harangue for many hours without communicating one distinct and well-digested idea to his audience. In estimating his own merit he knew no bounds. His vanity was excessive: he saw every man inferior to himself: on every man, therefore, he lavished his contempt. Capricious to the most boyish excess, he was perpetually forming resolutions, which he abandoned before he could put them in execution. Yet his instability, through a fortuitous and whimsical concurrence of circumstances, generally led the way to success. The happy blunders of his administration procured him a reputation to which he had no title. Every scheme he planned ought to have miscarried. We admire his good fortune, not his wisdom. Popularity was the idol to which he bowed—a certain proof that his conduct was not influenced by those superior ideas which arise in high, liberal, and virtuous minds. Yet to this idol he would have sacrificed everything: it would have sacrificed everything to him. He possessed that intemperate pride which, instead of guarding him from indecent errors, led him to indiscretions; and a respectable character was seldom a security from the licentious fury of his tongue. In private life he was restless, fretful, unsocial, and perpetually affecting complaints which he did not feel: in public life he was weak, headstrong, imprudent, and had no quality of a good minister but enterprise. If he had continued in his first profession, he might have served his country with honour; but his ambition prompted him to assume the character of a statesman, and he abused it.

"On the whole, he possessed virtues; but his passions hurried them into excess, and he did not even wish to restrain them."

Hear the other side:—

Character of the late Earl of Chatham.

"The Secretary stood alone; modern degeneracy had not reached him; original and unaccommodating—the features of his character had the hardihood of antiquity. No State chicanery, no narrow system of vicious politics, no idle contest for ministerial victories, sunk him to the vulgar level of the great; but overbearing and persuasive, his object was—England; his ambition—fame! Without dividing, he destroyed party; without corrupting, he made a venal age unanimous. France sunk beneath him. With one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded with the other the democracy of England. The sight of his mind was infinite; and his schemes were to affect, not England and the present age only, but Europe and posterity. Wonderful were the means by which these schemes were accomplished; always seasonable, always adequate, the suggestion of an understanding animated by ardour, and enlightened by prophecy. The ordinary feelings which make life amiable and indolent—those sensations which allure and vulgarize—were unknown to him. A character so exalted, so strenuous, so various, so authoritative, astonished a corrupt age, and the Treasury trembled at the name of Pitt through all her classes of venality. Corruption imagined, indeed, that she found defects in this statesman, and talked much of the inconsistency of his glory, and much of the ruin of his victories; but the history of his country and the calamity of his enemies answered and refuted her. Nor were his political abilities his only talents; his eloquence was an era in the senate, peculiar and spontaneous, familiarly expressing gigantic sentiments and instinctive wisdom: not like the torrent of Demosthenes, or the conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes the thunder and sometimes the music of the spheres. He did not conduct the understanding through the painful subtlety of argumentation; nor was he for ever on the rack of exertion, but rather lightened on the subject, and reached the point by the flashings of the mind, which, like those of his eye, were felt, but could not be followed. Upon the whole, there was in this man something that could create, reform, or subvert; an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence to summon mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery asunder, and rule the wildness of free minds with unbounded authority: something that could establish or overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe."

At the time of Lord Chatham being interred, it was intimated in the public prints that an epitaph descriptive of his talents and services was to be inscribed on his tombstone; and that any one writing such an epitaph would render an acceptable service to the committee who had the management of his monument. The following was sent, but as it was unkindly rejected by them, it is here inserted:—


[136] It has been generally called a Cheshire cheese. Having never seen this pride of the English dairy with a hole bored through the middle, I have ventured to pronounce it a millstone.

[137] Lord Bute is said to be personified by one of the Highlanders: as I cannot ascertain which, my reader must discover it—if he can. The fireman is probably intended for the Duke of Bedford.

[138] If Hogarth must be so unmercifully abused for what he inserted, he is entitled to some credit for what he erased. I hope this blot in his original design will not be considered as an additional blot on his escutcheon.

[139] The small pyramid upon a little pedestal immediately behind him is, I think, an afterthought. It much resembles the ornament inscribed "Cyprus," which was painted on Hogarth's chariot, and might possibly be intended to carry some allusion to himself, for the stream of water from one of the garretteers just touches the point.

[140] Hogarth seems to have had a strong antipathy to the politics of this year. In later impressions of Plate 8 of "The Rake's Progress" will be found a halfpenny with the same date, in which Britannia is represented in the character of a maniac, with dishevelled hair, etc.

[141] If this sign of the Castle were not inscribed "Newcastle Inn," we should take it for a very old castle indeed. Its being in so ruinous a state, the frame shattered, and off one hook, describes the Duke's interest at that time. His Grace might be termed a Father of the Church, for he had promoted almost every bishop in the kingdom, and during the continuance of his administration an archbishop's levee could not have a more sable appearance. He resigned, or was turned out, which the reader pleaseth; and at his succeeding levee—there was not one ecclesiastic!

[142] Lord Besborough and the Honourable Robert Hampden were, I think, joint Postmasters-General this year; a short time after, Lord Egmont had the situation of Lord Besborough, but soon resigned.

[143] The Prince of Wales was born on the 12th of August 1762. Just after her Majesty was safely in her bed, the waggons with the treasure of the Hermione entered Saint James's Street, on which the king and the nobility went to the window over the palace gate to see them, and joined their acclamations on two such joyful occasions. From hence the procession, consisting of twenty waggons, etc., proceeded to the tower.—Annual Register, 1762, Art. August.

[144] In the London Magazine for September 1762, I find the following explanation:—

"The subject of this print is, as its title expresses it, 'The Times.' The first object is a quarter of the globe on fire, supposed to be Europe; and France, Germany, and Spain, denoted by their respective arms, are represented in flames, which appear to be extending themselves to Great Britain itself. And this desolation is continued and increased by Mr. P——, who is represented by the figure of Henry VIII., with a pair of bellows blowing up those flames which others are endeavouring to extinguish. He is mounted on the stilts of the populace. There is a Cheshire cheese hanging between his legs, and round the same '£3000 per annum.' The manager of the engine-pipe is L—— B——, who is assisted in working the engine by sailors, English soldiers, and Highlanders; but their good offices are impeded by a man with a wheel-barrow, overladen with Monitors and North Britons, brought to be thrown in to keep up the flame. The respectable body depictured under Mr. P——, are the m—— of London, who are worshipping the idol they had formerly set up; whilst a German prince, who alone is sure to profit by the war, is amusing himself with a violin among his miserable countrymen. It is sufficiently apparent who is meant by the fine gentleman at the dining-room window of the Temple Coffeehouse, who is squirting at the director of the engine-pipe, whilst his garretteers are engaged in the same employment. The picture of the Indian alludes to the advocates for the retaining our West India conquests, which, they say, will only increase excess and debauchery; and the breaking down the Newcastle Arms, and the drawing up the patriotic ones, refer to the resignation of a noble Duke, and the appointment of a successor. The Dutchman smoking his pipe, with a fox peeping out beneath him, the emblem of cunning, waiting the issue; the waggon with the treasures of the Hermione; the unnecessary marching of the militia, signified by the Norfolk jig; the dove with the olive branch; and the miseries of war, are obvious, and need no explication."

In a newspaper of the day is the following whimsical description of the characters the writer chooses to say were really intended:—

"The principal figure, in the character of Henry VIII., appears to be not Mr. P——, but another person, whose power is signified by his bulk of carcase, treading on Mr. P——, represented by 3000. The bellows may signify his well-meant though ineffectual endeavours to extinguish the fire by wind, which, though it will put out a small flame, will cherish a large one. The guider of the engine-pipe I should think can only mean his M——, who unweariedly tries, by a more proper method, to stop the flames of war, in which he is assisted by all his good subjects both by sea and land, notwithstanding any interruption from Auditors or Britons, Monitors or North Britons. The respectable body at the bottom can never mean the magistrates of London: Mr. H—— has more sense than to abuse so respectable a body. Much less can it mean the judges. I think it may as likely be the Court of Session in Scotland, either in the attitude of adoration, or with outspread arms, intending to catch their patron should his stilts give way. The Frenchman may very well sit at his ease among his miserable countrywomen, as he is not unacquainted that France has always gained by negotiating what she lost in fighting. The fine gentleman at the window, with his garretteers, and the barrow of periodical papers, refers to the present contending parties of every denomination. The breaking of the Newcastle Arms alludes to the resignation of a great personage; and the replacing of them by the sign of the Four Clenched Fists may be thought emblematical of the great economy of his successor. The Norfolk jig signifies in a lively manner the alacrity of all his Majesty's forces during the war; and G. T. (George Townshend) fecit, is an opportune compliment paid to Lord Townshend, who, in conjunction with Mr. Wyndham, published A Plan of Discipline for the use of the Norfolk Militia, quarto, and had been the greatest advocate for the establishment of our present militia. The picture of the Indian alive from America, is a satire on our late uncivilised behaviour to the three chiefs of the Cherokee nation who were lately in this kingdom, and the bags of money set this in a still clearer point of view, signifying the sums gained by showing them at our public gardens. The sly Dutchman with his pipe seems pleased with the combustion, from which he thinks he shall be a gainer; and the Duke of Nivernois, under the figure of a dove, is coming from France to give a cessation of hostilities to Europe."

[145] In the first impressions, considering Mr. Pitt as a tyrant, he introduced him in the character of Henry VIII.; this was afterwards properly altered.

[146] "There are strong prejudices in favour of straight lines, as constituting true beauty in the human form, where they never should appear. A middling connoisseur thinks no profile has beauty without a very straight nose; and if the forehead be continued straight with it, he thinks it is still more sublime. The common notion that a person should be straight as an arrow, and perfectly erect, is of this kind. If a dancing-master were to see his scholar in the easy and gracefully turned attitude of the Antinous, he would cry shame on him, and tell him he looked as crooked as a ram's horn, and bid him hold up his head as he himself did."—Preface to the Analysis of Beauty, p. 8.

[147] Of Ramsay's manner, Churchill had an opinion similar to Hogarth's. Speaking of Scotland, he says,

"From thence the Ramsays, men of 'special note,

Of whom one paints as well as t'other wrote."

Prophecy of Famine.

[148] The British Lion seems by no means delighted at the distribution he is forced to make. The strong arm, drawing a long lever, has distorted his mouth, and, though gagged, his wry face shows his agony.

[149] Among the admirable things recorded as Mr. Wilkes' jests, is a remark upon this same red book: "Sir, it is the only book now red" (read).

[150] See the North Briton.

[151] As a paint-pot and brushes are placed in the corner, it is supposed Hogarth intended to represent Himself as one of the group: perhaps this may be the figure.

[152] The porter with his knot upon his head, and a pipe in his mouth, leans against the pillory.

[153] Let it be observed, that in this, as well as in many more of Mr. Hogarth's prints, the buildings are reversed: in the drawing from whence the engraving was made they were right.

[154] To be told that I am wrong in some of their names will not surprise me. The figure presenting a snuff-box, I judged to be Earl Temple, from his face having been originally etched without features, and a nose and chin added. Another with a riband, whose back only is seen, from its similarity to an engraving after the design of a noble marquis, I have denominated Lord Winchelsea. A higher figure, on his left hand, is possibly the Duke of Bedford; the interrogating profile, with a hat on, somewhat lower, has the air of Mr. Rigby.[155] I have conjectured that a gentleman remarkably rotund is intended for Lord Melcombe; the noble lord beneath him may be designed for the Duke of Devonshire; and the grave senator in spectacles, above the ear-trumpet, is perhaps Earl Bath.

[155] The rail, which I have said was perhaps intended to divide the Commons from the Lords, might yet be designed to divide the men most active in the Opposition from the Ministry. To either supposition there are objections which I cannot solve.

[156] A man in a porter-house, classing himself as an eminent literary character, was asked by one of his companions what right he had to assume such a title? the reply was remarkable: "Sir, I'd have you know, I had the honour of chalking Number 45 upon every door between Temple Bar and Hyde Park Corner."

[157] The public must certainly have had the same opinion, for at that period Mr. Wilkes was in the meridian of his popularity. Though not exactly like Gay's hare in the fable, he had many friends, and Mr. Nichols relates, that a copperplate printer informed him near four thousand copies of this etching were worked off in a few weeks. These must necessarily have been sold, and we may naturally infer were bought by his friends.

[158] Equally memorable was his reply to a friend who requested him to sit to Sir Joshua Reynolds, and have his portrait placed in Guildhall, being then so popular a character that the Court of Aldermen would willingly have paid the expense. "No," replied he, "No! they shall never have a delineation of my face, that will carry to posterity so damning a proof of what it was. Who knows but a time may come when some future Horace Walpole will treat the world with another quarto volume of historic doubts, in which he may prove that the numerous squinting portraits on tobacco papers and halfpenny ballads, inscribed with the name of John Wilkes, are 'a weak invention of the enemy,' for that I was not only unlike them, but, if any inference can be drawn from the general partiality of the fair sex, the handsomest man of the age I lived in."

[159] If Hogarth at first intended it for a caricature, who knows but the old lion might have repented himself, for he afterwards threw the original drawing into the fire; it was snatched out by Mrs. Lewis.

[160] That Hogarth should be unseen by all, and yet seen by Virtue, if not a blunder, is very nearly allied to it.

[161] This remark extends no further than to the figure of Churchill. In the little design on a palette, which was added some time after the print was published, there is much wit.

[162] These angry strains had, I suppose, their origin in Hogarth having on some occasion charged Churchill with falsehood. The accusation might probably allude to personal satire, and the bard's warmest admirers must admit, that though his characters are highly drawn, and still more highly coloured, they are rather political than historical, rather poetical than biographical. An uneducated painter, who had not taste enough to conceive that poetry, however animated, could make that truth which he knew to be falsehood, might possibly give his opinion in very displeasing terms.

[163] Porter was the poet's favourite beverage; but though he quaffed more entire butt than bard beseems, he drank still deeper draughts from the fountain of Helicon. Many of his stanzas breathe inspiration.

[164] Much wretched writing, in both verse and prose, concerning this contest between the pencil and the pen, was inserted in the prints of the day. The following explanation, indifferent as it may be thought, is the best I happen to have seen:—

"The bear with a tattered band represents the former strength and abilities of Mr. Hogarth; the full pot of beer likewise shows that he was in a land of plenty. The stump of a headless tree, with the notches, and on it written 'Lie,' signifies Mr. Hogarth's former art, and the many productions thereof, wherein he has excelled even nature itself, and which of course must be but lies, flattery, and fallacy, the painter's prerogative; and the stump of a tree only being left, shows that there can be no more fruit expected from thence, but that it only stands as a record of his former services. The butcher's dog trampling on Mr. Churchill's Epistle alludes to the present state of Mr. Hogarth, who is now reduced from the strength of a bear to a blind butcher's dog, not able to distinguish, but degrading, his best friends; or perhaps giving the public a hint to read that Epistle, where his case is more fully laid before them. The next matter to be explained is the subscription-box, and under it is a book said to contain A List of Subscribers to the North Briton, as well as one of A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Mr. Hogarth mentioned the North Briton to avoid the censure of the rabble in the street, who he knew would neither pity nor relieve him; and as Mr. Churchill was reputed to be the writer of that paper, it would seem to give a colour in their eyes of its being intended against Mr. Churchill. Mr. Hogarth meant only to show his necessity, and that a book entitled A List of Subscribers to the North Briton contained in fact a list of those who should contribute to the support of Mr. Hogarth in old age. By the book entitled A New Way to Pay Old Debts, he can only mean this, that when a man is become disabled to get his livelihood and much in debt, the only shift he has left is to go a-begging to his creditors.

"There are likewise in this print some of his old tools, without any hand to use them."

[165] This thought might possibly be suggested by one of Shakspeare's witches:

"Sleep shall neither night nor day

Hang upon his pent-house lid,

He shall live a man forbid," etc.

How admirable a contrast is formed by Robert Lloyd's description of an opposite character!

"Dull folly,—not the wanton wild,

Imagination's younger child,

Had taken lodgings in his face,

As finding that a vacant place."

[166] "Little did the sportive satirist imagine that the power of pleasing was so soon to cease in both! Hogarth died in four weeks after the publication of this poem, and Churchill survived him but nine days. In some lines which were printed in November 1764, the compiler of these anecdotes took occasion to lament that

"'Scarce had the friendly tear,

For Hogarth shed, escap'd the generous eye

Of feeling pity, when again it flow'd

For Churchill's fate. Ill can we bear the loss

Of Fancy's twin-born offspring, close allied

In energy of thought, though different paths

They sought for fame!—Though jarring passions sway'd

The living artists, let the funeral wreath

Unite their memory!'"

Nichols' Biographical Anecdotes of Hogarth.

[167] In Mr. Churchill's will was the following item:—

"I desire my dear friend John Wilkes, Esq., to collect and publish my works, with the remarks and explanations he has prepared, and any other he thinks proper to make."

Could Mr. Churchill really think it was possible that notes by Mr. Wilkes, or any other man, would justify his malignant attack upon Hogarth?

[168] What a satire upon himself! What an apology for Hogarth's print!

[169] This is a very singular acknowledgment: it is, I believe, the first instance of a person feeling himself flattered at being told that he had murdered an old man.

[170] He frequently engraved a ticket for one series of prints, and presented it with another.

[171] See the engraved title-page to vol. ii.

[172] In the reduced copy I have ventured to abridge this title, though the very ingenious baptisms of sundry modern prints would have given ample countenance to the old inscription. For example: A girl hugging a dog in her arms is, with great attention to analogy, called "Nature;" and a woman with a large mallet in one hand, and a tenpenny nail in the other, "Art."

A female with a consumptive curd-and-whey countenance, that would not have got her a lover even in Otaheite, they have miscalled "Beauty;" and a little gorged misshapen boy, with swollen cheeks, and a bow and arrow, they kindly inform you is "Love."

A farmer's daughter with a basket on her arm, in which are two pigeons quarrelling for a straw, and drawing it different ways, is christened "Conjugal Peace;" and a very picturesque landscape, with a crowd of figures in the background, baptized "Solitude!"

Innumerable other instances might be given; but these are sufficient to prove, that in erroneous inscription Hogarth is not alone.

[173] This good gentleman was undoubtedly designed to place his hand upon his heart; but Hogarth had either heard of some examples similar to one which was lately seen at Dr. John Hunter's, or has, as in many other instances, reversed the drawing.

[174] The Countess Spencer, who has dignified the arts by making several very elegant drawings, has given a sanction to this baptism in a print lately engraved by Bartolozzi.

[175] The pit was formerly the seat of the critics, and dread of authors; our critics of the present day have taken to the green boxes.

[176] The father of Huggins was warden of the Fleet Prison, and in that office guilty of extortion, cruelty, breach of trust, and many other crimes; he accumulated a considerable fortune, and died at ninety years of age. His son William was educated for holy orders, and sent to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he took the degree of M.A., but on the death of his elder brother gave up all thoughts of entering into the church. In 1757 some flattering verses were addressed to him on his version of Ariosto: they are preserved in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxvii. p. 180; but, except by the author and the person to whom they are written, were probably never read through. A specimen of his translation from Dante, which was published in the British Magazine for 1760, exhibits an unequivocal proof that Mr. Huggins was worthy of his encomiast. He died the 2d of July 1761, and left to posterity a MS. tragedy, a MS. translation of Dante, a MS. farce, and though last, not least in estimation—two thousand pounds per annum.

[177] He was a respectable performer on the violin, some years chapelmaster at Antwerp, and several seasons leader of the band at Marybone Gardens. He published a collection of musical compositions, to which was annexed a portrait of himself, characterized by three lines from Milton:

"Thou honour'dst verse, and verse must lend her wing

To honour thee, the priest of Phœbus' quire,

That tun'st her happiest lines in hymn or song."

He died in 1750, aged seventy years, and gives one additional name to a catalogue I have somewhere seen of very old professors of music, who, saith my author, "generally live unto a greater age than persons in any other way of life, from their souls being so attuned unto harmony, that they enjoy a perpetual peace of mind." It has been observed, and I believe justly, that thinking is a great enemy to longevity, and that, consequently, they who think least will be likely to live longest. The quantity of thought necessary to make an adept in this divine science must be determined by those who have studied it.

[178] In thus bringing to shame the ignorant or prejudiced audience who could be blind to his genius, he hath been right worthily imitated by sundry great writers in this our day.

[179] I once saw the following MS. note in the marginal leaf of this oratorio: "If the writer of this had his desserts,

"Full soon would injur'd Judith slay him,

Or pious Jael, Siser-a him."

[180] At a time when Doctor Shippen, I mean the astronomical Shippen, was principal of Brazennose College, the musical professor died, and the Doctor offered himself as a candidate for the place. To the science he was a total stranger, but by strength of interest carried the election, though opposed by a gentleman highly eminent for his musical abilities.

In less than twelve moons the professor of astronomy died, and the electors, ashamed of their former conduct, went in a body to the musical gentleman they had before rejected, and offered him the vacant astronomical chair. He was weak enough to refuse; because, forsooth, he did not understand astronomy, and died without place, pension, or university honour.

Even now these things are managed in much the same way. A nobleman who had the privilege of appointing a chorister to Christ Church, Cambridge, sent them one who was not only ignorant of music, but croaked like an old raven, because the fellow had a vote for a Huntingdonshire borough. This gave rise to the following epigram:—

"A singing man, and cannot sing!

From whence arose your patron's bounty?

Give us a song!—Excuse me, sir,

My voice is in another county."

[181] "A chief betokeneth a senatour, or honourable personage, borrowed from the Greek, and is a word signifying a head; and as the head is the chief part in a man, so the chief in the escocheon should be a reward of such only, whose high merites have procured them chief places, esteem, or love amongst men."—Guillim.

[182] "The bearing of clouds in armes (saith Upton) doth import some excellencie."

[183] Originally printed docter, but altered.

[184] One of them, but I know not which, is said to be intended for Doctor Pierce Dod, physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, who died August 6, 1754. Another for Doctor Bamber, a celebrated anatomist, physician, and accoucheur, to whose estate the present Gascoyne family succeeded, and by whose surname two of them have been baptized.

[185] When very young, I was once in company with the Chevalier at the house of a Doctor Cheyne Harte, in Shrewsbury, and I remember his person having a strong resemblance to this print. I also recollect that he carried his gold, silver, and copper coin in his coat pocket. He had uncommon skill in his profession, but was ridiculously ostentatious, and is said to have expended near a thousand guineas in a set of gold instruments. At this species of foppery Hogarth has well hinted, in the laced or Dresden ruffles with which he alone is decorated. His portrait was painted at Rome by the Chevalier Riche. Beneath it is the following inscription: "Joannes Taylor, Medicus in Optica expertissimus, multisque in Academiis celeberrimis Socius."

[186] To this volume there is the longest title I remember to have seen: it might serve for a table of contents; and containing a sort of brief abstract of his adventures, I have inserted it:—

"The Life and Extraordinary History of Chevalier John Taylor, Member of the most celebrated Academies, Universities, and Societies of the learned—Chevalier in several of the first courts of the world—illustrious (by patent) in the apartments of many of the greatest Princes,[187] Ophthalmiater Pontifical, Imperial, and Royal—to his late Majesty—to the Pontifical Court—to the Person of her Imperial Majesty—to the Kings of Poland, Denmark, Sweden, etc.—to the several Electors of the Holy Empire—to the Royal Infant Duke of Parma—to the Prince of Saxe-Gotha, Serenissime, brother to her Royal Highness the Princess Dowager of Wales—to the Prince Royal of Poland—to the late Prince of Orange—to the present princes of Bavaria, Modena, Lorraine, Brunswick, Anspach, Bareith, Liege, Salzbourg, Middlebourg, Hesse Cassel, Holstein, Zerbst, Georgia, etc.—Citizen of Rome, by a public act in the name of the senate and people—Fellow of that College of Physicians—Professor in Optics—Doctor in Medicine, and Doctor in Chirurgery, in several universities abroad; who has been on his travels upwards of thirty years, with little or no interruption, during which he has not only been several times in every town in these kingdoms, but in every kingdom, province, state, and city of the least consideration—in every court,[188] presented to every crowned head and sovereign prince in all Europe, without exception: containing the greatest variety of the most entertaining and interesting adventures, that, it is presumed, has ever yet been published in any country or in any language."

[187] When he was once enumerating the honours he had received from the different princes of Europe, and the orders with which he had been dignified by innumerable sovereigns, a gentleman present remarked that he had not named the King of Prussia; and added, "I suppose, sir, he never gave you any order?" "You are mistaken, sir," replied the Chevalier: "he gave me a very peremptory order to quit his dominions."

[188] On his return from a tour on the Continent, he once met a plain man, who, addressing him with great familiarity, was repulsed with a cold formal frown,—and, "Sir, I really don't remember you." "Not remember me! why, my goodness, Doctor! we both lodged on one floor in Round Court." "Round Court,—Round Court,—Round Court?—Sir, I have been in every court in Europe, but of such a court as Round Court I have no recollection."

[189] September 16, 1736. "On Thursday Mrs. Mapp's plate of ten guineas was run for at Epsom. A mare, called Mrs. Mapp, won the first heat, when Mrs. Mapp gave the rider a guinea, and swore, if he won the plate she would give him a hundred."

September 23, 1736. "Mrs. Mapp continues making extraordinary cures: she has now set up an equipage, and on Sunday waited on her Majesty."

October 19, 1736, London Daily Post. "Mrs. Mapp being present at the acting of The Wife's Relief, concurred in the universal applause of a crowded audience. This play was advertised by the desire of Mrs. Mapp, the famous bone-setter from Epsom."

October 21, 1736. "On Saturday evening there was such a concourse of people at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln's-Inn Fields to see the famous Mrs. Mapp, that several ladies and gentlemen were obliged to return for want of room. The confusion at going out was so great, that several ladies and gentlemen had their pockets picked, and many of the former lost their fans, etc. Yesterday she was elegantly entertained by Doctor Ward, at his house in Pall Mall."

"On Saturday, and yesterday, Mrs. Mapp performed several operations at the Grecian Coffeehouse, particularly one upon a niece of Sir Hans Sloane,[190] to his great satisfaction, and her credit. The patient had her shoulder-bone out for about nine years."

December 22, 1737. "Died last week, at her lodgings near Seven Dials, the much talked of Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter, so miserably poor, that the parish was obliged to bury her."

[190] I have heard it suggested that this harlequin figure, received as Mrs. Mapp, was really intended for Sir Hans Sloane.

[191] He was originally in partnership with his brother, a drysalter in Thames Street. By a fire which broke out in an adjoining house, their joint property was destroyed, and Mr. Ward escaped by clambering over the tops of several houses in his shirt.

In the year 1717 he was returned member for Marlborough, but by a vote of the House of Commons declared not duly elected. It is imagined that he was in some manner connected with his brother John Ward (immortalized by Mr Pope) in the South Sea Bubble, for he left England rather abruptly; and during his residence abroad, is supposed to have turned Roman Catholic.

It was during his exile that he acquired such a knowledge of medicine and chemistry as was afterwards the means of raising him to a state of affluence. About the year 1733 he began to practise physic, and combated for some time the united efforts of argument, jealousy, and ridicule, by each of which he was opposed. By some lucky cures, and particularly one on a relation of Sir Joseph Jekyl, Master of the Rolls, he triumphed over his enemies; was, by a vote of the House of Commons, exempted from being visited by the censors of the college, and called in to the assistance of George the Second, whose hand he cured; and in lieu of a pecuniary compensation, was, at his own request, permitted to ride in his gaudy and heavy equipage through St. James's Park, an honour seldom granted to any but persons of rank. Besides this, the King gave a commission to his nephew, the late General Gansel.

He distributed medicine and advice to the poor gratis. There is as bad a print as I have seen representing him thus employed. By such conduct he acquired great popularity, and was, indeed, entitled to great praise.

He died December 21, 1761, at a very advanced age, and left the receipts for compounding his medicines to Mr. Page, member for Chichester, who bestowed them on two charitable institutions, which have derived considerable advantage from the profits attending their sale.

In the London Chronicle for February 27, 1762, is the following intimation:—

"A monument is going to be erected in Westminster Abbey, next to that of Mr. Dryden's, to the memory of Joshua Ward, of Whitehall, Esq., on which will be placed a fine bust of the deceased, that had been long in his possession."

[192] The veil which was then spread over this science has been partly removed by the publication of Doctor Buchan's Domestic Medicine,—a treatise which I have frequently heard reprobated by gentlemen of the Faculty, for laying open to the world, in language so perspicuous, those mysterious secrets which had been before disguised in dog Latin: it has, however, gone through more editions than any book in this language, except Robinson Crusoe and the Pilgrim's Progress.

[193] The poet, in this instance, laboureth under a mistake; for I am informed by a gentleman learned in the law, that if a physician neglecteth to receive his fees, and his patient recovereth, he hath no legal claim, neither will an action lie; but if his patient dieth, an action against the executors is good: the Court will admit the claim, and the jury find a verdict, with full costs of suit.

This is very proper, and proveth that law and equity are the same; and that if a physician doth his business, he can recover his reward; but if he neglecteth, and his patient doth not die, why should he have any remuneration?

[194] What caricature is in painting, burlesque is in writing; and in the same manner the comic writer and painter correlate to each other. But here I shall observe, that as in the former the painter seems to have the advantage, so it is in the latter infinitely on the side of the writer; for the monstrous is much easier to paint than describe, and the ridiculous to describe than paint. And though perhaps this latter species doth not in either science so strongly affect and agitate the muscles as the other, yet it will be owned, I believe, that a more rational and useful pleasure arises to us from it.

"He who should call the ingenious Hogarth a burlesque painter, would, in my opinion, do him very little honour; for sure it is much easier, much less the subject of admiration, to paint a man with a nose or any other feature of a monstrous size, or to expose him in some absurd or monstrous attitude, than to express the affections of men on canvas. It has been thought a vast commendation of a painter to say, his figures seem to breathe; but surely it is a much greater and nobler applause, that they appear to think."

This is Fielding's opinion, and the fiat of such a writer ought to have great weight; for his characters and Hogarth's pictures are drawn from the same source.

[195] I have adhered to Hogarth's orthography.

[196] She was suspected to have been concerned in the murder of Mr. Nesbit in 1729, near Drury Lane, for which one Kelly, alias Owen, suffered death. The only ground of his conviction was a bloodied razor, that was known to be his property, being found under the murdered man's head. Kelly died protesting his innocence, and solemnly asserted that he had lent the razor to a woman whose name and habitation he did not know.

[197] It appeared on the trial that Mrs. Duncombe had only fifty-four pounds in her box; and fifty-three pounds eleven shillings and sixpence were found upon Malcolm.

[198] One part of her defence was, it must be acknowledged, rather weak: she declared that seventeen pounds of the money found in her hair was sent to her by her father; but on inquiry, it was proved that he lived in a state of extreme and pitiable poverty in the city of Dublin, where she was born.

[199] The crowd was so great, that a Mrs. Strangeways, who lived in Fleet Street, near Serjeants' Inn, crossed the street from her own house to Mrs. Coulthurst's, on the opposite side of the way, over the heads and shoulders of the populace.

[200] This paper he sold for twenty pounds; and the substance of it was printed in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1733. Peddington died September 18, 1734.

[201] The late Mr. Barry, whose works are an honour to his age and country, and would alone give celebrity and immortality to the English school, in his picture of "Elysium," or the state of final retribution, has introduced Sir Isaac Newton looking at the solar system, which an angel is to him uncovering. This is one of the most sublime and poetical thoughts I ever saw expressed upon canvas.

[202] That his conquests have in their consequences rendered the people he subdued unhappy, must be admitted, and is to be lamented. Though I am inclined to suspect that the narrations of Bartholomew de las Casas, and some other writers, are greatly exaggerated, we have indisputable evidence of such oppression, murder, and massacre, as must make every reader shudder. If the same system is still pursued,—and I fear it has been but little softened,—the evil will correct itself; and who will not rejoice at the total extirpation of these merciless tyrants, and emancipation of that unhappy race whom they have so long enslaved? Let us not, from this, censure the extension of commerce, or civilisation of the savage; for both these great objects ultimately tend to make men wiser, better, and happier. To the beardless philosopher, who adopts the fascinating visions of Rousseau, is an advocate for the blessings of barbarism, and contends for the superiority of the savage to the civilised animal, I earnestly recommend the perusal of Mickle's Introduction to the Lusiad. If the arguments adduced by that excellent writer—and, from intimate personal knowledge, I venture to add, excellent man—will not convince him, and he still languishes for pathless wilds, let him retreat from civilised society to the frozen rocks of Kamtschatka, or join the Aborigines of New Holland.

[203] "When he promised a new hemisphere, it was insisted upon that no such hemisphere could exist; and when he had discovered it, asserted that it had been known long before. The honour was given to the Carthaginians; and, to prove they deserved it, a book of Aristotle's was quoted, which Aristole never wrote. It was further said, that one Martin Behem went from Nuremburg to the Straits of Magellan, in 1460, with a patent from the Duchess of Burgundy, who, as she was not alive at that time, could not issue patents."—Voltaire.

[204] Some authors have said from the port of Gomera, and dated his departure on the 6th of September. This momentous point must be decided by those who study minute chronology; and we are so fortunate as to live in the same age with a writer who can determine the day of the month and day of the week when Adam was created:

"Adam created, Friday, October 28, 4004; died, 3034 before Christ, aged 930."—Trusler's Chronology.

[205] Americus Vespucius, a merchant of Florence, had the honour of giving his name to this new half of the globe, in which he did not possess one acre of land; and pretended to be the first who discovered the continent. Admitting it true that he first discovered it, the glory is due to the man who had the penetration to see that the voyage was practicable, and the courage to perform it. Columbus made three voyages, as viceroy and admiral, five years before Americus made one as a geographer; but Vespucius writing to his friends at Florence that he had discovered a new world, they took his word, and the citizens decreed that a grand illumination should be made before the door of his house every three years, on the feast of All Saints. Such are the accidents by which honours are attained. A merchant gives his name to one half of the globe from happening to be on board a fleet that in 1489 sailed along the coast of Brazil!

[206] This story has been told of Brunelleschi, who improved the architecture of Florence many years before Columbus was born, and it has been since related of many others. These ambulatory anecdotes are transferred from one traveller to another, like the wishing-cap of Fortunatus, that was made to fit every head on which it was placed.

[207] "There is scarce an Egyptian, Greek, or Roman deity, but hath a twisted serpent, twisted cornucopia, or some symbol winding in this manner, to accompany it."—Preface to Analysis of Beauty, p. 18.

[208] Some of these were in wood, and some in copper. The painter, when once asked why he did not answer them, replied, that "he had not seen one which promised to live so long as it would take to engrave a plate." A few of these poignant satires I have seen; but they have now attained a black letter value, and are seldom to be found except in the cabinets of the curious. A series of six or eight, beginning with one entitled "The Butifyer, or a Touch on the Times," Plate I., were designed and engraved by an artist of deserved celebrity.[209] With a frankness for which he is remarkable, and which does him honour, he once acknowledged to me, that being a very young man, he was deceived by the loud clamours of certain veterans, at that time leaders in the arts; but had he seen Hogarth's merit then as he does now, nothing should have induced him to attempt the ridicule of such talents.

[209] Mr. Paul Sandby.

[210] This alludes to the time Hogarth thought would elapse before Stuart's plan was completed; and the prediction was amply verified, for the second volume of Athens was not published until 1789 or 90, though the title-page is dated 1787.

[211] Stuart being once questioned by Frank Hayman upon his right to assume both these titles, said that "Poetry was his wife, and Architecture his mistress." "You may call them so," said Hayman, "but I never heard that you had living issue by either."

[212] The mortification Hogarth naturally felt at seeing more money given for a drawing of an ancient pig-sty than he received for his most capital work, was unquestionably the strongest inducement.

[213] A description of this print was published in The Beauties of all the Magazines for 1761; part of it I have subjoined:—

"Over the first row is written the title Episcopal. The first capital discovers only a forked nose, lips, and one eye; the rest of the face is eclipsed by the wig's protuberance. The next three etchings are only the hinder parts of heads; by these Mr. Hogarth satirizes the present age for their immoralities, which are so notorious, that three-fifths of the religious orders turn their backs upon us, not being able to behold such wickedness.

"The last visage in the line is marked with true pedantic contempt; the wig's fore-top is like the forked hill of Parnassus, and there is a roll round the forehead, like a MS. scroll; the eyelids are almost closed, which denotes the wise man's wink, or that he can see the world with half an eye. The muscles of the countenance are curled up into disdain, and he seems to say, 'I despise ye, ye illiterati!'

"The immense quantity of grizzle which is wove into the wigs carries a twofold design—for reverence and for warmth. The make of these canonicals evinces the care this order take of themselves, for the sake of those committed to their trust; and the profusion of curls or friz in each denotes the wearer must be most learned, because, as the country folk say, Why should they put a double coat of thatch upon a barn, without there was a greater proportion than ordinary of grain housed therein?

"The next row is inscribed Aldermanic. The first wig has two ends, exactly like the dropsical legs of some over-gorged glutton; and the three-quartered face indicates Plenty, Porter, and Politics. On the brow, domestical significancy is seated; a look necessary to each master who dozes in his arm-chair on the Sunday evening, while his lady reads prayers to the rest of the family. It is a countenance which carries dignity with it even at the upper end of a table at a turtle-eating.

"The second has one lock dependent like a sheep's bushy tail. This man could make speeches, knew the nature of debentures, and was much harassed by cent. per cent. commerce. Many are the sleepless nights he has passed in scheming how to fix, if for only half a day, the fluctuating chances of 'Change Alley.

"The third wig is, as the sailors say, 'all aback.' By the swelling of the full bottom, we have an idea of Magna Charta consequence, and guess that the wearer would say something—if he could but see it.

"The next is parted triangular-wise, to fall each side the shoulders. This design was originally taken from a nutting-stick. Thus one of our finest capitals was delineated from a square tile, a weed, and a basket.

"With all modest conjecture we presume, from our intense application to mathematics, that the semicircular sweep at the end of the last full bottom signifies a gold chain. But as we are Englishmen, and will have nothing to do with chains, we shall hasten to the wigs and chins in the third, entitled 'Lexonical.'

"Great men are always celebrated for great things: Cicero for his wart; Ovid for a nose almost equal to Slawkenbergius'; and this portrait seems to be ushered into notice by the curvature of the chin. How venerably elegant do these Lexonicals appear! Here is indeed law at full length. Special pleadings in the fore-top; declarations, replications, rejoinders, issues, and demurrers in every buckle. The knotty points of practice in the intricacies of the twisted tail, and the depth of the whole wig, emblematically express the length of a Chancery suit, while the black coif behind looks like a blister."

[214] A term peculiarly appropriated to the Court of Common Pleas.

[215] To the honour of Sir John Fielding, he once attempted to prevent its being performed, but the attempt failed. Since that time it has been so completely disfigured by Mr. Charles Bannister being disguised in the character of Polly, and Macheath personated by Mrs. Cargill, etc. etc. etc., that no person who had the least pretensions to taste would be seen at such a drama in masquerade.

[216] "Johnson. I am of opinion that more influence has been ascribed to the Beggars' Opera than it in reality ever had; for I do not believe that any man was ever made a rogue by being present at its representation. At the same time, I do not deny that it may have some influence, by making the character of a rogue familiar, and in some degree pleasing." Then collecting himself, as it were to give a heavy stroke; "There is in it such a labefaction of all principles, as may be injurious to morality."—Boswell's Johnson.

[217] A very eminent physician, whose discernment is as acute and penetrating in judging of the human character as it is in his own profession, remarked once at a club where I was, that a lively young man would hardly resist a solicitation from his mistress to go upon the highway, immediately after being present at the Beggars' Opera. I have been told of an ingenious observation by Mr. Gibbon, that "the Beggars' Opera may perhaps have sometimes increased the number of highwaymen, but that it has had a beneficial effect in refining that class of men, making them less ferocious, more polite, in short, more like gentlemen." Upon this Mr. Courtenay said, that Gay was the Orpheus of highwaymen.—Note upon Boswell's Johnson, vol. i. p. 488.

[218] Glory be to great Apollo! At that auspicious period his lyre should have been new strung, and exalted in Britain; for her nobles were as much interested in the disputes between a trio of Italian singers, as they now are in those on which depends the salvation of the empire.

[219] The Ridiculous Travellers returned to Italy.

An Italian I was once talking with upon this crotchet contest, concluded an harangue, calculated to throw Gay's talents and taste into ridicule, with "Saire, this simple signor did tri to pelt mine countrymen out of England with Lumps of Pudding," another of the Beggars' Opera tunes.

[220] Doctor Arbuthnot, describing the declining state of operas (in a letter printed in the Daily Journal), says, "I take the Beggars' Opera to be the touchstone to try British taste on, and it has accordingly proved effectual in discovering our true inclinations, which, how artfully soever they may be disguised by a childish fondness for Italian poetry and music, in preference to our own, will, in one way or other, start up and disclose themselves."

[221] In the London Chronicle for April 6, 1762, is the following paragraph: "On Friday last, at the sale of the late Mr. Rich's pictures, jewels, etc., a clock by Graham was bought by the Right Honourable the Earl of Chesterfield for £42; and a scene in the Beggars' Opera, where Lucy and Polly are pleading for Macheath, painted by Hogarth, was sold for £32, 14s. to his Grace the Duke of Leeds. The money arising from the whole sale amounted to £683, 14s."

[222] The name of that right cunning workman, Filch, is not introduced in the description of the outline; by an edition of the opera, published in 1729, I find he was personated by a Mr. Clark.

[223] The part of this hero of the highway being originally cast for Quin, intimates the style in which it was thought characteristic to play it. Walker was praised for performing it with dignity!

[224] In this are several portraits; one of Sir Francis Page of severe memory, with a halter round his neck—

"Hard words or hanging, if your judge be Page."

[225] In this, as in almost all his dedications, the poet is very lavish of his panegyric. Thus does it begin:—

"May it please your Grace,—The favour which heroic plays have lately found upon our theatres, has been wholly derived to them from the countenance and approbation they have received at Court. The most eminent persons for wit and honour in the royal circle having so far owned them, that they have judged no way so fit as verse to entertain a noble audience or to express a noble passion. And among the rest which have been written in this kind, they have been so indulgent to this poem, as to allow it no inconsiderable place. Since, therefore, to the Court I owe its fortune on the stage; so, being now more publicly exposed in print, I humbly recommend it to your Grace's protection, who by all knowing persons is esteemed a principal ornament of the Court. But though the rank which you hold in the royal family might direct the eyes of a poet to you, yet your beauty and goodness detain and fix them," etc. etc. etc.

In the fourth act is the line about which Dryden has been so unmercifully laughed at, and which I have invariably seen quoted:

"I follow fate, which does too fast pursue."

This might be, and has been defended, by supposing that the race was run in a circle; but the line in a song, warbled by an Indian woman at the side of a fountain, is as follows:—

"Ah, fading joy, how quickly art thou past!

Yet we thy ruin haste:

As if the cares of human life were few,

We seek out new,

And follow fate, which would too fast pursue," etc.

[226] The following was given to me by a collector of dramatic curiosities, who in the course of a long life has raked together as many quires of ancient and modern play-bills as would cover every dead wall in the metropolis, and I am assured that of the above-mentioned handbill it is


"Connection of the Indian Emperor to the Indian Queen.

"The conclusion of the Indian Emperor (part of which poem was written by me) left little matter for another story to be built on, there remaining but two of the considerable characters alive, viz. Montezuma and Orazia: thereupon the author of this thought it necessary to produce new persons from the old ones; and considering the late Indian Queen, before she loved Montezuma, lived in clandestine marriage with her great general Traxalla, from those two he has raised a son and two daughters, supposed to be grown up to man and woman's estate, and their mother Orazia (for whom there was no further use in the story) lately dead. So that you are to imagine about twenty years elapsed since the coronation of Montezuma, who in the truth of the history was a great and glorious prince, and in whose time happened the discovery and invasion of Mexico by the Spaniards (under the command of Cortez), who joined with the Traxallan Indians, the inveterate enemies of Montezuma, wholly subverted that flourishing empire, the conquest of which is the subject of this dramatic poem.

"I have neither wholly followed the story, nor varied from it, and, as near as I could, have traced the native simplicity and ignorance of the Indians in relation to European customs: the shipping, armour, horses, swords, and guns of the Spaniards, being as new to them as their habits and manners were to the Christians.

"The difference of their religion from ours, I have taken from the story itself; and that which you find of it in the first and fifth acts, touching the sufferings and constancy of Montezuma in his opinions, I have only illustrated, not altered from those who have written of it.

"John Dryden."

[227] Some eighteen or twenty years ago, a person of quality in the neighbourhood of Lichfield, dragged together a shoal of little holiday fry, to give an infantine exhibition of a new sentimental comedy.

A spacious Gothic gallery made an admirable theatre, and for scenery—there was an excellent substitute, in many a mouldering breadth of ancient tapestry, which represented in horrid guise the direful tale of Herod's Cruelty. By the hour announced for the theatrical début of these unfledged actors, the house overflowed. Though the circumstance is not recorded by either Boswell or Sir John Hawkins, a late celebrated moralist was one of the audience. To the beginning of the fifth act he stayed with more patience than could have been expected; at this time he exhibited evident marks of ennui and lassitude—yawned three times, and attempted to make his exit. The lady of the mansion cut off his retreat with, "'Pon honour, Doctor Johnson, you must not go! How can you think of leaving the theatre when my Dicky is in so interesting a situation?" "Madam," replied the sage, "with the plot of your play I was unacquainted, and have waited thus long in the hope that it would turn out a tragedy; I might then have seen how naturally little Dicky and his dramatic associates would have died! I now perceive that the author will neither introduce aconite nor a bare bodkin, and have no prospect of a pathetic termination but in Herod or some of his tapestry hang-dogs starting into life. Should these murderous ruffians once step upon the stage, all your pretty innocents will most assuredly be put to the sword!"

[228] In the third volume of this work, which was compiled from Hogarth's manuscripts, and published some time after the two which precede it, there is a catalogue of all his prints, and the editor has endeavoured to add a more perfect list of the numerous variations than has been hitherto given to the public.

[229] In a marginal leaf of the late Doctor Lort's Trusler, I found a piece of a newspaper with the following remarks (neither the date nor title of the paper were inserted): "Whether the late extraordinary sums paid for the works of Hogarth at Mr. Gulston's sale are to be regarded on the whole as proofs of our artist's merit, or of extravagance in our modern collectors, I shall not venture to determine; and yet the following statement of the rapid advance in the value of prints from this celebrated master may furnish notices to assist the judgment of your readers:—

"In 1780, Mr. Walpole obliged the world with a fourth volume of his Anecdotes of Painting in England. In this entertaining performance was comprised the first catalogue of Hogarth's pieces. I say the first, for every preceding enumeration of them was defective in the extreme. This was succeeded in 1781 by a publication from the ingenious and accurate Mr. Nichols, who considerably enlarged and amended the list made by his predecessor.

"In the same year, Mr. Bailley's collection, which would now be deemed an imperfect one, was sold at Christie's for £61, 10s. In 1782 it was resold, with some additions, at Barford's for £105.

"In 1785, the late Mr. Henderson of Covent Garden Theatre disposed of his collection, by far less complete than either of the foregoing, for £126.

"In 1786, Mr. Gulston's was sold piecemeal by Mr. Greenwood; and though the condition of all such articles in it, as real taste and common sense would style the most valuable, were very indifferent, the whole series is reported to have brought in upwards of £600.[230] At this auction, the plates now to be particularized were knocked down at the following rates, though taken altogether they were scarce worth the money paid for the cheapest of them:—

Two engravings on plate£4146
Three ditto3100
Small arms of the Duchess of Kendal400
Large ditto600
Arms of Lord Aylmer7100
Arms unknown, with women as terms6100
Two ditto1116
Impression from a tankard1000
Hogarth's shop-bill and another11150
Rape of the Lock; impression from a gold snuff-box
      presented to Mr. Pope3300
Scene of Evening, without the girl4086

"Should the celebrity of the delightful mock heroic poem, or the rareness of an imperfect play tending to show that a complete design is not always to be hit at once even by a Hogarth, furnish some apology for the purchase of the two last articles, what excuse can be invented for the collectors who bought the preceding trash on terms so ridiculously high? Of all the trifling works of art, coats of arms must be reckoned the most contemptible. These early productions of our author on silver tea-tables, mugs, and waiters, have no sort of merit to recommend them, nor were ever meant to be impressed on paper (except as in momentary satisfaction to the engraver); for being there reversed, like the prayers of witches, they must be read backwards. Besides, what taste or genius can be manifested in the disposition of a cat's whiskers or a fox's tail; in the emblazonry of a black swan with two necks, or a blue boar with gilded tail? What abilities are requisite for the expansion of an old woman's furred cloak (very pompously denominated a mantle) at the back of a shield, or for inscribing some bright sentence or wretched pun (yclep'd a motto) in Gothic Latin on a ribbon fantastically waved? For the design in which nature and manners are displayed, no praise can be too exalted; but as for his heraldry,—his representation of birds and beasts that never had existence,—

"A dragon, and a finless fish,

A clip-wing'd griffin, and a molten raven,

And such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff,"—

these can never be allowed to contribute a single leaf to the chaplet he has so long and so deservedly worn.

"I have dwelt the more on these things, because I am assured there are print-dealers now rummaging the books of our oldest engravers, in the hope that a still greater number of useless and insignificant particulars consisting of arms, etc., imputable to Hogarth, will be found; nor are their hopes less sanguine that the madness of collectors will be confirmed instead of cured by the examples hung out at the late auction in Leicester Fields.

"Let me hope, however, that for the future every sensible collector will think his assemblage of Hogarth's prints sufficiently complete, without the foolish adjuncts already described and reprobated. For the authenticity of these trifles being obvious to no kind of proof, they principally tend to expose their purchasers to the frauds of designing people, who will laugh at their credulity while they pocket their cash."

[230] A short time before this, the writer of these volumes had the honour of furnishing his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales with a set of Hogarth's works. They consisted of remarkably fine impressions from his most valuable plates, many of the variations, and some which were deemed scarce (though not one of either the large or small coat of arms). For the two volumes he charged and received £84.

[231] See the manner of disgracing the most serious subjects in many celebrated old pictures, by introducing low, absurd, and obscure, and often profane, circumstances into them.


"What shall withstand old Time's devouring hand?

Where's Troy? and where's the Maypole in the Strand?"

[233] I may be told that this is a mistake, and that it was either to Pope or Swift. It was the fate of Arbuthnot to twine laurel for the brows of his friends. I know it was a partnership account, but surely the Doctor was first in the firm.

[234] See the introduction to the Memoirs of Scriblerus.

[235] Should any Lord, Knight, Esquire, or spirited Bookseller, choose to purchase the whole copy, I am ready to treat with him upon proper terms.

[236] The writer of a modern book of travels, relating the particulars of his being cast away, thus concludeth: "After having walked eleven hours without tracing the print of a human foot, to my great comfort and delight I saw a man hanging upon a gibbet: my pleasure at this cheering prospect was inexpressible, for it convinced me that I was in a civilised country!"


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.

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 3-star asterism symbol in the Catalog is denoted by ⁂. On some handheld devices it may display as a space.

Footnotes [155], [187], [188], [190], [209] and [230] are referenced from the prior Footnotes and 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, after-thought, afterthought; sign-post, signpost; independency; caldron; embosomed; dulness.

In the illustration captions for the six "Marriage à la mode" Plates, 'MARRIAGE A-LA-MODE' has been replaced by 'MARRIAGE A LA MODE'.
Pg 87 Footnote [57], 'sooner than hey' replaced by 'sooner than they'.
Pg 88 Footnote [58], 'being desious' replaced by 'being desirous'.
Pg 123, 'handsome ackowledgment' replaced by 'handsome acknowledgment'.
Pg 130, 'luscious cates' replaced by 'luscious cakes'.
Pg 240, 'published in Septemper' replaced by 'published in September'.
Pg 255 Footnote [179], 'had his deserts' replaced by 'had his desserts'.
Pg 262, 'sinster side is Doctor' replaced by 'sinister side is Doctor'.
Pg 268, 'as a subscripton-ticket' replaced by 'as a subscription-ticket'.
Pg 280, 'to be permament' replaced by 'to be permanent'.
Pg 284, 'similiar spirit' replaced by 'similar spirit'.
Pg 301, 'does not not need defense' replaced by 'does not need defense'.

Catalog of Books:
Pg 15C, 'very beau-ful' replaced by 'very beautiful'.
Pg 43C, 'booh is a mine' replaced by 'book is a mine'.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Hogarth's Works, Volume 2 (of 3), by 
John Ireland and John Nichols


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