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Title: William Hogarth: The Cockney's Mirror
Author: Marjorie Bowen
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Language: English
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William Hogarth:
The Cockney's Mirror


Marjorie Bowen

Cover Image


First published by Methuen & Co. Ltd. London, 1936
This e-book edition: Project Gutenberg Australia, 2014

To A. L. L., Summer, 1936


The word cockney—cock-a-neg—cock's egg—first meant a fool, a grotesque, and, secondly, an inhabitant of London; it may, therefore, be fairly used to designate the world from which William Hogarth drew his material.


Terra-cotta Bust of Hogarth
Louis François Roubillac (1695-1762)


THIS volume is the result of years of study and of the author's admiration for the genius of William Hogarth; it is offered as a tribute to one of the greatest of English painters, in the hope that it may prove of some interest both to those who are well acquainted with this artist and his period and to those to whom nothing but his name and a few of his more famous works are familiar; if much attention is given to the background of the subject, it is because it is felt that a full understanding and appreciation of this artist's work cannot be arrived at without a fair knowledge of eighteenth-century London.

This study, for the sake of clarity and a continuous narrative, is divided into four parts; the first gives the background of William Hogarth's life and pictures, the second recounts his career and character and his attitude to his own genius, the third gives the stories, actors (real or imagined) of the principal pictures and prints, and the fourth describes and analyses the work from the point of view of aesthetics.

No attempt at a complete bibliography of the subject, nor a complete catalogue of William Hogarth's works, can be made in a work of this pretension; a short list of the principal authorities for the life is given and a short list of the more important paintings and engravings.

In the édition de luxe of William Hogarth by Austin Dobson, with a preface by Sir Walter Armstrong, London, 1902, is an exhaustive bibliography, together with two catalogues, one of paintings and one of prints, the whole comprising 128 pages; to this the reader in search of further information is referred.

Minute descriptions of all William Hogarth's satirical prints are to be found in: Catalogue of Prints and Drawings in British Museum, Division I. Political and Personal Satires, Vol. II, 1873—Vol. III (2 parts), 1879, London.

Where the pictures referred to are in private collections the present owners have been given as far as possible; it has not, however, been easy to trace all of these; in such cases the names given are those supplied in the lists given by Austin Dobson, either in his William Hogarth or in the article under that name in the Dict. Nat. Biography.

Grateful acknowledgements are made to the National Gallery, London; the Tate Gallery, London; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; the City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol; the Governors of the Foundling Hospital; to the Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum; to J. Pierpoint Morgan, Esq., by whose courtesy The Lady's Last Stake is reproduced; to J. L. B. Williams, Esq.; to the Minneapolis Institution of Arts; to the Borough Council and Libraries Committee of Camberwell; the Curator of the South London Art Gallery; and to Mrs. Norah Richardson, Andover, Hants.

M. B.
December, 1935


London 1697-1764

William Hogarth

The Moralities
Satirical Genre Pictures
Tickets; Small Engravings; Symbolical Pictures
Satirical Portraits
Genre Pictures
The Peep Show

'The Line of Beauty and of Grace'





THE SCENE — London, 1697-1764

LONDON, in the early eighteenth century, comprised the ancient Roman capital, 'the city,' the old Borough of Southwark with a collegiate church, the City of Westminster with the seat of government and another great collegiate church, to which had once been attached a palace; it was surrounded by large, prosperous villages, interspersed with fields and seats of the nobility and gentry; some of these, such as Knightsbridge, Kensington, Paddington and Islington, were slowly being incorporated with the capital, while others, further afield, remained completely detached.

The straggling boundary of this London measured no more than a dozen miles, and the number of inhabitants was 'variously guessed at;' in 1739 the city proper was believed to contain 725,903 souls, some thirty years later a million people, it was supposed, inhabited London, Westminster and Southwark, if generous margins were allowed in the directions of Greenwich and Chelsea; in the absence, however, of any proper census of the population, no one could give with exactitude the number of Londoners; it was, at least, obvious that the city was grossly overcrowded and contained too large a proportion of the seven millions who—according to the same rough computation—inhabited the British Isles.

London was not only the home of the King, the seat of Parliament, a great Port, and one of the most considerable centres of the world's trade, it was the focus of the life of the country, the headquarters of art, of ambition, of learning, of enterprise, and also of luxury, folly, roguery and crime, the focus in a vivid and definite sense.

Bad roads and the extreme difficulty of transport, the dangers and discomforts of travel, isolated the capital in envied splendour and concentrated on the banks of the Thames between Chelsea and the Tower nearly all that was notable in every walk of life; there were few men who aspired to success who did not, sooner or later, make their way, often penniless and on foot, to London; there were few women, eager to exploit their charms, who did not try to find their market in London.

In the capital might be found whatever excitement, whatever novelty, whatever luxury the age afforded, and there might be caught those glimpses of the famous and the infamous, the royal Prince in his gilded coach, the criminal in the filthy pillory, that added zest and colour to life.

The country towns and villages were self-contained communities, where many lived and died contentedly; the manor houses sheltered generations of esquires, who never went further than the nearest country town; but peasants and country gentlemen alike thought with pride and awe of London, where, should they ever venture there, they were jeered at as boobies and Hodges by the smart Cockneys.

Some, however, came, and some stayed and contrived a livelihood out of the manifold activities of the capital.

Soon after King William had driven in state through packed streets of well-dressed people to give thanks for the Peace of Ryswyck in the huge, as yet unfinished, Cathedral of St. Paul's, one of these country adventurers, Richard Hogarth, a hedgerow schoolmaster from Westmorland, was living in Bartholomew's Close.

He had not met with much success in London; the classes he held in Ship Court, Old Bailey, were not sufficiently profitable even for a meagre livelihood, and the poor scholar eked out his means by writing Latin Dictionaries and Grammars and by correcting proof-sheets for the booksellers.

In his modest home was born, November 10th, 1697, his only son, William, named after the King; two daughters, also loyally named after the sister Queens, Mary and Ann, completed the little family that Mr. Hogarth found such difficulty in maintaining in decency. Not only was his classical learning an ill-paid commodity, but he found it far from easy to obtain his dues from the printers for whom he worked. He was, however, of robust, prudent, hard-working North-country yeoman-stock, and, despite all handicaps, he contrived to set up his daughters in a haberdasher's shop in Smithfield, and to apprentice his son, who had shown an inordinate liking for drawing, to Mr. Ellis Gamble, a silversmith, who resided at the Sign of the Golden Angel, Cranbourn Street, in the modish locality of Leicester Fields.

The boy had been taken from school because he covered his copy-books with ornaments, but he soon fretted at the drudgery of engraving heraldic designs on silver plate, and by the time he was twenty years old and out of his indentures he was looking about for some way of escape from a career as an engraver of silversmith's work.

He was full of zest for life and impatient of laborious toil, so set aside, as too difficult, his first plan of becoming a copper-plate engraver—a profession demanding the most delicate technical skill. Nor did the prospect of being a mere copyist appeal to him; he had already filled notebooks with jottings of odd characters and incidents that had taken his fancy and he believed that continued practice of this kind would give him all the proficiency that he required in his art, without the necessity of resorting to that long drudgery which was usually considered essential to success in any branch of graphic art.

In the spring of 1720 William Hogarth engraved two show-cards, one for himself, one for his sisters.

He was prepared to work for booksellers, printers, to produce book plates, shop cards, lottery and entertainment tickets, lids of snuff boxes—indeed to undertake any branch of hack copper-plate engraving whereby he could earn his living.

His own card was conventional in design, but competent in execution; two figures, two putti and two swags of fruit and flowers, all in the neo-classic style, enclosed the enscrolled name W. Hogarth; underneath, on a tablet surrounded by a heavy ornamentation, was the date, April, 1720.

The Misses Hogarth's pretensions were even more modest; they announced that they sold dimities, suits of fustian, ticken and holland, ready-made frocks, flannel waistcoats and 'drawers for Bluecoat boys.'

Mr. Richard Hogarth's children were thus provided for in the humblest walks of commerce; the son had early discovered from his father's example the financial uselessness of 'classical qualifications' and was resolved to make his way by more practical means, and there were no pretensions about the daughters, jolly, sensible girls, with round faces and dark eyes.

The family came, as far as can be known, of pure English stock, free from any admixture of Latin or Celt; they were good-humoured, pugnacious, honest, cheerful, full of common sense and resource, hard-working but fond of decent pleasures and simple fun; William's uncle, Thomas Hogarth (Hogart—Hog garth, swine herd), was a noted wit and comic poet in his native place, Troutbeck, near Windermere, which he never left; he produced 'a mass of poetry,' or rather satirical verse, most of which was rather too lively for general circulation.

William had this same gift of satiric comedy, a quick eye for the absurd, a quick pencil to note it down, a zest for 'shows' from Punch and Judy to a Drury-Lane tragedy, a gift for mimicry, an insatiable curiosity as to the scene in which he found himself.

He was a little, thick-set fellow, fond of fine clothes, clean, neat, plain, with a snub nose and commonplace features, inclined to strut, ready to quarrel, but just, affectionate, a friend to animals, scrupulous in 'paying his way,' industrious, despite a love of leisure and amusement, and fiercely patriotic.

His stock, like his qualities, was plebeian, but he was by no means boorish or rough; to native shrewdness he added Cockney sharpness, the polish the town quickly gives to country wits, and he had been at school long enough to save himself from the charge of illiteracy, while from his father he had received sufficient tincture of classical learning to enable him to understand and use a Latin tag at need, though his spelling of his own language always remained erratic.

Of general culture he had none and his reading had been limited to a few of the most easily accessible English books, such as Gulliver's Travels, Mother Bunch, Robinson Crusoe, the Arabian Nights, but he had been well-disciplined by a long apprenticeship to a difficult craft and his mind was alert and lively enough to find a continual zestful delight in the scene about him; this scene was London and it changed little during the sixty-seven years that William Hogarth lived amid it, nor did he, save for the briefest periods, ever leave the city where he was born.

While, then, the cheerful, pug-nosed ex-apprentice is setting up in business to earn an honest living as a modest copper-plate engraver, while his two young sisters are bustling among their lacets and tapes, their flannels and cambrics, let us, in the manner of the leisured 'ambulator' of the period, survey this scene; without some close acquaintance with it we shall not be able to understand either William Hogarth or his work.

* * *

To the middle of the eighteenth century all the great changes lay ahead; the commercial inventions that gave the country her sudden supremacy in European trade were as yet undreamt of; James Brindley had not cut his canals, or MacAdam laid down his roads; the mineral wealth of the country was unexploited, even two-thirds of all iron used was imported; charcoal was still used for smelting, the manufactured goods were made by hand in cottage homes, the high cost of transport—Manchester to Liverpool, forty shillings a ton for goods—kept enterprise and industry at a standstill; the use of water power covered the country with water-mills; the post was expensive and uncertain, it was a Government Service, remodelled in 1710; the charge was 3d. up to 80 miles, to Edinburgh or Dublin 6d.; the mail left the capital three times a week.

Large tracts of England, Wales and Scotland were wild, bleak, uncultivated, sparsely inhabited, difficult and dangerous to cross; a Cockney would have been as utterly lost on Yorkshire moors, Welsh hills or Scottish valleys as if he had been in Siberia or Tibet; such centres as the provincial gentry made for themselves, Chester, York, and Shrewsbury, were isolated from one another and from London; the country towns were self-supporting.

There was much unemployment, resulting in hordes of beggars; this evil arose from the gradual enclosure of the common lands by the landowners, who held all parliamentary power, from the conversion of arable land into pasturage for sheep, to supply the lucrative wool trade, and from the seizure of the Guild funds by Edward VI. Voteless, despoiled and plundered, the peasant's only hope was in the clumsy Poor Laws of Elizabeth and Charles II, which fed the destitute workers in sickness, old age or unemployment, on condition that their wages were fixed by the magistrates; as these were also their employers, the English labourer was in reality a slave, with no rights, freedom or privileges—a slave over whom there was no one to agitate or to sentimentalize.

* * *

The opulent seats of the nobility, who were enriched by the Church spoils seized at the Reformation and consolidated in their wealth and splendour by the Revolution of 1688, broke at intervals the waste lands or the cultivated fields and pastures and dominated with accepted arrogance the little town or the humble village.

Between these great gentry and the peasants was the sturdy yeoman-farmer class, which usually supplied the artizan and the craftsman, the carpenter, the saddler, the farrier, the sign and coach painter, the little shopkeeper of the provincial towns—sometimes an apothecary's apprentice or a lawyer's clerk.

This class was seldom submerged into the peasantry, but even more rarely scrambled into the gentry; the country was intensely class-conscious, and only in those circles in London where the intellectuals had formed their own societies was there any manner of freedom of thought, liberty of speech or sense of true values.

Arrogance on the part of the moneyed Whig gentry (aristocrats many of them were not), servility on the part of the middle-class traders, who lived on them, fear and ignorance on the part of the peasantry, divided the population into distinct strata; only great talent or peculiar force of character enabled a man to rise from the station in which he was born.

The practice of the fine arts was regarded as the province of those below gentility; the nobleman was the patron of the artist in the same sense as he was the patron of the jockey or the prize-fighter.

The Church was in a stagnant state; the particular brand of Protestantism that resulted from the Revolution of 1688 was interpreted as a cosy materialism by some, as black Puritanism by others; all spirituality had left a creed that was too comfortably endowed with worldly goods, all vigour had left a movement that had achieved its purpose; neither saints nor scholars adorned a Church where the fat posts went to the younger sons of wealthy houses, and where the routine work was done by despised, underpaid curates.

The Roman Catholics were oppressed by gross penal laws, and the abortive rebellion of 1715 had rendered them subject to still further distress and persecution.

Nor, in the early years of the eighteenth century, had those scenes of 'enthusiasm' in which the starved instincts of the people found vent, that mixture of inspiration and charlatanism, which was directed by men like Whitfield and the Wesleys, begun to disturb the hard materialism of the age under which lay the deep wells of sentimentality soon to be tapped by the genius of Samuel Richardson and the school of 'sensibility.'

The Government was settled; that is, some sort of a compromise had been made between what the majority wanted and what they could with safety obtain; a corrupt and incompetent oligarchy ruled a people who revelled in their traditional 'freedom.'

A German Prince had reluctantly accepted the Crown of Great Britain and been as reluctantly endured; expediency and a common dislike were all that linked the first two Georges and their people. The arrangement, however, under the adroit management of Sir Robert Walpole, first 'Prime Minister,' worked well enough to satisfy those with money and influence—those without either were not considered by anyone.

The Lords and Commons, sitting with ancient ceremonial at Westminster under the beams that had been shaped by Richard II's carpenters, and that had roofed over the trial of Charles I, gave the nation that air of British liberty and independence which was popularly supposed to be the envy and despair of foreigners. In reality Parliament represented only a portion of the people, the wealthy landowners, who were elected by one system of bribery and held their seats and gave their votes by another.

Sir Robert was a realist and, as such, was able to handle very efficiently the complex organization of corruption on which the country was run.

When William Hogarth first surveyed the English scene, there had been peace, since the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) had clipped off the grandiose ambitions of Louis XIV and the fallacious hopes of the House of Stuart, but Great Britain maintained an efficient fleet, largely manned by outcasts, pressed men and those too desperate and wretched to object to what was considered the hardest life in the world, and a small regular army recruited from peasants, officered by aristocrats, freshly laurell'd from Marlborough's bloody victories.

It was understood that, at a crisis, these native forces would be assisted by such mercenaries as might be hired from one of His Majesty's fellow-Electors, several of whom paid for their pleasures by trafficking in the bodies of their subjects.

With this rough machinery of government, functioning fairly well, with what was regarded as 'peace and prosperity' ruling over the land, the average Englishman enjoyed himself as well as a poor human being might in an imperfect world.

He could not miss what he had never known, and custom made him oblivious of the horrors that surrounded him; only the very observant, the very sensitive, the highly intelligent, noticed the cruelty, the filth, the disease, the gross vices, the repulsive coarseness that disfigured almost every aspect of life.

The brutal crimes resultant from an unpoliced society, the brutal punishments meted out by old laws no one troubled to reform, the grotesque medley of Puritanical restraints and cynic licence in manners and morals, did not disturb those who, born into this scene, tried to find their place in it, and who tried, perhaps, to fish up some prize from these filthy waters. Here and there some moralist stood aside, shocked and dismayed, here and there some saintly soul retired unspotted from the world, some philosophers sighed, some reformers wept, the gentle, the tenderhearted suffered and did what they could—but none of these was heeded by the greedy, harassed press intent on profit or pleasure or the mere necessaries of existence.

The beginnings of great movements for the betterment of humanity were daily broadening, but were as yet unnoticeable to the casual eye.

The age was grossly brutal; the amusements of the average male consisted in watching or taking part in a display of ferocity, prize-fighting, cock-fighting, bull-baiting, combats with quarterstaffs, cudgels or broadswords. The lower classes settled trivial disputes by hand-to-hand fights, which there were no police to interrupt, the upper classes went armed with swords and pistols, which they were always ready to use, either in self-defence or in 'affairs of honour.' Honour among the gentlefolk became fair play among their social inferiors; it represented one of the most respected virtues of the age. Punishments were shockingly severe, the state of the hospitals, prisons, orphanages and lunatic asylums, was appalling; all this was regarded callously by everyone save a few humanitarians, like Captain Coram.

Flogging was universal; children, criminals, vagabonds, apprentices, soldiers, sailors, were flogged 'within an inch of their lives' upon the least pretext; a man might be pressed to death for refusing to plead, a woman burnt alive for murder of husband or employer (treason), a child hanged for theft, a debtor left to starve in prison; drinking was incessant among all classes; the taxed spirits and wines, the native beers, were sold freely at all hours; it was said that in the lower streets of London taverns were in the ratio of one to three houses; much of the foreign stuff was smuggled; a large portion of the general public connived at this.

The gentlemen and their women-folk saw no offence to manners in constant drunkenness, the middle classes consumed the strong English ale without stint, the poorest could afford gin, cheap enough and powerful enough for a man to be able to lay himself out unconscious for the expenditure of twopence.

Crude rum from Jamaica was supplied to the Navy in generous quantities and helped to destroy the health and morale of the pressed, flogged sailor.

All foreigners were struck by the drunkenness and brutality of the English people, their ferocious prejudice against all strangers, their lack of refinement. In the practice of hard drinking the English had no rivals, save possibly among the habitués of some of the small German Courts, and the ruffianly behaviour permitted in the London streets had no parallel in any other capital.

It was no individual person's fault that these streets were cobbled, with gutters full of filth in the centre, that springless carts and carriages jolted over them with harsh rattlings, that wandering hawkers kept up a continuous shouting, that fights were frequent, that a shower of rain sent spouts of water off the pipeless roofs, that unrepaired pavements caused puddles too wide to jump across, that at night the few oil lamps cast only sufficient light to throw misleading shadows; but the brutal licence permitted to the vagabond and the ruffian was a bitter commentary on the temper of the times.

* * *

London was not safe after dark; not only did the sneak thief swarm, not only might the link boy hired to light the way be an accomplice of a footpad, but parties of young men of the better classes roamed about, bringing into contempt the ill-paid watchmen who alone represented law and order by their unavenged assaults upon them and indulging in violent pastimes that included savage attacks upon life and property.

Only those who could afford armed servants could venture abroad after dark, when the streets were infested with young rakes ready to beat a man to death, to roll a woman downhill in a barrel, to use sword, pistol or knife against the harmless and the defenceless passer-by, to smash windows and damage property by way of a frolic.

Coffee-houses were the scenes of more civilized forms of masculine amusement; these were used by various classes and served as clubs as well as eating-houses; here politics were discussed and the meagre newspapers of the day read; these last often contained offers of rewards for escaped negro slaves with collars on their necks or notices of slaves for sale.

Among the pleasanter diversions of the people were cricket and bowls, played on inn greens and village commons, football played in the streets, skating or sliding on ice, foot races and horse races.

Hunting, shooting and fowling were the luxuries of the well-to-do; all classes enjoyed bear-baiting, cock-fighting and such spectacles as 'a mad bull dressed up with fireworks all over him,' bulls with cats tied to their tails, wild bears and 'he-tigers;' they enjoyed the sight of all these being 'baited to death.'

All the education the poorest classes could hope for was from the charity schools, which could deal only with a small proportion of the destitute, the lower-middle classes had to rely on the dame-school or the hedgerow pedagogue; for those who could afford a little more there were grammar schools, private schools, the public schools, Westminster, Winchester, Harrow, St. Paul's, Eton, the City schools; for the wealthy the private tutor, the Continental tour, the University.

After reading, writing, elementary arithmetic, nothing was taught save the classics; to be a good Latinist was to be considered at the height of learning and culture.

Penmanship was highly valued and often carried to the perfection of a fine art.

* * *

The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge were in a state of mental and moral stagnation; the two towns were small copies of London; there were sports, fights, drunken orgies, dirt, brawls, a little work, a good deal of idleness; in many respects the University towns were worse than the capital, as they contained so many lawless young men with little to do, money at their disposal and high opinions of themselves as the future rulers and judges of the land.

There is little to be said about the position of women; the laws largely delivered them and their property to the men, who on the whole did not abuse their power; the Englishman's love of home and of family life persisted through all the distractions of the age.

The aristocracy and the moneyed classes might drink, gamble and riot away health and peace of mind, but the humbler citizen could usually show a pleasant interior to his house.

The home, when domestic necessaries were hand-made and most were made within the household, provided sufficient interests for most of the women, who had only received the scantiest amount of 'book learning,' and who were usually satisfied with the formula of a religion that, to simple minds, seemed to supply all spiritual needs.

For the woman who had no taste for domesticity or piety, there was little scope; a few daring bas bleus protected by birth and means, a few cultured great ladies with position and leisure, might venture to be original in their mode of life, to express individuality in word and action, but for the rest a woman's safety and happiness depended entirely upon her compliance with convention.

Not only an illicit love affair, but the suggestion of one did literally 'ruin' a woman.

Since, even if she owned property, some male never failed to get it by marriage, and it was impossible for her to earn more than the meanest sums at the meanest labours, a woman who broke with her family soon found herself in the position of an outcast and a criminal; the 'dishonoured' woman was treated with a more brutal contempt than that meted out to the vilest and most wretched of the opposite sex.

It was a paradox in the manners of the age that the man who made the seduction of innocent young women one of his sports was excused, no matter what trickery he employed to gain his end, while his victim, however deceived, trapped or forced, was considered forever 'lost;' her only escape from sinking to the utmost degradation was, as Oliver Goldsmith observed, 'to die.'

On the other hand, there was no lack of willing damsels to swell the ranks of 'the votaries of pleasure' and to risk Bridewell, the cart, the lazar-house, for the sake of ease and luxury; the vast underworld of London was peopled with women as clever, as vile, as cruel, as coarse as the men whom they served, and the horribly frequent spectacle of the depths to which women could sink no doubt helped to enforce the severe line of demarcation between the protected, respected woman and her 'fallen' sister.

The morality of the women of the upper classes was, as always, a thing apart; they were expected only to keep up appearances; no great courtezans set the tone of the Court or society, no actress or singer of genius broke all conventions and was a focus of brilliant manners; there were no salons, but many of the aristocratic ladies were cynically Unmoral.

Among the middle classes the female standard was high, but far too self-consciously 'virtuous;' the emphasis given to the value of chastity and its attendant graces, decorum and prudery, put all other qualities in the shade; the 'good' woman was the constant wife or the spotless spinster; no variation was allowed on this theme; the age that romanticized and sentimentalized the 'erring' woman had not arrived, there was no social reformer to pity, no poet to celebrate the woes of the Jennys and Molls who traipsed the London streets and perished in Bridewell or the hospital.

If prostitutes had never been in greater numbers or more openly flaunting, never had they been treated with more harshness; when one false step sent a woman down to the gutter and the jail, female character became, on one hand, timorously rigid and hypocritical, on the other, cynically hardened and debased.

* * *

The dress of both sexes was highly fantastic; the era of commonsense, of democracy, had not dawned; the cavalier costume that had triumphed at the Restoration had evolved into very elaborate, costly fashions, which included the use of expensive materials, broadcloth, velvet, satin brocade, fine linen, and such adornments as elaborate hand-embroidery, buttons, buckles and clasps of precious metals and stones. Many of these were foreign, taxed, and smuggled. The main characteristics of the period were, however, the powdered hair or wig, and the hoop or farthingale. During the period of which we treat these had not become so ugly and grotesque as they did during the last quarter of the century; indeed, the dress of the upper classes was rich and becoming, the male fashions being in particular attractive, elegant and graceful.

As all these clothes were hand-cut, hand-made and hand-embroidered, lace and embroidery being the result of patient stitching, and ornaments the result of skilled individual craftsmanship, the complete costume had great beauty and distinction; even when old and damaged, the hand-woven, hand-dyed stuff was pleasing in its faded shades. No one was, in the modern sense, cheaply dressed, since it was impossible to obtain the 'imitation,' 'slop' article; even the humblest garment was the result of someone's personal labour, since mass production was unknown.

The lower classes dressed in a modification of the Puritan style, plain, warm, sensible garments, with short, unpowdered hair; this sharp difference in attire helped to distinguish most clearly one class from another; clergy, lawyers, doctors had their peculiar, unmistakable garb, while officers of both services wore their elaborate uniforms on all occasions.

The manner in which the people lived was on the same lines as their clothes, rich and fantastic, elegant and graceful, where there was money, useful and plain where there was little, squalid where there was none.

* * *

Certain inconveniences were suffered by all classes alike; the houses were as dark, as shut in as the streets; anyone who wanted air and space had to go into the country. Not only was daylight recklessly excluded, but artificial illumination was poor. Wax candles, oil-lamps for the rich, mutton candles for the thrifty, rush-lights for the poor, all gave a beautiful light from a pictorial point of view, but these lovely, becoming rays, these entrancing shadows, were inconvenient, tiresome, labour-making and dangerous. In the winter, and after the sun had set, life moved in a twilit atmosphere, deepened in London by the constant pall of smoke from the coal fires and the fogs of the river valley.

The rooms were low, draughty; the furniture stiff, uncomfortable; carpets and tapestries were articles of luxury, as were china and silver; pewter and wood sufficed children, servants, and many modest households.

* * *

The labourers lived in hovels of mud, with unglazed windows rudely shuttered at night; they slept in lofts reached by ladders; in London entire districts of slums rotted amid filth and decay; sanitation of the crudest rendered the palace inconvenient and the mean dwelling dangerous; though some care was taken of personal cleanliness, general cleanliness in street, public place, hospital, prison, barracks or asylum, was utterly neglected.

Personal service was cheap, even if notably inefficient, and the wealthy obtained ease and luxury by means of a large number of servants under the direction of a majordomo or steward; these had a bad name for dishonesty, idleness and insolence.

A galaxy of brilliant men had adorned the reign of Anne, and in that of George I literature flourished with many famous names; native pictorial art was ignored, while huge quantities of Italian pictures and statues were imported to adorn the mansions of the wealthy; the school of English portraiture was in its infancy, the school of English landscape-painting was yet to be; native music had been silent, since Purcell died, and a swarm of foreign musicians and singers fattened on the fees of the English dilettanti. Drama was at a low ebb; turgid tragedies, mutilated versions of Shakespeare's plays, licentious comedies, were presented at the famous London theatres; among the actors were men of high character and talent, who were respected and courted, but David Garrick was the first to raise his profession above reproach, and charming, clever, witty as the actresses might be, none of them was admitted to the station of a gentlewoman nor escaped sneers, unless she married into the peerage, which unprecedented success was achieved by Lavinia Fenton.

* * *

A great excitement of daily life was the lottery; there were several of these and the most important (authorized 1709) was run by the State; the prizes offered by this often amounted to nearly forty thousand pounds.

Gambling of one kind or another was universal and unrestricted; it filled all ranks of life with black uncertainty; the possibility of ruin, sudden and unexpected, was in every home, cards led to cheating, quarrelling, duelling, murder, suicide.

This last crime rose to appalling frequency towards the middle of the century; neither the ignominy of burial with stake through the breast on the common highway, nor fear of the hell threatened by the Church, could prevent those excited by drink, ruined by vice, exhausted by self-indulgence, tortured by disease and the horrors about them, from leaving the terrible bewilderment of life by means of the rope, the knife or the river.

* * *

During the period that we shall consider—1720-1764—there was no great outward change in England, though there were from year to year the usual variations in taste, fashion and fancy, and though the period covers a rebellion, two wars, the rise of the English school of portraiture and the rule of three Kings with their changes of ministers; all these ministers were, however, Whig, a fact which gave a uniform tone to public life.

When William Hogarth died in 1764, the industrial revolution, which had been so long gathering force unseen, was beginning to advance quickly; within a few years the inventions of Arkwright, Hargreaves and Watt were to mark the beginnings of a great upheaval in the national life, and, across the Channel, the philosophes were beginning those speculations that preluded and influenced the gigantic changes in the history of mankind known as the French Revolution. But during the life of Hogarth such things were, undreamt of; the ideals of the democrats of 1789 were as little suspected as the invention of gas lighting or of the steam engine.

* * *

This being our period, and this a rough sketch of the general conditions of the country, let us return to London and consider it as it was when William Hogarth set up in business there.

Leicester Fields and Covent Garden formed the centre of London's intellectual life, so that it was in the very heart of the artistic metropolis that the young engraver served his apprenticeship to Mr. Ellis Gamble.

Setting out from this favoured district, our 'ambulator' could proceed eastward to the City proper, by way of Lincoln's Inn and Fleet Street; beyond the confines of Roman London and the Tower a long row of houses lined the river bank to Wapping, Rotherhithe and the Docks, with Bow inhabited by porcelain-workers and scarlet-dyers. Northwards from Leicester Fields was the fashionable district of Soho, St. Giles's and Bloomsbury, which ended abruptly in the three-sided Queen Square, left open on the fourth side for the sake of the rustic view towards the heights of Hampstead and Highgate.

Gray's Inn, Smithfield, and as far as Moorfields, were a densely populated district, west from Covent Garden were Piccadilly, the smart mansions of Saint James's Square and the valley where the Tyburn brook flowed from the village of Marylebone to the Thames at Westminster, which city was reached southwards from Leicester Fields by way of Charing Cross and Whitehall. Westminster straggled out in riverside houses, flanked by marshy fields, nearly as far as the village of Chelsea.

On the Surrey side of the Thames was the city of Southwark, which spread into a rough, unpoliced district—the remains of old Alsatia or thieves' Paradise (which lost the rights of sanctuary in the reign of William III)—and stretched inland to Saint George's Fields, across Lambeth Marsh, toward Rotherhithe in one direction, toward the market-gardens of Battersea, where Lord Bolingbroke lived in retirement, in the other.

If we make, with our 'ambulator,' who is a gentleman of leisure, a close inspection of these districts, we shall have a clear idea of the scenes amid which William Hogarth lived for nearly seventy years and which formed the material of his art.

* * *

A stranger, taking the 'ambulator' for his guide, would, first, have been told of the great size, wealth, and splendour of the City; it had two-thirds of the whole trade in England and one-seventh of the people, a Cathedral, two collegiate churches, seventy-four other churches, nearly as many meeting-houses for Dissenters, three choirs of music, three synagogues, seven Popish chapels, thirteen hospitals, four pest-houses, three colleges, one hundred and thirty-one charity schools, the finest of which in a circuit of ten miles was the Foundling Hospital in Lamb's Conduit Street, fifteen meat markets, two cattle markets, twenty-five other markets, fifteen Inns of Court, and twenty-seven prisons.

Besides these signs of wealth and splendour there were other evidences of prosperity, in the form of over twenty squares, three stately bridges, London, Westminster, and Blackfriars, a Guildhall, an Exchange, a customs-house, two Bishop's palaces (London and Ely), and three royal palaces, St. James's, Somerset House, and Whitehall, besides the noble ruins of the Savoy.

Among the conveniences of the capital were the one thousand hackney coaches plying for hire, the sedan-chairs, which were also easily obtained, and the number of expert watermen with their wherries ready to convey the citizen or the visitor up or down the river, which was the High Street of the capital.

The seven gates that still stood were demolished in 1760, with the exception of Newgate, and a handsome arch had, since 1670, marked the boundaries of the City by the buildings and gardens of the Temple.

There were three artillery grounds; the artillery itself was kept at the Tower, where were also the armoury, the regalia, the Mint, and, a cause of great pride to Londoners, the menagerie of strange beasts and birds.

Most of the notable buildings of the City were new at this date, the Mansion House, the General Post Office, the Mad House in Moorfields, new London Bridge with the handsome Gate House, the Bank of England; the Exchange dated from 1669 and Saint Paul's, 'the finest Protestant church in the world,' had not been long completed.

Other much admired buildings 'in the modest taste' were Doctors' Commons, Surgeons' Hall in the Old Bailey, and Physicians' College in Warwick Lane.

Southwark contained six parishes and was 'inferior to few cities in England;' much of its ground was, however, covered with warehouses and tenements; there were two famous hospitals, St. Thomas's, and that endowed by the bookseller Thomas Guy, who made a fortune out of Bibles and by speculating in South Sea stock.

Southwark felt great pride also in a new Magdalen House, and an obelisk in St. George's Fields, which was nobly surrounded with lamps.

Westminster boasted the Abbey, the School, the Hall 'without one pillar to support it'—and the new Buckingham House, as well as the two ancient palaces and St. James's Park. Somerset House, built by Inigo Jones, still stood, and was used for Government offices; the noble bridge was begun in 1738 and completed in 1750; it had several watch-houses, twelve watchmen, and thirty-two lamps, each with three burners.

Several fine churches were particularly pointed out to the attention of the stranger, St. Margaret's, St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, St. Paul's, Covent Garden, St. Mary's-le-Strand, Saint Giles's, St. George's, Hanover Square, but the greatest 'curiosity' was the British Museum, lodged in Montague House, Bloomsbury, which was to serve as a library for studious gentlemen and as a gallery for objets d'art and the Cotton and Harleian MSS., together with the Sloane collection and the libraries of the Kings of England from Henry VII.

There were, also, some antiquities and a set of paintings by Van Dyck; the public were admitted in batches on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays during the summer months, fifteen people at nine, fifteen more at eleven, and another fifteen at one o'clock.

* * *

The villages surrounding London were of great interest to both the Cockney and the stranger and the objects of frequent jaunts and excursions; they were as old as London itself and self-contained, with church, usually rebuilt in the classic style, green, inn, and in many cases with a manor, a charity school or alms-house.

Chelsea was famous for the Hospital for Old Soldiers, the Physic Garden with two thousand different plants, Saltero's coffee-house, and the seat of Sir Robert Walpole, which contained a collection of pictures supposed to be the finest in the country.

Hammersmith was notable for its handsome estates, Hampstead was a favourite district for retired merchants and boasted an assembly room, a meeting-house, and a church; Kensington consisted of 'genteel houses,' several boarding-schools, many inns, and the palace built by William III; the Gardens, with the Serpentine lake, were much admired and were open to the public when the Court was not in residence, as were the State apartments with the collection of 'sacred and profane' pictures.

On the other side of this royal Park was the pleasant village of Paddington, surrounded by fields—the residences here also were 'genteel.'

* * *

For longer, more ambitious excursions, better made by water, were Kew and Richmond. The former was rendered very attractive by the royal gardens gradually laid out during many years by Sir William Chambers, the King's architect. Most of the marvels, however, with which he adorned the gardens were erected only towards the close of our period, 1758-1761.

Round this part of the river in Chiswick—Mortlake, Brentford, and Richmond—stood, amid the scenes of pastoral loveliness, the elegant houses of the wealthy and fastidious.

In Chiswick were two manors, a charity school, and the luxurious seats of several noblemen, the most splendid of which was the Palladian mansion of the Earl of Burlington, which possessed beautiful grounds and a costly collection of pictures.

Brentford, on the great thoroughfare to the West, was a busy market town, and many charming villas stood on the fine rising banks opposite Kew.

Richmond was reckoned 'the finest village in the British Dominions and the English Frascati'. The old palace of Sheen had gone, but on the site was a plain mansion built by the Duke of Ormond on land given him by William III; on the Duke's attainder this had escheated to the Crown. During the mid-eighteenth century this modest palace was beautified by additions of dairies, canals, temples, groves of trees, altars, pavilions and summerhouses in the artificial taste of the time.

There was a labyrinth, a Merlin's cave, a hermitage or Gothic ruin; all this was added under the direction of the energetic Queen of George II, Caroline of Anspach.

About the palace were cornfields, a heath of broom and furze, which sheltered hares and pheasants, pasture lands and forest walks.

Along the river front were mansions occupied by the Princes and Princesses, and round the spacious Green were elegant residences of 'persons of distinction,' among whom were Sir Charles Hedges, who had a magnificent villa boasting 'the longest and highest hedge of holly that ever was seen,' grottos, vistas, a decoy and 'a stone-house,' where the first English pineapple grew, and Mr. Heidegger, Master of the Ceremonies to George II and the ugliest man in the Kingdom.

Beyond the Duke of Cumberland's house was the Deer Park, and on the other side of the Green the village 'ran up a hill' to the celebrated view, 'the most rich, polished, luxuriant that any country can produce.' It was considered remarkable that the river should be tidal at Richmond, sixty miles from the sea, and it was declared that this was a greater distance than the tide was carried up any other river.

Sir Robert Walpole had another fine seat in the great Park, the finest, save Windsor, round London, and across the river was the bridge, not replaced by the admired structure in classic taste until the last quarter of the century.

Further on were other fine buildings, Ham House, belonging to the Earl of Dysart, and Marble Hill, belonging to the Earl of Buckingham.

Amid these 'delightful seats,' built in a classic style that contrasted piquantly with the delicate landscapes, were the modest but cosy retreats of the intellectuals, who, like Mr. Pope at Twickenham, lived in a rural retreat but yet under the shadow of the noble patron.

* * *

It is well to complete our brief survey of eighteenth-century London with some account of those two great places of entertainment, Vauxhall and Ranelagh, which for many years were of such importance in the social life of the capital and supposed to be responsible for much of its folly and immorality.

Ranelagh was situated at Chelsea, convenient for water travel and open from April to July; for a shilling it was possible to reach the pleasure gardens by hackney-coach from Hyde Park Corner, along a lamp-lit road.

The price of admission was half a crown, and the company who paid to enter were 'genteel and polite,' while the entertainments were of a very refined order—at least, according to the claims of the proprietors.

On the death of the Earl of Ranelagh, his mansion and park had been purchased by a company which converted them into a pleasure resort; this work was completely finished by 1740.

The main attraction was the Rotunda, built of wood in the interests of economy; this building was of the Doric order, and its handsome porticoes, galleries, arcades, fluted pillars with plaster of Paris termini were much admired, but the greatest marvel was the fireplace structure that rendered the whole building very warm and comfortable and could 'not smoke or become offensive;' it had four 'faces,' stood in the centre of the hall and was supported by eight pieces of cannon filled with lead. About seven in the evening a number of candles in glass lamps were lit in this Rotunda and a concert began; there was a large orchestra and famous singers were employed; fifty-two boxes, including one for the King, accommodated the audience; red baize benches were provided for those who could not crowd into these loges, which were adorned with droll paintings and opened at the back on to the gardens.

On the plaster of Paris floor was a mat 'to prevent people from catching cold,' the ceiling was painted olive colour with a rainbow across it, and 'no words could express the grandeur of the sight' when the twenty chandeliers, each containing thirteen candles, were lit.

Breakfasts were at first taken here, but later forbidden by Act of Parliament; masquerades were, however, permitted, and these were the scenes of much licence and intrigue, since everyone, masked or disguised, roamed about freely bent on pleasure; so notorious became these carnivals that they also were in time suppressed.

The gardens were lit by lamps, contained well-laid-out walks and convenient little temples and pavilions; there was a canal, flower-parterres, grottos, and a pipe that drained all 'foul waters' into the Thames.

These gardens might be visited during the day at the cost of one shilling, but 'for reasons too obvious to be pointed out' no intoxicating liquors were sold at Ranelagh at any time; it is not clear whether they might be brought in or not.

A large amphitheatre had been erected for servants to wait in, so that they might be unseen, yet handy when required; in short, nothing had been forgotten that might induce the comfort and enjoyment of the visitors to Ranelagh.

* * *

Vauxhall was an older place of entertainment than Ranelagh; as early as the reign of Charles II, Sir Samuel Moreland had, on this spot (the south side of the Thames, in Lambeth), a curious hall lined with looking-glass, having on the roof a Punchinello holding a dial and surrounded by fountains, which was much visited by strangers.

This property was bought by a Mr. Jonathan Tyers in 1730, and he proceeded to advertise it as a ridotto al fresco.

This was so successful a venture that the gardens were increased in size and beauty and considerable attractions offered to the public, who could easily reach Vauxhall by water. The season was from May to August, the cost of admission one shilling. Roubiliac's statue of Handel adorned one of the neat gravel-walks, there was a fine organ in the concert hall, and for one guinea a silver ticket entitling the bearer to admission to the season's music might be obtained.

In fine weather the orchestra was placed in 'an edifice of Gothic construction, of wood and plaster, richly carved and painted white and bloom colour;' this was set in a grove of trees said to be more than a century old; these outdoor concerts began at eight and, by law, ended at eleven.

A more vulgar but equally popular amusement was known as the Day-Scene or Tin Cascade.

A painting of an extensive landscape was exposed in a large timber-room and at nine o'clock in the evening a bell was rung, upon which the curious of both sexes 'flocked in a rapid crowd' to witness an 'eye trap.'

This was a moving picture; a landscape in perspective with a mill and a miller's house was displayed and the water was seen flowing down a slope, turning the wheel of the mill, 'rising in foam at the bottom and gliding away.' A realistic sound of falling water helped the trick, which was shown for about a quarter of an hour.

The concerts usually ended with glees or catches, in which the audiences joined; refreshments were served at little tables under the trees and royalty was sheltered by a pavilion, lit by wax lights and adorned with paintings by 'the ingenious Mr. Hayman;' the subjects of these were the historical plays of Shakespeare.

Two thousand glass lamps lit the groves and walks, and bad weather was provided against by a Rotunda, a choice mixture of Gothic and Ionic styles, which was lined with mirrors, lit by chandeliers and adorned with 'bustos of eminent persons.'

The acoustics of this building, nicknamed 'the umbrella,' were excellent; it had fourteen sash-windows and a number of statues—a complete Olympus in plaster of Paris.

The outdoor walks were paved with clinkers brought specially from Holland, so that no 'gravel nor sand should stick to the feet of the company;' these paths led round several alcoves decorated with paintings, some, later in the century, from designs by Hogarth himself (four afterwards painted by himself as the Four Times of Day), others from sketches by the popular and energetic Mr. Hayman.

Some of the subjects were ordinary enough, others were lively and topical.

The New River Head was after Hogarth's design (Evening), probably painted by Hayman; it was described as:

'A family going a walking, a cow a milking, and the horns fixed archly over the husband's head.'

Two others depicted scenes from Pamela, there was another from The Merry Wives of Windsor, one from Molière's Le Médecin malgré lui (The Mock Doctor), and a brisk study entitled 'A Sea Engagement between the Spaniard and the Moars' [sic] (Battle of Lepants) [sic]; others showed fashionable pastimes, leap-frog, blindman's buff, sliding on the ice, quadrille, kite flying, card houses, tea-drinking, shuttlecock, hunting the whistle, cricket, see-saws, hot cockles, bob-cherry, and playing on bagpipes and hautboys.

Sometimes these genre pictures were given a peculiar point, as in those entitled:

One piece had the charming title:

A Northern Chief with his Princess and her favourite Swan, placed in a sledge and drawn on the Ice by a Horse.

There was also Fairies Dancing on the Green by Moonlight, and patriotic pieces were added from time to time—Black-eyed Susan taking Leave of Sweet William on board one of Fleet in the Downs, in 1740 The Taking of Porto Bello, in 1742 The Capture of the San Josef by Captain Tucker in The Fowey, and in 1761 The Taking of Montreal by General Amherst.

* * *

There were several curiosities in the grounds, where nightingales and thrushes sang in the venerable trees, a hermit's cell lined with cockle-shells, the statue of Handel (caricatured elsewhere as a pig, 'the tomb of meat and drink') as Orpheus, and some much-admired Gothic ruins of painted canvas stretched over wooden frames; some of the vistas were closed by large cloths, on which were painted scenes that were thought 'to improve on nature.'

There were also musical bushes, which, by some mechanical contrivance, emitted melodious sounds—these were, unfortunately, soon ruined by the damp. There was a seated statue of Milton, who appeared to be listening to this 'vocal forest;' it was cast in lead and placed on an eminence.

Obelisks, ha-has, Chinese gardens, wildernesses, singing Savoyards in native costume, added to the delights of Vauxhall, among which were also reckoned 'our lovely countrywomen who visit these blissful bowers.'

Refreshments were not expensive considering the free attractions the visitor enjoyed, and in contrast to Ranelagh wine could be bought; the most costly item that could be purchased was Champagne at 10s. 6d. a bottle, Burgundy was next at 7s. 6d., Claret and Old Hock were 6s. each, Madeira 5s., and the cheapest wine was Red Port or Lisbon at 2s. 6d. a bottle. Rhenish was 3s. and Sherry 3s. 6d.; these wines were all drunk sweetened, and enough sugar to flavour a bottle might be purchased for 6d.

For 1s. you might have a bottle of cyder, or two pounds of ice, or a plate of ham, or collared beef, or a potted pigeon, or a tart, or a plate of olives, or a plate of anchovies; a chicken was 3s., but for 6d. there was a choice of a quart mug of beer, a lettuce, a cucumber, or a jelly.

Wax lights ran up the bill Is. 4d. and a lemon was not to be had for less than 3d., custards and cheese-cakes were 4d. each, but a 'heart' cake or a Shrewsbury cake was only half that price.

The only items that cost 1d. were slices of bread or biscuits; portions of cheese or butter cost 2d. each.

About a thousand people enjoyed this sumptuous pleasure place every night, but it could at a pinch provide food and amusement for seven thousand, as was proved when there was a regatta on the Thames or a visit from a royal personage.

* * *

This, in rough outline, was the world over which the first two Georges reigned, where the Wesleys and George Whitfield preached, where Lovelace pursued Clarissa, where Mr. B. pursued Pamela, where that damsel's mock brother, Joseph Andrews, came to seek his fortune, where William Collins wrote his odes and Swift his pamphlets, where Sterne (writing in 1740) first used the word 'sentimental,' where Gray composed his elegy, where Horace Walpole built the absurd Strawberry Hill and wrote some of the wisest, wittiest commentaries that have ever been made on the affairs of men. This London raved over the sublime nonsense of Ossian and enjoyed the neat couplets of Alexander Pope. From this London General Wolfe went to capture Quebec and to this London came Samuel Johnson and his pupil, David Garrick; here perished the grotesque Richard Savage and here Margaret Woffington delighted the town here the fashionable world languished and raved over the singing of Italian eunuchs and went into raptures over the painting on a porcelain tea-cup, and here the people rushed to pelt to death a wretch fastened in the pillory for a minor offence or to see a woman hanged for picking pockets.

It was the world of Gay's Beggars' Opera, of the Lorenzo who poured out his Night Thoughts to the profit of Dr. Edward Young, the world to which Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough came to make their fortunes.

For most of its inhabitants it was a sour, dreary world, hypocritical, brutal, becoming, as the century advanced, more and more laced with 'sensibility' and 'sentiment,' which took the place of nobility, heroism, serenity and true courage; in the same manner, 'enthusiasm,' often scarcely distinguishable from hysteria, took the place of genuine religious feeling.

It was a bitter age, coarse, heartless, tinged with despair; science was asleep, scepticism, bigotry and superstition went side by side, pleasures were mostly lewd and vulgar, idealism was almost eclipsed by materialism—only in music and (occasionally) in verse did the human spirit utter pure and lofty thoughts.

Taste was at a low ebb and expressed itself in a profusion of gaudy, senseless ornament; the filth amid which most men lived tainted their outlook, nothing pleased so much as the bawdy joke, the incessant turning over of the bestial and the indecent aspects of life.

Noblemen affected fine manners and a patronage of the arts, but the former were skin-deep and the latter founded on ignorance; nowhere was that truly civilized elegance which had flourished in Italy during the Renaissance, and which was being sedulously cultivated in eighteenth-century France—a country that the English nobleman unskilfully aped and at which the English commoner unskilfully mocked.

Such as this world was, it offered rich and varied material to a satirist, to a student of manners, to one sensible of the violent, horrible and moving drama of humanity.

THE PAINTER — William Hogarth

WHEN, in 1720, William Hogarth set up in business for himself as an engraver, he had great ambitions to succeed as a painter; he was also under the necessity of earning his living and so was forced, as most men of talent and genius have been forced, to seek to combine the exercise of his gifts with the earning of an income.

He knew his way about his world; he had early made acquaintance with some of the lively and interesting professional people who lived in the heart of London and he had visited the studios of successful painters; those embryo 'academies' where students pooled their resources in order to pay for a room and a model were not yet in existence, but the workshop of a painter who took pupils was a good drawing school; there was some showy stuff to be seen in London, notably the grand staircase painted by Verrio for the Bluecoat School. The eager young man may have frequented the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, or received some instructions from such painters as Francis Hoffman or Samuel Moore.

William Hogarth had also studied such smaller works of art as came his way and been in particular impressed by the engravings of the Lorraine master, Jacques Callot (1592-1635); drudgery was hateful to him, and in his itch to be at the business of creative work he could hardly be brought to believe that the long, weary toil at technique that was considered needful to excellence in painting was really necessary.

So, shirking systematic study, he continued to fill sketch books with drawings of the people whom he saw round him and to store his mind with the genre pictures that the life of the great city was always affording.

He was sufficiently accomplished as an engraver to be able to obtain constant employment; in the days of his better fortunes he often used to relate with zest:

'I remember the time when I have gone moping into the City with scarce a shilling in my pocket; but having received ten guineas there for a plate, returned home, put on my sword and bag wig, and sallied out again with the confidence of a man who has ten thousand pounds in his pocket.'

The best of these engravings on plate that have survived is that of the arms of the Duchess of Kendal.

He had a more interesting occupation than that of emblazoning heraldry on silver vessels; though his technique as a copperplate engraver was not good, it was considered adequate for the rough book-illustrations then used—he found, therefore, he could get employment from the booksellers; some of his plates were from his own designs, some from those of hack draughtsmen; they had little to distinguish them from any other production of this type and consisted partly of ornament and partly of scenes from the work in hand.

In 1723 appeared The Travels of Aubrey de la Mottraye, the next year, a version of The Golden Ass (The New Metamorphosis), in 1726, headpieces to Roman Military Punishments, and in 1726, Hudibras; these were all illustrated by William Hogarth.

His dealings with that ill-reputed tribe, the booksellers, were no more satisfactory than had been his father's, and, after quarrelling with them, the artist published at his own expense in 1726 some plates illustrating Hudibras. He also issued in 1724 a plate variously entitled Burlington Gate, The Taste of the Town and Small Masquerade Ticket, and also a satire on William Kent's unhappy altar-piece for St. Clement Danes Church.

These were not his first essays in satire; in 1721 he had engraved for the booksellers Who'll Ride? (South Sea Bubble) and The Lottery—these were clumsy, elaborate squibs in the style of Jacques Callot and have an entirely local and topical interest. They showed, however, considerable talent and much technical skill, and it is difficult to believe that they come from the same hand as that which touched in the little plate The Rape of the Lock (prior to 1720) with its pretty, insipid little figures.

Hogarth found that his old enemies, the booksellers, pirated his plates, as there was no law of copyright, so that, work as hard as he would: 'until I was near thirty,' he wrote afterwards, 'I could do little more than maintain myself; but even then I was a punctual paymaster.'

* * *

The desire to paint still animated the young engraver; the grand paintings in Greenwich Hospital and in Saint Paul's Cathedral 'ran in his head,' and when the painter of them, Sir James Thornhill, opened a little Academy for study at the back of his house in Covent Garden, the eager tiro seized the opportunity of making the acquaintance of the master.

Thornhill, who came of good family and had been knighted in 1720, was a pupil of Thomas Highmore, Serjeant-Painter to William III and uncle of the well-known portraitist, Joseph Highmore. Thornhill was acknowledged head in England of that 'grand' or 'historical' school of painting, which, founded on bad Italian and Flemish models, was then regarded with awe and reverence; he had been employed by Queen Anne to complete the schemes of decoration begun under Charles II, James II and William III by Antonio Verrio and his assistant, Louis Laguerre, whose 'sprawling' figures provoked the mockery of Pope.

There was, in truth, nothing but the size that was 'grand' about this school of painting, the matter was nearly always some stale and usually misunderstood classic subject, the models vulgar, the grouping coarse, the colouring harsh and the execution slovenly, while a touch of absurdity was given to the medley by the introduction of crude allegories, which showed bewigged and buskined notables posing on clouds or being hauled up to Olympus by fleshly Virtues. This school of painting had been steadily declining since Sir Peter Paul Rubens designed the Ceiling of the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall Palace, and under Verrio touched its nadir.

The contemporary architects were partly in fault; the huge waste spaces in their interiors invited this kind of 'filling up;' the King's staircase at Hampton Court is an example of this; atrocious as Verrio's paintings are, this vast, open, badly lit stairway would be intolerable were the walls left blank.

Thornhill's work was no worse than that of Verrio or Laguerre and had merits within the limits of its own strict conventions; Sir James was also deeply interested in his art and began his Academy with a sincere desire to further painting in England. There was little, however, that he could do for William Hogarth, who did not dare venture on the 'grand' style and would have found no employers if he had done so, and whose prospects as a painter were dubious for two reasons.

The first was his own dislike of becoming a hack portrait-painter, the only branch of the art that promised a livelihood, and the second was the fact that all the encouragement given to painting in England in the first half of the eighteenth century went to productions of the foreign school, mostly to those by defunct masters.

Hogarth's dislike for the 'phiz mongers' and his contempt for the dilettante were completely justified, though he persuaded but a few of his contemporaries to admit as much and was not quite sure of his own ground; it is difficult to be in a very small minority and to be entirely self-confident, and Hogarth based his judgment more upon instinct than upon knowledge; though his hits went home, they were often made in the dark.

* * *

Portrait painting had been declining since the period of the glory of Van Dyck; with Peter Lely the mass-produced pictures were in full vogue; what more obvious box of tricks could be displayed than the famous 'Beauties' where every lady has the same huge eyes, the same silken ringlets, the same tender, doll-like features with pearl and rose complexion?

No one could imagine a company of real people all as alike as these women are, but as the absurd convention was pretty and flattering, it was permitted, and the artist turned his studio into a factory where the drapery man and the dauber who dashed in wigs, hands and armour worked at the rate of 10 per cent of the painter's price.

This practice was continued by Hudson, the Highmores, the Richardsons, by Allan Ramsay, by painters of lesser note down to those journeymen-artists who wandered the country painting the well-to-do provincials, as the Primrose family was painted, with as many accessories, pet lambs, and pearls, as the artist could 'throw in' after he had been paid so much per head.

Hogarth, with his keen tendency towards realism, saw that his only chance as a portrait painter was to turn out these flattering figures with conventional details put in by the drapery man, and his spirit revolted against the prospect.

Yet any other style of painting was slain before its birth by the cognoscenti, who were in reality a combination of the fools who bought 'old masters' and the knaves who sold them; Hogarth was an artist full of originality and individuality and was faced with two very formidable obstacles, a deep-rooted fashion and a strong trade-interest.

The upper classes were all bitten by the mania for Italian painting, 'antique' statues and objets d'art or virtu; with some the taste was genuine and founded on a sense of civilized beauty, with more it was a custom; a great house was not considered furnished without its gallery of old masters and even more modest mansions had to boast a few foreign canvases if their masters were to claim any ton at all. Every lordling or esquire, fresh from Eton or Oxford, being bear-led by some pedagogue round Europe, was expected to return with trophies in the shape of 'old masters,' vases, bustos, or cameos—anything from a Raphael to a bit of trumpery as long as it came from abroad.

Naturally, this taste brought with it a crowd of profiteers, copyists, dealers, forgers, sham antiquaries, sham critics, and a swarm of sham enthusiasts, parasites on my lord's establishment, who praised his so-called Correggios to flatter his taste and opulence, or hangers-on of fashionable coteries, who raved over the last so-called Michael Angelo to be auctioned, merely to be dans le mouvement.

All these powerful people composed a very formidable array in the path of the poor native artist who had neither money nor influence and who was far too independent to seek out and cringe before a patron; he was, besides, secretly intimidated, despite his obstinacy, courage and self-confidence, by the sheer weight of public opinion.

The Academy was not a success; admittance to the sessions was free, and Hogarth thought that students stayed away because they 'would not put themselves under an obligation.' He continued, however, to think well of the scheme and to do all in his power to forward it; The Life School may be a painting of this Academy. Meanwhile he was intent on his own business, and, refusing to be a portrait manufacturer, turned out a number of small groups or conversational pieces, which sold very well, though at a modest price.

* * *

These were considered something of a novelty, but both the Dutch and French schools had exploited the idea, which consisted in showing a family or group of friends engaged in some pursuit and gathered in some scene that united them in a harmonious composition; Johann Zoffany, who did not come to London until the last years of Hogarth's life, brought this method of portraiture to perfection; there was a rigid grace, a conventional propriety about these little paintings by Hogarth that was quite foreign to the temperament of the artist, but that possesses a certain charm not wholly due to a 'period' interest.

Far more important was the fact that pictures such as The Cock Family, The Jones Family, or The Misses Cotton and their Niece were teaching the painter the technique of his art. One of these pieces took the form of scenes from The Beggars' Opera, the burlesque that was 'making Gay rich and Rich gay,' and included portraits of Lavinia Fenton and her future husband and present lover, Charles Paulet, third Duke of Bolton, who had lost all his places on account of his persistent opposition to Sir Robert Walpole; he was sixty-six years of age when the death of his Duchess (1751) enabled him to take the uncommon step of marrying a mistress who was also an actress.

* * *

William Hogarth's association with Sir James Thornhill brought about one very fortunate result for himself; he gained the respect, admiration and love of Jane, the knight's handsome daughter, a good, charming and stately young woman with blonde tresses, a fine complexion and a comely figure; her father had been handsome in a flamboyant style as his own self-portrait shows.

More important, her virtues were such as most fitted her to be the wife of a man of genius; she was patient, self-controlled, cheerful, unselfish, constant and firmly convinced of the greatness of her husband; throughout a married life of thirty-five years this admirable lady conducted herself in such a manner as to satisfy completely her pugnacious, opinionated husband, who, conscious of genius and often disappointed and thwarted, was not always either easy or good-humoured. Nor could he give his wife, born his social superior, the establishment to which she had been used as the only daughter of the Serjeant-Painter to His Majesty, who was besides a gentleman of position, who had recently bought back an imposing family seat in Dorset and was a Member of Parliament for Melcombe Regis (1722-34).

But Jane Hogarth was happy in the marriage to which she devoted her entire life, for her long widowhood was dedicated to her husband's memory; she knew sufficient of the art of painting to admire his superb technique and she was deeply in sympathy with his honest, bold, generous and slightly eccentric character.

Lady Thornhill approved a choice that must have seemed astonishing enough on the part of her handsome girl, for the young painter, though spruce and well-behaved, was lain to ugliness in his person and had no pretension to gentility.

It was, obviously, no match to suggest to Sir James, so one March morning in the year 1729 the determined young woman left her father's fine house in the fashionable Covent Garden district and proceeded to the village of Paddington, where she was married clandestinely to her resolute suitor in the pleasant little church on the Green.

There was nothing flighty, romantic or impulsive in this action, which was coolly and confidently decided upon and never repented of on either side; it showed that the unknown painter whose prospects seemed so poor had great trust in himself and that his chosen wife had a great trust in him; meanwhile the deceived father angrily refused any provision for the runaway daughter and William Hogarth had to support his Jane as best he could by engraving on plate, by book illustrations and conversation pieces.

* * *

He was over thirty years of age and still reaching out for complete self-expression; after ten years of work that was largely drudgery he had not 'found' himself.

The grand style continued to excite his ridicule and, secretly, his baffled envy; he felt that he could have achieved these great canvases of sacred or mythological subjects, if anyone had trusted him to execute them, yet he loathed them, for he had no interest in this false world created by the painters and a passionate interest in the world about him—that London, where he had been born, and where he always intended to live with his charming and devoted Jane.

There is no doubt that he would have felt less puzzled contempt for the historical style, if he had understood something of its traditions and purpose.

As Sir Joshua Reynolds, long after Hogarth's death, severely remarked: 'Hogarth...was entirely unacquainted with the principles of this style...and was not even aware that any artificial preparation was at all necessary.'

The famous President of the Royal Academy, who spoke thus, was no great exponent of this style himself, and it is not clear what he meant by 'artificial preparation,' unless he meant a journey to Italy to study the masterpieces of this school, which had been glorious in the days of Michael Angelo, Correggio and Raphael.

Such expensive study was always beyond William Hogarth, nor is it likely that, had he been able to undertake it, he would have changed his tastes or his opinions; the streets of Rome and Parma would have afforded him so much rich material for his sketch-book that probably he would have had little time for the sublimities of the Sistine Chapel, or for what another adverse criticism of the grand style termed Allegri's 'hash of frogs' on the ceiling of the Duomo, Parma.

For two hundred years the churches and palaces of Europe had been adorned with this kind of allegory, profane or sacred, in characters expressed in huge figures, usually, for the sake of an airy effect, sailing through space or perched on clouds; the school, decaying as it went, spread from Italy to the Spanish Netherlands, where it took on new vigour under Peter Paul Rubens, reached the United Provinces—despite the influence of the genius of Rembrandt—flourishhed exceedingly in France, where it was employed to flatter Louis XIV, and in Hogarth's day was firmly established in England, where such imitators of Rubens as Isaac Fuller and Robert Streater had, in the reign of Charles II, decorated the Sheldonian, Oxford, and the vestibule of All Souls College Chapel in the same town, with designs well within this tradition.

William Hogarth, for sheer zest in his work and also animated by ambition, was prepared to carry on these monumental conventionalities, but he shrewdly foresaw that he would not be accepted as a purveyor of fashionable banalities, even were he able to accomplish a fair specimen of Italo-Flemish painting.

The deeper his acquaintance with the art world, the more he despised the patron, the dilettanti and the hacks who were always at their service; and in particular he loathed and despised William Kent, whose unfortunate altar-piece he had already caricatured, or rather, as he said: 'Made a fair and honest representation of a contemptible performance.'

* * *

This William Kent, who irritated Hogarth by his domination of the art world of the day, was a singularly successful man of manifold activities, several small talents and an engaging address.

Thirteen years older than Hogarth, Kent had been apprenticed to a coach-builder, attempted portrait painting as early as 1703, gone to Italy, where he had been noticed by several English cognoscenti, among whom was Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington, who had some pretensions as a politician, had held several important posts in the Government and was one of the foremost of the dilettanti.

This nobleman, who was also an amateur architect and who considered himself an arbiter of taste, was completely fascinated by the versatile and obliging Kent and offered him apartments in that mansion in Piccadilly which he, the noble owner, had reconstructed after his own designs in 1716.

Thus safe under the protection of one of the most powerful of high-born patrons, William Kent soon attained an unassailable position in the London art world.

Compliant, suave, flattering, without a touch of originality, but quick at turning over and making popular old ideas, Kent was the type that, given some luck, is always successful in a worldly sense and always detested by the creative artist, who finds his sincere and worthy efforts totally eclipsed by the jeux d'esprit of the impudent, tenth-rate amateur who has contrived to turn in his own direction the streams of reward, of praise, of money—and, most precious of all—the opportunity of self-expression.

This last is what the creative artist values more than anything else, and what, in a commercial world, he seldom obtains.

Too often does it happen that while the self-confident trickster is glutted with encouragement and pampered by a large following, the man of genius or talent works obscurely with little reward, embittered by the ignorance of the public, scorned by the amateur, who has taken his rightful place, and, worst of all, forced to work against the grain at some task unsuited to or beneath his powers in order to earn a living.

In such a relationship stood William Hogarth, a genius, to William Kent, a dabbler whose work was of no importance whatever, but who enjoyed all that animating success which usually falls to the adroit imitator, the smart maker of pastiches, and which so seldom is the reward of true merit.

Nearly a hundred years passed before William Kent had fallen into the complete oblivion he deserved, and before William Hogarth was allowed his full reward of fame.

It was, then, most natural that Hogarth should detest the lucky dauber who represented, in their most flamboyant form, all the obstructions and annoyances to which the artist is subject. Within his own sphere William Kent was genial, effective, and most energetic; nothing came amiss to him, from a design for a lady's dress to that for a palace or a barracks, from a painting for an altar-piece to a sketch for a cradle.

The Horse Guards barracks in Whitehall, the Duke of Devonshire's mansion in Piccadilly, Holkham House, Norfolk, were held to be among his finest architectural efforts; he executed a statue of William Shakespeare for Westminster Abbey and designs for furniture, plate, picture-frames, cradles and barges with dangerous facility; he was as versatile as Leonardo da Vinci, with talents hardly above those of an expert upholsterer or man-milliner.

His costumes and designs for masques (copied perhaps from those of another architect, Ingo Jones, for Kent edited the latter's Designs, etc., 1727) were much extolled; his birthday gowns for great ladies, of copper-hued satin with metallic golden trimmings or adorned with the columns of the five orders of architecture, were eagerly sought after.

William Kent was a landscape gardener and knew how to arrange those elegant vistas that melted into a distance broken by a canvas 'ruin,' an anchorite's cell of plaster of Paris, or a grotto shaded by romantic trees.

He also undertook compositions of the 'grand' school so disliked by Hogarth and was ready to supply yards of gods and goddesses for walls and ceilings; in brief, he represented every aspect of the bad taste of the period; he was created in 1739 Court painter, afterwards Master Carpenter and Keeper of Pictures to His Majesty, and continued to enjoy the greatest possible 'vogue' until his death in 1748; he left a large fortune.

His portrait by George Dandridge, one of the successful 'phiz-mongers,' shows a well-fed, amiable, coarse-faced creature with a rich crimson turban and a smart coat opening over the dainty ruffles of a cambric shirt.

Lord Burlington, Kent's patron, was a typical, wealthy amateur of small gifts and much pretension; he designed Ham House, Petersham, the Dormitory in Westminster School, and a mansion in Cork Street, which had so fine a façade and so inconvenient an interior that Horace Walpole advised the owner to take the house opposite in order to gaze at the splendour of his dwelling and to avoid its discomforts.

Burlington was a patron of Alexander Pope, who flattered him without stint and with as much gusto as he mocked a fellow dilettante, the Duke of Chandos, who, with the wealth garnered from peculation during Marlborough's wars, when he acted as Paymaster General to the forces abroad, had built a nightmare palace at Canons, Edgware, which brought to a climax the pompous ostentation of the day.

* * *

Upon his marriage Hogarth took lodgings in South Lambeth and set to work with even more than his former diligence; he soon, through being in this neighbourhood, obtained some hack employment from Jonathan Tyers, who was opening the New Spring Gardens (Vauxhall).

Hogarth's work for Tyers consisted of a conventional picture of Henry VIII and Anne Bullen and a series of sketches that were copied by his friend Francis Hayman (1706-1776) for this fashionable ridotto al fresco.

A former venture into this field had not been successful; a tapestry design for an upholsterer, named Morris, had been rejected although commissioned, and Hogarth had had to take the case into court before he obtained the price—thirty pounds.

The conversation pieces (termed 'miniatures'—they were no more than from 12 to 15 inches high) continued to be successful, and soon after his marriage Hogarth produced a dramatic variation of this style: Thomas Bambridge before a Committee of the House of Commons, an oil painting which attracted some little attention because of the topical subject; he also produced a little satirical picture, intended, it is supposed, as a portrait, The Politician (Mr. Tibson), a satire on The Beggars' Opera, and The Emperor of Mexico, some children acting before their parents and friends, another variation of the conversation piece theme; The Wanstead Conversation was a large group of portraits, The Wanstead Assembly (The Dance), a painting of the same people in the same room.

In 1733, he painted the triple murderess, Sarah Malcolm, in her cell at Newgate—a picture that may be considered something between a portrait and a conversation piece, and the same year he produced Southwark Fair, still a further enlargement of the idea of combining likenesses of real people, a genre subject, and a dramatic incident or incidents in one composition.

* * *

The following year Sir James Thornhill died, fully reconciled to his son-in-law, who had been for several months established in Leicester Fields and on friendly terms with his wife's family.

The younger Thornhill succeeded his father as Serjeant-Painter to the King, but Hogarth inherited the 'paraphernalia' of the abortive Academy in Covent Garden and Sir James had provided Jane with some modest assistance towards her new establishment.

Before he moved to Leicester Fields Hogarth had passed a few months at Isleworth, but after he had settled down near the Thornhills he never changed his residence, even when he had purchased (or inherited) the 'villakin' at Chiswick.

This London house was on the east side of the Square and rated at sixty pounds per annum; Hogarth named it The Golden Head and hung before the neat door an effigy composed of fragments of cork, glued together and gilded, which he had made to represent a bust of Van Dyck.

Living here, in the very centre of the town, the Hogarths had many pleasant friends besides the Thornhills; close by lived the benevolent merchant, shipbuilder and philanthropist, Captain Thomas Coram; the stout John Pine, the elegant pupil of Picard, had his studio and shop in Saint Martin's Lane, and George Lambert, the theatrical scene painter, lived close at hand; the Hogarths had also the acquaintance of James Quin, the actor, Henry Fielding, the novelist (for whom William had drawn a frontispiece to Tom Thumb), Liveridge, the song writer, and several other notable people.

Most of these were in the habit of gathering at The Bedford Arms in Covent Garden, and from there, in May, 1732, Hogarth and the younger Thornhill, a draper, named Tothall, Samuel Scott, the marine painter, and an attorney, E. Forrest, set out on a mock 'tour' to Gravesend, Rochester, Chatham, Upnor and Hoo.

They went by river and were away five days; Forrest wrote an account of the trip in a style that was supposed to burlesque that of pompous writers of puerilities, and Hogarth and Scott supplied the illustrations, while Thornhill drew a map.

The sketch-book was bound and read out at The Bedford Arms to amuse the other cronies, who had not joined in the escapade.

The record shows that Hogarth liked merry songs, drinking bouts, coarse jests, rough games like hop-scotch and bolster matches, and lively, merry company; much, however, as he enjoyed these simple pleasures, he never lost control of himself, or flagged in his vivid interest in life or in his work, or ever failed to be a devoted companion and faithful husband to his charming Jane, whom he had now installed, if not sumptuously, at least comfortably, in the house behind The Golden Head.

* * *

We can easily imagine that orderly interior, with the solid pieces of walnut furniture, the carefully tended hangings for beds, curtains and walls, the well-guarded ornaments in the cupboards and cabinets, and perhaps a few examples of plate. There were shelves of books for which the owner had engraved his plate (scorning a doubtful coat of arms* and making the design from his initials, using the W. much as Christopher Wren had used it for William III), there were one or two mirrors, and closets for the sky-blue coats and scarlet 'rokelos' affected by the painter, and for his wife's handsome sacques and petticoats.

[* Hogarth had afterwards a coat of arms painted on his coach.]

Mrs. Hogarth was well-served; later in her married life she had six servants (an old man, a matron, three young women and a boy), plain, faithful, competent people who left very little for their mistress to do in the way of domestic work.

There were no children, therefore the handsome Jane had abundant leisure in which to share her husband's interests, to look after her charms and to entertain friends. There were plenty of amusements at hand besides those provided by The Bedford Arms; Hogarth's work for Mr. Tyers had procured for him a golden ticket, which gave perpetual admission to Vauxhall, and so ample opportunity at close hand of observing those follies which had been the butt of his earliest satire, and though he detested the foreign opera that was so furiously fashionable, and was deaf to music, he dearly liked any other kind of a show and was a frequent visitor to the theatre, where he was as interested in the audience as in the performers.

Hogarth was also concerned in the revised Academy, which was now situate in St. Martin's Lane, and to which he had lent all the furniture left him by Sir James; there he would frequently go and, setting up his easel beside that of a student, work from the model, with his dog Trump, a snub-nosed, cheerful beast not unlike his master, curled beneath his stool.

* * *

Such was the life and such the achievement of William Hogarth until he was thirty-five years of age; it might have been considered, by even a close observer, a prosperous and happy career. If Hogarth worked hard, at least he earned sufficient to live very comfortably; if he was unknown to the general public, at least he enjoyed a wide circle of genial friends; if he had never been encouraged to engage in the more ambitious branch of his profession, at least he was employed in labour in which he delighted. His marriage was singularly fortunate, he was independent of any man's patronage, of a cheerful temperament, and so prudent and orderly as to escape all the miseries of uncertain fortunes.

There seemed every likelihood in 1733 that William Hogarth would live and die an engraver and painter of no more than respectable local fame—a Francis Hayman, a Richardson, or a Hudson; this is not to say that he had not already achieved some remarkable work, but it had passed almost unnoticed, and none among his contemporaries at this period thought of the active, spruce, genial and industrious Hogarth as being, or likely to be, a genius.

He was, however, half through his life, at that point which comes sooner or later to every creative artist, when he asks himself, consciously or not—'What do I want to do and how do I want to do it?'

In many instances the artist finds himself early, once and forever; in this case he had been baffled, delayed and diverted by several causes, the triumphant, all-pervading bad taste of the time, his necessity of earning money quickly, his lack of the opportunity of studying the best examples of the works of master painters.

He was, indeed, a long while finding his way; he was not only in the dark, but misled by an ignis fatuus, and though in the end his genius struggled past all obstacles, it is doubtful if it ever achieved the consummate triumph of which it was capable—it seems probable that, for one reason or another, his deepest potentialities were never realised, just as his greatest achievements were never appreciated until long after his death.

It is not difficult to trace his artistic development up to the time of his marriage, when he began to prepare the pictures that made his fame and focussed his genius—A Harlot's Progress. Towards the end of his life he wrote a rough autobiography and many notes on his work, which another edited and pruned; in these he gave a very prosaic account of his sudden change of style, as it was popularly supposed to be.

* * *

He had, he said, exhausted the novelty of the conversation pieces and was weary of them; he would not become a hack portraitist (there was, he believed, no living to be had out of honest work of this kind), therefore, 'to pay the expenses that my family required' he turned his attention to what he considered would be 'a still more novel mode, viz., to painting and engraving moral subjects, a field not broken up in any country or age.' He wished, he added, 'to compose pictures upon canvas, similar to representations on the stage' and 'to entertain and improve the mind.'

He laboured the dramatic simile—the picture was his stage, the figures, the actors in dumb show, and he wished them to be judged by this criterion.

Further he hoped that if his subjects could 'strike the passions,' he would be able to sell, at a low price, sufficient impressions of his plates to secure him the reasonable sums due to him as both painter and engraver.

An artist's explanation of his inspirations and motives is always suspect, particularly when it is given long after the moment of achievement. Genius, when endeavouring to clarify itself, usually disappoints by uttering some obscure commonplace; we are better without such self-interpretations, whether they are naïve or pompous, for they produce a sense of disillusionment.

When we hear how a thing was done, we are apt to think less of the doing of it, and since the artist cannot possibly explain the 'divine afflatus' that alone gives value to his work, he had better leave the task of explanation alone.

We are at liberty to discard Hogarth's account of the impulses that led to the first Progress; no doubt he thought the thing a novelty, no doubt he hoped that it would sell, no doubt he hoped 'to entertain and improve the minds' of his fellow-citizens, but there was something more than all this, the artist's: 'What do I want to do and how shall I do it?'

* * *

Consider his achievement up to this period; he had learned his art; he knew the jargon of the studios, chiaro oscuro, contro posto, the pyramidical laws of composition and those of perspective; he had crammed his mind with scenes, types, details and backgrounds, observed from life, he had trained a natural understanding of human nature in general and individual character in particular to the shrewdest possible point, and he was possessed of another gift that so far he had not known how to use, a sense of the dramatic, the horrible and the grotesque such as is given to few artists or writers.

* * *

In his first satires he had followed the manner of the earlier caricaturists, in particular of Jacques Callot; caricatura originally meant overloading, exaggerating, and in the hands of the eighteenth- and seventeenth-century draughtsmen who practised this art mainly for political purposes it became a kind of cipher that required a verbal decoding.

As Hogarth employed this method in the early Lottery and Masquerade plates, and on and off during his career, he used symbols, pictographs and ideographs combined—a method far removed from both fancy and realism, but rather a kind of picture writing that required tedious interpretation.

As far as satire went, this caricatura style could not be considered very effective; there is far more point and sting in literary satires than in these laborious compositions put together like puzzles; consider the verve and bite of La Satire Ménippée compared to the tedious grotesqueness with which the rival parties of the sixteenth and seventeenth century strove to irritate one another, consider the fury raised in Pope's victims and the indifference of those pilloried in prints like The Lottery.

From the point of view of art, this style had little merit; it called only for precise draughtsmanship and a power of invention; colouring there was none, and composition went by the board, design was ignored, and the mind and taste of the spectator are provoked by these crowds of monsters, fantastic human beings and allegorical figures that, unless one is provided with the key, have no meaning, but convey the disjointed horror of a nightmare, when familiar objects mingle with grotesque in an impossible medley.

Hogarth, however, had learnt much from this school with its esoteric and polemical meaning, and it satisfied one part of his talent and helped in the development of his style.

After these efforts and the technical dexterity gained from engraving, came the portraits, that is, the conversation pieces with their fidelity to nature and their record of authentic detail that taught Hogarth how to manage oils, how to compose a genre picture, and how to catch a likeness.

Branching from this style we have three dramatic anecdotal pictures—the Warden of the Fleet Prison before his Judges, accused of murdering a prisoner, while a manacled wretch who has suffered from his cruelty pleads for justice—a murderess in her cell awaits execution, with the rosary that depicts her repentance and the bustle and gaiety of Southwark Fair with its wealth of incident and character.

There had also been The Beggars' Opera picture, where Gay's invention was interpreted through the medium of paint, and the most important Emperor of Mexico, a superb picture showing complete mastery of the technique of oil painting; and also Wanstead Assembly, a magnificent piece, of genre painting.

It is, then, easy to study the path by which Hogarth arrived at A Harlot's Progress, which marks a natural phase in his development and which provided a means of self-expression for which he had for long, certainly uneasily, and probably unconsciously, been searching.

* * *

We need not take too seriously Hogarth's desire to improve the morals of his fellow-men; doubtless he hated all the vices he lashed and possessed all the virtues he praised and would have been very gratified to think he had saved some Mary Hackabout or Tom Rakewell from despair, but the moral turn was undoubtedly given to the pictures to make them acceptable to the public. This intention was probably sub-conscious on the painter's part, he was not hypocritical or false to his convictions, at the same time it is impossible to believe that so profound a student of human nature believed in the crude moralities he propounded or really thought that these exciting, lurid dramas would do much for the cause of those virtues that he himself could depict only feebly and coldly.

The didactic purpose obscures the artistic merit of Hoarth's 'moralities' and is mainly the reason why his genius was so long overlooked; the very 'story' and 'moral,' so fascinating to the general public and so distasteful to the art critic, that caused Hogarth to become so popular, so impressive, to stand out so vividly among all other artists—prevented him from obtaining his due recognition in the sphere of pure aesthetics.

In studying Hogarth's artistic genius it is important to discover his own attitude to his art; although we need not credit his own explanations of his desires and his motives, we should know what he said of his own work and of art in general.

He wrote clear, downright eighteenth-century prose, and yet it is oddly difficult to get his meaning when he ventures into aesthetics; either he did not quite understand what he himself meant or he had little power of expression with the pen, or, as seems more likely, he stood so alone, he met with such opposition, he was so little confident of ever reaching any support that, pushed into a corner, he defended himself pugnaciously with resolution and spirit, even with fury, but without quite knowing what it was he quarrelled about and without ever, even to himself, clarifying his own attitude and focussing his own intentions.

What, for instance, did he mean by stating that he wished his pictures to be judged as dramas? It is impossible to apply the same criteria to painting as to the stage and he must have known it; if he meant that he wished his technique as a painter to be ignored and all attention to be given to the value of the story and the characters, he did himself extraordinary injustice.

Again, he argued that the term still life in reality should not only be applied to inanimate objects, but, if rightly used, cover all static compositions, portraits and groups or historical subjects where the people are doing nothing. The French term for still life nature morte would have helped Hogarth; the pictures he had in mind treat of dead birds, animals with fruit and flowers, trophies of the chase, or the materials for a feast. In the sense that Hogarth used the term still life must apply to all painting and statuary, since, no matter how violent the action depicted, the figures can never really move, even though occasionally, as in Fuseli's Lady Macbeth, the spectator is impressed by the fury of the design into forgetting he is looking upon a static scene.

Hogarth emphasised the novelty of his first Progress; he thought that this style had never been attempted before, in any age, and certainly nothing could have been more in contrast to the 'grand' manner so much in vogue than the adventures of a contemporary street-walker; it seems as if in his choice of his first subject Hogarth had had a sly hit at the gods, goddesses, saints and Madonnas then so run after and gone deliberately to the other end of the scale.

In reality the style of story-telling in pictures, enlivened with anecdote, was far from new; Hogarth himself had practised it in the engravings for Hudibras, and painting had seldom been able to free itself entirely from dependence on literature—either as direct illustration of a literary subject in the use of symbolic or cipher method, which is something of a return to picture writing at the time when the two arts were one.

Several of the Italian Renaissance painters were primarily wry-tellers, as Vittorio Carpaccio, and that painter of the school of Botticelli (Amico di Sandro?) who is responsible for the exquisite Story of Esther in the Musée de Condé, Chantilly.

These artists had exactly Hogarth's intention, to tell a story in swift-moving, dramatic scenes; they clothed their figures, also, in the costumes of their own day and chose as backgrounds what they saw about them, working in little examples of genre into unlikely subjects.

They were, however, animated by a desire for pure beauty And decoration and they worked from set themes; their tales were those of the Old Testament, mythology, the lives of the Saints, or some popular legend like that of Griselda.

This gave their paintings a fairy-tale air; Carpaccio, despite his lively local detail, is telling us some tale of something that never happened, he is giving us the vision of the poet, of a Chaucer, a Boccaccio, a Petrarch, just as Dosso Dossi gives us, in spirit, if not in text, the vision of an Ariosto.

Many of these raconteurs used the panoramic convention, that is, several scenes are combined in one picture, so that against one background episodes covering perhaps years take place.

Though Hogarth cut his stories into definite scenes like a stage play, he also used the panoramic method, but usually realistically by means of a letter, a painting, a drawing, a bit of symbolism, so that one learns more of his characters than he can tell us in one picture; in the Four Stages of Cruelty he uses a chalk scribble on a wall and a letter that we can read to help with his tale.

In their quest for beauty the Italians avoided realism, so that their idealistic treatment, united to their lofty or far-fetched themes, quite removed them from the commonplace; the early Flemish and Dutch painters, when story-telling, went to the other extreme and delighted in the grotesque, the vulgar, the ugly detail that also gave an air of unreality through being too monstrous. A market scene by Brueghel seems as far removed from everyday life as the vales in which Giorgione's shepherds pipe.

The latter Dutch school produced what might be termed conversation pieces, those exquisite interiors that, in the case of Ver Meer, reach the highest level—the subject being transmuted into abstract art by the genius of the painter—and in the case of men like Terborch reveal an amazing craftsmanship and an exquisite taste.

Hogarth would have called these pieces still life, since there is little action in them, no drama, and the elegant men and women are engaged in the most peaceful and refined pursuits.

How far was Hogarth acquainted with these different schools? They were not much in fashion and the chances are that he had not studied any of the best specimens; when he thought of Italian painting he thought of Correggio and the Carracci, or Raphael and Michael Angelo, when he thought of Dutch painting, he thought of Rembrandt's religious pieces or the gross 'pots and pans' caricatured in the last scene of Marriage à la Mode.

Nor could he have been acquainted with the delicious genre work of Jean-Baptiste Chardin, with its purely domestic, local and contemporary inspiration, so far much like his own, but in spirit very different, since the Frenchman chronicled only the comely, the agreeable and the serene aspects of life.

Though Hogarth may have known little or nothing of these painters, he was in their ranks.

There was no novelty in his theme (he had only one), which might indeed be termed the oldest in the world, the punishment of vice and the reward of virtue.

The older painters had painted this subject in a general fashion, the damned hurried in a mass to Hell, the saved drawn in a cloud upwards; the awed spectator was not given the histories of those who fell into the pit, or told what attributes had brought the blessed into the company of the Saints, but this he could very well guess from the sermons of the priests and the teachings he had received in his youth.

In showing so much more interest in vice than in virtue Hogarth followed a long series of precedents; Hell had always been more attractive to the artist than Heaven; when a list of German and Italian illustrators of Dante was compiled* it was found that by far the largest number of subjects had been taken from the Inferno, far fewer from the Purgatorio, and very few indeed from the Paradiso. The common opinion (unexpressed and often unconscious as it might be) was that anything conveyed by the term 'Hell' was more dramatic, exciting, beautiful, strange and gorgeous than anything conveyed by the term 'Heaven.'

[* Dr. L. Volkmann, pamphlet on the early Illustrators of Dante. Leipzig. 1899.]

The truth is not that virtue is negative or colourless, but that it cannot be expressed in definite illustration by itself; the good man struggling against vice or against fate is highly dramatic, but unalloyed 'goodness' or the triumph of virtue becomes sentimental, hypocritical, unconvincing or disgusting. The sublime qualities, so rare in humanity, yet with which humanity endows its deities, are too large to be expressed by anecdote; we need music, poetry, or those pictures where abstract beauty conveys the joy of holiness far better than any moralizing can do.

The tender blue spaces, the sunny colonnades, the ineffable landscapes of the Umbrian school, the enchanting Paradiso of Fra Angelico soothe and elevate us, not because we are in the company of saints and angels, but because we are invited into a world where everything has been transmuted into pure beauty.

Hogarth set out to show the results of vice and crime, and his method was excellent; when he tried to show the other side of the medal, the method went to pieces.

With his odd misunderstanding of his own genius, he does not seem to have perceived this, but, tormented no doubt by prosy moralists, often attempted what could not be done well and what was too often done badly.

A notable illustration of this point comes at once to the mind; Samuel Richardson began his first novel with the same didactic purpose as that which Hogarth claimed—it ran, too, through his next book, his masterpiece. To what, however, did these romances owe their immense popularity? Hardly to the 'morals;' they are extremely minute accounts of attempts to seduce chaste women by libertine men; the gusto of the tale, both for the writer and for the reader, lies in these two polished scoundrels, Mr. B., who fails and is pardoned, Lovelace, who succeeds and is punished. The novels were the forerunners of thousands of others that offered all the delicious excitements of vice to the reader and then safely delivered him to the angels on the last page.

It is true that in the sudden lift given to the character of Clarissa Richardson rose above himself into great heights, nevertheless it is easy to see what passions these novels gratified. Misled by some meddling fool, Richardson tried in his last novel to make a 'good' man as attractive as he had made a villain, and to write a book without any dark, vicious or criminal characters; the result was one of the most unreadable works in any language.

Yet how far from impossible it is to make goodness desirable, one poem by Vaughan or Herbert will show; a single verse from their pens will make one in love with that joyful, radiant and exciting virtue which disfigured by Richardson's laborious praise becomes merely tedious and irritating.

* * *

Hogarth began his great experiment soon after his marriage, as the date on the last plate is 1731—the prints were not issued, however, until 1733. It must have taken some time to paint and then to engrave these six little pictures. Most unfortunately four of the paintings were destroyed when Fonthill was burnt down in 1755, but the fact that Hogarth had already executed Wanstead Assembly, Sarah Malcolm and The Emperor of Mexico proves that they must have been much better painted than they were engraved.

Forceful and clever as Hogarth was with the graver, he had never, as he tells us himself, taken the trouble to become really proficient in this art, and always did his own pictures less than justice when he translated them to this other medium; he did not use even a mirror, with the result that the plates came out the other way round from the painting.

A literary origin has been sought for Hogarth's first subject, and a paper in the Spectator has been named as inspiring it; this is surely unnecessary; a man of Hogarth's intelligence, living for thirty-five years in the London of the first half of the eighteenth century, would need no prompting with regard to the story of Mary Hackabout, one which he must have often seen performed by different actresses.

The six scenes show the progress of a sly little minx who comes up from the country, goes on the streets, takes to crime, reaches prison and dies miserably at the age of twenty-three. The details were as downright as the title, but the age was not sqeamish; Hogarth's young wife took the plates to her mother, and put them in the way of Sir James, who is reported to have said: 'A man who can work like that can look after a wife.'

The prints were an instant success; not only did the vivid, dramatic story appeal to the popular taste for the lurid and the horrible, but it soon got about that many of the characters were portraits of well-known people.

Sir John Gonson, a magistrate remarkable for his severity towards the 'votaresses of Venus,' was recognized with much delight by his friends in Plate III; this put the public on the scent, and they soon discovered the likenesses of a famous libertine, two quacks, a debauched Fleet chaplain and two notorious procuresses among the figures in this grim drama.

So, for many reasons, not one of which had anything to do with art, the plates were very successful; the number of subscribers was over a thousand; the set cost one guinea.

The new idea was seized upon as usual by the unscrupulous copyist; the Progress was at once pirated by Hogarth's old enemies, the booksellers; it was made into a pantomime, a ballad opera, into verses and pamphlets, and painted on various inappropriate objects, such as china tea-services and fans.

Some of these last Hogarth gave as a warning to his own maid-servants; from none of these uses to which his invention was put did he earn a penny and this bitter injustice helped to harden him 'to apply to Parliament for redress,' and this he did two years later. However, at the worst, he had made a good sum and received most warming encouragement, to which he responded with touching enthusiasm by at once beginning a companion Progress, that of a man, Tom Rakewell, which was subscribed for the same year, 1733.

* * *

Meanwhile Hogarth produced The Modern Midnight Conversation, a satirical group of well-known people, and two slighter prints, the caricatures of foreign artists, and a frontispiece to Henry Carey's skit, Chrononhotontologos.

The prints of A Rake's Progress were held back until Hogarth had been successful in securing the passing of the Copyright Act, which came into force June 24th, 1735, a long overdue law, by which the profits of an artist's work were secured to himself, and which must be credited to the energy, fighting spirit and resolution of William Hogarth.

Until this date another print was kept back, that of Southwark Fair, taken from the lost picture of the same name (burnt in 1807), a lively composition, full of incident and not containing any moral lesson.

A Rake's Progress was not so successful as the first series had been, perhaps because the novelty had worn off, perhaps because to the purchasing public, largely masculine, the subject was not so acceptable.

It gained, however, many friends and admirers for Hogarth; Henry Fielding termed him 'one of the most useful satirists that any age has produced' and thought that 'a sober family' should no more be without the two Progresses than without The Whole Duty of Man.

Surely so keen-witted a man as the great novelist was not writing sincerely when he expressed himself thus, and the creator of Jonathan Wild and Joseph Andrews did not really believe that the horrors of Hogarth's plates were necessary to keep a sober family 'from prison and the madhouse.'

Fielding, like Hogarth, himself liked to wrap up his talents in the guise of moralizing, and could not afford to offend the conventions of the time.

In any case, Fielding was a sincere friend to Hogarth and deeply admired his work; when he wrote that the painter's characters seemed 'not only to breathe but to think,' he passed a just criticism.

Dean Swift wrote Hogarth ('Hogart' as he spelt it) some flattering verses from Dublin, untouched by humbug; the mighty Irishman affected no prudish interest in the morals of 'a sober family,' but viciously regretted that Hogarth was not at hand to draw the likenesses of the scoundrels whom he, Swift, wished to chastise with his pen.

* * *

Hogarth sent out two more plates from the workshop at The Golden Head, A Distressed Poet and A Woman swearing her child to a Grave Citizen.

* * *

He now found himself at another stage in his career; even after his success and the passing of the Copyright Act, there was not a great deal of money to be made out of prints, since only two shops in London sold them and the prices were low; besides, this kind of miniature work did not satisfy the painter's ambition. He still was tormented by 'the grand style' and was conscious that the two Progresses had put him very much out of court with the dilettanti.

As he could not hope for any commissions for this kind of work, he 'with a smile at his own temerity' decided to undertake two historical pictures on his own account and to present them to Saint Bartholomew's Hospital. The subjects chosen were The Pool of Bethesda and The Good Samaritan, and the avowed object was to show that an Englishman was capable of 'the grand style;' as this had already been successfully carried out by Thornhill and Hayman, the boast may be taken as meaning 'that William Hogarth can do it as well.'

Once, when attending a session at the Drawing School in St. Martin's Lane, Hogarth had asked Hudson if he thought that, should a painter as good as Van Dyck arise, his merit would be acknowledged.

Hudson and some others present had thereupon returned the intolerant answer that 'it would never be allowed.' The discussion had then become, as academic discussions are apt to become, personal, and Hudson had demanded of Hogarth if he could do a portrait as fine as a Van Dyck. With unhesitating self-confidence Hogarth had replied that he made no doubt he could. Hogarth was in the right; he was as fine a portraitist as Van Dyck, and, in a sense, he was in the right when he claimed to equal the performances—not of Titian or Veronese, for he had not these in mind—but of imitators of the school of Verrio or Laguerre.

The pictures were painted on canvas stretched on frames, the figures were seven feet high, and Hogarth paid his friend George Lambert to put in the background; this was a genial fellow, whose painting loft at Covent Garden was the home of the Beefsteak Club, but the fact that his main activity was daubing drop-cloths for melodramas should have deterred Hogarth from giving his enemies this excuse for their scorn.

A governorship of Saint Bartholomew's was Hogarth's sole reward for so much labour and a considerable outlay in materials.

The pictures were not successful, they did not please the public that had enjoyed the Progresses and they were easy targets for the shafts of the cognoscenti; the paintings were, however, not so bad that these same gentry might not have rushed at them had they been auctioned under some Italian name. The composition was not more slovenly, the types not more vulgar, the execution not more homely than might be found in some of the canvases hanging in the place of honour in some nobleman's gallery.

The Englishman was held to have failed; no commissions for this kind of work came his way and 'the old black masters' continued to hold the field.

The marvel is, not that Hogarth did not do any better in this bad style, worn out and debased as it was, but that, with all the superb work he had to his credit in 1737, he should have concerned himself with what was so far beneath his genius. There is something distressing in the spectacle of a great artist's being driven out of the scope of his own talents into perpetrating wretched stuff to please the ignorance and cupidity of the moment.

Even into these compositions Hogarth had to introduce touches very far from the 'sublime;' the rich woman's servant driving the pauper away from the miraculous pool, the humbugging priest in the Good Samaritan, and worst of all, the likeness of a notorious light lady, Nell Robinson, whom he was supposed to have much admired in his bachelor days.

Raphael and dozens of others had done the same, but what was allowed to the dead Umbrian was refused to the living Londoner, and Cockney Nell was not allowed the honour freely given to La Fornarina.

* * *

After thus wasting his time, rousing his enemies and exasperating himself by these futile labours, Hogarth turned his attention again, rather bitterly, to prints and portraits, for which he found it difficult to obtain much recognition, though among them were such magnificent performances as Bishop Hoadley (1741), the two Lavinia Fentons, Mrs. Hogarth and Captain Coram.

The last was painted for the hospital that the tenderhearted sailor had founded in Lamb's Conduit Street for deserted infants and the orphans of soldiers slain in the wars. Hogarth, always kind-hearted, took great interest in this institution and was named one of the first governors.

He had left the embryo Academy in St. Martin's Lane because he had taken a dislike to some of the bustling nobodies who had tried to get royal patronage for the scheme.

'As if,' he remarked scornfully, 'a matter of a few people drawing from a man or a horse was a matter to trouble the three Estates of the Realm about.'

He feared that these self-important meddlers wanted a chance of obtaining good posts for life—'for telling a boy he was drawing a leg too long or too short'—and he profoundly distrusted the type of Academy where 'Louis had got a good deal of flattery at very little cost,' so he had withdrawn Thornhill's 'paraphernalia' from the little society and with it his own countenance.

When Captain Coram, after seventeen years of labour, obtained his Royal Charter and opened his building, Hogarth, who had already designed the arms for the Foundlings, a headpiece for their power of attorney and a portrait of another governor, Martin Folkes, suggested that a collection of modern paintings should be opened in the Charity Building and that the public should be admitted to view it. The scheme was new and successful, a visit to the Foundling became part of the routine of fashion.

Among the painters who exhibited were Hudson, Cotes, Shackleton, Ramsay, Highmore, and two men of genius, Richard Wilson, who at thirty years of age had not made his fame with landscape, and the young Joshua Reynolds, newly come to town, who contributed a portrait of Lord Dartmouth.

* * *

In 1738 appeared Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn from a picture since destroyed (burnt 1844), and Four Times of Day.

In 1740 Hogarth altered and reissued The Distrest Poet, in the following year he added The Enraged Musician, then a commissioned picture that he did not much like himself, Taste in High Life, in 1742.

He had produced also several small engravings, illustrations, tickets for benefits, and little satires such as Scholars at a Lecture, The Sleeping Congregation, and A Company of Undertakers, but the ouput since the first Progress until the year we now reach, 1745, had not been large for an artist of such fecund power; it is probable that much of the later part of this period of fifteen years had been given to the production of his masterpiece, the Marriage à la Mode.

* * *

There is little to relate of Hogarth's life during this period and some of his biographers have declared that the story of his life is merely the story of his pictures.

We need not, however, think of the existence of this intelligent, active, and on the whole happy man as being dull or eventless, even though he never left Leicester Fields, save perhaps to spend July and August in 'summer lodgings' at Lambeth or Isleworth.

It is not difficult to fill out those years with at least a rough idea of the life of the busy, bustling Londoner.

He lost his mother soon after the death of his father-in-law, but there remained his two robust, good-humoured sisters and Lady Thornhill, friendly and helpful, while he was on intimate terms with the younger James Thornhill who was Serjeant-Painter to His Majesty; his circle of friends had increased; in 1737 Samuel Johnson had brought David Garrick to London, and Hogarth, always closely connected with the theatre, soon became intimate with the young actor who had 'taken the town' with his performance of Richard III at the playhouse in Lincoln's Inn Fields, 1741.

In the green-rooms of the two great houses in the Lane and Covent Garden, Hogarth enjoyed the lively company not only of the players themselves but of their admirers, who included most of the interesting personalities then to be met in London.

Other opportunities of meeting the people who set the taste and directed the energies of the moment Hogarth found in the gatherings at various coffee-houses and taverns, The Feathers close to his own home, the famous Coffee House run by Slaughter in St. Martin's Lane, or The Turk's Head in Gerrard Street; there was also the annual dinner at the Foundling Hospital and that cheerful place of rendezvous, Lambert's Beefsteak Club, held in his studio above the stage at the Lane.

Through these means Hogarth had every opportunity of observing the life of the town at its liveliest and of marking many different types of humanity.

He visited Samuel Richardson, the City printer, at his Press in Salisbury Court, and there met Samuel Johnson and James Boswell; he knew John Wilkes and Churchill, and the Miss Salusbury who became Mrs. Thrale and afterwards Mrs. Piozzi.

Some of the more exclusive intelligentsia deigned to take notice of him; the renowned Dr. Warburton was kind and Horace Walpole invited him to a dinner where the other guest was Thomas Gray.

This experiment was not a success; Hogarth was mute and the author of the perfect periods of the elegy could utter only commonplaces, so that the cynic, elegant host was dismally bored with his two men of genius, though he had found Gray an acceptable companion on the Grand Tour.

Nor was the Cockney painter without the opportunity of observing fine gentlemen in their own homes, since he 'Was, at least on one occasion, the guest of Sir Francis Dashwood at Medmenham Abbey, and made an odd drawing of him in the Gothic style.

There were other excitements: the fair on the ice that followed the hard frost of 1739-40, the declaration of that war with France which Sir Robert Walpole had so long averted, and several remarkable publications in the literary world that set the town buzzing.

In 1742 appeared both Pamela and Clarissa, and Hogarth could not fail to be interested in work so much like his own, though he must have disapproved of the sentimental air given to the two heroines, very different from the dry method he had used with poor Mary Hackabout.

The novels were much to the taste not only of London but of Europe, and helped to inaugurate the era of feeling and sensibility that gradually overwhelmed the art of the last of the eighteenth century and finally blended into the romanticism of the early nineteenth century.

Hogarth had nothing in common with this movement; Fielding's quickly produced satire on Pamela must have been more to his liking than the tale of the virtuous maidservant itself, but he could scarcely refuse at least lip service to a 'morality' that tried to teach the same lesson as he declared he wished to inculcate and that described those very scenes of contemporary London that he had so carefully depicted.

In the same year appeared another book, also on the theme of the castigation of vice, Dr. Young's Night Thoughts, where, in florid verse often endowed with a morbid beauty, a certain Lorenzo is pursued through a career of costly vice to the 'Parian marble' of his tomb. Nothing could have been more morbid in tone and hue; once more the author, a disappointed place hunter, dwells with more zest on the sins he flogs than on the joys of the virtues he advocates.

The popularity of the book was immense; like Clarissa and Pamela it ran into edition after edition, not only in London but on the Continent, and Hogarth can hardly have avoided reading the adventures of this other Tom Rakewell.

* * *

It is certainly a black world to which these books introduce us, a world as sour, as disorderly, as grim as the one that Hogarth himself painted, and though we must allow for the exaggeration of both the fiction writer and the professed moralist, the conviction that this was a sad, horrible period, lit by the lurid colours of decay, does remain. Drink, gambling, disease, suicide, bankruptcy, that ghastly vice known to the Middle Ages as 'accidie' (melancholy boredom) seem to have pitted with corruption the society of the reign of George III that lived between the salon and the prison, the bagnio and the masquerade, the gilt coach and the pauper's grave.

Lack of any spiritual life and the grossness of the pleasures available filled even the reckless and the debauched with despair, and they lived haunted by two spectres, early death from sudden illness or the duel, or a ruin that meant jail or suicide, from a cast of the dice or a turn of the cards.

But, despite all the gloom and squalor, William Hogarth, like many another honest, healthy man, contrived a cosy enough existence with The Golden Head, his handsome, kind wife and his orderly servants as the centre of his well-being.

Through the filth and the despair, the grossness and the cruelty, of this ugly century, we can glimpse these comfortable, cheerful little interiors with the ruddy candlelight, the leaping glow from the sea-coal fire, the swept hearth, the shining china and silver, the vase of aromatic vinegar or stuffed orange to keep off the plague, Allestree's pamphlet and the Bible to keep out the Devil, a savoury smell from the kitchen and to-day's Gazette on the polished table, and the little company of men and women gathered round the fire to laugh, to gossip and to doze, the brawling Mohawk, the kennel of offal, the hideous beggar alike shut away in the darkness of the dismal streets.

Hogarth painted the portraits of his six servants, and their faces attest to the efficiency of his domestic arrangements; there are the grey-haired major-domo, the competent housekeeper, the three neat girls who received the warning fans, the boy who, no doubt, ground the colours, tidied the studio, fixed the frames and ran errands for the painter.

* * *

The studio was of some size and well-furnished; it had a top or north light and attached was a room large enough for a small exhibition to be held in it; here came the various sitters, Peg Woffington, Lavinia Fenton, Bishop Hoadly and Captain Coram, and here were painted the 'moral' tales.

By its very nature his work provided an absorbing interest, since it was little less than the study of mankind; he must also, though he was always reticent about this, have been experimenting in technique and improving his craftsmanship.

When he worked he wore a turban or montero cap over the cropped head, covered on formal occasions with the long peruke then 'beginning to be old-fashioned—the kind of wig Uncle Toby wore—and a robe or dressing-gown, but he was anything but a dishevelled inhabitant of Grub Street in appearance; indeed, the stout, shortish man with the bright, well-cut clothes and hat cocked at the smart angle affected by His Majesty of Prussia, who was so familiar a figure strutting about the heart of the town, looked more like an officer on leave from the wars than a painter.

The victory of Dettingen, when George II made himself popular by telling the British Grenadiers that they could beat the French with 'very little trouble,' did much to make this war acceptable to the nation; the defeat of Prince Augustus at Fontenoy by Maurice de Saxe did something to shake the English good-humour, but the majority of the people was solidly behind the King when rumours of a threatened invasion on the part of the Jacobites began to circulate in the capital.

The year 1742 was famous for the first performance in Dublin of Handel's The Messiah, at which the King, as sincere a music lover as he was a good soldier, stood up during the Halleluiah chorus Hogarth may have heard of this with but little sympathy, and he probably did not notice the appearance of An Ode to the Memory of the Gentlemen killed in the late War, wherein William Collins enriched the English language with a poem as fresh as violets, as noble as a metope from the Parthenon.

In 1745 the energetic painter was approaching his fiftieth year, and so was at the height of his powers; his opinions had hardened and his obstinate hatred of the 'old black masters' increased; over the characteristic signature 'Britophil' he had written some years before to the St. James Post (June 7th, 1757) in defence of the Greenwich paintings by Sir James Thornhill, which had come in for some abuse, launching a brisk attack on the picture dealers; and he had even more boldly shown his attitude by a print ticket for his auction entitled The Battle of the Pictures, where canvases by the 'old black masters' are doing battle with Hogarth's own prints.

One of these represented a scene of the Marriage à la Mode, which had not yet been published.

Hogarth's letter, which is couched in vigorous terms, shows plainly the opinions from which he never swerved. There are some interesting points in the letter; one would like to be able to identify the 'Monstrous great Venus' ascribed to three different painters; was it at Kensington Palace? It was hardly likely to have been a Michel Angelo. Does Hogarth mean by Jacomo di Pontermo (so transcribed by Samuel Ireland from the original letter) Jacopo da Pontormo, the pupil of Andrea del Sarto, the imitator of Michel Angelo and the master of Agnolo Bronzino? Fra Sebastiano del Piombo, favourite painter of Clement VII and assistant of Michel Angelo, may have painted this 'monstrous' canvas that was valued so highly.

It is interesting to note that evidently a much older painter, Alessio Baldovinetti, whose work was then held to be in 'the dry Gothic style,' was considered valuable by the art dealers. It is not likely that many specimens of this rare and choice master found their way to eighteenth-century London.*

[* See Alessio Baldovinetti, in The Study and Criticism of Italian Art, by Bernhard Berenson, 2nd series, London, 1931.]

Hogarth's letter runs:

'There is another set of gentry more noxious to the Art than these, and those are your picture-jobbers from abroad (an abuse grown to such a height, that the Legislature had endeavoured to put a stop to it, by laying a duty on the importation of foreign pictures), who are always ready to raise a great cry in the prints whenever they think their craft is in danger; and indeed it is their interest to depreciate every English work, as hurtful to their trade of continually importing shiploads of dead Christs, Holy Families, Madona's, and other dismal dark subjects, neither entertaining nor ornamental on which they scrawl the terrible cramp names of some Italian masters, and fix on us poor Englishmen the character of universal dupes. If a man, naturally a judge of Painting, not bigoted to those empirics, should cast his eye on one of their sham virtuoso-pieces, he would be very apt to say: "Mr. Bubbleman, that grand Venus (as you are pleased to call it) has not beauty enough for the character of an English cook-maid."—Upon which the quack answers, with a confident air, "O Lord, sir, I find that you are no connoisseur—that picture, I assure you, is in Alesso Baldovinetto's second and best manner, boldly painted, and truly sublime; the contour gracious; the air of the head in the high Greek taste; and a most divine idea it is."—Then spitting on an obscure place, and rubbing it with a dirty handkerchief, takes a skip to the other end of the room, and screams out in raptures, " There is an amazing touch! A man should have this picture a twelve-month in his collection before he can discover half its beauties." The gentleman (though naturally a judge of what is beautiful, yet ashamed to be out of the fashion in judging for himself) with this cant is struck dumb; gives a vast sum for the picture, very modestly confesses that he is indeed quite ignorant of painting, and bestows a frame worth fifty pounds on a frightful thing, without the hard name on it not worth as many farthings, e.g., a monstrous Venus at Kensington, valued at a thousand pounds, said to be painted by Michael Angelo de Buonarotti or Jacomo di Pontermo [sic] or Sebastiano del Piambo [sic].'

In February, 1745, Hogarth held an odd kind of auction of his pictures in the studio at The Golden Head. The conditions of sale were as follows:

'The biddings to remain open from the first to the last day of February, on these conditions: "1. That every bidder shall have an entire leaf numbered in the book of sale, on the top of which will be entered the name and place of abode, the sum paid by him, the time when, and for which picture. 2. That, on last day of sale, a clock (striking every five minutes) shall be placed in the room; and when it hath struck five minutes after twelve, the first picture mentioned in the sale-book will be deemed as sold; the second picture when the clock hath struck the next five minutes after twelve; and so on successively till the whole nineteen pictures are sold. 3. That none advance less than gold at each bidding. 4. No person to bid on the last day, except those whose names were before entered in the book. As Mr. Hogarth's room is but small, he begs the favour that no persons, except those whose names are entered in the book, will come to view his paintings on the last day of sale."'

Nineteen pictures were put up for sale; the six Harlot's Progress at 14 guineas each made £88 4s., A Rake's Progress, eight pictures, fetched 22 guineas each, £184 16s., the Four Times of Day painted from the designs made for Vauxhall brought in: Morning, 20 guineas, Noon, 37 guineas, Evening, 38 guineas, and Night 26 guineas, the Strolling Actresses fetched the same price as Night, and the total was £427 7s.

The Marriage la Mode pictures were exhibited, but not offered for sale, as the engravers had not done with them; in April of that year the sets of prints were issued; they had been engraved by Scotin, Baron and Ravenet, Hogarth himself touching up the faces here and there.

The objection had been raised to the two Progresses that they were hardly suitable to adorn the boudoirs and closets of fashionable people, being altogether too full of 'low life,' and a good deal of not unnatural umbrage had been taken by those who had discovered their likenesses in the plates.

When he had begun his new series Hogarth had pretended to meet these difficulties by an advertisement in The Daily Post (April 2nd, 1742):

'Mr. Hogarth intends to publish by subscription, six prints from copper plates, engraved by the best masters in Paris, after his own paintings, representing a variety of occurrences in high life and called Marriage-a-la-Mode. Particular care will be taken, that there may not be the least objection to the decency or elegancy of the whole work, and that none of the characters represented shall be personal.'

This was, no doubt, intended ironically, as a sarcastic hit at his detractors; it is true that Hogarth now dealt with high life, but not in a manner to please the aristocracy, and though he avoided entirely the prison, the madhouse or the Drury Lane tavern, he contrived a worse horror, an atmosphere of more utter damnation, a more ghastly commentary on his age than ever he had achieved before nor did he keep his word about the likenesses; many unhappy objects of Hogarth's spleen and scorn found themselves pilloried in these pictures, which mark the height of the artist's peculiar genius.

The prints were sold at £1 11 s. 6d. the set and were not a great success; the game now aimed at flew very high, the follies condemned were those indulged in by the highest ranks of society, and there was no particular moral pointed—a general warning against lust, greed, vanity, murder and suicide among the upper classes was not palatable to those who had endured very well a tale likely to keep servant-girls safe in their kitchens and apprentice-boys busy at their looms.

The pictures were shown both at The Golden Head and at Cock's Auction Rooms, but failed to find a purchaser or to impress the critics, who still refused Hogarth any merit as a painter though they might allow him a little as an ingenious deviser of novelties.

The same year Hogarth painted a self-portrait with his dog Trump, and a portrait of Garrick as Richard III (engraved 1746), for which he was paid the gratifying sum of £200 by a Mr. Duncombe; it was, Hogarth afterwards declared, the highest price ever paid to any English artist for a single portrait, and he was pleased, not because of the money, but because of the recognition of his worth as an artist, the price being fixed 'by the sanction of several artists.'

The Scots' rising of 1745 inspired Hogarth with his March to Finchley, but this painting was not finished and engraved until several years later.

The unhappy attempt of Prince Charles Edward on the British throne gave Hogarth another subject—in 1746 he travelled to St. Albans to paint Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat.

This little picture was promptly engraved and sold extremely well selling at one shilling a print it brought in twelve pounds a day to Hogarth for some months; Mary Hogarth has the same date as the Lord Lovat.

Next year came The Stage Coach and another series, Industry and Idleness, in which the painter returned to low life again, and which was, with its obvious and unexceptional moral, highly approved by the public.

* * *

It may seem that during these middle years the life of Hogarth is reduced to a list of his productions, but both his own character and the spirit behind his art are easy to trace from the little we know of his life and his pictures themselves.

The last fourteen years of his career were troubled by many wretched incidents, which, unimportant themselves, hastened his end and embittered his old age; all these troubles can be traced to one source, Hogarth's passionate desire to be accepted as an artist of merit.

It is, perhaps, not too much to say that his cheerful disposition was soured, his high spirit shaken if not broken, and his energies diverted into useless blind-alleys by the neglect and sneers of far inferior men.

It is true he earned a good living, that he had a fair amount of commissions for portraits, that his series of prints had been very successful, that he was valued by many people of intelligence and taste, and it might fairly be argued that he should have been content with a measure of success so far beyond what he might have expected when he left the shop of Ellis Gamble to begin life on his own account.

But he was no philosopher, few artists are, and he had that agonizing urge of genius for full recognition which has led so many great men into what the world has labelled odd or bad behaviour.

This need of recognition is no petty nor mean emotion founded on vanity or greed, but a moving desire for reassurance, which torments the possessors of talent and genius; they feel in their inmost souls the true value of their work and, when others do not see this, they are depressed, angered, and most of all baffled.

Often this uncertainty, this disappointment drives them into attacks on the indifferent public, on the captious or hostile critics, and then they are at once in the wrong, accused of malice, jealousy and a vain, foolish partiality for their own works; a retaliation from them results in bitter disputes and spiteful controversy, in which the artist wastes his powers, and sometimes breaks his heart.

When Hogarth declared that he could paint as well as Van Dyck, or displayed his pleasure in repeating the common opinion that his Captain Coram was the finest portrait in the Foundling Hospital collection, he was speaking with complete sincerity. He could not see why a simple fact such as his own power as a painter was not capable of practical demonstration; he was baffled by the difficulty—perhaps the impossibility—of finding a criterion in aesthetics.

With touching simplicity he drew a homely analogy. 'If,' he said, 'a watchmaker were heard to boast he could make a watch as good as the masterpieces of Quare or Tompion, he would be at once asked to do so, and if he could produce a piece of work as fine as that of Quare or Tompion,* his claim would be admitted and his watch valued as highly as if it had come from one of the workshops of the masters. Why, then, could not this same kind of test be put to the arts?

[* Thomas Tompion (1639-1713), 'the father of English watch making' whose work was unrivalled. Daniel Quare (1648-1724), a Quaker who invented repeating watches. Both these famous craftsmen worked for William III.]

Hogarth, arguing on these lines, wanted to know why, when he had done as he promised and achieved canvases as fine as those of Van Dyck and far finer than many of 'the black masters,' it could not be acknowledged?

He must have known the answer.

The critic who is able to judge a work of art on purely aesthetic grounds is rare in any age and usually has a small following, while those who presume to usurp his functions are too ignorant, prejudiced, timid or self-interested to be able to offer any but worthless opinions.

It usually happens, however, that these people have the power of guiding the taste of the patron and the purchaser and are so formidable that the artist who crosses them is liable to be completely ignored by critic and public alike. It seems unlikely that, in Hogarth's time, there was anyone in London capable of assessing him at his true value either as a painter, i.e., a user of oil paint, or as a creative artist.

By his engravings he had got straight through to the public, who had accepted them on any but artistic grounds, and his portraits had been considered adequate, but from the highest circles of the art world he had been shut out; 'ingenious Mr. Hogarth,' who would do much good to the morals of the time, he might be, but a great painter he was not, and fashionable people continued to run after Mr. William Kent and the cognoscenti to rave over tenth-rate copies of inferior Italian painters.

The disappointed man must have understood the reasons of his neglect and he certainly never lost confidence in himself, but he was, once he realized how steadily the opinion of the critics was set against him, increasingly embittered, hurt and baffled; the history of the last years of his life shows him as again and again endeavouring to break down the opposition to his work and to force a general recognition of his powers from those whom he despised.

Inconsistent behaviour truly, but such is the behaviour and such are the feelings of the man conscious of rare and unacknowledged gifts and powers. This is not to say that he will be satisfied when he has wrung due recognition from his contemporaries—there will always remain his own inner dissatisfaction, but his personal sense of inadequacy will be increased to maddening bitterness by the insults, coldness and sneers of his fellows.

'Painter Pug,' as his enemies sneeringly named him, did not submit tamely to the verdict of the critics; he waged hearty battle in his own cause, he attacked his detractors, he never ceased to combat Kent and his supporters, he despised patrons, he refused to flatter his sitters, but he was engaged in a losing fight.

The artist's struggle for complete recognition is one of the hardest a human being can undertake and it requires a Richard Wagner to make it an entirely successful one.

By boldly carrying the war into the enemy's camp, Hogarth only more or less delivered himself into the hands of the critics and exposed himself to an unmerited ridicule that he felt most keenly.

* * *

In 1748 a chance came for another attempt at the historical style; Lord Wyndham had left £200 to the Benchers of Lincoln's Inn to spend on a painting to beautify their Hall, and Hogarth, through one of his friends, Lord Mansfield, secured the commission, which he executed with zest; the subject was Paul before Felix; a business-like letter from the painter is still extant in which he says he has arranged for a frame at £30 for the picture. The Benchers seem to have been satisfied, but the picture did not bring Hogarth the high place in art for which he had always longed.

The only success he had gained from the laborious undertaking was the burlesque of the same subject which the misspelt title declared 'to be scratched in the ridiculous manner of Rembrandt,' which he issued as a subscription ticket for the engraving of the Lincoln's Inn picture.

This parody sold well at five shillings a print, not, one supposes, because the public cared much about Rembrandt one way or another, but because the burlesque was really amusing in a downright sort of way, though as much a skit on the story of Paul as on the art of the great Dutchman.

The new year was unfortunate for Hogarth; he made a journey to France with the intention of enlarging his knowledge of life and of art. It was too late, however, for the Cockney painter, well over fifty, who had never left London save for the briefest periods and who had never left England at all, to absorb new impressions or to tolerate foreign ways.

The burning grievance of the English patronage of French and Italian artists had fostered in Hogarth's soul a grotesque contempt of foreigners; he was held to be intensely patriotic and often commentators on his work have rejoiced in its 'downright, fair play, John Bull' qualities. Let it be remembered, however, that the majority of the characters and institutions pilloried by Hogarth were English and that he gives a more terrible picture of eighteenth-century England than any foreigner has left us, and it will be seen that this patriotism was of rather a strange nature; Hogarth's attitude could only have been—'Bad as my native country is—others are worse.'

Little is known of this unhappy visit to a country that could have afforded much delight and instruction to the London painter, but the end of it is famous. Hogarth, seeing, or thinking that he saw, the English Leopards cut above Calais Gate, proceeded to sketch this piece of architecture without realizing that it was part of the fortifications of the port; he was arrested, taken before the Governor, sternly rebuked for his indiscretion and set on board the English-bound packet.

His revenge was Calais Gate (1749), in which he satirised all that was hateful to him in France and added a cut at the wretched Irish and Scots exiles of the '45.

Without realizing apparently his own inconsistency and the fact that he was advertising poor arguments for his own patriotism, he engraved (1750) The March to Finchley and, sending a copy to George II, begged leave to dedicate it to His Majesty. The subject was a detachment of Grenadiers leaving their station and setting out on the long march that was to end in Culloden.

There was no moral to this lively genre picture, which showed, boldly and ironically, the disorders and vices of soldiers and camp followers, and certainly seemed calculated to bring the Army into contempt.

George II was a good professional soldier; he and his father had done much to reorganize the British Army, which had been neglected since Marlborough's prime, and he took a keen interest and pride in all military affairs; he was, therefore, naturally offended by the print and, if the anecdote is to be trusted, declared that Hogarth ought to be court-martialled for so disloyal a satire.

Another tale, almost certainly fiction, makes the King utter the oft-repeated saying: 'I do not like Painting or Poetry,' and Horace Walpole added to the anecdote the foolish remark that the King was 'insensible to refined pleasures.'

There was no refined pleasure to be obtained from The March to Finchley by anyone save the expert in the technique of oil painting, and if George II did state his dislike of painting and poetry, he showed that he was of the same opinion as Hogarth, for the paintings he had in mind would be 'the black masters' and the designs of Kent, and the poetry would be the bombastic verse then popular.

The way the anecdote is constantly related is typical of the long campaign in which the British people insulted and ridiculed the family to whom they had offered their throne and whom they kept on it for their own convenience.

Dr. Johnson declared that if a poll had been taken of George II's subjects, he would have been turned out and his adherents hanged, and it is possible that Hogarth shared the common dislike of the German Sovereign and sent in the print with intent to offend; it is hard to believe he could have thought it would be acceptable.

In any case the painter, not the King, was in the wrong, and Hogarth, who was deeply hurt at the royal rebuke, certainly brought this humiliation on himself by acting either maliciously or foolishly.

* * *

The plate was not wasted; it was issued with a dedication to the King of Prussia, who sent the artist a handsome present.

These incidents did nothing to help Hogarth attain the position at which he aimed; the Paul before Felix was counted a failure, the attack on Rembrandt angered the cognoscenti, tales were told of his bad manners when abroad, which had ended in the Calais Gate fracas, and the King's rejection of The Guards caused Hogarth's enemies to renew their sneers.

This unhappy picture was put up for sale by lottery, and, as there were very few subscribers, the painter, in a pique, gave a large number of the tickets to the Foundling Hospital, which thus became the owner of the canvas; that George II treated the episode good-humouredly on the whole is shown by Hogarth's appointment as Serjeant-Painter in 1757.

* * *

That Hogarth deeply felt these continued rebuffs and humiliations is proved by a notice inserted in The Daily Advertiser as well as by his repeated assertions, at various periods, that he would give up this or that style of painting since it did not pay.

In this year of his disappointment with The Guards he prepared for himself an even more bitter humiliation.

The six pictures of the Marriage à la Mode had been for five years exposed in his studio or in Cock's Auction Rooms without rousing the slightest interest; unable to endure this neglect Hogarth devised one of his unlucky auctions.

This was advertised to take place in the studio at The Golden Head on June 6th and was to be over by noon.

The notice, which is full of personal bitterness and coloured by a hint of despair, reads thus:

'As (according to the standard of judgment, so righteously and laudably established by Picture-dealers, Picture-cleaners, Picture-frame-makers, and other Connoisseurs) the works of a Painter are to be esteemed more or less valuable as they are more or less scarce, and as the living Painter is most of all affected by the influences resulting from this and other considerations equally uncandid and edifying; Mr. Hogarth, by way of precaution, not puff, begs leave to urge, that, probably, this will be the last suit or series of Pictures that he may ever exhibit, because of the difficulty of vending such a number at once to any tolerable advantage, and that the whole number he has already exhibited of the historical or humorous kind does not exceed fifty, of which the three sets called "The Harlot's Progress", "The Rake's Progress", and that now to be sold, make twenty; so that whoever has a taste of his own to rely on, not too squeamish for the production of a Modern, and courage enough to own it, by daring to give them a place in his collection (till Time, the supposed finisher, but real designer of Paintings, has rendered them fit for those more sacred Repositories where Schools, Names, Heads, Master, &c., attain their last stage of preferment), may from hence be convinced that multiplicity at least of his (Mr. Hogarth's) pieces will be no diminution of their value.'

The conditions of the auction were odd; intending bidders were to send in—during one month—their names and the prices they offered to the painter; the highest sum received before 12 noon on the closing day (June 12th) was to secure the pictures. This last day was supposed to be a show and reception.

Nothing could have been a more dismal failure; a certain Mr. Lane arrived at The Golden Head about eleven o'clock to find that the painter and his friend, Dr. Parsons, secretary to the Royal Society, were alone in the studio; Mr. Lane bid 120 guineas for the set (the only offer being £100), but offered to wait till three o'clock in the afternoon in case someone else should arrive.

Dr. Parsons expressed himself forcibly about this disgraceful neglect, and the painter, pacing up and down his empty studio, showed a painful disappointment. At one o'clock he surrendered the pictures to Mr. Lane, 'wishing him joy of his purchase and hoping it was an agreeable one;' they were in Carlo Maratto frames, which had cost 4 guineas apiece.

Hogarth had challenged public opinion and received an open affront which he felt deeply, almost to despair.

When these pictures were next sold by auction at Christie's Rooms in 1797, Mr. Angerstein bought them for a 1000 guineas.

This little sketch, which we have in Mr. Lane's own words, of the lonely, ignored artist pacing beside his despised masterpieces, watching the clock between hope and despair, showing in his sturdy features the extent of his humiliation, throws much light on the secret ambition that lay behind the jaunty independent air of the little painter.

A description of the pictures was given to Mr. Lane by the painter, who was always touchingly grateful to his purchaser; a very little generosity always roused a warm response from William Hogarth.

There is nothing of much interest in this description of the famous picture, which was found among Mr. Lane's papers and believed to have been originally in the painter's own handwriting; it is prefaced by four lines written by David Garrick.

'Where titles deign with Cits to have and hold,
And change rich blood for mere substantial gold;
And honour'd trade from interest turns aside
To hazard happiness for titled pride.'

The only touch of character in these keys to pictures that require none is the comment on the Quack (III), 'to heighten the ridicule you see he is a Frenchman,' and that on the singer in IV, 'one of those melodious animals brought from Italy at great expense,' and 'one of those unhappy victims of the rage of Italians for music.'

Mr. Lane supposed that there was a cabal against Hogarth and that the failure of the auction was engineered by his rivals and enemies; even if this was so, it is odd that none of his own friends—and he had many influential and wealthy ones—supported him by at least an appearance at The Golden Head.

* * *

The important works of the next year 1751 were Gin Lane and Beer Street, engravings inspired by the proposal to remove the tax on spirits, and The Four Stages of Cruelty, which were also cut direct from sketches. These last prints were issued very cheaply, at one shilling each, and an attempt was made to sell them at an even lower price by cutting them on wood. Hogarth's expressed hope was that the plates would thus come into the hands for which they were intended and serve as a deterrent from cruelty to animals.

These six prints are the most terrible that even Hogarth ever executed and scarcely indeed to be tolerated. The last two probably have a more sincere purpose behind them than any of his other moralities; he really cared about the ill-treatment of animals, which rendered the London streets hideous to all but the brutal; the four plates are the indignant protest of the humane, sensitive animal lover; he pitied these helpless creatures as he did not pity his Rake-wells, Hackabouts or Tom Idles.

In 1753 he made a stir, not at all favourable to himself, by a rather clumsy attempt to vindicate his own work and attack the critics by writing an essay that should, as he hoped, set a standard of taste in painting and even in subjects capable of aesthetic treatment.

He wrote and published The Analysis of Beauty. When he had painted his own portrait with Trump in 1745, he had placed a wavy line on the palette by his side, across which was written: 'The line of Beauty and of Grace.'

This 'hieroglyphic,' as he termed it himself, had greatly perturbed the critics, as no doubt he had intended it should, and eight years afterwards he produced his little essay with the object of explaining this 'line of beauty.'

He took great pains with this literary effort, which he induced friends to read over and correct; he himself expected some hostile criticism, as is shown by the humorous verses he wrote on himself as an author.

The book was published by the author at Leicester Fields, printed by J. Reeves, and adorned with two large folding plates, The Dance (a version of Wanstead Assembly) and a Statuary's Yard; it is a literary curiosity hardly to be compared, perhaps, with Raphael's one sonnet or Dante's one sketch of an angel, but interesting as the production of a man of genius.

As a venture into the difficult subject of aesthetics it was hardly a success, but the critics who rushed at the book to mangle it knew little more about that subject than did Hogarth; all that they were concerned with was not the faults of the essay, but that Hogarth had dared to write it; the trouble was, not that the author knew little of what he wrote about, but that he did not repeat fashionable jargon. His incoherencies, his lack of method, his literary lapses were mercilessly jeered at, and the unfortunate painter's attempt at self-explanation and self-assertion only exposed him to cruel mortification.

As a personal document the Analysis has its value; it shows that Hogarth had a fair knowledge of foreign painters and it contains some amusing passages with others that throw light on his method of work, but the time of a man of genius is precious and it is lamentable that Hogarth wasted so much of his on these barren bypaths.

About the same time (1753) he delivered himself still further into the hands of hostile critics by painting Moses brought to Pharaoh's Daughter, a decorative historical painting, which he presented to the Foundling Hospital, and which the cognoscenti judged 'imbecile,' and in 1755 he completed his four Election pictures, engraved and published 1755-1758, which are a pretty commentary on the great and glorious constitution that Hogarth professed to admire so much. In 1756 he received a commission of £500 for three huge altar panels for St. Mary, Redcliffe, Thomas Chatter-ton's church at Bristol, which he promptly executed; the same year, on threat of another war, he again attacked the French in two engravings, The Invasion—this was followed by The Cockpit (engraving), and a picture, The Lady's Last Stake, painted under peculiar circumstances in 1759.

* * *

Hogarth, in one of his fits of depression, had declared that he would paint no more subject pictures, and Lord Charlemont, the talented, patriotic Irishman, asked him to undertake one more, which he would purchase. Hogarth had engaged to paint Lord Charlemont's portrait, and liked him; moreover, he always responded eagerly to any encouragement.

In 1757, on the death of his brother-in-law, he had been appointed Serjeant-Painter, an office worth about two hundred a year, and there was a steady income from the sale of the prints, so that the hard-working man, always frugal, though generous, was 'tolerably easy in his circumstances.'

He was also 'thoroughly sick of the idle quacking of criticism' and resolved to confine himself in future to engravings, of which he had a large portfolio, and which could, he thought, be kept up-to-date and perpetually in circulation by retouching.

In other words he had been humiliated and wounded by his complete failure to gain recognition; 'in forty years he had only two orders of any consequence for historical subjects' and his numerous portraits and genre pictures had been ignored.

When, however, Lord Charlemont gave him another chance, he accepted gratefully and began The Lady's Last Stake.

At this time he was writing various notes on loose sheets of paper, in little blue memorandum-books, and pasting all correspondence relating to his art in his subscription book. He intended to write his own life and also to vindicate his work and to expound his own theory of art, and steadily gathered material towards this end.

* * *

During the last years of public bitterness the painter's domestic life continued serenely happy. A cousin of his wife's, Mary Lewis, had joined his household; both he and Jane found her a most welcome addition to their happiness, and the pleasantness of life had been increased by the possession of the 'villakin' at Chiswick.

This small country house with a garden had been, it is said, left to Mrs. Hogarth by her parents; Lady Thornhill lay in Chiswick Churchyard among the graves of many famous people, and there, in 1748, William Kent had been buried by his patron, Lord Burlington, who had nearby one of the handsomest villas on the banks of the Thames.

Hogarth had a shed in the garden of the 'villakin,' which he fitted up as a studio, and he and his family often drove or rode across the meadows from Leicester Fields to the river-side village, which was lonely and isolated, with the one tiny street and inn, but peaceful and pretty.

The Hogarths often brought children from the Foundling Hospital to enjoy a day in the country and to play with the dogs, Crab who had succeeded Trump, the house spaniels kept by the ladies, and the bullfinches.

When the mulberries in the garden were ripe, the boys and girls of the village were free to enter the little domain and eat their fill.

It was a queer little house, with queer, cramped, rambling dark rooms, crooked staircases; in the principal room he had built out a large bow window, which rather over-weighted the structure; the garden gate over which was a lead mask of George II was oddly at right angles to the door and a high brick wall shut in a garden of stiff parterres, gravel walks and several fine trees; one of these was a mulberry, the others comprised a double-blossomed cherry, a walnut, an apricot and a hawthorn, which was a favourite haunt of nightingales; at the end of the garden was a nut walk, the filberts arching overhead, and an alley for the game of ninepins.

The gentle Jane and her courteous servants made this a very agreeable retreat; everything was well managed; the furniture shone, the fires burnt brightly, there was always a good horse in the stable, a good meal in the kitchen, a well-fed dog on the hearth, and the smiling, nice-mannered ladies sitting at their needlework or their reading; there were none of the master's works on the walls, but some sketches by Sir James Thornhill.

The house in Leicester Fields continued to be rented and the Hogarths to entertain a lively company there; 'Square' the place began to be called, as it was built about, one side of it was filled by the great mansion Leicester House, standing in its own ground (most London squares had a large house at one side), and the others by smart houses, one of which, that opposite The Golden Head, being occupied by the rising painter, Mr. Joshua Reynolds..

The ageing artist needed this placid, happy background to his life, for vexations began to close over him, to darken and shorten his days.

* * *

Lord Charlemont was delighted with The Lady's Last Stake, which was not one of the painter's best works; the moral—the evil of gambling—was too obtrusive, the situation unlikely, and the whole subject touched with a sentimentality more suggestive of Richardson than Hogarth. The painter was touchingly grateful for Lord Charlemont's courtesy; his quick response to generous treatment showed the sensitiveness of his nature, how he would have valued encouragement, and how deeply he was stung by neglect.

The price had been left to the artist; he did not name one and Charlemont forwarded him a hundred pounds—

'I send you, not the price of your picture, for that is inestimable, but as much I can afford to give for it.'

The gratified painter carefully preserved Lord Charlemont's letters and made this note upon the transaction:

'The payment was noble; but the manner in which it was made...was to me infinitely more gratifying than double the sum.'

Hogarth had indeed never felt a greater pleasure than he experienced in receiving these two letters from the courteous Irishman:

'Were I to pay your deserts I should leave myself poor indeed. Imagine that you have made me a present of the picture, for literally as such I take it, and that I have begged your acceptance of the enclosed trifle.'

* * *

So delighted was the painter with what he described in his little notebook as 'this elevating circumstance' that he ingenuously believed that he was now established as a painter and would be accepted even by the formidable cognoscenti as possessing some merit. 'I thought myself, as it were, landed and secure from tugging at the oar.' This false triumph, he wrote, rendered what followed 'doubly distressing.'

Sir Richard Grosvenor saw Charlemont's picture in the studio and begged Hogarth to paint another for him, on the same terms.

The painter consented and, now flying higher, felt encouraged to venture on a classical subject and a composition in which he would directly challenge the canvases of 'the old black masters.' He had seen four hundred pounds paid at an auction for a Sigismunda, falsely ascribed, he thought, to Correggio, and he resolved to attempt the same subject, which he was sure he could treat as well as 'the French master' who, in his opinion, had really painted the so-called Correggio.

He had, he reflected, frequently been flattered for his power of expression, and he thought that here was an opportunity of seeing if the painter could, through the eye, raise the same emotion as the actor could, through the ear.

His aim was to draw tears from the spectator as he had seen them drawn from audiences at tragedies performed in the playhouse. He fixed his price at £400—the same as that paid for the 'Correggio,' but his motives were not mercenary—'by any other of my pursuits I could have got twice the sum in the time I devoted to it; nor was it more than half what a fashionable face painter could have gained in the same period.'

Here there would seem to be some natural exaggeration; the highest price that Hogarth ever received appears to have been £500 for the huge triptych for St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, which, apart from the labour involved, must have cost the artist a good deal for canvas and paint. He thought that £100 was 'a noble price' for The Lady's Last Stake, and had, though reluctantly, allowed the originals of his series of didactic subjects to go for small sums—allowing for the cost of the frames, the price received for each of the six subjects of Marriage à la Mode was something over fifteen guineas.

We do not know the exact time that Hogarth took over his Sigismunda, but there were surely no 'face painters' at that period who could have earned £100 so quickly. It is clear that the reason of Hogarth's high price and his choice of subject, as well as the immense pains he took with it, was his intense desire to challenge once again 'the old black masters.'

Jane Hogarth sat for the picture, which was altered a good deal on the advice of officious friends, but which was to be a direct challenge to the Correggio that had been sold to Sir Thomas Sebright at Sir Luke Schwaub's sale in 1768 and had for some reason attracted the particular attention of the native painter.

This was by no means a first-rate picture; it was attributed later to Francesco Furini, who was enthusiastically styled 'the Guido and Albano' of the Florentine school; he was, at least, much influenced by the former name, and his easel pictures 'where the Magdalenes were scarcely more veiled than the Nymphs' had a considerable vogue in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Considering, however, the careless connoisseurship of the day, it is possible that this picture was not by Furini and the subject may be as mistaken as the painter; a woman, scantily draped, rests her elbow on a table on which stands a dish bearing a human heart; the look of distress is not very moving, and the canvas appears to be less an illustration of either Boccaccio's tale, or of human agony, than 'a cabinet piece' of an elegant and voluptuous nude female.

It was certainly not a Correggio, no Sigismunda appears in the list of his authentic works,* nor is there any record of his having ever attempted such a subject.

[* Correggio. Corrado Ricci. Rome, 1930.]

Hogarth's Sigismunda, to which he strove to give dramatic action and genuine pathos, was at least as good as the Furini—a solidly painted tour de force with no definite fault but showing traces of the painter's efforts to do something outside his own inclination.

It would have been better for Hogarth if he had never painted his unhappy picture, for it involved him in precisely those humiliations that he felt most keenly and aroused a bitter and tedious controversy that for years eclipsed his true merits.

The trouble began when, to the painter's infinite mortification, Sir Richard Grosvenor refused the picture on the grounds that it was 'too affecting' and that having 'it hung with a curtain before it would not help.'

Sir Richard, who was a very rich man, probably performed this mean action without considering the pain and humiliation he was inflicting on the artist, whom he thus wounded in his tenderest point and delivered into the hands of his enemies.

No doubt Sir Richard was disappointed that the picture was not a genre subject, and the vague commission was certainly a dangerous piece of business, but it was Hogarth's conviction that the picture dealers had 'got at' the wealthy man and persuaded him to put his money into old masters, contemptuously depreciating the while the wretched efforts of native painters.

The picture was exhibited and drew upon Hogarth a vast amount, not only of adverse criticism, but of personal abuse; the cognoscenti were unloosed upon him like a pack of terriers on the chained bear, and he and his picture were covered with the harshest ridicule.

Several points about the Sigismunda offered easy targets; the title of the first Progress was recalled and it was declared that Hogarth could paint nothing but women of the streets, a sneer the more stinging as Jane Hogarth had sat for the picture; the 'low life' subjects that Hogarth had exploited, his caricature of Rembrandt and the Italians, were brought up to prove that he had no conception of elegance, beauty, refinement, or natural dignity. The florid and quite unfeeling lines of Dryden on Sigismunda were quoted as showing what genius could do with such a subject; in brief, no abuse, sneer or flout was spared the painter, who, lured on by his success with Lord Charlemont and the flatteries of Sir Richard Grosvenor, suddenly found himself pilloried, as it were, naked in the market square.

In the Sigismunda Hogarth had tried, once more, to do what he had attempted in his historical pieces and in his Analysis of Beauty, to make his generation receive him as a serious painter.

The rebuffs now dealt him were the most severe yet administered, and the painter became ill with mortification.

He refused, however, to abate a jot of his pretensions and continued to maintain that his work equalled that of the ancient masters.

A curious tale is told that, when Sigismunda was exhibited the painter stood in a neighbouring room and listened to the comments of the spectators. About a thousand people had something to say, but Hogarth took notice of only one of them and he was a lunatic.

Upon this unfortunate's remarking: 'I do not like the white roses,' the painter looked closely at the picture, in which there were no flowers. He then perceived that the folds of the chemise did seem to form roses and he altered them.

No one offered to buy Sigismunda and Hogarth charged his wife never to allow it to be sold for less than £500.

In order to do something for his despised picture, for which he had a strong partiality, Hogarth endeavoured to get it engraved, but could find no good graver at leisure; Basile began, but never finished, a plate, and for it Hogarth, as a subscription ticket, designed and engraved Time smoking a Picture, one of his best skits on his enemies, the critics and the picture-dealers. In 1760 appeared the illustrations to Kirby's Perspective.

He had never been so deeply involved in quarrels with the art world as in 1761, when he did this little plate and two others on the same theme for the catalogue of the exhibition of pictures in Spring Gardens; he had, that same year, a hit at the antiquarians in The Five Orders of Periwigs, a rather pointless jest at the expense of the antiquarians and of Stuart's Antiquities of Athens.

All these 'gestures,' ill-judged and impetuous as they were, put him further out of court with the wits and the intelligentsia; he was then sixty-four years of age, an old man in the estimation of his time and, though he had his warm and stout friends and champions, he was on the whole a lonely, neglected figure, a butt of the knowing ones, an object of ridicule to the cognoscenti, an ignorant, rude, pretentious upstart to the picture-dealers and their patrons.

He bore himself boldly, and no one would have suspected from the trim, strutting figure and firm, blunt face that he had been wounded, and perhaps mortally, beneath his bravado.

In 1758 he had painted himself sketching the Comic Muse, and there we can see that he had not changed much from his earlier portrait; there is the same round face, thick, snub nose, full, firm mouth and lively penetrating gaze, the montero cap perched jauntily on the bald head.

His home life remained undisturbed, but disappointment and failing health depressed him; he began to feel the effects, he said, of 'long years of a sedentary life'—he might have added, of long years of failure to achieve his highest ambition. Despite his seeming success, he was a frustrated man, suffering from the inexpressible humiliation of the original, the creative artist who had failed to obtain his rightful place.

Even his wife, close to him as she was in every way, did not know his real worth; she deeply admired his moralities and she thought he painted very nicely.

His output became small; he gathered together his 'movable estate' as he termed the engravings and made them into a portfolio, with his own portrait as frontispiece; the set might be purchased for ten guineas at The Golden Head.

He made sketches of his friends, among others of the gentle young Irishman, Oliver Goldsmith, who had newly made the acquaintance of Dr. Johnson; these were so little regarded as to be scattered and lost.

Meanwhile the picture-dealers and their patrons were scrambling over one another to praise and buy 'the old black masters.'

This struggle with the taste of his times occupied so much of Hogarth's life, went so far to warp his art and break his spirit, that it deserves a brief consideration; before his masterpiece, the Marriage à la Mode, had appeared, he had engraved The Battle of the Pictures, and the last work to which he put his hand, twenty years afterwards, was the Bathos, a manner of Sinking in Sublime Paintings, inscribed to the Dealers in Dark Pictures.

* * *

Hogarth was accused of being incapable of valuing the works of the 'old masters,' an unfortunate name, redolent of mustiness, that was applied to all schools of painting previous to the eighteenth century. An anecdote is related of him to the effect that he once said—'They think I hate Titian—well, let 'em!'

Again, when he had called John Freke, a surgeon at Saint Bartholomew's Hospital, absurd for comparing Greene to Handel 'a giant in music' and was then told that Freke had 'declared that you were as good a portrait painter as Van Dyck,' he said simply: 'There he was in the right.'

Both these tales—we have not many anecdotes of Hogarth—reveal, not the transparent vanity with which even his friends credited him, but the simplicity of conscious genius; he could appraise Titian and he could appraise himself.

He was accused, also, of a weakness for flattery—the eagerness with which he accepted praise was not, however, due to a puerile conceit, but to that yearning for reassurance which consumed him, turning often to bitterness.

He was probably able to appreciate Titian as keenly as any of the critics of his day, his taste was that of a good craftsman, a painter of genius, and though he would seem to have made a mistake when he caricatured Rembrandt, it must be conceded that he hits off pretty well the weakness of the great Dutchman when he engaged on sacred pieces, clumsy, vulgar, half-imbecile types, sordid detail and a dense murkiness of atmosphere.

Hogarth had never been abroad (the unlucky French visit excepted) and had no conception of the true glories of the painters of the Italian school, their frescoes, their schemes of secular and religious decoration, he knew nothing of the architecture, the climate, the people who were the setting for the art of Italy and of France; he saw nothing but easel pictures brought to England as articles either of fashion or of commerce.

It was by no means the greatest painters that were most in demand; artists like Guido Reni, Domenichino,* the Carracci, were praised to the skies and fetched high prices.

[* Domenichino: Domenico Zampieri. 1581-1641.]

Nor were the names of these masters always correctly affixed to the prized canvases they adorned; in maintaining that many of these 'old black masters' were copies of copies, Hogarth was undoubtedly right.

Art criticism was at a low ebb in the eighteenth century, dilettantism was so much in vogue; there was a lack of knowledge, of taste, and of any scientific test; even those who prided themselves most on their connoisseurship had undergone no severe training and would appear ignorant and foolish to the modern art critic.

Recall that all the great painters of Italy's golden age ran workshops, where many pupils and assistants were employed, that they often signed productions of these workshops that they had never touched, that there were, besides, followers and imitators in crowds of every popular school, that documents were forged, that biographies (such as Vasari's Lives*) were full of errors and falsehoods, that a later age copied and fabricated from copies and fabrications, and the kind of picture likely to reach England in the eighteenth century will be realized.

[* Le Viti de' Piu Eccellenti Pittori, Scultori, e Architti, by Giorgio Vasari. First published 1550.]

One of Raphael's patrons begged him to send in his next commissioned picture 'something of himself besides the signature;' and if this was the case in Raphael's lifetime, what must it have been three hundred years after his death; and what is true of him is true of all the 'old masters.' There was, too, the question of mutilation, clumsy restoration or cleaning, repainting to suit altered taste, and even, in some cases, painting one picture on top of another.

For centuries the provision of pictures for noblemen's galleries had been a lucrative industry and clever people had been busily supplying it; when Hogarth, in The Battle of the Pictures, drew rows and rows in endless repetition of these foreign pictures, he was not far wrong; in such quantities did they reach the auction rooms of the eighteenth century.

There were many fine pictures in England, both in the royal and in other collections, but we do not know what opportunity Hogarth had of studying them, and many of them seem to have been overlooked or misnamed.

A witness to the importance attached to these pictures is any contemporary account of 'the mansions of the nobility and gentry;' there, every great house, however briefly described, will be credited with a long, tedious catalogue of the pictures and statues in the galleries, these being the chief pride of the noble owner.

Among them were, no doubt, masterpieces and gems of various schools, but more by accident than design since both my lord and the dealer were usually incapable of distinguishing between a Giorgione and a follower of a pupil of Guido Reni.

Often the most admired pictures were the worst, and 'blackness,' taken to be a sign of antiquity, mattered not at all.

The pictures that were mostly the object of Hogarth's scorn seem to have been those large canvases, portraits, sacred subjects or studies of the nude under various classical names, in which 'the backgrounds, curtains, pillars, landscapes or interiors, have been so lavishly treated with Van Dyck brown (bitumen) as to have turned totally dark, so that the face and portions of limbs appear to gleam from an abyss.

These gloomy pictures are still to be found in public and private art-galleries and in the spare rooms or attics of great mansions; they have, particularly when hung in the shadow, a peculiarly repulsive and even terrifying effect, as if they were monstrosities of no known age, country or period.

It is difficult to imagine them fresh, on an easel, or being worked at by the human hand; those vast black backgrounds were surely paid for by measurement, like Sir ames Thornhill's decoration of the cupola of St. Paul's, for which he was allowed forty shillings the square yard.

On the other hand there were genuine masterpieces among the pictures Hogarth condemned; among those he satirises are the Aldobrandini Marriage (Battle of the Pictures), Rubens' Judgment of Paris (A Rake's Progress), and the Semele of Correggio (Marriage à la Mode); it seems probable, however, that his mockery is directed not at the painter, but at the taste for these sensual subjects, so opposed to his own moralities.

As regards his main contention, that living art should be encouraged in preference to the art of the past, he was obviously in the right, and some of his own work, notably the unfinished George II and Family (National Gallery, Dublin) and The Shrimp Girl (National Gallery, London), rouse painful regrets as to what he might have accomplished had he been sufficiently rewarded and encouraged instead of irritated into wasting his time in controversy and attempts to copy a bad fashion.

How willingly would any lover of British art see all the pseudo-Italian, Flemish, Dutch pictures brought into England in the eighteenth century made into a bonfire in return for one more portrait or genre picture from the hand of William Hogarth.

* * *

The painter and his ladies continued to live very comfortably; he kept his own coach and used it, not only for the journey to Chiswick but to call on the Lord Mayor; on one of these occasions he came out by a different door from that where the coach waited and, forgetting his new grandeur, sallied out for a hackney, for a heavy downpour of rain had come on; not finding a hired carriage, the painter trudged home on foot, and it was only when his Jane asked him why he was so wet that he remembered his own carriage.

The year 1762—so near the end for him—was even more unlucky for the painter than had been 1759; his pugnacity again led him into bitter, useless and senseless disputes that wasted his energies and caused him great mental distress.

The year opened with an attack on those who did not retaliate; neither the Wesleys, Whitfield, nor any of their followers made any reply to Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism, a powerful but confused satire in Hogarth's early manner on the 'enthusiasm' roused by the great Methodist movement, which had roused hundreds of thousands of the population out of the apathy shown by Hogarth himself in The Sleeping Congregation, in which the Church of England was sunk.

With his next work, however, Hogarth angered two vicious opponents; John Wilkes, the editor of the North Briton, had long been Hogarth's friend, the witty, elegant and charming agitator had often met the painter at the dinners of The Sublime Society of the Beefsteaks in Lambert's loft in Drury Lane Theatre, and there Wilkes had sometimes brought his led Captain, the Rev. Charles Churchill, who had a pretty turn for satiric verse.

There being some kind of a political crisis in 1762 and Lord Bute, the friend of the young King and the adviser of his mother Augusta, Princess of Wales, being particularly the object of the scorn and enmity of the Opposition, of which Colonel Wilkes was so bright an ornament, squibs began to crack and pasquinades to fly, and Hogarth must needs enter the dispute in defence of the Ministry; it is supposed that Lord Bute, an intelligent, cultured and charming gentleman, had once shown Hogarth some kindness; he might also, as Serjeant-Painter, have considered himself pledged to loyalty to the Government; but much about the quarrel remains obscure.

Hogarth let his intention of issuing a series of political prints in favour of the Ministry be known; when this news reached the Member for Aylesbury (he had purchased the seat for £7000) he sent a warning to Hogarth that any satire against himself or his party would be very glaring as he was among the painter's friends, and that it would be severely replied to.

Hogarth's answer was that his first plate was about to be published, that it contained no satire of Colonel Wilkes, though Mr. Pitt and Mr. Churchill were both caricatured.

The plate, The Times No. I, duly appeared; it was in the old caricature style and required minute explanations to make its symbolisms intelligible; at a glance it appeared an obscure medley with a nightmare quality of unnatural confusion.

That anyone could be enlightened, impressed, flattered or angered by this kind of satire seems incredible, but John Wilkes, for all his culture, humour and wit, must have been deeply stung by something in the engraving, for on the Saturday following the appearance of the plate, No. 17 of the North Briton was published, which contained a personal attack upon Hogarth written by the editor that nothing can excuse.

It may have been unnecessary for the Serjeant-Painter to enter politics, of which subject he probably had no more knowledge than any other man in the street, but there was nothing so directly offensive to Wilkes in the plate, and he, a gentleman and a scholar, need not have disgraced himself by this attack on one born his inferior, an old man of blameless life, greatly distinguished in his profession.

This outburst, which must have been hastily flung on paper, was the more shameful in that it made use of knowledge that the writer had gained as the friend of the victim.

Every weakness the painter possessed was dragged into the light, exposed and abused.

The Analysis was revealed as being, 'for the third part,' written by Hogarth's friends, the rest was matter 'to titter at;' as to the historical and portrait pieces, the painter had made himself 'perfectly ridiculous 'by attempting them and they were 'beneath all criticism.'

Hogarth, Wilkes declared, was 'a very good moral satirist' and should have kept to that line. Sigismunda was next pilloried, and Wilkes, descending very low indeed, declared the figure to be not human, or, if it were human, 'his own wife in an agony of passion, but of what passion, no connoisseur could guess.' Colonel Wilkes was renowned for his gallantry and his fine breeding, and this makes this ugly lapse the more astonishing.

The article then mocked at Hogarth's 'unbounded vanity,' the value he set on his own work 'which almost exceeds belief' and the 'astonishing sums' paid for his pictures; his friends were weary of his abuse of the great masters and of his exaltation of himself.

In this accusation there might be some surface truth, but what Wilkes added was totally false.

He declared that Hogarth 'feasted a bad heart' on objects of 'a hateful cast,' which he pursued with 'unrelenting gall.'

The public, for instance, had wished for a 'happy marriage' series, but Hogarth had been incapable of such a pleasant theme, from which 'the rancour and malevolence of his mind' had made him turn 'with envy and disgust.'

There was much more in the same strain; the victim's age, his habits, his declining power, his envy of his friends, his use of personal abuse, his plagiarism (from Callot) were all trounced; The March to Finchley was brought up to prove the painter's lack of loyalty and patriotism, and the public was informed that Hogarth's 'little bark had been always steered by gain and vanity.'

As for The Times itself, 'it was destitute of every kind of original merit;' it is surprising, therefore, that it should have so enraged the gallant Colonel of Militia.

One just comment the article did contain; it was indeed lamentable that Hogarth should have joined 'the miserable tribe of party etchers' and concerned himself with 'the poor politics of the factions of the day'—for the rest it was merely that 'low personal abuse' which Wilkes affected to deplore in the painter.

The whole attack overreached itself; it was over-coloured and fantastic, not only in its estimation of Hogarth's work, but in that of his character; anyone who knew him knew that he was generous, warm-hearted, never spoke ill of the absent, and was never envious of true merit or hostile to sincere criticism.

Even wildly unjust attacks have, however, the power to wound—sometimes to the death—and that Hogarth, an ill, sensitive and disappointed man, was desperately hurt by the wicked malice of Wilkes cannot be doubted.

It was like a confirmation of all that his enemies had ever said of him, the seal set on the public's neglect, the critic's disdain, a holding up of him to the ridicule of those who had long despised him; there must have been black gall, too, in the slash at his blameless and beloved wife, whom he was powerless to defend.

Bitter, too, was the insistence on his old age, his 'setting sun,' his declining powers; a young man may accept any abuse with disdain—the future is his—but an old man is easily attacked, for all he can hope to do he has already accomplished and his situation is sufficiently forlorn of itself. There was no justification for this odious action on the part of John Wilkes, who, then a man of thirty-five, had not the excuse of extreme youth.

It is true that Hogarth had frequently and without mercy satirised others and might have expected some retaliation from his victims; but the objects of his satire had been either abstract qualities or people notorious for their vices or crimes. He had never entered the house of a quiet, law-abiding citizen to jeer at his wife, his domestic habits, his opinions on his weaknesses, he had never pilloried a friend.

Such likenesses of living people as he had introduced into his 'moralities' had been those of wretches too well known and too shameless to expect or to wish tender treatment; even his long-continued onslaughts on William-Kent had never been personal, but only directed, with great justification, at the man's work; the same may be said of his ridicule of foreigners like Carestini or Farinelli—this never passed the legitimate bounds of caricature. The Times No. I satirized Pitt, George Townsend, the Duke of Newcastle and Lord Temple, Wilkes and Churchill are merely looking down on these and others from a window of The Patriot's Arms.

* * *

Hogarth's reply to the article in the North Briton was another plate—The Times No. II—an elaborate composition, exceedingly laboured and crowded and hardly likely to vex anyone with its complicated symbolism; still, as Wilkes had been so infuriated by the first plate, he might well have been stung by the second.

Such at least was the opinion of Hogarth's friends; they persuaded him to suppress the plate; it was not, therefore, published; his widow allowed one impression to be taken from it for Lord Exeter.

It is very surprising that a man of Hogarth's type was thus induced to follow moderate counsels and to accept in silence the worst affronts of his life.

The revenge on Wilkes was not very severe; he was shown in the pillory beside Fanny the Phantom (Cock Lane ghost) with empty pockets and 'defamation' written on a scroll over his head.

It has been supposed that the influence of his charming Jane was used to keep him out of the unworthy combat; she seems to have been an admirable woman of the nicest discretion, and she showed both tenderness and dignity in avoiding on her own part, and in persuading her husband to avoid, those bitter disputes where nothing was to be gained and much might be lost.

Far from being enraged by the coarse allusion to herself into sharpening her husband's desire for revenge, she used her influence for peace, and by making her William happy at home helped him to forget his public vexations.

These were, however, sufficient to undermine his health; it was an ailing man, liable to attacks of fever, that went to and fro to the 'villakin' at Chiswick in the autumn of 1762 in the carriage for which his old friend George Lambert had designed a coat of arms, or that gathered his acquaintances round him in the snug parlour of The Golden Head.

With one of these there was an unhappy quarrel; David Garrick had warmly expostulated with Wilkes, declaring that Hogarth was an original genius and a personal friend of his own and should be spared, but for some obscure reason he and the painter had fallen out, and near the Sigismunda in the painting room, not now often used, stood a portrait of Garrick and his wife, with the actor's face disfigured with a mark from the brush of the angered painter.

William Hogarth was often, in these days, irritable and difficult; a host of hack writers of the Wilkes faction were let loose on him—Painter Pugg and his Three Graces, his Harlots and his Sigismunda, were fair game, and belaboured with more energy than wit.

He could easily have hired some Grub Street hack to retort; the life of John Wilkes offered many good openings for the pen of the paid scribbler. The gallant Colonel had married an heiress, ill-treated her, spent her fortune and tried to obtain possession of her last resource, an annuity, by means of a lawsuit; he was dissolute, extravagant, in the hands of Jew moneylenders, and his violent hatred for Lord Bute was based on the personal disappointment he had felt when that nobleman had (as Wilkes believed) prevented him from obtaining a post he coveted—that of Resident at Constantinople. Here was pretty matter for a Grub Street pasquinade, but Hogarth forbore. A legitimate opportunity for revenge soon appeared.

On St. George's Day, 1763, appeared the forty-fifth number of the North Briton, and soon after the authors, printers and publishers were arrested for seditious libel on the King. Wilkes was committed to the Tower, the Duke of Bolton and Earl Temple offered bail to the amount of £100,000 each, were refused, and Wilkes appeared before the Court of Common Pleas in May, 1763.

The case was, from the first, a triumph for the prisoner, who had not only powerful friends on his side, but public Opinion; Lord Halifax, Home Secretary, who had ordered the arrest, became the butt of popular indignation; John Wilkes stood for liberty and his opponents for tyranny.

The Ministry, in arresting a Member of Parliament, had committed a breach of privilege, and after tumultuous scenes in court Wilkes was released, an event celebrated by bonfires, illuminations and rioting dangerous to the Ministry.

Lord Halifax had to pay, finally, £4000 damages and his underlings lesser sums for the arrest of John Wilkes.

Hogarth attended the Court of Common Pleas and made a rapid sketch of his one-time friend. When he reached home he changed his mind and tossed the drawing towards the fire; Mary Lewis rescued it and Hogarth engraved it; the print was issued with the simple title of John Wilkes, Esq.

It was regarded even by the admirers of the Member for Aylesbury as a faithful likeness, and four thousand copies were bought by the followers of Wilkes; some people, however, declared it was a base satire, a vulgar caricature, calculated to ridicule the defender of British liberty at the very moment of his triumph. In truth this portrait was, like the Lord Lovat, the unmasking of a complex character, the stripping of the veneer off an intricate personality; it was a refined and subtle revenge on the part of Hogarth; he only showed the man as he was, and, in doing so, the gross, unjust attack on himself was discredited as a piece of lying slander.

Oddly enough Wilkes, who had been so infuriated by the dull symbolism of The Times, accepted this really damaging exposé with great good humour and afterwards declared that he 'grew more like Mr. Hogarth's print every day.'

With a wit inconsistent with the brutality of his attack on Hogarth Mr. Wilkes declared that he concerned himself very little with his person, of which he was only a life tenant, and that the best apology he could offer for it was that he did not make it himself.

This philosophic attitude might have been due to the amiable temper induced by his triumph, or it might have been because he had not been hit in a vulnerable point—he was a fascinating creature and knew it, and as he himself remarked: 'If any influence can be drawn from the general partiality of the fair sex, I must be the handsomest man of the age.'

It is possible, however, that he only pretended good humour and secretly edged on a parasite to revenge.

* * *

The former Rev. Charles Churchill turned on the painter with a savagery that outdid that of the first attack the North Briton.

Churchill, who had lately left the Church and, as he declared, thrown aside Christianity, had enjoyed much popularity from the bitter, facile and bold invective that he was able to throw into smooth verse—the rhymed couplets made so popular by Dryden and Pope.

In the present poem, Epistle to Mr. Hogarth, Churchill, employing his usual methods, assailed his victim with coarse and pointless abuse. Hogarth was accused of hiding behind a screen to sketch the portrait of the friend of liberty at the hour of his triumph in order to turn courage and virtue into ridicule.

As there was very little to satirize in the plain, honest life of William Hogarth, Churchill fell back on his supposed senility and, in the worst of taste and with very little effect, held his age up to ridicule. The painter was represented as being in the last stage of decrepitude, 'scarce crawling on the earth,' and accused of spite, envy, malice against all talent and merit.

The satire was so much overdrawn as to have very little sting, especially as it came from one so notorious as Charles Churchill, of whom little good could be said; being written by a young man against an old man it was all the more cowardly and base.

Sigismunda was once more singled out for abuse, and Churchill wrote triumphantly to John Wilkes that he believed he had killed William Hogarth by the power of his pen.

* * *

The painter was indeed a sick man; his health had been failing for some while and, in the then pitiful state of medicine, no help was to be had from doctors who could not even name the complaint with which they were asked to deal. The vexation of this quarrel with Wilkes, coming so soon after the cruel humiliation of the Sigismunda, had irritated the painter into a weakness that was increased by intermittent fevers; he was, however, far from being as decrepit as Churchill depicted, or as near death as he ferociously hoped.

There were many details in the life of Churchill that Hogarth could have exposed, the career of the ex-divine would indeed bear very little investigation, but the painter chose the same method of revenge as he had used with John Wilkes.

He took an old plate prepared for his own portrait and engraved Charles Churchill as a bear, with clerical collar and grasping a pot of porter.

This was neither very severe nor very effective; it is unfortunate that Hogarth did not etch a portrait of Churchill on the lines he had used for Wilkes—an authentic likeness with the character of the man shown in his features.

The poet affected to believe that the plate was the final sign of the painter's senility, upon which Hogarth added a little picture in which Pitt, Wilkes, Beckford, Churchill and Earl Temple were again satirised.

These two portraits of Wilkes and Churchill gave the painter great satisfaction; he himself said that they had helped to re-establish his health, which he further improved by riding to and fro between the 'villakin' and Leicester Fields. This was when Churchill, much mistaken, was writing to Wilkes, August 3rd, 1763:

'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 intend an elegy on him, supposing him dead; but...tells me with a kiss, he will really be dead before it comes out; that I have already killed him etc. How sweet is flattery from the woman we love!'

This letter was sent to Boulogne, to which Wilkes, despite the triumph of his acquittal, had been obliged to retreat out of reach of his creditors.

Hogarth, an infinitely better man than either of his enemies, shook off the depression of the quarrel in which he had been attacked so unjustly and in such a cowardly fashion. He had found pleasure in his revenge, the two portraits that showed the false patriot and his jackal for what they were, but he felt no malice towards any man even his attacks on the sham critics and their 'old black masters' were impersonal.

His work was done and underestimated by his contemporaries; some old friends were dead, some estranged, and he was beginning with every year to be less well-known to the public; he knew that he could never in his lifetime achieve that once-hoped-for position of a great British artist—the Sigismunda, hanging forlorn in the little studio at Leicester Square, was evidence of that.

He was not unhappy, though frustrated and a little bewildered; he jotted down his notes, his rambling memoranda, trying to get matters clear for himself as well as for other people; he looked at his canvases, took up his brushes, put them down again and painted nothing; he kept his own counsel; he did not speak of his inner pride, his inner wound, to anyone.

The household remained unblemished; there was always shelter, comfort, championship for the loving husband, the kind master, within his own walls; all that a woman could do to make life pleasant for him Jane Hogarth did; the world was shut out from the privacy of their love and confidence; their happiness was the deeper for having no chronicle.

In 1761 the overcrowded, cumbrous and dangerous London-signs were taken down, and the streets numbered, but the Van Dyck of gilt-work was allowed to swing in front of Mr. Hogarth's house in Leicester Square.

He spent much of his time at Chiswick in his little house, walking by the river that was London's highway, or noting the rustic types while he drank his ale in the village inn.

A little print, A View of Mr. Rankin's Villa at Chiswick, shows the hedges and cornfields that the painter saw from his big bow-window.

He was no longer able to play ninepins in the garden, Trump and Crab were both dead, and at the end of the filbert walk against the brick wall a little stone had been set up to a favourite bird:

'Alas, poor Dick, 1760, aged eleven'.

Beneath was a scratching of a tiny skull and crossbones.

For many years the little creature had sung in the wide bow-window, and when he died his master gave him this honourable burial.

He never despised little things; one evening, when he sat idle in the drawing-room while the ladies played cards, he took up the shapeless bone counters they used and with his penknife cut them into the likenesses of lively little fishes.

* * *

It was very quiet in the little village where once a battle had left nearly a thousand English dead on the meadows, and visitors thought the 'villakin' a rather gloomy residence with its low ceilings, crowded rooms and high-walled gardens; there were few neighbours and the Hogarths never visited the spacious gardens of the mansion built by Lord Burlington, Kent's patron, which was the great pride of Chiswick.

This little palace had been built by Kent himself after a design by Andrea Palladio, that of the Marchese di Capra's villa outside Vicenza; Lord Harvey had said it was too small to inhabit, too large to hang on a watch-chain, but the classic lines contrasted piquantly with the grey-green tones of the English landscape, the muted hues of misty skies and the river spreading out into willow-fringed creeks and reaches adorned with the elegance of swans; the ninety acres of ground were covered with all the sumptuous ornaments then in fashion, temples, grottos, lakes, statues, glass-houses, mazes, rose gardens and termini, all set off by the sweeping darkness of exotic trees.

This beautiful villa, which for elegant taste was supposed to surpass everything of its kind in England, contained a wilderness or maze, a serpentine lake, a building that was an exact model of the portico of the church at Covent Garden, and a palladian wooden bridge over the lake.

The gardens were held to be laid out in the finest taste, particularly admired were two stone wolves and three fine antique statues dug up in Adrian's garden at Rome.

The villa house was very elegantly furnished; the octagonal salon had a dome of glass instead of windows.

The ceilings were richly gilt and painted and these handsome chambers were, in the opinion of the connoisseurs, adorned with some of the best pictures in Europe; in other words, choice specimens of those 'old dark masters' so detested by Hogarth. Lord Burlington did, indeed, possess some magnificent pictures, including the Pope Innocent by Velasquez, some Van Dycks, Rubens and Rembrandts.

It is interesting to notice, however, in glancing over the catalogue of his Lordship's famous pictures, what masters were then most warmly admired and most eagerly collected. Domenichino, Carlo Maratti, Guido Reni, Salviati, Ricci, Brandi adorned the red velvet room, the blue-red velvet room and the red closet. Others, third-rate masters of the late Italian and Flemish schools, were hung in the green velvet room, the gallery, the bed-chambers, the new dining-room—in fact, the whole house from cellar to attic. It may be assumed that the pictures to which these names were attached, such as the Cleopatra by Leonardo da Vinci, the Rembrandts and the Veroneses were copies. The collection included a portrait 'of Mr. Pope in a round' by Kent, and sketches by Lady Burlington, an artist of some ability who caricatured—among other people—Farinelli.

The last Earl of Burlington, whom Hogarth had ridiculed so long ago, was dead, and another noble lord, the Duke of Devonshire, his son-in-law, owned the riverside villa, but Hogarth had no place among the fashionable companies which gathered there in the pleasant summer evenings, but, walking with Mary Lewis and his wife along the sedgy river-paths, he would watch the barges, slow-moving, lamp-lit, returning to London along the silver water in the still twilight.

Another spot amid the familiar lanes was, however, always open to the modest household; above the sloping banks, amid the hawthorns and the alders, stood the massive, squat church of Saint Nicolas, patron of marines and seamen; there the Hogarths had their pew, and there, amid the thick grasses of the burial ground, lay Lady Thornhill.

Her daughter, when living at Chiswick, never failed in her attendance at Divine Service—Ann Hogarth, who often stayed with her, Mary Lewis and another relative, a Miss Richardson, often accompanied her, and the painter usually went with the ladies in their silk sacs and black calashes across the fields to the church. He had ridiculed the Church of England and the Methodists, but he was not a man to outrage convention and never did he hurt the feelings of his tender, pious, conventional Jane, so that he might be seen among his decorous women-folk praising God, confessing his sins, and smiling secretly while he kept his thoughts to himself.

Beneath the chancel lay William Kent, and William Hogarth, 'the joyous, companionable, cheerful creature', would no longer bear the poor sham artist ill-will.

The churchyard had an air of greatness; in those soft, melancholy shades lay the Protector's daughter, Mary Cromwell, that superb beauty, Barbara Palmer, the Duchess of Cleveland, Lord MacCartney, the first Ambassador to China, who had travelled so far into the land of legend and come home to rest forever in England; here, too, lay one of Pope's victims, Ralph, the historian, and Holland the actor, David Garrick's friend, and here, finally, would lie most of the little group in the Hogarth pew, who stood so quietly in their places with the light of the sinking sun striking through the windows past them on to the mural tablets and the niched urns.

* * *

The painter decided to engrave a tail piece for his complete portfolio of print; it was a study in the manner of Albrecht Durer's Melancholia, but turned to satire instead of madness—he called it Bathos or end of all things, and the liveliness of the invention and the precision of the handling showed no sign of the dotage of which Churchill had accused him.

The plate had hardly been completed when the artist's health failed rapidly; he felt at once weak and restless and no longer had the strength to wander in the garden where the high wall kept out the autumn winds and the huge mulberry shed the last rough yellow leaves.

It was the end of October, the clouds lowering above the swollen river, the current running strongly seaward, the marshy meadows half under water; Hogarth decided to return to the noise and comfort of London; the carriage was ordered and the painter, with Jane and Mary Lewis, jolted over the bad roads to Leicester Square; the sick man was cheerful, full of mental vigour, but very weak.

He seemed to have recovered when he reached his comfortable home and passed a fair night; the next day there arrived a flattering letter from America—from Dr. Benjamin Franklin; Hogarth was delighted and made out the rough draft of a reply.

Doing this seemed to exhaust him; he retired early to bed, leaving the ladies by the fire; shortly afterwards his bell rang loudly; it was Mary Lewis that gained his room first; he was lying in his bed, the bell-pull, broken by his violence, in his hand; he had been overtaken by a violent attack of sickness and was already speechless; he died two hours later—of an aneurism, it was thought; he was then sixty-seven years of age.

* * *

The painter returned to Chiswick, but not to the 'villakin'; a modest funeral procession wound through the windy autumn day to the Thames-side churchyard and William Hogarth was interred beside his wife's mother.

He had not left enough money to pay for his own monument; careful, industrious and temperate as he had been, his genius had not sufficed to procure more for his Jane than a modest provision—for his sister a small pension, the fruits of his engravings and little else.

David Garrick got up a subscription among his friends, and a heavy, tasteless tomb, crowned with an urn and ornamented with a bas-relief, was erected. Garrick provided the epitaph:

Farewell, great Painter of Mankind!
Who reach'd the noblest point of Art;
Whose pictured morals charm the Mind
And, through the Eye, correct the Heart.

If Genius fire thee, Reader, stay;
If Nature touch thee, drop a tear;
If neither move thee, turn away,
For Hogarth's honour'd dust lies here.

Dr. Johnson also composed some lines, which were not used:

The hand of him here torpid lies,
That drew the essential forms of grace.
Here closed in death the attentive eyes,
That saw the manners in the face.

Hogarth had died within a few months of Churchill's Epistle and his own retaliation with the portrait of the poet; nine days later Churchill died at Boulogne, where he had gone to visit John Wilkes; he was brought home, but no further than Dover, where his sportive friends put over him an inscription that the taste of the times considered blasphemous:

Life to the last enjoyed, here Churchill lies.

The satirist was thirty-two years old, and there is something truly shocking in the sudden, unexpected death of the young man who had so lately and so venomously been abusing old age and viciously wishing for the decease of a sick man whose sole offence was that his political views were not those of John Wilkes.

* * *

William Hogarth was not wholly dead while Jane Hogarth lived; he continued to be her love and pride, and for a quarter of a century she served and honoured his memory; she resided at Chiswick with Mary Lewis, Mary Hogarth, Miss Richardson and the old servants, but she kept a room for herself at The Golden Head, which she let out in apartments to artists.

She had very little capital and her income depended on the sale of the prints; these she sold at 13 guineas the set, and, to render them more attractive, she engaged the Rev. Doctor Trusler to write a moralizing description of them for intending purchasers.

To Garrick she sent as a gift the portrait of himself and his wife, partly defaced, but repainted; everything she did was graceful and prudent.

Every Sunday she might be seen in sac and calash, with her relatives, in the pew at Chiswick Church, attended by a manservant carrying a Prayer Book.

She was scrupulously faithful to her husband's wishes; there were no bidders for the Sigismunda, but if there had been she would have refused to take less than the £500 that was the sum asked for by her husband—the price of his pride rather than the price of the picture.

This canvas stood with many other sketches and paintings in the studio in Leicester Square, and no one concerned himself with the work of 'the ingenious Mr. Hogarth' save the purchasers of the engravings, which were prized wholly for their moral value.

Some years (1768) after his death the Royal Academy was founded, and Joshua Reynolds, who since 1760 had lived opposite The Golden Head, was elected first President.

Shortly afterwards the fashionable portrait-painter, who was earning about £6000 annually, was knighted; he took the most active interest possible in the Academy and its schools and to the pupils delivered his admirable series of Discourses. In one of these he treated William Hogarth very severely, admitting his merit as a deviser of moralities but deploring his excursion into the grand style and ignoring his portraits.

'Our late excellent Hogarth was not blessed with a knowledge of his own deficiency...after this admirable artist had spent the greater part of his life in an active, busy, and, we may add, successful attention to the ridicule of life; after he had invented a new species of dramatic painting, in which probably he will never be equalled...he very imprudently, or, rather, presumptuously attempted the great historical style, for which his previous habits had by no means prepared him; he was indeed so entirely unacquainted with the principles of this style that he was not even aware that any artificial preparation was at all necessary.'

This opinion was confirmed by Horace Walpole, who declared 'as a painter Hogarth had but slender merit.'

* * *

In 1747 Horace Walpole, after his travels with Thomas Gray and his dabbling in politics, retired to Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, where he built himself a little abbey in the odd taste of the Gothic revival. The fantastic abode of the famous wit and connoisseur was much admired; Strawberry Hill was an object of curiosity to all visitors to London; one of the contemporary descriptions says:

'You are struck with awe on entering it, proceeding from the "high embowed roof with antique pillars massy-proof, and storied windows richly dight, casting a dim religious light." Besides the antiquities which form a part of the furniture of this curious place, there are many very capital pictures; and the whole well deserves the attention of the man of taste or the antiquary.'

This building, on the banks of the Thames, was a careful copy of an ancient abbey, the interior having 'all the noble simplicity of antiquity without its decay'.

There was a chapel copied from that of 'Santa Maria in Rome, built by Caelini in 1256', a Gobelins room, and a library 'entirely calculated for learned retirement and contemplation'.

The most admired apartment was the Holbein room or state bedchamber. It was hung with plain lilac paper, which formed a background for copies of Holbein's drawings in black and red chalk, framed in black; the chairs were of black ebony 'exquisitely wrought'. The bed stood in an alcove, behind two screens of antique carving, and was sheltered by a canopy supported by four fluted pillars of black ebony and 'composed of the finest lilac broadcloth, lined with white satin, and adorned with a tufted fringe of black and white'; the whole was surmounted by a double plume of ostrich feathers, the lower white, the upper lilac; the windows were of painted glass and 'the Gothic taste' was 'admirably preserved throughout the whole'.

In this elegant abode was a private press, on which the owner's own productions and 'the jeux d'esprit of his particular friends' were printed.

It was from this charming residence and this aristocratic Press, Officina Arbuteana, that Horace Walpole issued, over a long period, the volumes of his Anecdotes of Painting in England; in the last of these, printed 1771, issued 1780, was an account of William Hogarth's work, which contained the final and more brutal attack on Sigismunda.

The book had been written in the intervals of 'Gothicising'; 'My tower erects its battlements bravely; my Anecdotes of Painting thrive exceedingly, thanks to the gout that has pinned me to my chair; think of Ariel the sprite in a split shoe.'

This man of delicate taste, whose judgment was usually so clear and profound, whose tact was so delicate and so courteous, had his lapses of both head and heart; he sent a copy of his book to Mrs. Hogarth, excusing any strictures he might have made on some of her husband's work by referring to his admiration for the rest of it. But no excuse could soften for Jane Hogarth the passage in which the picture for which she had sat was described as that of 'a strumpet turned out of keeping' with her eyes 'red with usquebaugh.' Towards the end of her life she said: 'I think my heart is broken.'

The taste of the time was very uncertain; here a masterpiece was justly acclaimed, here a tawdry copy praised with the same enthusiasm; it was an age of forgeries; the shams of Macpherson and young Ireland, with their Ossians and Shakespeares, long deceived the experts; another youth, Chatterton, fooled Horace Walpole himself on his own ground of 'old Gothic'; and we may be sure that there were many faked pictures among those which hung on the walls of the toy abbey at Twickenham. In his estimate of Hogarth, Walpole went wildly astray, showing neither the knowledge nor the wisdom nor the kindness that he so often and so brilliantly displayed.

If Walpole were to be judged by his treatment of Hogarth and Chatterton, he would have to be considered a pretentious poseur who knew very little about matters on which he affected to be a dictator; he 'made believe' that his absurd The Castle of Otranto (1765) was from an old 'black letter' printed at Naples in 1529, a pretence which probably inspired the unhappy Chatterton and is the measure of Walpole's lack of scholarship.

* * *

Jane Hogarth, always well-bred and discreet, entered into no debate about her husband's reputation; the sale of the engravings fell off, and even with the rent of the rooms she let in The Golden Head her income was barely sufficient for her modest needs; she accepted a pension of £40 per annum from the Royal Academy.

The same year as Walpole's work on Hogarth, there appeared Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth and a catalogue of his works chronologically arranged, with occasional remarks.

The authors of this pamphlet—it was little more—were men who had known Hogarth; Isaac Reed, a Shakespearean commentator, John Nichols, the printer, and George Steevens, the Shakespearean scholar; to the last we owe the comments on the painter's personality that the book contains; the statements that he 'despised every kind of knowledge that he did not possess', that his behaviour, when in France, was extremely insolent, that he filled his works with indecent details, that he was ill bred 'and continued to the last a gross uncultivated man'.

Whatever truth there might be in these strictures, they might have been suppressed until after the death of Jane Hogarth; George Steevens, though a gentleman and a scholar, a friend of Johnson and an acute critic, was notorious for his quarrels, his ill-humour, his bad manners; he was himself something of a satirist, who saw through both the Chatterton and Ireland impostures, who wrote some of the fierce inscriptions for the biting caricatures of James Gillray, and who did a little forging on his own account—a pretended letter from George Peele describing a meeting with William Shakespeare.

In the 1785 edition of Biographical Anecdotes Steevens inserted a disgraceful attack on the harmless and respected Mary Lewis, whose sole offence seems to have been that she had resented some of his criticisms of Hogarth's work; not only was this libel on a defenceless gentlewoman shameful in itself, but it discounts much of what Steevens wrote to the discredit of Hogarth, since it proves him unjust, petulant and uncontrolled. Steevens was an ardent collector of Hogarth's works and Mary Lewis assisted Jane Hogarth in the selling and advertising of the prints; the reason of the deadly quarrel is unknown, but it must have been petty.

* * *

In 1789 Jane Hogarth died in the 'villakin' and was buried beside her mother and her husband in Chiswick churchyard; she left all she possessed to Mary Lewis.

In 1791 John Ireland published Hogarth Illustrated; he was an ardent collector of the prints, was by occupation a watchmaker with premises in Maiden Lane, and had frequently met Hogarth at The Three Feathers in Leicester Fields; he was employed by Messrs. Boydell to edit the prints with a commentary, and he appears to have enjoyed the friendship of Mrs. Hogarth, and he certainly was in the confidence of Mary Lewis, for whom he procured an annuity of £250 in return for the handing over of the engraved copper plates to Messrs. Boydell.

Soon afterwards Mary Lewis presented to John Ireland the papers of William Hogarth that his widow had jealously guarded for so long; there were those notebooks and loose sheets of paper on which the painter had jotted down his memoranda for his own life, the MS. of The Analysis of Beauty, the correspondence referring to The Lady's Last Stake and Sigismunda, and some notes on the project for an Academy of Arts.

Jane Hogarth had kept all this material sacred and secret and John Ireland himself knew nothing about it until Mary Lewis placed it in his hands about 1796, more than thirty years after the painter's death; it was published in 1798 as the third volume of Hogarth Illustrated.

Mary Lewis continued to reside in the 'villakin', which remained undisturbed, with the nut walk, the nightingale-haunted trees, the straight flower-beds and the large bow-window where the old lady could sit and look at her trim domain; in 1791, Pompey, her dog, died, and was buried near 'Poor Dick'; early in the new century, 1808, she died, and was buried in the Hogarth tomb.

Her Chiswick house passed in 1814 into the possession of the new curate of the parish, the Rev. Henry Cary, afterwards famous as the translator of Dante's Divina Commedia.

He found the house very much as the painter had left it, even to a chalk drawing by him on one of the walls that a cleanly servant soon, however, removed with a wet cloth.

On the death of Jane Hogarth, and again on that of Mary Lewis, sales of the pictures and drawings appear to have taken place; Hogarth's reputation declined after his death and his work fetched very small sums; it is known that The Shrimp Girl changed hands for four pounds ten shillings in 1799, and the Sigismunda that Mrs. Hogarth had so loyally guarded was sold after her death for sixteen guineas. Many of the pictures were scattered, hidden in obscurity, or destroyed by fire; several of the early conversation pieces and portraits were discarded and lost, as fashion changed; the moralities began to be 'dated', then 'out of date'.

Only one artist attempted anything in the same style as the Progresses and the Marriage à la Mode this was George Cruikshank, whose History of the Bottle is worthy of a place beside Hogarth's masterpieces; Rowlandson and Gillray rivalled him in pure caricature, perhaps surpassed him with their simpler methods and their more personal attacks, but they were far behind him in technique and neither ever achieved a Wilkes or Lovat, where likeness and satire are one.

As an oil painter and portraitist Hogarth was slow to find recognition; his hand had been stilled for a hundred years before its cunning was recognized, and the praise of the critic and the artist that would have so gratified him—after which he so yearned and strove—came long after he was deaf to all praise and all blame.

* * *

Though it is a truism that genius can be neither analysed nor accounted for, yet so great is its fascination that we must always try to do so; William Hogarth has been constantly estimated as a truly British artist who loathed foreigners, dealt in blunt, honest fair play satire, always supported virtue, and followed the good, sound native tradition in painting, handed down from painters like William Dobson.

This does not wholly account for him or his genius; it is dangerous to introduce patriotism into art and it must be emphasized that the most hideous scenes, the vilest characters Hogarth ever depicted were English; however a 'true born Englishman' he was, he left behind him a commentary on his country that would have been bitterly resented if made by a foreigner.

Jean Rouquet, the Swiss enameller, who wrote the first commentary on his work, was his friend, and so was Ravenet, the famous French engraver; Hogarth accepted with pleasure the applause of foreigners and was very gratified to be asked, after the publication of The Analysis of Beauty, to become a member of an artistic Academy in Hesse—his last effort was to write gratefully to Benjamin Franklin—while all his fiercest quarrels were with his own countrymen, while the objects of his satire were precisely those characters, vices and institutions most beloved of his fellow-Englishmen.

Even when he ridiculed the foreign singers, dancers, fencers and musicians, the larger portion of his satire fell on the English employers and flatterers of these aliens.

That his Muse was essentially English, the Muse of Samuel Butler, of Laurence Sterne, of Jonathan Swift—of every other English writer who has employed satire or sarcasm—might be endlessly disputed; in his own kind of pictorial art he had, in his own country, no predecessor; the Englishman's sense of satire had hitherto been expressed verbally; the only artist known to influence Hogarth was Jacques Callot, and the only contemporary artist with whom he can be fairly compared is Daniel Chodowiecki, the Dantzic painter, whose work he certainly never saw; Hogarth's shrewd observation, robustness of attack and remarkable power of invention in the sphere of the horrible and grotesque can hardly be purely English qualities since so few Englishmen have employed them; we might as well say that the soft domesticities of George Morland where all is turned 'to favour and prettiness' or the effeminate fancies of Thomas Stothard were purely English.

It seems safer to conclude that Hogarth was a genius who happened to be English and therefore took his material from London, as Boilly afterwards took his from Paris, and was 'patriotic' because he was loyal, affectionate, and did not trouble his head about foreigners, whom he did not understand.

His genius was as inexplicable to himself as it is to us; it is easy to see how, through his whole life, he was bewildered both by his own gift and the lack of general recognition of it; he continually put forward his own claims with what seemed to many vanity or conceit, he several times challenged comparison between his own work and the best that dead masters or his own contemporaries had produced, yet he appeared to acquiesce in his own neglect and to accept the verdict that he was, after all, a mere ingenious painter of moralities.

This statement may seem rash in face of his continual disputes on the subject of his work and the high opinion he held of it, but the impression a close study of his life gives is that of a baffled acceptance of the second place.

He was deeply hurt at the failure of the auction of the Marriage à la Mode pictures, yet he neither did nor said anything to show he thought them superb masterpieces; he declared, and truly, that he could paint a portrait as well as Van Dyck, yet he made no great effort to advertise, exhibit or 'push' his portraits, in many of which he seems to have taken little interest.

In the notes he left about his work he dwelt chiefly on the moral side of it and said very little about its value as art or painting; who would think from reading these dry memoranda that they were written by a master craftsman, a painter of genius, a magnificent colourist, one who, in many instances, had gone far ahead of his contemporaries in matters of technique?

It seems as if the simple, honest man had said to himself: 'Surely I am a great painter'—and then, when he heard what his contemporaries had to say of him: 'Surely I cannot be, I must continue with my pictorial satires.'

Deep in his own soul he must have instinctively known his own worth, but this conviction was, doubtless, constantly clouded over by doubt, depression—even despair.

His cheerful, sane, orderly disposition, his essential good-humour, his enjoyment of the natural things of life, are shown by his acceptance of a neglect that would have driven many a more sensitive or morbid artist, less serenely balanced, into morose gloom or vindictive eccentricity.

It was a happy life, but it was also, to some extent, a frustrated one; he died having never accomplished what it was in him to achieve if he had been applauded, encouraged and given free scope for his genius.

For an artist of his rare gifts, plates like The Times, Enthusiasm, pictures like Paul before Felix or Sigismunda were a waste of that precious time which is so short for the artist whose craft is 'so long to learn'. It seems probable that many of his more famous prints were executed because this popular vein sold well, and because this novelty, the morality in pictures, was expected of him; he should have been free from the necessity of preaching a neat sermon, as he should have been free from the necessity of competing with 'the old black masters'.

* * *

The 'villakin', rescued from oblivion by pious hands, still stands with garden and mulberry tree in front. Early in the reign of Queen Victoria, Anna Maria Hall, author of many tales and sketches of 'decidedly moral tendency' and at least one excellent novel, Marian, wrote for the Art Journal, which her husband edited, a series of articles entitled Pilgrimages to English Shrines; Hogarth's little house was one of these.

Mrs. Hall drove over from her 'pleasant literary retreat', the Rosery, Old Brompton, near London, which was distinguished for 'simple elegance' and 'refined taste', and inspected the Hogarth residence; she named her article, in the sad taste of the time, The Tomb of William Hogarth.

She relates that The Golden Head was still in existence, but that it had been modernized and was then a hotel—the Sablonière Hotel; she gives a brief account of the painter's career and claims him as 'broad, bold, fair-play English'.

She gives much more attention and praise to his work, but only on the moral side; the gentle, gifted lady, who did so much good work for distressed governesses, is very anxious to give due credit to this 'stern, brave, true' moralist; this is Hogarth's sole value in the eyes of Anna Maria Hall, and, perhaps, in those of all her contemporaries.

Before she visited Chiswick she had already seen the former residence of Sir James Thornhill in Dean Street, where Mr. Allison, the pianoforte manufacturer, then resided; this gentleman told her that, when removing a chimney-piece in the drawing-room, a number of visiting cards fell out 'with the names of some of the most distinguished persons of Hogarth's time written on the backs'. Mrs. Hall was shown a painted staircase which represented a balcony with figures looking down, like the design by William Kent in Kensington Palace; one of these figures was supposed to be an excellent likeness of Jane Hogarth.

'Skirting the beautiful plantations of the Duke of Devonshire' and 'enjoying the fragrance of the green meadows' of the Thames valley, the Victorian lady reached Chiswick; she found the 'villakin'—'a tall, narrow, abrupt-looking place, close to the roadside wall of its enclosed garden; numbers of dwellings for the poor have sprung up round it, but in Hogarth's day it must have been very isolated; not leading to the water as we had imagined, but having a dull and prison-like aspect.'

The Rev. Henry Cary's son had sent to Mrs. Hall an account of the house as it was when his father first lived there, and she did not find it much changed. The mistress and her dogs received the visitor with 'more than ordinary civility' and Mr. Cary told little anecdotes of the painter; the house had belonged to Thornhill and from 'an inner room on the first floor' Jane had eloped with William.

Mrs. Hall thought this runaway marriage lamentable and moralized on it gracefully—'there is something so false and wrong in the concealment that precedes an elopement', and so on.

She was shown the painting room, a loft above the stable at the end of the garden with one window that looked over the road, the stones to Dick and Pompey, and then she proceeded to the churchyard where in 1827 had been laid Ugo Foscolo, the exiled Italian poet and her husband's friend, she gazed upon the Hogarth tomb which 'was very faithfully copied by Mr. Fairbolt'; this artist also copied the bas-relief and the arms, Thornhill and Hogarth, from the tomb, and sketched the outside of the house with the mulberry tree, the bow-window room, the studio and the stones to the pets, shaded by foxgloves and overhung by apples. Pompey's epitaph, which must have been put up by Mary Lewis, is the same as that to Charles Churchill at Dover.' Life to the last enjoyed, here Pompey lies. 1791'.

Thirty years or so later than the date of Mrs. Hall's visit, Austin Dobson, delightful writer and Hogarth enthusiast, visited the villakin'; he found it 'occupied by very humble tenantry and sadly dilapidated'. The old mulberry still produced fruit, but the little tombstones were gone and the garden was neglected.

This comment was made nearly sixty years ago; to-day the 'villakin' has an artificial existence; it is well-mannered and well kept-up, it is no longer 'the tumbledown place' that Austin Dobson saw; the garden is neat and the rooms are hung with a complete set of Hogarth's prints, but gone for ever are the green meadows, the lonely road, the rustic solitude; ugly mean streets crowd right up to the little house; at the back a factory and a factory-yard overwhelm it; the noise, dirt and discord, the ugliest aspect of modern city-life, blot and blur the house out of all likeness to its former self; we might wish that it could be removed into some pleasant solitude or allowed to pass into natural decay and oblivion.

* * *

The last words of the notes that Hogarth made for his proposed autobiography are:

'Thus have I gone through the principal circumstances of a life, which, till lately, passed pretty much to my own satisfaction, and, I hope, in no respect injurious(ly) to any other man. This I can safely assert, I have invariably endeavoured to make those about me tolerably happy, and my greatest enemy cannot say I ever did an intentional injury; though, without ostentation, I could produce many instances of men that have been essentially benefited by me. What may follow, God knows. Finis.'


The Moralities
Satirical Genre Pictures
Tickets; Small Engravings; Symbolical Pictures
Satirical Portraits
Genre Pictures
The Peep Show


THE range of characters in the pictures and prints by William Hogarth covers all the activities of London in the mid-eighteenth century; before they can be individually considered, some classification of this large output must be attempted.

Although Hogarth is chiefly famous for his moral designs, these do not represent the bulk of his work; he himself says that he tried them as a novelty; and that he continued them because they were successful, there can be little doubt.

The morals of these various series are not now of much interest; indeed, it may be suspected that Hogarth himself was not much concerned with this aspect of his work; he was an honest, law-abiding citizen with many admirable qualities and he certainly detested the crime and vice he so severely depicted, but that one so shrewd and penetrating in his judgment of human nature should have supposed that his prints would impel the weak and erring into the ways of virtue is scarcely to be believed.

He must have known, too, that life does not develop on logical lines, that the love match may end in disaster, the marriage of convenience in comfort, if not in happiness, that industry does not always succeed in gaining worldly honours, and that ladies who sell their favours sometimes lead lives their decorous sisters might envy.

His undoubted sincerity in The Four Stages of Cruelty, his keen desire to sell the plates cheap in order that they might be widely circulated, did not prevent his genius, as it were, from running away with him; these frightful pictures, intolerable to the sensitive, are scarcely likely to do more than whet the appetite of the brutal for more horrors.

The moral pictures are the two Progresses, which may be considered sermons against loose living, The Idle and Industrious Apprentices illustrating an Elizabethan play, Eastward Ho! a sermon against idleness, the series against cruelty to animals, Gin Lane and Beer Street an attack more on gin than on drunkenness, and the most famous of all the Marriage à la Mode; it is, however, stretching a point to include this masterpiece under the heading of moral pictures; no doubt there is a moral, that mercenary marriages end in misery, but this is lost beneath the wealth of detail that holds a whole section of society up to scorn and ridicule, and these paintings may more fittingly be termed social 'satires'.

It is notable that only in one instance, that of The Industrious Apprentice, is the reward of virtue shown, and that in this case the good man is touched with caricature or treated most insipidly; Beer Street is certainly supposed to be a picture of the happiness to be gained by drinking beer, but can hardly be accepted seriously.

A large number of works do come, without question, under the head of satire; there is no moral to be drawn from the Election plates, The March to Finchley, The Four Times of Day, The Cockfight, the Modern Midnight Conversation, Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism, Taste in High Life, Calais Gate, Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn, Southwark Fair, The Country Inn Yard, The Sleeping Congregation, The Enraged Musician, The Distressed Poet, A Woman swearing her child to a Grave Citizen, or the two plates of The Invasion.

A third class of Hogarth's work falls under the heading of caricature, that is, elaborate symbolical drawings that require verbal explanations; the best known of these are Burlington Gate, The Battle of the Pictures, the two plates of The Times, Time Smoking a Picture, the large Masquerade, The Lottery, The South Sea Bubble and Rich's Triumphant Entry.

Four remarkable portraits, Lord Lovat, John Wilkes, Sarah Malcolm and Charles Churchill, show another of Hogarth's powerful talents—that of seizing a likeness and rendering it odious without resorting to caricature or symbolism.

Some charming genre compositions, the best of the conversation pieces, have no touch of the grotesque, but a delicate humour and fancy worthy of Watteau or Chardin; the best of these are The Emperor of Mexico, The Wanstead Assembly, The Stay Maker and The Royal Masquerade at Somerset House.

There are also the serious portraits, many of them of famous people, and all showing the high level of Hogarth's artistic achievement.

Finally a large number of small prints and sketches, mostly grotesque, as The Undertakers, The Orchestra, The Students, The Laughing Audience, The Five Orders of Periwigs, Paul before Felix, Charity in a Cellar, A Debate on Palmistry, and The Politician.

In this consideration of the characters in Hogarth's works we shall not touch upon the historical pictures, which have no bearing on his own times, or on the book illustrations, which are also detached from the contemporary scene, or on the designs such as The Vases, Italian Jupiter and the Crowns, Mitres, Maces and such like which are dealt with in another chapter.

These form, however, but a small and unimportant part of the painter's output, most of which falls very aptly under the title of 'The Cockney's Mirror'.

* * *

It is not always easy to discover the present ownership of Hogarth's pictures, or to study closely any but those in the National Collections; fortunately, several of his less-known works have been recently exhibited in London, sixteen pictures were exhibited at Burlington House in 1934. Apart from these there are a number of important pictures in private collections, which occasionally change hands, while some others have been destroyed or lost.

The complete lack of interest in Hogarth as an oil painter, which was so marked for some while after his death, was the reason why these neglected pictures, mainly portraits and genre pieces, were ignored and often lost; his engravings, on the other hand, early found collectors, even among his personal friends and acquaintances; in 1794 Samuel Ireland, the traveller and father of the Shakespeare forger, published a book in which he gave reproductions of sixty sketches and paintings by Hogarth in his possession; many of these were purchased from Mrs. Hogarth by Ireland, or at the sale of her effects after her death; some were engraved by the artist, but most were etched on copper by Ireland himself or his daughters.

Though containing some excellent work, the main interest of Ireland's collection of miscellanies is historical rather than artistic.

It seems likely that, despite the early craze for collecting every scrap of Hogarth's engraved works, even to the silver plate sold by Ellis Gamble and adorned by his burin, many odd sketches, paintings and drawings that had no humorous or satirical interest changed hands at very low prices and were neglected and lost.

No attempt can be made here to present a catalogue raisonné of this large, varied output, or to describe in detail every picture and engraving, every drawing and sketch by Hogarth, now in existence; nor can there be any pretence at interpreting in detail all the symbolical meanings of the moralities and caricatures; many of these are doubtful and a relation of those that are clear would make but tedious reading—at least, when they deal with dead party-politics never well understood by Hogarth himself and now quite forgotten.

The Rev. Dr. Trusler 'moralized' the engravings with a minute zest with which it would be useless to compete, and all the humorous and dramatic pictures have been frequently described and variously interpreted.

A French pamphlet describing the engravings was published by the Swiss enameller, Jean Rouquet, during Hogarth's lifetime, and presumably with his approval, while the efforts of the zealous divine were countenanced by Mrs. Hogarth; a reference, then, to either of these two works will set us right on any obscure or uncertain point in the prints dealt with by Rouquet and Trusler.

No more is attempted here than to give some account of the characters and social scenes that Hogarth mirrored in his more important works, and of most of his important paintings which are dealt with under Moralities, Satires, Genre pictures, Portraits and Miscellanea; each section is arranged, as far as possible, in chronological order; it is impossible to discover the dates of some of the paintings, though the engravings can be exactly tabulated.


A Harlot's Progress was painted 1730-31, engraved by William Hogarth and published 1734 at one guinea the six prints. The paintings were purchased at an auction-sale, held at The Golden Head in 1745, at fourteen guineas each—£88 4s. for the set; the payment was made, by a proviso of the artist, in gold. The paintings came into the possession of William Beckford and five of them were destroyed in the fire at Fonthill in 1757, the surviving picture, No. 2, was described by Austin Dobson (in 1879) as being in the possession of the Earl of Wemyss.

These pictures, which first revealed Hogarth's genius to the world and began his novel and peculiar method, tell the simple story of a country girl who comes to London, enters on a career of vice and dies wretchedly.

They were painted before Richardson had published Pamela (1740) and may have inspired some touches in that novel which showed the reverse side of the picture—a humble girl's triumph through the exercise of virtue—as female chastity was named in the eighteenth century—and seems to be the first time that this commonplace theme had been seriously attempted in a realistic manner either in art or literature.

What must be kept in mind, as regards both this series and all the other moralities and satires, is that these were, in the painter's day, extremely topical, a transcription of the contemporary and local scene; this is difficult to realize; Samuel Ireland at the end of the eighteenth century complained of 'the old, ugly fashions' in Hogarth's prints; a generation after his death his work was out-of-date, and now they have become 'period' pieces of antiquarian value. They seem, indeed, so far removed from us that when we study them we appear to be gazing at some imaginary world of fantasy or dream; this effect of unreality is owing partly to the costume and mise-en-scène, which show us that we are gazing at representations of long-dead ancestors, partly to the distortion proceeding from the temperament of the artist and partly because these tales are founded on a code of morals largely superseded.

Whatever Hogarth's private convictions may have been—and we have no means of knowing them—he always assumed, when he began to compose his moralities, an attitude of the sternest Puritanism, even Calvinism, odd in a humorist and a friend of Henry Fielding.

He also always defeats his own moral purpose by his choice of a central character; it may be fairly stated that he treated of only rogues and fools, that his little actors start so handicapped that nothing can save them from the destiny branded on their brows.

Here is no 'great man struggling in the toils of fate', no brave woman overwhelmed by circumstance, no tender innocence beguiled, no virtue making desperate efforts to escape the snare—Hogarth left these themes to the elegant tutor, to the Earl of Warwick and the pursy printer of Salisbury Court.

His characters have no chance, they are the half-wits on whom the parasite and the pimp batten, or they are criminals hardened in early youth; this complete lack of sentimentality in the treatment of the subjects is most agreeable to the spectator and greatly enhances the artistic value, but it certainly spoils the teaching that Hogarth professed to have at heart; the susceptible Miss of the 1740's might weep with Clarissa or rejoice with Pamela, but she could scarcely be 'warned' by the fate of Mary Hackabout, for whom, sly, stupid, greedy and wanton as she was, there could be but one career—though not of a necessity the miserable fate her creator awarded her; such creatures—and Hogarth must have known it—have often lived long and died in luxury. No doubt many of the servant girls for whose edification the plates were published must have secretly thought that given Miss Hackabout's chances they would have contrived very differently.

Besides this rough handling of his puppets, other salient characteristics of the painter appear in the first of his moralities; his creatures never repent (the Countess dies of bored misery, not remorse), there is no kindness to comfort them, no hint of pity, compassion or forgiveness, human or divine—with the slight exceptions of the Methodist in the death-cart in the last plate of The Apprentices and the unconvincing girl in A Rake's Progress.

Nor is there any contrast to the wretchedness of this black criminal misery, the very ministers of religion are themselves lost souls—everyone is damned together and a universal horror tinges the scene.

It is true that in the career of the virtuous apprentice an attempt is made to show the reward of good behaviour, but no one can deny that the City Banquet is as hideous in its way as the Thieves' Kitchen, and the dreary, coarse joviality of the wedding-day as repulsive as the horrors of the vagabond's garret.

All this brings us back to the point that Hogarth was a satirist, not a moralist, however much he deceived his public, his Jane, the Rev. Dr. Trusler and himself.

Let us see how he deals with his first victim—the first specimen to come under his microscope and his probe—Mary Hackabout.

* * *

She is, like so many of her descendants, the daughter of a simple old country-parson, who brings her to London to visit some town friends—Plate I, At the Bell Inn, in Wood Street.

He has come up from Yorkshire on an ambling nag, his daughter in the stage—a waggon that before the days of coaches was the only means of public conveyance; Hogarth's father came to London in such a cart.

These springless carts, jolting over rough roads, made travelling tedious and slow; heavy articles were often pushed along on iron runners and arrived as soon as the stumbling horses, of which there were eight to these stage waggons; these vehicles went at the rate of five to seven miles an hour, if there were no accidents and the weather was fair; the charge was threepence a mile; it took, for a good journey, three weeks from Edinburgh to London, so we suppose that Mary and her father have been nearly a fortnight on the road, past the lighthouses placed to guide travellers across the great Northern moors, past little towns where beacons were in the church towers. At the beginning of their travels, they had passed the city of York, where in St. Martin's Church hung a lamp to serve as a landmark for the coaches crossing the gloomy forest of Galtres.

They have safely arrived, the old man is gazing at a letter addressed to the Bishop of the diocese, his exhausted horse is eating the straw that wraps some earthenware pots, the women in the waggon watch the subsequent crash, but the principal figures in the scene have their own concerns to attend to and take no heed of the accident.

The heroine, Mary Hackabout, is little disturbed by her dreary journey; she is neatly dressed with corset and hoop, 'kerchief and apron, a wide-brimmed, shallow-crowned hat is tied on her pretty head over a close cap, her bag is on her arm, and in the foreground is a hair trunk with her initials, M.H., a straw basket with a goose, bought along the road, for the town relative, labelled 'To my loved cousin in Tems Street, London', and a corded box.

Mary is pleasing in a fresh, country style, and she has been instantly greeted by a fine lady whose custom it is to watch for the arrival of the stage waggons and offer her services to any fair strangers. She wears a full skirt, a hood and cape, all fashionable and decorous; she is too clever and too successful to appear flaunting or vulgar—with one hand she lightly touches Mary under the chin, with the other she directs a closed fan at her fresh bosom.

Her knowing expression is odious; she is pretending, no doubt, to engage the girl as companion or maid, but her real purpose is hardly concealed and Mary's sly, greedy look is scarcely less hateful than that of her companion; if the damsel has not already had some rustic adventures, at least she is in no mood to forgo town excitements and it is clear that no sober counsellor would have any chance with her against the seductions of the suave, handsome dame, one of whose clients stands on the steps of The Bell Inn and leers at the prospective prey.

This gentleman, of clumsy figure, plainly attired and leaning on a cane, has no pretensions to comeliness or elegance, but his hand is thrust into his pocket to indicate that he is willing to fee the dame for the introduction and the girl for her compliance; a sprightly valet beside him affects to be surprised at and delighted with the charms of the demure Mary.

We are at The Bell Inn in Wood Street, in the City; there is a large chequer-board over the door, a huge bell on the sign, at the back some houses with a woman on the balcony and washing hanging on a line, a glimpse of sky gives a dreary light to the composition.

These people are all taken from life; Mary Hackabout is so typical as to be a real person (a Kate Hackabout, well known in the Hundreds of Drury Lane, whose brother was hanged at Tyburn, is mentioned unfavourably in the Grub Street Journal of August 6th, 1730), and the other two main characters represent persons who died shortly before the plate was published.

The beguiling lady, whose profession cannot be in doubt, is the portrait of a certain Mother Needham, who was not as lucky as she was unscrupulous, for in 1731 she was convicted of keeping what was politely termed a disorderly house and sentenced to stand in the pillory. In this place of punishment the perfumed, silken dame, with her patches and trinkets, was so pelted by the mob that she died of her injuries—a death even more hideous than that suffered by Mother Sinclair, whose ghastly end was so forcibly described by Samuel Richardson in Clarissa Harlowe.

It is not to be supposed that the crowd was expressing virtuous indignation in thus putting an end to the career of a familiar London figure; they acted in the name of sport; the stoning and pelting, with any object from a dead cat to a cabbage, of pilloried offenders was considered as legitimate a diversion as bull-baiting, and even more amusing; so common was the custom that it could not be forgone, even when the victim had the popular sympathy as in the case of Daniel Defoe, who received, instead of brickbats or turnip-tops, posies of flowers hurled at his face, a tribute with which he could, no doubt, have dispensed.

The other portrait is that of a man so notorious in his time that he seems to have been considered typical of the professional libertine, as was in other periods Don Juan Tenorio, and to have served as a convenient model for all the moralists and satirists of the day.

He was Francis Chateris (or Chatres), who died in 1732, aged fifty-seven; he came of a good Dumfriesshire family and his career was brilliantly consistent; he entered the Army and was dismissed for cheating at cards, he then obtained a commission in the Dutch Service and was cashiered for theft, contrived, however, to enter the 1st Foot Guards, where he obtained the rank of Captain, but was again forced to retire upon 'a censure' for fraud in 1711.

He then turned his talents to more profitable account and by gambling, usury and avarice got together a large fortune to augment his ancestral acres in Haddington and Midlothian; he gave himself the rank of 'Colonel' and continued, despite the gout and penurious habits, that pursuit of the fair sex which he had made a lifelong habit. In 1730 he met with a check in this career, being charged with an offence seldom heard of in the Law Courts—rape on the person of Anne Bond; he was convicted but pardoned after paying huge sums in fine and bribe and died with diabolical calm and cool effrontery, leaving behind a vast fortune gained by cheating, moneylending and avarice.

Pope and Arbuthnot had both attacked this unblushing adventurer, the latter in a stinging mock epitaph that declared, in rather unconvincing terms, that God had shown his contempt of vast worldly wealth by bestowing it on Colonel Francis Chateris, who 'in spite of age and infirmities persisted in the practice of every human vice—except prodigality and hypocrisy, his insatiable avarice exempted him from the first, his matchless impudence from the second'. In other words, the gallant Scot had made a great success of villainy and was no fit subject for a moral tale.

Hogarth did his best, however, and there is Francis Chateris forever leering on the steps of The Bell, and there is Mother Needham forever coaxing her victim, and if now they are more objects of curiosity than infamy, they have acquired, by this simple, cheap print, a lurid immortality that would by no other means have been theirs; the likeness of Colonel Chateris was declared, by those to whom his features were but too familiar, to be excellent.

It has been suggested that a paper in The Spectator describing the arrival of a rustic maiden by the stage waggon, and her greeting by a woman of the town, inspired this plate; but it may be supposed that Hogarth had observed from life itself this common enough incident, or heard it from the lips of some Jenny or Moll in the Covent Garden taverns.

* * *

The second plate, The Jew's Mistress quarrelling with her Keeper, takes us much further on in our heroine's career. A good deal has happened since she took the fancy of Colonel Chateris; she has another protector, no doubt introduced to her by the kind offices of Mother Needham, a middle-aged Jew, who treats her with considerable indulgence; she has handsome apartments, a black slave, a chamber-woman, fine clothes and expensive amusements, routs and masquerades.

She might yet do well for herself, but her character is but too well suited to the part she plays—silly and dishonest, she cannot keep even this poor bargain, but must indulge in a secret amour with a man mean enough to steal the favours of a kept woman; bribery and common tastes have found her an ally in the servant, who is midway between a Mary Hackabout and a Mother Needham, and this useful go-between hides the comely lover on the sudden appearance of the Jew, while her mistress, already an adept in petty intrigue, affects graceful tantrums and with the pretty air of a pampered beauty kicks over the tea-table. The hot tea scalds the legs of the astonished Jew and flies off on to the back of the pet monkey, which has been allowed to scamper away with a rich headdress; the little slave, in turban and livery, comes in with the kettle and stands aghast, while under cover of this uproar, the ungartered, slipperless gallant, with his sword and belt under his arm, creeps from the room; on a dressing-table lies a mask, and hanging on the wall are two handsome pictures showing Hebrew subjects—Jonah waiting for the Gourd to grow, and King David dancing before the Ark.

Mary Hackabout has much changed since she alighted from the York stage-waggon; she wears a rich dress, with a tight corset, lace is tied round her flowing dark hair, she is daintily shod and patched: she still has her sly look, but this is veiled by a coquettish yet weary smile as she tries to reassure her protector that her temper is but one of beauty's caprices; in the untidy grace of her dishabille she reminds us of Jonathan Wild's charmer, in the soiled muslin, glittering with half-moons, so carefully described by Henry Fielding. The Jew is fashionably dressed, not ill-looking, and seems good-natured; he tries to save the table with one hand and to balance the teacup with the other, while the look he turns on his mistress savours more of astonishment than resentment; it is supposed to be the likeness of some prominent Hebrew of the moment, but the name of the original has not been traced.

In this print Hogarth introduces several details that he frequently repeated; the laboured, pretentious paintings in the ornate frames are intended as satires on the 'old black masters'—the mask not only appears to be grinning derisively at the scene, but reminds us of those masquerades—at Vauxhall in particular—when every opportunity of intrigue and corruption was afforded, while the tea equipage actually falling from the table is an example of Hogarth's desire to make his pictures as full of action as a stage play. He was fond of depicting instantaneous movement, which was then considered by the cognoscenti to be an impossible feat; the human eye cannot see movement as swift as that which Hogarth frequently tried to paint, nor could it, before the invention of photography, be studied; the English painter had no notion of the patient observation whereby Eastern artists anticipated the secrets revealed later by science, but sometimes, and here in particular, he created the illusion of swift action.

The picture shows a state of considerable luxury; the canopied bed, the old masters, the slave, probably from New Guinea, with silver collar, turban and feather, the silverware, the pet monkey; the Jew's deep brocade cuffs show that the owner of the mansion is very wealthy, perhaps a banker and moneylender; even the tea that the lady is wasting costs about two guineas the pound.

When Quin wanted to ridicule Garrick's Othello, he remarked that the actor wanted but a kettle to qualify him for 'Hogarth's Pompey', the black boy of this print.

In Plate III, The Lodging in Drury Lane, the Visit of the Constable, we see our heroine after the lapse of some considerable time. She is now reduced to a squalid lodging in Drury Lane, where she has, as companion and attendant, a creature more wretched and abandoned than herself, who has completely lost those charms whereby Mary Hackabout still continues to earn a miserable livelihood. No trace is left of the splendour she enjoyed while under the protection of the wealthy Jew. In a loose, dishevelled undress she sits upon an untidy bed, at the end of which the drab curtain is knotted, and above hangs a torn valance, the frame of which supports a wig-box that bears the name of James Dalton, the well-known footpad.

The two women have just roused themselves after the heavy sleep following a night of debauchery; Mary Hackabout, with a dreary smile, holds up the watch that is one of her last spoils; the attendant, with a cosy leer not unlike that of Mother Needham's in the first plate, pours what we may suppose to be spirits from a jug into a teapot that it may be the more easily transferred to the two cups—one of which is saucerless—that grace the stool which serves as a breakfast table. All the details of this wretched apartment exhibit that squalid disorder which is the sign of hopeless poverty and half-imbecile vice.

A scrap of paper, which is a portion of a pastoral letter from Gibson, the Bishop of London, holds a morsel of rancid butter. This and a small loaf form the only breakfast for the two women. But they have other comforts. On a side table is a huge punchbowl with condiments for flavouring the comforting spirit, and on the dirty floor are strewn tobacco pipes. A candle in a bottle shows the only means of lighting the chamber, while a basin in a broken wicker chair is the ladies' only toilet luxury. The diamond panes of the window, which looks out upon the filth of narrow, noisy Drury Lane, have been patched with paper and rags, and are half-blocked by two cheap prints, one of Capt. MacHeath the highwayman, the popular hero of the Beggars' Opera, and the other of Doctor Sacheverell, whose transient fame might, by then, have been imagined to be a little out of date.

There are two pretentious pictures in the room, presumably by some hack copyist, who has not been able to sell them to the dealers. One represents Abraham offering up Isaac, and the other the Virgin Mary. A plump white cat rubbing about Mary Hackabout's robe testifies either to her kindness in keeping a well-fed pet or to her carelessness in allowing a vagrant animal to enter her apartment.

While the two women are engrossed in their affairs, a magistrate, with his finger to his lips, enters the room at the back, followed by three tipstaffs, constables or Bow Street runners. Mary has managed her career very badly; young as she is, and still pleasing, she has become the associate of highwaymen and thieves and is about to be arrested, not only for a disorderly life, but for stealing. Though there was no police force and the law was administered spasmodically and ineffectively, some zealous magistrates made continuous attempts to cope with the disorder of the capital. They were assisted by two classes of men, the Bow Street runners, who were officially employed in hunting down and arresting rogues, and the professional thief-takers who, though not employed by law, followed the business as a trade and received a fee for every criminal they managed to bring to justice. These 'stool pigeons' generally secured the rewards that were offered for stolen property by the capture of a criminal, since they were tolerably familiar with the underworld of London and knew where to find their man, or, in some cases, their woman. Two brilliant examples of this class of informer, who sometimes did a bit of roguery on their own account, were Jonathan Wild in London and Cartouche in Paris.

One of these thief-takers has put the magistrate on Mary Hackabout's track, and with his Bow Street runners he enters her wretched retreat with a warrant for her arrest.

The small, bewigged, hatless figure with his finger on his tight lips is a portrait of Sir John Gonson, a London Justice of the Peace who made himself conspicuous by his diligence in hunting down women of loose life. It was this little likeness of a well-known character that did so much to ensure the success of the prints.

In Plate IV, which is bluntly entitled Mary Hackabout beating Hemp in Bridewell, the unfortunate girl has taken another step downward. She is in prison and must either beat hemp in company with the most degraded of wretches or suffer the punishment that will be meted out to her by the jailer, who, with upraised cane and pointing finger, bids her get on with her task. Her mallet is raised and the tress of hemp lies on a heavy block in front of her, but her face expresses weary insolence and a leering distaste for her punishment. If she refuses to work, she may either be suspended by the wrists in a high pillory, as is an unfortunate rebel behind her, or have a heavy log chained to her ankles, or be sent to the whipping-post.

Mary, before her arrest, has put on what may be taken as her last stock-in-trade, her one fine suit. She wears a hooped skirt, a ruffled bodice, a smart apron and a lace round her head. Hogarth may have got his hint as to the lady's attire from the Grub Street Journal of September 14th, 1730, which describes one Mary Moffat as beating hemp in 'a gown very richly laced with silver' in Bridewell, Tothill Fields.

While the sour-faced keeper threatens Mary, a one-eyed female behind her is picking her pocket of the few coins she has left; beyond are other prisoners wearily hammering at the hemp on the blocks before them. One is a gamester, still wearing brocaded clothes and powdered wig; on the floor before him are two torn cards. Behind a child who seems scarcely able to raise her heavy mallet hangs a woman's hoop beside the jaunty cocked hat of the gambler.

In the front of the composition, balancing the principal group, are two repulsive females who have contrived to obtain some respite from labour. One is Mary Hackabout's attendant; roughly dressed and coarse-featured, she regards her mistress with a grin of derision, while she pulls up her stockings revealing the handsome shoes that no doubt she has stolen from Mary in the days of her better fortune. Her dishevelled companion is sunk in an apathy probably not unconnected with the bottle.

On the wall is chalked a caricature of Sir John Gonson on the gallows. Two mottoes adorn the print. On the pillory is the inscription: 'Better to work than stand thus', and on the whipping-post: 'The Reward of Idleness'.

Tragedy now begins to touch the figure of Mary Hackabout, which hitherto has been merely contemptible. There is something more than insolence or sloth in her lassitude; in the former print there were several bottles of nostrum shown among the rubbish in the garret, and now we can see that Mary, who has lived so wildly, extravagantly and foolishly, is ill—perhaps with a mortal complaint. The scene is one of the utmost dreariness and represents one of the most terrible places in London, Bridewell Prison. This is the Bridewell of Tothill Fields, Westminster, and not the famous Bridewell of the City that was in turn palace, prison and school. In this hideous place of correction that Hogarth shows in this print took place the horrible scenes described by Henry Fielding in Amelia.

In Westminster Bridewell men and women worked in the same shed, which is shown as a gloomy structure of bare bricks with an open-beamed roof, lit only by a miserable window at the end, which casts a dreary light on the prisoners at their work. When the day is over, those who have escaped the pillories, the whipping-blocks or the logs, will be allowed to put down their beetles, will receive a small portion of the coarsest food and lie down together in straw, the gambler who has been found with the loaded dice, the child who is expiating her first offence, the abandoned harpy and the languid Mary Hackabout in her brocade and silver.

It is supposed that Hogarth sketched this scene from life in the June of 1728, for in that month and year a certain Frenchman, César de Saussure, wrote a description of the Westminster Bridewell, which is also that of this plate. De Saussure says that the unfortunate beau with the large cap was an Irish gambler, who was being punished for using loaded dice. The shadows of the gloomy background are rendered deeper by the presence of an unhappy black woman who, as she was denied any civil rights, might have been supposed to escape civil punishments, but who is here shown as sharing the degradation of the white people who enslaved the negroes.

* * *

The warder or keeper has a good reason for urging industry upon his charges, for he is allowed a profit from their labours and sells the beaten hemp to a merchant; out of the money thus obtained he has to provide fourpence a day for the prisoners' food; they work from six in the morning till six in the evening. These hemp beaters were not always criminals; many of them were idle apprentices, riotous youths or penniless people who could not provide for themselves.

A visit to the hemp-shed was not considered a disgrace by the inhabitants of the slums of London; we can see by the derisive grin on the face of the woman in the front that it is all part of a jolly life of adventure, at least in her opinion. The prisoner who has chalked the caricature of Sir John Gonson on the wall has indicated the final use of the commodity they are all preparing, that of rope to be used at Tyburn.

The Westminster Bridewell stood among several charitable buildings in Tothill Fields; one of these in Duck Lane, Great Peter Street, was a charity school for sixty charity boys—another in the Little Almonery was an almshouse for twelve poor watermen and their wives; they had 2s. 4d. a year, together with a purple gown, and received fees at every noble burial in the Abbey—£1 1s. 6d. for a Duke, Marquess or their ladies, and 10s. 6d. for an Earl, Baron or their ladies; this charity was founded by Henry VII.

The Bridewell was 'for the correction of the disorderly', that is, not for criminals; despite Hogarth's grim picture of the hemp-shed and its occupants, this prison was supposed to be very well run and 'earned the unqualified approbation of the benevolent Howard'—some years later, however, than the date that Hogarth sketched it. It was demolished in 1827. The old Pest Houses in Tothill Fields were still standing well into the nineteenth century, and on these meadows surrounded by hospitals, schools, prisons and lazar houses was held an annual fair—that of St. Magdalene, which dated from the time of Henry III.

Close by was Petty France (York Street and James Street), so called from the Huguenot refugees who settled there.

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In Plate V, The Harlot's Death, Quacks Disputing, Mary Hackabout has left Bridewell and returned to her old haunts in Drury Lane. For a year or two she has contrived a livelihood among the most degraded associates, escaping with difficulty the renewed attentions of the law and suffering every privation and degradation. Now, in a lodging, if possible even more miserable than that she inhabited at the time of her arrest, she is dying of consumption. As the relics of her beauty and her youth still enable her to gain a little plunder and perhaps a little kindness, her wretched attendant remains with her and, as she helped to ruin her during life, disturbs her dying moments.

No detail required to form a complete picture of human desolation and misery is omitted here. The tremendous dramatic power of the painter eclipses all moral intention; it is no longer a question of punishment for a vicious, silly girl—the business is more serious and more terrible. We see human nature degraded to the lowest depths and completely unconscious of its degradation. The only person that can escape from the horror of the scene is the dying woman, who withdraws into the final silence amid a hideous hurly-burly than which no Hell's Kitchen could be worse.

She has been taken from the canopied tester bed, which we see in the background, and set before the fire, which burns in an open grate. Her long robe, perhaps a sheet or blanket thrown round her, is like a shroud; she wears a cap pulled over her eyes, a cloth round her chin—a shapeless figure that appears already swaddled for the grave. As her head sinks back and her eyes set in the stare of death, her hideous maid-servant turns and threatens two arguing quacks, whose rival drugs have done much to torment poor Mary's last hours. Regardless both of their patient and of the harridan who supports her, the two doctors, one of whom points to a box of pills that he holds, the other of whom clasps a bottle, continue to argue about the merits of their different nostrums. In the brawl a table, which has contained a litter of paper, has been overthrown, and in the foreground the nurse who has been called in to prepare the corpse for the grave is eagerly turning over the dying woman's trunk in hopes of finding a few pieces of finery. She has already turned out a length of silk and a pair of shoes that she considers her property, but there is no doubt that she will have to fight for them with the brawny serving-maid. She was herself the coarsest possible figure and, entirely absorbed in her search, wears a smile of vile self-satisfaction.

The most frightful figure in the scene is also the most unconscious—it is that of Mary Hackabout's nameless boy, who kneels before the fire and tries to roast a scrap of meat, which he holds out on a string. His face is already vicious and unfeeling and he pays no attention either to the quarrel of the quacks, or to the last agony of his mother, but is intent, first, on obtaining a morsel of food for his supper and, secondly, on scratching his lice-infested hair. What moral did Hogarth intend us to draw from this piteous child? He has inherited his mother's vices and misfortunes; his worthless father does not even know of his existence, the law ignores him, and unless there is some kindly Captain Coram to seek him out and rescue him he has no chance of being anything but a Cartouche, a Jonathan Wild, a thief, a pressed sailor, a candidate for Tyburn.

Every detail in the room bespeaks the most miserable poverty; from a cord attached to the rafters hang some wretched garments, including a pair of stockings and of gloves. Above the bare window hangs a morsel of Jewish bread, which is being used as a fly trap, a very necessary article in such an abode. There is no receptacle for the scanty coals, which are thrown in a corner; a few domestic articles, a grid-iron, a bellows and some candles are hung upon nails; in some drunken frolic the initials M. H. have been cut upon the large beams of the open ceiling, a pot boils over on the fire and will soon put it out, and in one part of the wall the plaster has peeled away revealing the bare bricks beneath.

There is but one pleasant touch in the picture, and that has great pathos. On the floor lies the advertisement of a charm, then popular; it is what was described as an anodyne necklet, and was supposed to be most efficacious against childish illnesses and accidents. The wretched Mary has at least had that one tender thought for her child.

* * *

For the rest there is no alleviation whatever of the squalid misery of this ghastly death-scene. The two screaming quacks are portraits of a foreigner, Doctor Misaubin, and the notorious 'Spot' Ward, who both enjoyed considerable practices. It was no doubt an impropriety to introduce fashionable medicos into such an apartment, and in this particular Hogarth's sense of satire ran away with his sense of fitness. To those, however, who do not know that these are likenesses the two figures may pass as those of chemists' assistants or disreputable quacks, who contrived a living out of the vice and diseases of the unfortunate and the criminal, but it is scarcely in accordance with Mary's complete state of destitution that two well-dressed men should be prepared to offer her that medical assistance for which she cannot pay herself and which, we may suppose from her lodging, she cannot find anyone to pay for her. If the stout figure really is Joshua Ward, he was alive and at the height of his notoriety at the time the print was published. He was named 'Spot' Ward from a birthmark, had been in trouble for fraud and had fled the country, but on his return made a comfortable income by selling what he termed 'a universal remedy, a drop and a pill' which contained among other ingredients a dangerous amount of antimony. He published several pamphlets in defence of his theories and his admirers were in sufficient number to enable him, when he died in 1761, to leave a large fortune behind, of far greater magnitude than that ever possessed by William Hogarth, who here satirizes him. The meagre figure is the Frenchman, Jean Misaubin, who died the year the prints were published. He was licensed by The Royal College of Physicians in 1719, but had the reputation of being an unblushing quack, though he by no means lacked followers.

The final Plate VI, The Funeral, is not as horrible as that which precedes it—the subject is ghastly enough, but the unhappy Mary Hackabout is at least past her trouble and everyone else in the composition is enjoying himself in his peculiar way. The object of the satire has been somewhat changed; not only are we shown the incorrigible frivolity of rogues and wantons at a funeral of one of their number, but the ostentation of the burial ceremonies of the needy is held up to ridicule. At first sight it appears absurd that a degraded wretch like Mary Hackabout, who has been depicted as dying in the last extremes of want, should have this showy funeral, and possibly here, as in the introduction of the two fashionable doctors into the former plate, Hogarth has somewhat exaggerated; yet it is well known that even the very poorest will scrape together the funds to pay for a funeral when they have not been able to provide any decency or comfort for the person round whose coffin they make merry. It might also be allowed that the old father, whom we saw in Plate I, or the loving cousin in 'Terns' Street to whom the goose was addressed, had, at this last crisis, come forward to pay for the decent interment of Mary Hackabout; or, it is not inconsistent with human nature that her companions, now she is dead, made up sufficient out of their dishonest earnings to pay for this festival, for festival it was.

The coffin has been removed from the garret where Mary Hackabout died into a decent parlour, where a large screen has been put round one corner to shut off all the common necessaries of life and to leave the room bare for the great business of the day. The coffin stands on trestles in the centre of the composition, and round it are grouped stools that accommodate the mourners. The hideous servant, who appears quite unmoved by the death of her mistress, has deposited a glass, a plate and a loaf on the end of the coffin, which serves her as a table. A pretty young woman with open bosom, who is wearing no mourning, raises the coffin lid to gaze at the face of the corpse; her manner shows a slight surprise, but more curiosity than grief; the coffin-plate under her elbow tells us that Mary Hackabout has died at the age of twenty-three—seven years have elapsed since she arrived at The Bell in the Yorkshire stage. Behind the coffin are two women with black scarves over their heads—one of them has a handkerchief to her eyes, and both of them betray an affectation of grief more suitable to the occasion than to their own feelings. Behind them, again, sitting next the wall, are two more women with black hoods and capes, who appear to be gossiping together; a third stares at herself in the mirror and, absorbed in vanity, fastens her cap under her chin, a Leghorn hat hangs against the wall, and next to it is a coat of arms. This last is intended for a funeral escutcheon, but it is not the correct shape, for either a mourning shield or the arms of a female; in any case, it is an absurdity, and Hogarth may have drawn it incorrectly on purpose to edge his satire; though in his early card for an undertaker the shields are this shape.

Two large groups balance the composition to right and left. In the first position a hideous, elderly, muscular woman sits on a low chair wringing her coarse hands together and emitting a howl; the cause of her energy is not left in doubt, since a large bottle of gin and a glass are by her side. She has been identified as a certain Mother Bentley, well known in the Hundreds of Drury Lane. Behind her stands a blowsy, middle-aged woman, with a languid, crafty expression and a black scarf wrapped round her head; she is ogling the undertaker, a heavy-jowled ruffian, who gazes enraptured into her eyes as she draws his lawn handkerchief out of his pocket, pointing with the other hand at the coffin with what she intends to be taken for a gesture of sorrow.

On the left of the picture are seated two people who, rigid and meek, appear at first to be entirely respectable. One is the clergyman, in gown and bands and neatly floured wig; the other is a handsome young woman, plainly dressed with a black scarf over her head. A second glance shows the clergyman to be completely intoxicated; he gazes before him with a stare of entire self-satisfaction, while the hand he rests on his lap spills over the glass of liquor, which falls on the handkerchief on his knees. On the woman's face too is the sleepy leer of drunkenness. The clergyman is supposed to represent a portrait of a notorious Chaplain of the Fleet, and the woman a certain Elizabeth Adams who, when thirty years of age (1737), was hanged at Tyburn for a robbery.

Immediately in front of the coffin is Mary Hackabout's son, in a suit of heavy mourning. He is completely absorbed in a top he is winding and is smiling happily. It has usually been considered a hideous detail that the child should be introduced as playing in front of his mother's coffin, but since someone has washed the child, given him a clean suit of clothes and a toy, also presumably a good meal, it seems as satisfactory as it is natural that the little fellow should be thus engaged on his own amusement. Between him and the clergyman is a flat dish, on which are lying sprigs, variously described as of yew or rosemary, which were used to keep off contagion at funerals. The clergyman holds a sprig of the fragrant plant in his hand. The coffin-lid is extremely badly drawn, and the lack of perspective in this, the central object of the composition, irritates the eye.

* * *

Twelve hundred names were entered in the subscription-book for this series, and Hogarth etched the little Plate, Boys peeping at Nature, as a subscription ticket. Pirated versions were at once issued, at least eight appearing almost immediately. By the permission of Hogarth himself there were two copies in a smaller size. Theophilus Cibber put the little story on the stage in the form of a pantomime and a ballad opera on the subject was written, which was entitled The Jew Decoyed (showing a new angle on the tale), while several versifiers put the subject into doggerel. One of the pirated series had some poor verses inscribed beneath each plate, a circumstance not in itself important; but the idea took Hogarth's fancy and he decided in future to issue his Plates with illustrative verses accompanying them. These were the last of Hogarth's prints to be pirated, as his indignation at what he had suffered on this occasion caused him to appeal to Parliament, with the result that an Act (8 George II, Cap 13) was passed which vested the exclusive right in designers and forbade the copying of their work without their consent.

* * *

Immediately after the appearance of A Harlot's Progress, William Hogarth commenced a companion series entitled A Rake's Progress. From an advertisement in The Country Journal or The Craftsman of December 29th, 1733, it appears that he had commenced the engravings at that date. They were heavily subscribed for and the ticket was A Pleased Audience at a Play or The Laughing Audience. There were eight Plates instead of six and the price was two guineas instead of one guinea. Hogarth engraved the pictures himself, the original oil paintings are now in the Soane Museum, London. The artist, surprised and pleased at the success of his experiment, that of telling a moral, dramatic tale in a series of pictures, decided, naturally enough, to repeat his triumph, but with perhaps the inevitable result that the second series was not the equal of the first. The subject was not so promising; there may be a grace and pathos about a female fool that no one will allow to her male counterpart; the ruin of a young and pleasing woman is more dramatic material than the ruin of a conceited young coxcomb, who has no qualities that would have made him worth the saving. The hero whom Hogarth now chose and whom he named Tom Rakewell was no Francis Chateris to make a success of villainy; vain, extravagant and credulous to the point of imbecility, he hardly rouses any interest until he is in the depths of despair and degradation. In this story, as in that of Mary Hackabout, Hogarth gives his protagonist no chance whatever—how can so witless a youth, so ill-educated, with such a parent, without friends, guardians or sensible advice, avoid the end which his creator depicts with such horrid vigour?

Plate I, Tom Rakewell taking possession of the Rich Miser's Effects, shows us the youth being measured for his suit of mourning. He has been called suddenly from College on the death of his father, a notable miser, and he stands in one of the rooms of the paternal mansion, where his father has hoarded the rubbish of a lifetime; his hunting-crop and walking-stick rest against the wall, near the long, cold grate, where a bent old woman for the first time in many years is lighting a fire. An open cupboard shows a hoard of moth-eaten wigs and rusty swords, worn-out jack-boots and broken boxes. A spit and a roasting-jack put aside to rust reveal that it is years since any meat has been cooked in this establishment. An upholsterer tacking up the mourning tapestries knocks a hoard of coins out of the cornice. There is a starving cat, an old shoe that has been repaired with a portion of the Bible, a book opened at the memorandum, May 5th, 1721, 'Put off my bad shilling', two escutcheons on the wall which bear the miser's arms, three vices (screws), and the motto 'Beware', and a picture over the mantelpiece showing a miser counting his gold.

In this wretched apartment the youth enters into his estate under the most miserable and forbidding circumstances. Behind him sits the hard-faced lawyer at a table littered with mortgages, bonds and indentures; this man's cunning, greedy look and his action of dipping his hand into a bag of uncounted gold show his intention of plundering his young employer. Papers falling down in confusion between the heir and a large chest of plate, which is just open, reveal the chaotic condition of the old miser's affairs. While the attorney, in his dirty, uncombed wig and with his baize bag, is gazing with an eye of calculating craft at the back of the youth whom he intends to defraud, Tom is plagued on the other side by a harridan who has broken into the apartment, and who threatens him with upraised fists. She has brought with her her daughter, a weeping girl who has been seduced by Tom in his college days. With a vacant look that expresses neither anger nor remorse and that is indeed almost devoid of understanding, the young man holds out a handful of coin.

The front of the composition to the left is occupied by a chair on which is a heavy roll of mourning. So minute and careful are the details in this print that there is even a representation of a spectacle-case without glasses as a proof of the miser's extreme care in hoarding useless objects. The forsaken sweetheart carries a wedding-ring between her finger and thumb and the mother has an apron full of letters, from which we are to suppose that the youthful rake has promised marriage to the girl whom he now tries to get rid of by an offer of money.

In Plate II, The Young Squire's Levée, we see our hero after a lapse of five years. In this Plate he is no more than an excuse for Hogarth to attack the follies of the time and in particular those foreigners whom he so despised. The young man, more mature, but not more attractive, stands in the antechamber of a handsome London house, surrounded by the parasites who make him their dupe; he wears a silk chamber-robe, frogged with braid, and a nightcap on his head. A spruce French dancing-master cuts a caper with a convincing air; a fellow-countryman with a more manly figure shows himself to be master of the art of fencing by making a pass in the air; this is a portrait of one Luke Dubois, a famous fencer who was killed in a duel in May, 1734. The figure beside him is that of the famous prizefighter, Figg, and crowding round the young Squire is a performer on the French horn, a gardener, a jockey who is presenting a silver cup on which is inscribed 'Won at Epsom by Silly Tom', and a blackbrowed bravo, who appears to be an Italian, offering his services to remove anyone whom Mr. Thomas Rakewell may find objectionable. The gardener, who holds a design in his hand, is a portrait of Bridgeman, one of the first creators of modern or landscape gardening.

To the left of the picture is a spinet, at which is seated a musician with his head turned aside, so that only his long periwig is visible; at the back of his chair hangs a long strip of paper, which runs into the middle of the composition. This contains a list of the presents which Carlo Farinelli had received after one of his successful performances at Covent Garden Opera House. Among these offerings is noted a gold snuff-box, chased with the story of Orpheus charming the beasts, 'from T. Rakewell, Esquire'. A piece of paper on the floor proves to be a dedication to Esquire Rakewell. This also satirises the famous male soprano and repeats the cry that is supposed to have been uttered by one of the fashionable dilettanti—'One God, one Farinelli'. This musician has been supposed to represent Handel, but the references to Farinelli make this unlikely, as Farinelli belonged to the rival party who tried to ruin the German composer.

At the back there hang several pictures, one of The Judgment of Paris in the 'old black master' style, flanked on either side by portraits of fighting cocks. An alcove shows an inner room in which are grouped a number of parasites, waiting to minister to the pleasure of, or receive commands from, the wealthy young man, who is thus represented as a victim to all the fashionable follies of the day, none of which he really understands or enjoys. His figure is awkward and inelegant; here is no Lorenzo, such as Edward Young celebrates in Night Thoughts, no Lovelace such as Samuel Richardson imagines. The Rake, who appears to have neither brains nor heart, does not possess those outward graces which sometimes gild lamentable defects.

Plate III, The Night House, shows our hero in bad company and under those conditions where he alone feels completely at ease. Discarding all his affectations of fencing, dancing, racing, boxing, music, poetry and gardening, he joins in an orgy in a tavern, after having rioted in the streets, knocked down a constable, stolen his lantern and staff and beaten a watchman.

The scene is The Rose Tavern in Drury Lane, and the time is three in the morning. Tom has brought in a company of ladies from the neighbouring streets, and all are proceeding to enjoy themselves in the liveliest fashion. The Rake is, however, too dazed with drink to partake of the merriment; half-unclothed, his shirt open, his stockings falling down, his hat still thrust on his head, his hands still clasping a glass, he sits at the table, on which he rests one of his feet, while the lady with him, who wears a masculine hat, is putting her hand into his bosom to steal his watch. Seven other women, one of whom is a negress, are seated round the table in various states of disarray. One of them at the back stands up and sets fire to a large map of the world; two of them are quarrelling violently, one spirting wine out of her mouth at the other; another, with her hair falling down, gazes at the only other man besides the porter in the picture, who is too sick to take heed of blandishments. There is a litter of fruit and drink on the table, at which is seated, with her back to the spectator, a stout woman in a white cap who may be taken to be another version of Mother Needham or Mother Bentley.

After the Rake and his two attendants, the principal figure is that of a young woman, seated towards the right on a stool, who is undressing; her gown and corsets occupy the front of the picture; she has thrown back her voluminous petticoats in order to slip off her stockings; her profession is to pose naked for such an audience as this; the porter is bringing in a large metal dish, which will be set on the table and serve as her pedestal. Beside him is a ballad singer, who gazes at the scene with imbecile astonishment; the porter, a portrait of a man named Leathercoat, who was for long employed at The Rose Tavern, is casting a leering glance at the black woman the other side of the picture. The musical accompaniment to this festival is provided by a blind harper, a trumpeter and the ragged ballad singer, and a figure who gaily thrums the harp. The litter on the ground is of the most disgusting kind—broken articles of furniture and the carcase of a fowl, together with the lantern and staff stolen from the unfortunate watchman. The pictures on the wall represent the Emperors of ancient Rome; one has been removed and a portrait of Pontac, the famous cook, put in its place.

* * *

The Rake will have a heavy bill to pay for this night of jollification—the amount of pleasure he obtains from it must be small indeed. The fashion in which he is spending his father's hoarded wealth is more imbecile than criminal, and the wretched creature, who has neither taste nor judgment in his vices and amusements, is too contemptible to provoke even compassion.

Plate IV, The Spendthrift Arrested for Debt and Released by his Forsaken Sweetheart, takes us a step forward in our hero's downward career. His fortune is beginning to dwindle; he is on his way to Court on the Queen's birthday, Ist of March. He is elaborately dressed, with powder and brocade, and is being carried in his sedan chair to St. James's Palace, which appears in the background of the print. Two rough-looking bailiffs stop him at the top of the Mall and make him descend from his chair. As, dismayed, he reads the warrant that one of the men holds before him, a boy who is a member of a group of scoundrelly children in the front of the picture picks his pockets. At this moment the young girl, to whom we were introduced in Plate I, and who is now a milliner's assistant, happens to pass by; dropping her box in her agitation, she holds out the purse with her savings, which will rescue the unfortunate youth from prison. Beside her, passing on his way to Court, is a Welshman with a leek in his hat; behind the group of the Rake and the bailiffs are the façades of some houses, one of which has the sign of The White Horse; in front of this on a ladder is the lamplighter pouring oil from a can into the bottom of one of the street lamps; interested in the scene below he allows some of the oil to drip on to the floured head of the dismayed Rake. The group of boys in the front of the picture are gambling, with the exception of one who is reading the Farthing Post—two of the others are a chimney sweep and a post-boy, a third is a shoeblack who, having staked and lost his shirt, is now hazarding his basket, brushes and blacking; one has not only a pipe but a glass. This group may be taken as a satire on the vices that have brought the Rake to his present miserable pass.

Added to the plate, but not in the picture, is a fork of lightning that is directed at White's gambling house close to the Palace.

Plate V, Marylebone Church, Rakewell Married to a Shrew, shows us the young man, for whom the devoted girl's sacrifice has brought but a short respite, being married to an old heiress. It is a private ceremony, Marylebone Church being then considered in the country. Rakewell now appears much older than in the preceding print and has few, if any, attractions. With his usual imbecility he has made a bad bargain, for no fortune can be considered adequate compensation for such a bride. Old, hunchbacked and shrewish, she leers unpleasantly as she holds her hand out to her groom, who stands in a stiff, unnatural attitude, glancing past his bride to the charming, dark-haired young maid who kneels behind her. The clergyman who performs this blasphemous ceremony is a low, almost criminal type. A coarse-faced St. Giles's Charity boy in rags sets a cushion for the bride; Hogarth's dog Trump is represented as attached by the collar to a one-eyed bitch; an offertory box is shown with a thick cobweb over the aperture, and in the background, under the livid light of the plainly glazed window, a fight is in progress. The forsaken sweetheart, with her harridan of a mother and her young child, is endeavouring to effect an entry into the church in order to forbid the banns. Another hag, the pew opener, threatens her with a bunch of keys; the details are all repulsive and constitute a severe indictment of the Church of England. The Creed has been covered with mildew, the Table of the Commandments is broken; the inscription on one of the pew doors is copied exactly from one that was really in old Marylebone Church. So, too, was the mural monument of the Taylors, which appears in the print under the window. The satire on the state of the church is believed to be partly directed against the two churchwardens, Thomas Sice and Thomas Thorne, who were supposed to have cheated the parishioners in the matter of church repairs in the year 1725. The appearance of the Charity boy is no good testimony to his guardians. The evergreens which adorn the church sets the date for this miserable scene and emphasizes the bride's age. The halo, embroidered on the cloth behind her, forms a satirical decoration for her aged poll and the crack that runs across the commandment 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife' is a further reference to her unattractiveness.

Plate VI, The Fire in the Gambling Hell, shows us Tom Rakewell when he has lost the fortune he acquired with his withered wife. The scene is White's Chocolate House, St. James's Street, which we saw being struck by lightning in Plate IV. The date is precisely the 3rd of May, 1733, when this famous gambling resort was burnt down. It is not difficult for us to imagine how Mr. Rakewell has got rid of his money. We now see him when, in a moment of despair, he has endeavoured to retrieve his fortune by gambling and has instead lost everything. At last he has realized his own folly and the hopeless condition of his affairs; propped on one knee, by an overturned chair, he raises his hand to Heaven and calls down imprecations on his own head. His expression and attitude are those of frenzy; his wig lies beside him on the floor. None of the company takes the least notice of his anguish. He is in the midst of a pretty set of scoundrels. One of the principal of these is a highwayman, with pistols sticking from his pocket, in a stupor of drink and despair, who takes no heed of a boy who brings him a glass of drink; behind him another wretch, a bruiser, bites his fingers in despair. Beyond two ruffians, grinning maliciously, count out their ill-gotten winnings. In the centre of the composition is a quarrel in which swords are drawn. At a table to the left is a striking group of three people: a man in weepers, who has lost the legacy he has recently inherited, is pulling his hat over his brows with a gesture of agony, a man is writing out a note for a usurer, and a stolid-looking gentleman is gathering up his winnings. So absorbed are all these in their master passion that they take no heed of the watchman who breaks in frantically with raised lantern and staff to point out that the place is on fire. The roof, indeed, appears to have already gone and clouds of smoke are beginning to roll down the walls.

With Plate VII we are in The Fleet Prison, where Mr. Rakewell has been confined for debt; he is in a plain, stone room, not much better than the hemp shed which Mary Hackabout inhabited. The window is grilled and so is the door. The background is a bed with a ragged tester, but this is a common chamber shared by several inmates of the prison. Mr. Rakewell sits at the table in the foreground to the right; he has tried to redeem his fortunes by writing a play, but this has been returned by Mr. Rich, the famous manager, and lies in a packet on the table with a letter in which is written: 'Sir, your play will not doe.' At the time when he receives this dreadful disappointment he is pestered by three tormentors, a criminal-looking boy who duns for the money for the pot of beer he has brought, the turnkey who wants his 'garnish' or tips, and Tom's ancient wife who, transformed into a fiend by misfortunes, vehemently upbraids him for being the cause of her downfall. In the corner are a mattress and a grid-iron, the only property that the once wealthy young man possesses.

In the opposite corner is a confused group; the faithful sweetheart and her child have followed Mr. Rakewell into prison. The sight of his misfortunes, however, is too much for the unhappy woman, and she has fallen insensible into the arms of three harridans, who are well used to the prison and to such scenes. The girl's corsets have been unlaced and one woman slaps her hand, while another supports her head. A ragged, bearded male prisoner also endeavours to assist her—as he does so pages of manuscript fall out of his pocket and show him to have been spending his dreary leisure on a lunatic scheme that is entitled 'A Scheme to pay the National Debt by J.L., now a prisoner in the Fleet.'

The Rake's child, now eight or ten years old, is standing by her mother's knee and screams with terror. In the background is another prisoner entirely occupied with his own misery, and on top of the ragged tester of the bed is a curious detail—a pair of flimsy wings by which some former lunatic inmate had endeavoured to escape, and which are now cast aside as useless trash.

In Plate VIII, The Mad House, The Faithful Friend, we see the Rake reduced to the last degradation possible to human misery. He is in Bedlam—seated on the ground, naked save for a length of drapery and scratching his head in a perplexity of lunatic woe, while chains are being fastened by an attendant to his bare ankles. The forsaken, faithful young woman kneels behind him and tries to support him with one hand, while with the other she checks her own tears; he is, however, quite oblivious of this true friend, whose presence can bring him no comfort since he is unaware of it. He has been removed from the prison to the madhouse because of an attempt to take his own life, and is now but just through a frenzy, the result of which is the chains and will probably soon be the solitary cell.

The scene is a large, dreary chamber pierced by three doors and ended by a grille. Through the first of these doors we see a naked lunatic lying upon straw—lit by the rays that fall from a small barred window; a cross leans against the wall behind him and a bowl is in front of him. This figure Hogarth took from one of the sculptures in front of Moorfields Hospital, which were executed by Colley Cibber's father and termed by Pope 'Cibber's brainless brothers'. The cell is rendered further horrible by portraits of three savage saints, who endeavour by means of persecution and tortures to obtain followers for Christ.

In the main chamber a ragged astronomer gazes through a roll of paper at the roof in the belief that he is surveying the stars, a crazy musician with a music book open on his head is sawing away at a fiddle, while on the stairs sits another lunatic, who has dressed himself up as the Pope of Rome and is roaring away against heretics, while in front of him is a melancholy creature crazed for love, who has chalked upon a board 'Charming Betty Carless'—he takes no heed of the infuriated cur which barks at him. In the centre of the room a grinning tailor is on his knees, twisting a measure in and out of his fingers.

Through the opening of the second cell we see a naked creature with a mock crown and sceptre, who believes himself to be a mighty monarch. Strolling amid this misery are two dainty young women, one of whom holds up her fan and glances with cold curiosity at the lunatic crouching on the floor, the other touches her shoulder and whispers smilingly into her ear.

The year of his death, 1763, Hogarth made a small addition to this print—it is a halfpenny stuck against the wall to indicate that Britannia was also mad and in an asylum.

In one particular Hogarth's satire went wide of the mark. The figure behind the astronomer is intended to ridicule Whiston's theory of the discovery of the longitude.

Hogarth kept this series back until the Act protecting them had become law. They were delivered to the subscribers on June 25th, 1735, soon after a pamphlet entitled The Rake's Progress or The Humours of Drury Lane, a poem in eight cantos in Hudibrasic verse in the rambles of a modern Oxonian to complete these eight prints lately published, illustrated by Mr. Hogarth, printed for John Chetwood and sold at Ingo Jones Head at Exeter Change. Strand 1735, was published. This was illustrated by mutilated versions of Hogarth's prints; there was no other attempt, however, to pirate the series, which was not as successful as its predecessor.

The pictures were bought by Alderman Beckford, the purchaser of A Harlot's Progress, and sold by him to Sir John Soane. Dr. Hoadley wrote the verses that originally appeared beneath the prints—these are pompous, pretentious and ill-suited to Hogarth's style.

* * *

In A Rake's Progress Hogarth showed the scenes very familiar to Londoners, the Fleet Prison and the Lunatic Asylum in Moorfields.

The asylum in which the Rake is confined is the second Bethlehem to be built in Moorfields, which was the Londoners' sports ground and popular with mountebanks, Merry Andrews and Nonconformist preachers. It was considered a magnificent building; begun in 1675, it cost £17,000; two wings for incurables were added just before Tom Rakewell arrived there. The façade was very elegant, with a turret, clock and vane; above the fine piers of the iron gates were the figures of Raving Madness and Melancholy Madness by G. C. Cibber, which were so much admired; one, as we have seen, was copied by Hogarth in his picture.

The description of the interior of the asylum shows that Hogarth sketched from the building itself and not from fancy; there were two galleries, 16 feet broad and 13 feet high, 193 yards long, divided by gratings to separate the men's quarters from those of the women.

On paper, the place was well-run; there were warders, matrons, nurses and servants, working under a Committee, and the patients were supplied with beds and hot baths; the number of 'cells' was 200, and these were 'generally full'.

* * *

The prison in which the Rake finds himself was a small building on the East side of Fleet Market; it was for debtors, was founded in the reign of Richard I and run under regulations set down in that of Elizabeth, 1561.

These were reasonable enough, but were so absurd that in 1634 a commission was appointed to enquire into the behaviour of the Warden and his officers; in 1699 the Merchants of London petitioned against the Warden, and in 1703 there was another protest against the Prison administration made by the three Parishes of St. Bride's, St. Sepulchre's and St. Martin's, Ludgate Hill; the grievance was that, the Fleet Prison being too small for the number of debtors, these lived outside the walls but within 'the rules' and burdened the three Parishes with a large number of paupers.

In the three years from 1696-1699, 1,651 debtors were imprisoned in the Fleet, which continued, despite endless complaints, to be a hot-bed of corruption and abuses.

One of the worst of these was 'the Fleet marriage' which finally caused Lord Hardwick's Marriage Act. A Fleet marriage cost from 12s. to 20s.; some of the Chaplains would perform the ceremony for 'a dram of gin or a roll of tobacco'; a tout accosted passers-by with 'Will it please you walk in and be married?' Over three thousand such marriages took place between October, 1704, and February, 1705.

Fleet market, adorned with a handsome obelisk set with lamps, stood close to the site of the filthy Fleet Ditch, an open sewer which flowed out, pleasantly enough, at the small-pox hospital, Battle Bridge; the year after The Rake's Progress was published this 'great and dangerous nuisance', which the citizens had been petitioning about since 1306, was removed by carrying off the water and filling up the ditch at a cost of well over ten thousand pounds.

* * *

Mr. Jonathan Tyers, who, as proprietor of Vauxhall, made such a comfortable fortune out of the vices and follies of the town, built himself a house, Denbigh, at Deep Dene, near Dorking, which contained a most remarkable commentary on the gloomy and superstitious taste of the time, which is exemplified in Hogarth's Rake, in Richardson's Lovelace, in Young's Lorenzo, in the sombre 'Meditations' of the Rev. William Harvey.

Inspired by the style of decoration he had adopted at Vauxhall, and no doubt by the behaviour he had witnessed there, Jonathan Tyers had arranged flags with moral sentences inscribed on them to hang upon the trees of some of his woods which covered a hillside. These depressing groves were crowned by an edifice that was called 'The Temple of Death'—inside was a monument to the memory of Lord Petre. In the centre was a desk for reading and meditation, if any could be found with nerves sufficiently iron to linger in this dismal spot, the melancholy effect of which was assisted by the striking of a minute clock to remind frail mortality of the rapid passing of time. The walls were covered with fine moral sentiments culled from the most pious and gloomy of the poets, including Dr. Edward Young.

Worse was to follow. At the back of this awful temple was an iron gate leading to 'the valley of the shadow of Death'. At the entrance to this, instead of columns, were two upright stone coffins, with human skulls placed upon them; one was supposed to be that of a noted highwayman, the other of an easy beauty well known in the neighbourhood of Covent Garden. Long moralizing verses in the style of Edward Young were inscribed beneath the skulls, and they were supposed thus to address whoever might gaze at them. The male skull sermon began gloomily:

'Why start? the case is yours, or will be soon;
Some years, perhaps!—perhaps another moon!
Life in its utmost span is still a breath,
And those who longest dream must wake in death—'

while the lady on her side cast obvious moralities at her sisters:

Turn from your mirror and behold in me
At once, what thousands can't, or dare not, see.
Survey me well, ye fair ones, and believe,
The grave may terrify, but can't deceive.'

The so-called 'Vale of Death' was a large alcove divided into two painted compartments; in one of these the unbeliever, the Rake, was depicted as falling over a precipice, expressing sad misgiving about his future state. Above him was his study piled with the books that buoyed him up in his 'libertine course', Hobbes, Toland, Tindal, Collins and Morgan. In the other compartment was the good Christian or believer, taking a decent solemn leave of the world, with his Bible open before him and his study showing the sermons of such noted divines as Clarke and Tillotson. These pictures were painted by Hayman; in front of them was a pedestal containing an image of Truth.

This curiosity stood for many years, even after Denbigh had passed into the possession of the Hon. Mr. King. It is easy to imagine the depressing appearance it must have presented when it began to be a little neglected, and damp and decay had further disfigured these horrid images, when the skulls would be a little mildewed, the stone coffins a little broken and the paraphernalia in the temple began to be covered with mould, mildew and fungi.

Another of these grottos, of not quite such a crude nature, but gloomy enough, was to be found on the property of Mr. Hamilton near Cobham. This was a typical eighteenth-century great gentleman's estate. There was an 'artificial' lake with an 'artificial' Gothic ruin, and on the side of the hill a low hermitage encompassed with thicket and overhung with 'darkest ivy' stood beneath an imitation ruined tower; about the hermitage 'the closest covers and the darkest green spread their blooms'. Through these could be glimpsed three bridges, a ruined arch and a grotto. Trees of the most gloomy type thickened the wood above the hermitage, a narrow, gloomy path overhung with Scotch and spruce firs, which led to the cell, which was composed of logs and roots. Everything was left expressly dreary, rude, but romantic; all the furniture was rude and uncouth; a single lamp dissipated the darkness and there was a skull placed on a shelf. It is but fair to Mr. Hamilton to say that he possessed a contrast in the shape of a large Doric building, which he called 'The Temple of Bacchus', which was adorned with 'a most refined, antique, colossal statue of the god in the centre and commanded a beautiful prospect of a most airy group of the most elegant trees'.

* * *

It was not until ten years after A Rake's Progress, a period during which he had produced a great deal of work, that Hogarth returned to a moral subject, if indeed the Marriage à la Mode can be justly so termed. As has been suggested before, it is rather a satire on manners than a morality, but is here included under this heading.

Hogarth suffered much from the interference of well-meaning but ignorant critics; it was owing to the advice of one of these injudicious friends that he introduced the figure of the faithful young woman in A Rake's Progress. It had been objected that the adventures of Mary Hackabout showed a squeamish public nothing but disreputable characters, and so the faithful girl was put into A Rake's Progress in order to lighten the misery of the story and to show virtue as well as vice. Left to himself, Hogarth would certainly never have thought of this paltry expedient to make his pictures popular. The girl may have pleased the moralists and the sentimentalists, but she is aesthetically a mistake and weakens all the scenes into which she is introduced. Other friends, animated by the same kindly desire to help the artist, suggested to Hogarth that his prints were too full of scenes of low life and contained too many caricatures of living and recognizable persons. He intended, or feigned to intend, to meet these objections by the series Marriage à la Mode, which was, as he said in his advertisement, to deal with the upper classes and therefore to be suitable as a means of decorating any chamber, however elegant, and would not contain any portraits of living people. Hogarth must soon, however, have become absorbed in the pictures for their own sakes, for they do not contain any concession to anyone's opinion, and were certainly designed to suit no taste but his own.

The date on the advertisement shows that in 1743 Hogarth had been working on the pictures at least two years; it is probable that they occupied him much longer. Though he had himself engraved the former two Progresses vigorously and effectively if not with much finish, he employed for this series, which he no doubt rightly considered to be his masterpieces, what he termed 'the best masters in Paris'.

Of the six Plates, Plates I and VI were engraved by G. Scotin, Plates II and III by B. Baron, Plates IV and V by Ravenet. The subscription ticket, etched by Hogarth himself, was Characters and Caricatures. In his advertisement Hogarth declares that the heads of the various characters were done by himself. The title used by Hogarth had already been employed by Dryden for one of his comedies, but there is no likeness between the drama and the pictures.

* * *

Once more Hogarth displayed, with loving attention to detail, the adventures and downfall of fools. This time the two Progresses were woven into one; we have the story of a man and a woman who, through utter folly, meet with ignominious deaths. The story is simple, the satire crude, and once again Hogarth's victims have no chance of escaping their fate, for he has not dowered them with the least tincture of brains, discretion or courage, or allowed them good luck. The object of his bitter ridicule, a marriage which is a bargain, a title being 'exchanged for money', is as old as civilization itself; such alliances are not hard to seek while wealth and titles are considered desirable in human society.

Hogarth's Earl and his Countess appear to be as much victims of fate as any flies caught buzzing in a spider's net. Their parents are the real culprits in their tragedy, and here the moral fails, for the two fathers who have arranged the miserable match appear to escape all punishment, for the nobleman dies comfortably at a ripe old age and the merchant appears totally unaffected by his daughter's disgrace.

In the first Plate, The Marriage Settlement, the scene is set and the characters are introduced. In a grandiose apartment the Earl and the merchant direct their lawyers to draw up the marriage contract. My Lord is a pompous figure in gold-laced velvet; he sits on an easy chair holding in one hand a scroll on which is painted his genealogical tree, which represents his family as springing from William the Conqueror. A crutch is by his side and one of his feet, bandaged owing to the gout, rests on a stool. The merchant, a figure in good, stout scarlet broadcloth, is peering at the paper calculating how much this purchase of a title for his daughter is likely to cost him. He holds his spectacles on his nose while he gazes at the marriage settlement of the Rt. Hon. Lord Viscount Squanderfield. His plebeian birth is shown in his awkward attitude, his sword stuck between his legs, and his common features—he wears the gold chain of an alderman. Heavy foreign pictures reach to the ceiling, and the gold and notes that are the real purpose of the bargain lie on the table. One of the attorneys holds out a paper, on which is written 'Mortgage', to the stately Earl, while another turns and looks out of the window at the building on the estate, begun on a large scale and unfinished for lack of money. Behind my Lord's figure is a pretentious canopy surmounted by a coronet.

The other two figures in the composition represent the young Viscount, an exquisitely dressed beau, attractive, though frail and effeminate-looking, who is admiring himself in a looking-glass, while he takes a patch from a box to affix to his chin, and seated with her back to him, is the sullen, spoilt figure of the heiress, who swings her wedding ring upon her handkerchief, while she listens to the young lawyer who is trying to lift the discontent on her pretty brow by some whispered jest or compliment. The pictures on the wall are yet another attack on the French and Italian masters; the most imposing is a portrait, in the style of Rigaud, of one of the Earl's ancestors, a dashing and amusing satire on the portraiture of this period, with the comet, the exploding cannon and the Jovian lightning. The others are typical subjects favoured by 'the dark old masters'—David and Goliath, the Martyrdom of St. Laurence, the Murder of Abel, St. Sebastian, Judith and Holophernes; Pharaoh in the Red Sea is painted upon the ceiling. The sconce is formed of a Gorgon's head, which appears to regard the scene with horror. The device of the two dogs, noticed in The Wedding of the Rake, is again repeated; chained together and straining apart, the two animals represent the unfortunate young couple. Some of the details, such as the unfinished building through the window, the absurdity of the ocean's being depicted upon the ceiling, the tasteless canopy and heavy chairs, are a hit at the absurdities of William Kent's decorations. It will be noticed that the subjects of all the grandiose paintings are unpleasant—a tilt at those connoisseurs, no doubt, who had objected to the vulgarity of Mr. William Hogarth's pictures and engravings. Much more refinement is noticeable in this picture than was apparent in any of the designs of the two Progresses. The figure of the young Earl is truly elegant, the girl is pretty and fresh, the nobleman, though caricatured, is stately and imposing.

In Plate II, The Viscount and his Lady at Home, we see the young couple shortly after marriage. The room is a handsome one, though it may be considered again a caricature of the taste of William Kent. It is supposed to have been copied from the dining-room of a mansion in Arlington Street. Hogarth, who was fond of showing the exact time of his pictures by introducing a clock, here uses this device to let us know that it is twenty minutes after one. The Viscountess is endeavouring to refresh herself with some breakfast, and the Viscount has just come home, too sick after a night of debauchery to think of food. They are seated either side of a fire, which burns brightly in an iron grate under the handsome marble chimney-piece that is loaded with a profusion of ridiculous ornaments—a bust with a mended nose half blocks a picture of a Cupid playing on bagpipes, which is in a heavy frame; a satire on the taste of the time in general and on William Kent in particular is shown in the ugly brass ornaments, a china cat, the Eastern grotesques. Dark marble pillars supporting an arch divide the room into two parts, in the inner apartment a down-at-heel footman is lazily clearing away the disorder left by last night's orgy. Candles are still smouldering in the chandelier of the Dutch model that hangs from the centre of the ceiling.

In the main composition are three figures: the young Viscount in dishevelled attire, his hat on his head, his hands thrust into his pockets, which presumably he has emptied at the gambling table, stares before him in an apathy of disgust and nausea; a lap-dog pulls at a woman's cap with a blue ribbon that hangs from his pocket, his stockings are falling down and his legs are thrust out in front of him; his sword lies on the rich Persian carpet, in the words of Hogarth's own description 'fatigued, exhausted and glutted with pleasure'.

His Lady, who is in a light and charming undress, has been gazing at her weary but still pretty features in a pocket mirror, which she holds over her head as she stretches and yawns; the breakfast table, covered with a cloth, is beside her; on the floor is an overturned chair (there are few of Hogarth's moral prints without an overturned stool or chair), a music book, an essay on whist and some cards. We are to understand by this that the pair are gamblers and addicted to what was to Hogarth the fashionable vice of music. The steward, who is supposed to be a Methodist, and appears an odd attendant for such a household, is leaving the room. He has come in with the unpaid bills—only one that is receipted is among the bunch he holds in his hand—and not being able to rouse the lassitude of my Lord or the flippancy of my Lady to any interest, he leaves the wretched pair in disgust, throwing his hands up with a rather sanctimonious expression of disapproval. The face of this character is supposed to have been engraved by Hogarth himself—the date on the receipted bill is January 4th, 1744. In the inner chamber are four large pictures, which appear to be the four evangelists. Beyond is a faint representation of a ship in a storm, which may be supposed to be symbolical of the fortunes of the Squander-field family. Another picture has a curtain drawn before it—only a naked foot is visible.

The third Plate, The Viscount's visit to the Quack Doctor, has always been supposed to be very obscure. Various commentators have given various interpretations of it, and Charles Churchill said foolishly enough, that Hogarth himself did not know what he meant by it. 'I am convinced,' wrote the ex-parson, 'that he formed his tale upon the ideas of Hoadly, Garrick, Townley or some other friend, and never perfectly comprehended what it meant.'

That Hogarth purposely left the subject as obscure as he found it is, of course, nonsense, and there seems no great difficulty in interpreting the meaning of the visit to the quack doctor. The details given in Mr. Lane's paper are clear enough, as is the picture itself.

Lord Squanderfield, who is always an attractive and charming figure and arouses a certain sympathy because of the graces of his person, is here seen visiting a quack in his consulting room, or, rather, witches' kitchen. This quack is in partnership with a lady of the same profession as Mother Bentley and Mother Needham and she has introduced to the dissipated nobleman a girl who is another version of Mary Hackabout. The Viscount, with smiling cynicism, has brought this young woman back to Betty Carless, which is the name of the stout dame in the hoop, and with laughing mockery assures her that she is not the fresh country child she had been declared to be, but one so far damaged by a life of London gaiety that his own health has suffered from his acquaintance with her. As he makes his protest, he holds out a box of pills to the quack, declaring that these are of no use for remedying the evils of which he complains. The formidable dame meets his reproaches with angry defiance, but the old quack leers good-humouredly, certain of his own powers to gloss things over and of the essentially easy nature of the young nobleman.

Betty Carless has her initials on her bosom. It will be remembered that she was the fair creature for whose sake the lunatic was staring into fixity in the last scene of A Rake's Progress. As celebrated in her day as Mother Needham or Mother Bentley, the fair Carless, after spending a considerable portion of her time in prison, died in the poorhouse at St. Paul's, Covent Garden, April 22nd, 1752.

She is described by Fielding in Amelia as 'the inimitable Betty Carless'. By some it has been supposed that the first of the two initials is an F and not a B, and that they stand for Fanny Cock, daughter of the ex-auctioneer with whom Hogarth quarrelled. Be she who she may, she is finely dressed, wears an enormous hoop, a short muslin apron, a cap and ruffle. The nobleman, too, is very elegant, and there is something graceful and winning in his attitude and smile; he looks, however, ill and languid. The quack, cynically regardless of his partner's frown and unclasped knife, is a squat, hideous figure with a long old-fashioned wig, who appears to be bandy-legged; as he smiles insolently at the Earl, who lifts his cane in mock anger, he is rubbing up a box of nostrum with a long handkerchief. This bow-legged personage is Doctor Misaubin, whom we saw arguing so vigorously with 'Spot' Ward on the occasion of the death of Mary Hackabout.

His consulting room is supplied with all the paraphernalia calculated to impress the credulous. On the table beside him is a skull and a book; behind, a cosy collection of jars on shelves, with drawers beneath, contain various drugs and herbs; in a large glass-fronted cupboard are mummies and skeletons; to show that the quack is nothing more than a barber, a horn of a sea unicorn represents a barber's pole and is placed near a pewter basin and broken comb. To show his dilettante taste there is a high-crowned hat and an ancient spur. All manner of rubbish lies about the room; a dried alligator is suspended from the ceiling and in the front of the picture are two elaborate machines, which are described by a pamphlet that lies on one of them—the larger is to be used to reset a dislocated limb, and the smaller is to draw a cork. They have been designed by Monsieur de la Pilulae and passed by the Royal Academy of Paris. The remaining figure in the composition stands directly behind these absurd machines. It is that of an undersized, languid girl, almost a child, who is weeping in a lassitude of shame and despair. Here is no Mary Hackabout, but a poor creature who does not seem at all suited for the company to which she has fallen—she is the victim of the vice and greed of the other three characters, and her appearance, withdrawn into her own misery and almost grotesque in her handsome embroidered mantle, gives a touch of genuine horror and tragedy to a design that without her would have been a mere hard-bitten commentary on contemporary morals.

In Plate IV, The Morning Levée of the Countess, we see the merchant's daughter enjoying the height of that grandeur for which her father had paid hard-earned cash. She is holding a reception in her bedchamber, the notes by Hogarth state that she is supposed to have returned from an auction; her father-in-law is recently dead and she is now the Countess of Squanderfield. Some years have elapsed since her marriage and the coral hanging on the back of her chair shows that she has a child. The young lawyer, courtly Silvertongue, who was seen whispering to her in the first Plate, is now her avowed lover, and reclining on a couch in his legal robes shows her a ticket of admission to a masquerade, which is to be the place of their evening meeting; with the other hand he waves indolently towards a screen behind him on which is painted a company of masked figures; just in front of these two a small page unpacks a number of objects of virtu from a basket and points to a little image of Actaeon, who is wearing his stag's head with branching horns; by this allusion we are to understand that the Countess has already been unfaithful to her neglectful Lord; all this virtu has been bought at the sale of Timothy Babyface, Esq. Behind her is a dressing-table with a mirror surmounted by a drapery and a coronet; she is in négligée, and an ugly grinning Swiss, with his own hair in curl papers, is dressing her locks. This group of four is complete in itself and is set off by two large pictures on the wall behind. One is an accurate copy of Correggio's Semele (not Io as is usually stated), the other is Lot and his Daughters. The centre of the picture is occupied by a lady wearing a cap and hat, a flowing skirt and a tight corsage, who throws out her hands in a gesture of excited enthusiasm—behind her a black footman hands her some chocolate; she takes no heed, her entire attention is directed to the figure in the left foreground, that of Farinelli, the Italian eunuch who, robed in satin and glittering with diamonds and jewels, is singing from a large music book; this lady is a portrait of Mrs. Lane, afterwards Lady Bingley. Behind Farinelli, whose countenance is much like that of a pink pig, another foreigner plays on a flute—beside him sits a little withered beau with his hair in curl papers, drinking chocolate, who affects to be entranced by the music; another beau, with a vacant face and a fan attached to his wrist, holds up his hand in foolish admiration; beyond is a country cousin who has fallen asleep; he is Mr. Fox Lane, the husband of the music-loving lady in white. There are two more pictures on the wall to the left, a large portrait of the young advocate and Ganymede and the Eagle, placed with sarcastic intention immediately above the head of Farinelli. In a large alcove at the back is the bed, canopy, curtain and coronet.

The picture is full of small, telling details. On a china dish is Jupiter and Leda; this is signed 'Julio Romano'. The subjects of the pictures are all intentionally coarse, as a hit at both the 'old black masters' and the taste of the time. In front are scattered some cards of invitation to 'drums drum majors' and 'routs', which are purposely badly spelt and expressed. 'Count Basset desire to no how Lady Squander sleep last nite.'

In Plate V, The Husband killed in a Bagnio, the drama reaches its tragic climax. The Countess has met the lawyer at a masquerade and they have retired from the licentious, crowded scene to a fashionable bagnio or maison de rendezvous, where they have been accommodated with a chamber for the night. A bill cast on the floor tells us that this is the Stag's Head, one of the most fashionable of these places, and the room is handsome; there is a bed with tester and curtain; a picture over the door represents St. Luke, painting; there is another picture which shows the portrait of an inhabitant of Drury Lane, supposed to be Moll Flanders. This amazon has a butcher's knife in one hand and a squirrel perched on the other. She has been hung half across another picture of a soldier, so that the male legs appear attached to the female body. There is a tapestry on the wall on which is depicted the Judgment of Solomon. It is winter time and some faggots and the shadow of a pair of tongs show that there has been a fire in the chamber. The floor is scattered with the Countess's clothes, hoop, corset, domino and shoes, which show the negligence of the lady, an ill-trained ill-bred woman. There are also two details often found in Hogarth's prints—the overturned stool and the mask that appears to sneer at the scene. In the notes on this picture the artist remarks on the apparent decency of the bagnio, 'nothing can be better furnished, more clean, better conducted than these places of debauchery.' There were fixed prices—from five shillings to a guinea a night and the bath was the least of the attractions offered.

The young Earl has followed his wife, broken open the door, the hasp of which may be seen on the floor, and surprised her with her lover who, although bare-legged and in his nightshirt, has contrived to snatch up his sword and stab the husband. In the figure of the murdered man Hogarth has made another attempt to delineate instantaneous movement. The Earl supports himself on the table, his sword falls out of his hand and has not yet reached the ground, his legs are bending beneath him, blood shows on his open shirt; he is dying and in the act of falling to the ground. Beside him kneels his wife; bare-foot and in a rich satin undress, she clasps her hands and cries out with fear and terror. The lover, anything but a romantic figure, climbs out of the window. The sound of the brawl has roused the landlord, who accompanied by the watch breaks in at the door. A candle burning by the window and a fire that we do not see cast a murky light over this darkling chamber. With the exception of the pictures, and these do not obtrude, there is no satire in this scene; it is a realistic representation of a sordid tragedy. The stiff and awkward drawing of the Earl's legs is a fault in a masterpiece and attracts much attention, because it occurs in the very centre of the painting, where the eye of the spectator is instantly attracted.

In Plate VI, The Death of the Countess, the lady has returned to her father's home in the City. Her lover has been hanged for the murder of her husband and she is ruined and disgraced; having lost everything, she finds her father's house, from which she was once so glad to escape, but a miserable refuge. The window is open on to a view of London Bridge, from which the houses were removed a few years afterwards. It is dinner-time, a little after eleven, as the clock tells us, and the apartment, which may be taken to be the hall of the house, is completely wretched. The usual overthrown chair has been repaired, there is a cobweb over the window-place, the alderman's greasy hat and cloak hang on a peg; a coarse picture, intended as a satire on the Dutch style of pots and pans, shows his low taste, and a table, from which hangs a limp cloth, is furnished only with a brawn's head, a few pewter utensils and a single egg in rice. Overwhelmed by this misery and the loss of everything she values, the Countess has taken poison. In a silk undress she is seated in an easy chair; her feet thrust before her, she stiffens in the last agony. On the floor in front of her lies the last dying speech and confession of her paramour, the young advocate.

An old nurse, whose ugly face is distorted with grief, holds up a child, whose legs are in irons, for her to kiss. The Countess, however, is past recognizing her daughter, the little girl shows a certain dull grief. The avaricious alderman pulls the diamond ring off his daughter's hand, and the apothecary who has been attending the Countess in her weakness chides the half-witted servant, who is attired in one of his master's much-worn cast-off coats, for having purchased the poison. A starving dog, which shows on what penurious lines the household is run, is trying to steal the pig's head.

Beside the clock is another gross Dutch picture, in which a man is lighting his pipe at his friend's red nose. That the old merchant, however mean, was not entirely indifferent to his own secret pleasures is shown by the punch bowl and the pipe and bottle, hidden under the ledgers. The dreary, hopeless horror of this scene far exceeds the more dramatic terrors dealt out to Mary Hackabout and Tom Rakewell. The death of the Countess represents the very height of Hogarth's power to deal with the futility and misery of petty human ambition and the intolerable degradation consequent on human folly.

No such dramatic story, as Hogarth here depicted, occurred in real life during his working period, but he might have had in mind the divorce case of the Earl of Macclesfield and his Countess, who was afterwards Mrs. Brett and whose story was made so public by the complaints of her alleged son, Richard Savage. Some pompous verses that do not enhance the value of these masterpieces accompanied the plates. The cost of Marriage à la Mode in six prints was £1 11s. 6d.

* * *

Two years after the publication of Marriage d la Mode, 1747, Hogarth brought out the last of his long moral series—Industry and Idleness—founded on an old English comedy entitled Eastward Ho! Hogarth engraved this series himself from sketches. They were quickly and roughly, though vigorously, executed, and sold cheap at 12s. for the twelve prints.

Hogarth's own account of the series, given in those commonplace terms that so belied his own genius, is as follows:

'The conduct of two fellow apprentices, where the one, by taking good courses and securing points, for which he was put apprentice, becomes a valuable man and an ornament to his country. The other, by giving way to idleness, naturally falls into poverty and ends faithfully as expressed in the last print.

'As the prints were intended more for use than ornament, they were done in a way that might bring them within the purchase of those whom they might most concern, and lest any print should be mistaken a description of each print is engraved at the top.'

There was nothing new in the idea of industry and idleness. Hogarth was preaching once more what he had always preached and also once more he gave his chosen example of vice no chance. In Eastward Ho!, which is the result of a collaboration by Ben Jonson, George Chapman and John Marston, two apprentices, who are termed Golding and Quicksilver, are apprenticed to a goldsmith. In the Plates they are termed Goodchild and Thomas Idle and are apprenticed to a weaver.

Plate I, The Fellow Apprentices at their Looms, shows us the house of their master, a silk weaver of Spitalfields. In a well-lit room the youths sit at two looms that are exactly similar. In the foreground Thomas Idle, who has a brutal face, has fallen asleep; the reason for his drowsiness may lie in the large, empty tankard that stands on his loom; a cat is playing with his shuttle; close to him is a tobacco pipe; he has pinned up on the wall the coarse ballad of Moll Flanders and flung down the Apprentice's Guide; he is attired with extreme negligence.

The other apprentice, Francis Goodchild, who has a round, baby face, is working diligently. Behind him are pinned up two ballads: Turn again, Whittington and The Valiant Apprentice. The angry master enters the room and stares with uplifted cane at the idle, sleeping lad.

In Plate II we see Francis Goodchild with his master's daughter in church, the title, The Industrious Apprentice Performing the Duty of a Christian. There is no character, though there is some elegance in these two figures, who, sharing the same Prayer Book, lean over the top of a high pew that is placed in the gallery. The background shows the interior of a large church of classic architecture with an imposing audience, the parson in his pulpit, the clerk at his desk, and the congregation boxed in pews.

Hogarth could not be content with such an insipid subject; he has introduced an enormously stout woman, probably the attendant on the young lady, a hag who, with her back to the congregation, appears to be bawling out a hymn, and several grotesque sleeping or singing figures; while the persons of the preacher, the reader and clerk, who should be, if there is to be any moral in the story at all, worthy and admirable, are rendered ridiculous and contemptible.

Plate III is a far finer piece of work, the title, The Idle Apprentice at play in the Churchyard during Divine Service. We may take this as the exterior of the church where Francis Goodchild is sharing his devotions with his master's daughter. It is a brick structure of eighteenth-century design, with a mural tablet placed between the two windows and a portico with classic pillars, through which the pious are entering the sacred building.

However much care may have been given to the interior of the church, very little has been bestowed upon the churchyard, where the graves are in a dilapidated condition and the broken ground is strewn with skulls and bones. On one of these graves is Thomas Idle, who has thrown in his lot with three very ruffianly companions, one of whom, who wears a black patch over one of his eyes, may be taken as his evil genius. These three ruffians are in filthy rags, but Thomas Idle is still well and comfortably dressed; he is not, however, superior in morals to his companions; they are playing 'hustle cap' and Tom Idle is endeavouring to cheat the others by pushing some of the ha'pence under the leaf of his hat. Both the tattered shoe-black and the man with the patch have perceived the trick, and a violent quarrel is in progress when the beadle, with a leer of intense satisfaction, creeps up behind them with raised cane. Only a thin stone separates the idle apprentice from the grave, and the inscription, seen beneath his legs, 'Here lies the body of ——', may well apply to him.

Plate IV is The Industrious Apprentice, a Favourite, is entrusted by his Master. Francis Goodchild has been promoted from the looms to the counting-house. He has been entrusted with the books, purse and keys. Two clasped gloves on the table show that his master is about to take him into partnership. The merchant, leaning in a familiar way on the young man's shoulder, points out to him, with a pleased smile, the row of looms. The London Almanac hanging on the back of the desk has an appropriate motto—Industry Taking Time by the Forelock. These two figures are graceful, if rather mannered and forced. A hideous porter, with a badge on his chest, is bringing in three bales of silk; a dog with him is snarling at a spitting cat that occupies the centre of the composition.

In Plate V, The Idle Apprentice turned away and sent to Sea, we are shown poor Tom being rowed down the Thames to a ship, in the hope that a seafaring life will save him from his vices. This does not appear very likely; the incorrigible youth has cast his indentures into the river and is quite ready to defy those low companions who certainly do not promise very hopefully for his future efforts at reformation; one of them displays a cat-o'-nine-tails, warning him this is what he must expect on board ship for any breach of discipline; another points out the gallows on the shore, from which a figure is depending, suggesting that his may be his future fate. Tom retorts by another effort of wit; holding up his fingers to represent horns, he makes a jest of the fact that Cuckold Point is in the distance; a row of windmills on the flat shore. A brutal-looking waterman, with a pipe in his mouth and wearing a white blouse, suddenly rows towards the ship that, with all sails set, we see in the distance. No one takes any heed of Tom's widowed mother, who, with hand raised and handkerchief to her eyes, laments her son's hardened disposition. We should like to know more of this lady and of the early life of Tom—he seemed already ruined when we were first introduced to him, and she who now weeps over his fate appears to have had very little influence in training him to avoid it. Here again, as in the case of Mary Hackabout and Tom Rakewell, and even the young Earl and Countess, Hogarth leaves his victim without friend, counsellor, or any manner of chance. The good widow, who weeps so lamentably, may be a piteous figure, but she is also a fool if she thinks her sturdy boy is likely to be reformed by going to sea in this ill company.

Plate VI is The Industrious Apprentice out of his Time and married to his master's Daughter. Francis Goodchild has now married Miss West, and been taken into partnership by her father, as may be seen from the sign outside the house, which is inscribed 'West and Goodchild'. It is the morning after the wedding. Hogarth no doubt found such a subject insipid, and endeavouring to lighten it has produced more of a satire on city manners than a picture of domestic felicity. The smug Master Goodchild himself is relegated to an unimportant place in the composition, the front of which is occupied by a footman standing at the door throwing broken meat into the apron of a grinning beggar woman.

Goodchild, in his chamber-robe, leans simpering out of the window with his bride behind him and gives a coin to the leader of a marrow-bones and cleaver band that has come to celebrate his marriage. A few drummers add to the vivacity of this concert of butchers, two of whom are quarrelling among themselves. In the background is the base of the City monument, which shows us the situation of the house. The deformed beggar, who is howling out a ballad in honour of the happy couple, is a portrait of a cripple known as 'Philip-in-the-Tub', who, propelling himself along by his hands, is supposed to have travelled all over Ireland and the Netherlands.

In Plate VII, The Idle Apprentice returns from Sea and is in a garret with a common Prostitute, shows that the attempt to reform this unhappy youth has not been successful. He has contrived, what was certainly no easy matter, to escape from the ship and is in hiding in the underworld of London. Highway robbery is among his activities and after securing a haul of plunder, he has taken refuge with the lady of his choice in a mean garret, the door of which he has, in his fear of pursuit, barricaded with two planks. He and his fair partner are in bed, each clothed in no more than a shirt. The bed itself is a crazy affair, consisting of little more than a mattress and a coverlet on a broken frame.

On the bed are Tom's breeches and a cloth on which is laid the day's takings, which include several watches that show us the time to be about midnight. The lady, who has a most brutal countenance, is absorbed in holding up an earring, with which she intends to adorn her dubious charms. Behind her on the wall hangs her hoop. Tom has been thrown into a paroxysm of fright by a cat that leaps down the chimney in pursuit of a rat. Filth, poverty and misery are indicated by the broken jug, the cracked plate, the floor with the hole in it, the bottle, glass, pistol, pipe and tattered shoes. Here Hogarth's attempt to represent instantaneous action is not altogether successful. The cat appears to be rather suspended in the chimney than leaping down it.

Plate VIII shows us The Industrious Apprentice grown rich and Sheriff of London. This cannot be taken as representing anything that would be regarded as desirable by a sensitive human being. A City banquet is taking place in the Fishmongers' Hall; the large room, tessellated in black and white, is entirely occupied by an immense table at which are seated all the City Fathers on benches. The stiff and formal portraits on the wall represent William III, Sir William Walworth and a Judge. In a mean-looking musicians' gallery a few fiddlers are sawing away, but no one pays any attention to them. The great business of the day is eating. The foreground of the picture is occupied by a group of seven, who are waited upon by a black servant and guzzling away with the greatest relish. One is a wretched-looking clergyman, who is supposed to be a portrait of a curate from Barnet known to Hogarth; another guest appears starved. He is placed next a gross personage, who has burnt his mouth in his over-eagerness to swallow the hot dainty. At the end of the table is a man with his wig pushed back, who is gnawing a bone. In the foreground is a creature in a bag-wig who seems to illustrate the vulgar expression 'Death warmed up'.

The background of the picture is occupied by other City Fathers, equally ludicrous with their long grotesque bags and wigs hanging down their backs. In the right-hand corner an insolent beadle, in his gown and holding his staff, gazes contemptuously at the letter he holds up, which by its superscription tells us that Francis Goodchild, Esquire, is Sheriff of London. Behind the bar across the door is the messenger who has brought the letter and a crowd of humbler folk who have come to gaze upon their betters' gluttony. Two female servants cross the floor with more supplies of food.

Nothing could be more dreary and disgusting than this scene—there is total lack of any kind of elegance or refinement, and its interest is solely confined to the dullest of the vices, gluttony. If Mr. Francis Goodchild considers this the height of human felicity, one can hardly blame Mr. Thomas Idle for choosing another mode of life. That Hogarth did not exaggerate the interest of the City Fathers in their banquet is shown by the fact that when in 1727 George II and his Queen were entertained at the Guildhall there were nineteen tables, one thousand and seventy-five dishes, provided at a cost of £4889 4s.

In Plate IX we return to Mr. Idle. The title is The Idle Apprentice betrayed by a Prostitute and taken in a night cellar with his Accomplice. The scene is laid in the cellar of a house near Water Lane, Fleet Street. So many murders had taken place in this tavern that it was known as 'Blood Bowl House'; it was not, however, suppressed by the authorities. In the foreground Thomas Idle, who has a good suit of clothes on, but whose face is even more brutal than it was in the former print, is dividing the spoils of a robbery with the one-eyed man of Plate I. Entirely absorbed in this congenial task, he does not see that his favourite is standing behind him pointing him out to two of the watch, who enter with their lanterns. She leers at the foremost of these, who puts money into her hand. At the other side of the print a third accomplice, with callous indifference, pushes the body of a murdered gentleman down a flap into the cellar. Behind there is a large fire burning and beside it stands, with the utmost phlegm, a grenadier trimming his pipe. A fight is going on in the background and an attendant Hebe, without a nose, is bringing a glass of porter. A man is asleep by the fire, and a rope dangles from the rafters above his head. On the floor in the front are cards and a pistol. The stolen watches, which the one-eyed man is drawing out of a hat, show us the time by pointing to a little after ten.

Plate X, The Industrious Apprentice Alderman of London, The Idle One brought before him and Impeached by his Accomplice. Francis Goodchild, who wears a fur robe and a long, powdered wig, is seated in an ornate chair. His clerk is beside him, busily inscribing papers. Across the bar that divides the composition is seen Thomas Idle, clasping his hands in an agony of despair and begging for mercy. Beside him the one-eyed man gives evidence against him, taking his oath upon the Book as he does so. The clerk, who holds the Bible, is being bribed by a woman to allow this wretch to use his left hand instead of his right—this was supposed to secure the false-swearer against any consequences of his crime. A gross and hideous constable with an enormous paunch is repelling the poor widow, who, in the same attitude of ineffectual despair with her handkerchief to her eyes as we saw her in before, is pleading for her son's life. The criminal's attitude of agony is very vividly depicted, but the lower part of his body irritates by the falsity of the drawing. The figure of Francis Goodchild is altogether stiff and unnatural. His pose and expression are full of mincing affectation.

The last two prints show Hogarth's supreme genius in depicting crowd-scenes. Plate IX is The Idle Apprentice Executed at Tyburn. Tom Idle is in the cart in front of his coffin. In the coach before goes the prison-chaplain, but in the cart with the unhappy wretch is a Wesleyan preacher who, quite oblivious of the guard of soldiers behind and the hideous crowd who are making this dreadful occasion a holiday, exhorts the wretched young man to look upward. This Wesleyan is the only worthy character in the print and he so exasperates a ruffian in the foreground that he is aiming at him a living dog. The ineffectual old mother, in the mourning and with her handkerchief, is present again; she is supported by three hags, one of whom swallows a glass of spirits. The crowd is full of the most curious characters, all to the last degree degraded and repulsive, all probably sketched from life. One is hawking the criminal's dying speech, a harridan tears out the eyes of a man who has upset her orange barrow, another female is engaged in a boxing match with a man while her child is trampled to death underfoot, a soldier has stumbled into a bog, two boys jeer at him, there is a cripple and a butcher with a lawyer's wig at the end of his cudgel, to show, it is supposed, the bloodthirsty character of the law. The hangman takes his ease along the top of the gallows and smokes his pipe. In the background are the hills of Highgate and Hampstead.

The companion print, The Industrious Apprentice Becomes Lord Mayor of London, shows another crowd, which has scarcely more dignity or decorum; indeed, we can well believe that these are the same people, only represented upon another occasion. Some of the more repulsive characters and of the more ghastly details are, it is true, omitted, but on the whole the crowd is still as drunken and coarse, and the fact that the City swordbearer in his huge fur hat is placed grotesquely at the window of the coach while four tipsy footmen hang on behind, robs the scene of any attempt at grandeur or even decorum. The scene is at the east side of St. Paul's Cathedral, by Cheapside, and is graced by the presence of the Prince and Princess of Wales on the balcony of a house that is hung with tapestry. The city militia beneath them are, however, a group of freaks—hunchbacks, drunkards and fools in the most ridiculous costumes. Music for the occasion is furnished by journeyman butchers with marrow-bones and cleavers. In the foreground a lout tries to kiss a girl, who tears his face in return; a ballad-singer hawks 'a full, true and particular account of the ghost of Thomas Idle, which appeared to the Lord Mayor'. The whole scene is one of uneasy confusion and, like the plate of the Guildhall Banquet, cannot be taken as any expression of the joys of an honest ambition achieved, but must stand as a satire upon city life.

In Industry and Idleness, Hogarth attempted, for the only time, to represent the rewards of virtue as well as the punishment of vice. This was difficult to do and not at all to his taste; every scene in which Francis Goodchild triumphs is, from the point of view of morality, a failure. No doubt it was more desirable to be Lord Mayor than to be hanged at Tyburn, but the ambition is so gross, the ways by which it is achieved so mean, and the celebration of it so tawdry, that none but the coarsest spirits would be attracted by these mundane glories. On the other hand, Thomas Idle is, from the first, shown to be an incorrigible rogue and, callous murderer as he is, he appears to be a victim rather of a vicious social system than of his own malignant disposition.

Spitalfields (Spittle fielde—St. Mary Spital), formerly Lolesworth, was situate outside the churchyard of St. Mary Spital and appears to have once been a Roman cemetery, which was discovered when the ground was broken up for clay with which to make brick in 1576.

The Huguenot silk weavers who fled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1688 settled there, and there was a colony of these industrious workers until the nineteenth century. The Spitalfields weavers were always active in the support of what they considered their rights and were frequently in conflict with those citizens who, armed with ash staves, gathered at 'mug houses' or inns in order to form themselves into societies for the protection of the public peace, the constables and watchmen being quite inadequate for that purpose.

In 1717 there arose a tumult that would have much pleased Tom Idle; the Spitalfields weavers became incensed by the amount of foreign calico that was being bought and that damaged their trade.

Armed with corrosive fluids they marched the streets in gangs, destroying every cotton gown they saw, either by throwing vitriol over it or by tearing it from the wearer's back.

The riot that ensued was not ended until the weavers had been fired on and several of them killed; others were put in Newgate where 'jail fever' soon disposed of them and their grievances.

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In 1751 Hogarth issued two plates, Gin Lane and Beer Street, which he intended to have a moral purpose. He had been most forcibly impressed, as would have been anyone living in London in the mid-eighteenth century, by the extraordinary extremes to which the habit of drinking was carried. He had continually and bitterly satirized these two vices of drunkenness and gambling that were at the bottom of so many tragedies and such widespread degradation. Gin was so cheap and so terrible in its effects that it attracted the attention even of eighteenth-century legislators. The drunkenness of the poor was no worse than that of the rich, but it appeared more appalling because they had neither money nor position to gloss over their disease and wretchedness.

In September, 1735, a Bill proposed by Sir Joseph Jekyll was passed, by which a tax of 20s. a gallon was laid on gin, and it was allowed to be sold only in small quantities, while a retailer had to pay £50 for a licence. This was considered a fine subject for the satirists and pamphleteers; the liquor shops went into black draperies and represented 'Madame Geneva' as lying in state surrounded by mourners who steadily drank themselves senseless in the defunct lady's honour. The Act was badly administered and easily evaded. Gin was sold under the various names by which it was affectionately known into the nineteenth century and could be procured without much difficulty, even being hawked in bottles in the streets. In 1743 the Act was repealed and gin was again allowed to be sold freely.

Hogarth painted his terrific indictment of gin-drinking in Seven Dials. The composition is divided by a wall broken by a flight of steps. On the top of these sits one of the most terrible figures that even Hogarth depicted—a ragged woman grinning in complete intoxication, who allows her shrieking child to fall out of her arms into the area below. In the foreground sits a figure that appears to be that of Death itself. He is a hawker of gin, has an empty glass in one hand and a ballad falling out of the other—he is supposed to have been painted from nature; having pawned all his clothes he is now dying in a state of almost complete nudity. Behind the wall is a famished man gnawing a bone, an intoxicated woman in a state of insensibility, and beyond them a group gathered before the door of a pawnbroker's. A carpenter is offering his coat and saw, a woman her cooking-pot, a mother is giving gin to her child, and an old woman too drunk to walk is sitting in a wheelbarrow and taking a glass of gin from a boy. Two drunken, crippled beggars are fighting with stool and quarterstaff; a crowd waits at the door of the gin shop to the right of the print.

There are yet more dismal details. A man driven mad by the spirit has spitted a child upon a stick, a broken window in one of the houses shows us a barber who has hanged himself in a miserable garret; the wasted corpse of a young woman is being put into a coffin in the street by two undertakers.

The background, on which the light falls clearly, is that of some tumbledown houses—one of the nearer block is actually falling; the bricks descend behind the sign of the coffin, in front of which is another sign of a pewter pot or gin measure. The background shows the curious people of St. George's, Bloomsbury. It is notable that all the houses are in ruins, except the gin-shop, the pawn-shop and the undertaker's.

A conspicuous place is occupied in the front of the print by another large pewter measure, which is inscribed 'Gin Royal'; it hangs in front of the entrance to a cellar, which is inscribed with 'Drunk for one penny, dead drunk for twopence, clean straw for nothing.' Three doggerel verses help to drive home the moral of the print.

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The companion plate, Beer Street, is supposed to represent the benefits to be derived from drinking that English beverage, beer. The scene is certainly agreeable in comparison to that of Gin Lane, but represents but a low ideal of human happiness and usefulness.

In the left a huge, gross butcher and blacksmith are grasping great tankards of porter; they have been reading daily papers, which appear on the table before them. In the first state the blacksmith was waving in the air a miserable little French postilion in order to show the superiority of the English to the French. In the second state he is holding up a large leg of mutton to show the prosperity of the country. The group beyond is that of a robust drayman making love to a buxom dairymaid—he also grasps a tankard of porter. There are two comfortable-looking fish-women imbibing the national beverage while they read a ballad, The British Herring Fishery, and a porter, who has put aside his load of waste paper, which is intended for the trunk maker, in order to refresh himself. Here the satire turns off in another direction. The waste paper consists of books that Hogarth considered dull and worthless, Lauder on Milton, Politics, Modern Tragedies, Hill on the Royal Society and Turnbull on Ancient Paintings. The house of Pitch, the pawnbroker, is in ruins, and a boy passes a half-pint of gin through a hole in the door. Two chair-men have paused in their labours in the background and are drinking beer, as are two paviors. In a garret window we can see three sailors raising the national courage in the same manner. On the top of the house are four bricklayers and at the back is the steeple of a church, at the side of which is a flag; the composition is balanced and brought to a peak by a sign with the painter before it on a ladder. He holds the palette in his hand and looks at his handiwork with a self-satisfied smirk. He is painting a model from an original that hangs before him; he is a miserable-looking figure compared to the well-dressed crowd below and is supposed to be either a satire on the scanty patronage obtained by the art in England or a caricature of John Liotard.

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In The Four Stages of Cruelty, which appeared the same year as Beer Street and Gin Lane, 1751, Hogarth produced the last of his moral lessons. There can be no questioning the sincerity, there can be no disguising the horror of these four plates. Hogarth was outraged by the scenes, of daily occurrence, of gross and unspeakable cruelty to animals that polluted the streets and public places of eighteenth-century London. The prints, like Gin Lane and Beer Street, were not taken from paintings, but from drawings, and were sold very cheap at a shilling each, Hogarth engraving them himself. They depict the brief and horrible career of one Tom Nero, a St. Giles's Charity schoolboy, who becomes a hackney coach driver; the child arranging the stool for the Rake's bride was from this school.

The first two show the most revolting cruelties to animals. The youth, in The First Stage of Cruelty, who is offering his tart in order to save the tortured dog, is supposed to be a likeness of the future George III, then about thirteen years old.

The Second Stage of Cruelty takes place at Thavies Inn Gate, which represented the end of the longest possible shilling fare from Westminster. Four lawyers, who have paid threepence each for the ride, are engaged in crawling out of the broken-down carriage, while Tom Nero beats his horse to death. Some touch of humanity is shown by the introduction of a sober citizen who is taking the number of the coach. There are other terrible details in both plates.

Cruelty in Perfection exhibits one of the most terrific scenes that even Hogarth ever depicted. In spite of an awkward, overcrowded composition and an occasional fault in drawing, due to haste, this scene has a grisly nightmare horror that has rarely been excelled. Tom Nero, having seduced a servant, has persuaded her to plunder her mistress and meet him with the spoils in the churchyard, the girl has kept the appointment and been savagely murdered. Her cries, however, have aroused the neighbourhood and Tom Nero is arrested beside the bleeding body of his victim.

A diabolical horror is cast on this sordid scene, which, it has been conjectured, is laid in either old St. Pancras churchyard or that of Marylebone. The building in the background is supposed to be the Jew's Harp House. A ruined tower, with the clock pointing to the hour of one, a moon, a bat, the lantern light, the expression of the murderer himself, as he steals a sideways glance at the body of the murdered girl, the useless plunder scattered about—all have an air of infernal despair. The letter, signed 'Ann Gill', addressed to 'Dear Tommy', gives the story of the girl's downfall; the poor creature, so soon to be murdered by her lover, signs herself 'Yours till death'.

Plate IV, The Reward of Cruelty, shows the body of Tom Nero being dissected in Surgeons' Hall. Here the satirist leaves Tom and concentrates upon the doctor and his students, who are represented as callous and even, in some cases, revelling in their nauseous occupation. So ill-conducted is the place that a dog is permitted to enter and revenge the sufferings of his fellow-animals by licking the heart of Tom Nero. It is said to be a true touch; the old hospitals had the reputation of ridding themselves of human remains by this means. The print is full of revolting detail and even in the eighteenth century could scarcely have been considered fit for general exhibition. Two skeletons of executed malefactors appear in the print; one of James Field, a well-known prize-fighter, and the other of MacClean, an equally notorious robber. These skeletons stand, as it were, as supporters to the main figure of the President, which is supposed to be a likeness of one Frieake who was originally a member of The Barbers' Company and lived in Salisbury Square. This bitter satire on the medical profession cannot have been wholly justified, for even in those days sincere and laborious efforts were being made for the furthering of medical science; but it must be remembered that, when Hogarth cut this print, surgeons were supposed to be as insensible to human suffering as butchers, and neither surgeons nor butchers were allowed to serve upon a jury.

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The College of Surgeons and Barbers held a Charter granted by Henry VIII in 1513, when the surgeons in London numbered thirteen; they were granted a new Charter in 1745 and barbers were excluded from any operation beyond teeth drawing. No one was allowed to practise within seven miles of London who had not passed the examination of this College. The Hall stood in Lincoln's Inn Fields and was not altered until the reign of William IV; the surgeons were exempt from bearing arms and from serving on juries. Like the doctors, they disguised their ignorance by a good deal of learned 'hocus pocus', which was, with reason, suspected by the layman, and made them butts of endless satires. Neither their intelligence nor their probity seems to have been much respected, while their arrogant assumption of authority and airs of mystery aroused mocking resentment. They were, indeed, working in the dark and it was not until the labours of John Hunter that either the medical or surgical profession attained any degree of usefulness and dignity.

Opportunities for quackery were endless since when it was a question of medicine no one was in a position to distinguish a valuable truth from a piece of blatant nonsense.

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The Lady's Last Stake, painted in 1759, and not engraved till after Hogarth's death, had also a moral purpose—it was yet another attack upon the evils of gambling and might be taken as an illustration of Edward Young's diatribe against card-playing: My Lady Played. The subject seems, however, a little affected and unnatural, and the two figures that compose the picture appear insipid compared to some of the terrific characters Hogarth has created. It seems unlikely that 'a young, virtuous married gentlewoman', as the heroine of this little drama appears to be, should have had an opportunity of gambling away all her possessions with an attractive young officer. She has parted even with the portrait of her husband, but so absorbed is she in the passion for gambling that she hesitates whether she shall venture a last stake in the shape of her own person or not. This female figure resembles Sigismunda, the attitude of the hand is the same—probably the model was Mrs. Hogarth; compare, too, the extreme right-hand figure in Actresses dressing in a Barn.

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Hogarth's moral pictures were extremely popular, not only in his own country but upon the Continent; everyone could understand their vivid, simple stories, their clear, impressive detail. When they were published they were as topical as a sheet of photographs in a daily newspaper is to-day. The public was able to identify not only familiar types but actual portraits; there were no subtleties to perplex, no fantasies to confuse—all was plain, direct, convincing. Hogarth depicted nothing in his plates that the spectators could not see for themselves in real life; the backgrounds were those of everyday London streets and scenes familiar to everyone. The prints were bought, pored over, discussed, and even when it was no longer possible to pirate them, they were imitated in prose, verse, on the stage and in other engravings. The most notable of these imitations was that by James Northcote, showing the adventures of two servant girls—which was a hash of Pamela, Mary Hackabout and the Industrious and Idle Apprentices; this was not, however, a success, and it is said that Northcote never forgave Hogarth for his own failure and that spite was behind the judgment he finally delivered on a far greater painter than himself. What effect these powerful series of moral prints, so widely circulated, had upon the manners and morals of the time, must always remain a matter of conjecture. The vices and brutalities, against which Hogarth inveighed, certainly did not suddenly disappear; many of them, though glossed over and newly dressed, exist in our own time. The crimes and follies that he satirized are the oldest crimes and follies of all and so deeply rooted in human nature as to be almost beyond the reach of the satirists. The powerful drama of Hogarth's moralities attracted everyone, but if they ever prevented any loveless marriages, saved any youth from the gallows, any drunkard from suicide, any country girl from the London streets, or any animal from torture, we shall never know.


The next section of Hogarth's work that we shall consider is those genre pictures and engravings which, though they have a strong satirical colouring, have no professed moral purpose. Taking them in chronological order, the first of these was A Modern Midnight Conversation published in 1734 and priced at five shillings. The original painting seems to have disappeared for some time and to have been recovered only in the nineteenth century, when it was found at an inn in Gloucestershire. Hogarth engraved this plate himself.

All the convivial gentlemen enjoying themselves in the room of some club or inn are supposed to be portraits, but the artist was secretive on this question and it has been impossible to identify them all. The picture may be taken as a lively and truthful picture of masculine amusement in the mid-eighteenth century. There seems to be no question here of gambling or of the company of seductive nymphs—the whole business of the evening is drinking. In a plain room that has little ornament besides a large clock (which tells us that it is the midnight hour), and hats stuck upon the wall, a group of men are gathered round a table covered by a white cloth, on which is an enormous bowl of punch. Eleven gentlemen are present and they have consumed four and twenty bottles of wine—there is, however, still plenty of liquor in store. One of the principal figures is a jovial clergyman supposed to be Orator Henley, whose potations do not seem to have disagreed with him; behind him a noisy fellow, who has lost his' wig, proposes a toast with upraised glass on one side of him is a finely dressed beau, who is violently ill, and on the other the most amusing figure in the piece, a squinting lawyer with a sinister smile, who represents a certain Kettleby, well known by his preference for old-fashioned, full-bottomed wigs; he listens with an air of self-satisfaction to the incoherent words of his companion. By the fire-place is a stout Justice of the Peace, who has put on his nightcap, taken up his glass and stuck his pipe into his mouth. Opposite him a gentleman, from whose bald head the wig drops, is sound asleep. The front of the print is taken up by a figure in one of Hogarth's favourite falling attitudes. This appears to be some hero of the wars; his face is distorted with an expression of anguish, and there is a scar on his bald head. One of his companions, in a dishevelled condition, stumbles towards him and tries to assist him by pouring brandy on his pate. Over the chimney-piece is a dark, gloomy picture, and in one corner a man, trying to study the newspaper and firing his ruffles instead of his pipe. The clock is as tipsy as the company, for the minute hand and hour hand are in disagreement. Every stage of drunkenness is here introduced, but no moral is drawn nor any reflection made—the facts are merely stated.

A Modern Midnight Conversation was put on the stage in the form of a scene the 22nd of March, 1742, at Covent Garden Theatre for the benefit of Mr. Hippisley.

The following year, 1735, Hogarth painted another little scene of real life, A Woman swearing her Child to a Grave Citizen. This early picture by Hogarth was engraved by James Shipton and under the print were some verses which described the plot. The magistrate, portly and severe, sits before his desk in a plainly panelled room; it is supposed to be a portrait of a certain Thomas de Veil. Before him the naughty hussy, who is a neat and graceful figure, falsely swears her child on to a rich old man, whose consternation is further increased by the attacks of his jealous wife. However, the Justice and churchwardens agree as to his guilt and force him to provide security. The young man at the back, who appears to be supporting the lady in her pretensions, may be taken to be the real culprit. A little child in a low chair plays with a begging dog.

In 1736 Hogarth produced three pictures or prints in this style, The Distrest Poet published at three shillings and engraved by the painter himself, The Company of Undertakers, a satire on doctors, and The Sleeping Congregation, in which the Church of England is held up to ridicule.

The first is the best known and the most important. The original picture was in the Grosvenor collection. In a garret not much better than that occupied by Mary Hackabout a starving versifier, wrapped in an old bed-gown, is seated on the end of his miserable couch, endeavouring to compose a poem on the gold mines of Peru, a map of which is pinned up behind him. The allusion is to the South Sea Bubble fraud; neither the gold nor the talent exists.

While the unhappy author scratches his head in an agonized attempt to achieve some tolerable rhyme, his wife is endeavouring to put his wardrobe into order. She is interrupted by the arrival of an angry milk-woman, who presents a long bill. The little helpmate, who occupies the middle of the composition, is charming—pretty, tender and apprehensive she looks up with alarm at the angry visitor; in her hands are a pair of breeches. On the coat flung on the floor rest a cat and kittens; a baby shows in the wretched bed. A cheap sword is on the floor and a shirt and a pair of ruffles are drying before the scanty fire. In a pan of water rests one of the poet's stockings; a few miserable domestic utensils complete the furnishing of the garret. The door of the empty cupboard is open, revealing a solitary mouse. The milkmaid is young, handsome and comfortably dressed. The whole may be taken as a fair representation of the daily life of those inhabitants of Grub Street, who were often not mere hack writers, scribblers of ballads, of dying confessions, newspaper articles and scurrilous pamphlets, but men of wit, learning, talent and even genius. In this subject there is nothing to satirize but misfortune, and Hogarth has given his hero so mean and disagreeable an exterior that the spectator's sympathy is diverted to the gentle little wife, whose lot seems so extremely and so undeservedly hard.

In The Sleeping Congregation the satire is more emphatic and bitter. It was engraved by Hogarth himself from a picture that seems now to have been lost, and was sold for a shilling. The subject, like most of those used by Hogarth, was by no means new. A sleeping congregation was certainly in the eighteenth century a standing joke, and the text 'Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest' was often employed satirically as a motto for a tedious preacher.

The whole print gives the impression of sordid dullness and utter boredom. It represents the interior of some London church. The preacher, who is said to be a portrait of a Dr. Desaguliers, is seated in the pulpit, the hour-glass beside him, a canopy above his head. He holds up a reading-glass and drones away from a book that he holds in his hand. Beneath him the clerk, a personage of the most brutal countenance possible, is kept awake by the charms of the sleeping lady in the right foreground—a truly delightful figure who holds her fan in one hand and the Prayer Book, open at the marriage service, in the other. Beyond we see the pews with the heads of the members of the congregation, who are as sound asleep as if they had been drugged. Two men are snoring away in the gallery, in front of which they have hung their three-cornered hats. Two witch-like old women in steeple-crowned hats are awake, probably with the intention of spying out the faults of their neighbours. Deformed cherubim or angels are seen above the windows in company with some moping owls; in one of the lights there is an inscription to the memory of a certain learned and Revd. Ebenezer Muzz, 'who now sleepeth with his fathers'. The pews have been cut from an antique bedstead, while the pulpit has been fashioned from a fire-side chair. Crutches support the clerk's desk. Underneath the hour-glass is the inscription 'I am afraid for you lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.' The details of the print closely follow some lines on the same subject in the Dunciad and a satire by Dean Swift. It was touched up by Hogarth in 1762.

There can be no doubt that it is a perfectly fair representation of an English London or country church of Hogarth's period. The clergy were, at this time, so common a butt for satire and jest that they seemed to have become inured to attacks and to have gone their ways without retaliation or resentment.

In The Undertakers Hogarth turned his attention to another faculty very commonly satirized and abused—that of medicine. On a shield, intended to represent a funeral escutcheon, which is surrounded by cross-bones, are arranged a group of heads—all likenesses and all hideous. One is supposed to be Dr. Pearce Dodd, physician to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, who died in 1754, another a celebrated Dr. Bamber, a third a certain 'Chevalier Tailor', an amusing charlatan, who wrote an astonishing autobiography. The most remarkable of these figures, however, is a Mrs. Mapp, a female bone-setter, who seemed to have had a very modest idea of her own powers since she travelled about the country calling herself 'crazy Sally'. She claimed to be able, by sheer strength of muscle, to twist dislocated limbs back into place, and it was said that nineteen out of twenty of her patients died of her exertions. There were, however, some cures to her credit—in particular that of a niece of Sir Hans Sloan, whose shoulder-bone had been out for nine years until Mrs. Mapp returned it to its place.

This female bone-setter was a well-known London figure, frequently seen on the Epsom race-course, where she laid her bets with an air, promising the jockeys handsome presents if they won. In 1736 she waited on Her Majesty, according to the Grub Street Journal, and a few days later when she appeared at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln's Inn Fields there was such a strong press to see her that rowdy scenes, in which the gentlemen had their pockets picked and the ladies were robbed of their fans, ensued. Yet in 1737 the much-talked-of Mrs. Mapp died at her lodgings near Seven Dials so miserably poor that the Parish was obliged to bury her. She was a friend of 'Spot Ward,' already caricatured by Hogarth, who appears again in this plate—easily to be identified by the claret-mark on his cheek. The whole of this curious print is intended to give an air of death and desolation—it must be admitted that this purpose is attained.

The print published in 1737 of Scholars at a Lecture is of the same type. A group of youths, each of whom boasts an imbecile countenance, is listening to an equally stupid lecturer, who drones away out of an open book. Hogarth appears to have gone to Oxford to make this satire, and the man reading is a portrait of Mr. Fisher of Jesus College, Registrar of the University, who died in 1761. He is said to have sat willingly for this portrait and been pleased to see it included in this print.

In 1738 appeared the genial and important Southwark Fair; the original picture is in the possession of the Foundling Hospital, and the print, which was made by Hogarth and engraved by Baron, was sold at 5s. These London fairs, generally held on Saints' days, were one of the most popular forms of amusement for the London populace, and Hogarth, so fond of life in all its forms and of jolly diversions, must have often frequented these fairgrounds, both St. Bartholomew's and that which he here shows us at Southwark. Many of these fairs remained open for several weeks; they began as open markets or trading places and ended by being scenes of idleness, vice and crime. They became, indeed, of such ill-repute that they were, like the masquerades—which served the same purposes for the rich as the fairs did for the poor—suppressed by law.

In this crowded, beautifully finished picture, Hogarth shows us almost every amusement that could be obtained at Southwark Fair and almost every character to be seen there upon a holiday. A company of strolling players are performing The Fall of Bajazet, while the scaffolding gives way beneath them. The orchestra consists of a violin and a salt-box, and a monkey and a Merry Andrew are escaping from the disaster.

The centre of the piece is taken by a beautiful young woman beating a drum in the hope of attracting an audience for some comedy; she is gaped at by two louts of the neighbourhood. An actor, arrayed in tawdry stage-finery, is arrested for debt, a youth is having his pocket picked, there is a prizefighter on a blind horse, a juggler, a woman's chemise displayed as the reward for the lady who shall win a foot race, a hat as the prize for the best wrestler, a fire-eater, a quack doctor, a Punch and Judy, a dancing dog, a woman with a dice-box, a fortune teller, a foreign organ-grinder with a dwarf drummer, a fight with quarterstaves, and the famous play The Siege of Troy, which is being rehearsed by a company of strolling players. The author of this favourite farce was the last of the City Poet Laureates, Elkanah Settle, who, in his poverty-stricken old age, eked out a miserable existence by writing these 'drolls, as they were termed, for fairs; he also attended the booth at St. Bartholomew's Fair, where these were performed, and in his own farce of St. George for England appeared in the part of the dragon wearing a green leather coat of his own invention.

Two figures which are portraits, are those of the lady vaulting a rope, a famous Italian, Signora Violante, and the steeple-climber, who was a certain Cadman, a very clever acrobat, unfortunately, however, killed when ascending a spire at Shrewsbury.

The show-cloth above the broken booth contains a satire within a satire—it is an elaborate piece taking off an etching by John Laguerre, son of that Louis Laguerre whose grand historical pieces Hogarth so despised. It has been turned about to form a squib on the quarrel between the rival managers of Drury Lane and the Haymarket. This extraordinary picture is full of minute details, not one of which is without a meaning.

Mrs. Hogarth, after her husband's death, said that the figure of the fair lady with the drum was that of an actress whom Hogarth had rescued from a bully. She seems, however, to have a certain likeness to Jane Hogarth herself; it is generally admitted that this female drummer represents Hogarth's ideal type—tall, fair, moon-faced and robust. Hogarth's indifferent spelling, which his enemies found so convenient for their spleen, is very evident in this print, and surely not out of place; one cannot suppose that these notices shown at booths at fairs were models of correct scholarship.

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In the following year Hogarth issued four prints at £1 1s., engraved by himself and Baron; they were taken from the four designs that he had provided for Jonathan Tyers, who had them painted, probably by Hayman, for Vauxhall; these were entitled The Four Times of Day.

These are essentially London scenes, treated very satirically. The first, Morning, Miss Bridget Allworthy on her way to Church, shows us that core of the town, Covent Garden, with Inigo Jones's church in the background, beyond which is the prim façade of Tom King's Coffee House. It is a dreary winter morning, the time the unlikely hour of seven. The snow lies deep on the roofs and the sky is dark. The old maid, with her fan to her lips, is tripping to church with frosty nose and pinched lips, a shivering, clumsily dressed page-boy follows her; behind, two poor little schoolboys proceed at this unnatural hour to school. Beyond them is a quack, endeavouring to sell his medicines, and a woman who is a vendor of rice-milk, a favourite potation of the period. The public-house with its pewter-pot sign is already open—indeed, it is likely that it has never been closed. In the door of the coffeehouse a fight is in progress—we see swords and cudgels raised as the beaux, at last returning home, riot with the constables who had been called to check their disorder. In the front of the picture two of these tipsy revellers are embracing a couple of pretty orange-girls; in front of them some beggars gather round a scanty fire and in vain beg alms from the chilly old maid, who proceeds grimly through this hurly-burly on her way to her devotions.

This lady is supposed to be a likeness of a relative of Hogarth's and the satire to have cost him a handsome legacy.

In this print the buildings, as is usual with Hogarth, are reversed; he was fond of introducing topical incidents into his prints and the riot in front of Tom King's Coffee House may have been suggested to him by the fact that Moll King, the proprietress of this coffee-house, was fined two hundred pounds, or sentenced to three months' imprisonment and obliged to find security for her good behaviour for three years for keeping a disorderly house. This lady, one of the great sisterhood which was graced by Betty Carless, Mother Needham and Mother Bentley, contrived to survive her imprisonment and retired with dignity to Haverstock Hill, where she built her own mansion and died in 1747. The notorious Nancy Dawson afterwards lived on this property, which was long known by the name of Moll King's Row.

Plate II is Noon, A Motley Congregation leaving Service, and the scene is laid at the door of a French chapel in Hog Lane, near Rathbone Place, Oxford Street, a quarter that was patronized by French Protestant refugees, workers in gilding, engraving, watch-making and other fine crafts. A group of these exiles are leaving a plain brick church, by the door of which is the Huguenot pastor; the painter has made these foreigners as ridiculous and disagreeable as possible; a mincing beau and an affected lady are the principal figures, while in front of them is a boy dressed up in an absurd style like a fashionable man. Opposite the church is an inn and the sign is The Baptist's Head, with the inscription 'Good eating', flanked by mutton chops. Beyond, another sign is a headless female (to balance the bodiless saint) entitled 'The Good Woman'; between, an angry housewife after a violent altercation with her husband, hurls the dinner into the street; is this an example of French vivacity or are these Londoners? To the left of the picture a handsome young woman, who is bringing a pie from the baker's, is being embraced by a negro, and in front is a ragged, howling boy, who has dropped his pudding and rests a fragment on a street post. A miserable girl picks up and gobbles the fragments that have fallen on to the filthy cobbles. The state of the street is shown by the dead cat that sprawls across the kennel and that is unheeded by everyone except the French boy, who seems to find it amusing. In the distance is St. Giles's Church; as usual we are told the time—half-past eleven in the morning. Pewter pots of the same shape as those shown in Gin Alley are hanging up in front of the distiller's den.

Evening, The Shrew and her husband going home, by the New River at Islington, which was engraved by Baron, the faces being retouched by Hogarth, shows a dreary little family party returning from a day out at Islington. This Cockney's holiday has not been successful; the man is a poor dyer of mean aspect, his wife a buxom shrew—in some impressions the man's hands were printed blue to show his trade, the woman's face red to show the heat. With fatigue and despair on his features and discomfort and temper on hers, they toil homewards, the man carrying with difficulty a sleeping child. They are passing a pond and behind them is a public-house, half-hidden by a tree, bearing the sign of The Head of Sir Hugh Middleton (the promoter of the New River Scheme). The scene is the side of the New River—we can see one of the wooden pipes utilised in the waterworks. To the left is a farm with a sour housewife, and beyond some trees—we are right out in the country. A woman is milking a cow whose head is so adjusted that her horns appear above the little artisan's wig, thus telling us that his wife is as unfaithful as she is disagreeable. It is a summer day and the weather is extremely hot. The dog precedes his master and mistress in a. drooping fashion and behind come two quarrelling, extremely unattractive children dressed like a little man and woman. The group seen through the alehouse window are cooling themselves off by drinking hot punch and smoking strong tobacco with the window closed. Others sit in the fenced garden.

The last print of the series, Night, The Drunken Freemason taken care of by the waiter at the Rummer Tavern, is a very fantastic piece where the satire runs riot. When used at Vauxhall, this design was named—The overturning of the Salisbury coach.

A drunken Freemason, who is supposed to be that Sir Thomas de Veil whom we saw in the print A Woman Swearing her child to a Grave Citizen, is being led home by a waiter who carries a lantern and who is himself none too steady. The jest is that this magistrate was so severe against drunkenness that his house was fired by rioters.

These two staggering figures are passing the new bagnio or Rummer Tavern near Charing Cross. Both the waiter and his charge are quite oblivious of the many excitements that are taking place round them. At the back the Salisbury Flying Coach has overturned when trying to pass through a bonfire that some reveller has lit in the street. The passengers look from the window and a butcher and his assistant try to put out the flames.

It is, indeed, a festival—the 29th of May, the anniversary of the Restoration of Charles II. To emphasize this point we see the statue of Charles I in the distance, as well as a house that has been set on fire by the too lavish display of fireworks. Through the window of the tavern is seen a barber shaving his customer; both of them appear to be a little exhilarated by the rejoicings of the night. In the cellars beneath some miserable wretches crouch. The sign is decorated with oak leaves and there are the same favours in the Freemason's hat, which receives the copious deluge of an unpleasant liquid from the utensil that a female hand empties out of an upper window. The over-set coach, which is supposed to be a satire upon a certain gentleman who insisted on driving his own carriages and was frequently involved in an accident, is badly drawn and in an impossible situation.

Morning and Noon were sold to the Duke of Ancaster for 57 guineas, and Evening and Night to Sir William Heathcote for 64 guineas.

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Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn was painted in 1738, the original canvas was destroyed in 1807; the engraving was made by Hogarth himself, is a picture of the same type as Southwark Fair, crowded with detail, humorous, genial and even gay. The subject is supposed to have been suggested to Hogarth by the Act, passed about this time, that forbade performance of any play or interlude not sanctioned by the Lord Chamberlain. This was caused by the stage allusions, too frequent to be pleasing to the Government, to politics. The piece that finally provoked the Act was supposed to be The Golden Rump, which contained some very severe strictures on George II and his Queen, and was to have been produced at the theatre in the Haymarket, had not Sir Robert Walpole got wind of the matter and stopped the performance. The Bill was not popular, putting as it did a check upon the amusements of the people. It was feared, and with some cause, that a play not allowed to contain either indecencies or political allusions would be insipid. Another cause of irritation was the fact that the Lord Chamberlain granted special privileges to foreigners, and in 1738, when he permitted some French actors to produce a play at the Haymarket, the mob broke in and wrecked the theatre, causing the hurried retreat of the French Ambassador, who occupied one of the boxes.

This picture, which has hardly any unpleasant features, has always been one of the most popular of Hogarth's satires—if satire it can be called—where, as in The Distrest Poet, the only thing he is ridiculing is poverty.

The ladies of a strolling company are dressing in a barn. They are from a London theatre and the play that they are to give is entitled 'The Devil is to pay in Heaven' (an imaginary play). Gods and goddesses, devils, ghosts, rope-dancers, tumblers, dragons, Roman eagles and a monkey are among the personages to be represented on the rustic stage. The humour of the composition consists in the obvious difference between the pretensions of the performers and their real state. The 'Goddess of Night' is darning her stocking, 'The Star of Evening' on the brow of one of the ladies is represented by a pastry cutter, 'The Tragic Muse' is drawing blood for her purpose from a cat's tail, Flora is powdering her hair with a kitchen dredger, and a hamper that is labelled 'jewels' is full of broken crocks. A multitude of other telling details are directed to the same end, but as is usual with Hogarth, the composition does not appear crowded or confused. There is great grace, and even beauty, in the principal figure—that of Diana, who practises her part with upraised hands. A copy of the New Act of Parliament lying upon the wretched bed shows that this will be the last performance of this unfortunate company of strolling players.

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In 1741 Hogarth brought out what may be taken to be a companion print to The Distrest Poet—The Enraged Musician, which was published at 3s. The original painting is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Hogarth's advertisement in the London Daily Post, November 24th, 1740, announced the print as a companion to The Distrest Poet and declared that there would be added a third on painting to complete the set. This seems never to have been done.

The print is a skit on the noises of London, which must then have been a continual torment to all the inhabitants. As no cart nor carriage had springs, and as all the roads were cobbled, a continual background of noise was provided by the traffic; street hawkers were, besides, completely unrestrained; as many articles were sold in the streets as in the shops, their vendors crying their wares at the top of their voices from dawn to dark. Food, such as all country produce, honey, vinegar and oysters, delicacies such as gingerbread-cake, apples and other kinds of fruit, were carried from door to door. There was the milkmaid, and the water-carrier selling fresh water; girls with baskets on their heads sold shrimps and watercress, others with paniers on their arms sold lavender, rosemary, vegetables, and tarts. There was the travelling carpenter, the knife and scissor grinder, the huckster with female finery, the almanack seller, the man who had brimstone-matches, ink, sealing-wax; there was the ballad singer, the travelling musician, the hawker of firewood, the chair-mender and the old-clothes man; the seller of baskets walked about with her wares piled high on her head; there was the tinker, the china-mender, the man selling lanterns, buckles or kitchen utensils.

Added to this din was the hurly-burly of the continual fights, when the roars of the mob urged on the different champions; there was the cracking of whips from the coachmen, the shouting of shrews in argument at windows and in porches, the snarling hubbub of vagabond dogs engaged in fights, and the roaring songs of the roisterers reeling to and from the taverns.

To this appalling din is our musician subjected; he has been endeavouring to instruct a fashionable pupil in his art and seems to be one of those successful foreigners whom Hogarth so much disliked. Handsomely dressed in a bag wig with his music-book behind him and his violin bow in his hand (a great contrast to the poverty of the poet in the companion print), he throws open the window and with his hands at his ears yells out to the crowd for a little silence. He has been severally supposed to be Handel, who he certainly is not, and Mr. John Festin, brother of the band-leader at Ranelagh. In the crowd outside the house Hogarth has represented as many as possible of the causes of the London din. The principal figure is a charming milkmaid, who carries her pail upon her head; there is a fishmonger, a drummer, a ballad-singer screeching out with a howling infant in her arms; a parrot squawking on the support of a street lamp, the dustman ringing his bell, a cutler grinding a butcher's cleaver, a dog howling and a man directly beneath the window persistently blowing upon a horn. From a pewterer's nearby comes the sound of the apprentices banging upon the metal, and at the beflagged church in the distance the bellringers are practising. This church is St. Martin's-inthe-Fields, and the house is supposed to be situate at the end of St. Martin's Lane.

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In 1746 Hogarth painted Taste in High Life. It was done to order and not engraved. Although the subject must have been congenial, this painting does not seem to have been a favourite with the artist. It is yet another skit on the ridiculous, fashionable dilettante of the day. The Miss Edwards who ordered the print was herself an eccentric and paid 60 guineas to Hogarth in order to be revenged on those who had jeered at her peculiarities.

A foolish old woman, in an enormous hoop of flowered silk, holds up in an affectation of rapture a small china cup. Her companion is a knock-kneed, ancient, overdressed beau with a huge muff on his arm and a long pigtail, who holds out the saucer with an expression of complete vacancy. This is supposed to be Lord Portimore, who, having spent a long time at the French Court, returned to London with some Parisian fashions, which were instantly ridiculed by the caricaturists. In front of the lady sits a smart little monkey dressed in a complete modish outfit—through a magnifying glass it is studying the bill of fare for dinner; this consists of coxcombs, ducks' tongues, rabbits' ears, fricassee of snails and other suchlike delicacies. At the back of the picture is a pretty and elegant young woman who seems to serve no purpose save that of making a contrast with the ridiculous old lady; she is fondling a little black boy (believed to be one Ignatius Sancho, a greatly admired negro) holding a small Chinese ornament. The room is excessively crowded with pictures and objects of virtu; a huge stack of cards shows how the lady employs some of her leisure—the bill by them is inscribed 'Lady Basto, debtor to John Pip for cards £300.' One of the pictures represents the Venus de' Medici in corsets and high-heeled shoes; in another a Cupid is endeavouring to reduce the redundant proportions of a stout lady; in a third another Amorino is burning some fashionable articles of attire; another picture represents the fashionable ballet master, Desnoyer, directing a dance of insects; a drawing labelled 'Exotic' shows French fashions. These and other details were supposed to have been done on the direct instructions of Miss Edwards, but it may be believed that they were quite congenial to the taste of Hogarth; it is difficult to understand why he did not like the picture and refused to have it engraved.

The Country Inn Yard, Preparing to start the Coach, published in 1747 at a shilling, illustrates a very common event in English life in the eighteenth century. It is not, certainly, a London scene, yet it is one that must have been familiar to every Cockney who left the capital. For this, unless he was rich or important, was his only means of travel. We are not very far from London since this is Essex, probably Chelmsford. The coach is a more important-looking vehicle than the rude waggon that brought Mary Hackabout up from York. It is not, however, very commodious and is probably intended only for short journeys. The horses and coachmen are hidden under the arch that leads to the inn-courtyard. This seems of a gigantic size and the artist has surely strained perspective to suit his purpose, for, in the background of this courtyard, there is an election procession in progress, which is watched by the inhabitants of the inn, who gaze down on to the yard from balconies. The travellers take no heed of this distraction, but are absorbed in the heavy business of getting on their way. The fat host of the inn in his long apron offers a bill that is considered very sourly by a comfortable-looking traveller, from whose pocket projects a copy of the Act against bribery. The fat landlady pulls the bell and roars for the maid, who is coquetting with a departing traveller and takes no notice. A stout woman is being eased through the door of the coach by the postilion—a spare and ancient lady is about to follow her. The humpbacked postilion, only half the height of the great wheel, begs for his fee from a morose traveller, who takes no heed of him. In the boot with the luggage sits an old woman absorbed in smoking a pipe. On the roof of the coach are two passengers, an English sailor with his bundle, and a Frenchman, who seem on the worst of terms! It seems, from the shape of the roof, impossible that these should long keep their positions.

Two travellers staying at the inn appear at the window; one is practising on the French horn, the other, who has been trying to smoke, is sick from the effects of last night's convivialities. By reason of some very elaborate punning allusions, we learn that the candidate being cheered in the background represents Child, Lord Castlemaine, the successful candidate for the county of Essex. The angel tripping on a cloud gives us the name of the Inn.

* * *

Hogarth's unfortunate visit to France was commemorated by him in Calais Gate or The Roast Beef of Old England, which was engraved by Mosley and sold at 10s. 6d.

This is a very odd picture, intended as a reprisal for the personal affront that Hogarth had received in France. The object of the satire is the poverty of the French nation, which, on Hogarth's own showing, was no worse than that endured by at least some sections of the population of England.

We look through an archway at the gate that Hogarth endeavoured to paint, thinking that he had seen on it the ancient arms of England. A cook from a hotel that caters for English travellers, who is himself half-starved, carries by an enormous joint of English beef for the delectation of the foreigners. He is stopped by a gross friar who leers lovingly at the meat. Two famished sentinels, one of whom seems imbecile and the other has a ruffling air, peer longingly at the joint. In a corner a group of fisherwomen point to an enormous fish, whose gaping countenance has much resemblance to their own. A few vegetables scattered about show the poverty of the fare. Two unhappy exiles represent the fallen hopes of the rebellion of 1745 some ragged figures, bowed with despair, are carrying away a pot of thin broth. In the distance is the artist making the sketch with the soldier's hand falling on his shoulder. Hogarth's friend, Forrest, who wrote the account of the tour in Kent, composed a cantata describing this picture. This was published with the representation of the Calais Gate as a headpiece. The figure of the French sentinel was copied to adorn advertisements to induce recruits to join the British army. This figure, which is rather in the style of Callot, has paper ruffles, on which are written 'Grand Monarch, P.'

The picture was bought by Hogarth's generous friend and patron, Lord Charlemont. As it was accidentally damaged at the top, Hogarth painted in a crow staring down at the beef, in order to hide the damage.

The advertisement in the General Advertiser for March 9th, 1749, leaves no doubt as to Hogarth's vicious intention towards the French:

This day is published, price five shillings, a print designed and engraved by Mr. Hogarth representing a prodigy which lately appeared before the Gate of Calais, O, the Roast Beef of Old England, to be had at The Golden Head in Leicester Fields and at the print shops.

Thomas Gray, who visited Calais in the mid-eighteenth century, found it a pleasant and attractive little town; not did 'the sentimental traveller' observe the grotesque misery that the Cockney painter so ungraciously satirizes. It was certainly a most superficial and vindictive view of France that Hogarth took—there was more elegance, culture, luxury and refinement in the Kingdom of Louis XV than there was in that of George II. There was also, no doubt, quite enough misery, disorder and pretension to furnish Hogarth with sufficient material for Calais Gate.

This print had not been long upon the market before The March of the Guards to Finchley was published. The latter was engraved by L. Sullivan from a picture painted by Hogarth five years previously. It was as severe a satire on the British Grenadiers as Calais Gate had been on the soldiers of Louis XV. It could not, however, as Charles Churchill afterwards asserted, have affected the fate of England in a time of national anxiety, for it was not engraved until several years after Culloden; nor does the original picture seem to have been exhibited; it is at present in the possession of the Foundling Hospital, which won it in a lottery organized by Hogarth.

* * *

Prince Charles Edward, known as the Chevalier de St. George, landed in Scotland in August, 1744. George II was in Hanover, but, being recalled, returned to England in September, when he found London in a state of high excitement, and a batch of loyal addresses from the city, the Londoners engaged 'to sacrifice all that was dear and valuable in support of the royal family and constitution'.

As the Scots advanced southwards the trained bands were called up and the city gates strongly guarded; the loyalists formed themselves into volunteer regiments and subscriptions were invited for furnishing the soldiers, obliged to march northwards in the winter to suppress this 'unnatural rebellion', with support, relief and encouragement.

The patriotic citizens raised enough money to purchase 12,000 pairs of breeches, 12,000 shirts, 10,000 woollen caps, 10,000 pairs of woollen stockings, 1,000 blankets, 12,000 pairs of woollen gloves, and 10,000 pairs of woollen spatterdashes.

That such a provision was necessary seems a reflection on the War Office, but the equipment of the Army had been somewhat depleted by the campaigns in France and the gift was gratefully accepted by the Government.

By a proclamation of December 7th all 'Jesuits and Popish priests' were to be hunted out and £100 reward was offered to anyone who should bring in any such dangerous person.

The Quakers provided woollen waistcoats for the soldiers, and the City—there was fear of a French invasion to support the rebels—remained in a state of anxious suspense.

Prince Charles might be a romantic figure in the North, but in London he was nothing but a danger and a nuisance.

When news arrived that the Scots were at Derby, matters were felt to be at a crisis, double watches were posted at the City gates, an alarm signal arranged, the Middlesex and London Militia were got under arms, and all the regular troops in the capital were ordered to proceed to Finchley Common, where they were to camp. It was the King's intention to inspect these men and then to lead them in person against the invader.

It was soon learned, however, that the French had no intention of invading England and that Prince Charles had fallen back from Derby; upon this intelligence Prince Augustus, recently defeated by Maurice de Saxe at Fontenoy, took command of the British army and marched in pursuit of the rebels, defeating them at Culloden Moor, April 16th, 1746; he was regarded as the 'saviour' of the City.

There was over three thousand pounds left from the money subscribed for 'the encouragement' of the soldiers, and this was divided among the hospitals, £100 going to the 'Infirmary at Hyde Park Corner'.

* * *

The Guards is in the style of Southwark Fair or Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn, with a deeper bite of satire. All the various disorders of an army breaking camp are vigorously delineated and the picture is beautifully finished in the Dutch style. The subject is commonplace enough, the characters ordinary, even vulgar, but the treatment is fresh and vivacious, and the underlying bitterness of irony gives point to every detail.

The print, after its summary rejection by the King, was published by subscription; three shillings above the price of 7s. 6d. entitled the holder to a ticket in the lottery, the prize for which was to be the original picture. The 167 tickets which Hogarth had left on his hands he gave to the Foundling Hospital.

The full title of the print is A Representation of the March of the Guards towards Scotland in the year 1745. The scene is before The Adam and Eve tavern in Tottenham Court Road. A comely and stalwart young Grenadier in the centre of the piece is in the position of Captain MacHeath, between two charmers, of both of whom he would fain be rid. They seem to be ballad-singers; the paper on one girl's arm is appropriately inscribed 'Remembrancer'. She appears to be a hawker of Jacobite literature. The other, a far more resolute-looking female, carries a portrait of Prince Augustus and a copy of 'God Save the King'. Behind, with a child upon her back, is a smoking woman, who appears quite ready to follow the army to whatever destination it may be directed. Two odd-looking figures behind are supposed to be spies, a Highlander in disguise and a Frenchman; a lusty drummer is beating a hearty tattoo to drown the cries of his wife; a boy, in a uniform like his elder, practises the fife. Under the sign of The Adam and Eve a crowd are watching a couple of boxers; a sickly looking soldier contemplates a quack's bill. The gentleman haranguing the crowd with such spirit is supposed to be a portrait of the blind Lord Albemarle Bertie whom we shall see again in The Cockpit. The group, though much in the background, is perfectly finished and absolutely clear. A baggage waggon untidily heaped with miscellaneous objects is passing a turnpike; female apparel is heaped in with drums, tent-poles and halberts. Three women, two old and one young and beautiful, are seated upon this waggon. In the foreground one soldier kisses a milkmaid, while another steals her milk, which he shares with a chimney-sweep. This joke is pointed out by another soldier to a pastry-cook, who is robbed of his wares while he laughs at the scene. A soldier, overcome by gin and half-unclothed, has fallen into a puddle, in which lies his knapsack with the initials 'G.R.' A companion is trying to put water into his mouth, but his wife comes to the rescue with another bottle of gin, for which a wasted child is pleading. Some little chickens are in search of a hen that is in a sailor's pocket, who, casting up his hat, is shouting loyally for the King. Other soldiers are stopping a man with a cask of gin and relieving him of his burden, a useless young officer looks vacantly round on the confusion, while from the window of another tavern, The King's Head, appear many fair ladies of the town bidding farewell to the departing heroes. One of them appears to be a Dame Quickley and the others so many Doll Tearsheets. The soldiers are in the uniform of the Grenadiers with that high sugar-loaf cap first seen with astonishment by English people when William of Orange marched his well-organized armies from Torbay to Exeter. The piper represents a novelty; Prince Augustus, soon afterwards the Duke of Cumberland, introduced these young musicians into the British Army.

Apart from crude caricatures, which have not survived, this seems to be the first realistic representation of British soldiers; all others had been in the high-flown, grand historical style, where everyone was disguised by a noble attitude and a classic costume.

The composition is crowded and the incidents no doubt exaggerated, yet in some such way as this the British Grenadier, clothed in the warm garments supplied to him by the generous and alarmed citizens of London, did set out with baggage and camp followers on the Great North Road, which was to take him to Culloden. Allowing for the little heightening of the colouring, these were the men who, under the orders of the young Prince Augustus, defeated the Scots on the gloomy moor outside the town of Inverness and afterwards massacred some of their prisoners.

The satire in this picture is very sharp; there is nothing noble, nor even pleasant or agreeable, in the composition; some of the women are pretty but none have dignity or charm. The soldiers all appear brutal, apathetic and vicious. The attentions of the ladies of the town are obtrusive and coarse. The King, who had led these soldiers to victory at Dettingen, and who took great pride and interest in the British Army, would naturally feel that the flag exhibited in the middle of the composition was degraded by the company in which it found itself.

* * *

Having satirized the Army, Hogarth, five years later, in his four prints of an election, held up politicians to equal ridicule. Hogarth's prints were published when the unpopular Septennial Act was in force. They were, contrary to his custom, each dedicated to a different personage—the first print, February 24th, 1755, to the Right Honourable Henry Fox; the second Plate, February 20th, 1757, to Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, Ambassador at the Court of Russia; Plate III, February 20th, 1758, to the Honourable Sir Edward Walpole, Knight of the Bath; Plate IV, January 1st, 1759, to the Honourable George Kay, one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. The plates were engraved by various hands, a circumstance that caused a delay in their appearance—for which Hogarth apologized through an advertisement in the Public Advertiser of February 28th, 1757, and in which, with that note between petulance and despair that he often struck, he declared that the vexations of this manner of work would cause him for the future to employ the rest of his time in portrait painting.

* * *

We may presume that this election is that of 1754; the Government of the Pelhams had had to cope with serious difficulties at home and abroad—a war with France, where the English arms suffered defeat at Fontenoy and Laufeldt, the Scots' insurrection at home, balanced, however, by the practical destruction of the French Marine and the losses sustained by King Louis in his colonies. In 1748 the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle had been celebrated with much pomp in London; a grand celebration was held in the Green Park, for which Handel wrote 'a military overture' afterwards known as 'the firework music'; there were transparencies of Virtues, Heroes, and Britannia clasping the King of Great Britain by the hand. The 'machine that contained the fireworks' was placed in a splendid temple adorned with painting, sculpture and inscriptions of the most loyal description; from this sumptuous theatre the fireworks—to the number of thirty-two thousand—were let off to Handel's lively music; the centre-piece of the fireworks was a sun seventy feet across with the motto Vivat Rex, which was let off to the sound of a hundred-andone pieces of ordnance; the King watched the display, which was rendered more exciting because one of the pavilions caught fire; no such sight had been seen in London before, and several of the citizens were crushed to death.

That summer there were riots between sailors—idle since the Peace—and women of the town; Tom Idle and Mother Needham in full battle; the soldiers were called in and several of the men arrested; fifteen of these were sentenced to be hanged; a large body of tars armed with cutlasses attended at the gallows, not to effect a rescue but to protest against the handing over of the bodies of the condemned men to the surgeons; on being assured that this would not be done they remained, in high good spirits, to enjoy the entertainment; this shows that Tom Nero's fate was dreaded even by the most debased and brutal; it was considered a wonderful proof of British justice that Earl Ferrets, who was hanged for the murder of his steward, not only did not (contrary to gossip) have a silken rope, but had to suffer his body's being sent to Surgeons' Hall.

In this year there was talk of the ruin of Europe, and Great Britain regarded with pride a reduction of the interest on the National Debt from 4 to 3 per cent—and this after a war that had cost thirty million sterling, the annual revenue of the country being but eight-and-a-half millions.

The industrial revolution—unperceived by almost everyone—was beginning; John Kaye had invented his shuttle and the citizens of London regarded with pride and wonder the fine railings round St. Paul's Cathedral, which were made from iron smelted with pit coal instead of charcoal; the rotation of crops had been introduced in the East of England, and waste lands, to the suffering of the peasants but to the benefit of agriculture, were being enclosed; in 1751 the Calendar was reformed (New Style) and in 1753 Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act broke up the disgraceful state of the Marriage Law, but a Bill to permit the naturalization of Jews had to be abandoned owing to public indignation.

William Pitt was regarded as the most powerful and patriotic man in the country; though passed over in the Broad Bottom Ministry, he had been made Paymaster of the Forces in 1746, but Henry Pelham, with his brother, the Duke of Newcastle, was supreme in Parliament.

Timid and peaceful, Pelham was a good business man, an able financier and an adept in the intricate system of corruption whereby the country was governed; this art was shared by his brother, the Duke of Newcastle, who, however, was himself clean-handed; after being in office fifty years he died with a loss of £300,000 in his personal fortune.

The Pelham brothers were educated in the ancient College of St. Peter's under the shadow of Westminster Abbey, where Lord Burlington, Kent's patron, designed the hall and dormitory paid for by a royal grant and legacies left by grateful scholars.

We can suppose that the heroes of this election are supporters of the Pelham administration and that they had been very well instructed how to gain their contested seats, which they had, however, perhaps purchased—the price of a seat being from £7,000 to £10,000. Most of the towns had seats that were sold by the corporations, who, as they co-opted their members, could never be removed; many wealthy landowners disposed of two or three seats, which they presented to relations or protégés; the labourer, the small artisan, the 'little man' generally, were not represented at all.

An election, indeed, at this period was very properly known as a 'popular farce'; while England boasted of her Democracy and of the freedom of her people, while her Parliament was considered a model by foreigners, the entire country was run on an elaborate system of corruption at which everyone connived and that put the management of the country into the hands of a few hundreds of wealthy people; this was the day of the rotten Boroughs, when a heap of stones might mean a seat in Parliament and a large landowner could probably dispose of two or three, and of the shameless purchase of seats.

This is a contested election and the candidates have had to spend money freely. One has begun with a handsome dinner—Plate I, The Entertainment.

The candidate we are shown is a Government candidate, a follower and supporter of the Pelhams; the main inn was always held at the service of the Government man. He is a plump and comely gentleman, well-dressed and polished, who has no doubt done the grand tour and been able to compare the liberty to be enjoyed in his native land with the slavery endured by foreigners. This is again a rustic piece, for the dinner is held at a country inn; but our candidate will soon be at Westminster, a valued Senator in the Mother of Parliaments. The good fare has been consumed and the company is in a highly cheerful frame of mind, and the young dandy has to endure a din that can scarcely be very agreeable to him. Hogarth has depicted him as of the same type as the young gentleman described by Pope.

He saunter'd Europe round
And gathered every vice on Christian ground,
Saw every Court, heard every King declare
His Royal sense of opera or the fair;
See now how half cured and perfectly well-bred
With nothing but a solo in his head.
Stolen from a duel, followed by a nun
And if a Borough choose him,—not undone.'

The gentlemen whose votes he is soliciting may be described in the old jest as 'the supporters of the bill of fare'. The youth himself is enduring the attentions of a stout and hideous old woman. From the letter in his hand we understand his name to be Sir Commodity Tax'em. He also has to endure a child's trying to steal his solitaire ring and a coarse, rustic humorist of a supporter, who bangs his head against that of the old woman and strews his powdered hair with tobacco ash. All the usual village characters are gathered round the disordered table—the cobbler, the barber, the attorney, a greasy clergyman, some drunken musicians including a bagpiper scratching out fleas, old gouty men and grinning young roughs, a female fiddler, 'Fiddling Nan', and some comely young women—all in a medley of overturned furniture, pots and pans, draperies and the remnants of the feast.

The most dramatic incident is the collapse of the Mayor, who has choked himself by eating oysters and now is being ministered to by the barber, who bathes his forehead and pricks his arm in vain; in his rigid hand he still holds an oyster stuck upon a fork. The tipsy Nan tries to soothe the company with a little music, but all is not harmony. The opposing party, evidently of Jacobite sympathies, for they have mangled a picture of William III, gathered in the street below, are casting up stones at the window. To this the baronet's supporters reply by hurling out water and a three-legged stool; one of the stones has struck a lawyer, who falls to the ground wounded on the forehead. The electioneering agent is busy and endeavours to bribe a tailor. A stalwart, who is supposed to be the portrait of an Oxford prizefighter, G. Carter, has been wounded in the good cause, and a butcher is pouring raw spirit into his wound. A Quaker is reading a note from the candidate to himself, 'Abel Squat'—it is for £50 payable after date for gloves, ribands, etc.; these are for bribes for the wives and daughters of the electors. Some members of the opposite party have broken in at the door and there is a lively fight in progress, which seems likely to wreck the room.

The escutcheon arms are of the Elector's Arms; shows a chevron sable between three guineas with a crest of a gaping mouth and the motto 'Speak and have'—the Court flag is properly inscribed 'Liberty and Loyalty'. On another flag cast down is written 'Give us our eleven days' with an allusion to the new Calendar. On the tobacco tray is a copy of the Act against bribery and corruption, which has been torn into spills. Through the window one sees a procession—an effigy of the Duke of Newcastle is being carried aloft; on its breast is pinned the inscription 'No Jews'; the flag has the motto 'Liberty and Property and no Excise'—'Marry and multiply in spite of the Devil'.

The story goes that Hogarth endeavoured to make this engraving without taking a single proof, with the result that he was highly vexed at the number of errors that had been committed, and that another engraver was called in to erase them.

The picture is full of details and most highly finished. The large tub, of sufficient size to be used for a bath, if any of the present company ever took one, which was not likely, is full of punch.

There were some lemons and oranges lying by the side of this tub, but it is said that Hogarth was told that on the occasion of an election vitriol and cream of tartar were used in the punch, instead of the more costly flavouring, so he erased the fruit. Large as this punchbowl is, a yet larger is on record. It was filled by Admiral Russell in 1694 and was laid in a fountain in the garden; the water was overhung by orange and lemon trees ready to give a zest to the drink. Cold supper was laid in the four gravel walks that led to the fountain and the punch itself, which was the great feature of the entertainment, consisted of 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 nutmeg, three hundred toasted biscuits and a pint of dry mountain malaga. A canopy was erected over the fountain to keep the rain from mingling with the punch, and a little powder monkey, taken from the Fleet, rowed round on the punch in a little boat, specially made for the purpose, and handed up the beverage to the company, which numbered more than six thousand.

In The Election, Plate II, Canvassing for Votes, we have the village street between two rival inns. A freeholder, who is the fortunate possessor of a vote, is being bribed by the two different innkeepers, who are acting as agents for the rival parties. As he takes all he can get on either hand, he leers in imbecile self-satisfaction. Behind this group is one of the candidates, a stout gentleman in a powdered wig, who, from a wandering peddler, is purchasing trinkets for the two pretty ladies who lean down from the balcony above. These fair ones have no votes themselves, but may be able to influence those persons who have.

Opposite, in front of the Royal Oak Inn, two rough countrymen are eating and drinking heartily at the expense of one or other of the candidates. On the ground is a packet of bills, making extravagant promises to the electors and promising them a performance at Punch's Theatre.

In front of the other inn sits the agreeable-looking landlady on an old ship's head that shows the English lion devouring the French lily. She is counting over what she has made out of the fray, while a Grenadier watches her with a good deal of interest. At the window of this inn a cobbler and a barber are disputing. The name of the alehouse is The Portobello, and it is supposed that these two are discussing Admiral Vernon's great exploit. It was in 1739 that Admiral Vernon took Portobello with six ships—this dashing exploit was exceedingly popular and Admiral Vernon was the hero of the mob, until displaced in the popular affection by Lord Nelson. Countless ballads commemorated his fame and at the election in 1741 he was returned for three different constituencies. Hundreds of alehouses hung out the gallant sailor's portrait as a sign.

In the back of the picture is yet another inn, named The Crown. A disgruntled fellow is sawing away this sign, forgetful that, when the Crown falls, he will come down with it. The sign shows Charles II, in a huge black periwig, hiding in the oak; beneath there is a fight in progress—cudgels are aimed, blunderbusses discharged—it is a question of 'broken head and bloody bones'. Hung above the sign of the Royal Oak is a careful painting of the Treasury, out of which gold is streaming into a bag. A waggon is waiting to receive this; it will be used for the election expenses. There is a view of the Horse Guards, Whitehall, which has been transformed into the shape of a beer barrel as a skit against the lowness of the Arch of this building; the ground had to be dug out beneath it before the State Coach could pass through. Hogarth has shown the Royal carriage, and the King's body-coachman without a head, a hit at Kent, the architect. Beneath this is another show-cloth; Mr. Punch with a wheelbarrow packed with gold coins that he casts to the rustics, who catch them greedily, though one has received a cracked skull from the impact of the gold. Mrs. Punch is beside him and beneath is written Punch, a candidate for Guzzle Town.

There is a pretty little cottage in a wood and a village in the distance. Over the front of the Royal Oak are the rich branches of a vine and a wooden bunch of grapes.

Plate III is The Polling. In a pleasant landscape, across which passes a brick bridge, showing beyond a church and wood on a hill, has been erected the polling booth, where the candidates sit under a wooden cover, each with his supporters and flag beside him. A motley crowd, the imbecile, the lame, the blind and the sick, come up to give the votes for which they have been so highly paid. Coolly confident as the result of his labours, the young baronet waits complacently for the result. His opponent scratches his head in dismay as he realizes what an amount of time and money he has wasted. An old soldier without a leg, an arm and a hand, is the first to tender his vote to the clerk. His oath is contested because he cannot lay his right hand on the book, and this quibble is causing a good deal of excitement. A deaf imbecile is being told by his attendant, who roars in his ear, for whom he is to vote; a dying man wrapped in a blanket has been dragged up; a cripple is making his painful way towards the hustings, an artist is drawing the candidate and the village constable is asleep. A female ballad-singer is amusing a section of the crowd with a libel on one of the candidates; she exhibits a gibbet to the grinning rustics; and in the background is a sudden turn into allegory. We see Britannia's coach upset, while those who should be directing it—the coachman and footman—play at cards together.

Plate IV, Chairing the Member, is an exceedingly complicated composition. The Government candidates have secured the seats and are being carried in triumph along what may be supposed to be the centre of the village. To the left is the lawyer's handsome brick mansion, to the right the church with a wall and tree in front, at the back a schoolhouse or chapel. One Member, raised dangerously aloft in his chair, occupies the centre of the picture; one of his supporters has received a blow on the head from a drunken sailor and a thresher, who are fighting vigorously; as the last staggers, the new-made Member is almost upset. A pretty lady beyond the churchyard wall faints into the arms of her attendant at his peril, which, however, causes little concern to anyone else in the picture. In the mêlée an old woman is thrown down by a herd of little pigs, which, followed by the sow, dash across the bridge.

Next to the attorney's prosperous mansion is a ruined house to show that nothing can thrive in the shadow of the law, and at his lower window is a comfortable party laughing at the confusion into which the victor has been thrown; one is supposed to be the Duke of Newcastle, but if this is so, the occupants of the house are supporters of the Government. A half-naked soldier who has been boxing is taking snuff; a starving French cook and a woman carry in the food for the lawyer's party; a ragged fiddler plays merrily, a goose flies overhead and on the sundial is the punning motto: 'We must dial' (die-all).

In the background a tailor is beaten by his wife, who resents his leaving his work to view the commotion, or who is, perhaps, too honest to have taken a bribe; he is, perhaps, a Quaker or a Wesleyan. The introduction of two characters well known in Oxford leads one to suppose that this election takes place in that county and near the University town.

* * *

In 1759 Hogarth published at three shillings The Cockpit. The hero of the print is that blind nobleman, Lord Albemarle Bertie, whom we saw watching the prizefighters in the background of The March to Finchley. One of the fashionable amusements of the day is depicted with great spirit. The composition is something the same in effect as that of A Modern Midnight Conversation, The Cockpit taking the same place in this picture as the table did in the other. The national sports were almost as much a matter of pride to every honest and fair-minded citizen as were the national politics, and the same genial, good-humoured spirit which governed the electors in the prints we have just considered is shown among these sporting gentlemen. Cock-fighting had long been popular in England; this gentle and royal game, as it was called, seems to have been much indulged in by the Puritans. One of the great attractions it offered was, of course, the opportunity of heavy gambling.

This particular Cockpit is supposed, from the presence of Jackson, the hump-backed jockey, and some other noted racing personages, to be at Newmarket. Round the two fighting cocks is a choice assembly of characters—thieves, peers, rat-catchers and butchers.

The blind nobleman is staring in front of him with an air of stupid dignity, while a number of gamblers offer to bet with him on the fight. One of them steals a banknote out of his hat; he is told of this by a miserable postboy, but he takes no heed. He is a strange figure in his star, ribbons and spectacles and appears very little incommoded by the noisy press about him. To his right is a group of people who have come to grief; in their eagerness to see the fight one has fallen on another and they are pressed together in a heap on the edge of the Pit. Other spectators are gazing as completely absorbed in the cocks as the habitués of White Chocolate House were absorbed in the cards when the roof was flaming.

Others again show ill-temper; one ancient gentleman holds a crutch and uses an ear-trumpet, down which a friend bawls the odds. A French gentleman regards the proceedings with an ill-natured leer; he is exclaiming 'Sauvages! Sauvages! Sauvages!' His open snuff-box hangs from his hand and the contents fall into the eyes of a man below. The hump-backed jockey carries a cock in a bag; there is a chimney-sweep giving himself the airs of a fine gentleman, a man registering the wagers, one leering woman, of whom no one takes any notice, and a pickpocket who, with a hooked stick, is possessing himself of the purse of a half-drunken man. A trim-looking personage has evidently an unsavoury reputation and an illegal profession, for some wit has chalked a gibbet on his back.

At the top of the picture is a man smoking indifferently, while his dog peers with intent at the scene below. A curious shadow lies across the cockpit. It is that of an unseen man who, having wagered more than he can pay, has been punished by being drawn up in a basket to the ceiling. He has, however, not lost interest in the game and, as we see by the shadow, offers to pledge his watch to anyone who will accept the bet. On the otherwise blank wall are the King's arms and a portrait of Nan Rawling, Deptford Nan or the Duchess of Deptford, a famous cock feeder, well-known at Newmarket.

Hogarth engraved this plate himself from sketches.

* * *

As if resolved to leave no class of man outside the range of his satire, Hogarth published 1758 a little print entitled The Bench, an unfinished plate he was said to have frequently touched up to the year of his death; it was sold by Mrs. Hogarth for 1s. 6d.

The three main figures are masterly. It is supposed to show a view of the Court of Common Pleas and four of the judges who sat on that Bench. The principal personage is Lord Chief Justice Sir John Willes; on his right hand is Sir Edward Clive, and on his left Mr. Justice Bathurst and the Honourable William Lord.

The Chief Justice, a figure tremendous enough to stand for either Lord Jeffries or Sir William Scroggs, peers down through his glasses at a paper he holds in his hand; in his other hand is a pen. The lean-faced judge beside him has fallen asleep; his fellow is even more overcome with slumber.

In order to illustrate some theory of character and caricature, Hogarth added an unfinished group of heads in the upper part of this print. They are not very good and go far to spoil the original print. This picture was once in the possession of Sir George Hay and then in that of Mr. Edwards.

* * *

In 1762 Hogarth, then in his sixty-fourth year, made a bitter attack upon the Methodists and Wesleyans and engraved his print, Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism, a Medley. It is difficult to classify this composition, which is in great part an allegory and should perhaps be placed with such symbolical plates as The Times, The Lottery and The Masquerade. It is, however, nearer to real life and much easier to understand than any of these obscure designs, and so is described here, where it does not properly belong, as a genre picture with satirical intent.

The main composition is fairly realistic. We are within one of those Tabernacles or Meeting Houses lately built by men like George Whitfield—possibly The Tabernacle, then not long erected, in the Tottenham Court Road. There are pews in which the faithful are gathered, a brass chandelier, and, occupying the main portion of the composition, a pulpit, a preacher, the clerk at his desk and a large open pew that occupies the foreground.

In the details the print becomes allegorical and symbolical; by using this grotesque imagery, Hogarth ventured into a difficult realm. His symbolism, here as always, destroys his effect, and we are not as moved and impressed by this print as we are by those in which there is no symbolism nor allegory, or so little and so discreetly treated that it can be ignored. Nor is the attack upon the Methodists well-informed or just; Hogarth probably understood very little of the tenets of either Wesleyans or the followers of George Whitfield. He appears to have entirely confused them with the more ignorant and eccentric of their followers and to have studied them so little as to have considered them the basest of charlatans. The preacher in the print stands in an attitude of violent declamation; his gown blows wide and shows a harlequin's jacket beneath; as his wig drops off, the shaven crown of a Roman Catholic priest is exposed; he is scattering blazing firebrands, while his ignorant and infatuated audience is wrought up to a pitch almost of madness.

Despite his obvious enthusiasm, his intentions are partly mercenary, for a little postboy in the form of a cherub appears from heaven with a letter addressed to Saint Moneytrap. In the pew beneath him is a graceful group. A lay preacher presses amorously close to an attractive young woman; while endeavouring to save her soul he is not forgetful of her physical charms; he pushes the image of a saint down her corsage. In the same pew are two other enthusiasts, of whom one slumbers, the other weeps—a small devil stands at the sleeper's ear.

The hypocritical-looking clerk is supported by two cherubim, one laughing, one crying. The congregation, most of whom seem to be low Irish, are howling and yelling to their heart's delight. There is a Jew cutting off the head of an insect, a youth being terrified by the man who has converted him with a tale of Hell, and in the foreground, the not ungraceful figure of a young woman lying on the ground—from beneath her skirts run four rabbits; she is in a frenzy; someone offers her a drink and she breaks the glass with her teeth. This fanatic, May Tofts of Godalming, had been caricatured before by Hogarth. Nearby a shoe-black, who, in a paroxysm, throws up hot nails and iron staples, holds a spirit fastened in a quart bottle; he has put his basket, with all his shoe-blacking paraphernalia, upon a book—King James's Demonology; near it is Whitfield's Journal. A Turk looks through the window with astonishment at the scene and thanks his fates for his freedom from superstition. On the pulpit are three handsome decorations, The Duke of Buckingham being warned of the danger of Assassination—Julius Caesar's ghost appearing to Brutus at Philippi—The ghost of Mrs. Veal appearing to Mrs. Bargrave, a tale which was invented to sell Drelincourt upon Death, a book which was on the publisher's hands, but which, after this spicy addition, was disposed of very quickly and profitably.

There is, too, a figure of the famous Tedworth drummer and Fanny the Phantom, with her hammer in her hand. These two figures are in the little frame above a thermometer that registers the heat in the blood of an enthusiast—this is resting on Wesley's sermons and Glanville on Witches. The speaker has near him another curious instrument with a natural tone at the bottom, and above the scale the speaker's tone represented by a distended mouth crying 'Blood! Blood!'

A little witch on her broomstick is hanging from one of the preacher's hands and from the other, tripping round the verge of the pulpit, is a devil. A sphere hangs to the chandelier, which is described as 'Desarts of new Purgatory'; the globe is inscribed a 'globe of hell'; it is formed to give the caricature of a human face—one eye is described as 'the bottomless pit', the other as 'molten lead lake'—one cheek is Brimstone Ocean', the other 'parts unknown' and the mouth 'Eternal Damnation Gulf'.

The hymn before the clerk is a quotation from one of Whitfield's hymns. The poor-box is in the form of a mousetrap; the preacher's text is: 'I speak as a fool'.

* * *

There is something exceedingly dreary and ugly in this composition, which is but too suggestive of the ignorant fanaticism and dreary enthusiasm it is intended to deride. That 'enthusiasm' went to extremes alike among rogues and fools, even before the time of Wesley and Whitfield, there is ample proof. Among the French refugees in Soho were prophets of various sects who, early in the eighteenth century, inspired crude forms of 'religion'. These worthies encouraged self-torture and urged their followers to allow themselves to be cudgelled, jumped upon, and kicked; it was even asserted that 'Academies' were held in Soho where young people were instructed how to throw themselves into convulsions, foam at the mouth, go into trances, 'discourse in unknown tongues' and produce the stigmata.

John Wesley witnessed some of the displays organized by these fanatics and it is probable they were familiar to Hogarth.

The various ghosts introduced in A Medley were all famous and were well-known long before Hogarth's time; only one is topical. Fanny the Phantom is an entirely eighteenth-century production with a strong period flavour, and as she is introduced in the pillory beside Wilkes in The Times II, and at least by an allusion, in yet another of Hogarth's prints, The Farmer's Return, she deserves some account here.

* * *

Fanny the Phantom was the famous Cock Lane Ghost, a proper Cockney apparition that excited Londoners to frenzy.

In the spring of 1762 a certain Parsons, clerk to the Parish of St. Sepulchre's and resident in Cock Lane, Smithfield, declared his house to be troubled by a ghost that expressed itself in the orthodox manner by knocking, scratching, leaping among the furniture and whispering in corners; it was always invisible. The medium or interpreter was Parsons's daughter, ten years of age; this child explained that the spirit was that of Fanny Kent, a young woman who, with her supposed husband, had lodged with the Parsonses until her death eighteen months before her first supernatural manifestations.

According to the child, Fanny, who communicated by a series of knocks in a code, had a dreadful tale to tell; she had been poisoned by her husband by a glass of purl. The story got abroad and became a furore, a craze—'nothing was talked of, from the highest to the lowest, but the Cock Lane Ghost'.

Thousands crowded into the narrow room where the child lay in seeming convulsions or stupor to listen to the raps and scratches whereby Fanny denounced her murderer. The unlucky Mr. Kent found himself in a most unpleasant position, especially when it came out that Fanny had not been his wife but his sister-in-law, whom, because of her relationship to his dead wife, he was unable to marry.

He went to great lengths to prove his innocence, producing a doctor who declared Fanny had died of smallpox and people who had seen the tender parting between his mistress and himself.

A woman staying with the Parsonses declared that she, too, had heard the ghost and received the messages declaring Kent to be a murderer.

Fanny the Phantom continued to be a sensation and one of the 'sights' of London. Dr. Johnson was one of the celebrities who went to Cock Lane. The case was discussed, disputed, until common sense and reason were forgotten. Fanny's body was exhumed, to no purpose. Kent, goaded beyond endurance, brought an action against Parsons and several of those who had encouraged him. An effort was made to prove that Fanny was a genuine phantom, but Lord Mansfield was not impressed and declared the Cock Lane Ghost to be 'an infamous imposture'.

The sentences were severe; Parsons was imprisoned for two years and stood three times in the pillory during one month, his wife had a year's imprisonment, the other woman six months in Bridewell; a clergyman who had been too zealous a supporter of Fanny paid a handsome recompense to Kent.

It is not yet clear whether this was a silly imposture, worked with a hammer and a hollow wainscoting, or whether the child was a genuinely hysterical subject and medium. The fact that there was some money dispute between Parsons and Kent favours the first theory, and the fact that the live Fanny had been attached to the little girl the second.

In either case Mansfield's decision rent aside thick clouds of gross superstition and let in light never after to be wholly quenched.

* * *

The two works on witchcraft were, perhaps, among the volumes comprised in Hogarth's own library. In any case, their inclusion in the print shows that they were still being read and were even popular in the mid-eighteenth century. King James I's Demonology had long been a favourite with the credulous. The work by Joseph Glanvill, onetime rector of the Abbey Church, Bath, is on an entirely different level. This sensitive writer and learned scholar, who died during the lifetime of Hogarth's father, would have been amused to find himself in this company; he had attacked the Nonconformists in the zealous and impartial Protestant and also Scholastic Philosophy in the vanity of dogmatizing, which work contains a story of the gypsy scholar. He upheld, however, a belief in witchcraft in the book that we see in this print, Philosophical Considerations touching Witches and Witchcraft, published in 1666, the famous year of miracles. This book is generally known as Sadducismus Triumphatus. Perhaps the introduction of these books is due to the fact that John Wesley believed in witchcraft. It is astonishing that, instead of some of the other famous spirits depicted round the pulpit, Hogarth has not shown us the famous demon that for so long troubled the peace of Epworth Rectory where the Wesleys were brought up, and whose exploits are so fully detailed in the elder Samuel Wesley's memoirs. That Hogarth should have so definitely ridiculed witches and witchcraft shows his mind to have been, for his period, singularly free from superstition. Dr. Samuel Johnson, for all his robust common sense and clear logical mind, believed in witches, and in 1716, when Hogarth was working as an apprentice in the garret of Mr. Ellis Gamble, a woman and her daughter, a child not quite eleven years old, were legally executed for the crime of witchcraft; they were hanged, this Mary and Elizabeth Hicks, at Huntingdon; the sole evidence against them was their own confession of having, by pulling off their stockings and making a lather of soap, raised a storm at sea by which a ship nearly foundered. This was the last judicial murder of so-called witches in this country, but many other people reputed to have magical gifts suffered death at the hands of the mob. In some remote rustic places the practice of swimming or ducking a person suspected of witchcraft continued into the nineteenth century.

* * *

In this print Hogarth satirized one of the most powerful movements of the day. The Wesleys and Whitfield were provoked by the apathy of the Church of England, which seemed even by the admission of its supporters to be decaying, into attempting a religious revival, and the people, long starved of any spiritual food, responded hysterically, with the result of those scenes of 'enthusiasm' which shocked the sensitive and roused the mockery of the ribald.

The movement began at Oxford; the Universities were as lethargic as the Church, and the heartfelt zeal of the Wesleys was as rare as it was effective; it is true that it was also touched with fanaticism, but without this driving force and without crudity and violence of method no movement could have made headway amid the coarse ignorance and brutal apathy of the mid-eighteenth century.

John Wesley was a scholar of Christ Church and a fellow of Lincoln College and had been ordained Deacon in 1725; ten years later his younger brother, Charles, of Westminster School and Christ Church, had taken Holy Orders; the third brother, Samuel, was also a clergyman and an Usher at Westminster School, where he, too, had been educated; the remarkable father of these remarkable men, Samuel Wesley, the rector of Epworth, had died in 1735.

George Whitefield (sometimes 'Whitfield') had been a waiter at the Bell Inn, Gloucester, and educated himself by becoming a servitor at Pembroke College, Oxford; he was ordained in 1739; he and John Wesley went to Georgia on missionary work at the invitation of General Oglethorpe; by 1741 Whitfield had returned and opened a Tabernacle in Moorfields; he had separated from the Wesleys and termed himself a Calvinist Methodist; his movement was remarkably successful; he introduced field preaching—afterwards adopted by John Wesley—and thus reached direct the under-dogs of whom no one had taken any notice save to exact service from them; he secured the help of Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, and built chapels all over the country—Bristol, Bath, Tunbridge Wells, and in the Tottenham Court Road (1756).

He was a man of a compelling personality, a persuasive eloquence, hampered, if we may believe his portrait by Woolaston, which shows him preaching above the head of a fair penitent, by a squint more pronounced than that which disfigured John Wilkes.

The Wesleys always declared that they were members of the Church of England, but they built up an elaborate organization, the Methodist Sect, which was practically iudependent of that body.

John Wesley's followers at his death were supposed to number 110,000; these were mostly among the uneducated, neglected classes who had been largely shut out from religious life since the Reformation; it naturally followed, therefore, that the Wesleys should indulge in many eccentricities, 'enthusiasms' and crudities, likely to keep the educated from joining their ranks and to provoke the sneers of the sceptics.

* * *

If Hogarth misjudged and libelled the Methodists and was grossly unfair to the Wesleys, he was not wrong in his observation of the ignorance and credulity of the age. An instance was the notorious case of the bottle conjurer.

It was announced that on January 16th, 1748, at the Haymarket Theatre, a conjurer would jump into a quart bottle; ten thousand people besieged the theatre in order to see this marvel.

The conjurer had promised to play 'the music of every known instrument' upon a cane belonging to any spectator, then to walk into an ordinary wine bottle placed upon a table, set in the middle of the stage. In this situation he would sing and members of the audience might walk up to assure themselves that the man was really in the bottle.

'Members of the nobility and gentry' crowded the boxes and such of the common press as could push through the doors filled the pit; these people waited patiently 'without the amusement of a single fiddle' for the fun to begin.

And so it did, but it was not of the kind expected; as the audience began to get restive, a brave person appeared on the stage and stated that all money should be returned if the conjurer did not appear. Upon this some wit called out that if the company would pay double, the performer would get into a pint bottle. At this a lively riot broke out; 'the quality' turned away, glad to escape with the loss of cloaks, hats, wigs and swords; the coarser spirits remained behind to wreck the theatre, in which congenial task the mob without—who had been unable to gain admission—joined them; the interior was demolished, boxes, benches, scenery being dragged out into the street, preceded by the stage curtain on a pole converted into a flag and made into a bonfire; the arrival of the military was powerless to stop this vengeance, for the silly hoax and the damage to the theatre cost far more than had been made by the sale of tickets.

The woman shown in the print was Mary Tofts of Godalming; she was able to persuade thousands of people that she gave birth to rabbits.

In 1756 Hogarth published two plates entitled: The Invasion, France, Plate I; England, Plate II. They were reissued in 1759. On October 10th of that year, the following advertisement appeared in the London Chronicle:

This day are republished, price a shilling 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 made in England to oppose the wicked designs of our enemy proper to be stuck up in public places both in town and country at this juncture.

Doggerel verses by David Garrick were added to the print.

Hogarth's figure of the starving French soldier at the Gate of Calais had already been used with much effect on recruiting appeals, and no doubt the two present efforts were calculated to be very effective in inducing patriotic Englishmen to rally to their country's aid.

The year 1754 had seen Europe preparing for war. Louis XV, in contradiction of the traditional policy of his country, was in close alliance with its hereditary enemy, the House of Habsburg. Frederick the Great, whose alliance had been rejected by France, threw all his weight on the other side and opened the war with a series of brilliant successes. He was supported by William Pitt, who had risen to power on the death of Henry Pelham, and who was then head of the Government in alliance with Newcastle. Pitt threw himself with great energy into the war and did all he could to raise the national spirit; he himself assumed the conduct of Foreign Affairs, leaving to Newcastle the work at which he was an adept—that of political corruption.

Prints such as these two by Hogarth would be regarded by the Ministry as very useful; it is said that Sir Robert Walpole used to consider every political print and ballad that was published in order both to gauge and to influence popular opinion.

The scare of an invasion passed off in 1757, but returned when these prints were reissued in 1759. The war had not been very fortunate for the Allies in Europe. Prince Augustus, then the Duke of Cumberland, had allowed himself to be out-manoeuvred at Wessau and defeated at Hastenbach, and, soon after he had been compelled to sign the disastrous Convention of Klosterseven, Frederick of Prussia had received a severe defeat at Kolin, for which, from the English point of view, his subsequent victory at Rossbach did not compensate. In the East, however, British arms had been successful. Clive had won the great victory of Plassy. In 1758 Cumberland was replaced by Ferdinand of Brunswick, the Convention of Klosterseven which he had signed was repudiated by the British Government, and Pitt applied himself with even greater energy to the conduct of the war. Prince Ferdinand's successes were crowned by the victory of Kreveld (or Crefeld), 175 8, and in 1759, when Hogarth saw fit to reissue the two prints, British military affairs were so brilliant that Horace Walpole wrote:

'It is necessary to ask every morning what new victory there is for fear of missing one.'

Quiberon and Minden, the captures of Guadaloupe and Goree, the brilliant work of Rodney and Hawke, made this what the history books call 'one of the most glorious years in our military annals'. The most famous of all these famous achievements was the capture of Quebec, which realized one of Pitt's ambitions—the capture of Canada from the French.

These two Invasion prints cannot be considered any better than mere topical, political cartoons. The object of the satire is an entire nation, of whom Hogarth knew little and against whom he could bring no other charges than those of arrogance and poverty.

The first Plate is but a variation on the theme of Calais Gate. A young French officer, whose figure has a certain elegance, is roasting a few frogs over a fire; behind him are some wretched, starving soldiers. A poverty-stricken inn shows some bare bones hanging in the window and a wooden shoe instead of a sign; the inscription is: 'Soup Maigre à la sabot royal.' The motto on the standard is: 'Vengeance—Avec la bon bier et le bon beuf d'Angleterre.' An old bogey, who was always ready to do his duty in frightening the British public (Roman domination, which had been so dreaded in this country since the days of the Spanish Armada), is evoked in the person of a fat friar who is loading a sledge with the instruments of torture to be employed on the heretic. There is also a cross, a plan of a monastery to be built at Blackfriars and an image of St. Anthony, accompanied by a pig. In the background are some cliffs and a ship with soldiers embarking. The scene is made dreary and barren and an added touch of misery is given by two women at the plough in the distance.

Garrick's spirited verses for this print ran:

'With lantern jaws and croaking gut
See how the half starved 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, inflamed with righteous hopes,
Prepare their axes, wheels and ropes,
To bend the stiff necked sinner,
But should they sink in coming over
Old Nick may fish 'twixt France and Dover
And catch a glorious dinner.'

The next scene shows an English inn, the sign of the Duke of Cumberland. On the wall of this a Grenadier has made a coarse caricature of Louis XV, who is holding a gibbet in his hands and from whose mouth issues a scroll, on which is written a piece of doggerel: 'You take a my fine ships: you be de pirate: you be de teef: me send my rand armies and hang you all.' A soldier and a sailor who are gazing at the work roar with amusement, as do their two attendant females. One of these points out the robustness of her companion by measuring his back with her apron. Beneath the sign is the inscription 'Roast and boiled every day', and on the table are beef and beer; a bottle and a glass are painted on the wall, every possible emphasis being laid on the abundance of good food and drink. On the round of beef is the soldier's sword and on the pewter measure the sailor's pistol. In the front is a well-drawn figure of a young man reclining on a drum and practising pieces of patriotic music on a fife; he is perhaps the boy from The March to Finchley. On the other side of the picture is a grinning rustic who is being measured against a halberd; in his eagerness to accept the King's shilling he is straining on tiptoe so that he may reach the desired height. In the background some smart soldiers are being drilled by a sergeant. For this print David Garrick wrote:

'See John the Soldier, Jack the Tar,
With sword and pistol, armed for war.
Should mounseu, 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.'

This is a very rosy picture of the days of the pressgang and crimping, when volunteers were so scarce that military agents had to be employed to entice rustics into enlisting by making them drunk and handing them over to the recruiting sergeant, and when, upon the breaking out of a war, both the crimp and the press-gangs were so hard at work that fights were of frequent occurrence in both town and country, and when it was the custom to allow offenders against the law to go unpunished if they would serve with His Majesty's forces. Cutting off fingers and every kind of self-mutilation were practised in order to escape a service that was considered worse than the hospital or the gaol.


The tickets or receipts that Hogarth issued to subscribers to his plates are of great interest and mostly satirical or topical in subject. Some of the cheaper plates were sold direct to the public and not subscribed for beforehand, and for these there are, therefore, no tickets.

Boys Peeping at Nature, afterwards altered in deference to public taste, was the amusing little print issued as ticket for The Harlot's Progress.

The Laughing Audience, one of the most famous of these tickets, was issued both for Southwark Fair and The Rake's Progress. It shows a section of a theatre, the Haymarket or Covent Garden, or that in Goodman's Fields where Garrick first produced Richard III. We see the jaded, disinterested orchestra, the honest amusement of the audience in the cheaper seats who have no thought but that of the play before them, the lack of interest of the withered beaux at the back, and the energy of the orange-girls endeavouring to dispose of their wares.

The subscription ticket to Marriage à la Mode consists of a large number of heads thrown roughly on the plate, called Character and Caricature, showing two sets of faces—one realistic, the other as they appear after the satirist has dealt with them; these are the characters in the plates.

A Chorus of Singers, the ticket for A Modern Midnight Conversation, shows a rehearsal of the Oratorio by William Huggins, and might be taken as a companion piece to The Oxford Scholars or The Company of Undertakers, since its purpose is plain caricature, and we see these would-be singers in every attitude of imbecility, ineptitude and discomfort.

For the engraving of his large historical picture, Paul before Felix, Hogarth issued a subscription ticket dealing with the same subject—a burlesque, as he himself said, 'in the ridiculous manner of Rembrandt'. This was one of the most successful of the smaller prints and is extremely amusing; it is difficult to look at it without a smile, so successfully have the nobility of the subject and the genius of Rembrandt been demolished, as it were, by the bludgeoning wit of Hogarth, leaving nothing behind but a good laugh.

The subscription ticket to The Analysis of Beauty has not much interest. It shows Columbus breaking the Egg.

A conventional group of trophies was the ticket for The March to Finchley, and another of the same kind the ticket for David Garrick as Richard III.

Mitres and Sceptres was issued to celebrate the passing of the Copyright Act, and afterwards as a ticket for the Election prints.

Perhaps the best, and certainly the most celebrated of these tickets, is Time Smoking a Picture, which was engraved for the plate of Sigismunda, and which was never completed; it is one of Hogarth's severest attacks upon the sham 'old masters' and the sham dilettanti and shows a well-drawn and elegant figure of Time blowing smoke over a worthless picture, which alone shall make it valuable, at least in the eyes of the sharpers and the fools—the dishonest tradesman who sells the spurious picture and the gullible dilettante who buys it.

* * *

We have already glanced at Hogarth's symbolical pictures, which required a detailed, verbal explanation. Long chapters could be devoted to disentangling and interpreting their full intentions and their manifold topical allusions, but this, though fascinating, would be largely a barren task and one likely to be tedious to the reader; some, however, have a permanent interest in that they cast sidelights on the period.

In The Battle of the Pictures Hogarth satirized yet once more the old masters.

In The South Sea Bubble, one of his earliest prints somewhat in the manner of Jacques Callot, he produced an elaborate satire on speculation. The Bubble had burst the year before the print was published.

John Law's Mississippi Scheme was the prototype of the South Sea Bubble that caused so much excitement and misery in 1720.

South Sea Stock (S.S.S.) having risen owing to the lucrative trade (largely based on smuggling) with the Spanish colonies, the directors of the Company that conducted this business suggested to the Government that they should take over the National Debt up to 1716—a sum of nearly thirty-two million sterling; the capital was to be redeemable by Parliament and the public was to profit from the scheme to the extent of seven million-anda-half sterling. The plan was approved by Parliament and received the royal sanction 7th April, 1720.

The Company then opened subscription lists and their stock rose by leaps to £550 per cent. in May; a public used to the excitements of the lottery and the card-table entered with zest into this dizzy speculation.

Sir John Blount, one of the directors of the Company, circulated a rumour that Minorca and Gibraltar were to be exchanged for 'gold mines in Peru' (this expression was a jest for years); by June the price of the stock was £890 per cent. and £1100 by the end of that month.

The failure of the Mississippi Scheme and the flight of John Law from France did not shake the confidence of the investors in S.S.S., but by September unpleasant rumours began to get about and the stock fell to £550 per cent.—by October it was down to £86 per cent.

The Bubble then burst, with the result that thousands were ruined, reduced to beggary, fled the Kingdom, committed suicide or turned highwaymen or footpads; in the words of a daily paper 'all corners of the town are filled by the groans of the afflicted'.

The affair was investigated by Parliament and it was soon apparent that the gigantic delusion was also a gigantic fraud; the eight directors had made enormous fortunes; they were mulcted of the larger portions of these for the benefit of the ruined shareholders; for example, Sir Theodore Janssen, whose estate was valued at £243,244, was fined £193,244.

The scandal did not end there; various members of the Government were found to be deep in the fraud; the Chancellor of the Exchequer, John Aislabie, was sent to the Tower and the chief part of his fortune seized; the Earl of Sunderland, Mr. Stanhope, the Postmaster-General, and his son, a Secretary of State, were also implicated.

So successful had been—for a while—this wild speculation, that many other companies were formed in imitation of the South Sea; so great was the 'popular frenzy' that a wit who asked for two million sterling in order to float a company 'for the purpose of melting down sawdust and chips and casting them into clean deal boards without cracks or knots' was taken seriously and received a number of subscriptions.

One hundred and fifty-six 'bubbles' were either started or suggested at this time—the proposed capital of all put together amounted to seven hundred millions, more 'circulating cash' than there then was in the world.

Some of these projects were reasonable and showed sense and enterprise, others were utterly fantastic; they ranged from schemes for improving the Irish linen industry, for supplying Liverpool with water, for making poppy oil, life insurance, bleaching sugar, increasing the woollen manufacture in the North, for 'inoffensive' sanitation (a crying need), for fisheries, dye works and foundling hospitals, to such visionary projects as 'air pumps for the brain,' insurances against small-pox and divorce, making butter from beech leaves, for 'perpetual motion' and for 'teaching wise men to cast nativities'.

One company wished to trade in 'Spanish padlocks', another had an invention for 'japanning shoes', and a bold spirit, somewhat in advance of his time, wished to put 'a flying engine' on the market.

* * *

The second title of the Hogarth print is Who Rides? and refers to the strange roundabout in the centre of the composition, where, on wooden horses surmounted by an effigy of the Golden Calf, the directors of the South Sea Company are taking a crazy trip, their steeds being balanced upon ladders. The base of the City Monument occupies the right of the print, which is encumbered with a multitude of symbolical figures—including Honesty being broken on the wheel by Speculation and two personages who are supposed to be intended for Pope and Gay, both of whom made some profit out of the South Sea Scheme by selling out before the crash came.

The Lottery was described by Hogarth himself; it is in exactly the same style as The South Sea Bubble and satirizes the same vices and follies. Lotteries were extremely popular in the eighteenth century, and, as we know, Hogarth did not disdain to resort to this mode of disposing of his own pictures when he saw fit. He seemed, however, to be thoroughly in disagreement with the principle of the State Lottery, which was sanctioned by Parliament. The first Lottery Bill was passed in 1709 and lotteries were not abolished until 1824. The prizes were high, sometimes as much as thirty-six thousand pounds, and the drawing of the tickets was made a considerable business. From a wheel that was turned round so that the tickets were mixed together, a blind charity-girl or boy, or a Bluecoat boy, put in his hand and pulled out the winning number. The lotteries were at once a sport and an amusement and, as everyone hoped, an easy way of making money. They gave rise, obviously, to a good deal of superstition—many weak-minded girls and women were supposed to spend their whole time in reading up books that contained symbolisms indicating certain numbers, and so on, always being on the look out for omens and indications as to how their luck would be likely to fall out—with the result that these people of feeble intellect were entirely absorbed in the question of the lottery.

In Hogarth's picture we see the interior of a building, which is arranged on the lines of the State Lottery with the wheels either side, a drapery overhead and two symbolic pictures in the place of the portraits of the King and Queen. Allegorical figures fill the composition; they need not be described in detail since their purpose of ridiculing the Lottery is clear enough.

The print entitled The Small Masquerade Ticket is believed to have been composed in defence of Sir James Thornhill, during his battle with William Kent, who had been chosen by George II to paint the staircase at Kensington Palace to the great chagrin of Sir James. We have a view of Burlington Gate with a great show-cloth thrown out and a crowd of people hurrying to a masquerade. The foremost of these, who is wearing the Garter and is crowned with a cap and bell, is said to be George II himself, who had given a thousand pounds towards the Pleasure Gardens at Vauxhall. At a window is shown Mr. Heidegger, who was the Director of the Royal Masquerades. All the so-called follies of the town are satirized—the opera, the pantomime, the masquerade. Lord Burlington, Kent's patron, is shown, and beside him Mr. Campbell, an architect long since forgotten. On the show-cloth we see Signora Cuzzoni, the famous soprano, raking towards her money that is presented to her by the Earl of Peterborough. To show the way in which folly is preferred to genius, a figure is seen wheeling away the works of the great British writers—Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Dryden, Congreve, Otway, Parker and Addison. On top of Burlington Gate itself is William Kent, and below him Michael Angelo and Raphael, to show that Lord Burlington's folly elevated its favourite above the giants of the Italian Renaissance—thus rather reversing Hogarth's usual opinion of these painters.

* * *

John James Heidegger, who died in 1749, was one of the great entertainment providers of the time. He had the reputation of being the ugliest man in the United Kingdom. Hogarth caricatured him several times, particularly in the little sketch entitled Heidegger in a Rage, which is supposed to represent the unfortunate manager after a practical joke had been played on him by George II. Heidegger was satirized by Fielding as Count Ugly in The Pleasures of the Town. He managed the Italian Opera, The Royal Academy of Arts at the Haymarket in 1728; he also contrived all the more notable masquerades and ridottos of the time and entertained George II at a superb festival at Barn Elms. He lived sumptuously on Richmond Green and was a great favourite with 'the nobility and gentry' whom he so ingeniously and lavishly entertained. When this busy, versatile and unscrupulous impresario died at the age of ninety, a mask was taken of his features, which were found to be, despite his reputation for extreme ugliness, good-humoured and quite pleasing.

* * *

The Beggars' Opera Burlesqued is an odd Plate, since this production was in itself a burlesque. The characters are shown with animals' heads, Polly has that of a cat, Lucy of a sow, MacHeath of an ass, Lockit and Mr. and Mrs. Peacham have respectively those of an ox, a dog and an owl. In front of the stage are musicians, playing on various crude instruments, the Jew's harp, the salt-box, the bladder and strings, bagpipes. Apollo and the Muses have fallen asleep beneath the stage and Harmony is turning her back upon the whole production. A group of noblemen show themselves in an attitude of adoration for Polly, and in the background an Italian opera is in rehearsal.

Rich's Triumphant Entry into Covent Garden and the Just View of the British Stage, together with the caricature of three Italian singers, Farinelli, Senesino and Cuzzoni, complete Hogarth's satires on the British stage.

The Just View of the British Stage shows us Booth, Wilkes and Cibber contriving a pantomime, and is a satire upon the farces and harlequinades that were taking the place of true drama. Wilkes is dangling an effigy of Punch, Cibber the Laureate is playing with Harlequin and gazing at the Muse painted upon the ceiling, while Booth dangles a figure of Jack Hall over which is hung some scraps of waste paper, which are the torn-up leaves of famous plays—The Way of the World, Hamlet, Macbeth and Julius Caesar. A fiddler hangs from a cord, a print on the table shows Jack Shepherd in Newgate, a dragon begins to stretch its wings, a dog begins to bark, some machinery is put into motion; the masks of Tragedy and Comedy are hidden by bills for Harlequin, Dr. Falstaff, Harlequin's shepherd, and so on. Ropes hanging over the heads of the three managers indicate halters. Through the floor rises Ben Jonson's ghost. The whole is an elaborate and not very telling satire on the supposed degradation of the British stage, which was neglecting true tragedy and comedy for catchpenny tricks with which to draw in the crowd, a very ancient grievance and one not likely to be remedied as long as the public want entertainment and there are clever people willing to provide them with it.

Rich's Triumphant Entry into Covent Garden shows us Rich, the famous manager, with all his company moving from Lincoln's Inn Fields to the New Theatre. He has with him all his paraphernalia, including a waggon loaded with thunder and lightning, while he himself, with one of his favourite nymphs, drives in a chariot, wearing the skin of the dog that appeared in the performance of Perseus and Andromeda. This chariot is driven by Harlequin. Alexander Pope, crudely distinguished by a 'P' over his head, is in the corner. The doggerel underneath alludes to him as 'the man of taste'. His actions show his scorn of The Beggars' Opera—this does not seem to be true to fact, as Pope supported Gay's most successful piece from the first. Either from carelessness or because he acted on idle rumour, or because he was reckless in taking up the quarrel of Sir James Thornhill, Hogarth seems to have satirized Pope without much reflection, judgment, taste or wit, and he had reason to be thankful that that complex, subtle, dangerous personage did not retort by revenging himself on these clumsy attacks; for some reason that we cannot now explain Alexander Pope received in silence the crude satire of William Hogarth.

Alexander Pope was not unnaturally the object of more caricatures, pasquinades than any other man of the time. He could hardly have supposed that his attacks on his contemporaries would be allowed to pass without some attempt at retaliation; this attractive and admirable man of letters was severely and often grossly handled by a swarm of caricaturists in an age when caricature was a fashionable craze throughout Europe. Hogarth frequently vented his spleen upon him, not disdaining to make capital out of the poet's deformed figure; he sketched Pope from the life at Mutton's Coffee House, and even in those early days shows Pope's peevish face marred by the ravages of ill-health.

Hogarth's principal grievance against Pope seems to have been that his patron, Lord Burlington, was also the patron of William Kent.

One of the harsh charges brought against Pope in those days of hard drinking was his meanness with his wine. It was said that a visitor to Twickenham could expect to see only a small bottle of red wine placed upon the table, and Pope himself would drink half of it, and then with a flourish leave the remainder to his guests, saying: 'Gentlemen, pray enjoy your wine.'

* * *

It is pleasant to disassociate Pope from the bitter, mean and often senseless controversy in which he was engaged and to consider his own description of his grotto at Twickenham where the great man showed a touching delight in a simple and ugly curiosity. In a letter to Edmund Blunt, dated 1725, he wrote:

I have put the last hand to my works of this kind in happily finishing the subterraneous way and grotto. I there found a spring of the clearest water, which falls in a perpetual rill that echoes through the cavern day and night.

From the river Thames you can see through my arch, as a walk to the wilderness, to a kind of open temple wholly composed of shells in the rustic manner, and from that distance under the temple you look down through a sloping arcade of trees and see the sails on the river passing suddenly, and vanishing, as through a perspective glass. When you shut the doors of this grotto it becomes, on the instant, from a luminous room, a camera obscura, on the walls of which all objects of the river, hill, woods and boats are forming a moving picture in their visible radiations, and when you have a mind to light it up it affords you a very different scene; it is finished with shells interspersed with pieces of looking-glass in angular form, and in the ceiling is a star of the same material, at which, when a lamp (of an orbicular figure of thin alabaster) is hung in the middle, a thousand pointed rays glitter and are reflected over the place. There are connected to this grotto by a narrower passage, two porches, one towards the river, of smooth stone, full of light and open; the other towards the garden shadowed with trees, rough with shells, flints and iron ore. The bottom is paved with simple pebbles, as is also the adjoining walk up the wilderness to the temple, in the natural taste, agreeing not ill with the little dripping murmur and the aquatic idea of the whole place. It wants nothing to complete it but a good statue with an inscription, like that beautiful and antique one which you know I am so fond of.

Nymph of the grot, whose sacred springs I keep
And to the murmur of these waters sleep;
Ah, spare my slumbers, gently tread the cave!
And drink in silence, or in silence lave.

You think I have been very poetical in this description, but it is pretty near the truth. I wish you were here to bear testimony. How little it owes to art, either the place itself or the image I give of it.'

At the end of his grotto the vindictive satirist had placed an obelisk to the memory of his mother.

Ah, Editha!
Matrum optima,
Mulierum amantissima

Rich's Triumphant Entry is a very curious composition, all the figures being grouped in shadow in the first half, the middle being left completely bare, and this flooded by strong sunshine, and the back occupied by prim, eighteenth-century façades and the frontage of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. There seems some question among experts whether this is by Hogarth or not.

* * *

John Rich was the son of Christopher Rich who at one time controlled the three great playhouses, Drury Lane, Covent Garden and Haymarket, and who died while building the New Theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields. John Rich opened this theatre 1714, and that in Covent Garden 1732; he was a good impresario and an able pantomimist; he began the custom of the annual pantomime and always played Harlequin himself; it is this that Hogarth caricatures.

The two Riches might be termed the main supports of the eighteenth-century theatre.

There is a print extant from a Conversation Piece by Hogarth, showing Rich at his villa, Cowley.

Drury Lane, rebuilt by Wren in 1674, was run in 1712 by Cibber, Booth and Wilkes and then taken over by the elder Rich; Garrick and Lacy leased it in 1747. There was a theatre in Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1695, the Haymarket opened in 1702—the market for hay was nearby; the Playhouse was rebuilt in 1767; the younger Rich opened Covent Garden in 1732.

London, therefore, of Hogarth's time was served by four theatres, each of which was a handsomely profitable affair; they were destroyed by fire again and again, and Drury Lane, in one of its forms, was not ill-named the Phoenix.

There is another theatrical print, Farinelli, Cuzzoni and Senesino, in the characters of Ptolemy, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, an odd and not very effective little comment on what seemed to Hogarth a supreme folly and extravagancy—Italian Opera. Here once more he cast his darts at what was to him the ridiculous figures cut by the Italian eunuchs when playing heroes of antiquity, such as Alexander or Antony. The figures are grotesque, with immense bodies and small heads, and their main interest lies in their costume, which is very handsome, theatrical, baroque; the well-known clumsiness of Farinelli (one observer said he looked 'like a cow with calf' as he staggered on in his classic costume) is hit off in a crazy figure of fun and Senesino is little better. There is some doubt whether this print is by Hogarth, but it is quite in his line, and the Italian Opera, that strange exotic, was often the subject of his irony.

* * *

The fashionable craze for opera in London that so irritated Hogarth, who would have preferred an honest English band of marrow-bones and cleavers to the finest Italian orchestra, began with the production, at the Royal Academy of Music, of Handel's early operas, 1720-1728, though Handel had made, nearly ten years before, a brilliant success with operas produced at the King's Theatre, Hammersmith.

The rivalry with Marlborough's protégé, Bononcini, helped to keep alive the public interest in this novel and exciting form of entertainment, and in 1728, Handel, who had saved £10,000, risked it in partnership with Heidegger at the King's Theatre. This venture was successful and Handel continued to supply Italian operas that pleased the town, until his quarrel with Senesino, the tenor, gave a chance to his enemies of opening a rival opera in the Lincoln's Inn Fields theatre, which was opened in 1733 under the patronage of the Prince of Wales. Farinelli was engaged and an opera by Porpora performed.

Heidegger left Handel and leased his theatre to the rival opera, which then moved to the King's, while Handel alone took over the playhouse in Lincoln's Inn Fields, but on the completion of the New Theatre in 1734 he moved there.

Both Handel and his rivals lost heavily as a result of this bitter competition, but in 1741, Handel had again taken the Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre, and in 1743 he rented Covent Garden for a series of subscription performances; in 1745 he intended to make a further venture at the King's, but this was a failure; his last opera to be produced in London during his lifetime was Alcestis, 1749, ten years before his death.

Hogarth never directly satirized Handel; indeed, his attacks on Italian opera seemed aimed against the rival party; Handel presented an organ to the Foundling Hospital and himself gave several concerts there for the benefit of that charity; this, perhaps, softened the artist's heart towards the musician; if tradition is correct, Hogarth spoke of Handel as 'a giant among musicians'.

* * *

The Opera House, or Italian Opera House, was designed by Wren or Vanburgh in 1704 and stood till 1788, when it was burnt down; here performed most of the singers who so excited Hogarth's scorn. Sir William Davenant introduced a kind of opera into London and performances of operas were held at York Buildings in the reign of William III; the first opera at Drury Lane was given in 1705. It was not until the middle of the century that the taste for this foreign entertainment became the craze that Hogarth so bitterly resented.

From 1735 the operas of Handel were performed continuously at the different London theatres and fashionable Italian singers were brought over at high salaries. These were pampered and flattered by those who had no musical taste, but who wished to be in the mode; most of them had really excellent voices and were good musicians. Carlo Broschi, or Farinelli, the male soprano so cruelly caricatured by Hogarth, in particular possessed a voice 'like a nightingale's'. His appearance, however, did not suggest that of that elegant bird and too readily lent itself to caricature.

Farinelli came from a family of musicians; he was a Neapolitan, and when Hogarth painted him not more than thirty years of age.

He was a pupil, first, of his father, then, of Porpora, and it was while studying under this master at Naples that the singer formed his close and lasting friendship with the Abbé Metastasio.

Farinelli made his first public appearance in one of Porpora's operas, 1722, and was instantly successful; all Italy was soon at his feet; he won fame and money with his marvellous voice; his subsequent career was one triumph; at Vienna, Venice, Milan and Bologna he was acclaimed with frenzied admiration. The English critics and dilettanti who resented the ascendancy of Handel in London brought over Farinelli in 1734 to sing at the new Opera House at a salary of fifteen hundred guineas; Porpora was engaged to write the music, and another Italian, Amiconi, to paint the scenery.

The scheme was a dazzling success; the second Italian Opera House excited a furore and the reception of Farinelli was described as 'fabulous'. He received, in addition to his salary, huge sums as presents from the nobility, and the profits of various benefits; the Aria that he first sang in London, and that the English never tired of hearing, was written by his brother, Ricardo Broschi, and introduced into Artaxeres by Hasse. Farinelli went to Paris in 1736 and intended to return to London for the next season; the Queen of Spain, however, invited him to Madrid in the hope that the soothing powers of his brilliant voice would save the King from imbecility.

The project was successful; Philip V was enchanted by the human nightingale and Farinelli's services were exclusively engaged at an annual salary of £3,000 to sing four songs nightly to the King.

Philip's successor, Ferdinand VI, continued the singer in his high place; Farinelli was so much the confidential adviser of this Monarch as to be considered his Prime Minister. Farinelli instituted an Italian opera at Madrid and invited Metastasio and Amiconi to the Spanish Court.

Hogarth's satire struck here at a blameless object, for Farinelli won everybody's good opinion; he was an honest, sweet-tempered creature, kind and upright.

On the accession of Carlo III, Farinelli, whose salary was continued, retired from Spain and eventually built himself a palace at Bologna, the second Papal city, where he made a collection of choice musical instruments and, having lost his voice, consoled himself with composing pieces for the harpsichord and the viol d'amore and with the friendship of Padre Martini who was then writing his famous history of music.

* * *

In the large Masquerade Ticket we are shown the interior of the building where the masquerade is held, as in the little Masquerade Ticket we were shown the exterior with the crowd eagerly pressing in. It is a dreary, lifeless and entirely symbolical composition. There are altars at the side, one to Venus under which sacrificial flames are burning, and one to Priapus to whom has been made a liberal sacrifice of horns. The Venus and her little Cupid are both masked and sizzling hearts are placed round her altar flames. These two presiding deities tell us plainly enough that lechery was the main business of the masquerade, at least in Hogarth's opinion.

Heidegger appears as Master of the Ceremonies and High Priest. In the centre of the print is a large clock supported by the lion and the unicorn, each seemingly in a state of intoxication, as they lie upon their backs with their paws and hoofs in the air; this clock is at the time of half past one, and the date 1727 is in the four corners; from the clock hangs a pendulum and two candelabra; Heidegger's face looks out from the top of the dial. A crowd of fashionably dressed people wander about the ballroom; buffets on either side are laden with refreshments and two tickets state that supper will be served below; there are also two large thermometers, something in the style of those that appear in Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism; these are supposed to indicate the various degrees of lascivious heat felt by the masqueraders. A conventional figure of Time with a scythe is being slaughtered by a creature in the dress of a butcher, a rather crude allusion to the expression of 'killing time'. Among the odd characters here gathered together are Mother Shipton, Turks, Harlequins, Columbines, monkeys, priests, Brahmins and friars.

* * *

Burlington Gate or A Man of Taste is another satire on Pope, Kent and Lord Burlington. It is not very effective but neither so intricate nor so difficult to understand as most of the larger symbolical compositions.

For the catalogue of the Artists' Exhibition held in 1761 Hogarth made two designs; they were engraved by Charles. The first shows a bust of George III, who had just then come to the throne, above a fountain that is spouting water from a lion's mouth. A figure of Britannia catches this in a watering-can and irrigates the three trees of native art. The tailpiece is much more lively and amusing. It shows a fashionably dressed little monkey, with a quizzing glass and a watering-can, endeavouring to bring a little life to three withered stumps in flower-pots that are labelled 'Exotic' and by the dates upon them are shown to have died hundreds of years previously—these represent the old masters.

It is a coincidence that the Royal Academy, founded a few years after this exhibition was held, was housed in the building that stood on the site of Burlington House, the gate of which we see in two of Hogarth's satirical prints.

* * *

The Foundlings, engraved by Hogarth to be placed at the top of the Power of Attorney obtained by this charity and presented by him to this institution, is symbolical, but not, for once, a satire. It shows in a pleasant landscape the children being conducted to the hospital—many of them were orphans of the soldiers who had fallen at the battle of Dettingen. The beadle of the hospital carries a naked infant; behind him follows Captain Coram, and beyond on her knees is a weeping mother. Another woman gives her infant to the first passer-by and a third child lies upon the ground.

Out of the hospital (and here Hogarth took a glimpse into the future, since the institution was but three years old when the Charter was granted) come the happy boys and girls who have been prepared by a diligent charity for a useful life—one is to be a wool-comber, another a tailor, others farm-labourers, while the little girls have spinning-wheels, samplers and brooms. When this charity was opened, nearly two hundred infants, some dead, some dying, some alive, were put in the Wheel on the first day.

The two prints of The Times, the first of which caused Hogarth such trouble in his last years, and the second was never published till long after his death, are entirely concerned with the politics of the time, and though extremely interesting to the curious in these matters, can only be briefly referred to here.

The Times I, engraved near the end of his life, is full of topical allusions. The stiff figure of the young King is a skit on Allan Ramsay's awkward, formal style of portraiture; the plummet and squares jeer at this kind of geometrical painting—Ramsay, son of the poet, was the royal portrait painter, and Hogarth seems to have felt spitefully towards him. Lord Bute, Hogarth's patron, is shown exercising the royal bounties, a flourishing laurel tree represents the honours received by the King's uncle for Culloden, a miserable Scots cur with Mercy on his collar alludes to the massacre of the prisoners after that battle. Henry Fox (Lord Holland) is trying to tend some 'never-greens' impeded by a roller marked with £1,000,000,000 (the National Debt). The Duke of Cumberland, Lord Mansfield, Lord Temple, George Doddington (Lord Melcombe), Sir John Cust, the Duke of Newcastle are all introduced as members of the Opposition.

William Pitt is shown with gouty legs, and Lord Chesterfield with an ear trumpet.

More interesting figures are those of the disabled sailors and soldiers, probably sketched from life, who are horribly mutilated and trying in vain to catch a few drops from 'the fountain of honour'.

Dr. Thomas Secker, Archbishop of Canterbury, is shown at a window over which is written 'Dr. Cant' and 'The Man Midwife'. Hopes of a prosperous reign are expressed in the new church in the Strand and the beginning of that building designed by Sir William Chambers, afterwards known as New Somerset House. The handsome face of Lord Bute resembles that in Ramsay's portrait of the unpopular Scot; Wilkes, whose person is being in various ways degraded, stands in the pillory beside Fanny the Phantom.

* * *

The last of the symbolical pictures we can notice, and the last in every sense of the word of Hogarth's work, is The Bathos, which he designed shortly before his death as a tailpiece to the portfolio of his collected works.

It seems to be taken from Albrecht Dürer's Melancholia and shows the figure of Time fallen down in a state of collapse, while all about him are symbols of decay. The full title is The Bathos or Manner of Thinking in Sublime Paintings; it is inscribed To the Dealers in Dark Pictures and shows that Hogarth ended his career as he began it, with a fixed hostility towards picture dealers and dilettanti.

The print is meant as a jest and largely intended to ridicule the manner in which frivolous and even degraded objects were brought into pictures of the grand or historical school. All the details have this object, but the whole effect of the picture is something more than a caricature of a set of men and a class of painting both disliked by Hogarth. It has, indeed, something of the horrid gloom of the Melancholia—there is an air of the end of all things in this jumble of broken objects, in the sinking figure of Time with the last breath coming out of his mouth, in the chariot of the Sun with dead horses and dying riders, the man on the gibbet against the dreary blot of sunset-light in the distance, in the broken palettes, falling buildings and ramshackle sign: 'The World's End'.

These prints constitute the most important of Hogarth's purely symbolical or allegorical subjects.


Hogarth's satirical portraits, that is, portraits that are not downright caricatures, and yet were painted solely with the' object of emphasizing the sinister or peculiar characteristics of the sitter, began with that of Sarah Malcolm, which he painted about the time of his marriage. Two versions are in existence—one is in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Accompanied by his father-in-law, Hogarth visited Sarah Malcolm in Newgate a few days before her execution for murder; even in that violent age, when atrocious crimes were by no means uncommon, the case of Sarah Malcolm caused a stir of considerable interest in the capital; she was a robust, good-looking young Irishwoman of about twenty-five years of age and had been employed as a laundress in the Temple. On the fourth floor of the building, which was next to the Inner Temple Library, lived a Mrs. buncombe, a widow over eighty years of age, Elizabeth Harrison, her elderly companion, and a girl of seventeen, Ann Price, their servant. At midday on a Sunday, 4th February, 1733, these three persons were found murdered, whilst the room had been ransacked. The crime was apparently an atrociously brutal one—the girl had had her throat cut and appeared to have put up a desperate struggle; Miss Harrison had been strangled and on her throat were marks that appeared to have been made by finger-nails driven through the flesh; the old woman, being the feeblest, had been smothered without much resistance. Whilst the hue and cry was on to find the murderer, a certain Mr. Kellow, who had rooms on the floor beneath Mrs. Duncan's apartment, was surprised when he came home to find Sarah Malcolm, the laundress, in his chambers. He did not like the look of the young woman and bade her 'be off', at least until 'the murderer of the unfortunate victims' had been discovered. She had been making a feint of washing some of his linen; he made her leave that, and on his instructions she packed up her materials; as she was doing this he saw that she had brought in with her a large bundle; leaning from the window he shouted for the watchman; when the man arrived Mr. Kellow gave Sarah Malcolm in charge.

When they had gone he searched not only the bundle she had left behind, but the whole of his apartment; he found several parcels of blood-stained clothes and a silver tankard also smeared with blood; thereupon Mr. Kellow, who was something of an amateur detective, went down into the courtyard and asked the watchman, who had now returned to his duty, where he had taken Sarah Malcolm. The fellow replied that he had let her go upon her promising not to return the next day; at this Mr. Kellow indignantly made the man go with him in search of the girl. She was not at her lodging in Shoreditch, but they found her, with incredible recklessness, gossiping with two constables at the Temple Gate. She was arrested and taken to Newgate, and in her hair, which was very abundant, were found fifty guineas, five broad pieces, twenty 'moidores', five crown pieces and a few shillings. The old lady had had fifty-four pounds in her box, and £53 11s. 6d. was found upon Malcolm—so she had spent only a few shillings of her plunder.

When Sarah Malcolm was examined, Sir Richard Brocas being the magistrate, she tried to put the murder on three of her acquaintances, saying that she had shared in the plunder, but nothing more. The coroner's verdict, however, was one of wilful murder against Sarah Malcolm. The other persons accused were arrested and afterwards cleared themselves.

Another case of four years before was brought up when one Kelly, or Owen, had been hanged for the murder of Mr. Nesbit in Drury Lane. This wretch had been convicted on the strength of a bloody razor's being found in his possession, but he swore he had lent it to a woman who was now believed to be Sarah Malcolm. The accused woman behaved with that appalling composure and cunning adroitness so often found in true criminals, but it availed her nothing; she was condemned to death and on Wednesday, the 7th of March, at 10 o'clock in the morning, was taken in the cart from Newgate to a gibbet erected opposite to Mitre Court in Fleet Street.

This spectacle occasioned that famous London crowd which was so dense that it was said that one woman walked on the heads and shoulders of the people from Serjeants' Inn to the other side of the way. The condemned appeared in a crape mourning gown, sarsenet hood and black gloves; she carried herself with a coquettish air and was rouged and powdered; two clergymen and a certain Mr. Peddington and acquaintances of hers accompanied her; she made a parade of penitence and devotion, though continuing to deny the murder; she wrote out a paper that she gave to Mr. Peddington, in which she protested her innocence and tried to put the blame on to the three men whom she had accused at her trial.

When the hangman began to prepare her for the end, she fainted, but recovering her composure was duly hanged to the great gratification of the crowd.

Her body was not sent to the Surgeons' Hall, but to an undertaker's on Snow Hill, where it was exhibited for a fee; crowds of people pressed in to view the corpse of the murderess; it was remarked that one of these, a gentleman in mourning, kissed the dead face of Sarah Malcolm and paid the high fee of half a crown for the privilege of doing so.

Her body was afterwards dissected and the skeleton was placed in a glass case and presented to the Botanic Gardens at Cambridge. So much interest had this case aroused that there was a large demand for her portrait.

Four copies were taken of Hogarth's picture, and another was engraved in wood, which was used for the article in The Gentleman's Magazine. Both the sketches in oils that Hogarth made of this character are masterly pieces of work. He is said to have exclaimed when he saw her that it was clear from her face that she was capable of any crime—this, however, does not appear from his delineation; the face appears closed or blank, not necessarily that of a great criminal; indeed, it might be reasonable to question, even at this time of day, if Sarah Malcolm's story was not true and if she was not rather one of a gang of criminals than a murderess working entirely on her own. In any case, her behaviour seems to have been so stupid, the crime so clumsily conceived and so crudely executed, that the wretched creature must have been, at best, but a half-wit. The Rosary is a satiric and painful touch; a woman 'whose father lived in the most miserable poverty in Dublin' was probably a Roman Catholic.

The next, and perhaps the most superb, of Hogarth's satiric portraits, is that of Lord Lovat, whom the painter went to St. Albans to see when the old Lord was being brought up as a prisoner from the North. The head of the Clan of Fraser, who preserved his cynic good-humour to the last, was under the hands of the barber when Hogarth was introduced into his presence, and he received him with the greatest good-nature, embracing him with so much enthusiasm that he left a speck of soap upon his face. The portrait, which shows the old Highlander counting off the rebel clans on his fingers, is a masterpiece of the first order.

* * *

Simon Fraser, 12th Baron Lovat, had a career as adventurous as it was dishonourable; he played many games and always cheated; he secured the succession to his cousin's estate by violence and he accepted his commission in the British Army with the intention of treachery towards William III. He was outlawed for high treason in 1698, pardoned, outlawed again for an outrage on his cousin's wife, Lady Lovat, 1701, and occupied himself with intriguing with the Jacobites at St. Germains. Incapable of playing straight, this Jonathan Wild in high life tried to betray Atholl and others to the British Government, made a false step and was imprisoned in France, escaped to be arrested in London. Released in 1715, he rallied the Frasers to the support of George I; for this service he received a full pardon for all his offences and the life-rent of the Lovat estates, but it was not till 1733 that his title was recognized. He was made Sheriff of Inverness and given command of one of the newly-raised loyal Highland regiments; this adept at treachery could not, however, be quiet; in the '45, he meddled with the Prince Charles Jacobites, who promised him a Dukedom in return for his support. He tried to sacrifice his son, the Master of Lovat, by urging him to follow. This being discovered, he was deprived of his offices and was kept in his castle (Castle Dounie) as a hostage for the loyalty of his clan. He escaped, but was caught and brought to London to pay, at last, the penalty for long playing fast and loose. His private character was as ugly as his public behaviour; after forcibly marrying the Dowager Lady Lovat in order to obtain her husband's estates, he afterwards treated this union as invalid, and, during her lifetime, married twice.

The decapitation of this brave old ruffian on Tower Hill, April 7th, 1747, was the occasion for a Cockney gala; all the roads leading to the exciting scene were crowded with an eager press; scaffolds were erected for those who could afford to buy a seat; one of the most imposing of these, which held 400 people, crashed on to the crowd beneath; twenty people were killed outright and many others had those broken limbs that in those days were sentences of death; one of the sheriffs pointed out this disaster to the old scamp, who grinned: 'The more the mischief, the better the sport.'

Lord Lovat was buried beside nobler rebels, Kilmarnock and Balmerino, in the Chapel within the Tower precincts; the remains of Charles Ratcliffe, titular Earl of Derwentwater, were officially interred in St. Giles's in the Fields, but in reality were secretly taken to Dilstone, where, in the '15, his brother James, Earl of Derwentwater, had been laid in the little Chapel close to the fine mansion he had built in his power and glory.

Hogarth's portrait is a biography in itself; we need to know little of Lord Lovat's character beyond what this masterly painting tell us.

Lovat was a very popular criminal; his hard-bitten character endeared him to the London mob and his portrait was in great demand; one bookseller offered Hogarth 'its weight in gold for the plate'—about £112 10s.

Hogarth also made some little sketches of Lovat when he was on his trial.

* * *

Hogarth drew the likeness of another protagonist in another famous but more sordid case—that of Theodore Gardelle. This is only a sketch and is said to have been done by another hand—that of John Richards, then Secretary to the Royal Academy.

On an April day, 1761, Hogarth and this gentleman were seated in a room on the route passed by the cart taking Theodore Gardelle to execution at the end of Panton Street in the Haymarket. Mr. Richards was endeavouring to make a sketch of the criminal when Hogarth took the paper and put in the touches that make it not unworthy to be ranked with Le Brun's sketch of Madame de Brinvilliers on the way to her punishment on the front of Notre Dame or David's of Marie Antoinette in the death cart.

The drawing was in the possession of Samuel Ireland, who engraved it himself. It shows the head and shoulders of the wretched Swiss, who holds a book in his hand and stares in front of him with an expression of bestial and hopeless misery. A white cap is over his head and the plain neckband of his shirt shows above his plain coat.

That this ghastly sketch is a likeness there can be little doubt; the man's age, his nationality, his type are all clearly defined; yet the man is more than himself—he is typical of human degradation, human sin and human despair.

Theodore Gardelle was a vagabond painter in enamel who, abandoning a wife and child in Paris, came to London and lodged with a certain Mrs. King near Leicester Fields, in the foreign quarters shown in Noon. No doubt this woman, and perhaps Gardelle himself, would be known, at least by sight, to Hogarth, who must have been a near neighbour. The reason for the crime must remain obscure, since we have only the murderer's own account of his deed.

His story was that he painted a portrait of his landlady, who was displeased with his effort when it was finished and expressed herself so harshly that he altered the picture for the worse, giving her out of spite a most unpleasant cast of countenance. Upon this, according to Gardelle's story, a quarrel ensued—Mrs. King struck the painter on the breast and he retaliated by blows from which she eventually died, having refused, he said, all his efforts to assist her. There was only one maid in the house and she was abroad buying snuff; when she returned Gardelle sent her to her home and then, being alone in the house, set about disposing of the body in the traditional manner. Not being quite sure whether the lady was dead or merely stunned, he struck his penknife through her neck, then proceeded to mutilate the corpse and to burn it, taking the precaution to go out to purchase green wood to prevent the smell of burning flesh from betraying his crime. Foolishly enough, however, he called in a woman to clear up the house, and this person, trying to draw water for that purpose, found that the pipes were stopped by Mrs. King's clothes, which the murderer had thrust down them.

Gardelle appeared, in the language of the time, 'penitent', but at the same time protested his innocence to the end.

* * *

Shortly after he made this powerful sketch, Hogarth produced one of his most famous prints, that of John Wilkes. The original sketch, which was in the possession of Samuel Ireland, was made on the spot during Wilkes's trial and afterwards in some fit of disgust thrown on the fire by Hogarth. As reproduced in Samuel Ireland's book, the burnt edges of the paper are clearly to be seen; Mrs. Lewis snatched the sketch from the fire.

It is in every way more sinister and unpleasant than the engraving that Hogarth subsequently made. Wilkes is seated at his ease wearing a heavy wig, so raised up as to give the effect of horns; his sunken upper lip, and his squint yet staring eyes are vividly touched in; his attitude is at once humorous, defiant and dangerous. The composition is pleasingly crossed by the line of the staff, at the top of which hangs the bell labelled 'Liberty'.

A little sketch that Hogarth dashed off in memory of his friend, and of the man whose genius was so akin to his own—Henry Fielding—is well deserving of mention, so skilfully is that sardonic and fascinating profile cast on the paper.

Another portrait, though that of a humble person, commonly called 'The Politician', may be fitly included here. This sketch, an early one, is supposed to have been made about 1730, and was given by Hogarth to his friend Forrest; it was not published as an etching until some years after his death.

It shows us, in profile, a certain Mr. Tibson, who had a lace shop in the Strand and who was well known to Hogarth. He holds a candle and reads the newspaper with an air of perky self-importance, as if he felt himself well fitted to settle the affairs of Europe. He is the typical Socrates of the village pump, the fireside politician, whose own business goes to pieces while he has his nose in that of others. The candle is setting fire to his hat and the whole is supposed to be something of a satire on Schalcken's well-known picture of William III, who was painted with a candle in his hand and, according to the anecdote, was allowed to sit thus by the painter until he had fired his ruffles; a figure in The Modern Midnight Conversation burns himself in the same manner while absorbed in the perusal of a news sheet.

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From the Newsletter of the seventeenth century had evolved the newspaper of the eighteenth century; the Press, freed under William III from censorship, played an important part in the life of the capital.

The London Gazette was first published in 1665 (at Oxford, on account of the plague). The first daily paper was the Daily Courant, 1702; many imitators were killed by the tax on newspapers, 1712, but many survived.

The journalists were anonymous and usually violent and scurrilous; they were often discovered and fined, imprisoned or pilloried, for some article offensive to the Government.

Daniel Defoe lost £3,500 for his satire on the High Church party.

The proceedings of Parliament were not reported; any attempt to do this was punished.

Samuel Johnson was the first reporter in the House, where he sat in the public gallery and afterwards, from memory, wrote down the speeches for Cave, editor of The Gentleman's Magazine (and often touched them up in political or literary zest); Cave's reports disguised topical institutions and affairs under names taken from Gulliver's Travels.

The provincial Press was very humble and rose little above a news sheet or broadsheet, full of 'wonders' and gossip.

The London papers contained advertisements of an amusing variety.

What our Politician can be so earnestly studying from his ill-informed sheet is dubious; he is probably fuddling his brain with the invective of some cautiously anonymous Grub Street hack.


Hogarth's serious or 'straight' portraits introduce us to some of the most striking and curious personalities of his time. One of the earliest of these portraits and one that he himself preferred, is that of Captain Coram—still in the possession of the Foundling Society.

Thomas Coram, one of the first of our philanthropists to be interested exclusively in young children, was a Dorsetshire man, who went in his youth to America, where he passed his life as a shipbuilder. When Hogarth was just out of his indentures with Ellis Gamble, Thomas Coram had become a London merchant. He was also a Trustee for Georgia, and planned the colonisation of Nova Scotia. He always said that it was the sad sight of the abandoned infant on the roadside, which he beheld every time he went between his lodgings and the City, that induced him to start the scheme of the Foundling Hospital, for which he obtained a Charter in 1735. The building was opened in 1745. His various charitable works had so reduced his fortune that in his old age a subscription was got up for him, which he, with much magnanimity of spirit, did not disdain to accept. Upon his death this small annual sum was given to Liveridge, the song writer, one of Hogarth's boon companions. The portrait is full-length, painted robustly with loving care and sympathetic understanding of the subject.

The theatrical portraits show us some of the most celebrated actors and actresses of the day. David Garrick, always Hogarth's warm friend and the man who wrote his epitaph and who seems to have behaved with great generosity in the obscure quarrel that for a while divided them, is the subject of two pictures—the celebrated study as Richard III, and one painted with his charming wife, the foreign dancer, Signorina Eva Maria Violetti, reputed daughter of a Viennese, Veigel.

This painting, given in Austin Dobson's catalogue as belonging to Lord Faversham, was engraved by Hogarth and Charles Grinion and published on 20th of June, 1746. Although it is showy and accomplished, it is not one of Hogarth's happiest efforts; it has none of his usual characteristics and might easily be by another hand. It cannot conceivably be taken as a serious likeness of Richard III, it is not a likeness of David Garrick, and it does not express the horrific emotion of a doomed hero viewing the ghost which has come to announce to him his approaching death and to charge him with the catalogue of his crimes.

It represents the tent scene the night before the battle of Bosworth, as Garrick staged it in his version of Shakespeare's play. Arising from his frightful dream at the dead of night, the guilty King stares before him; he is wearing a curious Tudor costume with an ermine robe and ruff, which was presumably Garrick's compromise between his own dress and that of Richard Plantagenet. He is in a tent that is most uncomfortably overcrowded; the conventional curtains held up with cords and huge tassels enclose a couch, a table on which are a Crucifix and a Crown, while at his feet is a medley of armour and a paper on which is written the famous:

'Jockey of Norfolk, be not too bold,
For Dickon, thy master, is bought and sold.'

With his right hand he grasps a dagger, and his left is raised in a very theatrical and unimpressive gesture of horror. In the distance are two soldiers by a watch-fire, and beyond, the tent of Richmond.

* * *

Garrick appeared in this part on the 19th of October, 1741, at Goodman's Fields for the first time. He made such a success that he dimmed the lustre of Quin's fame, Quin being at that time the most popular player in the town. This was followed by ill-feeling between the two actors and a lively, satirical poem on Quin by Garrick.

Alexander Pope had always believed that no one could excel Thomas Betterton; after, however, seeing Garrick's performance as the last of the Plantagenets, the poet bore the most generous testimony to the young actor's brilliancy.

Hogarth painted Garrick once again in character—in the part of the farmer in The Farmer's Return, a little play written by Garrick himself to help an actress, Miss Pritchard, at her Benefit. The play was dedicated, when it was printed, to Hogarth, and published with his drawing as a frontispiece. This is a lively little composition showing the farmer, who has made a trip to London to see the Coronation of George III, on his return to his farm; wearing his greatcoat, broad belt, jack-boots and hat, and with his cane across his knees, he sits in his chair by the side of a plain table; in one corner of the picture a pot hangs above the flames that a cat contemplates.

His child leans beside his knee to listen to the wonders that father has to relate (these include Fanny the Phantom), the matron stands with hands upraised so astonished at her husband's tales of the City that she spills the large tankard of home brew that she is carrying. The likeness to the great actor is more marked than in the Richard III and there is no touch of theatricality about the lively little sketch.

Hogarth painted Garrick as himself in the famous portrait that he disfigured by dashing a brush of paint across the eyes. This picture, which is in the Royal collection at Windsor, shows the famous player leaning over the shoulder of his wife, taking a pen from her hand. The composition is graceful, the piece highly finished, and the likeness is good. The design was, it has been pointed out, copied from a picture by Van Loo. The composition is very elegant and French in style, and like the work of Highmore.

Other famous personalities of the Playhouse whose portraits were painted by Hogarth were Lavinia Fenton, at one time the toast of the town and the rage of London, and the delicious Margaret Woffington. This charming girl, who had first appeared on the boards at the Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, at the age of ten, was engaged by Rich for Covent Garden in 1740.

A year afterwards she played a succession of celebrated parts at Covent Garden, Rosalind, Cordelia, Lady Anne in Richard III, Mrs. Ford, Lady Townley, Portia, Isabella, and Viola in Twelfth Night; she also played Portia in Julius Caesar, Desdemona, Lady Macbeth, the Queen in Hamlet, and Queen Katherine. In all these plays Garrick appeared as the male lead and Margaret Woffington lived with him for some time as his mistress.

Her last performance was Rosalind in As You Like It in 1757; she fell down on the stage soon after reciting the Epilogue, attacked by paralysis—though she survived for three years, she never appeared on the boards again. Her most popular part was that of Sir Harry Wildair. This daughter of a Dublin bricklayer possessed abundant vivacity, charm, tenderness and style and was beloved as much as admired. Her love affairs were numerous and open, but she was always respected.

Hogarth's portrait shows a plain woman in a simple satin gown and lace cap. Cleverness and vivacity are shown in the heavy-lidded eyes, and wit and humour in the mouth with the thin upper lip. This is no romantic beauty with pretensions to classic loveliness, but a real woman, good-hearted, good-humoured and talented.

The celebrated Miss Fenton he painted twice, once as herself and once as Polly Peacham. The latter is in the National Gallery, Millbank, London, and shows us an opulent blonde with a dazzling complexion who somewhat resembles Jane Hogarth herself. She wears a handsome satin gown with bodice and a lace cap; her expression is bold and self-assured as befits a future Duchess. She is better-looking than Peg Woffington, but by no means so charming; it seems as if she must have been in Hogarth's mind when he painted many of his handsome ladies—the Diana in Actresses dressing in a Barn, the Welsh milkmaid in The Enraged Musician, the lady with the drum in Southwark Fair. This picture is of uncertain date, but was probably painted when the fair Lavinia was at the height of her fame in Gay's incredibly successful opera.

In the other picture she is painted as the Duchess of Bolton, after her marriage; this was in the possession of C. Brinsley Marley, Esquire.

Hogarth also painted pretty Mlle Violetti, the dancer who became Garrick's wife after he left Peg Woffington. This belonged to the Earl of Dunmore. It was engraved, but not till the end of the eighteenth century.

Hogarth painted his own wife, as herself (Mrs. Hogarth) and in the character of the ill-fated Sigismunda. She was a stately, well-favoured, fair-haired woman; at eighty years of age Samuel Ireland found that she had good features and a graceful, dignified air; this was when she was living at Chiswick and declaring that her heart was broken, both from her reduced circumstances and from the endless disputes in which she was involved regarding her husband's work.

Another theatrical portrait was that of Miss Rich, the daughter of John Rich, while one of the best known of Hogarth's portraits is that of James Quin, who was, before the advent of Garrick, the most popular actor in London; he was of the old school, ranting with a hollow voice and bombastic gestures; he first made his name at Drury Lane in 1716, when he took the part of Bajazet, his forte was the 'tragedy King'; he was at the height of his reputation 1717-1733, when he acted at Lincoln's Inn Fields. After a short return to Drury Lane, he went to Covent Garden, retiring in 1751. He died a few years after Hogarth.

Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse is in the National Portrait Gallery, and shows the painter seated at his easel in the attitude that has become so familiar, with his montero cap, palette, easel and dog.

Another portrait, not less celebrated, is a bust in the National Gallery—Hogarth with Pug Dog. It is twelve years earlier than Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse, but there is little difference in the blunt-featured face or in the sturdy figure wearing the careless undress. In front of this picture is the palette, on which is the Line of Beauty that caused so much dispute and trouble, three volumes, the works of Milton, Shakespeare and Swift, and the snub-nosed dog Trump. There are two other self-portraits, one dubious, in wigs.

The portrait formerly called Mary Hogarth, but now discovered to be Mrs. Salter, is also in the National Gallery. This is a very engaging, good-humoured young woman, with a fine complexion and laughing eyes, who certainly shows a puzzling likeness to the painter, and is finely dressed in what were, no doubt, her best silks, and has even run a braid of pearls through her close, dark hair; Ann Hogarth is a small portrait in profile.

The portrait of Martin Folkes, now in the Royal Society, was painted in 1741. This heavy, rather gross-looking gentleman was a fine scholar and celebrated antiquary, whose monument is in Westminster Abbey. He was President of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries and helped Theobald in his Notes to Shakespeare.

Another celebrity painted by Hogarth was Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, who held successively the Sees of Bangor, Hereford, Salisbury and Winchester. He was Chaplain to George I and very active in that religious controversy in which the eighteenth-century Church of England wasted its abilities. The good Bishop was the butt of the wit of both Pope and Swift; his son John, Chaplain to Frederick, Prince of Wales and the Princess Dowager, was one of Hogarth's personal friends. He was also a dramatist and poet, and with his brother Benjamin wrote a successful play, The Suspicious Husband. Hogarth painted two fine portraits of this younger Benjamin. A bust and a full length.

Hogarth painted the portraits of several aristocrats and well-known people—the Duke of Devonshire; Dr. Arnold and his daughter; Augustus, Viscount Boyne; and the best patron he ever had, James Canfield, 4th Viscount and 1st Earl of Charlemont. This gentleman was a well-known Irish statesman, a versifier, a friend of the arts, a good patron of men of letters; he was the friend of Gratton and Flood, a soldier, a diplomat and an active intriguer for Irish Independence. Hogarth's portrait shows a strong, dark, heavy face.

Two of the finest of this magnificent series of canvases are of people whose names we do not know: the magnificent group of his own Servants and The Shrimp Girl, in which one phase of his art finds its highest expression.

Among other portraits by William Hogarth may be mentioned the vigorous Mr. and Mrs. Dawson in the National Gallery, Edinburgh; the realistic treatment of the lady's charms show that Hogarth never had a chance as a fashionable portraitist; Miss Arnold likewise is cheerfully 'plain'; treated by Romney or Reynolds these subjects would have appeared at least passably good-looking.

Mrs. James on the other hand is a dashing brunette, pretty save for the wide mouth and hard round eyes Hogarth usually gave his sitters; the hand is too large, conventional in pose and poorly painted. Mr. James is a delightful character study; he wears a curiously braided coat and his odd, smiling face is most skilfully and sympathetically rendered; he is as lifelike and impressive as the very vital George Arnold or the prim, peevish Mr. Dawson.

A very plump, cheerful, baby-faced gentleman, freely touched in, is shown in John Herring, Esq.

Two little portraits of children are the curious Boy with a Kite in the Duke of Westminster's collection and the stiff Prince Augustus in the Tennant collection; both are early works and poor in execution.


Hogarth painted a number of pure genre scenes, something in the style of Watteau or Chardin—though he does not seem to have been acquainted with the works of either of these painters—in which some slight episode of daily life is shown with little if any satirical intent. These illustrated different aspects of contemporary life with vivid and charming verve. Wanstead Assembly or The Dance shows how a great gentleman entertained his tenants, guests, hangers-on at a yearly festival.

Wanstead Manor belonged to Earl Tylney; the park of 184 acres is still in existence; the mansion where this merriment is taking place was built in 1715 and demolished in 1822. The picture was painted in 1728, and may be unfinished or the study for a larger canvas. It is now the property of the South London Art Gallery. The handsome hall, lit by candles in a candelabrum, forms a background for a number of figures who appear to be enjoying themselves thoroughly.

There is also a Wanstead Conversation Piece, showing the family and dependants grouped stiffly in what seems to be the same hall.

The Indian Emperor shows some children playing at acting in the mansion of Mr. Conduit, Master of the Mint; the play is Dryden's comedy—The Indian Emperor or The Conquest of Mexico: and this sub-title is sometimes given to the picture, which belongs to Mary, Countess of Ilchester.

Hogarth was called in to make this portrait group in 1731; the company watching the children is very distinguished. Miss Conduit plays Alibeck, Lady Caroline has the part of Cydaria, Lady Sophia Feimor plays Almeria and Lord Lempster is Cortez. Among the spectators are the Duke and Duchess of Richmond, the Duke of Montague, the Earl of Pomfret and Lord Chesterfield. The prompter is the Rev. Hedby Hill and the governess Lady Deloraine; her two little daughters are in front; behind the players is the tutor, Dr. Desaguliers—the parson of The Sleeping Congregation. The audience is grouped to the left of the composition, which is given a pique by the bust of Isaac Newton on the high mantelpiece.

The Stay Maker is a charming composition, elegant and graceful, with an ironic flavour. In a plain room a slender lady tries on a pair of corsets, which the stay-maker adjusts with a coquettish smile. She has brought her family with her; in the centre of the room a small boy struts with a pompous air, a little girl is pouring a jug of milk into her father's hat, and the good gentleman himself reclines on a sofa at the back kissing his youngest boy, who, in his turn, is saluted on his chubby back by the nurse. The heavy whalebone 'stays' or corsets were a very important article of female attire and made to measure by specialists. The picture belongs to Sir Edmund Davis.

Two other superb genre pictures are the charming Green Room with its Watteau-like elegance and delightful principal male figure, and The Life School, a fine composition showing a group of students sketching from a nude figure posed under a top light. This is possibly the art school started by Sir James Thornhill, in which Hogarth took so keen an interest; it is boldly, yet precisely painted and the light and shade are brilliantly handled.

The Royal Masquerade is another genre picture, the original of which, once in the Palmer collection, appears to have been lost or destroyed. The engraving shows a group of figures in carnival dress in a handsome chamber. The picture represents a fête given by the Russian Ambassador at Somerset House to celebrate the birth of the Emperor Paul I, December 24th, 1755. The maskers are members of the Royal Family.

Charity in the Cellar shows a group of four gentlemen seated on a cask in the centre of a cellar. These represent members of the 'Hell Fire Club', Sir Philip Hoby, Mr. De Gray, Lord J. Cavendish, Lord Sandwich, and Lord Galway, who is stretched out on a bench in the shadows of the background. A little statue of Charity shows where the artist got his inspiration for this centre group. Bottles, glasses and bowls are scattered about the foreground of the composition. It is said to represent a wager taken by members of the 'Hell Fire Club' that they would not leave the cellar till they had emptied a hogshead of claret. They are shown already far gone in intoxication and it seems doubtful whether they will win their bet. This picture was in the possession of Lord Boyne. It is a neat commentary on the hard-drinking habits of the fashionable set, and depicts varying stages of intoxication. These 'Hell Fire' clubs were very popular and encouraged any form of debauchery and indecency among their members.

The House of Commons was painted in 1726 or 1727; it shows the Rt. Hon. Arthur Onslow, the then Speaker, in the Chair, Sir Robert Walpole, Sidney Godolphin, Colonel Onslow, Sir James Thornhill and several others, grouped rather awkwardly, appearing monotonous because all wear well-floured wigs and three-cornered hats, save Walpole, whose sturdy figure is placed well in the foreground and whose massive face is unshadowed by any headgear.

Debates on Palmistry is a genre picture which has, however, considerable satirical meaning. It is supposed to represent the medical staff of a hospital, who are considering together how much they may charge their more wealthy patients for their services, while a poor lame woman receives no attention from these avaricious medicos, who are seated round a plain table; in the room is some of the stock-intrade of the quack, skeletons and a crocodile, and Minerva's owl is placed in mockery on a perch. In the background is a ghost that is supposed, oddly enough, to be that of the elder Hamlet who died of poison. It has been suggested that this is a satire on St. Bartholomew's Hospital, made after some quarrel Hogarth had with that institution; it reveals, though roughly, the aspect of an eighteenth-century board-meeting.

Bambridge on Trial for Murder before the House of Commons is in itself a stiff, badly-painted composition, and again is rendered monotonous by the white wigs, white cravats and plain coats of the gentlemen; these are all portraits; the print is better than the oil painting, which is in the National Portrait Gallery, the date of this work is 1729. It shows a Committee of the two Houses which was appointed in 1728 'to examine the state of the prisons within the Kingdom'.

Two Wardens of the Fleet are under examination, Thomas Bambridge and John Huggins, his predecessor. James Oglethorpe, Esquire, is in the Chair, and the Committee, which includes several noble Lords, has met in a very forbidding-looking room. On the table in front of them are the various instruments of torture employed by the Wardens of the Fleet, and kneeling in the front is a wretched prisoner in the most miserable condition, who, on his knees, tells his tale of wrong and suffering. Bainbridge stands to the extreme right of the picture; his expression leaves no doubt either of his guilt or of his fear. This is a very striking character-sketch. Bambridge was charged with the murder of some of the prisoners who had died in the Fleet, and the Committee found him guilty 'of the most notorious breaches of his trust, extortion, and high crimes and misdemeanours'. They also found that he had 'quite unlawfully loaded with irons, put into dungeons, and destroyed prisoners for debt under his charge, treating them in the most barbarous and cruel manner'. Despite this finding, Bambridge was only disqualified from holding office. He died by his own hand twenty years after the date of this print, while Huggins, whom the Committee found equally guilty, survived in comfort to the age of ninety.

* * *

The full story behind this picture gives an arresting insight into the social conditions of Hogarth's time.

John Huggins was an armiger; a gentleman who bought the patent of 'Warden of the Fleet' from one of the great ones of the land, with the simple intention of making as much money as possible out of the prisoners; his methods, if crude, proved highly lucrative. As he had complete power over the inhabitants of the Fleet Prison, he found no difficulty in executing his designs in the 'college', as the jail was termed. Poor prisoners were starved to death in underground cellars, those with any money had it extorted from them. Smugglers were allowed—for a consideration—to use the Fleet as their headquarters; as they were technically 'in custody', they were able to 'run their cargoes' with good alibis and a safe retreat; one Du May went to and fro to France on nefarious business, spending his London visits in the Fleet, these homing 'prisoners' were termed 'pigeons'. Huggins acted as their banker, and when any bills were presented against them, they could, with his connivance, plead bankruptcy. Huggins parted with this cosy business for a very handsome sum to Thomas Bambridge, who improved on his predecessor's methods. He enjoyed cruelty for its own sake; a bankrupt baronet, Sir William Rich, having refused to pay a 'garnish' of five pounds, was kept for months in an underground 'kennel', Bambridge, by way of jest, now and then thrusting a red-hot poker through the bars of this dungeon.

A certain unhappy relic of the wars, Captain MacPheadris, who was destitute, was turned out to starve in a yard amusingly termed 'The Bare'. The old soldier scraped together some broken rubbish and in the angle of the walls contrived a rude shelter, which Bambridge, on hearing of it, ordered to be demolished. A Portuguese, Mendez Sala, was loaded with a hundred-weight of iron and put in the mortuary with corpses.

In some prison houses, facetiously termed Upper Ease, Lower Ease, The Lion's Den and Julius Caesar's House, the prisoners were chained to the floor. A spunging-house, run by a certain Corbett, was near the prison and the 'fees' stripped by this expert from his victims were shared by Bambridge; a step inside this place meant six shillings 'for a bomb of punch'. To such a den did the machinations of Lovelace betray Clarissa.

Bambridge became reckless in his greed; not only would he seize all the money that charitable but foolish persons sent round for 'the poor debtors', but he and Corbett even kidnapped a respectable citizen who was offering alms at the gate, and released him only after 'garnish' had been paid.

Several compassionate Acts were passed, whereby bankrupts were released from imprisonment for debt, but Barn-bridge refused to allow his prisoners' names to be put on the list of those entitled to this relief unless a fee of £3 3s. a head was paid to him.

The Warden was always ready to accept bribes; one lady offered for her husband's better treatment forty guineas and a toy model of a Chinese junk in amber and silver, worth 'eighty broad pieces'.

In order to be beforehand with any possible complaints, Bambridge, with his turnkeys as false witnesses, put in frequent appearances at the Old Bailey, to swear riots or attempts at prison-breaking against his victims.

Such were some of the charges brought against the two Wardens of the Fleet.

They were no worse than those in authority at the other debtors' prisons—King's Bench and the Marshalsea. These prisons were a handsome property, purchased from Lord Radnor for £5,000 by sixteen shareholders. A prisoner tortured with an iron skullcap and thumbscrews was flung out of the Marshalsea that he might not die in the prison, was picked up unconscious and expired in St. Thomas's Hospital.

This state of affairs had been noticed for years by the feeling but powerless minority, and at length a public protest rose from the number of deaths among the debtors and even a supine and callous Parliament had to take some notice of the constant petitions sent in against Huggins and Bambridge. The former was finally arrested for the murder of one of the prisoners, one Edward Arne; though he was tried before Judge Page, whose sobriquet was 'hanging', Huggins was acquitted. His son translated Ariosto and collected Hogarth's prints.

Bambridge and Corbett were put on trial for the murder of a M. Castell, who had been flung into a cell where three people were ill with small-pox, had caught the disease and died. They were acquitted through a legal quibble.

Mrs. Castell, however, with great spirit and courage, employed the famous lawyer William Lee (afterwards Chief Justice Lee), who in his turn picked a quibble, and issued 'an appeal of murder', whereby Bambridge had to submit 'to wager of battle' (personal combat with a chosen champion) or be tried again. Bambridge chose the trial and was, to the disgrace of all concerned, again acquitted.

The terrible Cockney mob, however, with a better sense of justice, nearly succeeded in tearing Bambridge and Corbett to pieces. Sir William Lee was so disgusted with this verdict that he vowed that in future he would never concern himself about anyone's innocence or guilt, but rely wholly upon points of law.

* * *

Hogarth's 'Conversation pieces', of which there are many in existence, show rather prim interiors with better-class people sitting round tea-tables or engaged in some genteel pursuit, while they show off their best clothes and their company manners; the following are a few examples in which the costumes, the rooms, and the more decorous occupations of the upper and middle classes of Hogarth's day can be studied in little pictures, many of which the painter regarded as mere hack-work; a novelty in the scene is given in Lord Edward Graham in his cabin. His early picture in the Maritime Museum, Greenwich, shows the fourth son of the 1st Duke of Montrose on board a man-of-war; The Graham Children, National Gallery, is a large composition showing the amusements of young aristocrats—a singing bird, a musical box, a cat, a fine little chariot for the baby.

In the Cholmondeley Family we see a noble Earl and his wife and children gathered in his splendid library. The date is 1732, and the picture belongs to the Marquess of Cholmondeley.

The Western Family (Dublin, National Gallery) is a typical 'family group'. Date 1735.

Another in the same style, in the National Gallery, London, shows the Strode family gathered round the tea-table, entertaining a clergyman, the Rev. Arthur Smith, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin. It is curious and piquant to remember that these prim, precise people lived in the same world as Bambridge, perhaps had John Huggins, Esquire, to tea and might have found themselves through a turn of the cards in the clutches of Mr. Corbett.

In the Dulwich Gallery is a charming Angling Party in which the portraits are arranged against an uncommon background.

* * *

Hogarth engraved illustrations for the books of his friends, Fielding and Sterne, for the works of Molière and several others, besides the two well-known Hudibras series, which are of considerable merit; there seems, however, a doubt whether the designs from which Hogarth worked were altogether his own composition or whether he adapted them from the work of another artist. The pictures, though admirable as illustrations of Butler's satire, have not much relation to Hogarth's artistic development and little reference to the life of his own time.

The two different views of Rosamund's Pond, which possibly may not be by Hogarth, show us that fashionable promenade, St. James's Park, with the Horse Guards in the background.

* * *

For many reasons the unfortunate Sigismunda is in a class by itself. This picture, while not so bad as Horace Walpole thought it, is not so good as Hogarth hoped it would be. The subject is the chief fault; it is almost impossible to move the emotions by representing a legendary figure in which the spectator does not believe. Nothing in this picture attaches one to reality—the lady is too richly dressed, her background is nondescript, the human heart on the salver is disgusting without being either moving or horrible; the attitude also is forced; she is not clutching her head in her hands in a convulsion of despair, or supporting it in the heaviness of grief, but holds her fingers in a light, affected gesture against her cheek; the head is turned in an unnatural way; indeed, this hardly seems the work of the painter who could give us the death of the Countess, the death of Mary Hackabout and the perfection of Cruelty; yet it was, as we know, an almost painfully sincere effort, and Hogarth lavished upon this work the greatest and most conscientious pains. It has merit; the woman is handsome and graceful and her grief appears genuine, the picture is well and solidly painted, the colouring pleasing. The reason for Hogarth's lack of complete success in his Sigismunda seems to have been not his own limitations so much as the bad school he was striving to follow. In one sense he was right in his estimation of this picture, it is at least as good as the so-called Correggio it endeavoured to equal and rather better than a great many of the old 'black masters' that cluttered the galleries of noble owners in the eighteenth century.

* * *

Among the sixty pictures, sketches and engravings collected by Samuel Ireland, very many of which were engraved by himself or his daughter, are some curiosities that do not come under any of the above headings, though several have already been mentioned and many are but variations of, or first sketches for, well-known pictures and engravings by Hogarth.

Among these little curiosities is, first, the engraving for a funeral card, made by Ireland from a drawing by Hogarth. It gives us an excellent idea of an eighteenth-century funeral. The clergyman leads the way up a flight of stairs to a pompous, classical church; behind comes the coffin, on which are four coats of arms and above which are four groups of black plumes; it is surrounded by mourners in weepers and black cloaks, and though the whole is soberly done and is, in fact, a tradesman's advertisement, it has a hint of irony in the passive faces of the mourners and their flourish of white handkerchiefs.

Two other commercial plates of Hogarth's early period are of no great artistic value in themselves, but throw an interesting light on eighteenth-century London.

The first is that of Mrs. Holt, who kept an Italian warehouse 'at the two Olive Posts in the broad part of the Strand almost opposite to Exeter Exchange'. The card shows a ship unloading and Mercury encouraging the City of Florence to pour its treasures into the lap of Britain. It' is pleasant to know that Mrs. Holt sold all sorts of Italian silks, lute strings, satins, paduasoys, velvets and damasks, fans, Leghorn hats, flowers, flutes and violin strings, bottles of essences, Venice treacle, vinegar, and that, in a back warehouse, she had all sorts of Italian wines, Florence cordial, olive oil, anchovies, tapers, vermicelli, Bologna sausages, Parmesan cheese and Naples soap.

The other ticket was used as an invitation card to the annual dinner of the gentlemen educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, Devonshire, to whom it was sent out every year. A figure of Britannia points to a view of the school, which was then much as it was when Peter Blundell endowed it in 1604. In front are some little boys with their books and another group watering the Tree of Knowledge. The mottoes bear reference to the Colleges—Balliol, Oxford, and Sidney Sussex, Cambridge—in each of which the School had two Fellowships and two Scholarships.

Next in Ireland's collection are four rough drawings taken at Button's Coffee House, which was on the south side of Russell Street, Covent Garden. Sutton had been a servant in the Countess of Warwick's family and was placed in this Coffee House through the patronage of Joseph Addison, her second husband.

Among the characters shown in these rough sketches are Martin Foulkes, Addison, Pope and Dr. Arbuthnot together with a certain Count Viviani; all of these were habitués of the famous Coffee House about the year 1720, and Hogarth no doubt sketched them from life.

In 1728 the once well-known actor James Spiller, who played the character, with great vivacity it is said, of Map of the Mint in the original production of the Beggars' Opera, was reduced to the greatest distress. A Benefit was held in order to relieve him, and Hogarth designed a ticket known as For the Benefit of Spiller Ticket; this ingenious little design shows the unhappy comedian's bill being weighed up against his gain, so much to his disadvantage that he has no alternatives left but those of enlisting in the Army or going to gaol for debt. Spiller, though so reduced in his fortunes, was only about thirty-five years of age at the time his Benefit was held; two years later he was seized with an apoplectic fit when playing a clown before the Prince of Wales; he was buried in the churchyard of St. Clement Danes.

Two early designs by Hogarth to illustrate Milton's Paradise Lost—Pandemonium and Heaven, engraved by Samuel Ireland—show, despite some ridiculous touches such as a heavy organ perched on the crowd (these perhaps intended ironically; Thornhill had painted Queen Anne resting on vapours), great skill in conveying vast space within a small compass.

Another curious trade card is the one Hogarth designed for James Figg, whom we saw in one of the Plates of The Rake's Progress. This design was drawn by Hogarth and etched by Shipton; it shows the valiant Master of the Fence, the Atlas of the Sword, standing upon a platform surrounded by a crown, while underneath is: 'James Figg, Master of the noble Science of Defence; on the right hand in Oxford Row near Adam and Eve's Court; he teaches gentlemen the use of the small back-sword and quarterstaff at home and abroad.'

Ireland purchased, at the sale of Mrs. Hogarth's effects after her death, a sketch of the first scene in The Rake's Progress. It was in oils and very different from the final version. In his book he reproduces one of the pictures on the wall, which is a strange, crude satire on Transubstantiation—the Virgin Mary in the crowd throws the Divine Child into a hopper and when it comes out as wafers, a Priest receives these and hands one of them to a kneeling man.

Ireland possessed also several of Hogarth's tickets for various theatrical Benefits and performances; one was for the famous Joe Miller, the compiler of the celebrated Jest Book, though he could himself neither read nor write. He was a boon companion of James Spiller's and they seem to have kept together a public-house in the parish of St. Clement Danes. He was buried near Spiller in the churchyard of St. Clement's parish. Hogarth's ticket shows a scene from one of the plays in which Joe Miller appeared, The Old Bachelor.

Samuel Ireland also purchased from Mrs. Hogarth an excellent sketch in oils—Orator Henly Christening a Child—which he thought was painted about 1745 (at present in the British Museum) and which he engraved. This John Henly or Orator Henly was a well-known character (shown in Modern Midnight Conversation); educated at Cambridge, he kept a school at Melton Mowbray, in Leicestershire, which he rendered famous by his eloquent manner of repeating passages from the classics. He also wrote a 'Universal Grammar' in ten languages. He afterwards came to London, where he published some translations. He lived under the patronage of the Earl of Macclesfield (who divorced his wife Anne, the reputed mother of Richard Savage), and obtained a Lectureship in the City.

Of an eccentric turn of mind, he gave up these posts and started on his own initiative a chapel, called the Oratory Chapel, in Portman Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he attracted large congregations. At one time it was said that he was more generally followed than any other preacher; he does not seem to have confined himself in his sermons to Theology, but expressed himself with great force, pungency and often with caustic wit on all the problems and notabilities of the day. Like Hogarth, he singled out Pope as an object of satire, and Pope in return placed him in the Dunciad.

'Embrowned with native bronze, lo, Henly stands,
Tuning his voice and balancing his hands.
How fluent nonsense trickles from his tongue!
How sweet the periods; neither said nor sung!'

Henly charged a shilling for admission to the Oratory and the season ticket was a medal with a rising star. This curious personage often gave very practical advice to his congregations, which were generally composed of the lowest types. On one occasion he showed some shoemakers how to make shoes by cutting off the feet of ready-made boots. There were frequently riots in the Oratory and Henly was more than once in trouble with the Ministry. He died in 1756 aged sixty-four.

This excellent sketch is supposed to be the only portrait of him known. He is seen holding a child in swaddling clothes; the pretty young mother stands to his left, the nurse holds the book to the right. A child in front upsets the water prepared for the baptism; a man, perhaps the father, prays in the background. The Orator has a coarse, peculiar face expressing slyness and vanity; he seems to be leering, and in his fair-lashed eyes is a suspicion of a squint.

The next of Ireland's treasures was the original of a mezzotint published in 1747, showing the ghost of Lord Lovat in the dress of a friar, with a crucifix and rosary round his neck, wandering in a churchyard with his head under his arm. This was presented to a certain Dr. Webster, a physician of St. Albans, who arranged the meeting between Lord Lovat and Hogarth at the White Hart Inn at that town in 1746. The likeness of the head to the other portrait by Hogarth of Lord Lovat is very noticeable—for the rest the sketch is very coarsely done, the lettering on the monument being out of perspective. The lines beneath sum up in no very ill-fashion the career of the Head of Clan Fraser; the allusion is supposed to be to a tomb prepared by Lord Lovat for his son, whom he urged on to destruction, but who escaped while the old man was caught.

Disguised through life, a layman at the block,
My headless trunk resembles the monkish frock.
Doomed for my crimes in pilgrimage to roam,
With weary steps I seek my native home,
Where 'vanity' inscribes my father's tomb,
But Justice now denies my carcass room.

A coarse print that resembles the heading of one of the old 'chap-books' was made by Hogarth for Henry Fielding's paper, the Jacobite Journal. This is a woodcut of a Scotsman, riding an ass that is led by a priest with his finger to his nose past a view of London.

A remarkable satire, dated 1750 according to Samuel Ireland, was Some of the Principal Inhabitants of the Moon. High in the clouds sits a King whose head is formed of a crown piece, and who wears a collar of bubbles instead of esses. Beside him is a Bishop whose face is formed of a Jew's harp; he jerks a rope that is fastened to a Bible that serves as a lever to actuate a machine which is in the form of a church steeple; this casts coin into his coffer; a cloven hoof shows beneath his robe. Next to him is a Judge whose head is made of a large mallet, and who grasps a clumsy horn.

In Ireland's collection was also Hogarth's original design called The False Perspective, a frontispiece to Kirby's treatise on perspective, and two charming Heads, one of a smiling negress and the other of a Diana.

Ireland also possessed a very spirited drawing of Garrick in The Farmer's Return, sketched from life in black chalk, and the original sketch for the John Wilkes portrait.


The Cockney's Mirror, held up by a man of genius, shows us nearly half a century of London life; there is no aspect of eighteenth-century existence on which that searching light has not been flashed; we have seen the rulers of Great Britain, the Kings, the Ministers, the lords, the commoners, the electors; we have seen the aristocrats, the merchants, the tradesmen, the players, the thieves and vagabonds, the murderers and hangmen, the clergy, the doctors, the musicians, poets and quacks, the soldiers, the constables, the singers, the dilettanti, the quiet stay-at-home women, the flaunting gadabout ladies, the justice on the bench, the charlatan in the pulpit, the debtor in his prison, the lunatic in his chains; the portraits show us the impassive stare of the criminal, the leer of the cheap-jack patriot, the grin of the cheating time-server, the unflattered faces of celebrities in their best clothes.

We have seen mansions, thieves' kitchens, the respectable tavern, the infamous baguio, the long, dull, stiff streets, the neglected churchyards, the ugly drab churches, the coarse feasts of drunkards, the gross sports of fine gentlemen, the nauseous banquet at the Guildhall, the brutal crowd at a public hanging, the stupid crowd at a public rejoicing; we have seen the apprentice at his loom, the trader with his account-book, the drunken Grenadier stumbling northward to trounce the Scot, the boors with their outcry against the naturalization of the Jews, and the Jew who can buy luxury and a free-born Englishwoman.

We have seen the Italian eunuch with his fingers loaded with diamonds, the Freemason reeling home drunk with a stream of ordure poured on his head, the Scot starving in exile, schoolboys going to school through the snow at seven o'clock in the morning, while rake-hells and their doxies fight the constables and an old maid minces to church; we have been shown the pauper's nameless child in irons, the noble's child patched with scrofula, the suicide of a Countess, the murder of a servant girl; the madness of gambling, of the lottery, of speculation, of superstition has been put before us with all the brilliancy of genius.

It is a world of Pope, of Young, of Richardson, of Fielding, of Sterne, but it has a clarity that none of these—not even the author of Amelia—achieved. The painter has this advantage over the writer; he takes the eye at once and for ever; he does not ask for any imagination, any sympathy, any patience from the spectator, as the writer must ask for all these of the reader; he leaves no detail to be filled in, guessed at or ignored, by the nature of his art he must show the complete scene—at least if he understands by painting what was understood by it in the eighteenth century.

So, on Hogarth's canvases we see at a glance what it takes considerable time and attention to learn from even the lively pages of Fielding. The moralities of Young are no longer read, it is rare to find anyone who has patiently followed the fortunes of Pamela Andrews or Clarissa Harlowe, but no one refuses an interest in Mary Hackabout or the Countess of Squanderfield.

There it is, this small vivid world, like groups of real people seen in a diminishing glass, and what do we think of it?

Once these pictures were as topical as a daily news-sheet, and now all the details—the customs, manners, costumes, the types, even some of the occupations shown—are decayed, lost, perhaps forgotten.

This obsolete setting and attire put these people far away from us and give them the quality of waxworks, almost that of mummies—they have the terrifying life of creatures caught at the height of their passions, turned into dolls and kept for ever in a glass case; they are so real and yet so remote; a horrid mildew covers them with a blight; even the merrymakers grin through the dust, even the lovely faces have a wan look of corruption.

The painter's crude, fierce morality appals a more sensitive, a more broad-minded generation that no longer thinks in such definite terms of sin and virtue, of crime and punishment, but it would be difficult to discover a single vice of folly flayed by Hogarth that we could not match to-day.

We put a prettier gloss on many of the things that in Hogarth's period flourished crudely enough, the laws are not only improved, but better administered, yet we cannot say that the murderer, the thief, the quack, the charlatan, the gambler, the libertine, the miser, the spendthrift, the lunatic, the corrupt politician, the cheat, the unfaithful wife, the overpaid foreign entertainer, the pretentious or stupid critic, are no longer part of our civilization.

An artist of Hogarth's genius, were he alive to-day, and if public taste permitted him to sketch the scenes that Hogarth sketches, might get together a portfolio as grim as his; but we do not favour scenes in lunatic asylums, prisons, dissecting rooms, thieves' cellars, or studies of the death-beds of suicides, and outcasts.

We have our murders, our cruelties to children and animals, but no one paints them; most of what is revolting is now hidden away; we do not tolerate the dead cat in the gutter, but the most fastidious people will wear the furs of tortured animals and condone blood sports; Hogarth had the subject of cruelty to animals much at heart; were he alive now he might not think we have advanced in this respect as much as we flatter ourselves we have.

It is not so much the state of the society shown that horrifies us when we look at Hogarth's pictures as the stern candour of the artist—it was not the eighteenth century that he held up to scorn, but human nature. Indeed, the great merit of the artist's world as well as of the artist himself, is the brutal realism; even the hypocrite or the cheat is not really disguised, the quack's sneer, the cheap-jack's grimace give them away at once, Mother Needham does not pretend to be a squeamish lady, Betty Carless wears her initials on her breast and her profession on her brow, Mary Hackabout throws no cloak of respectability over her chosen career. The 'matchless impudence' that enabled Francis Chateris to die in peace is seen in all these people; the crowd who come to see Tom Idle turned off make no disguise of their delight in a day's fun, the sleeping congregation do not attempt to control their snores; at the Election bribes are freely offered and freely taken.

With what zest the gamblers indulge their liking! With what joy the gluttons eat and the drunkards swill! They offer no excuses, they have no regrets—unashamed, without self-pity or self-scorn they wallow in their vices. Those who are overcome by grief or frenzy are only so because the means for enjoyment has ceased. The Countess would forever have tripped to the masquerade—she took poison because the masquerade was closed to her; the rake would have squandered his money for ever—he lost his wits because he had lost his fortune; the harlot died without trying to excuse herself, and her fellows do not moralize or repent round her open coffin, they enjoy a festival, dress themselves up, drink themselves stupid or maudlin and grin at destiny.

This entire lack of sentimentality is the salt and savour of Hogarth's work; the word sentimental was used only for the first time when Hogarth was at the height of his genius, and of that side of the age—the lachrymose tendencies that ran from Sterne to Mackenzie until the literary century dissolved in tears—Hogarth knew nothing; his intellectual honesty scorned all subterfuge, all glosses, and his people scorned them too.

Even that horrid ruffian Tom Idle wins a certain sympathy by the boldness with which he gambles on the tomb, while the pious go into the church that is so dreary that his choice of a more exciting way of spending the time may be excused.

How frankly his doxy grins as she holds up the stolen ear-ring, how unblushingly she betrays him! She troubles with no pretences; she is what she is, and she knows that she too will be hanged or stoned to death in the pillory or rot in Bridewell; she has not the hope that a more broad-minded age would have offered her, of either the help of the charitable or the understanding of the tolerant; should she 'repent' it would avail her nothing, so she goes on, grinning, and with the help of Madam Geneva takes her punishment.

Perhaps she, when she is in the cart, will, like Sarah Malcolm, listen to some priest or preacher who will tell her that there is a place somewhere above the London streets and fog where poor, filthy Moll can be washed as white as snow, and then she will blubber out that she is sorry and try to mutter, as the rope tightens on her neck, a prayer the Ordinary has taught her.

* * *

It is a question how far the details of this world of Hogarth's is a real world and how far they are compounded from his own imagination; the essential truth of his pictures we cannot deny; that these things happened, that these types lived we know, but has he exaggerated, falsified by half-statements, emphasized the shadows by putting in so few lights?

If we consider the world shown us by Chardin, by Watteau, by Lancret, we find it difficult to believe that they were contemporaries of Hogarth—whose glimpse of France showed him no enchanted glades, no happy housewives, no charming children, no elegants, no sweet ladies.

Hogarth, the respectable citizen, gives us a spectacle of dismal vices and forlorn materialism—Morland 'the drunken dog', a generation later when things had not changed much, and certainly not for the better, gives us cosy, pretty scenes of domestic felicity and rustic content, well-kept animals, chubby children and happy youth. Who is telling the truth? Are both telling a portion of selected truth?

It does not take us long to realize that Morland's popular and delightful pictures are shams; their charms are those of fairy tales, their appeal is that of make-believe. Those farmers, shepherds, soldiers, officers, country women have the complexions and features of porcelain dolls, those interiors have the cloying sweetness of the exile's dream of home, those woolly sheep will never be made into mutton, those plump horses will never go to the knacker's yard—Morland, careless, bemused with drink in a London garret, turned out fake country scenes to please the townsman; Hogarth, clear-headed and honest, drew what he saw; his pictures are true both in essentials and in detail; it is their truth that makes them appear grotesque, for we are so used to artistic conventions that complete honesty always appears a caricature; Hogarth's designs have that fidelity to life which fascinates and disconcerts us in the works of Tcheckov or Dostoiewski; reality is mirrored so exactly that it appears to us—used to the smooth falsehoods of traditional art—distorted.

Admitting the truth of this eighteenth-century London world, what shall we make of it? It is as bewildering as that of nineteenth-century Russia—given by Russian writers—as remote, as terrible, as exactly true, at once haunting and exasperating.

It is also nearer to us than the world of our grandparents, as the day before yesterday is nearer to us than yesterday. That very frankness we have noticed is more a characteristic of to-day, than it was of Queen Victoria's reign; we pride ourselves, for instance, on our candour in sex matters and often smile at nineteenth-century prudishness and hypocrisy; no Victorian bride of eighteen years of age would have put A Harlot's Progress before her parents as a passport to their favour, no Victorian lady would have had these prints on her fan or her coffee cups; that female freedom in these matters of knowledge of the world that we so boast of belonged, without question or comment, to the women whom Hogarth painted; the now despised ignorance, timidity and mock modesty of the nineteenth-century woman with the attendant affectations did not belong to them; they knew what they were about, life held no mystery for them and little romance; their point of view was sharp, disillusioned, what we term modern.

We are in more sympathy, too, with that spirit of pagan enjoyment which Hogarth shows us, that cheerful acceptance of good and evil without introspection or self-pity is more akin to us than it was to our immediate forebears; our present day literature resembles the eighteenth-century in tone more than it resembles the nineteenth; Fielding, Pope, Collins, Cowper are more in tune with us than are Lamb, Dickens, Thackeray, Tennyson or Browning; in so far as the eighteenth century was decisive, downright, precise, cynical, classical, with a delicate taste in the minor arts and in decoration, we prefer it to the nineteenth century—sentimental, romantic, mawkish, hypocritical, with atrocious taste in all that makes the detail of life tolerable or agreeable. Despite the nineteenth-century advances in sanitation, law and order and comfort, any of our finer persons would rather live in the London of say, 1750, than in the London of 1850; the elegant monstrosity of Strawberry Hill was preferable to the correct horrors of the Great Exhibition, better the baroque affectations of Lord Burlington's Chiswick villa than the chilly sentimentalities of Balmoral.

* * *

Hogarth's world, then, is essentially a world that not only really existed, but that exists still; his characters are Mr. and Mrs. Everybody; he shows us long-established vices and stupidities with which we are, at first hand, familiar. But because his people wear ancient costumes and are set in scenes strange to us, his work seems to show something remote, entirely out of harmony with ourselves. Again, he shows the essence of life that we ourselves, involved in our own individual hurries, cannot perceive; an artist of his power could extract this essence from any age, and it would always seem terrible, touching the grotesque, for stripped truth is both terrible and grotesque.

Is it more likely that the events which distracted France in 1789-1800 sprang from the conditions depicted in Hogarth's Calais Gate or in those shown in Greuze's sugary village scenes?

Hogarth has often been censured for never drawing a fine character or showing a pleasant scene; when he began to sketch a study for A Happy Marriage (Royal Collection) he put in two quarrelling quacks in the background. The self-sacrificing girl in The Rake's Progress is Hogarth's one worthy heroine, and she—even allowing that he did not invent her under the pressure of a meddler's advice—is forced, unreal and hinders the action of the tale without rousing in us any respect for her virtue or compassion for her suffering; Hogarth himself did not believe in her, nor do we. Her half-imbecile blubbering when we first see her, and her haggard, repellent features in the last scene are fine dramatic strokes but do not help us to admire the poor milliner who is 'all for love and the world well lost'.

Apart from this girl, who is there who is admirable in the whole of Hogarth's work? The industrious apprentice is a wooden prig, the faithful steward to the Earl of Squanderfield is a hypocritical psalm-singer, even the Wesleyan comforting Tom Idle in the cart is drawn with the lines of satire; here and there is a pretty, gentle creature, the woman who faints in the churchyard in the fourth Election scene, the distressed poet's wife, the milkmaid who helps torment the musician, the drummeress at Southwark Fair, the murdered girl destroyed by Tom Nero—but they are all passive victims of an ugly social state and cannot stand for virtue or for any active quality at all. The lad who offers his tart to save the dog is as ineffective as the old woman sobbing in the boat beside her ruffian son; Hogarth saw 'goodness' making feeble, hopeless gestures to stay evil, and making them in vain.

Nor did he ever imagine a splendid villain, dowered with savage beauty and a bitter energy, a relentless courage and a brilliant gaiety. Tom Rakewell is no Robert Lovelace, his silly mind totters from imbecility to lunacy with a history of puerile vices in between; Lord Squanderfield is the most attractive of Hogarth's male characters, he has elegance and, one thing, wit, and he casts himself on death when the code of his class is infringed.

In this character the painter came as near as he ever came to romance and sentiment. When he tried to illustrate what cannot be illustrated, Milton's Satan, Sin and Death, he drew a very ill-composed skeleton, a woman who might be a conventional Madonna or goddess save for the snakes at her waist and a ranting figure in baroque attire like one of the demons from a pantomime by Rich.

A far more terrible, a far more powerful representation of Sin is given by Hogarth in the figure of Black Tom in Cruelty in Perfection, the sideway grin at his victim of the murderer, who is caught but unrepentant, his dark fixity of character, his unshaken purpose are shown with a power that is indeed frightful but is devoid of sentimentality or melodrama.

It might be argued that Hogarth's art is incomplete because he never represents—or never represents with striking effect—the better side of human nature, because there is no touch of heroism in his villains, no upward lift in his scenes, which remain mean, trivial and nasty.

Hogarth could live a happy marriage, he could not paint one, he could lead a useful, orderly, honest, generous life, but he could not put such a man as he was himself on canvas or on copper; many a debauched artist has painted Paradise to make the pious rejoice, many a libertine painter has excelled with studies of innocence.

It was not that Hogarth's talent was so limited, but because it was so universal, that he shows us nothing of the great and the good when they are on their pedestals; he shows us ourselves, the good and the bad, the mean and the brave, levelled by our common humanity. He does not deny virtues and merits to his characters, but he chooses the moment when these are in abeyance to paint their portraits. Sir Commodity Tak'em may be a charming young man with a pretty taste in the arts, who would die bravely for his country, but we see him odiously employed; the mayor chokes with his oysters, but gluttony may be his one sin, the rustic pocketing the bribe may be a good family man, the two hideous wretches disputing over Portobello would fight like lions for England—Hogarth shows us what the best of us may look like when we are involved in the petty temptations, vices and indulgences of every day.

He does not only satirize those whom everyone despises, the thief, the cheat, the wanton; the Bridewell warder, a respectable man who has kept his job, is shown to be as hateful as the wretches under his authority; there is hardly one of the Tyburn crowd that does not deserve the rope as much as does Tom Idle, and, in the counter scene, no respect is shown for the rich, the successful and the powerful who throng about the new Lord Mayor; they too are ridiculous, grotesque and contemptible.

So are we all, the painter says, ugly insects buzzing impotently for our brief allowance of time.

No more mercy is shown to the righteous Sir John Gonson than to the infamous Colonel Chateris; the fine ladies in the Countess's bedchamber are no better than the sisterhood gathered to mourn Mary Hackabout.

All are like the properties of the pantomime that clutter the stage beneath the feet of Rich and Cibber, dragon, fairy, demon and hero alike impartially to be displayed, given their moment before the footlights and dropped back in their boxes.

Hogarth's contemporaries valued him, first, for his 'moral lessons'—even Fielding, as we have seen, pretending to take these allegories seriously—and, secondly, for his humour. This quality, if it is meant in the Ben Jonson sense of the word, he had in abundance, but he is seldom ludicrous.

'There, but for the mercy of God go I,' is more the shuddering sentiment roused by his scenes than the desire to laugh; one exception is the burlesque, Paul before Felix, which is notably amusing in every detail; the crude comedy of the stool being sawn through, the bewildered apathy of Felix, the hostile boredom of the spectators, the earnest incapacity of the apostle and the blatant ugliness of everyone, are really comic and cannot fail to raise the suspicion that a scene we have always thought of as sublime may have been something like this.

For the rest, there are few laughs in any of Hogarth's canvases or prints.

* * *

The costumes and the backgrounds are not exaggerated in the least; there is none of the Italian Comedy attire used by Watteau, nor of the classical draperies favoured by Reynolds.

A convention has grown up about eighteenth-century costume; the hundred years of dress is telescoped together into designs such as no one ever wore; historical romances, stage plays, charades, pictures have created a false and odious 'powder and patch period', taken partly from Gainsborough's portraits and partly from some remembrances of Watteau and Moreau le Jeune after they have filtered through the distortions of copyists.

In Hogarth we can see this much abused period as it really was for the first half—and more—of the century. It does not prove as 'picturesque' and 'romantic' as we like to imagine it; the dresses are not what we see in François Troy, Drouais or any painter who shows us the Court of Louis XV—the 'starveling French' whom Hogarth so despised had a standard of luxury unknown among even the noblest and wealthiest of Hogarth's patrons. The well-to-do middle classes, the aristocrats painted by Hogarth in his Conversation Pieces show neither great luxury nor much elegance, though the sole purpose of these portrait-groups was to show the family prosperity and the family possessions, and the sitters are all in their best clothes, in the best parlour and on their best behaviour.

The colours are plain, mostly of those pastel hues that with the improvement of dyeing had gradually replaced the brilliant colours of the Middle Ages; sometimes the men have embroidered coats or waistcoats—there are few jewels.

The rooms with any pretension are always the same; they show the cold, frigid taste of Kent, the quasi-classic outline, the heavy, dark, lascivious Italian paintings, the shelves loaded with bric-à-brac, Eastern and 'antique'.

The beds have long curtains; we learn from Hogarth's Frolic that to sleep in a bed without curtains was considered an intolerable hardship.

The masculine wigs are of all shapes and sizes, from the full bottom to the tye, and are worn at all angles; the knocking off of the wig and the showing of the bald head are used by Hogarth with great effect, either for ridicule (Modern Midnight Conversation) or for horror (Cruelty in Perfection).

These masses of horse-hair were considered by Hogarth to give a manly look to the face; the small rolled curls were becoming to most men, but many of the charming styles of the century were after his time; his women all wear their natural hair without any powder; the towering erections that were so welcome to the caricaturists were not in fashion by the time of Hogarth's death.

Such as the costumes are, quiet, ordinary and often ugly, they are exact to the patterns that the painter saw before him.

His street scenes are still familiar to us; several of the London churches he painted, St. George's, Bloomsbury, St. Giles's in the Fields, St. Paul's, Covent Garden, are little altered since his day; the Piazza at Covent Garden, St. James's Palace, the base of the Monument, the River at Cuckold's Point are glimpses of a London that is still surviving.

Much else has gone, the prisons, the taverns, the slums, the gambling dens, the asylums, the inns have all vanished, the 'villakin' and Lord Burlington's Chiswick villa remain, and so do numberless houses exactly as we see them in the backgrounds of Hogarth's subjects; it is yet possible to see portions of squares and streets from the very angle that Hogarth must have seen them; and with a similar light on them too, for he was fond of that pale, greenish glow of an English afternoon in winter or early spring when a steady faint light but no sun falls on the colourless streets of the City.

These houses are flat, three storeys high, of finely pointed brick, with plain windows, and doors with simple porches; singly they have charm, in rows they are monotonous and gloomy; Hogarth drew them lovingly, every brick in place, something in the style of Canaletto or William James; you can imagine that the first painter's method was used and that these greenish-toned muted backgrounds were painted from reflections in black glass; the faint harmonies of pallid blue sky, brick, pinkish yellow or red, the blackish green of foliage, the sepia of boughs, of trunks and branches, are blended in a faint, but exact harmony.

A fine example of Hogarth's architectural work is to be seen in the last three Election pictures, especially in the treatment of the lawyer's house and the church in No. VI. These two are his most notable backgrounds of pure landscape—faint, misty, aerial perspective in No. III and clever treatment of distant buildings in No. II.

This pale English colouring, sometimes shot with candle or lamp light, was Hogarth's scheme for his figures as well as his background.

It is largely owing to this pleasing colouring that so many of his compositions have a poetic air, a romantic gloss; this beauty was achieved also by the grace shown in several of his female figures and by his harmonious compositions.

* * *

If we were to view these forty odd years of the eighteenth century entirely through Hogarth's eyes, what impression should we receive?

First, I think, one of disorder; everything is badly contrived, badly managed; the streets are narrow and vilely kept, the houses are small, the rooms dingy and miserably lit, very few people are clean, many are diseased; we sense foul air, objectionable smells.

The Army is undisciplined, the constables inefficient, quacks abound without restriction, and though hanging is frequent, so are murder and robbery.

The roads are almost impassable, the coaches and waggons primitive, the country people coarse, ignorant and easily to be bought.

The country is governed by an effete, corrupt, inefficient oligarchy, and no one cares.

Huge sums go in lotteries, in 'bubbles', in gaining, but no public service is well done; the prisons, the asylums could not be worse, a Warden of the Fleet Prison is charged with murder, but is merely dismissed from his post. Everything is uncomfortable, the houses are drab, draughty, ill-ventilated, the costumes stuffy, cumbersome and often ugly, sport is brutal, art an affectation, dead cats lie in the gutters, chamber-pots are emptied from windows, and, while old spinsters trip to church, rake-hells and their molls fight at the doors of disorderly houses.

The churches are in the extreme dull and tedious, people go there to sleep when they must go, and over the alms-box Solomon's spider has made her home.

On the other hand, those preachers who try to bring some animation into this moribund Church are followed only by fools and fanatics who believe in rabbit-breeding women, Fanny the Phantom, and all the pitiful derangement of 'enthusiasm'.

Everywhere there are cruelty, grossness and quarrelling; the streets are full of intolerable noises and constant fights or riots; coaches are overturned, houses are set on fire, heads broken with quarterstaffs, bodies run through with swords; the refuge from all this disorder, misery, filth and contention is drink; the poor escape by means of gin from intolerable conditions, the middle classes fuddle their stupidity with beer and punch, the aristocrats lose their elegant veneer in continual intoxication.

Everyone is, for some part of the day, more or less drunk; all are short-lived, nearly all diseased; they die suddenly, horribly—apoplexy, heart failure, internal troubles, alcohol poisoning, account for them, one after another; all ailments are mysterious to them, a visit from the doctor is usually a sentence of death, but they continue to drink as they continue to gamble, in order to forget.

The ruffian youth, cheating at shove ha'penny in the churchyard, is no worse than my lord with his ribbon at White's, picking up his winnings. Both are bored, desperate, lost without this strong excitement for which one risks the gallows and the other his estates.

Both were born into this world that neither can amend, and both try to ease a short and stormy transit across the scene by burning up their bodies and souls to light their dark paths.

The women are even more bored than the men; on them falls the main burden of this unsanitary, dirty, and uncomfortable age—they are oppressed by brutal sights and sounds, they do not know how to keep themselves healthy or how to keep their children alive.

They try to snatch Romance from Farinelli's voice, from Handel's music, if they are well-born; if they are low-born, there is the ballad singer, the Jew's harp, the pipe and the gin bottle. For the virtuous, monstrous drudgery; for the vicious, the lazar house or the pillory; for all a sense of voiceless tedium.

The women make the success of the masquerades that Heidegger was clever enough to introduce; there, with masks on, in the warmth, with the lights shining, they can pretend to be lovely, young and romantic, they can feign, after the manner of their sex, that lust is love; to some at least, the bagnio visited afterwards with a chance gallant will be Juliet's bower and he the dreamed-of lover.

At the play-house, at the opera-house, their desires and emotions are fed, here and there one loves truly and is truly loved, but for most of them it is the desperate weaving of a fantasy to enable them to escape from their tedious idleness.

They die younger, younger even than the men, dangerous pleasures kill them or they die in childbirth, of infection from cesspools and filthy streets or from diseases caused by their foolish clothes, the whaleboned waists, the open bosoms, the loaded hips, the thin shoes; they look charming with their hair pasted with cream and flour, sticking plaster patches on their faces, and black ribbons round their throats; they have, the fine ladies, the wistful grace of wind-flowers and are as quickly gone; at thirty the delicate beauty is faded, at fifty a hag; unless she is very high placed or wealthy, a wit or a duchess, the men who pampered her, when she was eighteen, ridicule her when she is forty. In this downright age what right has a woman to be anything but a desirable young puss or a useful drudge?

The women are without legal rights; Madame de Genlis, Mary Wollstonecraft are yet in their cradles. Men made this age, but women fit into it with a frightful dexterity; overflowing with emotion, with artfulness, with romance, they are ready for any game that is called; they make the success of Clarissa Harlowe, of Pamela, these languishing, voluptuous novels that fill them with luscious sentiment, yet prove their superiority to the superior sex! What is the greater triumph, that Pamela marries Mr. B. or that Clarissa refuses to marry Lovelace?

The women coo round the smug old printer of Salisbury Square who has made them so important. Whoever heard of such a thing? A woman can refuse to marry her seducer and be admired by all—lift herself above the wretch by her disdain of his utmost reparation!

The whole sex is set up, preens itself, gushes over the broken lilies on poor Clary's coffin and is ready for the age of sentiment.

But Hogarth will not be there to paint those melting scenes; the heroines dying in white muslin, the heroes weeping beneath urns and willows—these will fall to the pencils of Stothard and Francis Wheatley.

On Hogarth's world his own death comes down sharply, like a black curtain suddenly dropped; so the lights went out on Shakespeare's stage, the lamp was quenched in the study of Charles Dickens, and the curtain dropped before Raphael's unfinished picture.

None of these left a true 'heir to his invention'; but it does not make Hogarth's microcosm less a true reflection of his times that he coloured with his own genius, giving truth the sharp flavour of his own individuality. When he went his mirror was dimmed and showed no more flashes or reflections.


'The Line of Beauty and of Grace'

A LARGE proportion of the best of Hogarth's pictures are either in the National collections or easily available for study.

Most of these pictures are familiar to us from engravings, mezzotints and lithographs; they were frequently reproduced after Hogarth's death by various artists—usually they were much altered.

Hogarth himself sometimes altered his pictures when engraving them, the most conspicuous example of this being the Arrest of the Rake; a whole group in the foreground and the lightning in the background were added on the Plate.

The British Museum possesses complete sets of Hogarth's engravings published by himself and specimens of those made after his works by other engravers.

He did not claim to be a good engraver; he found he had not the patience necessary to acquire the fine, delicate line possessed by the experts; he entrusted some of his best work to professional engravers; one of these was the Frenchman, Simon François Ravenet, who came to London about 1750 and founded a celebrated school of line engraving; others were C. Grignion, B. Baron, L. Sullivan and G. Scotin.

The Marriage à la Mode was superbly rendered in mezzotint by B. Earlom, 1795-1800.

The technical side of engraving reached a high pitch of skill in the first half of the eighteenth century, but it was largely used as an interpretive, not an original medium,—as Hogarth used it to reproduce copies of pictures and drawings. It was a translation of one medium into another and not the use of that medium for its own sake and its own ends. It is doubtful if Hogarth cared much about engraving as a means of spreading abroad his ideas and earning money; compared to the work being done in France during his lifetime, the delicious prints after Watteau, Pater and Lancret by Laurent Cars, Le Bas and De Larmessin, his efforts were crude, faulty and even bad.

While Hogarth was advertising his prints in the London Press there appeared in the Mercure de France, 1738-1757, notices of fifty engravings after J. B. Chardin, by Le Bas, Laruque and others, and in their refinement, grace, precision and technical perfection these leave Hogarth far behind.

Yet it is doubtful if more skill with the graver would have been of much use to Hogarth, who emphatically stated all that he had to say and was not much hindered by either his carelessness or his lack of dexterity.

His line is bold, vigorous, vivid and individual; he was right in the instinct that made him retouch the heads in the plates made by more skilful engravers; the correct smoothness of Ravenet or Scotin was not so valuable as his own jagged, deep line, his unfaltering touch of character or expression.

The cheaper prints, worked from sketches, are as good as those taken from elaborate oil paintings. This method of first painting a highly finished picture and then engraving it was, for Hogarth's purpose, needlessly laborious, and what he received from his canvases by auction or lottery could not have paid him for the time expended on them.

For his 'moralities', which he hoped to sell widely and cheaply, all he needed was a black and white sketch; these coloured pictures, all of which had to be reduced in scale, were, from a commercial point of view, wasted effort.

The John Wilkes, Esquire, is an aqua fortis, quickly etched in from a sketch; it is one of his happiest efforts.

He avowed that The Four Stages of Cruelty were rudely done, in order that they might be sold cheaply; this rough manner, however, exactly suits the subjects; delicacy or polish, finish or refinement, would be out of place here—the ferocious power of the rough lines helps to add horror to the frightful story.

Time Smoking a Picture is one of Hogarth's smoothest prints; several of those smaller prints, admired for their spirit and humour, suffer from feeble draughtsmanship, a childish line and clumsy arrangement; notable among these are The Laughing Audience, The Bemch, The Orchestra, The Oxford Scholars; these are only little notes and jottings, but greater technical skill would have left them as slight but made them more effective.

* * *

Hogarth's draughtsmanship was oddly uncertain; often it is superb and seems that of a man who could not make a poor line, often again it is frankly bad. He had frequent difficulties with the human figure, his male legs are often stuffed stockings, his feet shoemaker's lasts, his hands follow conventional lines of elegance regardless of character, and sometimes, though rarely, his attitudes are stiff and unnatural—the women do not always have limbs under their skirts, and he was unable to draw animals, save Trump, and he is sometimes an unlikely-looking beast.

These faults of drawing show more in the engravings than in the paintings, and in the latter there is the colour to distract and poor draughtsmanship is lost in chiaroscuro but revealed in line.

This confusion of his media in his early work looks as if he had given little thought to his technique, and yet we know that he must have spent years perfecting this, perhaps unconsciously, since he was the least scholarly of painters and his opposition to 'the old black masters' shut him off from those influences that so elevated English painting under Reynolds and Romney.

The Analysis of Beauty shows that he was familiar with the work of many foreign painters, but we do not know how much of their work he had seen; he is supposed to have been influenced by Callot, but the trick of lengthening the figure he learnt from the Lorrainer he soon left behind; the Bathos is superficially like the Melancholia of Albrecht Dürer, and some of his handling of paint is like that of Nicholas Poussin, a very fashionable painter at that time.

For the rest he is original save in so far as he followed the solid English traditions, absorbed from the foreigners, Holbein to Van Dyck, as they had been assimilated by native painters, Dobson, Walker, Richardson and Thornhill. He made not only his own style, but did much to make English art a separate entity, not a mere adaptation of a foreign school.

How much he studied, whom he studied, we shall never know; his own writings reveal so little, and some of his opinions—his estimate of Rembrandt, for instance—are so astonishing; more startling still, and often exasperating, is his concern with his horrid 'moralities' when he was so conscious of beauty, so capable of expressing it; how could a man, who had often not only the painter's but the poet's vision, spend hours labouring over the Times I and II, how could the man who could cover a canvas with the bravura of a Franz Hals ever find the patience to fill in a multitude of minute figures and properties in the style of Brueghel the elder?

In many ways William Hogarth is an enigma; his many great gifts often clash, sometimes cancel one another out and bewilder and irritate the spectator. But when they fuse, the result is obviously genius.

The painter of that lovely canvas The Staymaker, which can bear comparison with Watteau's Chez Gersaint, could find it in him to niggle in all the tiny intricacies of The March to Finchley and make a success of it, too; the creator of Lord Lovat and John Wilkes could concern himself with earnestly striving after bad models—a Furini, a Thornhill, even a Kent.

When we consider his 'historical' pictures we feel that he must have been, under all his apparent vanity, painfully unsure of himself thus to waste time copying inferior painters whose talents, such as they were, lay in quite a different direction from his own.

* * *

It is extremely difficult to separate Hogarth the painter from Hogarth the moralist and dramatist, and probably he would not have wished us to do so; Charles Lamb said that we look at other painters but read Hogarth; this is, unfortunately, true; Hogarth's great popularity rests on the ancient interest—'What happened next?' His prints have been bought, gazed at, collected, admired because of the stories, the characters, the amusing scenes of low life, the comical little quips and quirks, the atmosphere of a bygone age; they have not often been considered as abstract art.

Nothing could be more out of date than relating a story or an anecdote on canvas; any painting with a literary flavour is regarded with just suspicion; this art, it is now decided, must not rely upon emotional appeal, associations with attractive themes, romance, drama or poetry; while as for questions of morality, they must be left entirely to professional satirists. Representational art is out of favour; the 'de picture' leads in extreme cases to spreads of paint on flat surfaces of wood at different levels; as the 'no-music' leads to fine cacophony.

The scratchings of primitive man are more in harmony with the present-day attitude to art than the pictures of Hogarth; nor is it likely that illustrative art, brought to the nadir by the Victorians, will ever again be favoured by painters, though the layman will always have a wistful regard for a picture that he understands and that arouses pleasant memories, excites a curiosity that can be satisfied, or rouses an agreeable emotion.

Such spurious aids to success are rejected by modern painters whose aim is to rely more and more on the austere qualities of their own medium, stripped of all outside support—the 'subject' picture, the 'problem' picture have gone to the scrap-heap.

* * *

Hogarth would have understood none of this; representational art was to him the only art; his scornful satire on artists who knew not the laws of perspective (Frontispiece to Kirby's Perspective) contains many—to him—ignorant and ludicrous errors, which have since been adopted by painters bored by accuracy and anxious for complete freedom of design.

Hogarth, then, only thought of drawing what he saw; his was largely that art which photography killed; he took great pains to make things 'like,' and he had no thought beyond that—though he had, according to the Amalysis of Beauty, a standard of taste that he tried to fix.

He followed the old rules of contro posto and chiaroscuro, the pyramid composition and so on; his pictures are always straight scenes on the level of the spectators' eyes, like stage sets; the lighting is usually theatrical too, there are no subtleties of either illumination or perspective—the thing is done straightforwardly with no thought that it could be done otherwise. Yet if we can separate Hogarth the painter from the Hogarth who was so much else, we shall find that he has high merit even in the region of pure aesthetics.

Forget his peculiar talents, his peculiar background, and regard him as he, in some moods at least, wished to be regarded, as a painter, and it will be found that he has a strong appeal even for those who have no interest in him as a preacher or a chronicler of his age.

* * *

Hogarth worked in the moderate-sized studios, in London and Chiswick, at an easel, in a shadeless top or north light. He did not employ professional models; his wife and his friends sometimes sat for him, for the rest he used his own sketches and notes taken from life; he did not use a lay figure—small properties were copied from the real objects.

The subject pictures were composed 'out of my own mind', as the children say, and then put together as realistically as possible; he preferred a pale, even light, but could use effects of candle or lamp skilfully; the open-air scenes he lit with that pallid sunshine peculiar to an English spring or autumn; this palette was limited, he was fond of what he termed 'bloom colours', he kept his pictures low in key; he painted with pure colours and tried no experiments, so his oils have lasted very well, though some of his canvases show tiny cracks and are disfigured by dirt; some indeed are darkened to such an extent that they in their turn are well on the way to be 'old black masters'.

It is clear that the heavily painted Soane pictures would be the better for clearing, the bright thin tone of The Graham Children is due to severe cleaning; this picture is shown without glass, to its great advantage. The Shrimp Girl has darkened considerably through the sinking of the paint into the canvas.

Hogarth is spoken of as having a first and a second style, but it is not easy to divide these two periods; some of the earliest work, Emperor of Mexico, Wanstead Assembly, is the freest in handling, and the early portraits show how soon he obtained mastery of his material; the Bishop Hoadley (1743) is brushed in with consummate ease and does not seem to be by the same hand as the smooth, laboured, nervous Sigismunda (1759)

The artist who could touch off the impressionistic sketch of The Shrimp Girl could also, well on in his career (1755), produce the Election No. I with its chaos of carefully-worked figures, each finished like a miniature.

This astonishing painter has to be studied from one work to another without trying to divide him into periods or phases. Some of his work has been confused with that of Richard Wilson—Ashby Lodge, Fitzwilliam Museum, is left between the two painters—and Charles Philip either imitated Hogarth or worked oddly in the same style over the same period, but on the whole Hogarth is not an artist easily confused with any other; he was not a disciple of any master and he had in his turn no followers.

* * *

Few of the Hogarths available for study are well hung; those scattered through the three National Collections in London are, with the exception of The Graham Children, under glass—the maddening drawback from which nearly all publicly exhibited paintings suffer—and are either in galleries too large for them, or, like the Lord Lovat, hung too low and crowded by other frames.

The portraits at Millbank show to advantage, but the masterpieces Marriage à la Mode are too delicate for so large a room, and the series is oddly broken by other pictures painted to other scales, in particular a large, glossy and peculiarly objectionable Romney that looks like a painting on a porcelain dessert plate.

In the Soane Museum—that appalling monument of misdirected energies and a nightmare of bad taste—the Hogarths, though scrupulously guarded and preserved, are all crowded into a small room and hung one above the other so that the sequence is lost and the eye teased and bewildered.

It is true that they are on screens that swing out so that another angle can be obtained, but when this is done the spectator is further distracted by glimpses of crowded architectural drawings.

Hogarth's subject pictures are cabinet pictures, which ought to be hung in rooms of a moderate size of an eighteenth-century style of decoration; it is unfortunate that those in the public possession cannot be gathered together and shown in some suitable décor.

* * *

As most of the original pictures of A Harlot's Progress have been lost, A Rake's Progress (Soane Museum) is the first set of the stories or moralities we can study.

As the quality of the painting is not very high, the merits of the series show better in the prints; lapses of artistic taste, feeble drawing and exaggeration mar these fine little pictures that have so many excellencies.

The first is carefully painted and pleasant in tone; the second has a lovely passage in the pink robe de chambre; the third some charming female heads, a spirited, fresh figure in the woman undressing, a fine bit of painting in the woman with her back to the spectator; IV and V are not very good except as satires and character-studies. The figure of the arrested Rake is unnatural, he strikes an attitude, the girl with the falling box is artificial, and the Welshman has nothing to do with the story of the composition. The Wedding (VI) is better composed, but far superior in the engraving; the last three are very dark, especially in the backgrounds, and the figures of the Rake in these last scenes are—though expressive and fascinating—stiffly drawn; in the gaming-house the distracted man is awkwardly presented.

If these can be taken as genre pictures and compared with similar works by any of the seventeenth-century Dutch gemre painters, or with those by Chardin, they will seem—save for a few passages—crude, rough and unskilful; the paint is often overworked, 'messed', the colours are dirty, the tones drab, and the figures are stuck on, instead of moving in, their backgrounds, the grouping is often clumsy.

* * *

Ten years after painting The Rake's Progress Hogarth finished his tour de force, which has all his merits and very few of his faults.

In the Marriage à la Mode there are none of the defects that mar the Progresses, and here the painter has fused all his intentions, the satiric turn, the sense of the horrible and the grotesque, the striving after beauty and grace, the sense of poetry and loveliness even at the most unlikely moments; observe how his skits on Kent do not disturb the propriety of his backgrounds, how he can introduce ridiculous details without lowering the tragedy of his scenes—the superimposed pictures in The Death of the Earl, the brawn's head in The Death of the Countess; observe the stroke of character whereby the miserly alderman wears the same coat on his two appearances and how this pale red blends equally with the ironic comedy of the first scene and the stark tragedy of the last scene; indeed this figure hardly changes in his petty avarice, his mean ambitions, whether he is peering at his daughter's marriage-settlements or drawing the ring off her stiffening finger.

The pictures are painted freshly, clearly, in lovely muted tones; the Countess is always deliciously handled in pale shades of pearl and tea-rose; the beauty of her figure in the rich, delicate undress redeems the horror of her husband's murder; yet she is not sentimentalized, her hair is tousled, her gown awry, she is no heroine of a romance but a frightened woman roused from bed by disaster; the lighting effects here are very fine, air flows round the figures, the shadows seem to flicker; the lover and the watch press out and in of the composition, giving it a swift continuity; we really seem to glimpse an instantaneous impression of a scene that will not last for more than an instant.

The last scene is probably the finest subject picture Hogarth ever painted; everything is there in those few inches.

The misery and tedium of that hopeless interior which knocks on the heart of that wretched woman who has caused the death of two men are indicated by a multitude of details that are as quietly subordinate to the human beings as they would be in real life.

The main group is superb; the beauty of the colouring, of the painting, the grace of the dying woman, the juxtaposition of the creams, greys, whites handled without niggling or fussing—all this harmony so pleasing to the eye is so exactly balanced with the dreadful theme that one seems perfectly adjusted to the other; the three heads, that of the already unconscious woman oblivious of everything, that of the blubbering nurse and that of the half-imbecile child, are most exquisitely conceived and executed.

The little figures seem so detached from their background that they appear as if one could put the hand round them and lift them out of the frame.

Nor do the two subordinate characters jar; the starved, stupid servant, the strutting apothecary—even the famished hound stealing the loathsome dinner—are all part of this tragedy; the irons on the child's leg give the shock of the unexpected that is also the inevitable, and even in this detail 'line and colour' helps the design.

There is much of this same excellence in the first four plates; in the most famous of the set, No. II, the little lady is deliciously painted, all the figures in No. III are magnificent, in particular the two women with their bitter contrasts—the coarse Betty Carless in the deep rich tones, the whimpering little victim in her muslins and 'manteel'; all the light in the picture falls on this girl; her youth and the reckless grace of the mocking young man give a sinister beauty—far removed from sentimentality—to a horrible subject.

The lady in white (Mrs. Bingley) is too prominent for a secondary character in No. II and her attitude seems stiff and unnatural; it not easy to connect it with the man singing in the corner; she is charming, and the skill in detail in this piece is no less than that displayed in the others.

The satirical intention is too apparent; the exquisite truth of the other scenes is not quite obtained; a collection of freaks throng the lady's antechamber; they seem mean, half-crazed, shabby; finer patrons than these delighted to honour Farinelli, and more splendour in this picture would have formed a sharper contrast with the final ruin.

The coarse, fleshy type of the wife-hunting lawyer is admirably suggested; he is no chivalrous gallant, no elegant young cicisbeo, but a common, cheeky fellow, glad to be able to boast of the favours of an Earl's lady.

Contrast these pictures with those others of much the same period, size and intention that hang in the same room at Millbank; three of the Pamela illustrations by Joseph Highmore.

How falsely and sentimentally is the false sentimental tale illustrated!

The painting is skilful, the drawing sound, but these simpering creatures have the faces of china dolls; Mr. B., that experienced libertine, has the countenance of a china cupidon—Pamela, that skilful campaigner, is a dainty little doll; Hogarth shows you his own time as it was, concentrated and symbolized by genius, Highmore as boarding-school misses thought it might be, prettified by talent.

* * *

The four Election pictures (1752) are a return to the manner of The March to Finchley or Southwark Fair; far better painted than The Rake's Progress, near to which they hang, with some magnificent passages, they lack the excellence of the Marriage. The compositions are very crowded, the details very complicated, and there are annoying lapses into allegory and symbolism; the ignoble characters—a besotted rustic electorate and the cynic candidates for a corrupt Parliament—are almost too trivial to rouse much interest; the beauty consists in the firmness of the technique, the exquisite finish of the detail, the subdued flesh colouring, the clarity of each figure which remains part of the picture, yet individual; the pink favours of the candidate are happily used, notably on the dying man (III). The group of animals in IV are the best Hogarth did in this branch and there are some dainty female figures.

These pictures are bright and clear without any dark patches or obscure backgrounds. Immense labour must have been expended on them, but neither the subject nor the method shows Hogarth at his best, though we must admit that no other British artist could have painted them.

Yet we would sacrifice them for another Marriage, another Stay Maker, another Shrimp Girl, or Lord Lovat.

* * *

Calais Gate escapes by reason of its excellent technique being a mere curiosity.

A rough sketch would surely have been sufficient for such a transient and topical squib, however strong the personal feeling behind it; but the very fact that so much care has been taken with such a trivial subject gives an odd fascination to this carefully finished picture.

It has great merit in drawing, colouring and in the lighting—the usual pallid daylight streaming over the scene, the exactitude of the architecture of the group cunningly crossed by shadow, the harmonious greenish browns and muted yellows make this grotesque subject pleasing to the eye; the ragged Callot-like sentry is more than a caricature, he has fire and spirit even in his misery. The friar—a likeness of Pine, the engraver—is also excellent; the foreground figures are not so good. The whole composition is a fine example of Hogarth's method and merits.

* * *

The conversation pieces are mostly interesting because they show how this artist gathered the material and acquired the skill necessary for his best works; these decorous ladies and gentlemen, these precise clergymen and genteel servants, these well-behaved children, are all placed in neat interiors, and in painting them Hogarth stored up the knowledge he afterwards used in his dramatic pieces; they are always low in tone, surrounded by an agreeable, ordinary English light, and well-coloured; the drawing is sometimes stiff and the grouping awkward, since there is no reason for placing these people together save that they are sitting for their portraits. Some of the children are worthy of Chardin—the baby in The Graham Children, the little girl in The Western Childrem; all the 'bloom tints' are skilfully laid on in flat touches, so that the painter seems to be using light and air to paint with.

Hogarth strove to animate these pieces with incident—a lady points to the birds that her husband has shot, a cat tries to get the canary that sings to a musical-box, Trump snarls at the house dog (perhaps a true incident).

In Wanstead Assembly (the Dance) all the motley followers of a noble lord are introduced with an incomparable liveliness, ease and skill; the little figures appear to skip across the canvas and the golden candle-lit dusk is admirably suggested; in this early picture the mastery of the material is complete; no one else was painting like this in England in the first half of the eighteenth century; The Stay Maker has much the same superb qualities; Wanstead Assembly is unfinished—it does not, however, require another stroke.

The Indian Emperor is another masterpiece; the rich, dark, pure colouring, the graceful stiffness of the grouping, the depth of the room, yet the clarity with which the little performers are shown, have a hint of Velasquez atmosphere that seems to pulsate around the figures.

A sketch for a proposed royal group is in the National Gallery of Ireland; this is a superb piece of work; the fresh, dashing handling, the sparkle of the texture, the easy skill of the technique—all these quite outweigh the banality of the subject. How unfortunate that Hogarth was not encouraged to proceed with such work as this!

The story that the picture was never completed because of the King's displeasure at the satire on the Guards can scarcely be true; not only is it far more likely that Hogarth began this picture when he was Serjeant-Painter, but the inclusion of the Prince of Wales shows that it must have been painted late in the reign of George II; the Queen has been put in from a portrait—she had been some years dead when these children were of this age.

Compare with this superb work that early little group subject, Bambridge before a Committee of the House of Commons (National Portrait Gallery). This is black, muddy, stiff; with difficulty one can discern anything beyond the floured wigs and a convulsion on the face of the accused man; this made a tolerable engraving, which was, because of the subject, extremely popular.

* * *

With Hogarth's portraits we enter a rich field from which only a few examples can be taken and considered.

Stripped of sentimental, dramatic or literary associations, his sheer virtuosity as a painter can best be studied—and enjoyed—when he was 'phiz-mongering'; his characteristics are also more apparent when he was free from the need to tell a tale or turn a satire.

Nearly all his portraits have a faint likeness to himself; a round face, creamy flesh tints, mouths tucked in at the corner, plump flesh covering all the bony structure, a slight pinkness round the unshaded eyes—a rather robust, peasant look—this shows in most of his portraits although he obviously achieved a good likeness. He never seemed to have a lean, bilious, chap-fallen sitter; his women are strapping, they do not seem to belong to the same race as the refined, slightly shrewish ladies painted by Gainsborough, they have no kinship with the tender, delicate aristocrats produced by Joshua Reynolds.

He painted two famous 'beauties'—Margaret Woffington several times, and Lavinia Fenton at least twice.

The best known of the Woffington portraits is that which is or was in the collection of Sir Edward Tennant.

This is a careful likeness of a dark-haired woman, with heavy lids and a thin mouth, painted in traditional style in an oval against a dark background, kit-kat, but showing neither of the hands. The colour scheme is delightful; fine muslin faintly clouds a low-cut dress of faded mulberry hue, these tints are taken up by the rose at the bosom, the pearls, the black ribbon and the small muslin cap.

Compare this picture with the ugly little likeness of the lady by Francis Hayman (National Portrait Gallery), and the queer study of poor Peggy* lying neatly tucked away in bed during her last illness; the truth of Hogarth's portraiture is apparent.

[* Another portrait of Peg Woffington is in the Jones Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington, and shows her young and blooming, and is by an unknown painter.]

With great brio Hogarth painted the blonde actress who was, one thinks, more to his taste than the plain though vivacious Peggy; Lavinia Fenton has Titian hues in the firm, golden-rose carnation, the ash-gold hair, the clear, brown eyes; this portrait is also in an oval and does not show the hands; the colouring is superb, muted tones of grey, green and yellow compose the silk dress, heavily frogged in gold with faded vermilion neck-ribbon and cuffs; touches of white help to show up the flesh; the pearls that were so coquettishly tied with black on pale, dark Peg are here knotted with a faint red that repeats the lady's lips. The flesh shadows are beautifully luminous, the peculiar eyes most skilfully rendered; this picture has all the force and gusto of a Raeburn; it is solidly painted, with great ease and does not seem to have been retouched.

The third famous female portrait is that which was generally supposed to show Ann Hogarth, who was left £80 per annum by her brother and who died unmarried in 1771. It is, however, described on the frame (National Gallery) as Mrs. Salter. This name was found on the picture itself. It seems to bear a strong likeness to Hogarth himself and is one of the finest of his portraits of women.

The comely, snub-nosed, heavy-chinned young woman seems about to break into the smile of sheer high spirits, her saffron-yellow gown is set off against a sage-green scarf that blends with the light stone-coloured background, the delicate half-tones of a white fichu and the exquisite note of a faded knot of puce ribbon; the girl seems to breathe and to move in light; the unusual palette is handled with a skill that produces an exquisite harmony; Hogarth never used the insipid, obvious colour-scheme often adopted by fashionable portrait painters of the eighteenth century. In the National Gallery, Millbank, is a small profile of his other sister, Mary, painted in 1746.

As a pendant to these gay, happy women we can glance at Sarah Malcolm in her Newgate cell, painted twice by Hogarth and engraved with variations. From this dreadful subject the painter has composed an agreeable study in grey and brown; he who so often drew frenzied, degraded women shows us a placid young creature seated at a plain table with a rosary before her and the grated window of the prison behind; her arms, bare to the elbows, are folded before her, and a white 'kerchief hides the hair (or is it perhaps shaven off?), in which she hid the clipped moidores and good English guineas.

This flesh is delicately contrasted with her grey dress, white apron, fichu and cuffs. Her smooth face is quite calm; only when we know her circumstances do we read a sinister stupidity in her detachment. She does not look as wretched or lost as Moll Brazen in Industry and Idleness, or as vile as half a dozen of the creatures of Hogarth's imagination.

Unfortunately the story that Hogarth painted Jack Shepherd in the same prison, awaiting the same punishment, is not true; if only Hogarth had sketched the other Jacobite lords and some of the famous criminals of his time, Colonel Chateris, before he had bribed his way out of jail, Lord Ferrers, Jonathan Wild, Captain Hunt, the pirate, Huggins, the gentlemanly accomplice of Bambridge, the 'S.S.S.' swindlers, Aislabie, Craggs—how willingly could we have forgone the 'grand historical pictures'.

* * *

Foremost among the male portraits must be placed Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat; though this is small and unpretentious it is more than a portrait—it is a biography. The crippled, massive old man, pallid with ill-health, cornered, doomed, but full of wicked spirit and grinning malice, is perfectly rendered.

The man's success and his failure are both explained in that square head which was so soon to be taken from his shoulders; with such a smile as this Lord Lovat turned to the executioner and grinned his last bitter—and justified—sneer, as he saw the shrieking crowds sprawling with the dying and the dead under the broken stand. Wickedness had always been his fun.

This portrait is the epitome of a man's life. The grand and witty old villain who had 'ratted' a dozen times, who died leering 'dulce et decorum est pro patria mori', has been made into a harmony of browns with touches of red, white and black, all muted to an amber glow; the painting is in every way a triumph; note the solidity of the hulking body behind the coat, the stout legs in the wrinkling stockings, the faded pink of the withered lips, the blank stare of the right eye affected by palsy, the set of the wig, helping the square, robust lines of the composition.

This picture was probably painted in London from sketches made at St. Albans, while the old lord drank burnt brandy, ate minced veal and turned over foul witticisms.

John Wilkes, Esquire, a lightning stroke of genius, a sketch from which an etching was made, is a tour de force of expressive line; so is Henry Fielding, a drawing made after the novelist's death; a finished personality is revealed in this slight profile. Theodore Gardelle is another of these brilliant hints that are sufficient to convey an entire character.

Among the finished portraits of men that of James Quin stands out as a superb character study that is also a satisfying work of art; the ranting, pompous, heroic actor, with his hollow voice and majestic port, is shown to be a pursy self-confident fellow, likeable enough, but touchy and dull; his heavily bullion-frogged coat, his cambric scarf, his lightly powdered wig that reveals rather than conceals his baldness, make up one of those studies, almost in monochrome, but vibrant with delicate harmonies, in which Hogarth delighted; the double chin and piggy eyes of this thundering, romantic player have the value of a commentary so near irony as to touch satire.

The Field Marshal Wade in the National Gallery, Dublin, has been taken by some critics from Hogarth; but in spirit and execution it is very like Mr. Quin—both in the stripping of all pretences from the subject and in the easy handling of the paint.

Recall the squib of Rigaud's military portraits hanging in Lord Squanderfield's closet, and then look at this prosaic treatment of a soldier—a commander of thousands of men, a maker of roads, a pacifier of rebels. The whole history of a lost campaign, a bungled war, is in this amiable mutton face, yet the good man would have looked well enough in feathers, epaulettes, military appointments; Mr. Quin is Bajazet when he has sufficient grease paint and tinsel on and Field Marshal Wade would cut a very pretty figure in the full panoply of his rank.

Field-Marshal George Wade was Commander-in-Chief of the British Forces in the '45; he died three years afterwards, aged fifty-five. He does not appear near his age in the portrait, so if it is by Hogarth it must be an early work. If this is not a Hogarth, it may be a Richard Wilson.

Captain Coram is a massive, majestic portrait handled with great dignity and sympathy. Bishop Hoadly is more in the French style, a portrait de parade or official likeness; the old man wears his robes, raises his hand in blessing, and there is a stained-glass window at the back. It would be difficult to exaggerate the merits of this painting for solidity combined with bravura, zest, sparkle and fidelity to nature.

The hands lightly and freshly drawn with the brush are so good that it is odd that Hogarth avoided hands in so many of his portraits; here are none of the conventionally graceful white fingers of Van Dyck copied off a model and put in by a drapery man, but hands as full of character as those painted by Franz Hals; consider the right hand, fat, well-kept, pale, curdling into wrinkles, the hand of a fair man past middle age who never did manual labour.

The rich hues in the background are unusual touches for Hogarth; they throw up the head, which seems to move in atmosphere as the body seems to stir under the silk and lawn. David Garrick and his Wife is another dashing, flamboyant study, the design taken from Vanloo; the fair Eva Maria Violetti is writing the prologue to a comedy by Foote, her husband leans behind and guides her pen; it is gay, sprightly, almost coquettish, another instance of this painter's astonishing versatility; the eyes of Garrick have been coarsely repainted; there is a likeness to the actor's bust by Roubiliac, who also made such a pleasing head of Hogarth himself.

We come to the two self-portraits, both so well known, but by no means the painter's best work; the celebrated bust with the dog, the palette and the books, is rather dull and harsh; amusing and characteristic, no doubt, but on the heavy, ugly side; of the studies in perukes one is commonplace, the other may not be Hogarth.

Hogarth Painting the Comic Muse is a small, dark picture, more of a biographical than an artistic interest.

There is something modest, almost humble behind the superficial confidence of these self-portraits, a subtle hint of that uncertainty which runs through all the output of this fine artist and honest man who had it in him to be something more than he was; could he have disassociated—sharply and boldly—art from morality, had he lived in an age when taste was better, when intelligent encouragement was given to artists, had his own education been deeper, his experience wider—or if, instead of all this, he had had the supreme courage to go his own way and starve, he would have been among the very greatest painters who have ever handled a brush.


Hogarth's Frolic
The Analysis Of Beauty
Caricatures Of Hogarth
The Historical Paintings
Mrs. Richard Hogarth


Hogarth's Frolic, A Trip round the Isle of Sheppey or the Five Days Peregrination by Land and Water, is no more than a curiosity. Neither the letterpress by Forrest nor the illustrations by Scott and Hogarth have much value. The squib, intended as a skit on the grand tour and the returning travellers who made pompous books out of nothing, is not very amusing, and it is a wonder that it made even the jovial members of The Bedford Arms Club laugh. Still, these young men's Frolic must always be interesting by reason of the distinction of the five persons who undertook it and the sidelights thrown here and there on the manners and customs of the time, though, as usual when people are writing for their own contemporaries and not for posterity, much of what would interest and amuse us has been omitted and much of what we find tedious and dull has been put in.

Thornhill, Hogarth's brother-in-law, made the map, Hogarth and Scott furnished the sketches, and Tothall was treasurer and caterer, while Forrest wrote the journey.

The Bedford Arms was one of the many taverns frequented by Hogarth and his friends, Garrick, Fielding, Cibber, Quin, Joe Miller and Spiller. Samuel Scott was a marine painter described by Horace Walpole as 'the first painter of his own age and one whose works will charm in every age'.

John Tothall was a most interesting character; his father was an apothecary in Fleet Street, and he was apprenticed to a fishmonger, but ran away and entered the Merchant Service. He was the only genuine traveller in this company of mock travellers; he went several times to Newfoundland and to the West Indies and had been a prisoner of the Spaniards. When he tired of this roving life he became a shopman to a woollen-draper at the corner of Tavistock Street, Covent Garden; he ran the braidings and trimmings department and started in a small way as a dealer in rum and brandy. He did so well in business that he was able to retire while yet a young man, became a member of the Club, held at the Bedford Coffee House, and an intimate friend of Hogarth, Lambert and the other jovial spirits who gathered there; afterwards being afflicted with asthma, he retired to Dover, where he lived near the Rope Walk. Hogarth often visited him there. He died in 1768 at the age of seventy. He was an amateur archaeologist and a passionate collector of sea-shells.

Forrest was an attorney of some distinction; he lived in George Street, York Buildings, and had a reputation as a humorist; it was he that accompanied Hogarth to France and wrote the verses for Calais Gate.

As a frontispiece for this little pamphlet, Hogarth designed a drawing of Mr. Somebody (Mr. Gabriel Hunt, a member of the Bedford Arms Club), and, as a tailpiece, Mr. Nobody.

The party set out on a Saturday, May 27th, singing 'Why should we quarrel for riches?' They landed, first, at Billingsgate, where Hogarth made a caricature of a porter, well known in the Fish Market, who was called 'The Duke of Puddle Dock.' They then hired a boat and set out for Gravesend. Their refreshment was hung beef, biscuits and Hollands. As they passed Purfleet they had a view of three men-of-war, the Gibraltar, the Dursley Galley and the Tartar Pink, looking out for pirates and smugglers.

They arrived at the tavern kept by a Mr. Bramble at Gravesend at six o'clock, washed their hands and faces, had their wigs powdered, took a small refreshment of coffee, toast and butter, and set out again at eight o'clock to proceed on foot to Rochester, where they drank some pots of beer at the sight of the Dover Castle.

From the top of the battlements of Rochester Castle they took a view of 'a most beautiful country, a fine river and some of the noblest ships in the world'.

They slept on chairs in the dining-room of the tavern and next day had a noble dinner of soles and flounders with crab sauce and calves' hearts stuffed and roasted, liver fried and minced, a leg of mutton roasted and some green peas, 'all very good and well dressed, with good small beer and excellent port'.

Hogarth and Scott stopped and played at hop-scotch in the colonnade under the Town Hall; they then walked on to Chatham, where they bought and ate shrimps and went on board two men-of-war, the Marlborough and the Royal Sovereign. At six o'clock, they returned to Rochester and, quite fatigued with pleasure, went to bed.

On the Sunday they proceeded to Frendsbury, where they viewed the church and churchyard and saw a number of bad epitaphs. From there they proceeded to Upnor, and Hogarth made a drawing of the Castle because of some shipping rising near it. Forrest bought cockles of an old blind man and woman who were in a little cock-boat on the river, they had a hurry-scurry dinner at The Smack at the ten-gun battery and afterwards a battle royal with six pebbles and hogs' dung, which occasioned much laughter.

They passed through Hoo and Stoke. At the little village of Nortontree they had a battle with water drawn out of a well they found, and then took up their quarters at The Nag's Head in the town of Stoke. While supper was being got ready there was some more horseplay, in which Tothall and Scott both suffered through their clothes being daubed with soft cow dung. They returned, cleaned themselves, drank punch and sat for their pictures to Hogarth. As there were but three beds, two had to sleep on the floor; the sheets were so damp they were glad to rise again and pass the time in 'a battle of perukes'. When exhausted they slept in their clothes. This was a bad night; all the travellers had their eyes, lips and hands tormented and swelled by the biting of gnats.

In the morning they had their shoes cleaned, were shaved, and their wigs were floured by a Frenchman; they consumed milk and toast for breakfast and set out for Sheerness. So far they had had rainy weather, and they found it heavy going passing down Stoke Marshes.

In the Isle of Grain they stopped at The Chequer Alehouse, kept by Goody Hubbard, who gave them salt pork, bread, butter, buns, and good malt-liquor. They tried to get a boat there to carry them to Sheerness, but the ferryman would not go; the wind blew too hard. The landlady advised them 'to go down the Marshes towards the salt-houses and to hail the ships in ordinary, and by that means get one of their boats'.

They went down to the shore, which they found, to Tothall's delight, covered with a variety of shells, and discovered a little boat which agreed to take them to Sheerness. During their passage they had the excitement of seeing and hearing the guns fired from the fort and the men-of-war. When they landed they inspected the forts and batteries of the Isle of Sheppey, then set out for Queenborough, to which place they walked along the beach.

They found Queenborough clean and well paved and went for rest and refreshment to The Red Lion, where there was 'a civil, prating landlady'. Provisions were scarce and they had to make their supper off lobsters, with bacon and eggs.

While they were wandering outside the town the tourists came upon two half-starved sailors, to whom they gave a sixpence. Several pretty women were noticed in Queenborough. At nine they went to their quarters and emptied several cans of good flip, had shirts washed, and as they were not dry by the time the party wished to set out again, they took them wet and had them dried and ironed at the next town.

They went to Minster, a village on the highest part of the Island, then walked to Sheerness and hired a bumboat to set sail for Gravesend. Scott and Hogarth were seasick, it rained hard all the voyage, they saw several porpoises, and a customhouse sloop starting which served them with lights for their pipes and some milk punch.

After some adventures they arrived at Gravesend at ten o'clock, where they had some good wine. At ten o'clock on the Wednesday they hired a boat with 'a truss of clean straw, a bottle of good wine, pipes, tobacco and a match'.

'So, we came merrily upon the river, and quitting our boat at Billingsgate, got into a wherry which carried us through London Bridge and landed all at Somerset Water Gate, from whence we walked together and arrived at about two at The Bedford Arms, Covent Garden, in the same good humour we left it to set out on this very pleasant expedition.'

The cost of the trip was six guineas for the five. The highest item on the account was the bill at Rochester, which was one pound, seven shillings and threepence. The barber cost ten-pence, shrimps, ninepence, a pint of Hollands a shilling, two pots of beer to treat the sextons, sixpence, washing the shirts, one and eightpence, lobsters, one and sixpence, while the rest of the money went on accommodation at the inns and on watermen.

* * *

London Bridge was several times painted by Samuel Scott and is shown through the window in the last picture of Marriage à la Mode. This bridge was one of the salient features of London and very familiar to Hogarth.

In April, 1758, the temporary wooden bridge, used while the Bridge was being widened, was burnt down; the first pile for the new bridge at Blackfriars was driven in June, 1760.

The houses had been consumed—with the exception of a few at the South end and the Chapel dedicated to St. Thomas à Becket—at the Great Fire, but immediately rebuilt. The Nonesuch, a wooden house built in Holland, spanned the Bridge in the shape of an arch in the centre; a new drawbridge was built in 1722, a few years later there was a fire that damaged the bridge gate.

'The loss of many lives' from the press of horse-traffic caused the city to build a footway in 1728; nearly twenty years later, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen had to consider 'the loss of many lives by drowning' owing to the rush of water through the narrow arches and the dilapidated state of the Bridge in general; it cost £2000 per annum for repairs; the houses were taken down in 1756. Parliament gave a grant of £15,000 and the Bridge, after much excitement and some difficulty, was altered, some of the more urgent work being done on a Sunday, to the amazement of the citizens. Old London Bridge was demolished 1814.

The tradesmen on the Bridge at the time that Hogarth painted it were grocers, haberdashers, hosiers, hatters, distillers of strong waters, a salter and a needle-maker.


The full title of The Analysis of Beauty is The Analysis of Beauty Written with a View of Fixing the Fluctuating Ideas of Taste. This is a very curious production, now no more than a literary curiosity; yet it has some attractive personal touches in it. It would be very interesting to know what exactly was in Hogarth's mind when he laboured at this composition, with which he took a good deal of pains; it is possible that he put the famous wavy line on the palette in his portrait of himself to annoy the cognoscenti and with no definite meaning as to its aesthetic value, and that afterwards, when this hieroglyphic, as he termed it himself, had caused a good deal of controversy, he felt bound in some way both to explain and to defend it. That so great a painter could really have seriously concerned himself with the odd theories put forward in this book is not to be believed. Either he had got himself in a false position and was endeavouring to defend what could not be defended, or, in his rage at his critics, strove to attack them with some of the unintelligible jargon with which they had so often maddened him. Lomazzo in his Treatise on Art,* written in the sixteenth century, propounded this theory:

That if a wire be laid upon a cone at its apex and bent round it until it reach the base, the serpentine line produced by its varied curls must be one of beautiful proportion.

[* Trattato dell'arte della Pittura, Scultura ed Architettura, Milano, 1584-85]

Lomazzo's work was translated and published in English in 1598 by Richard Haydock. It is called The Arts of Curious Painting, Carving, Building, etc., and is one of the earliest works of its kind in England. Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo belonged to the Milanese School; he was a successful fresco painter who tried to work on theories—'Knowledge without feeling.' In his thirty-third year he became blind and then began dictating poems and books on art. He wrote several treatises besides the 'Trattato'; but this was his most popular work; it continued to be republished long after his death, an edition appearing in Rome in 1844. It is barren stuff, leading the arts to dust, but it seems to have impressed—and possibly misled—many students of painting. Hogarth had seen this work and mentions it in his preface. He employed several of his friends to go over his own book to make suggestions and to rewrite several passages. The book is in seventeen chapters and deals with Fitness, Variety, Uniformity, Simplicity, Intricacy, Quantity, Lines, Pleasing Forms, Waving Lines, Serpentine Lines, Proportion, Light and Shade, Composition, Colouring, The Face, Attitude and Action. The chief interest of the work is in two plates, one The Stonemason's Yard, which looks like the design for a bad Piranesi, and the other a version of the Wanstead Assembly (the Dance), which is quite a fine thing of its kind and shows a number of grotesques merrymaking, headed by a couple of graceful figures, the man being supposed to represent the young Prince who was afterwards George III. Both these main plates are surrounded with borders of small sketches.

Hogarth describes the meaning of these two designs, but not much to our enlightenment. At the end of the book is a list of the prints published by Hogarth that he had at his house in Leicester Fields. Various prices are given, and it is stated:

If anyone purchases the whole together they will have them delivered bound, price ten guineas, and a sufficient margin will be left for framing.

This book shows Hogarth to have some acquaintance with the works of Michael Angelo, Raphael, Rubens, Albrecht Dürer, Correggio and several other foreign masters. What Hogarth seemed to be really concerned with was rhythm. He gives the clue to this in a remark he makes in Chapter V on the pleasure he received when he was young from the ornament called The Stick and Ribbon, which he used to notice in the carving of frames, chimney-pieces and door-cases. A real ribbon tied to a stick gave him yet more exquisite pleasure. He says:

Its beguiling movement gave me the same kind of sensation then which I since have felt at seeing a country dance,

and it seems to be for this rhythm, the rise and fall of the undulating line of beauty, the balance given by the to and fro movement of the twisted or swaying ribbon that he is searching for, trying both to defend and to explain. In the course of his task he makes some interesting and curious comments, full of his own individuality.

Windsor Castle is a noble instance of the effect of quantity.

The full-bottomed wig, like the lion's mane, has something noble in it, and adds not only dignity but sagacity to the countenance.

There is something extremely odd and comical in the rough sheep-dog. The ideas here collected are the inelegant, inanimate form of a thrum mop or muff and that of a friendly, sensible animal.

A lock of hair falling across the temples, by that means breaking the regularity of the oval, has an effect too alluring to be strictly neat, as is very well known to the loose and lowest class of woman.

Observe the well-composed nosegay, how it loses all its distinctiveness when it dies, each leaf and flower then shrivels and loses its different shape and the firm colours fade into a kind of sameness so that the whole gradually becomes a confused heap.

St. Mary-le-Bow is perhaps the most elegantly varied of any church in Europe. St. Bride's in Fleet Street diminishes sweetly by elegant degrees.

Some Gothic spires are finely and artfully varied, particularly the famous steeple at Strasbourg.

Who but a bigot, even of the antiques, will say that he has not seen faces and necks, hands and arms, in living women that even a Grecian Venus does but coarsely imitate?

A clock, by the Government order, has been made, and another now making by Mr. Harrison for the keeping of true time at sea. It is, perhaps, one of the most exquisite movements ever made.

There was brought from France, some years ago, a little clockwork machine with a Duck's head and leg fixed to it, which was so contrived as to have some resemblance to that animal standing on one foot, pressing back its leg, turning its head, opening and shutting its bill, moving its wings and shaking its tail, yet for purely performing these few motions, this silly, but much extolled machine, being uncovered, appeared a most complicated, confused and disagreeable object, at best a bag of hobnails, broken hinges, and patten rings.

When we consider the great weight chairmen often have to carry, do we not readily consent that there is a propriety and fitness of the Tuscan order of their legs, by which they corporally become characters as for figures. Watermen, too, are of a distinct cast or character whose legs are no less remarkable for their smallness.

The best light for seeing the face is that which comes in at a common-sized window when the sun does not shine.

Owing to the laws of perspective you will see the reason why the steeple of Bloomsbury Church, in coming from Hampstead, seems to stand upon Montague House though it is several hundredyards distant from it.

Notwithstanding the deep-rooted notion, even among the majority of painters themselves, that time is a great improver of good pictures, I will undertake to show that nothing could be more absurd.

Hogarth's description of Plate II, The Dance, is a rather incoherent defence of his confused theories; he seems indeed to be caricaturing himself as he points out that his various figures, mostly of the ridiculous kind, he admits, fall into the shape of the letters of the alphabet, an X, a D, a Z, an O, a T, and so on. Is the crux of his theory in the following passage?

I once heard an eminent dancing-master say that the Minuet had been a study of his whole life, that he had been indefatigible in the pursuit of its beauty, yet at last he could only say with Socrates that he knew nothing. Elegant wantonness is still the true spirit of dancing, the line that a number of people together form in country or figure dancing makes a delightful play upon the eyes, especially if the whole figure be seen at one view, as at the Playhouse from the gallery.


Hogarth did not escape pictorial as well as verbal attacks. The caricaturist was himself caricatured with much freedom and venom. His domestic life, his appearance and his art were pilloried without mercy by others besides Wilkes and Churchill. One of the cleverest of these caricaturists was Paul Sandby, the famous landscape painter and skilful etcher, who was an original member of the Royal Academy.

He drew, on the publication of The Analysis of Beauty, Hogarth as a madman, in his hat an inkstand adorned with a peacock's feather, a palette hanging round his neck, a blanket worn as a mantle, holding one 'line of beauty' while he draws another on the bare walls of his cell. Burlesque, A Burlesque, Second Edition done for the French is the title. It shows Hogarth in the character of his own dog, Trump, seated before a bare canvas, while his Analysis of Beauty is being consigned to the shades of dullness and oblivion.

Another caricature shows Hogarth whitewashing from a large jack-boot. A tub is labelled pension' in allusion to his championship of Lord Bute, one of the most unpopular men in the country, who was supposed to have procured for Hogarth the position as Serjeant-Painter to the King.

Another caricature alluding to his supposed vanity depicts him riding on the back of a peacock; yet another has the ghost of the Italian author Lomazzo holding up the line of beauty and grace that Hogarth is supposed to have stolen from him.

Caricatures, pamphlets, doggerel verse, invective prose, all on these crude lines, were issued in sufficient quantities to fill a good-sized volume. Hogarth's name was turned into 'Hog-Pug-Ass' with monotonous frequency. None of these attacks was of any merit. There was nothing about Hogarth on which the caricaturists could, with justice, seize, save what his enemies took to be his vanity, but which was instead a justified belief in his own powers. These historical paintings that were so often and so unmercifully held up to ridicule were really not in themselves any more ridiculous than the productions with which they professed to compete. Hogarth's one really vulnerable point was his unfortunate book.

That he felt these attacks keenly and that bitterness and despair touched his heart is shown by the sour yet pathetic mock 'dedication' which was found in his own writing, among his papers, and which he intended to have used to preface either his autobiography or some proposed work on art.

      The No Dedication

Not dedicated to any Prince in Christendom for fear it might be thought a
      Bold piece of arrogance.
Not dedicated to any man of quality for fear it might be thought too affecting.
Not dedicated to any learned body
of men of either of the universities, or the
Royal Society, for fear it might be thought
An uncommon piece of vanity.
Nor dedicated to any particular friend
for fear of offending another.
Therefore dedicated to nobody
But if for once we may suppose
Nobody to be everybody as everybody
Is often found to be nobody, then is this work
Dedicated to anybody
      By their most humble
      and devoted, W. Hogarth.


These sound pieces of work have become mere curiosities more through change of fashion than through any fault of their own. Ideas of mural decoration are now utterly different from what they were in the eighteenth century and these huge, dark and meaningless canvases, once considered necessary to cover any large wall space, are now difficult to dispose of; very few specimens of the 'grand historical style' remain in comparison to the yards and yards of canvas covered by Laguerre, Verrio, Thornhill and Kent, with their clumsy, monotonous and insincere allegories.

The houses of 'the nobility and gentry', of the wealthy citizens and the successful politicians that boasted these grandiose and tasteless decorations have long since been pulled down; even in Fenchurch Street and Leadenhall were mansions with these gods and virtues sprawling over the walls and ceilings, well into the nineteenth century, theatres and 'toilette saloons' were decorated in decayed imitation of this style.

M. Clermont, a Frenchman, asked a thousand pounds and received five hundred guineas for adorning in this style the staircase in the St. Martin's Lane home of Dr. Misaubin, the quack whom Hogarth several times caricatured. The best parts of Hogarth's historical works are the female figures, in particular the pretty English girl who poses as Pharaoh's daughter, in Moses brought before Pharaoh's Daughter.

Taken as a whole the most successful of these 'historical' efforts is the three panel-piece painted for St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, and now in the possession of the Art Gallery of the City of Bristol; the figure of the angel seated on the tomb is a fine piece of work, and the realism with which the amazed spectators of the Transfiguration are treated is bold and vigorous if not suited to a subject that is supposed to have a spiritual meaning. The other historical pictures remain in the possession of the institutions for which they were first painted, this altar-piece has been less fortunate; the following history of this interesting piece of work has been courteously supplied by the Director of the Bristol Art Gallery:—Was William Chatterton a relation of the poet?

In 1550 the rood was taken from over the High Altar. There was a rood over the High Altar at Westminster Abbey, but it was usually at the Chancel entrance.

In 1559 the High Altar was taken down and the Scriptures were painted on the Communion Board and the Chancel was levelled (1566).

There was no further big change until the Queen Anne restoration of 1709-10 when the Communion Table was moved eleven feet further east and the Sanctuary was raised four steps. The 'altar wall' was taken down and set up on either side. A frontispiece and two side curtains were painted with 'gold fringe and tassels.' Over the centre was a 'glory' painted on canvas and framed. Sculptured cherubim by William Chatterton, free-mason, further adorned the altar-piece. The Sanctuary was paved with black and white marble and the steps at the entrance to the middle walk with blue and white lias.


I am indebted to the courtesy of Mrs. Norah Richardson, of Andover, for calling my attention to a very interesting painting by W. Hogarth, Mrs. Richard Hogarth (the painter's mother), that is described and reproduced in The Connoisseur, Nov., 1901, Vol. I, No. 3.

The article by Max Roldit states that this portrait was in the possession of Hogarth until his death, then in that of his widow, then in that of Mary Lewis from whose executors it was purchased by Philip Cozens, then left to the family Worth-East of Chiswick. David Rothschild, Esq., purchased the picture, together with two chairs and some prints that had once belonged to Hogarth. It was never engraved nor reproduced before it appeared as a colour print in The Connoisseur. It appears to be an extremely fine picture, vigorous and rich in design and colouring and superior to the Lady Thornhill that it resembles in subject. It is signed at the foot of the canvas "W. H. f. 1735" and inscribed "his best friend".

It is surprising that this masterly painting is not better known and included (as far as I can trace) in any catalogue of Hogarth's works, or mentioned by any of his biographers; it seems to have escaped the notice of Ireland, who was so interested in Hogarth and the works he left at Chiswick.

The portrait is all the information we possess about Mrs. Richard Hogarth; even her maiden name is unknown. The defect of the picture lies in the hands, characterless and showing the influence of Lely and Van Dyck; the face is masterly and the colour scheme superb.


The History of the Foundling Hospital. R. H. Nichols, F.S.A. London, 1935.

Biographical Anecdotes of William Hogarth. John Nichols, George Steevens, Isaac Reed. London, 1781.

The Genuine Works of William Hogarth. 2 vols. Edited John Nichols, 1808-1810. 4th Edition of above work.

Hogarth Illustrated. 2 vols. John Ireland. London, 1791.

Supplement to above, containing Hogarth's own Memoranda, Letters, Notes, Autobiographical Sketch, etc. London, 1798.

Anecdotes of William Hogarth, etc. John Bouger Nichols. London, 1883.

Graphic Illustrations of Hogarth, etc. Samuel Ireland. London, 1794.

Anecdotes of Painting in England. Horace Walpole. London, 1780.

Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the Print-Room of the British Museum. 4 vols. F. G. Stephens. London, 1870-1883.

Lives of the most Eminent British Painters. Allan Cunningham. London, 1829.

The Works of William Hogarth. T. Clerk. 2 vols. London, 1812.

William Hogarth. G. A. Sala. London, 1866.

Article in The Reflector, No. 3. 1811. Charles Lamb.

Articles in The Examiner, Nos. 336-338. 1814. William Hazlitt.

A Lecture delivered 1853. W. M. Thackeray.

William Hogarth. Austin Dobson. London, 1879.

William Hogarth. G. Baldwin Brown, M.A. London, 1905.

Article 'William Hogarth'. Dict. Nat. Biography. By Austin Dobson.

Hogarth's Works. John Ireland and John Nichols. London. 3 vols. N.D.

Hogarth. C. Lewis Hind. London. N.D.


Exhibition of British Art. Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1934.

National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh. N.D.

National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 1928.

National Portrait Gallery, London, 1932.

National Gallery, Millbank. (British School.) 1929.

Guide to the Soane Museum. (Description of the residence of Sir John Soane, Lincoln's Inn Fields.) 1930.



A Harlot's Progress. 6 pictures. 1733-1734. Five pictures burnt at Fonthill, 1755; the 6th (No. 2) in possession of Earl of Wemyss, 1879. Engraved by W. Hogarth.

A Rake's Progress. 8 pictures. 1735. Soane Museum. Engraved by W. Hogarth.

Marriage à la Mode. 6 pictures. 1745. National Gallery of British Art, Millbank, London. Engraved by Ravenet, Scotin and Baron.

Industry and Idleness. 12 plates. (Engravings only.) Published 1747.

Beer Street; Gin Lane. (Engravings only.) 1751.

Four Stages of Cruelty. 4 plates. (Engravings only.) 1751.

Satirical Compositions

A Woman swearing her child to a Grave Citizen. 1735. (Copy at South Kensington Museum.)

Southwark Fair. Painted 1733. (Burnt 1807.) Engraved by W. Hogarth, 1735

A Modern Midnight Conversation. 1734. (Various versions.)

The Distrest Poet. Painted 1735 and engraved W. Hogarth, 1736. Collection of Duke of Westminster (1879).

The Sleeping Congregation. (Engravings only.) 1736.

Strolling Actresses dressing in a Barn. Painted 1738, burnt 1874, engraved 1738, W. Hogarth.

The Four Times of the Day. 4 pictures. Painted and engraved 1738, W. Hogarth and B. Baron.

The Enraged Musician, painted and engraved, W. Hogarth, 1741. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Taste in High Life. Painted 1746. Collection of Earl of Iveagh. (Pirated engraving 1746.)

The Stage Coach or Country Inn Yard. (Engraving only.) 1747.

Calais Gate—The Roast Beef of Old England. Painted 1749. Engraved W. Hogarth and C. Mosley, 1749. National Gallery, London.

March of the Guards to Finchley. Painted 1746. Engraved L. Sullivan, 1750. Foundling Hospital.

The Election. 4 pictures. Painted 1755. Soane Museum. Engraved 1755-1758 C. Grignion, W. Hogarth, Le Cave and F. Aviline.

The Cockpit. (Engraving only.) Engraved W. Hogarth, 1759.

Orator Henly Christening a Child. Oil Sketch. Engraved by Jane Ireland. British Museum.

Symbolical Satires and Caricatures


Who'll Ride? South Sea Bubble. 1721.

The Lottery. 1721

Inhabitants of the Moon. 1724.

Burlington Gate. 1724

A Just View of the British Stage. 1725.

Farinelli, Cuzzoni and Senesino. 1725

The Beggars' Opera Burlesqued. 1728.

The Man of Taste. 1731.

A Chorus of Singers. 1733.

A Pleased Audience at a Play. 1733

The Company of Undertakers. 1736.

The Sleeping Congregation. 1736

Scholars at a Lecture. 1737.

The Battle of the Pictures. 1745

Paul before Felix. (Burlesqued.) 1751.

France and England or The Invasion. 2 Plates. 1756.

The Bench. 1758.

The Five Orders of Periwigs. 1761.

Time Smoking a Picture. 1761.

Credulity, Superstition and Fanaticism. 1762.

The Times, Plate I, Plate II.

The Bathos. 1764.

Genre Pictures

Wanstead Assembly. (The Dance.) S. London Art Gallery. Painted 1728.

Bambridge before Committee of House of Commons. Painted 1729. Engraved 1729, W. Hogarth. National Portrait Gallery, London.

The Beggars' Opera. Three versions of scenes, one in National Gallery of British Art, Millbank. Painted 1729.

The Indian Emperor. Painted 1731. In collection of Mary, Countess of Ilchester.

The Stay Maker. Painted (?). Engraved 1782 by J. Haynes. Collection of Sir Edmund Davis.

The Lady's Last Stake. Painted 1759. J. Pierpont Morgan, Esq.

Charity in a Cellar. Painted (?). Boyne Collection.

Debates on Palmistry. Painted (?). Engraved by J. Haynes, 1781. Collection of Sir George Beaumont.

The Royal Masquerade at Somerset House. Painted 1755. Engraved by T. Cook, 1804. Palmer Collection.

The Green Room, Drury Lane. Tennant Collection.

The Life School. Diploma Gallery, Burlington House, London.

Satirical Portraits

Sarah Malcolm. Painted 1733. Engraved W. Hogarth, 1733. (Two versions exist.) National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. Painted 1746. Engraved W. Hogarth, 1746. National Portrait Gallery, London. (Two versions exist.)

John Wilkes. Engraving (acqua fortis) only. 1763.

The Bruiser (Charles Churchill). Engraving only. 1763.


Mr. Ben Read, Mr. Gabriel Hunt, Theodore Gardelle, Henry Fielding (portraits).

Sketch for Happy Marriage—two Quacks disputing. Royal Collection, Windsor.

Farinelli as Ptolemeo. Royal Collection, Windsor.

Heidegger in a Rage. Heidegger, Cuoni, Farinelli. Engravings, 1734.

Sketches in John Ireland's Hogarth Illustrated. London,1791.

Conversation Pieces

The Graham Children. Painted (?). National Gallery, London.

Family Group—The Strode Family. With the Rev. Arthur Smith. Painted (?). National Gallery, London.

The Western Family. 1735. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

The Western Children. 1735 (?). National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

Lord George Graham in his Cabin. (?). National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

The Cholmondeley Family. Dated 1732. Collection of Marquess of Cholmondeley.

The Wanstead Conversation. Messrs. Agnew, London.

A Group at Tea. Pencil. Collection of Edward Marsh, Esq., London. Two dated 1769 (?).

An Angling Party. Dulwich Gallery, London.

A Musical Party. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.


Captain Coram. 1740. Foundling Hospital.

Martin Folkes. 1741. Royal Society.

David Garrick as Richard III. Lord Faversham. (1879.)

Mary Hogarth. 1746. National Gallery of British Art, Mill-bank.

William Hogarth (Self-Portrait), With Pug Dog. National Gallery. Painted 1749. Engraved W. Hogarth.

William Hogarth. Self-Portrait in a Wig. Engraved S. Ireland.

William Hogarth (Self-Portrait) Painting the Comic Muse. Painted 1758. National Portrait Gallery.

Portrait of a Gentleman. William Hogarth (?). Fairfax Murray Collection, Dulwich Gallery, London.

Frances, Lady Byron. Painted (?). Engraved by J. Faber, 1736.

Prince Augustus (afterwards Duke of Cumberland) as a boy. Tennant Collection.

Lord Holland. Ilchester Collection.

Miss James. Worcester Gallery, Mass., U.S.A.

William James, Esq. Worcester Gallery, Mass., U.S.A.

Mrs. Dawson. National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Mr. Dawson. National Gallery, Edinburgh.

John Herring, Esq. P. and D. Colnaghi, London.

The Hon. Edward Montagu.

Lord Sandwich.

Mrs. Salter (formerly Ann Hogarth). National Gallery, London.

James Quin. National Gallery.

Dr. Hoadly, Bishop of Winchester. 1743. National Gallery of British Art, Millbank.

Field Marshal Wade. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

George II and Family. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

David Garrick and his Wife. Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

Lavinia Fenton as 'Polly Peachem'. National Gallery of British Art, Millbank.

Shrimp Girl. National Gallery, London.

Hogarth's Servants. National Gallery, London.

Dr. Arnold. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Miss Arnold. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Mrs. W. Hogarth. H. Bingham Mildmay, Esq. (1879).

Sir C. Hawkins. Royal College of Surgeons.

Benjamin Hoadly, M.D. Bust. National Gallery, Dublin.

Benjamin Hoadly, M.D. Full length. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

James Gibbs. 1747. St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

Margaret Woffington. Tennant Collection.

Lord Boyne. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

Mr. Dawson. National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

The only 'straight' portrait that Hogarth engraved and sold seems to have been that of the Bishop of Winchester, that appears in the lists of prints he and his widow had on sale, the price three shillings.

Historical Pictures

Sigismunda mourning over the heart of Guiscardo. Painted 1760. National Gallery of British Art, Millbank.

The Pool of Bethesda. Saint Bartholomew's Hospital.

The Good Samaritan. 1736. Saint Bartholomew's Hospital.

Paul before Felix. 1748. Society of Lincoln's Inn.

Moses brought before Pharaoh's Daughter. Foundling Hospital, 1752.

Altar Piece, St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. Art Gallery, Bristol, 1756.

Ashby Lodge in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, the residence of Dr. Arnold, the subject of Hogarth's portrait, is supposed to be by either Hogarth or Richard Wilson.

A View of the Green Park, 1760, Spencer Collection, is another landscape, engraved with some variation as Rosamund's Pond.



The black-and-white plates of the print edition of William Hogarth, the Cockney's Mirror have, where possible, been replaced by colour plates in this e-book edition. Some captions have been updated to indicate the current location of the painting.


2. Self-portrait with Dog
(National Gallery)


3. Self-portrait at Easel
(National Portrait Gallery)


4. Simon Fraser (Lord Lovat)
(National Portrait Gallery)


5. Benjamin Hoadly, D.D., Bishop of Winchester
(Tate Gallery)


6. James Quin
(National Gallery)


7. Lavinia Fenton
(Tate Gallery)


8. Hogarth's Servants
(National Gallery)


9. Calais Gate
(National Gallery)


10. The Wanstead Assembly (The Dance)
(South London Art Gallery)


11. Mrs. Salter
(National Gallery)


12. Sarah Malcolm
(National Gallery Of Scotland)


13. Captain Coram
(The Foundling Hospital, London, England)


14. The Shrimp Girl
(National Gallery)


15. George II And Family
(National Gallery of Ireland)


16. Life School
(Royal Academy of Arts)


17. Marriage à La Mode (No. 5, Death of the Earl)
(Tate Gallery)


18. Marriage à La Mode (No. 6, Death of the Countess)
(Tate Gallery)


19. Facsimile of the 'No Dedication'


20. John Wilkes
(A Satyrical Engraving)


21. The Lady's Last Stake
(Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, USA)


22. The Distrest Poet
(Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, England)


23. Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn
(Hand-coloured Engraving)


24. Modern Midnight Conversation
(Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, USA)


25. The Cockpit (Gouache on ivory after an engraving by William Hogarth,
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, USA)


26. The Harlot's Progress (Plate 1)
(Engraving of the first of six now lost paintings)


27. The Harlot's Progress (Plate 5)
(Engraving of the fifth of six now lost paintings)


28. The Rake's Progress (Plate 6)
(Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England)


29. Time Smoking a Picture
(An Engraving)


30. The Bathos
(An Engraving)


31. Gin Lane
(An Engraving)


32. Credulity, Superstition, and Fanaticism
(An Engraving))


33. Hogarth's Receipt, Given to Mr. Tothall for a Set of 'Marriage à La Mode' Prints
(In possession of the Author)


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