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Love and law ie a venial misfortune or crim-con modifyd

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Love and law ie a venial misfortune or crim-con modifyd
  • Description

    A handsome rakish-looking man (left) puts his arms round the waist of a good-looking young woman, who draws away from him. Their words, in large labels above their heads, are from verses in the 'Examiner', 10 Jan. 1813 (by Tom Moore) [reprinted, 'The Twopenny Post-Bag', 1813, pp. 83-5, with an additional verse by the lady on 'an old Marquis [Headfort], in mischief grown hoary']:
    He (the first and last of four verses):
    "Come fly to these arms, nor let beauties so bloomy
    To one frigid owner be tied,
    The Prudes may revile, and the old ones look gloomy,
    But dearest we've Law on our side. . . .
    And ev'n should our sweet violation of duty
    By cold blooded jurors be tried,
    They can but bring it in, a "Misfortune" my beauty
    As long as we've Law on our side."
    She: "Hold! Hold my good Sir! go a little more slowly
    For grant I thus guiltily sigh'd,
    Such sinners as we are a little to lowly
    To hope to have Law on our side.
    Had you been a great Prince, to whose star shining oe'er 'em,
    Then people should look for thier [sic] guide,
    Then your Highness (and welcome) might kick down decorum,
    You'd always have Law on your side. . . .
    But for you Sir Crim Con. is a path full of troubles,
    By my advice therefore abide
    And leave the pursuit to those princes and nobles
    Who have such a Law on their side."
    On the right the Prince walks off in back view between Lady Hertford and Ellenborough, in wig and gown. He takes Ellenborough's left arm, his left arm is round Lady Hertford, whose right arm is round the Prince, her profile turned possessively towards him. Ellenborough declaims:
    "Too busy Senates with an over care,
    "To make us better than our kind can bear,
    "Have dash'd a spice of Envy in the laws,
    "And straining up to high have spoil'd the cause;
    "Yet some wise Nations break the cruel chains,
    "And own no laws but those which Love ordains."
    On the ground behind the group are two papers, one below the other and showing only the left margin: 'Trial / Mar[quis of Headfort] / Crim / Decem / -Dam / £20,00 .. Above it:
    "L'Amour par tyrannie obtient
    "ce qu'il demande,
    "S'il parle il faut ceder; Obeir
    "s'il commande
    "Et ce Dieux [sic], tout aveugle, et tout
    "enfant qu'it [sic] est,
    "Dispose de nos cœurs, quand et
    "comme il lui plait"
    After the title:
    "Plate sin with Gold.
    "And the strong lance of Justice hurtless breaks
    "Arm'd in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it."
    ['Lear', IV. vi.]
    Plate numbered 195.
    2 May 1813
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1813
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 243 millimetres
    • Width: 342 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Pubd May 2d 1813 by T Tegg 111 Cheapside price 1 / cold"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
    The Regent is castigated by an allusion to Ellenborough's words at the trial of the Hunts, see No. 12006. Brougham explained the words 'the Companion of Gamblers and Demireps' as due to the shock given to Hunt by Headfort's recent appointment as a Lord of the Bedchamber despite a notorious crim. con. suit (in 1803), when a verdict of £10,000 damages had been given against him for elopement with a clergyman's wife. See No. 11914.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 12042 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1813 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)   Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA84945

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