- Museum number
- Object: New roads to the temple of fortune.
Frontispiece from the 'Scourge', i. Paths lead uphill towards the distant temple of Fortune, a dome supported on columns, and surmounted by Fortune on her wheel, emptying cornucopias; tiny figures struggle to enter. A double path formed of papers leads from Justice, who stands on the hill holding her scales and a flaming sword which directs a shaft of fire at an elderly couple (John King and (?) his wife the Countess of Lanesborough) who flee downhill and have reached a sign-post inscribed 'High Road to Newgate'. From this hangs a noose labelled 'A Check payable to Mess. Deane & Co'. The prison is on the extreme left, a gateway inscribed 'Felons Side' outside which are a gallows and a double pillory. The papers (the track of the two fugitives) have fragmentary and scarcely legible inscriptions: 'Harrison versus Ki . . .'; 'Sir Rob. Wm [?] Laxther . . .'; 'Miss Deon' [Chevalier d'Eon, see No. 4870, &c., d. 1810]; 'Glover v Albut'; 'The King versus John King'; 'Freeman; Account Solomon Da Coster'; 'Brought Lady in Distress'; [?] 'Accompt J Partington'; 'The King versus John King' [at King's feet]. The papers terminate in objects associated with the past life of the pair: a string of pewter pots, shoes with brushes and blacking-pot; writing-materials, with a paper: 'Copy of Writ John Doe ...' [to show King's ascent through pot-boy, shoe-black, and attorney's clerk].
Next, Leigh Hunt, youthful and fashionably dressed, stands full-face, with his back to the hill; he holds up a hand-mirror inscribed 'The Reflector' showing, as a reflection of himself, an ape's head. He blows a trumpet from which issue the words 'I am the great Thunder'. In his pocket is a paper inscribed 'Myself'; by his right foot is a small coffin inscribed 'Reputation of L Hunt'. His left foot is on a paper headed 'Examiner'. Before him are bundles of papers, books, &c.: 'Office Accounts'; 'New . . .'; 'John Doe Rich . . . Roe' [cf. No. 8911, &c.]; 'Juvenile Preceptor' and 'Juvenilia' with the coat and stockings of a Blue Coat boy. Behind him is a stone with a hand pointing 'To the Fleet' [Prison].
Farther up the hill (right) a well-dressed man in top-boots, Anthony Daffy Swinton, is being dragged forward by Dr. Brodum, who takes his hand, pointing behind him to the temple. Each has a bottle in his coat-pocket: 'Daffy Elixer' and 'Nervous Cordial'. Under Swinton's foot is a 'Ledger'. A trail of properties descends the hill from the two men: papers, 'The Old Oige' [?]; 'Escape Hotel'; 'Poison . . .'; a large package of 'Andersons Pills', an open chest; two pigs and a horn, a heap of homely household goods: damaged pot, fire-irons, bellows, rat-trap, &c.
On the right William Huntington, fat and clumsy, on hands and knees, is being pushed up the hill by five plainly dressed and pious women; one of these wears breeches, the belt inscribed 'Conjugal Prize'; in her pocket is a paper: 'Sermon on Leather Breeches' [see No. 11080]. The women push against a large book or sheaf of papers which they press against his posterior, inscribed, 'Boxter's' [Baxter's] 'Shove Heavy Ar . . Christian' [see Nos. 12136, 12768]. The path he is on leads not to the temple but to a sign-post (right) pointing 'To He[ll]' on which sits a beckoning demon. They ascend over a mass of books and papers which trails down the hill ending in a pile of old shoes and lasts, below which is a sack of coal and a shovel. The inscriptions include: 'Spiritu . . . Voyage' [under Huntington's head], 'Dimens . . . Love', 'Lying Profit', 'Free Thought' [twice], 'Innocent Game', 'Shunamite', 'Coloured Saints', 'Authentic Confession', 'Scheme for setting up Master', 'Bank of Faith' [see No. 11080], 'Parson W. Huntington', 'Warrant Bastardy Wm Hunt ....'
1 January 1811
Hand-coloured etching, partly aquatinted
- Production date
Height: 213 millimetres
Width: 371 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
An illustration to four articles in the magazine: (1) 'John King', pp. 1-27, allegations of money-lending, fraudulent banking, forgery, blackmail, &c.: King (1753-1824), real name Jacob Rey, a Sephardi Jew, was educated at a Jewish orphan asylum in London, and divorced his wife to marry the Dowager Lady Lanesborough, see No. 7198. Glover and Albut were his assistants in frauds on a bank. Messrs. Dean & Co. was a fraudulent banking firm conducted by King, who issued advertisements imploring assistance in the character of 'a lady in distress'. (2) 'James Henry Leigh Hunt', pp. 46-64: attacks on the politics of the 'Reflector' and the 'Examiner', Hunt's egotism, versification, &c. The 'Reflector' was a quarterly started in 1810 by Hunt's brother, four numbers only appearing. On 22 Feb. he was tried for libel for an article against military flogging, was defended by Brougham, and acquitted. Before this, two prosecutions against the 'Examiner' had been brought forward, but dropped: one in connexion with disclosures by Major Hogan on army promotions, see No. 11211, &c., one for a remark on George III; 'Autob. of Leigh Hunt', 1903, i. 226 ff. (3) 'Anthony Daffy Swinton', pp. 27-46: an ancestor of Swinton was a travelling tinker who became agent for a vendor of Anderson's pills (for inducing miscarriages); he then made bogus pills; on the discovery of the fraud he went to London and made friends with Anthony Daffy, called inventor of the famous elixir (actually invented by the Rev. Thomas Daffy, d. 1680). One of the tinker's descendants married a Miss Daffy and became proprietor of the medicine; their son, A. D. Swinton, was committed to Newgate for fraud in 1806, and (in 1811) had taken sanctuary in the Rules of the Fleet. William Brodum was a Jewish quack born in Denmark, who had been footman to Dr. Bossy (see No. 8740). He advertised medicines, notably his 'Restorative Nervous Cordial' which he sold with his business to Swinton. Cf. No. 11711. (4) 'Rev. William Huntington, S.S.', pp. 64-77, incorrectly called a Methodist; an account based on his own voluminous writings. At one time he combined preaching, cobbling, and coal-heaving. The 'conjugal prize' is the rich city widow, Lady Sanderson, see No. 12135, &c. For King and Lady Lanesborough see John Taylor, 'Records of My Life', 1832. ii. 341-5.
Rubens, No. 296.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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