- Museum number
- Object: A Courier just Setting out (Who has any Letters to Send?) Sketch'd from ye Life while his Boots were greasing
Satire on the death of Robert Walpole and the reactions of other politicians. Walpole, about to set off for Hell with messages for the Devil, is mounted on an ass with the head of George II. He holds a letter in one hand and brandishes a whip in the other; the ass's panniers are loaded with his corrupt gains represented by exchequer tallies and bags lettered "£4000", "Tax", "Riches" "Talis" and "Court promises"; behind him is a roll with a label lettered "A Mail for Pluto". Four men standing around Walpole are identified by their initials: on the left, John Carteret and William Pulteney, Earl of Bath hold out letters for him, on the right are Henry Pelham holding up his hands in amazement and John Hynde Cotton. In the background is the shadowy figure of Dr. Mead holding a cane and a prescription for the "Bite of a Mad Dog". State before the verses were added within the image.
- Production date
- 1745 (circa)
Height: 147 millimetres (image)
Height: 173 millimetres (trimmed?)
Width: 279 millimetres (image)
Width: 291 millimetres (trimmed?)
- Curator's comments
- The doctor in the background is based on one a figure in Plate 5 of Hogarth's Harlot's Progress (Paulson 125). Stephens's identification of him as Richard Mead is based on letters from Horace Walpole to Horace Mann, 26 November, 24 December 1744 and 14 January 1745.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number