- Museum number
- Object: Hell broke loose or the devil to pay among the darling angels.
The Devil, wearing legal wig, gown, and bands, stands under a massive stone archway inscribed Hell Gate. He holds up a pair of equally balanced scales inscribed Patriotism and Virtue; in the former sits Wardle, in the latter Mrs. Clarke. The balance is maintained by two demons, one clinging to each scale. The Devil has widespread feathered wings, scaly body, barbed tail, and talons, with a Mephistophelean face under a serjeant's wig and with a twisted ram's horn. In the fist grasping the scales is a scourge; he puts a talon slyly to his nose. He stands on a block inscribed Two of a Trade can Never Agree. Wardle, wearing cocked hat and regimentals, threatens the Devil with his fists; he sits on a paper inscribed Misconduct and beside him are a box inscribed Freedom Gold Box and a paper: Impeachment. Mrs. Clarke attempts by blandishments to mollify the Devil; she holds out her arms to him alluringly. Her posterior is inscribed Seat of Promotion, and she sits upon papers inscribed: Darling Angel; Pilula Salutarii; Mr Wright's Bill; Infection; Dear Dear; Doctor Donovan Bill; Adultery. The archway frames the three figures; its massive width recedes in perspective; behind the Devil are the flames of Hell in which a little demon flies. On the ground at his feet are a small crocodile (emblem of hypocrisy, cf. No. 11057) and a serpent spitting fire.
July 9 1809.
- Production date
Height: 225 millimetres
Width: 323 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VIII, 1947)
See No. 11341, &c. Wardle's 'Patriotism' is equal in weight to Mrs. Clarke's 'Virtue', cf. No. 11343. The terms of endearment are from the evidence and the Duke's two letters, see No. 11228, &c. Donovan, see No. 11217, was a surgeon-lieutenant. The association of lawyers and the Devil was common, cf. No. 11411, &c.; the serjeant's wig may be an allusion to Serjeant Best, see No. 11347.
Grego, Rowlandson, ii. 160. Reid, No. 78 (attributing the print to G. Cruik-shank).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number