- Museum number
- Object: Miss putting her Foot in it!!- Or the Silver Ball making a breach, but missing The Mark.
Two designs, side by side: THE COURTSHIP. A hideous man (Hayne) with long ass's ears advances (left to right), his left arm round the waist of Maria Foote, who is pregnant. In his right hand is a ring, in his left hand a long Rent Roll. From his pocket projects a Foot Rule. She holds a paper: Promise of Marriage. They face a table from which hangs a long document headed Marriage Settlement; on it is a Bond. At the table sits Foote, holding a paper, writing materials beside him. Hayne says: My Angelic Creature purer and more prescious than the unsunned snow [cf. BM Satires 13975] how happy shall be my fate when encircled in those virtious Arms. Accept this ring as a pledge of my love. She answers: I accept that and the pin money as a proof of your affection, now sign the deeds and you shall have me altogether. At their feet is a paper: A Bold Stroke for A Husband. Her father says: Yes, yes, my Daughter shall be a Lady and laugh at the Countess and Discountess. On the wall is a picture of a fox with one leg in a trap.
 THE DISCOVERY—Maria Foote, suckling an infant, sits in a rocking-chair beside a cradle, directed to the right. On each side of the small room is the base of a miniature theatre box, in one of which (left) stands Col. Berkeley, in the other Hayne. One is a stalwart rakish sportsman (resembling 'Corinthian Tom', see BM Satires 14320), the other the contemptible dandy of caricature (cf. BM Satires 13029). She sings:
Hush thee Babe, hush thee thy Mother is here—
Thy Father's a Bastard who once was a Peer—
Hush thee Babe hush thee I'll soothe all thy pain—
Thy Mother will marry the Simpleton H—e.
Berkeley thumbs his nose, and raises two fingers, saying with a grin: I have been there before you my Boy take her if you like. On the curved front of his box: Private Theatricals The Heir at Law [Colman, 1797] lately performed with Universal applause. The hideous Hayne, long ass's ears like horns flanking his top-hat, holds in his right hand a paper, Public Appeal; in his left a moneybag, Silver Ball. He says: I'll not have the Colonels left off Peice thats Flat. On his box: Private Theatricals the Wheel of Fortune [Cumberland, 1795] to which will be added Money in both Pockets. Behind Maria are two pictures: (left) View of [the] Berkley Hunt. Berkeley, as a huntsman, leaps a fence, shouting To her boys ha! ha! (right) Worshiping The Golden Calf. She kneels imploringly at the base of the animal's pedestal. At her feet are two play-bills: This Evening The Belle's Stratagem [Mrs. Cowley, 1780] Lady Tackwood by Miss Foot and The Farce of Matrimony [Kenney, 1804] unavoidably put off in consequence of The Discovery [Mrs. Frances Sheridan, 1763] being particularly called for. Two more are on the wall: The Devil To Pay [Coffey, 1731] and All in the Wrong [Murphy, 1761] an old Comedy. On an infant's commode: Love's Labour Lost. On a table are medicine-bottles, &c, one of Crook's Drops. October 1824
Etching with hand-colouring
- Production date
Height: 249 millimetres
Width: 348 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
Maria Foote had been Berkeley's mistress for five years, it is said under a promise of marriage, having two children, the second being born Feb. 1824, after Hayne's advances had begun. After seeing Hayne and the Footes together at the opera, Berkeley, before legal witnesses, informed Hayne of the relations between them. The engagement was broken off, renewed, again broken and again renewed; settlements were prepared. Twice Hayne failed to appear on the day appointed for the marriage. Maria's father had borrowed £1,150 from him; she had received presents worth £1,000, and had kept copies of her letters to him. The breach of promise action was tried in the King's Bench on 21 Dec. 1824, damages of £10,000 were asked: £3,000 was awarded. John Bull, 10 Oct-26 Dec. passim. See also Pearce, Mme Vestris, 1923, pp. 105-9. Hayne, a rich foolish and dissipated young man about town, was called (by Berkeley, it is said) 'pea-green Hayne'; as 'the Silver Ball' he was a rival of Hughes, 'the Golden Ball'. For Col. Berkeley see No. 14274 and index. Maria Foote married Lord Harrington (Petersham) in 1831, see vol. xi. See also Nos. 14712, 14713, 14815, 14856, 14857, 14858, 14859, 14860, 14861, 14864, 15056.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number