- Museum number
- Object: The March of Intellect
A London street scene between a curved shop-front (left) and a hoarding next to a quack doctor's house on the extreme right. In the cobbled roadway street musicians, elegantly dressed, are giving an air from Italian opera. The harpist screeches Di Tanti palpiti [the famous contralto aria from Rossini's opera 'Tancredi'], a younger girl holding a guitar holds out a dish for contributions to a stout coachman who is walking along, spectacles on nose, with an open book: An Account of the Road Literary Historical Topographical and Geographical. He looks sideways at her, stepping heavily on a screaming child. A boy plays the fiddle. Behind this centre group is a scavenger's cart; the driver strains to listen, looking behind him; his mate hands his snuff-box to a sandwich-man, on whose back is a placard headed with a print of a steam-packet: Calais in Five Ho . .
The shop on the extreme left is a [Brea]kfast & Reading Room. A long inscription beside the window is headed Works Within. These are: Byron, Moore, Crabbe, Rogers, Campbell, Scott, Hogg, &c &c &c &c—Reviewes—Edinburgh Quarterly Monthly &c &c &c &c &c—All the Periodicals—All the Classics &c &c &c &c. An artisan in an apron peers at this list through spectacles, searching in his pocket. Behind him is a board-man, his board inscribed New Patent Steam Coach from London to York in Four Hours—NB Provisions may be Dressed Inside [cf. BM Satires 14960].
In the right foreground a bricklayer's labourer sits on his upturned hod holding a large book ticketed St Giles's Reading Society. A fellow-hodman, with his full hod against his shoulder, hands him a ticket inscribed [?] Mr S D R. A workman carries a statue on his shoulder, a Venus covered from the waist with bunchy drapery. At this a small groom or tiger stares up through a monocle. Above the door of the house behind them is a large placard: Every Disorder In . . . Cured by Dr . . . An elegant man holding up a monocle proffers a lace cap to a maidservant in the doorway.
The hoarding behind the adjacent building has a scaffolding placarded These premises will be Rebuilt in Ten Days And Business Recommenced on an Extended Scale. No one is at work; the bricklayers are presumably enlarging their minds. The hoarding is covered with overlapping bills: Every Woman's Book; Read . . .; Tales of Horror; Every Mans Book. Useful Kno[wledge]; Every Boys Book; Library for the . . . ; Stop . . . ; Great Elpihant [sic] Exeter Change; Mechanicks Magazine N° 420 Will Contain A . . . ; Burgrary [sic] £50 Rew[ard] . . . ; Wanted. 
- Production date
- 1828 (circa)
Height: 220 millimetres
Width: 325 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The title and the publication details have been cut from the bottom of this impression (see below for more information).
(Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', X, 1952)
A satire on 'the march of mind', seemingly directed more at Brougham's Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, founded in 1825, and its publications than at London University (see No. 14788). The Mechanics Magazine began in 1823; the elephant in Exeter 'Change was shot in March 1826. Road travel by steam was experimental, cf. vol. xi. Place describes the part that the periodicals at coffee-houses at which working men breakfasted had in their education. M. D. George, London Life, 1925, p. 306 f. Cf. Nos. 14038, 14815, 15406.
Dr Andrew Norton (email March 2021): 'An intact copy of this print is in the Lewis Walpole Library, entitled 'THE MARCH OF INTELLECT'. The publication line reads 'Shortshanks Sculpt'
'London Published by Thos McLean 26 Haymarket.' In the bottom left corner is a tiny figure of Brougham in wig and gown, wielding a broom, followed by 'Del.' It is likely that this print is one of those listed both in the Edinburgh Review [Jan. 1828], and the Quarterly Review [Jan-Mar 1828]. The attribution is clearly Robert Seymour and not Henry Heath as suggested by George'.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number