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Keep within Compass and you shall be sure, to avoid many troubles which others endure

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Keep within Compass and you shall be sure, to avoid many troubles which others endure
  • Description

    A companion print to BMSat 6907. Design in a circle inset in an oblong. A compass, inscribed 'Fear God', its legs forming arcs of the circle, encloses the figure of a young man standing in a rural landscape; he points with his left hand to two sacks full of guineas at his feet. In the background is a harvest scene (left), a stream with a water-wheel (right), and in the distance a church (right) and windmill (left). Round the circle is inscribed 'Keep within compass and you shall be sure, to avoid many troubles which others endure'. Beneath the circle, 'Industry Produceth Wealth'. Beneath the design are four verses, the last:

    'By honest & Industrious means
    You'll live a life of ease
    Then let the Compass be your guide
    And go where e'er you please.'

    In the four corners of the oblong outside the circle are scenes showing the fatal results of an unrestrained life. (1) In the upper left corner a gambler is seated by a circular table on which are cards, dice, and an empty moneybag; he puts his hand to his forehead with a distraught expression. On the wall behind his head hang two pistols and through a window is seen a body hanging from a gibbet. (2) In the upper right corner a courtesan robs a young man who is in a drunken sleep; bottles and glasses are on a table. (3) In the lower left corner a ship drives upon rocks. (4) In the lower right corner three prisoners are seen through a barred window; on the wall is a pair of shackles. c.1785
    Mezzotint with hand-colouring


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1784-1786
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 352 millimetres
    • Width: 250 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with the first three words of the title at the top and "Industry produces Wealth" below followed by four verses of four lines; and with the whole title around the circumference of the circle; with title below and publication line "Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles No.69 in St Paul's Church Yard London". Numbered bl 543
  • Curator's comments

    A pair to BMSat 6907. For an unfinished uncoloured working proof, see 1902,1011.7994*. See also the reduced version: 2010,7081.1879.

  • Bibliography

    • Bowles/Bowles & Carver Posture Mezzotints 543 bibliographic details
    • BM Satires 6903 bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Caricatures III p.62)

  • Exhibition history

    2000 Oct-Dec, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Popular Print in England
    2001 Feb-Apr, Glasgow, Hunterian AG, Popular Print in England
    2001 Apr-Jun, Manchester, Whitworth AG, Popular Print in England
    2001 Jun-Aug, Bradford, Cartwright Hall, Popular Print in England

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  c.1785  Mezzotint with hand-colouring

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). c.1785 Mezzotint with hand-colouring

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA146726

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