An excursion to R- – – – – Hall.
London, M. Jones October 1st. 1812, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
199 x 529 mm
Traces of old folds as issued
The Devil drives (left to right) the Regent and Lady Hertford in an open barouche with four spirited horses towards Ragley Hall. The Prince, who wears military uniform with ribbon and star, puts his right arm round Lady Hertford, who has grotesquely enlarged breasts; she says: "We have had a glorious ride, my Love!—It is worth Half a Crown." He answers: "I have not Half a Crown to give thee. Would that I had." The Devil, nude, emaciated, gap-toothed, and grinning, flourishes a whip whose handle is a barbed trident. Beside him sits Lord Yarmouth, blowing a horn, with his right arm round the Devil’s waist. He wears the dress of a fashionable amateur whip, long coat with capes and broad-brimmed hat, cf. No. 11700. A little Cupid is a postilion on the off leader, gashing his horse with an enormous spur, making it rear. He is blindfolded, and wears jockey-cap and top-boots, but is otherwise naked except for a short open jacket (he perhaps derives from No. 11405, by Gillray). He flourishes a whip, the handle of which is his bow. Behind the carriage, as footman, stands McMahon, bending forward, obsequious and inquisitive. The arms on the coach are a spouting wine-bottle between two wine-glasses and above a knife, fork, and corkscrew. The crest is a fool’s cap between two hearts. The outrider on a galloping donkey is Lord Hertford, wearing court dress and holding his chamberlain’s wand. Antlers sprout from his head, and his identity is stressed by an ‘H’ on the beast’s flank, and a coronetted ‘H’ on the saddle-cloth. An inferior donkey, lean and clumsy, is tied to the back of the carriage. On its back is a cask of ‘Curacoa’ on which Sheridan sits astride, saying, "They must e’en go when the Devil Drives." He is dressed as Harlequin (cf. No. 9916) to the waist, and flourishes his wooden sword, but wears long tattered breeches. Behind him and on the extreme left is a one-horse tilt-wagon surmounted by a coronet. Inside are young women, and it is inscribed: ‘For Yarmouth Second hand Peices [cf. No. 11993] from Wales’. The Regent’s horses are passing a small and decayed Gothic building inscribed ‘Female Asylum’. It has two upper windows with broken tracery, from which women discarded by the Regent look out registering distress. They have conspicuously large breasts. The most prominent is Mrs. Fitzherbert, wearing a rosary, with a veil over her head; she exclaims: "Ah! I remember the time when I myself enjoyed those loves. But he has forgot his Poor F." Four are in each window. They say: "There he goes; oh! oh! oh!; O! the gay Deceiver; There he goes Faithless man." The roof is decorated with the Prince’s feathers and coronet, upside down, with two prancing cats as supporters. A signpost points ‘To Ragley’ [the word obscured by shading]. In the distance is a castellated country house, surrounded by a park wall.