Hocus Pocus, or, Conjurors Raising the Wind
London, M. Jones October 1st. 1814, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
227 x 550 mm
Traces of old folds as issued.
A scene in the Green Room of the Haymarket Theatre. George Colman sits in his arm-chair beside a writing- table, beset by duns, and by unpaid actors who played in the entertainment ‘Dr. Hocus Pocus, or, a Harlequin Washed White’. A sturdy woman wearing a check apron tugs at him, trying to drag him towards a wash-tub which stands beside her. He says, looking to the right. Now then Gentlemen! GO IT, if Hocus-Pocus and Conjurocus does but raise the Wind – by St George I’ll pay you all !! why you Hussey you are not to put into the tub !! She answers La Sir did not you say you should like to be white wash’d if you could afford soap. Another aproned woman standing behind her holds out a bar of soap, saying Why here’s plenty of soap Maam!!. Two bars of Magic Soap are on the ground beside her. Colman holds the blank page of a giant volume, open on a lectern, which tilts over under his hand; on the left page is GO IT in huge letters. In his left hand is an open book; Hocus-Pocus or Harlequin Whitewashed A Ludicrous Magical EntertainmentConjur Ocus made of – Scaramouch Colombine. An owl perches on the back of his chair. From behind the chair a woman wearing a white decollettee dress (Mrs. Gibbs) leans forward threateningly towards the woman of the soap, saying Let himalone Hussey I say he hasn’t a spot about him. Another lady puts her hand on her shoulder, saying, GO IT Columbine. Other members of the company are two men behind Colman’s chair in agitated conversation ; a man in hussar uniform ; a man dressed up as a wizard, with a beard, a steeple-crowned hat and quasi-oriental robes who holds up a long wand and shouts to the dunning tradesmen; Don’t be so clamorous there ! you must take orders till we can rais the Wind ! Next is a man in burlesqued fashionable dress, his cylindrical hat under his arm, holding a cane and looking through an eye-glass. Behind him is a woman whose face is hidden by her ‘Oldenburg ‘ bonnet, she says, looking towards Coleman ; I know that face ! ah he’s a man of talent but no Pro-per-ty!. A stout man (Brunton) , wearing a large wig and three-cornered hat, holds up a conjuror’s wand, saying to a man on the extreme right, Hubble Bubble, toil and trouble, I hope your poney will carry double. The man on the pony dressed as a clown is Scaramouch (Tokely) ; he answers, Oh! Ho1 Mr. Conjurocus in a Bush Wig, your for Go it, soI’ll be off for Covent Garden and try what I can raise upon my pointed poney ! Before him stands Harlequin (Matthews) , supporting himself on a stick, he says reflectively; Sir George Pay you all that will be a first appearance in a New Character. Coleman’s table is a marble slab resting on two lyre-shaped supports. It is littered with papers inscribed Admit Two to the Boxes, there is also a paper inscribed Day Rule. On the ground are books Vagaries, Broad Grins, The Young Qua…A…By G. Colman, beneath this is a paper; Plan of the Rules. Hanging above Coleman and some of the actors is a large crocodile, with gaping jawsdirected menacingly towards the clamorous duns. On the extreme left a tradesman pushes forward a butcher, saying, Push on ! Push on ! Butcher, if you let that Coalman touch the cash first there will be none left for us. The butcher holds up a paper; The Proprietors..,Leg (mu)tton = 5/6, he says; Five and sixpence for a Leg of Mutton, for Katharine and Petruchio. Just in front is a man wearing a coal-heaver’s hat, saying, Only for a Peck of Coals to roast the Mutton for Petruchios supper. His bill is for sixpence. A man beside him says ; I think you are kicking up a duston this side, wether the conjurors raise the Wind or not. A tradesmangrasps the shoulder of a barber, saying ; Friend my demand is of more importancethan yours, a bill for a Crown & Sceptre you must wait till mines settled. The barber answers ; You are mistaken Man I Furnish’d two Conjurors with Wig and they could not raise the Wind without them. A tailor bows obsequiously , saying ; Gentlemen I hope you’ll raise the wind for Falstaff’s breeches – Three pounds two and sixpence only !. A man looks up nervously at the crocodile, saying ; Bless me what ugly things these conjurors keep about them. A satire on the insolvency of Colman, who managed the Haymarket Theatre