Smuggling in high life.
London, M. Jones January 1st. 1814, The Scourge
Original hand colouring
255 x 416 mm
Traces of old folds as issued, neat marginal repair.
Custom House men are stopping a coach and four on a country road. One holds open the door; the lady inside says: "What do you mean fellow by stopping me in this rude way if there is law you shall pay for it." He answers: "Aye Aye, my Lady we’ll run the risk of that, it tis’nt the first time we have had dealings with Ladies of Fashion!!" Contraband is littered on the ground; a man kneels to open a box, and looks up, saying, "Let the Lady talk of Law if she likes we have Justice on our side, and have as much regard for our parquisates as your great folks." Another man beside the coach grasps a ladies’ maid, and gropes in her pocket. She screams: "Oh My Lady this imperent fellor is turning me inside out, what does he think to find under my petticoats there is nothing smuggled there I’m sure!" He says: "I shall not take your word for that I have deliver’d many a big bellied Lady of a piece or two of french Cambrick!" A third man seizes the reins and tugs at the coachman, saying: "Come down Master Coachee, this carriage and horses belongs to us! and a pretty little parquisate it will turn out!!" The coachman kicks the man’s face and raises his whip, saying, "Oh it does! then I’ll be d—d (as our dictionary says) if you turn in till I have drove my Lady safe home, then Master will settle the matter." A man on the extreme right seizes the reins of a groom, and tugs at a portmanteau on his saddle, saying, "You have contraband Articles in this portmanteaux I insist upon searching." The groom flourishes his whip, saying, "I’ll see you at H—ll first, I tell you there is nothing but a slang dictionary which I and master study occasionally so hands off or I’ll make mince meat of you." The wares on the ground include lace, gloves, fans, a packet of ‘Soie de Napoleon’, jars of ‘Pomade de Ninon’, of ‘Depilatoire français’, and one inscribed ‘A Paris’, bottles of ‘Essence Amourea . .’ and ‘Creme de Rose’. In the background a roadside inn (right) has the sign ‘The Smugglers Den’. Next it is a small wig-shop: ‘Scratch Wig Maker to the Bench’. A sign-post (left) points (right) ‘To Dover’. The customs men are uniformly dressed in top-hats, overcoats with double capes, breeches and top-boots. After the title: ‘"The Rogues were not satisfied and insisted on having the Coach and Horses too, and accordingly / "accompany’d her Ladyship home, when the noble Lord facetiously observed if stick was the Law of / the case a value must be set on the carriage & horses and he would give a draft for the money, debiting her Ladyships pin money for the amount. Vide Morng Herald Novr 30 1813.’