The Works of William Hogarth, by John Trusler

Plate II.

The Industrious ’prentice Performing the Duty of a Christian.

“O how I love thy law; it is my meditation all the day.”

Psalm cxix. verse 97.

This plate displays our industrious young man attending divine service in the same pew with his master’s daughter, where he shows every mark of decent and devout attention.

Mr. Hogarth’s strong bias to burlesque was not to be checked by time or place. It is not easy to imagine any thing more whimsically grotesque than the female Falstaff. A fellow near her, emulating the deep-toned organ, and the man beneath, who, though asleep, joins his sonorous tones in melodious chorus with the admirers of those two pre-eminent poets, Hopkins and Sternhold. The pew-opener is a very prominent and principal figure; two old women adjoining Miss West’s seat are so much in shadow, that we are apt to overlook them: they are, however, all three making the dome ring with their exertions.

Ah! had it been king David’s fate

To hear them sing ——

The preacher, reader, and clerk, with many of the small figures in the gallery and beneath, are truly ludicrous, and we regret their being on so reduced a scale, that they are scarce perceptible to the naked eye. It was necessary that the artist should exhibit a crowded congregation; but it must be acknowledged he has neglected the rules of perspective. The print wants depth. In the countenance of Miss West and her lover there is a resemblance. Their faces have not much expression; but this is atoned for by a natural and pleasing simplicity. Character was not necessary.

Industry and Idleness.
Plate 2.
The Industrious ‘Prentice Performing the Duty of a Christian

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55