WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Strait-Laced

Last week, in plate one, hardworking Francis Goodchild and lazy Thomas Idle were shown together; this will only happen once more, in plate ten. The rest of the plates will feature only one of the main characters, alternating each time. This week, in plate two, we see nose-to-the-grindstone Francis polishing his morality. Were this the Renaissance, no doubt Hogarth would have placed a halo about his head.

Strait-Laced

Precise, over nice, puritanical.

Industry and Idleness, Plate 2: The Industrious ‘Prentice Performing the Duty of a Christian, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum.

From the Tate Museum description:

The church is representative of the establishment and indicates social and religious conformity. Goodchild is in the church… [and his] preferment in the workplace and acceptance into polite society are shown by his occupying the master weaver’s church pew and sharing a hymnbook with his daughter.

From the Wikipedia description:

Plate two occurs at some point on a Sunday, when their master has given them part (or all) of the day to attend church service. Francis Goodchild is shown taking good advantage of this, attending St. Martin-in-the-Fields, standing in a pew with his master’s daughter, singing out of a hymnal. Their piety is contrasted with the sleeping man in the pew and the vain woman at the far right, and complements the quiet devotion of the old pew opener, the woman who has the keys to the pew, who is facing away from the service to spot new arrivals.

Significantly, since this is the first in the series of images of Francis’ fortune, his career is literally shown to start with his devotion. Note the tricorns hanging everywhere.

Psalm Ch: XIX Ver: 97
O! How I love thy Law it is my
meditation all day

 

A post about behaving in church always bends my mind toward Mr. Bean. Most either love him or hate him. Those in the latter category…I shall say a pray for you.

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

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