WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Counterfeit Crank

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Counterfeit Crank

While Francis Goodchild makes nice inside the church, Tom Idle makes coin dicing amongst the graves outside this week in Plate 3. One could argue Tom is not exactly loafing around: relieving others of their blunt can be hard work, especially if you’re not an honest gambler. That takes some skill and effort. Be it of a questionable nature.

Counterfeit Crank

A general cheat, assuming all sorts of characters; one counterfeiting the falling sickness.

Industry and Idleness, Plate 3: The Idle ‘Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, During Diving Service, by William Hogarth, 30 September 1747, Tate Museum.

From the Tate Museum description:

Idle is shown to be a gambler and a cheat. Clearly at home with the criminal underclass represented by his grotesque companions, he sprawls over a coffin signalling his disrespectful and progressively brutalised character. The skulls and bones scattered on the ground presage his fate and remind us of the biblical ‘Day of Judgement’. At the same time he seems oblivious to the punishment that is about to be served by the man wielding a stick.

From the Wikipedia description:

In this case, Tom Idle is shown doing the exact opposite [of Francis Goodchild]: gambling and cheating with some pence on top of a tomb in the churchyard. The foreground is strewn with spare bones and skulls, and behind him a beadle is about to strike him with a cane for his insolence and tardiness. Curiously, the beadle looks to be winking at the viewer of this work.

Also note that the frame is reversed: Now the mace, etc. are on the left of the engraving.

Proverbs CH: XIX Ve: 29
Judgments are prepared for scorners
& stripes for the back of Fools

 

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

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Done Up

WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Done Up

We’re up to Plate 6 in William Hogarth’s A Rake’s ProgressScene in a Gaming House. Tom Rakewell, briefly flush with blunt after marrying for it in last week’s plate, is once again in the throes of his bad decisions. You know things are bad when you lose your hair.

The paintings of A Rake’s Progress are in the collection of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, and are considered part of the public domain.

Done Up

Ruined by gaming and extravagances. Modern Term.

A Rake’s Progress – Plate 6 – Scene in a Gaming House (Engraving) by William Hogarth, 1735, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Public Domain.

From the Wikipedia description:

The sixth painting shows Tom pleading for the assistance of the Almighty in a gambling den at White’s club in Soho after losing his reacquired wealth. Neither he nor the other obsessive gamblers seem to have noticed a fire that is breaking out behind them.

A Rake’s Progress – Plate 6 – Scene in a Gaming House by William Hogarth, 1735, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Public Domain.

I think so much more detail can be seen in the engraving versus the oil portrait: I didn’t even notice that something was on fire in the background of the latter. Another observation for the Regency romance author is that this scene presents a sneak peek into a gambling room at White’s. An awful lot of men were crammed into that small space (possibly scenting blood in the water as Tom lost his fortune), and the decorations were spare (possibly an omission of the artist, but why decorate what men would likely not care to admire?).

 

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