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A Glee.

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1/03/1808 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thomas Rowlandson, born 1756 - died 1827 (maker)
    Woodward, George Moutard (designer)
    Tegg, Thomas, born 1776 - died 1845 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching with hand colouring

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Jones

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 138, box D

Three men sit around a table whilst drinking punch. Upon the table are lemons, a tobacco pot, and a blazing candle. The young, handsome man to the left of the image wears top-boots, yellow trousers, and a green overcoat. With his hands clasped, he ecstatically sings 'In Love!'. In the centre of the image, an elderly naval officer sits whilst smoking a long pipe. Upon his head, he wears a crooked hat, and over his left eye, he wears a patch. Visible between the table's legs is the officer's wooden right leg. Although not as excited as the young man, the naval officer sings 'In War.' The man to the right is a grotesque drunk. Struggling to hold himself upright, his arms and legs jut out to the sides. He, too, sings, with the words 'In Drinking.' With the words 'How shall we mortals spend or hours?' inscribed along the top of the image, it can be suggested that Rowlandson was ridiculing the way in which men waste their time.
The image was featured in a carictaure by Williams, titled 'The Genius of Caricature, and his Friends, Celebrating the Completion of the Second Volume of the Caricature Magazine in the Temple of Mirth', published by Tegg in 1808 (BM Satires 11133). Rowlandson's image is featured as a decoration upon the wall, along with several other caricatures.

Physical description

Etching print with hand colouring

Place of Origin

London (published)


1/03/1808 (published)


Thomas Rowlandson, born 1756 - died 1827 (maker)
Woodward, George Moutard (designer)
Tegg, Thomas, born 1776 - died 1845 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching with hand colouring

Marks and inscriptions

How shall we mortals spend our hours?
Inscribed to top of image

In Love! In War. In Drinking.
Inscribed above sitters' heads

Plate number inscribed to upper right corner of image

London March 1st 1808 Pubd. by Thos. Tegg 111 Cheapside
Publication lineto bottom right corner

Price One Shilling Cold
Inscribed to lower left corner


Height: 233 mm Sheet, Width: 322 mm Sheet, Height: 219 mm Image, Width: 321 mm Image

Object history note

Object originally bound in a guard-book containing one hundred and fifteen caricatures by T. Rowlandson, W. Heath, J. Gillray, R. Dighton, G. Cruikshank and others

Descriptive line

Satirical print of a young, handsome man, an old naval officer, and a drunk sitting around a table together.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

BM Satires 11141




Etching; Hand colouring




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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