Digitised Image

Hogarth, William, 1697-1764 :Credulity, superstition and fanaticism. A Medley. Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Design'd and engrav'd by Wm Hogarth. Publish'd

Reference Number: D-020-097

Hogarth adapted his unpublished `Enthusiasm delineated' to make his comment on the Cock Lane Ghost hoax - Fanny Lynes, who died of smallpox in 1759. The original print and this later print were both attacks of the excesses of Methodism and shows a convulsed, crippled flock before an hysterical preacher, whose Nonconformist wig flies off in a sunburst, revealing a papist tonsure, and whose open robes expose Harlequin colours. All Hogarth did was change the religious images into occult ones. The eucharistic images of Christ became Fanny of Cock Lane; the convulsed Mother Douglas became Mary Tofts giving birth to rabbits; God with his triangle became a witch on her broomstick; the hanging puppets around the pulpit were transformed into famous ghosts, such as Julius Caesar, Sir George Villiers and Daniel Defoe's Mrs Veal. An image of Cock Lane now stood atop the thermometer of madness, balanced on `Wesley's sermons' and `Glanvil on witches'. Puppets of a witch and the Devil dangle from the preacher's hands. Out of a bug-like brain, a thermometer ranges from Madness and Despair to Lust and Raving. Above it hangs a scale to measure the preachers' rant. It is suspended by a ring, through a nose, and the gaping mouth foams with the accented words, `Blood blood blood blood!'

Key terms:
1 image, categorised under Engravings, related to England, Methodism, Ghosts, Witches and Clergy.

Part of:
Hogarth, William 1697-1764 :The original works of William Hogarth. London, sold by John and Josiah Boydell, 1790, Reference Number D-020-001/115 (8 digitised items)

Extent: 1 b&w art print(s)Engraving, 435 x 330 mm (platemark) on cream wove paper, 650 x 485 mm. Single art work

Historical Notes: A reworked version of `Enthusiasm delineated', which Hogarth never published. Compare with D-020-022.

Conditions governing access to original: Not restricted

Inscriptions: Inscribed - Recto - beneath image: Title

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