A copy in reverse of William Hogarth’s Plate 1 of A harlot’s progress: A scene outside the Bell Inn: a country girl, Moll Hackabout, having just arrived on the York Wagon (seen on the right), meets an extravagantly dressed bawd (Mother Needham); a clergyman on horseback fails to notice the encounter, but a lecherous old gentleman (Colonel Charteris) eyes the girl with anticipation. In the lower left the girl’s initials “H.M.” (M[ary?] Hackabout, initials reversed on this copy) are on her portmanteau, next to which is a basket with a goose with a note around its neck, “For my Loving Cosen in Tems Stret in London”, presumably the person who has failed to meet her. In the background a woman hangs out her laundry on a balcony. A clergyman on horseback fails to notice the encounter as his horse feeds on hay next to the wagon. In the back of the wagon, four other country girls sit holding onto a rail.
- Title: A harlot’s progress. Plate I [graphic] : Innocence betrayed, or The journey to London = L’innocence trahie, ou, Le voyage de Londres / invented & painted by Wm. Hogarth.
- Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [not before 25 March 1768]
Hogarth 768.03.25.09+ Box 210
Acquired December 2019