The image at top shows an old man sitting in an armchair on the right, his gouty foot resting on a footstool, a crutch seen leaning against a stool beside him. He looks up at a younger woman on the left, who wears a bonnet and apron and is looking down and away from him. Draperies and a framed picture of Cupid shooting an arrow decorate the wall behind them. The text below, in two columns with an age listed at the beginning of each line, tells the humorous tale of the consequences of a man putting off marriage for prideful reasons from age “16 – incipient palpitations towards the young ladies”, through the ages of “29 – rails against the fair sex”, “37 – indulge in every kind of dissipation”, and “48 – thinks living alone quite irksome …”. Eventually, he resolves to have a prudent young woman as housekeeper and companion, gradually feeling some attachment to her and becoming completely under her influence. At age 60, as he begins to feel ill, and “grows rapidly worse, has his will made in her favour, and makes an exit.”
- Title: The old bachelor’s thermometer. The old maid’s thermometer [graphic].
- Publication: [London] : Published by S. and J. Fuller, 34, Rathbone-Place, [between 1809 and 1839]
- Manufacture: [London] : Printed by L. Harrison, 373, Strand.
Acquired March 2020