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Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Scene in Bridewell. Hemp beating in the workhouse. Several women and two men, driven by the supervisor and his wife. Engraving by Carl Heinrich Rahl (Hoffenheim 1779 – Vienna 1843). (1818-23.) Inscribed: 10. / Plate 4. 8¼ × 10⅜ in (21 × 26.5 cm).

A HARLOTS PROGRESS IV. – Of additional culture-historical interest the representation of various utilities for cases of waning working will. At one the taskmaster just points at threateningly: the still free iron foot ring fastened at the ground and the beating peg, while already one of the men may take a rest at another instrument under the motto “Better to Work than Stand thus”. On the floor before the other’s block, however, the torn playing card of a cardsharp. – Lichtenberg:

“ For our heroine has been brought to the penitentiary … to beat hemp in the by-hours of which here, unfortunately! the day mostly consists, or if that will not go well to be beaten herself. Also one often has the permission to rest in this case, so as the fellow behind of the girl who, as once a boy believed seeing this sheet, wants to clear out sparrow nests … But do our readers really know to whom this torturer looked alike? As one egg to the other, the Mr. Master Thwakum … Just behind of our heroine the wife of this major-domo stands and holds a scourge of another kind drawn over the head of the sufferer … So much on the taskmaster’s – taskmistress. ”

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