George Cruikshank (1792-1878). "Lacing in Style-or a Dandy Midshipman preparing for Attraction!!" [The letters "Attr" scored through.]
London: Thomas Tegg, March 6, 1819. Plate numbered 323. Hand colored etching. 8 1/2 x 13 (neat lines). Some browning.
As described in M. Dorothy George, Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, #13440, this satire focuses on contemporary fashions:
A midshipman (left) dressed as a dandy braces hands and feet against a mast on the extreme left, while four sailors, standing on a turn-table (right), wind up by a windlass a rope attached to his stays, compressing a wasp-waist. His coat, bell-shaped top-hat, with belt and dirk, are on a chair beside him. He says: "Very well my hearties very indeed-'pon honor. This lacing is not very agreeable, but it will be fully compensated by the grand dash I shall make at East London Theatre tonight-Oh! I shall be most enchanting! Oh, charming! Oh! delightful! after Ive got a pint of Rowlands Maccassar Oil on my head-Pull away! heave away! pull away hearties!!" An old sailor sits on a [cannon] smoking; he leans against the side of the ship, looking over his shoulder to say with a contemptuous grimace: "I say Master Midshipman, I always thought you a little crack-brained; now I'm convinced of it, for as you've turn'd Dandy, that's proof positive-I'ts all up with you & all I have to say is you're not worth a - quid of tobacco." Another midshipman, wearing a cockaded top-hat, jeers at the dandy with flexed knees and raised arms: "My Eyes!! Oh Murder! Ha! ha! ha!! Jack Greathead the cheesemonger's son got stays!!! Well, I've a good mind to get petticoats!-these Dandies are a disgrace to Great Britan-" The four sailors pushing hard at the windlass all grin; one asks: "I say, Mainmast, do you intend to get Stays"; Mainmast: "Get Stays! Why man I have stays already & have order'd a pair of Buckskin, & 2 pair of Sealskin, what do you think of that eh?!!" The third, a [black], says: "Me vid tink Massa vid soon have the Belly ache!!" The fourth: "Huzza! don't flinch my boys tho' he call "Stop" don't do so-Heave away my lads give him a twitcher-heave away He, Ho He Ho-!!"
Other caricatures by Cruikshank father and sons: