Keep Within Compass and You Shall Be Sure, To Avoid Many Troubles Which Others Endure

Method Copper engraving with hand colouring
Artist after Robert Dighton
Published Printed for & Sold by Carrington Bowles No. 69 in St. Paul;s Church Yard, London. Published as the Act directs 9 Novr. 1784
Dimensions Image 439 x 330 mm , Sheet 510 x 400 mm
Notes A large allegorical print warning what happens when a man falls outside the moral compass in the eighteenth century. A young, well dressed, man stands between the arms of compass, inscribed 'Fear God', surrounded by a rural idyll, with a harvest scene, fishing, and a church, his left arm is outstretched towards to two sacks full of coins on the ground before him. Inscriptions above and below the main roundel read: "Keep within compass" / "Industry Produceth Wealth" and the full title is engraved within the circular border. Outside of the roundel the four corners of the sheet are illustrated with scenes of the consequences of living an undisciplined and impulsive life. The top left features gambling, duelling pistols, and body hanging from a gibbet. The top right corner includes a depiction of drunkenness, with a courtesan rifling through the pockets of the drunk man. The bottom corners are filled with illustrations of a shipwreck and a prison cell barred window.

Below the image are three columns of verse, reading: "Shun Cards & Dice, if you wou'd thrive, Some other Course pursue, For Gaming will disturb your mind, And waste your substance too. The Whore with all her borrow'd charms, More easy to deceive you, Will fawn & flatter, make you drink Next rob & then she'll leave you. Attempt according to your strength, Close by the Shore to keep, 'Tis safer than to hoist up Sails, And plunge into the deep. By honest and industrious means You'll live a life of ease, Then let the Compass be your guide and go where e'er you please."

Robert Dighton (1752 - 1814) was an English draughstman and printmaker. He was the son of the art dealer John Dighton, and father of the artists Robert Junior, Denis, and Richard. Dighton was especially well known for his satirical prints, which he initially supplied to Carington Bowles and Haines. Later plates he etched, published, and sold himself. Dighton infamously stole prints from the British Museum to stock his shop in Charing Cross. When this was discovered in 1806, Dighton escaped prosecution, but was forced to lie low in Oxford until the scandal died down.

The printer and publisher Carington Bowles (1724 - 1793) was the son of the printer John Bowles, to whom he was apprenticed in 1741. In 1752 until c.1762, they became a partnership known as John Bowles & Son, at the Black Horse, Cornhill, London. Carington left the partnership in order to take over the business of his uncle, Thomas Bowles II in St Paul's Churchyard. When Carington died in 1793 the business passed to his son (Henry) Carington Bowles.

Enlarged engraved copy of BM Satires 6903

Condition: Stains to top margin and inscription at top of sheet. Professionally repaired tears to top and right margins and small reaired holes to bottom of image. Pressed horizontal and vertical folds.
Framing mounted
Price £975.00
Stock ID 51002