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A panegyric on the happiness and "Pleasures of the Married State", published in London ca. 1780. A father teaches his son reading, while his wife holds their daughter. A painting of Christ changing water into wine at the wedding-feast of Cana is shown on the wall, while an outdoors hat and equipment for battledore/shuttlecock (i.e. the precursor to badminton) are on the floor.

Poem in image:

A Wife so chaste, so tender, and so kind,
So lovely in her Person and her mind;
The gentle smiling Girl, the pratling Boy,
The Father's comfort and the Mother's joy:
Are blessed Guardians 'gainst all human woes,
Unknown to idle Rakes, to Fops, and Beaus;
These are the Pleasures of the Social state,
View this, you Batchelors, and mourn your fate.

For a caricature from the same period expressing the opposite point of view, see File:Les plaisir du mènage by James Gillray.jpg

Edited from image on Library of Congress website at http://memory.loc.gov/master/pnp/cph/3b00000/3b07000/3b07300/3b07363u.tif

Bibliographic information found on the LoC site:

TITLE: The pleasures of the married state / W. Proud del. et sculp.

CALL NUMBER: PC 2 - Pleasures of the married state (A size) [P&P]

REPRODUCTION NUMBER: LC-USZ62-59621 (b&w film copy neg.) No known restrictions on publication.

SUMMARY: Print shows a family gathering around a table, the husband, seated, is instructing a son who stands next to him with an open book, and the wife, seated opposite, holds an infant daughter, the children mimic the parent's costume; in the background is a painting of Jesus changing water to wine during the wedding feast. Includes eight lines of verse promoting marriage.

MEDIUM: 1 print : engraving.

CREATED/PUBLISHED: London : Printed for Robt. Sayer in Fleet Street, & Jno. Smith in Cheapside, [between 1770 and 1789]

NOTES: Title from item. Forms part of: British Cartoon Collection (Library of Congress).


  • Marriage--England--1770-1790.
  • Families--England--1770-1790.
  • Domestic life--England--1770-1790.

FORMAT: Cartoons (Commentary) British 1770-1790. Engravings British 1770-1790.

REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

DIGITAL ID: (b&w film copy neg.) cph 3b07363 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b07363

CARD #: 2003675451


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