The Diaboliad.To reign is worth ambition, tho' in Hell. Milton.
Etching, 115 x 180mm. 4½ x 7".
Political satire, illustration to 'The Diaboliad', a poem by William Combe published 1777 whose complete work was titled "The Diaboliad a poem. Dedicated to the worst man in His Majesty's dominions. Also, the Diabo-Lady: or, a match in hell". In this satire Simon Luttrell Irnham, 1st Earl of Carhampton, is the successful candidate about to be crowned successor to the Devil to reign in Hell (left). Other candidates, in line behind, include Charles James Fox and the young peer Thomas Lyttelton, 2nd Baron Lyttelton of Frankley. Various demons, imps and spectres appear in the background, including a vision of a weeping man in chains to centre. The full quote in the sub-text is John Milton writing on ambition from Paradise Lost "Here may we reign secure, and in my choice To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell. Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven." Plate to the London Magazine
BM Satires: 5424; for pair with 'The Diabo-Lady' see ref. 27545
[Ref: 17204] £75.00