The King says: "I wish this seat of mine was like a music stool that I migh[t] scree it up or down at pleasure oh'my dear mind how you touch it for it is very tender - altho'it is not so large as it was by a great deal". His mistress replies: "I shall be very gentle with it my love; but I think the application I am going to put to it will do it good, as you say it [ce]rtainly is not so big as it was; but I think it has swell'd a little since it has been in my lap but however if the swelling becomes troublesome to you I can soon take it down - and I tell you what my dear you shall go into Hertfordshire the inland country air will agree better with you than the sea breese. I'll get the Yarmouth coachman to drive us down: only you must not go into the greasy kitchen as you did at Brighton, lowers you so much my dear & do try if you can keep sober!!!". The Queen exclaims: "Hertford air indeed! Might as well send him to jersey! No! No! I'll see if I can't take his toe in my hand myself; as to air tis as fine about Richmond as it is anywhere - he shall have as much old hock as he likes & I think he will be delighted with my champaigne! & for exercise he shall ride his new hobby up and down Waterloo place". The document in the king's pocket reads: "Intended application for a divorce".
1 print : etching, with watercolour ; platemark 22.3 x 33.7 cm
King George IV having his gouty foot massaged by his mistress Marchioness of Hertford while his wife Queen Caroline listens in the doorway. Coloured etching, ca. 1820.. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY