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Tom Ruby being tricked by six friends into thinking he is suffering from the 'sweating sickness', thereby missing his feast. Coloured line engraving, 1799, after Nixon (?).

Nixon, John, -1818.
2 December 1799
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About this work


His companions put butter in the crown of his hat, and when it melts on the way to the dinner, "Says one, I do remember well/(I think it is in Stowe)/a case like this; a dreadful scourge,/three hundred years ago:/ the sweating sickness it was called,/And if I read aright,/Whoever was attacked at morn/Was sure to die that night!" Later they take in his waistcoat by five inches to make him think he has swelled with wind, then let it out again (the scene in the engraving)


London (53 Fleet Street) : Laurie & Whittle, 2 December 1799 ([London] Little Britain : John Rider)

Physical description

1 print : line engraving with etching, with watercolour ; platemark 20.1 x 25 cm


The sweating sickness; or, the imaginary malady. (A bona fide fact.) ...

Publications note

British Museum, Catalogue of political and personal satires, vol. VII, London 1942, no. 9504

Lettering note

Lettering continues with forty-four verses of letterpress. Some lettering printed within the platemark


Wellcome Library no. 11637i



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