A cobbler sits on a stool in front of a wooden jointed figure which he has created in order to give himself respect. Engraving by J. Neagle after H. Singleton.
- Singleton, Henry, 1766-1839.
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"There is no affection of the mind so much blended in human nature, and wrought into our very constitution, as pride. It appears under a multitude of disguises, and breaks out in ten thousand different symptoms. Every one feels it in himself, and yet wonders to see it in his neighbour. I must confess, I met with an instance of it the other day where I should very little have expected it. Who would believe the proud person I am going to speak of, is a cobbler upon Ludgate Hill? This artist being naturally a lover of respect, and considering that his circumstances are such that no man living will give it him, has contrived the figure of a beau in wood, who stands before him in a bending posture, with his hat under his left arm, and his right hand extended in such a manner as to hold a thread, a piece of wax, or an awl, according to the particular service in which his master thinks fit to employ him. When I saw him, he held a candle in this obsequious posture. I was very well pleased with the cobbler's invention, that had so ingeniously contrived an inferior, and stood a little while contemplating this inverted idolatry, wherein the image did homage to the man. When we meet with such a fantastic vanity in one of this order, it is no wonder if we may trace it through all degrees above it, and particularly through all the steps of greatness. We easily see the absurdity of pride when it enters into the heart of a cobbler; though in reality it is altogether as ridiculous and unreasonable wherever it takes possession of a human creature."--Tatler, no. 127, Saturday, Jan. 28, to Tuesday, Jan. 31, 1710
London (Piccadilly) : John Sharpe, 1804 (Dean Street [London] : C. Whittingham)
1 print : engraving ; image 4 x 7.4 cm
The Tatler Volume the third. Drawn by Hy. Singleton. Engraved by Jas. Neagle.
Wellcome Library no. 29995i