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Personifications of law, medicine and theology argue over the superiority of their respective professions. Engraving by GWHWHNM, ca. 1720.

Date
[1720?]
Reference
25992i
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view Personifications of law, medicine and theology argue over the superiority of their respective professions. Engraving by GWHWHNM, ca. 1720.

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Credit: Personifications of law, medicine and theology argue over the superiority of their respective professions. Engraving by GWHWHNM, ca. 1720. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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About this work

Description

On the left the physician has a book, a statuette of Diana or a nymph, and a medicine bottle or urine flask, and wears a justacorps, The lawyer stands in the middle wearing a black gown over a justacorps: with one hand he holds a will or contract to which a seal is attached, and with the other he declaims. On the right the clergyman wears the Geneva gown and preaching bands, and holds the Bible. They debate in a richly furnished room: right, a pier-glass and a chair; left, a view through to a colonnade with sculptures above; the ceiling is painted with tromp l'oeil fresco designs of cherubim

Publication/Creation

[London] (The Black Horse in Cornhill) : John Bowles, print seller, [1720?]

Physical description

1 print : line engraving, with etching ; border 26.1 x 16.4 cm

Lettering

The triple plea. Law, physick and divinity, being in dispute, cou'd not agree to settle ,/ which among them three shou'd have the superiority. ... GWHWHNM sculpsit

Creator/production credits

The engraver "GWHWHNM" is unidentified. The name is engraved in calligraphic script

Lettering note

Lettering continues: "Law pleads he does preserve men's lands/ And all their goods from rav'nous hands:/ Therefore the right challenges He,/ To have the superiority.// Physick prescribes receipts for health,/ Which men preferr before their wealth:/ Therefore of right challenges He/ To have the superiority.// Then strait steps up the priest demure,/ Who of men's souls takes care and cure:/ Therefore of right challenges he,/ To have the Superiority.// If judges end this triple plea./ The lawyers shall bear all the sway./ If emperics their verdict give,/ physicians best of all will thrive./ If bishops arbitrate the case,/ The priests must have the highest place./ If honest, sober, wise men judge,/ Then all the three away may trudge.// For let men live in peace and love,/ The lawyers tricks they need not prove./ Let them forbear excess and riot,/ They need not feed on doctor's diet. Let them attend what God does teach,/ They need not care what parsons preach./ But if men fools and knaves will be,/ They'll be ass-ridden by all three"

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 25992i

Languages

  • English


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