A Paradice for fools; - a nocturnal trip- or - the disciple of Johanna benighted

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A Paradice for fools; - a nocturnal trip- or - the disciple of Johanna benighted
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Charles Williams

A paradice for fools; - a nocturnal trip- or- the disciple of Johanna benighted-

London, M. Jones September 1st. 1814, The Scourge

Etching and aquatint

Original hand colouring

220 x 533 mm

Traces of old folds as issued.


A sequence of three designs placed side by side, each with a title. In all there is a night sky with a full moon surrounded by clouds. [1] 'The Summons to Paradise'. A man, woman, and child look from the first-floor window of a small house at a man mounted on a braying ass which stands under the window. This man is draped in a sheet; like the donkey he wears a wreath of roses; he raises his arms above his head and shouts: "I am the holy angel, sent by Johanna Southcott to conduct your sealed Spouse to the Mansions of bliss!!" The man above, wearing shirt and night-cap, shouts "Who's there?" His fat wife registers delighted astonishment, exclaiming: "Oh dear Johanna's prophecy is come to pass! tis the good angel come to fetch me to heaven! I must depart and go to glory with my heavenly guide." A man stands below (left) in the doorway, holding up a candle; he wears shirt, breeches, and ungartered stockings, and his hair stands on end. He says: "He be a Mortal rum looking Angel!" Behind him a woman peeps round the door. A large cat looks down from an adjacent wall (right). [2] 'The Set-down'. The fat woman, dressed in stays, petticoat, and nightcap, kneels in a country lane while the man on the ass (left) gallops off, looking round to say: "You must wait here a few minutes longer, and another heavenly messenger will ascend with you to the regions above." A large owl flies towards the woman, calling, "Hoo Noo Noo ooo." She looks up, terrified, and says: "Bless me what a lonely place to be left in at this time of night I begin to think Johanna is an imposter—Mercy on me what is this—I wish I was at home again." [3] 'The Return to Reason'. The woman stands under her window, raising both arms towards her husband who leans out. She says: "Oh open the door! I am your dear wife indeed! indeed! I am your dear wife." He answers: "That can never be, my wife is gone to Heaven on one of Johanna's spiritual donkeys several hours ago, and no doubt by this time is happy enough—She can have no wish to return to the cares of a family." Behind the man are two children in bed; one cries: "Mummy come from Heaven to fetch us Pa." Behind the imploring woman are the man and wife who watched from the doorway in the first plate. He pricks her with a pitchfork, saying, "I'll soon knaw if it be flesh and blood Measter!!" The woman clutches his arm, saying, "Hould John! it be surely Misis and Johanna ha cheated her! Our boy shant be named Shilah John!"