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James Gillray, 1756–1815

Pigs Meat; - or - The Swine Flogg'd Out of the Farm-Yard

Materials & Techniques:
Etching, hand-colored
Sheet: 7 5/8 x 9 3/4in. (19.4 x 24.8cm)

Lettered inside image, upper left: "London Corresponding Society - or the Cries of the Pigs in the Pound"; center: "PIGS MEAT; or The Swine Flagg'd out of the Farm Yard."; center right: "Js. Gy. d.&f"; lettered below image, lower left: "Once a Society of Swine, | Liv'd in a Paradice of Straw, | A Herd more beautiful & fine, | I'm sure, Sir Joseph, never saw, | Of Grains, Split beans, or Pease or Swill, | Each Grunter eat & drank his fill; | You think perhaps these Pigs would bless | Their stars, for having this good Birth: | But Sages say that Happiness | Can ne'er be perfect found on Earth, | And right they are; for these poor Swine | Soon found a reason to repine, | A Stack Yard very tempting stood, | Near to the place, where our Pigs dwelt, | And as the Grain within seem'd good, | Each a desire to Taste it, felt,"; lower center: "But, ah! 'twas fenc'd with Paling stout, | To keep destructive Pigs without: | One Boar there was, with Fat opprest, | An overgrown, enormous brute, | Who long'd much more than all the rest | To ransack this forbidden Fruit, | And thus (for Pis could then discourse) | He rav'd until his Voice grew hourse, | 'Citizen Pigs, it grieves me much, | 'To see your want of Spirit such, | 'As tamely to submit to what, | 'The Powers above intended not, | 'To be depriv'd of what we Wish, | 'And not to snack the Loaves & Fish? | 'Good heav'ns! shall then the noble race | 'Of swine, endure this dire disgrace?"; lower right: "'Grub up for shame these Palings vile, | 'And let us every Stack despoil! | 'And this most solemnly I swear, | 'Nay with the direst Oaths declare, | 'If I desert the cause of Pigs, | 'Or join the Wretches with two Legs | 'May Nick the De'el, take my apostate Soul | 'Down to the blackest Cinder hole!' | The Pigs who follow'd his advice | Grub'd up the Pales, when in a trice | Their Noses Ring'd & Ears cut off they found | Some lost their Tails, & some clap'd up in-pound | While Timber Neckcloths clap'd on Great & Small | Noww keeps them safe, & makes them known to all | And Johnny Bull, a gaping grins, And cries, 'poor Pigs, you suffers from your Sins | 'Wounds how it makes a body Laugh, | 'To see that Folks won't know, when they're well off' | Pubd. June 22d. 1798. by H. Humphrey 27 St. James Street"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Prints and Drawings
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IIIF Manifest:

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