To this grave doctor millions do resort
Satirical broadside on folly that is to be found in all ranks of society:
the interior of an apothecary’s shop, with the doctor purging with a dose of wisdom a countryman seated on a close-stool who defecates foolish notions represented by asses and geese; a wealthy city merchant waits to be given a dose of plain-dealing; a young courtier’s head is inserted into a furnace so that his idle pastimes go up in a cloud of smoke carrying playing-cards, a backgammon board, tennis rackets, musical instruments, extravagant clothes, etc.; a fashionably dressed woman holding a squirrel on a lead is about to follow in the place of the courtier. In a panel below are two clergymen, one complaining of the strain of running more than one parish, the other, who has received the doctor’s purge, finding that the work of one parish is quite enough.
Print made by Martin Droeshout (?), 1620s; this impression 1672.
From the British Museum