Title engraved above image. Caption below image: Gin cursed fiend with fury fraught, makes human race a prey; it enters by a deadly draught, and steals our life away. Virtue and truth, driv'n to despair, it's rage compells to fly, but cherishes, with hellish care, theft, murder, perjury. Damn'd cup! that on the vitals preys, that liquid fire contains which madness to the heart conveys, and rolls it thro' the veins. Companion print: Beer Street. Copy of: Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 3, no. 3136. Copy of: Paulson, R. Hogarth's graphic works (3rd ed.), no. 186.
In the streets of the slum Ruins of St. Giles, Westminster, the only business are S. Gripe pawnbroker (left), Kilman Distiller (right) and the undertaker (background right). It is a scene of urban desolation with gin-crazed Londoners -- charity children, mothers and babies, trades people, cripples, etc. -- shown dead or dying, fighting, or stupefied with drink. Notably in the foreground a syphilitic mother sitting on the steps lets her child fall to its death over the railing, towards a flagon labeled "Gin Royal", as she takes a pinch of snuff; below her in the steps, an emaciated, bare-chested ballad-seller sleeps with a glass in one hand and a basket and a jug in the other; the ballad hanging from the basket is entitled 'The downfall of Mdm Gin". His dog looks down at the empty glass. On the right in a crumbling building a barber is shown hanging by his neck; below a crowd is being pushed back towards Kilman Distiller. Mid-ground a woman is being placed in a coffin, her child weeping on the ground beside the coffin. Another child is impaled on a spit and carried along by a cook with a bellows on his head. In the background is the tower of St George's Bloomsbury; in this state, the child's face has been changed so that the face is wizened and the eyes sunken.
Building deterioration. Children. Crowds. Death. Dogs. Fighting. Gin. Intoxication. Occupations. Pawnshops. People with disabilities. Signs (Notices) Slums. Starvation. Street vendors. Suicides. Undertakers.
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