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A Pack Of Knaves

April 17, 2020
by the gentle author

While people are staying indoors, I have no doubt that some will be getting on each other’s nerves. So for anyone who is growing frustrated, this Pack of Knaves engraved by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-77) might permit you to forgive your household. Count yourself lucky that you are not cooped up with this lot.

Images courtesy University of Toronto

You may like to read these stories about Wenceslaus Hollar

Wenceslaus Hollar at Old St Paul’s

Wenceslaus Hollar’s Plague Letters

12 Responses leave one →
  1. April 17, 2020

    I have enjoyed this Very Much. Thank You.????????

  2. Deborah Geary permalink
    April 17, 2020

    Thank you so much. My rebus prize arrived this morning; a bit of brightness on a grey day.

  3. April 17, 2020

    Oh dear. I can see me in there.

  4. paul loften permalink
    April 17, 2020

    Ne’er before hast I lived as locked down and bound in home
    With companie that so well to me is known
    As words that pass between our lips
    Away the day does with a sadness slip .
    Yet no knave within our walls do I know
    D’spight that we sit among such sad troubles found
    No wrath or spite, my ears have found
    Tis with this consolation my heart abounds
    Yet more.This author so gentle, I praise
    I sweare it doth our very spirits raise

  5. Chris Webb permalink
    April 17, 2020

    This is probably the closest we will ever come to knowing what ordinary people looked like in the 17th century. I wonder whether they are portraits of actual people or just represent general types from everyday observation. The humour and satire is mostly lost on us but no doubt contemporaries would understand them immediately.

    I find it amusing that in the second one he ran out of space for the text and had to squeeze it in. I wonder whether pronunciation has changed so that back then “is” and “amiss” did actually rhyme.

  6. Jill Wilson permalink
    April 17, 2020

    I echo the words of Mr Loften
    That on many a day and often
    The Gentle Author doth our sprits raise
    To help us through these strangest days
    Our thanks are due for the sweet surprises
    Of which his column oft comprises…

  7. Jill Wilson permalink
    April 17, 2020

    PS What is the Overdoo up to with that massive syringe??

  8. Amanda permalink
    April 17, 2020

    Ye olde Lockedowne

    My Lord Loften,
    My Lady Wilson

    My heart was enchanted
    by your accomplished prose

    Our Author inspires such
    splendid reverie

    Safekeeping our souls
    from these unimaginable woes

    Fare thee well,

    Doña Amanda of Connell

  9. Adam Dant permalink
    April 17, 2020

    Ha ha! Yes what an awful ‘Felf Ifolation’ that would be !

  10. Robin permalink
    April 17, 2020

    I see echoes here of certain politicians…
    Naming no names, mind you.

  11. Amanda permalink
    April 19, 2020

    Adam Dant : ?

  12. Michael Edward Hardie permalink
    April 23, 2020

    next door to st annes school was all saints church with All Saints school.
    Both were demolished In the 1950s

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