Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Rake's Progress, Part 5: Married to an Old Maid

When we last saw Tom Rakewell he was teetering over the gates of Debtor's Prison but at the last moment was saved by the most unlikely of sources, the woman he had forsaken, Sarah Young. Perhaps this act of charity will renew Tom's love for his old flame and turn his life around?

Well Tom is getting married but his bride does not look like Sarah. In fact, his bride looks slightly older than Sarah. Instead of Sarah's selfless act causing Tom to see the error of his ways, it made Tom realize how short of cash he was! In a desperate act he finds the richest old spinster he can find in order to renew his funds. In a cramped church on the outskirts of London they are wed. The church itself is covered in cobwebs and literally has cracks in the foundation. The new Mrs. Rakewell is conveniently short enough for Tom to be able to look over her in order to ogle the attendant. Those in the ceremony seem blissfully unaware of all the commotion by the church door. Sarah has shown up with her son and her mother who is so angry that she is being apprehended by a church attendant. The ever amusing Hogarthian symbols are not to be neglected. In the foreground a pug pants over a maidenly-pup. The interaction mirrors Tom and the oblivious attendant whom his eyes have landed on.

Will Tom grow to love his blushing bride or leave her for faithful Sarah? Or is something more villainous afoot? We can only hope Tom is finally ready to settle down now that he has walked down the aisle.

The Rake's Progress Part 1
The Rake's Progress Part 2
The Rake's Progress Part 3
The Rake's Progress Part 4
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  1. All I'll say is Sarah's better off without him! He fits all the three R's - rake, rogue and rascal.

  2. oh no. things have gone from bad to worse. At least the dogs look happy in this one.