A Reply as True as Steele

to a rusty, rayling, ridiculous, lying libell; which was lately written by an impudent unfoder’d ironmonger and called by the name of  An answer to a foolish pamphlet entituled, A swarme of sectaries and schismatiques By Iohn Taylour. London 1642. This was the  picture I really wanted to show today, but I needed to post the previous image for context. This pamphlet was written in reply to another tract published by Henry Walker who had rubbished John Taylor’s satire on mechanic preachers. It shows graphically how deep the feelings went in the early 1640s. Yet again I recommend Mercurius Politicus for the background of this conflict between the two booksellers.

Not too many costume details here, but Mr Walker is dressed in a simple doublet and a wide falling band. It’s tricky to describe delicately exactly what is going on here, but let’s leave it to John Taylor:

The Divill is hard bound and did hardly straine,

To shit a Libeller a knave in graine.

It couldn’t have been that easy considering the buttons on Henry’s doublet sticking out. Maybe that’s why the Devils eyes are so wide and round!

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 09.38.01

One Comment to “A Reply as True as Steele”

  1. It reminds me rather a lot of the classic 16th-century satrical scatological images of Satan ‘excreting’ the Pope, monks, etc., one of which can be found here:

    I suppose there are probably medieval precedents too.

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