First Stage of Cruelty

William Hogarth, English, 1697 - 1764



Etching on paper

Image: 14 × 11 3/4 in. (35.5 × 29.8 cm)

Plate: 15 1/4 × 12 11/16 in. (38.7 × 32.2 cm)

Sheet: 22 3/16 × 16 5/8 in. (56.4 × 42.3 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Jean and Adolph Weil Jr. 1935 Fund


Portfolio / Series Title

The Four Stages of Cruelty


Place Made: England, United Kingdom, Europe



Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, in plate, lower left margin: Design'd by W. Hogarth; dated, lower center margin: Published according to Act of Parliament Feb.1.1751.; titled, in plate, upper center margin: FIRST STAGE OF CRUELTY.; inscribed, in plate, center: Thin Nero [as caption to drawing of hanged man]; inscribed, in plate, center: S:G [in patch on arm of man torturing dog]; inscribed, in plate, lower left margin: While various Scenes of sportive Woe / The Infant race employ, / And tortur'd Victims bleeding shew / The Tyrant in the Boy.; inscribed, in plate, lower center margin: Behold! a Youth of gentler Heart, / To spare the Creature's pain / O take, he cries -- take all my Tart, / But Tears and Tart are vain.; inscribed, in plate, lower right margin: Learn from this fair Example -- You / Whom savage sports delight, / How Cruelty disgusts the view / While Pity charms the site.; inscribed, in plate, lower right margin: Price 1.s [s is superscript]

Course History

REL 37, Animal Rights in Religion, Catherine Randall, Winter 2013

ENGL 20, Age of Satire, Alysia Garrison, Winter 2014

REL 37, Animal Rights in Religion, Catherine Randall, Winter 2014

COLT 49, Beasts on the Page, Paul Carranza, Spring 2014


Andrew Edmunds Prints & Drawings, London, England; sold to present collection, 2007.

Catalogue Raisonne

Paulson, Ronald. Hogarth's Graphic Works. London: Yale University Press, 1965, no. 187 i/ii.

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