Mr. Walpole, in his Catalogue, thus describes this Plate: "Booth, Wilkes, and Cibber, contriving a Pantomime; a Satire on Farces."
Though the inscription engraved under it is sufficiently explanatory, it may be added, that Mr. Devoto was Scene-painter either to Drury-lane or Lincoln's-inn-fields, and also to Goodman's-fields Theatre; that the ropes mentioned in the inscription are no other than halters, suspended over the heads of the three Managers; and that the labels issuing from their respective mouths convey the following characteristic words. The airy Wilkes, who dangles the effigies of Punch, exclaims, "Poor R—ch! faith, I pitty him." The Laureat Cibber, who is amusing himself in playing with Harlequin, invokes the Muse painted on the ceiling— "Assist, ye sacred Nine!" And the solemn Booth, letting down the figure of Jack Hall into the forica, is most tragically exclaiming, with an oath—"Ha! this will do." At the same instant Ben Jonson's ghost is rising through the Stage, and insulting a pantomime statue fallen from its base.
Over the figure of Hall is suspended a parcel of waste paper, consisting of leaves torn from "The Way of the World," "Hamlet," "Macbeth," and "Julius Caesar."
A fiddler is seen hanging by a cord in the air, and performing; with a scroll before, which proclaims—Music for the What [meaning, perhaps, the What d'ye call it] entertainment.
A pamphlet on the table exhibits a Print of Jack Shepherd in confinement.
A dragon is also preparing to fly; a dog thrusts his head out of the kennel; a flask acquires motion by machinery, &c.
The countenances of Tragedy and Comedy, on each side of the Stage, are concealed by the bills for "Harlequin Dr. Faustus," "Harlequin Shepherd," &c.
Vivetur ingenio is the motto over the curtain.