The Jew as Other: A Century of English Caricatures 1730-1830

The Jew Beauties. A Whimsical Song;—Sung by Mr. Fawcett, at Covent Garden Theatre

London, August 12, 1806
Published by Laurie — Whittle, 53 Fleet Street
Drypoint engraving, aquatint, hand-colored with water color, letterpress type
[28.6 x 21.9 cm]

This print shows a fashionably dressed young Jew apprehensively turning aside from a young Jewess who is threatening him with her fists. On the wall are three prints of boxers, the middle one marked The Game Chicken (the nickname of Henry Pearce, the Champion of England, defeated in 1805). Beneath the illustration appears the text of a song sung at Covent Garden by the comedian, John Fawcett (1769-1837), who often mimicked the English pronunciation of Jews. The comic song retells in exaggerated Jewish dialect the misfortunes of young Mr. Aaron in endeavoring to find himself a wife. His first love marries someone else, the father of the second refuses to sell him a wedding ring at a price they can agree, and the third, Miss Moses, learns to box and scares him away: Miss Moses took lessons of her broder, how to use de pretty little fist of her own; / And I vash obliged to leave off ma visits at dat end of de town. The engraving comments satirically on the success of the Jews as boxers. Comical songs, usually in similar dialect, about the putative antics of the Jews were very popular in the early years of the nineteenth century. Many are collected in The Universal Songster, or, Museum of Mirth, 3 vols., 1825-6. The firm of Laurie and Whittle made a reputation as a publisher of illustrated sheets of popular songs