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‘Ague and Fever’, 1788

© 2021 Royal Pharmaceutical Society


Mounted hand coloured etching and aquatint, entitled ‘AGUE & FEVER.’, designed by James Dunthorne, etched and published by Thomas Rowlandson in 1788.

The patient sits in profile to the left with chattering teeth, holding his hands to a blazing fire on the extreme left. Ague, a sinuous snaky monster, coils itself round him, its coils ending in claws like the legs of a monstrous spider.

Behind the patient’s back, dominating the middle of the room, Fever, a furry monster with burning eyes, stands full-face with outstretched arms. On the right the doctor sits in profile writing a prescription and holding up a medicine bottle. Lettered below the design: “‘And feel by turns the bitter change of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce’, Milton.”