The Great Mirror of Folly

Today we stumbled upon some great drawings from the 18th century, which originate from the collection titled “Het Groote Tafereel Der Dwaasheid” (“The Great Mirror of Folly”). This booklet appeared in 1720, shortly after the first stock market crash in the Netherlands. It features many cartoons, illustrating the irrational expectations of investors and the great losses they suffered as a consequence. Speculation on stocks and debt led to a short stock market boom, followed by a destructive and violent crash.

 

While the financial markets look way more refined and sophisticated right now, the basics are still the same as almost 300 years ago. The human psyche is still weak and vulnerable to irrational herding behaviour. Investors these days still chase stocks and bonds, expecting to get a return on their investments. We found these cartoons on Flickr.

"DES WAERELDS DOEN EN DOOLEN Is MAAR EEN MALLEMOOLEN."

038 – The world’s deeds and designs are just a whirligig

The Actions and Designs of the World go round as if in a Mill.
A Satire on John Law of Lauriston, &c.2 [1720]

Who will ride?

Details and Dutch verses below:

The design represents a merry-go-round, such as is used at fairs, and in which persons ride in cars, on the backs of wooden horses, &c.; these, being attached to a frame revolving on a spindle, are set in rapid motion by a horse which gallops below the seats. The frame sustaining this machine is enclosed by railings and situated on the sea-shore; near it are a considerable number of persons who are hurrying forward, and all losers by the share mania; in front, one of these is in the act of cutting his throat; his neighbour rushes to prevent this act; at the feet of the suicide is a paper marked, “op de Zu(yt)” (On the South Sea Company); another man has fallen raving on the ground, with a paper in his hands marked, “10000 op de West” (10,000 on the West India Company); a third is close to this one; he is restrained by two children; behind, is one who holds a paper marked “0”; near him is a joyful man, waving a paper marked, “Zuyt 100000 gewon” (100,000 won by the South Sea Company); on one side of the last a man, who seems to be a loser by speculation, clasps him round the body; on the other side of the winner stands one, intended for a Jew, holding a paper marked “90 Percent”; behind the winner a man waves a paper bearing “Zuyd 0″ (South Sea Company 0); near the last is a man with “Wie f 1000 per Cent” (Who for 1OOO per cent.); another shouts, “0” (zero).

Near the show is a small vessel bearing the Dutch flag, and on the ensign of the ship is “Peperlandia” (Pepperland, i.e. the East Indies); the steersman blows a trumpet; many persons are hastening towards this vessel; a larger ship rides at anchor beyond this one; on the flags of the latter appear what looks like a devil riding on a goat(?). A road leads from the mid-distance to the distance, where, among hills, is the city “Viaanen”. Several covered carriages are being driven rapidly along the road towards Vianen; these contain lunatics. [Actually, bankrupted speculators]

In the foreground, on our left, “Bombario” (Humbug), the hump-backed
pedlar who often appears in these satires, squats under a tent, together with a lady who wears a crown. On the ground near Bombario is an object which looks like a cribbage-board, and may be a board perforated to hold tobacco-pipes, likewise a coffee-pot, and several coffee-cups; here are also pieces of paper, inscribed,

“Actie op de Coffi” (Stock on coffee),
“2 Stuyve een kop koffi” (Two pence a cup of coffee),
“Op de Tabac” (On tobacco),
“2 Stuyvvan een Kamer” (Two pence of a room);
“Al weer een” (Already there is another) is written on another piece
of paper.

On the flag which flies above the tent of Bombario is represented coffee-cup (?).
The entrance, opposite Bombario’s tent, to the enclosure of the merry-go-round, is approached by a road, “De Weg des verderfs” (The Way to Destruction); this road is strewn with fish-hooks. The entrance is closed by a grating or framed net, which, turning on pivots, is opened and closed by means of cords worked by Bombario. A gentleman has just entered the enclosure by means the Way, and is shut in by Bombario, who raises the grating or net; the gentleman, ignorant of his true position, and infatuated by the share mania, waves his hat to those who ride in one of the cars of the merry-go-round, and shouts “Op de Zuid” (On the South); an ape, crouched among the decorative ironwork above the entrance, drops a fool’s cap on his head; the ironwork comprises a royal crown (see below) placed over an escutcheon bearing a cipher two L’s (John Law of Lauriston) the gate-posts are terms of young females, one with a bare, the other with a covered bosom. At the side of the entrance sits a splendidly dressed gentleman, as if he were the warder or proprietor of the merry-go-round; his seat is a treasure-chest filled with bags of coins; near his feet are two bags; one, being open, shows that it contains coins, the other is tied up and marked with fleurs-de-lis; the gentleman holds a sceptre surmounted by a fleur-de-lis (Law or else the Regent, Duc d’Orleans). This person is in conversation with another, who, in an obsequious manner, and holding a bag money in his hand, approaches him, and has his attention directed to the interior of the enclosure. Behind the seated person is Folly, a woman, whose face and bosom bear numerous black patches, and on whose head is a fool’s cap. Two more gentlemen approach the entrance by means of the Way, and carry bags of money under their arms; near these persons are others, who seem attracted by the exposed charms of Folly. A porter is trundling towards the seated person a wheelbarrow laden with bags of money; it is probable that this treasure belong to a gentleman who walks beside the barrow; a man approaches the latter, saluting him (or displaying a throat wound from a suicide attempt!) and holding out a paper, on which is, “Op de zuyt” (On South.).

The merry-go-round is set in motion by a horse, on the back of which
Devil rides. The cars revolving about the central spindle have heads of animals; those of a cock and dog are visible. The spindle works at top in a centre piece, which is steadied by six upright piers; on the summit of these piers are six human figures variously clad; on our left the figure is that of a Dutchman, with a spade in one hand, and holding in the other a paper marked “Hoorn O” (Hoorn zero), and dropping other papers bearing ciphers and the names of towns (allowing stock trading) “O”, “O”, “Edam O”, “0”, “0”, “Enkhui[z]e”(n), “Alkmaar 0”, “Purmeren(d) 0”, “Hoorn 0”, “Edam 0”, and “0”. The next figure is that of a young female girt with a fishing-net, and having, over the net, a ceinture of fish, suspended by their heads ; she wears a wreath (of tobacco ?) on her head, and holds in one hand an oar marked “Zuyt” (South Sea Company); like her neighbour, she scatters papers marked, variously, “Zuid” or “Zuyd” (South Sea Company), “Bank” and numbers and many zeroes. The next figure is that of a young white male Indian, girt with a beast’s skin, holding in one hand an object which is not recognizable, and from the other scattering papers ; on the band about his head is Missi”[ssippi]; on the papers are “missi” or some variant thereof, and various numbers, as with his neighbour.

The next figure is that of a young black male Indian, with “West” (West India Company) on his head-band. At his back is a quiver; in his hands are a bow and a paper, the latter bears “0”; other papers scattered by him are marked “West 1000”, “0”, “10000”, etc. The next figure, with its back towards us, is that of a man who wears a peculiar broad-brimmed felt hat, such as occasionally appears in Dutch prints; he scatters papers marked “0” or “100”. This figure seems especially associated with the Mississippi Company. The next and last figure is partly concealed by the frame of the machine; papers fall from its hands marked with numbers, mostly zeroes.

The revolving cars contain persons who clutch at the papers which fall from the hands of the figures on the piers; each car is associated with a distinct bubble-scheme, and placed below the figure on the pier which illustrates it; thus, the car near the figure of “Zuyt” with the oar, contains two gentlemen, and bears a flag inscribed “Zuyd” (South Sea Company); this car is nearest to the man standing near the gate, and just trapped by Bombario (see above); his speech “Op de Zuid”, refers to his intention to embark with the South Sea Company. The next car contains two gentlemen and a young lady; it has a flag on which is written “Missisippi”, and a cock for its figure-head, thus referring to the French origin of the Mississippi Company; the white Indian is associated with this car. The next car has a fleur-de-lis on its hinder part, referring likewise to the French origin of the West India Company (l); it is associated with the black Indian, and carries two men; a third tumbles headlong out of it. In the fourth car are two men and a woman, who, their part of the course being void of falling papers, are eagerly preparing to approach the part where the papers fall from the hands of the last-named figure on the piers and that of the Dutchman with the spade; on the flag of this car is inscribed, “Bubbels” (Bubbles.)

Below the design are engraved four columns of Dutch verse, which have been translated as follows:

“Bombario, the black Deuce, and his mother, are always plotting to ensnare the citizens, merchants and rich people, till they cannot get out again, so that they give themselves up to the earth. Look how Bombario, the thief, tries to profit by the desire for money of the others, and to bring them on the way towards destruction, so that they should even betray their own parents, if they could get money.

Come on, let us banish, in spite of Scotch deceit, all those persons, so that the strength of our nation, Virtue and Peace, may come back and give us rest, while leading the way to Heaven “.

This engraved Dutch satire on the share-jobbing mania of 1720 and the few preceding years is No. 65 in vol. i. of a collection of similar works, entitled ” Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid”, and was published at the period in question.

Source: Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Division I. Political and Personal Satires, Volume II June 1689-1733, Chiswick Press (1873). Catalog No. 1675. pp 531-534. 16 X 10-1/4 in.

Dutch verses:

De Waereld loopt als in een foes;
Bombario, de zwarte droes,
Dat pikkig heintje, en ook zijn moer,
Zyn altyd beezig, om den boer,
Den burger, koopman grosser Her,
Hofreekel, graaf, en pris, zo ver
Te voeren, in hun dievenet,
Tot zy te deerlyk zyn bezet,

En ‘t hart, aan ‘t aardsch gebruy te vast,
Wat hemelsch is, maar word een last,
Ziet hier dien dief, Bombario,
Hy is zo guitig, en zo snó,
De drommel kent zyn kneepen niet,
Nu maakt hy pypjes in het riet,
En zit als op het vinketouw,
Om geldliefhebbers, in zyn kouw,

Of knip, te kippen, en zo voort
Te voeren, door een ruime poort,
Ten weg, die naar ‘t verderf heen leid,
Vol maalery van ydelheid,
En losse droomen, waan, en wind,
Daar niemant, reekening by vind,
Dan, die verbasterd van gemoed,
Zyn va’er, verra’aden zouw om ‘t goed

En ‘t geld, en schatten van deez tyd.
Welaan, men banne dan, ten spyt
Van Schots, en trots bedrog, al ‘t kwaad
Ten lande uit, wyl de toeverlaat
Des Bataviers steune op de deugd,
Die haar beminnaars vreede en vreugd,
En ruste geeft en al het ge’en,
Ons voerd van hier ten Hemel heen.

[Signed] Philadelphus.

DE BEGEERLYKHEYT ZOEKT DE FORTUIN ’T ACHTERHALEN OF VOOR BY TE LOOPEN

056 Covetousness seeks to overtake or to outrun fortune

Covetousness tries either to overtake or to outrun Fortune.] [1720]

The design represents a landscape near the coast, where, in the mid-distance, is a lofty rock, approached from the land side by a steep path, and terminating in a cliff, over the end of which “H,” a coach, with its passengers and horses, is falling headlong, followed by a crowd “G,” all chasing a serenely floating Fortune. In the foreground “A,” a nursing mother, feeds her naked child with a spoon; an aged nurse attends her. “B” indicates two children, one of whom demands fruit from a basket which is carried by the other. “C” is a man who looks in a treasure chest and places bags of money in it. “D” is a gentleman who carries a hat trimmed with feathers. “E” is a gentleman mounted on a prancing horse, followed by a man bowing obsequiously. “F,” a medallion portrait of John Law, is placed in the air on a barren wreath, about which serpents are twining. On a scroll below the medallion are the following lines:

“Met recht verdiendt gy o Lauw een grooten lof
Die alles wat men kan bedenken overtrof
Indien men niet al lang had klaer gezien met ogen

Dat Gierigheyt zoo dik de Wysheyt heeft bedrogen
Maer elks gemoet bleef van zoo snoode listen schuw
Behalve ’t schaemteloos en vuyl gemoet van u”

[O Law, much praise you deserve to receive,
you surpassed all that men could conceive,
if we had not clearly long seen with our own eyes

covetousness has often wisdom deceived
but every mind shunned such cruel devices
except the shameless and foul artifices of you

“I”, a gentleman, wearing spectacles, who, holding two scrolls, on which are cyphers, “0000” and “000,” says “’t komt al op niet uyt” (It all comes to nought.) Beside him stands a female figure holding a mirror and a snake admonishes him “Wort wyzer” (Wise up).

On the left, “K” is a gentleman who tilts a beehive in order to take the honey, but is stung by the bees; On the right, gentleman “L” sits with a fishing pole on the edge of a pool in the foreground; an old man standing behind him says “Dats al voor u gevangen” (It’s all been caught for you), referring to the success of two men who, using a net, have caught all the fish in the pool. The fellow putting the fish in a tub says, “Uw vangst heeft veel andere gaende gemaekt” (Your catch has caused many others to try the same.)

Mr. “M” stoops over an empty money chest and passionately digs with his nails in the earth at the foot of a tree; his wife, half naked, stands by and laments, “Och waer jer uytgescheyde toen top zyn best was.” (Oh, why didn’t you leave off while you were ahead?)

In the middle of the composition is a Fury, not really doing anything; an old man walks on crutches on, middleground right; on his back sits Covetousnes blindfolded, holding a purse and a triple-fork in her hands and crowned by a hawk devouring a dove. Near this group is, “Begeerlykheyt blyft ons by tot aen ‘t graft (Covetousness stays by us to the grave.)

The verses engraved below the design are to the following effect:

“A. Every man who was born with covetousness keeps it all his life
because he will have wants all his life through. So you see the small children open their mouths as soon as they are born, trying to get something to eat.
B. As soon as we learn to discern things, we get worse and worse, and
apt to take more than we can swallow. This many a time causes rancor and envy.
C. We gather before our time.
D. We scrape to play a part in life, and work for idle glory.
E. Then the legs can no longer support us, and we must have a carriage, as well as dainties and wine. Desire can never be satisfied, and grows the more we live, and we make a law founded on our own desires.
F. Such is the earthly life of a deceiver who can rouse passion for gain by the wind of an idle hope.
G. Pray, see how all of them jostle and fight.
H. One had already arrived at the top of the earth, when desirous of more, came miserably down. Whoever tries to go beyond the limits
fortune, must always be overthrown.
I. Another, like a fool, looks round, gets nothing instead of expected thousands.
K. A third sees all his bees fly out and instead of gathering honey, is attacked with their sharp stings. What difference is here!
L. This man ought to fish in good time, and not to go the net.
M. The fourth, instead of gaining money, loses it and his senses likewise, seeking hopelessly in the earth for it.

O Law, your name shall long be known like he who set fire to Diana’s temple!
A rogue never fears falling for his own tricks.

This engraved Dutch satire on the share mania of 1720 and the few preceding years, and on John Law of Lauriston, it is No. 84 in vol. i. of ” Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid “, a collection of similar satires. It consists of a design and six columns of Dutch verse engraved below it.

Source: Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Division I. Political and Personal Satires, Volume II June 1689-1733, Chiswick Press (1873) Catalogue No. 1680, pp 539-540. 15 x 18 in.

Dutch verses:

De mensch begeerelyk gebooren
Kan deze neyging niet versmooren;
Om dat hy al zyn levenlang
(A) Behoeftig blyft. Dat gaet zyn gang
Van wieg tot graft: d’onnoosle wichten
Zoo ras als zy den dag zien lichten
Die gapen met een open mond,
Na voetzel happende in het rond.
(B) Maar groeit de kennise der dingen,
Dan is begeerte niet te dwingen,
In dat begeerelyke dier:
Dan raest, dan woelt het, door dat vier

Na meerder als het kan verzwellegen
Dan ziet man zelfs in tedre tellegen
Terstond krakeel en twist en nyd
(C) Men gaert men spaert ook voor den tyd
Die niet beleeft word. Veele steelen
(D) En schrapen om mooi wêer te speelen:
Want zoo hen yd’le glorie bruyt
Dan wil de gek ten mmouwen uyt.
(E) De beenen die het lichaem schragen
Die kunnen ‘t dan niet langer dragen
Daer moeten paard en rytuyg zyn
Ook pracht en lekkerny van wyn
Das wettigt men door valsche reden
De hebzugt en brood dronkentheden
Begeert is nimmer te versaên
En groeit met ‘s menschen leven aen
Zyn baetzucht past alleen op plukken
En laat zich door geen wetten drukken
Wie geest heeft maekt zich zelfs een wet
Na zyn begeerlykheyt door wind

(F) Dit ‘t ’t werelsch leven dat begreepen
Van yd’le hoop kan gaende maeken
En helpt elk een schier aen het blaeken
(G) Ik bid u; zie hoe ieder woelt
En niet als op Miljoenen doelt
(H) D’een was reeds met zyn koets en paarden
Gesteygert op den top ter aerden
Maer niet vernoegt wou noch al mêer
Doch stort elendig weder nêer
Van ‘t steyl gebergt! Een die de paelen
Voor by streeft van Fortuin moet daelen
(I) een ander staet als zot en kykt
Dewyl hy niet dan nullen strykt

Daer hy veel duysende verwachten
(K) Een derde meende na gedachten
Veel winst te hebben, maer och arm
Hy ziet ontsnapt den Byenzwarm,
En wort in plaets van honig likken
Door felle angels, die hem prikken
Gepynigt, o wat scheelt dat veel
Dat men verliest in plaets van deel
Te vinden in veel winst en voordel
Maar neen: ‘t ontbrak die man aen oordeel
(L) Men most daer visschen op zyn tyd
Niet achter ‘t net tot leet en spyt

(M) De vierde in plaets van gelt te winnen,
Verliest zyn eyge gelt en zinnen,
En zoekt verbystert in den grond
Of hy het daer ook weder vond.

O Lauw uw naem blyft lang in wezen
Gelyk de naem van die voor dezen
Den schoonen Tempel van Diaen
Door vuer en vlammen deed vergaen.
Een schelm die ‘t eerlyk zal ontbreeken
Ontziet zich geene slingsche treeken.

"The Winding-Horn of Dirty Profit, or the Root and Berry Steeplechase"

047 – De Kornet van Vuil Gewin of Wortel en Besse Postiljon

“The Winding-Horn of Dirty Profit, or the Root and Berry Steeplechase”

on his lean yet newly wallowing pig [has] published

“The Company is Full!”

Verses snipped away.

Background left: Desperate investors mob the window of stock-jobbers who are dressed in French style, with exaggerated sleeve cuffs (like John Law) and are throwing them stock certificates all marked “0.”

Middle ground left: A man forages for roots to put in his sack.

“Ik vul de Kap voor ’t windrig volk
Die waande dat ze ons koetje wilde molkt.”
Upper right “The Sun in Sagittarius” (22 November-21 December), meaning approaching winter and the time by which the speculation bubble has long popped..

035 - DE MALLE ACTIONISTEN NAAR VIANEN, OF ‘T PEPERLAND [The Crazed Stocktraders on the way to Vianen or Pepperland]

035 – The foolish stockholders on the way to Vianen or the Pepperland

The Crazed Stocktraders on the way to Vianen or Pepperland

All aboard the wagon for Vianen and Culemborg (“Kuilenburg”), twin cities of refuge for the bankrupt. 18th-century “Types,” thieves, knaves, and fools try to climb aboard the wagon driven by Bombario, while Harlequin blows bubbles in the back seat. A monkey atop the wagon waves a flag that says “Zie zo, / Zie zo, / Bombario / is Apery / in folio” (See, see, Bombario is monkeyshines in the [stock] portfolio]).

Not everyone can climb aboard. The country bumpkin who would be a squire (“Lubbert Lubbertse” in the verses) can’t afford the ticket – “Zwol 10000 voor ‘t passagiegeld” (Zwolle, 10,000 voor passage – Zwolle shares 10,000 each).

In the left foreground, under an awning labeled “Actioniste hantsterking te koop” (Stock-trader hand-steadier—i.e., booze—for sale), a drunk teetering on a liquor cask can’t believe his eyes, while his wife Columbine makes a face and curses the traders.

Towards the right, a hunchback (“Hamburger Judas?”) runs with a bellows, for pumping up stock. To the right, stock-traders divide up clothes they stole from another, while in the crowd are a devil or two to coax them all along.

Verses:

Indien ‘t dan langer niet wil lúkken,
En krygen de Acties vreemde nukken,
En dolle kneepen in er gat
Wel ry dan voort , langs ‘t breede padt,
Sy snaakse Voerman met je Waagen
Jan platte gatjes die by daagen,
En nachten was op de Actiebaan,
Zit op de Schoone koets vooraan
Met de Actiekoopman Jonker pover
Dan volgt die geestige acteerover

Hamburger Judas, met zyn múts,
En de ouwe duitendief Hans Juts.
Cousin germain geraakt aan ‘t waggelen,
Wil met son compagnon mee faggelen;
En heele zootjes van dat goed.
Maar Lúbbert Lúbbertse, dien bloed,
Die van beroerdheid springt op krekken,
Mach met de Waagen niet vertrekken.
Dien armen duivel, vroomen held,
Manqueert het aan Passagie geld,

Om naar het apenland te koomen,
Is ‘t waarheid vrienden, of zyn ‘t droomen?
Roept gentelman, op ‘t leege vat,
En lapt de brendy in zyn gat,
Terwyl zyn Wyfje Colombine,
Maakt alderliefste, en zoete mine,
En vloekt op de acties dat het rookt,
Daar Janmaat vast zyn bonkes smookt.
Ja bruy maar heen naar Winjewanje,
‘t Loopt met úw Acties doch niet banje

"SPIEGEL DER REDEN VOOR DE WANHOPENDE ACTIONISTEN".

Mirror for the Reason of the despairing Stock- Brokers. [1720]

The design represents the despairing and ruined share-jobber, seated in a landscape and about to stab himself; Reason sits beside him, holding a lyre and a mirror, and pointing to the irradiated shield of a genius who appears behind; on the shield is “Y”, for the name of the water (‘t IJ) on which Amsterdam is built; corpses of others who have slain themselves on account of their ruin by share-jobbing lie on the ground in front. In the distance evil spirits are hastening away; in the air Truth is seated, holding a wreath.

At the sides and below the design are three columns of Dutch verse in letterpress, which have been translated as follows:

“Mirror for the reason of the despairing Stock-Brokers”.

“The Wind trade is decaying; the smoke has disappeared; many a one had Fortune against him, and this cheated broker is about to kill himself; but in the midst of his fury Reason beckons him; she has a contented face, and will restrain him, if possible. Methinks she speaks in the following manner:

‘Stop; you’ll gain nothing by killing yourself ;if, instead of speculating, you had sought me, and consulted my mirror, you would not have been poor now.
Stop, for the vices which instigated you for this crime are already trampled on by me; they are Violence and Despair. Curse the Wind trade, but be prudent henceforth. Superstition and Wantonness were going to attack powerful States, under the guidance of Moneylust, when Prudence darted her beams upon them, which they cannot endure.

“Look at the Y (IJ, a branch of the Zuydcr Zee, on which Amsterdam
lies); that famous water was never overcome by the Bubble fury, for the governors banished that trade.”

Thus speaks Reason, whilst Truth comes down like a star, surrounded by heavenly light, so that the Wind must be conquered and give way.
Men cry no more “South! Zwolle! Alkmaar! Utrecht! Hoorn!”.
Truth has choked all these voices, and the Stock-Shop is broken up”.

This engraved satire on the share-jobbing mania of 1720 and the few preceding years is No. 60 in vol. i. of ” Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid “, a collection of similar satires on the Mississippi, South Sea, West India and other bubble companies of this period.

Source: Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Division I. Political and Personal Satires, Volume II June 1689-1733, Chiswick Press (1873) pp 530-531. Catalogue No. 1674. 3-1/2 X 5-3/4 in (image)

Dutch verses:

De Windnegotie raakt aan ‘t dálen,
De Bubbels kwynen oom ‘t verlies,
En geen van al die Compagnies,
Die ‘t hoofd ooit weêr zal boven hálen;
Die wind heeft eind’lyk uit gewaaid.
De Rook-negotie is verdwénen,
Dewyl ‘t geval hem tegen draaid,
‘t Geen deez’ verbeelding komt ontblóten,
Wyl een bedroge Actioniest,
Na dat hem alles is gemist,
Zig zelf dreigt in het hart te stóten;
De wanhoop om ‘t verlore Geld
Is klaar uit zyn gezicht te lézen,
Hy drukt zyn eigen hart door ‘t vrézen,
Daar ‘t op de Wéreld legt gekneld,
Maar in het midden van zyn woeden,
Wenkt hem de Reden, wiens gelaat
Vernoegd, en heel bezadigt staat,
Om is ‘t moog’lyk hem te hoeden.
My dunkt, ik hoor hem met deez’ reên
Tot dien verbolgen Windbuil spréken.
Laat af! Zoud gy u zelf doorstéeken
En ‘t leven schenden! Neen, ô neen!
Hou op van dus uw ramp te zoeken!
Gy klaagt nu vrugt’loos om ‘t verlies
Van Wind en Bubbel-Compagnies,
Gy wint in ‘t minst’ niet met uw vloeken;
Had gy van eerst af my gezogt,
Myn Spiegel voor uw oog gehouwen,

Om ‘t uiteind zonneklaar te aanschouwen,
Door een regtvaardige agterdogt,
Van al die Bubbel-handelingen,
Gy zaagt uw schatkist niet beroofd,
Waarom gy nu van brein verdoof
U zelf wilt naar het léven dingen,
Dog lat nog van uw opzet af!
‘t Geweld en Wanhoop, twee Gedrogten
Die u dit heilloos opzet brogten,
Ziet gy reeds tot hun eigen straf
Op ‘t aardryk door myn voet vertreden,
Vloek aan de Windnegotie, maar
Stort u niet verder in ‘t gevaar,
En leen uw ooor tog aan de reden!
Myn Spiegel zal u ‘t eind doen zien
Van al die Rookverkopers gilden,
Die ‘t meeste van uw geld verspilden
Door opgeworpe Compagnien;
Zie hoe de Hoogmoed ‘t veld moet láten,
Mmet Bygeloof en Dartelheid,
Die bei geblinddoekt en verleid,
Vast doelden op verhéven státen,
Daar hen de Geldzugt op het spoor
Vast voorstreeft om ontelb’re schatten
In háre schrokbeurs te bevatten;
Die snóde ging hen moedig voor
En dagt alreeds te zegeprálen,
Tot dat zy in haar snood besluit,
Door vrouw Voorzigtigheid gestuit,
Moet zwigten voor de held’re stralen,

Die uit haar Diamanten-schild vol glans,
Die valsse schitt’ren in hare oogen,
Zy kan dat ligt geenzints gedógen,
Daar de Y pronkt in een ronden krans
Van held’re strálen, die gedreven
In ‘t glinst’rend Diamanten-schild,
Den Y-God eeuwighlyk doen léven,
Wyl die vermaarde Koopstroom nooit
Zig liet aan Bubbel-ketens binden,
Gebouwd op Waan, en Droom, en Winden
Die door den tyd reeds zyn verstrooid;
Zyn vryheid weird te waard gehouwen
Door zyn Regeerders, die die pest
Verbanden voor ‘t Gemene best,
‘t Geen de Oppermagt hen kwam betrouwen.
Zo spreekt de Reden, daar van ver
De Windgenóten, onder ‘t zugten
Voor ‘t blix’men van den hemel vlugten;
Terwyl de Waarheid als een Ster
Daald in een kring van hemelligten,
Op ‘t wolktapyt, met een krans en speer,
Heel vrolyk op het aardryk neêr,
Waar voor de Bubbelwiinden zwigten.
Mmen schhreeuwd nu geenzints meêr de Zuid!
Of Zwol! Of Alkmaar! Utrecht! Horen!
De Waarheid komt dat roepen smóren,
En de Actiekraam raakt eind’lyk uit.

"SPIEGEL DER REDEN VOOR DE WANHOPENDE ACTIONISTEN".

THE GATE FOR SHAREHOLDERS

The design represents the despairing and ruined share-jobber, seated in a landscape and about to stab himself; Reason sits beside him, holding a lyre and a mirror, and pointing to the irradiated shield of a genius who appears behind; on the shield is “Y”, for the name of the water (‘t IJ) on which Amsterdam is built; corpses of others who have slain themselves on account of their ruin by share-jobbing lie on the ground in front. In the distance evil spirits are hastening away; in the air Truth is seated, holding a wreath.

At the sides and below the design are three columns of Dutch verse in letterpress, which have been translated as follows:

“Mirror for the reason of the despairing Stock-Brokers”.

“The Wind trade is decaying; the smoke has disappeared; many a one had Fortune against him, and this cheated broker is about to kill himself; but in the midst of his fury Reason beckons him; she has a contented face, and will restrain him, if possible. Methinks she speaks in the following manner:

‘Stop; you’ll gain nothing by killing yourself ;if, instead of speculating, you had sought me, and consulted my mirror, you would not have been poor now.
Stop, for the vices which instigated you for this crime are already trampled on by me; they are Violence and Despair. Curse the Wind trade, but be prudent henceforth. Superstition and Wantonness were going to attack powerful States, under the guidance of Moneylust, when Prudence darted her beams upon them, which they cannot endure.

“Look at the Y (IJ, a branch of the Zuydcr Zee, on which Amsterdam
lies); that famous water was never overcome by the Bubble fury, for the governors banished that trade.”

Thus speaks Reason, whilst Truth comes down like a star, surrounded by heavenly light, so that the Wind must be conquered and give way.
Men cry no more “South! Zwolle! Alkmaar! Utrecht! Hoorn!”.
Truth has choked all these voices, and the Stock-Shop is broken up”.

This engraved satire on the share-jobbing mania of 1720 and the few preceding years is No. 60 in vol. i. of ” Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid “, a collection of similar satires on the Mississippi, South Sea, West India and other bubble companies of this period.

Source: Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Division I. Political and Personal Satires, Volume II June 1689-1733, Chiswick Press (1873) pp 530-531. Catalogue No. 1674. 3-1/2 X 5-3/4 in (image)

Dutch verses:

De Windnegotie raakt aan ‘t dálen,
De Bubbels kwynen oom ‘t verlies,
En geen van al die Compagnies,
Die ‘t hoofd ooit weêr zal boven hálen;
Die wind heeft eind’lyk uit gewaaid.
De Rook-negotie is verdwénen,
Dewyl ‘t geval hem tegen draaid,
‘t Geen deez’ verbeelding komt ontblóten,
Wyl een bedroge Actioniest,
Na dat hem alles is gemist,
Zig zelf dreigt in het hart te stóten;
De wanhoop om ‘t verlore Geld
Is klaar uit zyn gezicht te lézen,
Hy drukt zyn eigen hart door ‘t vrézen,
Daar ‘t op de Wéreld legt gekneld,
Maar in het midden van zyn woeden,
Wenkt hem de Reden, wiens gelaat
Vernoegd, en heel bezadigt staat,
Om is ‘t moog’lyk hem te hoeden.
My dunkt, ik hoor hem met deez’ reên
Tot dien verbolgen Windbuil spréken.
Laat af! Zoud gy u zelf doorstéeken
En ‘t leven schenden! Neen, ô neen!
Hou op van dus uw ramp te zoeken!
Gy klaagt nu vrugt’loos om ‘t verlies
Van Wind en Bubbel-Compagnies,
Gy wint in ‘t minst’ niet met uw vloeken;
Had gy van eerst af my gezogt,
Myn Spiegel voor uw oog gehouwen,

Om ‘t uiteind zonneklaar te aanschouwen,
Door een regtvaardige agterdogt,
Van al die Bubbel-handelingen,
Gy zaagt uw schatkist niet beroofd,
Waarom gy nu van brein verdoof
U zelf wilt naar het léven dingen,
Dog lat nog van uw opzet af!
‘t Geweld en Wanhoop, twee Gedrogten
Die u dit heilloos opzet brogten,
Ziet gy reeds tot hun eigen straf
Op ‘t aardryk door myn voet vertreden,
Vloek aan de Windnegotie, maar
Stort u niet verder in ‘t gevaar,
En leen uw ooor tog aan de reden!
Myn Spiegel zal u ‘t eind doen zien
Van al die Rookverkopers gilden,
Die ‘t meeste van uw geld verspilden
Door opgeworpe Compagnien;
Zie hoe de Hoogmoed ‘t veld moet láten,
Mmet Bygeloof en Dartelheid,
Die bei geblinddoekt en verleid,
Vast doelden op verhéven státen,
Daar hen de Geldzugt op het spoor
Vast voorstreeft om ontelb’re schatten
In háre schrokbeurs te bevatten;
Die snóde ging hen moedig voor
En dagt alreeds te zegeprálen,
Tot dat zy in haar snood besluit,
Door vrouw Voorzigtigheid gestuit,
Moet zwigten voor de held’re stralen,

Die uit haar Diamanten-schild vol glans,
Die valsse schitt’ren in hare oogen,
Zy kan dat ligt geenzints gedógen,
Daar de Y pronkt in een ronden krans
Van held’re strálen, die gedreven
In ‘t glinst’rend Diamanten-schild,
Den Y-God eeuwighlyk doen léven,
Wyl die vermaarde Koopstroom nooit
Zig liet aan Bubbel-ketens binden,
Gebouwd op Waan, en Droom, en Winden
Die door den tyd reeds zyn verstrooid;
Zyn vryheid weird te waard gehouwen
Door zyn Regeerders, die die pest
Verbanden voor ‘t Gemene best,
‘t Geen de Oppermagt hen kwam betrouwen.
Zo spreekt de Reden, daar van ver
De Windgenóten, onder ‘t zugten
Voor ‘t blix’men van den hemel vlugten;
Terwyl de Waarheid als een Ster
Daald in een kring van hemelligten,
Op ‘t wolktapyt, met een krans en speer,
Heel vrolyk op het aardryk neêr,
Waar voor de Bubbelwiinden zwigten.
Mmen schhreeuwd nu geenzints meêr de Zuid!
Of Zwol! Of Alkmaar! Utrecht! Horen!
De Waarheid komt dat roepen smóren,
En de Actiekraam raakt eind’lyk uit.

Stryd Tuszen De Smullende Bubbel-Heeren, En De Aanstaande Armoede Struggle between the feasting Bubble--Lords and Looming Poverty

025 – Struggle between the banqueting Bubble-lords and looming poverty

Struggle between the feasting Bubble–Lords and Looming Poverty

The Bubble-Lords and their movable feast pull up short before the ranks of their opposite and their future.

Details below:

Two opposing companies are about to do battle. Emblematic of the “Bubble Lords” is a well-fed gentleman riding a wheeled tun of wine (“Bacchus’s throne of honor”). A triumphal wagon is a standard in 17th-century emblem prints, denoting false worldly triumphs. The barrel is labelled “Actie Soopjes te Koop” (Sips of stock for sale). His crown is a vetpot (pot for cooking rich meats – A Dutch expression, “’t is geen vetpot” means “it’s not worth much”) and his earflaps and collar consist of waffles. On the collar is “Al tyd Ventam” (Always Wind), so the waffles are stock shares (see below). On his belt are a wild fowl and a hare, the latter saying “Dit is onze vangst” (This is our catch). For a lance he has a rotisserie holding a pig’s hindquarters, a chicken and a tankard. He toasts with another goblet, on which is written “Dit hebben wy daar van” (This is what we think of it!), referring to the opposing crowd of the poor.

The Bubble-Lord’s wagon is pulled by children, symbolizing (with the caught hare) the suckers who made the Bubble-Lords rich. With the children is a fool (with fools-cap), who hopes to profit, but will be swindled as well.
Also pulling the barrel is a butcher, festooned with sausages and brandishing the jawbone of an ass.

To the Bubble-Lord’s right is a young woman (described as a “Venusdiertje,” Venus- animal or prostitute). She is brandishing a waffel-iron on which is written “Waffel-yzer voor de nieuwe gebake Acties” (Waffle iron for new-baked Shares). She wears waffles labeled “Assuranties” (Insurance) and “Verpanding” (Hocking, as in a pawnshop).

Behind Waffle-Girl is Kniertje, a fishwife. Kniertje is a “type,” a pious and patient fishwife whose whole family were taken by the sea, so this image is a parody. “Kniertje” is vomiting and holding a basket of what look like clams. On her apron is “Al die Actie drank maakt my kwalyk” (Drinking all the Shares makes me sick).

One figure in the back is holding aloft a pot of “Weesper Venezoen” (Weesp Venison, a gourmet food). Another figure waves a broom for sweeping the rest of Holland’s money into the Bubble-Bank. Within the bristles is a candle that says “Onze kaarsje brand noch” (Our candle still burns). This is a dangerous place for a lit candle. Tied to the broom is a candle is a banner, on which is written “Viva de Compagnie; die / ons doet vrolyk leven / Schoon Armoede ons op ’t end / den doodsteek dreigt te geven.” (Long Live the Company/ it gives us a happy life/ Sweet Poverty in the end/ threatens to slip us the knife).

In the other corner…
The spirit of Poverty, nemesis of the Bubble-Lords, is festooned with fish, potatoes and pretzels, all cheap sustenance, and rides in a fish basket that seems to move under its own power pretzels. She wears a stir-frying pan for a crown and is about to hurl a bundle of bokking (dried smoked herring – really cheap food), labelled “Harde bokkens / drie om een oortje” (Hard dried herring / ten a penny).

Next to her is a fisherman swinging a net. Behind him, an old woman waves a fork and a pretzel grill, in opposition to the prostitute with the waffle iron.

The standard of the army of the poor is a fishing net, titled “Grote Fuik der Bubbel Compagnies” (Great snare of Bubble Companies). Another figure holds a long taper that says “Dese kaars zal ze wel dóven” (This candle will well snuff them). Another fisherman holds a club, for braining large fish. The club says “Noch nooit zo beleeft” (Yet never so civil). Another man brandishes a string of fish on a stick and someone further back is an upraised hand holding a whip.

Dutch verses:

Een bolle Smulle brôer gezéten
Op Bachus eertroon, rijk versierd,
Met allerhande zoort van eeten,
Van vlees, van Spek van Wildgediert,
Is ‘t zinnebeeld der Bubbelhéren,
Die van een anders geld en goed
Braaf vréten, zuipen, roszen, sméren,
In volle weelde en overvloed;
Zyn rollende Eert[ro]on word getrokken
Door kleine Kind’ren, wier verstand
Net is als dat der Noordse bokken;
‘t Bedrog gaat aan zyn regterhand,
Bekranst met worsten en zauszyzen,
Zyn kromstok, door by mee wil slaan,
Betoond hoe hy het kwaad dufst pryzen
En ‘t goede om eigen winst verráan (verraden).

De Dwaasheid, kenbaar aan haar bellen,
Verwonderd zig om ’t vreemd gelaat;
Des Bubbel-heers, en zyn gezellen,
Terwyl zy vrolyk met hen gaat;
Ook zou zyn opzet niet gelukken, Ten zy de Dwaasheid het verstand,
Van dien hy denkt zyn geld te plukken,
Door haar vergif eerst overmand;
Terwyl een dartel Venusdiertje,
Dat geaszureerd is, om dien dienst,
Hem volgt op ’t spoor, daar dronke Kniertje
Gelyk een Zwyn, op ’t onverzienst,
Een stroom van ingezwolge dranken,
Te gulzig ingeslingerd, weer
Moet overgéven, onder ’t Janken
ô Je! Wat doet myn kop my zeer!

Het geen ligt vorgaat als een téken,
Hoe de ingeslingerde Actiewinst,
Al de Actie narren op zal bréken,
Wanneer dat zy het alderminst,
Daar aan gedenken, maar die Héren,
Zyn nog niet heel te vrêen gesteld,
Wyl zy een Bezem prezentéren,
Om ’t overig van Hollands geld
Meé naar hun Bubbelbank te végen.
Maar in het midde van hun vlugt,
Komt de magere Armoê tegen,
Die opgewekt is door ’t gerugt
Van fluit een veel om ’t haalt’lyk strópen
Der Bubbel-narren, die den Wind
Voor geld, en schat, en goed verkópen,
Waar door zig elk bedrogen vind,

In ’t midde van hun drift te tómen
Is de Actietroep met vlees gesierd,
Zy pronkt met Vis, die uit te strómen
Niet zonder moeit’e gevangen wierd,
Zy werpt dien bollen Bachus-pater,
Gezéten op haar Viskaros,
Een stro met bokkings voor zyn snater,
Terwyl dat haar gezelschap los,
Met Rooster, vork en Net en Spéten, Valt op zyn medestanders aan,
Schoon dat een Ligtekooi verméten
Met ’t Wafelyzer dreigt te slaan;
De Kerkstoel strekt hier ook tot wapen,
Om d’opgeworpen Bubbel Heer,
Die wast grimlaggend zit te gápen,
Eens vlot te slaan van boven neêr;

Maar ’t Zegenet, ’t geen meen ziet hangen,
Zal al deez’ Compagnies eerlang,
In ééne streek als Vissen vangen,
Terwyl dien geen, die in den drang,
Te toorts zwaaid, op het minste teken,
Al ’t kladpapier dier Actiepest
Vol vrolykheid in brand zal stéken,
Tot wel zyn van ’t Gemene-best
Dan zal de Koopmanschap weér bloeijen
Der Amstelstad, en door ’t beleid
Der trouwe Burger Héren groeijen
In vrede, en rust, en vrolykheid,
Zo zal het Nageslagt nog wéten
Te spréken van hun Naam en Eer;
Schoon de Actiepest al wierd vergéten,
Nog sterft hun Glorie nimmermeer.

A rotund feasting brother
On Bacchus’s throne of honor, richly ornamented
With all manner of meat, bacon and game
Is the very emblem of the Bubble-Lords

030 – DE VERVALLEN ACTIONISTEN, HERSTELD DOOR DEN TRIOMPHEERDEN ARLEQUIN

The ruined Stockholders restored by a celebrated Harlequin

On the bank of the Lek river, with Vianen, the haven of bankrupts in the background, Harlequin rides a triumphal wagon driven by Athena (“Pallas,” goddess of wisdom). He is followed by a crowd of wretched investors who jump after bills he tosses to them. But where they chased companies and commodities, now they chase low trades and goods. The bills in Harlequin’s hands say, “uyen en kool” (onions and cabbage), “schoen-lappen” (cobbler), “Liet-sang” (ballad-singer, or busker), “Op kar” (?), “Basschander” (?). Other bills falling to the crowd are “Oud yser” (scrap iron), Engelse sprot (English smelt – a small fish), “Hitte gebra[ad?]” (hot roast), “Turf-drager” (turf-carrier), “Kar-man” (coachman), “Kuyllen” (?), “na Via.” (to Vianen). A lucky few have the concessions on gardening (“Tuyn-man”), gutter-cleaning (“Geuten Schoon”), portage (“Kruyer”), chimney-sweeping (“Schoorsteen-veeg”), Mussel-selling (“Mosselen”), magic-lantern projectionist (“Tover-lantere”). Unlucky investors hold bills with lots of zeroes on them or, in one case, “Sold op Inde” (Bill of the Indies Company).

In the foreground trade of some kind goes on. Lower left, an “Akkordeer” (ascertainer?) counts out money on a bale. In the lower middle a couple of traders wheel goods (“altyd winst” – profit always). Lower right, near more bales of goods, a merchant offers money to Mercury, god of commerce.

Al den bruy is ‘t in ‘t rumoer,
Burger, Koopman, hoer, en boer.
Arlequin laat, op een Waagen,
Zich hier langs de Lekkant draagen.
Pallas, och die goeje Sloof,

Speeld voor Veerman, ze is haast doof,
Van ‘t geschreeuw der windgezellen,
Die haar om een baantje kwellen.
Arlequin bid voor de troep,
Wyl, door ‘t vreeselyk geroep,

Zyne twee paer Slepers knollen,
Raaken voor den droes, aan ‘t hollen.
Pallas laat den leepen dief,
Arlequin, vast brief op brief
Deelen, aan die Actieventen,

Maar ach! Ach, ‘t zyn werk patenten,
Arme bruyers daar je bent,
Zyt gy ‘t werken niet gewent?
Kaal en arm zyn zal ‘t ú leeren,
Werk dan krygt ge kost en kleeren.