Unidentified artist, after John Hamilton Mortimer (1740-1779), Untitled [Falstaff], 20th century. Pen and ink on paper. Graphic Arts collection GC169 European Drawings and Paintings Collection
This unidentified drawing has been in the collection for many years, possibly the work of a student or staff member. It is copied after John Mortimer’s original 1776 pastel or his etching from a series depicting Shakespearean characters, republished by Palser in the nineteenth century.
The etching is inscribed with two lines from the play:
There’s a merry heart! Good Master Silence,
I’ll give a health for that anon.
(Henry IV, pt. 2, act V, scene ) and publication line: “Publish’d March 15, 1776 by J. Mortimer, Norfolk Street, Strand.”
The character Silence sings:
A cup of wine that’s brisk and fine,
And drink unto thee, leman mine,
And a merry heart lives long-a.