With no more subtlety than that encountered in Hogarth's Rake's Progress and Harlot's Progress this deals with a young country comer to the London of the 1740's who dips into the bagnios and bucket-of-blood saloons that seem to have been the city's chief architectural features of that era. Having seen the master's series of drawings, he feels that his life is running an inevitable parallel to that of the ""Rake"" right down to the last scene in Bedlam. He has a near-miss at a mariage a la mode that surely would have sent him there fast, and finds salvation with a trollop of madonna-like detachment. She is a West Indian miss of illegitimate status who comes to London in search of her father--a cove operating under the title of ""The Gentleman"" and is nearly raped by him before they can clarify their genealogy. Alternating between the sinks of the capital and the sea-swept rural charms of the hero's native Winchelsea, the thin little tale is wagged by its historical setting. Nothing new but ought to interest addicts of the historical novel who should enjoy the better than average writing and the humorous puns that spot the action.