'Marriage A-la-Mode' was the first of Hogarth's satirical moralising series of engravings that took the upper echelons of society as its subject. The paintings were models from which the engravings would be made. The engravings reverse the compositions.
The final scene takes place in the house of the Countess's father. She has taken poison on learning that her lover has been hanged for the murder of the Earl, reported in the broadsheet at her feet.
Her crippled child embraces her and her father removes a ring from her finger as a suicide's possessions were forfeit. In the centre an apothecary remonstrates with the servant whom he accuses of obtaining the poison.
Through the window to the right is a view of Old London Bridge. A dog seizes his chance to make off with the frugal meal on the table. The paintings on the wall to the left are Dutch low-life scenes, indicating the taste of the alderman.