Young and old are having a wonderful time: mother and grandmother are singing, the children are playing music and smoking, and father raises his glass. The note on the mantelpiece comments poignantly: ‘as the old sing, so pipe the young’. Steen’s picture brings the saying to life and warns the viewer: if the parents set a bad example, then the children will follow suit. The merry family, Jan Havicksz. Steen, 1668.