Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Commerce, Political Economy, Politics, Health
Suggests a 'scientific method' of investigating the 'Health of the Public' to the 'political attendant'. Comprises questions about national economics in the style of a doctor's cross-examination of a patient. For example, 'Put out your capital. Let me see your revenue. So, so! How are your Funds? Tolerably firm—eh? In what state are your Consols?'
Discusses the observation of train wheels rotating at 300 miles per hour without propelling the train forward. Attributes the phenomenon to the 'wonderful smoothness' of the rails, which is ascribed, in turn, to the fact that 'the Share Market has been so extremely flat' as to prevent shares and wheels 'getting any purchase'.
Discusses the 'revolutionary mania', which 'threatens even to invade the vegetable kingdom', and links these disturbances to such phenomena as potatoes bearing 'an enormous number of black eyes' and carrots threatening to cut their 'carotid arteries'.
Quackery, Medical Treatment, Agriculture, Horticulture, Health
Noting the ease with which weak and dubious remedies 'take root' in British soil, discusses the 'Cold Earth Cure', in which patients are allegedly cured after being buried up to their necks in soil and gravel. Recoils from the prospect of being treated like a plant and possibly awaking with such objects as corn and gooseberries growing from the body. Adds that at night, patients are protected by a conservatory or a cucumber frame, and the following morning taken to a hothouse, where, after a diet of 'nourishing herbs', patients are restored to the 'flower' of their youth. Illustrations depict the various stages of the cold earth cure.
Suggests an advertisement for Thomas HollowayHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who has devised imaginative ways of emphasizing the benefits of his 'Ointment and Pills'. The advertisement describes how a patient, long 'addicted to the follow of taking quack medicines' from which he derived no benefit, tried 'Professor So-and-So's Pills' and recovered his senses so much that he no longer takes quack medicines.
Responds to news of the invention by Peter R Drummond-Willoughby (Lord Willoughby de Eresby)Drummond-Willoughby (formerly
Drummond-Burrell, formerly Burrell), Peter Robert (Lord Willoughby of Eresby
and 2nd Baron Gwydir, Joint Hereditary Lord Chamberlain)
Cokayne 1910–59 CloseView the register entry >> of 'a turf-pressing machine which secures uniformity of pressure'. Exploiting the equestrian meaning of 'turf', doubts whether uniform pressure can be achieved because pressure has only been exerted on 'those who could afford to pay'.
Responds to an advertisement promising a fortune by investing 'in the purchases of Patent Medicine'. Commends the advertisement to 'any knave who may be willing to trade upon the public credulity, and to tamper with the public health'.
Discusses the addiction of the electric telegraph to 'falsehood'. Expresses a lack of faith in 'what is going on between you (reader!) and me, and the posts of the Electric Telegraph'. Disappointed that the invention is 'telling lies at the rate of hundreds of miles in half a second', and surprised that it has strayed from the 'straight line'.
Discusses the possibility of establishing an electric telegraph to produce 'startling intelligence'. Provides a specimen of such fantastical intelligence describing the consequences of a beadle galloping through Kensington, on a donkey, 'with the report that the pump at Hammersmith is in flames, the spout torn out, and the hand in the hands of the Chartists'.
Reports on the latest activities of 'the Archaeologists' at Lincoln, including a detailed 'paper upon the wall' by Edward HawkinsHawkins, Edward
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, whose 'brother members' were 'sitting on the wall to support and encourage him'. Believes that, had the wall had ears, it would have been 'greatly edified' by the paper. Reports on the poor response to a paper on 'The family of the DYMOCKS'. Concludes by noting that the author of the latter paper was wheeled home in a 'barrow'.
Disease, Sanitation, Government, Expertise, Public Health, Politics
Consists of three stories that seek to demonstrate the ill effects of self-government. The second story describes a patient who, against the advice of his doctor but following the suggestion of his nurse, 'an advocate for Self-Government', drank a bottle of port to control his fever and died shortly afterwards. The third story describes how 'wise men' tried to banish the ravaging cholera by draining and cleaning their filthy dwellings, but how, much to cholera's delight, 'wiseacres' urged that the best solution was to chant 'Self-Government'.
Punch, 15 (1848), 82.
The Delightful Process of Dressing in a Bathing Machine
Description of the putative activities of members of the British Archaelogical AssociationBritish Archaeological Association
CloseView the register entry >>. Notes that 'even in the leisure of refection', members engaged in archaeological research, including displaying the 'beeswing in the port [...] by means of a microscope'. Concentrates on Mr Arden'sArden, Mr
PU1/15/9/3 CloseView the register entry >> paper on the 'Mummy of an Ancient Cat', which describes the status of the cat in ancient Egypt, and argues that the specimen on display 'passed from the hands of ISIS to the lap of OSIRIS' and was the ancestor of 'Puss-in-Boots and Puss-in-the-Corner'. Notes that the association proceeded to Malvern where it investigated 'the antiquity of the springs that supply the lymph for the cold-water cure'.
Astonished by the number of subjects discussed by members of the Statistical Section of the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >>. Subjects include, 'how many meals had been given to Irish beggars in the last twenty years' supported by a table 'showing the number of teeth, subtracting the molars and taking out the canine, employed in the mastication of these twenty years' returns of meals'. Punch ironically notes that 'the great utility of this kind of research and calculation is so very obvious' and that 'the labours of our scientific friends' have been 'ill-naturedly' said to be unprofitable.
Wants to stop the 'Unity of Race' movement which has caused fierce disputes amongst 'half the people of Europe'. Wonders why different European races cannot 'mingle', pointing out the harmony between the ancient Briton, Roman, Saxon, and other European races in his own 'composition'. Concerned that the movement will make his body 'fall to pieces' or make him a 'victim to spontaneous generation'.
Responding to the book's argument that character can be ascertained from the fingers, the reviewer announces that he will be 'having a quantity of plaster-casts' made of the hands of 'illustrious men'. Expects the 'wrist will be found fully developed in 'A-WRISTOTLEAristotle
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, A-WRISTEDESAristedes
(c. 530–468 BC)
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, and the rest of the a-wristocracy of genius that the world has contained'. Believes that 'if the science should be carried to perfection, it will be easy to detect an "itching palm" and that hand that would be ready to serve another at a pinch'. Illustrations show various plaster casts of hands with 'organs' labelled with numbers, and a figure with donkey's ears receiving a 'consultation' from a phrenologist.
Written by 'The Beaver of the Surrey Zoological GardensSurrey Literary, Scientific and Zoological Institution—Gardens
CloseView the register entry >>to Louis-BlancBlanc, Louis (Jean Joseph Louis)
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, late of Paris', it argues that beavers are better than men (and especially Frenchmen) at the 'Organisation of Labour', owing to the equality among the species of 'mental and bodily powers'. Boasts that beavers have unprecedented skill in house and dam construction.
Complains about the poisonous effluvia emanating from the Serpentine and River Thames, and asks where he and his wife can 'get wholesome diet and unpolluted air'. Proceeds to grumble about the adulteration of British food and drink including wines, spirits, milk, and butter. Argues that if most of what he eats, drinks, and breathes is poisoned then 'what is the odds of taking a little more or less pyroligenous acid in my coffee' (128).
Zoology, Animal Development, Evolution, Human Development, Politics
Responds to a report in a French newspaper concerning a young orang-utan who resembles a three-year-old child, and who is 'very affectionate', 'feeds delicately', and is 'very susceptible of cold'. Believes the animal is Louis-NapoleonNapoleon III, Emperor of France (originally
Louis Napoléon (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte))
CBD CloseView the register entry >>.
Punch, 15 (1848), 133.
Our Committee on the Public Business in the House of Commons
Wishes the planet Neptune to 'come home' to its 'disconsolate parent' (an allusion to Urbain J J LeverrierLe Verrier, Urbain Jean Joseph
DSB CloseView the register entry >>) and warns that if it continues its 'vagabond career, every House in the Zodiac will be closed against you'.
Reports on a meeting of the shareholders in Punch's troubled fictional railway line. Reports on discussions for working the line, and thinks that re-establishing existing parts of the line will only result in trains carrying 'nothing but misery'. Claims that the electric telegraph alongside the line 'is let out for the purpose of drying clothes'.
Describes how the river Thames contains the filth of London's 'thousand sewers' and complains about the 'foul Mephitis' that 'ever soars'. A 'Chorus of Aldermen' relish the prospect of wallowing in the mud from whence the Mephitis comes.
Reports on news of a salesman who was tried for severely beating an ox, but who was neither fined nor imprisoned since his act was not considered by alderman Thomas ChallisChallis, Thomas
WBI CloseView the register entry >> to harm the animal. Doubts whether Challis could empathize with the ox and thus justify his assertion. Advises 'all butchers who work their own sweet will, unmolested, on their oxen, exchange the blue smock' for a garment which Punch calls the 'Cruelty Wrapper'.
Claims that a report about to be submitted to the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, Land, Resources, Works and BuildingsCommissioners of Woods and Forests
CloseView the register entry >> will state that the greenness of the Serpentine is due to the 'Stick-to-skin-vericlos'—a 'beautiful little plant', which Lyon PlayfairPlayfair, Sir Lyon, 1st Baron Playfair of St
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has found to be 'composed of the same elements as cabbages and green peas'. The report suggests that this substance could be used in 'green soup for charitable Institutions'. The report also argues that lizards and innumerable animaculae can only exist in such a lively state in the river because the river is more conducive to animal life than previously supposed.
The poem represents the Thames as a 'foul' and 'filthy' river. It is nothing but 'one vast gutter' whose 'bubbly bosom' brews 'mephitis' inhaled by 'Christian folks'. Observes how the river is a receptacle for all the city's 'foul abominations', but, also the 'vile cesspool' from which beer is made. Ends by reminding the Lord Mayor (John K HooperHooper, John Kinnersley
http://www.steeljam.dircon.co.uk/lordmayorchrono.htm CloseView the register entry >>) that 'He who fills the civic chair' has maintained this dire state of affairs. The illustration shows a decrepit 'Father Thames' walking on the bottom of his river, dressed in rags and spearing gruesome objects on the river bed.
Responds to an advertisement in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> for the 'Receipt for making a Patent Medicine'. Believes a more effective method of selling the patent would be to announce 'PILLS! PILLS! PILLS!' which extend life, and to auction the pills. There should also be 'The Splendid Advertising Cart' for attracting custom, a 'small select Kennel of Dogs' that are 'kept for the trial of experiments', and 'Gamboge' which can be turned into a 'CERTAIN CURE FOR EVERYTHING' with only a 'few pounds'. Illustrations depict the advertising cart and the cask of 'Gamboge'.
Sanitation, Medical Treatment, Disease, Public Health
Attacks the Morning PostMorning Post and Daily Advertising Pamphlet
CloseView the register entry >> for claiming that slaughtermen are so used to living in filth that they are immune from disease, and that being 'too full of health [...] their disorders have a tendency to run into inflammation which cannot be reduced'. Points out that the aim of healthy inflammation is 'subsidence' and claims: 'atmosphere less foul, disease less malignant'. Punch feels strongly that it should rectify the Morning Post's 'erroneous medical views'.
Criticizes aldermen for their notorious greediness, and recommends that 'all manner of persons' take caution in their diet. Advises eating game, truffles, port, and other high-quality food and drink, and avoiding an intake of vegetables and low quality meats. Recommends eating 'as much as is good for you, and are at liberty to eat more, if you like'.
Responding to alleged sightings of the 'Sea Serpent', believes the monster to be a column of one of Thomas C Anstey'sAnstey, Thomas Chisholm
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> speeches (Anstey was a stateman notorious for his lengthy parliamentary speeches).
A parody of Act V, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, presents a dialogue between an alderman and an apothecary in which the alderman describes the apothecary as a man 'in rusty black, and green steel spectacles, / Weighing out powders: scaly were his looks, / His frame appeared to be a bag of bones'. Describes the 'coloured bottles' in the apothecary's shop and concludes that 'if we need an Officer of Health, / To toil upon the lowest salary, / This object is the very man for us'. Having heard the apothecary remind him that 'Physic affords no fees to make thee rich', the impoverished apothecary agrees 'to explore the sinks and sewers' of London, observing, 'My poverty, but not my skill, consents'.
Three letters from members of the crew of HMS DaedalusHMS Daedalus CloseView the register entry >> testifying to the appearance of the 'Kraken'. Written apparently by semi-literate seamen, the letters discuss the circumstances surrounding the appearance of the serpent. Thomas Carey describes the serpent as a beast with 'an 'ead with firy eyes', which 'reared itself up and snorted three times distinctly, gashing its teeth, which a middle-sized man might ave stood uprite in the mouth thereof'.
Identifies the rival to the 'Great Sea Serpent' as the lawyer's bill for 'one of the leading Railway lines', which 'lies coiled up in one of the apartments of the Company' and weighs 'four hundred thousand pounds'.
The 'Old Lady' thanks Mr Punch for giving her instruction on 'the great Oolite' and 'the mysteries of Zoology'. Expresses shame at being suspicious of the 'Palae–something–graphical' SocietyPalæontographical Society
CloseView the register entry >>, an institution whose name she now believes derives from William PaleyPaley, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >>. In response to her son's 'talk out of MR. PALEY about the wonders of the vegetable world', she visits the Royal Botanical Gardens, KewRoyal Botanical Gardens, Kew CloseView the register entry >>, where she sees 'hot-houses upon hot-houses' and ugly-looking plants in a conservatory under the care of 'William Hookey' (i.e. William HookerHooker, Sir William Jackson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>). Describes the awful heat and strange plants in the 'Palm-house' and goes on to describe how she got stuck on the spikes of a 'Hugh Forbeses', and her encounter with 'Cereus Senilis', a plant resembling a old man. Emphasizes that she would rather be 'among Christians' than in Kew. The illustration depicts an old woman and her family standing back in horror from 'Cereus Senilis'.
Reports on Thomas HollowayHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who allegedly used his famous ointment to treat successfully a Waterloo veteran suffering from gout. Believes Holloway is 'setting a trap for the Pope's leg-ate' and is offering to 'undertake the cure of soles'. The illustration shows a dark figure emerging from a box of 'Holloway's Pills'.
Discusses various aspects of the 'great Vegetarian movement', including the movement's chief organ, Vegetarian AdvocateVegetarian Advocate
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, 'vegetarian missionaries' who go 'about the country inculcating the doctrine of peas and potatoes', and prizes for eating large quantities of vegetables.
Punch, 15 (1848), 182.
The "Feast of Reason" under Existing Circumstances
Discusses a Morning ChronicleMorning Chronicle
CloseView the register entry >> article containing a table of the recommended diet to be taken 'During the Prevalence of the Epidemic Cholera'. Regards the 'bill of fare' as excessively rich, and suitable only for a creature with the gastric capacity 'of an Alderman' or the 'Sea Serpent'. Believes the Morning Chronicle correspondent would turn the British into a 'prize people' and notes that there is 'hardly any luxury that he forbids except cucumber and green apples'. Thinks that the diet-table is intended for the union workhouses where cholera rages and where gammon should be used as a 'regimen'.
Medical Treatment, Pharmaceuticals, Crime, Commerce, Political Economy
Reports on the case of a woman charged with attempting to commit suicide by taking laudanum. Notes that Samuel BirchBirch, Samuel
PU1/15/18/6 CloseView the register entry >> of the London HospitalLondon Hospital
CloseView the register entry >> supported the charge with a view to stopping chemists and druggists selling laudanum. Criticizes 'Free Trade' in the sale of poisons and suggests that vendors should be fined and imprisoned for selling such drugs to people without a 'warrant, signed / By a physician, or the officer / Of Public Health'.
Medical Treatment, Health, Invention, Steam-power, Railways
Reports on the discovery of 'Atmo-pathy', a process for curing 'every disease [...] by the application of steam'. Believes the process involves establishing a 'steam communication between the patient's mouth and a boiler'. Should it come into fashion, it will allow railway companies to 'redeem themselves' by allowing passengers to pay for the therapeutic benefits of steam. The illustrations show giant kettles being aimed into a patient's mouth and into a bathroom.
Sanitation, Public Health, Railways, Medical Practitioners, Class, Disease
Points out that Edwin Chadwick'sChadwick, Sir Edwin
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> call for 'drainage and dry atmosphere' has not adequately been observed on second- and third-class railway travel. Urges the adoption of Chadwick's measures on the railways, since 'the ague is quite an epidemic on some of the lines'.
Medical Practitioners, Public Health, Expertise, Education
Attacks the author of a hoax advertisement in the Leeds MercuryLeeds Mercury
Directory CloseView the register entry >> for a medical officer for the Howden Union Board of Guardians. Believes that had the advertisement been intended as a 'squib', then the author should have 'mentioned among the requisites for the medical officership' that he should expect to live extremely modestly because the 'remuneration for the discharge of his arduous duties will very probably leave him out of pocket'. Claims that the author wanted to malign the Howden Union for offering 'an educated practitioner' a measly salary for attending a large district. Urges the author to refute this imputation to the Howden Union 'which would be unspeakably disgraceful to them if it were true'.
Universities, Education, Mathematics, Amusement, Nutrition, Lecturing, Religious Authority
Introduces two letters of application for professorships in two 'new sciences' at the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >>. The first letter, from Benjamin Bendigo, is written to suggest the lack of literacy of the author, and reveals that one of the new professorial chairs is in boxing. Bendigo wonders 'whether all your Algibry and Mathamadix, your Greik and Latn and that, would serve a young man half so well as a nollidge of sparring and fibbing' and proposes to 'your Royal Ighness [i.e. the chancellor, Prince AlbertAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>] and the Eads of Ouses, to allow the manly and trew English Scients of Boxint to be took up for honours by the young gentlemen of Cambridge'. The second letter, from Corydon Soyer, an allusion to the French cook Alexis B SoyerSoyer, Alexis Benoît
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, reveals that the second professorial chair is in eating. Soyer argues that eating 'is both a physical and moral science—physical, it acts on the health; moral, on the tempers and tastes of mankind'. Demands that the 'SOYER PROFESSORSHIP of Culinarious Science' be established so that the 'young ecclesiastic' leaving Cambridge can teach the inhabitants of 'a distant and barbarous province' how to improve their diet and live more harmoniously.
Recommends establishing a 'Sanitary Police Force' empowered to deal with 'Filth and Malaria'. Its powers would include ordering 'the stagnant pool to move on', dispersing 'large crowds of persons in small houses or single rooms', arresting 'a pestilential vapour', and confining 'open drains'. Suggests that the officers carry 'a shovel and a box of disinfecting agents'. The illustrations depict the officers inspecting various suspected sources of disease and carrying their disinfecting tools.
Discusses the advice given by the Royal College of PhysiciansRoyal College of Physicians
CloseView the register entry >> on dealing with cholera. The advice is evidently meant to show the college's complete ignorance of the social and economic difficulties experienced by those most susceptible to cholera—the 'labouring classes of the community'. Thus, for example, the college allegedly advises that 'All persons crowded together in small ill-ventilated houses are recommended to take at once more commodious apartments, and those individuals who are insufficiently clothed must give orders forthwith to their tailors for making necessary measures'. Argues that those among the labouring classes experiencing 'difficulty in acting on this advice' should apply anywhere but the college.
Denying an intention to make his audience of lawyers natural philosophers, the writer observes that contemporary 'Science, like a Vauxhall ham, is spread over a wonderfully extensive surface' and urges that attorneys should not be left 'without a mouthful of the ham of science'. Adding that 'Chemistry smoothes the way to its most elaborate laboratories' and knowledge of 'mysterious drugs', implores lawyers to 'taste of everything, from physic to philosophy'. (208)
Monstrosities, Disease, Public Health, Pollution, Controversy
Regards the Serpentine as a 'more disgusting object' than the 'Great Sea Serpent', owing to its green coating, its 'loathsome appearance', and its tendency to belch forth the 'black and noxious fluid' from its bed when stones are thrown into it.
Introduces a letter from John Skull, 'a most intelligent and conscientious waterman', who claims to have observed the 'Sea Serpent' in the Thames. A letter from Skull, written to represent his limited literacy, points out that he had 'too much ale and gin-and-water' to be 'afeard' of 'a long black sarpint-like thing upon my wether bow', and proceeds to describe, in words and pictures, the appearance of the beast. The illustration shows the author's feeble attempt to represent the sea-serpent.
Claims that the University of OxfordUniversity of Oxford
CloseView the register entry >>, reacting to the instigation of 'mixed' science teaching by the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >>, is 'bent on blending the practical with the theoretic'. Quotes the advertisement of an Oxford-educated private tutor offering to teach undergraduates during the vacation while providing for hunting and fishing. Suggests that the tutor's educational regime would include such unlikely mixtures as: 'Wednesday. HERODOTUS construe, with crib and run with harriers. Duck-shooting at night. Illustrations of Dynamics in the punt, and of equality of action and re-action, from recoil of duck-gun. Hot grog and Ethics about the small hours'.
Shows two drunken naturalists discussing the alleged 'Sea Serpent'. The 'First Naturalist' believes the sea-serpent and ichthyosaurus to be 'nonshe-ense' while the 'Second Naturalist' replies 'Who said Ich-(hic)- Ichthyosaurus? I said a (hic) Plesi-o-(hic) saurus plainenuff'.
Universities, Education, Mathematics, Political Economy
Laments the passing of the 'olden time' at the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> when students 'took "a coach" with cram what brains he'd left to stow— / Arithmetic to the Rule of Three, and some Algebra, also'. Referring to the university's decision to teach political economy, grumbles that the 'Cantab' will 'put off the old ADAM for the new one—ADAM SMITHSmith, Adam
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>; / Political Economy will bring provate, p'r'aps therewith; / At Ge— or else The—ology he'll spend his pluck and pith, / Tea and Theorems ousting loo and lush, which will all be a myth'.
Punch, 15 (1848), 225.
H.R.H. Field-Marshall Chancellor Prince Albert Taking the Pons Asionorum
Referring to the decision of the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> to introduce political economy into its curriculum, this shows Prince AlbertAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> storming the 'Pons Asinorum [Bridge of Asses] 'after the manner of Napoleon taking the Bridge of Arcola'. Albert carries a book marked 'political economy' and a flag labelled 'moral sciences', and leads students carrying scrolls of paper marked with such subjects as 'physical sciences', 'botany', 'geology', 'orthography', and 'comparative anatomy'. Albert is resisted by students carrying scrolls of paper bearing such protests as 'Algebra up to Quadratic Equations' and 'Boats and no Botany'.
Circumlocutionary discussion of the probable existence of the 'Sea Serpent', which concludes, from its own 'peculiar sources', that the monster is 'something like a horse' to some and 'very like a whale' to others. Challenges Richard Owen'sOwen, Richard
DSB CloseView the register entry >> claim that the monster is a 'Seal desirous of taking an ice', and thinks it will be appearing in Christmas pantomimes and on household objects. Illustrations depict these appearances.
Responds to news that an astrologer named Sidrophel (an allusion to the astrologer Robert C SmithSmith, Robert Cross ('Raphael')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, known as Raphael) has published a 'Prophetic Almanac' predicting a series of calamities to affect the earth. Offers to cast the author's horoscope based on his own book. The horoscope implies that astrologers are cheats and impelled by mercenary rewards. Thinks that the author is 'under the Sun', and 'one of the greatest humbugs beneath it', and from the positions of the moon and planets, predicts how the astrologer told a maidservant that her solider lover would 'ultimately marry her'. Consequently the maid steals food from her master to feed her lover and has to pawn her clothes 'to meet the Astrologer's demands'. Finally, the astrologer is convicted for receiving money 'under false pretences'. Declares, 'May common sense preserve all simple folks from quacks and impostors!'.
Light, Invention, Technology, Electricity, Chemistry, Progress, Transport
Reports on a company for lighting streets and the inside of houses with 'electric fluid'. Describes the succession of new lighting inventions that have snuffed out their predecessors, ending with the electric light that 'now threatens to supersede all'. Believes the 'universal use now made of electricity' indicates that omnibuses may be provided with lightning rather than ordinary conductors.
Discusses the excitement and scenic effects caused by the appearance of the aurora 'Bore-alis'. Claims that the 'eye of science' found its 'socket' filled with a large stick belonging to a firework, which bore a close resemblance to the aurora. Adds that it too mistook a firework display for the meteorological phenomenon. Illustrations depict the fireworks.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Hospitals, Class, Industry, Disease
The narrator, Stephen Witcher, describes how he went to 'CAPTAIN POORE, an order for to beg / For the Hospital at Winchester, to cure my dreadful leg'. Having gained Poore's permission to be sent to the care of 'Muster Mayo' (i.e. Herbert MayoMayo, Herbert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>), he enjoyed excellent 'tendance and skill' at the hospital. Following an outbreak of 'erysip'las' he was sent home with Mayo's certificate requesting the 'Union Board' to provide the author with 'warmth and nourishment'.
Responds to news that 'one of the Professors who are engaged to make science popular' is lecturing on 'the philosophy of an empty bottle'. Notes that 'a good deal of philosophy is sometimes required in reference to a bottle which has been paid for as a quart, but which turns out to hold scarcely a pint'. Relishes the thought of cracking with the professor 'over his bottle'.
Regards the 'Electric Light' as an 'impertinent and presumptuous' invention and an attempt to destroy the interests of darkness and the appearance of celestial objects. Objects strongly to the light being tested in Trafalgar Square, because it inhumanely exposes the nymphs at night-time and makes the square 'sport for the stranger' all day and night. Appends other responses to this invention, including one 'gentleman' who could read much more writing than he had perceived before, another gentleman who, having caught, by use of the light, his lover handing a pigeon pie to a mounted guardsman, judged the invention to be 'a great agent in public morality', and Benjamin DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who, 'standing opposite the TreasuryTreasury
CloseView the register entry >>, by the astonishing power of the Electric Light saw himself—in office'.
Baffled by some expressions in an advertisement in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> for partners in a medical practice, such as 'Aged Practice', 'Applicant fond of field sports would tell', and 'Connexion the cream'. Concludes that the advertiser is illiterate and a snob.
A parody of Leporello's aria, 'Madama, il catologo e questo' from Wolfgang A Mozart'sMozart, (Johannes Chrysostom) Wolfgang Amadeus
CBD CloseView the register entry >> opera Don Giovanni. According to Anon, 'Leporello Recounting the Railway Loves of Don John', Punch, 15 (1848), , Leporello is to be played by George HudsonHudson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and is the servant of John Bull, who is a railway speculator rather than a Lothario. He describes to Donna Elivira, who is played by Britannia, some of John Bull's nefarious speculations. He explains that his master has 'shares in plenty' in European railways, has 'millions' in English lines, that railway schemes have been 'suspended through his troubles', and that for most of his lines he believes in 'Paying nought, or paying less'. The illustration shows the SphinxSphinx, Cairo CloseView the register entry >>, with the face of Hudson, looking onto a steam locomotive and carriages running past it, possibly a reference to his Egyptian railway dealings.
Punch, 15 (1848), .
Leporello Recounting the Railway Loves of Don John
Following Anon, 'The Railway Don John', Punch, 15 (1848), 246, this is a parody of Leporello's aria, 'Madama, il catologo e questo' from Wolfgang A Mozart'sMozart, (Johannes Chrysostom) Wolfgang Amadeus
CBD CloseView the register entry >> opera Don Giovanni, in which Leporello describes the number of conquests of the Lothario. Leporello is played by George HudsonHudson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and is the servant of 'Don' John Bull, who is a railway speculator rather than a Lothario. The figures stand in front of a railway terminus and Leporello holds up a long scroll on which is inscribed a list of all the railway lines in which 'Don John' has invested.
Thinks a recent LancetLancet
Directory CloseView the register entry >> advertisement for a union workhouse medical assistant illustrates the shocking 'existing relation between medical labour and wages'. Attacks the person ultimately responsible for the advertisement for allowing an assistant to work for only £30 per annum, a salary less than that of workers in such lower trades as bricklaying. Believes 'nothing but high moral feeling can be depended upon to hinder so ill-paid a workman from converting his pestle and mortar into mischievous weapons' and becoming a Chartist. Gloomily anticipates seeing 'young surgeons in want of employment at a statue fair [...] for hire'.
Doubts the 'utility' of the proposed submarine electric telegraph between Holyhead and Dublin, because 'ill tidings', which tend to be received from Ireland, 'always travel fast enough without being expedited' by this invention.
Written to imitate an illiterate Hampshire farmer, this letter by Cowslip describes to his correspondent, Veather, a visit to the 'Polly Ticnic'Royal Polytechnic Institution
CloseView the register entry >> in London, where he heard a lecture by Dr RyanRyan, Dr
PU1/15/25/4 CloseView the register entry >> 'On the food of plants'. Explains how plants 'zucks up their nourishment for all the world like a sponge', and 'gits a good bit out o' the air'. Expects his correspondent will 'stare' when he learns that plants eat such substances as 'Zillicur', 'Potash', and 'Fosforric' acid for food.
Sanitation, Public Health, Engineering, Monstrosities
Claims that many have mistaken the hoses that the Sanitary Commissioners use to drain cesspools, and which are left on thoroughfares, for the 'Sea Serpent'. Begs Edwin ChadwickChadwick, Sir Edwin
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> to remove the hoses, which the accompanying illustration depicts.
Proposes to communicate specimens of its jokes via the electric telegraph. Boasts that sending a small parcel of jokes to a Yorkshire railway terminus caused 'boisterous merriment' in the waiting room. Illustrations depict Mr Punch at a telegraph apparatus and people dancing outside a telegraph room.
Responding to news of a proposed floating railway line, warns that the 'scheme may work well enough when matters go smoothly' but expects the traffic on the line to be 'swamped' when 'NEPTUNE has a bill—or a bill-ow—to take up'. The illustration shows a railway line and carriages following the curves of the ocean waves.
Observes that electric light—the 'brightest thing [...] of the present day', dies 'with most annoying rapidity'. Notes that this has caused people to consider the merits of William E Staite'sStaite, William Edwards
WBI CloseView the register entry >> patent for improvements to an electric arc lamp to be 'over-stated'.
Discusses a new invention, the 'Telakouphanon, or Speaking Trumpet', which enables the speaker to be heard in three different places at once. Thinks that Benjamin LumleyLumley, Benjamin
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the London opera manager, could endeavour to develop the invention so that opera could be heard at home.