Reports Mr Punch's response to letters defending homeopathy and notes Punch's wife's conversion to the doctrine of Christian F S HahnemannHahnemann, Christian Friedrich Samuel
DSB CloseView the register entry >>. Argues that the 'infinitessimal doses' of homeopathy are 'the best remedies' for excessive drinking and medicine-taking, but points out that they are only suitable for curing 'infinitessimal diseases'. Ridicules the claim of a correspondent, Judy, that her baby's sickness was cured homeopathically. Refuses to 'investigate a theory which carries apparent absurdity on the face of it', and considers that it rests with the homeopathic practitioners to 'prove their doctrines'.
Following Alfred Smee'sSmee, Alfred
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> claim, published in his Process of ThoughtSmee, Alfred 1851.
The Process of Thought Adapted to Words and Language: Together with a
Description of Relational and Differential Mechanics, London: Longman,
Brown, Green, and Longmans
CloseView the register entry >>, that 'mechanical contrivances' could be devised to imitate the actions of the mind, anticipates what a future Great ExhibitionGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851)
CloseView the register entry >> might feature. Discusses the implications of such machines including the idea that the insane will be able to have 'artificial brains' installed in their heads and the construction of 'mechanical SHAKESPEARES and BEETHOVENS—actuated by steam and electricity, instead of genius'. Ridicules the feasibility of producing 'cogitative machines'.
Describes some of the 'things that were to have been hatched' in 1851, as if relating a visit to Mr Cantelo'sCantelo, Mr
PU1/14/1/2 CloseView the register entry >> 'Incubator' in Leicester Square. Thinks most of the 'Golden Eggs' that were supposed to have 'brought forth anything' were, like the eggs from Cantelo's machine, 'cracked'.
Description of a second visit to Wyld's Great GlobeWyld's Great Globe, Leicester Square CloseView the register entry >>, with observations of the features of the 'earth' as if it were a real place. These include the fact that the earth does not move, the cessation of daytime on Sunday, the great variation in population on the globe, and the high temperatures of its Arctic regions as a result of the globe being 150 feet closer to the Sun than the Earth.
Discusses the visit to Mr Cantelo'sCantelo, Mr
PU1/14/1/2 CloseView the register entry >> 'Hydro-Incubator' by members of the 15th Hussars and 16th Lancers who took such interest in the exhibition that they requested eggs produced by the machine to be sent to them.
Describes the imminent arrival at the Great ExhibitionGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851)
CloseView the register entry >> from Borneo of an 'Uran Utan'. Notes that despite the death of its 'wife', the orang-utan is in 'the best health and spirits' and that 'his forehead has the intellectual development that marks his early years; a development that becomes more purely animal as he grows to the adult'.
Asks William GregoryGregory, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> whether Major Buckley, a figure who claimed to have produced 'a degree of clairvoyance' in over 140 people, can 'magnetise the Custom House officials' so they can see inside trunks, especially those owned by ladies.
Complains that the Great ExhibitionGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851)
CloseView the register entry >> lacks the appearance of a 'BENEVOLENT MACHINE', a machine for providing 'the vilest, the most atrocious criminal, a passage to the realms of endless bliss'—the next life.
Responding to Jacob Bell'sBell, Jacob
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'Farmacy Bill' (a parliamentary bill for regulating the qualifications and practices of pharmaceutical chemistry), rejects the uses of drugs as a 'remedy for agricultur' and urges Bell to 'mind his own bisnus'.
Discusses some of the possible 'strange freaks performed [...] by the lower animals' during the imminent eclipse of the sun. These include 'Members of Parliament' who 'will go down to the "House"House of Commons
CloseView the register entry >> wondering how the time has flown so fast'. Adds that the eclipse is a good time for observing sunspots.
Speculates on the purposes of the 'Pocket Stove', suggesting, for example, that it is to be kept in the pocket as a deterrent against pickpockets. Warns the inventor that he has picked the wrong time of year to expect the public to 'take up' his invention.
Education, Religious Authority, Cultural Geography, Superstition, Anti-Scientism
Upholds the argument that 'there is no greater auxiliary to the inculcation of virtuous precepts, than instruction in the laws that govern the system of nature'. Lamenting the 'Cimmerian darkness' covering 'natural and political science' in Italy, calls for the establishment of a mechanics' institute in Rome. Hopes this move will convert the Italian people to the great ideas of Isaac NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, Jeremy BenthamBentham, Jeremy
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, and Adam SmithSmith, Adam
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. Decrees that the institute be christened the 'Baconian Mechanics' Institute' and that it be staffed by Englishmen trained at the University of LondonUniversity of London
CloseView the register entry >> and renowned for expertise in 'physical sciences' and liberalism in political and religious matters. Hopes this will 'dissipate' the 'dark clouds of superstition' that have overshadowed Italy and will result in English control over that country's ideas.
Purporting to be a prose rendition of Thomas Campbell'sCampbell, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> poem, The Pleasures of Hope, comically outlines the criticisms made by John Campbell (1st Baron Campbell) concerning the proposal to turn the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> into a winter garden. The criticisms include the possibility that it will cause such diseases as 'rheumatisms, coughs and agues' and prove to be a 'huge hot-house of consumption'.
Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Animal Behaviour, Human Species, Physiognomy
Describes Mr Punch's observations at the Royal Agricultural Society'sRoyal Agricultural Society of England
CloseView the register entry >> show area in Windsor Home ParkWindsor Home Park
CloseView the register entry >>. Claims that the physiognomy of the pigs and bulls resembled that 'characteristic of agricultural gentlemen'. The bulls, for example, showed 'a doggedness of will', while the pigs sense of 'persecution and wrong' was accompanied by 'continual grunting and squeaking in terms of angry complaint'. Adds that the animals, like agricultural workers, were 'groaning and squealing, as if for hunger' while they were 'stuffing themselves'.
Responds to an astronomer's claim that the 1812 solar eclipse brought horses 'to a stand-still' and forced oxen to form a circle. Likens the immobility of 'some political parties' to a 'moral eclipse' and wonders why oxen have not formed a circle to protest against the threatened closure of Smithfield MarketSmithfield Market
CloseView the register entry >>.
Shares the public's disappointment with the solar eclipse. The author explains how he prepared a smoked-glass plate through which to observe the phenomenon but was dismayed to find that the sun did not disappear.
Presents non-technical accounts of the eclipse as seen from such European cities as Rome and Naples. The report from Paris records that 'The moon—as described by M. AragoArago, Dominique François Jean
DSB CloseView the register entry >> appeared like a pitch plaster upon the face of the sun. Certain deputies, however, declared it to be like a monstrous blot of censor's ink'. The illustration shows Mr Punch looking through a telescope while sailing in a wooden tub.
Two gentlemen on a train returning from the Great ExhibitionGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851)
CloseView the register entry >> discuss such familiar and less familiar instruments as the 'sphaero-Condenser', 'the Zinickotimodai, for the waistcoat-pocket', and 'the Antephlebotomon for children'.
Criticizes the 'principle' and goals of vegetarians. Drawing parallels between animal and vegetable foods, questions the statesman Joseph Brotherton'sBrotherton, Joseph
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> conviction that vegetables are not harmed in their consumption. Believes the 'philosophy that renounces animal food because of the pain inflicted upon animal sensation' applies to vegetables, and wants vegetarians to prove the 'want of sensation' in vegetables. Hopes to see a day when philosophers 'entirely subsist on air'.
Reports the existence of 'a curious kind of insect' in ripe ears of corn which, according to Mr Punch's examination of the species under a microscope, is distinguished by the white letters '5d'. Explains that the blight at present found among the 'British Farmers' wheat predicts, 'The Best Quartern Loaf, price 5d.'
One participant, Mr Stunner, attacks the medical profession for 'withholding their sanction against total abstinence' owing to their self-interest in 'disease and suffering' and also for employing 'medicated grog' in their practice.
Includes a description of a visit to Drury Lane TheatreDrury Lane Theatre
CloseView the register entry >> during a performance of 'Acknowledged Man-Monkey'. Considers the 'delineations of the monkey tribe' to be 'rather deceptive' and warns the 'student of the habits of monkey life' not to trust the drama 'too implicitly'.
Responds to the grossly poetic way in which a 'Sunderland paper' described the recent solar eclipse. Comparing the luminosity of the report to that of the sun, urges readers to peruse the report through 'a piece of smoked glass'. The report includes the remark that the sun '"stood trembling at the gates of the west," electro-plating with burnished gold every hill and tree'.
Cultural Geography, Agriculture, Invention, Machinery, Astronomy, Religious Authority, Lecturing, Anti-Scientism
Laments the fact that the wrongs England has inflicted upon Ireland are 'full and running over'. Points out that not only was the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> 'raised by Irish skill' but that the exhibition commissioners have awarded a lucrative prize to an Irishman for inventing a steam-powered reaping-machine. Anticipates the consequent exultations of 'Saxon' farmers and the 'well-understood confusion' of the 'armies' of Irish reapers whose livelihoods will be destroyed by the machine. Continues with a description of the 'beautiful scene' of the Roman Catholic lecturer Daniel W CahillCahill, Daniel William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'as an astronomical lecturer', trying to teach the 'bigoted Saxon' the 'principles of astronomy—as set forth by the College of RomeGregorian University, Rome CloseView the register entry >>'.
Discusses the invention of a 'false moveable eye' that can perform all the operations of a real eye except seeing. Objects to the 'prismatic head of hair' caused by attempts to dye hair and questions how far the 'false' can 'supersede the true' in the case of the human body.
Subtitled 'A Lecture addressed to the National Entomological Society', describes the 'Episcopus Vastator', a 'variety of the Moth Tribe' notable 'for the damage it does to the cloth'. The description of the 'voracity' and physical appearance of 'Episcopus', and the illustration, reveal that the insect is a Roman Catholic bishop.
Discusses an advertisement from a surgeon seeking an assistant who wishes to 'see practice' without a salary. Unless the applicant can manage to live without an income, the author points out that 'the mere fact of "seeing practice"' will 'amount to a very visionary sort of benefit'.
Announces the invention of an artificial leg by an American named Mr PalmerPalmer, Mr
PU1/21/14/1 CloseView the register entry >>, and discusses its implications, including the fact that injured seamen will now be 'refitted and sent back to active duty', and the possibility of having taller footmen and better ballet dancers.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Quackery
Fiercely attacks medical practitioners as 'vile and infamous wretches' who 'get a disgraceful living by administering to the hard exigencies' of the sick with the 'resources of a paltry science' or a 'low mechanical art'. Condemns the easy studies and avaricious existence enjoyed by medical practitioners, and praises the Army Commander-in-Chief's Office (Horse Guards)Army—Commander-in-Chief's Office (Horse Guards)
CloseView the register entry >> for branding deserting army medical officers with the letter 'D'.
Stresses 'how much badness the body and soul destroying tea-trash contains' and, urging women to read the LancetLancet
Directory CloseView the register entry >> instead of 'foolish novels and unmeaning poetry', describes the 'nasty and pernicious' substances with which various types of tea are adulterated.
Punch, 21 (1851), 144.
Punch's Anniversaries—No. 6 The First Balloon Ascent in England, September 15, 1784
Subtitled 'Vincent LunardiLunardi, Vincenzo
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> Throwing Out a Little Ballast', depicts two aeronauts rising from a crowd of people in a balloon. One aeronaut is throwing some foul-looking fluid out of the basket to lighten the balloon.
Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Cultural Geography, Narcotics
Discusses the London PharmacopoeiaNevins, John
Birkbeck 1851. A Translation of the New London Pharmacopoeia:
Including the New Dublin and Edinburgh Pharmacopoeia with a Full Account of the
Chemical and Medicinal Properties of their Contents; Forming a Complete Materia
Medica, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans
CloseView the register entry >> and stresses the existence of considerable differences between the same 'medicine' as prescribed in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Noting the potentially fatal nature of these medicines, concludes that 'what is one man's physic, may be another man's poison'.
Medical Practitioners, Societies, Medical Treatment, Psychology, Gender
Discusses the Royal College of Physicians'Royal College of Physicians
CloseView the register entry >> proposal to establish a 'Chair of Psychological Therapeutics, or Medicine as applied to moral and intellectual diseases', a move prompted by the need to evaluate compensation for broken-hearted or bereaved women. Relishes the prospect of a remedy for curing the 'ailments of the inner senses' and notes that a College of Physicians professor has already discovered medicines for lawyers whose 'fallacies have become chronic'. Believes the materia medica may be enriched by 'psychological physic'.
Punch, 21 (1851), 148.
"There's Poison in the (Tea) Cup!"– Hamlet's Mother
Electricity, Medical Treatment, Psychology, Mental Illness
Introduces a 'Hydro-Electric Chain', a machine that claims to raise the spirits, dissipate depression and neutralise feelings of nervousness. Supplies testimonials from J Briefless and Mr Dunup supporting the efficacy of the machine.
Subtitled 'Adapted to the Improved System of Agriculture', reflects on the fact that his master employs only 'two men and a boy; / The rest is Machines [...] and the chief of his servants is osses and steam'. Anticipates that 'gentlefolks' dining at the 'fat cattle show' will now drink to 'the Machine'.
Responding to news of another balloon bursting, notes that the balloon has long been regarded as a 'perfectly useless invention'. Compares English balloon displays to the more dramatic French variety, where the aeronauts have no 'scruples about risking their necks' and where the objects raised by balloon include an 'eight-oar boat' and a 'four-roomed house, with its furniture and occupants'.
Quackery, Medical Treatment, Mental Illness, Commerce
Discusses a report of a man who was cured of his mental illness with 'quack medicines'. Observes that 'we should expect none but madmen could have been attracted by the puffing advertisements' of quack medicine vendors, and that such a person would come to his senses after entering a course of quack medicine.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Education
A spoof review of 'Punch's Outlines of Military Surgery', a work notable for its discussion of branding those who disgrace 'an honourable profession', and of 'corporal and capital punishment'. Adds that army surgeons should learn clinical medicine in the 'school of [the hangman] JACK KETCHKetch, John ('Jack')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>', and that they have now been 'allotted' a 'D' tattoo.
Telegraphy, Accidents, Politics, Cultural Geography, Medical Practitioners
Describes how a long spell of fog caused a 'sudden paralysis' of the arms of the French telegraph midway through the transmission of political intelligence. Speculates on what King Louis-PhillipeLouis-Phillipe, King of the French
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of France will do once conventional telegraphy is replaced by its electric counterpart, removing the excuse that it is the fog that keeps 'France in a perpetual fog'. Suggests that Louis-Phillipe will blame such events as geese snapping the telegraph wires. Calls for French physicians to observe the French telegraph.
Describes his visit to an 'exhibition of animal magnetism' at the Hungerford HallHungerford Hall
CloseView the register entry >> in London. Reports that Auguste LassaigneLassaigne, Auguste
WBICOPAC CloseView the register entry >> sent Prudence BernardBernard, Prudence
Lassaigne 1851 CloseView the register entry >> to sleep and 'caused her to do things that make her appear extremely wide awake'. These 'things' include moving a magnet 'without touching it', a feat that the author ascribed to either a 'magnetic influence' or by 'communicating vibration through the floor'. Adds that the stage managers tried unsuccessfully to show him that it was the former. In a description of a 'thought-reading' display, records how Lassaigne made Prudence Bernard believe she was walking over flowers. The author records how he established that 'grasping the hand of the somnambulist', an apparently important condition of the display, had no effect on the somnambulist. He is confident that 'Collusion or trick seemed impossible' but denies that he should believe in a miracle because he 'cannot imagine how it is done'. (184) Concludes by criticising mesmerists for not allowing analysis of their 'extraordinary phenomena' and compares them to 'friars and quacks'.
Following the scientific study of 'storms in general', proposes investigating 'the theory and causes of domestic storms', with a thinly-veiled comparison of wives to storms. The author reports having kept a log of the behaviour of 'her condition' under various weather conditions and makes several observations including the prevalence of storms 'about Christmas time', the protection from the storm offered by 'a bank', and the fact that storms sometimes begin 'with trifling airs, but these often increase suddenly to a squall of the most alarming character'. Likening husbands to mariners and wives to wayward sea-vessels, suggests methods for dealing with 'domestic storms' including 'taking [a vessel] out of her stays' and 'cutting her rigging'. The illustration shows a woman's head in a storm cloud and a man being blown away by the wind emerging from her mouth.
Reports that the Lancet'sLancet
Directory CloseView the register entry >> exposure of the 'horrid adulterations of tea' has prompted a decline in tea-drinking and the 'totality of teetotalism'. Wishes the government could have provided against' this 'state of things' and argues that adulteration could be checked by hiring 'a Chemical Officer, to be employed [by custom houses] as a Preventive against that sort of smuggling by which our foods and medicines are poisoned and polluted'.
Responds to a reply to his communication on mesmerism at the Hungerford HallHungerford Hall
CloseView the register entry >> (see The Sceptical Gentleman, 'Prudence and Mesmerism at Hungerford Hall', Punch, 21 (1851), 184–85). Defends his approach to mesmerism by pointing out that the 'marvellousness of [mesmerists'] assertions induces close scrutiny of their facts' and implies that mesmerists, owing to their 'Intolerance of scepticism, in matters of science', are guilty of the 'imposture of enthusiasm'. Insists that he is not denying the possibility of phenomena produced between Prudence BernardBernard, Prudence
Lassaigne 1851 CloseView the register entry >> and Auguste LaissaigneLassaigne, Auguste
WBICOPAC CloseView the register entry >>, only that it is 'not proven'. Argues for a series of experiments by candid persons on the effect of the will on Prudence Bernard's ability to behave as if she were really walking on a bed of serpents. Denies the existence of corroborative evidence for her supposed thought-reading powers and urges that such evidence can only be produced in the Royal InstitutionRoyal Institution of Great Britain
CloseView the register entry >>. Adds that Michael FaradayFaraday, Michael
DSB CloseView the register entry >> should be asked to verify her apparent power to 'attract the magnet', and insists that the action of the electric telegraph, unlike 'Mesmeric miracles', can be verified 'at any time for the sum of one shilling, with no extra change of scepticism'.
Reflects on the completion of a submarine telegraph between England and France. Notes the speed with which messages will be sent between these nations and asks, 'What great marvel could a wizard boast? / No worse explosion, no more fearful shock'. Expects the rapid transmission of news through the telegraph will cause 'fish that flock / Around it' to 'gape with all their jaws'.
Time, Instruments, Technology, Electricity, Government
Discusses the possibility of using electricity to control clocks 'on every floor, in every man's house'. Suggests establishing a central electrical clock in the Horse GuardsArmy—Commander-in-Chief's Office (Horse Guards)
CloseView the register entry >> which would 'regulate all the Electrical Clocks in the Metropolis', and believes that this system would make for 'greater degree of regularity [...] in our daily engagements', including 'getting up of a morning' and railway travel.
Continues observations on domestic storms begun in Anon, 'The Law of Domestic Storms', Punch, 21 (1851), 185. These include the claim that 'Domestic Storms, like other storms [...] come round at regular intervals' and increase with the trade winds, an observation supported by an account of a shipmate losing all control of 'Eliza'. Compares the showers of fish accompanying violent sea storms to the shower of crockery accompanying domestic storms, and explains that 'sparks' are the cause of these storms. Considers the best remedy to be 'a good conductor' or 'meeting the sparks with an opposing battery'.
Quackery, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Statistics, Narcotics
Notes the changing fashions in quackery including those for pills and lozenges. Discusses and repudiates the mania for sarsaparilla, a drink that is 'said to "destroy every kind of humour"'. Asks the editor of Notes and QueriesNotes and Queries
CloseView the register entry >> why 'anybody dies at all' given the large consumption of supposedly life-saving medicine. Criticises the statistics used by quacks to puff their medicines.
Claims that the submarine telegraph will stop people being 'tied to time' and that it has taken over from mail as the route for 'all the important French news'. Thinks that the consequences of the rapidity of news transmission via the electric telegraph will be 'watches and clocks' becoming 'obsolete', time being 'set at nought', and the possibility of being 'knocked into next week'.
Representation of the Dover-Calais submarine telegraph of 1851. Shows John Bull standing on the cliffs of Dover wrapped in an 'electric wire' which extends across the Channel to a French policeman on the distant shores of Calais.
Claims to be using a clairvoyant whose 'prophetic revelations' will 'startle the literary world'. Boasts that the clairvoyant's 'Mesmeric Telescope' enables him to see through such objects as the 'walls of Grubb Street' and the thoughts of journalists.
Discusses a letter complaining that the submarine telegraph will give some people 'unpleasant facilities' for 'interfering with other people'. Points out that the telegraph can help catch criminals and debtors and asks whether 'the progress of science shall be stopped'. The illustration shows two gentleman responding to the news of a siege in Paris which had reached them, via the telegraph, only twenty-five minutes after the event occurred.
Punch, 21 (1851), 252.
The Boa and the Blanket. An Apologue of the Zoological Gardens
Describes the spread of the 'chronic' London clock disease to the St Pancras clock. Suggests that, 'as the electric clock had something to do with lightning', the clock 'may be literally thunder-struck'.
Punch, 21 (1851), 264.
Sketch of the Patent Street-Sweeping Machines Lately Introduced at Paris
Responding to news that George CatlinCatlin, George
WBI CloseView the register entry >> is proposing to 'collect a Museum, consisting of all the individuals of all the tribes that are now passing away', suggests forming collection of the 'numerous races' that are 'on the eve of becoming extinct among our own countrymen'. Describes four of these races: the 'Protectionist', the 'Stage Coachman', the 'Watchman', and the 'Irish Repealer'. Illustrations depicts Mr Punch and John Bull visiting the menagerie displaying these races.