Architecture, Natural Theology, Design, Education, Religious Authority
Discussing the idea of opening the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> on Sundays, points out that the building 'will contain wonders of creation' which can help preachers demonstrate 'the benevolence, justice and wisdom, presiding over the universe'. Suggests that some 'heterodox wretch might even propose to have services, in the spirit of the Bridgewater treatisesChalmers,
Thomas et al. 1833–36. The Bridgewater Treatises on the
Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God as Manifested in the Creation, 12 vols,
London: William Pickering
CloseView the register entry >>' in the building 'amidst objects which would certainly afford the strongest evidences of the principles asserted in those volumes'.
Subtitled, 'Or, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Making it Quite Clear to Mr. Bull'. Shows John Bull peering through the crooked eyepiece of a telescope, while Benjamin DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> holds his hat over the other end of the instrument.
Responds to news of a pocket telescope that enables somebody to be seen 'at a distance of a mile and a half'. Regards the invention as useful for scrutinising distant parliamentary candidates and for protectionist voters to recognise remote 'agricultural prospects'.
Believes the 'science' of electrobiology, rather than biology, is 'famous', because it 'requires very great skill to practise it', and produces amusing effects. Illustrates this point with an account of 'MR JONES' who, by staring and arguing with his wife, or by applying pressure to her wrist and ankle, makes her succumb to his will. Points out that 'husbands are not so susceptible as wives', but describes the case of 'MR DOVE' who succumbs easily to his wife's 'Biological influence'—an influence consisting 'of a frown first, and a pinch afterwards' that Punch describes with examples drawn from the Doves' behaviour in polite society. Notes the 'entertaining experiments' that can be made when placing a sovereign in the wife's hand.
Claims that Fitzroy KellyKelly, Sir Fitzroy
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has been 'studying electro-biology and trying to impress the susceptible subjects of East Suffolk' and that the repeal of the Corn Laws has not raised 'the food, the comforts and enjoyments of the people'.
Illustrates the attempt to increase the luminosity of the Koh-i-Noor diamond, an object that was the centrepiece of the Great ExhibitionGreat Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations (1851)
CloseView the register entry >> and is here represented by a Turk with a diamond-shaped head. The diamond is surrounded by several 'Eminent Scientific Men', the 'Dook' (i.e. Arthur Wellesley, (1st Duke of Wellington)Wellesley, Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>), and some 'Dutch' artisans who are seen operating 'requisite machinery' to solve the problem of increasing the diamond's luminosity.
Describes Mr Punch's visit to the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> and wonders whether 'the iced champagne / Or Beauty's power magnetic, / Or both, that acting on his brain [...] Gave him a sort of clairvoyance' that enabled him to see 'The Palace of the People'.
Describes an 'Important Meeting of the Swell Mob' concerning proposals to 'connect all Police Officers with the Electric Telegraph'. Participants agree that the proposal posed a serious threat to their livelihoods. For example, 'MR. MONTGOMERY MORTIMER' complains that 'They were to be nabbed through electricity' and this would prevent him from continuing his 'arduous profession' overseas. The 'REVEREND MR. CAVENDISH BELGRAVE' announces the existence of 'clerical gents' in the Legislature which 'existed to restrict ingenuity and enterprise'. The meeting ends with 'three groans' being given to Charles WheatstoneWheatstone, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >>.
Advises the Lords of the Admiralty to use 'Quadrochloride of Nitrogen [...] one of the most explosive compounds known', to save money on firing salutes. The substance is so potent that the author fails to finish his concluding sentence stating that he would risk his life to prove the truth of his claims.
Responds to news of John R Hind'sHind, John Russell
DSB CloseView the register entry >> discovery of a new planet between Mars and Jupiter, and is pleased with the decision to name the planet Melpomene. Suggests, however, that to settle the 'ticklish' state of affairs between England and America, the planet should be called 'SUSAN CUSHMAN', after the contemporary American star of the London stage.
Aeronautics, Accidents, Technology, Medical Treatment
Describes the dangers of participating in the balloon rides offered by the 'Proprietors of the GRAND COCKAIGNE PLEASURE GROUNDS'. Puffs the strong possibility that witnesses to the ascents have a good chance of seeing 'HALF-A-DOZEN PERSONS KILLED AT ONCE!' which will lead to the spectacle of seeing 'Eminent SURGEONS' perform amputations at St Bartholomew's HospitalSt Bartholomew's Hospital
CloseView the register entry >> and 'THE OPERATION OF TREPANNING'. The illustration shows a young man lifted upside down under a ballon on which is displayed an ominous skull and cross-bones.
Railways, Accidents, Medical Treatment, Education, Anaesthesia, Transport
Announces to the 'STAFF OF EXPERIENCED SURGEONS' that the 'BOARD OF DIRECTORS of the KILLBURY and MAIMSWORTH line of RAILWAY' are putting on their trains. Notes that their service will provide ample opportunities for medical students to practise 'AMPUTATIONS, (under Chloroform)'.
Claims that the 'Archaeologist's Progress' is notorious for such absurdities as tracing 'the bees'-wing in a bottle of port at Newark to the bees that swarmed about the mouth of PlatoPlato
DSB CloseView the register entry >>. Notes Professor Pinchy's support for the archaeologists' claim that eating and drinking were 'necessities of human nature'. Reports his proposal that the archaeologists should, the following year, 'sit upon Dorking fowls—a subject hitherto neglected', and consider similarly trivial subjects, such as 'the brawn of Canterbury' and the 'sausages of Epping'.
Describes a meeting of railway shareholders to discuss a proposed amalgamation of all railway companies—an allusion to the proposal to amalgamate the South EasternSouth Eastern Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >> and London, Brighton & South CoastLondon, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >> railway companies—as a way of raising fares. During the discussion the chairman stresses the desirability of adopting a universal level and gauge (of the narrowest possible kind) for all railways.
The 'Directors of the Great North Southern and East Western Railway' announce to 'MEDICAL STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND GUARDIANS' their 'SCHOOL of SURGERY', consisting of hospitals in railway stations where frequent victims of railway accidents provide material for instruction. The illustration shows the figure of death as a signalman standing outside a railway tunnel.
Notes the fact that quack medicines are always promoted as substances which have caused '50,000' cures, but insists that the constancy of this figure over the past three years indicates the ineffectiveness of the medicine.
Noting that physicians are forbidden to advertise, responds to an advertisement in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> from 'L.C.', putatively Dr Linkumfeedle, a 'fashionable physician' who defends women against charges that they find childrearing 'a great bore'. Linkumfeedle insists that upper and middle-class women have to be persuaded to relinquish this duty to wet nurses but the writer believes 'vulgar medical science' favours nurses in this role. Responding to Linkumfeedle's criticism of high-born mothers who ruin their health through childcare, considers that Linkumfeedle is the physician who attends, makes considerable profit from, and advertises himself to serve the 'highborn and wealthy'.
Observes with some relish that an article in a 'penny-a-liner' used phrenology to judge a criminal, rather than simply narrate his story. Believes this indicates that 'the scientific spirit is gradually prevailing'.
General reflections on the dangers of railway travel for a second-class passenger. For instance, 'In Tunnels, where 'tis pitchy dark, / He moralises thus:— / "How very soon life's little spark / May be put out for us!" / Electric Telegraphs, of course, / Remind him of a shock'. Agrees that with the railway 'we conquer Time and Space' but balances this with the fatalities it causes.
Urges 'savans' to elucidate the causes of the disease afflicting vegetables—a disease that already affects the lives of 'lower orders of the population' but which, as Punch cynically observes, only gains the attention of the higher orders when it affects their wine.
Describes the responses of members of the Fogie family to their new lamp. Their exchanges about the lamp reveal their worries about the dangers of the lamp exploding. Contrasts are developed between Mr Fogie, who explains the mechanism of the lamp in terms of a steam engine, to his wife, who finds it difficult to understand the lamp, and the scientific explanation of the lamp mechanism offered by Miss Winterbottom.
Mathematics, Political Economy, Scientific Practitioners, Progress
Criticises a correspondent in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> for poor mathematical arguments concerning taxation, and attacks mathematicians for having 'progressed so far in their own science' that they have lost sight of their ridiculous postulates.
Disease, Public Health, Sanitation, Medical Practitioners
Describes the imminent arrival of 'KING CHOLERA' from Northern Europe. Attacks England's 'curs'd Boards of Health, / Its sewers, and drains, and inspectors' who 'keep poking their nose' wherever cholera goes. Believes cholera's friends include the boards of the health and the 'doctors and drainers' who consider self-government to be the solution to the problem of the disease.
Shows a crowded thoroughfare flanked by 'Logins for travellers' on one side, and dominated by a pile of filth on the other. Several children play on and around the pile, while a woman crouches over it, evidently in search of something valuable or useful.
Anticipates that the air will soon be as full of balloons as the sea is of ships, and accordingly appends a spoof notice of 'Ballooning Intelligence'—a list of balloon accidents in the style of 'Shipping Intelligence'.
Reports on strange humming noises, often accompanied by utterances of numbers, emanating from the Chancellor of the Exchequer's office. Argues that these 'acoustical phenomena' are not supernatural in origin but Benjamin DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> calculating his budget aloud.
Spoof trial of Benjamin DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> (the Chancellor of the Exchequer), charged with harming 'a Protectionist donkey' which the accused and his allies attached to the bottom of a balloon.
Public Health, Sanitation, Disease, Government, Statistics
Attacks recent legislation on public health, including the Public Health Act of 1848 and the Baths and Wash-Houses Act, as threats to 'the Briton's inestimable privilege of self-government'. Expresses approval that 'ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> is awake to the levelling and dangerous principles of the so-called "Sanitary-Reformers"'. Upholds the fact that in many London districts self-government flourishes and the drainage and other sanitary ideas of the reformers do not work. Rebutts reformers' sanitary ideas concerning the operation of standpipes and the location of water butts and the notions of 'that despotic and un-English body, the Commissioners of SewersCity of London Commissioners of Sewers
CloseView the register entry >>' concerning ditches. Relishes the victories of the independent landlord over the commissioners and denies the use of sanitary statistics.
Seeks to dispose of a number of 'Plague Walks, doing a great stroke of business', by stressing the proximity of such requisites for the 'successful prosecution of the business' as 'Patent Manure' factories and Thames water.
Ridicules an advertisement from an 'impostor' who offers to 'cast Nativities [...] "in accordance with the purest [...] principles of science"' and who has the impudence to attack 'illiterate pretenders to the Science of Astrology'.
Describes a visit to a performance by practitioners of 'the science of ventriloquism'. So struck by the apparently painful contortions which the ventriloquists showed on their faces that it is suggested that the Animals' Friend SocietyAnimals' Friend Society
CloseView the register entry >> could have interfered for their protection.
Describes Mr Punch's visit to the Zoological Society GardensZoological Society of London —Gardens
CloseView the register entry >>, where he observed the injured badger and an ape, which turns out to be the badger's doctor. Appends a copy of the doctor's bulletin signed 'Pugsy Cocoatop, M.D.'.
Reports on the Chancellor of the Exchequer Benjamin Disraeli'sDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> invention of a 'Reaping Machine' which will help farmers reap the benefit of what he believes to be 'looming in the future'.
Explains how the thought of Christmas pantomimes develops within the minds of London theatre managers. Notes that the thought begins deep within the pia mater of the brain—a region so small that 'when microscopes are brought to perfection' it will be 'shown at so much a head'.
Suggests that the continuing blaze from Mount Etna be extinguished with Mr Philip'sPhilips, Mr
PU1/19/19/4 CloseView the register entry >> 'Fire Annihilator' which should be used to give doses of water in the large quantities found in successful homeopathic treatment. Believes Philips's invention will have its credibility proved by the successful extinction of the fire.
Baffled by the argument that railway accidents are caused by 'inattention to "Points"', suggests several 'points' which need to be found. These all involve ways of maximising inconvenience and accidents on railways. For example, a '"point" of regulating the traffic entirely by the laws of eccentric motion', and a '"point" of selecting for a "trial trip" that period of the day when the line is fullest'.
Reports that the submarine telegraph 'was for the first time worked on the 1st instant' but laments the fact that the message sent was to Louis NapoleonNapoleon III, Emperor of France (originally
Louis Napoléon (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte))
CBD CloseView the register entry >>. Notes that the senders of the message, the directors of the Submarine Telegraph CompanySubmarine Telegraph Company
CloseView the register entry >>, hoped the telegraph would serve 'under the Empire', and is deeply worried that this implies a British allegiance to the French empire.
Insists that beer at the University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> is 'very good physic and bark. / Not to name a French chemist's unguarded remark', and that it abounds with substances that neither a chemist nor druggist can 'compound'.
Subtitled 'ParacelsusParacelsus (Theophrastus Philippus Aureolus Bombastus
DSB CloseView the register entry >> the Alchemist to Benjamin DisraeliDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> the Financier', pursues Punch's ongoing identification of Disraeli, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as a cunning wizard. Believes Disraeli has inherited his tremendous skill at transmuting 'the base dross of Protection at will / To the Gold of Free Trade' from himself. The author traces his skill in deluding 'half Europe' to a 'long line of sages', but warns Disraeli that he has inherited some of the more dangerous qualities of these sages, including 'too fluent a speech' from Pythagoras of SamosPythagoras of Samos
(c. 560–c. 480
DSB CloseView the register entry >>. Believes Disraeli has inherited 'All the tact that ever distinguished our race' and gives him much advice about economics, including promising 'vaguely, and wildly, and grandly, but still / Promise on, leaving Fortune our words to fulfil'. Compares Disraeli's financial work to that of alchemists pursuing chimeras. For example, he tells Disraeli that 'when your fine spirit racks / Its wits in preparing a budget or tax, / It recalls [...] The days when it sought the philosopher's stone', and reassures him that the spirit which enabled him to stop the 'Burgher of Lubeck' stealing his principle of making gold, can be used to defend himself against the statesmen Lord John RussellRussell, Lord John, 1st Earl Russell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Joseph HumeHume, Joseph
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who might accuse him of stealing their 'measure'.
Mental Illness, Cruelty, Hospitals, Politics, Government, Cultural Geography
Notes the benefits of the 'non-restraint system of treating lunatics' but allows that Peter Laurie'sLaurie, Sir Peter
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> opposition to this method has much truth to it and that 'there are some cases in which the opposite plan alone will answer'. Describes an 'example of this sort', the 'National Bethlehem'—a representation of the French nation as a mental hospital like the Bethlehem Royal HospitalBethlehem Royal Hospital
CloseView the register entry >>. Observes that the 'deranged community possesses, in great measure, the extraordinary power of constituting its own Government', and describes the succession of directors the inmates have appointed, down to the time of their present ruler, Lewis Nap (a reference to Louis NapoleonNapoleon III, Emperor of France (originally
Louis Napoléon (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte))
CBD CloseView the register entry >>). Describes how Nap has found his disciplinary regime 'singularly well relished' and how his patients worship him as the 'Supreme Ruler'. Thinks lunatics should be allowed to 'enjoy their own management peaceably, so long as they will only leave us at peace'.
Monstrosities, Zoology, Taxonomy, Time, Geology, Controversy
Ponders the nature of the 'Sea-Serpent', including the possibility that it might be a 'serpent of the mind', 'a giant adder', or an enormous fish. Discussing the possible age of the serpent, asks, 'What fossil Saurians in thy time have been?' and, 'What geologic periods has thou seen, / Long as the tail thou doubtless canst unfold?'.
Speculates on the possibility that animals 'can indulge in polite conversation' and recalls a meeting with a mesmerist 'whose OD force [...] Makes you see your stomach instead of your eyes' and who is capable of making people believe that their crude items of food are in fact of high quality. Explains how the mesmerist took him to the Baker Street cattle show where he immobilised a 'two-year-old-boar' with a glance and caused a pig to speak. The pig points out that St Anthony cured animals by 'sprinkling and stroking' and relates other myths concerning the ability of animals to speak. Adds that electro-biology is now 'spread through the land' and that the stomach has 'quite lost its relish for eating and drinking' owing to its 'new task of thinking'.