Advertises a cure for a wide range of mental and physical complaints from
'poverty of ideas' and 'bad temper', to 'baldness (of invention)' and
'nervousness in travelling'. Claims it can 'restore the highest jocular energy
to the most enfeebled intellect'.
Describes the 'wooden pistol' which has been constructed 'thanks to the
roguery of Muscovite contractors'. Complains that the 'British dragoon is armed
with a weapon about as useless as a pistol of wood'—a carbine which is
Details the appearance and habits of the Russian eagle which,
unsurprisingly, emerges in a most unflattering light. For example, it is
described as a 'nondescript creature, uniting the voracity of the vulture with
the malice of the magpie, and the thievery of the raven', a bird which 'from
its devotional attitude [...] may be strictly called a bird of pray'. In its
diet it 'is thought to exhibit a trait of the vampire' since it sucks 'the
life-blood of the country which it broods over'.
Claims that the female bear's 'maternal tenderness' is shown by news that
Emperor Nicholas INicholas I, Emperor of Russia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of
Russia has recalled his sons to attend his sickly wife. Believes this story
shows that 'Even Nicholas himself appears to have some affection for his own
Anticipating the end of the Crimean war before the opening of the
Exposition Universelle de
ParisExposition Universelle (1855), Paris CloseView the register entry >>, suggests that the contributions of
Emperor Nicholas INicholas I, Emperor of Russia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of
Russia to the 'arts and sciences' will be exhibits on the 'arts of killing and
destroying and the sciences of delusion and priestcraft'. Suggests examples of
these exhibits including 'Anatomical wax models, explanatory of army surgery,
and expressive of various forms of disease', and 'Articles of furniture,
showing the effects of bombardment'.
War, Politics, Engineering, Railways, Engineers, Scientific
Practitioners, Political Economy, Medical Practitioners
Emperor Nicholas INicholas I, Emperor of Russia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of
Russia will be using American iron to build his projected railway and American
oak to build steamships. Notes that despite the wastage of war, it 'opens out a
field to our physicians, engineers, mechanics, and manufacturers'.
Medical Practitioners, Religion, Religious Authority, War,
Discusses evangelical reaction to
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> alleged preaching of Roman Catholic doctrines to the
wounded soldiers in the Crimea. Hopes that 'in the approbation of
SOVEREIGNVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the affectionate
gratitude of the army, and the regard of all true Englishmen,
MISS NIGHTINGALE will be able to find some
consolation for the dislike of sectarians'.
Depicts two navvies commenting on a well-dressed gentlemen passing by. One
navvy remarks: 'Ah Bill! It shows the forrard March of the Age. Fust, the Brute
force of such as 'im; and then the likes of us to do it Scientific, and show
the Might of Intellect'.
An implicit eulogy on
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, describing her in such radiant terms as 'one bright
star' holding a 'blessed path', a 'woman, fragile, pale, and tall' whose
'saintly work' moves 'Through miles of pallets, thickly laid / With sickness in
its foulest guise. And pain, in forms to have dismayed, / Man's
Human Development, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment,
Suggests some decidedly harsh measures for controlling infants' behaviour
including pinching and 'whopping' noisy babies and giving babies cheap 'poppy
syrup' to send them to sleep. Cynically notes that if the baby's 'little hearse
/ Weeping neighbours soon set eyes on, / Who'll suppose, with such a nurse'
that baby 'died of taking pison'.
Zoology, Natural History, Animal Behaviour, Politics,
A detailed 'zoological' description of 'TæNIA
OFFICIALIS—the Red-Tapeworm' which is described as a
'one of the entozoa which infest the body-politic, and is perhaps the
most pernicious of them all'. Particularly common in 'every department of
State', its characteristics include 'a strong attachment to place', the power
of 'being cut up almost indefinitely without apparently being worse for the
operation', and 'an almost total absence of energy'.
Saint-Hilaire'sGeoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore
DSB CloseView the register entry >> lecture in which the naturalist recommended 'the use
of horseflesh for food'. Notes that Geoffroy's examples of cultures which
thrived on such food could have included London medical students and
present-day Germans, and that if horseflesh replaces beef as the staple diet of
the English then the 'staple will become stable'.
Medical Treatment, Mental Illness, Gender, Domestic Economy
Discusses the attempt by a 'mental physician to the State', Dr Punch, to
check the disease of potichomania, a craze for imitating oriental porcelain
vessels, 'to which the female mind alone is subject'. Notes that the symptoms
include 'the weak propensity among young ladies to transmogrify good glass into
bad porcelain' and the corresponding 'accidental smashing' of 'claret jugs and
wine decanters'. Concludes by reporting that Dr Punch's suggested treatment is
'a course of wholesome ridicule, by which the patient may be laughed out of her
Invention, Government, Engineers, Military Technology, Steam-power,
The first act opens in a waiting room of a 'Public Office' near Whitehall in
which sit several people including a 'MAN WITH A
GRIEVANCE', who is still waiting for 'compensation or
parliamentary enquiry', and 'a MONOMANIACAL
INVENTOR, with a universally unacknowledged substitute for
the steam engine', who hopes Mr Buffer will listen to his claims for a
'galvanic propeller'. Later a 'Gaunt Stranger' from America appears and seeks
to offer to 'the old Country' his 'American Breech-loading Carbine', which he
proceeds to explain in great detail. (107)
Ridicules two apparently correct predictions made by the publishers of the
Raphael's Prophetic Almanac
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >> of
Robert C SmithSmith, Robert Cross ('Raphael')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>
('Raphael'). Attacks the predictions for being so vague that they are bound to
be fulfilled and insists that no Raphael is needed to make these predictions.
Offers a dozen 'samples of our prophesying talent' which it feels are 'weak
enough to print'. These include 'March: A gentleman's hat is blown off
on Waterloo Bridge' and 'December: A little boy is taken ill the day
after Christmas Day, and the Doctor has to be sent for in a hurry'.
Discusses the possible identity of a 'Thing' that has left mysterious
hoof-like traces, indicating that the monster has but one leg, in Devonshire.
Assesses speculations that the monster is a kangaroo, a badger, a rat, a wading
bird, and a toad. Believes 'most of those who have written upon the subject
seem to have studied their zoology out of
HOOK'sHook, Theodore Edward
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> author—BUFFOON [i.e.
Georges L Leclerc, comte de
BuffonBuffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc,
DSB CloseView the register entry >>], the Great French Natural'.
Reports on the arrival from America in Mr Punch's office of a lobster's claw
and a newspaper advertisement for 'Medusa Fluid and Galvanic Hair
Dye'. Adds that the fluid and the dye are 'alarming failures'.
Medical Treatment, Quackery, Exhibitions, Commerce, Display
Discusses the visit to the
CloseView the register entry >> of the well-known advertiser of a 'miraculous Ointment' that
can allegedly cure everything. Claims that the advertiser wanted his named
prefixed to the word 'SALVE!', which appears above the threshold of the
Punch, 28 (1855), 137.
Common Things for High Officials: Medicines and How not to Stow
Compares the abundance of drugs in England, where 'diseases are common',
with their paucity in the Crimea, 'where diseases are very common'. Blames
'certain authorities' for being ignorant of the 'nature of these common things
[medicines]', for disposing of medicines and for wasting an immense amount of
money by purchasing them. Describes the various methods of storing medicines
and the dangers of spilling and wasting expensive ones, and warns of the
dangers of transporting medicines in a ship—notably, the possibility of
drugs being crushed and the explosive consequences of medicinal oils colliding
with ordnance. The illustration shows medicine bottles running away from a
flying cannon ball.
Begins with an extract from a Dublin newspaper describing the escape of a
wild boar from the
Zoological Gardens, DublinZoological Gardens, Dublin CloseView the register entry >>. The
ballad, written to represent an author of limited literacy, describes the
pursuit of the boar. The illustration shows the boar, dressed in a tailcoat,
being chased by several men.
Education, Societies, Instruments, War, Government, Electricity,
Following the success of 'associations of young men for the cultivation of
each other's minds', reports on the extension of the educational experiment to
'elderly men in the higher ranks'. An 'Old Men's Mutual Improvement Society' is
to be founded with the specific intention of applying 'common sense to the
conduct of civil and military affairs', an ironic reference to the ineptitude
of elderly statesmen and military personnel in the management of the Crimean
War. Reports that members of the society will visit the
Royal Polytechnic InstitutionRoyal Polytechnic Institution
CloseView the register entry >>
and similar institutions, and enjoy access to such scientific instruments as an
electrical machine and a galvanic battery.
Questions the 'character' of the aurora, on account of 'her' theft of dew,
her deposition on mountains of 'gold' stolen from banks, and the 'fine,
glowing, malicious pleasure she takes in always breaking the Day'.
Responding to news that a medical witness (Dr BallerBaller, Dr
PU1/28/16/4 CloseView the register entry >>) failed to distinguish between
melancholia and melancholy, suggests a proper scientific definition of
melancholia, as distinguished from melancholy.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Class, Industry, Commerce,
Homeopathy, Quackery, Political Economy
A spoof report of a meeting of poor law medical officers, held at the
'MalthusMalthus, Thomas Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>
Arms', at which members discussed how pauper patients could enjoy greater
medical relief. The chairman, Mr Nightbell, concludes from a report in the
Directory CloseView the register entry >> and a
calculation of expenditure on medical treatments and shoe leather, that the
salary of one poor law medical officer, Frederick Smith Garlick, is desperately
low. The suggestion of reducing a medical officer's expenditure by regulating
the 'system of diet' of the poor is dismissed as having been tried before in
the poor law unions. Mr Probin cautiously suggests using homeopathic remedies
to reduce costs, a resolution that is seconded by Mr Scruples, who is forced to
consider the application of homeopathy to 'Poor Law practice by the homeopathic
amount of his salary'.
Steamships, Medical Treatment, Accidents, Transport
Subtitled 'A Versified Version of the Report of the Commissioners appointed
to inquire into the irregularities in the Transport of Stores, &c., to the
East', laments the way in which 'Medical Stores' held on steamships are 'ground
to paste' (172).
Following the establishment of a telegraph to the Crimea, expects that the
despatches sent from the battlefield by
Fitzroy J H
Somerset (1st Baron Raglan)Somerset, Lord Fitzroy James Henry, 1st
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, already famous for their meteorological
detail, will be 'so au courant with the atmospheric changes that the
columns of the papers may as well be arranged in the form of barometers to be
filled up' according to the news from the Crimea.
Responding to news that
FrederickWilliam IVFrederick William IV, King of Prussia
CBE CloseView the register entry >> of Prussia 'will be found eventually to evince a
disposition for drawing the sword', claims that not being a 'table-turner' or
an 'electro-biologist' Punch cannot prophesy what the king will do,
except show 'a disposition for drawing the cork'.
Discusses the claim by
Sydney TurnerTurner, Sydney
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>,
the Chaplain and Governor of the Philanthropic Farm School who boasted that
most of his pupils 'had been substantially moralized—that instead of
being wasps, they had become bees'. Discussing the development of 'working and
singing' bees, upholds the claim that 'wasps are [...] changeable into bees',
but points out that not all bees are 'provident, temperate, industrious'.
Observes that bees can get drunk and that 'such are some bees, and such are
many men'. Hopes that Turner is right when he insists that wasps 'fed upon
wholesome invigorating tasks' can turn into working bees. Expresses pessimism
about the efficacy of parliamentary bills for eradicating 'the human wasp' and
'providing for the better production of human bees' by education, and fears
that the human 'wasps will be allowed to swarm'.
Observes that, despite the appearance of leaves on the trees, 'The wind in
the East' is still 'at eve [i.e. cool]'. Notes the folly of the 'Lovely woman'
who removes her winter clothing too soon and has to take 'Lots of draughts for
colds and coughs', and also those who venture into the still damp weather in
'thin shoes'. Laments that there are those who catch chills because they
'venture out' in 'this treacherous season' and explains that the 'man of reason
/ Stays within, and takes a pill'.
Noting the variety of reptiles to be found in America, describes the
characteristics of 'an American Breed of curs'—the
'"STATES" MAN'—notably, its whining and
howling at England for interfering in American affairs and in other political
Discusses reports in the
PostMorning Post and Daily Advertising Pamphlet
CloseView the register entry >> that the sea serpent has reappeared off the Cape of
Delaware and that gigantic hailstones have fallen in Corning. Observes that the
hailstones would have killed the serpent had it been in Corning.
Ponders the secret plan of
Thomas Cochrane (10th
Earl of Dundonald)Cochrane, Thomas, 10th Earl of Dundonald
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> to destroy the Russians and begs to know more
about it. Describes the enemy as a 'Ferocious, cruel, wretched race / Of
slaves' who 'compel us all to bear / Their own vile Tyrant's yoke', and notes
that 'our sole concern' is now to 'quell the pest' and 'bane the vermin best'.
Claims that by 'destroying' the Russians, 'Life [...] we save' and 'fewer tears
will gush', and that whatever Dundonald's plan—'poison fumes, or liquid
fire'—it should be revealed.
Responds to an article in
The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >>
describing a meeting of the 'United Kingdom Association for the total
Suppression of the Traffic in Intoxicating Liquors throughout the United
Kingdom'. Observes that if intoxicating liquors are to be banned in the
interests of public morality, then so should 'stimulating foods'. Argues that
'Gluttony is equally a vice with drunkenness' since men 'are probably guilty of
more deliberate evils' owing to 'cramming and stuffing'. Concludes by noting
that 'There are other intoxicating things' which should be banned if liquor
sales are to be stopped, including honours and titles.
Discusses the advantages and disadvantages of decorating the 'millions' with
'an Order of our own': the 'Cloud of Bees'. Explains that 'the bees, even in
the Garden of Eden, were shop-keepers, and would prettily enough represent the
counter-industry and counter-sympathies of the English'. Points out that since
'genius cannot—like medals—be struck at the Mint', then 'Men's own
works are their best Orders'. Asserts that the
BridgeBritannia Bridge, Menai Straits CloseView the register entry >>, Menai Straits, stands as the medal for
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>.
Medical Practitioners, Hospitals, Heroism, War, Disease,
A eulogy to
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. Upholds her as the most 'heroic host' that stood before
the troops in Sebastopol and as an 'English maiden' who is 'our bravest and our
best'. Agrees that men and dogs are brave and that their valour stems from
'simple want of heed', but points out that 'courage, in a woman's heart, is
bravery indeed'. Identifies the 'great spirit' burning within her 'little
breast' as that which 'dared the fever and the pest', and describes the
honours, prayers, and blessing bestowed upon her by inhabitants of the military
camp. Pondering her examination of the 'Enemy's stronghold', believes that her
name and memory will 'live longer' than others and that she will be compared to
ArcJoan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc), Saint ('The Maid of
CBD CloseView the register entry >>.
War, Disease, Medical Treatment, Sanitation, Public Health, Nutrition,
Subtitled 'How HER MAJESTY's
CloseView the register entry >>were
employed in the Island of Routine', satirises in Rabelasian style, the
incompetence of the Commissariat in providing adequate supplies for the troops
in the Crimea. The activities of the commissariat include purifying water with
mud, cleansing sick rooms without chloride of lime, giving the sick 'no
medicine', keeping feet warm 'by selling boots without soles', making 'all
things out of nothing, and nothing out of all things', and worshipping 'a huge
beast named ROUTINE'.
Speculates on the cause of a recent heavy downpour, including an exploration
GardensRoyal Gardens, Vauxhall CloseView the register entry >>, the opening of which Punch associated with wet
Peter LaurieLaurie, Sir Peter
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a
magistrate and deputy-lieutentant for the city of Westminster and county of
Middlesex, to 'exercise his magisterial authority in "putting down" the rain'
and expresses concern that the weather is causing the death of goslings from
Responding to the fact that 'our celebrated vocalists are in the habit of
not singing when advertised, almost as often as they do sing when announced',
relishes the idea of a musical work 'on the pathology of the operatic singer,
with an exposition' of the diseases suffered by singers. Notes that these
diseases include 'Bronchitis Derbyitis' and 'Influenza Ascotica'.
Continuing the satire on the government's incompetence in failing to provide
adequate medical supplies and sanitation for the troops in the Crimea,
describes the discovery, near the 'Island of Tools', of 'a wonderful apparatus
for converting clean water into foul', which was promoted as a device that 'did
much for the public health'.
Shows two women inspecting a Talbotype whilst standing before a photographer
and his photographic equipment. One of the women regards the Talbotype as the
'very image' of the other woman, but the latter thinks it has given her an
'enormous' nose and insists on seeing the plate.