The first illustration shows a man in his bedroom beneath a mound of blankets into which steam is supplied by a pipe from a kettle on the fire, while the man is plied with broth by his wife. The second shows the commotion resulting from an accident, with the kettle upset and the couple in horrified disorder. The caption which runs beneath the two illustrations reads: 'For a Cold in the Head, There is Nothing Like a Steam Bath, And This Can Only Be Had in Your Bedroom With the Greatest Ease.—You Have Only To—Take Care That You Manage the Apparatus Properly'.
Responding to news that Queen VictoriaVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has conferred a 'decoration' on Florence NightingaleNightingale, Florence
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, suggests the establishment of an 'Order of Nightingale', an institution for representing 'all the womanly virtues', including 'Firmness and tenderness'. Believes this 'honour of the Queen of Women' would 'go down [...] to all time', and be extremely 'pretty'. Compares this order favourably to that associated with other animals.
Playing on the similarity between medical and commercial language, discusses the examination by the 'medical financier', Lionel N de RothschildRothschild, Lionel Nathan de, Baron de
Rothschild in the nobility of the Austrian empire
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, of the 'Chest of Spain'. Adds that Rothschild's analysis of the chests of Spain and Russia is pessimistic.
Describes 'The Gov'nor' who, as a child, used to gorge himself during Christmas but then always suffered an illness that had to be cured by 'a dose and a pill' and rest indoors. Reflects on how 'jolly we are now' since all that is eaten at Christmas is 'A tiny globule'.
Discusses consequences of the claim propounded by Isisdore Geoffroy Saint-HilaireGeoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Isidore
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and other 'persons in France' that humans can eat horseflesh. Speculates on the taste of horseflesh, observing that 'the flesh of a thoroughbred horse would be characterised by a peculiar raciness of flavour' and that horses 'entered some time upon the turf [...] would be entered for cups in a minor proportion than for plates'. Anticipates the appearance of obese horses at cattle shows and the sending of the 'high-mettled racer' to 'M. de ST. HILAIRE and his disciples', rather than 'the hounds'. Wonders why 'humbler and cheaper' examples of the genus cannot be eaten, but expects that horseflesh will 'remain untouched as an article of food'.
Discusses news that a steamer had been detained at Southampton because 'two of the tubes of the boiler actually started of themselves'. Believes this event 'seems to promise wonderfully for the speed of the vessel'.
Nutrition, Animal Behaviour, Human Development, Evolution
Reports on a 'Professor in Berlin' who, having been a 'hippophagist' or eater of horsemeat for ten years, has developed the behaviour and physical features of a horse. Concludes by observing that while it is 'impossible to say' whether his transformation into a horse 'will proceed further', 'all the most learned philosophers of Berlin' agree 'that this singular absorption of the man in the animal is entirely owing to the practice [...] of eating horse's flesh'.
Responding to allusions to the 'permanent way' with regard to railway accidents, offers six 'ways which it would appear are permanent in railroad management' and which are potential sources of accident. These include 'A Way of choosing for excursion trains that precise period when the line is fullest', and 'A Way of managing the goods-traffic solely by the laws of eccentric motion: letting the trains start and stop themselves at any time'.
Astronomy, Meteorology, Superstition, Religious Authority, Eschatology
Written in the style of a yokel, who describes his experiences of 'that 'ere vire-ball'. Explains how he took the phenomenon to be 'a gurt rocket at vust' whilst others regarded it as a 'viery sarpent' and a 'swoord all a-light'. Notes how he questioned why some people started 'cryun' over the phenomenon and how 'Methodies' interpreted the event as a sign of 'the end o' the wordle' whilst others saw it as a reason to 'mend our bad ways'. Contrary to claims that the meteor brings war, believes that it will bring peace, although he hopes the prospects for the latter will not, like the comet, 'all in smoke disappear'.
Calls the attention of Richard OwenOwen, Richard
DSB CloseView the register entry >> to an advertisement for a Bath chair which can be drawn by a man or a pony painted maroon and 'lined with drab cloth and holland covers'. Believes the advertiser would be found insane by a British jury.
Notes that 'our friend JENKINS' [the stock figure of the newspaper lackey] of the Morning PostMorning Post and Daily Advertising Pamphlet
CloseView the register entry >> has reprimanded William WhewellWhewell, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'for having written (according to JENKINS) that a promise of marriage may be fulfilled in an immoral manner'—'when the feelings that induced the formation of the engagement have ceased'. Notes that Whewell's remarks were 'evidently calculated to outrage Servants' Hall'.
Resolves that the salaries of the 'gentlemen of this Club' should increase as their privilege of reading their masters' letters has been lost by 'noblemen and gentlemen' communicating their 'secrets' by electric telegraph.
Shows a boy holding an upturned glass on a table, near which sits his elderly grandmother. He explains to his grandmother that he has been learning about pneumatics and a method of removing the wrinkles from her forehead.
Museums, Collecting, Cultural Geography, Natural Imperialism
Discusses some of the puzzling acquisitions of the Australian MuseumAustralian Museum, Sydney CloseView the register entry >>, Sydney, including 'a centipede' and 'the portions of an egg shell'. Observes that the latter allegedly 'formed a part of the habitation of some very strange bird, now said to be extinct'. Believes Australians are not very far behind Britain as 'collectors of scientific rubbish'.
Medical Practitioners, Class, Expertise, Patronage, Government
Considers that the life peerage betowed on James Parke (Baron Wensleydale)Parke, Sir James, Baron Wensleydale
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> will be considered by existing peers to be an attack on the hereditary principle. Argues: 'As the son of a doctor is not recognised as a born physician, so neither let the son of a peer be [...] accepted as a born lawmaker'. Observes that since the 'seventh son of a seventh son is popularly esteemed a naturally qualified practitioner', then the same principle should apply in the case of an entitlement to a peerage.
Narcotics, Adulteration, Homeopathy, Medical Treatment, Health
Shocked at reports of 'accidental and wilful' poisoning, asks Mr Punch whether poisoning should be treated by such traditional methods as a 'stomach pump' and 'sulphate of zinc', or by homeopathic remedies. Observes that the latter would involve taking 'an infinitesimal quantity' of the poison in question and urges that the homeopathic antidote to poisons should be regarded as a serious question by surgeons, apothecaries, and undertakers.
Reports on the 'frantic state of alarm' among 'all the quacks' caused by the statesman Thomas E Headlam'sHeadlam, Thomas Emerson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> introduction of a Medical Reform Bill that sought to quash the trade in quack medicines. However, explains that while the bill will force 'every medical man' to pay a fee to register his name, it will not 'prevent quacks from publishing as many falsehoods as they please'. Laments the fact that this bill will penalise 'many a qualified practitioner' and begs Headlam to 'let the poor Doctors alone'.
Machinery, Manufactories, Steam-power, Technology, Wonder, War, Politics, Charlatanry
Describes the activities of John Bull, 'a calico-weaver and spinner' who preferred making money to eating food and who mastered the techniques of 'spinning-machinery'. Having explained the 'infinite pains' which John took to maintain his machine, notes how 'one day all Europe, including the Turk', visited John's 'wondrous machinery', which was loudly praised. However, while John Bull was showing off his machinery to his audience, a problem developed in the machine that John tried frantically to correct. Describes how he 'blew up his workmen left and right / Till winders and piecers were pale with fright' and, after discovering that the machine's stoker had fallen asleep, employed a new stoker who helped restore the machine to its 'famous pace'. Concludes by noting that the moral of the song is that the reason why the Crimean 'war-machinery [...] got so out of gear' was because the Commander-in-Chief of the ArmyArmy
CloseView the register entry >>, Henry Hardinge (1st Viscount Hardinge)Hardinge, Sir Henry, 1st Viscount Hardinge
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, was 'fast asleep' in the 'engine-room'.
Laments the shameful conditions of the workhouses in this London parish. Notes how paupers 'lie, / Not quite like pigs— for in a sty / There still is room and air' and unlike pigs, some paupers have to sleep 'on the naked floor'. Observes that the air inhaled is 'foul with carbonic gas which surges from beneath, / Where things unutterable seethe, / Gas yet more horrible to breathe, And stronger yet to kill'. Condemns St Pancras as a place 'Worse than Calcutta's hole' and wishes that 'Saints' could arrest 'Nature's laws' and stop typhus and cholera.
War, Government, Sanitation, Charlatanry, Quackery, Politics
Includes the character 'FOXEY', a reference to the Minister for War, Fox Maule (2nd Baron Panmure)Maule, Fox, 2nd Baron Penmure and 11th Earl of
Dalhousie in the Scottish peerage
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who is described as a 'Proprietor of the "Grand Commission Detergent", or "Universal Military Restorative"'. The latter alludes to Panmure's attempt to reform the ArmyArmy
CloseView the register entry >>. Foxey distinguishes his 'Restorative' from 'your two-penny-half-penny catch-penny compositions of rouge, plate-power, salts-o'-lemons, soft-sawder, and rotten stone', and demonstrates the cleaning power of his detergent on the ink-stained coat of 'DICK', an 'Airey-sneak'. This is a reference to Richard AireyAirey, Richard, Baron Airey
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the Quartermaster General to the Army in the Crimea, whose reputation had been stained following accusations of inefficiency. Later in the scene, Foxey demonstrates the power of his detergent on other characters.
Hospitals, Class, Medical Treatment, Patronage, Disability
Describes the functions of a new 'Royal HospitalRoyal Hospital for Incurables
CloseView the register entry >> for the Permanent Care and Comfort of Those who by Disease, Accident, or Deformity, are Hopelessly Disqualified for the Duties of Life'. Explains that the hospital is to provide an alternative to paupers destined for the workhouse and argues that those wealthy individuals who save thousands of lives by patronising the hospital will 'depart this life worth something'.
Medical Treatment, Quackery, Religious Authority, Politics
Discusses an advertisement from an 'M.R.C.S. (1835), and L.A.C. (1834)' who seeks to interest aristocrats and statesmen in his 'NERVO-ARTERIAL ESSENCE' which claims to counteract the nervous strains of 'fashionable and parliamentary life'. Questions why the advertiser offers to supply testimonials from a clergyman who is unlikely to lead such a life.
Laments the failure of 'British ingenuity' to produce 'a simple, roomy, and properly ventilated omnibus', a feat which has been accomplished in Paris. Describes how the editor of the BuilderBuilder
Directory CloseView the register entry >> (George GodwinGodwin, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>) and others endured considerable physical discomfort in testing the qualities of British omnibuses and concluded that a 'convenient omnibus' is as elusive as 'perpetual motion' and 'the squaring of the circle'.
Discusses the annual report of Punch's spoof Kensington railway which 'promises little in the way of shareholders'. Its dismal prospects include the fact that more customers are running away from the railway than are entering it.
Quackery, Medical Treatment, Human Development, War
Responds to an advertisement for 'DALBY's CARMINATIVE' which stresses that the remedy is being supplied to Crimean troops. Noting that this remedy is given to infants by 'old women', suggests that 'some official MRS. GAMP' must have prescribed it to the British ArmyArmy
CloseView the register entry >>.
Discusses a report of a lecture by Karl H ReclamReclam, Karl Heinrich
WBI CloseView the register entry >> which attempted to demonstrate the 'poisonous properties' of nicotine by administering some of it to a dog. After going into convulsions, the dog blew the substance back into Reclam's face, whose convulsions illustrated the topic of his lecture. Punch notes that its own dog had barked furiously at the report but hoped the lecturer 'has had a "sickener" of trying poison on the canine species'.
Medical Practitioners, Gender, Education, Domestic Economy
Responds to news that 'an English lady', 'DR. EMILY' [i.e. Emily DaviesDavies, (Sarah) Emily
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>], 'had just completed her medical studies at Paris and obtained a diploma to practice as a physician'. Regards a wife who can act like a physician as 'a treasure indeed' and a great improvement on incompetent and expensive domestic nurses. Notes other advantages of women doctors, including saving husbands 'the cost of those continual doctors' who attend their 'ignorant hypochondriacal' wives, and the expectation that women doctors will dispense with the need for 'travelling and change of scene', thanks to their 'sanitary knowledge'. Rejoices at the news of Davies's appointment and hopes that Thomas E Headlam'sHeadlam, Thomas Emerson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> medical bill will provide 'every facility for British ladies desirous of following the praiseworthy example'.
Discusses the use of Bavarian beer as a 'reformatory agent' in German houses of correction. Notes that the beer is used as a 'moral medicine', acting as a 'stimulant of the moral sentiments' which has 'sometimes to be diminished or discontinued'. Believes it will be a thousand years before this is 'adopted and applied by British Legislature'.
Draws attention to several omissions in Henry G Wright'sWright, Henry Goode
RLIN CloseView the register entry >> 'Little book' on HeadachesWright, Henry
Goode 1856. Headaches: Their Causes and their Cure, London:
CloseView the register entry >>. These comprise headaches of a decidedly non-clinical nature: 'THE SALMON HEADACHE' which results from people who have been 'drinking like a fish' the night before; '"THE DERBY HEADACHE" which attacks clerks the day before the Derby'; 'THE MUSEUM HEADACHE' which follows from 'poring over musty old books in a badly-ventilated room'; and 'THE FEMALE HEADACHE' which is divided into the 'Nervous' or 'irritable' and the 'Sick' or 'despondent' varieties. Explains that 'milder forms' of the last type of headache 'will vanish upon the application of a piece of jewellery'. Invites Wright to publish a companion volume entitled Heartaches, a volume aimed at men rather than women.
Discusses the campaign by some 'American Papers' to blame England for a disagreement between the underwriters and the Atlantic Telegraph CompanyAtlantic Telegraph Company
CloseView the register entry >> over the slippage of the cable rope into the sea. Laments the stupidity of the company and hopes 'a-nEw-ropian' company will be formed to continue the plan.
Religious Authority, Textbooks, Physical Geography, Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Education, Mathematics
Discusses the possible effects on 'the greater part of our country's literature' if the British government and people were to 'embrace the blessing of that agreement with the Roman PontiffPius IX, Pope
CBD CloseView the register entry >> termed a Concordat'. Explains that Leopold von RankeRanke, Leopold von
CBD CloseView the register entry >> offended the Pope by passages published in his Elementary Geography, and notes the impossibility of not offending the Pope on any subject except pure mathematics. Laments the effect of this agreement on 'every kind of knowledge and science'.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Politics, Government, Quackery
Describes the medical bill passing through ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> as such as 'disagreeable dose' that the House of CommonsHouse of Commons
CloseView the register entry >> has 'pitched the measure to a Select Committee'. Warns that the bill will not achieve its goal of ending quackery because it will be hard to distinguish 'the vendor of the patent pill' from the 'family doctor, who continues to send medicine which he knows will do no good, for the mere purpose of running up a bill'. Believes that the legislation should be enforced against 'the more specious quacks, who get into one's house under the guise of regularly-qualified medical men'. Observes that hounding quacks would involve hounding those who make the 'first bold steps out of the ruts of routine', and therefore those who might 'make the most rapid advances in any science'. Suggests that quackery be traced 'in the ranks of regularly-qualified practitioners' and warns that examinations are not rigid enough to prevent quackery.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Morality, Quackery, Politics, Government, Progress
Reporting on the discussion of Thomas E Headlam'sHeadlam, Thomas Emerson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> medical bill 'for registering our doctors', notes the lack of consensus over medical reform and the methods to thwart quackery. Notes that while Punch holds most medical professionals as 'honourable and kind-hearted men, sincerely desirous to do their best for science and humanity', condemns the 'old jobbers' who 'oppose the advances of enlightenment' and the 'advertising quacks'. Adds that this bill will 'affect neither nuisance' and notes the date when this legislation will next be considered. (142)
Human Development, Machinery, Amusement, Politics, Government, Exhibitions
Discusses some lifelike 'human' and 'brutal' individuals (automata) being exhibited at the Egyptian HallEgyptian Hall, Piccadilly CloseView the register entry >>. Noting that some of the machines speak and that all come from Paris, suggests that the machines' inventor also built members of the French Senate.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Government, Politics
Noting the similarities between the second medical bill of Francis R Charteris (Lord Elcho)Charteris (formerly Charteris-Wemyss-Douglas),
Francis Richard, 8th Earl of Wemyss and 3rd Baron Wemyss (formerly styled 'Lord
Cokayne 1910–59 CloseView the register entry >> and that of Thomas E HeadlamHeadlam, Thomas Emerson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> (both of which proposed to fine medical men five pounds for not registering), Mr Punch introduces the principal clauses of his own (third) medical bill. These seek to repeal existing laws concerning the medical profession, establish a new medical corporation from 'legally qualified' practitioners, provide for the registration of medical practitioners, prevent legally-qualified practitioners from recovering changes for attendance, enable non-legally qualified practitioners to exact charges for attendance, and disallow 'all action of damages for malpractice'. Mr Punch expects this bill would force medical corporations to pay greater attention 'to the promotion of medical science', as well as allow medical men to be paid an honorarium per visit, and by enabling quacks to be paid and punished, 'sicken those who might resort to them for cure'.
Discusses 'the outrageous conduct' of the fire extinquisher at the Drury Lane TheatreDrury Lane Theatre
CloseView the register entry >> and explains that the invention would not have exploded and ejected 'burning material' if people had not laid their hands on the 'heated machine'. Observes that 'Accidents will happen with the best of regulated inventions' and that the fire extinguisher should not be discarded 'for having once blown its lid off'. Hopes the incident will encourage others to develop better ways of extinguishing fires.
A description of the physical features and habits of the red tapir, an animal which represents the evils of bureaucracy. The description notes that the animal's 'favourite haunt is Downing Street' and that it is difficult to remove from the government offices where it ensconces itself. Draws attention to its extremely 'slow and sluggish' movements, its obstinacy and its delight 'in making [progress] still slower by thrusting as many forms as it can in the way'. Adds that the animal's diet consists principally of 'government paper and sealing-wax' and that it 'wastes a great deal more than it consumes'. Thinks the species 'belongs to the class of Bores', is 'pig-headed', donkey-eared, and should be 'exterminated to-morrow'. The illustration shows a tapir dressed as a civil servant.
Reports that Arthur H HassallHassall, Arthur Hill
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'man who has done the best to hunt Death out of the Pot', has received a testimonial from his friends and admirers. The testimonial represents the angel Ithuriel of Christian mythology, the touch of whose spear exposed deceit, and in particular exposed Satan squatting like a toad. Punch observes that Hassall's touch has exposed those who adulterate food and drink, and hopes he will long continue his work. Claims that Punch will subscribe to any testimonial to a senator who makes adulteration a felony.
Criticising the expense and wastage of the imminent firework display, points out that chemists regard fireworks as a 'monstrous bore' and the conversion of 'so much substance' and money into 'useless watery vapour' and 'so much unnecessary light'.
Shows a veterinary surgeon and a 'Proprietor of Quadruped' near a horse standing outside its stable. The veterinary surgeon, who drops his aitches, deals with the horse's 'queer' legs by asking the proprietor, 'Do you 'ack 'im or do you 'unt 'im?'. After hearing the proprietor explain that he sometimes hunts the horse but uses him as a hack, the surgeon explains that the affliction is caused not by the 'unting' but by the ''ammer, 'ammer, 'ammer, along the 'ard 'igh road'.
Homeopathy, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Disease, Pharmaceuticals, Education
Adapts some well-known proverbs for the purposes of exposing the dangers of homeopathy and standard medical practice, especially those relating to infinitesimal quantities. For example, insists that 'A little Medical learning is a dangerous thing', that 'The art is not to dispense medicine, but to dispense with it', and that 'Doctors make more diseases than they ever cure'.
To prove his 'good faith' as a prophet of the Derby Day races, the narrator intends 'carefully to abstain from prophesying what kind of weather it will be' on the day, but points out that he does not use his powers of 'vaticination' for weather predictions because while 'racing is reduced to a positive science of betting [...] meteorology is not'. However, he does offer some weather predictions.
Discusses the possibility that the aldermen of London exert a 'daemonic influence' (a term that Punch attributes to Johann W von GoetheGoethe, Johann Wolfgang von
DSB CloseView the register entry >>) over judges, 'to the augmentation of their gravity, composure of their feelings, [and] support of their minds'. Speculates on the nature of 'this extraordinary something [...] which, irrespectively of moral character and intellectual ability [...] some individuals appear to be endowed with'. Believes the influence derives from their consumption of cognac and other spirits which give them 'an atmosphere imbued with moral qualities'.
Homeopathy, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Commerce, Disease, Health, Pharmaceuticals
List of proverbs and aphorisms designed to expose the fraudulence and avarice of homeopaths and standard medical practitioners. These include 'The Louder the Quack the longer will be the Bill' and 'The man who doctors himself has a fool for his patient'.
Reports on the sorry fate of the motion of Richard Dawson (3rd Baron Cremorne)Dawson, Richard, 1st Earl of Dartrey and 3rd Baron
Cokayne 1910–59 CloseView the register entry >> for the 'purgation of the Happy Family Club'. Explains that Cremorne's expectation that a variety of animals (including owls, a cat, and a goldfinch) could 'eat and drink in harmony' was shattered when they started attacking each other. Following the debate that followed it was resolved to leave matters as they were since 'things could not be mended'.
Discusses the 'Movement Cure', a novel medical treatment in which a patient is pushed about rather than drugged. Points out that 'Humanity is to be treated like an old carpet, which is to be revived by a thorough good beating'. Explains that while in former medical treatments the 'gymnastics were purely active', in this new treatment 'the patient is passive' and receives beatings from an assistant. Adds that another form of the treatment involves the patient resisting the 'gymnast's effort of making a certain and determined form of movement', and believes that the 'Tipton Slasher' would be useful for this purpose. Concludes by stating that the narrator's 'nerves are scarcely in a fair state' to give the treatment a 'fair trial'.
Punch, 30 (1856), 246.
Domestic Notices of Motion: Laburnum Lodge, Little Chelsea, June 18th
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Gender, Domestic Economy
Includes motions to consider the petition of a 'Monthly Nurse', that her consumption of rum and water is 'absolutely necessary for her constitution', and Dr Frumpy's argument that he has 'strong medical testimony' to support the need for the 'Monthly Nurse' to take the children of the Grundy household to the seaside for the benefit of their health.
Responds to a Morning PostMorning Post and Daily Advertising Pamphlet
CloseView the register entry >> report about Catholic priests refusing to bury Protestants when they do not have their own clergy. Regards this distinction between bodies as 'bigotry' and points out that the Protestant divine, unlike the 'popish parson', knows that the products of animal decomposition are gaseous and hence 'mingle', and that 'a 'denominational distinction in a burying-ground comes, ultimately, to a distinction' between the phosphates of lime of corpses of different denominations.
Includes memoranda to 'study the properties of Babbage'sBabbage, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >>Calculating Machine, and see how far they are adaptable to oneself', and to 'teach the Parrot the Multiplication Table'.