Describes the arrival in England of 'His Serene Highness', the 'COMET [...] accompanied by an odour of burned-out planets'. The comet informs Mr Punch that he has arrived to fulfil the fact that he 'was prophesised' and therefore did not want to 'disgrace SCIENCE which has been so fortunate in all her predictions of late years'. Mr Punch agrees, wryly noting the 'auguries' in which science has been 'happy', including the failure to predict George Stephenson'sStephenson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> long-distance locomotive, 'Steam across the Atlantic', the failures of the Atlantic telegraph, and the SS Great EasternSS Great Eastern CloseView the register entry >>. (iii) Illustrations show a comet with the head of Mr Punch, and another comet dressed in clothes arriving at and leaving Mr Punch's study.
Discusses the 'Speaking Tree of Siam', a tree which allegedly speaks in contemptuous tones and in a Siamese dialect, noting that attention has recently been directed to the subject in consequence of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1855.
Punch, 32 (1857), [iii].
Natural History, Science Communication
Punch, 32 (1857), [iv].
Recreations in Natural History
Regular Feature, Anecdote, Spoof
Hunting, Animal Behaviour
Describes the techniques used by whalers to defend themselves against provoked whales, and some of the disastrous consequences of their actions.
A spoof report of a paper read by a missionary, Brother Erky Swunks, to the Aborigines Protection SocietyAborigines Protection Society
CloseView the register entry >> about a visit to a South American tribe. The paper includes Swunks's description of the primitive clothes and of the French-style gestures of the tribe, and relates the violent response of the tribe to his distribution of religious tracts.
Shows a figure kneeling before a large bright disk labelled 'Vol. XXXII' and nearby, Mr Punch is seen nearby, dressed as a magician. Surrounding the kneeling figure lie the material artefacts of an alchemist's laboratory including a furnace and retort.
Relishes the imminent foundation of a College of DentistryCollege of Dentistry
CloseView the register entry >> 'with a view to the distinction of the respectable members of the profession from the quacks'. Believes this will allow the 'toothless' to be saved from the 'fangs of extortionate advertisers'.
Sanitation, Public Health, Disease, Morality, Reading, Crime
Responding to the definition of 'dirt' suggested by Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston)Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as 'nothing but matter in the wrong place', contemplates the possibility that poisonous matter in one place might be 'food' in another and points out that Palmerston's idea also applies to 'moral filth'. In the same way that 'sanitary doctors' argue that material filth is best used on the fields that 'crave' sewage, argues that 'tracts' crave 'moral filth'. Just as 'Fever-seeds' may turn into food, why may not 'felons' prove themselves 'brothers'?
Medical Practitioners, Commerce, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Nutrition
Having urged his 'staunch Assistant' to 'prepare to Pound' drugs, the narrator observes that he and his fellow surgeons can exploit the boom in the number of illnesses caused by the gluttony of the Christmas period. Gives precise details of the treatments for specific complaints and urges his assistant to make ready his other surgical and pharmaceutical resources.
A series of spoof news reports of extraordinary events that reflect Punch's anticipation of false messages via the soon to be completed submarine telegraph linking Britain and America. Reports on a New Hampshire miller who claims to have discovered a 'new motive power for turning his mill' by adding cognac to water, an 'Irish Oculist' who had developed a theory of the origins of potato disease and developed 'POTATO EYE SNUFF' as a result, and David W MitchellMitchell, David William
WBI CloseView the register entry >> who is trying to 'domesticate the famous breed of Kilkenny Cats'.
Hopes the 'Telegraph wire, / About to be laid down, will not form a lyre / On which to strike discord 'twixt the Old World and New', but expects the false messages on the line will beleaguer the residents in that latter place.
Discusses news that creditors have seized the drainage and water-supply operations of the insolvent Rotherham Board of HealthRotherham Board of Health
CloseView the register entry >>. Doubts whether the contractors that the board hired to maintain drainage operations relished this task. Concludes by stressing that it is better for the board to be going too fast than too slow with its drainage operations.
Disease, Mental Illness, Medical Treatment, Crime, Politics, Government
Presents a case for believing that the Home Secretary, George GreyGrey, Sir George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, is suffering from dyspepsia. Points out that Grey exhibits many of the symptoms of this complaint including the inability of 'saying No when [the stomach] is distended' and being eccentric in his decisions about criminals. Following the 'atrocious injustice and cruelty' suffered by a man wrongly convicted of forgery, suggests that Grey take a 'blue-pill' to cure 'one of those hallucinations which often attend disorder of the liver in particular'.
Reflects on 'the greatest of all domestic troubles'—domestic servants—and announces that the 'Jackanapes' Development Society' has been formed to provide 'Efficient substitutes for men and maid-servants'. Observes that dogs would make ideal servants were they to possess hands, but then explains the 'several varieties of the monkey tribe, particularly the ourang-outang, the ape, and the chimpanzee' that might be trained to 'render them fully equal to the performance of any menial function'. Notes that the society aims to 'acclimate and educate apes' for domestic service. Discusses some of the advantages of simian servants, notably their smart appearance in livery, their inability to answer back, their ability to 'remain in the parlour', their fondness for the young, and the fact that when they are 'past work' they can be shot rather than given financial support.
Discusses some possible uses of the 'innumerable air-tubes' used in crinoline-inflated petticoats, once the latter have gone out of fashion. Suggests using them for holding the electric telegraph wires, for building life-preservers, and for a speaking-tube between London and Paris.
Imagines an argument between an 'ancient brocade; / From the days of QUEEN ANNE' and a 'ball-dress with jupe en tube' inside a Duchess's wardrobe. The ancient brocade criticises the taste of its target, rather than the cost, because in its time 'we'd no BABBAGE'—an allusion to the large government grant awarded to Charles BabbageBabbage, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >> for his calculating engine.
Introduces a series of dialogues composed 'with the aid of the Ingenious Doctor of Medicine,ARTHUR HILL HASSALLHassall, Arthur Hill
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>'. The first dialogue features 'MR. RANCID, the Butterman', 'PATTS, his Apprentice', and 'SCRAPE, the Boy', and describes the education of Patts by Mr Rancid in adulteration techniques. Having heard Patts give a satisfactory definition of butter, Rancid urges that 'it is needful to make, out of a pound of the original article, as much more than a pound as we can', and proceeds to explain how to adulterate butter with such substances as water, salt, and starch.
Medical Treatment, Surgery, Accidents, Disease, Commerce
Cynically describes how a surgeon relishes the business generated by people being blown onto 'hard flagstones'. Compares his trade favourably with that enjoyed by other medical men from 'Zymotic diseases' prevalent in the autumn. Concludes by emphasising that 'When the North-Easter whistles shrill, / It makes me think on the little bill / To many a patient that I shall send'.
Reports on a new commission set up to 'take the exact measurement of the Circle of Fashion', and adds that a prize will be awarded to the 'clever mathematician' for reaching this goal, and that several old 'Calculating Boys' are 'hard at work upon the problem'.
Responds to a decree in the Roman Catholic periodical, the Weekly RegisterCatholic Standard
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, of the '"Holy Inquisition", against the abuses of "Magnetism"'. Notes that the latter term seems to indicate animal magnetism, in particular 'the alleged phenomena of somnambulism and clairvoyance', since these phenomena involve using physical means to produce 'non natural' effects. Wonders if 'natural means could produce any other than natural effects' and observes that the 'non-natural' effects of mesmeric passes are caused by 'metaphysical volition', not the actual passes. Questioning the definition of 'non-natural effects', points out that 'There was a time when the Inquisition would have deemed the agency of the electric telegraph preternatural; would perhaps have roasted MR. WHEATSTONEWheatstone, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >> alive, and probably dug up and calcined the bones of OERSTEDOersted, Hans Christian
DSB CloseView the register entry >>'.
Discusses a review in the same periodical of a work on natural history that legitimates cruelty to animals by appealing to the creator's decree that all animals are under man's dominion. Observes that this latter circumstance does not render the apparently illegitimate 'Protestant sympathy for the sufferings of brutes morbid'.
Reports on Charles Wood'sWood, Charles, 1st Viscount Halifax
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> announcement that the government has decided against sending a new expedition in search of John FranklinFranklin, Sir John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'believing that it would be useless'. Thinks it is 'impossible to believe' that Franklin will be found, but 'almost as impossible to disbelieve' that the location where he and his 'brave companions' perished would not be found'. (91)
Addressed to the divine and writer on biblical prophecy, John CummingCumming, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, this article describes some of the effects of the 'prognostication' of the comet. For example, notes how it will 'spread consternation, / And with prostration, / Old women swoon', how astrologers will declare that the comet 'will blow us into air, / Fouling this planet', that it will end the world 'so very soon', and that it will lead to ice which will be a 'boon [...] When the flies are humming on a sultry afternoon'.
Involves a dialogue between Mr Grig, 'of the Italian Warehouse', his wife and children, and the 'Shopman'. Mr Grig explains how he colours sprats with 'red earth full of iron' and sells them as anchovies, and stresses the beneficial effects of iron on the human body. He also evades his son's observation that another adulterating substance used by him—Venetian red—contains a toxic substance, red lead. The illustration shows a tradesman mixing sprats with Venetian red in a mortar marked 'Anchovy Paste'.
Medical Treatment, Physiognomy, Photography, Statistics, Photography
Discusses a new pamphlet, Physic and its PhasesDickson, Samuel
[Alciphron, "The Modern Athenian", pseud.] 1857. Physic
and its Phases; or, The Rule of Night and the Reign of Wrong, London:
Simpkin, Marshall & Co.
CloseView the register entry >>. Suggests that the author re-title the work 'Physic and its Faces', given the different contortions of the face produced when swallowing different types of medicine. Upholding the need to preserve the 'line of beauty' of the face, reveals that it prefers 'drinking a black draught' in solitude. Believing in 'Laveterism' (a reference to the work of Johann K LavaterLavater, Johann Kaspar
CBD CloseView the register entry >>) and having 'some degree of faith in physiognomy', thinks doctors can learn something from the faces of patients swallowing medicines. Suggests producing a statistical survey and photographically illustrated works mapping the various distortions of the face when taking a given pill. Announces itself ready to have its features photographed 'in the cause of science' and suggests that the 'contemplation of our frightful faces might lead us by degrees to take physic without making them'. The illustration, which forms part of the initial letter of the text, shows a sickly Mr Punch sitting in a chair and being greeted by a box of pills and a black bottle labelled 'The Draught'.
Education, Lecturing, Physics, Electricity, Heat, Magnetism, Gender, Patronage, Narcotics, Health
Mary Ann tells Mr Punch about her visit to the Royal InstitutionRoyal Institution of Great Britain
CloseView the register entry >>, where she and her friends saw the 'dear' Michael FaradayFaraday, Michael
DSB CloseView the register entry >> give a lecture in the presence of Prince AlbertAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. Describes the appearance and response of the Prince but complains about having been seated at the back of the lecture theatre in front of 'rows of old gentlemen, mostly with bald heads'. Considers the lecture 'lovely', and describes Faraday as somebody 'far more light and active than many a smoky stupid all-round collar-man that I know'. Intersperses her remarks on Faraday with warnings to Mr Punch about the dangerous medical consequences of smoking. Explains that governesses are not to bother children with discussions of gravitation because 'it is all Conservation of Forces', a concept that she attempts to support by confused reports of Faraday's experiments on heat, magnetism, and electricity. Concludes this description by noting 'what idiots men are to go on repeating gravitation [...] just because SIR ISAAC NEWTONNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >> saw an apple fall out of a tree'. Goes on to explain Faraday's demonstration of the 'gold-leaf' experiment in electrostatics and notes how after the lecture, Faraday pleasurably conversed with the 'ladies' and showed them 'several little experiments' in electricity. Praises Faraday as 'a really great man, diving into the wonderful secrets of nature', but chastises other 'great men and statesmen' for not bothering to turn up to his lectures. The letter includes footnotes in which Punch objects to a 'silly little girl' taking liberties with Faraday's 'name or his teaching' and for not understanding 'one single link in DR. FARADAY's argument'. The illustration shows several fashionably dressed young women observing a suave Faraday experimenting with a gold-leaf electroscope on the bench of the Royal Institution.
Cultural Geography, Progress, Vaccination, Anaesthesia, Invention, Military Technology, Mathematics, Physiology, Exploration, Aeronautics, Mapping, Medical Treatment, Photography
Following the British bombardment of Canton (the latest phase in Britain's Opium War with China), Punch lists spoof extracts from a glorious 'History of China' to be written by Richard CobdenCobden, Richard
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a staunch opponent of the aggressive policy towards the Chinese of Prime Minister Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston)Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. The list reveals that 'some of our greatest discoveries and inventions were known amongst the Chinese long before Europe had emerged from the swaddling-clothes of her first childhood', and includes such items as 'Vaccination rigorously enforced' in 4999 B.C., 'Quadrature of the Circle satisfactorily proved' in 1658 B.C., 'The Circulation of the Blood and Penny Newspapers discovered' in 1287 B.C., and 'The Face of Nature photographed in all its features by Chinese artists' in 1202 B.C.
Consists of a dialogue between 'MR. BITTERS, Publican', 'MR. CRADLE, who is going to Australia', and 'MR. HOCUS, Brewer's Druggist'. Mr Hocus explains how he adulterates bitter and stout with such substances as water, treacle, sulphate of iron, and capiscum. Adds that 'another article that strengthens beer very much', which the 'regular chemists call [...] by the foolish name of Cocculus Indicus', and which they regard as 'downright poison', has been renamed 'multum' and is added to beer that is then sold for a profit.
Notes that crinoline dresses are becoming so large that at a recent soiree they took up so much space that 'it was impossible for any laws of motion to be acted on' and that 'all the travelled stars of the evening became fixed ones'.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Politics, Professionalization
Urges Mr Punch to ask Prime Minister Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston)Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> to support a new medical bill because it aims to quash quackery. Argues that any medical bill that does not prevent quackery and 'druggists' counter-practices' will only protect the 'superior and educated classes', while leaving the 'poor and ignorant to prescribe quack remedies for their own complaints' or to receive treatment from quacks. Presumes that the bill will contain a 'registration clause', but criticises the cost of registration and urges Mr Punch to ask Palmerston to reject the bill if it is prohibitive on the lives of 'poor doctors'. Concludes by suggesting that the medical profession look after itself and 'go the whole hog of Free Trade in physic'.
Religious Authority, Telegraphy, Railways, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment
Attacking the Sabbatarian proposals of John T BayleeBaylee, John Tyrrell
WBI CloseView the register entry >> and his allies, suggests that the 'election cries' of these 'hypocrites' would include 'No Railways', 'No Electric Telegraphs', and 'No Medical Attendance'.
Shows two boys sitting on their beds in a nursery. Having heard Arthur remark that 'we are only made of dust', Freddy urges that they take more care how they 'pitch into each other' lest they crumble to pieces.
Consists of a dialogue between 'LACTEA, the Milkmaid of the Poets', and 'AQUARIA, the Milkmaid of Society', who tells Lactea that 'the milk thou sellest is not pure' and that her school knowledge of the composition of milk is sadly wrong. At Lactea's request, Aquaria lists the substances with which she adulterates milk including water, treacle, and tragacanth. Lactea urges that 'milk should be the most nutritious of food' and claims that she has foreseen the invention by M. DonneDonne, M
PU1/32/14/4 CloseView the register entry >> of a Lactoscope, or Milk-tester.
Following the previous story about the diseased cows of London (see Anon, 'Sick Cows of London', Punch, 32 (1857), 127), reports that the government has 'taken measures to prevent further mischief' and suggests that the 'taking up so many streets has disturbed the wells'.
Astronomy, Physics, Gravity, Measurement, Government
Responding to news that Jacques BabinetBabinet, Jacques
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has calculated the weight of the earth to be 'six mille milliards de milliards de tonnes', observes that the 'parliament about to assemble will be not less heavy than the earth itself' because of 'the inordinate number of ciphers it will contain'.
Consists of a spoof dialogue between 'Mr. CROTON, the Chemist', who stands in his shop, and his apprentices, Mr Potash and Mr Glycyrrhizen. Opens with Croton reflecting on the fact that his firm has survived a trial for adulteration, and who then, with the help of Potash, explains to the Welsh novice assistant Glycyrrhizen, how opium is adulterated. Croton chastises Potash for using the word 'cooked' instead of 'vitiated' to describe the result of adulteration but gives Potash the chance to explain to the Welsh apprentice 'more of the secrets of the trade'.
Attacks decisions to remove the 'knife-board' and other inconveniences from omnibuses but believes the improvements in omnibuses are 'like the improvements' to what Richard OwenOwen, Richard
DSB CloseView the register entry >> calls 'fellow creatures'—'they've been so long promised that we shall go on for ever and ever without 'em'.
Discusses an Old Woman's MagazineOld Woman's Magazine
PU1/32/17/1 CloseView the register entry >> article linking excessive salmon-eating in men of a 'nervous excitable temperament' to headaches. Agrees with the argument and resolves to 'counteract this largely-spreading evil'. The illustration shows a man sleeping after a heavy meal which he has consumed in his menagerie.
Reports on the apparent escape then discovery of the mudfish on display in the aquarium in the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >>. Adds that, when discovered, the fish had doubled in size and consumed many of the fish in its new habitat in the fountain in the north part of the palace.
Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Taxonomy, Analogy, Class
Opens with an extract from a news report of the mudfish at the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >> that escaped to a fountain in the palace, where it grew very stout on fish. The poem regards the 'golden fishes' in Joseph Paxton'sPaxton, Sir Joseph
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'marble dishes' as the 'Hupper Classes', and the 'nasty Mud-fish' as one of the 'Lower Horders'. Goes on to describe how the mudfish devoured 'all his betters [...] till he gets enormous, / Just as would them low reformers'. Concludes by urging: 'Don't give low folks too much freedom' and 'Keep the Mud-fish in their places'.
Noting the 'fruitful' discussion among naturalists 'from CUVIERCuvier, Georges
DSB CloseView the register entry >> to SAM WELLER' concerning a donkey's age, observes that all 'informed authorities' agree on its extraordinary length. Warns 'friends of the ass' of an article in the UnionUnion
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >> announcing the formation of a society for eating the flesh of young asses, an institution which will shorten the lives of donkeys.
Mental Illness, Spiritualism, Homeopathy, Hospitals, Medical Treatment, Analogy
Notes that the work 'propounds a scheme for the cure of Insanity, on the principle that like cures like, by subjecting the lunatic to spiritual agency'. Puzzles over how such a cure is effected and the 'idea of infinitesimal doses of spiritualism'. Draws attention to an article in the Quarterly ReviewQuarterly Review
Directory CloseView the register entry >> about the use of dancing to cure insanity and, noting that 'no sane man ever dances', wonders whether dancing, like spiritualism, may work 'on the principle of like cures like?'.
Supernaturalism, Miracle, Religious Authority, Superstition, Belief
Discusses the exposure of an alleged sighting of the Virgin Mary on 'the hill of La Salette' and ridicules a report concerning the alleged power of water from this hill to cure 'all the evils of the body'. Concludes by urging the world to remember the 'miraculous discernment' evinced by Mr Punch 'nearly five years ago, in seeing through and elucidating that device of priestcraft'.
Discusses a report in the Glasgow MailGlasgow Mail
PU1/32/21/3 CloseView the register entry >> of an 'old gentleman' who is experimenting on 'irrigating garden plants with whiskey'. Notes that the outcome of the experiment is not reported but anticipates that whisky will produce 'the effect of seediness' in the vegetable economy as in the animal economy. Playing on a similarity between the effects of alcohol on humans and the features of plants, expects that plants might not be able to 'grow straight' and might be 'seized with a shakiness'.
Introduces a letter concerning 'MOTHER SEACOLE' (the merchant trader Mary SeacoleSeacole, Mary Jane
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>) who expresses a 'mother's affection' for Punch owing to the fact that 'as she walked through the wards of the hospital at Spring Hill [...] the sufferers would plead for a glimpse of Punch', several copies of which were 'old and worn and frayed by many a strong hand brought low by the Russian bullet or pestilence'. The letter adds that Mother Seacole 'believes there will yet be work for her to do somewhere. Perhaps in China, perhaps some other distant country there may be women's work to do'. Punch contends that both the British army and the public 'will be disgraced if MOTHER SEACOLE, by reason of declining circumstances, should have to ascend into a garret' and asks England to help her, both by lending hands and giving money. The illustration shows a woman, holding up a copy of Punch and standing by the bedside of a wounded soldier.
Narcotics, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Practitioners, Government
A spoof letter informs Mr Punch of the use of wine in medicine, a claim supported by reference to the use of the term 'Vin:' in prescriptions. Gives some of the technical descriptions of such drinks as wine and sherry. Inquires whether, given the identity between alcoholic beverages and medicine, the legislature should allow the American temperance reformer Neal DowDow, Neal
CBD CloseView the register entry >> to prohibit the sale of wine, beer, and spirits by a Maine liquor law. Questions who would be allowed to prescribe liquor if its sale were placed under the same terms as medicines. Describes some of the shortcomings of empowering only qualified medical practitioners to prescribe liquor, pointing out that druggists' shops would have to be conveniently located 'where negus might be "put up", and punch compounded', and where the dose administered 'would be adapted rather to the desire than to the constitution of the invalid'. Complains about this further restriction on the liquor trade and anticipates the merging of the businesses of the druggist and the publican, the pharmaceutical establishment and the gin-palace, the 'Medical HallWorshipful Society of Apothecaries of London—Apothecaries' Hall
CloseView the register entry >>' and public house.
Reports on the death of Frederick S ArcherArcher, Frederick Scott
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the 'inventor of Collodion', whose failure to patent the invention has left his family 'unportioned, to the battle of life'. Draws on an analogy between the process of developing collodion prints and that of donating money (for example, how the deposition of silver can 'light up' faces in a dark chamber) to support its plea for photographers to 'sacrifice, according to your means, in memory of the benefactor who gave you the deity for a household god'.
Noting the impact of the 'Great Comet' on the earth, lists some of the beneficial effects of the event 'upon great numbers of persons'. These effects include William Whewell'sWhewell, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> visit to David BrewsterBrewster, Sir David
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. On arriving, Whewell 'sent up [...] a hope that whether other worlds contained matter or not, Sir David would come and take a friendly smoke with him'. Brewster allegedly ran down the stairs, dragged Whewell up to a 'whiskey toddy' and then 'drank confusion to the solar system, and everything else that set sensible men squabbling'. The effects of the comet also include the decision of MorisonMorison, James
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> pill vendors to burn their stock and hang themselves. The illustration shows an old figure, whose head consists of the globe of the earth, crouching down to smell flowers. Above him flies a mace with a hat stuck to one spike—a spoof representation of a comet.
Challenges the statement in a parliamentary blue book on Civil ServiceCivil Service
CloseView the register entry >> examinations that letter-carriers need to distinguish themselves in knowledge of logarithms. Insists that a letter-carrier should be one who 'carries his letters in a bag', not one 'who can carry letters in his head'.
Ridicules an advertisement from an assistant surgeon in a militia regiment who seeks to appoint a successor on the condition that this person is 'duly qualified' and will 'purchase the advertiser's uniform'.
Mental Illness, Medical Practitioners, Hospitals, Commerce
Discusses an advertisement granting 'twenty per cent annually on the receipts' to 'any Medical Man recommending a quiet Patient of either Sex, to a First-Class asylum'. Thinks that this amount of money being 'screwed out of the lunatic's board and lodging' would probably shorten his life considerably. Observes that the keeper of the asylum should have an interest in 'prolonging the existence of his unfortunate charge' and could 'easily cheat the medical man out of the guaranteed twenty per cent'.