Military Technology, Invention, Religion, Analytical Chemistry, Cultural Geography
Introduces an extract which links the Indian Mutiny to the use, by British troops in Bengal, of greased cartridges in 'a new kind of invention, called the Enfield rifle—being an improvement on the well known French invention known as the Minié rifle'. The writer notes that one military officer informed the Indian government that this weapon caused an 'uneasy feeling [...] amongst the Sepoys', because the grease essential to the preparation of the rifle cartridges 'consisted of a mixture of the fat of cows and pigs', which was 'abhorrent both to Hindus and Mahomedans'. This controversy prompted an official chemical analysis by the government Chemical Examiner, Dr MacnamaraMacnamara, Dr.
PU1/33i CloseView the register entry >>, who declared the paper used in the rifle cartridges to be devoid of grease or any other oily matter. ([v])
Reports on the 'Great disputes that have arisen among engineers and scientific gentlemen as to the particular scale that should be adopted in taking the survey of a fashionable lady's dress'. Presents the arguments 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 >> for the adoption of a scale of 'twenty-five inches to the mile', and his answers to the objection that the map of a dress on his scale would be enormous. Concludes with Roderick I Murchison'sMurchison, Sir Roderick Impey, 1st Baronet
DSBODNB CloseView the register entry >> argument that a one-inch scale map should be used because a larger-scale map would be 'useless and extravagant' and husbands only needed to have milliner's bills to 'estimate the quantity' of material.
Animal Behaviour, Ornithology, Human Development, Analogy, Health, Domestic Economy
Explains that while 'Useful lessons' can be learned from 'inferior creatures', the cuckoo sets a poor example of child-rearing, which is copied by 'ladies who put their children out to wet-nurse'. Discusses a 'monthly paper' presented to the London Society for the Protection of Young FemalesLondon Society for the Protection of Young Females
CloseView the register entry >> which attacks wet-nursing as a great 'social evil'. Assesses the advantages and disadvantages of hiring mothers who have lost their babies while working as wet-nurses, noting that such wet-nurses starve infants as 'the young hedge-sparrow is thrown over'. Thinks ladies should nurse their own babies in case wet-nurses, like cuckoos, administer nutriments to infants which may contain 'immoral and morbid peculiarities'.
Claims that the 'Coming Comet' has 'gone in search of the Coming Man', who will ride the comet to Earth amidst a 'blaze of triumph' that will 'amply atone' for any disappointment caused by such phenomena.
Reports on the fear entertained by 'the several medical corporations' that although Thomas E Headlam'sHeadlam, Thomas Emerson
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> medical bill has passed its second reading it will not get through the committee stage. Explains that the withdrawn rival 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 >> would have 'vested the construction of the medical educational body' in the government, which Punch regards as 'no competent judge of scientific merit'. Notes that Headlam's bill preserves the right of medical corporations to demand 'handsome fees' from medical students before they can practise, and thus 'narrows the entrance' into the medical profession and shuts out enterprising competitors. Accordingly, Punch emphasises that 'established practitioners' will benefit from the bill which will exclude 'poor clever fellows' who 'might prove dangerous rivals to thriving medical men'. Argues that if Headlam had contemplated the 'good of the community' in his bill, he might have based his legislation on the 'principles of Free Trade', in which everybody 'would be at liberty to be quacked' or to be seen by a 'legally qualified practitioner'. Adds that this legislation will punish unqualified practitioners, make the examining of candidates and the granting of diplomas the sole right of existing corporations, and establish a new medical examining board.
Following 'PROFESSOR KNOTZ'SKnotz, Prof.
PU1/33/3/2 CloseView the register entry >>' claim that 'whatever conducts the electricity of the body from it will occasion direct debility', anticipates the dangers of wearing steel hoops, which debilitate the body and the mind of the wearer.
Laments the overcrowding and foul air of 'drawing-room penitentiaries'—the London clubs. Continuing the analogy between prisons and clubs, explains how a visitor to the 'wards' of this prison breathes the 'vitiated atmospheres of these black holes of Piccadilly'. Observes that the effect of this poor atmosphere is seen 'in the pale cheeks and dull eyes of the hardened offenders, who spend most of their lives in such confinement'. Notes the overheated condition of the rooms 'for every cluster of lights, every flower-stand, every overheated piece of humanity, is giving off caloric and carbonic acid, and absorbing breathable air'.
Medical Practitioners, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Commerce
Aimed at 'Medical Bill Framers', this song describes a chemist's 'over the counter' trade in drugs. Observes that while legislators would stop him from answering 'an old woman, "What's good for the bile?"', he intends to defy prohibition and sell her a remedy. Proceeds to explain how he gives 'physick' to patients (including Mrs Harris and Mrs Gamp) and asks how a medical bill can stop him dispensing various remedies 'Whilst I'm free / Still to ply pestle and mortar'.
The boy tells Mr Punch about his 'governor', who surmised that the word 'orbas', to be used in an inscription on a hospital for orphans of soldiers, meant that the hospital was intended for 'sick worlds'—'Perhaps the worlds the Comet has hit'.
Politics, Government, Cruelty, Animal Behaviour, Crime, Zoological Gardens, Government
Responds to news of the bill for the prevention of cruelty to animals promoted by John V S Townshend (Viscount Raynham)Townshend, John Villiers Stuart, 5th Marquess
Townshend (formerly styled 'Viscount Raynham')
Cokayne 1910-59 CloseView the register entry >>, a measure so rigorous that 'you would not have been able to have had a lobster for supper' and which would have made it unsafe 'for any man to open an oyster'. Notes the devastating effect that the bill, which legislates against confinement of animals, would have on the Zoological Society GardensZoological Society of London —Gardens
CloseView the register entry >> and its secretary, David W MitchellMitchell, David William
WBI CloseView the register entry >>. Observes that the bill has as much chance of passing as 'the Master of the Mint passing a bad shilling' and believes Raynham's 'absurd attempt at legislation' is the result of 'the wildest outbreak of animal spirits'.
Medical Practitioners, Scientific Practitioners, Pharmaceuticals, Charlatanry, Medical Treatment
This list of corrupt practices which need to be curbed with legislation include 'medical men having themselves called out of church' and 'chemists assuming the functions of medical men by giving "advice gratis" to patients who come to buy their drugs'.
Reports that a 'Wag of the Board of Examiners at the Apothecaries' HallWorshipful Society of Apothecaries of London—Apothecaries' Hall
CloseView the register entry >>' gave the answer to the examination question 'What Government measure was like muriatic [hydrochloric] acid', as 'the Divorce Bill [...] because it will dissolve the wedding ring'.
Draws attention to ambiguities in the wording of the bill for the prevention of cruelty to animals sponsored by John V S Townshend (Viscount Raynham)Townshend, John Villiers Stuart, 5th Marquess
Townshend (formerly styled 'Viscount Raynham')
Cokayne 1910-59 CloseView the register entry >>, and suggests that 'the frequent proofs of asininity in the verdicts of our juries should entitle them in justice to be treated as humanely at the least as other members of the long-eared race'. Accordingly, it proposes to make it illegal to 'starve a conscientious jury who "won't go" to a decision' on the analogy with the law against injuring a donkey 'what wouldn't go'.
Animal Behaviour, Monstrosities, Time, Natural History, Nationalism
Responding to newspaper discussion of the ages of various animals, criticises the 'unpardonable' omission of the British lion from the debate. Considers the latter species to be older than the elephant, a species which, as Punch notes, was estimated by George L Leclerc, comte de BuffonBuffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc,
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, to be 500 years old. Suggests methods of ascertaining the lion's age and (referring to the newspaper discussion) deplores the omission of other fabulous creatures, including the Russian bear, the French eagle, and the American sea serpent.
Written in the style of a country yokel, this is the author's attempt to come to terms with the 'wonders' of 'This here Zub-Atlantic Cable'. He asks his friend Bill 'how fur you makes ut / This here Cable vor to lay? / At a moderate calcilation ? 'Tween two thousand miles and dree, / Bringun in communication / Ireland and Amerikey'. Notes that the cable 'Is described, by them who've sin, / Gutter percher, outer portion, / Over 'lectric wires within', and 'sees a token / In that precious link, of peace [...] 'tween brothers, / Who aloan is Vreedom's hope'. He recognises that the cable will not be buffeted 'When the storms above 'un sweep' and that when the cable 'draps down in the hollers' of the deep, it will be supported on 'What they calls a reef ixtends'. Concludes by drinking a toast to 'Lantic Telegraph's success'. The editor, however, regrets that 'our bucolic' contributor had not read news reports confirming his worry that 'Wun't it [the cable] snap?'.
Reports that a friend of Punch with 'very strong prejudices against the Irish' holds that the Atlantic telegraph cable failed because it started in Ireland where, 'with the system of "paying out"', it is hard to 'make both ends meet'.
Invention, Music, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Language
Reports on the invention of the 'Trito-Dactylo-Gymnast' which strengthens the third finger of a hand and thus improves a pianist's performance. Speculates on how the composer Felix MendelssohnMendelssohn, Felix (properly
CBD CloseView the register entry >> would have benefited from such an invention, but warns that the device is supported by a dubious medical witness and that the complex name recalls the thespian John P Harley'sHarley, John Pritt
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> quip 'the more Greek the more Quack'.
Hunting, Ornithology, Cruelty, Amusement, Extinction, Class
Discusses the views of two women 'of Mr. Punch's acquaintance' who have written to him lamenting the shooting and disappearance of seabirds from Flamborough Head. Notes Mr Punch's acquaintance's proposal to ban shooting these birds. Protests at 'how women believe in legislation', but distinguishes the gentlemanly sport of shooting game from gull-shooting, which consists of disreputable snobs killing, 'for killing's sake', one of the coast's 'most lovely and graceful living things'. Reports that Mr Punch too 'protests against this cruel and useless slaughter of these bright and harmless winged things', and hopes 'the darlings in mushroom hats make a point of rating every snob they see at the work', and that 'every true sportsman' will denounce this 'odious and cruel abuse of the gun'.
Discusses the 'wonderful' fact that a 'Negro, who went to bathe in the sea' off the Yorkshire coast, 'was discovered, upon emerging to have changed colour from a deep black to a beautiful bright red'. Adds that the phenomenon was caused by the heat of the water and resulted in the man losing his position as a footman, but then being taken up by a doctor who experimented on his skin.
Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Narcotics, Crime
Discusses the terms of employment that a 'Chemist and Druggist' made for a position of an assistant. Argues that should an unskilled assistant be hired and subsequently poison a customer, then a coroner's jury should return a verdict of 'manslaughter against the chemist and druggist' for his choice of assistant.
Medical Practitioners, Disease, Vaccination, Heroism
Reports on a young lady who refused to contribute towards the statue of Edward JennerJenner, Edward
DSB CloseView the register entry >> on the grounds that her clear complexion was testimony enough to the power of 'Jenner's discovery'. Accordingly, Punch suggests that 'every handsome lady' who has been saved from the ravages of smallpox should 'take her turn in standing for one hour only of her lifetime' on a pedestal in Trafalgar Square (the proposed site of the Jenner statue).
Discusses Richard M Milnes'sMilnes, Richard Monckton, 1st Baron Houghton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> proposal to replace field sports with 'geological and botanical pursuits', since they do not involve 'staining the fair carpet of nature with the blood of her children'. Accordingly, presents Mr Punch's suggestion for a newspaper report on the somewhat competitive activities of a 'Party of Gentleman-botanists' and of statesmen pursuing geological interests. The report emphasises the quantity and variety of botanical and geological specimens caught by the gentlemen, and their occasional 'rather wild' theories. The illustration shows two gentlemen in pursuit of botanical specimens.
Describes a dialogue between 'Steam' and 'Electricity' concerning their benefits to the 'human race' and promotion of 'mankind's felicity'. Both 'Forces' ponder the ambiguities of their legacies. Electricity boasts of the speed with which 'tidings' from 'far lands' speed 'Through a wire, with a thought's velocity', but also observes that the world 'doesn't get on much better'. Steam ponders the fact that he has enabled men to cross 'land and sea [...] At the rate of a bird', but also increased the speed with which they 'kill and bleed'. Responding to Steam's claim that 'we help morality', Electricity agrees that 'Through us have been caught, and to justice brought, / Many scoundrels', and, referring to the Indian Mutiny, Steam hopes they will be able to revenge the crime of the 'Sepoy savages' by strangling them. They conclude in unison, claiming that they have failed in their promise to regenerate the nations because, while 'Locomotive powers alone are ours', they 'can't cause people to change their courses'. The illustration shows two Ancient Roman warriors: the first figure has a telegraph apparatus for its head, holds a telegraph pole, and is wrapped in wire, while the second figure has a railway locomotive for its head.
Attacks 'an absurd "test" [...] of the efficiency of members of Parliament' which involves counting the number of times each visits the lobby of the Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >>. Ridiculing the 'statistics' of 'prigs and shallow fellows' as 'little sums', draws attention to shortcomings of such mathematical methods, not least the ways in which a lazy politician can give the appearance of being attentive. Goes on to criticise the misleading nature of other analyses of politicians' behaviour published by '"statistic"-mongers'.
Wryly complains that Emperor Napoleon IIINapoleon III, Emperor of France (originally
Louis Napoléon (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte))
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of France insulted English 'authorities' by 'offering some violent contrast to their proceedings' of dealing with inventors. Claims that the emperor, whilst in Chalons, did not adhere to the customs of the local English officers and failed to prevent a French officer developing a 'Flute-screw'—'a great improvement in the screw for propelling steamers'. Instead, the emperor 'acts in a diametrically opposite fashion' and immediately requests that the invention be applied to ships in the French navy and for the inventor to be rewarded 'if successful'.
Quackery, Commerce, Charlatanry, Medical Treatment, Professionalization, Crime
Rejoices to hear that quacks who advertise are annoyed at Punch's remarks on the 'equipages' which they 'drive about Town', which 'express their infamy' and their ability to sustain public ridicule as long as they can 'chuckle and rub their hands over the fees which they take at their own snug dens'. Notes that what annoys these quacks 'is that denotation of their class which causes every individual of it to be recognised, for the rascal he is, without affording him occasion for that revenge which he might, if his name were published, hope to take'. Observes that while some quacks have tried to advertise in ways that 'place them beyond the provisions' of the bill of John Campbell (1st Baron Campbell)Campbell, John, 1st Baron Campbell
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, 'anybody who advertises a peculiar cure of any disease or complaint [...] is either not a member of the Medical Profession, or is regarded by that profession as a disgrace to it'. Warns that those who consult quacks will be physically and financially weakened and will have to suffer a publicly humiliating and expensive legal trial.
Describes the hunt by some sportsmen of some 'peculiarly offensive' rats in Holywell Street, London, which are 'especially mischievous to the young', which 'poison' the area in which they live, and which are 'very wily, and used only to be seen at night'.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Charlatanry, Aesthetics, Commerce
Criticises an advertisement in a Scarborough newspaper for 'PERSONAL BEAUTY, by a SURGEON', noting the suspiciously low cost for such promised cosmetic results. Laments the 'fools who put faith in such advertisements' and pities the fact that the advertiser did not 'endorse the lies with the authority of his name'. Doubts the efficacy of the proposed 'purl' as a draught for making the teeth whiter and thinks the surgeon must be 'a faultless Adonis' if he tries the remedies on himself. Wonders 'how this Admirable Crichton of a "Surgeon" can walk the streets, without being torn by the admiring ladies into a thousand little bits'.
Religious Authority, Progress, Cosmology, Astronomy, Railways, Steam-power, Telegraphy, Nationalism
Written from the perspective of a Roman Catholic, the poet ponders the time when 'England's power and greatness shall to nothingness be brought' and when the 'pious night return, / Which to illuminate we should our holy tapers burn!'. Expresses nostalgia for the day when 'all that any one was taught proceeded from our lips', and asks, 'Why should not modern science—that to witchcraft is akin— / Decline and die like classic lore, alike the birth of sin?'. Anticipates that this will result in the revival of the ancient belief in a geocentric cosmos and in heaven being 'above the vault of blue, 'o'erhanging wide, / With none but those who worship thee upon the other side'. Notes that 'No longer, then, iron horse will fly with wings of steam, / Presumption's lightning wire will then have vanished like a dream; / True miracles will succeed'. Concludes by lamenting that these events will never 'come to pass while England's hale and strong'.
Punch, 33 (1857), 154.
Who's to Blame? or, Passages from the Life Locomotive
Narrates the story of 'The Blazer', an old locomotive which had been 'a first-rate piece of engine building in her day' and which George StephensonStephenson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> had praised and christened. After years of 'honest, regular, steady work' on the Stockton and Darlington RailwayStockton and Darlington Railway
CloseView the register entry >>, the locomotive's boiler was 'all sound' and 'she' continued to work 'till railways had grown, and stretched their iron arms over the whole island'. However, the locomotive's fortunes declined when, on being transferred to 'one of the dashing, new Midland lines, got up on the HudsonHudson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> high-pressure system of, "a short life and a merry one"', it was overworked and like railway staff and officials, its health was 'risked recklessly for the purpose of swelling dividends'. Shortly afterwards, damage to the locomotive's boiler necessitated an overhaul of the engine, but the railway directors made the fatal decision of using the train to 'race the express of a rival line'. The results were catastrophic, with the engine's boiler breaking, railway carriages being 'jammed up into the air', and 'scores of people' being killed. Reflects on the guilty party in this disaster, defending the 'poor old Blazer', but blaming the engineer, the 'superintendent of the rolling stock', and the directors (who blamed the locomotive).
The story ends with an account of a 'similar catastrophe' befalling 'another Company—on a much larger scale', which is a thinly veiled account of events during the Indian Mutiny. Relates that an 'old locomotive, called the GENERAL LLOYDLloyd, George William Aylmer
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, part of the stock of the East India CompanyEast India Company
CloseView the register entry >>, has lately broken down near the Dinapore Station' causing an 'awful smash', as a result of which the 'Directors talk of trying the poor, old locomotive—which it was their duty to have had overhauled every journey'.
Physics, Pneumatics, Chemistry, Gas Chemistry, Natural Law, Mechanics, Heat, Accidents
Discusses a Manchester ExaminerManchester Examiner
Directory CloseView the register entry >> report of a 'lady's india-rubber bustle' which had exploded during a concert owing to the expansion of the air inside the garment. Having explained the 'law of nature' describing the effect of 'caloric' on 'gaseous bodies', and detailed the chemical composition of air, remarks that 'pop went the bustle!'. Believes that 'This is one of those interesting facts that sometimes occur' because it illuminates such questions as 'elastic properties of caoutchouc', the temperature of explosion of confined air, and the 'absurdity of inflamed petticoats'.
Reports that a 'GERMAN CARTWRIGHT (HERR STUMPFStumpf, Herr (German cartwright and
PU1/33/16/3 CloseView the register entry >>)' claims that 'Gentlemen Professors, Students, and others' should continue smoking during dental operations because whilst smoking their teeth will have 'quietly gone'.
Telegraphy, Electricity, Language, Ancient Authorities, Controversy, Universities, Commerce
Punch's response to the controversy over the word 'telegram', which classical scholars have criticised for being based on improper analogies with ancient Greek. The author laments the 'bother [...] About using one letter instead of two' and questions why the Greeks should 'teach us' to define 'the spark in the wire'. Ridiculing the debate about which Greek letter should end the word, suggests that attention should instead be directed to the high cost of telegrams and the poor spelling of clerks.
Discusses an article on John de la Haye'sDe la Haye, John
PU1/33/18/3 CloseView the register entry >> 'funny invention' of a technique for moderating the speed at which electric telegraph cables are paid out from ships. Having compared the inventor's project 'with the devices of the Laptuan sage', presents an extract from The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> in which the inventor explains how he intends to coat the cables in a compound that would dissolve gradually and thus enable the telegraph to float on the sea for a short period before sinking slowly to the sea floor. Expresses scepticism about Haye's secrecy concerning the composition of his compound and suggests how his plan could be accomplished using 'Iced cream'.
Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Government, Commerce, Patronage
Discusses an advertisement in 'a country paper' placed by a doctor in Holywell Street, London, who warns 'Sufferers [...] against a quack who advertises in the same street' and 'unprincipled' medicine vendors, and whose name appears on advertisements with government-sanctioned guarantees of genuineness. Believes that the advertisement proves that the author is himself the quack in question but is more concerned that the government, in the shape of 'HER MAJESTY'S Hon. Commissioners', has given 'the weight of its authority and power' to the advertisement. Insists that Queen Victoria'sVictoria, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Ireland, and Empress of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> name has been misued and urges that the government should introduce its planned medical reform bill into ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> with 'clean hands'.
Punch, 33 (1857), 194.
To Golightly Teazle, Esq., M.A., Of the Saturday Review
Describes Mr Punch's proposal to offer free medical advice for 'MR. GOLIGHTLY TEAZLE', an 'afflicted gentleman' whose 'sudden and alarming condition' was announced in the Saturday ReviewSaturday Review
Directory CloseView the register entry >>. Having explained Mr Punch's experience in cases similar to that of Teazle—which evidently concerns the possibility of treating an affliction in one part of the body by applying a remedy to another—presents his reassurances that the constitution of Teazle is not 'liable to the serious attack of which he complains'. Notes Mr Punch's belief that a patient typically 'mistakes the nature of his own disorder' and that Teazle is suffering not from 'verbum sapienti' in the region of the heart, but something 'in a less vital and delicate part of his organism'. Following Marshall Hall'sHall, Marshall
DSB CloseView the register entry >> notion of the 'reflex action of the nerves of sensation', Mr Punch suggests that Teazle is suffering from 'very considerable cerebral irritation', and the 'foul state' of his tongue indicates 'a lurking fever in the system'.
Following an account of a dinner in St Denis, near Paris, 'at which all good things were cooked by electricity', suggests some of the ways in which electrical apparatus will be used in the preparation of food. These include plum-puddings boiled by electric currents, the replacement of pots and pans by Leyden jars and 'the old spit' by 'the positive, or negative pole'. Anticipates, 'in this scientific age', such consequences as the opening of an 'Electric Cook-shop', electric potato-cans, the cooking of accounts in telegraph offices by electricity.
Reports that Mr Punch has received a letter from John de la HayeDe la Haye, John
PU1/33/18/3 CloseView the register entry >> in reply to Mr Punch's attack on his invention for floating submarine cables (see Anon, 'Will it Wash?', Punch, 33 (1857), 183). Points out that Mr Punch 'took particular care' not to be misunderstood as imputing 'absurdity' to the plan, but after presenting Haye's own specification of his patent, maintains that the inventor has not considered the effect of waves on his invention.
Describes Mr Punch's recent visit to John S Russell'sRussell, John Scott
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>shipyardRussell (J Scott) & Co.—Shipyard, Millwall CloseView the register entry >> at Millwall, where he witnessed the troubled launch of Russell's 'gigantic baby'—the SS Great EasternSS Great Eastern CloseView the register entry >>—from 'its cradle to the bed of the Thames'. Notes the 'honest artisans of the neighbourhood' who 'had gone with laudable curiosity to see what they could of the great experiment', and 'the perfectly helpless air with which the majority of spectators' at the Isle of Dogs 'regarded the launching machinery' and the 'insane explanations' that 'others were giving of it'. Goes on to describe Mr Punch's participation in the christening of the ship and the subsequent collapse of machinery as the ship only managed to get 'a little nearer the water'. Although the 'mighty experiment' was then 'brought to a stand-still', the article points out that it will be continued in early December. Concludes by noting that as Mr Punch travelled away from the scene, he sang a song which praised Isambard K BrunelBrunel, Isambard Kingdom
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as a 'brick', Russell as a 'bean', and their ship as 'the grandest that ever was seen', which would still have the 'protection of Punch'.
Discusses the 'Movement Cure'—a new remedy about whose nature and novelty Punch is ignorant. Speculates on the subsequent medical function of dancing masters and the therapeutic effect of balls, polkas, and waltzes. Emphasises that the cure would benefit 'delicate young ladies' by prompting them to take brisk walks after excessive drinking, and make horses more beautiful.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Health, Disease, Commerce, Government, Telegraphy, Language
Begins with a description of how Prime Minister Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston)Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, represented as 'DOCTOR PAM', treated the 'tightness of the money chest' experienced by the City—a reference to the financial crisis in the City following the collapse of American banks due to railway speculation. Explains how the condition had led to the cessation of 'Respiration' and fears that 'there was such infection in the air' that breathing was fatal. Goes on to note how Mr Punch kept Doctor Pam informed of the state of the 'panic' by 'Tobygrams' (a reference to Mr Punch's dog and the recent controversy over the word 'Telegram') and accordingly enabled the 'State-Physician' to perceive and prescribe for the 'crisis'.
Discusses the delay in the launch of the SS LeviathanSS Leviathan CloseView the register entry >> (SS Great EasternSS Great Eastern CloseView the register entry >>) as if it were a 'stoppage' at a bank. Reports that the 'fix' is 'only a temporary one' but is satisfied that the launch will eventually 'go on most swimmingly'. Adds that 'it is confidently asserted' that the financial expectations of the ship—the 'large floating capital'— will be 'honourably liquidated in full'.
Medical Treatment, Religious Authority, Mental Illness
Laments the disappearance of a newspaper advertisement announcing that '"a Clergyman of Cambridge UniversityUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >>" [...] having cured himself of a nervous disorder', offered to 'cure others'. Suggests that the clergyman in question apply his treatment to a Puseyiste clergyman who, according to the Caernarvon HeraldCaernarvon Herald
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, was preventing communication between children of Anglicans and dissenters. Believes this clergyman is 'very far gone in Puseyism, and ought to have his hair removed in time'.
A poem written from the perspective of the ailing 'old lady', the Bank of EnglandBank of England
CloseView the register entry >>, an institution much affected by the recent financial crisis in the City, resulting from the collapse of American banks following railway speculation. After expressing hope that 'The Doctors' will cure her, she describes her medical symptoms, which refer to periodic financial crises. For example, she notes that it is a 'sort of a contraction, with a tightness and a dizziness, / That won't allow a body for to go about her business' and 'comes on with a pressure, and a clutching and a clawing, / Then there's a running at the chest, a pulling, and a drawing, / And then there is an emptiness [...] With a kind of nervous shaking'. Feels that she is going to die but that she will be stronger if her 'stays' are cut. Claims that she is being plagued by her 'nephews' and 'nieces' pursuing 'some [commercial] delusion'.
Steamships, Accidents, Engineering, Technology, Religious Authority, Providence
Responds to news that the editor of the RecordRecord
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, Alexander HaldaneHaldane, Alexander
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, was 'ecstatic' about the second failure of the launch of the SS Great EasternSS Great Eastern CloseView the register entry >>, because he linked the first failure and the 'killing' of two workmen as the 'judgment of Providence' on the directors for calling the ship by the apparently Satanic name of 'Leviathan'. Noting that the Record thinks the ship will sink if it keeps this name, wonders what would happen to somebody on board ships named Castor and Pollux, 'whose names were borne by the Alexandrian vessel selected by the great APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES to take him to Italy', a voyage that proved successful.
Likening quacks to birds, reports on the removal of 'obscene pigeons' from the 'dirty dove-cotes' in Holywell Street—a notorious site of quacks—but warns that the 'rookery of the quacks' remains undisturbed and attacks the Society for the Suppression of ViceSociety for the Suppression of Vice
CloseView the register entry >> for 'partial blindness'.
Describes cases in which the nose appears to 'betray a lively sensibility to the various gradations of colour' in that it changes according to the colour of the seasons, the emotions, and various social situations. For example, reports that 'we have discovered a slight tinge of green settle on the nasal tips of certain elderly ladies, when they have been more than usually jealous of the success of a younger rival'.
Hospitals, Disease, Medical Treatment, Pharmaceuticals, Analytical Chemistry, Reading
Introduces some extracts from the 'Annual Report' of the 'excellent institution' named in the title, with a description of a recent 'epidemic'—caused by an agent who was 'arrested (for debt)'—of cases of 'Broken hearts'. The extracts are spoof medical reports for heartbroken and emotionally fraught patients, classifying the diseases under such headings as 'love at first sight' and 'a heated and artificial atmosphere, engendered by an indiscriminate reading of foreign romances'. The extracts then detail the symptoms of the illnesses and the methods used to cure the patients, including the 'exhibition' to a young woman of the 'deleterious' contents of 'billets-doux' given to her by 'an unscrupulous practitioner', and showing a young woman with a 'morbid devotion to her favourite author' that the latter was in fact 'an elderly gentleman, irritable, and addicted to snuff'.
Written from the perspective of a farmer from southern England, the narrator draws attention to 'a new way up there [in the North] o' killun pigs' which involves anaesthetising the animal. Noting the tendency of pigs to 'squake' even when 'they zees the pig-butcher', describes the proposal 'to stupidfy the pig wi clorifarm, like the Christian, zo as shouldn't zuffer nothun whiles they wus a killun of un'. Observes that 'There's no knowun, afore you tries, whether your clorifarm meddn't spile your poork or your beeacon' but asserts that this method 'zaves the poor cretur vrom being punished onnecessary' and makes pig killing less noisy. Resolves to try killing his pigs by this method but laments the cost of 'clorifarm'.
Supernaturalism, Miracle, Medical Treatment, Religious Authority, Quackery, Commerce
Discusses a report in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> of the allegedly miraculous ophthalmic properties of the 'oil of ST. WALBURGA', administered by Johann A E G SchaffgotschSchaffgotsch, Johann Anton Ernst Graf,
Bischof von Brünn
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, Bishop of Brünn, on the diseased eyes of a girl from 'the Daughters of Christian Charity'. Argues that the feat was probably the result of 'preconcerted dodgery' and served to make more converts to the Christian institution to which the girl belonged. Regards the bishop's announcement as a form of medical quackery—of creating 'popular demand' of his 'eye specific'—similar to the puffery of 'LORD HOLLOAWAYHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>'. The article goes on to predict that other continental 'getters-up of miracles' will copy this example of having their 'infallible specifics' certified by bishops, who will themselves gain from this arrangement by acquiring supplies of the 'quack miracle and medicine'. Predicts that the 'dodge of these Brünn Sisters' will be copied by dealers in such holy relics as 'the toe-nails of ST. VITUS' and the 'tears of ST. BLUBBA', all certified as unadulterated by a prelate. Concludes by anticipating the medical use of 'the oil of ST. WALBURGA' if 'ever England should become a Roman Catholic dominion', and by describing the trade in such cures. The illustration shows a cardinal advertising his 'Miraculous Relics' and other dubious wares.
Observes that Hamlet's insight that 'there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy' is 'proved by steam, gas, railways, the electrotype, the electric telegraph, the photograph, and other wonders that have turned up since [William Shakespeare'sShakespeare, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>] day'. Goes on to discuss the display of a monstrous flea at the Entomological SocietyEntomological Society of London
CloseView the register entry >> by John O WestwoodWestwood, John Obadiah
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. Suggests that the enormity of the flea might be caused by the 'theory of the Transmigration of Souls', but worries about the possible future expansion in the size of the flea and flea-bites. The illustration shows an armed flea riding a grasshopper.
Medical Practitioners, Amusement, Display, Quackery, Medical Treatment, Government, Patronage
Praises an 'advertising doctor', Wiljalba FrikellFrikell, Wiljalba
RLIN CloseView the register entry >>, 'Physician to their Majesties the EMPERORAlexander II, Tsar of Russia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> and EMPRESSMaria Alexandrovna, Empress of Russia
CBD, s.v. Alexander II CloseView the register entry >> of RUSSIA', who entertained audiences with displays of illustions. Relishes the appearance of a physician 'candidly avowing' the illusory nature of his practice and whose illusions, unlike those of quacks, are 'harmless and amusing, and hence probably in some degree medicinal'. Concludes by likening quack medicine to a Jack-o'-lantern display in which 'the patent medicine is the lantern', and its advertiser is the Jack who enjoys government patronage for his 'good-for-nothing' compounds.
Following news that 'in Austria the census has begun for animals as well as for human beings!', discusses some of the exotic and more domestic animals and insects that 'one antiquated Fraulein' would list. Speculates on the animals included in the census paper for England.
Responding to news that a 'French officer' has 'invented a plan for preventing powder magazines from exploding' (which involves mixing coal-dust with the gunpowder), suggests that this powder would 'please our authorities' because it 'can't be ready at need' and, like 'Circumlocution Powder', is 'warranted not to be heard until it has passed through several departments'.
Shows 'Old Mrs. Twaddle', two young women and a boy, standing before Mrs Twaddle's smashed 'Aqua-Vivarium'. An electric eel and several fish lie on Mrs Twaddle's carpet and, as the caption explains, 'The Old Lady May be Observed Endeavouring to Pick up Her Favourite Eel with the Tongs, A Work Requiring Some Address'.
Discusses a Daily NewsDaily News
Directory CloseView the register entry >> report of an insolvent butcher who attributed his appearance in court to 'the high price of meat and the loss he had sustained in June when the Comet was expected'. Regards the 'expectation of a Comet' as a preposterous explanation for the spoiling of meat, and mocks the idea of a 'Comet appearing in a Law Court with a tale of its destructiveness in bonâ fide evidence'. However, Punch thinks the example shows the 'baleful influence of Comets' and their power to damage 'when merely in expectancy'. Sympathises with the unlucky butcher but is not surprised that the case was adjourned for want of better evidence. Further ridicules the butcher's appeal for protection from the court, observing that 'the insolvent might as well have sued for its protection from the Comet'.
Declares: 'MARK the SS LeviathanSS Leviathan CloseView the register entry >> lying up there all dry; / Pity the shareholders' panics: / "Metal on Metal" we knew was false heraldry, / Now its declared false mechanics'.