Military Technology, Steam-power, Cultural Geography
Reports on the speech of John S Copley (1st Baron Lyndhurst)Copley, John Singleton, the younger, 1st Baron
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> in the House of LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >> on the deficiencies of the Royal NavyRoyal Navy
CloseView the register entry >>. Expressing concern at the effects of steam power on naval warfare, he observed that compared with the French, the English were deficient in steam frigates and thus unable to transport troops quickly. Stressing that the French could rapidly transport troops on steam frigates, he urged the need for fleets in the English Channel, the Mediterranean, and the West Indies, and 'a force of regular troops, capable of opposing any military force which in all probability can be landed on our shores'. (v)
Discusses two letters to The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> which appear to disagree sharply over the fitness for human consumption of water in a Fleet Street well. The author points out that 'chemistry' can explain why the water from the well is so cool and the fact that the well is full of bones: the water is 'a saline draught' but should not be drunk.
Discusses an advertisement for a patent 'Horse and Camel Feed', supported by the testimonial of a Mr George Shaw, who appears to have eaten the food himself. Wonders whether Shaw is a vegetarian and hopes to see him at the next Smithfield Club Cattle ShowSmithfield Club—Cattle Show
CloseView the register entry >>.
Opens by noting that a 'Learnèd chemist' had written in The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> that the 'Thames stink is innocuous', since it is 'mere ammonia'. Wishes the chemist would experience the smell by 'Lodging upon Thames-brink', and 'would bet a pony' against science on the subject of smell. Concludes by upholding the harmful nature of the odour and that 'Thames-mud ain't smelling-salts—pace the Times'.
Reports on the House of Lords'House of Lords
CloseView the register entry >> discussion on 'the necessity of our having telegraphic communication with all our QUEEN's possessions', and the 'near squeak' of the public health bill, a piece of legislation hindered by 'sycophants of vestries', who canted against 'centralisation'.
Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Government, Political Economy, Morality
Argues that the consumption of patent medicines is as 'pernicious' as alcohol and should be heavily taxed by a 'Medicine Pledge'. Observes that the amount of duty paid on patent medicines during the previous year was over ten times more than that remitted as 'conscience money'. Concludes from this that the nation prefers medicines to conscience, and that the English lead such virtuous, exemplary lives that they do not consider that they have to pay for their consciences.
Taking its title from a magistrate's speech to Charles BabbageBabbage, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, this article claims that the latter's calculating engine 'has at last proved a failure' because it could not register the thickness of the skull of the magistrate who refused to fulfil Babbage's wish to remove the street musicians who had been plaguing him.
Discusses a report by John W EdmondsEdmonds, John W
WBI CloseView the register entry >> of the astonishing levitating powers of 'Spiritualism'. Asks why such powers cannot be put 'to some useful purpose', such as 'moving furniture'. Outlines how the latter proposal could be implemented. Suggests that one 'effective spirit-rapper would be able to do all the business' and points out that the 'surpassing beauty [...] of this new motive power is, that it would do away with all the preliminary trouble of packing' because it can despatch everything 'precisely as it was'. Suggests that Edmonds would make a fortune if he could 'get some brother-rapper to send him flying over here'. Concludes by proposing that people might be transported 'by this invisible telegraph' and remarks that 'the boundary-line of the Spirit-World, and its marvellous powers, have not yet been defined'. The illustration shows some chairs and a male figure being levitated.
Responds to a handbill from a Doncaster chemist whose advertisement for 'Poisonous Wheat' appears to be directed at vermin as well as 'agriculturists and horticulturists'. Supposes that if the substance 'is impregnated with some chemical compound as bad in one sense, as the chemist's literary composition is in another, it must be certain destruction to all the pests of the farm and the garden'.
Criticises the plan of the Chief Commissioner of Works, Henry FitzroyFitzroy, Henry
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, to filter the filth of the Serpentine river. Points out that transporting the filth to a place where it will be exposed to the sun will cause nasty and harmful gases to be emitted. Acknowledging the ability of chemists to manufacture pleasant odours from 'the foulest dregs', suggests that a chemist tell Fitzroy of a similar process for transforming the Serpentine filth. Proceeds to discuss Robert Stephenson'sStephenson, Robert
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> contribution to the debate. Doubts Stephenson's judgement that the river is not in an 'offensive condition' but points out that Fitzroy's plan of pouring limewater into the river is killing its fish. In opposition to Fitzroy's proposal to filter the river by gradual washing with limewater, suggests that the river be stocked with eels that 'would assimilate its organic impurities'. Concludes by noting that if science cannot sweeten the river then ducks should be used 'to eat up all the mud'.
Medical Treatment, Mental Illness, Amusement, Gender
Discussion of a highly contagious 'malady', which some regard as an English form of 'mild insanity', but which others, including Dr Punch, consider to be a 'species of measles' of French origin. The affliction is the passion for wearing mauve ribbons, which Dr Punch analyses as if it were a species of measles. For example, he observes that 'like the other form of measles, the mauve complaint is very catching: indeed, cases might be cited, where the lady of the house having taken the infection, all the family have caught it before the week was out'. Warns that no specific cure for the disease has been discovered, but suggests several courses of action, including the use of the 'scissors', 'amputation' of married ladies' pin money, cautery, and burning. Dr Punch, however, recommends a 'gentle dose of reasoning', 'Confinement to the house', and 'Total abstinence from flower-shows'.
Evolution, Human Species, Animal Behaviour, Gender, Analogy
A response to Samuel M Peto'sPeto, Sir Samuel Morton
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> remark (quoted after the title of this article) that 'The Serpentine, and the whole of Belgravia, were formerly a lagoon of the Thames'), this article adopts the title of Robert Chambers'sChambers, Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation[Chambers,
Robert] 1844. Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation,
London: John Churchill
CloseView the register entry >> and argues that the 'ancient life' that once inhabited these metropolitan districts is still present though 'changed in outward form'. It plays on the fact that the naming of certain animal species (reptiles, tadpoles, ducks, serpents, and beasts) also refer to human characters associated with Belgravia. For example, 'The slimy reptile here, no doubt / Wriggled and crawled in greed or malice: / Now see the Courtier creep about— / Near as he dares yonder Palace'. Again, 'With cackling ducks the old lagoon / At times, perchance, alive was seen: / Our Ducks [fashionable ladies] come out each afternoon, / And chatter in their Crinoline'. Similarly, identifies 'the 'Gigantic cranes' in William Cubitt'sCubitt, Sir William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'yard' as the latter-day 'Mega-Theria'. Concludes by denying that the inhabitants of Belgravia have lost connections with 'that old marsh's family'. The illustration depicts several fashionable women, two of whom have duck's heads, conversing near the Serpentine.
Rejoices over news from the chairman of the London District Telegraph CompanyLondon District Telegraph Company
CloseView the register entry >> that its telegraph offices are staffed entirely by women. Considers the employment of women in telegraphy to be particularly apt since 'young ladies are noted for their readiness in always giving a quick and happy answer', enjoy spending all day 'in questioning and answering', and are 'much more expert and industrious than a man [...] in working the needle'.
Medical Treatment, Supernaturalism, Quackery, Language, Faith
Ridicules an advertisement in the Baptist periodical Earthen VesselEarthen Vessel
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >> from G SeabornSeaborn, G (Baptist minister and medical botanist,
of Magdalene Street, Colchester)
PU1/37/11/1 CloseView the register entry >>, a 'Baptist Minister and Medical Botanist', who claims that he can cure diseases by praying to God and then sending medical recipes to sufferers. Thinks readers will deem the claim about prayer to be 'a high joke', and attacks the infelicities in the medical botanist's grammar.
Discusses the invention of a 'Flogging Machine' for use in the army, a steam-powered cat-o'-nine-tails that can, according to the reduction of steam pressure, 'tear and scratch the back to a depth varying from half an inch to less than a line'. Adds that the 'machine will render the military and civil authorities independent of a soft-hearted executioner, and will save them from one whose heart is too much in his work'. Observes that the machine will also enable the 'civil prescribers of flagellation' to 'inflict the exact amount of torture' instead of 'uncertain agony', and utters a 'scream' that can drown out the 'shrieks of the sufferer'.
Responding to a 'Morning Paper' account of Justus von Liebig'sLiebig, Justus von
DSB CloseView the register entry >> claim to have discovered 'a mode of imparting to ordinary tobacco the perfume and flavour of the finest Havannah', insists that this discovery was made 'not by LIEBIG, but by BIG-LIE'.
A comparison between the two 'Great Easterns'—the 'Great Eastern Empire', the 'Leviathan of Conquests', and the Great EasternSS Great Eastern CloseView the register entry >>, the 'Leviathan of Ships'. Notes that despite early failures 'Both o'er failure grew to wonders', until the protagonists of both enterprises 'Stretched their hands in self-complacence'. Compares the boasts of James A B Ramsay (1st Marquess of Dalhousie)Ramsay, James Andrew Broun, 1st Marquess of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who retired as Governor General of India shortly before the Indian Mutiny, to the optimistic 'Reports of Blithe Directors' of the Great Ship CompanyGreat Ship Company
CloseView the register entry >>, and the power of the British empire over 'two hundred million souls' to the dwarfing of 'minnow-shoals' and warships by the Great Eastern. Points out that just as the eastern empire demonstrates the need to 'learn the art to rule', so the ship shows the importance of taming 'Nature's forces'. In the second half of the poem, however, the tone is pessimistic, a mood reflecting the explosion of one of the Great Eastern's funnels on 9 September 1859. Queries, 'How should we have heard the prophet' who foretold losses to the empire (caused by a 'greased cartridge') and disasters to the ship (from a 'closed stop-cock'), and observes that the prophet rightly predicted such 'Great effects' could have been caused by such 'little causes'. Warns that both disasters speak of a 'Too great striving after glory' and 'gain', and teach the need for 'Working hand and heart and head / Till our Empire justice-strengthened, / And our Steamer wisdom-ruled'. Concludes that such action will make us 'Wiser for our follies' and 'Our Great ship defy the sea'.
A scathing attack on the remarks of Richard J MorrisonMorrison, Richard James ('Zadkiel')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> ('Zadkiel') contained in the latest edition of his AlmanacZadkiel's Almanac and Herald of Astrology
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >>— its thirtieth yearly issue. Ridicules his inference that the Royal Welsh Fusiliers' discovery of a copy of Morrison 1833Morrison, Richard
James 1833. The Grammar of Astrology: Containing All Things
Necessary for Calculating a Nativity by Common Arithmetic by Zadkiel,
London: Sherwood, Gilbert and Piper
CloseView the register entry >> in a recently liberated bungalow in Lucknow, showed that the owner of the book believed the stars 'promised them eventual delivery' by the soldiers. Draws attention to Zadkiel's boast that the 'philosophers of our day, clothed as they are in [...] the phylacteries of their mathematical garments', and who 'treat with contempt the older science that exists', have not risen to his challenge to 'overthrow the doctrines of astrology', a challenge that Punch considers 'asinine'. Goes on to speculate on the possible ill health of the AthenaeumAthenaeum
Directory CloseView the register entry >>, whose editor conducted a long campaign against astrology, but who apparently fell, like Zadkiel, 'into the sere and yellow leaf of old age'. Having cited several examples of Zadkiel's latest prophecies (most of which make dubious claims about leading statesmen), wonders who are the 'increasing thousands' whom Zadkiel believes have purchased his almanac. Turning to Zadkiel's request that 'NATIVITIES AND HORARY QUESTIONS' should be directed to his alias, Samuel Smith, Punch concludes that Zadkiel's need to veil himself with a more 'imposing' and 'mysterious' name proves his charlatanry. Attacks Zadkiel for exploiting gullible farmers who seek predictions concerning 'corn and cattle', and concludes by ridiculing Zadkiel's notion that, owing to a 'lunar influence', there are 'lucky days' on which to marry, ask favours, and perform other activities.
Reports on an 'alarming accident' on the London and South Western RailwayLondon and South-Western Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >> in which several people were killed, and the warnings made by Capt. RossRoss, Capt. (of the Royal Engineers)
PU1/37/14/5 CloseView the register entry >> of the Royal Engineers, that such an accident 'may be obviated' if 'the management' made 'adequate provision of guard and break power'. Thinks that if the 'board of directors' were to spend more money on improving the railway they might avoid the 'holocaust of human victims'.
Written following the discovery, by Francis L McClintockMcClintock, Sir Francis Leopold
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and his co-explorers, of the materials documenting John Franklin'sFranklin, Sir John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> successful but fatal attempt to discover a north-west passage, this poem describes the heroic but harrowing last stages of the expedition. Notes how 'A band of gallant hearts [...] Braced for their closing parts— / Their long march to the grave', and that the path of the journey was 'dotted' with the bodies of the 'weaker', although still being trodden by the remainder who reel 'like drunkards'. Stresses, however, that although the survivors reached the banks of 'The river of their hope', Franklin did not die in the 'cutting frost-wind' but in the warmth of his ship 'With comfort at his side, / And hope upon his lip', and thus away from the sailors who were spared 'their loved captain's pain'. Concludes by observing that while death separated Franklin and his crew, 'They are together now'.
Warns 'the public, and especially visitors' to Brighton of the medical evidence showing the 'Abominable' 'sanatory arrangements' of the place. Points out that many houses have poor drainage and that attempts to purify the town have been resisted by 'obstinate and prejudiced persons'. Concludes by urging that Mr Punch should be given all the 'particulars' of these 'recalcitrant jackasses' who he promises to throw into the sea.
Miracle, Supernaturalism, Electricity, Telegraphy, Steam-power, Religious Authority, Superstition
Discusses a report on the alleged 'miracle of St. Januarius': the rapid liquefaction, in Naples, of the blood of the saint. Surprised that 'more effective measures' are not taken to accomplish this more quickly and suggests that science 'would secure to a dead certainty the coveted result'. Explains how the 'miracle' could be 'done more rapidly by steam', 'new bellows', or a hot poker. Goes on to discuss the claim that when liquefaction takes place, the saint's blood appears on the stone (in Puzzoli) on which he was beheaded. Suggests that these simultaneous events might be accomplished by connecting Naples and Puzzoli by electricity. Considers that 'Science might materially assist' the faithful in raising the reputation of their saint. Concludes by noting that 'A belief in so-called "miracles" like those of JANUARIUS is clearly incompatible with scientific knowledge' and that where the steam engine and electric telegraph are 'utterly undreamt of, their agencies might readily affect a so-thought "miracle", and deceive the eyesights blinded by the darkened superstitions [...] of the Romish Church'.
Engineering, Time, Instruments, Accidents, Controversy
Describes the attempt to raise the bell in the Palace of WestminsterPalace of Westminster
CloseView the register entry >>, 'Big Ben', which is a hugely expensive instrument and which later cracked. Notes how, 'by wond'rous engineering, / And checks, and counter-checks, and side-way steering, / Up in the tower he swung'. Relates the dispute between Charles BarryBarry, Sir Charles
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Edmund DenisonBeckett (formerly Beckett Denison), Sir
Edmund, 1st Baron Grimthorpe
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> over the failure to endow the clock with hands. Goes on to describe how, despite 'Tolling the hours, for miles and miles around', the bell cracked for a reason that 'we know not'. (154) The illustration shows the cracked bell with arms, legs, a face, and straw around the hinge above its 'head'.
Quackery, Homeopathy, Hospitals, Lecturing, Education, Surgery
Discusses an advertisement for four lectureships at the London Homeopathic Hospital Medical SchoolLondon Homeopathic Hospital Medical School
CloseView the register entry >>. Contends that the hospital's subscribers will employ medical attendants who can lecture 'on the various homeopathic humbugs' to a 'crazed and credulous audience'. Ridicules the description of each lectureship. For example, considers the idea of 'Surgery as Modified by Homeopathy' to be 'very interesting [...] particularly if the lecturer could make out the amputation of a limb to be practicable with an infinitesimal knife'. Developing this attack on 'minute medical philosophy', suggests that homeopathic lecturers should speak for seconds rather than the proposed 'hours' and that they be paid only farthings.
Human Development, Sociology, Agriculture, Horticulture
Criticises William P Wood'sWood, William Page, Baron Hatherley
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> attack, at the Social Science AssociationNational Association for the Promotion of Social Science
CloseView the register entry >>, on the case of a testator who resolved to give part of his estate to 'the fifteen prettiest young women in the parish'. Upholding the benefits of encouraging 'the growth of pretty girls', points out that agricultural, 'poultrycultural', and horticultural societies are 'going just the same way', in that they offer prizes and medals encouraging 'the thing to be rewarded, whether it be flavour or monstrosity in fruit and vegetables, ugliness in rabbits, songs and colour in canary birds, or pinguitude in beasts of the field'.
Engineers, Heroism, Nationalism, Steamships, Railways, Government
Surrounded by a black border, this article marks the deaths of Isambard K BrunelBrunel, Isambard Kingdom
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Robert StephensonStephenson, Robert
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who died almost within a month of each other. Upholds them as 'A Nation's pioneers' who deserve heroic status for 'the bridged chasm' and 'the piercèd rock'—references to Brunel's steamships, which crossed oceanic gulfs, and to Stephenson's railway tunnels. Notes that 'in an epitaph their names shall live' but complains that 'THEY DIED UNTITLED' owing to the meanness of 'Courts'.
After describing cases of people who apparently lived after they had been beheaded, introduces a similar example on 'such authority as is conceded to a quack'. The example derives from an advertisement in the Morning ChronicleMorning Chronicle
CloseView the register entry >> for Thomas Holloway'sHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> pills (here thinly disguised as 'GULLAWAY'S PILLS'). The advertisement claims that the pills have cured a man suffering from 'giddiness in the head, off and on, for the last twenty years'. Thinks that it is more surprising that somebody 'should have existed with his head "off and on"' for such a long period, than that he should be cured by quack remedies. Compares this to Holloway's claim that he has cured a bad leg of 'more than thirty-five years' standing'; a 'preposterous' claim given that even healthy legs cannot stand up for 'longer than a day'. The writer concludes by placing as much faith in the tales of Gulliver (which included that of people with detachable heads) as the 'assertions of the story-telling quack, whom, as we don't wish to be personal, we choose to nickname MR. GULLAWAY'.
Responding to frequent warnings to those who consume large mushrooms, requests an explanation of the danger such consumers faced by pointing out that while newspapers have represented the horse mushroom as poisonous, many people eat it 'with perfect impunity'. Recommends that warnings to mushroom eaters be 'addressed to all eaters of mushrooms', and be designed to prevent consumption of stale mushrooms, which can be noxious when putrid.
Following an Edinburgh ReviewEdinburgh Review
Directory CloseView the register entry >> article on the graffiti of Pompeii, imagines a similar discussion of the 'Graffiti of London' published in the year 3859 by 'SIR CANNIBAL TATOO'. While investigating inscriptions on walls in London, Tatoo discovers 'a place where peripatetic astronomers exhibited their telescope for hire; as on a wall, which would have been an excellent resting-place for the instrument, is "Take a Sight"'. Adds that 'Even in those days, before Moon-railroads were known, the view of the celestial bodies interested our foolish forefathers'.
Discusses the case of Mr CrollCroll, Mr
PU1/37/18/3 CloseView the register entry >>, the proprietor of Croll's Metropolitan Alum WorksCroll's Metropolitan Alum Works
CloseView the register entry >> on Bow Common, who has avoided proposals to deodorize his noxious gas-producing factory on the grounds that it is only 'one great nuisance among a variety of greater nuisances'. Advises Croll that to satisfy plaintiffs he should use the 'very liquor out of which he gets alum attended with foul exhalations' to produce 'exquisite scents' that 'shall over-power all offensive emanations'. Inhabitants of surrounding areas, it adds, 'will be only ready to die' in such perfumes.
Having 'gone through a small course of Homeopathy', the author concludes that 'What you tell us that is true is not new, and what you tell us that is new isn't true'. Supports the latter judgement by referring to homeopaths' dubious claim that they cure 'an average of a hundred and five per cent of cases'. Also supports the former judgement by the fact that the principle of 'similia similibus curantur' was known before Christian F S HahnemannHahnemann, Christian Friedrich Samuel
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and cites several examples, ranging from phrases such as 'setting a thief to catch a thief', and lines from a nursery rhyme. To challenge the homeopathic 'atomic theory of infinitesimal doses', cites some lines of poetry (from Pope 1711[Pope,
Alexander] 1711. An Essay on Criticism, London: W.
CloseView the register entry >>) which warn that 'shallow draughts' of the 'Pierian spring [...] intoxicate the brain', and that 'drinking deeply sobers us again!"'. Concludes by emphasising that 'meanness is the test of a little mind'.
Hospitals, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment
Mr Punch reports having 'received a paper purporting to be a copy of the Rules and Regulations Established for the Guidance of the House-Surgeon of theSamaritan Free Hospital for Women and ChildrenSamaritan Free Hospital for Women and Children
CloseView the register entry >>, 18 Edwards Street, Portman Square'. Criticises the authors of 'this contemptible code' for stipulating unreasonable conditions of employment for surgeons, notably, the insistence that surgeons at the hospital be qualified and unpaid, and be obliged to remain in such pecuniary circumstances for a year. Speculates on the meaning of the condition that surgeons 'shall hold office only during the pleasure of the Managing Committee', suggesting that 'pleasure' involves worshipping and cringing before the 'tyrants' who run the committee. Turning to the regulations concerning the domestic arrangements of the house surgeon, thinks the prescribed accommodation and eating hours are 'paltry' and suitable for a 'surgery-boy' rather than a 'qualified practitioner'. Punch takes particular exception to the rule that surgeons 'shall observe all orders of the Managing or House Committee', a rule suggesting that the only 'young surgeon' who would subject himself to the committee's 'disgusting domination' would have to be facing 'imminent starvation, or in the need of opportunity of seeing practice'. Warns the hospital that its charity might be compromised by 'vulgar beadles'.
Punch, 37 (1859), 194.
The Laureate's Bust at Trinity (A Fragment of an Idyll)
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Charlatanry, Surgery
Depicts a consulting room in which a medical student stands in front of his patient who clutches his face in agony. The caption reveals that the student had, after 'dragging his patient round the Surgery', extracted a tooth. The student tries to reassure his patient that 'that's not so bad for a first attempt'.
Mathematics, Medical Treatment, Electricity, Physiology
Gives 'A THOUGHTFUL GLAZIER' some absurdly complex mathematical formula for establishing the cost of putty, and responds to an 'Ode Written on a Dissecting Room Table', and 'Lines on Galvanising a Deceased Donkey' penned by 'HORRESCUS'. Provides a 'specimen' of the latter, which describes how the donkey came back to life after treatment by galvanism.
Describes the remedies and courses of action recommended by a surgeon for treating various ailments. For example, the surgeon urges the man whose 'liver is much out of order' to 'take, rhubarb and aqua menth.', and for 'Symptoms about your head' which appear to indicate 'congestion', he advises leaving off 'wine, beer, and grog, / Arrowroot all your prog, / Let organs rest to recover their function'.
Following news that 20,000 tons of iron need to be replaced every year on railways, 'owing to wear and tear' and that 'twenty six million wooden sleepers require to be replaced from the same cause', discusses the 'wear and tear upon the patience of the passengers', of a meeting of shareholders, and of the 'mind and soul and pocket' of railway investors.
Considers the movement of 'many men' between wine-merchants' and chemists' shops, the bottles procured in the latter acting as the antidote to that obtained in the former. Wonders which of the bottles 'did them the most injury'.
Pondering the high price of a 'Milk of cucumber' treatment for sunburns, suggests that this substance is a 'solution to the problem of extracting sunbeams from cucumbers' (a reference to a chimerical scheme in Jonathan Swift'sSwift, Jonathan
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Gulliver's Travels[Swift,
Jonathan] 1726. Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World.
In Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of
Several Ships, 2 vols, London, B. Motte
CloseView the register entry >>) and acts, 'on the Homeopathic principle that like cures like, as a remedy for sun-burns'.
Discusses the appearance, in the Crystal PalaceCrystal Palace
CloseView the register entry >>, of 'a new American invention called the "Calliope", or "Steam Orchestra"', which is 'one of the most original ever heard in this world, since the discovery of the bagpipes and the hurdygurdy'. Punch supposes that the invention is a barrel organ with the added disadvantage that 'it won't tire and has no body to be kicked'. The report of the invention warns that since steam is expelled after each note, within minutes it produces the 'picturesque' effect of engulfing the Crystal Palace in clouds of vapour. Thinks the invention would be suitable for composers to 'puff' their music and suggests christening it the 'Steam Music Hatcher' (a reference to Mr Cantelo'sCantelo, Mr
PU1/14/1/2 CloseView the register entry >> steam egg hatcher, much discussed in Punch).
Hospitals, Medical Practitioners, Charlatanry, Gender
Having received a copy of the annual report of the Samaritan Free HospitalSamaritan Free Hospital for Women and Children
CloseView the register entry >>, Mr Punch tempers the critical tone of Anon, 'A Surgical Slave to a Free Hospital', Punch, 37 (1859), 193, noting that the hospital is 'excellent', although it has 'some ridiculous rules for the guidance of its House-Surgeon'. Observes that its 'Committee of Management' consists of honourable and educated gentlemen, who could not have composed the rules criticized by Punch, since they recognise that the 'one great use of a hospital' is 'the promotion of Medical Science for the public good, and to that end that the office of House-Surgeon ought to be a remunerative one, and the prize of knowledge and ability'. Noting that the matron is 'not an old woman', surmises that this will prove pleasanter for the house-surgeon.
Describes Mr Punch's great appreciation of the remarks of the French economist Michel ChevalierChevalier, Michel
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, who argued that owing to England's immense quantity of exported and imported goods, it was crucial that English statesmen ensure that their country's 'navy is never held in check', but that the 'programme of England' is to have maritime powers which surpass all others, which means that the 'English fleet ought to exceed the united fleets of France and Russia'. Mr Punch thanks Chevalier for the hint, especially because there is the possibility that the French and Russian fleets may be united in the future.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Telegraphy, Accidents
Reports on the 'tight-rope feat' of the acrobat Charles BlondinBlondin, Charles (Jean François Gravelet)
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, who traversed Niagara Falls by tightrope. Describes how the feat resulted in a 'sporting Judge' fainting. He was attended by a 'medical man from the South' carrying a Bowie knife (with which he opened a vein) instead of a revolver. Adds that Blondin plans to train by taking frequent walks on telegraph lines, and that there is a 'report here that the transatlantic telegraph cable has been sold to a marine store dealer, to be taken on the grounds with all faults'.
Astrology, Charlatanry, Prognostication, Cultural Geography
Reminding readers of how Mr Punch, 'the Protector of the Public', had recently attacked the astrologer Richard J MorrisonMorrison, Richard James ('Zadkiel')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, for his 'fraudulent attempt to impose upon the public', reports on the abuse then received by Mr Punch. Expresses concern about the response that will follow Mr Punch's attack on another 'Starteller' who 'assumes the alias of 'Raphael' to assist him in his fraudulent designs upon the public (a reference to Robert C SmithSmith, Robert Cross ('Raphael')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>). Considers Raphael's Prophetic MessengerProphetic Messenger
Raphael's Prophetic Almanac
BUCOP CloseView the register entry >> to be a work full of 'blasphemies, absurdities, and lies', whose wide circulation shows English to be a 'race of fools'. Ridicules Raphael's 'Table of Celestial Influence' that gives astrologically-based advice on what to do during a particular day. After extracting from the 'prophetic portion of the work', Mr Punch expects some readers to exclaim, 'What's the good of making so much fuss about such gibberish?', to which he replies that he is aiming his critique at those who are not so clever 'as yourself' and intends to expose 'this humbug RAPHAEL' to the 'Nobodies' of the world. The illustration shows Mr Punch stabbing a bearded character (clad in an astrologer's garb) with a sword.
Explains that this invention is a 'musical instrument' which helps 'a dirty and verminous foreigner' undertake 'abstruse mathematical calculations' and is therefore recommended to Charles BabbageBabbage, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >>.
Notes the 'Considerable astonishment' caused by the announcement that several European countries have called on the 'Sublime Porte' (i.e. the government of the Ottoman Empire) to authorise the project of the canal promoter Ferdinand, vicomte de LessepsLesseps, Ferdinand, vicomte de
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'for cutting through the Isthmus of Suez'. Explains that this 'would shorten the way to India' but complains that it is designed to 'destroy the greatness of England'.
Describes the author's increasing irritation with the cough of a woman in his house. Explains how he wishes he could procure various remedies (including 'Pulmonic Wafers' and 'Cough No More') and that he would 'richly fee' a doctor or a quack to free him from the nuisance.
Discusses the recent claim that the rise in cases of smallpox is due to cabs, which are used by smallpox patients and so transmit their disease to the next user. Acknowledging the need to preserve the rights of cabmen, suggests 'some measure' for preventing 'this damage to the public'—organising specially marked cabs for 'hirers specially afflicted'. Alternatively, suggests the establishment of different cab-classes, in which first-class cabs would have to be free from infection. To prevent people regarding cabs as hearses, urges the passage of a 'law of Public Safety'.
Cultural Geography, Education, Medical Practitioners, Instruments, Mathematics, Societies, Universities
Notes Edinburgh's reputation as 'the intellectual hotbed of Science and Philosophy' and accordingly, the place where his 'talented friend, LANCELOT PROBUS' chose to study medicine. During the 'electioneering excitement' (a reference to the election of a new rector at the University of EdinburghUniversity of Edinburgh
CloseView the register entry >>) he visited Probus's room, which contained medical artefacts and instruments, and was taken by his friend on medical excursions, including inspecting 'dangerous cases' at the infirmary. Draws attention to the fact that the population of Edinburgh comprises lawyers and doctors, and that the city is host to the 'Conjectural Club', a society for debating controversial topics including the 'Differential Calculus in its relation to the Binomial Theorem'. Concludes his letter, which is aimed at correcting 'erroneous notions' about Edinburgh held by young English people, by detailing the recipe of a 'Mixture' which can relieve a wide range of medical symptoms.
Explores the comparison between bridesmaids and gas-lamps. Notes that bridesmaids' 'bright eyes light the way to the hymeneal altar, as well as, if not better than, a row of fish tail burners could', while both bridesmaids and lamps emit a 'dazzling radiance' and are 'dimmed by tears, which may be regarded as water in the pipe'.