Discusses the controversial question of 'what degree of madness entitles a
culprit to be acquitted of murder on the ground of insanity'. Identifies two
answers: 'homicidal monomania' and a state 'in which the madman does not know
what he is about'. Also notes the vigour with which 'disputants' attack each
other, the 'severity' school attacking the 'love-and-mercy school' while the
latter attacks the former 'as friends of the gallows'. Would agree to hanging
madmen if it meant that 'sane' people would no longer be murdered, but does not
wish to do so merely 'from a sentiment of manly sternness'. Asks both 'schools'
whether 'homicidal mania is a fact', and suggests that, if it is, then it would
be best to imprison madmen before they committed murder. Concludes by pondering
the question of whether 'deficiency of the moral sense constitutes
Urges Londoners to resist the encroachment of the 'great Steam Giant', in
response to the myriad new railway schemes proposed for the metropolis. The
poem calls on Londoners to fight the 'Railway sappers' who 'breach each
household wall', and to 'teach the invading engineer' that the Englishman is
still able to defend his house as his castle. Anticipates some of the scenes of
conflict, including the 'Beleaguered men of old', who fend off 'those who
stormed the hold' and the destruction of residential garden beds. Ponders the
ugly future of tunnels under the basement floor and 'Embankments blocking out
your view', and then urges Londoners to distrust promises of compensation. The
poet might reluctantly accept the defacement of nature 'Were it to serve the
true public need', but to 'contractors', engineers', / And Lawyers' projects',
the answer is 'No!'. Concludes by reiterating the rallying cry urging Londoners
to 'Combine against the invading lines'.
Written from the perspective of an undergraduate at the
University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >>, who
describes how some of his friends have prepared for their degree examinations,
and notes that one friend got his tailor to help him prepare by sewing cards
into the lining of his coat on which were condensed his 'useful knowledge'.
Adds that this strategy forced his friend to develop a procedure for
remembering the location of each card.
Discusses the 'Fox-Famine' which reputedly exists in Ayrshire. Worries that
if the disappearance of foxes before 'advancing agriculture and civilisation,
cannot be arrested, there will soon be no foxes in that division of Scotland'.
Upholds the 'utility of foxes', specifically fox hunting, which the narrator
praises as 'part of the poetry of the nation' and which accords foxes the
status of 'fancy vermin'. Identifies other species as 'fancy vermin', including
birds of prey, badgers, polecats, weasels, stoats, and otters, but laments the
fact that 'the successors of the old English gentleman have become poulterers,
the British fauna, under the name of vermin, are getting exterminated,
in order that the greatest possible quantity of game may be sent to market'.
Concludes by upholding 'the divinity of the fields and forests, for old Pan,
and the fauna at large'.
Punch, 46 (1864), 18.
Wonderful Agreement Between the French and the English
Mental Illness, Psychology, Crime, Human Development
Identifying himself as a 'medical man', the narrrator discusses a report of
a young girl who had been remanded in a police station for 'stripping children
of their clothes', one child perishing after being stripped of practically
every item of clothing. Hopes that the girl will not be punished and suggests
that her actions may have been prompted by 'the beauty of the undraped
infantine figure' at the
CloseView the register entry >>, or a compulsion to clothe the less 'well-cared-for'
children, or a feeling of revenge on the children's parents, or the need to
sell the clothes in exchange for a Christmas present.
Urging prompt action to be taken to stop 'the abominable practice of
painting tradesmen's names on all the dead walls about London', points out that
'What with ugly Railway Bridges disfiguring our streets, and Electric Wires
like clothes-lines carried along our house-tops, we Londoners have certainly
few prospects to be proud of'.
Discusses a notice affixed to carriages of the 'Underground [MetropolitanMetropolitan Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >>] Railway' urging
passengers not to open the carriage doors until the train stops at the
Nutrition, Human Development, Health, Disease, Patronage, Morality,
Newspaper Catalogue CloseView the register entry >> report of
Victor M Hugo'sHugo, Victor Marie
CBD CloseView the register entry >>
visit to the
HouseHauteville House, Gurnsey CloseView the register entry >> in Guernsey, where he entertained 'the poor children who, for
about two years, have been the constant recipients of his bounty' and treated
them to a 'substantial dinner once a fortnight'. The Guernsey Star
reports that Hugo claimed that his actions were prompted by medical and
scientific inquiry into a supposed correlation between certain diseases
associated with the poor (including scrofula and rickets) and a deficiency of
'animal food' in the diet. Hugo adds that his test of this theory in Guernsey
'had been undoubtedly successful', and Punch stresses that providing a
child with a meal of fresh meat 'is not a very costly gift', and that such a
diet will better prepare them for work. Agrees with Hugo that such provisions
are part of Christian duty, and urges the establishment of 'poor children's
public dinners'. (24)
Punch, 46 (1864), 27.
Advertisements: Rendered Necessary by the Railway Invasion
A series of advertisements, each of which announces events and courses of
action made necessary by the encroachment of the railway lines of the
London, Chatham, and Dover
Railway CompanyLondon, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >>. For example, one advertisement announces that the
'Lord of the Manor of
CloseView the register entry >> wishes to
'inform archaeologists and others' that the 'Druidical remain will be on view
until the 1st of April, when it will be put into thorough repair, and converted
into an engine-house' for the London, Chatham, and Dover Railway Company, while
another advertisement informs the 'animals at the
Zoological GardensZoological Society of London —Gardens
CloseView the register entry >>' about
possible plans to turn their gardens into a coal depot.
Spiritualism, Religious Authority, Supernaturalism, Miracle,
Discusses news that
Daniel D HomeHome, Daniel Dunglas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has
been asked to leave Rome unless he discontinues his 'business in the spirit
line'. Notes that during Home's interrogation by police officers in Rome,
spirits apparently rapped on a nearby table, but Punch requests that
such a 'phenomenon' be 'submitted to the inspection of a British Inspector or
two', emphasising that in Rome 'the motion of inanimate objects', such as
pictures and statues, is 'so ordinary an occurrence'. Notes that the papacy
apparently attributes table-moving to an inferior class of spirits, but
Pope Pius IXPius IX, Pope
CBD CloseView the register entry >> 'might
order an experimentum crucis for the extraction of truth'.
Crime, Mental Illness, Medical Practitioners, Proof
Reports on various cases of alleged criminal behaviour, most of which
include details of medical practitioners' contentious views on the mental
condition of prisoners. Dr Cranky Cracker, for example, 'the eminent
mad-doctor', insists that William Smasher was 'suffering under hallucination'
when he threw a stone through a jewellers' shop window, while in the case of
George Flashington, Dr Sneaker Weasel argues that the prisoner was not
responsible for embezzling a large sum of money from a bank and denies that he
has been bribed for 'giving such evidence'.
Politics, Anaesthesia, Military Technology, Medical Treatment,
Disease, Politics, Internationalism
This poem describes the state of 'La France', a country whose deep wounds
have been causing more pain because her various opiates (which refer to those
aspects of French culture which gave it strength) no longer bring relief. For
example, she waves away 'La Gloire's morphine' (a reference to the
powerful French ironclad
La GloireLa Gloire, ship CloseView the register entry >>) 'for
which she used / To crave'. Proceeds to describe her grave financial problems
as if they were a severe case of blood loss. She 'doubts whether these
douches / Of debt and tax and loan, / Prescribed by her kind doctor, /
Were not best let alone', while the doctor warns her of the dangers of having
her 'food' dressed 'à la Liberté', and of bursting out of
her 'safety-bands'. Notes how 'Europe's M.D.'s' cannot treat her condition (a
reference to the unsuccessful attempt by
Napoleon IIINapoleon III, Emperor of France (originally
Louis Napoléon (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte))
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of France to organize a European congress) and her own
doctor is forced to try alternative remedies including 'De Morny's tonic
bitters' (a reference to Napoleon III's counsellor,
A K J, Duc de MornyMorny, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, Duc de
CBD CloseView the register entry >>).
Quackery, Patents, Language, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners,
Government, Politics, Public Health
Discusses a letter in the
Directory CloseView the register entry >> from a quack who, evidently alarmed by the prospect
of a new clause in the 'New Medical Bill' depriving quacks of property rights
to their 'notorious' specifics, upholds the virtues of patent medicines over
'violent remedies' and questions why so many different remedies are needed for
'the one simple object—the correction of the stomach and intestines'.
Punch defends the use of a multiplicity of medicines, pointing out that
different digestive and other organs of the body need different remedies.
Proceeds to discuss the quack's claim that the new legislation reflects the
shortcomings of, and the necessity for abolishing, the 'gigantic medical
monopoly', and underlines the need to stop fettering those 'who do understand
the theory of cause and effect' and understand their remedies. Surmising that
the latter is a self-reference, Punch contrasts the rigorous scientific
training undertaken by 'regularly educated physicians' to the training in the
'practice of puffery' undertaken by quacks. Concludes by pointing out that
medical practitioners 'are constituted guardians of the public health by Act of
Parliament' and that when patent medicines are abolished, patients can turn to
'a respectable practitioner' and receive proper treatment.
Falconer'sFalconer (properly O'Rourke), Edmund
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> new drama, which shows that 'solitary confinement for
twenty years is a piece of experience that may be laughed at'—a claim
that contradicts the belief that such an experience would 'turn a bad man into
a savage, and a good one into an idiot'. Relates that the prisoner in
Falconer's drama 'regards his punishment as a positively beneficial process'
because it 'sharpens the enjoyment of fresh air, and the salutary privilege of
Offers shares in a company which, inspired by the work of 'certain members
of our Scientific bodies', seeks to recover 'the large amount of metal
deposited by wear and tear of tires of wheels, horse-shoes, &c., in the Mud
of the London streets' for use in such iron manufactures as armour plates and
ArmstrongArmstrong, Sir William George, Baron
Armstrong of Cragside
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> guns. Lists the principle
'veins' discovered by the company, which include '"The Wheal Oxford", running
the whole length of Oxford Street'. Notes that because scavengers collect mud
from the streets, the company will not require any staff or a need to raise
capital, but that there will be prospects of 'enormous' profits.
Spiritualism, Religious Authority, Miracle, Imposture
Responding to news that
Daniel D HomeHome, Daniel Dunglas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> has
been ordered to leave Rome, this poem ponders the reasons for the order,
suggesting that it was because the 'pictures that wink, / And statues that
blink, / Can't stand spirits that rap', and that therefore 'two of a trade
can't agree'. Ends by suggesting that 'There's one place like Home, and
that's Rome, my dear HOME'.
In this letter to Mr Punch's dog, Toby, 'Messrs.
COXWELLCoxwell, Henry (Tracey)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and
DSB CloseView the register entry >>aëronautical Dog' recalls the time when they were being instructed
in 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star' and boasts that he has 'been up to see the
Star that twinkles' and to 'emulate the acrobatic Cow' who 'o'ertopped the
Silvery Moon'. Reminds Toby that he and three rabbits went on a journey with
Coxwell and Glaisher above the clouds. These animals were taken in order to
study the effects of 'low temperature and sudden changes on them'. Criticises
the aeronauts for being 'dullards' who fell asleep on the journey and who
selfishly deprived him of the rabbits. Proceeds to give an account of how he
was kicked and generally maltreated by the aeronauts and of his confusion
between 'air' with 'hare'.
Opens by noting the 'navy of iron' now enjoyed by the 'Yankees', but points
out that despite this force they still 'haven't yet taken Charleston', which is
being defended by 'Secessia's power' and cannot compete with
SemmesSemmes, Alexander Aldebaran
WBI CloseView the register entry >> who sweeps its seas. Anticipates the dissolution of the
'menacing overgrown Union' and hopes that 'those that shall rise from its
ashes' will be wiser than their predecessors and unite with John Bull.
Concludes by ridiculing the strength of the Yankee navy and asking the Yankees
to fling its 'brag to the breeze' and 'Commerce restore to the seas'.
Responds to news of the death of a Viennese brewer,
Anton DreyerDreyer, Anton
PU1/46/5/11 CloseView the register entry >>, and
of his son's intention to train at
PerkinsBarclay and Perkins, firm CloseView the register entry >>. Declares that 'the cause of both sobriety and exhilaration
is promoted by whatever tends to the production of good liquor', linking 'bad
beer' with excessive drunkenness and maintaining that good beer enlivens rather
than stupefies. Defends brewing as a 'scientific art' and the notion that
achieving 'a high standard of malt liquor' requires a good education, which
Punch believes Barclay and Perkins will provide. For this reason, deems
this and other brewers to 'constitute a University of Beer'.
Railways, Environmentalism, Engineering, Commerce, Politics,
Opens by describing the action that Englishmen will have to take in order to
thwart the advances of 'the emissaries of the Railway Company', and condemns
the threat to English homes by 'a society of speculative adventurers, pursuing
self-aggrandisement under the pretence of public advantage'. Considers such an
invasion to be 'the legalised burglary of the Railway Companies'. Asking
whether any means exist for 'averting the imminent destruction of the little
beauty which our capital possesses', urges householders in London and its
suburbs whose property is under threat to 'get up a petition and present it to
the Houses both of
LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >> and
CommonsHouse of Commons
CloseView the register entry >>'.
Bitterly condemns the proposal for 'a railroad cut through Kensington Gardens',
an 'impossible' act of 'desecration' that Parliament now seems likely to
permit. Thinks it is 'all very well' for the railways to encroach on the
property of a 'bloated aristocrat' but 'when the levelling agency of the dumpy
level' affects the property of the 'middle classes' then 'Railway aggression is
an insufferable nuisance'. Concludes by reiterating the call for a
Opens by noting that 'to minds not constitutionally incredulous',
spiritualist manifestations give foundation to ancient beliefs about
witchcraft. Believing spiritualism and necromancy to be 'convertible terms',
anticipates the possibility of modern sorcery and Faustian pacts and considers
likely equivalents for characters in the myth of Dr Faustus.
Electricity, Telegraphy, Physiology, Medical Treatment,
Reports that 'Medical men' have stated that some electricity is conveyed to
the body when receiving a telegram, and that it is 'a very healthy thing to
take a course of telegrams, and their efficacy is increased by the shock which
it gives most people to receive a telegram at all'.
Mental Illness, Hospitals, Amusement, Human Development,
Discusses a report in
The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> of
Lunatic AsylumColney Hatch Asylum
CloseView the register entry >> Christmas party, at which approximately 600 inmates
showed great delight in 'Nigger Minstrels' and a 'troupe of Chinese jugglers'.
Does not think that it is surprising that the Chinese performers should delight
the 'demented and insane', but is puzzled by the fact that the inmates also
enjoyed quadrille bands. Concludes by asking, 'What philosopher will dare to
propose a solution of this apparent fact in psychology?'.
Written from the perspective of a horse, who reflects on his redundancy in
'these Railway Days', but thinks that 'steam people' are returning to horses
since he overhead two railway directors upholding the need for advertising
'Posters' (an archaic word for post-horses) to make railways pay.
Discusses news that the new parliamentary session will open with 43 railway
directors in the
LordsHouse of Lords
CloseView the register entry >>, which Punch thinks will inhibit Parliament in
preventing the 'demolition' of London by 'Railway Aggression'. Anticipates the
possibility that Londoners will not be able to procure a house without a
railway destroying it.
Railways, Disease, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment,
Psychology, Mental Illness
The drama is set in the consulting room of a 'MR.
MAGNEESHER, the eminent M.D.', very close to
two railway stations. The action describes the doctor's consultation with
several women patients, the first of whom is described as a 'Nervous Patient'
who is paralysed by the deafening sound of railway bells. The noise is so loud
that the doctor has to mime to a consumptive patient that he wants to use a
stethescope, although this procedure is disrupted by further railway noise and
vibrations. Concludes with the doctor shaking his fist at the railway
Shows a nervous looking 'Old Gent' and a smug looking 'Swell' in a railway
carriage. The swell replies to the old gent's fears about the apparent speed of
the train, by casually pointing out that the train is making up for lost time
and is likely to 'smash presently'.
Shows a sequence of images representing the experiences of a group of
Scottish deer-hunters who travel to a remote part of the country laden with
large boxes of scientific instruments (including a clinometer, telescopes, and
a barometer), which they use successfully to fulfil their goal.
Shows a man pretending to read a thermometer hanging in a shop doorway. A
woman standing near him, unable to see what he is observing, takes the man's
exclamation, 'Quite Thirty, by Jove!', to refer to her age. She replies, 'I'm
nothing of the kind, Sir', and scorns his pretending not to see her.
Written from the perspective of an aristocratic woman, who notes the
'wild-boars' which, owing to the 'late frost', are reported to 'have appeared
in great numbers in different country places of France', and that
'hunting-clubs have been established' to kill them. She complains that British
frosts have prompted the invasion of 'ladies' sanctum sanctorum' by
'bores'. Drawing an analogy between humans and animals, she laments the way
that the frost makes the otherwise tame 'bores' wild, and that 'hunting-clubs'
(to which bores typically belong) keep them away from ladies' quarters.
Describes how ladies are scared by a 'rush of huge hairy bores', who are
white-toothed, long-whiskered, and driven indoors by the hard weather, and who
generally cause havoc. She criticises other women for hunting 'bores' and
wishes to face them 'on equal terms' and bring them down 'with a dead shot in
Noting the alleged exhaustion of British 'coal fields', discusses news of a
'French patent for the manufacture of Brandy from Coal Gas', a patent bought by
an English firm and which Punch thinks will raise demand for coal.
Thinks this also explains why 'OLD KING
COAL was a merry old soul', and why coal produces
increased inflammation of the cuticle. Suggests that the gas from which brandy
is made should be piped into houses, thus enabling the beverage to be delivered
'on tap', but fears for the cause of temperance.
Animal Husbandry, Animal Development, Breeding, Language
Announcing the formation of a committee by the
Royal Agricultural Society of
IrelandRoyal Agricultural Society of Ireland
CloseView the register entry >> 'to inquire into the causes of the deterioration in the
breed of Irish horses', suggests that the same committee should investigate the
'more important matter' of the 'preservation of Irish Bulls' (a
self-contradictory statement)—an 'invaluable species' which deserves to
be encouraged for its laughter.
Discusses a speech on the
Suez CanalSuez Canal
CloseView the register entry >> made by
André M J
J DupinDupin, André Marie Jean Jacques
WBI CloseView the register entry >> who, according to the
PU1/46/9/6 CloseView the register entry >>, claimed that
England had tried to stop the engineering construction through 'envious'
diplomacy and although the country had once 'frightened all the world' it was
now 'frightened at everything'. In response, relates an anecdote of
Georges CuvierCuvier, Georges
DSB CloseView the register entry >>,
who ironically accepted the definition of a crab as a 'red fish that goes
backwards' with the slight reservations that crabs are neither red, nor fish,
nor walk backwards. Punch similarly accepts Dupin's account of England,
with the reservations that it 'is not envious, never desired to frighten the
world, and is now not in the least frightened'.
The candidate asks Punch for advice on the complicated questions that
he has to answer for 'the next Staff College Entrance Examination'. He then
presents a sample question which parodies the incomprehensibility of military
examination papers and consists of an incongruous mixture of assertions about
mathematics, palaeontology, geology, chemistry, and pneumatics.
Human Development, Animal Behaviour, Religious Authority
Describes the various styles of beards worn by the clergy. Stresses that the
'Barbarine Movement is altogether the property of the [Anglican]
Establishment', while Dissenters shave 'in gloomy silence'. Several of these
beard styles make the wearers look like various animal species. For example,
there is 'the Turkeycock', in which the beard is 'brought down in the shape of
a turkeycock's jowls', 'the Gibbon, a very becoming fringe, suggested by that
amiable species of ape', 'the Lynx', which 'is most appropriate for preachers
of the Boanerges class', and 'the Goat', which is 'merely the under beard
brought over the cravat'. (98) The illustrations show clergymen wearing various
styles of beard.
The narrator opens by declaring his interest in 'spiritual phenomena' and
his attempts to 'obtain an experimental knowledge of the hitherto, to me,
invisible and inaudible world', and then explains that during an investigation
of an allegedly haunted house, he saw the disembodied 'head of a lady' whose
utterances suggested some 'fearful crime'. He presents 'Depositions of Credible
Witnesses', most of whom are untutored female domestic servants in the house
who offer indecisive evidence for the alleged apparition.
The initial letter of the article forms part of an illustration showing a
deep-sea diver ascending a rope-ladder that hangs from a buoy to the sea bed.
Near the diver is a huge electric eel which approaches some Leyden jars and
other electrical instruments on the sea bed.
Reflecting on the persistence of wars across the globe (notably the recent
Prussian-Austrian war against Denmark), notes that 'Science, which we hoped was
given / That mortals Nature might subdue, / Is taxed for bolts that, farthest
driven, / May crush their fellow, flying true; / And armour to defend the sides
/ Of the strong ship that keeps the sea'.
Punch, 46 (1864), 102.
Miss Ellen Lyttle Humbug to Her Cousin, Miss Frances Lyttle Humbug
Human Development, Animal Behaviour, Religious Authority
Anon, 'As Clerum', Punch, 46 (1864), 98–99, this describes fashions which give
humans the appearance of animals. The author describes women's hairstyles that
require the use of animal parts or are shaped to look like animals. She notes
the French fashion for beautiful coiffures made of the tails of monkeys, pigs,
donkeys, and foxes, as well as the paws of cats and lions. She then proceeds to
gossip about mutual friends who have such ornithological names as Jane Effie
Goldfinch and Mrs Crowbill. The illustrations show women wearing animal parts,
or with their hair shaped like animals.
Punch, 46 (1864), 103.
Directions for Making Parliamentary Fireworks (À La
Disraeli'sDisraeli, Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> aggressive parliamentary tactics, this poem opens by
pondering the nature of the 'stuff' of 'the undertaker / Of the unsavoury trade
of / Opposition firework-maker'. It then describes the construction of fiery
parliamentary speeches as if they were fireworks. They are constructed from
such unsavoury ingredients as 'inferences and fictions', and 'Steel-filings
epigrammatic / And salt for burning blue [a reference to the traditional colour
of the Conservative Party]', but 'Any paper a case will make / And any stick a
handle', while the 'party' can supply 'cold water' for making 'Wet powder'
fireworks. Having described the ascent and descent of the 'firework', notes
that parliamentary fireworks 'Are warranted perfectly harmless'.
Human Development, Animal Behaviour, Evolution, Religious Authority,
Noting that 'The essential sameness of Man with Gorilla has lately been
urged with much vehemence by some gentlemen who perhaps in their own persons
afford the strongest proofs of it', considers a 'plausible argument in its
favour' to be the 'monkey's tricks' played by the Anglican monk
Joseph L LyneLyne, Joseph Leycester ('Father Ignatius')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>
('Brother Ignatius'). Notes that, according to a report in
The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >>,
Ignatius and his brethren are in the habit of walking muddy and snow-covered
streets wearing only 'rough sandals'. Suggests that if Ignatius had done this
Pope Pius IXPius IX, Pope
CBD CloseView the register entry >> would
probably not have 'put him into a cage and exhibited', but he would have been
'shut up by the Inquisition'.
Telegraphy, Steamships, Cultural Geography, Progress
Believes that 'Electric telegraphs and steam-boats have apparently done
little for our friends across the Channel in the matter of improving their
acquaintance with Great Britain', and presents evidence for this from the
Directory CloseView the register entry >> whose Paris correspondent reports some gross
misconceptions of English behaviour.
Government, Politics, Public Health, Sanitation, Disease
Introduces 'CENTRALISATION' as the great bogie of that the
'great guardian of Vestrydom's Ark', Bumble (the parish beadle from
Charles J H
Dickens'sDickens, Charles John Huffam
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Oliver Twist[Dickens, Charles
John Huffam] 1838. Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's
Progress, 3 vols, London: Richard Bentley
CloseView the register entry >>).
Centralisation is 'rolled / From under the vestry-room table' when, in the face
of 'Vested interests' thwarting 'some long-standing brazen-faced job', 'a
zealous Reformer, or Minister bold, / Takes the bull by the horns'. Describes
the hostility between Bumbledom and Centralisation, notably when
'BUMBLEDOM [...] Hands Paup'rism o'er to starvation, / Or has
lifted its heel to spurn Misery aside' and faces the poor law board inspectors
who are the 'minions of CENTRALISATION!'. Bumbledom is also made responsible
for neglecting the need to make sewers, stop 'a foul trade', to drain, sluice
and mop 'Some plague-smitten court', and to purify 'Some fever-nest', and is
represented as saying 'Hands off with your CENTRALISATION!'
and solving these problems with self-government. The author's support for
centralisation is confirmed in his conclusion which has Bumbledom upholding
'risk and no CENTRALISATION!'.
Opens by attacking 'private ship-builders' of Britain, who 'have the power,
by an evasion of the law', to supply 'vessels of war to the enemies of people'
with whom Britain is currently at peace, but points out that 'it is intolerable
that any foreign nation should be empowered to limit the business of any
British ship-builder' (this is a reference to the controversy over
John Laird'sLaird, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> attempted
sale of ironclads to the Confederate government). Advises the Prime Minister,
Henry J Temple (3rd
Viscount Palmerston)Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, to force through legislation that compels the
'sale of any vessel of war' which the government thinks 'proper to buy at a
fair valuation'. Supports its argument by noting that the power thus conferred
on the government is that enjoyed by 'money-grabbing' railway companies, and
the greater efficiency that the
Royal NavyRoyal Navy
CloseView the register entry >> would gain
through additions from private dockyards.
Shows a number of men on a firing range, one of whom realises that the
reason for his lack of success at firing his small-bore rifle is because he has
mistakenly rammed the cartridges down the long telescopic sight attached to the
Discussing the recent
CommonsHouse of Commons
CloseView the register entry >> vote against the amendment of the Mutiny Bill, insists that
the 'Act of Parliament which limits Courts Martial and Colonels to fifty
lashes, omitted to provide that they should be administered by a flogging
machine, graduated to act with a certain power, or that the force of the
drummer's arm should be limited to a stated sum by a dynamometer'.
Insists that 'There are some men whose dispositions are wondrously modified
by those of the animals with which they are peculiarly conversant', and that
'the agricultural mind' tends towards 'prejudice and stupidity', owing to its
exposure to pigs. Supports this latter claim by discussing an extract
describing a meeting of the
Sparrow ClubShipley Sparrow Club, West Sussex CloseView the register entry >>, West Sussex, which announced its collection of
thousands of bird's heads and resolved that it would continue 'notwithstanding
all that Punch and other anti-birdkillers have said'. Believes that the
club takes pride in persisting in its 'brutal endeavour' and suggests as more
apt names the 'Goose Club' or 'Caterpillar Club'. Concludes by arguing that
killing the destroyers of vermin that ravage crops is 'suicidal' on the part of
farmers, and thus indicates the similarity between agriculturalists and
John B ParryParry, John Billinglsey
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the
judge in the case of
W G WalkerWalker, W G
PU1/46/14/5 CloseView the register entry >> versus
Thame Poor Law
UnionThames Poor Law Union
CloseView the register entry >>. Walker, a medical district officer for the Thame Poor Law
Union, had sought remuneration from his employers for his attendance in 'seven
cases of childbirth'. The board denied payment of his claim and Walker sought
clarification as to whether he had to 'attend to the orders' of the 'overseers'
in such cases. The narrator criticises the judge's assessment of which
midwifery cases count as being of 'sudden and urgent necessity' (as opposed to
'ordinary' cases), which are the only ones for which the judge thinks the Thame
Poor Law Union are 'liable' to pay Walker. Notes Walker's protest that he is
not able to ascertain beforehand whether he is to get paid for a midwifery
case, and wonders how severe a case has to be before the judge considered it
urgent, and points out that most cases prompting the call 'Run for the doctor'
would not be considered urgent by the judge. Concludes by discussing the harsh
attitude of a jury towards a doctor who, having inadvertently allowed a pauper
patient to die, claimed that he was following the judge's incorrect assumption
that the case was not sufficiently urgent to demand the doctor's attention.
Narcotics, Race, Travel, Exploration, Cultural Geography, Physiology,
Declaring to Mr Punch his aversion to smokers, the narrator notes that
according to an account of the Wahabites of Arabia given by
PalgravePalgrave, William Gifford
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> at the
Royal Geographical SocietyRoyal Geographical Society
CloseView the register entry >>, this
'sect' consider tobacco smoking to be 'the most deadly and abominable of all
sins'. Thinks that smokers should be regarded in the same way as murderers, and
argues that owing to their abstinence from smoking, the Wahabites 'display more
taste in their street-architecture than Londoners can boast of', and show
greater tolerance towards 'travellers who visit them' and 'those who differ
from them in religion'. He suggests that this is because 'As men become
dyspeptic, they grow dogmatic and churlish'.
Shows a 'Swell' talking to a 'Corpulent Cabman' who has declined the swell's
advice to procure some beer on the grounds that 'follerin MR.
BANTIN'S adwice for corpulence' (a reference to
William 1863. Letter on Corpulence: Addressed to the Public,
[London]: printed by Harrison and Sons
CloseView the register entry >>) he should
drink claret instead.
Force, Energy, Palaeontology, Steam-power, Work, Physiology, Political
Acknowledges Mr Punch's knowledge of the 'Conservation of Force' and the
notion that the solar force is 'conserved in the Coal Fields', which are the
remains of 'pre-Adamite tree-ferns' that 'extracted and appropriated' the
carbon from the atmosphere. Goes on to acknowledge Mr Punch's awareness of the
fact that coal permits the 'light and heat' of the sun to be 'reproduced' but
stresses the warnings of 'scientific men' about the exhaustion of coalfields.
Upholds the need to 'economise force' and, comparing the stomachs of convicts
to the furnaces of steam-engines, argues in favour of exploiting the 'muscular
exertions of every convict' which is currently only being wasted 'on the prison
air'. Suggests that convicts should be 'employed in pumping atmospheric air
into iron cylinders furnished with valves', the 'force put into the convicts in
the form of meat and vegetables' being stored in a measurable quantity of
'compressed air', itself being used to supply 'motive power'. Suggests the
possibility of other ways of 'bottling convict labour'.
Discusses a report in the
SBN CloseView the register entry >> of
Milan of an invention to thwart pickpockets: an iron trap placed in a coat
pocket. Hopes that the invention is 'a fact' and anticipates that catching
pickpockets in this way will 'soon become a common occurrence.
The poem addresses a snob 'Who tore branches from the Wellingtonia
Giganta Planted by GARIBALDIGaribaldi, Giuseppe
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, in the
grounds of the Poet Laureate'. Strongly condemning the action, the poet
apostrophizes: 'Oh, might the twigs that thou hast stol'n / Burgeon to life
anon, / And twist themselves into a rod, / With Punch to lay it on!
[...] May every needle of the pine / That thou away hast torn, / Within the
pillows of thy bed / Become a separate thorn!'.
Railways, Progress, Human Development, Psychology, Time
Noting the claim that 'a time may come when
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> will cease to
prove attractive', considers the arguments that railways seem to 'have made
people less patient than they were at public places of amusement, and less
tolerant of anything approaching to longwindedness, which some of
SHAKESPEARE'S characters are clearly rather given to'.
However, the author does not fear the 'bad time [...] when SHAKESPEARE
will be sneered at as being too slow to keep pace with the age'.
To celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> this 'Elisabethan Masque' features a hymn sung by poets
and playwrights from all ages and nations. The hymn praises Shakespeare's brain
'as continent all mines containing, / That breeds all metals without waste or
waning, / Red, gold, pale silver, brave brass, iron strong— / The dross
of word-play, quip and crank and rhyme— / The rude and heavy matrix of
thy time— / The ore wherein thy bedded mental lay, / As diamond in rock,
or gold in clay'.
Responds to news that the 'Metric System is effectually opposed' with the
observation 'Dulness carries it', and notes that 'all that is to be done at
present is to legalise contracts in which the weights and measures mentioned
are metric weights and measures'. Adds that 'Dreadful nonsense was talked' and
that members of
ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> were confused between metres
as units of length and poetical metres. (198)
Describes a friend who 'converses solely in mathematical language', and
gives examples of his speech. For example, he addresses 'communications to his
cousin, Ensign A., of the Fifth, "n sin5a"'. Explains
his ability to read and smoke at the same time with the answer that 'he was one
of those men who considered that the pipe and cymbals (symbols)
Written by 'a Sensitive Londoner, with a tendency to Dyspepsia and a
hatred of Conventionalism, Poetry, and other Humbug', the poem laments the
dearth of May months answering 'the poet's description'. Ignoring the seasonal
effects of the weather 'on health and digestion' and forgetting the existence
of such common afflictions as rheumatism, wonders 'what are the joys of May, /
As known in London'? (220)
Considers that a theatre critic who 'writes anything that is not
complimentary, will soon be as rare a creature as the Dodo or a Phoenix',
although he believes that such a creature is 'not yet quite extinct'.
Mr Punch's predictions for the imminent Derby horse race, containing his
assessment of contemporary events as if they were horses. He spots
'Guerilla' who 'if you'd called him Gorilla, I shouldn't put a
monkey on him', while 'Signalman' is not to be 'seen at his post', and
'Jack Frost is out of place in May, and won't be in a place at the
Disease, Cruelty, Human Development, Politics, Government
Laments the evasion of the parliamentary act 'of twenty years ago'
prohibiting the employment of young boys as chimney sweeps. Discusses an
attempt by the 'Master Sweeps of the City of York' to stop employing young boys
and girls in this capacity, pointing out that 'besides its nastiness, and its
obvious cruelty, it is the cause of a malignant disease—for which see
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Surgical
Dictionary Cooper, Samuel
1809. A Dictionary of Practical Surgery, London: John Murray
CloseView the register entry >>'.
Shows three women standing before a manhole in the pavement, to which a
notice 'The Underground [MetropolitanMetropolitan Railway Company
CloseView the register entry >>] Railway' appears
to be pointing, and from which a figure emerges with a lamp. The 'Old Lady'
remarks that 'I'm sure no woman with the least sense of decency would think of
going down that way to it'.
Punch, 46 (1864), 228.
The Joint-Stock Bubble Companies Bursting-Up Association
Reports a meeting of 'this excellent Society', which is dominated by wives
and daughters of City speculators and whose aim is to 'discourage speculation,
and restrain papas and husbands from blindly running into it' and to use
'female influence' to dissuade 'gentlemen from venturing their money in
insecure "securities"'. Various women support the association by relating
woeful stories of their husband's imprudent financial dealings. For example,
Mrs Seedie laments the fact that her husband lost money by investing in such
schemes as the 'Sunbeams out of Snowballs Steam Extraction Company', which
caused his money to melt 'as quickly as the snowballs would have done' and in
the 'General Oceanic Highway Company, which was started for the purpose of
lighting the sea, by means of gaslamps placed in it a hundred yards apart', a
scheme that 'succeeded only in making light the purses of those who were
investors in it'. Later Mrs Flashley tells of her husband's rash investments in
the disastrous 'North and South Pole Junction Atmospheric Railway Company', the
'Popgun and Pegtop Foreign Manufacture Company', and the 'Submarine Anemone
Steam Propagation Company'.
Military Technology, Accidents, Manufactories, Crime
Discusses correspondence in
The TimesThe Times
Directory CloseView the register entry >> from
'A SURGEON TO A LONDON
HOSPITAL' and 'A VOLUNTEER' who
discuss the dangers of using 'cheap percussion caps', ammunition that has
removed the eyes of rifle users. Punch links the faulty caps to their
'cheap' composition, but thinks this is 'too much of a piece with the reckless
rascality prevalent amongst the present race of commercial men to excite any
wonder', although it wonders why 'the officials' who supply ammunition to
volunteers have allowed this to happen
Noting that a 'Court of Aldermen' will soon be deciding whether to promote
the breeding of salmon in the Thames, explains that the discovery of whitebait
inside salmon found in the mouth of this river turns the matter into a choice
between salmon and whitebait.
War, Military Technology, Race, Cultural Geography
Describes the atrocities committed by
King GleleGlele, King of Abomey
WBI CloseView the register entry >> of Dahomey
and compares him to
IWilhelm I, Emperor of Germany and King of
CBD CloseView the register entry >> of Prussia, in respect of the 'savage attack' of Prussia on
Sönderborg in Denmark. Ponders the differences ''tween Dahomey's dark
sons, / And your Prussians; the negroes have no needle-guns' and 'Great and
grave is the peril wherein the world stands / From the weapons of science in
A proposed daily schedule for a pupil at
CollegeEton College, Berkshire CloseView the register entry >>, punishingly designed 'to prevent any Boys from "leaving
Eton, in such a state of ignorance as reflects no credit upon the School"'. It
includes such prescriptions as '6 a.m.—Rise. Get two propositions of
(fl. 295 BC)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> by heart while washing,
and solve two algebraic equations, settled overnight, while dressing',
'6.—Tea, to be taken during a Lecture on Natural Science'. This is
probably a response to the
ReportReport of the Royal Commission on
Public Schools: Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into
the Revenues and Management of Certain Colleges and Schools and the Studies
Pursued and Instruction Given Therein, House of Commons Parlimentary
Papers, Session 1864, , 20, 1–956
CloseView the register entry >> of the
Royal Commission on Public
SchoolsRoyal Commission on Public Schools
CloseView the register entry >>.
Punch, 46 (1864), 252, 255.
Police Case Extraordinary. Proceedings on Remand, Before Mr Bull