Begins by announcing the recent sale of the 'effects of this extraordinary instance of the railroad mania', an event that produced no bidder. Accordingly, it presents the catalogue of this 'late lamented' railroad, a catalogue containing such worthless items as a 'small plot of lettuces, with spring onions en suite', 'A superior engine' that 'Has never yet any followers', and 'An account-book entirely new'.
Extract of a cure for a cold from 'an old black letter book' of 1403. Includes such advice as 'Putt your feette in hotte water, as highe as your thighes' and 'With a number four dippe when tallow your nose'.
Medical Treatment, Government, Class, Pharmaceuticals
Commenting on the Home Secretary James R G Graham'sGraham, Sir James Robert George, 2nd
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> medical bill, the author points out that the bill 'is calculated to put a pill into every man's mouth', reflecting Graham's belief that 'the poor may be dosed into a better condition'. Adds that the poor will still rush 'for comfort to the bottle', but the bottle will be filled by the druggist rather than the distiller. Anticipates that the culture of alcoholic consumption will be displaced by the culture of drug-taking. For example, 'gin palaces will be converted into medicine-marts' and public houses will puff themselves as the 'only house in London for the celebrated fever mixture at twopence a quartern'. Anticipates a time when 'poverty [...] may take to medicine as a cure for sorrow'.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Quackery
Depicts a dispensary in which two medical practitioners are selling medicines to a young girl and a man. Behind the counter are casks containing such decidedly non-medicinal items as 'old black draught', 'rhubarb pies', and 'fine drawn castor oil'. The girl requests 'half a quartern of antomom wine', while the man asks for a 'pint of Epsom salts'. The subtitle is 'Physic "To be Drunk on the Premises"'.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Disease, Charlatanry, Education
Responding to news of the formation of a College of General PractitionersNational Association of General Practitioners
CloseView the register entry >>, the author notes that a 'highly important' branch of 'General Practice' is the 'treatment of cases which do not require it'. Thinks practitioners and their teachers should learn how to consult their own interests and provides an examination paper to test this skill. Model answers to questions aim to make the patient believe he is ill and pay for treatment. For example, the answer to the question, 'How long, in a given case, would you send in medicine', is, 'As long as the patient believed himself ill'.
Responds to news that 'Mesmerism can convert water into beer or wine' and transform food, and suggests that this 'legerdemain' might be used in workhouses where, at little cost, the poor could be given river water turned in to champagne and deal boards changed into venison. Concludes that the 'Millennium, by the aid of Magnetism, will be brought to every man's door, and the pot will be kept boiling all through the world by means of the electric fluid'.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Government, Politics
Story in which the Prime Minister Robert PeelPeel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> appears as a quack doctor who had been summoned by Britannia to cure her worsening disease. The doctor administers 'several grains of Inquisatorial Essence', 'a very few scruples of delicacy', and an 'Income Tax' pill. Britannia recovered but the medicine did not agree with her 'Constitution' and 'left several bitter complaints in place of the original malady'.
Begins by ironically praising Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox (6th Duke of Richmond and 6th Duke of Lennox)Lennox, Charles Henry Gordon-, 6th Duke of
Richmond and 6th Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Gordon (formerly known as the Earl of March)
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> for his 'discovery' of the solution to the problem of 'the amelioration of the condition of the labourer'. Like the 'inventor of printing' and the 'discoverer of the motive principle of steam', Richmond's claim to be a 'philanthropic genius' will have rivals. Bitterly reveals that Richmond's solution is simply to 'DRINK THEIR HEALTH' and sarcastically suggests that the 'necromancy of the toast' is such that it can cause 'a very cloud of Ariels' to bring much-needed food, drink, and happiness to the 'labourer's fireless hearth', and that the duke's words have 'largely benefited, though all unconsciously', the labourer. Proceeds to describe how the labourer, despite his sufferings and those of his family (including sickness, starvation, unjust imprisonment, and death from the winter's cold), can take comfort from the duke's words.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Periodicals, Quackery, Politics, Government
Reports on a fictional meeting of medical students at an unnamed hospital to express thanks to Punch, apparently for its campaign against the imminent Medical Reform Bill. Mr Davis, for example, called for 'unanimity in the present state of the profession' and applauded Punch's 'exhilarating efforts', while Mr Brown warned of the attack on the old profession of medicine by quack 'vultures', and appreciated Punch'sPunch
Directory CloseView the register entry >> assistance.
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Quackery, Government, Politics
The illustration depicts Home Secretary James R G GrahamGraham, Sir James Robert George, 2nd
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> as the 'Vegetable Pill Vendor'. The caption argues that Graham's 'measures, spite of puff, / Are always filled with nauseous stuff'. Regards this 'pill-er of the State' as a great quack.
Punch's 'astronomical correspondent's' account of his discovery of 'Albert'sAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> Hat' amongst the constellations. His astronomical observations treat the constellations as if they were the creatures after which they have been named. For example, after having walked 'most imprudently' into the 'mouth' of Leo, he observed the planet Mars 'with something on the top of his head'. Notes 'expressions' of Mars and of the constellations of 'HerschelHerschel, Sir William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>' and the 'Great Bear'. Adds that when he combined his opera-glasses, a telescope, and spectacles, he achieved 'such a powerful focus' that he 'discovered the Albert Hat'. The illustration shows the constellations decidedly annoyed by the presence of Albert's hat in the heavens.
Public Health, Railways, Engineering, Transport, Class
Reports that washing-tubs for the poor have been fitted in third-class locomotives. Notes the baths are filled with rainwater, 'which pours in on all sides' and fills quickly 'if the weather happens to be favourable to the benevolent object'.
Disease, Hygiene, Public Health, Veterinary Science, Medical Practitioners
Observes that owing to an alleged cattle epidemic, animals entering London are being compelled to 'put out their tongues' and 'have their pulses felt'. Satisfactory cattle will be issued with a 'clean bill of health' by a medical man, while 'indisposed' cattle will have to 'perform' quarantine outside London.
Responding to news of the construction of a 'Centrifugal Railroad' in London, explains that 'passengers get to their destinations by being whirled somehow or other head-over-heels'. Announces a possible 'line' from the 'top of St. Paul's to the foot of the DUKE OF YORK'S Column'—a 'strong rope' from which will be slung a basket carrying passengers. Concludes by stating that the 'Atmospheric Railways' are 'beginning to advance' owing to much 'inflated language' being used in advertisements.
Quackery, Medical Treatment, Charlatanry, Amusement
Written as if by the 'celebrated American Comedian' James H HackettHackett, James Henry
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the letter tells the 'Proprietors of Parr'sParr, Bartholomew
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> Life Pills' that their product has removed his 'weakness in the voice', 'derangement in the action of the arms and legs', and 'hissing in the ears'. He now enjoys 'delightful sounds' and 'visions of wreaths and bouquets'. The illustrations show that taking Parr's Life Pills decidedly improves the apparent reception of the comedian's stage act.
Responds to an invitation to attend Dr Imlach's lectures on 'Physiology and Physical Geography' at a Sittingbourne school. The author modifies the proposed subjects of the lectures in order to 'adapt them to the infantine capacity'. For example, 'Animal Functions' is detailed as 'The Duties of Donkeys', while 'The Properties of Matter' is detailed as the song 'Oh, dear, what can the matter be?'.
Announces that 'philosophy presents to legislation through Punch' the use of the electric telegraph in the Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >>. By connecting telegraphs from St Stephen's to every constituency, members will be able to 'express themselves in electric short-hand' while seated on their 'easy-chairs'. Explores the advantages of such an arrangement, including the fact that it will give debaters more time to think before they speak and prevent communication of 'whistlings, hootings, and groanings'. Expresses concern that 'it may be difficult' to teach Members of Parliament how to use the telegraph.
Observes some 'striking' parallels between Thomas HollowayHolloway, Thomas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, a manufacturer of patent pills, and the Prime Minister Robert PeelPeel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. For example, compares Peel's 'tax' to Holloway's 'pill', Peel's 'Tariff' to Holloway's 'Ointment', and suggests that the relationship between a 'Quack' and an 'Empiric' corresponds to that between Holloway and Peel.
Mesmerism, Animal Magnetism, Medical Treatment, Disease
Notes the arrival of Fraulein von GoennernGoennern, Fraulein von
PU1/8/12/3 CloseView the register entry >>, a woman celebrated for her 'clairvoyance', who claims to be able to cure diseases 'that have baffled all medical skill'. Doubts whether the 'simplicity' of her means will be equal to that of her patients.
Describes the dispute between several astronomers in Naples over the appearance of a new comet. Some regard it as a comet, others a nebula. One of the astronomers, Edward J CooperCooper, Edward Joshua
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, sought the help of James SouthSouth, James
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, who replied that he could not do anything until he gets a 'leviathan telescope'—an allusion to the great telescope of William Parsons (3rd Earl of Rosse)Parsons, William, 3rd Earl of Rosse
DSB CloseView the register entry >> at Parsonstown, Ireland. Recommends that the matter be placed in the hands of the 'Detective Force' that can be 'empowered to take into custody any luminous body with a long tail that cannot give a satisfactory account of itself'. Suspects the comet will prove to be 'nothing more than a nebula'.
Shocked to find that on an advertisement for an assistant surgeon at University College HospitalUniversity College Hospital Medical School
CloseView the register entry >>, an 'impudent scoundrel' had changed the offered salary from £35 to £335. Expresses annoyance because butlers, who have numerous domestic chores and whose 'inferior' education includes 'finesse' and 'reading the daily papers', earn only £40.
Medical Practitioners, Animal Magnetism, Mesmerism, Commerce, Status, Education
Notes the omission of the annual Hunterian Oration at the Royal College of SurgeonsRoyal College of Surgeons
CloseView the register entry >>, observing that the oration used to be a 'sort of historical panegyric upon Surgery and Surgeons' which puffed living practitioners and usually sent its listeners to sleep. Provides a 'specimen of what might, or ought to have been' delivered at the college. This spoof oration criticizes John HunterHunter, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >> for not making any money out of his practice and reminds his audience that 'we collect fees' rather than 'specimens' and advises them to 'consult as often as you can'. It denies that the council of the Royal College of Surgeons is motivated by 'sordid self-interest' and that it wants to impart knowledge to pupils rather than take their money. The oration suggests that it matters 'a considerable sum' that a fellow of the college has been educated in one of the London hospitals. It urges the need 'to keep the Profession respectable' and accordingly justifies practitioners' stylish existence, their political connections, and their exclusion of 'General Practitioners' from their ranks.
Presents the lives of Daffy, Dalby, and Godfrey, all of whom have been 'Physician-Extraordinary [...] to the million' and 'experimentalists upon popular credulity'. The account of Daffy notes that he 'flourished at the time of Merlin, the Magician', from whom he stole the recipe for his own elixir. Adds that the latter substance was devised 'to meet a little bill'. The account of Dalby notes that it is 'wonderful she did not shine in a tar-barrel, as a witch' and that she 'discovered', by accident, in a surgeon's cupboard, 'Carminative', a magical medicine. Describes Godfrey as a woman who, after a 'long series of experiments of the effects of cordials on herself', discovered her 'Cordial'. Notes her connection with the French crusader Godfrey of BouillonGodfrey of Bouillon
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, a name that reflects her large cash profits.
Prospectus for the 'Great North Pole Railway', a scheme, directed by such figures as 'Jack Frost, Chairman of the North-West Passage', and 'Baron Iceberg, Keeper of the Great Seal on the Northern Ocean', which intends to build a line that will run from the horizon, via the equator, to the North Pole. States that Professor Twaddle has been invited to discover a way of conveying sunbeams along the line.
Reports on the 'Astronomical Detective Force's' pursuit of the new comet (see Anon, 'Another New Comet', Punch, 8 (1845), 132). Describes the comet as if it were moving about on earth. On leaving Gemini, for example, it entered one of the 'Houses of the Zodiac' and had a 'pull with Aquarius'. Reports that James SouthSouth, James
DSB CloseView the register entry >> is looking for this comet, presumed 'lost in the Milky way'. Advises 'authorities at GreenwichRoyal Observatory, Greenwich CloseView the register entry >>' to leave the comet alone and, like Bo-peep's sheep, it will return with its tail behind it.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Quackery, Crime, Government, Politics
Responds to news of the imprisonment of a medical practitioner for administering poison to a stonemason. Strongly advocates transportation as the only means of dealing with quacks, once Home Secretary James R G Graham'sGraham, Sir James Robert George, 2nd
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> bill becomes law. Thinks the latter piece of legislation gives quacks 'a carte blanche for prescriptions, even of arsenic, or prussic acid, in any orthography, and no matter what dose'.
Reports on a paper at the Meteorological SocietyMeteorological Society
CloseView the register entry >> linking the opening of Vauxhall GardensRoyal Gardens, Vauxhall CloseView the register entry >> to a long spell of wet weather. Notes the debate over whether merely announcing the opening of the gardens would have the same effect as executing that action. Adds that the introduction of a bill to explore this effect did not cause a 'lowering of the weather'. The latter was due to anticipation of the opening of the gardens.
Presents letters from five people testifying 'to the virtues of various quack medicines' including 'Macassar Oil' (for treating corns), 'Mineral Succedaneum' (for baldness) and a respirator (for freckles).
Electrochemistry, Electricity, Medical Treatment, Homeopathy, Disease, Charlatanry
Details reasons why 'persons afflicted with imaginary disease' should 'try a Galvanic ring'. Describes the ring, estimating its power at a 'decillionth part of a suspicion', and reassuring readers that the only parts to be galvanised are those lying between 'two opposite galvanic poles'. Stresses the power that an 'inappreciable force, ineffectually applied to the extremity of the body' can have as a cure.
Describes the 'Grand Antipodean and Hemispherical Junction Railway Company', a firm that proposes to build a railway tunnel through the earth direct from Glasgow to Sydney. Points out that the venture will yield clay (of benefit to potteries) and precious metals. Notes that owing to gravity, 'down trains only' will be possible, although 'up trains' await the invention of 'a magnetic apparatus'. Adds that this train journey will be devoid of the usual explosions, smoke, and hot water.
Regrets the appearance 'in the market' of the Pagoda, a 'pile of British deal', formerly given to the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >>. Notes that it was given to the association to enable it to pursue 'astronomical researches', in order to give it 'a fixed address to put on its cards', and to 'take away the appearance of vagabondism with which its having no "local habitation" to add to its name had invested it'. Adds that the tree was so rotten that an astronomer could not climb it 'to look after the stars'.
The illustration depicts a wire hoop rolling on a u-shaped wire track. A picture of the Prime Minister Robert PeelPeel, Sir Robert, 2nd Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> is attached to the hoop. The illustration represents a toy, based on the principle of the 'centrifugal railway', and shows how Peel can go 'round and round without any fear of being thrown out of his seat'.
Expresses pleasure at news that the Southampton Railway telegraph was used to play chess and suggests that the invention might be used to exchange 'conundrums of a pleasing and instructive character'. Suggests a few such conundrums including, 'When did the long train come in? The long train came in when it was first attached to dresses'.
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Pharmaceuticals, Quackery, Politics, Language
Argues against the radical statesman George F Muntz'sMuntz, George Frederick
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> proposal to force medical practitioners to 'write their prescriptions in English'. Insists that nobody will 'have any faith in medicine' once they know the ingredients and asks, 'what on earth is a medical man to do when he wants to prescribe nothing at all, but a dose at the discretion of the chemist'.
Medical Practitioners, Politics, Government, Medical Treatment, Mental Illness
Describes a 'highly respectable meeting of general practitioners' convened to oppose the Home Secretary James R G Graham'sGraham, Sir James Robert George, 2nd
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> medical bill. Practitioners agree that Graham is mad and argue for various treatments including 'shaving the head', 'venesection', a 'low diet', and leeching.
Confesses ignorance of the location of what the author, Frances B BurtonBurton, Frances Barbara
PU1/8/20/1 CloseView the register entry >>, calls the 'Office of Elective Polarity', and asks her to provide this information. Argues that the only difference between 'elective polarity' and humbug is that the former 'does everything' and the latter 'does everybody'.
Reports on trials to 'ascertain how far a leaky vessel could be employed in the conveyance of passengers between London and Boulogne'. The experiments attempted during the voyages included testing 'how long a vessel could continue letting in the sea without putting out the fires'.
Responds to an advertisement for a book by a University of CambridgeUniversity of Cambridge
CloseView the register entry >> clergyman on curing nervous and mental complaints 'from benevolence rather than gain'. Mr Punch imagines himself as the author of the work and sketches its chapters. Each chapter puffs his remedy, advertises Mr Punch's fee, but omits the nature of the remedy.
Describes an instrument that is based on the barometer but which indicates 'the various points of social elevation at which it is possible to arrive' and helps people gauge how much wine is in their glasses. Suggests connecting the instrument to the thermometer in order to measure 'warmth of friendship'.
Spoof discussion of a proposed railway between China and Peru. Questions and replies pun on terms connected with railway engineering. For example, the 'chairman' asked 'if when the tunnelling had been discussed the boring would terminate?'
Treating celestial bodies as horses, suggests that the publication of a list 'of the different planets that intend to run, with the names of the astrologers who have trained them, the colour of their tails, and their pedigree'. Regards this as a solution to the problem of being told about the appearance of a comet in the middle of the night. Suggests making the Royal Observatory, GreenwichRoyal Observatory, Greenwich CloseView the register entry >>, a place for posting the list.