Punch,  1 (1841), 47.

The Advantages of Animal Magnetism



Essay, Drollery


Animal Magnetism, Mesmerism, Medical Treatment, Gender, Politics, Government, Electricity

People mentioned:

John Elliotson

    Responds to the 'outcry' against the 'noble science' of animal magnetism caused by Charles Lafontaine by listing some of the uses of mesmerism. Notes that 'hen-pecked husbands' can stop their wives' 'oral battery' by 'a few passes of the hand' rather than using 'razors and their garters'. Mesmerism is also 'the only panacea for those morning and evening infantile ebullitions' assigned to the 'teeth, wind, or a pain in the stomach'. For lovers, 'it is a boon sent by Cupid' because it enables parents and bailiffs to be 'rendered powerless and unobtrusive'. It also enables political opponents to be defeated and the Chartist mobs to be quelled. Adds that the clairvoyant powers claimed by mesmerised patients would benefit many individuals. For example, it would enable Lord John Russell to discern the policy of his 'wily adversary' and 'jealous husbands' to see through brick walls and to read the letters of rivals.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]