Punch,  15 (1848), 201.

Science at Cambridge

Benjamin Bendigo, pseud.  [William M Thackeray] * / Corydon Soyer, pseud.  [William M Thackeray] *


Introduction, Drollery; Letter, Spoof


Universities, Education, Mathematics, Amusement, Nutrition, Lecturing, Religious Authority

    Introduces two letters of application for professorships in two 'new sciences' at the University of Cambridge. The first letter, from Benjamin Bendigo, is written to suggest the lack of literacy of the author, and reveals that one of the new professorial chairs is in boxing. Bendigo wonders 'whether all your Algibry and Mathamadix, your Greik and Latn and that, would serve a young man half so well as a nollidge of sparring and fibbing' and proposes to 'your Royal Ighness [i.e. the chancellor, Prince Albert] and the Eads of Ouses, to allow the manly and trew English Scients of Boxint to be took up for honours by the young gentlemen of Cambridge'. The second letter, from Corydon Soyer, an allusion to the French cook Alexis B Soyer, reveals that the second professorial chair is in eating. Soyer argues that eating 'is both a physical and moral science—physical, it acts on the health; moral, on the tempers and tastes of mankind'. Demands that the 'Soyer Professorship of Culinarious Science' be established so that the 'young ecclesiastic' leaving Cambridge can teach the inhabitants of 'a distant and barbarous province' how to improve their diet and live more harmoniously.

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