Punch,  2 (1842), 145–46.

Curiosities of Medical Experience—No. 1  [1/11]



Short Fiction, Satire, Serial


Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Hospitals, Disease

    Continues the story of Joseph Muff from PU1/2/7/1. Describes Muff's surgery and introduces his assistant, Jack Randle. Reports that Muff has succeeded in causing cases of fever, rheumatism (which Muff hopes will prove 'chronic'), and ringworm, and is trying to introduce ringworm into a local school. Describes Randle's highly dangerous technique for 'keeping people awake who have taken laudanum' and his skill at 'toothdrawing'. Introduces the story of 'Mr Rapp's Farewell Feast', Mr Rapp being a house-surgeon to 'St. Tourniquet's Hospital'. Believes that 'next to imprisonment for debt there are few positions in life more cheerfully exhilarating than that of house-surgeon to a hospital'. Lists many reasons why a surgeon's life is 'enviable', including being surrounded by 'scenes of the most peasant and mirth-inspiring description', 'breathing the purest atmosphere in the world', and 'lunch upon hospital cheese'. Notes that few medical students refuse invitations especially if they come with offers of 'unlimited half-and-half [a mixture of malt liquors, often ale and porter], inexhaustible tobacco-jars, or uncounted pipes'. Adds that Muff has left his assistant and accepted Rapp's invitation to his farewell feast.

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