Punch,  31 (1856), 213.

A Short Medical Essay on Pluracy

Dr Hale


Essay, Spoof

Relevant illustrations:



Religion, Commerce, Disease, Pathology, Religious Authority, Charlatanry, Health, Nutrition

    The pseudonym alludes to the controversial divine William H Hale, while the reference to 'pluracy'—a conflation of 'pleurisy' and 'pluralism'—is a reference to the fact that, while master of Charterhouse, Hale retained the rich living of St Giles, Cripplegate. The essay represents 'pluracy' as 'an affection of the lining of the chest which much resembles bank note-paper in consistency', and describes the related disorders of avarice and selfishness. Regards 'greediness' and 'slothfulness' as the principal 'predisposing causes' of the disease, which is itself further manifested as a 'continual gaping for the good things of this world', including 'several parishes'. Describes the gross effects of slothfulness in 'pluracy' including obesity, immobility, and the inability to practice what one preaches. Suggests that the cure for the disease is 'an entire reform of the corrupt system'—notably bleeding and a low diet. The illustration show Hale consuming churches and cathedrals.

© 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 ]