Sir Aesculapius Punch on Allmyeyeopathy
Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Periodicals, Pharmaceuticals, Reading
Opens by noting the medical students and 'zealous advocates of medical reform' who have asked his opinion on 'Allmyeyeopathy', a technique which he confesses to knowing 'but little' but insists is not secret. Goes on to liken the 'practice of physic' to a 'game of draughts' because it is speculative and involves 'solid and liquid draughts', adding that 'playing with one you are huffed for not taking a man, while with the other you may be huffed for losing him'. Noting the fear caused in patients by 'a medicated arsenal' and the high resistance of the 'constitution of man' to medicine, the author finally turns to the treatment of 'Allmyeyeopathy'. Explains that it 'acts directly on the diaphragm from whence its influence radiates to all the risible muscles' and is effected by exhibiting to the patient 'Punch's concentrated essence' (i.e. exposing the patient to Punch's jokes). Boasts of some individuals who have been cured by this remedy, including a statesman who, having 'lost his seat, after a violent struggle, and fell heavily in public estimation', took three-penny worth (the price of the periodical), and recovered. Concludes by emphasising the historical precedent for 'Allmyeyeopathy'—placebos—but points out that this one is the first to meet with 'uniform success'. Warns, however, that the essence must be taken regularly, but boasts that now 'Vis comica has succeeded to the business of vis medicatrix naturae', and strongly recommends the substance to medical practitioners.
© 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 ]