Punch,  47 (1864), 197.

Punch's Spirit Meetings. Introduction. Mr Punch has Become a Convert to Spiritualism



Introduction, Drollery; Diary, Spoof


Spiritualism, Religion, Supernaturalism, Experiment, Astronomy, Extra-Terrestrial Life, Cosmology, Palaeontology

    Begins by explaining how Mr Punch, 'having entirely and dispassionately considered' spiritualism, 'having examined the evidences, having witnessed thousands of experiments', having studied 'spiritual books', and having 'regarded the scholarly, pure, and disinterested character of the well-born and refined persons who practise Spiritualism', has 'convinced himself that the Spirits are genuine'. Explains the seriousness with which Mr Punch has taken his new creed, including his construction of a 'Temple of Spiritualism', and presents a diary of the séance at which his conversion took place. There Mr Punch had observed such notorious spiritualistic phenomena as a fiery object flying across the room and spirits rubbing people's legs. The diary reveals how he communicated with the spirits of Jonathan Swift, Nicholas Copernicus, and others, Copernicus informing Mr Punch that the moon is made from ivory taken 'From the tusks of mammoths, mastodons, and megatheria, existing for fourteen billions of years before the world was created, and it was fused together by the action of volcanoes, and polished by attrition with the Equator or Eqinoxious Line'. However, Copernicus refuses to answer Mr Punch's question regarding the habitation of the moon. Later Mr Punch asks the spirits to help him locate a 'new pair of black trousers' which he has mislaid: although the spirits provide much incomprehensible information regarding other topics, they finally reveal that Mr Punch's trousers have been pawned.

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