Punch,  5 (1843), 168.

A New Musical Instrument



Essay, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Mesmerism, Animal Magnetism, Medical Practitioners, Phrenology, Music

    Believes traditional musical instruments must 'cede' to John Elliotson's 'wonderful instrument'. Elliotson is reported to have touched the cerebral organs of a mesmerized young woman and accordingly compelled the woman to act in a manner corresponding to the nature of the organ touched. For example, when he moved his finger to 'benevolence' the woman became silent and 'amiable'. Elliotson believes he can 'play upon her head as upon a piano'. Punch agrees that the lady 'appears to be a sort of piccolo', but thinks the instrument is out of tune and criticises Elliotson for occasionally hitting 'the wrong key' and for mistaking the 'character of the tune he produces'. The illustration shows Elliotson standing over a seated mesmerized woman, his hands placed over her head as if he were playing a piano.

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