Punch,  54 (1868), 106.

The Nine Days' Wonder

Jeremiah Bumps


Letter, Spoof


Mental Illness, Exploration, Psychology, Phrenology

    Presents a discussion between the author and his friend, Mr Bruff, who think that explorers are insane, not least because of their tendency to 'go roaming about [...] among lions and cannibals'. The author retorts that the same 'gentlemen of wealth' are equally insane to 'put themselves in the way of cannon balls' and insists that such famous travellers as David Livingstone and John H Speke are sane but actuated 'by a particular impulse'. The discussion then focuses on Bruff's claim that two brothers must both have an insane interest in travel, although the author argues from phrenology that a large organ of 'Locality' will, for one brother, find 'relief in exertion', but for the other brother the size of this organ will produce large amounts of 'pent-up energy' and mental imbalance.

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