Punch,  54 (1868), 231.

Magnetism of the Horse

Paracelsus Minor


News-Commentary, Drollery


Animal Behaviour, Animal Magnetism, Mesmerism, Crime, Morality, Magnetism, Electricity

    Begins by arguing that, irrespective of the credibility of mesmerism, 'there is in some reality in a species of animal magnetism; a magnetic force which attracts some people to some animals'. Proceeds to note that the horse has the power to attract the 'multitude' and can 'possess some people with infatuation'. Presents an extract from the Argus describing the case of a marquis who lost his property in bets on horses. Insists that horses emit 'a very demoralising influence', causing rogues to win and fools to loose money. Argues, however, that this is a 'magnetic' influence, owing to the fact that it exists in a polar form (roguery and folly corresponding to the north and south poles), and it can induce an 'aptitude to cheat or be cheated' (analogous to magnetic induction). Concludes by suggesting that the 'Horsey magnetic influence does not seem always to confer the ability to pronounce the word "horse" aright' and to stop people dropping their aitches.

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