Punch,  8 (1845), 143.

Hunter and Humbug



News-Commentary, Drollery; Address, Spoof


Medical Practitioners, Animal Magnetism, Mesmerism, Commerce, Status, Education

    Notes the omission of the annual Hunterian Oration at the Royal College of Surgeons, observing that the oration used to be a 'sort of historical panegyric upon Surgery and Surgeons' which puffed living practitioners and usually sent its listeners to sleep. Provides a 'specimen of what might, or ought to have been' delivered at the college. This spoof oration criticizes John Hunter for not making any money out of his practice and reminds his audience that 'we collect fees' rather than 'specimens' and advises them to 'consult as often as you can'. It denies that the council of the Royal College of Surgeons is motivated by 'sordid self-interest' and that it wants to impart knowledge to pupils rather than take their money. The oration suggests that it matters 'a considerable sum' that a fellow of the college has been educated in one of the London hospitals. It urges the need 'to keep the Profession respectable' and accordingly justifies practitioners' stylish existence, their political connections, and their exclusion of 'General Practitioners' from their ranks.

© 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 ]