Punch,  9 (1845), 228.

A Medical Lecture on the Railway Mania



News-Commentary, Drollery


Mental Illness, Railways, Commerce, Crime, Morality

    Criticises John Conolly for omitting the subject of 'Railway mania' from his 'Lectures on Insanity' at Hanwell Lunatic Asylum. Gives a detailed description of the causes, symptoms, and cure of the disease. Among the 'predisposing causes' are 'a sanguine and credulous disposition' and 'constitutional dislike to work', while the symptoms include 'wild talk' of 'Shares, Scrip, Premiums, and Grand Junctions', writing frantically for 'Shares in lines that are, and always will be, imaginary', and selling of one's property and business. Observes that 'Modern Science has mitigated the severities that formerly attended the treatment of mania' and suggests such treatments as confinement, 'cold lotions to the head', 'blistering', gagging and flogging.

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