The Speculation Mania
Introduction; Advertisement, Spoof
Railways, Commerce, Nutrition, Charlatanry
This introduces a parody of advertisements for railway schemes, including the 'Grand Pic-nic Junction and Great Ailmentary Canal Company', whose capital is 'two hundred thousand spoons' and whose object is to 'develope the resources of pic-nics to a greater extent than has ever yet been attempted'. Drawing an implicit analogy between picnics and railway travel, the advertisement boasts that the directors of the firm will 'lay down a line of plates' in Petersham Meadows with a 'cold collation at each of the grand termini, and sandwiches at all intermediate stations'. The firm intends to 'open a communication with Sandwich and Ham Common' and points out that it is 'trying experiments [...] on the best means of supplying the alimentary canal'.
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