Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,359 pages of information about Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 1, Complete.

[Illustration:  A-BUN-DANCE.]

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PUNCH’S STOMACHOLOGY.

LECTURE I.

[Illustration:  D]Doctors Spurzheim and Gall have acquired immense renown for their ingenious and plausible system of phrenology.  These eminent philosophers have by a novel and wonderful process divided that which is indivisible, and parcelled out the human mind into several small lots, which they call “organs,” numbering and labelling them like the drawers or bottles in a chemist’s shop; so that, should any individual acquainted with the science of phrenology chance to get into what is vulgarly termed “a row,” and being withal of a meek and lamb like disposition, which prompts him rather to trust to his heels than to his fists, he has only to excite his organ of combativeness by scratching vigorously behind his ear, and he will forthwith become bold as a lion, valiant as a game-cock—­in short, a very lad of whacks, ready to fight the devil if he dared him.  In like manner, a constant irritation of the organ of veneration on the top of his head will make him an accomplished courtier, and imbue him with a profound respect for stars and coronets.  Now if it be possible—­and that it is, no one will now attempt to deny—­to divide the brain into distinct faculties, why may not the stomach, which, it has been admitted by the Lord Mayor and the Board of Aldermen, is a far nobler organ than the brain,—­why may it not also possess several faculties?  As we know that a particular part of the brain is appropriated for the faculty of time, another for that of wit, and so on, is it not reasonable to suppose that there is a certain portion of the stomach appropriated to the faculty of roast beef, another for that of devilled kidney and so forth?

It may be said that the stomach is a single organ, and therefore incapable of performing more than one function.  As well might it be asserted that it was a steam-engine, with a single furnace consuming Whitehaven, Scotch, or Newcastle coals indiscriminately.  The fact is, the stomach is not a single organ, but in reality a congeries of organs, each receiving its own proper kind of aliment, and developing itself by outward bumps and prominences, which indicate with amazing accuracy the existence of the particular faculty to which it has been assigned.

It is upon these facts that I have founded my system of Stomachology; and contemplating what has been done, what is doing, and what is likely to be done, in the analogous science of phrenology, I do not despair of seeing the human body mapped out, and marked all over with faculties, feelings, propensities, and powers, like a tattooed New Zealander.  The study of anatomy will then be entirely superseded, and the scientific world would be guided, as the fashionable world is now, entirely by externals.

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