A family doctor, an obstetrician, a sensationalist author-doctor and a hypnotist; all pruriently satirised under the guise of moralism, as promoted by James Morison and his pharmaceutical company. Lithograph, 1852.

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London : [British College of Health], 1852.

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1 print : lithograph.


Morality of modern medicine-mongers. Dedicated to the husbands, fathers, and brothers, of England, and also to the societies for the prevention of vice, by the British College of Health, New Road, London, 1852. The hygeian system of James Morison, the hygeist. Exposing some of the evils of doctor-craft ... The central column is a nine point list of the principles of Morison's system. A similar version to this can be read in Wellcome Library no. 18139i. Lettering to top left vignette: The family M.D. [Doctor:] "The fact is, my dear madam, I just looked in while Mr. Dormouse was at his office, because there are a number of questions which it is not considered professional to ask a lady in the presence of her husband. In short, my dear Mrs. Dormouse, a husband has no right to the same confidence on the part of his wife as is due to her medical adviser." [Mrs. Dormouse:] "I suppose, doctor, that it is necessary to ask me all these questions; but I don't know what my husband would say to it." Lettering to top right vignette: The obscene M.D. [Publisher:] "Your last book goes off famously, doctor; the young fellows come in, by dozens, to buy it. Nothing like a highly-seasoned work, to sell: -So I have advertised it in all the papers which find their way into schools and colleges. We can push the thing, because it is written by an M.D.; the police authorities can't touch us, we are beyond all law; because we are privileged by the law to write obscene books, and call it science. This trade of ours enables us to ride about in our carriages, with a lot of servants, all of which is owing to the mystery and confusion in which the whole question is kept by the Royal colleges, as they are called." [Doctor:] Ha! ha! ha! -capital, by Jove. Yes, as you say, Mr. Quarto, we may defy the police and all the anti-vice societies: let these touch an M.D., if they can: our diplomas protect us. It's a jolly lark, though, isn't it? Licensed to write, publish and sell, all the obscenities we can collect. By-the-by, I like the way in which you got the plate coloured in my last; it leaves nothing to the imagination. The only thing which can knock up our trade is, Mr. Morison's system, by which everyone becomes his own physician." [A wastepaper basket is marked: 100 letters for advice (fee 1 guinea each) from deluded patients. [Books scattered on floor:] Manly vigour. With 100 engravings. Silent friend. 50 coloured engravings. Mysteries of matrimony. With engravings. Human happiness. By a member of the Royal College of Physicians. 100 engravings. Lettering to bottom left vignette: The obstetric M.D., who makes the diseases of women his particular study. Lady. "-Oh, what would my husband say to this, dear doctor." Doctor. "Say! why, what can he say? am I not a professional man? have I not lectured at the hospitals, and written a book on this branch of my profession? You know the old French proverb, 'Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute.' Only let me have one examination, and you will not think any thing more about it." Lady. "-Well, I suppose I must submit, though I must say it looks indelicate; but don't say anything to my husband about it. According to Mr. Morison's system of medicine, I understand that such examinations are strongly condemned, as quite unnecessary, inasmuch as every person should be his own physician." [Doctor:] How pretty you look, this morning. You know, my dear madam, that I have made the diseases of your sex my particular study, I have invented a new instrument, which I call a speculum, by which I can at once see what is the matter with you; therefore, if you will lie on that sofa, I will proceed to examine you." Lettering to bottom right vignette: The mesmeric M.D. (Sotto voce) "Glorious practice this mesmerism is, because it gives us so much power over the imagination of the patient; it really is very satisfactory. The public have been kept so completely in the dark, as regards the true cause of diseases, that we doctors can impose any thing we please upon them. None of these impositions could take place under Mr. Morison's Hygeian system of medicine, and therefore it wont do for us. What would become of our guinea trade, if we, for one moment, admitted that he was in the right? Hurrah, then for confusion and mystery in medicine." [In his pocket can be seen a 'diploma' reading 'license to do anything medicinally']


Wellcome Collection 18140i


The family M.D. The obscene M.D. The obstetric M.D. who makes the diseases of women his particular study. The mesmeric M.D.


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