Joseph Clark

In  a work devoted to the curiosities of human nature, we must not omit Joseph Clark, of London, a man whose suppleness of body rendered him the wonder of his time. Though he was well made, and rather gross than thin, he could easily exhibit every species of deformity. The powers of his face were even more extraordinary than the flexibility of his body. He would suddenly transform himself so completely as not to be recognised by his familiar acquaintances. He could dislocate almost any of the joints of his body, and he often amused himself by imposing upon people in this way.

He once dislocated the vertebræ of his back and other parts of his body, in such a manner, that Molins, the famous surgeon, before whom he appeared as a patient, was shocked at the sight, and would not even attempt his cure. On one occasion, he ordered a coat of a tailor. When the latter measured him, he had an enormous hump on his left shoulder; when the coat came to be tried on, the hump was shifted to the right side! The tailor expressed great astonishment, begged a thousand pardons, and altered the coat as quickly as possible. When he again tried it on, the deformity appeared in the middle of his back!

Of the life of this remarkable person, we have few details, and we can only add that he died about the year 1700.