Punch,  25 (1853), 197.

A Letter and an Answer





Disease, Religion, Supernaturalism, Religious Authority, Sanitation, Nutrition, Public Health

    In the first verse, members of the Presbytery of Edinburgh ask the Home Secretary Henry J Temple (3rd Viscount Palmerston) to 'fix a day / Whereon all men may fast and pray' for the end of the cholera epidemic. In the following verses Palmerston explains to the presbyters his strategies by which 'Miserable Sinners' can deal with the disease. He agrees that they should 'Bow down [...] to ask for grace', but urges them to 'use brush and limewash pail'. They may fast, but should 'feed those for want who fail'. He also identifies 'Plagues' as evils from God rather than the Devil, and that 'he that breaks [God's law] must endure / The penalty which works the cure'.

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