Punch,  34 (1858), 17.

Our Absent Friends



News-Commentary, Drollery


Disease, Medical Practitioners, Crime

    Referring to the case of John E Stephens (see PU1/34/1/2) suggests the possibility of an increase in 'a certain class of nervous ailments and disorders' caused by 'free living on other people's money'. Describes how patients suffering from this condition become confused and unable to answer questions. Despite his own medical training, Stephens could not relieve his nervous disorder and resorted to travelling to the cooler climate of Scotland. Describes how the 'keen' environment of the north caused him to loose his breath, a condition from which he suffered when confined in court. Proceeds to describe the case of 'those interesting invalids, poor Messrs. Cameron and Waugh', who sought to alleviate their nervous disorders by 'Living in retirement at some continental watering-place'. The references are to Hugh I Cameron, the fraudulent general manager of the failed Royal British Bank, and William P Waugh, director of Stephens's London and Eastern Banking Company. Punch clearly believes that such medical complaints are bogus and that 'victims' escape to foreign climes to avoid publicity. Returning to the case of Stephens, Punch thinks that the case will involve 'an attack of the criminal law fever' and a 'smartish touch of the collarer'.

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