Punch,  34 (1858), 78.

Punch's Police Report. Important Proceedings Under the Common Lodging House Act



Regular Feature, Reportage, Spoof


Disease, Sanitation, Cultural Geography, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Politics

    Describes a spoof legal case in which 'Charles Louis Napoleon' (i.e. Emperor Napoleon III) accuses 'Mr. John Bull, a keeper of a Common Lodging House, much frequented by foreigners' (i.e. England), with 'various offences under the Common Lodging Houses Act'. Mr Punch, the 'Magistrate', cross-examines Napoleon about his claim that the landlord had neglected to tell the police about 'dangerous cases of contagious or epidemic disorder', and that he had been attacked by 'La Fièvre Rouge'. Napoleon later reveals that he is a medical practitioner who has specialised in the 'treatment of this very disorder' and describes how he sought to treat the disease with blood-letting, change of air, administering cayenne, and preventing 'mental exertion'. At the end of the trial the magistrate concludes that 'there was no proof that the defendant knew of the existence of the alleged cases of the very serious disorder deposed to by the principal witness' and that he was 'not bound to inform the police of suspected cases'.

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