Punch,  57 (1869), 198.

Bumble Defying the Thunder (Dedicated Without Respect to the Majority of the St. Pancras Board of Guardians)





Utilitarianism, Class, Health, Disease, Sanitation, Nutrition, Pollution, Industry, Controversy, Periodicals, Hospitals, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Education, Schools, Government, Politics

    Written from the perspective of a disreputable St Pancras Poor Law Union guardian, this poem begins by questioning the calls by newspapers and doctors to 'Give paupers full allowance of air'. Points out that paupers do not know 'any differ' from 'stenches and stiflin'' and that they do not have the noses and feet to smell and feel their terrible conditions. Defends the decision of St Pancras guardians to provide paupers with a 'short allowance' of food, drink and air, insisting that 'the more of 'em we gets rid of / The lighter we makes the rate'. Notes that Samuel Solly has testified to the 'stinks' in the workhouse but insists that it would be folly to follow Solly's advice because 'a vurk-'us must smell like a vurk-'us'. Similarly, ridicules the diseases suffered by paupers on the grounds that 'they're a nasty, sarcy, / Discontented, pampered lot'. Criticises the chief opponents of St Pancras poor-law guardians—including 'our doctors and nusses', 'the Times, Punch and the Pall Mall Gazette—and scorns the Poor Law Board for urging St Pancras guardians to 'spend rates on sick wards and schools'. Concludes by denying that the guardians are a 'public scandal', and by resolving to 'keep rates and paupers down', and to impeach George J Goschen (the President of the Poor Law Board) for his attacks on them.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]