Punch,  7 (1844), 37.

The Blessing of Bad Health

[Douglas W Jerrold] *


News-Commentary, Drollery


Politics, Government, Disease, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Morality, Crime

    Discusses the activities of Alexander O'Driscoll, 'a gentleman of exceeding bad health, and with a temper to match', who was 'removed by Ministers from the magistracy'. Reports that O'Driscoll has now been reinstated as a magistrate, partly on the grounds that the 'bodily ailment' that prevented him from undertaking his duties has now been 'amended'. Denies that it objects to the 'charitable construction of the causes of human infirmity', and hails it as 'increasing philosophy'. Believes it illustrates the fact that Robert Peel 'was called in as a "Doctor" to watch over the condition of the state'. Wonders why Daniel O'Connell, James R G Graham, and other statesmen appeal to bodily ailments as excuses for their dubious political activities. Charitable indulgence, the author believes, should be exacted 'for all parties'. Concludes by suggesting that ' a certain number of physicians should be appointed to sit with the judges' and should ask the accused to show his tongue rather than plead his guilt or innocence.

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