Action for the loss of a nose

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Victorian Turkish Baths: their origin, development, and gradual decline

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A legal action for the loss of a nose

A paragraph in a nineteenth century Australian newspaper copies an item in an English newspaper which is reporting  on why an American had to travel to Paris:

The following story is told in the Suez Mail papers, and by the Argus' London 'Town Talk' writer:—The most curious action; by the bye, that I ever heard of is one at present pending against a certain proprietor of Turkish baths for the loss of a gentleman's nose. He was an officer who had the misfortune to have that organ half sliced away at Gettysburg by a sabre cut, but got it restored by a skilled Parisian artist to almost its pristine beauty; only in the composition of the new nose a good deal of rubber and gum was used, and the artist forgot to warn him that a temperature of 185 deg. Fahr. would be prejudicial to it. His contention is that the proprietor of the baths ought to have warned him, whereas it seems to me that if it looked like an artificial nose, it was but common politeness to affect to think otherwise; and if it looked like a real one, how could he think of warning him? My nose is not a good-looking one, but I should be justly annoyed if the proprietor of the Hammam stopped me in his vestibule, as I was about to bathe, with 'Take care that nose of yours does not come off in the heated chamber.' The officer's nose did not literally disappear, but it 'came off' very badly, becoming 'blistered, puckered, and shapeless, so as to be worse than no nose at all.' He has to go to Paris to get it repaired, and sues for his expenses; and if I ever 'spoke sarcasticul,' like the late Mr Artemus Ward, I should say, 'I wish he may get them.'

This page reformatted 14 January 2021

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