An hypochondriacal Gentleman, who fancied himself infected with the Venereal Disease, cured by drinking Wine.
A third, and the last remarkable Instance I design to produce of an hypocondriacal Patient, recover’d by the Use of Wine, is one who strongly imagin’d himself severely afflicted with the Venereal Disease, tho’ no Symptom of it ever appear’d. He had consulted several Surgeons and Physicians; some of them laugh’d at him, and others made an Advantage of him; but he grew no better, at least he continued to complain as much as ever. When he came to me, ‘Sir, says he, I have been lamentably pox’d for these Five Years; I have had Pains in all my Bones, especially my Shins, Shoulders and Head, and for my Nose, I am certain that must drop off. Then there are two Buboes in my Groin, as big as Pullets Eggs; yet I have been twice salivated for this cursed Distemper, and taken whole Loads of Physick both before and since. In short, Doctor, you Physicians and Surgeons are the Devil ; I have a hundred times swore I would never go to one again, but hearing you are an honest Man, and give but little Physick, I am persuaded to consult you.'
Being appriz’d of this Gentleman’s coming, by an Intimate of his ; who told me as much as was necessary for me to know, to prepare me for his Reception ; Sir, reply’d I, you were saying you had two Buboes, pray let me see them. Upon examining the Parts, I found nothing like a Buboe, or the least Tumor imaginable; but putting on a serious Air, I told him they were not so large as he imagin’d; however, since they appear’d, the Rules of our Art required that they shou’d be brought to a Head, and broke, in order to let out the filthy Matter which was gather’d in them. But Doctor, said he, how shall we break them? There’s nothing easier, reply’d I; you need only live well, feed high, take a hearty Glass, and be merry with your Friends; here’s no occasion for a Salivation or any other Physick: The Method I speak of will infallibly throw off the Malignity from the Blood into these Buboes ; which, as I said being once broke, will thoroughly cleanse your whole Body. Thus, tho’ he was but a very moderate Drinker, I prevail’d upon him to use Wine; and by the Assistance of his Friends, he was by slow degrees brought to bear his Bottle, forget his Distemper, and laugh at his own Folly. So that in three quarters of a Year after, he came to me with a Smile, and told me that his Buboes were cured with all the Ease and Pleasure imaginable; and he thank’d God he was now a sound Man.
Taken from Peter Shaw, The Juice of the Grape: Or, Wine Preferable to Water. A Treatise, Wherein Wine is Shewn to Be the Grand Preserver of Health, and Restorer in Most Diseases. With Many Instances of Cures Perform'd by this Noble Remedy; and the Method of Using It, as Well for Prevention as Cure. With a Word of Advice to the Vintners. Printed for W. Lewis, under Tom's Coffee-House, Covent-Garden (London), 1724, p. 47-49. Transcription by Noémie Vandenborre (UBO). Full book in ECCO.
Image: Drunken Lovers by Thomas Rowlandson (1798).