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Anecdotes Home




Burton, in his "Anatomie of Melancholy," tells us of a physician
in Milan, who kept a house for the reception of lunatics, and by way of
cure, used to make his patients stand for a length of time in a pit of
water, some up to the knees, some up to the girdle, and others as high as
the chin, according as they were more or less affected. An inmate of this
establishment, who happened, for the time to be pretty well recovered, was
standing at the door of the house, and seeing a gallant cavalier ride past
with a hawk on his fist, and his spaniels after him, asked, "What all these
preparations meant?" The cavalier answered, "To kill game." "What may the
game be worth which you kill in the course of a year?" rejoined the
patient. "About five or ten crowns." "And what may your horse, dogs, and
hawks, cost you for a year?" "Four hundred crowns." On hearing this, the
patient, with great earnestness of manner, bade the cavalier instantly
begone, as he valued his life and welfare; "for" said he, "if our master
come and find you here, he will put you into his pit up to the very chin."





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