“A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September’s breeze,
A sapphire on her brow should bind,
To cure diseases of the mind.”
You. Yes, I’m addressing you. I have a task
you seem just the one to ask.
So listen up!
Can you tell me how little ditties like that one
↑ up there
can be quoted in books for centuries?
As opposed to being deleted during the Enlightenment.
Maybe it has merit, you reply?
OK. Imagine that one day the King of England—
let’s take Henry the Seventh—sits brooding
over young Hank-8’s disdain for women &
odd behavior, and thought: Jeepers. Bet
if I duct tape a blue gemstone across his
Upon finding no sapphires of suitable
size among the family jewels, decided to blow it off
and hope Hank…er, um…
would grow out of it.
Imagine Bluebeard’s dad, Graybeard,
noticed how frequently farm workers found
young creatures, (dismembered)—
drops his head
into his hands, consults the village chemist,
who recommended the well-known
That’s the trouble with chemists, Graybeard
grumbles. Think we’re made out of money.
Crikey—prescriptions are out of sight. If
they’re not careful, we’ll get stuck with HMOs.
Decided to not have the prescription filled
and let young Bluebeard grow out of it.
More recently, early 1800’s London, a young gentleman—looking to make his mark with a discovery
the likes of which the world has never seen—uncovered the old book from which the Epigram was taken, that
sounds like all the good medicine,
the really best stuff,
seems to have been prescribed for women: to-wit,
the Sapphire cure for insanity.
Think of it! he exclaims and in the London Daily
Times Herald Tribune runs the following ad:
SUBJECTS NEEDED FOR CLINICAL TRIAL
Wanted: Men with odd predilections—preferrably with gaol records—to participate in experiments, liberal compensation, pharmaceuticals provided.
Apply in person. Ask for “Jack”.
So he did—and they did—with astonishing results:
By the simple act of sticking a sapphire to the
forehead whenever a patient feels like doing something inexplicably dotty, men can now anticipate being every bit as sane as women (for whose benefits the cure has been on the books for centuries.)