The Novelist. No. C. The Golden Cup and the Dish of Silver
Regular Feature, Extract, Short Fiction
Race, Medical Practitioners, Religion, Morality, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Treatment, Mental Illness, Temperance
The narrator begins by reporting the particularly cruel usage of Jews in Turkey. The story relates to a 'Yussef, a Hebrew of great wealth and wisdom, but outwardly, a poor beggarly druggist', living in Constantinople (269). Forced to eat pork by an aga, he is later summoned to attend one of the aga's favourite concubines. Not even permitted to examine or speak to her, he is ordered to prepare medicines, but instead fills 'physic bottles' with wine. The illness of the favourite being 'merely a languor and melancholy', she is cured by the wine (270). Yussef thus becomes the aga's trusted physician, while, according to the aga's earlier promise, obliging him to drink a dish of wine against his own religious convictions.
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