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1810, April: Young Man’s Internal Heat

The Legend:

In April 1810, an unnamed 20-year-old man was examined by the 'famous professor' Morelli (of the clinic in Pisa). This young man was alcoholic, vomited often, had a pain in his chest in or near his heart, and constant heartburn. It is said that in the early days of this illness, for a few minutes each night the patient could be seen surronded by a 'waxy flame' which was highly mobile and left no trace of itself. In addition, the young man smelled of 'sulfer sensitive' and constantly felt an excessive internal heat.

        Morelli refered the young man to D. M. Vanucci (one of Morelli's students), who prescribed cold baths and the drinking of large amounts of cold water, and in nine days time the ill effects disappeared.

My Source's Source

        The account given above comes from an 1828 article in the Italian journal Annali Universali di Medicina. The author of that article attributed the story to “Lett. med-fisic. del Morelli,” pg. 64. I will try to find this source, and update when I do.