On one occasion Dr George Fordyce was called to the sick bed of a titled lady, when he had taken too much to drink. He found it impossible to take her pulse as his own was so unsteady. In frustration he cursed himself, muttering, ‘Drunk, by Jove!’ and he left her with some harmless medicaments. The next day he was again summoned to see her and went, fearing her wrath at his unprofessional behaviour. Instead she begged his forgiveness, confessed that his diagnosis had been correct, gave him €100, and vowed to mend her ways.