We're going to have a pop quiz today (No, it's not because Father's Day is coming).

Of the following items, which one does not belong in the series:

Poet John Milton, General Philip Schuyler, Henry VIII, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Tyrannosaurus Rex, painter Winslow Homer.

Is this a trick question? Would I do that? Of course I would.

I'll explain. We've all seen him. Wealthy, likes his food exceedingly well, uses a cane or walking stick on the few occasions he stands. He has a huge bandage on one foot which everyone manages to either hit, trip over, or drop things on. The sufferer of the gout has been familiar to us in cartoons and silent comedies and stage farces for hundreds of years. Shakespeare's Sir John Falstaff cries out, "A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for the one or the other plays the rogue with my great toe."

We hear the word gout and some of us immediately think of Henry VIII. Other famous people have suffered from this disease, including English clinician Thomas Sycamore Sydenham, who was the first to differentiate between acute rheumatism and gout, back in the 17th Century. The condition is caused by deposits of crystals of uric acid in body tissues, especially in bone joints, causing extremely painful inflammations. It was probably a contributing factor in the death of John Milton. Philip Schuyler, New York State general of the American Revolution had it.

In the religious wars in Germany during the 1540s, Charles V, suffering from the condition, hobbled all over Europe for several months, from Regensburg to Landshut to Ingolstadt to Ulm. Warming his aching limbs in a movable wooden room heated by a stove, he made his tortured way from Nordlingen back to Regensburg, then to Eger then, spending 21 straight hours in the saddle, to Muehlberg, where he finally accepted the surrender of the Landgrave Philip.

So how about our quiz?

Recently the Rochester, New York, Democrat & Chronicle carried an item from Youngstown, Ohio's Arthritis Center of Northeast Ohio, where Bruce Rothschild reported finding evidence that Tyrannosaurus Rex suffered from the gout. He did eat a lot of red meat.

As far as we know, Winslow Homer did not suffer from gout. So he's our odd man out.

OUTRO
For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.




© 1997 David Minor / Eagles Byte

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