Three Cheers for Syphilis
Some regarded venereal disease as a male rite of passage.
Guy de Maupassant was exultant when diagnosed.
"I've got the pox! At last! The real thing!"
"Not the contemptible clap . . . no, no, the great pox,
the one Françoise I died of. The majestic pox . . .
and I'm proud of it, by thunder."

--- Quoted by Julian Barnes in a review of
"Images de la Prostitution 1850 - 1910"
at the Musée d'Orsay in
The London Review of Books
17 December 2015
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