The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 62

Ulenspiegel upon a day came to Nuremberg and gave himself out for a great physician, the conqueror of sickness, a most illustrious purger, renowned queller of fevers, celebrated scavenger of plagues, and scourge invincible of the itch and mange.

There were in the hospital so many sick that they could not know where to put them. The master hospitaller hearing of Ulenspiegel’s coming, came to see him and inquired if it was true that he could heal all diseases.

“Except the last sickness,” replied Ulenspiegel; “but promise me two hundred florins for the cure of all the others, and I will not accept a liard till all your sick confess themselves cured and leave the hospital.”

On the morrow he came to the said hospital with a confident look and carrying his phiz solemnly and doctorally. Once within the wards, he took each sick man separately and said:

“Swear,” quoth he, “not to confide to any what I am about to tell thee in thine ear. What is thy malady?”

The sick man would tell him, and swear by his almighty God to hold his tongue.

“Know,” said Ulenspiegel, “that I mean to reduce one of you to powder by means of fire, that of this dust or powder I shall concoct a marvellous mixture and give it to all the sick to drink. The one that cannot walk shall be burned. To-morrow I shall come here and standing in the street with the master hospitaller, I shall summon you all crying, ‘Let him that is not sick take up his duds and come!’”

In the morning, Ulenspiegel came and called out as he had said. All the sick, the lame, the rheumy, the coughing, the fever stricken, would fain come out together. All were in the street, even some that for ten years had not left their bed.

The master hospitaller asked them if they were cured and could walk.

“Aye,” replied they, imagining that one of them was burning in the courtyard.

Ulenspiegel then said to the master hospitaller:

“Pay me, since they are all outside, and declare themselves cured.”

The master paid him two hundred florins. And Ulenspiegel departed.

But on the second day the master beheld his sick folk coming back in a worse state than before, save one who, being cured in the open air, was found drunk and singing through the streets: “Noel to the great physician Ulenspiegel!”