Hair of the dog

There are many accounts of jesters intervening to rein in the crapulence of the king.  In this case the curiously named Peter Bearskin (Peter Bärenhaut), jester to Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous of Hesse (1509-67), cured ruler-boozing by encouraging him to take a hair of the dog for his hangover, leading to a fool’s form of the Socratic method, with the fool’s master drawing his own conclusions. 

`But then I’ll feel even worse tomorrow than today.’ 

`So drink even more tomorrow.’

`And what will become of me in the end?’ 

`A fool, like me.’ 

`In that case, I’d rather suffer my headache than be a fool like you.’


`So werde ich morgen kränker seyn, als heute.’

`So trink dich alsdenn wieder woll.’

`Was wird aber endlich daraus werden?’

`Ein Narr, wie ich.’

`So will ich lieber meinen Kopfschmerz erdulden, als ein Narr werden wie du.’


Source: Karl-Friedrich Flögel, Geschichte der Hofnarren (1789), p. 251.

Photo credit: Ice Tea at Unsplash


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