"Dr. Fordyce sometimes drank a great deal at dinner. It was after one of these heavy sessions that he received an urgent summons to a lady patient taken ill with an unspecified complaint. Fordyce hurried to her house, aware that he was far from sober. He had considerable difficulty locating her pulse, and was then unable to count its beats. Muttering under his breath, 'Drunk, by God!' he wrote out a prescription and hurriedly left the room.
"The following morning a letter came for the doctor from his patient. He opened it in expectation of a severe rebuke. Instead, the gist of the letter was as follows: she well knew the unfortunate condition in which he had found her the previous day and she begged him to keep the business confidential in consideration of the enclosed -- a bank note for a hundred pounds."