Literature has been the salvation of the damned, literature has inspired and guided lovers, routed despair and can perhaps in this case save the world.
In 1494, King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy.
Within months, his army collapsed and fled. It was routed not by the Italian army but by a microbe. A mysterious new disease spread through sex killed many of Charles’s soldiers and left survivors weak and disfigured. French soldiers spread the disease across much of Europe, and then it moved into Africa and Asia. Many called it the French disease. The French called it the Italian disease. Arabs called it the Christian disease. Today, it is called syphilis.
I answered their questions truthfully and honestly, but I would prefer not to say more. I assume the information was routed back and that is why I was not called to testify.