The Alderman and the Apothecary
Medical Treatment, Pharmaceuticals, Government, Commerce, Pollution
John Abernethy , William Cullen
Corporation of London
A parody of Act V, Scene 1 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, presents a dialogue between an alderman and an apothecary in which the alderman describes the apothecary as a man 'in rusty black, and green steel spectacles, / Weighing out powders: scaly were his looks, / His frame appeared to be a bag of bones'. Describes the 'coloured bottles' in the apothecary's shop and concludes that 'if we need an Officer of Health, / To toil upon the lowest salary, / This object is the very man for us'. Having heard the apothecary remind him that 'Physic affords no fees to make thee rich', the impoverished apothecary agrees 'to explore the sinks and sewers' of London, observing, 'My poverty, but not my skill, consents'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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