Punch,  32 (1857), 107.

Physic and its Faces



Review, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Medical Treatment, Physiognomy, Photography, Statistics, Photography

    Discusses a new pamphlet, Physic and its Phases. Suggests that the author re-title the work 'Physic and its Faces', given the different contortions of the face produced when swallowing different types of medicine. Upholding the need to preserve the 'line of beauty' of the face, reveals that it prefers 'drinking a black draught' in solitude. Believing in 'Laveterism' (a reference to the work of Johann K Lavater) and having 'some degree of faith in physiognomy', thinks doctors can learn something from the faces of patients swallowing medicines. Suggests producing a statistical survey and photographically illustrated works mapping the various distortions of the face when taking a given pill. Announces itself ready to have its features photographed 'in the cause of science' and suggests that the 'contemplation of our frightful faces might lead us by degrees to take physic without making them'. The illustration, which forms part of the initial letter of the text, shows a sickly Mr Punch sitting in a chair and being greeted by a box of pills and a black bottle labelled 'The Draught'.

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