Punch,  38 (1860), 84.

Physic and Astronomy



News-Commentary, Drollery


Astronomy, Discovery, Medical Practitioners, Matter Theory, Chemistry, Language

    Following a report in a newspaper of a 'grand dinner' given by the 'medical profession' to E M Lescarbault, 'the discoverer of a new planet between Mercury and the Sun', the author doubts the truth of this story because medical practitioners are unlikely to honour astronomical discovery, and 'prescribe physic irrespective of the influence of the stars' although they do use the mineral mercury. Assuming that 'planet' has been mistaken for 'pill', speculates on the possibility that sun may symbolize gold, and suggests that Lescarbault's 'pill' may be a medicinal compound containing mercury, gold, and other substances. Concludes by comparing the number of new pills unfavourably with the number of astronomical discoveries.

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