Punch,  49 (1865), 60.

The Instructive Drama. An Entirely New Invention (Registered)



Drama, Spoof


Amusement, Education, Light, Invention, Discovery, Geology, Stratigraphy, Military Technology, Chemistry

    After a 'Prologue', which explains that the characters in the drama will 'blend [...] Passion and fiction, with some valued fact', proceeds to the drama, entitled 'The Yacht'. It opens with a scene set in the Isle of Wight where Lord Charles Chobham and his friend engage in conversation. After using a telescope to observe the Portsmouth steamer 'that should bring my beloved Harriet', Chobham offers his own account of the invention of the telescope, which he thinks was first 'noticed' by Leonard Digges, 'described' by Roger Bacon, and made by Jacob Metius and Zacharias Jansen 'a quarter of a century' before Galileo Galilei. The second act is set in an undercliff, where an assasin, 'Ippopotamos Preposteros', describes the geological strata before him in surprising detail. His attempt at assassination is foiled by his use of Mr Gale's 'safety powder' which is 'guaranteed not to go off', owing to 'chemical components' effecting an 'isolation between the granulated particles'. In the conclusion of the drama, the characters reiterate their lessons, including those on the telescope and geology.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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