Aq. Dist. Fol. Laur. Te Virid

In 1904 James Joyce walked into the pharmacy on Lincoln Place and quizzed the proprietor,  Frederick William Sweny, about his business. This minor research foray no doubt gave him some material for Bloom's reverie about the stuff on the shelves: "Aq. Dist. Fol. Laur. Te Virid. Smell almost cure you like the dentist's doorbell. Doctor Whack. He ought to physic himself a bit. Electuary or emulsion. The first fellow that picked an herb to cure himself had a bit of pluck. Simples. Want to be careful. Enough stuff here to chloroform you. Test: turns blue litmus paper red. Chloroform. Overdose of laudanum. Sleeping draughts. Lovephiltres. Paragoric poppysyrup bad for cough. Clogs the pores or the phlegm. Poisons the only cures. Remedy where you least expect it. Clever of nature." Some of the details here are neutral enough, but a thread of Odyssean peril runs through the paragraph.

JH 2022

Adam Hart's recreation of the shelves of a 19th century pharmacy. Source:

Wooden drawers for herbal simples made for a Victorian pharmacy ca. 1870. Source:

Laudanum and paregoric for sale in a 19th century Sears catalogue. Source:

American laudanum bottle from the early 1900s marked with the word "Poison" and a skull and crossbones. Source: