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The Puzzle Of The Doctor Of Physic


This Doctor, learned though he was, for "In all this world to him there was none like To speak of physic and of surgery," and "He knew the cause of every malady," yet was he not indifferent to the more material side of life. "Gold in physic is a cordial; Therefore he lovéd gold in special." The problem that the Doctor propounded to the assembled pilgrims was this. He produced two spherical phials, as shown in our illustration, and pointed out that one phial was exactly a foot in circumference, and the other two feet in circumference.

"I do wish," said the Doctor, addressing the company, "to have the exact measures of two other phials, of a like shape but different in size, that may together contain just as much liquid as is contained by these two." To find exact dimensions in the smallest possible numbers is one of the toughest nuts I have attempted. Of course the thickness of the glass, and the neck and base, are to be ignored.

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