Mercury. The planet nearest to the sun, in diameter 3200 miles, distance 37 millions, and period of revolution 88 days. It is seldom visible.

Mercury, in the heathen mythology, the inventor of letters, and the god of eloquence, and son of Jupiter and Maia, the daughter of Atlas. He was the messenger of Jupiter and the gods, and was furnished with a winged hat, and with wings to his feet.

Mercury 175

Mercury, or fluid of silver, a white fluid metal, the heaviest, except platina and gold. It freezes at 39° below the zero of Fahrenheit, when it is malleable, and boils at 660°. It readily combines with nearly all other metals, and is used in water-gilding, the manufacture of vermilion, the silvering of looking-glasses, the making of barometers and thermometers, and the preparation of several powerful medicines, some of which are deadly poisons.