Comic Annual, 9 (1838), 64–75.
The Green Man
Disease, Medical Treatment, Medical Practitioners, Aeronautics, Pharmaceuticals, Industrial Chemistry
The poem recounts the exploits of Tom Simpson, who became very drunk one Christmas Eve, coming home in the morning to find his face 'as green as grass'. The possible ill-effects of alcohol on health are detailed. Tom's landlady, thinking he has been in a fight, boasts her knowledge of injuries and their proper medical treatment. The surgeon arrives and after examining him asks ludicrous questions about what he has eaten: 'Had he eaten grass, / Or greens'? (71). He is baffled: 'Cases of other colours came in crowds, / He could have found their remedy, and soon; / But green—it sent him up among the clouds, / As if he had gone up with Green's balloon!' (72). The illustration captioned 'A Very High Fever' (facing 73) depicts an ill man lying on an extremely high four-poster bed as a diminutive surgeon reaches up on his toes to take his pulse. News spreads abroad of the 'modern miracle' (73). '"Green faces!" so they all began to comment— / "Yes—opposite to Druggists' lighted shops, / But that's a flying colour—never stops— / A bottle-green that's vanish'd in a moment"' (74). It finally transpires that Simpson got his green face from 'sleeping in the kennel near the Dyer's' (75).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 3.0, hriOnline Publications <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]