Manners and customs of ye Englyshe/A Prospecte of ye Zoological Societve its Gardens. Feedynge ye Beasts.

Illustrated by Richard Doyle

Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849. No. 35.

A Prospecte of ye Zoological Societye its Gardens. Feedynge ye Beasts.


A Prospecte of ye Zoological Societve its Gardens. Feedynge ye Beasts.

[Monday, October 27, 1849.]

To the Zoological Gardens, in the Regent's Park, at 3 p. m., in Time to ſee the Otter fed with live Fifties, which he do chaſe round his Baſin in the Water, and dive after mighty clever. Then to the Wild Beaſts, waiting for their Food in a terrible Rage, as I have ſeen others than Wild Beaſts at the Delay of Dinner. Some of the Dens with Trees lengthwiſe in them for the Beaſts to climb in; and there Lions, old and young, Lioneſses, He and She Tigers, a Jaguar, an Ounce, a Cheetah, a Spotted and Black Leopard: and on the other ſide Hyenas, and Pumas, and more Leopards, and Bears. Their Yelling and Howling for Hunger a moll: horrid Muſique, and terrible to fee the Tigers, rear on their hind Legs, and daſh at their Bars, and grin and glare at the Children outſide. The Ramping and Roaring doubled when the Keeper come with the Meat, and Lack! how they did fly at it with Teeth and Claws, and howl and ſnort over it, and munch and crunch the Bones! But one Hyena droll, the Keeper paſſing him by, and he, thinking he was to go without his Meal, throwing himſelf on his Back, and moaning, and almoſt blubbering in Deſpair. Pretty, to ſee the Bears in their Encloſure climb up their Port for Buns; which the Viſiters did hold to them on the End of a long Stick, and thoſe below fighting for the Morſels that fell; and their Clumſinefs, and awkward Standing on their hind Legs, exceeding comical. The White Bear, alſo, ſwimming in his Tank, pleaſant, being on the outſide of his Cage. Did note a fine old Wolf and Cubs, but ſnarling and ſnapping over their Victuals, they ſeemed not a Happy Family. Saw the Manner of Preying of the Eagles and Vultures, treading on their Meat, and tearing it up with their Beaks; the Eagles brave, but the Vultures baſe and ignoble. Yet fine the Sight of the Great Condor Vulture, when the Wind blew, ſtretching forth his huge Wings upon it; and glad, no doubt, would have been to fail away. The Parrots gay; but do ſo fhriek and ſquall, that their Abode do ſeem the Madhouſe of the Place. Much taken with the Seal ſwimming in the Water, and waddling on his Stomach, with his Tail and Flappers, like a Fellow with his Legs tied for a Wager. Diverted by the Gambols and Antics of the Monkeys and Apes: yet almoſt ſick to ſee ſuch vile Likeneſses of ourvelves: and the Apes eſpecially loathſome and ugly; and to ſee the Crowd of Women and Ladies gazing at them! With great Pleaſure, yet Horror, did view the Snakes and Lizards in the Reptile Houſe, and glad they could not get at me; but hoped to fee the Boa Conſtrictor ſwallow a live Rabbit: but did not. Bought Gingerbread Nuts to feed the Elephant, coſt me 1d. and he did pleaſe me, but I wiſhed he had been bigger; but the Rhinoceros did give me great Delight, and with Mirth heard a Countryman Handing by, call him the Hog in Armour. Well contented alſo with the Biſon, that with his huge ſhaggy Head and Mane, Horns, and fiery Eyes, do look the moſt like a Demon I ever did vee. To the Camel-Leopards, graceful Creatures; after the Biſon and Rhinoceros. Then about the Gardens to watch the People and the Children ſtare at, and feed and poke the Animals. Did mark ſome pretty Damſels, but gazing ſo intent at the Beaſts that I could hardly well gaze at them. So Home, and deſcribed to my Wife what I had ſeen, except the Damſels, and did diſcourfe with her of Natural Hivtory; which the Zoological Gardens do breed a pretty Taſte for among the People.