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Broadside regarding an attack of the wild beasts


[    ICAL]


Zoological Entertainment

IN THE                                          



On   TUESDAY FIRST,   the 29th instant,

Will be performed here for the First time, on a Grand Scale, the new and interesting


FOR the information of those who may not be acquainted with the nature of such
Exhibitions, it may be necessary to state, that the Actors were led to the attempt
from the great success which attended the introduction of Wild Animals upon the
boards of the Theatres Royal; and however much these exhibitions have been ap-
plauded, the Actors in the Royal Exchange entertain sanguine hopes that their En-
tainments will not fall short of even the best efforts of the best actors in these
Theatres. The first effort of the Company in this walk, was to exhibit a grand
attack of the wild and ferocious animals upon the tame, which afforded great
amusement to the spectators for some time. At length a victim was singled out,
and all the wild animals made a dead set at him. But he, however, proved too
heavy a match for the whole Menagerie, from a consciousness of his own strength,
and being well guarded by the bars of good service, and the invulnerable shield of
public opinion. As in the case of the Lion Nero when baited by a host of dogs, the
public thought the sport partook too much of " Cruelty to Animals," separated the
combatants by sending them to Ward (the Second), when the Electors chained up
the grim and Black Britannica Mastiff that led the attack, and put the little
conceited Cur, " Jugurtha," that accompanied him, under the Turf, and neither of
them have been heard of since.

Some of the former Actors, however, were resolved to have another attempt at
these recreations, and being strengthened by new recruits, "young nimals" from
the Cowgate, and other districts, they resolved upon a representation on a grand
scale.?A meeting of 18 of them was privately held, the plot was arranged, and a
rehearsal took place. In strict accordance with the propensity of all savage tribes
and wild animals to attack their superiors, they resolved in this instance, that the
attack should be made upon their Right Honourable Keeper. The plot was based
on the historical fact, that the Keeper had dared to dine in human and humane
society, and not in the Menagerie, which greatly displeased the savage part of the
Collection, particularly the Hippo-potatoe-tamus, (which, by the bye, is rather a
carniverous than a herbiverous specimen of the species). This uncouth monster
complained that he had not been taken along with the Keeper to eat up the bones
and scraps which he left,?and he insisted that, (as was obvious to every Observer,)
the savage animals being in the majority, they ought, with one accord, to attack
and rend the Keeper. Hippo, also declared, that the Keeper was too good and too
learned for their Menagerie,?that he had in a metaphorical speech attempted to
detract from their merits, by describing a set of animals who went at large, of the
GENUS CLIQUE-a species, he said, that " forgot nothing, and forgave nothing,"
and who, on discovering a vulnerable part, if even in the heel, they, tiger-
like, spring upon their victim to destruction." As there was no Tiger in the
Royal Exchange Collection, and as it was well known that most of the
animals partook more of the nature of the Wolf and the Fox than of the
Lion and Tiger, and believing there could be no race more vindictive and re-
lentless than themselves, they could not believe that his metaphorical speech
applied to any other Collection, and they were therefore well entitled to be wroth
with him for daring to describe them out of their proper Den, and came to an unani-
mous resolution, that if not destroyed, he should, at least, be instantly bound and
gagged. At the rehearsal, and as a preliminary to the Drama, a letter was written
to the Keeper, demanding to be informed if he really had dined with gentlemen, and
described the Menagerie there. To this letter as they expected, the Keeper made no
reply, but treated it with marked contempt, denying their right to question or gag
him, and declaring that he was their independent Keeper, by virtue of an Act of
Parliament, that he would go where he pleased, and speak when and how he pleased.
The Actors having got their parts assigned them for the Tuesday's exhibition, and
the Drama having been well advertised, a considerable audience attended the Theatre.
Owing, however, to some of the Actors not having got their parts well learned, the
company was treated to a very small encounter, led on by a young, though vigorous
and talented specimen of the " Genus Legal," who sustained his part without that
ferocity the spectators had expected. He seemed, upon the whole, unwilling to the
work, and gave decided indications that he may not play at all next week. The
second part, was sustained by a lank greyish-looking old Fox of the genus " Sub-
Legal," supposed to be originally from Glasgow. The chain of this animal seemed
to restrain his efforts a good deal ; and although he would fain have bitten the
Keeper by way of diverting the audience from his awkward position, he could not
accomplish it, and, upon the whole, his attack was considered a failure. Seeing the
unhappy manner in which the Drama was likely to end, a well-conditioned little crea-
ture of the "Genus Medic?,"with great tact, turned the tide of applause from the Ac-
tors to the Keeper. He said, with much feeling, that he hated all such beastly exhibi-
tions, and that the Theatre should be kept for the performance of the Legitimate Civic
Drama, for which it was built, and that the handbill for next week's entertainment
should be thrown out of the Menagerie. Here the dignified little Keeper drew him-
self up in the attitude of defence, and keenly eyeing the most ferocious of the brutes,
said he knew well the nature of the animals he had to contend with?that they being
at present the majority of the Menagerie, he also knew he had no chance with them
__had nothing but a furious combat to expect; but that, as the responsible head of the
Theatre, he solemnly protested against the proposed Drama, as tending to lower the
Actors in the estimation of the public; and instead of gaining them " the praise and
protection of such as do well," would make them a "scoff and a bye-word" throughout
the civilized globe. As the audience had come for sport, however, he would treat
them to some little fun, grounded upon the plot which the " eighteen" had laid?he
would merely refer to some of their names, as sufficient amusement for the remain-
der of the day's entertainment ?First, he found a Goose which had lain for more than
eleven years on the Banks of the Menagerie, but who, as the feeders well knew, had
laid anything but golden eggs?more than once, they were found rotten, and brought
but a small dividend of their price,?next he found the clumsey, unwashed, Hippo-
potatoe-tamus, with a Wright sort of a Hyena, who licks his toes, and lies obedient
at his side,?the two Dunkeys, elder & younger, were there,?the whiskered & senior
chained Ourang-outang, although he did not expect him was there he had though
that all his former caressing might have [   ] return from this animal,-
the silver-working Grampus and the [   ] in chains) were there,-
the Grey Stot, and Stirk, the Sloth, (genus [   ]ammarian) were there,-the
Ougly-Muck, and Friend-S------ks, (new importation, were there,-Sly Wig Gawky
and the old Chained Boar from the Canongate, were the,-the latter animal was
only expected to grunt when his chain was pulled this being considered the height
of his ability At this stage of the performance, the Hippo-potatoe-tamus gave a loud
growl, which was speedily checked by the Keeper, who reminded him of his newly
assumed character,and that although he had been accustomed all his days to wal-
low in the mire, now that he had got into the company of more cleanly animals he
must really try to learn better manners.This closed    the performance,and the
audience left on the understanding, that the second part of the Drama is to come
off next Tuesday, and that the public will be supplied in good time with the names
racters of the Actors.

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Probable period of publication: 1839-1857   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(148)
Broadside regarding an attack of the wild beasts
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