Comic Annual, 2 (1831), 65–71.
Ode to N. A. Vigors, Esq. on the Publication of "The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society"
T H, pseud. [Thomas Hood]
Zoological Gardens, Menageries, Publishing, Illustration, Horticulture, Biblical Authority
Edward T Bennett
The writer has heard 'a deal of talk' about both Vigors's book and his 'Menagerie' (Vigors was president of the Zoological Society), but has never visited it (65). He speculates that this is a 'gardening volume [...] like old Mawe's! / Containing rules for cultivating brutes, / Like fruits, / Thro' April, May, or June' (66). The illustration captioned 'Preparing a Hot-Bed' (facing 67) depicts a man who has fallen asleep in bed, with a candle in one hand and a copy of Robert Burns's poetry in the other. Enquires into Vigors's role in the garden. Speculates that from his title he might be a 'sort of Secretary Bird', writing letters home for the animals (67). The illustration captioned 'A Strange Bird' (facing 68) depicts a short man with a beak-like nose and tail-coat stooping over a flower pot, watched intently by a man with a gun and dog. Speculates that Vigors's animals might be but 'garden brutes, indeed'—examples of topiary—but concludes from the illustrations that they cannot be. Praises the illustrator, William Harvey, and the engravers, Robert E Branston and John Wright. The illustration captioned 'From the Zoological Gardens' (facing 70) depicts a vase of flowers in which both the flowers and the vase appear to have animal faces. Urges Vigors: 'Go on then publishing your Monthly parts, / And let the wealthy crowd, / The noble and the proud, / Learn of brute beasts to patronise the Arts'. Hopes that his animals will 'Go on as swimmingly as old Noah's Ark!'. (71) The illustration captioned 'Nature's School' (71) depicts animals walking in pairs, followed by a well-dressed gentleman.
© 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 ]