Punch,  25 (1853), 38.

Thoughts on the Savage Lions of London

A Friend and a Brother




Mesmerism, Electricity, Spiritualism, Hunting, Cultural Geography, Race, Exhibitions, Ethnography

    Putatively written by a black author, the poem dismisses the interest in 'magnetic attraction, / Electro-biology, media' and 'Rapping for Spirits', but appreciates Roualeyn G G Cumming's display at Hyde Park Corner of skins of animals from around the world. Notes how fashionable society is entertained there by 'Kafirs from Borioboola' who act out 'Their business of marriage, and murder, and war', rituals 'which, of course, we abhorr'. Insists that the highlight of the exhibition is meeting the visitors and admiring their babies. Explains the ease of finding a white baby ('for a pet') in 'the back courts of St Giles' but there is a 'penchant' for black babies 'roused' by Uncle Tom's Cabin. Comparing white and black babies, insists that the latter 'could never have vices / Like those which degrade us in civilised life', and notes the extinction of savages by 'Civilisation'.

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