Punch,  49 (1865), 99–100.

The Bishop and the Elephant. An Imaginary Conservation between the Right Rev. the Bishop of O—d, and the New Elephant from Paris



Dialogue, Spoof

Relevant illustrations:



Botanical Gardens, Design, Natural Theology, Religion, Animal Behaviour, Hunting, Race, Politics, Controversy

People mentioned:

William Paley , Philip L Scalter

    In this cordial exchange between the bishop and the elephant, the bishop points out that the elephant is the 'new' one from the Jardin des Plantes, Paris, who has been offered as 'another illustration of the wisdom of creation'. Later the elephant denies the bishop's claim that he is French, and emphasises that he is 'a native of Her Majesty's Asiatic dominions, where several exemplary wives mourn my European captivity'. The bishop also asks whether the elephant is descended from that mentioned by John Gay, 'to whom an enterprising publisher of the day offered a handsome sum to write something against orthodoxy'. The elephant regrets that he is and explains that his 'relative was tempted by the bookseller, was cheated, and was—I blush to say it,—reduced in old age to carry a monkey about at fairs', but then surmises that had his ancestor 'resisted temptation and returned to India, he might have become executioner at the court of one of the native princes'. (99) After discussing the question of 'negro suffrage'—which the bishop strongly supports—the elephant bids him farewell and pleads, 'Emancipate the Elephant'. (100)

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]