Punch,  54 (1868), 199.

Roderick Vich Murchison!



Poetry, Drollery


Exploration, Physical Geography, Imperialism, Travel, Heroism, Controversy, Human Development, Mapping, Ethnology, Anthropology, Geology

    Possibly a response to a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society at which the geographical aspects of Robert C Napier's expedition to Abyssinia were discussed. Begins by praising Murchison, the president of the society, and 'the Chief in Johanna'. Notes the support for Murchison's views by Samuel W Baker, Richard F Burton, Francis Galton, 'Peth'rick' (probably John Petherick), James A Grant, and Mr Osborne, all of whom loudly declare Murchison, a 'ho-ieroe'. Describes the way that Murchison stood alone 'like a rock' ''Gainst F.G.S.'s shock' in seeing through the large 'lie' of 'Moussa' (this is possibly Moussa of Sati), a move that won the praise of Baker and Burton. Proceeds to praise David Livingstone's feats, including his defiance of 'slave-hunters and fevers and tsetse', and his tracing, mastering, and mapping of tribes. In the concluding stanza, urges the fellows of the Geographical Society to reiterate their praise for 'the pride of the Highlands' who hails from a 'high Gaelic line' that is as 'Old as Silurian slates' on which Murchison 'may be proud to recline'. However, anticipates that the rooms of the Geographical Society will witness 'a still brighter gem'—the return of Livingstone.

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