Punch,  63 (1872), 31.

Song by a "Noble Savage"



Song, Satire


Botanical Gardens, Botany, Expertise, Government, Class

    'Noble Savage' is a satirical depiction of the First Commissioner of Works, Acton S Ayrton. He denies being a market gardener, having any knowledge of botany, or having any breeding, yet proclaims himself 'King of Kew'. He adds that he occupies 'an office of inferiority', but is superior to the Director of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, Joseph D Hooker. Ayrton recognises Hooker's botanical expertise, but aserts that either Hooker will have to resign or he will. Notes that when he and Hooker, a 'scientific gentlemen' who 'expects to have his way', disagree about 'a plan / As it ever has been since the world began', Hooker must obey him. Admits that he is no 'respecter of gentlemen / Nor of scientific swells', and urges people to talk to the bear in the Zoological Society Gardens about courtesy. Admits that he lacks Ædile's taste, but defies the reader's indignation in wanting Hooker to be dismissed.

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