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Another, and a very good menageriethe admission “only a penny!” It was “George BALLARD's Caravan,” with “The Lioness that attacked the Eareter mail.—The great Lion.—Royal TigerLarge White Bear.—Tiger Owls,” with monkies, and other animals, the usual accessories to the interior of a managerie.
The chief attraction was “the Lionete.” Her attack on the Ereter Mail was on a Sunday evening, in the year 1816. The coach had arrived at Winterslow-hut, seven miles on the London side of Salisbury. In a most extraordinary manner, at the moment when the coachman pulled up to deliver his bags, one of the leaders was suddenly seized by some ferocious animal. This produced a great 'confusion and alarm ; two passengers who were inside the mail got out, ran into the house, and locked themselves up in a rocm above stairs; the horses kicked and plunged violently, and it was with difficulty the coachman could prevent the carriage from being overturned. It was soon perceived by the coachman and guard, by the light of the lamps, that the animal which had seized the horse was a huge lioness. A large mastiff dog came up and attacked her fiercely, on which she quitted the horse and turned upon him. The dog fled, but was pursued and killed by the lioness, within forty yards of the place. It appears that the beast had escaped from its caravan which was standing on the road side with others belonging to the proprietors of the menagerie, on their way to Salisbury Fair. An alarm being given, the keepers, pursued, and hunted the lioness into a hovel under a granary, which served for keeping agricultural implements. . . About half-past eight they had secured her so effectually, by barricading the place, as to prevent her escape. The horse, when first attacked, fought with great spirit, and if at liberty, would probably have beaten down his antagonist with his fore feet, but in plunging he embarrassed himself in the harness. The lioness attacked him in the front, and springing at his throat, fastened the talons of her fore feet on each side of his neck, close to the head, while the talons of her hind feet were forced into his chest. In this situation she hung, while the blood was seen flowing as if a vein had been opened by a fleam. He was a capital horse, the offleader, the best in the set. The expres
sions of agony in his tears and moans
“Erhibition of Real IPonders.”
This announcement, designed to astonish, was inscribed over the show with the usual notice, “Only a Penny P-the “Wonders of the Deep!” the “Prodigies of the Age!” and “the Learned Pig!" in large letters. The printed bill is a curiosity:— To be Seen in a Commodious Pavilion in
into spelling” with his nose; and could do a sum of two figures, “in addition.” Then, at her desire, he routed out those of the company who were in love, or addicted to indulgence; and peremptorily grunted, that a “round, fat, oily”-faced personage at my elbow, “loved good eating, and a pipe, and a jug of good ale, better than the sight of the Living Skeleton 1" The beautiful dolphin was a fishskin stuffed. The mermaid was the last manufactured imposture of that name, exhibited for half-a-crown in Piccadilly, about a year before. The real head of Mahowra, the cannibal chief, was a skull that might have been some English clodpole's, with a dried skin over it, and bewigged; but it looked sufficiently terrific, when the lady show-woman put the candle in at the neck, and the flame illuminated the yellow integument over the holes where eyes, nose, and a tongue had been. There was enough for “a penny!”
Show XVII. . Another “Only a penny!”, with pictures “large as life” on the show-cloths outside of the “living wonders within,” and the following inscription:—
ALL ALIVE! No False Paintings THE WILD INDIAN,
And the D WAR F. FAMILY, Never here before, To BE seen Alive 1
Mr. Thomas Day was the reputed father of the dwarf family, and exhibited himself as small enough for a great wonder; as he was. He was also proprietor of the show ; and said he was thirty-five years of age, and only thirty-five inches high. He fittingly descanted on the living personages in whom he had a vested interest. There was a boy six years old, only twenty-seven inches high. The Wild Indian was a civil-looking man of colour. The Giant Boy, William Wilkinson Whitehead, was fourteen years of age on the 26th of March last, stood five feet two inches high, measured five feet round the body, twenty-seven inches across the
The “Greatest of all sponders 1–Gi. antess and Two Dwarfs—Only a Penny!" They were painted on the show-cloths uite as little, and quite as large, as life. he dwarfs inside were dwarfish, and the “Somerset girl, taller than any man in England,” (for so said the show-cloth.) arose from a chair, wherein she was seated, to the height of six feet nine inches and three quarters, with, “ladies and gentlemen, your most obedient.” She was good looking and affable, and obliged the * ladies and gentlemen” by taking off her tight-fitting slipper and handing it round. It was of such dimension, that the largest man present could have put his booted foot into it. She said that her name was Elizabeth Stock, and that she was only sixteen years old.
order within Wombwell's.
Giltspur-street ; at that entrance into the Fair it was the first show. This front was entirely covered by painted show-cloths representing the animals, with the proprietor's name in immense letters above, and the words “The Conquering Lion” very conspicuous. There were other show-cloths along the whole length of the side, surmounted by this inscription, stretching out in one line of large capital letters, “Nero and WALLAce; The same Lions that fought AT WARwick.” One of the front show-cloths represented one of the fights; a lion stood up with a dog in his mouth, cranched between his grinders; the blood ran from his jaws; his left leg stood upon another dog squelched by his ... A third dog was in the act of flying at him ferociously, and one, wounded and bleeding, was fearfully retreating. There were seven other show-cloths on this front, with the words “NERo AND WALLAce” between them. One of these show-cloths, whereon the monarch of the forest was F. was inscribed, “Nero, the Great ion, from Caffraria!' The printed bill described the whole collection to be in “fine order.” Sixpence was the entrance money demanded, which having paid, I entered the show early in the afternoon, although it is now mentioned last, in conformity to its position in the Fair. I had experienced some inconvenience, and witnessed some irregularities incident to a mixed multitude filling so large a space as Smithfield ; yet no disorder without, was equal to the disThere was no passage at the end, through which F." might make their way out: peraps this was part of the proprietor's policy, for he might imagine that the universal disgust that prevailed in London, while he was manifesting his brutal cupidity at Warwick, had not subsided; and that it was necessary his show-place here should appear to fill well on the first day of the Fair, lest a report of general indifference to it, should induce many persons to forego the gratification of their curiosity, in accommodation to the natural and right feeling that induced a determination not to enter the exhibition of a man who had freely submitted his animals to be tortured. Be that as it may, his show, when I saw it, was a shameful scene. There was no person in attendance to exhibit or point out the animals They were of on one side only, and I made my way with difficulty towards the end, where a loutish fellow with a broomstick, stood against one of the dens, from whom I could only obtain this information, that it was not his business to show the beasts, and that the showman would begin at a proper time. I patiently waited, expecting some announcement of this person's arrival; but no intimation of it was given; at length I discovered over the heads of the unconscious crowd around, that the showman, who was evidently under the influence of drink, had already made his way one third along the show. With great difficulty I forced myself through the sweltering press somewhat nearer to him, and managed to get opposite Nero's den, which he had by that time reached and clambered into, and into which he invited any of the spectators who chose to pay him sixpence each, as many of them did, for the sake of saying that they had been in the den with the noble animal, that Wombwell, his master, had exposed to be baited by bull-dogs. The man was as greedy of gain as his master, and therefore without the least regard to those who wished for general information concerning the different animals, he maintained his post as long as there was a prospect of getting the sixpences. Pressure and heat were now so excessive, that I was compelled to struggle my way, as many others did, towards the door at the front end, for the sake of getting into the air. Unquestionably I should not have entered Wombwell's, but for the purpose of describing his exhibition in common with others. As I had failed in obtaining the information I sought, and could not get a printed bill when I entered, I re-ascended to endeavour for one again; here I saw Wombwell, to whom I civilly stated the great inconvenience within, which a little alteration would have obviated; he af. fected to know nothing about it, refused to be convinced, and exhibited himself, to my judgment of him, with an understanding and feelings perverted by avarice. He is undersized in mind as well as form, “a weazen, sharp-faced man,” with a skin reddened by more than natural spirits, and he speaks in a voice and language that accord with his feelings and propensities. His bill mentions, “A remarkably fine tigress in the same den with a noble British lion ''” I looked for this companionship in his menagerie, without being able to discover it.