PunchMay 1861

Am I a man and a brother?

      Am I satyr or man?
      Pray tell me who can,
And settle my place in the scale.
      A man in ape's shape,
      An anthropoid ape,
Or monkey deprived of his tail?

      The Vestiges taught,
      That all came from naught
By "development," so called, "progressive;"
      That insects and worms
      Assume higher forms
By modification excessive.

      Then Darwin set forth
      In a book of much worth,
The importance of "nature's selection;"
      How the struggle for life
      Is a laudable strife,
And results in "specific distinction."

      Let pigeons and doves
      Select their own loves,
And grant them a million of ages,
      Then doubtless you'll find
      They've altered their kind,
And changed into prophets and sages.

      Leonard Horner relates,
      That Biblical dates
The age of the world cannot trace;
      That Bible tradition,
      By Nile's deposition,
Is put to the right about face.

      Then there's Pengelly
      Who next will tell ye
That he and his colleagues of late
      Find celts and shaped stones
      Mixed up with cave bones
Of contemporaneous date.

      Then Prestwich, he pelts
      With hammers and celts
All who do not believe his relation,
      That the tools he exhumes
      From gravelly tombs
Date before the Mosaic creation.

      Then Huxley and Owen,
      With rivalry glowing,
With pen and ink rush to the scratch;
      'Tis Brain versus Brain,
      Till one of them's slain,

By JOVE! it will be a good match!
      Says Owen, you can see
      The brain of Chimpanzee
Is always exceedingly small,
      With the hindermost "horn"
      Of extremity shorn,
And no "Hippocampus" at all.

      The Professor then tells 'em,
      That man's "cerebellum,"
From a vertical point you can't see;
      That each "convolution"
      Contains a solution
Of "Archencephalic" degree.

      That apes have no nose,
      And thumbs for great toes,
And a pelvis both narrow and slight;
      They can't stand upright,
      Unless to show fight,
With 'Du Chaillu,' that chivalrous knight!

      Next Huxley replies,
      That Owen he lies,
And garbles his Latin quotation;
      That his facts are not new,
      His mistakes not a few,
Detrimental to his reputation.

      "To twice slay the slain,
      By dint of the Brain,
(Thus Huxley concludes his review)
      Is but labour in vain,
      Unproductive of gain,
And so I shall bid you 'Adieu'!"


Zoological Gardens, May, 1861


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University