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goes, I am inclined to think that Vash
(such, I believe is his name, or something
sounding like it) has been traduced on the
score of temper, for his general bearing is
one of supreme indifference, as if it took a
great deal to ruffle him. The pleasure of
doing nothing appears to me to be his
chiefest delight; that and wallowing and
gurgling, and snorting and trumpeting, and
opening his huge jawsgarnished with
grinders like corks cut downand lazily
opening and shutting his drunken red eyes.
It is true he can be roused to action, as
when he obeys the voice of his keeper and
flounders towards him, or when he fancies
some irreverent workman is about to invade
the enclosure: in the latter case, he scuttles
angrily through the pool to reach the threatened
quarter, but his anger is gone as soon as
the offender has disappeared. This kind of
life is all very well as long as he remains a
bachelor; but when he comes to keep house
and home, and knows what married life
really is, perhaps he may thenoccasionally
boil over.

Without intending any disparagement to
the respective families of the elands and
giraffes, or wishing to hurt the feelings of the
three ragged ostriches, the muddy rhinoceros,
the peripatetic elephant, the stony-looking
camels, the restless armadillo, the dissatisfied
otter, the unpleasant wild-pigs, and other old
stagers, I must confess that what I go to the
Zoological Gardens for now, is to discover
something new. The five flamingoes, who cannot
be persuaded to stand on more than one
leg at a time, have passed out of that
category; so have the ant-eaters; so has the
apteryx; so have the lion-cubs and the bulldog;
and so have a host of creatures whose
attractions remain in full force for strangers
from the country.

Accordingly, having seen as much of the
Egyptian novelty as she would condescend to
show, I betook myself to the monkey-house,
to make the acquaintance of the whiskered
simian who came over with the female
hippopotamus. I was informed that the party
was, for the present, in seclusion, but
that I could have a peep at him if I pleased:
there was something, however, added the
keeper, which was much better worth seeing.
What did I think of a young monkey at the
breast?

What did I think, indeed!

Why, ever since I read the adventures of
Philip Quarllin Robinson Crusoe daysno
matter how long since, I had been dying to
see an infant monkey in that situation.
What histories too had I devoured of the
experiences of travellers in Brazilian forests,
developing so many traits of maternal
monkeyhood! And here the very thing I
wanted was, as I may say, brought to my
own door.

Regardless, therefore, of all the lures held
out by the full-grown imps that titled the
cages of the establishment, I followed the
keeper right on to a small room, under lock
and key, which had lately been converted
into a nursery. Its principal occupant was
Miss Nancy, no more scandalised at being
called by her maiden name than Mademoiselle
Coulisse of the Gaîté, though, like that charming
actress, with a babe in her arms which, if
it could have spoken, would have called her
mamma. A young donkey has been, on high
authority, pronounced to be one of the
prettiest things in the world; the same, and
a great deal more, may be said of a young
monkey when it is only six weeks old. Its
round, curling figure, the soft auburn hair
that covers its back, the snow-white down
sprinkled over its breast and stomach, its
sprout of a tail, its slender arms and legs, its
delicate fingers and toes, its little old face and
weak baby-like eyes, and the unyielding
tenacity with which it clings to the maternal
teat, no matter what the maternal attitude;
these are some of the attractions offered by
an infant monkey, and possessed in an eminent
degree by the offspring of Miss Nancy.
At present the little creature is completely
passive in its mother's arms; but there is
nothing passive about her. Every movement
betrays the anxiety she feels for the welfare
of her babe. Now she encircles it tenderly
to keep it close to her bosom; then she gives
it a little cuffthe very gentlest possibleto
make it retain its hold, and then, her
conscience smiting her for having been too
rough, she stoops her head and overwhelms
it with caressesliteral kisses. I accidentally
moved my hand towards the cage, and in an
instant she was roused.

There's nothing arms a beak or whets a claw
More than invasion of one's babes and sucklings.

And Miss Nancy was not slow to convince
me of the fact. Her little sharp nails were
dashed through the bars, her little flat nose
made flatter against them; her bright eyes
sparkled with rage, and an angry chattering
declared how much I had offended. Having
found her strong point I afterwards called it
into play by design. At the first movement
of my hand she repeated her hostile
demonstration, but when I made as if I would have
seized her babe, she fled to the remotest
corner of her cage, and supporting her charge
with one of her lower limbs, extended her
hands in an attitude of defiance at once fierce
and graceful. It is a common thing to
witness the care with which all animals
protect their young, but Miss Nancy's proceedings
were so earnest and intelligent, that it
was a difficult matter to persuade oneself she
was not a human being. I have not the
slightest wish to be personal, but I have seen
many Christian mothers who might be
greatly improved by taking a nursing-lesson
from this female monkey.

I was so much occupied by Miss Nancy,
that I almost forgot the existence of her

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