|Title:||The Elephant's Feat
|Description:||The Elephant's Feat, Astley's.
|Source:||The Illustrated London News, Dec 17, 1853, p. 517
|See Source:||Go to Source Images (9.3 MB)
|Review:||The Illustrated London News, Dec 17, 1853, p. 518
THE ELEPHANT'S FEAT, AT ASTLEY'S.
A grand Chinese spectacle, entitled "The Wise Elephants of the East; or, the
Magic Gong," has been produced here, and excited uncommon admiration owing to the
extraordinary feats performed by these docile and well-instructed animals.
These vast creatures are made to stand on their hind-legs, with their forefeet,
poodle-wise, dangling in the air; one of them also makes a colossal bridge for the
other to pass under; and the latter ultimately is
seen standing, as it were, on its head and trunk, with its hind legs raised
perpendicularly. Both elephants balance themselves also on pedestals, and wheel
round rapidly; the female contrives, moreover, to balance herself on two side legs on
a narrow pedestal; and the male, placing his fore feet on the pedestal, pirouettes, in a
circular direction, with extraordinary swiftness, the attendant being all the while on
his back, who still retains his position after the animal quits the pedestal, and during the
that he lies down and rises again to his feet. The dramatic piece prepared for
their introduction is written by Mr. George Almar. It is gratifying to learn that, in
the instruction of these stupendous creatures, no cruelty has been exercised.
Their owner has pursued, he says, "a system of training based on the maxim that
the suaviter in modo is at all times preferable to the
fortiter in re." The elephants have been in his possession for two years, and
during that period, by a course of gentle training and humane treatment, without the
slightest coercion, he has brought them to the present point of perfection. They
are now seven years old; the length of each being nine feet from the front of the head
to the tail; they are ten feet in girth; and in height, seven feet, two inches and seven feet, respectively.
Their joint weight is three tons. Their proprietor justly takes credit to himself
for having, in their training, produced a novelty hitherto unparalleled in the history of this mammoth quadruped.