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From George Birkbeck Hill's Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham, 1854–1870 (London, 1897):
'Some time in the following year  Rossetti wrote to Madox Brown:—"Dear Brown, Lizzie and I propose to meet Georgie and Ned [Mr. and Mrs. Burne-Jones] at 2 p.m. to-morrow at the Zoological Gardens—place of meeting the Wombat's Lair." The wombat had a strange attraction for Rossetti. On September 15, 1869, he wrote to his brother:—"Will you thank Maggie for her most complete information about the Passover, also Christina for the Shrine in the Italian taste which she has reared for the wombat. I fear his habits tend inveterately to drain architecture." Six days later he wrote:—"The Wombat is 'A Joy, a Triumph, a Delight, a Madness.'" Madox Brown used to tell how at Rossetti's house one day at dinner, the wombat, "who occupied a place of honour on the épergne, descending unobserved during a heated discussion, devoured the entire contents of a valuable box of cigars."'