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instance of the East India Company, Dr. Wight's beautiful botanical plates, Mr. Gould's Birds of India, Westwood's Oriental Entomology, and several others, are so expensive that hardly a library in this country possesses them. The older and more general works on the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean, as Valentyn's Natural History of Amboyna, Knox's Account of Ceylon (published in 1681), nay, even Ælian, Pliny, and Aristotle, all contributed to excite the curiosity of those who read their tales of wonders Europe could not boast of. In Aristotle we find statements so impossible, that less than a century ago the wise modern laughed at the credulity of the “Father of Naturalists,” and yet later observations have proved their accuracy.

Of the other authors we cannot say so much. Valentyn's mermaids have not yet been rediscovered, nor have Ælian's assertions that the elephant had no joints in his legs, and therefore could not lie down, been verified. Nevertheless, such statements served the purpose of awakening an interest in all that belongs to that land of enchantment, from whose midst “the spicy breezes blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle.”

Sir James E. Tennent's work commences with a chapter on Mammalia. The Ceylon monkeys are first described, but are not remarkable. Then follows a notice of the strange Loris, a member, indeed, of the monkey family, but very distinct in appearance, as well as in its sluggish movements and nocturnal habits. Its eyes are large and intensely brilliant, and the superstitious Cingalese use them as charms. Next, the bats are described ; and we find several peculiar species which would render our modest little “ flying mouse quite an inconspicuous object. Bright yellow, deep orange, and rich redbrown, as well as tawny and gray bats, take possession of every old ruin, and even of trees, houses, and the roofs of the temples. In form as well as color the Ceylon bats are various, some having strange and repulsive horseshoe-shaped leaves or flaps on the nose, another species so closely resembling a fox that it has received the name of flying-fox, and another no larger than an humble-bee. So numerous are the bats of the second description, that Ceylon has been called “the land of the flying-foxes."

After bats, we have bears, leopards, dogs, jackals, and other animals of less note. The curious Pengolin (Manis pentadactyla), although not peculiar to Ceylon, has been seldom described, and is not popularly known. It is an ant-eater, and somewhat resembles in outline a young alligator. Instead of the alligator's hide, the upper and lateral portions of the body are covered with large white scales or plates; the tail is short and thick, and the fearful jaws of the reptile are replaced by a long and somewhat pointed head, with a quiet, gentle expression. The feet are armed with powerful claws, to enable the animal to tear through the tough walls of the ant-hills which contain his food. Our author had two while he was on the island, and found them very affectionate, and easily tamed.

A Monograph of the Elephant extends from the second to the eighth chapter, and of this we intend to give a brief abstract, after enumerating the most interesting birds, fishes, reptiles, and insects. We are induced thus to interrupt the order adopted by the author, because this monograph is really a separate work, - separate in style and execution, if not in subject matter.

The eighth chapter resumes the interrupted thread of the first, and we are told, that of the birds of Ceylon three hundred and twenty species have already been described. the eye of a stranger, their prodigious numbers, and especially the myriads of water-fowl which, notwithstanding the presence of the crocodiles, people the lakes and marshes in the eastern provinces, form one of the marvels of Ceylon.” There is the curious Hornbill, with a large horny excrescence on its beak, building its nest in holes in trees, like our common woodpecker; and in these holes the female lays her eggs, and the male covers up the entrance during incubation, leaving only a small aperture through which he feeds his mate. The Devil-bird utters its hideous yells in the nighttime, and the Bird of Paradise and the blue Mountain Jay enliven the woodland by day. The Weaver-bird is said to fasten fire-flies to its nest with soft clay. There is a species of dove that soothes the spirit of the passer-by with its soft and melancholy notes; anger and passion at once subside

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when the loving tones are heard, and the hearer feels at peace with all the world.

From the flying to the creeping things is never a pleasant change, and how disagreeable it would be, while listening to the song of the dove, to discover the approach of a gigantic lizard four or five feet long! This is a common sight in Ceylon, and although the lizard is perfectly harmless, and even useful as an article of food, its repulsive appearance must greatly diminish the pleasure of a walk in the woods. Chameleons, geckoes, and other small lizards, abound.

of the crocodiles, Sir James mentions an interesting fact, which has, we believe, before escaped notice. Describing the manner in which he discovered a crocodile, about ten feet long, asleep, and the cunning way in which it feigned death when it awoke and found itself caught, he says: “ We tried to rouse it, but without effect, pulled its tail, slapped its back, struck its hard scales, and teased it in every way, but all in vain; nothing could induce it to move until accidentally my son, then a boy of twelve years old, tickled it gently under the arm, and in an instant it drew the limb close to its side and turned to avoid a repetition of the experiment. Again it was touched under the other arm, and the same emotion was exhibited, the great monster twisting about like an infant to avoid being tickled.” Knowing the reptile's weak points, it is recommended to the unfortunates who may chance to be seized by the monster, to use all exertions to tickle him, as he will surely let go his hold to escape so unpleasant an operation.

Of the poor turtles, we are told several shockingly cruel things. The edible turtle is sold alive in the market-place in pieces to suit purchasers; and thus the animal is cut away piecemeal, and by women too, until the head and heart alone remain, and even then the snapping of the jaws, and the opening and shutting of the eyes, seem to testify its agony. The Hawksbill Tortoise, which supplies the tortoiseshell of commerce, is seized as she comes to the shore to deposit her eggs, and suspended over fires until the horny plates start from the bone of the upper shell. It is true that such treatment of reptiles is defended on the ground of their low

degree of sensitiveness; but what they feel when tortured must none the less be pain, and, when needlessly tortured, useless pain.

Among the serpents, the Tic Palenga and the well-known Cobra de Capello, or Hooded Adder, are the most poisonous. In the bays of Ceylon are found the sea-serpents, not the fabled monsters so often seen and so seldom caught, but a smaller and less romantic kind. They sleep on the surface of the water, awaking now and then to dart their poisonous fangs into some unlucky fish, and they sink below the surface on the approach of danger.

In strange varieties of the finny tribe Ceylon yields to few other parts of the world. The Saw-fish and the Sword-fish are common. The Angler (Cheironectes) buries itself beneath the mud, and exhibits only a little worm-like appendage just above its mouth, which attracts the smaller fishes to destruction. Fishes of the deepest scarlet and flame color, purple, green, blue, and crimson, are found in the salt waters that wash the shores of Ceylon. Under the head of fresh-water fishes, our author describes at length the strange manner in which temporary ponds are found stocked with full-grown fish. Ponds and tanks are often completely drained during the dry season, so that grass and herbs cover the bottom; yet when the rains return, the fish are again abundant. Whence do they come ? Evidently they are buried in the earth, and remain there unharmed until they can re-enter their chosen element. It is only within a few years that this story has been believed, although Knox related it two hundred years ago. Is it more wonderful than that fishes should be frozen in a solid cake of ice, and remain so during one of our longest winters, resuming all their activity when spring releases them from their prison?

Of all the Mollusca of Ceylon the pearl-oyster is the most important, though of late years the fisheries have hardly paid the government expenses. Sir James denies the statement often made, that the divers are able to remain under water for a fabulously long time, and declares that they seldom exceed fifty-nine seconds in nine-fathom water. One story of the shells, and we pass on to the insects. It was VOL. XCV. NO. 196.


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told Sir James that musical sounds were often heard in the depths of a lake near Balticaloa.

“ In the evening, when the moon rose, I took a boat and accompanied the fishermen to the spot ; ..... there was not a breath of wind nor a ripple except those caused by the dip of our oars. On coming to the point mentioned, I distinctly heard the sounds in question. They came up from the water like the gentle thrills of a musical chord, or the faint vibrations of a wine-glass when its rim is rubbed by a moistened finger. It was not one sustained note, but a multitude of tiny sounds, each clear and distinct in itself; the sweetest treble mingling with the lowest bass. On applying the ear to the wood-work of the boat, the vibration was greatly increased in volume. The sounds varied considerably at different points, as we moved across the lake, as if the number of the animals from which they proceeded was greatest in particular spots; and occasionally we rowed out of hearing of them altogether, until on returning to the original locality the sounds were at once renewed.”

To the entomologist Ceylon offers beetles rivalling those of Brazil in beauty of form and splendor of tint, some of them being said to resemble the rubies for which the island is so celebrated ; curious leaf-insects, which are so much like leaves that even the birds are deceived ; ants of many species, whose wonderful economy has always been an interesting study; butterflies which equal their Chinese neighbors in beauty, if not in number; mosquitos, which deem nothing human unworthy their regard; and, finally, what is perhaps of most interest to the Cingalese agriculturist, the coffee-bug (Lecanium Coffee).

We may now return to the Monograph of the Elephant, which occupies more than a third of the book. Many years ago, when the kings of Kandy ruled over Ceylon, elephants were so abundant as to be troublesome. All the plantations were infested by these enormous robbers, and it was impossible to pass any distance through the forest without meeting several herds. When foreign invaders obtained possession of the soil, their chief amusement was to slay these animals, so that now, where then there were ten, hardly three are to be found. It must not be supposed that they were objects of dread to the natives from any savageness of disposition. Indeed, such is

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