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covered with radish and sea-side oats. A small fort was situated on the sea-shore, of which there is nothing now visible but the ditches and part of one wall. Another, of considerable size for the place, is on a high and commanding spot. It contained barracks for soldiers, which, as well as the greater part of the fort, are ruined; but the flag-staff, front wall, and a turret are standing; and at the foot of the flag-staff lies a very handsome brass gun, cast in Spain, 1614 A.D. A few houses and cottages are still in a tolerable condition, though most of the doors, windows, and roofs have been taken away, or used as fuel by whalers and other ships touching here. In the valleys we found numbers of European shrubs and herbs—"where once the garden smiled." And in the half-ruined hedges, which denote the boundaries of former fields, we found apple, pear, and quince trees, with cherries almost ripe. The ascent is steep and rapid from the beach, even in the valleys, and the long grass was dry and slippery, so that it rendered the walk rather fatiguing; and we were glad to sit down under a large quince-tree on a carpet of balm, bordered with roses, now neglected, and feast our eyes with the lovely view before us. Lord Anson has not exaggerated the beauty of the place, or the delights of the climate. We were rather early for its fruits, but even at this time we have gathered delicious figs, cherries, and pears, that a few days more of sun would have perfected. The landing-place is also the wateringplace. There a little jetty is thrown out, formed of the beach pebbles, making a little harbour for boats, which lie there close to the fresh water, which comes conducted by a pipe, so that, with a hose, the casks may be filled without landing with the most delicious water. Along the beach some old guns are sunk, to serve as moorings for vessels, which are all the safer the nearer in-shore they lie, as violent gusts of wind often blow from the mountain for a few minutes. The height of the island is about three thousand feet.'
With all its beauties and resources, the island seemed destined never to retain those who settled on it—whether from its isolated position at so great a distance from the continent, or from some other cause, is uncertain. Not long after Lord Cochrane's visit, however, it received an accession of inhabitants, some of them English, who settled in it under the protection of the Chilian government. It was afterwards held in lease by an American company; and according to the latest accounts it was ceded in 1868 to a society of Germans, under the guidance of an engineer of the name of Robert Wehrhan, who intended to colonise it. On taking possession they found it overrun by countless herds of goats, some thirty half-wild horses, and sixty donkeys. In 1868, Commodore Powell and the officers of H.M.S. Topaze erected a tablet on the island commemorative of Selkirk's solitary sojourn It is firmly set into hard rock at a point near Selkirk s outlook, a beautiful spot about 1700 feet above the sea, having an extensive sea-view.'
ANECDOTES OF ELEPHANTS.
HE elephant is the largest and most powerful of all living quadrupeds, and may be regarded as a remnant of those gigantic races which were common at an earlier period of the earth's history. Specimens have been found upwards of twelve feet high from the sole of the foot to the ridge of the shoulder, above five tons in weight, and capable of carrying enormous burdens. In general figure, the animal seems clumsy and awkward, but this is fully compensated by the litheness and agility of his trunk. His legs are necessarily massive, for the support of such a huge body; but though apparently stiff, they are by no means the unwieldy members which many suppose. He can kneel and rise with facility; can use the fore-feet by way of hand in holding down branches while he strips off the foliage with his trunk; employ his feet in stamping his enemies to death; and has been known to travel even with a heavy load from fifty to seventy miles in twenty-four hours. His feet, which are internally divided into toes, are externally gathered into a round cushioned mass, protected by flattish nails, and are therefore unfitted for walking on roads or rocky ground. Less bulky in the hinder quarters, his strength accumulates in his chest and neck, the latter of which is short and well adapted for the support of the head and trunk, which are his principal organs of action and defence.
Compared with the bulk of his body, the head appears small; but not so when we take into account the weight and size of its appendages. These are pendulous ears, a couple of gigantic tusks in the No. 54. ... 1
male, and the proboscis or trunk, which in large specimens is capable of reaching to a distance of seven or eight feet . In the Indian species* the ears are rather small, but in the African they are so large, that the Boers and Hottentots make use of them as trucks when dried. The tusks, which correspond to the canine teeth of other quadrupeds, appear only in the upper jaw, fully developed in the male, and only partially so in the female. These he employs as his main weapons of defence, as well as in clearing away obstructions from his path, and in grubbing up succulent roots, of which he is particularly fond. The largest pair in the Paris Museum of Natural History is seven feet in length, and about half a foot in diameter at the base; but specimens of much larger dimensions are mentioned by early authors, whose accounts, however, have the disadvantage of being regarded as somewhat apocryphal. The eye of the elephant is small, but brilliant; and though, from the position in the head, it is incapable of backward and upward vision, yet this defect is remedied in a great degree by the acuteness of his hearing. Indeed all his senses are peculiarly keen, and concentrated, as it were, around the proboscis, for the purpose of directing more immediately the motions of that indispensable mechanism.
The trunk is of a tapering form, and composed of several thousand minute muscles, which cross and interlace each other, so as to give it the power of stretching and contracting, of turning itself in every direction, and of feeling and grasping with a delicacy and strength which is altogether astonishing. It encloses the nostrils, and has the power of inflating itself, of drawing in water, or of ejecting it with violence; it also terminates on the upper side in a sort of fleshy finger, and below in a similar protuberance, which answers to the opposing power of the thumb, and thus it can lift the minutest object. 'Endowed,' says an eloquent writer, 'with exquisite sensibility, nearly eight feet in length, and stout in proportion to the massive size of the whole animal, this organ, at the volition of the elephant, will uproot trees or gather grass, raise a piece of artillery or pick up a comfit, kill a man or brush off a fly. It conveys the food to the mouth, and pumps up the enormous draughts of water which, by its recurvature, are turned into and driven down the capacious throat, or showered over the body. Its length supplies the place of a long neck, which would have been incompatible with the support of the large head and weighty tusks of the animal.'
The skin of the elephant, like that of the horse, is extremely
* In systems of natural history, the elephant ranks with the Pachyderms, or thickskinned class of animals, and forms the type of the Proboscidean order; that is, those which are furnished with a proboscis or prehensile trunk. There are only two species of the genus Elephas—namely, the Asiatic and the African; the latter being distinguished from the former by its large pendulous ears, less elevated head, and some minor peculiarities interesting only to professed naturalists. The Mammoth, whose remains are found so abundantly in Siberia, is another species which appears to have become extinct within a very recent period.
sensitive; and though in domesticated specimens it appears chapped and callous, yet in a state of nature it is smooth, and sufficiently delicate to feel the attack of the tiniest insect; hence his care in syringing it with his trunk, in varnishing it with dust and saliva, and in fanning himself, as he often does, with a leafy bough. It possesses the same muscular peculiarity as the skin of the horse, and can, by its shuddering motion, remove the smallest object from its surface. The colour is generally of a dusky black, but individuals are occasionally found of a dull brown, or nearly white. Albinos, or rather cream-whites, are, however, extremely rare, and are treated with divine honours by some of the Eastern nations, as in Siam, Ava, and the Burman Empire.
In its mode of life the elephant is strictly herbivorous, feeding upon rank grass, young shoots of trees, and succulent roots. His whole conformation is eminently fitted for such subsistence, and points to the tropical valley and fertile river-side as the localities where he can enjoy at all seasons herbage and water in abundance. Though created for the jungle and forest, where heat and moisture are the chief vegetative agents, yet the elephant, by his weight and size, is excluded from the swamp. He bathes in the river and lake only where the bottom is firm and secure, and rolls on the sward or in the forest glade, and not in the marsh, where he would inevitably sink beyond the means of extrication. Confined to the regions of an almost perpetual summer, he grubs up roots with his tusks, pulls down branches with his trunk to browse on their foliage, or feeds on the luxuriant herbage, enjoying greater ease and security than any other quadruped. His great size and strength place him beyond the dread of other animals; and, like all the herbivora, he is of mild disposition, having no occasion to wage war upon others for the satisfaction of his natural cravings.
In India, the head-quarters of the animal are the moist forests in the south-east of Bengal, and some parts of the Western Ghauts, but more especially the former. The forests on the Tippera hills, on the south of the Silhet district, have long been the place where the principal continental supply of elephants has been obtained; and there they are found in herds of about a hundred in number. In Africa, they were, till recently, pretty numerous in Cape Colony; but the progress of civilisation has driven them inland, and they are now to be met with in droves only in the more fertile plains and along the river margins of Caffraria. During the time of the Carthaginians, the north of Africa appears to have been also numerously stocked with elephants; but this district they have long since abandoned; and even in the western regions, which furnished ivory in abundance during the early settlement of the Portuguese, they have become almost extinct. We know too little of the interior of that great continent, to say in what numbers they may exist in the plains drained by the Tchad, Niger, and other tropical rivers; but there, we presume, they still roam in undiminished numbers. Like most vegetable feeders, they are gregarious; and the herd is generally found to follow the oldest pair as leaders, and to go readily wherever they lead the way. In their marches through those forests, tangled as they are with underwood, sight would be of little avail, and therefore their means of communication are scent and sound. By these means food, friends, and foes appear to be detected with great certainty, and at a considerable distance.
The elephant has three distinct notes of intercommunication. The first is rather clear and shrill—a trumpet note produced wholly by the trunk, and emitted when the animal is in good-humour, and all is safe; the second is a growl or groan issuing from the mouth, and is the cry of hunger, or an intimation to the rest when one has come upon an abundant supply of food; and the third, which is loud and long, like the roaring of the lion, is the war-cry by which the animal prefaces his own hostilities, or calls his associates to his aid. The members of the herd seldom roam far from each other, and even then the tiger, notwithstanding his agility and strength, will hardly venture to attack the elephant. Should he do so, the male receives him on his tusks, tosses him into the air, and stands prepared to stamp his fatal foot upon him the instant that he touches the ground. The female elephant has no tusks upon which to receive an enemy, but she has the art to fall upon him, and crush him by her weight. In their native forests, therefore, elephants, whether acting singly or in concert, are invincible to all enemies save man. The latter, even in his rudest state, has only to light a fire, and the huge brute flies in the utmost consternation; or he digs a pit and covers it with turf, and the animal falls into it, helpless, and at his mercy; or it may be that he tips his arrow with the vegetable poisons which experience has enabled him to practise, and the fatal substance benumbs and curdles the blood of his victim.
A herd of these gigantic animals browsing in their native forests must be an imposing spectacle: here a group stripping the wellfoliaged branches, there another twisting the long grass into bundles; here a set listlessly flapping their ears under the shade, there another toying with each other, 'making unwieldy merriment.' The enjoyment of this primitive scene is, however, somewhat disturbed by the consideration of the ravage and destruction which the herd commits. It is not so much the amount of food which they consume, as the immense quantity they destroy with their feet; hence the dread of the settler on the confines of the forests they frequent—the labour of a season being often destroyed in a single night. Having satisfied