deserving of the punishment; though in many instances the animal is but too justly excited. M. Navarette tells us that at Macassar an elephant-driver had a cocoa-nut given him, which, out of wantonness, he struck twice against his elephant's head to break. The day following, the animal saw some cocoa-nuts exposed in the street for sale, and taking one of them up with its trunk, beat it about the driver's head till the man was completely dead. 'This -comes,' says our authority, 'of jesting with elephants.'

Some years ago, at Liverpool Zoological Gardens, after delighting groups of young holiday folks by his skilful and docile performances, the elephant gave some offence to one of the deputy-keepers, and" was by him chastised with a broomstick. No one was by to see what occurred in the next few minutes; but at the expiration of that time, the unfortunate deputy-keeper was found dead at the feet of the insulted beast, having been killed, in all probability, by a single blow of the animal's trunk. The body presented a most appalling spectacle, the arms and legs being fractured in several places, the skull cloven, and the entire body crushed to pieces by the animal, who, it would appear, in his rage, had repeatedly trampled upon him.


That the elephant remembers with precision the lessons taught him, that he will resent an injury long after it has been committed, and will recognise an old guide many years after he has been parted from him, are facts that sufficiently prove the possession of a very retentive memory. In this respect, however, he is by no means superior to the horse; but seems to associate his ideas more slowly, and with greater difficulty. Many feats ascribed to his sagacity and! memory are eminently the effect of habit—meaning thereby the following of a particular line of conduct which one has been accustomed to, without any special effort of the understanding at the time of its repetition. The following instances, recorded in the Philosophical Transactions for 1799, seem to establish this position: 'A female elephant that had escaped to the forest, and had enjoyed her liberty for more than ten years, was at last caught, along with a number of others, in a keddah. After the others had been secured, with the exception of seven or eight young ones, the hunters, who recognised this female, were ordered to call on her by name. She immediately came to the side of the ditch within the enclosure, on which some of the drivers were desired to carry in a plantain-tree, the leaves of which she not only took from their hands with her trunk, but opened her mouth for them to put a leaf into it, which they did, stroking and caressing her, and calling to her by name. One of the trained elephants was now ordered to be brought to her, and the driver to take her by the ear and order her to lie down. At first she did not like the koomkee to go near her, and retired to a distance, seeming angry; but when the drivers, who were on foot, called to her, she came immediately, and allowed them to stroke and caress her as before; and in a few minutes after, permitted the trained elephants to be familiar. A driver from one of these then fastened a rope round her body, and instantly jumped on her back, which at the moment she did not like, but was soon reconciled to it. A small cord was then put round her neck for the driver to pnt his feet in, who, seating himself on the neck in the usual manner, drove her about the enclosure in the same manner as any of the tame elephants. After this he ordered her to lie down, which she instantly did; nor did she rise till she was desired. He fed her from his seat, gave her his stick to hold, which she took with her trunk and put into her mouth, kept, and then returned it, as she was directed, and as she had formerly been accustomed to do. In short, she was so obedient, that had there been more wild elephants in the enclosure, .she would have been useful in securing them.

'In June 1787, a male elephant, taken the year before, was travelling, in company with some others, towards Chlttagong, laden with baggage; and having come upon a tiger's track, which elephants discover readily by the smell, he took fright and ran off to the woods, in spite of all the efforts of his driver. On entering the wood, the driver saved himself by springing from the animal, and clinging to the branch of a tree under which he was passing. When the .elephant had got rid of his driver, he soon contrived to shake off his load. As soon as he ran away, a trained female was despatched after him, but could not get up in time to prevent his escape.

'Eighteen months after this, when a herd of elephants had been taken, and had remained several days in the enclosure, till they were .enticed into the outlet, there tied, and led out in the usual manner, one of the drivers, viewing a male elephant very attentively, declared he resembled the one which had run away. This excited the curiosity .of every one to go and look at him; but when any person came near, the animal struck at him with his trunk, and in every respect appeared as wild and outrageous as any of the other elephants. An old hunter at length coming up and examining him, declared that be was the very elephant that had made his escape.

'Confident of this, he boldly rode up to him on a tame elephant, and ordered him to lie down, pulling him by the ear at the same time. The animal seemed taken by surprise, and instantly obeyed the word of command, uttering at the same time a peculiar shrill squeak through his trunk, as he had formerly been known to do, by which he was immediately recognised by every person who was acquainted with this peculiarity.

'Thus we see that this elephant, for the space of eight or ten days, during which he was in the enclosure, appeared equally wild and fierce with the boldest elephant then taken; but the moment he was addressed in a commanding tone, the recollection of his former obedience seemed to rush upon him at once, and, without any difficulty, he permitted a driver to be seated on his neck, who in a few days made him as tractable as ever.

'A female elephant belonging to a gentleman at Calcutta being ordered from the upper country to Chotygone', by chance broke loose from her keeper, and was lost in the woods. The excuses which the keeper made were not admitted. It was supposed that he had sold the elephant: his wife and family therefore were sold for slaves, and he was himself condemned to work upon the roads. About twelve years afterwards, this man was ordered up into the country to assist in catching the wild elephants. The keeper fancied he saw his longlost elephant in a group that was before them. He was determined to go up to it; nor could the strongest representations of the great danger dissuade him from his purpose. When he approached the creature, she knew him; and giving him three salutes by waving her trunk in the air, knelt down and received him on her back. She afterwards assisted in securing the other elephants, and likewise brought with her three young ones, which she had produced during her absence. The keeper recovered his character, and, as a recompense for his sufferings and intrepidity, had an annuity settled on him for life. This elephant was afterwards in the possession of Governor Hastings.'

These, and several other instances, establish the possession of a very good memory; but not a memory associated with any high degree of reasoning, otherwise the animals would never have allowed themselves to be again entrapped. It is clear that in the above cases habitual obedience was more powerful than reason; the sudden rush of recollection overpowering that faculty, and making them the slaves of that higher intelligence to which all flesh has been declared to be subject.


According to some, the elephant is the most sagacious of animals, while others consider him inferior to the horse and dog. Taking the brain as the index of intelligence, there is nothing in the proportionate size of that organ which would lead to the former opinion, and therefore we must look to the general conduct of the animal for evidence of the assertion. His docility, obedience, attachment, and memory all certainly point to no mean degree of endowment; but perhaps not more than is evinced by the horse and dog; while his actions are rendered more perfect only through the instrumentality of his trunk. How far he is superior in general sagacity, that is, in reasoning from cause to effect, and in adapting ways and means to an end, the reader will be enabled to decide from the subjoined anecdotes. And here it will be observed, that we distinguish between docility and sagacity; for although the former should be most apparent where the latter quality predominates, yet may animals, such as even the pig, be taught by force of habit to perform many astonishing feats, when they are avowedly destitute of general intelligence.

The following, given on the authority of the Rev. Robert Caunter, seems to be a purely deliberative act; and that, be it observed, by the animal when in a wild state, and perfectly unacquainted with the devices of human training: 'A small body of sepoys stationed at an outpost—Fort de Galle, in Ceylon—to protect a granary containing a large quantity of rice, was suddenly removed, in order to quiet some unruly villagers, a few miles distant, who had set our authorities at defiance. Two of our party happened to be on the spot at the moment. No sooner had the sepoys withdrawn, than a herd of wild elephants, which had been long noticed in the neighbourhood, made their appearance in front of the granary. They had been preceded by a scout, which returned to the herd, and having no doubt satisfied them, in a language which to them needed no interpreter, that the coast was clear, they advanced at a brisk pace towards the building. When they arrived within a few yards of it, quite in martial order, they made a sudden stand, and began deliberately to reconnoitre the object of their attack. Nothing could be more wary and methodical than their proceedings. The walls of the granary were of solid brickwork, very thick; and the only opening into the building was in the centre of the terraced roof, to which the ascent was by a ladder. On the approach of the elephants, the two astonished spectators clambered up into a lofty banyan-tree, in order to escape mischief. The conduct of the fourfooted besiegers was such as strongly to excite their curiosity, and they therefore watched their proceedings with intense anxiety. The two spectators were so completely screened by the foliage of the tree to which they had resorted for safety, that they could not be perceived by the elephants, though they could see very well through the little vistas formed by the separated branches what was going on below. Had there been a door to the granary, all difficulty of obtaining an entrance would have instantly vanished; but four thick brick walls were obstacles which seemed at once to defy both the strength and sagacity of these dumb robbers. Nothing daunted by the magnitude of the difficulty which they had to surmount, they successively began their operations at the angles of the building. A large male elephant, with tusks of immense proportions, laboured for some time to make an impression; but after a while, his strength was exhausted, and he retired. The next in size and strength then advanced, and exhausted his exertions, with no better success. A third then came forward, and applying those tremendous levers with which his jaws were armed, and which he wielded with such prodigious might, he at length succeeded in dislodging a brick. An opening once made, other elephants advanced, when an entrance was soon obtained, sufficiently large to admit the determined marauders. As the whole herd could not be accommodated at once, they divided into small bodies of three or four. One of them entered, and when they had taken their fill, they retired, and their place's were immediately supplied by the next in waiting, until the whole herd, upwards of twenty, had made a full meal. By this time a shrill sound was heard from one of the elephants, which was readily understood, when those that were still in the building immediately rushed out, and joined their companions. One of the first division, after retiring from the granary, had acted as sentinel while the rest were enjoying the fruits of their sagacity and perseverance. He had so stationed himself as to be enabled to observe the advance of an enemy from any quarter, and upon perceiving the troops as they returned from the village, he sounded the signal of retreat, when the whole herd, flourishing their trunks, moved rapidly into the jungle. The soldiers, on their return, found that the animals had devoured the greater part of the rice. A ball from a field-piece was discharged at them in their retreat; but they only wagged their tails, as if in mockery, and soon disappeared in the recesses of their native forests.'

In general, the elephant makes less use of his strength than his address, often applying the most dexterous methods of accomplishing his ends. '1 was one day,' says Jesse in his Cleanings in Natural History, 'feeding the poor elephant (who was so barbarously put to death at Exeter 'Change) with potatoes, which he took out of my hand. One of them, a round one, fell on the floor, just out of the reach of his proboscis. He leaned against his wooden bar, put out his trunk, and could just touch the potato, but could not pick it up. After several ineffectual efforts, he at last blew the potato against the opposite wall with sufficient force to make it rebound, and he then without difficulty secured it.' M. Phillipe, quoted by Buffon, was an eye-witness to the following equally wonderful facts: He one day went to the river at Goa, near which place a large ship was building, and where an area was filled with beams and planks for the purpose. Some men tied the ends of heavy beams with a rope, which was handed to an elephant, who carried it to his mouth, and after twisting it round his trunk, drew it, without any conductor, to the place where the ship was building. One of the animals sometimes drew beams so large, that more than twenty men would have been necessary to move them. But what surprised M. Phillipe most was, that when other beams obstructed the road, this elephant raised the ends of his own beam, or edged it forwards, as the case might be, that it might clear those which lay in his way. Could the most enlightened man have done more?

At Mahe", on the coast of Malabar, M. Toreesa tells he had an opportunity of admiring the sagacity of an elephant displayed in a

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