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similar manner. Its master had let it for a certain sum per day;
and its employment was to carry with its trunk timber for a building out of the river. This business it despatched very dexterously, under the command of a boy; and afterwards laid the pieces one upon another in such exact order, that no man could have done it better. Again, it is remarked by Terry, in his voyage to the East Indies, 'that the elephant performs many actions which would seem almost the effect of human reason. He does everything his master commands. If he is directed to terrify any person, he runs upon him with every appearance of fury, and when he comes near, stops short without doing him the least injury. When the master chooses to affront any one, he tells the elephant, who collects water and mud with his trunk, and squirts it upon the object pointed out to him.' Indeed, the same intelligence regulates him in the performance of his multifarious duties in the East—be these carriage of persons, goods, or baggage, the dragging of artillery, the piling up of wares, or the loading of boats. 'To give an idea of these labours,' says Bingley, 'it is sufficient to remark, that all the tuns, sacks, and bales transported from one place to another in India, are carried by elephants; that they carry burdens on their bodies, their necks, their tusks, and even in their mouths, by giving them the end of a rope, which they hold fast with their teeth; that, uniting sagacity to strength, they never break or injure anything committed to their charge; that from the banks of the rivers they put these bundles into boats, without wetting them, laying them down gently, and arranging them where they ought to be placed; that when disposed in the places where their masters direct, they try with their trunks whether the goods are properly stowed; and if a tun or cask rolls, they go of their own accord in quest of stones to prop and render it firm.'
The general exercise of the mental power, without reference to training, is well illustrated by the following anecdote, related in Cuvier's Animal Kingdom: 'At the siege of Bhurtpore, in the year 1805, an affair occurred between two elephants, which displays at once the character and mental capability, the passions, cunning, and resources of these curious animals. The British army, with its countless host of followers and attendants, and thousands of cattle, had been for a long time before the city, when, on the approach of the hot season and of the dry hot winds, the water in the neighbourhood of the camps necessary for the supply of so many beings began to fail; the ponds or tanks had dried up, and no more water was left than the immense wells of the country would furnish. The multitude of men and cattle that were unceasingly at the wells, particularly the largest, occasioned no little struggle for the priority in procuring the supply for which each was there to seek, and the consequent confusion on the spot was frequently very considerable. On one occasion, two elephant-drivers, each
with his elephant, the one remarkably large and strong, and the other comparatively small and weak, were at the well together; the small elephant had been provided by his master with a bucket for the occasion, which he carried at the end of his proboscis; but the larger animal, being destitute of this necessary vessel, either spontaneously, or by desire of his keeper, seized the bucket, and easily ■wrested it from his less powerful fellow-servant. The latter was too sensible of his inferiority openly to resent the insult, though it is obvious that he felt it; but great squabbling and abuse ensued between the keepers. At length the weaker animal, watching the opportunity when the other was standing with his side to the well, retired backwards a few paces in a very quiet, unsuspicious manner, and then rushing forward with all his might, drove his head against the side of the other, and fairly pushed him into the well.
'It may easily be imagined that great inconvenience was immediately experienced, and serious apprehensions quickly followed that the water in the well, on which the existence of so many seemed in a great measure to depend, would be spoiled, or at least injured, by the unwieldy brute thus precipitated into it; and as the surface of the water was nearly twenty feet below the common level, there did not appear to be any means that could be adopted to get the animal out by main force, at least without injuring him. There were many feet of water below the elephant, who floated with ease on its surface, and experiencing considerable pleasure from his cool retreat, evinced but little inclination even to exert what means he might possess in himself of escape.
'A vast number of fascines had been employed by the army in conducting the siege, and at length it occurred to the elephantkeeper that a sufficient number of these (which may be compared to bundles of wood) might be lowered into the well to make a pile, which might be raised to the top, if the animal could be instructed as to the necessary means of laying them in regular succession under his feet. Permission having been obtained from the engineer-officers to use the fascines, which were at the time put away in several piles of very considerable height, the keeper had to teach the elephant the lesson which, by means of that extraordinary ascendency these men attain over the elephants, joined with the intellectual resources of the animal itself, he was soon enabled to do, and the elephant began quickly to place each fascine, as it was lowered to him, successively under him, until in a little time he was enabled to stand upon them. By this time, however, the cunning brute, enjoying the pleasure of his situation, after the heat and partial privation of water to which he had been lately exposed (they are observed in their natural state to frequent rivers, and to swim very often), was unwilling to work any longer, and all the threats of his keeper could not induce him to place another fascine. The man then opposed cunning to cunning, and began to caress and praise the elephant; and what he could not effect by threats, he was enabled to do by the repeated promise of plenty of rack. Incited by this, the animal again went to work, raised himself considerably higher, until, by a partial removal of the masonry round the top of the well, he was enabled to step out. The whole affair occupied about fourteen hours.'
Such are the accounts, which our limits will permit us to glean, as illustrative of the disposition and manners of this most powerful and intelligent animal. Making every allowance for the exaggeration of the writers, these records of his docility, obedience, attachment, and sagacity place him in a very favourable light; and though somewhat prone to resentment, the results are seldom fatal, save where the provocation has been unusually great. On the whole, he is a patient and tractable animal, especially useful under a burning sun, and in a country where there are no roads; presuming always that there is an abundant and cheap supply of forage. He can never, however, become so endeared to man as the dog and the horse, for these are fitted by their constitution and habits to become the inhabitants of almost every region, whilst the elephant must ever be confined to the range which nature has originally assigned him. As a domestic animal, he can at best be but the associate of a half-civilised existence; for so soon as man begins to construct roads and invent machines, to cultivate his lands and economise the produce, the elephant becomes not only useless, but positively detrimental. Already he has receded from the interior of India, and is only found wild in the forests of Dshemna, Nepaul, some parts of Ghauts Tarrai, in Ava, and in Ceylon. In Africa, where he is hunted for his spoils, and not tamed, he has disappeared from Cape Colony, from the northern regions of that continent, and from Senegambia; and will in all likelihood be the more eagerly hunted the scarcer he becomes. As portion of our terrestrial fauna, the elephant may linger on for a century or two; but to us he appears rapidly approaching the period of his extinction—a period when he must pass away before adverse conditions, in like manner as his former congeners, the mammoth and mastodon.
BEAUTY OF INSECTS.
BSERVE the insect race, ordained to keep
The heaving tomb distends with vital heat;
The full-formed brood, impatient of their cell,
Start from their trance, and burst their silken shell.
Trembling awhile they stand, and scarcely dare
To launch at once upon the untried air.
At length assured, they catch the favouring gale,
And leave their sordid spoils, and high in ether sail.
Lo! the bright train their radiant wings unfold, With silver fringed, and freckled o'er with gold. On the gay bosom of some fragrant flower, They, idly fluttering, live their little hour; Their life all pleasure, and their task all play, All spring their age, and sunshine all their day. Not so the child of sorrow, wretched man: His course with toil concludes, with pain began, No. 144- 1
That his high destiny he might discern,
What atom forms of insect life appear!
These emmets, how little they are in our eyes!
Without our regard or concern:
Some lessons of wisdom might learn.
They don't wear their time out in sleeping or play,
And for winter they lay up their stores;
And so brought their food within doors.
But I have less sense than a poor creeping ant,
Nor provide against dangers in time;
If I trifle away all their prime!