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his chains, and escape from the bondage in which he was retained. Bread and fruits, however, always pacified him; and the claims of hunger always silenced those of liberty; so that this resource against his fury was always kept in reserve. He knew those persons who most indulged him in his gourmandise, and they were received with the liveliest manifestations of affection : the moment he saw them he stretched towards them his long upper lip, opened his mouth, and drew in his tongue. The narrow stall in which he was confined did not allow him to manifest much intelligence; and his keeper took no other pains than to induce him to forget or misconceive his own strength, and to obey : but from the attention which he paid to everything which was passing around him, and from the readiness with which he distinguished individuals and recognised those circumstances which seemed the preliminaries of his receiving something agreeable to him, one can readily judge that his intelligence would have acquired a greater development under favourable circumstances. But his immense force, and the apprehensions constantly entertained that in one of his fits of passion he would break down his apartment, insured for him the most indulgent treatment; nothing was required of him without a reward ; and the little degree of motion which was allowed him, was an additional reason for requiring from him no other actions than to open his mouth, turn his head to the right or to the left, hold up his leg, &c.
“This animal was brought from the Indies to England, from whence he was transported to Paris in 1815. He was thicker and still more unwieldy in his proportions than the elephant, although less in general size. His height at the highest part of his back was five feet six inches, and his length nearly eight feet; his head measured two feet including the ears. The whole body was covered with a thick tubercular and almost naked skin, which formed a number of deep folds, almost too irregular to be described. It was of a deep violetgray colour, which seemed almost black when oiled or greased; and this kind of lubrication was performed twice or thrice a week to prevent the skin drying and crackling. Beneath the folds the integument was of a flesh colour, and much softer than at the other parts. At certain parts, as the outer side of the limbs, the knees, and on the head, the tubercles of the skin had acquired such a length, as to resemble horny threads, closely arranged in a parallel manner one against the other, and it is these papillæ which some authors have termed excrescences. The few hairs that are observable, are chiefly situated on the tail and ears, and are stiff, thick, and smooth:
some however of those which are met with on the rest of the body were curled; and although thick and hard, had a woolly appearance. His legs were bent inwards, which was without doubt owing to the close confinement he endured, and to the little strength his joints could acquire in the state of inaction in which he was kept. Each foot was composed of three toes, which were manifested externally only by the three nails with which they were furnished, and which had the form of hoofs, i. e. they defended the toes both above and below. The tail was habitually pendent, but was susceptible of voluntary movements to the right and left, and the animal made use of it to drive off from the skin whatever annoyed him.
“The eyes were very small, the eyelids simple, the pupil round, and no accessory organ was found there. The nostrils opened at the sides of the upper lip, and presented an aperture curved like the letter S, but more open in front than behind. The tongue was smooth, the lips entire, the lower one thick and rounded, the upper one very moveable, and susceptible of being extended, and curled downwards like a little proboscis. The ears were moderately large, moveable, and of very simple construction. With respect to the organ of touch, it can hardly possess much delicacy except in the upper lip.
"All the senses of this animal, save that of touch, appeared to be pretty delicate. He frequently made use of that of smell, and preferred sugared fruits and sugar itself over every other aliment. He collected together the smaller morsels of food with his moveable upper lip to carry them to his mouth: and when he ate hay, he formed it with his upper lip into little bunches, which he afterwards introduced between his teeth by means of his tongue.
“His horn is solid, attached to the bones of the nose, and composed of fibres of the same nature as the horns of goats and antelopes. It was short and blunt, and he made use of it to strike against objects at the moments of his rage, and even to tear up and destroy whatever he found could give way to his efforts. One might see that he was borne by an instinctive impulse to make use of that part in preference to every other whenever the employment of his strength was required.”
The learned Bishop Heber confirms the supposition of Frederic Cuvier, as to the tractability of the rhinoceros. In his journey through India, he observes : “At Lucknow there were five or six very large rhinoceroses, the first animals of the kind I ever saw, and of which I found that prints and
drawings had given me a very imperfect conception. They are more bulky animals, and of a darker colour than I had supposed, and the thickness of the folds of their impenetrable skin much surpasses all which I had expected. These at Lucknow are quiet and gentle animals, except that one of them has a feud with horses. They seem to propagate in captivity without reluctance, and I should conceive might be available to carry burthens as well as the elephant, except that as their pace is still slower than his, their use could only be applicable to very great weights, and very gentle travelling. These have sometimes had howdahs on them, and were once fastened in a carriage, but only as an experiment, which was never followed up.”—vol. ii.
And in the third volume, he observes : “In passing through the city I saw two very fine hunting-tigers in silver chains; and a rhinoceros, (the present of Lord Amherst to the Guicwar,) which is so tame as to be ridden by a Mohout quite as patiently as an elephant."
The able translator of Cuvier's Animal Kingdom observes : “The power of this species is frequently displayed to a surprising degree when hunting it. A few years ago, a party of Europeans with their native attendants and elephants, when out on the dangerous sport of hunting these animals, met with a herd of seven of them, led, as it appeared, by one larger and stronger than the rest. When the large rhinoceros charged the hunters, the leading elephants, instead of using their tusks or weapons, which in ordinary cases they are ready enough to do, wheeled round and received the blow of the rhinoceros's horn upon the posteriors; the blow brought them immediately to the ground with their riders, and as soon as they had risen, the brute was again ready, and again brought them down; and in this manner did the contest continue until four out of the seven were killed, when the rest made good their retreat.
“ By comparing the tenour of these short observations of them in their wild condition and in a state of confinement, we may gather sufficient data on which to form a tolerable estimate of the character of these animals. Endowed with amazing powers of body,—powers which can repel, if not overcome the active ferocity of the lion and the ponderous strength of the elephant, but at the same time seeking their sustenance not by the destruction of animal life, but in the profuse banquet of the vegetable kingdom, they might naturally be expected to avail themselves of their physical power principally in self-defence. Accordingly we find that to the first aggressor the rhinoceros is a terrible enemy; but if left to
THE GYMNOTUS, OR ELECTRICAL EEL.
the ordinary bent of his own inclination,-if unmolested, in short, he does not wantonly seek occasion to exercise his strength to the injury of other creatures.” *
The galvanic electricity of the gymnotus causes a sensation which can hardly be said to be specifically distinct from that which is occasioned by the conductor of an electrical machine, a Leyden jar, or even the voltaic pile. The same observation has been made respecting the torpedo, or electric ray. In the gymnotus, however, the difference that does exist is the more striking in proportion as the shocks are greater. No man exposes himself rashly to the first discharges of a strong and highly irritated gymnotus. If, by accident, a shock be received before the fish is wounded or tired out by the pursuit, this shock is so painful, that it is impossible even to find an expression to describe the nature of the sensation. I do not remember to have ever experienced, from the discharge of a large-sized Leyden jar, a shock so dreadful as one which I received on placing my feet on a gymnotus which had just been drawn out of the water. I felt during the rest of the day an acute pain in the knees, and in almost every joint of the body. A blow upon the stomach, a stone falling on the head, a violent electric explosion, produce instantly the same effect. We distinguish nothing when the whole nervous system is affected at once. To experience the difference believed to exist between the sensations produced by the voltaic pile
• Griffiths' Cuvier, vol. iii.
THE GYMNOTUS, OR ELECTRICAL EEL.
and electrical fishes, the latter must be touched when they are reduced to a state of extreme weakness. In that case we observe, that the electrical eels and torpedos cause twitchings of the muscles (subsultus tendinum), which are propagated along the arm, from the part resting on the electric organ up to the elbow. This trembling, which is not visible externally, slightly resembles the very slight commotions produced by our artificial electrical apparatuses. M. Bayon, some time ago, was struck with this difference; and the common people, to characterize the nature of this extraordinary sensation, still confound, so to say, the cause with the effect, and call the gymnotus, Tremblador in the Spanish colonies, and Anguille tremblante in French Guiana. In fact, on touching these electrical fishes, we seem to feel at every shock a vibration, an internal trembling, which lasts for two or three seconds, and which is followed by a painful numbness.
If the sensation which is experienced on the contact of the electric eel be different from that which is produced by the voltaic pile or Leyden jar, it is, however, very analogous to the pain caused by applying zinc and silver to wounds on the back and on the hand. These wounds, which I have myself made—one by means of the blistering fly, and the other by a slight incision-have furnished abundant and convincing proof of the relations which exist between the effect of electrical fishes, and that of the galvanic current established by the application of different metals upon the human body.
After having handled gymnoti for four hours consecutively, we felt, even till the next morning, a pain in the joints of the extremities, a debility in the muscles, and a general uneasiness, which was, without doubt, the consequence of a long and violent irritation of the whole nervous system. M. Van der Lott, surgeon at Essequibo, has published in Holland a Memoir on the Medical Properties of the Electrical Eel. Mr. Bancroft assures us, that at Demerara they are employed for the cure of paralytic subjects; but in the Spanish colonies they know nothing of this property in the gymnotus. The ancients, however, made use of the galvanic electricity of the torpedo, according to Scribonius Largus, in cases of head-ache, megrims, and gout. And such is all we know respecting medical electricity among the Greeks and the savages of America.
Persons most accustomed to electric shocks support, with repugnance, those given by a torpedo one foot four inches in length; but the power of a gymnotus is ten times greater, as we have seen by its effect upon horses. It often happens, in taking young crocodiles of two or three feet in length, and