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with one of a darker colour, found red, and contrasted with a ground also on the coasts of Persia and Ara- of dirty yellow : it is mostly found bia, where it is known by the im- in dry and rocky places, and its bite proper name of the Flying Serpent. mortal in less than one or two mi
Serpent amphifena, or double- nutes. In the year 1759, and in headed Serpent. Some of the rep- the province of Cadaper, I faw setiles, clailed under this name, are
veral instances of it; and among found in the Indies; their colour is others, one very fingular, in the a deep dirty brown, mixed with a midst of a corps of troops, comtint of yellow, their 1pots fome. manded by M. de Busly. An Inthing darker ; their head is narrow, dian Gentoo merchant perceived a and rounded on the sides; and their Mahometan soldier of his acquaintbody, which is seldom more than a ance going to kill one of these repfoot long, is nearly, from one end tiles, which he had found sleeping to the other, about the thickness under his packet. The Gentoo flew of the thumb. One consequence of to beg its life, protesting, that it this formation is, that at a distance would do no hurt if it was not first the tail may appear to have been provoked; passing, at the same cut off, or may look like another time, his hand under its belly to head: I say at a distance, for in carry it out of the camp, when fact it has, at this extremity, a suddenly it twisted round, and bit pointed bit of Aesh that resembles his little finger; upon which this the beginning of a lizard's tail, and unfortunate martyr of a fanatic chawhich being plucked off, begins to rity gave a shriek, took a few steps, grow again. Besides, as they fel- and fell down insensible. They dom remove far from the crevices flew to his aslistance, applied the of rocks, or old ruins, it is very serpent-stone, fire, and scarificapossible, that they may have been tions, but they were all ineffectual, seen at the entry of their holes re his blood was already coagulated. tiring backwards. However this
However this About an hour after I saw the body may be, and
without pretending to as they were going to burn it, and deny the possibility of such fports I thought I perceived some indicaof nature, it is certain, and I am tions of a complete diffolution of myself a witness of it, that the fpe- the blood. cies to which they have given the
I do not believe there are many name of double-headed Serpents, Gentoos enthusiastic enough to behas, in reality, but one head. I ne come the victims of luch absurd be.. ver knew any person who had been nevolence ; several, at present, make bit by them, but I have been assu no great difficulty of killing these red their poison is not more dan- Serpents, or at least of seeing them gerous than that of the hooded killed. It is however certain, that Serpent.
most of them are unwilling to alSerpent poison, or poison Serpent. fift in killing the hooded Serpent, Among the Serpents of India, that and especially those which creep which I believe to be most formin into, and are therefore under the dable is but about two feet long, protection of their temples. and very small. Its skin is freckled Serpent brulan, or burning Serpent. with litile traits of brown, or a pale This reptile is nearly of the same
form with the laft-mentioned ; its thinly speckled, and of a something skin is not quite so deep a brown, lighter colour, like the generality and is speckled with dark green of reptiles. Its eyes, notwithstandspots ; its poison is almost as dan- ing their excessive smallness, were gerous, but it is less active, and its apparently black and sparkling ; its effects are very different : in some mouth was exceedingly wide, insopersons it is a devouring fire, which, much that without the least violence as it circulates through the veins, I could introduce a body of more presently occasions death ; the blood than a line in diameter ; its teeth diffolves into a lymphatic liquor, were as fine as the points of neeresembling thin broth, without ap- dles, but fo fort and compact, that parently having passed through the it did not appear possible for it to intermediate state of coagulation, bite a man, or at least for it to pe. and runs from eyes, nose, and ears, netrate beyond the epidermis. The and even through the pores. In chief of the village where I was, other subjeéts, the poison feems to told me, that the only thing to be have changed the very nature of the apprehended from this infect was, humours in diffolving them ; the left it should introduce itself into the skin is chapped, and becomes scaly, mouth or nostrils. the hair falls off, the members are Serpent titan, or giant Serpent:tumified, the patient feels all over The mountains least frequented in his body the most racking pains, India and other parts of Afia, ferve then numbness, and is not long in for the retreat of a race of Serpents perishing. It is said, however, that that I call Titan, because they grow people have been cured by remedies to the length of twenty and twentywell and soon applied. Be that as five feet, and even, according to it may, it seems to me, that the fome, to half as much more. I poison of these different reptiles is never faw but one young one, shut in general more powerful, the more up in a cage, and exceedingly ill at they live in hot and dry places, his ease. It was eleven or twelve where they feed upon infects that feet long, and fourteen or fifteen are full of faline, volatile, and acric inches in circumference; its kin monious particles.
was a tawny ground, but speckled Serpent nain, or dwarf Serpent. with colours richly varied, though One day, as I was removing some rather dark. They say this reptile stones in the Indies, I found two of surprizes and feeds upon large anithese little animals, which at first mals; but whatever may be said fight might be taken for worms. I upon this subject, its form seems to took up the strongeit, and amused indicate, that its strength cannot be myself some time in considering it compared to that of a crocodile of with attention. Its body was near equal fize : and as it is heavy, and five inches long, and about the fixth not common, it is, in reality, one part of an inch in diameter ; and of the least dangerous of its tribe. I afterwards learnt, that it rarely I may add, with respect to these aniexceeds fix inches in length. Its mals, that in all the species I have kin was a dirty brown, spotted on observed, those which were of the the sides with small lengthened points two extremes of fize, large and of a darker colour; the belly was small, were feweit in number.
Natural History of the Ichneumon; fowls, among which he had been from the same Work.
brought up, and which, till then, he
had suffered to go and come unmoHE ancients have observed, lefted and unregarded; but a few
that the Ichneumon is one days after, when he found himself of the most formidable enemies of alone, he strangled them every one, the crocodile at his birth; for after eat a little, and, as it seemed to me, he has left the egg, he is in daily had drank the blood of two. danger of being devoured by it for The Ichneumon may attain the the first months. Not that I suppose size of a common cat, but is sometheichneumon to have any particular thing longer in the body, and shorter and instinctive antipathy to the cro in the legs ; its fur contains tints of codile: he equally attacks all species white, of brown, of fawn-colour, and of reptiles, and does not spare even of a dirty grey silver. These shades, rats or poultry. I had one of them which are on each hair, compose a very young, and brought it up: I whole, which, though not soft to the fed it at first with milk, and after- touch, is agreeable to the eye. Its wards with baked meat mixed with form, and particularly the head, is rice; and castrated it at four months something like that of the polecat; old. It became tamer than a cat, its eyes are small, but inflamed, and for it came when called, and follow- sparkle with a singular vivacity; its ed me, though at liberty, into the nails are not very pointed, nor do country.
they extend and contract like those One day I brought him a small of the cat, but as its claws are rawater-serpent alive, being desirous ther long, it seizes between its paws, to know how far his instinct would and retains with force, the
that carry him against a being with which it devours. he was hitherto unacquainted. His As it is a great destroyer of repe first emotion seemed to be astonish- tiles, it is very possible that it may ment mixed with anger, for his hair sometimes receive a bite, in which became erect, but in an instant after case it is pretended, that it has rehe flipped behind the reptile, and course to the plant which is called with a remarkable swiftness and after its name ; but as it subfifts, agility leaped upon its head, seized and always with the same inclina it, and crushed it between his teeth. tions, in many places where this This essay and new aliment seemed plant is not at hand, and is not even to have awakened in him his innate to be found, perhaps it is the flesh and destructive voracity, which, till of the reptiles which serves for an then, had given way to the gentle- antidote, or perhaps it is the quaness of his education. I had about lity of its blood not to be affected my house several curious kinds of by this kind of poison.”
* The Ichneumon, better known by the name of Mangoust among the In dian Europeans, is called Tkill, in Malabar; and Monegouesse, in Tamouli
Natural Hiftory of the Thevangua, large and more flattened ; his nose, or Tatonneur *; from the same. as slender and more short than that
of the pole-cat, projected just be“THE Thevangua lives retired low the eyes, something like the
among the rocks and woods muzzle of a small Spanish dog; bis of the most solitary and southern mouth, exceedingly wide and well parts of India, and in the island of garnished, was armed with four Ceylon. Notwithstanding some fi- long and pointed canine teeth ; his milarity of organization, he neither eyes large, and even with the face, appertains to the monkey nor makis the iris apparently of a brown-grey, species. This race is pure, separate, mixed with a tint of yellow; his and distinct, as well in conformation neck short, his body very long, and as in faculties and manners; and as his fize, above his hips, at least he is little known, I shall give some three inches in circumference. I description of his form, and parti- had him caitrated, and his testicles, cularly of his characteristic habits. though proportionably very large,
The Thevangua is quadrumane, were absolutely shut up in the beland would be well described by the ly; his penis was well detached name of the pigmy cynocephalus from his body, and covered with a nightwalker. In 1755, one of prepuce. , those Indian pioneers, who always Many other parts, likewise, of wander with their families, fold me these fingular animals, appear to be
He was not quite a foot high formed in miniature on the model when erect, though I have heard of man. Thus they have no tail, they are sometimes a little taller : their buttocks are fleshy, and with. mine was quite formed, and, during out callofities; their breast large, a year that I kept him, I could not their hands and arms well turned, find that he had increased in height. and so are their legs, except that His ears and the back part of his their great toes are too much sepahead resembled those of the monkey, rated, like those of the monkey t; but his front was proportionably the hair of their head and back is of
* The animal I describe by the name of Tatonneur (creeper) on acount of his mode of walking, is well characterized in India by the Tamoul word Thevangua. He is called Tongre likewise; that is to say, the neeper. This is the animal which M. de Buffon has called Loris (after the article Makis) which name was given it by the Dutch, who saw it in the island of Ceylon. I presume, that at a distance they imagined they discovered a resemblance between the cry of this animal and that of a parrot, really called Loris, which is found in the ifies to the east of India. Such resemblances naturally occasion misunderstand, ings.
+ The figure of the Thevangua, or Loris, in M. de Buffon, is very correct, except that the bones, and especially the articulations of the hands and feet, do not appear so prominent in the living animal. But such little irregularities are to be found in the features of every subject, as soon as the flesh and muscles become dry, and are deprived of that roundness which gives beauty and proportions
M. de Buffon, in the short description he has given of this animal, mentions a remarkable circumstance, and perhaps unique, which is, “ that the female
a dirty grey, a little inclinable to The Thevangua differs greatly the fawn; but on the fore-part of from the monkey in his exterior their body it is much lefs deep and form, but more ftill in his characthick, and leaves the flesh visible, ter and manners. He is by nature which is of a soft, fair, and ani- melancholy, filent, patient, carnimated colour.
vorous, and noctambulous. Retired, The Thevangua usually goes on and living only with his little faall fours, but with a kind of coa- mily, he remains crouching all day, straint, insomuch, that when he with his head resting upon his wishes to make hafte, he scarce- hands, and his elbows between his ly runs four fathoms in a mi- thighs. But in the midst of this nute, which tardiness originates in sleep, or state of inertia, though his conformation and habits; his his eyes are closed, his ears remain legs and thighs, as well as man’s, exceedingly sensible to all impresa are apparently too long to run after fions from without, and he never the manner of quadrupedes; and it neglects to seize whatever prey shall has always seemed to me, that when inconsiderately venture within his the one I had was obliged, by car reach. Though I believe the glare rying something in his arms, to of the fun difpleases him, yet I walk upright, he went with greater never could find that the pupil of freedom.
his eye suffered any extraordinary This animal has a modulation in contraction, or was fatigued by his voice, a kind of whistling tha day-light. It is, without doubt, is not unpleasant. I could easily this happy conformation which predistinguish the cry of pain or plea- ferves him, though feeble and now, sure, or even that of chagrin or from other ferocious beasts, and impatience : if, for example, I pre- gives him a superiority over the less tended to rob him of his prey, his and nimbler creatures, on which he countenance changed, and he in usually feeds. wardly uttered a tremulous, more I kept mine, during the first acute, and painful tone. The In- month, tied round the waist by a dian, of whom I bought mine, told cord, which, without attempting to me, that their mode of copulation untie, he sometimes lifted up with was face to face, close, and crouch an air of grief. I took charge of ing on their hams.
him myself, and he bit me at the
urines through the clitoris, which has a passage like the penis of the male, and these two parts have a perfect resemblance both in length and thickness.”
Having never heard of this fingularity in India, I confess I made no enquiries on the subject; and if the remark has been transmitted to Europe by an exact observer, I am wrong to doubt the fact. I will relate, however, what has struck me on this matier, with respect to wild ne-apes : many of these have the clitoris so long, that it often projects forward, and, at firit light, appears like the penis of the male ; but it is not so lituated, has no pasiage, and is less. If we suppole that the female Thevangua sometimes has this finall muscular body, equally projecting, it is not at all impoflible, but that a traveller, not very attentive, and perhaps a little in love with the marvellous, may have imagined he has really seen them urine through that part. However, I should be far from denying a fact, because it was a little more or less out of the common order of nature. I only mention my fufpicions.