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Title: Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and - Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and - Productions, Volume 1 (of 2)
Author: Tennent, James Emerson, Sir, 1804-1869
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and - Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and - Productions, Volume 1 (of 2)" ***

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Illustrated by Maps, Plans and Drawings

Fourth Edition, Thoroughly Revised




[Illustration: Frontispiece for Vol I
NOOSING WILD ELEPHANTS--Vol 2 p 359 368 &c]






I. General Aspect.
  Singular beauty of the island
  Its ancient renown in consequence
  Fable of its "perfumed winds" (note)
  Character of the scenery
II. Geographical Position
  Ancient views regarding it amongst the Hindus,--"the Meridian of
  Buddhist traditions of former submersions (note)
  Errors as to the dimensions of Ceylon
  Opinions of Onesicritus, Eratosthenes, Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy,
    Agathemerus 8,
  The Arabian geographers
  Sumatra supposed to be Ceylon (note)
  True latitude and longitude
  General Eraser's map of Ceylon (note)
  Geological formation
  Adam's Bridge
  Error of supposing Ceylon to be a detached fragment of India
III. The Mountain System
  Remarkable hills, Mihintala and Sigiri
  Little evidence of volcanic action
  Rocks, gneiss
  Rock temples
  Laterite or "Cabook"
  Ancient name Tamba-panni (note)
  Coral formation
  Extraordinary wells
  Darwin's theory of coral wells examined (note)
  The soil of Ceylon generally poor
  "Patenas," their phenomena obscure
  Rice lands between the hills
  Soil of the plains, "Talawas"
IV. Metals.--Tin
  Gold, nickel, cobalt
  Quicksilver (note)
V. Minerals.--Anthracite, plumbago, kaolin, nitre caves
  List of Ceylon minerals (note)
VI. Gems, ancient fame of
  Rose-coloured quartz (note)
  Mode of searching for gems
  Sapphire, topaz, garnet, and cinnamon stone, cat's-eye, amethyst,
    moonstone 37,
  Diamond not found in Ceylon (note)
  Gem-finders and lapidaries
VII. Rivers.--Their character
  The Mahawelli-ganga
  Table of the rivers
VIII. Singular coast formation, and its causes
  The currents and their influence
  Word "Gobb" explained (note)
  Vegetation of the sand formations
  Their suitability for the coconut
IX. Harbours.--Galle and Trincomalie
  Red infusoria
  Population of Ceylon



Uniformity of temperature
Brilliancy of foliage
Colombo.--January--long shore wind
February--cold nights (note)
March, April
May--S.W. monsoon
  Aspect of the country before it
  Rain, its violence
July and August, September, October,
    November. N.E. monsoon
Annual quantity of rain in Ceylon and Hindustan (note)
Opposite climates of the same mountain
Climate of Galle
Kandy and its climate
  Mists and hail
Climate of Trincomalie (text and note)
Jaffna and its climate
Buddha rays
Ceylon as a sanatarium.--Neuera-ellia
  Food and wine 76,
  Effects of the climate of Ceylon on disease
  Precautions for health



The Flora of Ceylon imperfectly known
Vegetation similar to that of India and the Eastern Archipelago
Trees of the sea-borde.--Mangroves--Screw-pines, Sonneratia
The Northern Plains.--Euphorbiæ Cassia.--Mustard-tree of Scripture
Western coast.--Luxurious vegetation
Eastern coast
Pitcher plant.--Orchids
Botany of the Mountains.--Iron-wood, Bamboo, European
  Rapid disappearance of dead trees in the forests
  Trees with natural buttresses
Flowering Trees.--Coral tree
  The Murutu--Imbul--Cotton tree--Champac
  The Upas Tree--Poisons of Ceylon
  The Banyan
  The Sacred Bo-tree
  The India Rubber-tree--The Snake-tree
  Kumbuk-tree: lime in its bark
Curious Seeds.--The Dorian, _Sterculia foetida_
  The Sea Pomegranate
  Strychnos, curious belief as to its poison
_Euphorbia_--The Cow-tree, error regarding (note)
Climbing plants, Epiphytes, and flowering creepers
Orchids--Brilliant terrestrial orchid, the
    Wanna-raja.--Square-stemmed Vine
Gigantic climbing Plants
  Enormous bean
  Bonduc seeds.--Ratans--Ratan bridges
Thorny Trees.--Raised as a natural fortification by the
  The buffalo thorn, _Acacia tomentosa_
  Jaggery Palm--Arcea Palm
Betel-chewing, its theory and uses
Timber Trees
Cabinet Woods.--Satin-wood--Ebony--Cadooberia
  Calamander, its rarity and beauty
  Remarkable power of trees to generate cold and keep their fruit
Aquatic Plants--Lotus, red and blue
  Desmanthus natans, an aquatic sensitive plant





Neglect of Zoology in Ceylon
  Error regarding the _Silenus Veter_ (note)
  Presbytes Cephalopterus
  P. Ursinus in the Hills
  P. Thersites in the Wanny
  P. Priamus, Jaffna and Trincomalie
  No dead monkey ever found
  Flying fox
  Horse-shoe bat
Their ferocity

Singhalese belief in the efficacy of charms (note)
  Curious belief
  Anecdotes of leopards
  The horn of the jackal
  Its fights with serpents
  Theory of its antidote
  Flying squirrel
Tree rat
  Story of a rat and a snake
Coffee rat
_Ruminantia_.--The Gaur
  Humped cattle
  Encounter of a cow and a leopard
  Sporting buffaloes
  Peculiar structure of the hoof
General view of the mammalia of Ceylon
List of Ceylon mammalia
Curious parasite of the bat (note)



Their numbers
Hornbills, the "bird with two heads"
Pea fowl
Sea birds, their number
I. _Accipitres_.--Eagles
  Falcons and hawks
  Owls--the devil bird
II. _Passeres_.--Swallows
  Bul-bul--tailor bird--and weaver
  Crows, anecdotes of
III. _Scansores_.--Parroquets
IV. _Columbiæ_.--Pigeons
V. _Gallinæ_.--Jungle-fowl
VI. _Grallæ_.--Ibis, stork, &c.
VII. _Anseres_.--Flamingoes
  Game.--Partridges, &c.176
List of Ceylon birds
List of birds peculiar to Ceylon



  Kabragoya, barbarous custom in preparing the cobra-tel poison
  The green calotes
  Geckoes,--their power of reproducing limbs 185,
  Their power of burying themselves in the mud
Tortoises--Curious parasite
  Land tortoises
  Edible turtle
  Huge Indian tortoises (note)
  Hawk's-bill turtle, barbarous mode of stripping it of the
Serpents.--Venomous species rare
  Cobra de capello
  Instance of land snakes found at sea
  Tame snakes (note)
  Singular tradition regarding the cobra de capello
  Uropeltidæ.--New species discovered in Ceylon
    Buddhist veneration for the cobra de capello
  Anecdotes of snakes
  The Python
  Water snakes
  Snake stones
  Analysis of one
  Large frogs
  Tree frogs
List of Ceylon reptiles



Ichthyology of Ceylon, little known
Fish for table, seir fish
Sardines, poisonous?
Fish of brilliant colours
Curious fish described by Ælian (note)
Fresh-water fish, little known,--not much eaten
Fresh-water fish in Colombo Lake
Immense profusion of fish in the rivers and lakes
Their re-appearance after rain
Mode of fishing in the ponds
Showers of fish
Conjecture that the ova are preserved, not tenable
Fish moving on dry land
  Instances in Guiana (note)
  Perca Scandens, ascends trees
  Doubts as to the story of Daldorf
Fishes burying themselves during the dry season
  The _protopterus_ of the Gambia
  Instances in the fish of the Nile
  Instances in the fish of South America
  Living fish dug out of the ground in the dry tanks in Ceylon
  Other animals that so bury themselves, Melaniæ, Ampullariæ, &c.
  The animals that so bury themselves in India (note)
  Analogous case of (note)
  Theory of æstivation and hybernation
Fish in hot-water in Ceylon
List of Ceylon fishes
Instances of fishes failing from the clouds
Overland migration of fishes known to the Greeks and Romans
Note on Ceylon fishes by Professor Huxley
Comparative note by Dr. Gray, Brit. Mus.231



I. Conchology--General character of Ceylon shells
  Confusion regarding them in scientific works and collections
  List of Ceylon shells
II. _Radiata_.--Star fish
  Sea slugs
  Parasitic worms
III. _Acalephæ_, abundant
  Corals little known



Profusion of insects in Ceylon
  Imperfect knowledge of
I. _Coleoptera_.--Beetles
  Scavenger beetles
  Coco-nut beetles
  Tortoise beetles
II. _Orthoptera_.--Mantis and leaf-insects
III. _Neuroptera_--Dragon flies
  White ants
  Anecdotes of their instinct and ravages (text and note)
V. _Hymenoptera_.--Mason Wasps
  Carpenter Bee
  Burrowing ants
VI. _Lepidoptera_.--Butterflies
  Silk worms (text and note)
  Wood-carrying Moths
VII. _Homoptera_
VIII. _Hemiptera_
IX. _Aphaniptera_
X. _Diptera_.--Mosquitoes
General character of Ceylon insects
List of insects in Ceylon



  Strange nests of the wood spiders
  _Olios Taprobanius_
  _Mygale fasciata_
  Mites.--_Trombidium tinctorum_
  Scolopendra crassa
  S. pollipes
  Calling crabs
  Land crabs
  Painted crabs
  Paddling crabs
_Annelidæ_, Leeches.--The land leech
  Medical leech
  Cattle leech
List of Articulata, &c.307





Ceylon formerly thought to have no authentic history
Researches of Turnour
Biographical sketch of Turnour (note)
The Mahawanso
Recovery of the "tika" on the Mahawanso
Outline of the Mahawanso
Turnour's epitome of Singhalese history
Historical proofs of the Mahawanso
Identity of Sandracottus and Chandragupta
Ancient map of Ceylon (note)
List of Ceylon sovereigns



Singhalese histories all illustrative of Buddhism
A Buddha
Gotama Buddha, his history
Amazing prevalence of his religion (note)
His three visits to Ceylon
Inhabitants of the island at that time supposed to be of Malayan
Legend of their Chinese origin
Probably identical with the aborigines of the Dekkan
Common basis of their language
Characteristics of vernacular Singhalese
State of the aborigines before Wijayo's invasion
Story of Wijayo
The natives of Ceylon described as _Yakkos_ and _Nagas_
Traces of serpent-worship in Ceylon
Coincidence of the Mahawanso with the Odyssey (note)



Early commerce of Ceylon described by the Chinese
Wijayo as a colonizer
His treatment of the native population
B.C. 505. His death and successors
A number of petty kingdoms formed
Ceylon divided into three districts: Pihiti, Rohuna, and Maya
The village system established
Agriculture introduced
Irrigation imported from India
The first tank constructed, B.C. 504 (note)
Rapid progress of the island
Toleration of Wijayo and his followers
Establishment of Buddhism, 307 B.C.
Preaching of Mahindo
Planting of the sacred Bo-tree



Buddhist architecture introduced in Ceylon
The first _dagobas_ built
Their mode of construction and vast dimensions
The earliest Buddhist temples
Images and statues a later innovation
First residences of the priesthood
The formation of monasteries and _wiharas_
The first wihara built
Form of the modern wiharas
Inconvenient numbers of the Buddhist priesthood
Originally fed by the kings and the people
Caste annulled in the case of priests
The priestly robe and its peculiarities



Progress of civilisation
The new settlers agriculturists
Malabars enlisted as soldiers and seamen
B.C. 237. The revolt of Sena and Gutika
B.C. 205. Usurpation of Elala
His character and renown
The victory of Dutugaimunu
Progress of the south of the island
Building of the great Ruanwellé Dagoba
Building of the Brazen Palace
Its vicissitudes and ruins
Death and character of Dutugaimunu



The Mahawanse or Great Dynasty
The Suluwanse or Inferior Dynasty
Services rendered by the Great Dynasty
Frequent usurpations and the cause
Disputed successions
Rising influence of the priesthood
B.C. 104. Their first endowment with land
Rapid increase of the temple estates
Their possessions and their vow of poverty reconciled
Acquire the compulsory labour of temple-tenants
Impulse thus given to cultivation
And to the construction of enormous tanks
Tanks conferred on the temples
The great tank of Minery formed, A.D. 272
Subserviency of the kings to the priesthood
Large possessions of the temples at the present day
Cultivation of flowers for the temples
Their singular profusion
Fruit trees planted by the Buddhist sovereigns
Edicts of Asoca



Aborigines forced to labour for the new settlers
Immensity of the structures erected by them
Slow amalgamation of the natives with the strangers
The worship of snakes and demons continued
Treatment of the aborigines by the kings
Their formal disqualification for high office
Their rebellions
They retire into the mountains and forests
Their singular habits of seclusion
Traces of their customs at the present day



B.C. 104 Walagam-bahu I
His wars with the Malabars
The South of Ceylon free from Malabar invasion
The Buddhist doctrines first formed into books
The formation of rock-temples
Apostacy of Chora Naga
Ceylon governed by queens
Schisms in religion
Buddhism tolerant of heresy but intolerant of schism
Illustrations of Buddhist toleration
Tolerance enjoined by Asoca
The Wytulian heresy
Corruption of Buddhism by the impurities of Brahnmanism
A.D. 275. Recantation and repentance of King Maha Sen
End of the Solar race
State of Ceylon at that period
Prosperity of the North
Description of Anarajapoora in the fourth century
Its municipal organisation
Its palaces and temples
Popular error as to the area of the city (note)
Multitudes of the priesthood described by Fa Hian



Sovereigns of the Lower Dynasty, a feeble race
Kings who were sculptors, physicians, and poets
Earliest notice of Foreign Embassies to Rome and to China
Notices of Ceylon by Chinese Historians
Fa Hian visits Ceylon A.D. 413
Anecdote related by Fa Hian (note)
History of "the Sacred Tooth"
Murder of the king Dhatu Sena, A.D. 459
Infamous conduct of his son
The fortified rock Sigiri



Origin of the Malabar invaders of Ceylon
The ancient Indian kingdom of Pandya
Malabar mercenaries enlisted in Ceylon
B.C. 237. Revolt of Sena and Gutika
B.C. 205. Usurpation of Elala
B.C. 103. Second Malabar invasion
A.D. 110. Third Malabar invasion
Jewish evidence of Malabar conquest (note)396
A.D. 433. Fourth Malabar invasion
The influence of the Malabars firmly established
Distress of the Singhalese in the 7th century, as described by Hiouen
A.D. 642. Anarajapoora deserted, and Pollanarrua built
The Malabars did nothing to improve the island
A.D. 840. A fresh Malabar invasion
The Singhalese seek to conciliate them by alliances
A.D. 990. Another Malabar invasion
Extreme misery of the island
A.D. 1023. The Malabars seize Pollanarrua and occupy the entire north
    of the island



A.D. 1071. Recovery of the island from the Malabars
Wijayo Bahu I. expels the Malabars
Birth of the Prince Prakrama
His character and renown
Immense public works constructed by him
Restores the order of the Buddhist priesthood
Intercourse between Siam and Ceylon
Temples and sacred edifices built by Prakrama
The Gal-Wihara at Pollanarrua
Ruins of Pollanarrua
Extraordinary extent of his works for irrigation
Foreign wars of Prakrama
His conquests in India
The death of Prakrama Bahu




Prakrama Baku, the last powerful king
Anarchy follows on his decease
A.D. 1197. The Queen Leela-Wattee
A.D. 1211. Return of the Malabar invaders
The Malabars establish themselves at Jaffna
Early history of Jaffna
A.D. 1235. The new capital at Dambedenia
Extending ruin of Ceylon
Kandy founded as a new capital
Successive removals of the seat of Government to Yapahoo, Kornegalle,
  Gampola, Kandy, and Cotta
Ascendancy of the Malabars
A.D. 1410. The King of Ceylon carried captive to China
Ceylon tributary to China
Arrival of the Portuguese in Ceylon





Population encouraged by the fertility of Ceylon
Evidence of its former extent in the ruins of the tanks and canals
Means by which the population was preserved
Causes of its dispersion--the ruin of the tanks
Domestic life similar to that of the Hindus
Respect shown to females
Caste perpetuated in defiance of religious prohibition
Particulars in which caste in Ceylon differs from caste in India
Slavery, borrowed from Hindustan
Compulsory labour or Raja-kariya
Mode of enforcing it



Agriculture unknown before the arrival of Wijayo
Rice was imported into Ceylon in the second century B.C.
The practice of irrigation due to the Hindu kings
Who taught the science of irrigation to the Singhalese (note)
The first tank constructed B.C. 504
Gardens and fruit-trees first planted
Value of artificial irrigation in the north of Ceylon
In the south of the island the rains sustain cultivation
Two harvests in the year in the south of the island
In the north, where rains are uncertain, tanks indispensable
Irrigation the occupation of kings
The municipal village-system of cultivation
"_Assoedamising_" of rice lands in the mountains
Temple villages and their tenure
Farm-stock buffaloes and cows
A Singhalese garden described
Coco-nut palm rarely mentioned in early writings
Doubt whether it be indigenous to Ceylon
The Mango and other fruits
Rice and curry mentioned in the second century B.C.
Animal food used by the early Singhalese
Betel, antiquity of the custom of chewing it
Intoxicating liquors known at an early period



Trade entirely in the hands of strangers
Native shipping unconnected with commerce
Same indifference to trade prevails at this day
Singhalese boats all copied from foreign models
All sewn together and without iron
Romance of the "Loadstone Island"
The legend believed by Greeks and the Chinese
Vessels with two prows mentioned by Strabo
Foreign trade spoken of B.C. 204
Internal traffic in the ancient city of Ceylon
Merchants traversing the island
Early exports from Ceylon,--gems, pearls, &c.
The imports, chiefly manufactures
Horses and carriages imported from India
Cloth, silk, &c., brought from Persia
Kashmir, intercourse with
Edrisi's account of Ceylon trade in the twelfth century



Silk not produced in Ceylon
Coir and cordage
Dress; unshaped robes
Manual and Mechanical Arts--Weaving
Priest's robes spun, woven, and dyed in a day
Peculiar mode of cutting out a priest's robe
Bleaching and dyeing
Earliest artisans, immigrants
Handicrafts looked down on
Glass mirrors
Wood carving
Chemical Arts--Sugar
Mineral paints



Early knowledge of the use of iron
Copper and its uses
Bells, bronze, lead
Gold and silver
Plate and silver ware
Red coral found at Galle (note)
Jewelry and mounted gems
Coins mentioned in the Mahawanso
Meaning of the term "massa" (note)
Coins of Lokiswaira
General device of Singhalese coins
Indian coinage of Prakrama Bahu
Fish-hook money



Engineering taught by the Brahmans
Rude methods of labour
Military engineering unknown
Early attempts at fortification
Fortified rock of Sigiri
Forests, their real security
Thorns planted as defences
Bridges and ferries
Method of tying cut stone in forming tanks
Tank sluices
Defective construction of these reservoirs
The art of engineering lost
The "Giants' Tank" a failure
An aqueduct formed, A.D. 66



Music, its early cultivation
  Harsh character of Singhalese music
  Tom-toms, their variety and antiquity
  Singhalese gamut
Painting.--Imagination discouraged
  Similarity of Singhalese to Egyptian art
  Rigid rules for religious design
  Similar trammels on art in Modern Greece (note)
  And in Italy in the 15th century (n.)
  Celebrated Singhalese painters
Sculpture.--Statues of Buddha
  Built statues
  Painted statues
  Statues formed of gems
  Ivory and sandal-wood carved
Architecture, its ruins exclusively religious
Domestic architecture mean at all times
Stone quarried by wedges
Immense slabs thus prepared
Columns at Anarajapoora
Materials for building
Mode of constructing a dagoba
Enormous dimensions of these structures
Monasteries and wiharas
Carvings in stone
Ubiquity of the honours shown to goose
Delicate outline of Singhalese carvings
Temples and their decorations
Cave temples of Ceylon
The Alu-wihara
Moulding in plaster
Claim of the Singhalese to the invention of oil painting
Lacquer ware of the present day
Honey-suckle ornament



Ancient cities and their organisation
Public buildings, hospitals, shops
Anarajapoora, as it appeared in 7th century
The description of it by Fa Hian
Carriages and Horses
Horses imported from Persia
Furniture of the houses
Form of Government.--Revenue
The Army and Navy
Mode of recruiting
Singular mode of drawing the bow with the foot (note)
Civil Justice



Education and schools
Astronomy and astrology
Medicine and surgery
King Buddha-dasa a physician
Lightning conductors
Notice of a remarkable passage in the Mahawanso



The Pali language
The temples the depositaries of learning
Historiographers employed by the kings
Ola books, how prepared
A stile, and the mode of writing
Books on plates of metal (note)
Differences between Elu and Singhalese
Pali works
  Hardy's list of Singhalese books (note)
  Pali books all written in verse
  The _Pittakas_
  The _Jatakas_--resemble the Talmud
  Pali literature generally
  The _Milinda-prasna_
  Pali historical books and their character
  The _Mahawanso_
  Scriptural coincidences in Pali books (note)
Sanskrit works:
  Principally on science and medicine
Elu and Singhalese works:
  Low tone of the popular literature
  Chiefly ballads and metrical essays
  Exempt from licentiousness
  Sacred poems in honour of Hindu gods
  General literature of the people



Buddhism as it exists in Ceylon
Which was the more ancient, Brahmanism or Buddhism
Various authorities (note)
Buddhism, its extreme antiquity
Its prodigious influence
Sought to be identified with the Druids (note)
Buddhism an agent of civilisation
Its features in Ceylon
The various forms elsewhere
Points that distinguish it from Brahmanism
Buddhist theory of human perfection
Its treatment of caste
Its respect for other religions
Anecdote, illustrative of (note)
Its cosmogony
Its doctrine of "necessity"
Illustration from Lucan (note)
The priesthood and its attributes
Buddhist morals
Prohibition to take life
Form of worship
Brahmanical corruptions
Failure of Buddhism as a sustaining faith
Its moral influence over the people
Trees dedicated to demons (note)
Devil priests and their orgies
Ascendency of these superstitions
Buddhism as an obstacle to Christianity
Difficulties presented by the morals of Buddhism
Prohibition against taking away life (note)





First heard of by the companions of Alexander the Great
Various ancient names of Ceylon (note)
Early doubts whether it was an island or a continent
Mentioned by Aristotle
Alleged mention of Ceylon in the Samaritan Pentateuch (note)
Onesicritus's account
Megasthenes' description
Ælian's account borrowed from Megasthenes (note)
Ceylon known to the Phoenicians and to the Egyptians (note)
Hippalus discovers the monsoons
Effect of this discovery on Indian trade
Pliny's account of Ceylon
Story of Jambulus by Diodoros Siculus (note)
Embassy from Ceylon to Claudius
Narrative of Rachias, and its explanation (note)
Lake Megisba, a tank
Early intercourse with China
The Veddahs described by Pliny
Interval between Pliny and Ptolemy
Ptolemy's account of Ceylon
Explanation of his errors
Ptolemy discriminates bays from estuaries (note) v9
Identification of Ptolemy's names
His map
His sources of information
Agathemerus, Marcianus of Heraclea
Cosmas Indicopleustes
Palladius--St. Ambrosius (note)
State of Ceylon when Cosmas wrote
Its commerce at that period
In the hands of Arabs and Persians v4
Ceylon as described by Cosmas
Story of his informant Sopater
Translation of Cosmas
The gems and other productions of Ceylon--"a gaou" (note)
Meaning of the term "Hyacinth" (note)
The great ruby of Ceylon, its history traced (note)
Cosmas corroborated by the Peripius
Horses imported from Persia
Export of elephants
Note on Sanchoniathon



Absurd errors of the Hindus regarding Ceylon
Their dread of Ceylon as the abode of demons
Rise of the Mahometan power
Persians and Arabs trade to India
Story in Beladory of the first invasion of India by the Mahometans
    (text and note)
Character of the Arabian geographers
Their superiority over the Greeks
Greek Paradoxical literature
A.D. 851. The two Mahometans
Their account of Ceylon
Adam's Peak
Obsequies of a king
Councils on religion and history
Carmathic monument at Colombo (note)
Galle, the seat of ancient trade
Claim of Mantotte disproved
Greek fire (note)
"_Kalah_" is Galle
The Maharaja of Zabedj help possession of Galle
Evidence of this in the Garsharsp-Namah
Derivation of "Galle" (text and note)
Aversion of the Singhalese to commerce
Identification of the modern Veddahs with the ancient Singhalese
Their singular habits, as described by Robert Knox, Ribeyro, and
  By Albyrouni
  By Palladius
  By Fa Hian
  By the Chinese writers (note)
  By Pliny
For this reason the coast only known to strangers
Arabian authors who describe Ceylon
  Albateny and Massoudi
  Tabari (note)
  Sinbad the Sailor
Cinnamon, no mention of
Was cinnamon a native of Ceylon?
No mention by Singhalese authors
No mention of by Latin writers
The _Regio Cinnamomifera_ was in Africa (note)
  No mention by Arabs or Persians
  First noticed in Ceylon by Ibn Batuta
  By Nicola di Conti (note)
Ibn Batuta describes Ceylon
  His Travels



Early Chinese trade with Ceylon
Early Chinese travellers in India
Chinese translations of M.S. Julien
List of Chinese authors relating to Ceylon (note)
Their errors as to its form and site
Their account of Adam's Peak and its gems
Chinese names for Ceylon
Curious habit of its traders
They describe the two races, Tamils and Singhalese
Origin of the cotton "Comboy"
Costume of Ceylon
Early commerce
Works for irrigation noticed
Island of Junk-Ceylon
Galle resorted to by Chinese ships
Vegetable productions
Elephants, ivory, and jewels
Skill of Singhalese goldsmiths and statuaries
Pearls and gems sent to China
No mention of cinnamon
Chinese account of Buddhism in Ceylon
Monasteries for priests first founded in Ceylon
Cities of Ceylon in the sixth century
Patriotism of Singhalese kings
Domestic manners of the Singhalese
Embassies from China to Ceylon
Chinese travels prior to the sixth century
Fa Hian's travels in sixth century
First embassy from Ceylon to China, A.D. 405
Narrative of the image which it bore (note)
Ceylon tributary to China in sixth century
Hiouen-Thsang describes Ceylon in the seventh century (note)
Events in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
King of Ceylon carried captive to China, A.D. 1405
Last embassy to China, A.D. 1459
Traces of the Chinese in Ceylon
Evidences of their presence found by the Portuguese
Modern Chinese account of Ceylon (note)



The Moors of Ceylon
Their origin
The early Mahometans in India
Arabians anciently settled in Ceylon
Real descent of the modern "Moormen"
Their occupation as traders, ancestral
Their hostilities with the Portuguese
They might have been rulers of Ceylon
Indian trade prior to the route by the Cape
The Genoese and Venetians in the East
Rise of the Mongol empire
Marco Polo, A.D. 1271
Visits Ceylon
Friar Odoric, A.D. 1318
Jordan de Severac, A.D. 1323 (note)
Giov. de Marignola, A.D. 1349 (note)
Nicola di Conti, A.D. 1444
  The first traveller who speaks of Cinnamon
Jerome de Santo Stefano (note)
Ludov. Barthema, A.D. 1506
Odoardo Barbosa, A.D. 1509
Andrea Corsali, A.D. 1515 (note)
Cesar Frederic, A.D. 1563
Course of trade changed by the Cape route
Irritation of the Venetians



"Gobbs" on the East Coast                   By ARROWSMITH
"Gobbs" on the "West Coast                     ARROWSMITH
Ceylon, according to the Sanskrit
   and Pali authors                            SIR J. EMERSON TENNENT
Map of Ancient India                           LASSEN
Position of Colombo, according to Ptolemy
  and Pliny                                    SIR J. EMERSON TENNENT
Ceylon, according to Ptolemy and Pliny         SIR J. EMERSON TENNENT


Geological System                           By
Currents in the N.E. Monsoon
Currents in the N.W. Monsoon
Diagram of Rain in India and in Ceylon         DR. TEMPLETON
Diagram of the Anthelia                        DR. TEMPLETON
Plan of a Fish-corral
Summit of a Dagoba, with Lightning


Marriage of the Fig-tree and the Palm       By MR. A. NICHOLL
Fig-tree on the Ruins of Pollanarrua           MR. A. NICHOLL
The "Snake-tree"                               MR. A. NICHOLL
The _Loris_                                    M.H. SYLVAT
The _Uropeltis grandis_                        M.H. SYLVAT
A _Chironectes_                                M.H. SYLVAT
Method of Fishing in Pools                  From KNOX
The _Anabas_ of the dry Tanks               By DR. TEMPLETON
Eggs of the Leaf Insect                        M.H. SYLVAT
_Cermatia_                                     DR. TEMPLETON
The Calling Crab
Eyes and Teeth of the Land Leech               DR. TEMPLETON
Land Leeches                                   DR. TEMPLETON
Upper and under Surfaces of the
  _Hirudo sanguisorba_                         DR. TEMPLETON
The Bo-tree at Anarajapoora                    MR. A. NICHOLL
A Dagoba at Kandy                           From a Photograph
Ruins of the Brazen Palace                  By MR. A. NICHOLL
The Alu Wihara                                 MR. A. NICHOLL
The fortified Rock of Sigiri                   MR. A. NICHOLS
Coin of Queen Leela-Wattee
Coin showing the _Trisula_
Ancient and Modern Tom-tom Beaters          From the JOINVILLE MSS.
A Column from Anarajapoora
Sacred Goose from the Burmese Standard
Hansa, from the old Palace at Kandy
Honeysuckle Ornament                        From FERGUSSON'S
                                              _Handbook of
Egyptian Yoke and Singhalese Pingo
Veddah drawing the Bow with his Foot        By MR. R. MACDOWALL
Method of Writing with a Style                 MR. R. MACDOWALL
The "Comboy," as worn by both Sexes            MR. A. FAIRFIELD


The gratifying reception with which the following pages have been
honoured by the public and the press, has in no degree lessened my
consciousness, that in a work so extended in its scope, and
comprehending such a multiplicity of facts, errors are nearly
unavoidable both as to conclusions and detail. These, so far as I became
aware of them, I have endeavoured to correct in the present, as well as
in previous impressions.

But my principal reliance for the suggestion and supply both of
amendments and omissions has been on the press and the public of Ceylon;
whose familiarity with the topics discussed naturally renders them the
most competent judges as to the mode in which they have been treated. My
hope when the book was published in October last was, that before going
again to press I should be in possession of such friendly communications
and criticisms from the island, as would have enabled me to render the
second edition much more valuable than the previous one. In this
expectation I have been agreeably disappointed, the sale having been so
rapid, as to require a fourth impression before it was possible to
obtain from Ceylon judicious criticisms on the first. These in due time
will doubtless arrive; and meanwhile, I have endeavoured, by careful
revision, to render the whole as far as possible correct.



The call for a third edition on the same day that the second was
announced for publication, and within less than two months from the
appearance of the first, has furnished a gratifying assurance of the
interest which the public are disposed to take in the subject of the
present work.

Thus encouraged, I have felt it my duty to make several alterations in
the present impression, amongst the most important of which is the
insertion of a Chapter on the doctrines of Buddhism as it developes
itself in Ceylon.[1] In the historical sections I had already given an
account of its introduction by Mahindo, and of the establishments
founded by successive sovereigns for its preservation and diffusion. To
render the narrative complete, it was felt desirable to insert an
abstract of the peculiar tenets of the Buddhists; and this want it has
been my object to supply. The sketch, it will be borne in mind, is
confined to the principal features of what has been denominated
"_Southern Buddhism_" amongst the Singhalese; as distinguished from
"_Northern Buddhism_" in Nepal, Thibet, and China.[2] The latter has
been largely illustrated by the labours of Mr. B.H. HODGSON and the
toilsome researches of M. CSOMA of Körrös in Transylvania; and the
minutest details of the doctrines and ceremonies of the former have been
unfolded in the elaborate and comprehensive collections of Mr. SPENCE
HARDY.[3] From materials discovered by these and other earnest
inquirers, Buddhism in its general aspect has been ably delineated in
the dissertations of BURNOUF[4] and SAINT HILAIRE[5], and in the
commentaries of REMUSAT[6], STANISLAS JULIEN[7], FOUCAUX[8], LASSEN[9],
and WEBER.[10] The portion thus added to the present edition has been to
a great extent taken from a former work of mine on the local
superstitions of Ceylon, and the "_Introduction and Progress of
Christianity_" there; and as the section relating to Buddhism had the
advantage, previous to publication, of being submitted to the Rev. Mr.
GOGERLY, the most accomplished Pali scholar, as well as the most erudite
student of Buddhistical literature in the island, I submit it with
confidence as an accurate summary of the distinctive views of the
Singhalese on the leading doctrines of their national faith.

[Footnote 1: See Part IV., c. xi.]

[Footnote 2: MAX MÜLLER; _History of Sanskrit Literature_, p. 202.]

[Footnote 3: _Eastern Monachism_, an account of the origin, laws;
discipline, sacred writings, mysterious rites, religious ceremonies, and
present circumstances of the Order of Mendicants, founded by Gotoma
Budha. 8vo. Lond. 1850; and _A Manual of Buddhism in its Modern
Development_. 8vo. Lond. 1853.]

[Footnote 4: BURNOUF, _Introduction à l'Histoire du Bouddhieme Indien_.
4to. Paris. 1845; and translation of the _Lotus de la bonne Loi_.]

[Footnote 5: J. BARTHELEMY SAINT-HILAIRE _Le Bouddha et sa Religion_.
8vo. Paris. 1800.]

[Footnote 6: Introduction and Notes to the _Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_ of FA

[Footnote 7: Life and travels of HIOUEN THSANG.]

[Footnote 8: Translation of _Lalitavistára_ by M. PH. ED. FOUCAUX.]

[Footnote 9: Author of the _Indische Alterthumskunde;_ &c.]

[Footnote 10: Author of the _Indische Studien_; &c.]

A writer in the _Saturday Review_[1], in alluding to the passage in
which I have sought to establish the identity of the ancient Tarshish
with the modern Point de Galle[2], admits the force of the coincidence
adduced, that the Hebrew terms for "ivory, apes, and peacocks"[3] (the
articles imported in the ships of Solomon) are identical with the Tamil
names, by which these objects are known in Ceylon to the present day;
and, to strengthen my argument on this point, he adds that, "these terms
were so entirely foreign and alien from the common Hebrew language as to
have driven the Ptolemaist authors of the Septuagint version into a
blunder, by which the ivory, apes, and peacocks come out as '_hewn and
carven stones_.'" The circumstance adverted to had not escaped my
notice; but I forebore to avail myself of it; for, although the fact is
accurately stated by the reviewer, so far as regards the Vatican MS., in
which the translators have slurred over the passage and converted
"_ibha, kapi_, and _tukeyim_" into [Greek: "lithôn toreutôn kai
pelekêtôn"] (literally, "stones hammered and carved in relief"); still,
in the other great MS. of the Septuagint, the _Codex Alexandrinus_,
which is of equal antiquity, the passage is correctly rendered by
"[Greek: odontôn elephantinôn kai pithêkôn kai taônôn]." The editor of
the Aldine edition[4] compromised the matter by inserting "the ivory and
apes," and excluding the "peacocks," in order to introduce the Vatican
reading of "stones."[5] I have not compared the Complutensian and other
later versions.

[Footnote 1: Novemb. 19, 1859, p. 612.]

[Footnote 2: _See_ Vol. II. Pt. VII., c. i. p. 102.]

[Footnote 3: 1 _Kings_, x. 22.]

[Footnote 4: Venice, 1518.]

[Footnote 5: [Greek: Kai odontôn elephantinôn kai pithêkôn kai lithôn].
[Greek: BASIA TRITÊ]. x. 22. It is to be observed, that Josephus appears
to have been equally embarrassed by the unfamiliar term _tukeyim_ for
peacocks. He alludes to the voyages of Solomon's merchantmen to
Tarshish, and says that they brought hack from thence gold and silver,
_much_ ivory, apes, _and Æthiopians_--thus substituting "slaves" for
pea-fowl--"[Greek: kai polus elephas, Aithiopes te kai pithêkoi]."
Josephus also renders the word Tarshish by "[Greek: en tê Tarsikê
legomenê thalattê]," an expression which shows that he thought not of
the Indian but the western Tarshish, situated in what Avienus calls the
_Fretum Tartessium_, whence African slaves might have been expected to
come.--_Antiquit. Judaicæ_, l. viii. c. vii sec. 2.]

The Rev. Mr. CURETON, of the British Museum, who, at my request,
collated the passage in the Chaldee and Syriac versions, assures me that
in both, the terms in question bear the closest resemblance to the Tamil
words found in the Hebrew; and that in each and all of them these are of
foreign importation.


LONDON: November 28th, 1859.


The rapidity with which the first impression has been absorbed by the
public, has so shortened the interval between its appearance and that of
the present edition, that no sufficient time has been allowed for the
discovery of errors or defects; and the work is re-issued almost as a
corrected reprint.

In the interim, however, I have ascertained, that Ribeyro's "Historical
Account of Ceylon," which it was heretofore supposed had never appeared
in any other than the French version of the Abbe Le Grand, and in the
English translation of the latter by Mr. Lee[1], was some years since
printed for the first time in the original Portuguese, from the
identical MS. presented by the author to Pedro II. in 1685. It was
published in 1836 by the Academia Real das Sciencias of Lisbon, under
the title of "_Fatalidade Historica da Ilka de Ceilão_;" and forms the
Vth volume of the a "_Colleção de Noticias para a Historia e Geograjia
das Nações Ultramarinas_" A fac-simile from a curious map of the island
as it was then known to the Portuguese, has been included in the present

[Footnote 1: See Vol. II. Part vi. ch. i. p.5, note.]

[Footnote 2: Ibid. p. 6.]

Some difficulty having been expressed to me, in identifying the ancient
names of places in India adverted to in the following pages; and
mediæval charts of that country being rare, a map has been inserted in
the present edition[1], to supply the want complained of.

[Footnote 1: See Vol. I. p. 330.]

The only other important change has been a considerable addition to the
Index, which was felt to be essential for facilitating reference.

J E.T.


There is no island in the world, Great Britain itself not excepted, that
has attracted the attention of authors in so many distant ages and so
many different countries as Ceylon. There is no nation in ancient or
modern times possessed of a language and a literature, the writers of
which have not at some time made it their theme. Its aspect, its
religion, its antiquities, and productions, have been described as well
by the classic Greeks, as by those of the Lower Empire; by the Romans;
by the writers of China, Burmah, India, and Kashmir; by the geographers
of Arabia and Persia; by the mediæval voyagers of Italy and France; by
the annalists of Portugal and Spain; by the merchant adventurers of
Holland, and by the travellers and topographers of Great Britain.

But amidst this wealth of materials as to the island, and its
vicissitudes in early times, there is an absolute dearth of information
regarding its state and progress during more recent periods, and its
actual condition at the present day.

I was made sensible of this want, on the occasion of my nomination, in
1845, to an office in connection with the government of Ceylon. I found
abundant details as to the capture of the maritime provinces from the
Dutch in 1795, in the narrative of Captain PERCIVAL[1], an officer who
had served in the expedition; and the efforts to organise the first
system of administration are amply described by CORDINER[2], Chaplain to
the Forces; by Lord VALENTIA[3], who was then travelling in the East;
and by ANTHONY BERTOLACCI[4], who acted as auditor-general to the first
governor, Mr. North, afterwards Earl of Guilford. The story of the
capture of Kandy in 1815 has been related by an anonymous eye-witness
under the pseudonyme of PHILALETHES[5], and by MARSHALL in his
_Historical Sketch_ of the conquest.[6] An admirable description of the
interior of the island, as it presented itself some forty years ago, was
furnished by Dr. DAVY[7], a brother of the eminent philosopher, who was
employed on the medical staff in Ceylon, from 1816 till 1820.

[Footnote 1: _An Account of the Island of Ceylon_, &c., by Capt. R.
PERCIVAL, 4to. London, 1805.]

[Footnote 2: _A Description of Ceylon_, &c., by the Rev. JAMES CORDINER,
A.M. 2 vols. 4to. London, 1807.]

[Footnote 3: _Voyages and Travels to India, Ceylon, and the Red Sea_, by
Lord Viscount VALENTIA. 3 vols. 4to. London, 1809.]

[Footnote 4: _A View of the Agricultural, Commercial, and Financial
Interests of Ceylon_, &c., by A. BERTOLACCI, Esq. London, 1817.]

[Footnote 5: _A History of Ceylon from the earliest Period to the Year_
MDCCCXV, by PHILALETHES, A.M. 4to. Lond. 1817. The author is believed to
have been the Rev. G. Bisset.]

[Footnote 6: HENRY MARSHALL, F.R.S.E., &c. went to Ceylon as assistant
surgeon of the 89th regiment, in 1806, and from 1816 till 1821 was the
senior medical officer of the Kandyan provinces.]

[Footnote 7: _An Account of the Interior of Ceylon_, &c., by JOHN DAVY,
M.D. 4to, London, 1821.]

Here the long series of writers is broken, just at the commencement of a
period the most important and interesting in the history of the island.
The mountain zone, which for centuries had been mysteriously hidden from
the Portuguese and Dutch[1] was suddenly opened to British enterprise in
1815. The lofty region, from behind whose barrier of hills the kings of
Kandy had looked down and defied the arms of three successive European
nations, was at last rendered accessible by the grandest mountain road
in India; and in the north of the island, the ruins of ancient cities,
and the stupendous monuments of an early civilisation, were discovered
in the solitudes of the great central forests. English merchants
embarked in the renowned trade in cinnamon, which we had wrested from
the Dutch; and British capitalists introduced the cultivation of coffee
into the previously inaccessible highlands. Changes of equal magnitude
contributed to alter the social position of the natives; domestic
slavery was extinguished; compulsory labour, previously exacted from the
free races, was abolished; and new laws under a charter of justice
superseded the arbitrary rule of the native chiefs. In the course of
less than half a century, the aspect of the country became changed, the
condition of the people was submitted to new influences; and the time
arrived to note the effects of this civil revolution.

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN, In his great work on the Dutch possessions in
India, _Oud_ _en Nieuw Oost-Indien_, alludes more than once with regret
to the ignorance in which his countrymen were kept as to the interior of
Ceylon, concerning which their only information was obtained through
fugitives and spies. (Vol. v. ch. ii. p. 35; ch. xv. p. 205.)]

But on searching for books such as I expected to find, recording the
phenomena consequent on these domestic and political events, I was
disappointed to discover that they were few in number and generally
meagre in information. Major FORBES, who in 1826 and for some years
afterwards held a civil appointment in the Kandyan country, published an
interesting account of his observations[1]; and his work derives value
from the attention which the author had paid to the ancient records of
the island, whose contents were then undergoing investigation by the
erudite and indefatigable TURNOUR.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Eleven Years in Ceylon_, &c., by Major FORBES. 2 vols.
8vo. London. 1840.]

[Footnote 2: See Vol. I. Part III. ch. iii. p. 312.]

In 1843 Mr. BENNETT, a retired civil servant of the colony, who had
studied some branches of its natural history, and especially its
ichthyology, embodied his experiences in a volume entitled "_Ceylon and
its Capabilities_," containing a mass of information, somewhat defective
in arrangement. These and a number of minor publications, chiefly
descriptive of sporting tours in search of elephants and deer, with
incidental notices of the sublime scenery and majestic ruins of the
island, were the only modern works that treated of Ceylon; but no one of
them sufficed to furnish a connected view of the colony at the present
day, contrasting its former state with the condition to which it has
attained under the government of Great Britain.

On arriving in Ceylon and entering on my official functions, this
absence of local knowledge entailed frequent inconvenience. In my tours
throughout the interior, I found ancient monuments, apparently defying
decay, of which no one could tell the date or the founder; and temples
and cities in ruins, whose destroyers were equally unknown. There were
vast structures of public utility, on which the prosperity of the
country had at one time been dependent; artificial lakes, with their
conduits and canals for irrigation; the condition of which rendered it
interesting to ascertain the period of their formation, and the causes
of their abandonment; but to every inquiry of this nature, there was the
same unvarying reply: that information regarding them might possibly be
found in the _Mahawanso_ or in some other of the native chronicles; but
that few had ever read them, and none had succeeded in reproducing them
for popular instruction.

A still more serious embarrassment arose from the want of authorities to
throw light on questions that were sometimes the subject of
administrative deliberation: there were native customs which no
available materials sufficed to illustrate; and native claims, often
serious in their importance, the consideration of which was obstructed
by a similar dearth of authentic data. With a view to executive
measures, I was frequently desirous of consulting the records of the two
European governments, under which the island had been administered for
300 years before the arrival of the British; their experience might have
served as a guide, and even their failures would have pointed out errors
to be avoided; but here, again, I had to encounter disappointment: in
answer to my inquiries, I was assured that _the records, both of the
Portuguese and Dutch, had long since disappeared from the archives of
the colony_.

Their loss, whilst in our custody, is the more remarkable, considering
the value which was attached to them by our predecessors. The Dutch, on
the conquest of Ceylon in the seventeenth century, seized the official
accounts and papers of the Portuguese; and a memoir is preserved by
VALENTYN, in which the Governor, Van Goens, on handing over the command
to his successor in 1663, enjoins on him the study of these important
documents, and expresses anxiety for their careful preservation.[1]

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN, _Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien_, &c., ch. xiii. p.

The British, on the capture of Colombo in 1796, were equally solicitous
to obtain possession of the records of the Dutch Government. By Art.
XIV. of the capitulation they were required to be "faithfully delivered
over;" and, by Art. XI., all "surveys of the island and its coasts" were
required to be surrendered to the captors.[1] But, strange to say,
almost the whole of these interesting and important papers appear to
have been lost; not a trace of the Portuguese records, so far as I could
discover, remains at Colombo; and if any vestige of those of the Dutch
be still extant, they have probably become illegible from decay and the
ravages of the white ants.[2]

[Footnote 1: Amongst a valuable collection of documents presented to the
Royal Asiatic Society of London, by the late Sir Alexander Johnston,
formerly Chief Justice of Ceylon, there is a volume of Dutch surveys of
the Island, containing important maps of the coast and its harbours, and
plans of the great works for irrigation in the northern and eastern

[Footnote 2: _Note to the second edition_.--Since the first edition was
published, I have been told by a late officer of the Ceylon Government,
that many years ago, what remained of the Dutch records were removed
from the record-room of the Colonial Office to the cutcherry of the
government agent of the western province: where some of them may still
be found.]

But the loss is not utterly irreparable; duplicates of the Dutch
correspondence during their possession of Ceylon are carefully preserved
at Amsterdam; and within the last few years the Trustees of the British
Museum purchased from the library of the late Lord Stuart de Rothesay
the Diplomatic Correspondence and Papers of SEBASTIAÕ JOZÉ CARVALHO E
MELLO (Portuguese Ambassador at London and Vienna, and subsequently
known as the Marquis de Pombal), from 1738 to 1747, including sixty
volumes relating to the history of the Portuguese possessions in India
and Brazil during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Amongst the latter
are forty volumes of despatches relative to India entitled _Collecçam
Authentica de todas as Leys, Regimentos, Alvarás e mais ordens que se
expediram para a India_, _desde o establecimento destas conquístas;
Ordenáda por proviram de 28 de Marco de 1754_.[1] These contain the
despatches to and from the successive Captains-General and Governors of
Ceylon, so that, in part at least, the replacement of the records lost
in the colony may be effected by transcription.

[Footnote 1: MSS. Brit Mus. No. 20,861 to 20,900.]

Meanwhile in their absence I had no other resource than the narratives
of the Dutch and Portuguese historians, chiefly VALENTYN, DE BARROS, and
DE COUTO, who have preserved in two languages the least familiar in
Europe, chronicles of their respective governments, which, so far as I
am aware, have never been republished in any translation.

The present volumes contain no detailed notice of the _Buddhist faith_
as it exists in Ceylon, of the _Brahmanical rites,_ or of the other
religious superstitions of the island. These I have already described in
my history of _Christianity in Ceylon._[1] The materials for that work
were originally designed to form a portion of the present one; but
having expanded to too great dimensions to be made merely subsidiary, I
formed them into a separate treatise. Along with them I have
incorporated facts illustrative of the national character of the
Singhalese under the conjoint influences of their ancestral
superstitions and the partial enlightenment of education and gospel

[Footnote 1: _Christianity in Ceylon: its Introduction and Progress
under the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British and American Missions; with
an Historical Sketch of the Brahmanical and Buddhist Superstitons_ by
Sir JAMES EMERSON TENNENT. London, Murray, 1850.]

Respecting the _Physical Geography_ and _Natural History_ of the colony,
I found an equal want of reliable information; and every work that even
touched on the subject was pervaded by the misapprehension which I have
collected evidence to correct; that Ceylon is but a fragment of the
great Indian continent dissevered by some local convulsion; and that the
zoology and botany of the island are identical with those of the

[Footnote 1: It may seem presumptuous in me to question the accuracy of
Dr. DAVY'S opinion on this point (see his _Account of the Interior of
Ceylon, &c_., ch. iii. p. 78), but the grounds on which I venture to do
so are stated, Vol. I. pp. 7, 27, 160, 178, 208, &c.]

Thus for almost every particular and fact, whether physical or
historical, I have been to a great extent thrown on my own researches;
and obliged to seek for information in original sources, and in French
and English versions of Oriental authorities. The results of my
investigations are embodied in the following pages; and it only remains
for me to express, in terms however inadequate, my obligations to the
literary and scientific friends by whose aid I have been enabled to
pursue my inquiries.

Amongst these my first acknowledgments are due to Dr. TEMPLETON, of the
Army Medical Staff, for his cordial assistance in numerous departments;
but above all in relation to the physical geography and natural history
of the island. Here his scientific knowledge, successfully cultivated
during a residence of nearly twelve years in Ceylon, and his intimate
familiarity with its zoology and productions, rendered his co-operation
invaluable;--and these sections abound with evidences of the liberal
extent to which his stores of information have been generously imparted.
To him and to Dr. CAMERON, of the Army Medical Staff, I am indebted for
many valuable facts and observations on tropical health and disease,
embodied in the chapter on "_Climate_."

Sir RODERICK I. MURCHISON (without committing himself as to the
controversial portions of the chapter on the _Geology_ and _Mineralogy_
of Ceylon) has done me the favour to offer some valuable suggestions,
and to express his opinion as to the general accuracy of the whole.

Although a feature so characteristic as that of its _Vegetation_ could
not possibly be omitted in a work professing to give an account of
Ceylon, I had neither the space nor the qualifications necessary to
produce a systematic sketch of the Botany of the island. I could only
attempt to describe it as it exhibits itself to an unscientific
spectator; and the notices that I have given are confined to such of the
more remarkable plants as cannot fail to arrest the attention of a
stranger. In illustration of these, I have had the advantage of copious
communications from WILLIAM FERGUSON, Esq., a gentleman attached to the
Survey Department of the Civil Service in Ceylon, whose opportunities
for observation in all parts of the island have enabled him to cultivate
with signal success his taste for botanical pursuits. And I have been
permitted to submit the portion of my work which refers to this subject
to the revision of the highest living authority on Indian botany, Dr.
J.D. HOOKER, of Kew.

Regarding the _fauna_ of Ceylon, little has been published in any
collective form, with the exception of a volume by Dr. KELAART entitled
_Prodromus Faunæ Zeilanicæ_; several valuable papers by Mr. EDGAR L.
LAYARD in the _Annals and Magazine of Natural History_ for 1852 and
1853; and some very imperfect lists appended to PRIDHAM'S compiled
account of the island.[1] KNOX, in the charming narrative of his
captivity, published in the reign of Charles II., has devoted a chapter
to the animals of Ceylon, and Dr. DAVY has described the principal
reptiles: but with these exceptions the subject is almost untouched in
works relating to the colony. Yet a more than ordinary interest attaches
to the inquiry, since Ceylon, instead of presenting, as is generally
assumed, an identity between its _fauna_ and that of Southern India,
exhibits a remarkable diversity of type, taken in connection with the
limited area over which they are distributed. The island, in fact, may
be regarded as the centre of a geographical circle, possessing within
itself forms, whose allied species radiate far into the temperate
regions of the north, as well as into Africa, Australia, and the isles
of the Eastern Archipelago.

[Footnote 1: _An Historical Political, and Statistical Account of Ceylon
and its Dependencies_, by C. PRIDHAM, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1849.
The author was never, I believe, in Ceylon, but his book is a laborious
condensation of the principal English works relating to it. Its value
would have been greatly increased had Mr. Pridham accompanied his
excerpts by references to the respective authorities.]

In the chapters that I have devoted to its elucidation, I have
endeavoured to interest others in the subject, by describing my own
observations and impressions, with fidelity, and with as much accuracy
as may be expected from a person possessing, as I do, no greater
knowledge of zoology and the other physical sciences than is ordinarily
possessed by any educated gentleman. It was my good fortune, however, in
my journies to have the companionship of friends familiar with many
branches of natural science: the late Dr. GARDNER, Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD,
an accomplished zoologist, Dr. TEMPLETON, and others; and I was thus
enabled to collect on the spot many interesting facts relative to the
structure and habits of the numerous tribes of animals. These, chastened
by the corrections of my fellow-travellers, and established by the
examination of collections made in the colony, and by subsequent
comparison with specimens contained in museums at home, I have ventured
to submit as faithful outlines of the _fauna_ of Ceylon.

The sections descriptive of the several classes are accompanied by
lists, prepared with the assistance of scientific friends, showing the
extent to which each particular branch had been investigated by
naturalists, up to the period of my departure from Ceylon at the close
of 1849. These, besides their inherent interest, will, I trust,
stimulate others to engage in the same pursuits, by exhibiting the
chasms, which it still remains for future industry and research to fill
up;--and the study of the zoology of Ceylon may thus serve as a
preparative for that of Continental India, embracing, as the former
does, much that is common to both, as well as possessing within itself a
fauna peculiar to the island, that will amply repay more extended

From these lists have been excluded all species regarding the
authenticity of which reasonable doubts could be entertained[1], and of
some of them, a very few have been printed in _italics_, in order to
denote the desirability of comparing them more minutely with well
determined specimens in the great national depositories before finally
incorporating them with the Singhalese catalogues.

[Footnote 1: An exception occurs in the list of shells, prepared by Mr.
SYLVANUS HANLEY, in which some whose localities are doubtful have been
admitted for reasons adduced. (See Vol. I, p. 234.)]

In the labour of collecting and verifying the facts embodied in these
sections, I cannot too warmly express my thanks for the aid I have
received from gentlemen interested in similar pursuits in Ceylon: from
Dr. KELAART and Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD, as well as from officers of the
Ceylon Civil Service; the HON. GERALD C. TALBOT, Mr. C.E. BULLER, Mr.

Before venturing to commit these chapters of my work to the press, I
have had the advantage of having portions of them read by Professor
HUXLEY, Mr. MOORE, of the East India House Museum; Mr. R. PATTERSON,
F.R.S., author of the _Introduction to Zoology_, and by Mr. ADAM WHITE,
of the British Museum; to each of whom I am exceedingly indebted for the
care they have bestowed. In an especial degree I have to acknowledge the
kindness of Dr. J.E. GRAY, F.R.S. for valuable additions and corrections
in the list of the Ceylon Reptilia; and to Professor FARADAY for some
notes on the nature and qualities of the "Serpent Stone,"[1] submitted
to him. I have recorded in its proper place my obligations to Admiral
FITZROY, for his most ingenious theory in elucidation of the phenomena
of the _Tides_ around Ceylon.[2]

[Footnote 1: See Vol. I. Part II. ch. iii. p. 199.]

[Footnote 2: See Vol. II. Part VII. ch. i. p. 116.]

The extent to which my observations on _the Elephant_ have been carried,
requires some explanation. The existing notices of this noble creature
are chiefly devoted to its habits and capabilities _in captivity_; and
very few works, with which I am acquainted, contain illustrations of its
instincts and functions when wild in its native woods. Opportunities for
observing the latter, and for collecting facts in connection with them,
are abundant in Ceylon, and from the moment of my arrival, I profited by
every occasion afforded to me for studying the elephant in a state of
nature, and obtaining from hunters and natives correct information as to
its oeconomy and disposition. Anecdotes in connection with this subject,
I received from some of the most experienced residents In the island;
amongst others, Major SKINNER, Captain PHILIP PAYNE GALLWEY, Mr.
FAIRHOLME, Mr. CRIPPS, and Mr. MORRIS. Nor can I omit to express my
acknowledgments to PROFESSOR OWEN, of the British Museum, to whom this
portion of my manuscript was submitted previous to its committal to the

In the _historical sections_ of the work, I have been reluctantly
compelled to devote a considerable space to a narrative deduced from the
ancient Singhalese chronicles; into which I found it most difficult to
infuse any popular interest. But the toil was not undertaken without a
motive. The oeconomics and hierarchical institutions of Buddhism as
administered through successive dynasties, exercised so paramount an
influence over the habits and occupations of the Singhalese people, that
their impress remains indelible to the present day. The tenure of temple
lands, the compulsory services of tenants, the extension of agriculture,
and the whole system of co-operative cultivation, derived from this
source organisation and development; and the origin and objects of these
are only to be rendered intelligible by an inquiry into the events and
times in which the system took its rise. In connection with this
subject, I am indebted to the representatives of the late Mr. TURNOUR,
of the Ceylon Civil Service, for access to his unpublished manuscripts;
and to those portions of his correspondence with Prinsep, which relate
to the researches of these two distinguished scholars regarding the Pali
annals of Ceylon. I have also to acknowledge my obligations to M. JULES
MOHL, the literary executor of M. E. BURNOUF, for the use of papers left
by that eminent orientalist in illustration of the ancient geography of
the island, as exhibited in the works of Pali and Sanskrit writers.

I have been signally assisted inn my search for materials illustrative
of the social and intellectual condition of the Singhalese nation,
during the early ages of their history, by gentlemen in Ceylon, whose
familiarity with the native languages and literature impart authority to
Maha-Moodliar and First Interpreter to the Governor; and to Mr. DE
ALWIS, the erudite translator of the _Sidath Sangara._ From the Rev. Mr.
GOGERLY of the Wesleyan Mission, I have received expositions of Buddhist
policy; and the Rev. R SPENCE HARDY, author of the two most important
modern works on the archæology of Buddhism[1], has done me the favour to
examine the chapter on SINGHALESE _Literature,_ and to enrich it by
numerous suggestions and additions.

[Footnote 1: _Oriental Monachism,_ 8vo. London, 1850; and _A Manual of
Buddhism,_ 8vo. London, 1853]

In like manner I have had the advantage of communicating with MR. COOLEY
(author of the _History of Maritime and Inland Discovery_) in relation
to the _Mediæval History_ of Ceylon, and the period embraced by the
narrative of the Greek, Arabian, and Italian travellers, between the
fifth and fifteenth centuries.

I have elsewhere recorded my obligations to Mr. WYLIE, and to his
colleague, Mr. LOCKHART of Shanghæ, for the materials of one of the most
curious chapters of my work, that which treats of the knowledge of
Ceylon possessed by the Chinese in the Middle Ages. This is a field
which, so far as I know, is untouched by any previous writer on Ceylon.
In the course of my inquires, finding that Ceylon had been, from the
remotest times, the point at which the merchant fleets from the Red Sea
and the Persian Gulf met those from China and the Oriental Archipelago;
thus effecting an exchange of merchandise from East and West; and
discovering that the Arabian and Persian voyagers, on their return, had
brought home copious accounts of the island, it occurred to me that the
Chinese travellers during the same period had in all probability been
equally observant and communicative, and that the results of their
experience might be found in Chinese works of the Middle Ages. Acting on
this conjecture, I addressed myself to a Chinese gentleman, WANG TAO
CHUNG, who was then in England; and he, on his return to Shanghæ, made
known my wishes to Mr. WYLIE. My anticipations were more than realised
by Mr. WYLIE'S researches. I received in due course, extracts from
upwards of twenty works by Chinese writers, between the fifth and
fifteenth centuries, and the curious and interesting facts contained in
them are embodied in the chapter devoted to that particular subject. In
addition to these, the courtesy of M. STANISLAS JULIEN, the eminent
French Sinologue, has laid me under a similar obligation for access to
unpublished passages relative to Ceylon, in his translation of the great
work of HIOUEN THSANG; in his translation of the great work of HIOUEN
THSANG; descriptive of the Buddhist country of India in the seventh

[Footnote 1: _Mémoires sur les Contrées Occidentales_, traduites du
Sanscrit en Chinois, en l'an 648, par M. STANISLAS JULIEN.]

It is with pain that I advert to that portion of the section which
treats of the British rule in Ceylon; in the course of which the
discovery of the private correspondence of the first Governor, Mr.
North, deposited along with the Wellesley Manuscripts, in the British
Museum[1], has thrown an unexpected light over the fearful events of
1803, and the massacre of the English troops then in garrison at Kandy.
Hitherto the honour of the British Government has been unimpeached in
these dark transactions; and the slaughter of the troops has been
uniformly denounced as an evidence of the treacherous and "tiger-like"
spirit of the Kandyan people.[2] But it is not possible now to read the
narrative of these events, as the motives and secret arrangements of the
Governor with the treacherous Minister of the king are disclosed in the
private letters of Mr. North to the Governor-general of India, without
feeling that the sudden destruction of Major Davie's party, however
revolting the remorseless butchery by which it was achieved, may have
been but the consummation of a revenge provoked by the discovery of the
treason concocted by the Adigar in confederacy with the representative
of the British Crown. Nor is this construction weakened by the fact,
that no immediate vengeance was exacted by the Governor in expiation of
that fearful tragedy; and that the private letters of Mr. North to the
Marquis of Wellesley contain avowals of ineffectual efforts to hush up
the affair, and to obtain a clumsy compromise by inducing the Kandyan
king to make an admission of regret.

[Footnote 1: Additional MSS., Brit. Mus., No. 13864, &c.]

[Footnote 2: DE QUINCEY, _collected Works_, vol. xii. p. 14.]

I am aware that there are passages in the following pages containing
statements that occur more than once in the course of the work. But I
found that in dealing with so many distinct subjects the same fact
became sometimes an indispensable illustration of more than one topic;
and hence repetition was unavoidable even at the risk of tautology.

I have also to apologise for variances in the spelling of proper names,
both of places and individuals, occurring in different passages. In
extenuation of this, I can only plead the difficulty of preserving
uniformity in matters dependent upon mere sound, and unsettled by any
recognised standard of orthography.

I have endeavoured in every instance to append references to other
authors, in support of statements which I have drawn from previous
writers; an arrangement rendered essential by the numerous instances in
which errors, that nothing short of the original authorities can suffice
to expose, have been reproduced and repeated by successive writers on

To whatever extent the preparation of this work may have fallen short of
its conception, and whatever its demerits in execution and style, I am
not without hope that it will still exhibit evidence that by
perseverance and research I have laboured to render it worthy of the


LONDON: _July 13th, 1859._





GENERAL ASPECT.--Ceylon, from whatever direction it is approached,
unfolds a scene of loveliness and grandeur unsurpassed, if it be
rivalled, by any land in the universe. The traveller from Bengal,
leaving behind the melancholy delta of the Ganges and the torrid coast
of Coromandel; or the adventurer from Europe, recently inured to the
sands of Egypt and the scorched headlands of Arabia, is alike entranced
by the vision of beauty which expands before him as the island rises
from the sea, its lofty mountains covered by luxuriant forests, and its
shores, till they meet the ripple of the waves, bright with the foliage
of perpetual spring.

The Brahmans designated it by the epithet of "the resplendent," and in
their dreamy rhapsodies extolled it as the region of mystery and
sublimity[1]; the Buddhist poets gracefully apostrophised it as "a pearl
upon the brow of India;" the Chinese knew it as the "island of jewels;"
the Greeks as the "land of the hyacinth and the ruby;" the Mahometans,
in the intensity of their delight, assigned it to the exiled parents of
mankind as a new elysium to console them for the loss of Paradise; and
the early navigators of Europe, as they returned dazzled with its gems,
and laden with its costly spices, propagated the fable that far to
seaward the very breeze that blew from it was redolent of perfume.[2] In
later and less imaginative times, Ceylon has still maintained the renown
of its attractions, and exhibits in all its varied charms "the highest
conceivable development of Indian nature."[3]

[Footnote 1: "Ils en ont fait une espèce de paradis, et se sont imaginé
que des êtres d'une nature angélique les habitaient."--ALBYROUNI, Traité
des Ères, &c.; REINAUD, Géographie d'Aboulféda, Introd. sec. iii. p.
ccxxiv. The renown of Ceylon as it reached Europe in the seventeenth
century is thus summed up by PURCHAS in _His Pilgrimage_, b.v.c. 18, p.
550:--"The heauens with their dewes, the ayre with a pleasant
holesomenesse and fragrant freshnesse, the waters in their many riuers
and fountaines, the earth diuersified in aspiring hills, lowly vales,
equall and indifferent plaines, filled in her inward chambers with
mettalls and jewells, in her outward court and vpper face stored with
whole woods of the best cinnamons that the sunne seeth; besides fruits,
oranges, lemons, &c. surmounting those of Spaine; fowles and beasts,
both tame and wilde (among which is their elephant honoured by a
naturall acknowledgement of excellence of all other elephants in the
world). These all have conspired and joined in common league to present
unto Zeilan the chiefe of worldly treasures and pleasures, with a long
and healthfull life in the inhabitants to enjoye them. No marvell, then,
if sense and sensualitie have heere stumbled on a paradise."]

[Footnote 2: The fable of the "spicy breezes" said to blow from Arabia
and India, is as old as Ctesias; and is eagerly repeated by Pliny? lib.
xii. c. 42. The Greeks borrowed the tale from the Hindus, who believe
that the _Chandana_ or sandal-wood imparts its odours to the winds; and
their poete speak of the Malayan as the westerns did of the Sabæan
breezes. But the allusion to such perfumed winds was a trope common to
all the discoverers of unknown lands: the companions of Columbus
ascribed them to the region of the Antilles; and Verrazani and Sir
Walter Raleigh scented them off the coast of Carolina. Milton borrowed
from Diodorus Siculus, lib. iii. c. 46, the statement that:

  "Far off at sea north-east winds blow
  Sabæan odours from the spicy shore
  Of Araby the Blest."
  (_P.L._ iv. 163.)

Ariosto employs the same imaginative embellishment to describe the
charms of Cyprus:

  "Serpillo e persa e rose e gigli e croco
  Spargon dall'odorifero terreno
  Tanta suavita, ch'in mar sentire
  La fa ogni vento che da terra spire."
  (_Oil. Fur._ xviii. 138.)

That some aromatic smell is perceptible far to seaward, in the vicinity
of certain tropical countries, is unquestionable; and in the instance of
Cuba, an odour like that of violets, which is discernible two or three
miles from land, when the wind is off the shore, has been traced by
Poeppig to a species of _Tetracera_, a climbing plant which diffuses its
odour during the night. But in the case of Ceylon? if the existence of
such a perfume be not altogether imaginary, the fact has been falsified
by identifying the alleged fragrance with cinnamon; the truth being that
the cinnamon laurel, unless it be crushed, exhales no aroma whatever;
and the peculiar odour of the spice is only perceptible after the bark
has been separated and dried.]

[Footnote 3: LASSEN, _Indische Alterthumskunde_ vol. i. p. 198.]

_Picturesque Outline_.--The nucleus of its mountain masses consists of
gneissic, granitic, and other crystalline rocks, which in their
resistless upheaval have rent the superincumbent strata, raising them
into lofty pyramids and crags, or hurling them in gigantic fragments to
the plains below. Time and decay are slow in their assaults on these
towering precipices and splintered pinnacles; and from the absence of
more perishable materials, there are few graceful sweeps along the
higher chains or rolling downs in the lower ranges of the hills. Every
bold elevation is crowned by battlemented cliffs, and flanked by chasms
in which the shattered strata are seen as sharp and as rugged as if they
had but recently undergone the grand convulsion that displaced them.

_Foliage and Verdure_.--The soil in these regions is consequently light
and unremunerative, but the plentiful moisture arising from the
interception of every passing vapour from the Indian Ocean and the Bay
of Bengal, added to the intense warmth of the atmosphere, combine to
force a vegetation so rich and luxuriant, that imagination can picture
nothing more wondrous and charming; every level spot is enamelled with
verdure, forests of never-fading bloom cover mountain and valley;
flowers of the brightest hues grow in profusion over the plains, and
delicate climbing plants, rooted in the shelving rocks, hang in huge
festoons down the edge of every precipice.

Unlike the forests of Europe, in which the excess of some peculiar trees
imparts a character of monotony and graveness to the outline and
colouring, the forests of Ceylon are singularly attractive from the
endless variety of their foliage, and the vivid contrast of its hues.
The mountains, especially those looking towards the east and south, rise
abruptly to prodigious and almost precipitous heights above the level
plains; the rivers wind through woods below like threads of silver
through green embroidery, till they are lost in a dim haze which
conceals the far horizon; and through this a line of tremulous light
marks where the sunbeams are glittering among the waves upon the distant

From age to age a scene so lovely has imparted a colouring of romance to
the adventures of the seamen who, in the eagerness of commerce, swept
round the shores of India, to bring back the pearls and precious stones,
the cinnamon and odours, of Ceylon. The tales of the Arabians are
fraught with the wonders of "Serendib;" and the mariners of the Persian
Gulf have left a record of their delight in reaching the calm havens of
the island, and reposing for months together in valleys where the waters
of the sea were overshadowed by woods, and the gardens were blooming in
perennial summer.[1]

[Footnote 1: REINAUD, _Relation des Voyages Arabes, &c., dans le
neuvième siècle_. Paris, 1845, tom. ii. p. 129.]

_Geographical Position_.--Notwithstanding the fact that the Hindus, in
their system of the universe, had given prominent importance to Ceylon,
their first meridian, "the meridian of Lanka," being supposed to pass
over the island, they propounded the most extravagant ideas, both as to
its position and extent; expanding it to the proportions of a continent,
and at the same time placing it a considerable distance south-east of

[Footnote 1: For a condensed account of the dimensions and position
attributed to Lanka, in the Mythic Astronomy of the Hindus, see
REINAUD's _Introduction to Aboulféda_, sec. iii. p. ccxvii., and his
_Mémoire sur l'Inde_, p. 342; WILFORD's _Essay on the Sacred Isles of
the West_, Asiat. Researches, vol. x, p. 140.]

The native Buddhist historians, unable to confirm the exaggerations of
the Brahmans, and yet reluctant to detract from the epic renown of their
country by disclaiming its stupendous dimensions, attempted to reconcile
its actual extent with the fables of the eastern astronomers by imputing
to the agency of earthquakes the submersion of vast regions by the
sea.[1] But evidence is wanting to corroborate the assertion of such an
occurrence, at least within the historic period; no record of it exists
in the earliest writings of the Hindus, the Arabians, or Persians; who,
had the tradition survived, would eagerly have chronicled a catastrophe
so appalling.[2] Geologic analogy, so far as an inference is derivable
from the formation of the adjoining coasts, both of India and Ceylon, is
opposed to its probability; and not only plants, but animals, mammalia,
birds, reptiles, and insects, exist in Ceylon, which are not to be found
in the flora or fauna of the Indian continent.[3]

[Footnote 1: SIR WILLIAM JONES adopted the legendary opinion that Ceylon
"formerly perhaps, extended much farther to the west and south, so as to
include Lanka or the equinoctial point of the Indian
astronomers."--_Discourse on the Institution of a Society for inquiring
into the History, &c., of the Borderers, Mountaineers, and Islanders of
Asia_.--Works, vol. i. p. 120.

The Portuguese, on their arrival in Ceylon in the sixteenth century,
found the natives fully impressed by the traditions of its former extent
and partial submersion; and their belief in connection with it, will be
found in the narratives and histories of De Barros and Diogo de Couto,
from which they have been transferred, almost without abridgment, to the
pages of Valentyn. The substance of the native legends will be found in
the _Mahawanso_, c. xxii. p. 131; and _Rajavali_, p. 180, 190.]

[Footnote 2: The first disturbance of the coast by which Ceylon is
alleged to have been severed from the main land is said by the Buddhists
to have taken place B.C. 2387; a second commotion is ascribed to the age
of Panduwaasa, B.C. 504; and the subsidence of the shore adjacent to
Colombo is said to have taken place 200 years later, in the reign of
Devenipiatissa, B.C. 306. The event is thus recorded in the _Rajavali_,
one of the sacred books of Ceylon:--"In these days the sea was seven
leagues from Kalany; but on account of what had been done to the
teeroonansee (a priest who had been tortured by the king of Kalany), the
gods who were charged with the conservation of Ceylon, became enraged
and caused the sea to deluge the land; and as during the epoch called
_duwapawrayaga_ on account of the wickedness of Rawana, 25 palaces and
400,000 streets were all over-run by the sea, so now in this time of
Tissa Raja, 100,000 large towns, 910 fishers' villages, and 400 villages
inhabited by pearl fishers, making together eleven-twelfths of the
territory of Kalany, were swallowed up by the sea."--_Rajavali_, vol.
ii. p. 180, 190.

FORBES observes the coincidence that the legend of the rising of the sea
in the age of Panduwaasa, 2378 B.C., very nearly concurs with the date
assigned to the Deluge of Noah, 2348,--_Eleven Years in Ceylon_, vol.
ii. p. 258. A tradition is also extant, that a submersion took place at
a remote period on the east coast of Ceylon, whereby the island of
Giri-dipo, which is mentioned in the first chapter of the _Mahawanso_,
was engulfed, and the dangerous rocks called the Great and Little Basses
are believed to be remnants of it.--_Mahawanso_, c. i.

A _résumé_ of the disquisitions which have appeared at various times as
to the submersion of a part of Ceylon, will be found in a Memoir _sur la
Géographie ancienne de Ceylon_, in the Journal Asiatique for January,
1857, 5th ser., vol. ix. p. 12; see also TURNOUR'S _Introd. to the
Mahawanso_, p. xxxiv.]

[Footnote 3: Some of the mammalia peculiar to the island are enumerated
at p. 160; birds found in Ceylon but not existing in India are alluded
to at p. 178, and Dr. A. GÜNTHER, in a paper on the _Geographical
Distribution of Reptiles_, in the _Mag. of Nat. Hist._ for March, 1859,
says, "amongst these larger islands which are connected with the middle
palæotropical region, none offers forms so different from the continent
and other islands as Ceylon. It might be considered the Madagascar of
the Indian region. We not only find there peculiar genera and species,
not again to be recognised in other parts; but even many of the common
species exhibit such remarkable varieties, as to afford ample means for
creating new nominal species," p. 280. The difference exhibited between
the insects of Ceylon and those of Hindustan and the Dekkan are noticed
by Mr. Walker in the present work, p. ii. ch. vii, vol. i. p. 270. See
on this subject RITTER'S _Erdkunde_, vol. iv. p. 17.]

Still in the infancy of geographical knowledge, and before Ceylon had
been circumnavigated by Europeans, the mythical delusions of the Hindus
were transmitted to the West, and the dimensions of the island were
expanded till its southern extremity fell below the equator, and its
breadth was prolonged till it touched alike on Africa and China.[1]

[Footnote 1: GIBBON, ch. xxiv.]

The Greeks who, after the Indian conquests of Alexander, brought back
the earliest accounts of the East, repeated them without material
correction, and reported the island to be nearly twenty times its actual
extent. Onesicritus, a pilot of the expedition, assigned to it a
magnitude of 5000 stadia, equal to 500 geographical miles.[1]
Eratosthenes attempted to fix its position, but went so widely astray
that his first (that is his most southern) parallel passed through it
and the "Cinnamon Land," the _Regio Cinnamomifera_, on the east coast of
Africa.[2] He placed Ceylon at the distance of seven days' sail from the
south of India, and he too assigned to its western coast an extent of
5000 stadia.[3] Both those authorities are quoted by Strabo, who says
that the size of Taprobane was not less than that of Britain.[4]

[Footnote 1: STRABO, lib. v. Artemidorus (100 B.C.), quoted by Stephanus
of Byzantium, gives to Ceylon a length of 7000 stadia and a breadth of

[Footnote 2: STRABO, lib. ii. c. i. s. 14.]

[Footnote 3: The text of Strabo showing this measure makes it in some
places 8000 (Strabo, lib. v.); and Pliny, quoting Eratosthenes, makes it

[Footnote 4: STRABO, lib. ii. c. v. s. 32. Aristotle appears to have had
more correct information, and says Ceylon was not so large as
Britain.--_De Mundo_ ch. iii.]

The round numbers employed by those authors, and by the Greek
geographers generally, who borrow from them, serve to show that their
knowledge was merely collected from rumours; and that in all probability
they were indebted for their information to the stories of Arabian or
Hindu sailors returning from the Eastern seas.

Pliny learned from the Singhalese Ambassador who visited Rome in the
reign of Claudius, that the breadth of Ceylon was 10,000 stadia from
west to east; and Ptolemy fully developed the idea of his predecessors,
that it lay opposite to the "Cinnamon Land," and assigned to it a length
from north to south of nearly _fifteen degrees_, with a breadth of
_eleven_, an exaggeration of the truth nearly twenty-fold.[1]
Agathemerus copies Ptolemy; and the plain and sensible author of the
"Periplus" (attributed to Arrian), still labouring with the delusion of
the magnitude of Ceylon, makes it stretch almost to the opposite coast
of Africa.[2]

[Footnote 1: PTOLEMY, lib. vii. c. 4.]

[Footnote 2: ARRIAN, _Periplus_, p. 35. Marcianus Heracleota (whose
Periplus has been reprinted by HUDSON, in the same collection from which
I have made the reference to that of Arrian) gives to Ceylon a length of
9500 stadia with a breadth of 7500.--MAR. HER. p. 26.]

These extravagant ideas of the magnitude of Ceylon were not entirely
removed till many centuries later. The Arabian geographers, Massoudi,
Edrisi, and Aboulfeda, had no accurate data by which to correct the
errors of their Greek predecessors. The maps of the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries repeated their distortions[1]; and Marco Polo, in
the fourteenth century, who gives the island the usual exaggerated
dimensions, yet informs us that it is now but one half the size it had
been at a former period, the rest having been engulfed by the sea.[2]

[Footnote 1: For an account of Ceylon as it is figured in the
_Mappe-mondes_ of the Middle Ages, see the _Essai_ of the VICOMTE DE
SANTAREM, _Sur la Cosmographie et Cartographie_, tom. iii. p. 335, &c.]

[Footnote 2: MARCO POLO, p. 2, c. 148. A later authority than Marco
Polo, PORCACCHI, in his _Isolario_, or "Description of the most
celebrated Islands in the World," which was published at Venice in A.D.
1576, laments his inability even at that time to obtain any authentic
information as to the boundaries and dimensions of Ceylon; and, relying
on the representations of the Moors, who then carried on an active trade
around its coasts, he describes it as lying under the equinoctial line,
and possessing a circuit of 2100 miles. "Ella gira di circuito, secondo
il calcole fatto da Mori, che modernamente l'hanno nauigato
d'ogn'intorno due mila et cento miglia et corre mæstro e sirocco; et per
il mezo d'essa passa la linea equinottiale et è el principio del primo
clima al terzo paralello."--_L'Isole piu Famose del Monde, descritte da_
THOMASO PORCACCHI, lib. iii. p. 30.]

Such was the uncertainty thrown over the geography of the island by
erroneous and conflicting accounts, that grave doubts came to be
entertained of its identity, and from the fourteenth century, when the
attention of Europe was re-directed to the nascent science of geography,
down to the close of the seventeenth, it remained a question whether
Ceylon or Sumatra was the Taprobane of the Greeks.[1]

[Footnote 1: GIBBON states, that "Salmasius and most of the ancients
confound the islands of Ceylon and Sumatra."--_Decl. and Fall_ ch. xl.
This is a mistake. Saumaise was one of those who maintained a correct
opinion; and, as regards the "ancients," they had very little knowledge
of _Further India_ to which Sumatra belongs; but so long as Greek and
Roman literature maintained their influence, no question was raised as
to the identity of Ceylon and Taprobane. Even in the sixth century
Cosmas Indicopleustes declares unhesitatingly that the Sielediva of the
Indians was the Taprobane of the Greeks.

It was only on emerging from the general ignorance of the Middle Ages
that the doubt was first promulgated. In the Catalan Map of A.D. 1375,
entitled _Image du Monde_, Ceylon is omitted, and Taprobane is
represented by Sumatra (MALTE BRUN, _Hist. de Geogr._ vol. i, p. 318);
in that of _Fra Mauro_, the Venetian monk, A.D. 1458, Seylan is given,
but _Taprobane_ is added over _Sumatra_. A similar error appears in the
_Mappe-monde,_ by RUYCH, in the Ptolemy of A.D. 1508, and in the
writings of the geographers of the sixteenth century, GEMMA FRISIUS,
same view was adopted by the Venetian NICOLA DI CONTI, in the first half
of the fifteenth century, by the Florentine ANDREA CORSALI, MAXIMILIANUS
TRANSYLVANUS, VARTHEMA, and PIGAFETTA. The chief cause of this
perplexity was, no doubt, the difficulty of reconciling the actual
position and size of Ceylon with the dimensions and position assigned to
it by Strabo and Ptolemy, the latter of whom, by an error which is
elsewhere explained, extended the boundary of the island far to the east
of its actual site. But there was a large body of men who rejected the
CELLARIUS, ISAAC VOSSIUS and others, maintained the title of Ceylon. A
_Mappe-monde_ of A.D. 1417, preserved in the Pitti Palace at Florence
compromises the dispute by designating Sumatra _Taprobane Major_. The
controversy came to an end at the beginning of the eighteenth century,
when the overpowering authority of DELISLE resolved the doubt, and
confirmed the modern Ceylon as the Taprobane of antiquity. WILFORD, in
the _Asiatic Researches_ (vol. x. p. 140), still clung to the opposite
opinion, and KANT undertook to prove that Taprobane was Madagascar.]

_Latitude and Longitude_.--There has hitherto been considerable
uncertainty as to the position assigned to Ceylon in the various maps
and geographical notices of the island: these have been corrected by
more recent observations, and its true place has been ascertained to be
between 5° 55' and 9° 51' north latitude, and 79° 41' 40" and 81° 54'
50" east longitude. Its extreme length from north to south, from Point
Palmyra to Dondera Head, is 271-1/2 miles; its greatest width 137-1/2
miles, from Colombo on the west coast to Sangemankande on the east; and
its area, including its dependent islands, 25,742 miles, or about
one-sixth smaller than Ireland.[1]

[Footnote 1: Down to a very recent period no British colony was more
imperfectly surveyed and mapped than Ceylon; but since the recent
publication by Arrowsmith of the great map by General Fraser, the
reproach has been withdrawn, and no dependency of the Crown is more
richly provided in this particular. In the map of Schneider, the
Government engineer in 1813, two-thirds of the Kandyan Kingdom are a
blank; and in that of the Society for the Diffusion of Knowledge,
re-published so late as 1852, the rich districts of Neuera-kalawa and
the Wanny, in which there are innumerable villages (and scarcely a
hill), are marked as "_unknown mountainous region_." General Fraser,
after the devotion of a lifetime to the labour, has produced a survey
which, in extent and minuteness of detail, stands unrivalled. In this
great work he had the co-operation of Major Skinner and of Captain
Gallwey, and to these two gentlemen the public are indebted for the
greater portion of the field-work and the trigonometrical operations. To
judge of the difficulties which beset such an undertaking, it must be
borne in mind that till very recently travelling in the interior of
Ceylon was all but impracticable, in a country unopened even by bridle
roads, across unbridged rivers, over mountains never trod by the foot of
a European, and amidst precipices inaccessible to all but the most
courageous and prudent. Add to this that the country is densely covered
with forest and jungle, with trees a hundred feet high, from which here
and there the branches had to be cleared to obtain a sight of the signal
stations. The triangulation was carried on amidst privations,
discomfort, and pestilence, which frequently prostrated the whole party,
and forced their attendants to desert them rather than encounter such
hardships and peril. The materials collected by the colleagues of
General Fraser under these discouragements have been worked up by him
with consummate skill and perseverance. The base line, five and a
quarter miles in length, was measured in 1845 in the cinnamon plantation
at Kaderani, to the north of Colombo, and its extremities are still
marked by two towers, which it was necessary to raise to the height of
one hundred feet, to enable them to be discerned above the surrounding
forests. These it is to be hoped will be carefully kept from decay, as
they may again be called into requisition.

As regards the sea line of Ceylon, an admirable chart of the West coast,
from Adam's Bridge to Dondera Head, has been published by the East India
Company from a survey in 1845. But information is sadly wanted as to the
East and North, of which no accurate charts exist, except of a few
unconnected points, such as the harbour of Trincomalie.]

_General Form_.--In its general outline the island resembles a pear--and
suggests to its admiring inhabitants the figure of those pearls which
from their elongated form are suspended from the tapering end. When
originally upheaved above the ocean its shape was in all probability
nearly circular, with a prolongation in the direction of north-east. The
mountain zone in the south, covering an area of about 4212 miles[1], may
then have formed the largest proportion of its entire area--and the belt
of low lands, known as the Maritime Provinces, consists to a great
extent of soil from the disintegration of the gneiss, detritus from the
hills, alluvium carried down the rivers, and marine deposits gradually
collected on the shore. But in addition to these, the land has for ages
been slowly rising from the sea, and terraces abounding in marine shells
imbedded in agglutinated sand occur in situations far above high-water
mark. Immediately inland from Point de Galle, the surface soil rests on
a stratum of decomposing coral; and sea shells are found at a
considerable distance from the shore. Further north at Madampe, between
Chilaw and Negombo, the shells of pearl oysters and other bivalves are
turned up by the plough more than ten miles from the sea.


[Footnote 1: This includes not only the lofty mountains suitable for the
cultivation of coffee, but the lower ranges and spurs which connect them
with the maritime plains.]

These recent formations present themselves in a still more striking form
in the north of the island, the greater portion of which may be regarded
as the conjoint production of the coral polypi, and the currents, which
for the greater portion of the year set impetuously towards the south.
Coming laden with alluvial matter collected along the coast of
Coromandel, and meeting with obstacles south of Point Calimere, they
have deposited their burthens on the coral reefs round Point Pedro; and
these gradually raised above the sea-level, and covered deeply by sand
drifts, have formed the peninsula of Jaffna and the plains that trend
westward till they unite with the narrow causeway of Adam's
Bridge--itself raised by the same agencies, and annually added to by the
influences of the tides and monsoons.[1]

[Footnote 1: The barrier known as Adam's Bridge, which obstructs the
navigation of the channel between Ceylon and Ramnad, consists of several
parallel ledges of conglomerate and sandstone, hard at the surface, and
growing coarse and soft as it descends till it rests on a bank of sand,
apparently accumulated by the influence of the currents at the change of
the monsoons. See an _Essay_ by Captain STEWART _on the Paumbem
Passage_. Colombo, 1837. See Vol. II. p. 554.]

On the north-west side of the island, where the currents are checked by
the obstruction of Adam's Bridge, and still water prevails in the Gulf
of Manaar, these deposits have been profusely heaped, and the low sandy
plains have been proportionally extended; whilst on the south and east,
where the current sweeps unimpeded along the coast, the line of the
shore is bold and occasionally rocky.

This explanation of the accretion and rising of the land is somewhat
opposed to the popular belief that Ceylon was torn from the main land of
India[1] by a convulsion, during which the Gulf of Manaar and the narrow
channel at Paumbam were formed by the submersion of the adjacent land.
The two theories might be reconciled by supposing the sinking to have
occurred at an early period, and to have been followed by the uprising
still in progress. But on a closer examination of the structure and
direction of the mountain system of Ceylon, it exhibits no traces of
submersion. It seems erroneous to regard it as a prolongation of the
Indian chains; it lies far to the east of the line formed by the Ghauts
on either side of the peninsula, and any affinity which it exhibits is
rather with the equatorial direction of the intersecting ranges of the
Nilgherries and the Vindhya. In their geological elements there is,
doubtless, a similarity between the southern extremity of India and the
elevated portions of Ceylon; but there are also many important
particulars in which their specific differences are irreconcilable with
the conjecture of previous continuity. In the north of Ceylon there is a
marked preponderance of aqueous strata, which are comparatively rare in
the vicinity of Cape Comorin; and whilst the rocks of the former are
entirely destitute of organic remains[2]; fossils, both terrestrial and
pelagic, have been found in the Eastern Ghauts, and sandstone, in some
instances, overlays the primary rocks which compose them. The rich and
black soil to the south of the Nilgherries presents a strong contrast to
the red and sandy earth of the opposite coast; and both in the flora and
fauna of the island there are exceptional peculiarities which suggest a
distinction between it and the Indian continent.

[Footnote 1: LASSEN, _Indische Alterthumskunde_, vol. i. p. 193.]

[Footnote 2: At Cutchavelly, north of Trincomalie, there exists a bed of
calcareous clay, in which shells and crustaceans are found in a
semi-fossilised state; but they are all of recent species, principally
_Macrophthalmus_ and _Scylla_. The breccia at Jaffna contains recent
shells, as does also the arenaceous strata on the western coast of
Manaar and in the neighbourhood of Galle. The existence of the
fossilised crustaceans in the north of Ceylon was known to the early
Arabian navigators. Abou-zeyd describes them as, "Un animal de mer qui
resemble à l'écrevisse; quand cet animal sort de la mer, _il se
convertit en pierre_." See REINAUD, _Voyages faits par les Arabes_, vol.
i. p. 21. The Arabs then; and the Chinese at the present day, use these
petrifactions when powdered as a specific for diseases of the eye.]

_Mountain System_.--At whatever period the mountains of Ceylon may have
been raised, the centre of maximum energy must have been in the vicinity
of Adam's Peak, the group immediately surrounding which has thus
acquired an elevation of from six to eight thousand feet above the
sea.[1] The uplifting force seems to have been exerted from south-west
to north-east; and although there is much confusion in many of the
intersecting ridges, the lower ranges, especially those to the south and
west of Adam's Peak, from Saffragam to Ambogammoa, manifest a remarkable
tendency to run in parallel ridges in a direction from south-east to

[Footnote 1: The following are the heights of a few of the most
remarkable places:--

  Pedrotallagalla        8280 English feet.
  Kirrigalpotta          7810 English feet.
  Totapella              7720 English feet.
  Adam's Peak            7420 English feet.
  Nammoone-Koolle        6740 English feet.
  Plain of Neuera-ellia  6210 English feet.]

Towards the north, on the contrary, the offsets of the mountain system,
with the exception of those which stretch towards Trincomalie, radiate
to short distances in various directions, and speedily sink down to the
level of the plain. Detached hills of great altitude are rare, the most
celebrated being that of Mihintala, which overlooks the sacred city of
Anarajapoora: and Sigiri is the only example in Ceylon of those solitary
acclivities, which form so remarkable a feature in the table-land of the
Dekkan, starting abruptly from the plain with scarped and perpendicular
sides, and converted by the Indians into strongholds, accessible only by
precipitous pathways, or steps hewn in the solid rock.

The crest of the Ceylon mountains is of stratified crystalline rock,
especially gneiss, with extensive veins of quartz, and through this the
granite has been everywhere intruded, distorting the riven strata, and
tilting them at all angles to the horizon. Hence at the abrupt
terminations of some of the chains in the district of Saffragam,
plutonic rocks are seen mingled with the dislocated gneiss. Basalt makes
its appearance both at Galle and Trincomalie. In one place to the east
of Pettigalle-Kanda, the rocks have been broken up in such confusion as
to resemble the effect of volcanic action--huge masses overhang each
other like suddenly-cooled lava; and Dr. Gygax, a Swiss mineralogist,
who was employed by the Government in 1847 to examine and report on the
mineral resources of the district, stated, on his return, that having
seen the volcanoes of the Azores, he found a "strange similarity at this
spot to one of the semi-craters round the trachytic ridge of
Seticidadas, in the island of St. Michael."[1]

[Footnote 1: Beyond the very slightest symptoms of disturbance,
earthquakes are unknown in Ceylon: and although its geology exhibits
little evidence of volcanic action (with the exception of the basalt,
which occasionally presents an appearance approaching to that of lava),
there are some other incidents that seem to suggest the vicinity of
fire; more particularly the occurrence of springs of high temperature,
one at Badulla, one at Kitool, near Bintenne, another near Yavi Ooto, in
the Veddah country, and a fourth at Cannea, near Trincomalie. I have
heard of another near the Patipal Aar south of Batticaloa. The water in
each is so pure and free from salts that the natives make use of it for
all domestic purposes. Dr. Davy adverts to another indication of
volcanic agency in the sudden and profound depth of the noble harbour at
Trincomalie, which even close by the beach is said to have been hitherto

The Spaniards believed Ceylon to be volcanic; and ARGENSOLA, in his
_Conquista de las Malucas_, Madrid, 1609, says it produced liquid
bitumen and sulphur:--"Fuentes de betùn liquido y bolcanes de perpetuas
llamas que arrojan entre las asperezas de la montaña losas de
açufre."--Lib. v. p. 184. It is needless to say that this is altogether

_Gneiss_.--The great geological feature of the island is, however, the
profusion of gneiss, and the various new forms arising from its
disintegration. In the mountains, with the exception of occasional beds
of dolomite, no more recent formations overlie it; from the period of
its first upheaval, the gneiss has undergone no second submersion, and
the soil which covers it in these lofty altitudes is formed almost
entirely by its decay.

In the lower ranges of the hills, gigantic portions of gneiss rise
conspicuously, so detached from the original chain and so rounded by the
action of the atmosphere, aided by their concentric lamellation, that
but for their prodigious dimensions, they might be regarded as boulders.
Close under one of these cylindrical masses, 600 feet in height, and
upwards of three miles in length, the town of Kornegalle, one of the
ancient capitals of the island, has been built; and the great temple of
Dambool, the most remarkable Buddhist edifice in Ceylon, is constructed
under the hollow edge of another, its gilded roof being formed by the
inverted arch of the natural stone. The tendency of the gneiss to assume
these concentric and almost circular forms has been taken advantage of
for this purpose by the Singhalese priests, and some of their most
venerated temples are to be found under the shadow of the overarching
strata, to the imperishable nature of which the priests point as
symbolical of the eternal duration of their faith.[1]

[Footnote 1: The concentric lamellar strata of the gneiss sometimes
extend with a radius so prolonged that slabs may be cut from them and
used in substitution for beams of timber, and as such they are
frequently employed in the construction of Buddhist temples. At
Piagalla, on the road between Galle and Colombo, within about four miles
of Caltura, there is a gneiss hill of this description on which a temple
has been so erected. In this particular rock the garnets usually found
in gneiss are replaced by rubies, and nothing can exceed the beauty of
the hand-specimens procurable from a quarry close to the high road on
the landward side; in which, however, the gems are in every case reduced
to splinters.]

_Laterite or "Cabook_."--A peculiarity, which is one of the first to
strike a stranger who lands at Galle or Colombo, is the bright red
colour of the streets and roads, contrasting vividly with the verdure of
the trees, and the ubiquity of the fine red dust which penetrates every
crevice and imparts its own tint to every neglected article. Natives
resident in these localities are easily recognisable elsewhere, by the
general hue of their dress. This is occasioned by the prevalence along
the western coast of _laterite_, or, as the Singhalese call it,
_cabook_, a product of disintegrated gneiss, which being subjected to
detrition communicates its hue to the soil.[1]

[Footnote 1: According to the _Mahawanso_ "Tamba-panni," one of those
names by which Ceylon was anciently called, originated in an incident
connected with the invasion of Wijayo, B.C. 543, whose followers,
"exhausted by sea-sickness and faint from weakness, sat down at the spot
where they had landed out of the vessels, supporting themselves on the
palms of their hands pressed to the ground, whence the name of
Tamba-pannyo, '_copper-palmed_,' from the colour of the soil. From this
circumstance that wilderness obtained the name of Tamba-panni; and from
the same cause also this renowned land became celebrated under that
name."--TURNOUR'S _Mahawanso_, ch. vi. p. 50. From Tamba-panni came the
Greek name for Ceylon, _Taprobane_. Mr. de Alwis has corrected an error
in this passage of Mr. Turnour's translation; the word in the original,
which he took for _Tamba-panniyo_, or "copper-palmed," being in reality
_tamba-vanna_, or "copper-coloured." Colonel Forbes questions the
accuracy of this derivation, and attributes the name to the _tamana_
trees; from the abundance of which he says many villages in Ceylon, as
well as a district in southern India, have been similarly called.
(_Eleven Years in Ceylon_, vol. i. p. 10.) I have not succeeded in
discovering what tree is designated by this name, nor does it occur in
MOON'S _List of Ceylon Plants_. On the southern coast of India a river,
which flows from the ghats to the sea, passing Tinnevelly, is called
Tambapanni. Tambapanni, as the designation of Ceylon, occurs in the
inscription on the rock of Girnar in Guzerat, deciphered by Prinsep,
containing an edict by Asoka relative to the medical administration of
India for the relief both of man and beast, (_Asiat. Soc. Journ. Beng._
vol. vii. p. 158.)]

The transformation of gneiss into laterite in these localities has been
attributed to the circumstance, that those sections of the rock which
undergo transition exhibit grains of magnetic iron ore partially
disseminated through them; and the phenomenon of the conversion has been
explained not by recurrence to the ordinary conception of mere
weathering, which is inadequate, but to the theory of catalytic action,
regard being had to the peculiarity of magnetic iron when viewed in its
chemical formula.[1] The oxide of iron thus produced communicates its
colouring to the laterite, and in proportion as felspar and hornblende
abound in the gneiss, the cabook assumes respectively a white or yellow
hue. So ostensible is the series of mutations, that in ordinary
excavations there is no difficulty in tracing a continuous connection
without definite lines of demarcation between the soil and the laterite
on the one hand, and the laterite and gneiss rock on the other.[2]

[Footnote 1: From a paper read to the Royal Physical Society of
Edinburgh by the Rev. J.G. Macvicar, D.D.]

[Footnote 2: From a paper on the Geology of Ceylon, by Dr. Gardner, in
the Appendix to Lee's translation of RIBEYRO'S _History of Ceylon_, p,
206. The earliest and one of the ablest essays on the geological system
and mineralogy of Ceylon will be found in DAVY'S _Account of the
Interior of Ceylon_, London, 1821. It has, however, been corrected and
enlarged by recent investigators.]

The tertiary rocks which form such remarkable features in the geology of
other countries are almost unknown in Ceylon; and the "clay-slate,
Silurian, old red sandstone, carboniferous, new red sandstone, oolitic,
and cretaceous systems" have not as yet been recognised in any part of
the island.[1] Crystalline limestone in some places overlies the gneiss,
and is worked for oeconomical purposes in the mountain districts where
it occurs.[2]

[Footnote 1: Dr. Gardner.]

[Footnote 2: In the maritime provinces lime for building is obtained by
burning the coral and madrepore, which for this purpose is industriously
collected by the fishermen during the intervals when the wind is off

Along the western coast, from Point-de-Galle to Chilaw, breccia is found
near the shores, from the agglutination of corallines and shells mixed
with sand, and the disintegrated particles of gneiss. These beds present
an appearance very closely resembling a similar rock, in which human
remains have been found imbedded, at the north-east of Guadaloupe, now
in the British Museum.[1] Incorporated with them there are minute
fragments of sapphires, rubies, and tourmaline, showing that the sand of
which the breccia is composed has been washed down by the rivers from
the mountain zone.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Gardner.]

NORTHERN PROVINCES.--_Coral Formation_.--But the principal scene of the
most recent formations is the extreme north of the island, with the
adjoining peninsula of Jaffna. Here the coral rocks abound far above
high-water mark, and extend across the island where the land has been
gradually upraised, from the eastern to the western shore. The
fortifications of Jaffna were built by the Dutch, from blocks of breccia
quarried far from the sea, and still exhibit, in their worn surface, the
outline of the shells and corallines of which they mainly consist. The
roads, in the absence of more solid substances, are metalled with the
same material; as the only other rock which occurs is a loose
description of conglomerate, similar to that at Adam's Bridge and

The phenomenon of the gradual upheaval of these strata is sufficiently
attested by the position in which they appear, and their altitude above
high-water mark; but, in close contiguity with them, an equally striking
evidence presents itself in the fact that, at various points of the
western coast, between the island of Manaar and Karativoe, the natives,
in addition to fishing for chank shells[1] in the sea, dig them up in
large quantities from beneath the soil on the adjacent shores, in which
they are deeply imbedded[2], the land having since been upraised.

[Footnote 1: _Turbinella rapa_, formerly known as _Voluta gravis_ used
by the people of India to be sawn into bangles and anklets.]

[Footnote 2: In 1845 an antique iron anchor was found under the soil at
the northwestern point of Jaffna, of such size and weight as to show
that it must have belonged to a ship of much greater tonnage than any
which the depth of water would permit to navigate the channel at the
present day.]

The sand, which covers a vast extent of the peninsula of Jaffna, and in
which the coco-nut and Palmyra-palm grow freely, has been carried by the
currents from the coast of India, and either flung upon the northern
beach in the winter months, or driven into the lake during the
south-west monsoon, and thence washed on shore by the ripple, and
distributed by the wind.

The arable soil of Jaffna is generally of a deep red colour, from the
admixture of iron, and, being largely composed of lime from the
comminuted coral, it is susceptible of the highest cultivation, and
produces crops of great luxuriance. This tillage is carried on
exclusively by irrigation from innumerable wells, into which the water
rises fresh through the madrepore and sand; there being no streams in
the district, unless those percolations can be so called which make
their way underground, and rise through the sands on the margin of the
sea at low water.

_Wells in the Coral Rock_.--These phenomena occur at Jaffna, in
consequence of the rocks being magnesian limestone and coral, overlying
a bed of sand, and in some places, where the soil is light, the surface
of the ground is a hollow arch, so that it resounds as if a horse's
weight were sufficient to crush it inwards. This is strikingly
perceptible in the vicinity of the remarkable well at Potoor[1], on the
west side of the road leading from Jaffna to Point Pedro, where the
surface of the surrounding country is only about fifteen feet above the
sea-level. The well, however, is upwards of 140 feet in depth; the water
fresh at the surface, brackish lower down, and intensely salt below.
According to the universal belief of the inhabitants, it is an
underground pool, which communicates with the sea by a subterranean
channel bubbling out on the shore near Kangesentorre, about seven miles
to the north-west.

[Footnote 1: For the particulars of this singular well, see Vol. II. Pt.
IX. ch. vi. p. 536.]

A similar subterranean stream is said to conduct to the sea from another
singular well near Tillipalli, in sinking which the workmen, at the
depth of fourteen feet, came to the ubiquitous coral, the crust of which
gave way, and showed a cavern below containing the water they were in
search of, with a depth of more than thirty-three feet. It is remarkable
that the well at Tillipalli preserves its depth at all seasons alike,
uninfluenced by rains or drought; and a steam-engine erected at Potoor,
with the intention of irrigating the surrounding lands, failed to lower
it in any perceptible degree.

Other wells, especially some near the coast, maintain their level with
such uniformity as to be inexhaustible at any season, even after a
succession of years of drought--a fact from which it may fairly be
inferred that their supply is chiefly derived by percolation from the

[Footnote 1: DARWIN, in his admirable account of the coral formations of
the Pacific and Indian oceans, has propounded a theory as to the
abundance of fresh water in the atolls and islands on coral reefs,
furnished by wells which ebb and flow with the tides. Assuming it to be
impossible to separate salt from sea water by filtration, he suggests
that the porous coral rock being permeated by salt water, the rain which
falls on the surface must sink to the level of the surrounding sea, "and
must accumulate there, displacing an equal bulk of sea water--and as the
portion of the latter in the lower part of the great sponge-like mass
rises and falls with the tides, so will the fresh water near the
surface."--_Naturalist's Journal_, ch. xx. But subsequent experiments
have demonstrated that the idea of separating the salt by filtration is
not altogether imaginary; as Darwin seems to have then supposed; and Mr.
WITT, in a remarkable paper _On a peculiar power possessed by Porous
Media of removing matters from solution in water_, has since succeeded
in showing that "water containing considerable quantities of saline
matter in solution may, by merely percolating through great masses of
porous strata during long periods, be gradually deprived of its salts
_to such an extent as probably to render even sea-water
fresh_."--_Philos. Mag_., 1856. Divesting the subject therefore of this
difficulty, other doubts would appear to suggest themselves as to the
applicability of Darwin's theory to coral formations in general. For
instance, it might be supposed that rain falling on a substance already
saturated with moisture, would flow off instead of sinking into it; and
that being of less specific gravity than salt water, it would fail to
"displace an equal bulk" of the latter. There are some extraordinary but
well attested statements of a thin layer of fresh water being found on
the surface of the sea, after heavy rains in the Bay of Bengal. (_Journ.
Asiat. Soc. Beng_. vol. v. p. 239.) Besides, I fancy that in the
majority of atolls and coral islands the quantity of rain which so small
an area is calculated to intercept would be insufficient of itself to
account for the extraordinary abundance of fresh water daily drawn from
the wells. For instance, the superficial extent of each of the
Laccadives is but two or three square miles, the surface soil resting on
a crust of coral, beneath which is a stratum of sand; and yet on
reaching the latter, fresh water flows in such profusion, that wells and
large tanks for soaking coco-nut fibre are formed in any place by merely
"breaking through the crust and taking out the sand."--_Madras Journal_,
vol. xiv. It is curious that the abundant supply of water in these wells
should have attracted the attention of the early navigators, and Cosmas
Indicoplenstes, writing in the sixth century, speaks of the numerous
small islands off the coast of Taprobane, with abundance of fresh water
and coco-nut palms, although these islands rest on a bed of sand.
(_Cosmas Ind_. ed. Thevenot, vol. i. p. 3, 20). It is remarkable that in
the little island of Ramisseram, one of the chain which connects Adam's
Bridge with the Indian continent, fresh water is found freely on sinking
for it in the sand. But this is not the case in the adjacent island of
Manaar, which participates in the geologic character of the interior of
Ceylon. The fresh water in the Laccadive wells always fluctuates with
the rise and fall of the tides. In some rare instances, as on the little
island of Bitra, which is the smallest inhabited spot in the group, the
water, though abundant, is brackish, but this is susceptible of an
explanation quite consistent with the experiments of Mr. Witt, which
require that the process of percolation shall be continued "during
_long_ periods and through _great masses of porous strata_;" Darwin
equally concedes that to keep the rain fresh when banked in, as he
assumes, by the sea, the mass of madrepore must be "sufficiently thick
to prevent mechanical admixture; and where the land consists of loose
blocks of coral with open interstices, the water, if a well be dug, is
brackish." Conditions analogous to all these particularised, present
themselves at Jaffna, and seem to indicate that the extent to which
fresh water is found there, is directly connected with percolation from
the sea. The quantity of rain which annually falls is less than in
England, being but thirty inches; whilst the average heat is highest in
Ceylon, and the evaporation great in proportion. Throughout the
peninsula, I am informed by Mr. Byrne, the Government surveyor of the
district, that as a general rule "_all the wells are below the sea
level_." It would be useless to sink them in the higher ground, where
they could only catch surface water. The November rains fill them at
once to the brim, but the water quickly subsides as the season becomes
dry, and "_sinks to the uniform level, at which it remains fixed for the
next nine or ten months_, unless when slightly affected by showers."
"_No well below the sea level becomes dry of itself_," even in seasons
of extreme and continued drought. But the contents do not vary with the
tides, the rise of which is so trifling that the distance from the
ocean, and the slowness of filtration, renders its fluctuations

On the other hand, the well of Potoor, the phenomena of which indicate
its direct connection with the sea, by means of a fissure or a channel
beneath the arch of magnesian limestone, rises and falls a few inches in
the course of every twelve hours. Another well at Navokeiry, a short
distance from it, does the same, whilst the well at Tillipalli is
entirely unaffected as to its level by any rains, and exhibits no
alteration of its depths on either monsoon. ADMIRAL FITZROY, in his
_Narrative of the Surveying Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle_, the
expedition to which Mr. Darwin was attached, adverts to the phenomenon
in connection with the fresh water found in the Coral Islands, and the
rise and fall of the wells, and the flow and ebb of the tide. He
advances the theory propounded by Darwin of the retention of the
river-water, which he says, "does not mix with the salt water which
surrounds it except at the edges of the land. The flowing tide pushes on
every side, the mixed soil being very porous, and causes the water to
rise: when the tide falls, the fresh water sinks also. _A sponge full of
fresh water placed gently in a basin of salt water, will not part with
its contents for a length of time if left untouched_, and the water in
the middle of the sponge will be found untainted by salt for many days:
perhaps much longer if tried."--Vol. i. p. 365. In a perfectly
motionless medium the experiment of the sponge may no doubt be
successful to the extent mentioned by Admiral Fitzroy; and so the
rain-water imbibed by a coral rock might for a length of time remain
fresh where it came into no contact with the salt. But the disturbance
caused by the tides, and the partial intermixture admitted by Admiral
Fitzroy, must by reiterated occurrence tend in time to taint the fresh
water which is affected by the movement: and this is demonstrable even
by the test of the sponge; for I find that on charging one with coloured
fluid, and immersing it in a vessel containing water perfectly pure, no
intermixture takes place so long as the pure water is undisturbed; but
on causing an artificial tide, by gradually withdrawing and as gradually
replacing a portion of the surrounding contents of the basin, the tinted
water in the sponge becomes displaced and disturbed, and in the course
of a few ebbs and flows its escape is made manifest by the quantity of
colour which it imparts to the surrounding fluid.]

An idea of the general aspect of Ceylon will be formed from what has
here been described. Nearly four parts of the island are undulating
plains, slightly diversified by offsets from the mountain system which
entirely covers the remaining fifth. Every district, from the depths of
the valleys to the summits of the highest hills, is clothed with
perennial foliage; and even the sand-drifts, to the ripple on the sea
line, are carpeted with verdure, and sheltered from the sunbeams by the
cool shadows of the palm groves.

SOIL.--But the soil, notwithstanding this wonderful display of
spontaneous vegetation, is not responsive to systematic cultivation, and
is but imperfectly adapted for maturing a constant succession of seeds
and cereal productions.[1] Hence arose the disappointment which beset
the earliest adventurers who opened plantations of coffee in the hills,
on discovering that after the first rapid development of the plants,
delicacy and languor ensued, which were only to be corrected by
returning to the earth, in the form of manures, those elements with
which it had originally been but sparingly supplied, and which were soon
exhausted by the first experiments in cultivation.

[Footnote 1: See a paper in the Journal of Agriculture, for March, 1857,
Edin.: on _Tropical Cultivation and its Limits_, by Dr. MACVICAR.]

_Patenas_.--The only spots hitherto found suitable for planting coffee,
are those covered by the ancient forests of the mountain zone; and one
of the most remarkable phenomena in the oeconomic history of the island,
is the fact that the grass lands on the same hills, closely adjoining
the forests and separated from them by no visible line save the growth
of the trees, although they seem to be identical in the nature of the
soil, have hitherto proved to be utterly insusceptible of reclamation or
culture by the coffee planter.[1] These verdant openings, to which the
natives have given the name of _patenas_, generally occur about the
middle elevation of the hills, the summits and the hollows being covered
with the customary growth of timber trees, which also fringe the edges
of the mountain streams that trickle down these park-like openings. The
forest approaches boldly to the very edge of a "patena," not
disappearing gradually or sinking into a growth of underwood, but
stopping abruptly and at once, the tallest trees forming a fence around
the avoided spot, as if they enclosed an area of solid stone. These
sunny expanses vary in width from a few yards to many thousands of
acres; in the lower ranges of the hills they are covered with tall
lemon-grass _(Andropogon schoenanthus)_ of which the oppressive perfume
and coarse texture, when full grown, render it distasteful to cattle,
which will only crop the delicate braird that springs after the surface
has been annually burnt by the Kandyans. Two stunted trees, alone, are
seen to thrive in these extraordinary prairies, _Careya arborea_ and
_Emblica officinalis_, and these only below an altitude of 4000 feet;
above this, the lemon-grass is superseded by harder and more wiry
species; but the earth is still the same, a mixture of decomposed quartz
largely impregnated with oxide of iron, but wanting the phosphates and
other salts which are essential to highly organised vegetation.[2] The
extent of the patena land is enormous in Ceylon, amounting to millions
of acres; and it is to be hoped that the complaints which have hitherto
been made by the experimental cultivators of coffee in the Kandyan
provinces may hereafter prove exaggerated, and that much that has been
attributed to the poverty of the soil may eventually be traced to
deficiency of skill on the part of the early planters.

[Footnote 1: Since the above was written, attempts have been made,
chiefly by natives to plant coffee on patena land. The result is a
conviction that the cultivation is practicable, by the use of manures
from the beginning; whereas forest land is capable, for three or four
years at least, of yielding coffee without any artificial enrichment of
the soil.]

[Footnote 2: HUMBOLDT is disposed to ascribe the absence of trees in the
vast grassy plains of South America, to "the destructive custom of
setting fire to the woods, when the natives want to convert the soil
into pasture: when during the lapse of centuries grasses and plants have
covered the surface with a carpet, the seeds of trees can no longer
germinate and fix themselves in the earth, although birds and winds
carry them continually from the distant forests into the
Savannahs."--_Narrative_, vol. i. ch. vi. p. 242.]

The natives in the same lofty localities find no deficient returns in
the crops of rice, which they raise in the ravines and hollows, into
which the earth from above has been washed by the periodical rains; but
the cultivation of rice is so entirely dependent on the presence of
water, that no inference can be fairly drawn as to the quality of the
soil from the abundance of its harvest.

The fields on which rice is grown in these mountains form one of the
most picturesque and beautiful objects in the country of the Kandyans.
Selecting an angular recess where two hills converge, they construct a
series of terraces, raised stage above stage, and retiring as they
ascend along the slope of the acclivity, up which they are carried as
high as the soil extends.[1] Each terrace is furnished with a low ledge
in front, behind which the requisite depth of water is retained during
the germination of the seed, and what is superfluous is permitted to
trickle down to the one below it. In order to carry on this peculiar
cultivation the streams are led along the level of the hills, often from
a distance of many miles, with a skill and perseverance for which the
natives of these mountains have attained a great renown.

[Footnote 1: The conversion of the land into these hanging farms is
known in Ceylon as "assuedamizing," a term borrowed from the Kandyan
vernacular, in which the word "assuedamé" implies the process above

In the lowlands to the south, the soil partakes of the character of the
hills from whose detritus it is to a great extent formed. In it rice is
the chief article produced, and for its cultivation the disintegrated
laterite (_cabook_), when thoroughly irrigated, is sufficiently adapted.
The seed time in the southern section of the island is dependent on the
arrival of the rains in November and May, and hence the mountains and
the maritime districts at their base enjoy two harvests in each
year--the _Maha_, which is sown about July and August, and reaped in
December and January, the _Yalla_ which is sown in spring, and reaped
from the 15th of July to the 20th September. But owing to the different
description of seed sown in particular localites, and the extent to
which they are respectively affected by the rains, the times of sowing
and harvest vary considerably on different sides of the island.[1]

[Footnote 1: The reaping of other descriptions of grain besides rice
occurs at various periods of the year according to the locality.]

In the north, where the influence of the monsoons is felt with less
force and regularity, and where, to counteract their uncertainty, the
rain is collected in reservoirs, a wider discretion is left to the
husbandman in the choice of season for his operations.[1] Two crops of
grain, however, are the utmost that is taken from the land, and in many
instances only one. The soil near the coast is light and sandy, but in
the great central districts of Neuera-kalawa and the Wanny, there is
found in the midst of the forests a dark vegetable mould, in which in
former times rice was abundantly grown by the aid of those prodigious
artificial works for irrigation which still form one of the wonders of
the island. Many of the tanks, though partially in ruins, cover an area
from ten to fifteen miles in circumference. They are now generally
broken and decayed; the waters which would fertilise a province are
allowed to waste themselves in the sands, and hundreds of square miles
capable of furnishing food for all the inhabitants of Ceylon are
abandoned to solitude and malaria, whilst rice for the support of the
non-agricultural population is annually imported from the opposite coast
of India.

[Footnote 1: This peculiarity of the north of Ceylon was noticed by the
Chinese traveller FA HIAN, who visited the island in the fourth century,
and says of the country around Anarajapoora: "L'ensemencement des champs
est suivant la volonté des gens; il n'y a point de temps pour
cela."--_Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_; p. 332.]

_Talawas_.--In these districts of the lowlands, especially on the
eastern coast of the island, and in the country watered by the
Mahawelli-ganga and the other great rivers which flow towards the Bay of
Bengal and the magnificent estuary of Trincomalie, there are open glades
which diversify the forest scenery somewhat resembling the grassy
patenas in the hills, but differing from them in the character of their
soil and vegetation. These park-like meadows, or, as the natives call
them, "talawas," vary in extent from one to a thousand acres. They are
belted by the surrounding woods, and studded with groups of timber and
sometimes with single trees of majestic dimensions. Through these
pastures the deer troop in herds within gunshot, bounding into the
nearest cover when disturbed.

Lower still and immediately adjoining the sea-coast, the broken forest
gives place to brushwood, with here and there an assemblage of dwarf
shrubs; but as far as the eye can reach, there is one vast level of
impenetrable jungle, broken only by the long sweep of salt marshes which
form lakes in the rainy season, but are dry between the monsoons, and
crusted with crystals that glitter like snow in the sunshine.

On the western side of the island the rivers have formed broad alluvial
plains, in which the Dutch attempted to grow sugar. The experiment has
been often resumed since; but even here the soil is so defective, that
the cost of artificially enriching it has hitherto been a serious
obstruction to success commercially, although in one or two instances,
plantations on a small scale have succeeded to a certain extent.

METALS.--The plutonic rocks of Ceylon are but slightly metalliferous,
and hitherto their veins and deposits have been but imperfectly
examined. The first successful survey attempted by the Government was
undertaken during the administration of Viscount Torrington, who, in
1847, commissioned Dr. Gygax to proceed to the hill district south of
Adam's Peak, and furnish a report on its products. His investigations
extended from Ratnapoora, in a south-eastward direction, to the
mountains which overhang Bintenne, but the results obtained did not
greatly enlarge the knowledge previously possessed. He established the
existence of _tin_ in the alluvium along the base of the mountains to
the eastward towards Edelgashena; but so circumstanced, owing to the
flow of the Walleway river, that, without lowering its level, the metal
could not be extracted with advantage. The position in which it occurs
is similar to that in which tin ore presents itself in Saxony; and along
with it, the natives, when searching for gems, discover garnets,
corundum, white topazes, zircon, and tourmaline.

_Gold_ is found in minute particles at Gettyhedra, and in the beds of
the Maha Oya and other rivers flowing towards the west.[1] But the
quantity hitherto discovered has been too trivial to reward the search.
The early inhabitants of the island were not ignorant of its presence;
but its occurrence on a memorable occasion, as well as that of silver
and copper, is recorded in the Mahawanso as a miraculous manifestation,
which signalised the founding of one of the most renowned shrines at the
ancient capital.[2]

[Footnote 1: Ruanwellé, a fort about forty miles distant from Colombo,
derives its name from the sands of the river which flows below
it,--rang-welle, "golden sand." "Rang-galla," in the central province,
is referable to the same root--the rock of gold.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso,_ ch. xxiii. p. 166, 167.]

_Nickel_ and _cobalt_ appear in small quantities in Saffragam, and the
latter, together with _rutile_ (an oxide of titanium) and _wolfram_,
might find a market in China for the colouring of porcelain.[1]
_Tellurium_, another rare and valuable metal, hitherto found only in
Transylvania and the Ural, has likewise been discovered in these
mountains, _Manganese_ is abundant, and _Iron_ occurs in the form of
magnetic iron ore, titanite, chromate, yellow hydrated, per-oxide and
iron pyrites. In most of these, however, the metal is scanty, and the
ores of little comparative value, except for the extraction of manganese
and chrome. "But there is another description of iron ore," says Dr.
Gygax, in his official report to the Ceylon Government, "which is found
in vast abundance, brown and compact, generally in the state of
carbonate, though still blended with a little chrome, and often
molybdena. It occurs in large masses and veins, one of which extends for
a distance of fifteen miles; from it millions of tons might be smelted,
and when found adjacent to fuel and water-carriage, it might be worked
to a profit. The quality of the iron ore found in Ceylon is singularly
fine; it is easily smelted, and so pure when reduced as to resemble
silver. The rough ore produces from _thirty_ to _seventy-five_ per
cent., and on an average fully _fifty_. The iron wrought from it
requires no puddling, and, converted into steel, it cuts like a diamond.
The metal could be laid down in Colombo at £6 per ton, even supposing
the ore to be brought thither for smelting, and prepared with English
coal; but _anthracite_ being found upon the spot, it could be used in
the proportion of three to one of the British coal; and the cost
correspondingly reduced."

[Footnote 1: The _Asiatic Annual Register_ for 1799 contains the

"_Extract from a letter from Colombo, dated 26th Oct. 1798_.

"A discovery has been lately made here of a very rich mine of
_quicksilver,_ about six miles from this place. The appearances are very
promising, for a handful of the earth on the surface will, by being
washed, produce the value of a rupee. A guard is set over it, and
accounts sent express to the Madras Government."--P. 53. See also
PERCIVAL'S _Ceylon_, p. 539.

JOINVILLE, in a MS, essay on _The Geology of Ceylon_, now in the library
of the East India Company, says that near Trincomalie there is "un sable
noir, composé de détriments de trappe et de cristaux de fer, _dans
lequel on trouve par le lavage beaucoup de mercure_."]

Remains of ancient furnaces are met with in all directions precisely
similar to those still in use amongst the natives. The Singhalese obtain
the ore they require without the trouble of mining; seeking a spot where
the soil has been loosened by the latest rains, they break off a
sufficient quantity, which, in less than three hours, they convert into
iron by the simplest possible means. None of their furnaces are capable
of smelting more than twenty pounds of ore, and yet this quantity yields
from seven to ten pounds of good metal.

The _anthracite_ alluded to by Dr. Gygax is found in the southern range
of hills near Nambepane, in close proximity to rich veins of _plumbago_,
which are largely worked in the same district, and the quantity of the
latter annually exported from Ceylon exceeds a thousand tons.
_Molybdena_ is found in profusion dispersed through many rocks in
Saffragam, and it occurs in the alluvium in grey scales, so nearly
resembling plumbago as to be commonly mistaken for it. _Kaolin_, called
by the natives _Kirimattie_, appears at Neuera-ellia at Hewahette,
Kaduganawa, and in many of the higher ranges as well as in the low
country near Colombo; its colour is so clear as to suit for the
manufacture of porcelain[1]; but the difficulty and cost of carriage
render it as yet unavailing for commerce, and the only use to which it
has hitherto been applied is to serve for whitewash instead of lime.

[Footnote 1: The kaolin of Ceylon, according to an analysis in 1847,
consists of--

  Pure kaolin               70.0
  Silica                    26.0
  Molybdena and iron oxide   4.0

In the _Ming-she_, or history of the Ming dynasty, A.D. 1368-1643, by
Chan-ting-yuh, "pottery-stone" is; enumerated among the imports into
China from Ceylon.--B. cccxxvi. p. 5.]

_Nitre_ has long been known to exist in Ceylon, where the localities in
which it occurs are similar to those in Brazil. In Saffragam alone there
are upwards of sixty caverns known to the natives, from which it may be
extracted, and others exist in various parts of the island, where the
abundance of wood to assist in its lixiviation would render that process
easy and profitable. Yet so sparingly has this been hitherto attempted,
that even for purposes of refrigeration, crude saltpetre is still
imported from India.[1]

[Footnote 1: The mineralogy of Ceylon has hitherto undergone no
scientific scrutiny, nor have its mineral productions been arranged in
any systematic and comprehensive catalogue. Specimens are to be found in
abundance in the hands of native dealers; but from indifference or
caution they express their inability to afford adequate information as
to their locality, their geological position, or even to show with
sufficient certainty that they belong to the island. Dr. Gygax, as the
results of some years spent in exploring different districts previous to
1847, was enabled to furnish a list of but thirty-seven species, the
site of which he had determined by personal inspection. These were:--

   1. Rock crystal            Abundant.
   2. Iron quartz             Saffragam.
   3. Common quartz           Abundant.
   4. Amethyst                Galle Back, Caltura.
   5. Garnet                  Abundant.
   6. Cinnamon stone          Belligam.
   7. Harmotome               St. Lucia, Colombo.
   8. Hornblende              Abundant.
   9. Hypersthene                 Ditto.
  10. Common corundum         Badulla.
  11. Ruby                        Ditto and Saffragam.
  12. Chrysoberyl             Ratganga, North Saffragam.
  13. Pleonaste               Badulla.
  14. Zircon                  Wallawey-ganga, Saffragam.
  15. Mica                    Abundant.
  16. Adular                  Patna Hills, North-east.
  17. Common felspar          Abundant.
  18. Green felspar           Kandy.
  19. Albite                  Melly Matté.
  20. Chlorite                Kandy.
  21. Pinite                  Patna Hills.
  22. Black tourmaline        Neuera-ellia.
  23. Calespar                Abundant.
  24. Bitterspar                  Ditto.
  25. Apatite                 Galle Back.
  26. Fluorspar                   Ditto.
  27. Chiastolite             Mount Lavinia.
  28. Iron pyrites            Peradenia.
  29. Magnetic iron pyrites       Ditto, Rajawelle.
  30. Brown iron ore          Abundant.
  31. Spathose iron ore       Galle Back.
  32. Manganese               Saffragam.
  33. Molybden glance         Abundant.
  34. Tin ore                 Saffragam.
  35. Arseniate of nickel         Ditto.
  36. Plumbago                Morowa Corle.
  37. Epistilbite             St. Lucia.]

GEMS.--But the chief interest which attaches to the mountains and rocks
of this region, arises from the fact that they contain those mines of
_precious stones_ which from time immemorial have conferred renown on
Ceylon. The ancients celebrated the gems as well as the pearls of
"Taprobane;" the tales of mariners returning from their eastern
expeditions supplied to the story-tellers of the Arabian Nights their
fables of the jewels of "Serendib;" and the travellers of the Middle
Ages, on returning to Europe, told of the "sapphires, topazes,
amethysts, garnets, and other costly stones" of Ceylon, and of the ruby
which belonged to the king of the island, "a span in length, without a
flaw, and brilliant beyond description."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Travels of_ MARCO POLO, _a Venetian, in the Thirteenth
Century_, Lond. 1818.]

The extent to which gems are still found is sufficient to account for
the early traditions of their splendour and profusion; and fabulous as
this story of the ruby of the Kandyan kings may be, the abundance of
gems in Saffragam has given to the capital of the district the name of
_Ratnapoora_, which means literally "the city of rubies."[1] They are
not, however, confined to this quarter alone, but quantities are still
found on the western plains between Adam's Peak and the sea, at
Neuera-ellia, in Oovah, at Kandy, at Mattelle in the central province,
and at Ruanwelli near Colombo, at Matura, and in the beds of the rivers
eastwards towards the ancient Mahagam.

[Footnote 1: In the vicinity of Ratnapoora there are to be obtained
masses of quartz of the most delicate rose colour. Some pieces, which
were brought to me in Colombo, were of extraordinary beauty; and I have
reason to believe that it can be obtained in pieces large enough to be
used as slabs for tables, or formed into vases and columns, I may
observe that similar pieces are to be found in the south of Ireland,
near Cork.]

But the localities which chiefly supply the Ceylon gems are the alluvial
plains at the foot of the stupendous hills of Saffragam, in which the
detritus of the rocks has been carried down and intercepted by the
slight elevations that rise at some distance from the base of the
mountains. The most remarkable of these gem-bearing deposits is in the
flat country around Ballangodde, south-east of Ratnapoora; but almost
every valley in communication with the rocks of the higher ranges
contains stones of more or less value, and the beds of the rivers
flowing southward from the mountain chain are so rich in comminuted
fragments of rubies, sapphires, and garnets[1], that their sands in some
places are used by lapidaries in polishing the softer stones, and in
sawing the elephants' grinders into plates. The cook of a government
officer at Galle recently brought to him a ruby about the size of a
small pea, which he had taken from the crop of a fowl.

[Footnote 1: Mr. BAKER, in a work entitled _The Rifle and the Hound in
Ceylon_, thus describes the sands of the Manic Ganga, near the ruins of
Mahagam, in the south-eastern extremity of the island:--"The sand was
composed of mica, quartz, sapphire, ruby, and jacinth; but the large
proportion of ruby sand was so extraordinary that it seemed to rival
Sinbad's story of the vale of gems. The whole of this was valueless, but
the appearance of the sand was very inviting, as the shallow stream in
rippling over it magnified the tiny gems into stones of some magnitude.
I passed an hour in vainly searching for a ruby worth collecting, but
the largest did not exceed the size of a mustard seed."--BAKER'S _Rifle
and Hound in Ceylon_, p. 181.]

Of late years considerable energy has been shown by those engaged in the
search for gems; neglected districts have been explored, and new fields
have been opened up at such places as Karangodde and Weraloopa, whence
stones have been taken of unusual size and value.

It is not, however, in the recent strata of gravel, nor in those now in
process of formation, that the natives search for gems. They penetrate
these to the depth of from ten to twenty feet, in order to reach a lower
deposit distinguished by the name of _Nellan_, in which the objects of
their search are found. This is of so early a formation that it
underlies the present beds of rivers, and is generally separated from
them or from the superincumbent gravel by a hard crust (called _Kadua_),
a few inches in thickness, and so consolidated as to have somewhat the
appearance of laterite, or of sun-burnt brick. The nellan is for the
most part horizontal, but occasionally it is raised into an incline as
it approaches the base of the hills. It appears to have been deposited
previous to the eruption of the basalt, on which in some places it
reclines, and to have undergone some alteration from the contact. It
consists of water-worn pebbles firmly imbedded in clay, and occasionally
there occur large lumps of granite and gneiss, in the hollows under
which, as well as in "pockets" in the clay (which from their shape the
natives denominate "elephants' footsteps") gems are frequently found in
groups as if washed in by the current.

The persons who devote themselves to this uncertain pursuit are chiefly
Singhalese, and the season selected by them for "gemming" is between
December and March, when the waters are low.[1] The poorer and least
enterprising adventurers betake themselves to the beds of streams, but
the most certain though the most costly course is to sink pits in the
adjacent plains, which are consequently indented with such traces of
recent explorers. The upper gravel is pierced, the covering crust is
reached and broken through, and the nellan being shovelled into conical
baskets and washed to free it from the sand, the residue is carefully
searched for whatever rounded crystals and minute gems it may contain.

[Footnote 1: A very interesting account of _Gems and Gem Searching_, by
Mr. WM. STEWART, appeared in the _Colombo Observer_ for June, 1855.]

It is strongly characteristic of the want of energy in the Singhalese,
that although for centuries those alluvial plains and watercourses have
been searched without ceasing, no attempt appears to have been made to
explore the rocks themselves, in the debris of which the gems have been
brought down by the rivers. Dr. Gygax says: "I found at Hima Pohura, on
the south-eastern decline of the Pettigalle-Kanda, about the middle of
the descent, a stratum of grey granite containing, with iron pyrites and
molybdena, innumerable rubies from one-tenth to a fourth of an inch in
diameter, and of a fine rose colour, but split and falling to powder. It
is not an isolated bed of minerals, but a regular stratum extending
probably to the same depth and distance as the other granite formations.
I followed it as far as was practicable for close examination, but
everywhere in the lower part of the valley I found it so decomposed that
the hammer sunk in the rock, and even bamboos were growing on it. On the
higher ground near some small round hills which intercept it, I found
the rubies changed into brown corundum. Upon the hills themselves the
trace was lost, and instead of a stratum there was merely a wild chaos
of blocks of yellow granite. I carefully examined all the minerals which
this stratum contains,--felspar, mica, and quartz molybdena, and iron
pyrites,--and I found all similar to those I had previously got adhering
to rough rubies offered for sale at Colombo. _I firmly believe that in
such strata the rubies of Ceylon are originally found_, and that those
in the white and blue clay at Ballangodde and Ratnapoora are but
secondary deposits. I am further inclined to believe that these extend
over the whole island, although often intercepted and changed in their
direction by the rising of the yellow granite." It is highly probable
that the finest rubies are to be found in them, perfect and unchanged by
decomposition; and that they are to be obtained by opening a regular
mine in the rock like the ruby mine of Badakshan in Bactria described by
Sir Alexander Burnes. Dr. Gygax adds that having often received the
minerals of this stratum with the crystals perfect, he has reason to
believe that places are known to the natives where such mines might be
opened with confidence of success.

Rubies both crystalline and amorphous are also found in a particular
stratum of dolomite at Bullatotte and Badulla, in which there is a
peculiar copper-coloured mica with metallic lustre. _Star rubies_, the
"asteria" of Pliny (so called from their containing a movable six-rayed
star), are to be had at Ratnapoora and for very trifling sums. The blue
tinge which detracts from the value of the pure ruby, whose colour
should resemble "pigeon's blood," is removed by the Singhalese, by
enveloping the stone in the lime of a calcined shell and exposing it to
a high heat. _Spinel_ of extremely beautiful colours is found in the bed
of the Mahawelli-ganga at Kandy, and from the locality it has obtained
the name of _Candite_.

It is strange that although the _sapphire_ is found in all this region
in greater quantity than the ruby, it has never yet been discovered in
the original matrix, and the small fragments which sometimes occur in
dolomite show that there it is but a deposit. From its exquisite colour
and the size in which it is commonly found, it forms by far the most
valuable gem of the island. A piece which was dug out of the alluvium
within a few miles of Ratnapoora in 1853, was purchased by a Moor at
Colombo, in whose hands it was valued at upwards of four thousand

The original site of the _oriental topaz_ is equally unknown with that
of the sapphire. The Singhalese rightly believe them to be the same
stone only differing in colour, and crystals are said to be obtained
with one portion yellow and the other blue.

_Garnets_ of inferior quality are common in the gneiss, but finer ones
are found in the hornblende rocks.

_Cinnamon-stone_ (which is properly a variety of garnet) is so extremely
abundant, that vast rocks containing it in profusion exist in many
places, especially in the alluvium around Matura; and at Belligam, a few
miles east from Point-de-Galle, a vast detached rock is so largely
composed of cinnamon-stones that it is carried off in lumps for the
purpose of extracting and polishing them.

The _Cat's-eye_ is one of the jewels of which the Singhalese are
especially proud, from a belief that it is only found in their island;
but in this I apprehend they are misinformed, as specimens of equal
merit have been brought from Quilon and Cochin on the southern coast of
Hindostan. The cat's-eye is a greenish translucent quartz, and when cut
_en cabochon_ it presents a moving internal reflection which is ascribed
to the presence of filaments of asbestos. Its perfection is estimated by
the natives in proportion to the narrowness and sharpness of the ray and
the pure olive-tint of the ground over which it plays.

_Amethysts_ are found in the gneiss, and some discoloured though
beautiful specimens in syenite; they are too common to be highly
esteemed. The "Matura Diamonds," which are largely used by the native
jewellers, consist of zircon, found in the syenite not only uncoloured,
but also of pink and yellow tints, the former passing for rubies.

But one of the prettiest though commonest gems in the island is the
"Moon-stone," a variety of pearly adularia presenting chatoyant rays
when simply polished. They are so abundant that the finest specimens may
be bought for a few shillings. These, with _aqua marina_, a bad
description of _opal rock crystal_ in extremely large pieces,
_tourmaline_, and a number of others of no great value, compose the list
of native gems procurable in Ceylon.[1] Diamonds, emeralds, agates,
carnelians, opal and turquoise, when they are exhibited by the natives,
have all been imported from India.

[Footnote 1: Caswini and some of the Arabian geographers assert that the
diamond is found at Adam's Peak; but this is improbable, as there is no
formation resembling the _cascalhao_ of Brazil or the diamond
conglomerate of Golconda. If diamonds were offered for sale in Ceylon,
in the time of the Arab navigators, they must have been brought thither
from India, (_Journ. As. Soc. Beng._ xiii. 633.)]

During the dynasty of the Kandyan sovereigns, the right of digging for
gems was a royalty reserved jealously for the King; and the inhabitants
of particular villages were employed in their search under the
superintendence of hereditary officers, with the rank of "Mudianse." By
the British Government the monopoly was early abolished as a source of
revenue, and no license is now required by the jewel-hunters.

Great numbers of persons of the worst-regulated habits are constantly
engaged in this exciting and precarious trade; and serious
demoralisation is engendered amongst the villagers by the idle and
dissolute adventurers who resort to Saffragam. Systematic industry
suffers, and the cultivation of the land is frequently neglected whilst
its owners are absorbed in these speculative and tantalising

The products of their searches are disposed of to the Moors, who resort
to Saffragam from the low country, carrying up cloth and salt, to be
exchanged for gems and coffee. At the annual Buddhist festival of the
Pera-hara, a jewel-fair is held at Ratnapoora, to which the purchasers
resort from all parts of Ceylon. Of late years, however, the condition
of the people in Saffragam has so much improved that it has become
difficult to obtain the finest jewels, the wealthier natives preferring
to retain them as investments: they part with them reluctantly, and only
for gold, which they find equally convenient for concealment.[1]

[Footnote 1: So eager is the appetite for hoarding in these hills, that
eleven rupees (equal to twenty-two shillings) have frequently been given
for a sovereign.]

The lapidaries who cut and polish the stones are chiefly Moors, but
their tools are so primitive, and their skill so deficient, that a gem
generally loses in value by having passed through their hands. The
inferior kinds, such as cinnamon-stones, garnets, and tourmaline, are
polished by ordinary artists at Kandy, Matura, and Galle; but the more
expert lapidaries, who cut rubies and sapphires, reside chiefly at
Caltura and Colombo.

As a general rule, the rarer gems are less costly in Europe than in
Colombo. In London and Paris the quantities brought from all parts of
the world are sufficient to establish something like a market value;
but, in Ceylon, the supply is so uncertain that the price is always
regulated at the moment by the rank and wealth of the purchaser. Strange
to say, too, there is often an unwillingness even amongst the Moorish
dealers to sell the rarest and finest specimens; those who are wealthy
being anxious to retain them, and few but stones of secondary value are
offered for sale. Besides, the Rajahs and native Princes of India,
amongst whom the passion for jewels is universal, are known to give such
extravagant prices that the best are always sent to them from Ceylon.

From the Custom House returns it is impossible to form any calculation
as to the value of the precious stones exported from the island. A
portion only appears, even of those sent to England, the remainder being
carried away by private parties. Of the total number found, one-fourth
is probably purchased by the natives themselves, more than one-half is
sent to the Continent of India, and the remainder represents the export
to Europe. Computed in this way, the quantity of precious stones found
in the island may be estimated at 10,000_l_. per annum.

RIVERS.--From the mountainous configuration of the country and the
abundance of the rains, the rivers are large and numerous in the south
of the island--ten of considerable magnitude flowing into the sea on the
west coast, between Point-de-Galle and Manaar, and a still greater
number, though inferior in volume, on the east. In the low country,
where the heat is intense and evaporation proportionate, they derive
little of their supply from springs; and the passing showers which fall
scarcely more than replace the moisture drawn by the sun from the
parched and thirsty soil.

Hence in the plains there are comparatively few rivulets or running
streams; the rivers there flow in almost solitary lines to the sea; and
the beds of their minor affluents serve only to conduct to them the
torrents which descend at the change of each monsoon, their channels at
other times being exhausted and dry. But in their course through the
hills, and the broken ground at their base, they are supplied by
numerous feeders, which convey to them the frequent showers that fall in
high altitudes. Hence their tracks are through some of the noblest
scenery in the world; rushing through ravines and glens, and falling
over precipitous rocks in the depths of wooded valleys, they exhibit a
succession of rapids, cataracts, and torrents, unsurpassed in
magnificence and beauty. On reaching the plains, the boldness of their
march and the graceful outline of their sweep are indicative of the
little obstruction opposed by the sandy and porous soil through which
they flow. Throughout their entire course dense forests shade their
banks, and, as they approach the sea, tamarisks and over-arching
mangroves mark where their waters mingle with the tide.

Of all the Ceylon rivers, the most important by far is the
Mahawelli-ganga--the Ganges of Ptolemy--which, rising in the south near
Adam's Peak, traverses more than one-third of the mountain zone[1],
drains upwards of four thousand square miles, and flows into the sea by
a number of branches, near the noble harbour of Trincomalie. The
following table gives a comparative view of the magnitude of the rivers
that rise in the hills, and of the extent of the low country traversed
by each of them:--

                                    Square Miles Square Miles   Length of
                  Embouchure.       drained in   drained in the Course of
                                    Mountain     low Country,   the main
                                    Zone.        about          Stream.

Mahawelii-ganga  near Trincomalie      1782          2300          134
Kirinde          at Mahagan              34           300           62
Wellawey         near Hambangtotte      263           500           69
Neivalle         at Matura               64           200           42
(Three Rivers)   near Tangalle           56           200
Gindura          near Galle             180           200           59
Kalu-oya         at Caltura             841           300           72
Kalany           Colombo                692           200           84
The Kaymel or
  Mahaoya        near Negombo           253           200           68
Dederoo-oya      near Chilaw             38           700           70
                                       4212          5100

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 12, for a definition of what constitutes the
"mountain zone" of Ceylon.]

In addition to these, there are a number of large rivers which belong
entirely to the plains in the northern and south-eastern portions of the
island, the principal of which are the Arive and the Moderegam, which
flow into the Gulf of Manaar; the Kala-oya and the Kanda-lady, which
empty themselves into the Bay of Calpentyn; the Maniek or Kattragam, and
the Koombookgam, opposite to the Little Bass rocks and the Naveloor, the
Chadawak, and Arookgam, south of Batticaloa. The extent of country
drained by these latter streams is little short of thirteen thousand
square miles.

Very few of the rivers of Ceylon are navigable, and these only by canoes
and flat-bottomed paddy boats, which ascend some of the largest for
short distances, till impeded by the rapids, occasioned by rocks in the
lowest range of the hills. In this way the Niwalle at Matura can be
ascended for about fifteen miles, as far as Wellehara; the Kalu-ganga
can be traversed from Caltura to Ratnapoora; the Bentotte river for
sixteen miles to Pittagalla; and the Kalany from Colombo to the foot of
the mountains near Ambogammoa. The Mahawelli-ganga is navigable from
Trincomalie to within a short distance of Kanda[1]; and many of the
lesser streams, the Kirinde and Wellawey in the south, and the Kaymel,
the Dedroo-oya, and the Aripo river on the west of the island, are used
for short distances by boats.

[Footnote 1: For an account of the capabilities of the Mahawelli-ganga,
as regards navigation, see BROOKE'S _Report, Roy. Geog. Journ._ vol.
iii. p. 223. and _post_, Vol. II. p. 423.]

All these streams are liable, during the fury of the monsoons, to be
surcharged with rain till they overflow their banks, and spread in wide
inundations over the level country. On the subsidence of these waters,
the intense heat of the sun acting on the surface they leave deserted,
produces a noxious and fatal malaria. Hence the rivers of Ceylon present
the curious anomaly, that whilst the tanks and reservoirs of the
interior diffuse a healthful coolness around, the running water of the
rivers is prolific of fevers; and in some seasons so deadly is the
pestilence that the Malabar coolies, as well as the native peasantry,
betake themselves to precipitate flight.[1]

[Footnote 1: It has been remarked along the Mahawelli-ganga, a few miles
from Kandy, that during the deadly season, after the subsidence of the
rains, the jungle fever generally attacks one face of the hills through
which it winds, leading the opposite side entirely exempted, as if the
poisonous vapour, being carried by the current of air, affected only
those aspects against which it directly impinged.]

Few of the larger rivers have been bridged, except those which intersect
the great high roads from Point-de-Galle to Colombo, and thence to
Kandy. Near the sea this has been effected by timber platforms,
sustained by piles sufficiently strong to withstand the force of the
floods at the change of each monsoon. A bridge of boats connects each
side of the Kalany, and on reaching the Mahawelli-ganga at Peradenia,
one of the most picturesque structures on the island is a noble bridge
of a single arch, 205 feet in span, chiefly constructed of satin-wood,
and thrown across the river by General Fraser in 1832.

On reaching the margin of the sea, an appearance is presented by the
outline of the coast, near the embouchures of the principal rivers,
which is very remarkable. It is common to both sides of the island,
though it has attained its greatest development on the east. In order to
comprehend its formation, it is necessary to observe that Ceylon lies in
the course of the ocean currents in the Bay of Bengal, which run north
or south according to the prevalence of the monsoon, and with greater or
less velocity in proportion to its force at particular periods.


In the beginning and during the strength of the northeast monsoon the
current sets strongly along the coast of Coromandel to the southward, a
portion of it frequently entering Palks Bay to the north of Ceylon; but
the main stream keeping invariably to the east of the island, runs with
a velocity of from one and a half to two miles an hour, and after
passing the Great Bass, it keeps its course seaward. At other times,
after the monsoon has spent its violence, the current is weak, and
follows the line of the land to the westward as far as Point-de-Galle,
or even to Colombo.


In the south-west monsoon the current changes its direction; and,
although it flows steadily to the northward, its action is very
irregular and unequal till it readies the Coromandel coast, after
passing Ceylon. This is accounted for by the obstruction opposed by the
headlands of Ceylon, which so intercept the stream that the current,
which might otherwise set into the Gulf of Manaar, takes a
south-easterly direction by Galle and Donedra Head.[1]

[Footnote 1: For an account of the currents of Ceylon, see HORSBURGH's
_Directions for Sailing to and from the East Indies, &c._; vol i. p.
516, 536, 580; KEITH JOHNSTON's _Physical Atlas_, plate xiii. p. 50.]

There being no lakes in Ceylon[1], in the still waters of which the
rivers might clear themselves of the earthy matter swept along in their
rapid course from the hills, they arrive at the beach laden with sand
and alluvium, and at their junction with the ocean being met
transversely by the gulf-streams, the sand and soil with which they are
laden, instead of being carried out to sea, are heaped up in bars along
the shores, and these, being augmented by similar deposits held in
suspension by the currents, soon extend to north, and south, and force
the rivers to flow behind them in search of a new outlet.

[Footnote 1: Pliny alludes to a lake in Ceylon of vast dimensions, but
it is clear that his informants must have spoken of one of the huge
tanks for the purpose of irrigation. Some of the _Mappe-mondes_ of the
Middle Ages place a lake in the middle of the island, with a city
inhabited by astrologers; but they have merely reproduced the error of
earlier geographers. (SANTAREM, _Cosmog_. tom. iii. p. 336.)]

These formations once commenced, their growth proceeds with rapidity,
more especially on the east side of the island; as the southern current
in skirting the Coromandel coast brings with it quantities of sand,
which it deposits, in tranquil weather, and this being carried by the
wind is piled in heaps from Point Pedro to Hambangtotte. Hence at the
latter point hills are formed of such height and dimensions, that it is
often necessary to remove buildings out of their line of

[Footnote 1: This is occasioned by the waste of the banks further north
during the violence of the N. E. monsoon; and the sand, being carried
south by the current, is intercepted by the headland at Hambangtotte and
thrown up these hills as described.]

[Illustration: "GOBBS" ON THE EAST COAST]

At the mouths of the rivers the bars thus created generally follow the
direction of the current, and the material deposited being dried and
partially consolidated in the intervals between the tides, long
embankments are gradually raised, behind which the rivers flow for
considerable distances before entering the sea. Occasionally these
embouchures become closed by the accumulations without, and the pent-up
water assumes the appearance of a still canal, more or less broad
according to the level of the beach, and extending for miles along the
coast, between the mainland and the new formations. But when swollen by
the rains, if not assisted by artificial outlets to escape, they burst
new openings for themselves, and not unfrequently they leave their
ancient channels converted into shallow lagoons without any visible
exit. Examples of these formations present themselves on the east side
of Ceylon at Nilla-velle, Batticaloa, and a number of other places north
and south of Trincomalie.

On the west coast embankments of this kind, although frequent are less
conspicuous than on the east, owing chiefly to the comparative weakness
of the current. For six months in the year during the north-east monsoon
that side of the island is exempt from a current in any direction, and
for the remaining six, the current from the south not only rarely
affects the Gulf of Manaar, but as it flows out of the Indian Ocean it
brings no earthy deposits. In addition to this, the surf during the
south-west monsoon rolls with such turbulence on the level beach between
Colombo and Point-de-Galle, as in a great degree to disperse the
accumulations of sand brought down by the rivers, or heaped up by the
tide, when the wind is off the land. Still, many of the rivers are
thrown back by embankments, and after forming tortuous lakes flow for a
long distance parallel to the shore, before finding an escape for their
waters. Examples of this occur at Pantura, to the south of Colombo, and
at Negombo, Chilaw, and elsewhere to the north of it.


In process of time these banks of sand[1] become covered with
vegetation; herbaceous plants, shrubs, and finally trees peculiar to
saline soils make their appearance in succession, and as these decay,
their decomposition generates a sufficiency of soil to sustain continued

[Footnote 1: In the voyages of _The Two Mahometans_, the unique MS. of
which dates about A.D. 851, and is now in the Bibliothèque Royale at
Paris, Abon-zeyd, one of its authors, describes the "Gobbs" of Ceylon--a
word, he says, by which the natives designate the valleys deep and broad
which open to the sea. "En face de cette íle y a de vastes _Gobb_, mot
par lequel on désigne une vallée, quand elle est à la fois longue et
large, et qu'elle débouche dans la mer. Les navigateurs emploient, pour
traverser le _gobb_ appelé 'Gobb de Serendib,' deux mois et même
davantage, passant à travers des bois et des jardins, au milieu d'une
température moyenne."--REINAUD, _Voyages faits par les Arabes_, vol. i.
p. 129.

 A misapprehension of this passage has been admitted into the English
version of the _Voyages of the two Mahometans_ which is published in
PINKERTON'S _Collections of Voyages and Travels_, vol. iii.; the
translator having treated gobb as a term applicable to valleys in
general. "Ceylon," he says, "contains valleys of great length, which
extend to the sea, and here travellers repair for two months or more, in
which one is called Gobb Serendib, allured by the beauty of the scenery,
chequered with groves and plains, water and meadows, and blessed by a
balmy air. The valley opens to the sea, and is transcendently
pleasant."--PINKERTON'S _Voyages_, vol. vii. p. 218.

But a passage in Edrisi, while it agrees with the terms of Abou-zeyd,
explains at the same time that these gobbs were not valleys converted
into gardens, to which the seamen resorted for pleasure to spend two or
three months, but the embouchures of rivers flowing between banks,
covered with gardens and forests, into which mariners were accustomed to
conduct their vessels for more secure navigation, and in which they were
subjected to detention for the period stated. The passage is as follows
in Jaubert's translation of Edrisi, tom. i. p. 73:--"Cette île
(Serendib) depend des terres de l'Inde; ainsi que les vallées (in orig.
aghbab) par lesquelles se dechargent les rivières, et qu'on nomme
'Vallées de Serendib.' Les navires y mouillent, et les navigateurs y
passent un mois ou deux dans l'abondance et dans les plaisirs."

It is observable that Ptolemy, in enumerating the ports and harbours of
Ceylon, maintains a distinction between the ordinary bays, [Greek:
kolpos], of which he specifies two corresponding to those of Colombo and
Trincomalie, and the shallower indentations, [Greek: limên], of which he
enumerates five, the positions of which go far to identify them with the
remarkable estuaries or _gobbs_, on the eastern and western coast
between Batticaloa and Calpentyn.

To the present day these latter gulfs are navigable for small craft. On
the eastern side of the island one of them forms the harbour of
Batticaloa, and on the western those of Chilaw and Negombo are bays of
this class. Through the latter a continuous navigation has been
completed by means of short connecting canals, and a traffic is
maintained during the south-west monsoon, from Caltura to the north of
Chilaw, a distance of upwards of eighty miles, by means of craft which
navigate these shallow channels.

These narrow passages conform in every particular to the description
given by Abou-zeyd and Edrisi: they run through a succession of woods
and gardens; and as a leading wind is indispensable for their
navigation, the period named by the Arabian geographers for their
passage is perhaps not excessive during calms or adverse winds.

An article on the meaning of the word gobb will be found in the _Journal
Asiatique_ for September, 1844; but it does not exhibit clearly the very
peculiar features of these openings. It is contained in an extract from
the work on India of ALBYROUNI, a contemporary of Avicenna, who was born
in the valley of the Indus.--"Un golfe (gobb) est comme une encoignure
et un détour que fait la mer en pénétrant dans le continens: les navires
n'y sont pas sans péril particulièrement à l'égard du flux et
reflux."--_Extrait de l'ouvrage d'_ ALBYROUNI _sur l'Inde; Fragmens
Arabes et Persans, relatifs à l'Inde, recueillés par_ M. REINAUD;
_Journ. Asiat., Septembre et Octobre_, 1844, p. 261. In the Turkish
nautical work of SIDI ALI CHELEBI, the _Mohit_, written about A.D. 1550,
which contains directions for sailors navigating the eastern seas, the
author alludes to the _gobbha's_ on the coast of Arracan; and conscious
that the term was local not likely to be understood beyond those
countries, he adds that "gobbha" means "_a gulf full of shallows,
shoals, and breakers_." See translation by VON HAMMER, _Journ. Asiat.
Soc. Beng._ v. 466.]

The process of this conversion may be seen in all its stages at various
points along the coast of Ceylon.

The margin of land nearest to the water is first taken possession of by
a series of littoral plants, which apparently require a large quantity
of salt to sustain their vegetation. These at times are intermixed with
others, which, though found further inland, yet flourish in perfection
on the shore. On the northern and north-western coasts the glass
worts[1] and salt worts[2] are the first to appear on the newly raised
banks, and being provided with penetrating roots, a breakwater is thus
early secured, and the drier sand above becomes occupied with creeping
plants which in their turn afford shelter to a third and erect class.

[Footnote 1: Salicornia Indica.]

[Footnote 2: Salsola Indica.]

The Goat's-foot Ipomoea[1], which appears to encircle the world, abounds
on these shores, covering the surface to the water's edge with its
procumbent branches, which sending down roots from every joint serve to
give the bank its first firmness, whilst the profusion of its
purple-coloured flowers contrasts strikingly with its dark green

[Footnote 1: Ipomoea pes-capræ]

Along with the Ipomoea grow two species of beans[1] each endowed with a
peculiar facility for reproduction, thus consolidating the sands into
which they strike; and the moodu-gaeta-kola[2] (literally the "jointed
seashore plant,") with pink flowers and thick succulent leaves.

[Footnote 1: The Mooduawara (_Canavalia obtusifolia_), whose flowers
have the fragrance of the sweet pea, and _Dolichos luteus_.]

[Footnote 2: Hydrophylax maritima.]

Another plant which performs an important function in the fertilisation
of these arid formations, is the _Spinifex squarrosus_, the "water
pink," as it is sometimes called by Europeans. The seeds of this plant
are contained in a circular head, composed of a series of spine-like
divisions, which radiate from the stalk in all directions, making the
diameter of the whole about eight to nine inches. When the seeds are
mature, and ready for dispersion, these heads become detached from the
plant, and are carried by the wind with great velocity along the sands,
over the surface of which they are impelled on their elastic spines. One
of these balls may be followed by the eye for miles as it hurries along
the level shore, dropping its seeds as it rolls, which speedily
germinate and strike root where they fall. The globular heads are so
buoyant as to float lightly on the water, and the uppermost spines
acting as sails, they are thus carried across narrow estuaries to
continue the process of embanking on newly-formed sand bars. Such an
organisation irresistibly suggests the wonderful means ordained by
Providence to spread this valuable plant along the barren beach to which
no seed-devouring bird ever resorts; and even the unobservant natives,
struck by its singular utility in resisting the encroachments of the
sea, have recorded their admiration by conferring on it the name of
_Maha-Rawana roewula_,--"the great beard of Rawana or Rama."

The banks being thus ingeniously protected from the action of the air
above, and of the water at their base, other herbaceous plants soon
cover them in quick succession, and give the entire surface the first
aspect of vegetation. A little retired above high water are to be found
a species of _Aristolochia_[1], the Sayan[2], or _Choya_, the roots of
which are the Indian Madder (in which, under the Dutch Government, some
tribes in the Wanny paid their tribute); the gorgeous _Gloriosa
superba_, the beautiful _Vistnu-karandi_[3] with its profusion of blue
flowers, which remind one of the English "Forget-me-not," and the
thickly-matted verdure of the _Hiramana-doetta_[4], so well adapted for
imparting consistency to the soil. In the next stage low shrubs make
their appearance, their seeds being drifted by the waves and wind, and
taking ready root wherever they happen to rest. The foremost of these
are the Scævolas[5] and Screw Pines[6], which grow luxuriantly within
the actual wash of the tide, while behind them rises a dense growth of
peculiar plants, each distinguished by the Singhalese by the prefix of
"Moodu," to indicate its partiality for the sea.[7]

[Footnote 1: _Aristolocia bracteata_. On the sands to the north of
Ceylon there is also the _A. Indica_, which forms the food of the great
red and white butterfly (_Papilio Hector_).]

[Footnote 2: _Hedyotis umbellata_. A very curious account of the Dutch
policy In relation to Choya dye will be found in a paper _On the
Vegetable Productions of Ceylon_, by W.C. ONDAATJIE, in the _Ceylon
Calendar_ for 1853. See also BERTOLACCI, B. iii. p. 270.]

[Footnote 3: Evolvulus alsinoides.]

[Footnote 4: Lippia nodiflora.]

[Footnote 5: Scævola takkada and S. Koenigii]

[Footnote 6: Pandanus odoratissimus.]

[Footnote 7: _Moodu-kaduru (Ochrosia parviflora); Moodu-cobbe
(Ornitrophe serrata); Moodu-murunga (Sophora tomentosa_,) &c. &c.
Amongst these marine shrubs the Nil-picha (_Guettarda speciosca_), with
its white and delightfully fragrant flowers, is a conspicuous object on
some parts of the sea-shore between Colombo and Point-de-Galle.]

Where the sand in the lagoons and estuaries is more or less mingled with
the alluvium brought down by the rivers, there are plants of another
class which are equally characteristic. Amongst these the Mangroves[1]
take the first place in respect to their mass of vegetation; then follow
the Belli-patta[2] and Suriya-gaha[3], with their large hibiscus-like
flowers; the Tamarisks[4]; the Acanthus[5], with its beautiful blue
petals and holly-like leaves; the Water Coco-nut[6]; the Ægiceras and
Hernandia[7], with its sonorous fruits; while the dry sands above are
taken possession of by the Acacias, _Salvadora Persica_ (the true
mustard-tree of Scripture[8], which, here attains a height of forty
feet), Ixoras, and the numerous family of Cassias.

[Footnote 1: Two species of _Rhizophora_, two of _Bruguiera_, and one of

[Footnote 2: Paritimn tilliaceum.]

[Footnote 3: Thespesia populnea.]

[Footnote 4: Tamarix Indica.]

[Footnote 5: Dilivaria ilicifolia.]

[Footnote 6: Nipa fruticans.]

[Footnote 7: Hernandia sonora.]

[Footnote 8: The identification of this tree with the mustard-tree
alluded to by our Saviour is an interesting fact. The Greek term [Greek:
sinapis], which occurs Matt. xiii 31, and elsewhere, is the name given
to _mustard_; for which the Arabic equivalent is _chardul_ or _khardal_,
and the Syriac _khardalo_. The same name is applied at the present day
to a tree which grows freely in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and
generally throughout Palestine; the seeds of which, have an aromatic
pungency, which enables them to be used instead of the ordinary mustard
(_Sinapis nigra_); besides which, its structure presents all the
essentials to sustain the illustration sought to be established in the
parable, some of which are wanting or dubious in the common plant, It
has a very small seed; it may be sown in a garden: it grows into an
"herb," and eventually "becometh a tree; so that the birds of the air
come and lodge in the branches thereof." With every allowance for the
extremest development attainable by culture, it must be felt that the
dimensions of the domestic _sinapis_ scarcely justify the last
illustration; besides which it is an annual, and cannot possibly be
classed as a "tree." The khardal grows abundantly in Syria: it was found
in Egypt by Sir Gardner Wilkinson; in Arabia by Bové; on the Indus by
Sir Alexander Burnes; and throughout the north-west of India it bears
the name of kharjal. Combining all these facts, Dr. Royle, in an erudite
paper, has shown demonstrative reasons for believing that the _Salvadora
Persica_, the "kharjal" of Hindostan, is the "khardal" of Arabia, the
"chardul" of the Talmud, and the "mustard-tree" of the parable.]

Lastly, after a sufficiency of earth has been formed by the decay of
frequent successions of their less important predecessors, the ground
becomes covered by trees of ampler magnitude, most of which are found
upon the adjacent shores of the mainland--the Margoza[1], from whose
seed the natives express a valuable oil; the Timbiri[2], with the
glutinous nuts with which the fishermen "bark" their nets; the
Cashu-nut[3]; the Palu[4], one of the most valuable timber trees of the
Northern Provinces; and the Wood-apple[5], whose fruit is regarded by
the Singhalese as a specific for dysentery.

[Footnote 1: Azadirachta Indica.]

[Footnote 2: Diospyros glutinosa.]

[Footnote 3: Anacardium occidentale.]

[Footnote 4: Mimusopa hexandra.]

[Footnote 5: Ægle marmelos.]

But the most important fact connected with these recently formed
portions of land, is their extraordinary suitability for the growth of
the coco-nut, which requires the sea-air (and in Ceylon at least appears
never to attain its full luxuriance when removed to any considerable
distance from it)[1], and which, at the same time, requires a light and
sandy soil, and the constant presence of water in large quantities. All
these essentials are combined in the sea-belts here described, lying as
they do between the ocean on the one side and the fresh-water lakes
formed by the great rivers on the other, thus presenting every requisite
of soil and surface. It is along a sand formation of this description,
about forty miles long and from one to three miles broad, that thriving
coco-nut plantations have been recently commenced at Batticaloa. At
Calpentyn, on the western coast, a like formation has been taken
advantage of for the same purpose. At Jaffna somewhat similar
peculiarities of soil and locality have been seized on for this
promising cultivation; and, generally, along the whole seaborde of
Ceylon to the south and west, the shore for the breadth of one or two
miles exhibits almost continuous groves of coco-nut palms.

[Footnote 1: Coco-nuts are cultivated at moderate elevations in the
mountain villages of the Interior; but the fruit bears no comparison, in
number, size, or weight, with that produced in the lowlands, and near
the sea, on either side of the island.]

_Harbours_.--With the exception of the estuaries above alluded to,
chiefly in the northern section of the island, the outline of the coast
is interrupted by few sinuosities. There are no extensive inlets, or
bays, and only two harbours--that of _Point-de-Galle_ which, in addition
to being incommodious and small, is obstructed by coral rocks, reefs of
which have been upreared to the surface, and render the entrance
critical to strange ships[1]; and the magnificent basin of Trincomalie,
which, in extent, security, and beauty, is unsurpassed by any haven in
the world.

[Footnote 1: Owing to the obstructions at its entrance, Galle is
extremely difficult of access in particular winds. In 1857 it was
announced in the _Colombo Examiner_ that "the fine ship the 'Black
Eagle' was blown out of Galle Roads the other day, with the pilot on
board; whilst the captain was temporarily engaged on shore; and as she
was not able to beat in again, she made for Trincomalie, where she has
been lying for a fortnight. Such an event is by no means unprecedented
at Galle."--_Examiner_, 20 Sept. 1857.]

_Tides_.--The variation of the tides is so slight that navigation is
almost unaffected by it. The ordinary rise and fall is from 18 to 24
inches, with an increase of about a third at spring tides. High water is
later on the eastern than on the western coast; occurring, on full and
new moon, a little after eleven o'clock at Adam's Bridge, about 1
o'clock at Colombo, and 1.25 at Galle, whilst it attains its greatest
elevation between 5 and 6 o'clock in the harbour of Trincomalie.

_Red infusoria_.--On both sides of the island (but most frequently at
Colombo), during the south-west monsoon, a broad expanse of the sea
assumes a red tinge, considerably brighter than brick-dust; and this is
confined to a space so distinct that a line seems to separate it from
the green water which flows on either side. Observing that the whole
area changed its position without parting with any portion of its
colouring, I had some of the water brought on shore, and, on examination
with the microscope, it proved to be filled with _infusoria_, probably
similar to those which have been noticed near the shores of South
America, and whose abundance has imparted a name to the "Vermilion Sea"
off the coast of California.

THE POPULATION OF CEYLON, of all races, was, in 1857, 1,697,975; but
this was exclusive of the military and their families, both Europeans
and Malays, which together amounted to 5,430; and also of aliens and
other casual strangers, forming about 25,000 more.

The particulars are as follow:--

|Provinces   |Whites.        |Coloured.      |Total.     |Population|
|       |Males.|Females.|Males.|Females.|Males.|Females. | to the   |
                                                         |sq. mile. |
|Western.   |1,293|1,246|293,409|259,106|294,702|260,352 |  146.59  |
|N. Western |   21|   11|100,807| 96,386|100,828| 96,397 |   59.93  |
|Southern   |  238|  241|156,900|149,649|157,138|149,890 |  143.72  |
|Eastern    |  201|  143| 39,923| 35,531| 40,124| 35,674 |   16.08  |
|Northern   |  387|  362|153,062|148,678|153,449|149,040 |   55.85  |
|Central    |  468|  204|143,472|116,237|143,940|116,441 |   52.57  |
|           |2,608|2,207|887,573|805,587|890,181|807,794 |   69.73  |



The climate of Ceylon, from its physical configuration and insular
detachment, contrasts favourably with that of the great Indian
peninsula. Owing to the moderate dimensions of the island, the elevation
of its mountains, the very short space during which the sun is passing
over it[1] in his regression from or approach to the solstices, and its
surrounding seas being nearly uniform in temperature, it is exempt from
the extremes of heating and cooling to which the neighbouring continent
of India is exposed. From the same causes it is subjected more uniformly
to the genial influences of the trade winds that blow over the Indian
Ocean and the Bay of Bengal.

[Footnote 1: In his approach to the northern solstice, the sun, having
passed the equator on the 21st of March, reaches the south of Ceylon
about the 5th of April, and ten days later is vertical over Point Pedro,
the northern extremity of the island. On his return he is again over
Point Pedro about the 27th of August, and passes southward over Dondera
Head about the 7th of September.]

The island is seldom visited by hurricanes[1], or swept by typhoons, and
the breeze, unlike the hot and arid winds of Coromandel and the Dekkan,
is always more or less refreshing. The range of the thermometer exhibits
no violent changes, and never indicates a temperature insupportably
high. The mean on an annual average scarcely exceeds 80° at Colombo,
though in exceptional years it has risen to 86°. But at no period of the
day are dangerous results to be apprehended from exposure to the sun;
and except during parts of the months of March, and April, there is no
season when moderate exercise is not practicable and agreeable. For half
the year, from October to May, the prevailing winds are from the
north-east, and during the remaining months the south-west monsoon blows
steadily from the great Indian Ocean. The former, affected by the wintry
chills of the vast tracts of land which it traverses before crossing the
Bay of Bengal, is subject to many local variations and intervals of
calm. But the latter, after the first violence of its outset is abated,
becomes nearly uniform throughout the period of its prevalence, and
presents the character of an on-shore breeze extending over a prodigious
expanse of sea and land, and exerting a powerful influence along the
regions of southern Asia.

[Footnote 1: The exception to the exemption of Ceylon from hurricanes is
the occasional occurrence of a cyclone extending its circle till the
verge has sometimes touched Batticaloa, on the south-eastern extremity
of the island, causing damage to vegetation and buildings. Such an event
is, however, exceedingly rare. On the 7th of January, 1805, H.M.S.
"Sheerness" and two others were driven on shore in a hurricane at

In Ceylon the proverbial fickleness of the winds, and the uncertainty
which characterises the seasons in northern climates, is comparatively
unknown; and the occurrence of changes or rain may be anticipated with
considerable accuracy in any month of a coming year. There are, of
course, abnormal seasons with higher ranges of temperature, heavier
rains, or droughts of longer continuance, but such extremes are
exceptional and rare. Great atmospheric changes occur only at two
opposite periods of the year, and so gradual is their approach that the
climate is monotonous, and one longs to see again "the falling of the
leaf" to diversify the sameness of perennial verdure. The line is faint
which divides the seasons. No period of the year is divested of its
seed-time and its harvest in some part of the island; and fruit hangs
ripe on the same branches that are garlanded with opening buds. But as
every plant has its own period for the production of its flowers and
fruit, each month is characterised by its own peculiar flora.

As regards the foliage of the trees, it might be expected that the
variety of tints would be wanting which forms the charm of a European
landscape, and that all nature would wear one mantle of unchanging
green. But it has been remarked by a tasteful observer[1] that such is
far from the fact, and though in Ceylon there is no revolution of
seasons, the change of leaf on the same plant exhibits colours as bright
as those which tinge the autumnal woods of America. It is not the
decaying leaves, but the fresh shoots, which exhibit these brightened
colours, the older are still vividly green, whilst the young are
bursting forth; and the extremities of the branches present tufts of
pale yellow, pink, crimson, and purple, which give them at a distance
the appearance of a cluster of flowers.[2]

[Footnote 1: Prof. Harvey, Trin. Coll. Dublin.]

[Footnote 2: Some few trees, such as the margosa (_Azadirachta Indica_),
the country almond (_Terminalia catappa_), and others, are deciduous,
and part with their leaves. The cinnamon shoots forth in all shades from
bright yellow to dark crimson. The maella _(Olax Zeylanica)_ has always
a copper colour; and the ironwood trees of the interior have a perfect
blaze of young crimson leaves, as brilliant as flowers. The lovi-lovi
(_Flacourtia inermis_) has the same peculiarity; while the large bracts
of the mussænda (_Mussænda frondosa_) attract the notice of Europeans
for their angular whiteness.]

A notice of the variations exhibited by the weather at Colombo may serve
as an index to the atmospheric condition of the rest of the island,
except in those portions (such as the mountains of the interior, and the
low plains of the northern extremity) which exhibit modifications of
temperature and moisture incident to local peculiarities.

Wind N.E.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    85.6º
  Mean least       69.2º
Rain (inches)       3.1]

_January_.--At the opening of the year, the north-east monsoon, which
sets in two months previously, is nearly in mid career. This wind,
issuing from the chill north and robbed of its aqueous vapour in passing
over the elevated mountain regions on the confines of China and Thibet,
sweeps across the Bay of Bengal, whence its lowest strata imbibe a
quantity of moisture, moderate in amount, yet still leaving the great
mass of air far below saturation. Hence it reaches Ceylon comparatively
dry, and its general effects are parching and disagreeable. This
character is increased as the sun recedes towards its most southern
declination, and the wind acquires a more direct draught from the north;
passing over the Indian peninsula and almost totally digested of
humidity, it blows down the western coast of the island, and is known
there by the name of the "along-shore-wind." For a time its influence is
uncomfortable and its effects injurious both to health and vegetation:
it warps and rends furniture, dries up the surface of the earth, and
withers the delicate verdure which had sprung up during the prevalence
of the previous rains. These characteristics, however, subside towards
the end of the month, when the wind becomes somewhat variable with a
westerly tendency and occasional showers; and the heat of the day is
then partially compensated by the greater freshness of the nights. The
fall of rain within the month scarcely exceeds three inches.

Wind N.E.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    89°
  Mean least       71°
Rain (inches)     2.1]

_February_ is dry and hot during the day, but the nights are cloudless
and cool, and the moonlight singularly agreeable. Rain is rare, and when
it occurs it falls in dashes, succeeded by damp and sultry calms. The
wind is unsteady and shifts from north-east to north-west, sometimes
failing entirely between noon and twilight. The quantity of rain is less
than in January, and the difference of temperature between day and night
is frequently as great as 15° or 20°.[1]

[Footnote 1: Dr. MACVICAR, in a paper in the _Ceylon Miscellany_, July,
1843, recorded the results of some experiments, made near Colombo, as to
the daily variation of temperature and Its effects on cultivation, from
which it appeared that a register thermometer, exposed on a tuft of
grass in the cinnamon garden in a clear night and under the open sky, on
the 2nd of January, 1841, showed in the morning that it had been so low
as 52°, and when laid on the ground in the place in the sunshine on the
following day, it rose to upwards of 140° Fahr.]

Wind N.E. to N.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    87.7°
  Mean least       73.1°
Rain (inches)       2.1]

_March_.--In March the heat continues to increase, the earth receiving
more warmth than it radiates or parts with by evaporation. The day
becomes oppressive, the nights unrefreshing, the grass is withered and
brown, the earth hard and cleft, the lakes shrunk to shallows, and the
rivers evaporated to dryness. Europeans now escape from the low country,
and betake themselves to the shade of the forests adjoining the
coffee-plantations in the hills; or to the still higher sanatarium of
Neuera-ellia, nearly the loftiest plateau in the mountains of the
Kandyan range. The winds, when any are perceptible, are faint and
unsteady with a still increasing westerly tendency, partial showers
sometimes fall, and thunder begins to mutter towards sunset. At the
close of the month, the mean temperature will be found to have advanced
about a degree, but the sensible temperature and the force of the sun's
rays are felt in a still more perceptible proportion.

Wind N.W. to S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    88.7°
  Mean least       73.6°
Rain (inches)       7.4]

_April_ is by far the most oppressive portion of the year for those who
remain at the sea-level of the island. The temperature continues to rise
as the sun in his northern progress passes vertically over the island. A
mirage fills the hollows with mimic water; the heat in close apartments
becomes extreme, and every living creature flies to the shade from the
suffocating glare of mid-day. At length the sea exhibits symptoms of an
approaching change, a ground swell sets in from the west, and the breeze
towards sunset brings clouds and grateful showers. At the end of the
month the mean temperature attains its greatest height during the year,
being about 83° in the day, and 10° lower at night.

Wind N.W. to S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    87.2°
  Mean least       72.9°
Rain (inches)      13.3]

_May_ is signalised by the great event of the change of the monsoon, and
all the grand phenomena which accompany its approach.

It is difficult for any one who has not resided in the tropics to
comprehend the feeling of enjoyment which accompanies these periodical
commotions of the atmosphere; in Europe they would be fraught with
annoyance, but in Ceylon they are welcomed with a relish proportionate
to the monotony they dispel.

Long before the wished-for period arrives, the verdure produced by the
previous rains becomes almost obliterated by the burning droughts of
March and April. The deciduous trees shed their foliage, the plants
cease to put forth fresh leaves, and all vegetable life languishes under
the unwholesome heat. The grass withers on the baked and cloven earth,
and red dust settles on the branches and thirsty brushwood. The insects,
deprived of their accustomed food, disappear underground or hide beneath
the decaying bark; the water-beetles bury themselves in the hardened mud
of the pools, and the _helices_ retire into the crevices of the stones
or the hollows amongst the roots of the trees, closing the apertures of
their shells with the hybernating epiphragm. Butterflies are no longer
seen hovering over the flowers, the birds appear fewer and less joyous,
and the wild animals and crocodiles, driven by the drought from their
accustomed retreats, wander through the jungle, and even venture to
approach the village wells in search of water. Man equally languishes
under the general exhaustion, ordinary exertion becomes distasteful, and
the native Singhalese, although inured to the climate, move with
lassitude and reluctance.

Meanwhile the air becomes loaded to saturation with aqueous vapour drawn
up by the augmented force of evaporation acting vigorously over land and
sea: the sky, instead of its brilliant blue, assumes the sullen tint of
lead, and not a breath disturbs the motionless rest of the clouds that
hang on the lower range of hills. At length, generally about the middle
of the month, but frequently earlier, the sultry suspense is broken by
the arrival of the wished-for change. The sun has by this time nearly
attained his greatest northern declination, and created a torrid heat
throughout the lands of southern Asia and the peninsula of India. The
air, lightened by its high temperature and such watery vapour as it may
contain, rises into loftier regions and is replaced by indraughts from
the neighbouring sea, and thus a tendency is gradually given to the
formation of a current bringing up from the south the warm humid air of
the equator. The wind, therefore, which reaches Ceylon comes laden with
moisture, taken up in its passage across the great Indian Ocean. As the
monsoon draws near, the days become more overcast and hot, banks of
clouds rise over the ocean to the west, and in the peculiar twilight the
eye is attracted by the unusual whiteness of the sea-birds that sweep
along the strand to seize the objects flung on shore by the rising surf.

At last the sudden lightnings flash among the hills and sheet through
the clouds that overhang the sea[1], and with a crash of thunder the
monsoon bursts over the thirsty land, not in showers or partial
torrents, but in a wide deluge, that in the course of a few hours
overtops the river banks and spreads in inundations over every level

[Footnote 1: The lightnings of Ceylon are so remarkable, that in the
middle ages they were as well known to the Arabian seamen, who coasted
the island on their way to China, as in later times the storms that
infested the Cape of Good Hope were familiar to early navigators of
Portugal. In the _Mohit_ of SIDI ALI CHELEBI, translated by Von Hammer,
it is stated that to seamen, sailing from Diu to Malacca, "the sign of
Ceylon being near is continual lightning, be it accompanied by rain or
without rain; so that 'the lightning of Ceylon' is proverbial for a
liar!"--_Journ. Asiat. Soc. Beng._ v. 465.]

All the phenomena of this explosion are stupendous: thunder, as we are
accustomed to be awed by it in Europe, affords but the faintest idea of
its overpowering grandeur in Ceylon, and its sublimity is infinitely
increased as it is faintly heard from the shore, resounding through
night and darkness over the gloomy sea. The lightning, when it touches
the earth where it is covered with the descending torrent, flashes into
it and disappears instantaneously; but, when it strikes a drier surface,
in seeking better conductors, it often opens a hollow like that formed
by the explosion of a shell, and frequently leaves behind it traces of
vitrification.[1] In Ceylon, however, occurrences of this kind are rare,
and accidents are seldom recorded from lightning, probably owing to the
profusion of trees, and especially of coco-nut palms, which, when
drenched with rain, intercept the discharge, and conduct the electric
matter to the earth. The rain at these periods excites the astonishment
of a European: it descends in almost continuous streams, so close and so
dense that the level ground, unable to absorb it sufficiently fast, is
covered with one uniform sheet of water, and down the sides of
acclivities it rushes in a volume that wears channels in the surface.[2]
For hours together, the noise of the torrent, as it beats upon the trees
and bursts upon the roofs, flowing thence in rivulets along the ground,
occasions an uproar that drowns the ordinary voice, and renders sleep

[Footnote 1: See DARWIN'S _Naturalist's Voyage_, ch. iii. for an account
of those vitrified siliceous tubes which are formed by lightning
entering loose sand. During a thunderstorm which passed over Galle, on
the 16th May, 1854, the fortifications were shaken by lightning, and an
extraordinary cavity was opened behind the retaining wall of the
rampart, where a hole, a yard in diameter, was carried into the ground
to the depth of twenty feet, and two chambers, each six feet in length,
branched out on either side at its extremity.]

[Footnote 2: One morning on awaking  at Pusilawa, in the hills between
Kandy and Neuera-ellia, I was taken to see the effect of a few hours'
rain, during the night, on a macadamised road which I had passed the
evening before. There was no symptom of a storm at sunset, and the
morning was bright and cloudless; but between midnight and dawn such an
inundation had swept the highway that in many places the metal had been
washed over the face of the acclivity; and in one spot where a sudden
bend forced the torrent to impinge against the bank, it had scooped out
an excavation extending to the centre of the high road, thirteen feet in
diameter, and deep enough to hold a carriage and horses.]

This violence, however, seldom lasts more than an hour or two, and
gradually abates after intermittent paroxysms, and a serenely clear sky
supervenes. For some days, heavy showers continue to fall at intervals
in the forenoon; and the evenings which follow are embellished by
sunsets of the most gorgeous splendour, lighting the fragments of clouds
that survive the recent storm.

Wind S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
 Mean greatest   85.8°
 Mean least      74.4°
Rain (inches)     6.8]

_June_.--The extreme heat of the previous month becomes modified in
June: the winds continue steadily to blow from the south-west, and
frequent showers, accompanied by lightning and thunder, serve still
further to diffuse coolness throughout the atmosphere and verdure over
the earth.

So instantaneous is the response of Nature to the influence of returning
moisture, that, in a single day, and almost between sunset and dawn, the
green hue of reviving vegetation begins to tint the saturated ground. In
ponds, from which but a week before the wind blew clouds of sandy dust,
the peasantry are now to be seen catching the re-animated fish; and
tank-shells and water-beetles revive and wander over the submerged
sedges. The electricity of the air stimulates the vegetation of the
trees; and scarce a week will elapse till the plants are covered with
the larvæ of butterflies, the forest murmuring with the hum of insects,
and the air harmonious with the voice of birds.

The extent to which the temperature is reduced, after the first burst of
the monsoon, is not to be appreciated by the indications of the
thermometer alone, but is rendered still more sensible by the altered
density of the air, the drier state of which is favourable to
evaporation, whilst the increase of its movement bringing it more
rapidly in contact with the human body, heat is more readily carried
off, and the coolness of the surface proportionally increased. It
occasionally happens during the month of June that the westerly wind
acquires considerable strength, sometimes amounting to a moderate gale.
The fishermen, at this period, seldom put to sea: their canoes are drawn
far up in lines upon the shore, and vessels riding in the roads of
Colombo are often driven from their anchorage and stranded on the beach.

Wind S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    84.8º
  Mean least       74.9º
Rain (inches)       3.4]

_July_ resembles, to a great extent, the month which precedes it, except
that, in all particulars the season is more moderate, showers are less
frequent, there is less wind, and less absolute heat.

Wind S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest     84.9°
  Mean least        74.7°
  Rain (inches)      2.8]

_August_.--In August the weather is charming, notwithstanding
withstanding a slight increase of heat, owing to diminished evaporation;
and the sun being now on its return to the equator, its power is felt in
greater force on full exposure to its influence.

Wind S.W.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest     84.9º
  Mean least        74.8º
Rain (inches)        5.2]

_September_.--The same atmospheric condition continues throughout
September, but towards its close the sea-breeze becomes unsteady and
clouds begin to collect, symptomatic of the approaching change to the
north-east monsoon. The nights are always clear and delightfully cool.
Rain is sometimes abundant.

Wind S.W. and N.E.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest     85.1º
  Mean least        73.3º
Rain (inches)       11.2]

_October_ is more unsettled, the wind veering towards the north, with
pretty frequent rain; and as the sun is now far to the southward, the
heat continues to decline.

Wind N.E.
Temperature, 24 hours:
  Mean greatest     86.3º
  Mean least        71.5º
Rain (inches)       10.7]

_November_ sees the close of the south-west monsoon and the arrival of
the north-eastern. In the early part of the month the wind visits nearly
every point of the compass, but shows a marked predilection for the
north, generally veering from N.E. at night and early morning, to N.W.
at noon; calms are frequent and precede gentle showers, and clouds form
round the lower range of hills. By degrees as the sun advances in its
southern declination, and warms the lower half of the great African
continent, the current of heated air ascending from the equatorial belt
leaves a comparative vacuum, towards which the less rarefied atmospheric
fluid is drawn down from the regions north, of the tropic, bringing with
it the cold and dry winds from the Himalayan Alps, and the lofty ranges
of Assam. The great change is heralded as before by oppressive calms,
lurid skies, vivid lightning, bursts of thunder, and tumultuous rain.
But at this change of the monsoon the atmospheric disturbance is less
striking than in May; the previous temperature is lower, the moisture of
the air is more reduced, and the change is less agreeably perceptible
from the southern breeze to the dry and parching wind from the north.

Wind N.E.
Temperature 24 hours:
  Mean greatest    85°
  Mean least       70°
Rain (inches)      4.3]

_December_.--In December the sun attains to its greatest southern
declination, and the wind setting steadily from the northeast brings
with it light but frequent rains from Bay Of Bengal. The thermometer
shows a maximum temperature of 85° with a minimum of 70°; the morning
and the afternoon are again enjoyable in the open air, but at night
every lattice that faces the north is cautiously closed against the
treacherous "along-shore-wind."

Notwithstanding the violence and volume in which the rains have been
here described as descending during the paroxysms of the monsoons, the
total rain-fall in Ceylon is considerably less than on the continent of
Throughout Hindustan the annual mean is 117.5 and on some parts on the
Malabar coast, upwards of 300 inches have fallen in a single year[1];
whereas the in Ceylon rarely exceeds 80, and the highest registered in
an exceptional season was 120 inches.

[Footnote 1: At Mahabaleshwar, in the Western Ghauts, the annual mean is
254 inches, and at Uttray Mullay; in Malabar, 263; whilst at Bengal it
is 209 inches at Sylhet; and 610.3 at Cherraponga.]

The distribution is of course unequal, both as to time and localities,
and in those districts where the fall is most considerable, the number
of rainless days is the greatest.[1] An idea may be formed of the deluge
that descends in Colombo during the change of the monsoon, from the fact
that out of 72.4 inches, the annual average there, no less than 20.7
inches fall in April and May, and 21.9 in October and November, a
quantity one-third greater than the total rain in England throughout an
entire year.

[Footnote 1: The average number of days on which rain fell at Colombo in
the years 1832, 1833, 1834, and 1835, was as follows:--

  In January           3
     February          4
     March             6
     April            11
     May              13
     June             13
     July              8
     August           10
     September        14
     October          17
     November         11
     December          8
    Total            118]

In one important particular the phenomenon, of the Dekkan affords an
analogy for that which presents itself in Ceylon. During the south-west
monsoon the clouds are driven against the lofty chain of mountains that
overhang the western shore of the peninsula, and their condensed vapour
descends there in copious showers. The winds, thus early robbed of their
moisture, carry but little rain to the plains of the interior, and
whilst Malabar is saturated by daily showers, the sky of Coromandel is
clear and serene. In the north-east monsoon a condition the very
opposite exists; the wind that then prevails is much drier, and the
hills which it encounters being of lower altitude, the rains are carried
further towards the interior, and whilst the weather is unsettled and
stormy on the eastern shore, the western is comparatively exempt, and
enjoys a calm and cloudless sky.[1]

[Footnote 1: The mean of rain is, on the western side of the Dekkan, 80
inches, and on the eastern, 52.8.]

In like manner the west coast of Ceylon presents a contrast with the
east, both in the volume of rain in each of the respective monsoons, and
in the influence which the same monsoon exerts simultaneously on the one
side of the island and on the other. The greatest quantity of rain falls
on the south-western portion, in the month of May, when the wind from
the Indian Ocean is intercepted, and its moisture condensed by the lofty
mountain ranges, surrounding Adam's Peak. The region principally
affected by it stretches from Point-de-Galle, as far north as Putlam,
and eastward till it includes the greater portion of the ancient Kandyan
kingdom. But the rains do not reach the opposite side of the island;
whilst the west coast is deluged, the east is sometimes exhausted with
dryness; and it not unfrequently happens that different aspects of the
same mountain present at the same moment the opposite extremes of
drought and moisture.[1]

[Footnote 1: ADMIRAL FITZROY has described, in his _Narrative of the
Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle_, the striking degree in which this
simultaneous dissimilarity of climate is exhibited on opposite sides of
the Galapagos Islands; one aspect exposed to the south being covered
with verdure and freshened with moisture, whilst all others are barren
and parched.--Vol. ii. p. 502-3. The same state of things exists in the
east and west sides of the Peruvian Andes, and in the mountains of
Patagonia. And no more remarkable example of it exists than in the
island of Socotra, east of the Straits of Bab el Mandeb, the west coast
of which, during the north-east monsoon, is destitute of rain and
verdure, whilst the eastern side is enriched by streams and covered by
luxuriant pasturage.--_Journ. Asiat. Soc. Beng._ vol. iv. p. 141.]


One maximum at the spring change of the monsoon anticipating a little
that on the West coast of India; another at the autumnal change
corresponding more exactly with that of the East coast. The entire fall
through the year more equably distributed at Columbo.]

On the east coast, on the other hand, the fall, during the north-east
monsoon, is very similar in degree to that on the coast of Coromandel,
as the mountains are lower and more remote from the sea, the clouds are
carried farther inland and it rains simultaneously on both sides of the
island, though much less on the west than during the other monsoon.

_The climate of Galle_, as already stated, resembles in its general
characteristics that of Colombo, but, being further to the south, and
more equally exposed to the influence of both the monsoons, the
temperature is not quite so high; and, during the cold season, it falls
some degrees lower, especially in the evening and early morning.[1]

[Footnote 1: At Point-de-Galle, in 1854, the number of rainy days was as

January       12
February       7
March         16
April         12
May           23
June          18
July          11
August        21
September     16
October       20
November      15
December      13]

_Kandy_, from its position, shares in the climate of the western coast;
but, from the frequency of the mountain showers, and its situation, at
an elevation of upwards of sixteen hundred feet above the level of the
sea, it enjoys a much cooler temperature. It differs from the low
country in one particular, which is very striking--the early period of
the day at which the maximum heat is attained. This at Colombo is
generally between two and three o'clock in the afternoon, whereas at
Kandy the thermometer shows the highest temperature of the day between
ten and eleven o'clock in the morning.

In the low country, ingenuity has devised so many expedients for defence
from the excessive heat of the forenoon, that the languor it induces is
chiefly experienced after sunset, and the coolness of the night is
insufficient to compensate for the exhaustion of the day; but, in Kandy,
the nights are so cool that it is seldom that warm covering can be
altogether dispensed with. In the colder months, the daily range of the
thermometer is considerable--approaching 30°; in the others, it differs
little from 15°. The average mean, however, of each month throughout the
year is nearly identical, deviating only a degree from 76°, the mean
annual temperature.[1]

[Footnote 1: The following Table appeared in the _Colombo Observer_, and
is valuable from the care taken by Mr. Caley in its preparation;

_Analysis of the Climate at Peradenia, from 1851 to 1858 inclusive._

|Months.    |     Temperature.     |  Rainfall. |      Remarks.           |
|           |     |    |     |Aver-|    |Average|                         |
|           |Max. |Min.|Mean.|age  | In.|of     |                         |
|           |     |    |     | of  |    |Years /                          |
|           |     |    |     |Years|     \    /                           |
|January    |85.0 |52.5|74.06|6    |4.04  |6 |Fine, sunny, heavy dew at   |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |night, hot days, and cold   |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |nights and mornings.        |
|February   |87.75|55.0|75.76|7    |1.625 |6 |Fine, sunny, dewy nights,   |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |foggy mornings, days hot,   |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |nights and mornings cold.   |
|March      |89.5 |59.5|77.42|7    |3.669 |6 |Generally a very hot and    |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |oppressive month.           |
|April      |89.5 |67.5|77.91|7    |7.759 |6 |Showery, sultry, and        |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |   oppressive weather.      |
|May        |88.0 |66.0|77.7 |8    |8.022 |6 |Cloudy, windy, rainy;       |
                                             |  monsoon generally changes.|
|June       |86.0 |71.0|76.69|8    |7.155 |6 |A very wet and stormy month.|
|July       |86.0 |67.0|75.64|8    |5.72  |6 |Ditto           ditto       |
|August     |85.5 |67.0|75.81|8    |8.55  |6 |Showery, but sometimes more |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |moderate, variable          |
|September  |85.5 |67.0|76.13|8    |6.318 |6 |Pretty dry weather, compared|
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |with the next two months.   |
|October    |85.73|68.2|75.1 |8    |15.46 |6 |Wind variable, much rain.   |
|November   |84.0 |62.0|74.79|8    |14.732|6 |Wind variable, storms from  |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |all points of compass, wet; |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |monsoon generally changes.  |
|December   |82.75|57.0|74.05|7    |7.72  |5 |Sometimes wet, but generally|
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |more moderate; towards      |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |end of year like January    |
|           |     |    |     |     |      |  |weather.                    |

      Mean yearly Temperature,  Mean yearly          Nov. 29, 1858
      75.92º                    Rainfall, 91.75          J.A. CALEY.
                                in. nearly.]

In all the mountain valleys, the soil being warmer than the air, vapour
abounds in the early morning for the most part of the year. It greatly
adds to the chilliness of travelling before dawn; but, generally
speaking, it is not wetting, as it is charged with the same electricity
as the surface of the earth and the human body. When seen from the
heights, it is a singular object, as it lies compact and white as snow
in the hollows beneath, but it is soon put in motion by the morning
currents, and wafted in the direction of the coast, where it is
dissipated by the sunbeams.

_Snow_ is unknown in Ceylon; _Hail_ occasionally falls in the Kandyan
hills at the change of the monsoon,[1] but more frequently during that
from the north-east. As observed at Kornegalle, the clouds, after
collecting as usual for a few evenings, and gradually becoming more
dense, advanced in a wedge-like form, with a well-defined outline. The
first fall of rain was preceded by a downward blast of cold air,
accompanied by hailstones which outstripped the rain in their descent.
Rain and hail then poured down together, and, eventually, the latter
only spread its deluge far and wide, In 1852, the hail which thus fell
at Kornegalle was of such a size that half-a-dozen lumps filled a
tumbler, In shape, they were oval and compressed, but the mass appeared
to have formed an hexagonal pyramid, the base of which was two inches in
diameter, and about half-an-inch thick, gradually thinning towards the
edge. They were tolerably solid internally, each containing about the
size of a pea of clear ice at the centre, but the sides and angles were
spongy and flocculent, as if the particles had been driven together by
the force of the wind, and had coalesced at the instant of contact. A
phenomenon so striking as the fall of ice, at the moment of the most
intense atmospherical heat, naturally attracts the wonder of the
natives, who hasten to collect the pieces, and preserve them, when
dissolved, in bottles, from a belief in their medicinal properties. Mr.
Morris, who has repeatedly observed hailstones in the Seven Korles, is
under the impression that their occurrence always happens at the first
outburst of the monsoon, and that they fall at the moment, which is
marked by the first flash of lightning.

[Footnote 1: It is stated in the _Physical Atlas_ of KEITH JOHNSTON,
that hail in India has not been noticed south of Madras. But in Ceylon
it has fallen very recently at Korngalle, at Badulla, at Kaduganawa; and
I have heard of a hail storm at Jaffna.  On 1 the 24th of Sept. 1857,
during a thunder-storm, hail fell near Matelle in such quantity that in
places it formed drifts upwards of a foot in depth.]

According to Professor Stevelly, of Belfast, the rationale of their
appearance on such occasions seems to be that, on the sudden formation
and descent of the first drops, the air expanding and rushing into the
void spaces, robs the succeeding drops of their caloric so effectually
as to send them to the earth frozen into ice-balls.

These descriptions, it will be observed, apply exclusively to the
southern regions on the east and west of Ceylon; and, in many
particulars, they are inapplicable to the northern portions of the
island. At Trincomalie, the climate bears a general resemblance to that
of the Indian peninsula south of Madras: showers are frequent, but
light, and the rain throughout the year does not exceed forty inches.
With moist winds and plentiful dew, this sustains a vigorous vegetation
near the coast; but in the interior it would be insufficient for the
culture of grain, were not the water husbanded in tanks; and, for this
reason, the bulk of the population are settled along the banks of the
great rivers.

The temperature of this part of Ceylon follows the course of the sun,
and ranges from a minimum of 70° in December and January, to a maximum
of 94° in May and June; but the heat is rendered tolerable at all
seasons by the steadiness of the land and sea breezes.[1]

[Footnote 1: The following facts regarding the climate of Trincomalie
have been, arranged from elaborate returns furnished by Mr. Higgs, the
master-attendant of the port, and published under the authority of the
meteorological department of the Board of Trade:--


     |Mean        |Mean         |Range    |Highest    |Days
1854 |Maximum     |Minimum      |for the  |Temperature|of
     |Temperature |Temperature  |Month    |Noted      |Rain
Jan. |  81.3°     | 74.7°       | 14°     | 83        | 10
Feb. |  83.8      | 75.8        | 14      | 86        |  7
Mar. |  85.9      | 76.1        | 16      | 88        |  3
April|  89.6      | 78.9        | 16      | 92        |  3
May  |  89.1      | 79.3        | 19      | 93        |  3
June |  90.0      | 79.5        | 19      | 94        |  3
July |  87.7      | 77.7        | 16      | 90        |  5
Aug. |  87.9      | 77.4        | 16      | 91        |  4
Sept.|  89.3      | 77.8        | 18      | 93        |  2
Oct. |  85.2      | 75.8        | 15      | 89        | 14
Nov. |  81.O      | 74.9        | 11      | 83        | 15
Dec. |  80.1      | 74.3        | 11      | 82        | 15
Mean temperature for the year 81.4.]

In the extreme north of the island, the peninsula of Jaffna, and the
vast plains of Neura-kalawa and the Wanny, form a third climatic
division, which, from the geological structure and peculiar
configuration of the district, differs essentially from the rest of
Ceylon. This region, which is destitute of mountains, is undulating in a
very slight degree; the dry and parching north-east wind desiccates the
soil in its passage, and the sandy plains are covered with a low and
scanty vegetation, chiefly fed by the night dews and whatever moisture
is brought by the on-shore wind. The total rain of the year does not
exceed thirty inches; and the inhabitants live in frequent apprehension
of droughts and famines. These conditions attain their utmost
manifestation at the extreme north and in the Jaffna peninsula: there
the temperature is the highest[1] in the island, and, owing to the
humidity of the situation and the total absence of hills, it is but
little affected by the changes of the monsoons; and the thermometer
keeps a regulated pace with the progress of the sun to and from the
solstices. The soil, except in particular spots, is porous and sandy,
formed from the detritus of the coral rocks which it overlays. It is
subject to droughts sometimes of a whole year's continuance; and rain,
when it falls, is so speedily absorbed, that it renders but slight
service to cultivation, which is entirely carried on by means of tanks
and artificial irrigation, in the practice of which the Tamil population
of this district exhibits singular perseverance and ingenuity.[2] In the
dry season, when scarcely any verdure is discernible above ground, the
sheep and goats feed on their knees--scraping away the sand, in order to
reach the wiry and succulent roots of the grasses. From the constancy of
this practice horny callosities are produced, by which these hardy
creatures may be distinguished.

[Footnote 1: The mean lowest temperature at Jaffna is 70º, the mean
highest 90º; but in 1845-6 the thermometer rose to 90º and 100º.]

[Footnote 2: For an account of the Jaffna wells, and the theory of their
supply with fresh water, see ch. i. p. 21.]

Water-spouts are frequent on the coast of Ceylon, owing to the different
temperature of the currents of air passing across the heated earth and
the cooler sea, but instances are very rare of their bursting over land,
or of accidents in consequence.[1]

[Footnote 1: CAMOENS, who had opportunities of observing the phenomena
of these seas during his service on board the fleet of Cabral, off the
coast of Malabar and Ceylon, has introduced into the _Lusiad_ the
episode of a water-spout in the Indian Ocean; but, under the belief that
the water which descends had been previously drawn up by suction from
the ocean, he exclaims:--

  "But say, ye sages, who can weigh the cause,
  And trace the secret springs of Nature's laws;
  Say why the wave, of bitter brine erewhile,
  Should be the bosom of the deep recoil,
  Robbed of its salt, and from the cloud distil,
  Sweet as the waters of the limpid rill?"

(Book v.)

But the truth appears to be that the torrent which descends from a
water-spout, is but the condensed accumulation of its own vapour, and,
though in the hollow of the lower cone which rests upon the surface of
the sea, salt water may possibly ascend in the partial vacuum caused by
revolution; or spray may be caught up and collected by the wind, still
these cannot be raised by it beyond a very limited height, and what
Camoens saw descend was, as he truly says, the sweet water distilled
from the cloud.]

A curious phenomenon, to which the name of "anthelia" has been given,
and which may probably have suggested to the early painters the idea of
the glory surrounding the heads of beatified saints, is to be seen in
singular beauty, at early morning, in Ceylon. When the light is intense,
and the shadows proportionally dark--when the sun is near the horizon,
and the shadow of a person walking is thrown on the dewy grass--each
particle of dew furnishes a double reflection from its concave and
convex surfaces; and to the spectator his own figure, but more
particularly the head, appears surrounded by a halo as vivid as if
radiated from diamonds.[1] The Buddhists may possibly have taken from
this beautiful object their idea of the _agni_ or emblem of the sun,
with which the head of Buddha is surmounted. But unable to express a
_halo_ in sculpture, they concentrated it into a _flame_.

[Footnote 1: SCORESBY describes the occurrence of a similar phenomenon
in the Arctic Seas in July, 1813, the luminous circle being produced on
the particles of fog which rested on the calm water. "The lower part of
the circle descended beneath my feet to the side of the ship, and
although it could not be a hundred feet from the eye, it was perfect,
and the colours distinct. The centre of the coloured circle was
distinguished by my own shadow, the head of which, enveloped by a halo,
was most conspicuously pourtrayed. The halo or glory evidently impressed
on the fog, but the figure appeared to be a shadow on the water; the
different parts became obscure in proportion to their remoteness from
the head, so that the lower extremities were not perceptible."--_Account
of the Arctic Regions_, vol. i. ch. v. sec. vi. p. 394. A similar
phenomenon occurs in the Khasia Hills, in the north-east of
Bengal.--_Asiat. Soc. Journ. Beng._ vol. xiii. p. 616.]


Another luminous phenomenon which sometimes appears in the hill country,
consists of beams of light, which intersect the sky, whilst the sun is
yet in the ascendant; sometimes horizontally, accompanied by
intermitting movements, and sometimes vertically, a broad belt of the
blue sky interposing between them.[1]

[Footnote 1: VIGNE mentions an appearance of this kind in the valley of
Kashmir: "Whilst the rest of the horizon was glowing golden over the
mountain tops, a broad well-defined ray-shaped streak of indigo was
shooting upwards in the zenith: it remained nearly stationary about an
hour, and was then blended into the sky around it, and disappeared with
the day. It was, no doubt, owing to the presence of some particular
mountains which intercepted the red rays, and threw a blue shadow, by
causing so much of the sky above Kashmir to remain unaffected by
them."--_Travels in Kashmir_, vol. ii. ch. x. p. 115.]

In Ceylon this is doubtless owing to the air holding in suspension a
large quantity of vapour, which receives shadows and reflects rays of
light. The natives, who designate them "Buddha's rays," attach a
superstitious dread to their appearance, and believe them to be
portentous of misfortune--in every month, with the exception of _May_,
which, for some unexplained reason, is exempted.

HEALTH.--In connection with the subject of "Climate," one of the most
important inquiries is the probable effect on the health and
constitution of a European produced by a prolonged exposure to an
unvarying temperature, upwards of 30 degrees higher than the average of
Great Britain. But to this the most tranquillising reply is the
assurance that _mere heat, even to a degree beyond that of Ceylon, is
not unhealthy in itself_. Aden, enclosed in a crater of an extinct
volcano, is not considered insalubrious; and the hot season in India,
when the thermometer stands at 100° at midnight, is comparatively a
healthy period of the year. In fact, in numerous cases heat may be the
means of removing the immediate sources of disease. Its first
perceptible effect is a slight increase, of the normal bodily
temperature beyond 98°, and, simultaneously, an increased activity of
all the vital functions. To this everything contributes an exciting
sympathy--the glad surprise of the natural scenery, the luxury of
verdure, the tempting novelty of fruits and food, and all the
unaccustomed attractions of a tropical home. Under these combined
influences the nervous sensibility is considerably excited, and the
circulation acquires greater velocity, with somewhat diminished force.
This is soon followed, however, by the disagreeable evidences of the
effort made by the system to accommodate itself to the new atmospheric
condition. The skin often becomes fretted by "prickly heat," or
tormented by a profusion of boils, but relief being speedily obtained
through these resources, the new comer is seldom afterwards annoyed by a
recurrence of the process, unless under circumstances of impaired tone,
the result of weakened digestion or climatic derangement.

_Malaria_.--Compared with Bengal and the Dekkan, the climate of Ceylon
presents a striking superiority in mildness and exemption from all the
extremes of atmospheric disturbance; and, except in particular
localities, all of which are well known and avoided[1], from being
liable after the rains to malaria, or infested at particular seasons
with agues and fever, a lengthened residence in the island may be
contemplated, without the slightest apprehension of prejudicial results.
These pestilential localities are chiefly at the foot of mountains, and,
strange to say, in the vicinity of some active rivers, whilst the vast
level plains, whose stagnant waters are made available for the
cultivation of rice, are seldom or never productive of disease. It is
even believed that the deadly air is deprived of its poison in passing
over an expanse of still water; and one of the most remarkable
circumstances is, that the points fronting the aerial currents are those
exposed to danger, whilst projecting cliffs, belts of forest, and even
moderately high walls, serve to protect all behind them from attack.[2]
In traversing districts suspected of malaria, experience has dictated
certain precautions, which, with ordinary prudence and firmness, serve
to neutralise the risk--retiring punctually at sunset, generous diet,
moderate stimulants, and the daily use of quinine both before and after
exposure. These, and the precaution, at whatever sacrifice of comfort,
to sleep under mosquito curtains, have been proved in long journeys to
be valuable prophylactics against fever and the pestilence of the

[Footnote 1: Notwithstanding this general condition, fevers of a very
serious kind have been occasionally known to attack persons on the
coast, who had never exposed themselves to the miasma of the jungle.
Such instances have occurred at Galle, and more rarely at Colombo. The
characteristics of places in this regard have, in some instances,
changed unaccountably; thus at Persadenia, close to Kandy, it was at one
time regarded as dangerous to sleep.]

[Footnote 2: Generally speaking, a flat open country is healthy, either
when flooded deeply by rains, or when dried to hardness by the sun; but
in the process of dessication, its exhalations are perilous. The wooded
slopes at the base of mountains are notorious for fevers; such as the
_terrai_ of the Nepal hills, the Wynaad jungle, at the foot of the
Ghauts, and the eastern side of the mountains of Ceylon.]

_Food_.--Always bearing in mind that of the quantity of food habitually
taken in a temperate climate, a certain proportion is consumed to
sustain the animal heat, it is obvious that in the glow of the tropics,
where the heat is already in excess, this portion of the ingesta not
only becomes superfluous so far as this office is concerned, but
occasions disturbance of the other functions both of digestion and
elimination. Over-indulgence in food, equally with intemperance in wine,
is one fruitful source of disease amongst Europeans in Ceylon; and
maladies and mortality are often the result of the former, in patients
who would repel as an insult the imputation of the latter.

So well have national habits conformed to instinctive promptings in this
regard, that the natives of hot countries have unconsciously sought to
heighten the enjoyment of food by taking their principal repast _after
sunset_[1]; and the European in the East will speedily discover for
himself the prudence, not only of reducing the quantity, but in regard
to the quality of his meals, of adopting those articles which nature has
bountifully supplied as best suited to the climate. With a moderate use
of flesh meat, vegetables, and especially farinaceous food, are chiefly
to be commended.

[Footnote 1: The prohibition of swine, which has formed an item in the
dietetic ritual of the Egyptians, the Hebrews, and Mahometans, has been
defended in all ages, from Manetho and Herodotus downwards, on the
ground that the flesh of an animal so foully fed has a tendency to
promote cutaneous disorders, a belief which, though held as a fallacy in
northern climates, may have a truthful basis in the East.--ÆLIAN, _Hist.
Anim._ 1. X. 16. In a recent general order Lord Clyde has prohibited its
use in the Indian army. Camel's flesh, which is also declared unclean in
Leviticus, is said to produce in the Arabs serious derangement of the

The latter is rendered attractive by the unrivalled excellence of the
Singhalese in the preparation of innumerable curries[1], each tempered
by the delicate creamy juice expressed from the flesh of the coco-nut
after it has been reduced to a pulp. Nothing of the same class in India
can bear a comparison with the piquant delicacy of a curry in Ceylon,
composed of fresh condiments and compounded by the skilful hand of a

[Footnote 1: The popular error of thinking curry to be an invention of
the Portuguese in India is disproved by the mention in the _Rajavali_ of
its use in Ceylon in the second century before the Christian era, and in
the _Mahawanso_ in the fifth century of it. This subject is mentioned
elsewhere: see chapter on the Arts and Sciences of the Singhalese.]

_The use of fruit_--Fruits are abundant and wholesome; but with the
exception of oranges, pineapples, the luscious mango and the
indescribable "rambutan," for want of horticultural attention they are
inferior in flavour, and soon cease to be alluring.

_Wine_.--Wine has of late years become accessible to all, and has thus,
in some degree, been substituted for brandy; the abuse of which at
former periods is commemorated in the records of those fearful disorders
of the liver, derangements of the brain, exhausting fevers, and visceral
diseases, which characterise the medical annals of earlier times. With a
firm adherence to temperance in the enjoyment of stimulants, and
moderation in the pleasures of the table, with attention to exercise and
frequent resort to the bath, it may be confidently asserted that health
in Ceylon is as capable of preservation and life as susceptible of
enjoyment, as in any country within the tropics.

_Exposure_.--Prudence and foresight are, however, as indispensable there
as in any other climate to escape well-understood risks. Catarrhs and
rheumatism are as likely to follow needless exposure to the withering
"along-shore wind" of the winter months in Ceylon[1], as they are
traceable to unwisely confronting the east winds of March in Great
Britain; and during the alternation, from the sluggish heat which
precedes the monsoon, to the moist and chill vapours that follow the
descent of the rains, intestinal disorders, fevers, and liver complaints
are not more characteristic of an Indian monsoon than an English autumn,
and are equally amenable to those precautions by which liability may be
diminished in either place.

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 57. It is an agreeable characteristic of the
climate of Ceylon, that sun-stroke, which is so common even in the
northern portions of India, is almost unknown in the island. Sportsmen
are out all day long in the hottest weather, a practice which would be
thought more than hazardous in Oude or the north-west provinces. Perhaps
an explanation of this may be found in the difference in moisture in the
two atmospheres, which may modify the degrees of evaporation; but the
inquiry is a curious one. It is becoming better understood in the army
that active service, and even a moderate exposure to the solar rays
(_always guarding them from the head_,) are conducive rather than
injurious to health in the tropics. The pale and sallow complexion of
ladies and children born in India, is ascribable in a certain degree to
the same process by which vegetables are blanched under shades which
exclude the light:--they are reared in apartments too carefully kept

_Paleness_.--At the same time it must be observed, that the pallid
complexion peculiar to old residents, is not alone ascribable to an
organic change in the skin from its being the medium of perpetual
exudation, but in part to a deficiency of red globules in the blood, and
mainly to a reduced vigour in the whole muscular apparatus, including
the action of the heart, which imperfectly compensates by increased
rapidity for diminution of power. It is remarkable how suddenly this
sallowness disappears, and is succeeded by the warm tints of health,
after a visit of a very few days to the plains of Neuera-ellia, or the
picturesque coffee plantations in the hills that surround it.

_Ladies_.--Ladies, from their more regular and moderate habits, and
their avoidance of exposure, might be expected to withstand the climate
better than men; and to a certain extent the anticipation appears to be
correct, but it by no means justifies the assumption of general
immunity. Though less obnoxious to specific disease, debility and
delicacy are the frequent results of habitual seclusion and avoidance of
the solar light. These, added to more obvious causes of occasional
illness, suggest the necessity of vigorous exertion and regular exercise
as indispensable protectives.

If suitably clothed, and not injudiciously fed, children may remain in
the island till eight or ten years of age, when anxiety is excited by
the attenuation of the frame and the apparent absence of strength in
proportion to development. These symptoms, the result of relaxed tone
and defective nutrition, are to be remedied by change of climate either
to the more lofty ranges of the mountains, or, more providently, to

_Effects on Europeans already Diseased_.--To persons already suffering
from disease, the experiment of a residence in Ceylon is one of
questionable propriety. Those of a scrofulous diathesis need not
consider it hazardous, as experience does not show that in such there is
any greater susceptibility to local or constitutional disorders, or that
when these are present, there is greater difficulty in their removal.

To those threatened with consumption, the island may be supposed to
offer some advantages in the equability of the temperature, and the
comparative quiescence of the lungs from reduced necessity for
respiratory effort. Besides, the choice of climates presented by Ceylon
enables a patient, by the easy change of residence to a different
altitude and temperature, avoiding the heats of one period and the dry
winds of another, to check to a great extent the predisposing causes
likely to lead to the development of tubercle. This, with attention to
clothing and systematic exercise as preventives of active disease, may
serve to restrain the further progress though it fail to eradicate the
tendency to phthibis. But when already the formation of tubercle has
taken place to any considerable extent, and is accompanied by softening,
the morbid condition is not unlikely to advance with alarming celerity;
and the only compensating circumstance is the diminution of apparent
suffering, ascribable to general languor, and the absence of the
bronchial irritation occasioned by cold humid air.

_Dyspepsia_.--Habitual dyspeptics, and those affected by hepatic
obstructions, had better avoid a lengthened sojourn in Ceylon; but the
tortures of rheumatism and gout, if they be not reduced, are certainly
postponed for longer intervals than those conceded to the same sufferers
in England. Gout, owing to the great cutaneous excretion, in most
instances totally disappears.

_Precautions for Health_.--Next to attention to diet, health in Ceylon
is mainly to be preserved by systematic exercise, and a costume adapted
to the climate and its requirements. Paradoxical as it may sound, the
great cause of disease in hot climates is _cold_. Nothing ought more
cautiously to be watched and avoided than the chills produced by
draughts and dry winds; and a change of dress or position should be
instantly resorted to when the warning sensation of chilliness is

_Exercise_.--The early morning ride, after a single cup of coffee and a
biscuit on rising, and the luxury of the bath before dressing for
breakfast, constitute the enjoyments of the forenoon; and a similar
stroll on horseback, returning at sunset to repeat the bath[1]
preparatory to the evening toilette, completes the hygienic discipline
of the day. At night the introduction of the Indian punka into bed-rooms
would be valuable, a thin flannel coverlet being spread over the bed.
Nothing serves more effectually to break down an impaired constitution
in the tropics than the want of timely and refreshing sleep.

[Footnote 1: "Je me souviens que les deux premières années que je fus en
ce pais-là, j'eus deux maladies: _alors je pris la coütume de me bien
laver soir et matin_, et pendant 16 ans que j'y ay demeuré depuis, je
n'ay pas senti le moindre mal."--RIBEYRO, _Hist. de l'Isle de Ceylan_,
vol. v. ch. xix. p. 149.]

_Dress_.--In the selection of dress experience has taught the
superiority of calico to linen, the latter, when damp from the
exhalation of the skin, causing a chill which is injurious, whilst the
former, from some peculiarity in its fibre, however moist it may become,
never imparts the same sensation of cold. The clothing best adapted to
the climate is that whose texture least excites the already profuse
perspiration, and whose fashion presents the least impediment to its
escape.[1] The discomfort of woollen has led to its avoidance as far as
possible; but those who, in England, may have accustomed themselves to
flannel, will find the advantage of persevering to wear it, provided it
is so light as not to excite perspiration. So equipped for active
exercise, exposure to the sun, however hot, may be regarded without
apprehension, provided the limbs are in motion and the body in ordinary
health; but the instinct of all oriental races has taught the necessity
of protecting the head, and European ingenuity has not failed to devise
expedients for this all-important object.

[Footnote 1: "Man not being created an aquatic animal, his skin cannot
with impunity be exposed to perpetual moisture, whether directly applied
or arising from perspiration retained by dress. The importance to health
of keeping the skin _dry_ does not appear to have hitherto received due
attention."--PICKERING, _Races of Man_, &c., ch. xliv.]

From what has been said, it will be apparent that, compared with
continental India, the securities for health in Ceylon are greatly in
favour of the island. As to the formidable diseases which are common to
both, their occurrence in either is characterised by the same appalling
manifestations: dysentery fastens, with all its fearful concomitants, on
the unwary and incautious; and cholera, with its dark horrors, sweeps
mysteriously across neglected districts, exacting its hecatombs. But the
visitation and ravages of both are somewhat under control, and the
experience bequeathed by each gloomy visitation has added to the
facilities for checking its recurrence.[1]

[Footnote 1: "It is worthy of remark, that although all the troops in
Ceylon have occasionally, but at rare intervals; suffered severely from
cholera, the disease has in very few instances attacked the officers; or
indeed Europeans in the same grade of life. This is one important
difference to be borne in mind when estimating the comparative risk of
life in India and Ceylon. It must be due to the difference in comforts
and quarters, or more particularly to the exemption from night duty, by
far the most trying of the soldiers' hardships. The small mortality
amongst the officers of European regiments in Ceylon is very
remarkable."--_Note_ by Dr. CAMERON, Army Med. Staff.]

In some of the disorders incidental to the climate, and the treatment of
ulcerations caused by the wounds of the mosquitoes and leeches, the
native Singhalese have a deservedly high reputation; but their practice,
when it depends on specifics, is too empirical to be safely relied on;
and their traditional skill, though boasting a well authenticated
antiquity, achieves few triumphs in competition with the soberer
discipline of European science.



Although the luxuriant vegetation of Ceylon has at all times been the
theme of enthusiastic admiration, its flora does not probably exceed
3000 phænogamic plants[1]; and notwithstanding that it has a number of
endemic species, and a few genera, which are not found on the great
Indian peninsula, still its botanical features may be described as those
characteristic of the southern regions of Hindustan and the Dekkan. The
result of some recent experiments has, however, afforded a curious
confirmation of the opinion ventured by Dr. Gardner, that, regarding its
botany geographically, Ceylon exhibits more of the Malayan flora and
that of the Eastern Archipelago, than of any portion of India to the
west of it. Two plants peculiar to Malacca, the nutmeg and the
mangustin, have been attempted, but unsuccessfully, to be cultivated in
Bengal; but in Ceylon the former has been reared near Colombo with such
singular success that its produce now begins to figure in the exports of
the island;--and mangustins, which, ten years ago, were exhibited as
curiosities from a single tree in the old Botanic Garden at Colombo, are
found to thrive readily, and they occasionally appear at table,
rivalling in their wonderful delicacy of flavour those which have
heretofore been regarded as peculiar to the Straits.

[Footnote 1: The prolific vegetation of the island is likely to cause
exaggeration in the estimate of its variety. Dr. Gardner, shortly after
his appointment as superintendent of the Botanic Garden at Kandy, in
writing to Sir W. Hooker, conjectured that the Ceylon flora might extend
to 4000 or 5000 species. But from a recent _Report_ of the present
curator, Mr. Thwaites, it appears that the indigenous phænogamic plants
discovered up to August, 1856, was 2670; of which 2025 were
dicotyledonous, and 644 monocotyledonous flowering plants, besides 247
ferns and lycopods. When it is considered that this is nearly double the
indigenous flora of England, and little under _one thirtieth_ of the
entire number of plants hitherto described over the world, the botanical
richness of Ceylon, in proportion to its area, must be regarded as equal
to that of any portion of the globe.]

Up to the present time the botany of Ceylon has been imperfectly
submitted to scientific scrutiny. Linnæus, in 1747, prepared his _Flora
Zeylanica_, from specimens collected by Hermann, which had previously
constituted the materials of the _Thesaurus Zeylanicus_ of Burman and
now form part of the herbarium in the British Museum. A succession of
industrious explorers have been since engaged in following up the
investigation[1]; but, with the exception of an imperfect and
unsatisfactory catalogue by Moon, no enumeration of Ceylon plants has
yet been published. Dr. Gardner had made some progress with a Singhalese
Flora, when his death took place in 1849, an event which threw the task
on other hands, and has postponed its completion for years.[2]

[Footnote 1: Amongst the collections of Ceylon plants deposited in the
Hookerian Herbarium, are those made by General and Mrs. Walker, by Major
Champion (who left the island in 1848), and by Mr. Thwaites, who
succeeded Dr. Gardner in charge of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kandy.
Moon, who had previously held that appointment, left extensive
collections in the herbarium at Peradenia which have been lately
increased by his successors; and Macrae, who was employed by the
Horticultural Society of London, has enriched their museum with Ceylon
plants. Some admirable letters of Mrs. Walker are printed in HOOKER'S
_Companion to the Botanical Magazine_. They include an excellent account
of the vegetation of Ceylon.]

[Footnote 2: Dr. Gardner, in 1848, drew up a short paper containing
_Some Remarks on the Flora of Ceylon_, which was printed in the appendix
to LEE'S _Translation of Ribeyro_: to this essay, and to his personal
communications during frequent journeys, I am indebted for many facts
incorporated in the following pages.]

From the identity of position and climate, and the apparent similarity
of soil between Ceylon and the southern extremity of the Indian
peninsula, a corresponding agreement might be expected between their
vegetable productions: and accordingly in its aspects and subdivisions
Ceylon participates in those distinctive features which the monsoons
have imparted respectively to the opposite shores of Hindustan. The
western coast being exposed to the milder influence of the south-west
wind, shows luxuriant vegetation, the result of its humid and temperate
climate; whilst the eastern, like Coromandel, has a comparatively dry
and arid aspect, produced by the hot winds which blow for half the year.
The littoral vegetation of the seaborde exhibits little variation from
that common throughout the Eastern archipelago; but it wants the
_Phoenix paludosa_[1], a dwarf date-palm, which literally covers the
islands of the Sunderbunds at the delta of the Ganges. A dense growth of
mangroves[2] occupies the shore, beneath whose overarching roots the
ripple of the sea washes unseen over the muddy beach.

[Footnote 1: Drs. HOOKER and THOMSON, in their _Introductory Essay to
the Flora of India_, speaking of Ceylon, state that the _Nipa fruticans_
(another characteristic palm of the Gangetic delta) and _Cycads_ are
also wanting there, but both these exist (the former abundantly), though
perhaps not alluded to in any work on Ceylon botany to which those
authors had access. In connection with this subject it may be mentioned,
as a fact which is much to be regretted, that, although botanists have
been appointed to the superintendence of the Botanic Gardens at Kandy,
information regarding the vegetation of the island is scarcely
obtainable without extreme trouble and reference to papers scattered
through innumerable periodicals. That the majority of Ceylon plants are
already known to science is owing to the coincidence of their being also
natives of India, whence they have been described; but there has been no
recent attempt on the part of colonial or European botanists even to
throw into a useful form the already published descriptions of the
commoner plants of the island. Such a work would be the first step to a
Singhalese Flora. The preparation of such a compendium would seem, to
belong to the duties of the colonial botanist, and as such it was an
object of especial solicitude to the late superintendent, Dr. Gardner.
But the heterogeneous duties imposed upon the person holding his office
(the evils arising from which are elsewhere alluded to), have hitherto
been insuperable obstacles to the attainment of this object, as they
have also been to the preparation of a systematic account of the general
features of Ceylon vegetation. Such a work is strongly felt to be a
desideratum by numbers of intelligent persons in Ceylon, who are not
accomplished botanists, but who are anxious to acquire accurate ideas as
to the aspects of the flora at different elevations, different seasons,
and different quarters of the island; of the kinds of plants that
chiefly contribute to the vegetation of the coasts, the plains, and
mountains; of the general relations that subsist between them and the
flora of the Carnatic, Malabar, and the Malay archipelago; and of the
more useful plants in science, arts, medicine, and commerce.

To render such a work (however elementary) at once accurate as well as
interesting, would require sound scientific knowledge; and, however
skilfully and popularly written, there would still be portions somewhat
difficult of comprehension to the ordinary reader; but curiosity would
be stimulated by the very occurrence of difficulty, and thus an impulse
might be given to the acquisition of rudimentary botany, which would
eventually enable the inquirer to contribute his quota to the natural
history of Ceylon.

P.S. Since the foregoing was written, Mr. Thwaites has announced the
early publication of a new work on Ceylon plants, to be entitled
_Enumeratio Plantarum Zeylaniæ: with Descriptions of the new and little
known genera and species_, and observations on their habits, uses, &c.
In the Identification of the species Mr. Thwaites is to be assisted by
Dr. Hooker, F.R.S.; and from their conjoint labours we may at last hope
for a production worthy of the subject.]

[Footnote 2: Rhizophera Candelaria, Kandelia Rheedei, Bruguiera

Retiring from the strand, there are groups of _Sonneratia[1], Avicennia,
Heritiera_, and _Pandanus_; the latter with a stem like a dwarf palm,
round which the serrated leaves ascend in spiral convolutions till they
terminate in a pendulous crown, from which drop the amber clusters of
beautiful but uneatable fruit, with a close resemblance in shape and
colour to that of the pineapple, from which, and from the peculiar
arrangement of the leaves, the plant has acquired its name of the

[Footnote 1: At a meeting of the Entomological Society in 1842, Dr.
Templeton sent, for the use of the members, many thin slices of
substance to replace cork-wood as a lining for insect cases and drawers.
Along with the soft wood he sent the following notice:--"In this country
(he writes from Colombo, Ceylon, May 19, 1842), along the marshy banks
of the large rivers, grows a very large handsome tree, named _Sonneratia
acida_, by the younger Linnæus: its roots spread far and wide through
the soft moist earth, and at various distances along send up most
extraordinary long spindle-shaped excrescences four or five feet above
the surface. Of these Sir James Edward Smith remarks 'what these
horn-shaped excrescences are which occupy the soil at some distance from
the base of the tree from a span to a foot in length and of a corky
substance, as described by Rumphins, we can offer no conjecture.' Most
curious things (remarks Dr. Templeton) they are; they all spring very
narrow from the root, expand as they rise, and then become gradually
attenuated, occasionally forking, but never throwing out shoots or
leaves, or in any respect resembling the parent root or wood. They are
firm and close in their texture, nearly devoid of fibrous structure, and
take a moderate polish when cut with a sharp instrument; but for lining
insect boxes and making setting-boards they have no equal in the world.
The finest pin passes in with delightful ease and smoothness, and is
held firmly and tightly so that there is no risk of the insects becoming
disengaged. With a fine saw I form them into little boards and then
smooth them with a sharp case knife, but the London veneering-mills
would turn them out fit for immediate use, without any necessity for
more than a touch of fine glass-paper. Some of my pigmy boards are two
feet long by three and a half inches wide, which is more than sufficient
for our purpose, and to me they have proved a vast acquisition. The
natives call them 'Kirilimow,' the latter syllable signifying
root"--TEMPLETON, _Trans. Ent. Soc._ vol. iii. p. 302.]

A little further inland, the sandy plains are covered by a thorny
jungle, the plants of which are the same as those of the Carnatic, the
climate being alike; and wherever man has encroached on the solitude,
groves of coco-nut palms mark the vicinity of his habitations.

Remote from the sea, the level country of the north has a flora almost
identical with that of Coromandel; but the arid nature of the Ceylon
soil, and its drier atmosphere, is attested by the greater proportion of
euphorbias and fleshy shrubs, as well as by the wiry and stunted nature
of the trees, their smaller leaves and thorny stems and branches.[1]

[Footnote 1: Dr. Gardner.]

Conspicuous amongst them are acacias of many kinds; _Cassia fistula_ the
wood apple (_Feronia elephantum_), and the mustard tree of Scripture
(_Salvadora Persica_), which extends from Ceylon to the Holy Land. The
margosa (_Azadirachta Indica_), the satin wood, the Ceylon oak, and the
tamarind and ebony, are examples of the larger trees; and in the extreme
north and west the Palmyra palm takes the place of the coco-nut, and not
only lines the shore, but fills the landscape on every side with its
shady and prolific groves.

Proceeding southward on the western coast, the acacias disappear, and
the greater profusion of vegetation, the taller growth of the timber,
and the darker tinge of the foliage, all attest the influence of the
increased moisture both from the rivers and the rains. The brilliant
_Ixoras, Erythrinas, Buteas, Jonesias, Hibiscus_, and a variety of
flowering shrubs of similar beauty, enliven the forests with their
splendour; and the seeds of the cinnamon, carried by the birds from the
cultivated gardens near the coasts, have germinated in the sandy soil,
and diversify the woods with the fresh verdure of its polished leaves
and delicately-tinted shoots. It is to be found universally to a
considerable height in the lower range of hills, and thither the Chalias
were accustomed to resort to cut and peel it, a task which was imposed
on them as a feudal service by the native sovereign, who paid an annual
tribute in prepared cinnamon to the Dutch, and to the present time this
branch of the trade in the article continues, but divested of its
compulsory character.

The Dutch, in like manner, maintained, during the entire period of their
rule, an extensive commerce in pepper worts, which still festoon the
forest, but the export has almost ceased from Ceylon. Along with these
the trunks of the larger trees are profusely covered with other delicate
creepers, chiefly Convolvuli and Ipomoeas; and the pitcher-plant
(_Nepenthes distillatoria_) lures the passer-by to halt and conjecture
the probable uses of the curious mechanism, by means of which it distils
a quantity of limpid fluid into the vegetable vases at the extremity of
its leaves. The Orchideæ suspend their pendulous flowers from the angles
of branches, whilst the bare roots and the lower part of the stem are
occasionally covered with fungi of the most gaudy colours, bright red,
yellow, and purple.

Of the east side of the island the botany has never yet been examined by
any scientific resident, but the productions of the hill country have
been largely explored, and present features altogether distinct from
those of the plains. For the first two or three thousand feet the
dissimilarity is less perceptible to an unscientific eye, but as we
ascend, the difference becomes apparent in the larger size of the
leaves, and the nearly uniform colour of the foliage, except where the
scarlet shoots of the ironwood tree (_Mesua ferrea_) seem, like flowers
in their blood-red hue. Here the broad leaves of the wild plantains
(_Musa textilis_) penetrate the soil among the broken rocks; and in
moist spots the graceful bamboo flourishes in groups, whose feathery
foliage waves like the plumes of the ostrich.[1] It is at these
elevations that the sameness of the scenery is diversified by the grassy
patenas before alluded to[2], which, in their aspect, though not their
extent, may be called the Savannahs of Ceylon. Here peaches, cherries,
and other European fruit trees, grow freely; but they become evergreens
in this summer climate, and, exhausted by perennial excitement, and
deprived of their winter repose, they refuse to ripen their fruit.[3] A
similar failure was discovered in some European vines, which were
cultivated at Jaffna; but Mr. Dyke, the government agent, in whose
garden they grew, conceiving that the activity of the plants might be
equally checked by exposing them to an extreme of warmth, as by
subjecting them to cold, tried, with perfect success, the experiment of
laying bare the roots in the strongest heat of the sun. The result
verified his conjecture. The circulation of the sap was arrested, the
vines obtained the needful repose, and the grapes, which before had
fallen almost unformed from the tree, are now brought to thorough
maturity, though inferior in flavour to those produced at home.[4]

[Footnote 1: In the Malayan peninsula the bamboo has been converted into
an instrument of natural music, by perforating it with holes through
which the wind is permitted to sigh; and the effect is described as
perfectly charming. Mr. Logan, who in 1847 visited Naning; contiguous to
the frontier of the European settlement of Malacca, on approaching the
village of Kándáng, was surprised by hearing "the most melodious sounds,
some soft and liquid like the notes of a flute, and others deep and full
like the tones of an organ. They were sometimes low, interrupted, or
even single, and presently they would swell into a grand burst of
mingled melody. On drawing near to a clump of trees; above the branches
of which waved a slender bamboo about forty feet in length, he found
that the musical tones issued from it, and were caused by the breeze
passing through perforations in the stem; the instrument thus formed is
called by the natives the _bulu perindu_, or plaintive bamboo." Those
which Mr. Logan saw had a slit in each joint, so that each stem
possessed fourteen or twenty notes.]

[Footnote 2: See _ante_, p. 24.]

[Footnote 3: The apple-tree in the Peradenia Gardens seems not only to
have become an evergreen but to have changed its character in another
particular; for it is found to send out numerous runners under ground,
which continually rise into small stems and form a growth of shrub-like
plants around the parent tree.]

[Footnote 4: An equally successful experiment, to give the vine an
artificial winter by baring the roots, is recorded by Mr. BALLARD, of
Bombay, in the _Transactions of the Agric. and Hortic. Society of
India_, under date 24th May,1824. Calcutta. 1850. Vol. i. p. 96.]

The tea plant has been raised with complete success in the hills on the
estate of the Messrs. Worms, at Rothschild, in Pusilawa[1]; but the want
of any skilful manipulators to collect and prepare the leaves, renders
it hopeless to attempt any experiment on a large scale, until assistance
can be secured from China, to conduct the preparation.

[Footnote 1: The cultivation of tea was attempted by the Dutch, but
without success.]

Still ascending, at an elevation of 6500 feet, as we approach the
mountain plateau of Neuera-ellia, the dimensions of the trees again
diminish, the stems and branches are covered with orchideæ and mosses,
and around them spring up herbaceous plants and balsams, with here and
there broad expanses covered with _Acanthaceæ_, whose seeds are the
favourite food of the jungle fowl, which are always in perfection during
the ripening of the Nilloo.[1] It is in these regions that the
tree-ferns (_Alsophila gigantea_) rise from the damp hollows, and carry
their gracefully plumed heads sometimes to the height of twenty feet.

[Footnote 1: There are said to be fourteen species of the Nilloo
(_Strobilanthes_) in Ceylon. They form a complete under-growth in the
forest five or six feet in height, and sometimes extending for miles.
When in bloom, their red and blue flowers are a singularly beautiful
feature in the landscape, and are eagerly searched by the honey bees.
Some species are said to flower only once in five, seven, or nine years;
and after ripening their seed they die. This is one reason assigned for
the sudden appearance of the rats, which have been elsewhere alluded to
(vol. i. p. 149, ii. p. 234) as invading the coffee estates, when
deprived of their ordinary food by the decay of the nilloo. It has been
observed that the jungle fowl, after feeding on the nilloo, have their
eyes so affected by it, as to be partially blinded, and permit
themselves to be taken by the hand. Are the seeds of this plant narcotic
like some of the _Solanaceaæ_? or do they cause dilatation of the pupil,
like those of the _Atropa Belladonna_?]

At length in the loftiest range of the hills the Rhododendrons are
discovered; no longer delicate bushes, as in Europe, but timber trees of
considerable height, and corresponding dimensions, and every branch
covered with a blaze of crimson flowers. In these forests are also to be
met with some species of _Michelia_, the Indian representatives of the
Magnolias of North America, several arboreous _myrtaceæ_ and
_ternstromiaceæ_, the most common of which is the camelia-like _Gordonia
Ceylanica_.[1] These and _Vaccinia, Gaultheria, Symploci, Goughia_, and
_Gomphandra_, establish the affinity between the vegetation of this
region and that of the Malabar ranges, the Khasia and Lower Himalaya.[2]

[Footnote 1: Dr. Gardner.]

[Footnote 2: _Introduction to the Flora Indica_ of Dr. HOOKER and Dr.
THOMSON, p. 120. London, 1855.]

Generally speaking, the timber on the high mountains is of little value
for oeconomic purposes. Though of considerable dimensions, it is too
unsubstantial to be serviceable for building or domestic uses; and
perhaps, it may be regarded as an evidence of its perishable nature,
that dead timber is rarely to be seen in any quantity encumbering the
ground, in the heart of the deepest forests. It seems to go to dust
almost immediately after its fall, and although the process of
destruction is infinitely accelerated by the ravages of insects,
especially the white ants (_termites_) and beetles, which instantly
seize on every fallen branch: still, one would expect that the harder
woods would, more or less, resist their attacks till natural
decomposition should have facilitated their operations and would thus
exhibit more leisurely the progress of decay. But here decay is
comparatively instantaneous, and it is seldom that fallen timber is to
be found, except in the last stage of conversion into dust.

Some of the trees in the higher ranges are remarkable for the prodigious
height to which they struggle upwards from the dense jungle towards the
air and light; and one of the most curious of nature's devices, is the
singular expedient by which some families of these very tall and
top-heavy trees throw out buttresses like walls of wood, to support
themselves from beneath. Five or six of these buttresses project like
rays from all sides of the trunk: they are from six to twelve inches
thick, and advance from five to fifteen feet outward; and as they
ascend, gradually sink into the hole and disappear at the height of from
ten to twenty feet from the ground. By the firm resistance which they
offer below, the trees are effectually steadied, and protected from the
leverage of the crown, by which they would otherwise be uprooted. Some
of these buttresses are so smooth and flat, as almost to resemble sawn

The greatest ornaments of the forest in these higher regions are the
large flowering trees; the most striking of which is the Rhododendron,
which in Ceylon forms a forest in the mountains, and when covered with
flowers, it seems from a distance as though the hills were strewn with
vermilion. This is the principal tree on the summit of Adam's Peak, and
grows to the foot of the rock on which rests the little temple that
covers the sacred footstep on its crest. Dr. Hooker states that the
honey of its flowers is believed to be poisonous in some parts of
Sikkim; but I never heard it so regarded in Ceylon.

One of the most magnificent of the flowering trees, is the coral
tree[1], which is also the most familiar to Europeans, as the natives of
the low country and the coast, from the circumstance of its stem being
covered with thorns, plant it largely for fences, and grow it in the
vicinity of their dwellings. It derives its English name from the
resemblance which its scarlet flowers present to red coral, and as these
clothe the branches before the leaves appear, their splendour attracts
the eye from a distance, especially when lighted by the full blaze of
the sun.

[Footnote 1: _Erythrina Indica_. It belongs to the pea tribe, and must
not be confounded with the _Jatropha multifida_ which has also acquired
the name of the _coral tree_. Its wood is so light and spongy, that it
is used in Ceylon to form corks for preserve jars; and both there and at
Madras the natives make from it models of their implements of husbandry,
and of their sailing boats and canoes.]

The Murutu[1] is another flowering tree which may vie with the Coral,
the Rhododendron, or the Asoca, the favourite of Sanskrit poetry. It
grows to a considerable height, especially in damp places and the
neighbourhood of streams, and pains have been taken, from appreciation
of its attractions, to plant it by the road side and in other
conspicuous positions. From the points of the branches panicles are
produced, two or three feet in length, composed of flowers, each the
size of a rose and of all shades, from a delicate pink to the deepest
purple. It abounds in the south-west of the island.

[Footnote 1: Lagerstroemia Reginæ.]

The magnificent Asoca[1] is found in the interior, and is cultivated,
though not successfully, in the Peradenia Garden, and in that attached
to Elie House at Colombo. But in Toompane, and in the valley of
Doombera, its loveliness vindicates all the praises bestowed on it by
the poets of the East. Its orange and crimson flowers grow in graceful
racemes, and the Singhalese, who have given the rhododendron the
pre-eminent appellation of the "great red flower," (_maha-rat-mal_,)
have called the Asoca the _diya-rat-mal_ to indicate its partiality for
"moisture," combined with its prevailing hue.

[Footnote 1: Jonesia Asoca.]

But the tree which will most frequently attract the eye of the
traveller, is the kattoo-imbul of the Singhalese[1], one of which
produces the silky cotton which, though incapable of being spun, owing
to the shortness of its delicate fibre, makes the most luxurious
stuffing for sofas and pillows. It is a tall tree covered with
formidable thorns; and being deciduous, the fresh leaves, like those of
the coral tree, do not make their appearance till after the crimson
flowers have covered the branches with their bright tulip-like petals.
So profuse are these gorgeous flowers, that when they fall, the ground
for many roods on all sides is a carpet of scarlet. They are succeeded
by large oblong pods, in which the black polished seeds are deeply
embedded in the floss which is so much prized by the natives. The trunk
is of an unusually bright green colour, and the branches issue
horizontally from the stem, in whorls of threes with a distance of six
or seven feet between each whorl.

[Footnote 1: _Bombax Malabaricus_. As the genus Bombax is confined to
tropical America, the German botanists, Schott and Endlicher, have
assigned to the imbul its ancient Sanskrit name, and described it as
_Salmalia Malabarica_.]

Near every Buddhist temple the priests plant the Iron tree (_Messua
ferrea_)[1] for the sake of its flowers, with which they decorate the
images of Buddha. They resemble white roses, and form a singular
contrast with the buds and shoots of the tree, which are of the deepest
crimson. Along with its flowers the priests use likewise those of the
Champac (_Michelia Champaca_), belonging to the family of magnoliaceæ.
They have a pale yellow tint, with the sweet oppressive perfume which is
celebrated in the poetry of the Hindus. From the wood of the champac the
images of Buddha are carved for the temples.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Gardner supposed the ironwood tree of Ceylon to have
been confounded with the _Messua ferrea_ of Linnæus. He asserted it to
be a distinct species, and assigned to it the well-known Singhalese name
"_nagaha_," or _iron-wood tree_. But this conjecture has since proved

The celebrated Upas tree of Java (_Antiaris toxicaria_) which has been
the subject of so many romances, exploded by Dr. Horsfield[1], was
supposed by Dr. Gardner to exist in Ceylon, but more recent scrutiny has
shown that what he mistook for it, was an allied species, the _A.
saccidora_, which grows at Kornegalle, and in other parts of the island;
and is scarcely less remarkable, though for very different
characteristics. The Ceylon species was first brought to public notice
by E. Rawdon Power, Esq., government agent of the Kandyan province, who
sent specimens of it, and of the sacks which it furnishes, to the branch
of the Asiatic Society at Colombo. It is known to the Singhalese by the
name of "ritigaha," and is identical with the _Lepurandra saccidora_,
from which the natives of Coorg, like those of Ceylon, manufacture an
ingenious substitute for sacks by a process which is described by Mr.
Nimmo.[2] "A branch is cut corresponding to the length and breadth of
the bag required, it is soaked and then beaten with clubs till the liber
separates from the timber. This done, the sack which is thus formed out
of the bark is turned inside out, and drawn downwards to permit the wood
to be sawn off, leaving a portion to form the bottom which is kept
firmly in its place by the natural attachment of the bark."

[Footnote 1: The vegetable poisons, the use of which is ascribed to the
Singhalese, are chiefly the seeds of the _Datura_, which act as a
powerful narcotic, and those of the _Croton tiglium_, the excessive
effect of which ends in death. The root of the _Nerium odorum_ is
equally fatal, as is likewise the exquisitely beautiful _Gloriosa
superba_, whose brilliant flowers festoon the jungle in the plains of
the low country. See Bennett's account of the _Antiaris_, in HORSFIELD'S
_Plantæ Javanicæ_.]

[Footnote 2: Catalogue of Bombay Plants, p. 193. The process in Ceylon
is thus described in Sir W. HOOKER'S _Report on the Vegetable Products_
exhibited in Paris in 1855: "The trees chosen for the purpose measure
above a foot in diameter. The felled trunks are cut into lengths, and
the bark is well beaten with a stone or a club till the parenchymatous
part comes off, leaving only the inner bark attached to the wood; which
is thus easily drawn out by the hand. The bark thus obtained is fibrous
and tough, resembling a woven fabric: it is sewn at one end into a sack,
which is filled with sand, and dried in the sun."]

As we descend the hills the banyans[1] and a variety of figs make their
appearance. They are the Thugs of the vegetable world, for although not
necessarily epiphytic, it may be said that in point of fact no single
plant comes to perfection, or acquires even partial development, without
the destruction of some other on which to fix itself as its supporter.
The family generally make their first appearance as slender roots
hanging from the crown or trunk of some other tree, generally a palm,
among the moist bases of whose leaves the seed carried thither by some
bird which had fed upon the fig, begins to germinate. This root
branching as it descends, envelopes the trunk of the supporting tree
with a network of wood, and at length penetrating the ground, attains
the dimensions of a stem. But unlike a _stem_ it throws out no buds,
leaves, or flowers; the true stem, with its branches, its foliage, and
fruit, springs upwards from the crown of the tree whence the root is
seen descending; and from it issue the pendulous rootlets, which, on
reaching the earth, fix themselves firmly and form the marvellous growth
for which the banyan is so celebrated.[2] In the depth of this grove,
the original tree is incarcerated till, literally strangled by the folds
and weight of its resistless companion, it dies and leaves the fig in
undisturbed possession of its place. It is not unusual in the forest to
find a fig-tree which had been thus upborne till it became a standard,
now forming a hollow cylinder, the centre of which was once filled by
the sustaining tree: but the empty walls form a circular network of
interlaced roots and branches; firmly agglutinated under pressure, and
admitting the light through interstices that look like loopholes in a

[Footnote 1: Ficus Indica.]

[Footnote 2: I do not remember to have seen the following passage from
Pliny referred to as the original of Milton's description of this
marvellous tree:--

"Ipsa se serens, vastis diffunditur ramis: quorum imi adeo in terram
curvantur, ut annuo spatio infigantur, novamque sibi _propaginem faciant
circa parentem in orbem._ Intra septem eam _æstivant pastores_, opacam
pariter et munitam vallo arboris, decora specie subter intuenti,
proculve, _fornicato_ arbore. Foliorum latitudo _peltæ effigiem
Amazonicæ_ habet," &c.--PLINY, 1. xii. c. 11.

  "The fig-tree--not that kind for fruit renowned,
  But such as at this day to Indians known,
  In Malabar or Dekkan spreads her arms,
  Branching so broad and long, that on the ground
  The bended twigs take root, and _daughters grow
  About the mother tree: a pillar'd_ shade
  High over arched and echoing walks between.
  There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
  Shelters in cool and _tends his pasturing flocks_
  At loop-holes cut through thickest shade. These leaves
  They gathered; broad as _Amazonian targe:_
  And with what skill they had, together sewed
  To gird their waist," &c.

_Par. Lost_, ix. 1100.

Pliny's description is borrowed, with some embellishments, from
THEOPHRASTUS _de. Nat. Plant._ l. i. 7. iv. 4.]


Another species of the same genus, _F. repens,_ is a fitting
representative of the English ivy, and is constantly to be seen
clambering over rocks, turning through heaps of stones, or ascending
some tall tree to the height of thirty or forty feet, while the
thickness of its own stem does not exceed a quarter of an inch.

The facility with which the seeds of the fig-tree take root where there
is a sufficiency of moisture to permit of germination, has rendered them
formidable assailants of the ancient monuments throughout Ceylon. The
vast mounds of brickwork which constitute the remains of the Dagobas at
Anarajapoora and Pollanarrua are covered densely with trees, among which
the figs are always conspicuous. One, which has fixed itself on the
walls of a ruined edifice at the latter city, forms one of the most
remarkable objects of the place--its roots streaming downwards over the
walls as if their wood had once been fluid, follow every sinuosity of
the building and terraces till they reach the earth.


To this genus belongs the Sacred Bo-tree of the Buddhists, _Ficus
religiosa,_ which is planted close to every temple, and attracts almost
as much veneration as the statue of the god himself. At Anarajapoora is
still preserved the identical tree said to have been planted 288 years
before the Christian era.[1]

[Footnote 1: For a memoir of this celebrated tree, see the account of
Anarajapoora, Vol. II. p. 10.]

Although the India-rubber tree (_F. elastica_) is not indigenous to
Ceylon, it is now very widely diffused over the island. It is remarkable
for the pink leathery covering which envelopes the leaves before
expansion, and for the delicate tracing of the nerves which run in
equi-distant rows at right angles from the mid-rib. But its most
striking feature is the exposure of its roots, masses of which appear
above ground, extending on all sides from the base, and writhing over
the surface in undulations--

  "Like snakes in wild festoon,
  In ramous wrestlings interlaced,
  A forest Laocoon."[1]

[Footnote 1: HOOD's poem of _The Elm Tree._]

So strong, in fact, is the resemblance, that the villagers give it the
name of the "Snake-tree." One, which grows close to Cotta, at the Church
Missionary establishment within a few miles of Colombo, affords a
remarkable illustration of this peculiarity.

[Illustration: THE SNAKE-TREE.]

There is an avenue of these trees leading to the Gardens of Peradenia,
the roots of which meet from either side of the road, and have so
covered the surface by their agglutinated reticulations as to form a
wooden framework, the interstices of which retain the materials that
form the roadway.[1]

[Footnote 1: Mr. Ferguson of the Surveyor-General's Department, assures
me that he once measured the root of a small wild fig-tree, growing in a
patena at Hewahette, and found it upwards of 140 feet in length, whilst
the tree itself was not 30 feet high.]

The Kumbuk of the Singhalese (called by the Tamils Maratha-maram)[1] is
one of the noblest and most widely distributed trees in the island; it
delights in the banks of rivers and moist borders of tanks and canals;
it overshadows the stream of the Mahawelli-ganga, almost from Kandy to
the sea; and it stretches its great arms above the still water of the
lakes on the eastern side of the island.

[Footnote 1: Pentaptera tomentosa _(Rox.)_.]

One venerable patriarch of this species, which grows at Mutwal, within
three miles of Colombo, towers to so great a height above the
surrounding forests of coconut palms, that it forms a landmark for the
native boatmen, and is discernible from Negombo, more than twenty miles
distant. The circumference of its stem, as measured by Mr. W. Ferguson,
in 1850, was forty-five feet close to the earth, and seven yards at
twelve feet above the ground.

The timber, which is durable, is applied to the carving of idols for the
temples, besides being extensively used for less dignified purposes; but
it is chiefly prized for the bark, which is sold as a medicine, and, in
addition to yielding a black dye, it is so charged with calcareous
matter that its ashes, when burnt, afford a substitute for the lime
which the natives chew with their betel.

Some of the trees found in the forests of the interior are remarkable
for the curious forms in which they produce their seeds. One of these,
which sometimes grows to the height of one hundred feet without throwing
out a single branch, has been confounded with the durian of the Eastern
Archipelago, or supposed to be an allied species[1], but it differs from
it in the important particular that its fruit is not edible. The real
durian is not indigenous to Ceylon, but was brought there by the
Portuguese in the sixteenth century.[2] It has been very recently
re-introduced, and is now cultivated successfully. The native name for
the Singhalese tree, "Katu-boeda," denotes the prickles that cover its
fruit, which is as large as a coco-nut, and set with thorns each nearly
an inch in length.

[Footnote 1: It is the _Cullenia excelsa_ of WIGHT's _Icones, &c._

[Footnote 2: PORCACCHI, in his _Isolario_, written in the sixteenth
century, enumerates the true durian as being then amongst the ordinary
fruit of Ceylon.--"Vi nasce anchora un frutto detto Duriano, verde et
grande come quei cocomeri, che a Venetia son chiamati angurie: in mezo
del quale trouano dentro cinque frutti de sapor molto excellente."--Lib.
iii. p. 188. Padua, A.D. 1619.]

The _Sterculia foetida,_ one of the finest and noblest of the Ceylon
forest-trees, produces from the end of its branches large bunches of
dark purple flowers of extreme richness and beauty; but emitting a
stench so intolerable as richly to entitle it to its very characteristic
botanical name. The fruit is equally remarkable, and consists of several
crimson cases of the consistency of leather, within which are enclosed a
number of black bean-like seeds: these are dispersed by the bursting of
their envelope, which splits open to liberate them when sufficiently

The Moodilla (_Barringtonia speciosa_) is another tree which attracts
the eye of the traveller, not less from the remarkably shaped fruit
which it bears than from the contrast between its dark glossy leaves and
the delicate flowers which they surround. The latter are white, tipped
with crimson, but the petals drop off early, and the stamens, of which
there are nearly a hundred to each flower, when they fall to the ground
might almost be mistaken for painters' brushes. The tree (as its name
implies) loves the shore of the sea, and its large quadrangular fruits,
of pyramidal form, being protected by a hard fibrous covering, are
tossed by the waves till they root themselves on the beach. It grows
freely at the mouths of the principal rivers on the west coast, and
several noble specimens of it are found near the fort of Colombo.

The Goda-kaduru, or _Strychnos nux-vomica_ is abundant in these
prodigious forests, and has obtained an European celebrity on account of
its producing the poisonous seeds from which strychnine is extracted.
Its fruit, which it exhibits in great profusion, is of the size and
colour of a small orange, within which a pulpy substance envelopes the
seeds that form the "nux-vomica" of commerce. It grows in great
luxuriance in the vicinity of the ruined tanks throughout the Wanny, and
on the west coast as far south as Negombo. It is singular that in this
genus there should be found two plants, the seeds of one being not only
harmless but wholesome, and that of the other the most formidable of
known poisons.[1] Amongst the Malabar immigrants there is a belief that
the seeds of the goda-kaduru, if habitually taken, will act as a
prophylactic against the venom of the cobra de capello; and I have been
assured that the coolies coming from the coast of India accustom
themselves to eat a single seed per day in order to acquire the desired
protection from the effects of this serpent's bite.[2]

[Footnote 1: The _tettan-cotta,_ the use of which is described in Vol.
II. Pt. ix. ch. i. p. 411, when applied by the natives to clarify muddy
water, is the seed of another species of strychnos, _S. potatorum_. The
Singhalese name is _ingini_ (_tettan-cotta_ is Tamil).]

[Footnote 2: In India, the distillers of arrack from the juice of the
coco-nut palm are said, by Roxburgh, to introduce the seeds of the
strychnus, in order to increase the intoxicating power of the spirit.]

In these forests the Euphorbia[1], which we are accustomed to see only
as a cactus-like green-house plant, attains the size and strength of a
small timber-tree; its quadrangular stem becomes circular and woody, and
its square fleshy shoots take the form of branches, or rise with a
rounded top as high as thirty feet.[2]

[Footnote 1: E. Antiquorun.]

[Footnote 2: Amongst the remarkable plants of Ceylon, there is one
concerning which a singular error has been perpetuated in botanical
works from the time of Paul Hermann, who first described it in 1687, to
the present. I mean the _kiri-anguna_ (Gymnema lactiferum), evidently a
form of the G. sylvestre, to which has been given the name of the
_Ceylon cow-tree_; and it is asserted that the natives drink its juice
as we do milk. LOUDON (_Ency. of Plants_, p. 197) says, "The milk of the
_G. lactiferum_ is used instead of the vaccine ichor, and the leaves are
employed in sauces in the room of cream." And LINDLEY, in his _Vegetable
Kingdom_, in speaking of the Asclepiads, says, "the cow plant of Ceylon,
'kiri-anguna,' yields a milk of which the Singhalese make use for food;
and its leaves are also used when boiled." Even in the _English
Cyclopædia_ of CHARLES KNIGHT, published so lately as 1854, this error
is repeated. (See art. Cow-tree, p. 178.) But this in altogether a
mistake;--the Ceylon plant, like many others, has acquired its epithet
of _kiri_, not from the juices being susceptible of being used as a
substitute for milk, but simply from its resemblance to it in colour and
consistency. It is a creeper, found on the southern and western coasts,
and used medicinally by the natives, but never as an article of food.
The leaves, when chopped and boiled, are administered to nurses by
native practitioners, and are supposed to increase the secretion of
milk. As to its use, as stated by London, in lieu of the vaccine matter,
it is altogether erroneous. MOON, in his _Catalogue of the Plants of
Ceylon_, has accidentally mentioned the kiri-anguna twice, being misled
by the Pali synonym "kiri-hangula": they are the same plant, though he
has inserted them as different, p. 21.]

But that which arrests the attention even of an indifferent passer-by is
the endless variety and almost inconceivable size and luxuriance of the
_climbing plants and epiphytes_ which live upon the forest trees in
every part of the island. It is rare to see a single tree without its
families of dependents of this description, and on one occasion I
counted on a single prostrate stem no less than sixteen species of
Capparis, Beaumontia, Bignonia, Ipomoea, and other genera, which, in its
fall, it had brought along with it to the ground. Those which are free
from climbing plants have their higher branches and hollows occupied by
ferns and orchids, of which latter the variety is endless in Ceylon,
though the beauty of their flower is not equal to those of Brazil and
other tropical countries. In the many excursions which I made with Dr.
Gardner he added numerous species to those already known, including the
exquisite _Saccolabium guttatum_, which we came upon in the vicinity of
Bintenne, but which had before been discovered in Java and the mountains
of northern India. Its large groups of lilac flowers hung in rich
festoons from the branches as we rode under them, and caused us many an
involuntary halt to admire and secure the plants.

A rich harvest of botanical discovery still remains for the scientific
explorer of the districts south and east of Adam's Peak, whence Dr.
Gardner's successor, Mr. Thwaites, has already brought some remarkable
species. Many of the Ceylon orchids, like those of South America,
exhibit a grotesque similitude to various animals; and one, a
_Dendrobium_., which the Singhalese cultivate in the palms near their
dwelling, bears a name equivalent to the _White-pigeon flower,_ from the
resemblance which its clusters present to a group of those birds in
miniature clinging to the stem with wings at rest.

But of this order the most exquisite plant I have seen is the
_Anæctochilus setaceus_, a terrestrial orchid which is to be found about
the moist roots of the forest trees, and has drawn the attention of even
the apathetic Singhalese, among whom its singular beauty has won for it
the popular name of the Wanna Raja, or "King of the Forest." It is
common in humid and shady places a few miles removed from the sea-coast;
its flowers have no particular attraction, but its leaves are perhaps
the most exquisitely formed in the vegetable kingdom; their colour
resembles dark velvet, approaching to black, and reticulated over all
the surface with veins of ruddy gold.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is another small orchid bearing a slight resemblance
to the wanna raja, which is often found growing along with it, called by
the Singhalese iri raja, or "striped king." Its leaves are somewhat
bronzed, but they are longer and narrower than those of the wanna raja;
and, as its Singhalese name implies, it has two white stripes running
through the length of each. They are not of the same genus; the wanna
raja being the only species of _Anæctochilus_ yet found in Ceylon.]

The branches of all the lower trees and brushwood are so densely covered
with convolvuli, and similar delicate climbers of every colour, that
frequently it is difficult to discover the tree which supports them,
owing to the heaps of verdure under which it is concealed. One very
curious creeper, which always catches the eye, is the square-stemmed
vine[1], whose fleshy four-sided runners climb the highest trees, and
hang down in the most fantastic bunches. Its stem, like that of another
plant of the same genus (the _Vitis Indica_), when freshly cut, yields a
copious draught of pure tasteless fluid, and is eagerly sought after by

[Footnote 1: Cissus edulis, _Dalz_.]

But it is the trees of older and loftier growth that exhibit the rank
luxuriance of these wonderful epiphytes in the most striking manner.
They are tormented by climbing plants of such extraordinary dimensions
that many of them exceed in diameter the girth of a man; and these
gigantic appendages are to be seen surmounting the tallest trees of the
forest, grasping their stems in firm convolutions, and then flinging
their monstrous tendrils over the larger limbs till they reach the top,
whence they descend to the ground in huge festoons, and, after including
another and another tree in their successive toils, they once more
ascend to the summit, and wind the whole into a maze of living network
as massy as if formed by the cable of a line-of-battle ship. When,
by-and-by, the trees on which this singular fabric has become suspended
give way under its weight, or sink by their own decay, the fallen trunk
speedily disappears, whilst the convolutions of climbers continue to
grow on, exhibiting one of the most marvellous and peculiar living
mounds of confusion that it is possible to fancy. Frequently one of
these creepers may be seen holding by one extremity the summit of a tall
tree, and grasping with the other an object at some distance near the
earth, between which it is strained as tight and straight as if hauled
over a block. In all probability the young tendril had been originally
fixed in this position by the wind, and retained in it till it had
gained its maturity, where it has the appearance of having been
artificially arranged as if to support a falling tree.

This peculiarity of tropical vegetation has been turned to profitable
account by the Ceylon woodmen, employed by the European planters in
felling forest trees, preparatory to the cultivation of coffee. In this
craft they are singularly expert, and far surpass the Malabar coolies,
who assist in the same operations. In steep and mountainous places where
the trees have been thus lashed together by the interlacing climbers,
the practice is to cut halfway through each stem in succession, till an
area of some acres in extent is prepared for the final overthrow. Then
severing some tall group on the eminence, and allowing it in its descent
to precipitate itself on those below, the whole expanse is in one moment
brought headlong to the ground; the falling timber forcing down those
beneath it by its weight, and dragging those behind to which it is
harnessed by its living attachments. The crash occasioned by this
startling operation is so deafeningly loud, that it is audible for two
or three miles in the clear and still atmosphere of the hills.

One monstrous creeping plant called by the Kandyans the Maha-pus-wael,
or "Great hollow climber,"[1] has pods, some of which I have seen fully
five feet long and six inches broad, with beautiful brown beans, so
large that the natives hollow them out, and carry them as tinder-boxes.

[Footnote 1: _Entada pursætha_. The same plant, when found in lower
situations, where it wants the soil and moisture of the mountains, is so
altered in appearance that the natives call it the "heen-pus-wael;" and
even botanists have taken it for a distinct species. The beautiful
mountain region of Pusilawa, now familiar as one of the finest coffee
districts in Ceylon, in all probability takes its name from the giant
bean, "Pus-waelawa."]

Another climber of less dimensions[1], but greater luxuriance, haunts
the jungle, and often reaches the tops of the highest trees, whence it
suspends large bunches of its yellow flowers, and eventually produces
clusters of prickly pods containing greyish-coloured seeds, less than an
inch in diameter, which are so strongly coated with silex, that they are
said to strike fire like a flint.

[Footnote 1: Guilandina Bonduc.]

One other curious climber is remarkable for the vigour and vitality of
its vegetation, a faculty in which it equals, if it do not surpass, the
banyan. This is the _Cocculus cordifolius_, the "rasa-kindu" of the
Singhalese, a medicinal plant which produces the _guluncha_ of Bengal.
It is largely cultivated in Ceylon, and when it has acquired the
diameter of half an inch, it is not unusual for the natives to cut from
the main stem a portion of from twenty to thirty feet in length, leaving
the dissevered plant suspended from the branches of the tree which
sustained it. The amputation naturally serves for a time to check its
growth, but presently small rootlets, not thicker than a pack-thread,
are seen shooting downwards from the wounded end; these swing in the
wind till, reaching the ground, they attach themselves in the soil, and
form new stems, which in turn, when sufficiently grown, are cut away and
replaced by a subsequent growth. Such is its tenacity of life, that when
the Singhalese wish to grow the _rasa-kindu_, they twist several yards
of the stem into a coil of six or eight inches in diameter, and simply
hang it on the branch of a tree, where it speedily puts forth its large
heart-shaped leaves, and sends down its rootlets to the earth.

The ground too has its creepers, and some of them very curious. The most
remarkable are the ratans, belonging to the Calamus genus of palms. Of
these I have seen a specimen 250 feet long and an inch in diameter,
without a single irregularity, and no appearance of foliage other than
the bunch of feathery leaves at the extremity.

The strength of these slender plants is so extreme, that the natives
employ them with striking success in the formation of bridges across the
water-courses and ravines. One which crossed the falls of the
Mahawelliganga, in the Kotmahe range of hills, was constructed with the
scientific precision of an engineer's work. It was entirely composed of
the plant, called by the natives the "Waywel," its extremities fastened
to living trees, on the opposite sides of the ravine through which a
furious and otherwise impassable mountain torrent thundered and fell
from rock to rock with a descent of nearly 100 feet. The flooring of
this aerial bridge consisted of short splints of wood, laid
transversely, and bound in their places by thin strips of the waywel
itself. The whole structure vibrated and swayed with fearful ease, but
the coolies traversed it though heavily laden; and the European, between
whose estate and the high road it lay, rode over it daily without

Another class of trees which excites the astonishment of an European,
are those whose stems are protected, as high as cattle can reach, by
thorns, which in the jungle attain a growth and size quite surprising.
One species of palm[1], the _Caryota horrida,_ often rises to a height
of fifty feet, and has a coating of thorns for about six or eight feet
from the ground, each about an inch in length, and so densely covering
the stem that the bark is barely visible.

[Footnote 1: This palm I have called a _Caryota_ on the authority of Dr.
GARDNER, and of MOON'S _Catalogue_; but I have been informed by Dr.
HOOKER and Mr. THWAITES that it is an _Areca_. The natives identify it
with the Caryota, and call it the "katu-kittul."]

A climbing plant, the "Kudu-miris" of the Singhalese[1], very common in
the hill jungles, with a diameter of three or four inches, is thickly
studded with knobs about half an inch high, and from the extremity of
each a thorn protrudes, as large and sharp as the bill of a
sparrow-hawk. It has been the custom of the Singhalese from time
immemorial, to employ the thorny trees of their forests in the
construction of defences against their enemies. The _Mahawanso_ relates,
that in the civil wars, in the reign of Prakrama-bahu in the twelfth
century, the inhabitants of the southern portion of the island
intrenched themselves against his forces behind moats filled with
thorns.[2] And at an earlier period, during the contest of Dutugaimunu
with Elala, the same authority states, that a town which he was about to
attack was "surrounded on all sides by the thorny _Dadambo creeper_
(probably Toddalia aculeata), within which was a triple hue of
fortifications, with one gate of difficult access."[3]

[Footnote 1: Toddalia aculeata.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_ ch. lxxiv.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_ ch. xxv.]

During the existence of the Kandyan kingdom as an independent state,
before its conquest by the British, the frontier forests were so
thickened and defended by dense plantations of these thorny palms and
climbers at different points, as to exhibit a natural fortification
impregnable to the feeble tribes on the other side, and at each pass
which led to the level country, movable gates, formed of the same
formidable thorny beams, were suspended as an ample security against the
incursions of the naked and timid lowlanders.[1]

[Footnote 1: The kings of Kandy maintained a regulation "that no one; on
pain of death, should presume to cut a road through the forest wider
than was sufficient for one person to pass."--WOLF'S _Life and
Adventures_, p. 308.]

The pasture grounds throughout the vicinity of Jaffna abound in a low
shrub called the Buffalo-thorn[1], the black twigs of which are beset at
every joint by a pair of thorns, set opposite each other like the horns
of an ox, as sharp as a needle, from two to three inches in length, and
thicker at the base than the stem they grow on.

[Footnote 1: _Acacia latronum._]

The _Acacia tomentosa_ is of the same genus, with thorns so large as to
be called the "_jungle-nail_" by Europeans. It is frequent in the woods
of Jaffna and Manaar, where it bears the Tamil name of _Aani mulla_, or
"elephant thorn." In some of these thorny plants, as in the _Phoberos
Goertneri, Thun._,[1] the spines grow not singly, but in branching
clusters, each point presenting a spike as sharp as a lancet; and where
these formidable shrubs abound they render the forest absolutely
impassable, even to the elephant and to animals of great size and force.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Wm. Ferguson writes to me, "This is the famous
_Katu-kurundu_, or 'thoray cinnamon,' of the Singhalese, figured and
described by Gaertner as the _Limonia pusilla_, which after a great deal
of labour and research I think I have identified as the _Phoberos
macrophyllus_" (W. and A. Prod. p. 30). Thunberg alludes to it
(_Travels_, vol. iv.)--"Why the Singhalese have called it a cinnamon, I
do not know, unless from some fancied similarity in its seeds to those
of the cinnamon laurel."]

The family of trees which, from their singularity as well as their
beauty, most attract the eye of the traveller in the forests of Ceylon,
are the palms, which occur in rich profusion, although, of upwards of
six hundred species which are found in other countries, not more than
ten or twelve are indigenous to the island.[1] At the head of these is
the coco-nut, every particle of whose substance, stem, leaves, and
fruit, the Singhalese turn to so many accounts, that one of their
favourite topics to a stranger is to enumerate the _hundred_ uses to
which they tell us this invaluable tree is applied.[2]

[Footnote 1: Mr. Thwaites has enumerated fifteen species (including the
coco-nut, and excluding the _Nipa fruticans_, which more properly
belongs to the family of screw-pines): viz. Areca, 4; Caryota, 1;
Calamus, 5; Borassus, 1; Corypha, 1; Phoenix, 2; Cocos, 1.]

[Footnote 2: The following are only a few of the countless uses of this
invaluable tree. The _leaves_, for roofing, for mats, for baskets,
torches or chules, fuel, brooms, fodder for cattle, manure. The _stem of
the leaf_, for fences, for pingoes (or yokes) for carrying burthens on
the shoulders, for fishing-rods, and innumerable domestic utensils. The
_cabbage_ or cluster of unexpended leaves, for pickles and preserves.
The _sap_ for _toddy_, for distilling arrack, and for making vinegar,
and sugar. The _unformed nut_, for medicine and sweetmeats. The _young
nut_ and its milk, for drinking, for dessert; the _green husk_ for
preserves. The _nut_, for eating, for curry, for milk, for cooking. The
_oil_, for rheumatism, for anointing the hair, for soap, for candles,
for light; and the _poonak_, or refuse of the nut after expressing the
oil, for cattle and poultry. The _shell of the nut_, for drinking cups,
charcoal, tooth-powder, spoons, medicine, hookahs, beads, bottles, and
knife-handles. The _coir_, or fibre which envelopes the shell within the
outer husk, for mattresses, cushions, ropes, cables, cordage, canvass,
fishing-nets, fuel, brushes, oakum, and floor mats. The _trunk_, for
rafters, laths, railing, boats, troughs, furniture, firewood; and when
very young, the first shoots, or cabbage, as a vegetable for the table.
The entire list, with a Singhalese enthusiast, is an interminable
narration of the virtues of his favourite tree.]

The most majestic and wonderful of the palm tribe is the _talpat_ or
_talipat_[1], the stem of which sometimes attains the height of 100
feet, and each of its enormous fan-like leaves, when laid upon the
ground, will form a semicircle of 16 feet in diameter, and cover an area
of nearly 200 superficial feet. The tree flowers but once, and dies; and
the natives firmly believe that the bursting of the shadix is
accompanied by a loud explosion. The leaves alone are converted by the
Singhalese to purposes of utility. Of them they form coverings for their
houses, and portable tents of a rude but effective character; and on
occasions of ceremony, each chief and headman on walking abroad is
attended by a follower, who holds above his head an
elaborately-ornamented fan, formed from a single leaf of the talpat.

[Footnote 1: Corypha umbraculifera, _Linn._]

But the most interesting use to which they are applied is as substitutes
for paper, both for books and for ordinary purposes. In the preparation
of _olas_, which is the term applied to them when so employed, the
leaves are taken whilst still tender, and, after separating the central
ribs, they are cut into strips and boiled in spring water. They are
dried first in the shade, and afterwards in the sun, then made into
rolls, and kept in store, or sent to the market for sale. Before they
are fit for writing on they are subjected to a second process, called
_madema_. A smooth plank of areca-palm is tied horizontally between two
trees, each ola is then damped, and a weight being attached to one end
of it, it is drawn backwards and forwards across the edge of the wood
till the surface becomes perfectly smooth and polished; and during the
process, as the moisture dries up, it is necessary to renew it till the
effect is complete. The smoothing of a single ola will occupy from
fifteen to twenty minutes.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Vol. II. p. 528.]

The finest specimens in Ceylon are to be obtained at the Panselas, or
Buddhist monasteries; they are known as _pusk[(o]la_ and are prepared by
the Samanera priests (novices) and the students, under the
superintendence of the priests.

The raw leaves, when dried without any preparation, are called
_karak[(o]la_, and, like the leaves of the palmyra, are used only for
ordinary purposes by the Singhalese; but in the Tamil districts, where
palmyras are abundant, and talpat palms rare, the leaves of the former
are used for books as well as for letters.

The _palmyra_[1] is another invaluable palm, and one of the most
beautiful of the family. It grows in such profusion over the north of
Ceylon, and especially in the peninsula of Jaffna, as to form extensive
forests, whence its timber is exported for rafters to all parts of the
island, as well as to the opposite coast of India, where, though the
palmyra grows luxuriantly, its wood, from local causes, is too soft and
perishable to be used for any purpose requiring strength and durability,
qualities which, in the palmyra of Ceylon, are pre-eminent. To the
inhabitants of the northern provinces this invaluable tree is of the
same importance as the coco-nut palm is to the natives of the south. Its
fruit yields them food and oil; its juice "palm wine" and sugar; its
stem is the chief material of their buildings; and its leaves, besides
serving as roofs to their dwellings and fences to their farms, supply
them with matting and baskets, with head-dresses and fans, and serve as
a substitute for paper for their deeds and writings, and for the sacred
books, which contain the traditions of their faith. It has been said
with truth that a native of Jaffna, if he be contented with ordinary
doors and mud walls, may build an entire house (as he wants neither
nails nor iron work), with walls, roof, and covering from the Palmyra
palm. From this same tree he may draw his wine, make his oil, kindle his
fire, carry his water, store his food, cook his repast, and sweeten it,
if he pleases; in fact, live from day to day dependent on his palmyra
alone. Multitudes so live, and it may be safely asserted that this tree
alone furnishes one-fourth the means of sustenance for the population of
the northern provinces.

[Footnote 1: _Borassus flabelliformis_. For an account of the Palmyra,
and its cultivation in the peninsula of Jaffna, see FERGUSON'S monograph
on the _Palmyra Palm of Ceylon_, Colombo, 1850.]

The _Jaggery Palm_[1], the _Kitool_ of the Singhalese, is chiefly
cultivated in the Kandyan hills for the sake of its sap, which is drawn,
boiled down, and crystallised into a coarse brown sugar, in universal
use amongst the inhabitants of the south and west of Ceylon, who also
extract from its pith a farina scarcely inferior to sago. The black
fibre of the leaf is twisted by the Rodiyas into ropes of considerable
smoothness and tenacity. A single Kitool tree has been pointed out at
Ambogammoa, which furnished the support of a Kandyan, his wife, and
their children. A tree has been known to yield one hundred pints of
toddy within twenty-four hours.

[Footnote 1: Caryota urens.]

The _Areca_[1] _Palm_ is the invariable feature of a native garden,
being planted near the wells and water-courses, as it rejoices in
moisture. Of all the tribe it is the most graceful and delicate, rising
to the height of forty or fifty feet[2], without an inequality on its
thin polished stem, which is dark green towards the top, and sustains a
crown of feathery foliage, in the midst of which are clustered the
astringent nuts for whose sake it is carefully tended.

[Footnote 1: A. catechu.]

[Footnote 2: Mr. Ferguson measured an areca at Caltura which was
seventy-five feet high, and grew near a coco-nut which was upwards of
ninety feet. Caltura is, however, remarkable for the growth and
luxuriance of its vegetation.]

The chewing of these nuts with lime and the leaf of the betel-pepper
supplies to the people of Ceylon the same enjoyment which tobacco
affords to the inhabitants of other countries; but its use is, if
possible, more offensive, as the three articles, when combined, colour
the saliva of so deep a red that the lips and teeth appear as if covered
with blood. Yet, in spite of this disgusting accompaniment, men and
women, old and young, from morning till night indulge in the repulsive

[Footnote 1: Dr. Elliot, of Colombo, has observed several cases of
cancer in the cheek which, from its peculiar characteristics, he has
designated the "betel-chewer's cancer."]

It is seldom, however, that we find in semi-civilised life habits
universally prevailing which have not their origin, however ultimately
they may be abused by excess, in some sense of utility. The Turk, when
he adds to the oppressive warmth of the sun by enveloping his forehead
in a cumbrous turban, or the Arab, when he increases the sultry heat by
swathing his waist in a showy girdle, may appear to act on no other
calculation than a willingness to sacrifice comfort to a love of
display; but the custom in each instance is the result of precaution--in
the former, because the head requires especial protection from
sun-strokes; and in the latter, from the fact well known to the Greeks
([Greek: eozônoi Achaioi]) that, in a warm climate, danger is to be
apprehended from a sudden chill to that particular region of the
stomach. In like manner, in the chewing of the areca-nut with its
accompaniments of lime and betel, the native of Ceylon is unconsciously
applying a specific corrective to the defective qualities of his daily
food. Never eating flesh meat by any chance, seldom or never using milk,
butter, poultry, or eggs, and tasting fish but occasionally (more rarely
in the interior of the island,) the non-azotised elements abound in
every article he consumes with the exception of the bread-fruit, the
jak, and some varieties of beans. In their indolent and feeble stomachs
these are liable to degenerate into flatulent and acrid products; but,
apparently by instinct, the whole population have adopted a simple
prophylactic. Every Singhalese carries in his waistcloth an ornamented
box of silver or brass, according to his means, enclosing a smaller one
to hold a portion of chunam (lime obtained by the calcination of shells)
whilst the larger contains the nuts of the areca and a few fresh leaves
of the betel-pepper. As inclination or habit impels, he scrapes down the
nut, which abounds in catechu, and, rolling it up with a little of the
lime in a betel-leaf, the whole is chewed, and finally swallowed, after
provoking an extreme salivation. No medical prescription could be more
judiciously compounded to effect the desired object than this practical
combination of antacid, the tonic, and carminative.

The custom is so ancient in Ceylon and in India that the Arabs and
Persians who resorted to Hindustan in the eighth and ninth centuries
carried back the habit to their own country; and Massoudi, the traveller
of Bagdad, who wrote the account of his voyages in A.D. 943, states that
the chewing of betel prevailed along the southern coast of Arabia, and
reached as far as Yemen and Mecca.[1] Ibn Batuta saw the betel plant at
Zahfar A.D. 1332, and describes it accurately as trained like a vine
over a trellis of reeds, or climbing the steins of the coco-nut palm.[2]

[Footnote 1: Massoudi, _Maraudj-al-Dzeheb_, as translated by REINAUD,
_Mémoire_ _sur l'Lede_. p. 230.]

[Footnote 2: _Voyages_, &c. t. ii. p. 205.]

The leaves of the coca[1] supply the Indians of Bolivia and Peru with a
stimulant, whose use is equivalent to that of the betel-pepper among the
natives of Hindustan and the Eastern Archipelago. With an admixture of
lime, they are chewed perseveringly; but, unlike the betel, the colour
imparted by them to the saliva is greenish, instead of red. It is
curious, too, as a coincidence common to the humblest phases of
semi-civilised life, that, in the absence of coined money, the leaves of
the coca form a rude kind of currency in the Andes, as does the betel in
some parts of Ceylon, and tobacco amongst the tribes of the south-west
of Africa.[2]

[Footnote 1: Erythroxylon coca.]

[Footnote 2: Tobacco was a currency in North America when Virginia was
colonised in the early part of the 17th century; debts were contracted
and paid in it, and in every ordinary transaction tobacco answered the
purposes of coin.]

Neither catechu nor its impure equivalent, "terra japonica," is prepared
from the areca in Ceylon; but the nuts are exported in large quantities
to the Maldive Islands and to India, the produce of which they excel
both in astringency and size. The fibrous wood of the areca being at
once straight, firm, and elastic, is employed for making the pingoes
(yokes for the shoulders), by means of which the Singhalese coolie, like
the corresponding class among the ancient Egyptians and the Greeks,
carries his burdens, dividing them into portions of equal weight, one of
which is suspended from each end of the pingo. By a swaying motion
communicated to them as he starts, his own movement is facilitated,
whereas one unaccustomed to the work, by allowing the oscillation to
become irregular, finds it almost impossible to proceed with a load of
any considerable weight.[1]

[Footnote 1: The natives of Tahti use a yoke of the same form as the
Singhalese _pingo_, but made from the wood of the _Hibiscus
tiliaceus._--DARWIN, _Nat. Voy._ ch. xviii. p. 407. For a further
account of the pingo see Vol. I. Part iv. ch. viii. p. 497.]

_Timber trees_, either for export or domestic use, are not found in any
abundance except in the low country, and here the facility of floating
them to the sea, down the streams which intersect the eastern coast of
the island, has given rise to an active trade at Batticaloa and
Trincomalie. But, unfortunately, the indifference of the local officers
entrusted with the issue of licences to fell, and the imperfect control
exercised over the adventurers who embark in these speculations, has led
to a destruction of trees quite disproportionate to the timber obtained,
and utterly incompatible with the conservation of the valuable kinds.
The East India Company have had occasion to deplore the loss of their
teak forests by similar neglect and mismanagement; and it is to be hoped
that, ere too late, the attention of the Ceylon Government may be so
directed to this important subject as to lead to the appointment of
competent foresters, under whose authority and superintendence the
felling of timber may be carried on.

An interesting memoir on the timber trees of Ceylon has been prepared by
a native officer at Colombo, Adrian Mendis, of Morottu,
carpeater-moodliar to the Royal Engineers, in which he has enumerated
upwards of ninety species, which, in various parts of the island, are
employed either as timber or cabinet woods.[1] Of these, the jak, the
Kangtal of Bengal (_Artocarpus integrifolia_), is, next to the coco-nut
and Palmyra, by far the most valuable to the Singhalese; its fruit,
which sometimes attains the weight of 50 lbs., supplying food for their
table, its leaves fodder for their cattle, and its trunk timber for
every conceivable purpose both oeconomic and ornamental. The Jak tree,
as well as the Del, or wild bread-fruit, is indigenous to the forests on
the coast and in the central provinces; but, although the latter is
found in the vicinity of the villages, it does not appear to be an
object of special cultivation. The Jak, on the contrary, is planted near
every house, and forms the shade of every garden. Its wood, at first
yellow, approaches the colour of mahogany after a little exposure to the
air, and resembles it at all times in its grain and marking.

[Footnote 1: Mendis' List will be found appended to the _Ceylon
Calendar_ for 1854.]

The Del (_Artocarpus pubescens_) affords a valuable timber, not only for
architectural purposes, but for ship-building. It and the Halmalille[1]
resembling but larger than the linden tree of England, to which it is
closely allied, are the favourite building woods of the natives, and the
latter is used for carts, casks, and all household purposes, as well as
for the hulls of their boats, from the belief that It resists the attack
of the marine worms, and that some unctuous property in the wood
preserves the iron work from rust.[2]

[Footnote 1: Berry a ammonilla.]

[Footnote 2: The Masula boats, which brave the formidable surf of Madrus
are made of Halmalille, which is there called "Trincomalie wood" from
the place of exportation.]

The Teak (_Tectona grandis_), which is superior to all others, is not a
native of this island, and although largely planted, has not been
altogether successful. But the satin-wood[1], in point of size and
durability, is by far the first of the timber trees of Ceylon. For days
together I have ridden under its magnificent shade. All the forests
around Batticaloa and Trincomalie, and as far north as Jaffna, are
thickly set with this valuable tree. It grows to the height of a hundred
feet, with a rugged grey bark, small white flowers, and polished leaves,
with a somewhat unpleasant odour. Owing to the difficulty of carrying
its heavy beams, the natives only cut it near the banks of the rivers,
down which it is floated to the coast, whence large quantities are
exported to every part of the colony. The richly-coloured and feathery
pieces are used for cabinet-work, and the more ordinary logs for
building purposes, every house in the eastern province being floored and
timbered with satin-wood.

[Footnote 1: Chieroxylon Swietenia.]

Another useful tree, very common in Ceylon, is the Suria[1], with
flowers so like those of a tulip that Europeans know it as the tulip
tree. It loves the sea air and saline soils. It is planted all along the
avenues and streets in the towns near the coast, where it is equally
valued for its shade and the beauty of its yellow flowers, whilst its
tough wood is used for carriage shafts and gun-stocks.

[Footnote 1: Thespesia populnea.]

The forests to the east furnish the only valuable cabinet woods used in
Ceylon, the chief of which is ebony[1], which grows in great abundance
throughout all the flat country to the west of Trincomalie. It is a
different species from the ebony of Mauritius[2], and excels it and all
others in the evenness and intensity of its colour. The centre of the
trunk is the only portion which furnishes the extremely black part which
is the ebony of commerce; but the trees are of such magnitude that
reduced logs of two feet in diameter, and varying from ten to fifteen
feet in length, can readily be procured from the forests at Trincomalie.

[Footnote 1: Diospyros ebenum.]

[Footnote 2: D. reticulata.]

There is another cabinet wood, of extreme beauty, called by the natives
Cadooberia. It is a bastard species of ebony[1], in which the prevailing
black is stained with stripes of rich brown, approaching to yellow and
pink. But its density is inconsiderable, and in durability it is far
inferior to that of true ebony.

[Footnote 1: D. ebenaster.]

The Calamander[1], the most valuable cabinet wood of the island,
resembling rose-wood, but much surpassing it both in beauty and
durability, has at all times been in the greatest repute in Ceylon. It
grows chiefly in the southern provinces, and especially in the forests
at the foot of Adam's Peak; but here it has been so prodigally felled,
first by the Dutch, and afterwards by the English, without any
precautions for planting or production, that it has at last become
exceedingly rare. Wood of a large scantling is hardly procurable at any
price; and it is only in a very few localities, the principal of which
is Saffragam, in the western province, that even small sticks are now to
be found; one reason, assigned for this is that the heart of the tree is
seldom sound, a peculiarity which extends to the Cadooberia.

[Footnote 1: D. hirsuta.]

The twisted portions, and especially the roots of the latter, yield
veneers of unusual beauty, dark wavings and blotches, almost black,
being gracefully disposed over a delicate fawn-coloured ground. Its
density is so great (nearly 60 lbs. to a cubic foot) that it takes an
exquisite polish, and is in every way adapted for the manufacture of
furniture, in the ornamenting of which the native carpenters excel. The
chiefs and headmen, with a full appreciation of its beauty, take
particular pride in possessing specimens of this beautiful wood, roots
of which they regard as most acceptable gifts.

Notwithstanding its value, the tree is nearly eradicated, and runs some
risk of becoming extinct in the island; but, as it is not peculiar to
Ceylon, it may be restored by fresh importations from the south-eastern
coast of India, of which it is equally a native, and I apprehend that
the name, _Calamander_, which was used by the Dutch, is but a corruption
of "Coromandel."

Another species of cabinet wood is produced from the Nedun[1], a large
tree common on the western coast; it belongs to the Pea tribe, and is
allied to the Sisso of India. Its wood, which is lighter than the
"Blackwood" of Bombay, is used for similar purposes.

[Footnote 1: Dalbergia lanceolaria.]

The Tamarind tree[1], and especially its fine roots, produce a
variegated cabinet wood of much beauty, but of such extreme hardness as
scarcely to be workable by any ordinary tool.[2]

[Footnote 1: Tamarindus Indica.]

[Footnote 2: The natives of Western India have a belief that the shade
of the tamarind tree is unhealthy, if not poisonous. But in Ceylon it is
an object of the people, especially in the north of the island, to build
their houses under it, from the conviction that of all trees its _shade
is the coolest_. In this feeling, too, the Europeans are so far disposed
to concur that it has been suggested whether there may not be something
peculiar in the respiration of its leaves. The Singhalese have an idea
that the twigs of the ranna-wara (_Cassia auriculata_) diffuse an
agreeable coolness, and they pull them for the sake of enjoying it by
holding them in their hands or applied to the head. In the south of
Ceylon it is called the Matura tea-tree, its leaves being infused as a
substitute for tea.]

As to fruit trees, it is only on the coast, or near the large villages
and towns, that they are found in any perfection. In the deepest jungle
the sight of a single coco-nut towering above the other foliage is in
Ceylon a never-failing landmark to intimate to a traveller his approach
to a village. The natives have a superstition that the coco-nut will not
grow _out of the sound of the human voice_, and will die if the village
where it had previously thriven become deserted; the solution of the
mystery being in all probability the superior care and manuring which it
receives in such localities.[1] In the generality of the forest hamlets
there are always to be found a few venerable Tamarind trees of
patriarchal proportions, the ubiquitous Jak, with its huge fruits,
weighing from 5 to 50 lbs. (the largest eatable fruit in the world),
each springing from the rugged surface of the bark, and suspended by a
powerful stalk, which attaches it to the trunk of the tree. Lime-trees,
Oranges, and Shaddoks are carefully cultivated in these little gardens,
and occasionally the Rose-apple and the Cachu-nut, the Pappaya, and
invariably as plentiful a supply of Plantains as they find it prudent to
raise without inviting the visits of the wild elephants, with whom they
are especial favourites.

[Footnote 1: See Vol. II. p. 125.]

These, and the Bilimbi and Guava, the latter of which is naturalised in
the jungle around every cottage, are almost the only fruits of the
country; but the Pine-apple, the Mango, the Avocado-pear, the
Custard-apple, the Rambutan (_Nephelium lappaceum_), the Fig, the
Granadilla, and a number of other exotics, are successfully reared in
the gardens of the wealthier inhabitants of the towns and villages; and
within the last few years the peerless Mangustin of Malacca, the
delicacy of which we can imagine to resemble that of perfumed snow, has
been successfully cultivated in the gardens of Caltura and Colombo.

With the exception of the orange, the fruits of Ceylon have one
deficiency, common, I apprehend, to all tropical countries. They are
wanting in that piquancy which in northern climates is attributable to
the exquisite perfection in which the sweet and aromatic flavours are
blended with the acidulous. Either the acid is so ascendant as to be
repulsive to the European palate, or the saccharine so preponderates as
to render Singhalese fruit cloying and distasteful.

Still, all other defects are compensated by the coolness which pervades
them; and, under the exhaustion of a blazing sun, no more exquisite
physical enjoyment can be imagined than the chill and fragrant flesh of
the pine-apple, or the abundant juice of the mango, which, when freshly
pulled, feels as cool as iced water. But the fruit must be eaten
instantly; even an interval of a few minutes after it has been gathered
is sufficient to destroy the charm; for, once severed from the stem, it
rapidly acquires the temperature of the surrounding air.

Sufficient admiration has hardly been bestowed upon the marvellous power
displayed by the vegetable world in adjusting its own temperature,
notwithstanding atmospheric fluctuations,--a faculty in the
manifestation of which it appears to present a counterpart to that
exhibited by animal oeconomy in regulating its heat. So uniform is the
exercise of the latter faculty in man and the higher animals, that there
is barely a difference of three degrees between the warmth of the body
in the utmost endurable vicissitudes of heat and cold; and in vegetables
an equivalent arrangement enables them in winter to keep their
temperature somewhat above that of the surrounding air, and in summer to
reduce it far below it. It would almost seem as if plants possessed a
power of producing cold analogous to that exhibited by animals in
producing heat; and of this beneficent arrangement man enjoys the
benefit in the luxurious coolness of the fruit which nature lavishes on
the tropics.

The peculiar organisation by which this result is obtained is not free
from obscurity, but in all probability the means of adjusting the
temperature of plants is simply dependent on evaporation. As regards the
power possessed by vegetables of generating heat, although it has been
demonstrated to exist, it is in so trifling a degree as to be almost
inappreciable, except at the period of germination, when it probably
arises from the consumption of oxygen in generating the carbonic acid
gas which is then evolved. The faculty of retaining this warmth at night
and at other times may, therefore, be referable mainly to the closing of
the pores, and the consequent check of evaporation.

On the other hand, the faculty of maintaining a temperature below that
of the surrounding air, can only be accounted for by referring it to the
mechanical process of imbibing a continuous supply of fresh moisture
from the soil, the active transpiration of which imparts coolness to
every portion of the tree and its fruit. It requires this combined
operation to produce the desired result; and the extent to which
evaporation can bring down the temperature of the moisture received by
absorption, may be inferred from the fact that Dr. Hooker, when in the
valley of the Ganges, found the fresh milky juice of the Mudar
(_calotropis_) to be but 72°, whilst the damp sand in the bed of the
river where it grew was from 90° to 104°.

Even in temperate climates this phenomenon is calculated to excite
admiration; but it is still more striking to find the like effect rather
increased than diminished in the tropics, where one would suppose that
the juices, especially of a small and delicate plant, before they could
be cooled by evaporation, would be liable to be heated by the blazing

A difficulty would also seem to present itself in the instance of fruit,
whose juices, having to undergo a chemical change, their circulation
would be conjectured to be slower; and in the instance of those with
hard skins, such as the pomegranate, or with a tough leathery coating,
like the mango, the evaporation might be imagined to be less than in
those of a soft and spongy texture. But all share alike in the general
coolness of the plant, so long as circulation supplies fluid for
evaporation; and the moment this resource is cut off by the separation
of the fruit from the tree, the supply of moisture failing, the process
of refrigeration is arrested, and the charm of agreeable freshness gone.

It only remains to notice the aquatic plants, which are found in greater
profusion in the northern and eastern provinces than in any other
districts of the island, owing to the innumerable tanks and neglected
watercourses which cover the whole surface of this once productive
province, but which now only harbour the alligator, or satisfy the
thirst of the deer and the elephant.

[Footnote 1: See on this subject LINDLEY'S _Introduction to Botany_,
vol. ii. book ii. ch. viii. p. 215.

CARPENTER, _Animal Physiology_, ch. ix. s. 407. CARPENTER'S _Vegetable
Physiology_, ch. xi. s. 407, Lond. 1848.]

The chief ornaments of these neglected sheets of water are the large red
and white Lotus[1], whose flowers may be seen from a great distance
reposing on their broad green leaves. In China and some parts of India
the black seeds of these plants, which are not unlike little acorns in
shape, are served at table in place of almonds, which they are said to
resemble, but with a superior delicacy of flavour. At some of the tanks
where the lotus grows in profusion in Ceylon, I tasted the seeds
enclosed in the torus of the flowers, and found them white and
delicately-flavoured, not unlike the small kernel of the pine cone of
the Apennines. This red lotus of the island appears to be the one that
Herodotus describes as abounding in the Nile in his time, but which is
now extinct; with a flower resembling a rose, and a fruit in shape like
a wasp's nest, and containing seeds of the size of an olive stone, and
of an agreeable flavour.[2] But it has clearly no identity with those
which he describes as the food of the Lotophagi of Africa, of the size
of the mastic[3], sweet as a date, and capable of being made into wine.

[Footnote 1: Nelumbium speciosum.]

[Footnote 2: Herodotus, b. ii. s. 92.]

[Footnote 3: The words are "[Greek: Esti megathos hoson te tês schinou]"
(Herod. b. iv. s. 177); and as [Greek: schinos] means also a _squill_ or
a _sea-onion_, the fruit above referred to, as the food of the
Lotophagi, must have been of infinitely larger size and in every way
different from the lotus of the Nile, described in the 2nd book, as well
as from the lotus in the East. Lindley records the conjecture that the
article referred to by Herodotus was the _nabk_, the berry of the
lote-bush (_Zizyphus lotus_), which the Arabs of Barbary still eat.
(_Vegetable Kingdom_, p. 582.)]

One species of the water lily, the _Nymphæa rubra_, with small red
flowers, and of great beauty, is common in the ponds near Jaffna and in
the Wanny; and I found in the fosse, near the fort of Moeletivoe, the
beautiful blue lotus, _N. stellata_, with lilac petals, approaching to
purple in the centre, which had not previously been supposed to be a
native of the island.

Another very interesting aquatic plant, which was discovered by Dr.
Gardner in the tanks north of Trincomalie, is the _Desmanthus natans_,
with highly sensitive leaves floating on the surface of the water. It is
borne aloft by masses of a spongy cellular substance, which occur at
intervals along its stem and branches, but the roots never touch the
bottom, absorbing nourishment whilst floating at liberty, and only found
in contact with the ground after the subsidence of water in the

[Footnote 1: A species of _Utricularia_, with yellow flowers (U.
stellaris), is a common water-plant in the still lakes near the fort of
Colombo, where an opportunity is afforded of observing the extraordinary
provision of nature for its reproduction. There are small appendages
attached to the roots, which become distended with air, and thus carry
the plant aloft to the surface, during the cool season. Here it floats
till the operation of flowering is over, when the vesicles burst, and by
its own weight it returns to the bottom of the lake to ripen its seeds
and deposit them in the soil; after which the air vessels again fill,
and again it re-ascends to undergo the same process of fecundation.]





With the exception of the Mammalia and the Birds, the fauna of Ceylon
has, up to the present, failed to receive that systematic attention to
which its richness and variety so amply entitle it. The Singhalese
themselves, habitually indolent and singularly unobservant of nature in
her operations, are at the same time restrained from the study of
natural history by tenets of their religion which forbid the taking of
life under any circumstances. From the nature of their avocations, the
majority of the European residents engaged in planting and commerce, are
discouraged from gratifying this taste; and it is to be regretted that
the civil servants of the government, whose position and duties would
have afforded them influence and extended opportunity for successful
investigation, have never seen the importance of encouraging such

The first effective impulse to the cultivation of natural science in
Ceylon, was communicated by Dr. Davy when connected with the medical
staff of the army from 1816 to 1820, and his example stimulated some of
the assistant surgeons of Her Majesty's forces to make collections in
illustration of the productions of the colony. Of the late Dr. Kinnis
was one of the most energetic and successful. He was seconded by Dr.
Templeton of the Royal Artillery, who engaged assiduously in the
investigation of various orders, and commenced an interchange of
specimens with Mr. Blyth[1], the distinguished naturalist and curator of
the Calcutta Museum.

[Footnote 1: _Journ. Asiat. Soc. Bengal,_ vol. xv. p. 280, 314.]

The birds and rarer vertebrata of the island were thus compared with
their peninsular congeners, and a tolerable knowledge of those belonging
to the island, so far as regards the higher classes of animals, has been
the result. The example so set has been perseveringly followed by Mr.
E.L. Layard and Dr. Kelaart, and infinite credit is due to Mr. Blyth for
the zealous and untiring energy with which he has devoted his attention
and leisure to the identification of the various interesting species
forwarded from Ceylon, and to their description in the Calcutta Journal.
To him, and to the gentleman I have named, we are mainly indebted, for
whatever accurate knowledge we now possess of the zoology of the colony.

The mammalia, birds, and reptiles received their first scientific
description in an able work published recently by Dr. Kelaart of the
army medical staff[1], which is by far the most valuable that has yet
appeared on the Singhalese fauna. Co-operating with him, Mr. Layard has
supplied a fund of information especially in ornithology and conchology.
The zoophytes and crustacea have been investigated by Professor Harvey,
who visited Ceylon for that purpose in 1852, and by Professor Schmarda,
of the University of Prague, who was lately sent there for a similar
object. From the united labours of these gentlemen and others interested
in the same pursuits, we may hope at an early day to obtain such a
knowledge of the zoology of Ceylon, as may to some extent compensate for
the long indifference of the government officers.

[Footnote 1: _Prodromus Faunæ Zeylanicæ; being Contributions to the
Zoology of Ceylon_, by F. KELAART, Esq., M.D., F.L.S., &c. &c. 2 vols.
Colombo and London, 1852. Mr. DAVY, of the Medical Staff; brother to Sir
Humphry, published in 1821 his _Account of the Interior of Ceylon and
its Inhabitants_, which contains the earliest notices of the natural
history of the island, and especially of the Ophidian reptiles.]

I. QUADRUMANA. 1 _Monkeys_.--To a stranger in the tropics, among the
most attractive creatures in the forests are the troops of _monkeys_,
which career in ceaseless chase among the loftiest trees. In Ceylon
there are five species, four of which belong to one group, the
Wanderoos, and the other is the little graceful grimacing _rilawa_[1],
which is the universal pet and favourite, of both natives and Europeans.

[Footnote 1: _Macacus pileatus_, Shaw and Desmmarest. The "bonneted
Macaque" is common in the south and west; and a spectacled monkey is
_said_ to inhabit the low country near to Bintenne; but I have never
seen one brought thence. A paper by Dr. TEMPLETON in the _Mag. Nat.
Hist_. n.s. xiv. p. 361, contains some interesting facts relative to the
Rilawa of Ceylon.]

KNOX, in his captivating account of the island, gives an accurate
description of both; the Rilawas, with "no beards, white faces, and long
hair on the top of their heads, which parteth and hangeth down like a
man's, and which do a deal of mischief to the corn, and are so impudent
that they will come into their gardens, and eat such fruit as grows
there. And the Wanderoos, some as large as our English Spaniel dogs, of
a darkish grey colour, and black faces with great white beards round
from ear to ear, which makes them shew just like old men. This sort does
but little mischief, keeping in the woods, eating only leaves and buds
of trees, but when they are catched they will eat anything."[1]

[Footnote 1: KNOX, _Historical Relation of Ceylon, an Island in the East
Indies_.--P. i. ch. vi. p. 25. Fol. Lond. 1681.]

KNOX, whose experience was confined almost exclusively to the hill
country around Kandy, spoke in all probability of one large and
comparatively powerful species, _Presbytes ursinus_, which inhabits the
lofty forests, and which, as well as another of the same group, _P.
Thersites_, was, till recently, unknown to European naturalists. The
Singhalese word _Ouanderu_ has a generic sense, and being in every
respect the equivalent for our own term of "monkey," it necessarily
comprehends the low country species, as well as those which inhabit
other parts of the island. And, in point of fact, in the island there
are no less than four animals, each of which is entitled to the name of

[Footnote 1: Down to a very late period, a large and somewhat
repulsive-looking monkey, common to the Malabar coast, the Silenus
veter, _Linn_., was, from the circumstance of his possessing a "great
white beard," incorrectly assumed to be the "wanderoo" of Ceylon,
described by KNOX; and under that usurped name it has figured in every
author from Buffon to the present time. Specimens of the true Singhalese
species were, however, received in Europe; but in the absence of
information in this country as to their actual habitat, they were
described, first by Zimmerman, on the continent, under the name of
_Leucoprymnus cephalopterus,_ and subsequently by Mr. E. Bennett, under
that of _Semnopithecus Nestor (Proc. Zool. Soc._ pt. i. p. 67: 1833);
the generic and specific characters being on this occasion most
carefully pointed out by that eminent naturalist. Eleven years later Dr.
Templeton forwarded to the Zoological Society a description, accompanied
by drawings, of the wanderoo of the western maritime districts of
Ceylon, and noticed the fact that the wanderoo of authors (S. veter) was
not to be found in the island except as an introduced species in the
custody of the Arab horse-dealers, who visit the port of Colombo at
stated periods. Mr. Waterhouse, at the meeting (_Proc. Zool. Soc._ p. 1:
1844) at which this communication was read, recognised the identity of
the subject of Dr. Templeton's description with that already laid before
them by Mr. Bennett; and from this period the species in question was
believed to truly represent the wanderoo of Knox. The later discovery,
however, of the P. ursinus by Dr. Kelaart, in the mountains amongst
which we are assured that Knox spent so many years of captivity, reopens
the question, but at the same time appears to me to clearly demonstrate
that in this latter we have in reality the animal to which his narrative

Each separate species has appropriated to itself a different district of
the wooded country, and seldom encroaches on the domain of its

1. Of the four species found in Ceylon, the most numerous in the island,
and the one best known in Europe, is the Wanderoo of the low country,
the _P. cephalopterus_ of Zimmerman.[1] It is an active and intelligent
creature, not much larger than the common bonneted Macaque, and far from
being so mischievous as others of the monkeys in the island. In
captivity it is remarkable for the gravity of its demeanour and for an
air of melancholy in its expression and movements, which is completely
in character with its snowy beard and venerable aspect. Its disposition
is gentle and confiding, it is in the highest degree sensible of
kindness, and eager for endearing attentions, uttering a low plaintive
cry when its sympathies are excited. It is particularly cleanly in its
habits when domesticated, and spends much of its time in trimming its
fur, and carefully divesting its hair of particles of dust.

[Footnote 1: Leucoprymnus Nestor, _Bennett_.]

Although common in the southern and western provinces, it is never found
at a higher elevation than 1300 feet.

When observed in their native wilds, a party of twenty or thirty of
these creatures is generally busily engaged in the search for berries
and buds. They are seldom to be seen on the ground, and then only when
they have descended to recover seeds or fruit that have fallen at the
foot of their favourite trees. In their alarm, when disturbed, their
leaps are prodigious; but generally speaking, their progress is made not
so much by _leaping_ as by swinging from branch to branch, using their
powerful arms alternately; and when baffled by distance, flinging
themselves obliquely so as to catch the lower boughs of an opposite
tree, the momentum acquired by their descent being sufficient to cause a
rebound, that carries them again upwards, till they can grasp a higher
branch; and thus continue their headlong flight. In these perilous
achievements, wonder is excited less by the surpassing agility of these
little creatures, frequently encumbered as they are by their young,
which cling to them in their career, than by the quickness of their eye
and the unerring accuracy with which they seem almost to calculate the
angle at which a descent would enable them to cover a given distance,
and the recoil to elevate themselves again to a higher altitude.

2. The low country Wanderoo is replaced in the hills by the larger
species, _P. ursinus_, which inhabits the mountain zone. The natives,
who designate the latter the _Maha_ or Great Wanderoo, to distinguish it
from the _Kaloo_, or black one, with which they are familiar, describe
it as much wilder and more powerful than its congener of the lowland
forests. It is rarely seen by Europeans, this portion of the country
having till very recently been but partially opened; and even now it is
difficult to observe its habits, as it seldom approaches the few roads
which wind through these deep solitudes. It was first captured by Dr.
Kelaart in the woods near Neuera-ellia, and from its peculiar appearance
it has been named _P. ursinus_ by Mr. Blyth.[1]

[Footnote 1: Mr. Blyth quotes as authority for this trivial name a
passage from MAJOR FORBES' _Eleven Years in Ceylon_; and I can vouch for
the graphic accuracy of the remark.--"A species of very large monkey,
that passed some distance before me, when resting on all fours, looked
so like a Ceylon bear, that I nearly took him for one."]

3. The _P. Thersites_, which is chiefly distinguished from the others by
wanting the head tuft, is so rare that it was for some time doubtful
whether the single specimen procured by Dr. Templeton from
Neuera-kalawa, west of Trincomalie, and on which Mr. Blyth conferred
this new name, was in reality native; but the occurrence of a second,
since identified by Dr. Kelaart, has established its existence as a
separate species.

Like the common wanderoo, this one was partial to fresh vegetables,
plantains, and fruit; but he ate freely boiled rice, beans, and gram. He
was fond of being noticed and petted, stretching out his limbs in
succession to be scratched, drawing himself up so that his ribs might be
reached by the finger, and closing his eyes during the operation,
evincing his satisfaction by grimaces irresistibly ludicrous.

4. The _P. Priamus_ inhabits the northern and eastern provinces, and the
wooded hills which occur in these portions of the island. In appearance
it differs both in size and in colour from the common wanderoo, being
larger and more inclining to grey; and in habits it is much less
reserved. At Jaffna, and in other parts of the island where the
population is comparatively numerous, these monkeys become so
familiarised with the presence of man as to exhibit the utmost daring
and indifference. A flock of them will take possession of a Palmyra
palm; and so effectually can they crouch and conceal themselves among
the leaves that, on the slightest alarm, the whole party becomes
invisible in an instant. The presence of a dog, however, excites such an
irrepressible curiosity that, in order to watch his movements, they
never fail to betray themselves. They may be seen frequently congregated
on the roof of a native hut; and, some years ago, the child of a
European clergyman stationed at Tillipalli having been left on the
ground by the nurse, was so teased and bitten by them as to cause its

The Singhalese have the impression that the remains of a monkey are
never found in the forest; a belief which they have embodied in the
proverb that "he who has seen a white crow, the nest of a paddy bird, a
straight coco-nut tree, or a dead monkey, is certain to live for ever."
This piece of folk-lore has evidently reached Ceylon from India, where
it is believed that persons dwelling on the spot where a hanuman monkey,
_S. entellus_, has been killed, will die, and that even its bones are
unlucky, and that no house erected where they are hid under ground can
prosper. Hence when a house is to be built, it is one of the employments
of the Jyotish philosophers to ascertain by their science that none such
are concealed; and Buchanan observes that "it is, perhaps, owing to this
fear of ill-luck that no native will acknowledge his having seen a dead

[Footnote 1: BUCHANAN'S _Survey of Bhagulpoor_, p. 142. At Gibraltar it
is believed that the body of _a dead monkey_ is never found on the

The only other quadrumanous animal found in Ceylon is the little
loris[1], which, from its sluggish movements, nocturnal habits, and
consequent inaction during the day, has acquired the name of the "Ceylon
Sloth." There are two varieties in the island; one of the ordinary
fulvous brown, and another larger, whose fur is entirely black. A
specimen of the former was sent to me from Chilaw, on the western coast,
and lived for some time at Colombo, feeding on rice, fruit, and
vegetables. It was partial to ants and other insects, and always eager
for milk or the bone of a fowl. The naturally slow motion of its limbs
enables the loris to approach its prey so stealthily that it seizes
birds before they can be alarmed by its presence. The natives assert
that it has been known to strangle the pea-fowl at night, and feast on
the brain. During the day the one which I kept was usually asleep in the
strange position represented below; its perch firmly grasped with all
hands, its back curved into a ball of soft fur, and its head hidden deep
between its legs. The singularly-large and intense eyes of the loris
have attracted the attention of the Singhalese, who capture the creature
for the purpose of extracting them as charms and love-potions, and this
they are said to effect by holding the little animal to the fire till
its eyeballs burst. Its Tamil name is _theivangu_, or "thin-bodied;" and
hence a deformed child or an emaciated person has acquired in the Tamil
districts the same epithet. The light-coloured variety of the loris in
Ceylon has a spot on its forehead, somewhat resembling the _namam_, or
mark worn by the worshippers of Vishnu; and, from this peculiarity, it
is distinguished as the _Nama-theivangu_.[2]

[Footnote 1: Loris gracilis, _Geoff_.]

[Footnote 2: There is an interesting notice of the loris of Ceylon by
Dr. TEMPLETON, in the _Mag. Nat. Hist_. 1844, ch. xiv. p. 362.]

[Illustration: THE LORIS]

II. CHEIROPTERA. _Bats_.--The multitude of _bats_ is one of the features
of the evening landscape; they abound in every cave and subterranean
passage, in the tunnels on the highways, in the galleries of the
fortifications, in the roofs of the bungalows, and the ruins of every
temple and building. At sunset they are seen issuing from their diurnal
retreats to roam through the twilight in search of crepuscular insects,
and as night approaches and the lights in the rooms attract the
night-flying lepidoptera, the bats sweep round the dinner-table and
carry off their tiny prey within the glitter of the lamps. Including the
frugivorous section about sixteen species have been identified in
Ceylon, and of these, two varieties are peculiar to the island. The
colours of some of them are as brilliant as the plumage of a bird,
bright yellow, deep orange, and a rich ferruginous brown inclining to
red.[1] The Roussette[2] of Ceylon (the "Flying-fox," as it is usually
called by Europeans) measures from three to four feet from point to
point of its extended wings, and some of them have been seen wanting but
a few inches of five feet in the alar expanse. These sombre-looking
creatures feed chiefly on ripe fruits, the guava, the plantain, and the
rose-apple, and are abundant in all the maritime districts, especially
at the season when the silk-cotton tree, the _pulun-imbul_,[3] is
putting forth its flower-buds, of which they are singularly fond. By day
they suspend themselves from the highest branches, hanging by the claws
of the hind legs, pressing the chin against the breast, and using the
closed membrane attached to the forearms as a mantle to envelope the
head. At sunset launching into the air, they hover with a murmuring
sound occasioned by the beating of their broad membranous wings, around
the fruit trees, on which they feed till morning, when they resume their
pensile attitude as before. They are strongly attracted to the coco-nut
trees during the period when toddy is drawn for distillation, and
exhibit, it is said, at such times symptoms resembling intoxication.[4]

[Footnote 1:
  Rhinolophus affinis? _var_. rubidus, _Kelaart_.
  Hipposideros murinus, _var_. fulvus, _Kelaart_.
  Hipposideros speoris, _var_. aureus, _Kelaart_.
  Kerivoula picta, _Pallas_.
  Scotophilus Heathii, _Horsf_.]

[Footnote 2: Pteropus Edwardsii, _Geoff_.]

[Footnote 3: Eriodendron orientale, _Stead_.]

[Footnote 4: Mr. THWAITES, of the Royal Botanic Garden, at Kandy, in a
recent letter, 19th Dec. 1858, gives the following description of a
periodical visit of the pteropus to an avenue of fig-trees:--"You would
be much interested now in observing a colony of the _pteropus_ bat,
which has established itself for a season on some trees within sight of
my bungalow. They came about the same time last year, and, after staying
a few weeks, disappeared: I suppose they had demolished all the
available food in the neighbourhood. They are now busy of an evening
eating the figs of _Ficus elastica_, of which we have a long avenue in
the grounds, as I dare say you remember.

"These bats take possession during the day of particular trees, upon
which they hang like so much ripe fruit, but they take it into their
heads to have some exercise every morning between the hours of 9 and 11,
during which they are wheeling about in the air by the hundred,
seemingly enjoying the sunshine and warmth. They then return to their
fevourite tree, and remain quiet until the evening, when they move off
towards their feeding ground. There is a great chattering and screaming
amongst them before they can get agreeably settled in their places after
their morning exercise; quarrelling, I suppose, for the most comfortable
spots to hang on by during the rest of the day. The trees they take
possession of become nearly stripped of leaves; and it is a curious
sight to see them in such immense numbers. I do not allow them to be

The flying-fox is killed by the natives for the sake of its flesh, which
I have been told, by a gentleman who has eaten it, resembles that of the

[Footnote 1: In Western India the native Portuguese eat the flying-fox,
and pronounce it delicate, and far from disagreeable in flavour.]

There are several varieties (some of them peculiar to the island) of the
horse-shoe-headed _Rhinolophus_, with the strange leaf-like appendage
erected on the extremity of the nose. It has been suggested that bats,
though nocturnal, are deficient in that keen vision characteristic of
animals which take their prey at night. I doubt whether this conjecture
be well founded; but at least it would seem that in their peculiar
oeconomy some additional power is required to supplement that of vision,
as in insects that of touch is superadded, in the most sensitive
development, to that of sight. Hence, it is possible that the extended
screen stretched at the back of their nostrils may be intended by nature
to facilitate the collection and conduction of odours, as the vast
development of the shell of the ear in the same family is designed to
assist in the collection of sounds--and thus to reinforce their vision
when in pursuit of their prey at twilight by the superior sensitiveness
of the organs of hearing and smell, as they are already remarkable for
that marvellous sense of touch which enables them, even when deprived of
sight, to direct their flight with security, by means of the delicate
nerves of the wing. One tiny little bat, not much larger than the humble
bee[1], and of a glossy black colour, is sometimes to be seen about
Colombo. It is so familiar and gentle that it will alight on the cloth
during dinner, and manifests so little alarm that it seldom makes any
effort to escape before a wine glass can be inverted to secure it.[2]

[Footnote 1: It is a _very_ small Singhalese variety of Scotophilus
Coromandelicus; _F. Cuv_.]

[Footnote 2: For a notice of the curious parasite peculiar to the bat,
see Note A. end of this chapter.]

III. CARNIVORA.--_Bears_.--Of the _carnivora_, the one most dreaded by
the natives of Ceylon, and the only one of the larger animals which
makes the depths of the forest its habitual retreat, is the bear[1],
attracted by the honey which is to be found in the hollow trees and
clefts of the rocks. Occasionally spots of fresh earth are observed
which have been turned up by them in search of some favourite root. They
feed also on the termites and ants. A friend of mine traversing the
forest near Jaffna, at early dawn, had his attention attracted by the
growling of a bear, which was seated upon a lofty branch thrusting
portions of a red-ant's nest into its mouth with one paw, whilst with
the other he endeavoured to clear his eyebrows and lips of the angry
inmates which bit and tortured him in their rage. The Ceylon bear is
found only in the low and dry districts of the northern and
south-eastern coast, and is seldom met with on the mountains or the
moist and damp plains of the west. It is furnished with a bushy tuft of
hair on the back, between the shoulders, to which the young are
accustomed to cling till sufficiently strong to provide for their own
safety. During a severe drought which prevailed in the northern province
in 1850, the district of Caretchy was so infested by bears that the
Oriental custom of the women resorting to the wells was altogether
suspended, as it was a common occurrence to find one of these animals in
the water, unable to climb up the yielding and slippery soil, down which
his thirst had impelled him to slide during the night.

[Footnote 1: Prochilus labiatus, _Blainville_.]

Although the structure of the bear shows him to be naturally omnivorous,
he rarely preys upon flesh in Ceylon, and his solitary habits whilst in
search of honey and fruits, render him timid and retiring. Hence he
evinces alarm on the approach of man or other animals, and, unable to
make a rapid retreat, his panic rather than any vicious disposition
leads him to become an assailant in self-defence. But so furious are his
assaults under such circumstances that the Singhalese have a terror of
his attack greater than that created by any other beast of the forest.
If not armed with a gun, a native, in the places where bears abound,
usually carries a light axe, called "kodelly," with which to strike them
on the head. The bear, on the other hand, always aims, at the face, and,
if successful in prostrating his victim, usually commences by assailing
the eyes. I have met numerous individuals on our journeys who exhibited
frightful scars from these encounters, the white seams of their wounds
contrasting hideously with the dark colour of the rest of their bodies.

The Veddahs in Bintenne, whose chief stores consist of honey, live in
dread of the bears, because, attracted by its perfume, they will not
hesitate to attack their rude dwellings, when allured by this
irresistible temptation. The Post-office runners, who always travel by
night, are frequently exposed to danger from these animals, especially
along the coast from Putlam to Aripo, where they are found in
considerable numbers; and, to guard against surprise, they are
accustomed to carry flambeaux, to give warning to the bears, and enable
them to shuffle out of the path.[1]

[Footnote 1: Amongst the Singhalese there is a belief that certain
charms are efficacious in protecting them from the violence of bears,
and those whose avocations expose them to encounters of this kind are
accustomed to carry a talisman either attached to their neck or
enveloped in the folds of their luxuriant hair. A friend of mine,
writing of an adventure which occurred at Anarajapoora, thus describes
an occasion on which a Moor, who attended him, was somewhat rudely
disabused of his belief in the efficacy of charms upon bears:--"Desiring
to change the position of a herd of deer, the Moorman (with his charm)
was sent across some swampy land to disturb them. As he was proceeding
we saw him suddenly turn from an old tree and run back with all speed,
his hair becoming unfastened and like his clothes streaming in the wind.
It soon became evident that he was flying from some terrific object, for
he had thrown down his gun, and, in his panic, he was taking the
shortest line towards us, which lay across a swamp covered with sedge
and rushes that greatly impeded his progress, and prevented us
approaching him, or seeing what was the cause of his flight. Missing his
steps from one hard spot to another he repeatedly fell into the water,
but he rose and resumed his flight. I advanced as far as the sods would
bear my weight, but to go further was impracticable. Just within ball
range there was an open space, and, as the man gained it, I saw that he
was pursued by a bear and two cubs. As the person of the fugitive
covered the bear, it was impossible to fire without risk. At last he
fell exhausted, and the bear being close upon him, I discharged both
barrels. The first broke the bear's shoulder, but this only made her
more savage, and rising on her hind legs she advanced with ferocious
grunts, when the second barrel, though I do not think it took effect,
served to frighten her, for turning round she retreated at full speed,
followed by the cubs. Some natives then waded through the mud to the
Moorman, who was just exhausted and would have been drowned but that he
fell with his head upon a tuft of grass: the poor man was unable to
speak, and for several weeks his intellect seemed confused. The
adventure sufficed to satisfy him that he could not again depend upon a
charm to protect him from bears, though he always insisted that but for
its having fallen from his hair where he had fastened it under his
turban, the bear would not have ventured to attack him."]

Leopards[1] are the only formidable members of the tiger race in Ceylon,
and they are neither very numerous nor very dangerous as they seldom
attack man. By Europeans they are commonly called cheetahs; but the true
cheetah, the hunting leopard of India (_Felis jubata_), does not exist
in Ceylon. There is a rare variety which has been found in various parts
of the island, in which the skin, instead of being spotted, is of a
uniform black.[2] The leopards frequent the vicinity of pasture lands in
quest of the deer and other peaceful animals which resort to them; and
the villagers often complain of the destruction of their cattle by these
formidable marauders. In relation to them, the natives have a curious
but firm conviction that when a bullock is killed by a leopard, and, in
expiring, falls so that _its right side is undermost_, the leopard will
not return to devour it. I have been told by English sportsmen (some of
whom share in the popular belief), that sometimes, when they have
proposed to watch by the carcase of a bullock recently killed by a
leopard, in the hope of shooting the spoiler on his return in search of
his prey, the native owner of the slaughtered animal, though earnestly
desiring to be avenged, has assured them that it would be in vain, as,
the beast having fallen on its right side, the leopard would not return.

[Footnote 1: Felis pardus, _Linn_. What is called a leopard, or a
cheetah, in Ceylon, is in reality the true panther.]

[Footnote 2: F. melas, _Peron_ and _Leseur_.]

The Singhalese hunt them for the sake of their extremely beautiful
skins, but prefer taking them in traps and pitfalls, and occasionally in
spring cages formed of poles driven firmly into the ground, within which
a kid is generally fastened as a bait; the door being held open by a
sapling bent down by the united force of several men, and so arranged to
act as a spring, to which a noose is ingeniously attached, formed of
plaited deer hide. The cries of the kid attract the leopards, one of
which, being tempted to enter, is enclosed by the liberation of the
spring and grasped firmly round the body by the noose.

Like the other carnivora, they are timid and cowardly in the presence of
man, never intruding on him voluntarily and making a hasty retreat when
approached. Instances have, however, occurred of individuals having been
slain by them, and like the tiger, it is believed, that, having once
tasted human blood they acquire an habitual relish for it. A peon on
night duty at the courthouse at Anarajapoora, was some years ago carried
off by a leopard from a table in the verandah on which he had laid down
his head to sleep. At Batticaloa a "cheetah" in two instances in
succession was known to carry off men placed on a stage erected in a
tree to drive away elephants from the rice-lands: but such cases are
rare, and as compared with their dread of the bear, the natives of
Ceylon entertain but slight apprehensions of the "cheetah." It is,
however, the dread of sportsmen, whose dogs when beating in the jungle
are especially exposed to its attacks: and I am aware of one instance in
which a party having tied their dogs to the tent-pole for security, and
fallen asleep around them, a leopard sprang into the tent and carried
off a dog from the midst of its slumbering masters.

They are strongly attracted by the peculiar odour which accompanies
small-pox. The reluctance of the natives to submit themselves or their
children to vaccination exposes the island to frightful visitations of
this disease; and in the villages in the interior it is usual on such
occasions to erect huts in the jungle to serve as temporary hospitals.
Towards these the leopards are certain to be allured; and the medical
officers are obliged to resort to increased precautions in consequence.
On one occasion being in the mountains near Kandy, a messenger
despatched to me through the jungle excused his delay by stating that a
"cheetah" had seated itself in the only practicable path, and remained
quietly licking its fore paws and rubbing them over its face, till he
was forced to drive it, with stones, into the forest.

Major Skinner, who for upwards of forty years has had occasion to live
almost constantly in the interior, occupied in the prosecution of
surveys and the construction of roads, is strongly of opinion that
towards man the disposition of the leopard is essentially pacific, and
that, when discovered, its natural impulse is to effect its escape. In
illustration of this, I insert an extract from one of his letters, which
describes an adventure highly characteristic of this instinctive

"On the occasion of one of my visits to Adam's Peak in the prosecution
of my military reconnoissances of the mountain, zone, I fixed on a
pretty little patena (i.e. meadow) in the midst of an extensive and
dense forest in the southern segment of the Peak Range, as a favourable
spot for operations. It would have been difficult, after descending from
the cone of the peak, to have found one's way to this point, in the
midst of so vast a wilderness of trees, had not long experience assured
me that good game tracks would be found leading to it, and by one of
them I reached it. It was in the afternoon, just after one of those
tropical sun-showers which decorate every branch and blade with its
pendant brilliants, and the little patena was covered with game, either
driven to the open space by the drippings from the leaves or tempted by
the freshness of the pasture: there were several pairs of elk, the
bearded antlered male contrasting finely with his mate; and other
varieties of game in a profusion not to be found in any place frequented
by man. It was some time before I could allow them to be disturbed by
the rude fall of the axe, in our necessity to establish our bivouac for
the night, and they were so unaccustomed to danger, that it was long
before they took alarm at our noises.

"The following morning, anxious to gain a height in time to avail myself
of the clear atmosphere of sunrise for my observations, I started off by
myself through the jungle, leaving orders for my men, with my surveying
instruments, to follow my track by the notches which I cut in the bark
of the trees. On leaving the plain, I availed myself of a fine wide game
track which lay in my direction, and had gone, perhaps half a mile from
the camp, when I was startled by a slight rustling in the nilloo[1] to
my right, and in another instant, by the spring of a magnificent leopard
which, in a bound of full eight feet in height over the lower brushwood,
lighted at my feet within eighteen inches of the spot whereon I stood,
and lay in a crouching position, his fiery gleaming eyes fixed on me.

[Footnote 1: A species of one of the suffruticose _Acanthacea_ which
grows abundantly in the mountain ranges of Ceylon. See _ante_, p. 90 n.]

"The predicament was not a pleasant one. I had no weapon of defence, and
with one spring or blow of his paw the beast could have annihilated me.
To move I knew would only encourage his attack. It occurred to me at the
moment that I had heard of the power of man's eye over wild animals, and
accordingly I fixed my gaze as intently, as the agitation of such a
moment enabled me, on his eyes: we stared at each other for some
seconds, when, to my inexpressible joy, the beast turned and bounded
down the straight open path before me." "This scene occurred just at
that period of the morning when the grazing animals retired from the
open patena to the cool shade of the forest: doubtless, the leopard had
taken my approach for that of a deer, or some such animal. And if his
spring had been at a quadruped instead of a biped, his distance was so
well measured, that it must have landed him on the neck of a deer, an
elk, or a buffalo; as it was, one pace more would have done for me. A
bear would not have let his victim off so easily."

It is said, but I never have been able personally to verify the fact,
that the Ceylon leopard exhibits a peculiarity in being unable entirely
to retract its claws within their sheaths.

Of the lesser feline species the number and variety in Ceylon is
inferior to that of India. The Palm-cat[1] lurks by day among the fronds
of the coco-nut trees, and by night makes destructive forays on the
fowls of the villagers; and, in order to suck the blood of its victim,
inflicts a wound so small as to be almost imperceptible. The glossy
genette[2], the "_Civet_" of Europeans, is common in the northern
province, where the Tamils confine it in cages for the sake of its musk,
which they collect from the wooden bars on which it rubs itself. Edrisi,
the Moorish geographer, writing in the twelfth century, enumerates musk
as one of the productions then exported from Ceylon.[3]

[Footnote 1: Paradoxurus typus, _F. Cuv_.]

[Footnote 2: Viverra Indica, _Geoffr., Hodgson_.]

[Footnote 3: EDRISI, _Géogr_., sec. vii. Jaubert's translation, t. ii.
p. 72.]

_Dogs_.--There is no native wild dog in Ceylon, but every village and
town is haunted by mongrels of European descent, which are known by the
generic description of _Pariahs_. They are a miserable race,
acknowledged by no owners, living on the garbage of the streets and
sewers, lean, wretched, and mangy, and if spoken to unexpectedly,
shrinking with an almost involuntary cry. Yet in these persecuted
outcasts there survives that germ of instinctive affection which binds
the dog to the human race, and a gentle word, even a look of
compassionate kindness, is sufficient foundation for a lasting

The Singhalese, from their religious aversion to taking away life in any
form, permit the increase of these desolate creatures till in the hot
season they become so numerous as to be a nuisance; and the only
expedient hitherto devised by the civil government to reduce their
numbers, is once in each year to offer a reward for their destruction,
when the Tamils and Malays pursue them in the streets with clubs (guns
being forbidden by the police for fear of accidents), and the
unresisting dogs are beaten to death on the side-paths and door steps,
where they had been taught to resort for food. Lord Torrington, during
his tenure of office, attempted the more civilised experiment of putting
some check on their numbers, by imposing a dog tax, the effect of which
would have been to lead to the drowning of puppies; whereas there is
reason to believe that dogs are at present _bred_ by the horse-keepers
to be killed for sake of the reward.

_Jackal_.--The Jackal[1] in the low country hunts in packs, headed by a
leader, and these audacious prowlers have been seen to assault and pull
down a deer. The small number of hares in the districts they infest is
ascribed to their depredations. An excrescence is sometimes found on the
head of the jackal, consisting of a small horny cone about half an inch
in length, and concealed by a tuft of hair. This the natives call
_Narri-comboo_, and they aver that this "Jackal's Horn" only grows on
the head of the leader of the pack.[2] The Singhalese and the Tamils
alike regard it as a talisman, and believe that its fortunate possessor
can command by its instrumentality the realisation of every wish, and
that if stolen or lost by him, it will invariably return of its own
accord. Those who have jewels to conceal, rest in perfect security if
along with them they can deposit a Narri-comboo, fully convinced that
its presence is an effectual safeguard against robbers.

[Footnote 1: Canis aureus. _Linn_.]

[Footnote 2: In the Museum of the College of Surgeons, London (No. 4362
A), there is a cranium of a jackal which exhibits this strange osseous
process on the super-occipital; and I have placed along with it a
specimen of the horny sheath, which was presented to me by Mr.
Lavalliere, the district judge of Kandy.]

Jackals are subject to hydrophobia, and instances are frequent of cattle
being bitten by them and dying in consequence.

_The Mongoos_.--Of the Mongoos or Ichneumons five species have been
described; and one which frequents the hills near Neuera-ellia[1], is so
remarkable from its bushy fur, that the invalid soldiers in the
sanatarium, to whom it is familiar, call it the "Ceylon Badger." I have
found universally that the natives of Ceylon attach no credit to the
European story of the Mongoos (_H. griseus_) resorting to some plant,
which no one has yet succeeded in identifying, as an antidote against
the bite of the venomous serpents on which it preys. There is no doubt
that in its conflicts with the cobra de capello and other poisonous
snakes, which it attacks with as little hesitation as the harmless ones,
it may be seen occasionally to retreat, and even to retire into the
jungle, and, it is added, to eat some vegetable; but a gentleman who has
been a frequent observer of its exploits, assures me that most usually
the herb it resorted to was grass; and if this were not at hand, almost
any other that grew near seemed equally acceptable. Hence has probably
arisen the long list of plants; such as the _Ophioxylon serpentinum_ and
_Ophiorhiza mungos_, the _Aristolochia Indica_, the _Mimosa octandru_,
and others, each of which has been asserted to be the ichneumon's
specific; whilst their multiplicity is demonstrative of the
non-existence of any one in particular to which the animal resorts for
an antidote. Were there any truth in the tale as regards the mongoos, it
would be difficult to understand, why other creatures, such as the
secretary bird and the falcon, which equally destroy serpents, should be
left defenceless, and the ichneumon alone provided with a prophylactic.
Besides, were the ichneumon inspired by that courage which would result
from the consciousness of security, it would be so indifferent to the
bite of the serpent, that we might conclude that, both in its approaches
and its assault, it would be utterly careless as to the precise mode of
its attack. Such, however, is far from being the case; and next to its
audacity, nothing is more surprising than the adroitness with which it
escapes the spring of the snake under a due sense of danger, and the
cunning with which it makes its arrangements to leap upon the back and
fasten its teeth in the head of the cobra. It is this display of
instinctive ingenuity that Lucan[2] celebrates where he paints the
ichneumon diverting the attention of the asp, by the motion of his bushy
tale, and then seizing it in the midst of its confusion.

[Footnote 1: _Herpestes vitticollis_. Mr. W. ELLIOTT, in his _Catalogue
of Mammalia found in the Southern Maharata Country_, Madras, 1840, says,
that "One specimen of this Herpestes was procured by accident in the
Ghat forests in 1829, and is now deposited in the British Museum; it is
very rare, inhabiting only the thickest woods, and its habits are very
little known," p. 9. In Ceylon, it is comparatively common.]

[Footnote 2: The passage in Lucan is a versification of the same
narrative related by Pliny, lib. viii. ch. 35; and Ælian, lib. iii. ch.

  "Aspidas ut Pharias caudâ solertior hostis
  Ludit, et iratas incertâ provocat umbrâ:
  Obliquusque caput vanas serpentis in auras
  Effusæ toto comprendit guttura morsu
  Letiferam citra saniem; tune irrita pestis
  Exprimitur, faucesque fluunt pereunte veneno."

_Pharsalia_, lib. iv. v. 729.

The mystery of the mongoos and its antidote has been referred to the
supposition that there may be some peculiarity in its organisation which
renders it _proof against_ the poison of the serpent. It remains for
future investigation to determine how far this conjecture is founded in
truth; and whether in the blood of the mongoos there exists any element
or quality which acts as a prophylactic. Such exceptional provisions are
not without precedent in the animal oeconomy: the hornbill feeds with
impunity on the deadly fruit of the strychnos; the milky juice of some
species of euphorbia, which is harmless to oxen, is invariably fatal to
the zebra; and the tsetse fly, the pest of South Africa, whose bite is
mortal to the ox, the dog, and the horse, is harmless to man and the
untamed creatures of the forest.[1]

[Footnote 1: Dr. LIVINGSTONE, _Tour in S. Africa_, p. 80. Is it a fact
that in America, pigs extirpate the rattlesnakes with impunity?]

The Singhalese distinguish one species of mongoos, which they designate
"_Hotambeya_," and which they assert never preys upon serpents. A writer
in the _Ceylon Miscellany_ mentions, that they are often to be seen
"crossing rivers and frequenting mud-brooks near Chilaw; the adjacent
thickets affording them shelter, and their food consisting of aquatic
reptiles, crabs, and mollusca."[1]

[Footnote 1: This is possibly the "musbilai" or mouse-cat of Behar,
which preys upon birds and fish. Could it be the Urva of the Nepalese
(_Urva cancrivora_, Hodgson), which Mr. Hodgson describes as dwelling in
burrows, and being carnivorous and ranivorous?--Vide _Journ. As. Soc.
Beng._, vol. vi. p. 56.]

IV. RODENTIA. _Squirrels_.--Smaller animals in great numbers enliven the
forests and lowland plains with their graceful movements. Squirrels[1],
of which there are a great variety, make their shrill metallic call
heard at early morning in the woods, and when sounding their note of
warning on the approach of a civet or a tree-snake, the ears tingle with
the loud trill of defiance, which rings as clear and rapid as the
running down of an alarum, and is instantly caught up and re-echoed from
every side by their terrified playmates.

[Footnote 1: Of two kinds which frequent the mountains, one which is
peculiar to Ceylon was discovered by Mr. Edgar L. Layard, who has done
me the honour to call it the _Sciurus Tennentii_. Its dimensions are
large, measuring upwards of two feet from head to tail. It is
distinguished from the _S. macrurus_ by the predominant black colour of
the upper surface of the body, with the exception of a rusty spot at the
base of the ears.]

One of the largest, belonging to a closely allied subgenus, is known as
the "Flying Squirrel,"[1] from its being assisted in its prodigious
leaps from tree to tree, by the parachute formed by the skin of the
flanks, which on the extension of the limbs front and rear, is laterally
expanded from foot to foot. Thus buoyed up in its descent, the spring
which it is enabled to make from one lofty tree to another resembles the
flight of a bird rather than the bound of a quadruped. Of these pretty
creatures there are two species, one common to Ceylon and India, the
other (_Sciuropterus Layardii_, Kelaart) is peculiar to the island, and
is by far the most beautiful of the family.

[Footnote 1: Pteromys oral., _Tickel_. P. petaurista, _Pallas_.]

_Rats_.--Among the multifarious inhabitants to which the forest affords
at once a home and provender is the tree rat[1], which forms its nest on
the branches, and by turns makes its visits to the dwellings of the
natives, frequenting the ceilings in preference to the lower parts of
houses. Here it is incessantly followed by the rat-snake[2], whose
domestication is encouraged by the native servants, in consideration of
its services in destroying vermin. I had one day an opportunity of
surprising a snake which had just seized on a rat of this description,
and of covering it suddenly with a glass shade, before it had time to
swallow its prey. The serpent, which appeared stunned by its own
capture, allowed the rat to escape from its jaws, which cowered at one
side of the glass in the most pitiable state of trembling terror. The
two were left alone for some moments, and on my return to them the snake
was as before in the same attitude of sullen stupor. On setting them at
liberty, the rat bounded towards the nearest fence; but quick as
lightning it was followed by its pursuer, which seized it before it
could gain the hedge, through which I saw the snake glide with its
victim in its jaws.

[Footnote 1: There are two species of the tree rat in Ceylon: M.
rufescens, _Gray_; (M. flavescens; _Elliot_;) and Mus nemoralis,

[Footnote 2: Coryphodon Blumenbachii.]

Another indigenous variety of the rat is that which made its appearance
for the first time in the coffee plantations on the Kandyan hills in the
year 1847, and in such swarms does it infest them, that as many as a
thousand have been killed in a single day on one estate. In order to
reach the buds and blossoms of the coffee, it cuts such slender
branches, as would not sustain its weight, and feeds as they fall to the
ground; and so delicate and sharp are its incisors, that the twigs thus
destroyed are detached by as clean a cut as if severed with a knife. The
coffee-rat[1] is an insular variety of the _Mus hirsutus_ of W. Elliot,
found in Southern India. They inhabit the forests, making their nests
among the roots of the trees, and like the lemmings of Norway and
Lapland, they migrate in vast numbers on the occurrence of a scarcity of
their ordinary food. The Malabar coolies are so fond of their flesh,
that they evince a preference for those districts in which the coffee
plantations are subject to these incursions, where they fry the rats in
oil, or convert them into curry.

[Footnote 1: Golunda Ellioti, _Gray_.]

_Bandicoot_.--Another favourite article of food with the coolies is the
pig-rat or Bandicoot[1], which attains on those hills the weight of two
or three pounds, and grows to nearly the length of two feet. As it feeds
on grain and roots, its flesh is said to be delicate, and much
resembling young pork. Its nests, when rifled, are frequently found to
contain considerable quantities of rice, stored up against the dry

[Footnote 1: Mus bandicota, _Beckst_. The English term bandicoot is a
corruption of the Telinga name _pandikoku_, literally _pig-rat_.]

_Porcupine_.--The Porcupine[1] is another of the _rodentia_ which has
drawn down upon itself the hostility of the planters, from its
destruction of the young coco-nut palms, to which it is a pernicious and
persevering, but withal so crafty, a visitor, that it is with difficulty
any trap can be so disguised, or any bait made so alluring, as to lead
to its capture. The usual expedient is to place some of its favourite
food at the extremity of a trench, so narrow as to prevent the porcupine
turning, whilst the direction of his quills effectually bars his
retreat. On a newly planted coco-nut tope, at Hang-welle, within a few
miles of Colombo, I have heard of as many as twenty-seven being thus
captured in a single night; but such success is rare. The more ordinary
expedient is to smoke them out by burning straw at the apertures of
their burrows. The flesh is esteemed a delicacy in Ceylon, and in
consistency, colour, and flavour, it very much resembles that of a young

[Footnote 1: Hystrix leucurus, _Sykes_.]

V. EDENTATA, _Pengolin._--Of the _Edentata_ the only example in Ceylon
is the scaly ant-eater, called by the Singhalese, Caballaya, but usually
known by its Malay name of _Pengolin_[1], a word indicative of its
faculty of "rolling itself up" into a compact ball, by bending its head
towards its stomach, arching its back into a circle, and securing all by
a powerful fold of its mail-covered tail. The feet of the pengolin are
armed with powerful claws, which they double in in walking like the
ant-eater of Brazil. These they use in extracting their favourite food,
the termites, from ant-hills and decaying wood. When at liberty, they
burrow in the dry ground to a depth of seven or eight feet, where they
reside in pairs, and produce annually one or two young.

[Footnote 1: Manis pentadactyla, _Linn._]

Of two specimens which I kept alive at different times, one from the
vicinity of Kandy, about two feet in length, was a gentle and
affectionate creature, which, after wandering over the house in search
of ants, would attract attention to its wants by climbing up my knee,
laying hold of my leg with its prehensile tail. The other, more than
double that length, was caught in the jungle near Chilaw, and brought to
me in Colombo. I had always understood that the pengolin was unable to
climb trees; but the one last mentioned frequently ascended a tree in my
garden, in search of ants, and this it effected by means of its hooked
feet, aided by an oblique grasp of the tail. The ants it seized by
extending its round and glutinous tongue along their tracks. In both,
the scales of the back were a cream-coloured white, with a tinge of red
in the specimen which came from Chilaw, probably acquired by the
insinuation of the Cabook dust which abounds along the western coast of
the island. Generally speaking, they were quiet during the day, and grew
restless as evening and night approached.

VI. RUMINATA. _The Gaur._--Besides the deer and some varieties of the
humped ox, which have been introduced from the opposite continent of
India, Ceylon has probably but one other indigenous _ruminant_., the
buffalo.[1] There is a tradition that the gaur, found in the extremity
of the Indian peninsula, was at one period a native of the Kandyan
mountains; but as Knox speaks of one which in his time "was kept among
the king's creatures" at Kandy[2], and his account of it tallies with
that of the _Bos Gaurus_ of Hindustan, it would appear even then to have
been a rarity. A place between Neuera-ellia and Adam's Peak bears the
name of Gowra-ellia, and it is not impossible that the animal may yet be
discovered in some of the imperfectly explored regions of the island.[3]
I have heard of an instance in which a very old Kandyan, residing in the
mountains near the Horton Plains, asserted that when young he had seen
what he believed to have been a gaur, and which he described as between
an elk and a buffalo in size, dark brown in colour, and very scantily
provided with hair.

[Footnote 1: Bubalus buffelus; _Gray_.]

[Footnote 2: _Historical Relation of Ceylon, &c._, A.D. 1681. Book i. c,

[Footnote 3: KELAART, _Fauna Zeylan_., p. 87.]

_Oxen_.--Oxen are used by the peasantry both in ploughing and in
tempering the mud in the wet paddi fields before sowing the rice; and
when the harvest is reaped they "tread out the corn," after the
immemorial custom of the East. The wealth of the native chiefs and
landed proprietors frequently consists in their herds of bullocks, which
they hire out to their dependents during the seasons for agricultural
labour; and as they already supply them with land to be tilled, and lend
the seed which is to crop it, the further contribution of this portion
of the labour serves to render the dependence of the peasantry on the
chiefs and head-men complete.

The cows are worked equally with the oxen; and as the calves are always
permitted to suck them, milk is an article which the traveller can
rarely hope to procure in a Kandyan village. From their constant
exposure at all seasons, the cattle in Ceylon, both those employed in
agriculture and on the roads, are subject to the most devastating
murrains, which sweep them away by thousands. So frequent is the
recurrence of these calamities, and so extended their ravages, that they
exercise a serious influence over the commercial interests of the
colony, by reducing the facilities of agriculture, and augmenting the
cost of carriage during the most critical periods of the coffee season.

A similar disorder, probably peripneumonia, frequently carries off the
cattle in Assam and other hill countries on the continent of India; and
there, as in Ceylon, the inflammatory symptoms in the lungs and throat,
and the internal derangement and external eruptive appearances, seem to
indicate that the disease is a feverish influenza, attributable to
neglect and exposure in a moist and variable climate; and that its
prevention might be hoped for, and the cattle preserved by the simple
expedient of more humane and considerate treatment, especially by
affording them cover at night.

During my residence in Ceylon an incident occurred at Neuera-ellia,
which invested one of these pretty animals with an heroic interest. A
little cow, belonging to an English gentleman, was housed, together with
her calf, near the dwelling of her owner, and being aroused during the
night by her furious bellowing, the servants, on hastening to the stall,
found her goring a leopard, which had stolen in to attack the calf. She
had got him into a corner, and whilst lowing incessantly to call for
help, she continued to pound him with her horns. The wild animal,
apparently stupified by her unexpected violence, was detained by her
till despatched by a gun.

_The Buffalo_.--Buffaloes abound in all parts of Ceylon, but they are
only to be seen in their native wildness in the vast solitudes of the
northern and eastern provinces, where rivers, lagoons, and dilapidated
tanks abound. In these they delight to immerse themselves, till only
their heads appear above the surface; or, enveloped in mud to protect
themselves from the assaults of insects, luxuriate in the long sedges by
the water margins.

When the buffalo is browsing, a crow will frequently be seen stationed
on his back, engaged in freeing it from the ticks and other pests which
attach themselves to his leathery hide, the smooth brown surface of
which, unprotected by hair, shines with an unpleasant polish in the
sunlight. When in motion he throws back his clumsy head till the huge
horns rest on his shoulders, and the nose is presented in a line with
the eyes. When wild they are at all times uncertain in disposition, but
so frequently savage that it is never quite safe to approach them, if
disturbed in their pasture or alarmed from their repose in the shallow
lakes. On such occasions they hurry into line, draw up in defensive
array, with a few of the oldest bulls in advance; and, wheeling in
circles, their horns clashing with a loud sound as they clank them
together in their rapid evolutions, the herd betakes itself to flight.
Then forming again at a safer distance, they halt as before, elevating
their nostrils, and throwing back their heads to take a cautious survey
of the intruders. The sportsman rarely molests them, so huge a creature
affording no worthy mark for his skill, and their wanton slaughter
adding nothing to the supply of food for their assailant.

In the Hambangtotte country, where the Singhalese domesticate the
buffaloes, and use them to assist in the labour of the rice lands, the
villagers are much annoyed by the wild ones, which mingle with the tame
when sent out to the woods to pasture; and it constantly happens that a
savage stranger, placing himself at the head of the tame herd, resists
the attempts of the owners to drive them homewards at sunset. In the
districts of Putlam and the Seven Corles, buffaloes are generally used
for draught; and in carrying heavy loads of salt from the coast towards
the interior, they drag a cart over roads which would defy the weaker
strength of bullocks.

In one place between Batticaloa and Trincomalie I found the natives
making an ingenious use of them when engaged in shooting water-fowl in
the vast salt marshes and muddy lakes. Being an object to which the
birds are accustomed, the Singhalese train the buffalo to the sport,
and, concealed behind, the animal browsing listlessly along, they guide
it by ropes attached to its horns, and thus creep undiscovered within
shot of the flock. The same practice prevails, I believe, in some of the
northern parts of India, where they are similarly trained to assist the
sportsman in approaching deer. One of these "sporting buffaloes" sells
for a considerable sum.

The buffalo, like the elk, is sometimes found in Ceylon as an albino,
with purely white hair and pink iris. There is a peculiarity in the
formation of its foot, which, though it must have attracted attention, I
have never seen mentioned by naturalists. It is equivalent to an
arrangement that distinguishes the foot of the reindeer from that of the
stag and the antelope. In them, the hoofs, being constructed for
lightness and flight, are compact and vertical; but, in the reindeer,
the joints of the tarsal bones admit of lateral expansion, and the broad
hoofs curve upwards in front, while the two secondary ones behind (which
are but slightly developed in the fallow deer and others of the same
family) are prolonged till, in certain positions, they are capable of
being applied to the ground, thus adding to the circumference and
sustaining power of the foot. It has been usually suggested as the
probable design of this structure, that it is to enable the reindeer to
shovel under the snow in order to reach the lichens beneath it; but I
apprehend that another use of it has been overlooked, that of
facilitating its movements in search of food by increasing the
difficulty of its sinking in the snow.

A formation precisely analogous in the buffalo seems to point to a
corresponding design. The ox, whose life is spent on firm ground, has
the bones of the foot so constructed as to afford the most solid support
to an animal of its great weight; but in the buffalo, which delights in
the morasses on the margins of pools and rivers, the formation of the
foot resembles that of the reindeer. The tarsi in front extend almost
horizontally from the upright bones of the leg, and spread widely on
touching the ground; the hoofs are flattened and broad, with the
extremities turned upwards; and the false hoofs descend behind till, in
walking, they make a clattering sound. In traversing the marshes, this
combination of abnormal incidents serves to give extraordinary breadth
to the foot, and not only prevents the buffalo from sinking
inconveniently in soft ground[1], but at the same time presents no
obstacle to the withdrawal of his foot from the mud.

[Footnote 1: PROFESSOR OWEN has noticed a similar fact regarding the
rudiments of the second and fifth digits in the instance of the elk and
bison, which have them largely expanded where they inhabit swampy
ground; whilst they are nearly obliterated in the camel and dromedary,
which traverse arid deserts.--OWEN _on Limbs_, p. 34; see also BELL _on
the Hand_, ch. iii.]

_Deer_.--"Deer," says the truthful old chronicler, Robert Knox, "are in
great abundance in the woods, from the largeness of a cow to the
smallness of a hare, for here is a creature in this land no bigger than
the latter, though every part rightly resembleth a deer: it is called
_meminna_, of a grey colour, with white spots and good meat."[1] The
little creature which thus dwelt in the recollection of the old man, as
one of the memorials of his long captivity, is the small "musk deer"[2]
so called in India, although neither sex is provided with a musk-bag;
and the Europeans in Ceylon know it by the name of the moose deer. Its
extreme length never reaches two feet; and of those which were
domesticated about my house, few exceeded ten inches in height, their
graceful limbs being of similar delicate proportion. It possesses long
and extremely large tusks, with which it inflicts a severe bite. The
interpreter moodliar of Negombo had a _milk white_ meminna in 1847,
which he designed to send home as an acceptable present to Her Majesty,
but it was unfortunately killed by an accident.[3]

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Relation, &c_., book i. c. 6.]

[Footnote 2: Moschus meminna.]

[Footnote 3: When the English took possession of Kandy, in 1803, they
found "five beautiful milk-white deer in the palace, which was noted as
a very extraordinary thing."--_Letter_ in Appendix to PERCIVAL'S
_Ceylon_, p. 428. The writer does not say of what species they were.]

_Ceylon Elk_.--In the mountains, the Ceylon elk[1], which reminds one of
the red deer of Scotland, attains the height of four or five feet; it
abounds in all places which are intersected by shady rivers; where,
though its hunting affords an endless resource to the sportsmen, its
venison scarcely equals in quality the inferior beef of the lowland ox.
In the glades and park-like openings that diversify the great forests of
the interior, the spotted Axis troops in herds as numerous as the fallow
deer in England; and, in journeys through the jungle, when often
dependent on the guns of our party for the precarious supply of the
table, we found the flesh of the Axis[2] and the Muntjac[3] a sorry
substitute for that of the pea-fowl, the jungle-cock, and flamingo. The
occurrence of albinos is very frequent in troops of the axis. Deer's
horns are an article of export from Ceylon, and considerable quantities
are annually sent to the United Kingdom.

[Footnote 1: Rusa Aristotelis. Dr. GRAY has lately shown that this is
the great _axis_ of Cuvier.--_Oss. Foss._ 502, t. 39, f. 10. The
Singhalese, on following the elk, frequently effect their approaches by
so imitating the call of the animal as to induce them to respond. An
instance occurred during my residence in Ceylon, in which two natives,
whose mimicry had mutually deceived them, crept so close together in the
jungle that one shot the other, supposing the cry to proceed from the

[Footnote 2: Axis maculata, _H. Smith_.]

[Footnote 3: Stylocerus muntjac, _Horsf_.]

VII. PACHYDERMATA. _The Elephant._--The elephant and the wild boar, the
Singhalese "waloora," are the only representatives of the
_pachydermatous_ order. The latter, which differs in no respect from the
wild boar of India, is found in droves in all parts of the island where
vegetation and water are abundant. The elephant, the lord paramount of
the Ceylon forests, is to be met with in every district, on the confines
of the woods, in whose depths he finds concealment and shade during the
hours when the sun is high, and from which he emerges only at twilight
to wend his way towards the rivers and tanks, where he luxuriates till
dawn, when he again seeks the retirement of the deep forests. This noble
animal fills so dignified a place both in the zoology and oeconomy of
Ceylon, and his habits in a state of nature have been so much
misunderstood, that I shall devote a separate section to his defence
from misrepresentation, and to an exposition of what, from observation
and experience, I believe to be his genuine character when free in his
native domains.

VIII. CETACEA.--Among the Cetacea the occurrence of the Dugong[1] on
various points of the coast, and especially on the western side of the
island, will be noticed elsewhere; and whales are so frequently seen
that they have been captured within sight of Colombo, and more than once
their carcases, after having been flinched by the whalers, have floated
on shore near the light-house, tainting the atmosphere within the fort
by their rapid decomposition.

[Footnote 1: _Halicore dugong_, F. Cuv.]

From this sketch of the Mammalia it will be seen that, in its general
features, this branch of the Fauna bears a striking resemblance to that
of Southern India, although many of the larger animals of the latter are
unknown in Ceylon; and, on the other hand, some species discovered there
are altogether peculiar to the island. A deer[1] as large as the Axis,
but differing from it in the number and arrangement of its spots, has
been described by Dr. Kelaart, to whose vigilance the natural history of
Ceylon is indebted, amongst others, for the identification of two new
species of monkeys[2], a number of curious shrews[3], and an
orange-coloured ichneumon[4], before unknown. There are also two
descriptions of squirrels[5] that have not as yet been discovered
elsewhere, one of them belonging to those equipped with a parachute[6],
as well as some local varieties of the palm squirrel (Sciurus
penicillatus, _Leach_).[7]

[Footnote 1: Cervus orizus, KELAART, _Prod. F. Zeyl_., p. 83.]

[Footnote 2: Presbytes ursinus, _Blyth_, and P. Thersites, _Elliot_.]

[Footnote 3: Sorex montanus, S. ferrugineus, and Feroculus macropus.]

[Footnote 4: Herpestes fulvescens, KELAART, _Prod. Fann. Zeylan_., App.
p. 42.]

[Footnote 5: Sciurus Tennentii, _Layard_.]

[Footnote 6: Sciuropterus Layardi, _Kelaart_.]

[Footnote 7: There is a rat found only in the Cinnamon Gardens at
Colombo, Mus Ceylonus, _Kelaart_; and a mouse which Dr. Kelaart
discovered at Trincomalie, M. fulvidi-ventris, _Blyth_, both peculiar to
Ceylon. Dr. TEMPLETON has noticed a little shrew (Corsira purpurascens,
_Mag. Nat. Hist_. 1855, p. 238) at Neuera-ellia, not as yet observed

But the Ceylon Mammalia, besides wanting a number of minor animals found
in the Indian peninsula, cannot boast such a ruminant as the majestic
Gaur[1], which inhabits the great forests from Cape Comorin to the
Himalaya; and, providentially, the island is equally free of the
formidable tiger and the ferocious wolf of Hindustan.

[Footnote 1: Bos cavifrons, _Hodgs_, B. frontalis, _Lamb_.]

The Hyena and Cheetah[1], common in Southern India, are unknown in
Ceylon; and though abundant in deer, the island possesses no example of
the Antelope or the Gazelle.

[Footnote 1: Felis jubata, _Schreb_.]

_List of Ceylon Mammalia._

A list of the Mammalia of Ceylon is subjoined. In framing it, as well as
the lists appended to other chapters on the Fauna of the island, the
principal object in view has been to exhibit the extent to which its
natural history had been investigated, and collections made up to the
period of my leaving the colony in 1850. It has been considered
expedient to exclude a few individuals which have not had the advantage
of a direct comparison with authentic specimens, either at Calcutta or
in England. This will account for the omission of a number which have
appeared in other catalogues, but of which many, though ascertained to
exist, have not been submitted to this rigorous process of

The greater portion of the species of mammals and birds contained in
these lists will be found, with suitable references to the most accurate
descriptions, in the admirable catalogue of the collection at the India
House, now in course of publication under the care of Dr. Horsfield.
This work cannot be too highly extolled, not alone for the scrupulous
fidelity with which the description of each species is referred to its
first discoverer, but also for the pains which have been taken to
elaborate synonymes and to collate from local periodicals and other
sources, little accessible to ordinary inquirers, such incidents and
traits as are calculated to illustrate characteristics and habits.


Presbytes cephalopterus, _Zimm_.
  ursinus, _Blyth_.
  Priamus, _Elliot_ & _Blyth_.
  Thersites, _Blyth_.
Macacus pileatus, _Shaw_ & _Desm_.
Loris gracilis, _Geoff_.


Pteropus Edwardsii, _Geoff_.
  Leschenaultii, _Dum_.
Cynopterus marginatus, _Hamilt_.
Megaderma spasma, _Linn_.
  lyra, _Geoff_.
Rhinolophus _affinis, Horsf_.
Hipposideros murinus, _Elliot_.
  speoris, _Elliot_.
  armiger, _Hodgs_.
  vulgaris, _Horsf_.
Kerivoula picta, _Pall_.
Taphozous longimanus, _Hardw_.
Scotophilus Coromandelicus, _F. Cuv_.
  _adversus, Horsf_.
  Temminkii, _Horsf_.
  Tickelli, _Blyth_.


Sorex coerulescens, _Shaw_.
  ferrugincus, _Kelaart_.
  serpentarius, _Is. Geoff_.
  montanus, _Kelaart_.
Feroculus macropus, _Kelaart_.
Ursus labiatus, _Blainv_.
Lutra nair, _F. Cuv_.
Canis aureus, _Linn_.
Viverra Indica, _Geoff., Hodgs_.
Cynictis Maccarthiæ, _Gray_.
Herpestes vitticollis, _Benn_.
  griseus, _Gm_.
  Smithii, _Gray_.
  fulvescens, _Kelaart_.
Paradoxurus typus, _F. Cuv_.
  Ceylonicus, _Pall_.
Felis pardus, _Linn_.
  chaus, _Guldens_.
  viverrinus, _Benn_.


Sciurus macrurus, _Forst_.
  Tennentii, _Layard_.
  penicillatus, _Leach_.
  trilineatus, _Waterh_.
Sciuropterus Layardi, _Kelaart_.
Pteromys petaurista, _Pall_.
Mus bandicota, _Bechst_.
  Kok, _Gray_.
  rufescens, _Gray_.
  nemoralis, _Blyth_.
  Indicus, _Geoff_.
  fulvidiventris, _Blyth_.
Nesoki _Hardwickii, Gray_.
Golunda Neuera, _Kelaart_.
  Ellioti, _Gray_.
Gerbillus Indicus, _Hardw_.
Lepus nigricollis, _F. Cuv._
Hystrix leucurus, _Sykes_.


Manis pentadactyla, _Linn._


Elephas Indicus, _Linn._
Sus Indicus, _Gray_.
  _Zeylonicus, Blyth_.


Moschus meminna, _Erxl_.
Stylocerus muntjac, _Horsf_.
Axis maculata, _H. Smith_.
Rusa Aristotelis, _Cuv_.


Halicore dugung, _F. Cuv_.


_Parasite of the Bat_.

One of the most curious peculiarities connected with the bats is their
singular parasite, the Nycteribia.[1] On cursory observation, this
creature appears to have neither head, antennæ, eyes, nor mouth; and the
earlier observers of its structure assured themselves that the place of
the latter was supplied by a cylindrical sucker, which, being placed
between the shoulders, the creature had no option but to turn on its
back to feed. This apparent inconvenience was thought to have been
compensated for by another anomaly: its three pairs of legs, armed with
claws, being so arranged that they seemed to be equally distributed over
its upper and under sides, the creature being thus enabled to use them
like hands, and to grasp the strong hairs above it while extracting its
nourishment. It moves by rolling itself rapidly along, rotating like a
wheel on the extremities of its spokes, or like the clown in a pantomime
hurling himself forward on hands and feet alternately. Its celerity is
so great that Colonel Montague, who was one of the first to describe it
minutely[2], says its speed exceeds that of any known insect, and as its
joints are so flexible as to yield in every direction (like what
mechanics call a "ball and socket"), its motions are exceedingly
grotesque as it tumbles through the fur of the bat.

[Footnote 1: This extraordinary creature had formerly been discovered
only on a few European bats. Joinville figured one which he found on the
large roussette (the flying-fox), and says he had seen another on a bat
of the same family. Dr. Templeton observed them in Ceylon in great
abundance on the fur of the _Scotophilus Coromandelicus_, and they will,
no doubt, be found on many others.]

[Footnote 2: Celeripes vespertilionis, _Mont. Lin. Trans_, xi. p. 11.]

To enable it to attain its marvellous velocity, each foot is armed with
two sharp hooks, with elastic pads opposed to them, so that the hair can
not only be rapidly seized and firmly held, but as quickly disengaged as
the creature whirls away in its headlong career.

The insects to which it hears the nearest affinity are the
_Hippoboscidæ_ or "spider flies," that infest birds and horses, but,
unlike them, it is unable to fly.

Its strangest peculiarity, and that which gave rise to the belief that
it is headless, is its faculty when at rest of throwing back its head
and pressing it close between its shoulders till the under side becomes
uppermost, not a vestige of head being discernible where we would
naturally look for it, and the whole seeming but a casual inequality on
its back.

On closer examination this apparent tubercle is found to have a leathery
attachment like a flexible neck, and by a sudden jerk the little
creature is enabled to project it forward into its normal position, when
it is discovered to be furnished with a mouth, antennæ, and four eyes,
two on each side.

The organisation of such an insect is a marvellous adaptation of
physical form to special circumstances. As the nycteribia has to make
its way through fur and hairs, its feet are furnished with prehensile
hooks that almost convert them into hands; and being obliged to conform
to the sudden flights of its patron, and accommodate itself to inverted
positions, all attitudes are rendered alike to it by the arrangement of
its limbs, which enables it, after every possible gyration, to find
itself always on its feet.



Of the _Birds_ of the island, upwards of three hundred and twenty
species have been indicated, for which we are indebted to the
persevering labours of Dr. Templeton, Dr. Kelaart, and Mr. Layard; but
many yet remain to be identified. In fact, to the eye of a stranger,
their prodigious numbers, and especially the myriads of waterfowl which,
notwithstanding the presence of the crocodiles, people the lakes and
marshes in the eastern provinces, form one of the marvels of Ceylon.

In the glory of their plumage, the birds of the interior are surpassed
by those of South America and Northern India; and the melody of their
song will bear no comparison with that of the warblers of Europe, but
the want of brilliancy is compensated by their singular grace of form,
and the absence of prolonged and modulated harmony by the rich and
melodious tones of their clear and musical calls. In the elevations of
the Kandyan country there are a few, such as the robin of
Neuera-ellia[1] and the long-tailed thrush[2], whose song rivals that of
their European namesakes; but, far beyond the attraction of their notes,
the traveller rejoices in the flute-like voices of the Oriole, the
Dayal-bird[3], and some others equally charming; when, at the first dawn
of day, they wake the forest with their clear _reveille_.

[Footnote 1: Pratincola atrata, _Kelaart_.]

[Footnote 2: Kittacincla macroura, _Gm_.]

[Footnote 3: Copsychus saularis, _Linn_. Called by the Europeans in
Ceylon the "Magpie Robin." This is not to be confounded with the other
popular favourite, the "Indian Robin" (Thamnobia fulicata, _Linn_.),
which is "never seen in the unfrequented jungle, but, like the coco-nut
palm, which the Singhalese assert will only flourish within the sound of
the human voice, it is always found near the habitations of men."--E.L.

It is only on emerging from the dense forests, and coming into the
vicinity of the lakes and pasture of the low country, that birds become
visible in great quantities. In the close jungle one occasionally hears
the call of the copper-smith[1], or the strokes of the great
orange-coloured woodpecker[2] as it beats the decaying trees in search
of insects, whilst clinging to the bark with its finely-pointed claws,
and leaning for support upon the short stiff feathers of its tail. And
on the lofty branches of the higher trees, the hornbill[3] (the toucan
of the East), with its enormous double casque, sits to watch the motions
of the tiny reptiles and smaller birds on which it preys, tossing them
into the air when seized, and catching them in its gigantic mandibles as
they fall.[4] The remarkable excrescence on the beak of this
extraordinary bird may serve to explain the statement of the Minorite
friar Odoric, of Portenau in Friuli, who travelled in Ceylon in the
fourteenth century, and brought suspicion on the veracity of his
narrative by asserting that he had there seen "_birds with two

[Footnote 1: The greater red-headed Barbet (Megalaima indica, _Lath_.;
M. Philippensis, _var. A. Lath_.), the incessant din of which resembles
the blows of a smith hammering a cauldron.]

[Footnote 2: Brachypternus aurantius, _Linn_.]

[Footnote 3: Buceros pica, _Scop_.; B. coronata, _Bodd_. The natives
assert that B. pica builds in holes in the trees, and that when
incubation has fairly commenced, the female takes her seat on the eggs,
and the male closes up the orifice by which she entered, leaving only a
small aperture through which he feeds his partner, whilst she
successfully guards their treasures from the monkey tribes; her
formidable bill nearly filling the entire entrance. See a paper by Edgar
L. Layard, Esq. _Mag. Nat. Hist._ March, 1853. Dr. Horsfield had
previously observed the same habit in a species of Buceros in Java. (See
HORSFIELD and MOORE'S _Catal. Birds_, E.I. Comp. Mus. vol. ii.) It is
curious that a similar trait, though necessarily from very different
instincts, is exhibited by the termites, who literally build a cell
round the great progenitrix of the community, and feed her through

[Footnote 4: The hornbill is also frugivorous, and the natives assert
that when endeavouring to detach a fruit, if the stem is too tough to be
severed by his mandibles, he flings himself off the branch so as to add
the weight of his body to the pressure of his beak. The hornbill abounds
in Cuttack, and bears there the name of "Kuchila-Kai," or Kuchila-eater,
from its partiality for the fruit of the Strychnus nux-vomica. The
natives regard its flesh as a sovereign specific for rheumatic
affections.--_Asiat. Res._ ch. xv. p. 184.]

[Footnote 5: _Itinerarius_ FRATRIS ODORICI, de Foro Julii de
Portu-vahonis.--HAKLUYT, vol. ii. p. 39.]

As we emerge from the deep shade and approach the park-like openings on
the verge of the low country, quantities of pea-fowl are to be found
either feeding amongst the seeds and nuts in the long grass or sunning
themselves on the branches of the surrounding trees. Nothing to be met
with in demesnes in England can give an adequate idea either of the size
or the magnificence of this matchless bird when seen in his native
solitudes. Here he generally selects some projecting branch, from which
his plumage may hang free of the foliage, and, if there be a dead and
leafless bough, he is certain to choose it for his resting-place, whence
he droops his wings and suspends his gorgeous train, or spreads it in
the morning sun to drive off the damps and dews of the night.

In some of the unfrequented portions of the eastern province, to which
Europeans rarely resort, and where the pea-fowl are unmolested by the
natives, their number is so extraordinary that, regarded as game, it
ceases to be a "sport" to destroy them; and their cries at early morning
are so tumultuous and incessant as to banish sleep, and amount to an
actual inconvenience. Their flesh is excellent when served up hot,
though it is said to be indigestible; but, when cold, it contracts a
reddish and disagreeable tinge.

But of all, the most astonishing in point of multitude, as well as the
most interesting from their endless variety, are the myriads of aquatic
birds and waders which frequent the lakes and watercourses; especially
those along the coast near Batticaloa, between the mainland and the sand
formations of the shore, and the innumerable salt marshes and lagoons to
the south of Trincomalie. These, and the profusion of perching birds,
fly-catchers, finches, and thrushes, which appear in the open country,
afford sufficient quarry for the raptorial and predatory
species--eagles, hawks, and falcons--whose daring sweeps and effortless
undulations are striking objects in the cloudless sky.

I. ACCIPITRES. _Eagles_.--The Eagles, however, are small, and as
compared with other countries rare; except, perhaps, the crested
eagle[1], which haunts the mountain provinces and the lower hills,
disquieting the peasantry by its ravages amongst their poultry; and the
gloomy serpent eagle[2], which, descending from its eyrie in the lofty
jungle, and uttering a loud and plaintive cry, sweeps cautiously around
the lonely tanks and marshes, where it feeds upon the reptiles on their
margin. The largest eagle is the great sea Erne[3], seen on the northern
coasts and the salt lakes of the eastern provinces, particularly when
the receding tide leaves bare an expanse of beach, over which it hunts,
in company with the fishing eagle[4], sacred to Siva. Unlike its
companions, however, the sea eagle rejects garbage for living prey, and
especially for the sea snakes which abound on the northern coasts. These
it seizes by descending with its wings half closed, and, suddenly
darting down its talons, it soars aloft again with its writhing

[Footnote 1: Spizaëtus limnaëtus, _Horsf_.]

[Footnote 2: Hæmatornis cheela, _Daud_.]

[Footnote 3: Pontoaetus leucogaster, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 4: Haliastur indus, _Bodd_.]

[Footnote 5: E.L. Layard. Europeans have given this bird the name of the
"Brahminy Kite," probably from observing the superstitious feeling of
the natives regarding it, who believe that when two armies are about to
engage, its appearance prognosticates victory to the party over whom it

_Hawks_.--The beautiful Peregrine Falcon[1] is rare, but the Kestrel[2]
is found almost universally; and the bold and daring Goshawk[3] wherever
wild crags and precipices afford safe breeding places. In the district
of Anarajapoora, where it is trained for hawking, it is usual, in lieu
of a hood, to darken its eyes by means of a silken thread passed through
holes in the eyelids. The ignoble birds of prey, the Kites[4], keep
close by the shore, and hover round the returning boats of the fishermen
to feast on the fry rejected from their nets.

[Footnote 1: Falco peregrinus, _Linn_.]

[Footnote 2: Tinnunculus alaudarius, _Briss_.]

[Footnote 3: Astur trivirgatus, _Temm_.]

[Footnote 4: Milvus govinda, _Sykes_. Dr. Hamilton Buchanan remarks that
when gorged this bird delights to sit on the entablature of buildings,
exposing its back to the hottest rays of the sun, placing its breast
against the wall, and stretching out its wings _exactly as the Egyptian
Hawk is represented on their monuments_.]

_Owls_.--Of the nocturnal accipitres the most remarkable is the brown
owl, which, from its hideous yell, has acquired the name of the
"Devil-Bird."[l] The Singhalese regard it literally with horror, and its
scream by night in the vicinity of a village is bewailed as the
harbinger of approaching calamity.

[Footnote 1: Syrnium indranee, _Sykes_. The horror of this nocturnal
scream was equally prevalent in the West as in the East. Ovid Introduces
it in his _Fasti_, L. vi. 1. 139; and Tibullus in his Elegies, L.i. El
5. Statius says--

  "Nocturnæ-que gemunt striges, et feralia bubo
  _Danna canens_."      Theb. iii. I. 511.

But Pliny, 1. xi. c. 93, doubts as to what bird produced the sound; and
the details of Ovid's description do not apply to an owl.

Mr. Mitford, of the Ceylon Civil Service, to whom I am indebted for many
valuable notes relative to the birds of the island, regards the
identification of the Singhalese Devil-Bird as open to similar doubt: he
says--"The Devil-Bird is not am owl. I never heard it until I came to
Kornegalle, where it haunts the rocky hill at the back of
Government-House. Its ordinary note is a magnificent clear shout like
that of a human being, and which can be heard at a great distance, and
has a fine effect in the silence of the closing night. It has another
cry like that of a hen just caught, but the sounds which have earned for
it its bad name, and which I have heard but once to perfection, are
indescribable, the most appalling that can be imagined, and scarcely to
be heard without shuddering; I can only compare it to a boy in torture,
whose screams are being stopped by being strangled. I have offered
rewards for a specimen, but without success. The only European who had
seen and fired at one agreed with the natives that it is of the size of
a pigeon, with a long tail. I believe it is a Podargus or Night Hawk,"
In a subsequent note he further says--"I have since seen two birds by
moonlight, one of the size and shape of a cuckoo, the other a large
black bird, which I imagine to be the one which gives these calls."]

II. PASSERES. _Swallows_.--Within thirty-five miles of Caltura, on the
western coast, are inland caves, the resort of the Esculent Swift[1],
which there builds the "edible bird's nest," so highly prized in China.
Near the spot a few Chinese immigrants have established themselves, who
rent the royalty from the government, and make an annual export of their
produce. But the Swifts are not confined to this district, and caves
containing them have been found far in the interior, a fact which
complicates the still unexplained mystery of the composition of their
nest; and notwithstanding the power of wing possessed by these birds,
adds something to the difficulty of believing that it consists of
glutinous algæ.[2] In the nests brought to me there was no trace of
organisation; and whatever may be the original material, it is so
elaborated by the swallow as to present somewhat the appearance and
consistency of strings of isinglass. The quantity of these nests
exported from Ceylon is trifling.

[Footnote 1: Collocalia brevirostris, _McClell_.; C. nidifica, _Gray_.]

[Footnote 2: An epitome of what has been written on this subject will be
found in _Dr. Horsfield's Catalogue_ of the Birds in the E.I. Comp.
Museum, vol. i. p. 101, etc.]

_Kingfishers_.--In solitary places, where no sound breaks the silence
except the gurgle of the river as it sweeps round the rocks, the lonely
Kingfisher sits upon an overhanging branch, his turquoise plumage hardly
less intense in its lustre than the deep blue of the sky above him; and
so intent is his watch upon the passing fish that intrusion fails to
scare him from his post; the emblem of vigilance and patience.

_Sun Birds_.--In the gardens the Sun Birds[1] (known as the Humming
Birds of Ceylon) hover all day long, attracted by the plants over which
they hang, poised on their glittering wings, and inserting their curved
beaks to extract the tiny insects that nestle in the flowers. Perhaps
the most graceful of the birds of Ceylon in form and motions, and the
most chaste in colouring, is that which Europeans call "the Bird of
Paradise,"[2] and the natives "the Cotton Thief," from the circumstance
that its tail consists of two long white feathers, which stream behind
it as it flies, Mr. Layard says:--"I have often watched them, when
seeking their insect prey, turn suddenly on their perch and _whisk their
long tails with a jerk_ over the bough, as if to protect them from

[Footnote 1: Nectarina Zeylanica, _Linn_.]

[Footnote 2: Tchitrea paradisi, _Linn_.]

_The Bulbul_.--The _Condatchee Bulbul_[1], which, from the crest on its
head, is called by the Singhalese the "Konda Coorola," or _Tuft bird_,
is regarded by the natives as the most "_game_" of all birds; and the
training it to fight was one of the duties entrusted by the Kings of
Kandy to the Kooroowa, or Bird Head-man. For this purpose the Bulbul is
taken from the nest as soon as the sex is distinguishable by the tufted
crown; and being secured by a string, is taught to fly from hand to hand
of its keeper. When pitted against an antagonist, such is the obstinate
courage of this little creature that it will sink from exhaustion rather
than release its hold. This propensity, and the ordinary character of
its notes, render it impossible that the Bulbul of India can be
identical with the Bulbul of Iran, the "Bird of a Thousand Songs,"[2] of
which poets say that its delicate passion for the rose gives a plaintive
character to its note.

[Footnote 1: Pycnonotus hæmorrhous, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 2: _"Hazardasitaum,"_ the Persian name for the bulbul. "The
Persians," according to Zakary ben Mohamed al Caswini, "say the bulbul
has a passion for the rose, and laments and cries when he sees it
pulled."--OUSELEY'S _Oriental Collections_, vol. i. p. 16. According to
Pallas it is the true nightingale of Europe, Sylvia luscinia, which the
Armenians call _boulboul_, and the Crim-Tartars _byl-byl-i_.]

_Tailor-Bird_.--_The Weaver-Bird_.--The tailor-bird[1] having completed
her nest, sewing together the leaves by passing through them a cotton
thread twisted by the creature herself, leaps from branch to branch to
testify her happiness by a clear and merry note; and the Indian
weaver[2], a still more ingenious artist, having woven its dwelling with
grass something into the form of a bottle, with a prolonged neck, hangs
it from a projecting branch with its entrance inverted so as to baffle
the approaches of its enemies, the tree snakes and other reptiles. The
natives assert that the male bird carries fire flies to the nest,
fastening them to its sides by a particle of soft mud, and Mr. Layard
assures me that although he has never succeeded in finding the fire fly,
the nest of the male bird (for the female occupies another during
incubation) invariably contains a patch of mud on each side of the

[Footnote 1: Orthotomus longicauda, _Gmel_.]

[Footnote 2: Ploceus baya, _Blyth_; P. Philippinus, _Auct_.]

_Crows_.--Of all the Ceylon birds of this order the most familiar and
notorious is the small glossy crow, whose shining black plumage shot
with blue has obtained for him the title of _Corvus splendens_.[1] They
frequent the towns in companies, and domesticate themselves in the close
vicinity of every house; and it may possibly serve to account for the
familiarity and audacity which they exhibit in their intercourse with
men, that the Dutch during their sovereignty in Ceylon enforced severe
penalties against any one killing a crow, under the belief that they are
instrumental in extending the growth of cinnamon by feeding on the
fruit, and thus disseminating the undigested seed.[2]

[Footnote 1: There is another species, the _C. culminatus_, so called
from the convexity of its bill; but though seen in the towns, it lives
chiefly in the open country, and may be constantly observed wherever
there are buffaloes, perched on their backs and engaged, in company with
the small Minah (_Acridotheres tristis_) in freeing them from ticks.]

[Footnote 2: WOLF'S _Life and Adventures_, p. 117.]

So accustomed are the natives to its presence and exploits, that, like
the Greeks and Romans, they have made the movements of the crow the
basis of their auguries; and there is no end to the vicissitudes of good
and evil fortune which may not be predicted from the direction of their
flight, the hoarse or mellow notes of their croaking, the variety of
trees on which they rest, and the numbers in which they are seen to
assemble. All day long they are engaged in watching either the offal of
the offices, or the preparation for meals in the dining-room; and as
doors and windows are necessarily opened to relieve the heat, nothing is
more common than the passage of crows across the room, lifting on the
wing some ill-guarded morsel from the dinner-table.

No article, however unpromising its quality, provided only it be
portable, can with safety be left unguarded in any apartment accessible
to them. The contents of ladies' work-boxes, kid gloves, and pocket
handkerchiefs vanish instantly if exposed near a window or open door.
They open paper parcels to ascertain the contents; they will undo the
knot on a napkin if it encloses anything eatable, and I have known a
crow to extract the peg which fastened the lid of a basket in order to
plunder the provender within.

On one occasion a nurse seated in a garden adjoining a regimental
mess-room, was terrified by seeing a bloody clasp-knife drop from the
air at her feet; but the mystery was explained on learning that a crow,
which had been watching the cook chopping mince-meat, had seized the
moment when his head was turned to carry off the knife.

One of these ingenious marauders, after vainly attitudinising in front
of a chained watch-dog, which was lazily gnawing a bone, and after
fruitlessly endeavouring to divert his attention by dancing before him,
with head awry and eye askance, at length flew away for a moment, and
returned bringing with it a companion who perched itself on a branch a
few yards in the rear. The crow's grimaces were now actively renewed,
but with no better result, till its confederate, poising himself on his
wings, descended with the utmost velocity, striking the dog upon the
spine with all the force of his beak. The _ruse_ was successful; the dog
started with surprise and pain, but not quickly enough to seize his
assailant, whilst the bone he had been gnawing disappeared the instant
his head was turned. Two well-authenticated instances of the recurrence
of this device came within my knowledge at Colombo, and attest the
sagacity and powers of communication and combination possessed by these
astute and courageous birds.

On the approach of evening the crows assemble in noisy groups along the
margin of the fresh-water lake which surrounds Colombo on the eastern
side; here for an hour or two they enjoy the luxury of the bath, tossing
the water over their shining backs, and arranging their plumage
decorously, after which they disperse, each taking the direction of his
accustomed quarters for the night.[1]

[Footnote 1: A similar habit has been noticed in the damask Parrots of
Africa (_Palæornis fuscus_), which daily resort at the same hour to
their accustomed water to bathe.]

During the storms which usher in the monsoon, it has been observed, that
when coco-nut palms are struck by lightning, the destruction frequently
extends beyond a single tree, and from the contiguity and conduction of
the spreading leaves, or some other peculiar cause, large groups will be
affected by a single flash, a few killed instantly, and the rest doomed
to rapid decay. In Belligam Bay, a little to the east of Point-de-Galle,
a small island, which is covered with coco-nuts, has acquired the name
of "Crow Island," from being the resort of those birds, which are seen
hastening towards it in thousands towards sunset. A few years ago,
during a violent storm of thunder, such was the destruction of the crows
that the beach for some distance was covered with a black line of their
remains, and the grove on which they had been resting was to a great
extent destroyed by the same flash.[1]

[Footnote 1: Similar instances are recorded in other countries of sudden
mortality amongst crows to a prodigious extent, but whether occasioned
by lightning seems uncertain. In 1839 thirty-three thousand dead crows
were found on the shores of a lake in the county Westmeath in Ireland
after a storm.--THOMPSON'S _Nat. Hist. Ireland_, vol. i. p. 319, and
Patterson in his Zoology, p. 356, mentions other cases.]

III. SCANSORES. _Parroquets_.--Of the Psittacidæ the only examples are
the parroquets, of which the most renowned is the _Palæornis Alexandri_,
which has the historic distinction of bearing the name of the great
conquerer of India, having been the first of its race introduced to the
knowledge of Europe on the return of his expedition. An idea of their
number may be formed from the following statement of Mr. Layard, as to
the multitudes which are found on the western coast. "At Chilaw I have
seen such vast flights of parroquets coming to roost in the coco-nut
trees which overhang the bazaar, that their noise drowned the Babel of
tongues bargaining for the evening provisions. Hearing of the swarms
which resorted to this spot, I posted myself on a bridge some half mile
distant, and attempted to count the flocks which came from a single
direction to the eastward. About four o'clock in the afternoon,
straggling parties began to wend towards home, and in the course of half
an hour the current fairly set in. But I soon found that I had no longer
distinct flocks to count, it became one living screaming stream. Some
flew high in the air till right above their homes, and dived abruptly
downward with many evolutions till on a level with the trees; others
kept along the ground and dashed close by my face with the rapidity of
thought, their brilliant plumage shining with an exquisite lustre in the
sun-light. I waited on the spot till the evening closed, when I could
hear, though no longer distinguish, the birds fighting for their
perches, and on firing a shot they rose with a noise like the 'rushing
of a mighty wind,' but soon settled again, and such a din commenced as I
shall never forget; the shrill screams of the birds, the fluttering of
their innumerable wings, and the rustling of the leaves of the palm
trees, was almost deafening, and I was glad at last to escape to the
Government Rest House."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Annals of Nat. Hist_. vol xiii. p.263.]

IV. COLUMBIDÆ. _Pigeons_.--Of pigeons and doves there are at least a
dozen species; some living entirely on trees[1] and never alighting on
the ground; others, notwithstanding the abundance of food and warmth,
are migratory[2], allured, as the Singhalese allege, by the ripening of
the cinnamon berries, and hence one species is known in the southern
provinces as the "Cinnamon Dove." Others feed on the fruits of the
banyan: and it is probably to their instrumentality that this marvellous
tree chiefly owes its diffusion, its seeds being carried by them to
remote localities. A very beautiful pigeon, peculiar to the mountain
range, discovered in the lofty trees at Neuera-ellia, has, in compliment
to the Vicountess Torrington, been named _Carpophaga Torringtoniæ._

[Footnote 1: Treron bicenta, _Jerd_.]

[Footnote 2: _Alsocomus puniceus_, the "Season Pigeon" of Ceylon, so
called from its periodical arrival and departure.]

Another, called by the natives _neela-cobeya_[1], although strikingly
elegant both in shape and colour, is still more remarkable far the
singularly soothing effect of its low and harmonious voice. A gentleman
who has spent many years in the jungle, in writing to me of this bird
and of the effects of its melodious song, says, that "its soft and
melancholy notes, as they came from some solitary place in the forest,
were the most gentle sounds I ever listened to. Some sentimental smokers
assert that the influence of the propensity is to make them feel _as if
they could freely forgive all who had ever offended them_, and I can say
with truth such has been the effect on my own nerves of the plaintive
murmurs of the neela-cobeya, that sometimes, when irritated, and not
without reason, by the perverseness of some of my native followers, the
feeling has almost instantly subsided into placidity on suddenly hearing
the loving tones of these beautiful birds."

[Footnote 1: Chalcophaps Indicus, _Linn_.]

V. GALLINÆ. _The Ceylon Jungle-fowl_.--The jungle-fowl of Ceylon[1] is
shown by the peculiarity of its plumage to be distinct from the Indian
species. It has never yet bred or survived long in captivity, and no
living specimens have been successfully transmitted to Europe. It
abounds in all parts of the island, but chiefly in the lower ranges of
mountains; and one of the vivid memorials which are associated with our
journeys through the hills, is its clear cry, which sounds like a person
calling "George Joyce." At early morning it rises amidst mist and dew,
giving life to the scenery that has scarcely yet been touched by the

[Footnote 1: Gallus Lafayetti, _Lesson_.]

VI. GRALLÆ.--On reaching the marshy plains and shallow lagoons on either
side of the island, the astonishment of the stranger is excited by the
endless multitudes of stilt-birds and waders which stand in long array
within the wash of the water, or sweep in vast clouds above it.
Ibises[1], storks[2], egrets, spoonbills[3], herons[4], and the smaller
races of sand larks and plovers, are seen busily traversing the wet
sand, in search of the red worm which burrows there, or peering with
steady eye to watch the motions of the small fry and aquatic insects in
the ripple on the shore.

[Footnote 1: Tantalus leucocephalus, and Ibis falcinellus.]

[Footnote 2: The violet-headed Stork (Ciconia leucocephala).]

[Footnote 3: Platalea leucorodia, _Linn_.]

[Footnote 4: Ardea cinerea. A. purpurea.]

VII. ANSERES.--Preeminent in size and beauty, the tall _flamingoes_[1],
with rose-coloured plumage, line the beach in long files. The Singhalese
have been led, from their colour and their military order, to designate
them the "_English Soldier birds_." Nothing can be more startling than
the sudden flight of these splendid creatures when alarmed; their strong
wings beating the air sound like distant thunder; and as they soar over
head, the flock which appeared almost white but a moment before, is
converted into crimson by the sudden display of the red lining of their
wings. A peculiarity in the beak of the flamingo has scarcely attracted
due attention, as a striking illustration of creative wisdom in adapting
the organs of animals to their local necessities. The upper mandible,
which is convex in other birds, is in them flattened, whilst the lower,
instead of being flat, is convex. To those who have had an opportunity
of witnessing the action of the bird in its native haunts, the
expediency of this arrangement is at once apparent. The flamingo, to
counteract the extraordinary length of its legs, is provided with a
proportionately long neck, so that in feeding in shallow water the crown
of the head becomes inverted and the upper mandible brought into contact
with the bottom; where its flattened surface qualifies it for performing
the functions of the lower one in birds of the same class; and the edges
of both being laminated, it is thus enabled, like the duck, by the aid
of its fleshy tongue, to sift its food before swallowing.

[Footnote 1: Phoenicopterus roseus, _Pallas_.]

Floating on the surface of the deeper water, are fleets of the Anatidæ,
the Coromandel teal[1], the Indian hooded gull[2], the Caspian tern, and
a countless variety of ducks and smaller fowl. Pelicans[3] in great
numbers resort to the mouths of the rivers, taking up their position at
sunrise on some projecting rock, from which to dart on the passing fish,
and returning far inland at night to their retreats among the trees
which overshadow some ruined watercourse or deserted tank.

[Footnote 1: Nettapus Coromandelianus, _Gmel._]

[Footnote 2: Larus brunnicephalus, _Jerd._]

[Footnote 3: Pelicanus Philippensis, _Gmel._]

Of the birds familiar to European sportsmen, partridges and quails are
to be had at all times; the woodcock has occasionally been shot in the
hills, and the ubiquitous snipe, which arrives in September from
Southern India, is identified not alone by the eccentricity of its
flight, but by retaining in high perfection the qualities which have
endeared it to the gastronome at home. But the magnificent pheasants
which inhabit the Himalayan range and the woody hills of the Chin-Indian
peninsula, have no representative amongst the tribes that people the
woods of Ceylon; although a bird believed to be a pheasant has more than
once been seen in the jungle, close to Rambodde, on the road to

_List of Ceylon Birds_.

In submitting this catalogue of the birds of Ceylon, I am anxious to
state that the copious mass of its contents is mainly due to the
untiring energy and exertions of my friend, Mr. E.L. Layard. Nearly
every bird in the list has fallen by his gun; so that the most ample
facilities have been thus provided, not only for extending the limited
amount of knowledge which formerly existed on this branch of the zoology
of the island; but for correcting, by actual comparison with recent
specimens, the errors which had previously prevailed as to imperfectly
described species. The whole of Mr. Layard's fine collection is at
present in England.


Aquila Bonelli, _Temm_.
  pennata, _Gm_.
Spizaëtus Nipalensis, _Hodgs_.
  limnæëtus, _Horsf_.
Ictinaëtus Malayensis, _Reinw_.
Hæmatornis cheela, _Daud_.
  spilogaster, _Blyth_.
Pontoaëtus leucogaster, _Gm_.
  ichthyaëtus, _Horsf_.
Haliastur Indus, _Bodd_.
Falco peregrinus, _Linn_.
  _peregrinator, Sund_.
Tinnunculus alaudarius, _Briss_.
Hypotriorchis chicquera, _Daud_.
Baza lophotes, _Cuv_.
Milvus govinda, _Sykes_.
Elanus melanopterus, _Daud_.
Astur trivirgatus, _Temm_.
Accipiter badius, _Gm_.
Circus Swainsonii, _A. Smith_.
  cincrascens, _Mont_.
  melanoleucos, _Gm_.
  _æruginosus, Linn._
Athene castonatus, _Blyth_.
  scutulata, _Raffles_.
Ephialtes scops, _Linn_.
  lempijii, _Horsf_.
  sunia, _Hodgs_.
Ketupa Ceylonensis, _Gm_.
Syrnium Indranee, _Sykes_.
Strix Javanica, _Gm_.


Batrachostomus moniliger, _Layard_.
Caprimulgus Mahrattensis, _Sykes_.
  Kelaarti, _Blyth_.
  Asiaticus, _Lath_.
Cypselus batassiensis, _Gray_.
  melba, _Linn_.
  affinis, _Gray_.
Macropteryx coronatus, _Tickell_.
Collocalia brevirostris, _McClel_.
Acanthylis caudacuta, _Lath_.
Hirundo panayana, _Gm_.
  daurica, _Linn_.
  hyperythra, _Layard_.
  domicola, _Jerdon_.
Coracias Indica, _Linn_.
Harpactes fasciatus, _Gm_.
Eurystomus orientalis, _Linn_.
Halcyon Capensis, _Linn_.
  atricapillus, _Gm_.
  Smyrnensis, _Linn_.
Ceyx tridactyla, _Linn_.
Alcedo Bengalensis, _Gm_.
Ceryle rudis, _Linn_.
Merops Philippinus, _Linn_.
  viridis, _Linn_.
  quincticolor, _Vieill_.
Upupa nigripennis, _Gould_.
Nectarina Zeylanica, _Linn_.
  minima, _Sykes_.
  Asiatica, _Lath_.
  Lotenia, _Linn_.
Dicæum minimum, _Tickell_.
Phyllornis Malabarica, _Lath_.
  Jerdoni, _Blyth_.
Dendrophila frontalis, _Horsf_.
Piprisoma agile, _Blyth_.
Orthotomus longicauda, _Gm_.
Cisticola cursitans, _Frankl_.
  omalura, _Blyth_.
Drymoica valida, _Blyth_.
  inornata, _Sykes_.
Prinia socialis, _Sykes_.
Acrocephalus dumetorum, _Blyth_.
Phyllopneuste nitidus, _Blyth_.
  montanus, _Blyth_.
  viridanus, _Blyth_.
Copsychus saularus, _Linn_.
Kittacincla macrura, _Gm_.
Pratincola caprata, _Linn_.
  atrata, _Kelaart_.
Calliope cyanea, _Hodgs_.
Thamnobia fulicata, _Linn_.
Cyanecula Suevica, _Linn_.
Sylvia affinis, _Blyth_.
Parus cinereus, _Vieill_.
Zosterops palpebrosus, _Temm_.
Iöra Zeylanica, _Gm_.
  typhia, _Linn_.
Motacilla sulphurea, _Bechs_.
  Indica, _Gm_.
  Madraspatana, _Briss_.
Budytes viridis, _Gm_.
Anthus rufulus, _Vieill_.
  Richardii, _Vieill_.
  striolatus, _Blyth_.
Brachypteryx Palliseri, _Kelaart_.
Alcippe nigrifrons, _Blyth_.
Pitta brachyura, _Jerd_.
Oreocincla spiloptera, _Blyth_.
Merula Wardii, _Jerd_.
  Kinnisii, _Kelaart_.
Zoothera imbricata, _Layard_.
Garrulax cinereifrons, _Blyth_.
Pormatorhinus melanurus, _Blyth_.
Malacocercus rufescens, _Blyth_.
  griseus, _Gm_.
  striatus, _Swains_.
Pellorneum fuscocapillum, _Blyth_.
Dumetia albogularis, _Blyth_.
Chrysomma Sinense, _Gm_.
Oriolus melanocephalus, _Linn_.
  Indicus, _Briss_.
Criniger ictericus, _Stickl_.
Pycnonotus penicillatus, _Kelaart_.
  flavirictus, _Strickl_.
  hæmorrhous, _Gm_.
  atricapillus, _Vieill_.
Hemipus picatus, _Sykes_.
Hypsipetes Nilgherriensis, _Jerd_.
Cyornis rubeculoïdes, _Vig_.
Myiagra azurea, _Bodd_.
Cryptolopha cinereocapilla, _Vieill_.
Leucocerca compressirostris, _Blyth_.
Tchitrea paradisi, _Linn_.
Butalis latirostris, _Raffles_.
  Muttui, _Layard_.
Stoparola melanops, _Vig_.
Pericrocotus flammeus, _Forst_.
  peregrinus, _Linn_.
Campephaga Macei, _Less_.
  Sykesii, _Strickl_.
Artamus fuscus, _Vieill_.
Edolius paradiseus, _Gm_.
Dicrurus macrocereus, _Vieill_.
  edoliformis, _Blyth_.
  longicaudatus, _A. Hay_.
  leucopygialis, _Blyth_.
  coerulescens, _Linn_.
Irena puella, _Lath_.
Lanius superciliosus, _Lath_.
  erythronotus, _Vig_.
Tephrodornis affinis, _Blyth_.
Cissa puella, _Blyth & Layard_.
Corvus splendens, _Vieille_.
  culminatus, _Sykes_.
Eulabes religiosa, _Linn_.
  ptilogenys, _Blyth_.
Pastor roseus, _Linn_.
Hetærornis pagodarum, _Gm_.
  _albifrontata, Layard_.
Acridotheres tristis, _Linn_.
Ploceus manyar, _Horsf_.
  baya, _Blyth_.
Munia undulata, _Latr_.
  _Malabarica, Linn_.
  Malacca, _Linn_.
  rubronigra, _Hodgs_.
  striata, _Linn_.
  pectoralis, _Jerd._
Passer Indicus, _Jard. & Selb._
Alauda gulgula, _Frank_.
  Malabarica, _Scop_.
Pyrrhulauda grisea, _Scop_.
Mirafra affinis, _Jerd_.
Buceros gingalensis, _Shaw_.
  coronata, _Bodd_.


Loriculus Asiaticus, _Lath_.
Palæornis Alexandri, _Linn_.
  torquatus, _Briss_.
  cyanocephalus, _Linn_.
  Calthropæ, _Layard_.
  Layardi, _Blyth_.
Megalaima Indica, _Latr_.
  Zeylanica, _Gmel_.
  flavifrons, _Cuv_.
  rubicapilla, _Gm_.
Picus gymnophthalmus, _Blyth._
  Mahrattensis, _Lath_.
  Macei, _Vieill_.
Gecinus chlorophanes, _Vieill_.
Brachypternus aurantius, _Linn_.
  Ceylonus, _Forst_.
  _rubescens, Vieill_.
  Stricklandi, _Layard_.
Micropterus gularis, _Jerd_.
Centropus rufipennis, _Illiger_.
  chlororhynchos, _Blyth_.
Oxylophus melanoleucos, _Gm_.
  Coramandus, _Linn_.
Endynamys orientalis, _Linn_.
Cuculus Bartletti, _Layard_.
  striatus, _Drapiez_.
  canorus, _Linn_.
Polyphasia tenuirostris, _Gray_.
  Sonneratii, _Lath_.
Hierococcyx varius, _Vahl_.
Surniculus dicruroïdes, _Hodgs_.
Phoenicophaus pyrrhocephalus, _Forst_.
Zanclostomus viridirostris, _Jerd_.


Treron bicincta, _Jerd_.
  flavogularis, _Blyth_.
  Pompadoura, _Gm_.
  chlorogaster, _Blyth_.
Carpophaga pusilla, _Blyth_.
  Torringtoniæ, _Kelaart_.
Alsocomus puniceus, _Tickel_.
Columba intermedia, _Strickl_.
Turtur risorius, _Linn_.
  Suratensis, _Lath_.
  humilis, _Temm_.
  orientalis, _Lath_.
Chalcophaps Indicus, _Linn_.


Pavo cristatus, _Linn_.
Gallus Lafayetti, _Lesson_.
Galloperdix bicalcaratus, _Linn_.
Francolinus Ponticerianus, _Gm_.
Perdicula agoondah, _Sykes_.
Coturnix Chinensis, _Linn_.
Turnix ocellatus _var._ Bengalensis, _Blyth_.
Turnix ocellatus _var._ taigoor, _Sykes_.


Esacus recurvirostris, _Cuv_.
Oedienemus crepitans, _Temm_.
Cursorius Coromandelicus, _Gm_.
Lobivanellus bilobus, _Gm_.
  Goensis, _Gm_.
Charadrius virginicus, _Bechs_.
Hiaticula Philippensis, _Scop_.
  cantiana, _Lath_.
  Leschenaultii, _Less_.
Strepsilas interpres, _Linn_.
Ardea purpurea, _Linn_.
  cinerea, _Linn_.
  asha, _Sykes_.
  intermedia, _Wagler_.
  garzetta, _Linn_.
  alba, _Linn_.
  bubulcus, _Savig_.
Ardeola leucoptera, _Bodd_.
Ardetta cinnamomea, _Gm_.
  flavicollis, _Lath_.
  Sinensis, _Gm_.
Butoroides Javanica, _Horsf_.
Platalea leucorodia, _Linn_.
Nycticorax griseus, _Linn_.
Tigrisoma melanolopha, _Raffl_.
Mycteria australis, _Shaw_.
Leptophilus Javanica, _Horsf_.
Ciconia leucocephala, _Gm_.
Anastomus oscitans, _Bodd_.
Tantalus leucocephalus, _Gm_.
Geronticus melanocephalus, _Lath_.
Ibis falcinellus, _Linn_.
Numenius arquatus, _Linn_.
  phoeopus, _Linn_.
Totanus fuscus, _Linn_.
  ochropus, _Linn_.
  calidris, _Linn_.
  hypoleucos, _Linn_.
  glottoides, _Vigors_.
  stagnalis, _Bechst_.
Actitis glareola, _Gm_.
Tringa minuta, _Leist_.
  subarquata, _Gm_.
Limicola platyrhyncha, _Temm_.
Limosa ægocephala, _Linn_.
Himantopus candidus, _Bon_.
Recurvirostra avocetta, _Linn_.
Hæmatopus ostralegus, _Linn_.
Rhynchoea Bengalensis, _Linn_.
Scolopax rusticola, _Linn_.
Gallinago stenura, _Temm_.
  _scolopacina, Bon_.
  _gallinula, Linn_.
Hydrophasianus Sinensis, _Gm_.
Ortygometra rubiginosa, _Temm_.
Corethura Zeylanica, _Gm_.
Porzana pygmæa, _Nan_.
Rallus striatus, _Linn_.
  Indicus, _Blyth_.
Porphyrio poliocephalus, _Lath_.
Gallinula phoenicura, _Penn_.
  chloropus, _Linn_.
  cristata, _Lath_.


Phoenicopterus ruber, _Linn_.
Sarkidiornis melanonotos, _Penn_.
Nettapus Coromandelianus, _Gm_.
Anas poecilorhyncha, _Penn_.
Dendrocygnus arcuatus, _Cuv_.
Dafila acuta, _Linn_.
Querquedula crecca, _Linn_.
  circia, _Linn_.
_Fuligula rufina, Pall_.
Spatula clypeata, _Linn_.
Podiceps Philippensis, _Gm_.
Larus brunnicephalus, _Jerd_.
  ichthyaëtus, _Pall_.
Sylochelidon Caspius, _Lath_.
Hydrochelidon Indicus, _Steph_.
Gelochelidon Anglicus, _Mont_.
Onychoprion anasthætus, _Scop_.
Sterna Javanica, _Horsf_.
  melanogaster, _Temm_.
  minuta, _Linn_.
Seena aurantia, _Gray_.
Thalasseus Bengalensis, _Less_.
  cristata, _Steph_.
Dromas ardeola, _Payk_.
Atagen ariel, _Gould_.
Thalassidroma _melanogaster, Gould_.
Plotus melanogaster, _Gm_.
Pelicanus Philippensis, _Gm_.
Graculus Sinensis, _Shaw_.
  pygmæus, _Pallas_.


The following is a list of the birds which are, as far as is at present
known, peculiar to the island; it will probably at some future day be
determined that some included in it have a wider geographical range.

Hæmatornis spilogaster. The "Ceylon eagle;" was discovered by Mr. Layard
in the Wanny, and by Dr. Kelaart at Trincomalie.

Athene castonotus. The chestnut-winged hawk owl. This pretty little owl
was added to the list of Ceylon birds by Dr. Templeton.

Batrachostomus monoliger. The oil bird; was discovered amongst the
precipitous rocks of the Adam's Peak range by Mr. Layrard. Another
specimen was sent about the same time to Sir James Emerson Tennent from
Avisavelle. Mr. Mitford has met with it at Ratnapoora.

Caprimulgus Kelaarti. Kelaart's night-jar; swarms on the marshy plains
of Neuera-ellia at dusk.

Hirundo hyperythra. The red-bellied swallow; was discovered in 1849 by
Mr. Layard at Ambepusse. They build a globular nest with a round hole at
top. A pair built in the ring for a hanging lamp in Dr. Gardner's study
at Peradinia, and hatched their young, undisturbed by the daily trimming
and lighting of the lamp.

Cisticola omalura. Layard's mountain grass warbler; is found in
abundance on Horton Plain and Neuera-ellia, among the long Patena grass.

Drymoica valida. Layard's wren-warbler; frequents tufts of grass and low
bushes, feeding on insects.

Pratincola atrata. The Neuera-ellia robin; a melodious songster; added
to our catalogue by Dr. Kelaart.

Brachypteryx Palliseri. Ant thrush. A rare bird, added by Dr. Kelaart
from Dimboola and Neuera-ellia.

Pellorneum fuscocapillum. Mr. Layard found two specimens of this rare
thrush creeping about shrubs and bushes, feeding on insects.

Alcippe nigrifrons. This thrush frequents low impenetrable thickets, and
seems to be widely distributed.

Oreocincla spiloptera. The spotted thrush is only found in the mountain
zone about lofty trees.

Merula Kinnisii. The Neuera-ellia blackbird; was added by Dr. Kelaart.

Garrulax cinereifrons. The ashy-headed babbler; was found by Mr. Layard
near Ratnapoora.

Pomatorhinus melanurus. Mr. Layard states that the mountain babbler
frequents low, scraggy, impenetrable brush, along the margins of
deserted cheena land.

Malacocercus rufescens. The red-dung thrush added by Dr. Templeton to
the Singhalese Fauna, is found in thick jungle in the southern and
midland districts.

Pycnonotus penicillatus. The yellow-eared bulbul; was found by Dr.
Kelaart at Neuera-ellia.

Butalis Muttui. This very handsome flycatcher was procured at Point
Pedro, by Mr. Layard.

Dicrurus edoliformis. Dr. Templeton found this kingcrow at the Bibloo
Oya. Mr. Layard has since got it at Ambogammoa.

Dicrurus leucopygialis. The Ceylon kingcrow was sent to Mr. Blyth from
the vicinity of Colombo, by Dr. Templeton.

Tephrodornis affinis. The Ceylon butcher-bird. A migratory species found
in the wooded grass lands in October.

Cissa puella. Layard's mountain jay. A most lovely bird, found along
mountain streams at Neuera-ellia and elsewhere.

Enlabes ptilogenys. Templeton's mynah. The largest and most beautiful of
the species. It is found in flocks perching on the highest trees,
feeding on berries.

Loriculus asiaticus. The small parroquet, abundant in various districts.

Palæornis Calthropæ. Layard's purple-headed parroquet, found at Kandy,
is a very handsome bird, flying in flocks, and resting on the summits of
the very highest trees. Dr. Kelaart states that it is the only parroquet
of the Neuera-ellia range.

Palæornis Layardi. The Jaffna parroquet was discovered by Mr. Layard at
Point Pedro.

Megalaima flavifrons. The yellow-headed barbet, is not uncommon.

Megalaima rubricapilla, is found in most parts of the island.

Picus gymnophthalmus. Layard's woodpecker. The smallest of the species,
was discovered near Colombo, amongst jak trees.

Brachypternus Ceylonus. The Ceylon woodpecker, is found in abundance
near Neuera-ellia.

Brachypternus rubescens. The red woodpecker.

Centropus chlororhynchus. The yellow-billed cuckoo, was detected by Mr.
Layard in dense jungle near Colombo and Avisavelle.

Phoenicophaus pyrrhocephalus. The malkoha, is confined to the southern

Treron flavogularis. The common green pigeon, is found in abundance at
the top of Balacaddua Pass and at Ratnapoora. It feeds on berries and
flies in large flocks. It was believed to be identical with the
following.--_Mag. Nat. Hist._ p. 58: 1854.

Treron Pompadoura. The Pompadour pigeon. "The Prince of Canino has shown
that this is a totally distinct bird, much smaller, with the quantity of
maroon colour on the mantle greatly reduced."--Paper by Mr. BLYTH, _Mag.
Nat Hist._ p. 514: 1857.

Carpophaga Torringtoniæ. Lady Torrington's pigeon; a very handsome
pigeon discovered in the highlands by Dr. Kelaart. It flies high in long
sweeps, and makes its nest on the loftiest trees.

Carpophaga pusilla. The little-hill dove, a migratory species found by
Mr. Layard in the mountain zone, only appearing with the ripened fruit
of the teak, banyan, &c., on which they feed.

Gallus Lafayetti. The Ceylon jungle fowl. The female of this handsome
bird was figured by Mr. GRAY (_Ill. Ind. Zool._) under the name of G.
Stanleyi. The cock bird had long been lost to naturalists, until a
specimen was forwarded to Mr. Blyth, who at once recognised it as the
long-looked for male of Mr. Gray's recently described female. It is
abundant in all the uncultivated portions of Ceylon; coming out into the
open spaces to feed in the mornings and evenings.



LIZARDS. _Iguana_.--One of the earliest if not the first remarkable
animal to startle a stranger on arriving in Ceylon, whilst wending his
way from Point-de-Galle to Colombo, is a huge lizard of from four to
five feet in length, the Talla-goya of the Singhalese, and Iguana[1] of
the Europeans. It may be seen at noonday searching for ants and insects
in the middle of the highway and along the fences; when disturbed, but
by no means alarmed, by the approach of man, it moves off to a safe
distance; and, the intrusion being over, returns again to the occupation
in which it had been interrupted. Repulsive as it is in appearance, it
is perfectly harmless, and is hunted down by dogs in the maritime
provinces, where its delicate flesh is converted into curry, and its
skin into shoes. When seized, it has the power of inflicting a smart
blow with its tail. The Talla-goya lives in almost any convenient
hollow, such as a hole in the ground, or the deserted nest of the
termites; and home small ones which frequented my garden at Colombo,
made their retreat in the heart of a decayed tree. A still larger
species, the Kabragoya[2], which is partial to marshy ground, when
disturbed upon land, will take refuge in the nearest water. From the
somewhat eruptive appearance of the yellow blotches on its scales, a
closely allied species, similarly spotted, formerly obtained amongst
naturalists the name of _Monitor exanthemata_, and it is curious that
the native appellation of this one, Kabra[3], is suggestive of the same
idea. The Singhalese, on a strictly homoeopathic principle, believe that
its fat, externally applied, is a cure for cutaneous disorders, but that
inwardly taken it is poisonous.[4] It is one of the incidents which seem
to indicate that Ceylon belongs to a separate circle of physical
geography, this lizard has not hitherto been discovered on the continent
of Hindustan, though it is found to the eastward in Burmah.[5]

[Footnote 1: Monitor dracæna, _Linn_. Among the barbarous nostrums of
the uneducated natives both Singhalese and Tamil, is the tongue of the
iguana, which they regard as a specific for consumption, if plucked from
the living animal and swallowed whole.]

[Footnote 2: Hydrosaurus salvator, _Wagler_.]

[Footnote 3: In the _Mahawanso_ the hero, Tisso, is said to have been
"afflicted with a cutaneous complaint which, made his skin scaly like
that of the _godho_."--Ch. xxiv. p. 148. "Godho" is the Pali name for
the Kabra-goya.]

[Footnote 4: In the preparation of the mysterious poison, the
_Cobra-tel_, which is regarded with so much horror by the Singhalese;
the unfortunate Kabra-goya is forced to take a painfully prominent part.
The receipt, as written down by a Kandyan, was sent to me from
Kornegalle, by Mr. Morris, in 1840; and in dramatic arrangement it far
outdoes the cauldron of _Macbeth's_ witches. The ingredients are
extracted from venomous snakes, the Cobra de Capello (from which it
takes its name), the Carawella, and the Tic prolonga, by making an
incision in the head and suspending the reptiles over a chattie to
collect the poison. To this, arsenic and other drugs are added, and the
whole is to be "boiled in a human skull, with the aid of the three
Kabra-goyas, which are tied on three sides of the fire, with their heads
directed towards it, and tormented by whips to make them hiss, so that
the fire may blaze. The froth from their lips is then to be added to the
boiling mixture, and so soon as an oily scum rises to the surface, the
_cobra-tel_ is complete."

Although it is obvious that the arsenic is the main ingredient in the
poison, Mr. Morris reported to me that this mode of preparing it was
actually practised in his district; and the above account was
transmitted by him apropos to the murder of a Mohatal and his wife,
which was then under investigation, and which had been committed with
the _cobra-tel_. Before commencing the operation of preparing the
poison, a cock is first sacrificed to the yakkos or demons.]

[Footnote 5: In corroboration of the view propounded elsewhere (see pp.
7, 84, &c.), and opposed to the popular belief that Ceylon, at some
remote period, was detached from the continent of India by the
interposition of the sea, a list of reptiles will be found at p. 203,
including, not only individual species, but whole genera peculiar to the
island, and not to be found on the mainland. See a paper by DR. A.
GÜNTHER on _The Geog. Distribution of Reptiles_, Magaz. Nat. Hist. for
March, 1859, p. 230.]

_Blood-suckers_.--These, however, are but the stranger's introduction to
innumerable varieties of lizards, all most attractive in their sudden
movements, and some unsurpassed in the brilliancy of their colouring,
which bask on banks, dart over rocks, and peer curiously out of the
decaying chinks of every ruined wall. In all their motion there is that
vivid and brief energy, the rapid but restrained action which is
associated with their limited power of respiration, and which justifies
the accurate picture of--

  "The green lizard, rustling thro' the grass,
  And up the fluted shaft, _with short, quick, spring_
  To vanish in the chinks which time has made."[1]

[Footnote 1: ROGERS' _Pæstum_.]

One of the most beautiful of this race is the _green calotes_[1], in
length about twelve inches, which, with the exception of a few dark
streaks about the head, is as brilliant as the purest emerald or
malachite. Unlike its congeners of the same family, it never alters this
dazzling hue, whilst many of them possess the power, like the chameleon,
but in a less degree, of exchanging their ordinary colours for others
less conspicuous. The _C. ophiomachus_, and another, the _C.
versicolor_, exhibit this faculty in a remarkable manner. The head and
neck, when the animal is irritated or hastily swallowing its food,
becomes of a brilliant red (whence the latter has acquired the name of
the "blood-sucker"), whilst the usual tint of the rest of the body is
converted into pale yellow. The _sitana_[2], and a number of others,
exhibit similar phenomena.

[Footnote 1: Calotes viridis, _Gray_.]

[Footnote 2: Sitana Ponticereana, _Cuv_.]

_Chameleon_.--The true chameleon[1] is found, but not in great numbers,
in the dry districts in the north of Ceylon, where it frequents the
trees, in slow pursuit of its insect prey. Whilst the faculty of this
creature to blush all the colours of the rainbow has attracted the
wonder of all ages, sufficient attention has hardly been given to the
imperfect sympathy which subsists between the two lobes of the brain,
and the two sets of nerves which permeate the opposite sides of its
frame. Hence, not only have each of the eyes an action quite independent
of the other, but one side of its body would appear to be sometimes
asleep whilst the other is vigilant and active: one will assume a green
tinge whilst the opposite one is red; and it is said that the chameleon
is utterly unable to swim, from the incapacity of the muscles of the two
sides to act in concert.

[Footnote 1: Chamælio vulgaris, _Daud_.]

_Ceratophora_.--A unique lizard, and hitherto known only by two
specimens, one in the British Museum, and another in that of Leyden, is
the _Ceratophora Stoddartii_, distinguished by the peculiarity of its
having no external ear, whilst its muzzle bears on its extremity the
horn-like process from which it takes its name. It has recently been
discovered by Dr. Kelaart to be a native of the higher Kandyan hills,
where it is sometimes seen in the older trees in pursuit of sect

[Footnote 1: Dr. Kelaart has likewise discovered at Neuera-ellia a
_Salea_, distinct from the S. Jerdoni.]

_Geckoes_.--But the most familiar and attractive of the class are the
_Geckoes_[1], which frequent the sitting-rooms, and being furnished with
pads to each toe, are enabled to ascend perpendicular walls and adhere
to glass and ceilings. Being nocturnal in their habits, the pupil of the
eye, instead of being circular as in the diurnal species, is linear and
vertical like those of the cat. As soon as evening arrives, they emerge
from the chinks and recesses where they conceal themselves during the
day, in search of insects which retire to settle for the night, and are
to be seen in every house in keen and crafty pursuit of their prey. In a
boudoir where the ladies of my family spent their evenings, one of these
familiar and amusing little creatures had its hiding-place behind a gilt
picture frame, and punctually as the candles were lighted, it made its
appearance on the wall to be fed with its accustomed crumb; and, if
neglected, it reiterated its sharp quick call of _chic, chic, chit_,
till attended to. It was of a delicate grey colour, tinged with pink;
and having by accident fallen on a work-table, it fled, leaving its tail
behind it, which, however, it reproduced within less than a month. This
faculty of reproduction is doubtless designed to enable the creature to
escape from its assailants: the detaching of the limb is evidently its
own act; and it is observable, that when reproduced, the tail generally
exhibits some variation from its previous form, the diverging spines
being absent, the new portion covered with small square uniform scales
placed in a cross series, and the scuta below being seldom so distinct
as in the original member.[2] In an officer's quarters in the fort of
Colombo, a Geckoe had been taught to come daily to the dinner-table, and
always made its appearance along with the dessert. The family were
absent for some months, during which the house underwent extensive
repairs, the roof having been raised, the walls stuccoed, and ceilings
whitened. It was naturally surmised that so long a suspension of its
accustomed habits would have led to the disappearance of the little
lizard; but on the return of its old friends, at their first dinner it
made its entrance as usual the instant the cloth had been removed.

[Footnote 1: Hemidactylus maculatus, _Dum_. et _Bib., Gray_; H.
Leschenaultii, _Dum_. et _Bib_.; H. frenatus, _Schlegel_.]

[Footnote 2: _Brit. Mus. Cat_. p. 143; KELAART'S Prod. Faun. Zeylan. p.

_Crocodile_.--The Portuguese in India, like the Spaniards in South
America, affixed the name of _lagarto_ to the huge reptiles which infest
the rivers and estuaries of both continents; and to the present day the
Europeans in Ceylon apply the term _alligator_ to what are in reality
_crocodiles_, which literally swarm in the still waters and tanks
throughout the northern provinces, but rarely frequent rapid streams,
and have never been found in the marshy elevations among the hills.
Their instincts in Ceylon present no variation from their habits in
other countries. There would appear to be two well-distinguished species
in the island, the _Allie Kimboola_[1], the Indian crocodile, which
inhabits the rivers and estuaries throughout the low countries of the
coasts, attaining the length of sixteen or eighteen feet, and which will
assail man when pressed by hunger; and the Marsh crocodile[2], which
lives exclusively in fresh water, frequenting the tanks in the northern
and central provinces, and confining its attacks to the smaller animals:
in length it seldom exceeds twelve or thirteen feet. Sportsmen complain
that their dogs are constantly seized by both species; and water-fowl,
when shot, frequently disappear before they can be secured by the
fowler.[3] The Singhalese believe that the crocodile can only move
swiftly on sand or smooth clay, its feet being too tender to tread
firmly on hard or stony ground. In the dry season, when the watercourses
begin to fail and the tanks become exhausted, the Marsh crocodiles are
sometimes encountered wandering in search of water in the jungle; but
generally, during the extreme drought, when unable to procure their
ordinary food from the drying up of the watercourses, they bury
themselves in the mud, and remain in a state of torpor till released by
the recurrence of the rains.[4] At Arne-tivoe, in the eastern province,
whilst riding across the parched bed of the tank, I was shown the
recess, still bearing the form and impress of the crocodile, out of
which the animal had been seen to emerge the day before. A story was
also related to me of an officer attached to the department of the
Surveyor-General, who, having pitched his tent in a similar position,
had been disturbed during the night by feeling a movement of the earth
below his bed, from which on the following day a crocodile emerged,
making its appearance from beneath the matting.[5]

[Footnote 1: Crocodilus biporcatus. _Cuvier._]

[Footnote 2: Crocodilus palustris, _Less_.]

[Footnote 3: In Siam the flesh of the crocodile is sold for food in the
markets and bazaars. "Un jour je vis plus de cinquante crocodiles,
petits et grands, attachés aux colonnes de leurs maisons. Ils les
vendent la chair comme on vendrait de la chair de porc, mais à bien
meilleur marché."--PALLEGOIX, _Siam_, vol. i. p. 174.]

[Footnote 4: HERODOTUS records the observations of the Egyptians that
the crocodile of the Nile abstains from food during the four winter
months.--_Euterpe_, lviii.]

[Footnote 5: HUMBOLDT relates a similar story as occurring at Calabazo,
in Venezuela.--_Personal Narrative_, c. xvi.]

The species which inhabits the fresh water is essentially cowardly in
its instincts, and hastens to conceal itself on the appearance of man. A
gentleman (who told me the circumstance), when riding in the jungle,
overtook a crocodile, evidently roaming in search of water. It fled to a
shallow pool almost dried by the sun, and, thrusting its head into the
mud till it covered up its eyes, it remained unmoved in profound
confidence of perfect concealment. In 1833, during the progress of the
Pearl Fishery, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton employed men to drag for
crocodiles in a pond which was infested with them in the immediate
vicinity of Aripo. The pool was about fifty yards in length, by ten or
twelve wide, shallowing gradually to the edge, and not exceeding four or
five feet in the deepest part. As the party approached the bund, from
twenty to thirty reptiles, which had been basking in the sun, rose and
fled to the water. A net, specially weighted so as to sink its lower
edge to the bottom, was then stretched from bank to bank and swept to
the further end of the pond, followed by a line of men with poles to
drive the crocodiles forward: so complete was the arrangement, that no
individual could evade the net, yet, to the astonishment of the
Governor's party, not one was to be found when it was drawn on shore,
and no means of escape was apparent or possible except descending into
the mud at the bottom of the pond.[1]

[Footnote 1: A remarkable instance of the vitality of the common
crocodile, _C. biporcatus_, was related to me by a gentleman at Galle:
he had caught on a baited hook an unusually large one, which his coolies
disembowelled, the aperture in the stomach being left expanded by a
stick placed across it. On returning in the afternoon with a view to
secure the head, they found that the creature had crawled for some
distance, and made its escape into the water.]

TESTUDINATA. _Tortoise_,--Of the _testudinata_ the land tortoises are
numerous, but present no remarkable features beyond the beautiful
marking of the starred variety[1], which is common, in the north-western
province around Putlam and Chilaw, and is distinguished by the bright
yellow rays which diversify the deep black of its dorsal shield. From
one of these which was kept in my garden I took a number of flat ticks
(_Ixodes_), which adhered to its fleshy neck in such a position as to
baffle any attempt of the animal itself to remove them; but as they were
exposed to constant danger of being crushed against the plastron during
the protrusion and retraction of the head, each was covered with a horny
case almost as resistant as the carapace of the tortoise itself. Such an
adaptation of structure is scarcely less striking than that of the
parasites found on the spotted lizard of Berar by Dr. Hooker, each of
which presented the distinct colour of the scale to which it adhered.[2]

[Footnote 1: Testudo stellata, _Schweig_.]

[Footnote 2: HOOKER'S _Himalayan Journals_, vol. i. p. 37.]

The marshes and pools of the interior are frequented by the
terrapins[1], which the natives are in the habit of keeping alive in
wells under the conviction that they clear them of impurities. The
edible turtle[2] is found on all the coasts of the island, and sells for
a few shillings or a few pence, according to its size and abundance at
the moment. At certain seasons the turtle on the south-western coast of
Ceylon is avoided as poisonous, and some lamentable instances are
recorded of death which was ascribed to their use. At Pantura, to the
south of Colombo, twenty-eight persons who had partaken of turtle in
October, 1840, were seized with sickness immediately, after which coma
succeeded, and eighteen died during the night. Those who survived said
there was nothing unusual in the appearance of the flesh except that it
was fatter than ordinary. Other similarly fatal occurrences have been
attributed to turtle curry; but as they have never been proved to
proceed exclusively from that source, there is room for believing that
the poison may have been contained in some other ingredient. In the Gulf
of Manaar turtle is frequently found of such a size as to measure
between four and five feet in length; and on one occasion, in riding
along the sea-shore north of Putlam, I saw a man in charge of some
sheep, resting under the shade of a turtle shell, which he had erected
on sticks to protect him from the sun--almost verifying the statement of
Ælian, that in the seas off Ceylon there are tortoises so large that
several persons may find ample shelter beneath a single shell.[3]

[Footnote 1: _Emyda Ceylonensis_, GRAY, _Catalogue_, p. 64, tab. 29 a.;
_Mag. Nat. Hist._ p. 265: 1856. Dr. KELAART, in his _Prodromus_ (p.
179), refers this to the common Indian species, _E. punctata_; but Dr.
Gray has shown it to be a distinct one. It is generally distributed in
the lower parts of Ceylon, in lakes and tanks. It is put into wells to
act the part of a scavenger. By the Singhalese it is named _Kiri-ibba_.]

[Footnote 2: Chelonia virgata, _Schweig_.]

[Footnote 3: "Tiktontai de ara en tautê tê thalattê, kai chelônai
megintai, ônper oun ta elytra orophoi ginontai kai gar esti kai
mentekaideka pêchôn en chelôneion, hôs hypoikein ouk oligous, kai tous
hêlious pyrôiestatous apostegei, kai skian asmetois parechei."--Lib.
xvi. c. 17. Ælian copied this statement literatim from MEGASTHENES,
_Indica Frag_. lix. 31; and may not Megasthenes have referred to some
tradition connected with the gigantic fossilised species discovered on
the Sewalik Hills, the remains of which are now in the Museum at the
East India House?]

The hawksbill turtle[1], which supplies the tortoise-shell of commerce,
was at former times taken in great numbers in the vicinity of
Hambangtotte during the season when they came to deposit their eggs, and
there is still a considerable trade in this article, which is
manufactured into ornaments, boxes, and combs by the Moormen resident at
Galle. If taken from the animal after death and decomposition, the
colour of the shell becomes clouded and milky, and hence the cruel
expedient is resorted to of seizing the turtles as they repair to the
shore to deposit their eggs, and suspending them over fires till heat
makes the plates on the dorsal shields start from the bone of the
carapace, after which the creature is permitted to escape to the
water.[2] In illustration of the resistless influence of instinct at the
period of breeding, it may be mentioned that the same tortoise is
believed to return again and again to the same spot, notwithstanding
that at each visit she had to undergo a repetition of this torture. In
the year 1826, a hawksbill turtle was taken near Hambangtotte, which
bore a ring attached to one of its fins that had been placed there by a
Dutch officer thirty years before, with a view to establish the fact of
these recurring visits to the same beach.[3]

[Footnote 1: Chelonia imbricata; _Linn_.]

[Footnote 2: At Celebes, whence the finest tortoise-shell is exported to
China, the natives kill the turtle by blows on the head, and immerse the
shell in boiling water to detach the plates. Dry heat is only resorted
to by the unskilful, who frequently destroy the tortoise-shell in the
operation.--_Journ. Indian Archipel._ vol. iii. p. 227, 1849.]

[Footnote 3: BENNETT'S _Ceylon_, ch. xxxiv.]

_Snakes_.--It is perhaps owing to the aversion excited by the ferocious
expression and unusual action of serpents, combined with an instinctive
dread of attack, that exaggerated ideas prevail both as to their numbers
in Ceylon, and the danger to be apprehended from encountering them. The
Singhalese profess to distinguish a great many kinds, of which not more
than one half have as yet been scientifically identified; but so
cautiously do serpents make their appearance, that the surprise of long
residents is invariably expressed at the rarity with which they are to
be seen; and from my own journeys, through the jungle, often of two to
five hundred miles, I have frequently returned without seeing a single
snake.[1] Davy, whose attention was carefully directed to the poisonous
serpents of Ceylon[2], came to the conclusion that but _four_, out of
twenty species examined by him, were venomous, and that of these only
two (the _tic-polonga[3]_ and _cobra de capello_[4]) were capable of
inflicting a wound likely to be fatal to man. The third is the
_caraicilla_[5], a brown snake of about twelve inches in length; and for
the fourth, of which only a few specimens have been, procured, the
Singhalese have no name in their vernacular,--a proof that it is neither
deadly nor abundant.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Bennett, who resided much in the south-east of the
island, ascribes the rarity of serpents in the jungle to the abundance
of the wild peafowl, whose partiality to snakes renders them the chief
destroyers of these reptiles.]

[Footnote 2: See DAVY'S _Ceylon_, ch. xiv.]

[Footnote 3: Dabois elegans, _Grey_.]

[Footnote 4: Naja tripadians, _Gunther_.]

[Footnote 5: Trigonocephalus hypnale, _Wegl_.]

_Cobra de Capello_.--The cobra de capello is the only one exhibited by
the itinerant snake-charmers: and the accuracy of Davy's conjecture,
that they control it, not by extracting its fangs, but by courageously
availing themselves of its accustomed timidity and extreme reluctance to
use its fatal weapons, received a painful confirmation during my
residence in Ceylon, by the death of one of these performers, whom his
audience had provoked to attempt some unaccustomed familiarity with the
cobra; it bit him on the wrist, and he expired the same evening. The
hill near Kandy, on which the official residences of the Governor and
Colonial Secretary had been built, is covered in many places with the
deserted nests of the white ants (_termites_), and these are the
favourite retreats of the sluggish and spiritless cobra, which watches
from their apertures the toads and lizards on which it preys. Here, when
I have repeatedly come upon them, their only impulse was concealment;
and on one occasion, when a cobra of considerable length could not
escape sufficiently quickly, owing to the bank being nearly precipitous
on both sides of the road, a few blows from my whip were sufficient to
deprive it of life. There is a rare variety which the natives fancifully
designate the "king of the cobras;" it has the head and the anterior
half of the body of so light a colour, that at a distance it seems like
a silvery white.[1] A gentleman who held a civil appointment at
Kornegalle, had a servant who was bitten by a snake, and he informed me
that on enlarging a hole near the foot of the tree under which the
accident occurred, he unearthed a cobra of upwards of three feet long,
and so purely white as to induce him to believe that it was an albino.
With the exception of the rat-snake[2], the cobra de capello is the only
serpent which seems from choice to frequent the vicinity of human
dwellings, but it is doubtless attracted by the young of the domestic
fowl and by the moisture of the wells and drainage. The Singhalese
remark that if one cobra be destroyed near a house, its companion is
almost certain to be discovered immediately after,--a popular belief
which I had an opportunity of verifying on more than one occasion. Once,
when a snake of this description was killed in a bath of Government
House at Colombo, its mate was found in the same spot the day after; and
again, at my own stables, a cobra of five feet long, having fallen into
the well, which was too deep to permit its escape, its companion of the
same size was found the same morning in an adjoining drain.[3] On this
occasion the snake, which had been several hours in the well, swam with
ease, raising its head and hood above water; and instances have
repeatedly occurred of the cobra de capello voluntarily taking
considerable excursions by sea. When the "Wellington," a government
vessel employed in the conservancy of the pearl banks, was anchored
about a quarter of a mile from land, in the bay of Koodremalé, a cobra
was seen, about an hour before sunset, swimming vigorously towards the
ship. It came within twelve yards, when the sailors assailed it with
billets of wood and other missiles, and forced it to return to land. The
following morning they discovered the track which it had left on the
shore, and traced it along the sand till it disappeared in the
jungle.[4] On a later occasion, in the vicinity of the same spot, when
the "Wellington" was lying at some distance from the shore, a cobra was
found and killed on board, where it could only have gained access by
climbing up the cable. It was first discovered by a sailor, who felt the
chill as it glided over his foot.[5]

[Footnote 1: A Singhalese work, the _Sarpa Doata_, quoted in the _Ceylon
Times_, January, 1857, enumerates four species of the cobra;--the
_raja_, or king; the _velyander_, or trader; the _baboona_, or hermit;
and the _goore_, or agriculturist. The young cobras, it says, are not
venomous till after the thirteenth day, when they shed their coat for
the first time.]

[Footnote 2: Coryphodon Blumenbachii. WOLF, in his interesting story of
his _Life and Adventures in Ceylon_, mentions that rat-snakes were often
so domesticated by the natives as to feed at their table. He says: "I
once saw an example of this in the house of a native. It being meal
time, he called his snake, which immediately came forth from the roof
under which he and I were sitting. He gave it victuals from his own
dish, which the snake took of itself from off a fig-leaf that was laid
for it, and ate along with its host. When it had eaten its fill, he gave
it a kiss and bade it go to its hole."

Since the above was written, Major Skinner, writing to me 12th Dec.
1858, mentions the still more remarkable case of the domestication of
the cobra de capello in Ceylon. "Did you ever hear," he says, "of tame
cobras being kept and domesticated about a house, going in and out at
pleasure, and in common with the rest of the inmates? In one family,
near Negombo, cobras are kept as protectors, in the place of dogs, by a
wealthy man who has always large sums of money in his house. But this is
not a solitary case of the kind. I heard of it only the other day, but
from undoubtedly good authority. The snakes glide about the house, a
terror to thieves, but never attempting to harm the inmates."]

[Footnote 3: PLINY notices the affection that subsists between the male
and female asp; and that if one of them happens to be killed, the other
seeks to avenge its death.--Lib. viii. c. 37.]

[Footnote 4: STEWART'S _Account of the Pearl Fisheries of Ceylon_, p. 9:
Colombo, 1843.

The Python reticulatus (the "rock-snake") has been known like the cobra
de capello, to make short voyages at sea. One was taken on board H.M.S.
"Hastings," when off the coast of Burmah, in 1853; it is now in the
possession of the surgeon, Dr. Scott.]

[Footnote 5: SWAINSON, in his _Habits and Instincts of Animals_, c. iv.
p. 187, says that instances are well attested of the common English
snake having been met with in the open channel; between the coast of
Wales and the island of Anglesea, as if they had taken their departure
from the one and were bound for the other.]

In BENNETT'S account of "_Ceylon and its Capabilities_" there is a
curious piece of Singhalese folk-lore, to the effect, that the cobra de
capello every time it expends its poison _loses a joint of its tail_,
and eventually acquires a head which resembles that of a toad. A recent
discovery of Dr. Kelaart has thrown light on the origin of this popular
fallacy. The family of "false snakes" (_pseudo-typhlops_), as Schlegel
names the group, have till lately consisted of but three species, one
only of which was known to inhabit Ceylon. They belong to a family
intermediate between the lizards and serpents with the body of the
latter, and the head of the former, with which they are moreover
identified by having the upper jaw fixed to the skull as in mammals and
birds, instead of movable as amongst the true ophidians. In this they
resemble the amphisbænidæ; but the tribe of _Uropeltidæ_, or "rough
tails," has the further peculiarity, that the tail is truncated, instead
of ending, like that of the typhlops, in a point more or less acute; and
the reptile assists its own movements by pressing the flat end to the
ground. Within a very recent period an important addition has been made
to this genus, by the discovery of five new species in Ceylon; in some
of which the singular construction of the tail is developed to an extent
much more marked than in any previously existing specimen. One of these,
the _Uropeltis grandis_ of Kelaart, is distinguished by its dark brown
colour, shot with a bluish metallic lustre, closely approaching the
ordinary shade of the cobra; and the tail is abruptly and flatly
compressed as though it had been severed by a knife. The form of this
singular reptile will be best understood by a reference to the
accompanying figure; and there can be, I think, little doubt that to its
strange and anomalous structure is to be traced the fable of the
transformation of the cobra de capello. The colour alone would seem to
identify the two reptiles, but the head and mouth are no longer those of
a serpent, and the disappearance of the tail might readily suggest the
mutilation which the tradition asserts.


The Singhalese Buddhists, in their religious abstinence from inflicting
death on any creature, are accustomed, after securing a venomous snake,
to enclose it in a basket of woven palm leaves, and to set it afloat on
a river. During my residence in Ceylon, I never heard of the death of a
European which was caused by the bite of a snake; and in the returns of
coroners' inquests which were made officially to my department, such
accidents to the natives appear chiefly to have happened at night, when
the animal having been surprised or trodden on, had inflicted the wound
in self-defence.[1] For these reasons the Singhalese, when obliged to
leave their houses in the dark, carry a stick with a loose ring, the
noise[2] of which as they strike it on the ground is sufficient to warn
the snakes to leave their path.

[Footnote 1: In a return of 112 coroners' inquests, in cases of death
from wild animals, held in Ceylon in five years, from 1851 to 1855
inclusive, 68 are ascribed to the bites of serpents; and in almost every
instance the assault is set down as having taken place _at night_. The
majority of the sufferers were children and women.]

[Footnote 2: PLINY notices that the serpent has the sense of hearing
more acute than that of sight; and that it is more frequently put in
motion by the sound of footsteps than by the appearance of the intruder,
"excitatur pede sæpius."--Lib. viii. c. 36.]

_The Python_.--The great python[1] (the "boa," as it is commonly
designated by Europeans, the "anaconda" of Eastern story), which is
supposed to crush the bones of an elephant, and to swallow the tiger, is
found, though not of so portentous dimensions, in the cinnamon gardens
within a mile of the fort of Colombo, where it feeds on hog-deer and
other smaller animals.

[Footnote 1: Python reticulatus, _Gray_.]

The natives occasionally take it alive, and securing it to a pole expose
it for sale as a curiosity. One which was brought to me in this way
measured seventeen feet with a proportionate thickness: but another
which crossed my path on a coffee estate on the Peacock Mountain at
Pusilawa, considerably exceeded these dimensions. Another which I
watched in the garden at Elie House, near Colombo, surprised me by the
ease with which it erected itself almost perpendicularly in order to
scale a wall upwards of ten feet high.

Of ten species which ascend the trees to search for squirrels and
lizards, and to rifle the nests of birds, one half, including the green
_carawilla_, and the deadly _tic polonga_, are believed by the natives
to be venomous; but the fact is very dubious. I have heard of the cobra
being found on the crown of a coco-nut palm, attracted, it was said, by
the toddy which was flowing at the time, as it was the season for
drawing it.

_Water-Snakes_.--The fresh-water snakes, of which four species have been
described as inhabiting the still water and pools, are all harmless in
Ceylon. A gentleman, who found near a river an agglutinated cluster of
the eggs of one variety _(Tropidonotus umbratus)_, placed them under a
glass shade on his drawing-room table, where one by one the young
serpents emerged from the shell to the number of twenty.

The use of the Pamboo-Kaloo, or snake-stone, as a remedy in cases of
wounds by venomous serpents, has probably been communicated to the
Singhalese by the itinerant snake-charmers who resort to the island from
the coast of Coromandel; and more than one well-authenticated instance
of its successful application has been told to me by persons who had
been eye-witnesses to what they described. On one occasion, in March,
1854, a friend of mine was riding, with some other civil officers of the
government, along a jungle path in the vicinity of Bintenne, when they
saw one of two Tamils, who were approaching them, suddenly dart into the
forest and return, holding in both hands a cobra de capello which he had
seized by the head and tail. He called to his companion for assistance
to place it in their covered basket, but, in doing this, he handled it
so inexpertly that it seized him by the finger, and retained its hold
for a few seconds, as if unable to retract its fangs. The blood flowed,
and intense pain appeared to follow almost immediately; but, with all
expedition, the friend of the sufferer undid his waistcloth, and took
from it two snake-stones, each of the size of a small almond, intensely
black and highly polished, though of an extremely light substance. These
he applied one to each wound inflicted by the teeth of the serpent, to
which the stones attached themselves closely, the blood that oozed from
the bites being rapidly imbibed by the porous texture of the article
applied. The stones adhered tenaciously for three or four minutes, the
wounded man's companion in the meanwhile rubbing his arm downwards from
the shoulder towards the fingers. At length the snake-stones dropped off
of their own accord; the suffering of the man appeared to have subsided;
he twisted his fingers till the joints cracked, and went on his way
without concern. Whilst this had been going on, another Indian of the
party who had come up took from his bag a small piece of white wood,
which resembled a root, and passed it gently near the head of the cobra,
which the latter immediately inclined close to the ground; he then
lifted the snake without hesitation, and coiled it into a circle at the
bottom of his basket. The root by which he professed to be enabled to
perform this operation with safety he called the _Naya-thalee Kalinga_
(the root of the snake-plant), protected by which he professed his
ability to approach any reptile with impunity.

In another instance, in 1853, Mr. Lavalliere, the District Judge of
Kandy, informed me that he saw a snake-charmer in the jungle, close by
the town, search for a cobra de capello, and, after disturbing it in its
retreat, the man tried to secure it, but, in the attempt, he was bitten
in the thigh till blood trickled from the wound. He instantly applied
the _Pamboo-Kaloo_, which adhered closely for about ten minutes, during
which time he passed the root which he held in his hand backwards and
forwards above the stone, till the latter dropped to the ground. He
assured Mr. Lavalliere that all danger was then past. That gentleman
obtained from him the snake-stone he had relied on, and saw him
repeatedly afterwards in perfect health.

The substances which were used on both these occasions are now in my
possession. The roots employed by the several parties are not identical.
One appears to be a bit of the stem of an Aristolochia; the other is so
dried as to render it difficult to identify it, but it resembles the
quadrangular stem of a jungle vine. Some species of Aristolochia, such
as the _A. serpentaria_ of North America, are supposed to act as a
specific in the cure of snake-bites; and the _A. indica_ is the plant to
which the ichneumon is popularly believed to resort as an antidote when
bitten[1]; but it is probable that the use of any particular plant by
the snake-charmers is a pretence, or rather a delusion, the reptile
being overpowered by the resolute action of the operator, and not by the
influence of any secondary appliance, the confidence inspired by the
supposed talisman enabling its possessor to address himself fearlessly
to his task, and thus to effect, by determination and will, what is
popularly believed to be the result of charms and stupefaction. Still it
is curious that, amongst the natives of Northern Africa, who lay hold of
the _Cerastes_ without fear or hesitation, their impunity is ascribed to
the use of a plant with which they anoint themselves before touching the
reptile[2]; and Bruce says of the people of Sennar that they acquire
exemption from the fatal consequences of the bite by chewing a
particular root and washing themselves with an infusion of certain
plants. He adds that a portion of this root was given him, with a view
to test its efficacy in his own person, but that he had not sufficient
resolution to undergo the experiment.

[Footnote 1: For an account of the encounter between the ichneumon and
the venomous snakes of Ceylon, see Pt. II. ch. i. p. 149.]

[Footnote 2: Hassellquist.]

As to the snake-stone itself, I submitted one, the application of which
I have been describing, to Mr. Faraday, and he has communicated to me,
as the result of his analysis, his belief that it is "a piece of charred
bone which has been filled with blood perhaps several times, and then
carefully charred again. Evidence of this is afforded, as well by the
apertures of cells or tubes on its surface as by the fact that it yields
and breaks under pressure, and exhibits an organic structure within.
When heated slightly, water rises from it, and also a little ammonia;
and, if heated still more highly in the air, carbon burns away, and a
bulky white ash is left, retaining the shape and size of the stone."
This ash, as is evident from inspection, cannot have belonged to any
vegetable substance, for it is almost entirely composed of phosphate of
lime. Mr. Faraday adds that "if the piece of matter has ever been
employed as a spongy absorbent, it seems hardly fit for that purpose in
its present state; but who can say to what treatment it has been
subjected since it was fit for use, or to what treatment the natives may
submit it when expecting to have occasion to use it?"

The probability is, that the animal charcoal, when instantaneously
applied, may be sufficiently porous and absorbent to extract the venom
from the recent wound, together with a portion of the blood, before it
has had time to be carried into the system; and that the blood which Mr.
Faraday detected in the specimen submitted to him was that of the Indian
on whose person the effect was exhibited on the occasion to which my
informant was an eye-witness. The snake-charmers from the coast who
visit Ceylon profess to prepare the snake-stones for themselves, and
preserve the composition as a secret. Dr. Davy[1], on the authority of
Sir Alexander Johnston, says the manufacture of them is a lucrative
trade, carried on by the monks of Manilla, who supply the merchants of
India--and his analysis confirms that of Mr. Faraday. Of the three
different kinds which he examined--one being of partially burnt bone,
and another of chalk, the third, consisting chiefly of vegetable matter,
resembled a bezoar,--all of them (except the first, which possessed a
slight absorbent power) were quite inert, and incapable of having any
effect exclusive of that on the imagination of the patient. Thunberg was
shown the snake-stone used by the boers at the Cape in 1772, which was
imported for them "from the Indies, especially from Malabar," at so high
a price that few of the farmers could afford to possess themselves of
it; he describes it as convex on one side black, and so porous that
"when thrown into water, it caused bubbles to rise;" and hence, by its
absorption, it served, if speedily applied, to extract the poison from
the wound.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Account of the Interior of Ceylon_, ch. iii. p. 101.]

[Footnote 2: _Thunberg_, vol. 1. p. 155.]

_Caecilia_.--The rocky jungle, bordering the higher coffee estates,
provides a safe retreat for a very singular animal, first introduced to
the notice of European naturalists about a century ago by Linnæus, who
gave it the name _Caecilia glutinosa_, to indicate two peculiarities
manifest to the ordinary observer--an apparent defect of vision, from
the eyes being so small and imbedded as to be scarcely distinguishable;
and a power of secreting from minute pores in the skin a viscous fluid,
resembling that of snails, eels, and some salamanders. Specimens are
rare in Europe from the readiness with which it decomposes, breaking
down into a flaky mass in the spirits in which it is attempted to be

The creature is about the length and thickness of an ordinary round desk
ruler, a little flattened before and rounded behind. It is brownish,
with a pale stripe along either side. The skin is furrowed into 350
circular folds, in which are imbedded minute scales. The head is
tolerably distinct, with a double row of fine curved teeth for seizing
the insects and worms on which it is supposed to live.

Naturalists are most desirous that the habits and metamorphoses of this
creature should be carefully ascertained, for great doubts have been
entertained as to the position it is entitled to occupy in the chain of

_Frogs_.--In the numerous marshes formed by the overflowing of the
rivers in the vast plains of the low country, there are many varieties
of frogs, which, both by their colours and by their extraordinary size,
are calculated to excite the surprise of strangers.[1] In the lakes
around Colombo and the still water near Trincomalie, there are huge
creatures of this family, from six to eight inches in length[2], of an
olive hue, deepening into brown on the back and yellow on the under
side. The Kandian species, recently described, is much less in
dimensions, but distinguished by its brilliant colouring, a beautiful
grass green above and deep orange underneath.[3]

[Footnote 1: The Indian toad (Bufo melanostictus, _Schneid_) is found In
Ceylon, and the belief in its venomous nature is as old as the third
century B.C., when the _Mahawanso_ mentions that the wife of "King Asoca
attempted to destroy the great bo-tree (at Magadha) _with the poisoned
fang of a toad_."--Ch. xx. p. 122.]

[Footnote 2: Rana eutipora, and the Malabar bull-frog, R. Malabarica.]

[Footnote 3: R. Kandiana, _Kelaart_.]

In the shrubberies around my house at Colombo the graceful little
hylas[1] were to be found in great numbers, crouching under broad leaves
to protect them from the scorching sun; some of them utter a sharp
metallic sound at night, similar to that produced by smacking the lips.
They possess in a high degree the power of changing their colour; and
one which had seated itself on the gilt pillar of a dinner lamp was
scarcely to be distinguished from the or-molu to which it clung. They
are enabled to ascend glass by means of the suckers at the extremity of
their toes. Their food consists of flies and minute coleoptera.

[Footnote 1: The tree-frog, Hyla leucomystax, _Gracer_.]

_List of Ceylon Reptiles_.

I am indebted to Dr. Gray of the British Museum for a more complete
enumeration of the reptiles of Ceylon than is to be found in Dr.
Kelaart's published lists; but many of those new to Europeans have been
carefully described by the latter gentleman in his _Prodromus Faunae
Zeylanicae_ and its appendices, as well as in the 13th vol. _Magaz. Nat.
Hist._ (1854).


Monitor dracæna, _Linn._
_Hydrosaurus salvator, Wagl._
_Mabouya elegans, Gray_.
_Riopa punctata, Linn._
  _Hardwichii, Gray_.
_Tiliqua rufescens, Shaw_.
_Eumeces_ Taprobanius, _Kel._
Nessia Burtoni, _Gray_.
  _Acontias_ Layardi, _Kelaart_.
Argyrophis bramieus, _Daud._
Rhinophis Blythii, _Kelaart_.
Mytilia Gerrardii, _Gray_.
  Templetonii, _Gray_.
  animaculata, _Gray_.
  melanogaster, _Gray_.
Siluboura Ceylonica, _Cuv._
Uropeltis Saffragamus, _Kelaart_.
  grandis, _Kelaart_.
  pardalis, _Kelaart_.
Dapatnaya Laukadivana, _Kel._
  Trevelyanii, _Kelaart_.
Hemidactylus frenatus, _Schleg._
  Leschenaultii, _Dum & Bib._
  _trihedrus, Less._
  maculatus, _Dum & Bib._
  Piresii, _Kelaart_.
  Coctoei, _Dum & Bib._
Peripia Peronii, _Dum & Bib._
Gymnodactylus Kandianus, _Kel._
Sitana Ponticercana, _Cuv._
Lyriocephalus scutatus, _Wagl._
Ceratophora Stoddartii, _Gray_.
Salea Jerdoni, _Gray_.
Calotes ophiomachus, _Gray_.
  versicolor, _Dum. & Bib._
  Rouxii, _Dum. & Bib._
  mystaceus, _Dum. & Bib._
Chamelo vuelgaris, _Daud._


Trimesuras viridis, _Lucep._
  Ceylonensis, _Gray_.
  nigro-marginatus, _Gthr._
Megæra trigonoerphalux, _Latr._
Trigonocephalus hypnalis, _Wagl._
Dabois elegans, _Gray_.
Pelamys bicolor, _Doud._
Aturia lapemoides, _Gray_.
Hydrophis sublævis, _Gray_.
Chersydrus granulatus, _Merr._
Cerberus cinereus, _Gray_.
Tropidophis schistosus, _Daud._
Python reticulatus, _Gray_.
Cylindrophis rufa, _Gray_.
  maculata, _Linn._
Aspidura brachyorrhos, _Boie._
Haplocercus Ceylonensis, _Gthr._
Ohgodon subquadratus, _Dum. & Bib._
  subgriseus, _Dum. & Bib._
  sublineatus, _Dum. & Bib._
Simotes Russellii, _Daud_.
  purpurascens, _Schleg._
Ablabes collaris, _Gray_.
Tropidonotus quincunciatus, _Schleg._
    var. funebris.
    var. carinatus.
  stolatus, _Linn_.
  chrysargus, _Boie_.
Cynophis Helena, _Daud_.
Coryphodon Blumenbachii, _Merr._
Cyclophis calamaria, _Günther_.
Chrysopelea ornata, _Shaw_.
Dendrophis picta, _Gm._
  punctulata, _Gray_.
Dryiophis _prasina, Reinw._
Passerita, myeterizans, _Linn_.
    var. fusca.
Dipsas _multimaculata Reinw._
Dipsadomorphus Ceylonensis, _Gray_.
Lycodon aulicus, _Dum. & Bib._
Cercaspis carinata, _Kuhl._
Bungarus fascinatus, _Schneid._
Naja tripudians, _Merr._


Testudo stellata, _Schweig._
Emys Sebæ, _Gray_.
Emyda Ceylonensis, _Gray_.
_Caretta imbrieuta, Limm._
_Chelonia virgata, Schweig._


Crocodyius biporderes, _Cuv._
  palastris, _Less._


Rana cutipora, _Dum. & Bib._
  Kuhlii, _Schleg._
  vittigera, _Wiegm._
  robusta, _Blyth._
  tigrina, _Daud._
    _Leschenaultii, Dum & Bib._
  Kandiana, _Kelaart._
  Neuera-elliana, _Kelaart._
Rana Malabarica, _Dum. & Bib._
Ixalus variabilis, _Gray._
  leucorhinus, _Martens._
  poecilopleurus, _Martens._
  aurifasciatus, _Dum. & Bib._
Pyxicephalus fodiens, _Jerd._
Polypedates leucomystax, _Gray._
Polypedates microtympanum, _Gray._
  eques, _Gray._
  _stellata, Kelaart._
  _schmardana, Kelaart._
Limnodytes lividus, _Blyth._
  macularis, _Blyth._
  mutabilis, _Kelaart._
  maculatus, _Kelaart._
Bufo melanostictus, _Schneid._
  Kelaartii, _Gray._
Engystoma marmoratum, _Cuv._
  rubrum, _Jerd._
Kaloula pulchra, _Gray._
  balteata, _Günther._


Cæcilia glutinosa, _Linn._

NOTE.--The following species are peculiar to Ceylon; and the genera
Aspidura, Cercaspis, and Haplocercus would appear to be similarly
restricted. Trimesurus Ceylonensis, T. nigro-marginatus; Megæra
Trigonocephala; Trigonocephalus hypnalis; Daboia elegans; Cylindrophis
maculata; Aspidura brachyorrhos; Haplocercus Ceylonensis; Oligodon
sublineatus; Cynophis Helena; Cyclophis calamaria; Dipsadomorphus
Ceylonensis; Cercaspis carinata; Ixalus variabilis, I. Leucorhinus, I.
poecilopleurus; Polypedates microtympanum, P. eques.



Little has been yet done to examine and describe the fishes of Ceylon,
especially those which frequent the rivers and inland waters. Mr.
Bennett, who was for some years employed in the Civil Service, directed
his attention to the subject, and published in 1830 some portions of a
projected work on the marine ichthyology of the island[1], but it never
proceeded beyond the description of about thirty individuals. The great
work of Cuvier and Valenciennes[2] particularises about one hundred
species, specimens of which were procured from Ceylon by Reynard
Leschenault and other correspondents, but of these not more than half a
dozen belong to fresh water.

[Footnote 1: _A Selection of the most Remarkable and Interesting Fishes
found on the Coast of Ceylon_. By J.W. BENNETT, Esq. London, 1830.]

[Footnote 2: _Historie Naturelle des Poissons_.]

The fishes of the coast, so far as they have been examined, present few
which are not common to the seas of Ceylon and India. A series of
drawings, including upwards of six hundred species and varieties, of
Ceylon fish, all made from recently-captured specimens, has been
submitted to Professor Huxley, and a notice of their general
characteristics forms an interesting article in the appendix to the
present chapter.[1]

[Footnote 1: See note C to this chapter.]

Of those in ordinary use for the table the finest by far is the
Seir-fish[1], a species of scomber, which is called _Tora-malu_ by the
natives. It is in size and form very similar to the salmon, to which the
flesh of the female fish, notwithstanding its white colour, bears a very
close resemblance both in firmness and flavour.

[Footnote 1: Cybium (Scomber, _Linn_.) guttatum.]

Mackerel, dories, carp, whitings, mullet, red and striped, perches and
soles, are abundant, and a sardine (_Sardinella Neohowii_, Val.)
frequents the southern and eastern coast in such profusion that on one
instance in 1839 a gentleman, who was present, saw upwards of four
hundred thousand taken in a haul of the nets in the little bay of
Goyapanna, east of Point-de-Galle. As this vast shoal approached the
shore the broken water became as smooth as if a sheet of ice had been
floating below the surface.[1]

[Footnote 1: These facts serve to explain the story told by the friar
ODORIC of Friule, who visited India about the year 1320 A.D., and says
there are "fishes in those seas that come swimming towards the said
country in such abundance that for a great distance into the sea nothing
can be seen but the backs of fishes, which casting themselves on the
shore, do suffer men for the space of three daies to come and to take as
many of them as they please, and then they return again into the
sea."--_Hakluyt_, vol. ii. p. 57.]

_Poisonous Fishes_.--The sardine has the reputation of being poisonous
at certain seasons, and accidents ascribed to its use are recorded in
all parts of the island. Whole families of fishermen who have partaken
of it have died. Twelve persons in the jail of Chilaw were thus poisoned
about the year 1829; and the deaths of soldiers have repeatedly been
ascribed to the same cause. It is difficult in such instances to say
with certainty whether the fish were in fault; whether there may not
have been a peculiar susceptibility in the condition of the recipients;
or whether the mischief may not have been occasioned by the wilful
administration of poison, or its accidental occurrence in the brass
cooking vessels used by the natives. The popular belief was, however,
deferred to by an order passed by the Governor in Council in February,
1824, which, after reciting that "Whereas it appears by information
conveyed to the Government that at three several periods at Trincomalie
death has been the consequence to several persons from eating the fish
called Sardinia during the months of January and December," enacts that
it shall not be lawful in that district to catch sardines during these
months, under pain of fine and imprisonment. This order is still in
force, but the fishing continues notwithstanding.[1]

[Footnote 1: There are two species of Sardine at Ceylon; the _S.
neohowii_, Val., alluded to above, and the _S. leiogaster_, Val. and
Cuv. xx. 270, which was found by Mr. Reynaud at Trincomalie. It occurs
also off the coast of Java. Another Ceylon fish of the same group, a
Clupea, is known as the "poisonous sprat," the bonito (_Scomber
pelamys?_), the kangewena, or unicorn fish (_Balistes?_), and a number
of others, are more or less in bad repute from the same imputation.]

_Sharks_.--Sharks appear on all parts of the coast, and instances
continually occur of persons being seized by them whilst bathing even in
the harbours of Trincomalie and Colombo. In the Gulf of Manaar they are
taken for the sake of their oil, of which they yield such a quantity
that "shark's oil" is now a recognised export. A trade also exists in
drying their fins, and from the gelatine contained in them, they find a
ready market in China, to which the skin of the basking shark is also
sent;--it is said to be there converted into shagreen.

_Saw Fish._--The huge saw fish, the _Pristis antiquorum_[1], infests the
eastern coast of the island[2], where it attains a length of from twelve
to fifteen feet, including the powerful weapon from which its name is

[Footnote 1: Two other species are found in the Ceylon waters, _P.
cuspidatus_ and _P. pectinatus_.]

[Footnote 2: ELIAN mentions, amongst the extraordinary marine animals
found in the seas around Ceylon, a fish _with feet instead of fins;
[Greek: poias ge mên chêlas ê pteri gia.]_--Lib xvi. c. 18. Does not
this drawing of a species of Chironectes, captured near Colombo, justify
his description?

[Illustration: CHIRONECTES]]

But the most striking to the eye of a stranger are those fishes whose
brilliancy of colouring has won for them the wonder even of the listless
Singhalese. Some, like the Red Sea Perch (_Helocentrus ruber_, Bennett)
and the Great Fire Fish[1], are of the deepest scarlet and flame colour;
in others purple predominates, as in the _Serranus flavo-cæruleus_; in
others yellow, as in the _Chæetodon Brownriggii_[2], and _Acanthurus
vittatus_, Bennett[3], and numbers, from the lustrous green of their
scales, have obtained from the natives the appropriate name of
_Giraway_, or _parrots_, of which one, the _Sparus Hardwickii_ of
Bennett, is called the "Flower Parrot," from its exquisite colouring,
being barred with irregular bands of blue, crimson, and purple, green,
yellow, and grey, and crossed by perpendicular stripes of black.

[Footnote 1: _Pterois muricata_, Cuv. and Val. iv. 363. _Scorpæna
miles_, Bennett; named, by the Singhalese, "_Maha-rata-gini_," the Great
Red Fire, a very brilliant red species spotted with black. It is very
voracious, and is regarded on some parts of the coast as edible, while
on others it is rejected. Mr. Bennett has given a drawing of this
species, (pl. 9), so well marked by the armature of the head. The French
naturalists regard this figure as being only a highly-coloured variety
of their species "dont l'éclat est occasionné par la saison de l'amour."
It is found in the Red Sea and Bourbon and Penang. Dr. CANTOR calls it
_Pterois miles_, and reports that it preys upon small crustaceæ.--_Cat.
Malayan Fishes_, p. 44.]

[Footnote 2: _Glyphisodon Brownriggii_, Cuv. and Val. v. 484; _Chætodon
Brownriggii_, Bennett. A very small fish about two inches long, called
_Kaha bartikyha_ by the natives. It is distinct from Chætodon, in which
Mr. Bennett placed it. Numerous species of this genus are scattered
throughout the Indian Ocean. It derives its name from the fine hair-like
character of its teeth. They are found chiefly among coral reefs, and,
though eaten, are not much esteemed. In the French colonies they are
called "Chauffe-soleil." One species is found on the shores of the New
World (_G. saxatilis_), and it is curious that Messrs. Quoy and Gaimard
found this fish at the Cape de Verde Islands in 1827.]

[Footnote 3: This fish has a sharp round spine on the side of the body
near the tail; a formidable weapon, which is generally partially
concealed within a scabbard-like incision. The fish raises or depresses
this spine at pleasure. It is yellow, with several nearly parallel blue
stripes on the back and sides; the belly is white, the tail and fins
brownish green, edged with blue.

It is found in rocky places; and according to Mr. Bennett, who has
figured it in his second plate, it is named _Seweya_. It is scarce on
the southern coast of Ceylon.]

_Fresh-water Fishes._--Of the fresh-water fish, which inhabit the rivers
and tanks, so very little has hitherto been known to naturalists[1],
that of nineteen drawings sent home by Major Skinner in 1852, although
specimens of well-known genera, Colonel Hamilton Smith pronounced nearly
the whole to be new and undescribed species.

[Footnote 1: In extenuation of the little that is known of the
fresh-water fishes of Ceylon, it may be observed that very few of them
are used at table by Europeans, and there is therefore no stimulus on
the part of the natives to catch them. The burbot and grey mullet are
occasionally eaten, but they taste of mud, and are not in request.]

Of eight of these, which were from the Mahawelli-ganga, and caught in
the vicinity of Kandy, five were carps[1], of which two were _Leucisci_,
and one a _Mastacemblus_, to which Col. H. Smith has given the name of
its discoverer, _M. Skinneri_[2], one was an _Ophicephalus_, and one a
_Polyacanthus_, with no serræ on the gills. Six were from the
Kalany-ganga, close to Colombo, of which two were _Helastoma_, in shape
approaching the Choetodon; two _Ophicephali_, one a _Silurus_, and one
an _Anabas_, but the gills were without denticulation. From the still
water of the lake, close to the walls of Colombo, there were two species
of _Eleotris_, one _Silurus_ with barbels, and two _Malacopterygians_,
which appear to be _Bagri_.

[Footnote 1: Of the fresh-water fishes belonging to the family
Cyprinidæ, there are about eighteen species from Ceylon in the
collection of the British Museum.]

[Footnote 2: This fish bears the native name of _Theliya_ in Major
Skinner's list; and is described by Colonel Hamilton Smith as being "of
the proportions of an eel; beautifully mottled, with eyes and spots of a
lighter olive upon a dark green." This so nearly corresponds with a fish
of the same name, _Theliya_, which was brought to Gronovius from Ceylon,
and proved to be identical with the _Aral_ of the Coromandel coast, that
it may be doubtful whether it be not the individual already noted by
Cuvier as _Rhyncobdella ocellata_, Cuv. and Val. viii. 445.]

In this collection, brought together without premeditation, the
naturalist will be struck by the preponderance of those genera which are
adapted by nature to endure a temporary privation of moisture; and this,
taken in connection with the vicissitudes affecting the waters they
inhabit, exhibits a surprising illustration of the wisdom of the Creator
in adapting the organisation of His creatures to the peculiar
circumstances under which they are destined to exist.

So abundant are fish in all parts of the island, that Knox says, not the
running streams alone, but the reservoirs and ponds, "nay, every ditch
and little plash of water but ankle deep hath fish in it."[1] But many
of these reservoirs and tanks are, twice in each year, liable to be
evaporated to dryness till the mud of the bottom is converted into dust,
and the clay cleft by the heat into gaping apertures. Yet within a very
few days after the change of the monsoon, the natives are busily engaged
in fishing in those very spots and in the hollows contiguous to them,
although entirely unconnected with any pool or running streams; in the
way in which Knox described nearly 200 years ago, with a funnel-shaped
basket, open at bottom and top, which, as he says, they "jibb down, and
the end sticks in the mud, which often happens upon a fish; which, when
they feel beating itself against the sides, they put in their hands and
take it out, and reive a ratan through their gills, and so let them drag
after them."[2]

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, Part 1. ch. vii.
The occurrence of fish in the most unlooked-for situations, is one of
the mysteries of other eastern countries as well as Ceylon and India. In
Persia irrigation is carried on to a great extent by means of wells sunk
in line in the direction in which it is desired to lead a supply of
water, and these are connected by channels, which are carefully arched
over to protect them from evaporation. These _kanats_, as they are
called, are full of fish, although neither they nor the wells they unite
have any connection with streams or lakes.]

[Footnote 2: KNOX, _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, Part I. ch. vii.]

[Illustration: FROM KNOX'S CEYLON, A.D. 1681]

This operation may be seen in the lowlands, which are traversed by the
high road leading from Colombo to Kandy, the hollows on either side of
which, before the change of the monsoon, are covered with dust or
stunted grass; but when flooded by the rains, they are immediately
resorted to by the peasants with baskets, constructed precisely as Knox
has stated, in which the fish are encircled and taken out by the

[Footnote 1: As anglers, the native Singhalese exhibit little
expertness; but for fishing the rivers, they construct with singular
ingenuity fences formed of strong stakes, protected by screens of ratan,
which stretch diagonally across the current; and along these the fish
are conducted into a series of enclosures from which retreat is
impracticable. Mr. LAYARD, in the _Magazine of Natural History_ for May,
1853, has given a diagram of one of these fish "corrals," as they are

[Illustration: FISH CORRAL]]

So singular a phenomenon as the sudden reappearance of full-grown fishes
in places which a few days before had been encrusted with hardened clay,
has not failed to attract attention; but the European residents have
been contented to explain it by hazarding the conjecture, either that
the spawn had lain imbedded in the dried earth till released by the
rains, or that the fish, so unexpectedly discovered, fall from the
clouds during the deluge of the monsoon.

As to the latter conjecture; the fall of fish during showers, even were
it not so problematical in theory, is too rare an event to account for
the punctual appearance of those found in the rice-fields, at stated
periods of the year. Both at Galle and Colombo in the south-west
monsoon, fish are popularly thought to have fallen from the clouds
during violent showers, but those found on the occasions that give rise
to this belief, consist of the smallest fry, such as could be caught up
by waterspouts, and vortices analogous to them, or otherwise blown on
shore from the surf; whereas those which suddenly appear in the
replenished tanks and in the hollows which they overflow, are mature and
well-grown fish.[1] Besides, the latter are found, under the
circumstances I have described, in all parts of the interior, whilst the
prodigy of a supposed fall of fish from the sky has been noticed, I
apprehend, only in the vicinity of the sea, or of some inland water.

[Footnote 1: I had an opportunity, on one occasion only, of witnessing
the phenomenon which gives rise to this popular belief. I was driving in
the cinnamon gardens near the fort of Colombo, and saw a violent but
partial shower descend at no great distance before me. On coming to the
spot I found a multitude of small silvery fish from one and a half to
two inches in length, leaping on the gravel of the high road, numbers of
which I collected and brought away in my palankin. The spot was about
half a mile from the sea, and entirely unconnected with any watercourse
or pool.

Mr. WHITING, who was many years resident at Trincomalie, writes me that
he "had often been told by the natives on that side of the island that
it sometimes rained fishes; and on one occasion (he adds) I was taken by
them, in 1849, to a field at the village of Karran-cotta-tivo, near
Batticaloa, which was dry when I passed over it in the morning, but had
been covered in two hours by sudden rain to the depth of three inches in
which there was then a quantity of small fish. The water had no
connection with any pond or stream whatsoever." Mr. CRIPPS, in like
manner, in speaking of Galle, says: "I have seen in the vicinity of the
fort, fish taken from rain-water that had accumulated in the hollow
parts of land that in the hot season are perfectly dry and parched. The
place is accessible to no running stream or tank; and either the fish,
or the spawn from which they were produced, must of necessity have
fallen with the rain."

Mr. J. PRINSEP, the eminent secretary to the Asiatic Society of Bengal,
found a fish in the pluviometer at Calcutta, in 1838.--_Journ. Asiat.
Soc. Bengal_, vol. vi p. 465.

A series of instances in which fishes have been found on the continent
of India under circumstances which lead to the conclusion that they must
have fallen from the clouds, have been collected by Dr. BUIST of Bombay,
and will be found in the appendix to this chapter.]

The surmise of the buried spawn is one sanctioned by the very highest
authority. Mr. YARRELL in his "_History of British Fishes_," adverting
to the fact that ponds which had been previously converted into hardened
mud, are replenished with small fish in a very few days after the
commencement of each rainy season, offers this solution of the problem
as probably the true one: "The impregnated ova of the fish of one rainy
season, are left unhatched in the mud through the dry season, and from
their low state of organisation as ova, the vitality is preserved till
the recurrence, and contact of the rain and oxygen in the next wet
season, when vivification takes place from their joint influence."[1]

[Footnote 1: YARRELL, _History of British Fishes_, introd. vol. i. p.

This hypothesis, however, appears to have been offered upon imperfect
data; for although some fish like the salmon scrape grooves in the sand
and place their spawn in inequalities and fissures; yet as a general
rule spawn is deposited not beneath but on the surface of the ground or
sand over which the water flows, the adhesive nature of each egg
supplying the means of attachment. But in the Ceylon tanks not only is
the surface of the soil dried to dust after the evaporation of the
water, but the earth itself, twelve or eighteen inches deep, is
converted into sun-burnt clay, in which, although the eggs of mollusca,
in their calcareous covering, are in some instances preserved, it would
appear to be as impossible for the ova of fish to be kept from
decomposition as for the fish themselves to sustain life. Besides,
moisture in such situations is only to be found at a depth to which
spawn could not be conveyed by the parent fish, by any means with which
we are yet acquainted.

But supposing it possible to carry the spawn sufficiently deep, and to
deposit it safely in the mud below, which is still damp, whence it could
be liberated on the return of the rains, a considerable interval would
still be necessary after the replenishing of the ponds with water to
admit of vivification and growth. But so far from this interval being
allowed to elapse, the rains have no sooner ceased than the fishing of
the natives commences, and those captured in wicker cages are mature and
full grown instead of being "small fish" or fry, as affirmed by Mr.

Even admitting the soundness of his theory, and the probability that,
under favourable circumstances, the spawn in the tanks might be
preserved during the dry season so as to contribute to the perpetuation
of their inhabitants, the fact is no longer doubtful, that adult fish in
Ceylon, like some of those that inhabit similar waters both in the New
and Old World, have been endowed by the Creator with the singular
faculty of providing against the periodical droughts either by
journeying overland in search of still unexhausted water, or, on its
utter disappearance, by burying themselves in the mud to await the
return of the rains.

_Travelling Fishes._--It was well known to the Greeks that certain
fishes of India possessed the power of leaving the rivers and returning
to them again after long migrations[1] on dry land, and modern
observation has fully confirmed their statements. The fish leave the
pools and nullahs in the dry season, and led by an instinct as yet
unexplained, shape their course through the grass towards the nearest
pool of water. A similar phenomenon is observable in countries similarly
circumstanced. The Doras of Guiana[2] have been seen travelling over
land during the dry season in search of their natural element[3], in
such droves that the negroes have filled baskets with them during these
terrestrial excursions.

[Footnote 1: I have collected into a note, which will be found in the
appendix to this chapter, the opinions entertained by the Greeks and
Romans upon this habit of the fresh-water fishes of India. See note B.]

[Footnote 2: _D. Hancockii_, Cuv. et Val.]

[Footnote 3: Sir R. Schomburgk's _Fishes of Guiana_, vol. i. pp. 113,
151, 160. Another migratory fish was found by Bose very numerous in the
fresh waters of Carolina and in ponds liable to become dry in summer.
When captured and placed on the ground, "they _always directed
themselves towards the nearest water, which they could not possibly
see_, and which they must have discovered by some internal index." They
belong to the genus _Hydrargyra_, and are called Swampines.-- KIBBY,
_Bridgewater Treatise_, vol i. p. 143.

Eels kept in a garden, when August arrived (the period at which instinct
impels them to go to the sea to spawn) were in the habit of leaving the
pond and were invariably found moving eastward _in the direction of the
sea_.--YARRELL, vol. ii. p. 384. Anglers observe that fish newly caught,
when placed out of sight of water, always struggle towards it to

Pallegoix in his account of Siam, enumerates three species of fishes
which leave the tanks and channels and traverse the damp grass[1]; and
Sir John Bowring, in his account of the embassy to the Siamese kings in
1855, states, that in ascending and descending the river Meinam to
Bankok, he was amused with the novel sight of fish leaving the river,
gliding over the wet banks, and losing themselves amongst the trees of
the jungle.[2]

[Footnote 1: PALLEGOIX, vol. i. p. 144.]

[Footnote 2: Sir J. BOWRING'S _Siam_, vol. i. p. 10.]

The class of fishes which possess this power are chiefly those with
labyrinthiform pharyngeal bones, so disposed in plates and cells as to
retain a supply of moisture, which, whilst crawling on land, gradually
exudes so as to keep the gills damp.[1]

[Footnote 1: CUVIER and VALENCIENNES, _Hist. Nat. des Poissons, _tom.
vii. p. 246.]

The individual which is most frequently seen in these excursions in
Ceylon is a perch called by the Singhalese _Kavaya_ or _Kawhy-ya_, and
by the Tamils _Pannei-eri_, or _Sennal_. It is closely allied to, if not
identical with, the _Anabas scandens_ of Cuvier, the _Perca scandens_ of
Daldorf. It grows to about six inches in length, the head round and
covered with scales, and the edges of the gill-covers strongly
denticulated. Aided by the apparatus already adverted to in its head,
this little creature issues boldly from its native pools and addresses
itself to its toilsome march generally at night or in the early morning,
whilst the grass is still damp with the dew; but in its distress it is
sometimes compelled to travel by day, and Mr. E.L. Layard on one
occasion encountered a number of them travelling along a hot and dusty
gravel road under the midday sun.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Annals and Mag. of Nat. Hist_., May, 1853, p. 390. Mr.
Morris, the government-agent of Trincomalie, writing to me on this
subject in 1856, says--"I was lately on duty inspecting the bund of a
large tank at Nade-cadua, which, being out of repair, the remaining
water was confined in a small hollow in the otherwise dry bed. Whilst
there heavy rain came on, and, as we stood on the high ground, we
observed a pelican on the margin of the shallow pool gorging himself;
our people went towards him and raised a cry of fish! fish! We hurried
down, and found numbers of fish struggling upwards through the grass in
the rills formed by the trickling of the rain. There was scarcely water
enough to cover them, but nevertheless they made rapid progress up the
bank, on which our followers collected about two bushels of them at a
distance of forty yards from the tank. They were forcing their way up
the knoll, and, had they not been intercepted first by the pelican and
afterwards by ourselves, they would in a few minutes have gained the
highest point and descended on the other side into a pool which formed
another portion of the tank. They were chub, the same as are found in
the mud after the tanks dry up." In a subsequent communication in July,
1857, the same gentleman says--"As the tanks dry up the fish congregate
in the little pools till at last you find them in thousands in the
moistest parts of the beds, rolling in the blue mud which is at that
time about the consistence of thick gruel."

"As the moisture further evaporates the surface fish are left uncovered,
and they crawl away in search of fresh pools. In one place I saw
hundreds diverging in every direction, from the tank they had just
abandoned to a distance of fifty or sixty yards, and still travelling
onwards. In going this distance, however, they must have used muscular
exertion sufficient to have taken them half a mile on level ground, for
at these places all the cattle and wild animals of the neighbourhood had
latterly come to drink; so that the surface was everywhere indented with
footmarks in addition to the cracks in the surrounding baked mud, into
which the fish tumbled in their progress. In those holes which were deep
and the sides perpendicular they remained to die, and were carried off
by kites and crows."

"My impression is that this migration takes place at night or before
sunrise, for it was only early in the morning that I have seen them
progressing, and I found that those I brought away with me in chatties
appeared quiet by day, but a large proportion managed to get out of the
chatties at night--some escaped altogether, others were trodden on and

"One peculiarity is the large size of the vertebral column, quite
disproportioned to the bulk of the fish. I particularly noticed that all
in the act of migrating had their gills expanded."]

Referring to the _Anabas scandens_, Mr. Hamilton Buchanan says, that of
all the fish with which he was acquainted it is the most tenacious of
life; and he has known boatmen on the Ganges to keep them for five or
six days in an earthen pot without water, and daily to use what they
wanted, finding them as lively and fresh as when caught.[1] Two Danish
naturalists residing at Tranquebar, have contributed their authority to
the fact of this fish ascending trees on the coast of Coromandel, an
exploit from which it acquired its epithet of _Perca scandens_. Daldorf,
who was a lieutenant in the Danish East India Company's service,
communicated to Sir Joseph Banks, that in the year 1791 he had taken
this fish from a moist cavity in the stem of a Palmyra palm, which grew
near a lake. He saw it when already five feet above the ground
struggling to ascend still higher;--suspending itself by its
gill-covers, and bending its tail to the left, it fixed its anal fin in
the cavity of the bark, and sought by expanding its body to urge its way
upwards, and its march was only arrested by the hand with which he
seized it.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Fishes of the Ganges_, 4to. 1822.]

[Footnote 2: _Transactions Linn. Soc._ vol. iii. p. 63. It is
remarkable, however, that this discovery of Daldorf, which excited so
great an interest in 1791, had been anticipated by an Arabian voyager a
thousand years before. Abou-zeyd, the compiler of the remarkable MS.
known since Renandot's translation by the title of the _Travels of Two
Mahometans_, states that Suleyman, one of his informants, who visited
India at the close of the ninth century, was told there of a fish which,
issuing from the waters, ascended the coco-nut palms to drink their sap,
and returned to the sea. "On parle d'un poisson de mer que sortant de
l'eau, monte sur la cocotier et boit le suc de la plante; ensuite il
retourne à la mer." See REINAUD, _Relations des Voyages faits par les
Arabes et Persans dans le neuvième siècle_, tom. i. p. 21, tom ii. p.

There is considerable obscurity about the story of this ascent, although
corroborated by M. John. Its motive for climbing is not apparent, since
water being close at hand it could not have gone for sake of the
moisture contained in the fissures of the palm; nor could it be in
search of food, as it lives not on fruit but on aquatic insects.[1] The
descent, too, is a question of difficulty. The position of its fins, and
the spines on its gill-covers, might assist its journey upwards, but the
same apparatus would prove anything but a facility in steadying its
journey down. The probability is, as suggested by Buchanan, that the
ascent which was witnessed by Daldorf was accidental, and ought not to
be regarded as the habit of the animal. In Ceylon I heard of no instance
of the perch ascending trees[2], but the fact is well established that
both it, the _pullata_ (a species of polyacanthus), and others, are
capable of long journeys on the level ground.[3]

[Footnote 1: Kirby says that it is "in pursuit of certain crustaceans
that form its food" (_Bridgewater Treatise_, vol. i. p. 144); but I am
not aware of any crustaceans in the island which ascend the palmyra or
feed upon its fruit. Birgus latro, which inhabits Mauritius and is said
to climb the coco-nut for this purpose, has not been observed in

[Footnote 2: This assertion must be qualified by a fact stated by Mr.
E.A. Layard, who mentions that on visiting one of the fishing stations
on a Singhalese river, where the fish are caught in staked enclosures,
as described at p. 212, and observing that the chambers were covered
with netting, he asked the reason, and was told "_that some of the fish
climbed up the sticks and got over_."--_Mag. Nat. Hist._ for May 1828,
p. 390-1.]

[Footnote 3: Strange accidents have more than once occurred in Ceylon
arising from the habit of the native anglers; who, having neither
baskets nor pockets in which to place what they catch, will seize a fish
in their teeth whilst putting fresh bait on their hook. In August 1853,
a man carried into the Pettah hospital at Colombo, having a climbing
perch, which he thus attempted to hold, firmly imbedded in his throat.
The spines of its dorsal fin prevented its descent, whilst those of the
gill-covers equally forbade its return. It was eventually extracted by
the forceps through an incision in the oesophagus, and the patient
recovered. Other similar cases have proved fatal.]

_Burying Fishes._--But a still more remarkable power possessed by some
of the Ceylon fishes, is that of secreting themselves in the earth in
the dry season, at the bottom of the exhausted ponds, and there awaiting
the renewal of the water at the change of the monsoon.

The instinct of the crocodile to resort to the same expedient has been
already referred to[1], and in like manner the fish, when distressed by
the evaporation of the tanks, seek relief by immersing first their
heads, and by degrees their whole bodies, in the mud; and sinking to a
depth at which they find sufficient moisture to preserve life in a state
of lethargy long after the bed of the tank has been consolidated by the
intense heat of the sun. It is possible, too, that the cracks which
reticulate the surface may admit air to some extent to sustain their
faint respiration.

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, P. II. ch. iii. p. 189.]

The same thing takes place in other tropical regions, subject to
vicissitudes of draught and moisture. The Protopterus[1] which inhabits
the Gambia (and which, though demonstrated by Professor Owen to possess
all the essential organisation of fishes, is nevertheless provided with
true lungs), is accustomed in the dry season, when the river retires
into its channel, to bury itself to the depth of twelve or sixteen
inches in the indurated mud of the banks, and to remain in a state of
torpor till the rising of the stream after the rains enables it to
resume its active habits. At this period the natives of the Gambia, like
those of Ceylon, resort to the river, and secure the fish in
considerable numbers as they flounder in the still shallow water. A
parallel instance occurs in Abyssinia in relation to the fish of the
Mareb, one of the sources of the Nile, the waters of which are partially
absorbed in traversing the plains of Taka. During the summer its bed is
dry, and in the slime at the depth of more than six feet is found a
species of fish without scales, different from any known to inhabit the

[Footnote 1: _Lepidosiren annectans_, Owen. See _Linn. Trans._ 1839.]

[Footnote 2: This statement will be found in QUATREMERE'S _Memoires sur
l'Egypte_, tom. i. p. 17, on the authority of Abdullah ben Ahmed ben
Solaim Assouany, in his _History of Nubia_, "Simon, héritier présomptif
du royanme d'Alouah, m'a assuré que l'on trouve, dans la vase qui couvre
le fond de cette rivière, un grand poisson sans écailles, qui ne
ressemble en rien aux poissons du Nil, et que, pour l'avoir, il faut
creuser à une toise et plus de profondeur." To this passage there is
appended this note:--"Le patriarche Mendes, cité par Legrand (_Relation
Hist. d'Abyssinie_, du P. LOBO, p. 212-3) rapporte que le fleuve Mareb,
après avoir arrosé une étendue de pays considérable, se perd sous terre;
et que quand les Portugais faisaient la guerre dans ce pays, ils
fouilloient dans le sable, et y trouvoient de la bonne eau et du bon
poison. Au rapport de l'auteur de _l'Ayin Akbery_ (tom. ii. p. 146, ed.
1800), dans le Soubah de Caschmir, près du lieu nommé Tilahmoulah, est
une grande pièce de terre qui est inondée pendant la saison des pluies.
Lorsque les eaux se sont évaporées, et que la vase est presque sèche,
les habitans prennent des bâtons d'environ une aune de long, qu'ils
enfoncent dans la vase, et ils y trouvent quantité de grands et petits
poissons." In the library of the British Museum there is an unique MS.
of MANOEL DE ALMEIDA, written in the sixteenth century, from which
Balthasar Tellez compiled his _Historia General de Ethiopia alta_,
printed at Coimbra in 1660, and in it the above statement of Mendes is
corroborated by Almeida, who says that he was told by João Gabriel, a
Creole Portuguese, born in Abyssinia, who had visited the Merab, and who
said that the "fish were to be found everywhere eight or ten palms down,
and that he had eaten of them."]

In South America the "round-headed hassar" of Guiana, _Callicthys
littoralis_, and the "yarrow," a species of the family Esocidæ, although
they possess no specially modified respiratory organs, are accustomed to
bury themselves in the mud on the subsidence of water in the pools
during the dry season.[1] The _Loricaria_ of Surinam, another Siluridan,
exhibits a similar instinct, and resorts to the same expedient. Sir R.
Schomburgk, in his account of the fishes of Guiana, confirms this
account of the Callicthys, and says "they can exist in muddy lakes
without any water whatever, and great numbers of them are sometimes dug
up from such situations."

[Footnote 1: See Paper "_on some Species of Fishes and Reptiles in
Demerara_," by J. HANDCOOK, Esq., M.D., _Zoological Journal_, vol. iv.
p. 243.]

In those portions of Ceylon where the country is flat, and small tanks
are extremely numerous, the natives in the hot season are accustomed to
dig in the mud for fish. Mr. Whiting, the chief civil officer of the
eastern province, informs me that, on two occasions, he was present
accidentally when the villagers were so engaged, once at the tank of
Moeletivoe, within a few miles of Kottiar, near the bay of Trincomalie,
and again at a tank between Ellendetorre and Arnetivoe, on the bank of
the Vergel river. The clay was firm, but moist, and as the men flung out
lumps of it with a spade, it fell to pieces, disclosing fish from nine
to twelve inches long, which were full grown and healthy, and jumped on
the bank when exposed to the sun light.

Being desirous of obtaining a specimen of the fish so exhumed, I
received from the Moodliar of Matura, A.B. Wickremeratne, a fish taken
along with others of the same kind from a tank in which the water had
dried up; it was found at a depth of a foot and a half where the mud was
still moist, whilst the surface was dry and hard. The fish which the
moodliar sent to me proved to be an Anabas, and closely resembles the
_Perca scandens_ of Daldorf.


But the faculty of becoming torpid at such periods is not confined in
Ceylon to the crocodiles and fishes, it is equally possessed by some of
the fresh-water mollusca and aquatic coleoptera. The largest of the
former, the _Ampullaria glauca_, is found in still water in all parts of
the island, not alone in the tanks, but in rice-fields and the
watercourses by which they are irrigated. There it deposits a bundle of
eggs with a white calcareous shell, to the number of one hundred and
more in each group, at a considerable depth in the soft mud, under
which, when the water is about to evaporate during the dry season, it
burrows and conceals itself[1] till the returning rains restore it to
liberty, and reproduce its accustomed food. The _Melania Paludina_ in
the same way retires during the droughts into the muddy soil of the rice
lands; and it can only be by such an instinct that this and other
mollusca are preserved when the tanks evaporate, to re-appear in full
growth and vigour immediately on the return of the rains.[2]

[Footnote 1: A knowledge of this fact was turned to prompt account by
Mr. Edgar S. Layard, when holding a judicial office at Point Pedro in
1849. A native who had been defrauded of his land complained before him
of his neighbour, who, during his absence, had removed their common
landmark by diverting the original watercourse and obliterated its
traces by filling it to a level with the rest of the field. Mr. Layard
directed a trench to be sunk at the contested spot, and discovering
numbers of the Ampullaria, the remains of the eggs, and the living
animal which had been buried for months, the evidence was so resistless
as to confound the wrongdoer, and terminate the suit.]

[Footnote 2: For a similar fact relative to the shells and water beetles
in the pools near Rio Janeiro, see DARWIN'S _Nat. Journal_, ch. v. p.
90. BENSON, in the first vol. of _Gleanings of Science_, published at
Calcutta in 1829, describes a species of _Paludina_ found in pools,
which are periodically dried up in the hot season but reappear with the
rains, p. 363. And in the _Journal of the Asiatic Soc. of Bengal_ for
Sept. 1832, Lieut. HUTTON, in a singularly interesting paper, has
followed up the same subject by a narrative of his own observations at
Mirzapore, where in June, 1832, after a few heavy showers of rain, which
formed pools on the surface of the ground near a mango grove, he saw the
_Paludinæ_ issuing from the ground, "pushing aside the moistened earth
and coming forth from their retreats; but on the disappearance of the
water not one of them was to be seen above ground. Wishing to ascertain
what had become of them, he turned up the earth at the base of several
trees, and invariably found the shells buried from an inch to two inches
below the surface." Lieut. Hutton adds that the _Ampullariæ_ and
_Planorbes_, as well as the _Paludinæ_, are found in similar situations
during the heats of the dry season. The British _Pisidea_ exhibit the
same faculty (see a monograph in the _Camb. Phil. Trans._ vol. iv.). The
fact is elsewhere alluded to in the present work of the power possessed
by the land leech of Ceylon of retaining vitality even after being
parched to hardness during the heat of the rainless season. Vol. I. ch.
vii. p. 312.]

Dr. John Hunter[1] has advanced the opinion that hybernation, although a
result of cold, is not its immediate consequence, but is attributable to
that deprivation of food and other essentials which extreme cold
occasions, and against the recurrence of which nature makes a timely
provision by a suspension of her functions. Excessive heat in the
tropics produces an effect upon animals and vegetables analogous to that
of excessive cold in northern regions, and hence it is reasonable to
suppose that the torpor induced by the one may be but the counterpart of
the hybernation which results from the other. The frost which imprisons
the alligator in the Mississippi as effectually cuts him off from food
and action as the drought which incarcerates the crocodile in the
sun-burnt clay of a Ceylon tank. The hedgehog of Europe enters on a
period of absolute torpidity as soon as the inclemency of winter
deprives it of its ordinary supply of slugs and insects; and the
_Tenrec_[2] of Madagascar, its tropical representative, exhibits the
same tendency during the period when excessive heat produces in that
climate a like result.

[Footnote 1: HUNTER'S _Observations on parts of the Animal Oeconomy_, p.

[Footnote 2: _Centetes ecaudatus_, Illiger.]

The descent of the _Ampullaria_, and other fresh-water molluscs, into
the mud of the tank, has its parallel in the conduct of the _Bulimi_ and
_Helices_ on land. The European snail, in the beginning of winter,
either buries itself in the earth or withdraws to some crevice or
overarching stone to await the returning vegetation of spring. So, in
the season of intense heat, the _Helix Waltoni_ of Ceylon, and others of
the same family, before retiring under cover, close the aperture of
their shells with an impervious epiphragm, which effectually protects
their moisture and juices from evaporation during the period of their
æstivation. The Bulimi of Chili have been found alive in England in a
box packed in cotton after an interval of two years, and the animal
inhabiting a land-shell from Suez, which was attached to a tablet and
deposited in the British Museum in 1846, was found in 1850 to have
formed a fresh epiphragm, and on being immersed in tepid water, it
emerged from its shell. It became torpid again on the 15th November,
1851, and was found dead and dried up in March, 1852.[1] But the
exceptions serve to prove the accuracy of Hunter's opinion almost as
strikingly as accordances, since the same genera of animals which
hybernate in Europe, where extreme cold disarranges their oeconomy,
evince no symptoms of lethargy in the tropics, provided their food be
not diminished by the heat. Ants, which are torpid in Europe during
winter, work all the year round in India, where sustenance is
uniform.[2] The Shrews of Ceylon (_Sorex montanus_ and _S. ferrugineus_
of Kelaart) which, like those at home, subsist upon insects, inhabit a
region where the equable temperature admits of the pursuit of their prey
at all seasons of the year; and hence, unlike those of Europe, they
never hybernate. A similar observation applies to the bats, which are
dormant during a northern winter when insects are rare, but never become
torpid in any part of the tropics.

[Footnote 1: _Annals of Natural History_, 1850. See Dr. BAIRD's _Account
of Helix desertorum; Excelsior, &c._, ch. i. p. 345.]

[Footnote 2: Colonel SYKES has described in the _Entomological Trans._
the operations of an ant which laid up a store of hay against the rainy

The bear, in like manner, is nowhere deprived of its activity except
when the rigour of severe frost cuts off its access to its accustomed
food. On the other hand, the tortoise, which immerses itself in
indurated mud during the hot months in Venezuela, shows no tendency to
torpor in Ceylon, where its food is permanent; and yet is subject to
hybernation when carried to the colder regions of Europe.

To the fish in the detached tanks and pools when the heat, by exhausting
the water, deprives them at once of motion and sustenance, the practical
effect must be the same as when the frost of a northern winter encases
them in ice. Nor is it difficult to believe that they can successfully
undergo the one crisis when we know beyond question that they may
survive the other.[1]

[Footnote 1: YARRELL, vol. i. p. 364, quotes the authority of Dr. J.
Hunter in his _Animal OEconomy_, that fish, "after being frozen still
retain so much of life as when thawed to resume their vital actions;"
and in the same volume (_Introd._ vol. i. p. xvii.) he relates from
JESSE'S _Gleanings in Natural History_, the story of a gold fish
(_Cyprinus auratus_) which, together with the water in a marble basin,
was frozen into one solid lump of ice, yet, on the water being thawed,
the fish became as lively as usual Dr. RICHARDSON, in the third vol. of
his _Fauna Borealis Americana_, says the grey sucking carp found in the
fur countries of North America, may be frozen and thawed again without
being killed in the process.]

_Hot-water Fishes_.--Another incident is striking in connection with the
fresh-water fishes of Ceylon. I have mentioned elsewhere the hot springs
of Kannea, in the vicinity of Trincomalie, the water in which flows at a
temperature varying at different seasons from 85° to 115°. In the stream
formed by these wells M. Reynaud found and forwarded to Cuvier two
fishes which he took from the water at a time when his thermometer
indicated a temperature of 37° Reaumur, equal to 115° of Fahrenheit. The
one was an Apogon, the other an Ambassis, and to each, from the heat of
its habitat, he assigned the specific name of "Thermalis."[1]

[Footnote 1: CUV. and VAL., vol. iii. p. 363. In addition to the two
fishes above named, a loche _Cobitis thermalis_, and a carp, _Nuria
thermoicos_, were found in the hot-springs of Kannea at a heat 40°
Cent., 114° Fahr., and a roach, _Leuciscus thermalis_, when the
thermometer indicated 50° Cent., 122° Fahr.--_Ib_. xviii. p. 59, xvi. p.
182, xvii. p. 94. Fish have been taken from a hot spring at Pooree when
the thermometer stood at 112° Fahr., and as they belonged to a
carnivorous genus, they must have found prey living in the same high
temperature.--_Journ. Asiatic Soc. Beng_. vol. vi. p. 465. Fishes have
been observed in a hot spring at Manilla which raises the thermometer to
187°, and in another in Barbary, the usual temperature of which is 172°;
and Humboidt and Bonpland, when travelling in South America, saw fishes
thrown up alive from a volcano, in water that raised the temperature to
210°, being two degrees below the boiling point. PATTERSON'S _Zoology_.
Pt. ii p. 211; YARRELL'S _History of British Fishes_, vol. i. In. p.

_List of Ceylon Fishes._



_Perca_ argentea, _Bennett_.
Apogon roseipinnis, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Zeylonicus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  thermalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Ambassis thermalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Serranus biguttatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Tankervillæ, _Benn_.
  lemniscatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Sonneratii, _Cuv. & Val_.
  flavo-ceruleus, _Lacep_.
  marginalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Boelang, _Cuv. & Val_.
Serranus faveatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  angularis, _Cuv. & Val_.
  punctulatas, _Cuv. & Val_.
Diacope decem-lineatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  spilura, _Benn_.
  xanthopus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Mesoprion annularis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Holocentrus orientale, _Cuv. & Val_.
  spinifera, _Cuv. & Val_.
  argenteus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Upeneus tæniopterus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Zeylonicus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Russeli, _Cuv. & Val_.
  cinnabarinus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Platycephalus punctatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  scaber, _Linn_.
  tuberculatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  serratus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Pterois volitans, _Gm_.
  muricata, _Cuv. & Val_.
Diagramma cinerascens, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Blochii, _Cuv. & Val_.
  poeciloptera, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Cuvieri, _Benn_.
  Sibbaldi, _E. Benn_.
Lobotes crate, _Cuv. & Val_.
Scolopsides bimaculatus, _Rupp_.
Amphiprion Clarkii, _J. Benn_.
Dascyllus aruanus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Glyphisodon Rahti, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Brownrigii, _Benn_.
_Sparus_ Hardwickii, _J. Benn_.
Pagrus longifilis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Lethrinus opercularis, _Cuv. & Val_.
  fasciatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  frænatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  cythrurus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  cinereus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Smaris balteatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Cæsio coerulaureus, _Lacep_.
Gerres oblongus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Chætodon vagabundus, _Linn_.
  Sebanus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Layardi, _Blyth_.
  xanthocephalus, _E. Bennett_.
  guttatissimus, _E. Benn_.
Hæniochus macrolepidotus, _Linn_.
Scatophagus argus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Holacanthus xanthurus, _E. Benn_.
Platax Raynaldi, _Cuv. & Val_.
  ocellatus _Cuv. & Val_.
  Ehrenbergii, _Cuv. & Val_.
Anabas _scandens_, _Dald_.
Cybium guttatum, _Bloeh_.
Chorinemus moadetta, _Ehren_.
Rhynchobdella ocellata, _Cuv. & Val_.
Mastocemblus Skinneri, _H. Smith_.
Caranx Heberi, _J. Benn_.
  speciosus, _Forsk_.
Rhombus triocellatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Equula dacer, _Cuv. & Val_.
  filigera, _Cuv. & Val_.
Amphacanthus javus, _Linn_.
  sutor, _Cuv. & Val_.
Acanthurus xanthurus, _Blyth_.
  triostegus, _Bloch_.
  Delisiani, _Cuv. & Val_.
  lineatus, _Lacep_.
  melas, _Cuv. & Val_.
Atherina duodecimalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Salarias marmoratus, _Benn_.
  alticus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Eleotris sexguttata, _Cuv. & Val_.
Cheironectes hispidus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Tautoga fasciata, _Bloch_.
Julis lunaris, _Linn_.
  decussatus, _W. Benn_.
  formosus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  quadricolor, _Lesson_.
  dorsalis, _Quoy & Gaim_.
  aureomaculatus, _W. Benn_.
  Ceilanicus, _E. Benn_.
  Finlaysoni, _Cuv. & Val_.
  purpureo-lineatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Gomphosus fuscus, _Cuv. & Val_.
  viridis, _W. Benn_.
Scarus pepo, _W. Benn_.
  harid, _Forsk_.

Malacopterygrii (abdominales).

Bagrus albilabris, _Cuv. & Val_.
Plotosus lineatus, _Cuv. & Val_.
Barbus tor, _Cuv. & Val_.
Nuria thermoicos, _Cuv. & Val_.
Leuciscus Zeylonicus, _E. Benn_.
  thermalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Cobitis thermalis, _Cuv. & Val_.
Hemirhamphus Reynaldi, _Cuv. & Val_.
  Georgii, _Cuv. & Val_.
Exocoetus evolans, _Linn_.
Sardinella leiogaster, _Cuv. & Val_.
  lineolata, _Cuv. & Val_.
Saurus myops, _Val_.

Malacopterygii (Sub-brachiati).

_Pleuronectes, L._

Malacopterygii (Apoda).



_Syngnathus, L._


Tetraodon ocellatus, _W. Benn_.
  argyropleura, _E. Bennett_.
  argentatus, _Blyth_.
Balistes biaculeatus, _W. Benn_.
Triacanthus biaculeatus, _W. Benn_.


_Squabus, L._
Pristis antiquorum, _Lath._
  cuspidatus, _Lath._
  pectinatus, _Lath._
_Raia, L._



_From the Bombay Times_, 1856.

Dr. Buist, after enumerating cases in which fishes were said to have
been thrown out from volcanoes in South America and precipitated from
clouds in various parts of the world, adduces the following instances of
similar occurrences in India. "In 1824," he says, "fishes fell at
Meerut, on the men of Her Majesty's 14th Regiment, then out at drill,
and were caught in numbers. In July, 1826, live fish were seen to fall
on the grass at Moradabad during a storm. They were the common cyprinus,
so prevalent in our Indian waters. On the 19th of February, 1830, at
noon, a heavy fall of fish occurred at the Nokulhatty factory, in the
Daccah zillah; depositions on the subject were obtained from nine
different parties. The fish were all dead; most of them were large: some
were fresh, others were rotten and mutilated. They were seen at first in
the sky, like a flock of birds, descending rapidly to the ground; there
was rain drizzling, but no storm. On the 16th and 17th of May, 1833, a
fall of fish occurred in the zillah of Futtehpoor, about three miles
north of the Jumna, after a violent storm of wind and rain. The fish
were from a pound and a half to three pounds in weight, and of the same
species as those found in the tanks in the neighbourhood. They were all
dead and dry. A fall of fish occurred at Allahabad, during a storm in
May, 1835; they were of the chowla species, and were found dead and dry
after the storm had passed over the district. On the 20th of September,
1839, after a smart shower of rain, a quantity of live fish, about three
inches in length and all of the same kind, fell at the Sunderbunds,
about twenty miles south of Calcutta. On this occasion it was remarked
that the fish did not fall here and there irregularly over the ground,
but in a continuous straight line, not more than a span in breadth. The
vast multitudes of fish, with which the low grounds round Bombay are
covered, about a week or ten days after the first burst of the monsoon,
appear to be derived from the adjoining pools or rivulets and not to
descend from the sky. They are not, so far as I know, found in the
higher parts of the island. I have never seen them, though I have
watched carefully, in casks collecting water from the roofs of
buildings, or heard of them on the decks or awnings of vessels in the
harbour, where they must have appeared had they descended from the sky.
One of the most remarkable phenomena of this kind occurred during a
tremendous deluge of rain at Kattywar, on the 25th of July, 1850, when
the ground around Rajkote was found literally covered with fish; some of
them were found on the tops of haystacks, where probably they had been
drifted by the storm. In the course of twenty-four successive hours
twenty-seven inches of rain fell, thirty-five fell in twenty-six hours,
seven inches within one hour and a half, being the heaviest fall on
record. At Poonah, on the 3rd of August, 1852, after a very heavy fall
of rain, multitudes of fish were caught on the ground in the
cantonments, full half a mile from the nearest stream. If showers of
fish are to be explained on the assumption that they are carried up by
squalls or violent winds, from rivers or spaces of water not far away
from where they fall, it would be nothing wonderful were they seen to
descend from the air during the furious squalls which occasionally occur
in June."

       *       *       *       *       *



_Opinions of the Greeks and Romans_.

It is an illustration of the eagerness with which, after the expedition
of Alexander the Great, particulars connected with the natural history
of India were sought for and arranged by the Greeks, that in the works
both of ARISTOTLE and THEOPHRASTUS the facts are recorded of the fishes
in the Indian rivers migrating in search of water, of their burying
themselves in the mud on its failure, of their being dug out thence
alive during the dry season, and of their spontaneous reappearance on
the return of the rains. The earliest notice is in the treatise of
ARISTOTLE _De Respiratione_, chap. ix., who mentions the strange
discovery of living fish found beneath the surface of the soil, [Greek:
tôn ichthuôn oi polloi zôsin en tê gê, akinêtizontes mentoi, kai
euriskontai oruttomenoi]; and in his History of Animals he conjectures
that in ponds periodically dried the ova of the fish so buried become
vivified at the change of the season.[1] HERODOTUS had previously
hazarded a similar theory to account for the sudden appearance of fry in
the Egyptian marshes on the rising of the Nile; but the cases are not
parallel. THEOPHRASTUS, the friend and pupil of Aristotle, gave
importance to the subject by devoting to it his essay [Greek: Peri tês
tôn ichthyôn en zêrô diamonês], _De Piscibus in sicco degentibus_. In
this, after adverting to the fish called _exocoetus_, from its habit of
going on shore to sleep, [Greek: apo tês koitês], he instances the small
fish ([Greek: ichthydia]), which leave the rivers of India to wander
like frogs on the land; and likewise a species found near Babylon,
which, when the Euphrates runs low, leave the dry channels in search of
food, "moving themselves along by means of their fins and tail." He
proceeds to state that at Heraclea Pontica there are places in which
fish are dug out of the earth, ([Greek: oryktoi tôn ichthyôn]), and he
accounts for their being found under such circumstances by the
subsidence of the rivers, "when the water being evaporated the fish
gradually descend beneath the soil in search of moisture; and the
surface becoming hard they are preserved in the damp clay below it, in a
state of torpor, but are capable of vigorous movements when disturbed.
In this manner, too," Theophrastus adds, "the buried fish propagate,
leaving behind them their spawn, which becomes vivified on the return of
the waters to their accustomed bed." This work of Theophrastus became
the great authority for all subsequent writers on this question.
ATHENÆUS quotes it[2], and adds the further testimony of POLYBIUS, that
in Gallia Narbonensis fish are similarly dug out of the ground.[3]
STRABO repeats the story[4], and one and all the Greek naturalists
received the statement as founded on reliable authority.

[Footnote 1: Lib. vi. ch, 15, 16, 17.]

[Footnote 2: Lib. viii. ch. 2.]

[Footnote 3: Ib. ch. 4.]

[Footnote 4: Lib. iv. and xii.]

Not so the Romans. LIVY mentions it as one of the prodigies which were
to be "expiated," on the approach of a rupture with Macedon, that "in
Gallico agro qua induceretur aratrum sub glebis pisces emersisse,"[1]
thus taking it out of the category of natural occurrences. POMPONIUS
MELA, obliged to notice the matter in his account of Narbon Gaul,
accompanies it with the intimation that although asserted by both Greek
and Roman authorities, the story was either a delusion or a fraud.[2]
JUVENAL has a sneer for the rustic--

          "miranti sub aratro
  Piscibus inventis."--_Sat_. xiii. 63.

[Footnote 1: Lib. xlii. ch. 2.]

[Footnote 2: Lib. ii ch, 5.]

And SENECA, whilst he quotes Theophrastus, adds ironically, that now we
must go to fish with a _hatchet_ instead of a hook; "non cum hamis, sed
cum dolabra ire piscatum."[1] PLINY, who devotes the 35th chapter of his
9th book to this subject, uses the narrative of Theophrastus, but with
obvious caution, and universally the Latin writers treated the story as
a fable.

[Footnote 1: _Nat. Quæst._ vii 16.]

In later times the subject received more enlightened attention, and
Beckmann, who in 1736 published his commentary on the collection [Greek:
Peri Thaumasiôn akousmátôn], ascribed to Aristotle, has given a list of
the authorities about his own times,--Georgius Agricola, Gesner,
Rondelet, Dalechamp, Bomare, and Gronovius, who not only gave credence
to the assertions of Theophrastus, but adduced modern instances in
corroboration of his Indian authorities.

       *       *       *       *       *



(_Memorandum, by Professor Huxley._)

See p. 205.

The large series of beautifully coloured drawings of the fishes of
Ceylon, which has been submitted to my inspection, possesses an unusual
value for several reasons.

The fishes, it appears, were all captured at Colombo, and even had those
from other parts of Ceylon been added, the geographical area would not
have been very extended. Nevertheless there are more than 600 drawings,
and though it is possible that some of these represent varieties in
different stages of growth of the same species, I have not been able to
find definite evidence of the fact in any of those groups which I have
particularly tested. If, however, these drawings represent _six hundred_
distinct species of fish, they constitute, so far as I know, the largest
collection of fish from one locality in existence.

The number of known British fishes may be safely assumed to be less than
250, and Mr. Yarrell enumerates only 226, Dr. Cantor's valuable work on
Malayan fishes enumerates not more than 238, while Dr. Russell has
figured only 200 from Coromandel. Even the enormous area of the Chinese
and Japanese seas has as yet not yielded 800 species of fishes.

The large extent of the collection alone, then, renders it of great
importance; but its value is immeasurably enhanced by two
circumstances,--the _first_, that every drawing was made while the fish
retained all that vividness of colouring which becomes lost so soon
after its removal from its native element; _second_, that when the
sketch was finished its subject was carefully labelled, preserved in
spirits, and forwarded to England, so that at the present moment the
original of every drawing can be subjected to anatomical examination,
and compared with already named species.

Under these circumstances, I do not hesitate to say that the collection
is one of the most valuable in existence, and might, if properly worked
out, become a large and secure foundation for all future investigation
into the ichthyology of the Indian Ocean.

It would be very hazardous to express an opinion as to the novelty or
otherwise of the species and genera figured without the study of the
specimens themselves, as the specific distinctions of fish are for the
most part based upon character; the fin-rays, teeth, the operculum, &c.,
which can only be made out by close and careful examination of the
object, and cannot be represented in ordinary drawings however accurate.

There are certain groups of fish, however, whose family traits are so
marked as to render it almost impossible to mistake even their
portraits, and hence I may venture, without fear of being far wrong,
upon a few remarks as to the general features of the ichthyological
fauna of Ceylon.

In our own seas rather less than a tenth of the species of fishes belong
to the cod tribe. I have not found one represented in these drawings,
nor do either Russell or Cantor mention any in the surrounding seas, and
the result is in general harmony with the known laws of distribution of
these most useful of fishes.

On the other hand, the mackerel family, including the tunnies, the
bonitos, the dories, the horse-mackerels, &c., which form not more than
one sixteenth of our own fish fauna, but which are known to increase
their proportion in hot climates, appear in wonderful variety of form
and colour, and constitute not less than one fifth of the whole of the
species of Ceylon fish. In Russell's catalogue they form less than one
fifth, in Cantor's less than one sixth.

Marine and other siluroid fishes, a group represented on the  continent
of Europe, but doubtfully, if at all, in this country, constitute one
twentieth of the Ceylon fishes. In Russell's and Cantor's lists they
form about one thirtieth of the whole.

The sharks and rays form about one seventh of our own fish fauna. They
constitute about one tenth or one eleventh of Russell and Cantor's
lists, while among these Ceylon drawings I find not more than twenty, or
about one thirtieth of the whole, which can be referred to this group of
fishes. It must be extremely interesting to know whether this
circumstance is owing to accident, or to the local peculiarities of
Colombo, or whether the fauna of Ceylon really is deficient in such

The like exceptional character is to be noticed in the proportion of the
tribe of flat fishes, or _Pleuronectidæ_. Soles, turbots, and the like,
form nearly one twelfth of our own fishes. Both Cantor and Russell give
the flat fishes as making one twenty-second part of their collection,
while in the whole 600 Ceylon drawings I can find but five

When this great collection has been carefully studied, I doubt not that
many more interesting distributional facts will be evolved.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since receiving this note from Professor Huxley, the drawings in
question have been submitted to Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, and
that eminent naturalist, after a careful analysis, has favoured me with
the following memorandum of the fishes they exhibit, numerically
contrasting them with those of China and Japan, so far as we are
acquainted with the ichthyology of those seas:--

                                      China and
                         Ceylon         Japan.

Squali                     12            15
Raiæ                       19            20
Sturiones                   0             1


  tetraodontidæ            10            21
  balistidæ                 9            19
  syngnathidæ               2             2
  pegasidæ                  0             3
  lophidæ                   1             3
  echeneidæ                 0             1
  cyclopteridæ              0             1
  gobidæ                    7            35

                                      China and
                         Ceylon         Japan.

  callionymidæ              0             7
  uranoscopidæ              0             7
  cottidæ                   0            13
  triglidæ                 11            37
  polynemidæ               12             3
  mullidæ                   1             7
  percidæ                  26            12
  berycidæ                  0             5
  sillaginidæ               3             1
  sciænidæ                 19            13
  hæmulinidæ                6            12
  serranidæ                31            38
  theraponidæ               8            20
  cirrhitidæ                0             2
  mænidiæ                  37            25
  sparidæ                  16            17
  acanthuridæ              14             6
  chætodontidæ             25            21
  fistularidæ               2             3
  mugilidæ                  5             7
  anabantidæ                6            15
  pomacentridæ             10            11
  labridæ                  16            35
  scomberesocidæ           13             6
  blenniidæ                 3             8
  zeidæ                     0             2
  sphyrænidæ                5             4
  scomberidæ              118            62
  xiphiidæ                  0             1
  cepolidæ                  0             5
  platessoideæ              5            22
  siluridæ                 31            24
  cyprinidæ                19            52
  scopelinidæ               2             7
  salmonidæ                 0             1
  clupeidæ                 43            22
  gadidæ                    0             2
  macruridæ                 1             0
  anguillidæ                8            12
  murænidæ                  8             6
  sphagebranchidæ           8            10




Allusion has been made elsewhere to the profusion and variety of shells
which abound in the seas and inland waters of Ceylon[1], and to the
habits of the Moormen, who monopolise the trade of collecting and
arranging them in satin-wood cabinets for transmission to Europe. But,
although naturalists have long been familiar with the marine testacea of
this island, no successful attempt has yet been made to form a
classified catalogue of the species; and I am indebted to the eminent
conchologist, Mr. Sylvanus Hanley, for the list which accompanies this
notice of those found in the island.

[Footnote 1: See Vol. II. P. ix. ch. v.]

In drawing it up, Mr. Hanley observes that he found it a task of more
difficulty than would at first be surmised, owing to the almost total
absence of reliable data from which to construct it. Three sources were
available: collections formed by resident naturalists, the contents of
the well-known satin-wood boxes prepared at Trincomalie, and the
laborious elimination of locality from the habitats ascribed to all the
known species in the multitude of works on conchology in general.

But, unfortunately, the first resource proved fallacious. There is no
large collection in this country composed exclusively of Ceylon shells.
And the very few cabinets rich in the marine treasures of the island
having been filled as much by purchase as by personal exertion, there is
an absence of the requisite confidence that all professing to be
Singhalese have been actually captured in the island and its waters.

The cabinets arranged by the native dealers, though professing to
contain the productions of Ceylon, include shells which have been
obtained from other islands in the Indian seas; and books, probably from
these very facts, are either obscure or deceptive. The old writers
content themselves with assigning to any particular shell the
too-comprehensive habitat of "the Indian Ocean," and seldom discriminate
between a specimen from Ceylon and one from the Eastern Archipelago or
Hindustan. In a very few instances, Ceylon has been indicated with
precision as the habitat of particular shells, but even here the views
of specific essentials adopted by modern conchologists, and the
subdivisions established in consequence, leave us in doubt for which of
the described forms the collective locality should be retained.

Valuable notices of Ceylon shells are to be found in detached papers, in
periodicals, and in the scientific surveys of exploring voyages. The
authentic facts embodied in the monographs of Reeve, Kuster, Sowerby,
and Kienn, have greatly enlarged the knowledge of the marine testacea;
and the land and fresh-water mollusca have been similarly illustrated by
the contributions of Benson and Layard in the _Annals of Natural

The dredge has been used but only in a few insulated spots along the
coasts of Ceylon; European explorers have been rare; and the natives,
anxious only to secure the showy and saleable shells of the sea, have
neglected the less attractive ones of the land and the lakes. Hence Mr.
Hanley finds it necessary to premise that the list appended, although
the result of infinite labour and research, is less satisfactory than
could have been wished. "It is offered," he says, "with diffidence, not
pretending to the merit of completeness as a shell-fauna of the island,
but rather as a form, which the zeal of other collectors may hereafter
elaborate and fill up."

Looking at the little that has yet been done, compared with the vast and
almost untried field which invites explorers, an assiduous collector may
quadruple the species hitherto described. The minute shells especially
may be said to be unknown; a vigilant examination of the corals and
excrescences upon the spondyli and pearl-oysters would signally increase
our knowledge of the Rissoæ, Chemnitziæ, and other perforating testacea,
whilst the dredge from the deep water will astonish the amateur by the
wholly new forms it can scarcely fail to display.

Dr. Kelaart, an indefatigable observer, has recently undertaken to
investigate the Nudibranchiata, Inferobranchiata, and Tectibranchiata;
and a recently-received report from him, in the Journal of the Ceylon
Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, in which he has described fifty-six
species,--thirty-three belonging to the genus Doris alone--gives ample
evidence of what may be expected from the researches of a naturalist of
his acquirements and industry.

_List of Ceylon Shells._

The arrangement here adopted is a modified Lamarckian one, very similar
to that used by Reeve and Sowerby, and by MR. HANLEY, in his
_Illustrated Catalogue of Recent Shells_.[1]

[Footnote 1: Below will be found a general reference to the Works or
Papers in  which are given descriptive notices of the shells contained
in the following list; the names of the authors (in full or abbreviated)
being, as usual, annexed to each species.

ADAMS, _Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 56; _Thesaur. Conch._ ALBERS,
_Zeitsch. Malakoz._ 1853. ANTON, _Wiegm. Arch. Nat._ 1837; _Verzeichn.
Conch._ BECK in _Pfeiffer, Symbol. Helic._ BENSON, _Ann. Nat. Hist._
vii. 1851; xii. 1853; xviii. 1856. BLAINVILLE, _Dict. Sc. Nat.; Nouv.
Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat._ i. BOLTEN, _Mus._ BORN, _Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind._
BRODERIP, _Zool. Journ._ i. iii. BRUGUIDRE, _Ency. Méthod. Vers._
CARPENTER, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1856. CHEMNITZ, _Conch. Cab._ CHENU,
_Illus. Conch._ DESHAYES, _Encyc. Méth. Vers.; Mag. Zool._ 1831; _Voy.
Belanger; Edit. Lam. An. s. Vert.; Proceed. Zool. Soc._ 1853, 54, 55.
DILLWYN, _Descr. Cat. Shells._ DOHRN, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1857, 58;
_Malak. Blatter; Land and Fluviatile Shells of Ceylon._ DUCLOS, _Monog.
of Oliva_. FABRICIUS, _in Pfeiffer Monog. Helic.; in Dohrn's MSS._
FÉRUSSAC, _Hist. Mollusques._ FORSKÄL, _Anim. Orient._  GMELIN, _Syst.
Nat_. GRAY, _Proc. Zool. Soc._ 1834, 52; _Index Testaceologicus Suppl.;
Spicilegia Zool.; Zool. Journ._ i.; _Zool. Beechey Voy_. GRATELOUP,
_Act. Linn. Bourdeaux_, xi. GUERIN, _Rev. Zool_. 1847. HANLEY, _Thesaur.
Conch_. i.; _Recent Bivalves; Proc. Zool. Soc_. 1858. HINDS, _Zool. Voy.
Sulphur; Proc. Zool. Soc_. HUTTON, _Journ. As. Soc_. KARSTEN, _Mus.
Lesk_. KIENER, _Coquilles Vivantes_. KRAUSS, _Sud-Afrik Mollusk_.
LAMARCK, _An. sans Vertéb_. LAYARD, _Proc. Zool. Soc_. 1854. LEA,
_Proceed. Zool. Soc_. 1850, LINNÆUS, _Syst. Nat_. MARTINI, _Conch. Cab_.
MAWE, _Introd. Linn. Conch.; Index. Test. Suppl_. MEUSCHEN, in _Gronov.
Zoophylac_. MENKE, _Synop. Mollus_. MULLER, _Hist. Verm. Terrest_.
PETIT, _Pro. Zool. Soc_. 1842. PFEIFFER, _Monog. Helic.; Monog.
Pneumon.; Proceed. Zool. Soc_. 1852, 53, 54, 55, 56 _Zeitschr. Malacoz_.
1853. PHILIPPI, _Zeitsch. Mal_. 1846, 47; _Abbild. Neuer Conch_. POTIEZ
et MICHAUD, _Galerie Douai_. RANG, _Mag. Zool_. ser. i. p. 100. RÉCLUZ,
_Proceed. Zool. Soc_. 1845; _Revue Zool. Cuv_.1841; _Mag. Conch_. REEVE,
_Conch. Icon.; Proc. Zool. Soc_. 1842, 52. SCHUMACHER, _Syst_.
SHUTTLEWORTH. SOLANDER, in _Dillwyn's Desc. Cat. Shells_. SOWERBY,
_Genera Shells; Species Conch.; Conch. Misc.; Thesaur. Conch.; Conch.
Illus.; Proc. Zool. Soc.; App. to Tankerville Cat_. SPENGLER, _Skrivt.
Nat. Selsk. Kiobenhav_. 1792. SWAINSON, _Zool. Illust_. ser. ii.
TEMPLETON, _Ann. Nat. Hist_. 1858. TROSCHEL, in _Pfeiffer, Mon. Pneum;
Zeitschr. Malak_. 1847; _Weigm. Arch. Nat_. 1837. WOOD, _General

Aspergillum Javanum, _Brug._ Enc. Mét.
  sparsum, _Sowerby_, Gen. Shells.[1]
  clavatum, _Chenu_, Illust. Conch.
Teredo nucivorus, _Spengl_. Skr. Nat. Sels.[2]
Solen truncatus, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.
  linearis, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.
  cultellus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  radiatus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Anatina subrostrata, _Lamarck_, Anim. s. Vert.
Anatinella Nicobarica, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Lutraria Egyptiaca, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
Blainvillea vitrea, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[3]
Scrobicularia angulata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[4]
Mactra complanata, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc.[5]
  tumida, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  antiquata, _Reeve_ (as of _Spengler_), Conch. Icon.
  cygnea, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Corbiculoides, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Mesodesma Layardi, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  striata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[6]
Crassatella rostrata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  sulcata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Amphidesma duplicatum, _Sowerby_. Species Conch.
Pandora Ceylonica, _Sowerby_, Conch. Mis.
Galeomma Layardi. _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Kellia peculiaris, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Petricola cultellus, _Deshayes_ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
Sanguinolaria rosea, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Psammobia rostrata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  occidens, _Gm_. Systema Naturæ.
  Skinneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[7]
  Layardi, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  lunulata, _Desh_. P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  amethystus, _Wood_, Gen. Conch.[8]
  rugosa, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.[9]
Tellina virgata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[10]
  rugosa, _Born_. Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  ostracea, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  ala, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
  inæqualis, _Hanley_, Thesaur. Conch. i.
  Layardi, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  callosa, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  rubra, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  abbreviata, _Deshayes_, P.Z. Soc. 1854.
  foliacea, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ.
  lingua-felis, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ,
  vulsella, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[11]
Lucina interrupta, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.[12]
  Layardi, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
Donax scortum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  cuneata, _Linn_. Syst, Nat.
  faba, _Chem_. Conch. Cab.
  spinosa, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  paxillus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Cyrena Ceylanica, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Tennentii, _Hanley_, P. Z. Soc. 1858.
Cytherea Erycina, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[13]
  meretrix, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[14]
  castanea, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  castrensis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  casta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  costata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  læta, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  trimaculata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Hebræa, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  rugifera, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  scripta, _Linn_. Syst. Nat
  gibbia, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Meroe, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  testudinalis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  seminuda, _Anton_. Wiegm. Arch. Nat. 1837.
Cytherea seminuda, _Anton._[15]
Venus reticulata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[16]
  pinguis, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  recens, _Philippi_, Abbild. Neuer Conch.
  thiara, _Dillw_. Descriptive Cat. Shells.
  Malabarica, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Bruguieri, _Hanley_, Recent Bivalves,
  papilionacea, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Indica, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. ii.
  inflata, _Deshayes_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.[17]
  Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch. ii.
  literata, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ,
  textrix, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[18]
Cardium unedo, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  maculosum, _Wood_, Gen. Con.
  leucostomum, _Born_. Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  rugosum, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  biradiatum, _Bruguiere_, Encyc. Méth. Vers.
  attenuatum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  enode, _Sowerby_, Conch Illust.
  papyraceum, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  ringiculum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  subrugosum, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illust.
  latum, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  Asiaticum, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
Cardita variegata, _Bruguiere_, Encyc. Méthod. Vers.
  bicolor, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Arca rhombea, _Born_, Test. Mus.
  vellicata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  cruciata, _Philippi_, Ab. Neuer Conch.
  decussata, _Reeve_ (as of Sowerby), Conch. Icon.[19]
  scapha, _Meuschen_, in Gronov. Zoo.
Pectunculus nodosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  pectiniformis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Nucula mitralis, _Hinds_, Zool. voy. Sul.
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Nucula Mauritii (_Hanley_ as of _Hinds_), Recent Bivalves.
Unio corrugatus, _Müller_, Hist. Verm Ter.[20]
  marginalis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Lithodomus cinnamoneus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Mytilus viridis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[21]
  bilocularis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Pinna inflata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  cancellata, _Mawe_, Intr. Lin. Conch.
Malleus vulgaris, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  albus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Meleagrina margaritifera, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  vexillum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[22]
Avicula macroptera, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Lima squamosa, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Pecten plica, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  radula, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  pleuronectes, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  pallium, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  senator, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  histrionicus, _Gm_, Syst. Nat.
  Indicus, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Spondylus Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon,
  candidus, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam_.) Conch. Icon.
Ostrea hyotis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  glaucina, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Mytiloides, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert,
  cucullata? var. _Born_. Test. Mus Vind.[23]
  Vulsella Pholadiformis, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. (immature).
Placuna placenta, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Lingula anatina, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Hyalæa tridentata, _For_. Anim. Orient.[24]
Chiton, 2 species (_Layard_).
Patella Reynaudii, _Deshayes_, Voy. Be.
  testudinaria, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Emarginula fissurata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[25] _Lam_.
Calyptræa (Crucibulum) violascens,
  _Carpenter_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Dentalium octogonum, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert
  aprinum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Bulla soluta, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[26]
  vexillum, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Bruguieri, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
  elongata, _Adams_, Thes. Conch.
  ampulla, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Lamellaria (as Marsenia Indica, _Leach_. in Brit. Mus.) allied to
      L. Mauritiana, if not it.
Vaginula maculata, _Templ_. An. Nat.
Limax, 2 sp.
Parmacella Tennentii, _Templ_.[27]
Vitrina irradians, _Pfeiffer_, Hon. Helic.
  Edgariana, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  membranacea, _Benson_, Annal. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
Helix hæmastoma, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  vittata, _Müller_, Vermium Terrestrium.
  bistrialis, _Beck_, in Pfeiffer, Symbol. Helic.
Tranquebarica, _Fabricius_, in _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Juliana, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  Waltoni, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1842.
  Skinneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon, vii.
  corylus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. vii.
  umbrina, (_Reeve_, as of _Pfeiff_.), Conch. Icon. vii.
  fallaciosa, _Férassac_ Hist. Mollus.
  Rivolii, _Deshayes_, Enc. Méth. Vers. ii.
  Charpentieri, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  erronea, _Albers, Zeitschr_. Mal. 1853.
  carneola, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  convexiuscula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  ganoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Chenui, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  semidecussata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  phoenix, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  superba, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Gardneri, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  coriaria, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Layardi, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  concavospira, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  novella, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  verrucula, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  hyphasma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Emiliana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Woodiana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  partita, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  biciliata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Isabellina, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc.
  trifilosa, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool Soc. 1854.
  politissima, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  nepos, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
  subopaca, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  subconoidea, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  ceraria. _Benson_, Annals Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  vilipensa, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  perfucata, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  puteolus, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  mononema, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  marcida, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  galerus, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  albizonata, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  Nietneri, _Dohrn_, MS.[28]
  Grevillei, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Streptaxis Layardi, _Pfeiff._ Mon. Helic.
  Cingalensis, _Pfeiff._ Monog. Helic.
Pupa muscerda, _Benson_, Annals Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  mimula, _Benson_, Ann. Nat Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  trifasciatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  pullus, _Gray._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  gracilis, _Hutton_, Journ. Asiat. Soc. iii.
  punctatus, _Anton_, Verzeichn. Conch.
  Ceylanicus, _Pfeiff_. (? lævis, _Gray_, in Index
  adumbratus, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  intermedius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  proletarius, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  albizonatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  mavortius, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  fuscoventris, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  rufopictus, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  panos, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
Achatina nitens, _Gray_, Spicilegia Zool.
  inornata, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  capillacea, _Pfeiff_. Monog, Helic.
  Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  Punctogallana, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
  pachycheila, _Benson_.
  veruina, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
  parabilis, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist 1856 (xviii.)
Succinea Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Helic.
Auricula Ceylanica, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[29]
  Ceylanica, _Petit_, Proc. Zool Soc. 1842.[30]
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[31]
  pellucens, _Menke_, Synopsis Moll.
Pythia Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_. Zeitschr. Malacoz. 1853.
  ovata, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Truncatella Ceylanica, _Pfeiff_ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Cyclostoma (_Cyclophorus_) Ceylanicum, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
  involvulum, _Müller_, Verm. Terrest.
  Menkeanum, _Philippi_, Zeitsch. Mal. 1847.
  punctatum, _Grateloup_. Act. Lin. Bordeaux (xi.)
  Loxostoma, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  alabastrum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  Bairdii, _Pfeiff_. Monog Pneumon.
  Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  annulatum, _Troschel_, in Pfeiff. Mon. Pneumon.
  parapsis, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist 1853 (xii.)
  parma, _Bens_. Ann. Nat Hist. 1856 (xviii.)
  cratera, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist 1856 (xviii.)
(_Leptopoma_) halophilum, _Benson_, Ann. Nat. Hist.
      (ser. 2. vii.) 1851.
  orophilum, _Bens_. Annals Nat. Hist. (ser. 2. xi.)
  apicatum, _Bens_. Ann. Nat Hist 1856 (xviii.)
  conulus, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  flammeum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  semiclausum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  poecilum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  elatum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
Cyclostoma _(Aulopoma)_.
  Itieri, _Guérin_, Rev. Zool. 1847.
  helicinum, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Hoffmeisteri, _Troschel_, Zeitschr. Mal. 1847.
  grande, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  spheroideum, _Dohrn_, Malak. Blätter.
  (?) gradatum, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneum.
Cyclostoma (_Pterocyclos_).
  Cingalense, _Bens_. Ann. Nat Hist. (ser. 2. xi.)
  Troscheli, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist 1851.
  Cumingii, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
  bifrons, _Pfeiff_. Monog. Pneumon.
Cataulus Templemani, _Pfeiff_. Mon. Pneu.
  eurytrema, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  marginatus, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
  duplicatus, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  aureus, _Pfeiff._ Proc. Zool. Soc. 1855.
  Layardi, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  Austenianus _Bens._ Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853 (xii.)
Thwaitesii, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  Cumingii, _Pfeiff_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
  decorus, _Bens_. Ann. Nat. Hist. 1853.
  hæmastoma, _Pfeiff_. Proc. Zool. Soc. 1856.
Planorbis Coromandelianus, _Fabric_, in _Dorhrn's_ MS.
  Stelzeneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  elegantulus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
Limnæa tigrina, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  pinguis, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
Melania tuberculata, _Müller_, Verm. Ter.[32]
  spinulosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  corrugata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  rudis, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  acanthica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  Zeylanica, _Lea_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1850.
  confusa, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  datura, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  Layardi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
Paludomus abbreviatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  clavatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  dilatatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  globulosus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  decussatus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  nigricans, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  constrictus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  bicinctus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  phasianinus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  lævis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  palustris, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. So. 1854.
  fulguratus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1857.
  nasutus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  sphæricus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1857.
  solidus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  distinguendus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  Cumingianus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  dromedarius, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  Skinneri, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  Swainsoni, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1857.
  nodulosus, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1857.
Paludomus (_Tanalia_).
  loricatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  erinaceus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  æreus, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1852.
  undatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Gardneri, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Tennentii, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Reevei, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  violaceus, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. So. 1854.
  similis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  funiculatus, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Paludomus (_Philopotamis_).
  sulcatus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  regalis, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  Thwaitesii, _Layard_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
Pirena atra, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ.
Paludina melanostoma, _Bens_.
  Ceylanica, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1857.
Bythinia stenothyroides, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
  modesta, _Dohrn_, MS.
  inconspicua, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1857.
Ampullaria Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  moesta, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  cinerea, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Woodwardi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  Tischbeini, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  carinata, _Swainson_, Zool. Illus ser. 2
  paludinoides, Cat. _Cristofori & Jan._[33]
  Malabarica, _Philippi_, in Kust. ed. Chem.[33]
  Luzonica, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.[33]
  Sumatrensis, _Philippi_, in Kust. ed. Chem.[33]
Navicella eximia, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon,
  reticulata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Livesayi, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1858.
  squamata, _Dohrn_, Proc. Zool. So. 1858.
  depressa, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Neritina crepidularia, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  melanostoma, _Troschel_, Wiegm. Arch. Nat. 1837.
  triserialis, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
  Colombaria, _Recluz_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1845.
  Perottetiana, _Recluz_, Revue Zool. Cuvier, 1841.
  Ceylanensis, _Recluz_, Mag. Conch. 1851.
  Layardi, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  rostrata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  reticulata, _Sowerby_, Conch. Illustr.
Nerita plicata, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ.
  costata, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  plexa, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.[34]
Natica aurantia, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  mammilla, _Linn_. Systema Naturæ.
  picta, _Reeve (as of Recluz)_, Conch. Icon.
  arachnoidea, _Gm_. Systema Naturæ.
  lineata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  adusta, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab f. 1926-7, and _Karsten_.[35]
  pellis-tigrina, _Karsten_, Mus. Lesk.[36]
  didyma, _Bolten_, Mus.[37]
Ianthina prolongata, _Blainv._, Diction. Sciences Nat. xxiv.
  communis, _Krauss_, (as of _Lamarck_ in part) Sud-Afrik.
Sigaretus. A species (possibly Javanicus) is known to have been
      collected. I have not seen it.
Stomatella calliostoma, _Adams_, Thesaur. Conch
Holiotis varia, _Linn._ Systema Naturæ.
  striata, _Martini_ (as of _Linn._), Conch. Cab. i.
  semistriata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Tornatella solidula, _Linn._ Systema Nat.
Pyramidella maculosa, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Eulima Martini, _Adams_, Thes. Conch. ii.
Siliquaria muricata, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
Scalaria raricostata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
Delphinula laciniata, _Lam._, Anim. s. Vert.
  distorta, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.[38]
Solarium perdix, _Hinds._, Proc. Zool. Soc.
  Layardi, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[39]
Rotella vestiaria, _Linn._, Syst. Nat.
Phorus pallidulus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon. i.
Trochus elegantulus, _Gray_, Index Tes. Suppl.
  Niloticus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Monodonta labio, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  canaliculata, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbo versicolor, _Gm._ Syst. Nat.
  princeps, _Philippi_.[40]
Planaxis undulatus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[41]
Littorina angulifera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  melanostoma, _Gray_, Zool., Beech.
Chemnitzia trilineata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool Soc. 1853..
  lirata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1853.
Phasianella lineolata, _Gray_, Index Test. Suppl.
Turritella bacillum, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes.
  columnaris, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes.
  duplicata, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  attenuata, _Reeve_, Syst. Nat.
Cerithium fluviatile, _Potiez & Michaud_, Galerie Douai.
  Layardi (Cerithidea), _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  aluco, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  asperum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  telescopium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  palustre obeliscus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  fasciatum, _Brug._, Encycl. Méth. Vers
  rubus, _Sowerby_ (as of _Martyn_), Thes. Conch. ii.
  Sowerbyi, _Kiener_, Coquilles Vivantes (teste Sir E. Tennent).
Pleurotoma Indica, _Deshayes_, Voyage Belanger.
  virgo, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Turbinella pyrum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  rapa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert. (the Chank.)
  cornigera, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  spirillus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Cancellaria trigonostoma, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.[43]
  scalata, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
  articularis, _Sowerby_, Thesaur, Conch.
  Littoriniformis, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
  contabulata, _Sowerby_, Thes. Conch.
Fasciolaria filamentosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  trapezium, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
Fusus longissimus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  colus, _Linn._ Mus. Lud. Ulricæ.
  toreuma, _Deshayes_, (as Murex t. _Martyn_). ed.
      _Lam._ Amin. s. Vert.
  laticostatus, _Deshayes_, Magas. Zool. 1831.
  Blosvillei, _Deshayes_, Encyl. Méthod. Vers., ii.
Pyrula rapa, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[44]
  citrina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  pugilina, _Born_, Test. Mus. Vind.[45]
  ficus, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  ficoides, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
Ranella crumena, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  spinosa, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  rana, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.[46]
  margaritula, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
Murex haustellum, _Linn._ Syst. Nat.
  adustus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  microphyllus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  anguliferus, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  palmarosæ, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ternispina, _Kiener_, (as of _Lam._), Coquilles Vivantes.
  tenuispina, _Lam._ Anim. s. Vert.
  ferrugo, _Mawe_, Index. Test. Suppl.[47]
  Reeveanus, _Shuttleworth_, (teste _Cuming_)
Triton anus, _Linn_, Syst. Nat.[48]
  mulus, _Dillwyn_, Descript. Cat. Shells.
  retusus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  pyrum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  clavator, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Ceylonensis, _Sowerby_, Proc. Zool. Soc.
  lotorium, _Lam_. (not _Linn_.) Anim. s. Vert.
  lampas, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Pterocera lambis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  millepeda, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Strombus canarium, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[49]
  succinctus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  fasciatus, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  Sibbaldii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch. t.
  lentiginosus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  marginatus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Lamarckii, _Sowerby_, Thesaur. Conch.
Cassis glauca, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[50]
  canaliculata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Zeylanica, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  areola, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Ricinula alboiabris, _Blainv_. Nouv. Ann. Mus. H. N. i.[51]
  horrida, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  morus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Purpura fiscella, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Persica, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  hystrix, _Lam_. (not _Linn_.) Anim. s. Vert.
  granatina, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belanger.
  mancinella, _Lam_. (as of _Linn_.) Anim. s. Vert.
  bufo, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  carinifera, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Harpa conoidalis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  minor, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Dolium pomum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  olearium, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  perdix, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  maculatum, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Nassa ornata, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes.[52]
  verrucosa, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  crenulata, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  olivacea, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  glans, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  arcularia, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  papillosa, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Phos virgatus, _Hinds_, Zool. Sul. Moll.
  retecosus, _Hinds_, Zool. Sulphur, Moll.
  senticosus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Buccinum melanostoma, _Sowerly_, App. to Tankerv. Cat.
  erythrostoma, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  Proteus, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  rubiginosum, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
Eburna spirata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[53]
  canaliculata, _Schumacher_, Sys. Anim. s. Vert.[54]
  Ceylanica, _Bruguiere_, En. Méth. Vers.
Bullia vittata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  lineolata, _Sowerby_, Tankerv. Cat.[55]
  Melanoides, _Deshayes_, Voy. Belan
Terebra chlorata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  muscaria, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  lævigata, _Gray_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1834.
  maculata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  subulata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  concinna, _Deshayes_, ed. _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  myurus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  tigrina, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
  Cerithina, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Columbella flavida, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  fulgurans, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  mendicaria, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  scripta, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.(teste _Jay_).
Mitra episcopalis, _Dillwyn_, Descript. Cat. Shells.
  cardinalis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  crebrilirata, _Reeve_, Conch. Icon.
  punctostriata, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  insculpta, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.
  Layard, _Adams_, Proc. Zool. Soc. 1854.[56]
Voluta vexillum, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  Lapponica, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Melo Indicus, _Gm_. Syst. Nat.
Marginella Sarda, _Kiener_, Coq. Vivantes.
Ovulum ovum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  verrucosum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  pudicum, _Adams_, Proc. Zool Soc. 1854.
Cypræa Argus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Arabica, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Mauritiana, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  hirundo, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Lynx, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  asellus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  erosa, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  vitellus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  stolida, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  mappa, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  helvola, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  errones, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  cribraria, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  globulus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  clandestina, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  ocellata, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  caurica, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  tabescens, _Solander_, in Dillwyn Descr. Cat. Shells.
  gangrenosa, _Solander_, in Dillwyn Desc. Cat. Shells.
  interrupta, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  lentiginosa, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  pyriformis, _Gray_, Zool. Journ. i.
  nivosa, _Broderip_, Zool. Journ. iii.
  poraria, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  testudinaria, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
Terebellum subulatum, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Ancillaria glabrata, _Linn_. Syst Nat.
  candida, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
Oliva Maura, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  erythrostoma, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert,
  gibbosa, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs.[57]
  nebulosa, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  Macleayana, _Duclos_, Monograph of Oliva.
  episcopalis, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert,
  elegans, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert,
  ispidula, _Linn_. Syst. Nat. (partly).[58]
  Zeilanica, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert,
  undata, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  frisans, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert, (teste _Duclos_).
Conus miles, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  generalis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  betulinus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  stercus-muscarum, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Hebræus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  virgo, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  geographicus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  aulicus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  figulinus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  striatus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  senator, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.[58]
  literatus, _Linn_. Syst. Nat
  imperialis, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  textile, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  terebra, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  tessellatus, _Born_, Test. Mus. Cæs. Vind.
  Augur, _Bruguiere_, Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  obesus, _Bruguiere_ Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  araneosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  gubernator, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  monile, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  nimbosus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  eburneus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  vitulinus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  quercinus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  lividus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Omaria, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Maldivus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  nocturnus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Ceylonensis, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  arenatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Nicobaricus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  glans, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Amadis, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  punctatus, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  minimus, _Reeve_ (as of _Linn_.), Conch. Icon.
  terminus, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vert.
  lineatus, _Chemn_. Conch. Cab.
  episcopus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  verriculum, _Reeve_, Conch. Cab.
  zonatus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  rattus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers. (teste _Chemn_.)
  pertusus, _Brug_. Encycl. Méth. Vers.
  Nussatella, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  lithoglyphus, _Brug_. En. Méth. Vers.[59]
  tulipa, _Linn_. Syst. Nat.
  Ammiralis, _var. Linn,_ teste _Brug._
Spirula Peronii, _Lam_. Anim. s. Vett.
Sepia Hieredda, _Rang_. Magas, Zool, ser. i. p. 100.
Sepioteuthis, _Sp_.
Loligo, _Sp_.

[Footnote 1: A. dichotomum, _Chenu_.]

[Footnote 2: Fistulana gregata, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 3: Blainvillea, _Hupé_.]

[Footnote 4: Latraria tellinoides, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 5: I have also seen M. hians of Philippi in a Ceylon

[Footnote 6: M. Taprobanensis, _Index Test. Suppl_.]

[Footnote 7: Psammotella Skinneri, _Reeve_.]

[Footnote 8: P. cærulescens, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 9: Sanguinolaria rugosa, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 10: T. striatula of Lamarck is also supposed to be indigenous
to Ceylon.]

[Footnote 11: T. rostrata, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 12: L. divaricata is found, also, in mixed Ceylon

[Footnote 13: C. dispar of Chemnitz is occasionally found in Ceylon

[Footnote 14: C. impudica, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 15: As Donax.]

[Footnote 16: V. corbis, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 17: As Tapes.]

[Footnote 18: V. textile, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 19: ? Arca Helblingii, _Chemn_.]

[Footnote 20: Mr. Cuming informs me that he has forwarded no less than
six distinct _Uniones_ from Ceylon to Isaac Lea of Philadelphia for
determination or description.]

[Footnote 21: M. smaragdinus, _Chemn_.]

[Footnote 22: As Avicula.]

[Footnote 23: The specimens are not in a fitting state for positive
determination. They are strong, extremely narrow, with the beak of the
lower valve much produced, the inner edge of the upper valve
denticulated throughout. The muscular impressions are dusky brown.]

[Footnote 24: An Anomia.]

[Footnote 25: The fissurata of Humphreys and Dacosta, pl. 4--E. rubra,

[Footnote 26: B. Ceylanica, _Brug_.]

[Footnote 27: P. Tennentii. "Greyish brown, with longitudinal rows of
rufous spots, forming interrupted bands along the sides. A singularly
handsome species, having similar habits to _Limax_. Found in the valleys
of the Kalany Ganga, near Ruanwellé."--_Templeton_ MSS.]

[Footnote 28: Not far from bistrialis and Ceylanica. The manuscript
species of Mr. Dohrn will shortly appear in his intended work upon the
land and fluviatile shells of Ceylon.]

[Footnote 29: As Ellobium.]

[Footnote 30: As Melampus.]

[Footnote 31: As Ophicardelis.]

[Footnote 32: M. fasciolata, _Olivier_.]

[Footnote 33: These four species are included on the authority of Mr.

[Footnote 34: N. exuvia, _Lam_. not _Linn_.]

[Footnote 35: Conch. Cab. f. 1926-7, and N. melanostoma, _Lam_. in

[Footnote 36: Chemn, Conch. Cab, 1892-3.]

[Footnote 37: N. glaucina, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

[Footnote 38: Not of _Lamarck_. D. atrata. _Reeve_.]

[Footnote 39: Philippia L.]

[Footnote 40: Zeit. Mal. 1846 for T. argyrostoma, _Lam._ not _Linn._]

[Footnote 41: Buccinum pyramidatum, _Gm._ in part: B. sulcatum, var. C.
of _Brug_.]

[Footnote 42: Teste Cuming.]

[Footnote 43: As Delphinulat.]

[Footnote 44: P. papyracea, _Lam._ In mixed collections I have seen the
Chinese P. bezoar of _Lamarck_ as from Ceylon.]

[Footnote 45: P. vespertilio, _Gm._]

[Footnote 46: R. albivaricosa, _Reeve_.]

[Footnote 47: M. anguliferus var. _Lam._]

[Footnote 48: T. cynocephalus of _Lamarck_ is also met with in Ceylon

[Footnote 49: S. incisus of the Index Testaceologicus (urceus, var.
_Sow_. Thesaur.) is found in mixed Ceylon collections.]

[Footnote 50: C. plicaria of _Lamarck_, and C. coronulata of _Sowerby_,
are also said to be found in Ceylon.]

[Footnote 51: As Purpura.]

[Footnote 52: N. suturalis, _Reeve_ (as of _Lam_.), is met with in mixed
Ceylon collections.]

[Footnote 53: E. areolata _Lam_.]

[Footnote 54: E. spirata, _Lam_. not _Linn_.]

[Footnote 55: B Belangeri, _Kiener_.]

[Footnote 56: As Turricula L.]

[Footnote 57: 0. utriculus, _Dillwyn_.]

[Footnote 58: C. planorbis, _Born_; C, vulpinus, _Lam_.]

[Footnote 59: Conus ermineus, _Born_, in part.]

A conclusion not unworthy of observation may be deduced from this
catalogue; namely, that Ceylon was the unknown, and hence
unacknowledged, source of almost every extra-European shell which has
been described by Linnæus without a recorded habitat. This fact gives to
Ceylon specimens an importance which can only be appreciated by
collectors and the students of Mollusca.


The eastern seas are profusely stocked with radiated animals, but it is
to be regretted that they have as yet received but little attention from
English naturalists. Dr. Kelaart has, however, devoted himself to the
investigation of some of the Singhalese species, and has given the
fruits of his discoveries in the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the
Asiatic Society for 1856-8. Our information respecting the radiata on
the confines of the island is, therefore, very scanty; with the
exception of the genera[1] examined by him. Hence the notice of this
extensive class of animals must be limited to indicating a few of those
which exhibit striking peculiarities, or which admit of the most common

[Footnote 1: Actinia, 9 sp.: Anthea, 4 sp.; Actinodendron, 3 sp.;
Dioscosoma, 1 sp.; Peechea, 1 sp.; Zoanthura, 1 sp.]

_Star Fish._--Very large species of _Ophiuridæ_ are to be met with at
Trincomalie, crawling busily about, and insinuating their long
serpentine arms into the irregularities and perforations in the rocks.
To these they attach themselves with such a firm grasp, especially when
they perceive that they have attracted attention, that it is next to
impossible to procure unmutilated specimens without previously depriving
them of life, or at least modifying their muscular tenacity. The upper
surface is of a dark purple colour, and coarsely spined; the arms of the
largest specimens are more than a foot in length, and very fragile.

The star fishes, with immovable rays[1], are not by any means rare; many
kinds are brought up in the nets, or may be extracted from the stomachs
of the larger market fish. One very large species[2], figured by
Joinville in the manuscript volume in the library at the India House, is
not uncommon; it has thick arms, from which and the disc numerous large
fleshy cirrhi of a bright crimson colour project downwards, giving the
creature a remarkable aspect. No description of it, so far as I am aware
has appeared in any systematic work on zoology.

[Footnote 1: _Asterias_, Linn.]

[Footnote 2: _Pentaceros?_]

_Sea Slugs._--There are a few species of _Holothuriæ_, of which the
trepang is the best known example. It is largely collected in the Gulf
of Manaar, and dried in the sun to prepare it for export to China. A
good description and figure of it are still desiderata.

_Parasitic Worms._--Of these entozoa, the _Filaria medinensis_, or
guinea worm, which burrows in the cellular tissue under the skin, is
well known in the north of the island, but rarely found in the damper
districts of the south and west. In Ceylon, as elsewhere, the natives
attribute its occurrence to drinking the waters of particular wells; but
this belief is inconsistent with the fact that its lodgment in the human
body is almost always effected just above the ankle, which shows that
the minute parasites are transferred to the skin of the leg from the
moist vegetation bordering the footpaths leading to wells. The creatures
are at this period minute, and the process of insinuation is painless
and imperceptible. It is only when they attain to considerable size, a
foot or more in length, that the operation of extracting them is
resorted to, when exercise may have given rise to inconvenience and

_Planaria_.--In the journal above alluded to, Dr. Kelaart has given
descriptions of fifteen species of planaria, and four of a new genus,
instituted by him for the reception of those differing from the normal
kinds by some peculiarities which they exhibit in common. At Point
Pedro, Mr. Edgar Layard met with one on the bark of trees, after heavy
rain, which would appear to belong to the subgenus _geoplana_.[1]

[Footnote 1: "A curious species, which is of a light brown above, white
underneath; very broad and thin, and has a peculiarly shaped tail,
half-moon-shaped, in fact, like a grocer's cheese knife."]

_Acalephæ_.--Acalephæ[1] are plentiful, so much so, indeed, that they
occasionally tempt the larger cetacea into the Gulf of Manaar. In the
calmer months of the year, when the sea is glassy, and for hours
together undisturbed by a ripple, the minute descriptions are rendered
perceptible by their beautiful prismatic tinting. So great is their
transparency that they are only to be distinguished from the water by
the return of the reflected light that glances from their delicate and
polished surfaces. Less frequently they are traced by the faint hues of
their tiny peduncles, arms, or tentaculæ; and it has been well observed
that they often give the seas in which they abound the appearance of
being crowded with flakes of half-melted snow. The larger kinds, when
undisturbed in their native haunts, attain to considerable size. A
faintly blue medusa, nearly a foot across, may be seen in the Gulf of
Manaar, where, no doubt, others of still larger growth are to be found.

[Footnote 1: Jellyfish.]

The remaining orders, including the corals, madrepores, and other
polypi, have yet to find a naturalist to undertake their investigation,
but in all probability the species are not very numerous.



Owing to the combination of heat, moisture, and vegetation, the myriads
of insects in Ceylon form one of the characteristic features of the
island. In the solitude of the forests there is a perpetual music from
their soothing and melodious hum, which frequently swells to a startling
sound as the cicada trills his sonorous drum on the sunny bark of some
tall tree. At morning the dew hangs in diamond drops on the threads and
gossamer which the spiders suspend across every pathway; and above the
pool dragon flies, of more than metallic lustre, flash in the early
sunbeams. The earth teems with countless ants, which emerge from beneath
its surface, or make their devious highways to ascend to their nests in
the trees. Lustrous beetles, with their golden elytra, bask on the
leaves, whilst minuter species dash through the air in circles, which
the ear can follow by the booming of their tiny wings. Butterflies of
large size and gorgeous colouring flutter over the endless expanse of
flowers, and frequently the extraordinary sight presents itself of
flights of these delicate creatures, generally of a white or pale yellow
hue, apparently miles in breadth, and of such prodigious extension as to
occupy hours, and even days, uninterruptedly in their passage--whence
coming no one knows; wither going no one can tell.[1] As day declines,
the moths issue from their retreats, the crickets add their shrill
voices to swell the din; and when darkness descends, the eye is charmed
with the millions of emerald lamps lighted up by the fire-flies amidst
the surrounding gloom.

[Footnote 1: The butterflies I have seen in these wonderful migrations
in Ceylon were mostly _Callidryas Hilariæ, C. Alcmeone_, and _C.
Pyranthe_, with straggling individuals of the genus _Euploea, E. Coras_,
and _E. Prothoe_. Their passage took place in April and May, generally
in a north-easterly direction.]

No attempt has as yet been made to describe the class systematically,
much less to enumerate the prodigious number of species which abound in
every locality. Occasional observers have, from time to time,
contributed notices of particular families to the Scientific
Associations of Europe, but their papers remain undigested, and the time
has not yet arrived for the preparation of an Entomology of the island.

What Darwin remarks of the Coleoptera of Brazil is nearly as applicable
to the same order of insects in Ceylon: "The number of minute and
obscurely coloured beetles is exceedingly great; the cabinets of Europe
can as yet, with partial exceptions, boast only of the larger species
from tropical climates, and it is sufficient to disturb the composure of
an entomologist to look forward to the future dimensions of a catalogue
with any pretensions to completeness."[l]

[Footnote 1: _Nat. Journal_, p. 39.]

M. Neitner, a German entomologist, who has spent some years in Ceylon,
has recently published, in one of the local periodicals, a series of
papers on the Coleoptera of the island, in which every species
introduced is stated to be previously undescribed.[1]

[Footnote 1: Republished in the _Ann. Nat. Hist_.]

COLEOPTERA.--_Buprestidoe; Golden Beetles_.--In the morning the
herbaceous plants, especially on the eastern side of the island, are
studded with these gorgeous beetles whose golden elytra[1] are used to
enrich the embroidery of the Indian zenana, whilst the lustrous joints
of the legs are strung on silken threads, and form necklaces and
bracelets of singular brilliancy.

[Footnote 1: _Sternocera Chrysis; S. sternicornis_.]

These exquisite colours are not confined to one order, and some of the
Elateridæ[1] and Lamellicorns exhibit hues of green and blue, that rival
the deepest tints of the emerald and sapphire.

[Footnote 1: Of the family of _Elateridæ_, one of the finest is a
Singhalese species, the _Compsosternus Templetonii_, of an exquisite
golden green colour, with blue reflections (described and figured by Mr.
WESTWOOD in his _Cabinet of Oriental Entomology_, pl. 35, f. 1). In the
same work is figured another species of large size, also from Ceylon,
this is the _Alaus sordidus_.--WESTWOOD, 1. c. pl. 35, f. 9.]

_Scavenger Beetles_.--Scavenger beetles[1] are to be seen wherever the
presence of putrescent and offensive matter affords opportunity for the
display of their repulsive but most curious instincts; fastening on it
with eagerness, severing it into lumps proportionate to their strength,
and rolling it along in search of some place sufficiently soft in which
to bury it, after having deposited their eggs in the centre. I had
frequent opportunities, especially in traversing the sandy jungles in
the level plains to the north of the island, of observing the unfailing
appearance of these creatures instantly on the dropping of horse dung,
or any other substance suitable for their purpose; although not one was
visible but a moment before. Their approach through the air is announced
by a loud and joyous booming sound, as they dash in rapid circles in
search of the desired object, led by their sense of smell, but evidently
little assisted by the eye in shaping their course towards it. In these
excursions they exhibit a strength of wing and sustained power of
flight, such as is possessed by no other class of beetles with which I
am acquainted, but which is obviously indispensable for the due
performance of the useful functions they discharge.

[Footnote 1: _Ateuchus sacer; Copris sagax; C. capucinus_, &c. &c.]

_The Coco-nut Beetle._--In the luxuriant forests of Ceylon, the
extensive family of Longicorns live in destructive abundance. Their
ravages are painfully familiar to the coco-nut planters.[1] The larva of
one species of large dimensions, _Batocera rubus_[2], called by the
Singhalese "_Cooroominya_" makes its way into the stems of the younger
trees, and after perforating them in all directions, it forms a cocoon
of the gnawed wood and sawdust, in which it reposes during its sleep as
a pupa, till the arrival of the period when it emerges as a perfect
beetle. Notwithstanding the repulsive aspect of the large pulpy larvæ of
these beetles, they are esteemed a luxury by the Malabar coolies, who so
far avail themselves of the privilege accorded by the Levitical law,
which permitted the Hebrews to eat "the beetle after his kind."[3]

[Footnote 1: There is a paper in the _Journ. of the Asiat. Society of
Ceylon_, May, 1845, by Mr. CAPPER, on the ravages perpetrated by these
beetles. The writer had recently passed through several coco-nut
plantations, "varying in extent from 20 to 150 acres, and about two to
three years old; and in these he did not discover a single young tree
untouched by the cooroominya."--P. 49.]

[Footnote 2: Called also B. _octo-maculatus; Lamia rubus_, Fabr.]

[Footnote 3: Leviticus, xi. 22.]

_Tortoise Beetles_.--There is one family of insects, the members of
which cannot fail to strike the traveller by their singular beauty, the
_Cassidiadæ_ or tortoise beetles, in which the outer shell overlaps the
body, and the limbs are susceptible of being drawn entirely within it.
The rim is frequently of a different tint from the centre, and one
species which I have seen is quite startling from the brilliancy of its
colouring, which gives it the appearance of a ruby enclosed in a frame
of pearl; but this wonderful effect disappears immediately on the death
of the insect.[1]

[Footnote 1: One species, the _Cassida farinosa_, frequent in the jungle
which surrounded my official residence at Kandy, is covered profusely
with a snow-white powder, arranged in delicate filaments, which it moves
without dispersing: but when dead they fall rapidly to dust.]

ORTHOPTERA. _The Soothsayer_.--But the admiration of colours is still
less exciting than the astonishment created by the forms in which some
of the insect families present themselves, especially the "soothsayers"
(_Mantidæ_) and "walking leaves." The latter[1], exhibiting the most
cunning of all nature's devices for the preservation of her creatures,
are found in the jungle in all varieties of hue, from the pale yellow of
an opening bud to the rich green of the full-blown leaf, and the
withered tint of decaying foliage. And so perfect is the imitation in
structure and articulation, that these amazing insects when at rest are
almost indistinguishable from the verdure around them: not the wings
alone being modelled to resemble ribbed and fibrous follicles, but every
joint of the legs being expanded into a broad plait like a half-opened

[Footnote 1: _Phyllium siccifolium._]

It rests on its abdomen, the legs serving to drag it slowly along, and
thus the flatness of its attitude serves still further to add to the
appearance of a leaf. One of the most marvellous incidents connected
with its organisation was exhibited by one which I kept under a glass
shade on my table; it laid a quantity of eggs, that, in colour and
shape, were not to be discerned from _seeds_. They were brown and
pentangular, with a short stem, and slightly punctured at the

[Illustration: EGGS OF THE LEAF INSECT.]

The "soothsayer," on the other hand _(Mantis superstitiosa_ Fab.[1]),
little justifies by its propensities the appearance of gentleness, and
the attitudes of sanctity, which have obtained for it its title of the
praying mantis. Its habits are carnivorous, and degenerate into
cannibalism, as it preys on the weaker individuals of its own species.
Two which I enclosed in a box were both found dead a few hours after,
literally severed limb from limb in their encounter. The formation of
the foreleg enables the tibia to be so closed on the sharp edge of the
thigh as to amputate any slender substance grasped within it.

[Footnote 1: _M. aridifolia_ and _M. extensicollis_, as well as _Empusa
gongyloides_, remarkable for the long leaf-like head, and dilatations on
the posterior thighs, are common in the island.]

_The Stick-insect_--The _Phasmidoe_ or spectres, another class of
orthoptera, present as close a resemblance to small branches or leafless
twigs as their congeners do to green leaves. The wing-covers, where they
exist, instead of being expanded, are applied so closely to the body as
to detract nothing from its rounded form, and hence the name which they
have acquired of "_walking-sticks_." Like the _Phyllium_, the _Phasma_
lives exclusively on vegetables, and some attain the length of several

Of all the other tribes of the _Orthoptera_ Ceylon possesses many
representatives; in swarms of cockroaches, grasshoppers, locusts, and

NEUROPTERA. _Dragon-flies._--Of the _Neuroptera_, some of the
dragon-flies are pre-eminently beautiful; one species, with rich
brown-coloured spots upon its gauzy wings, is to be seen near every
pool.[1] Another[2], which dances above the mountain streams in Oovah,
and amongst the hills descending towards Kandy, gleams in the sun as if
each of its green enamelled wings had been sliced from an emerald.[3]

[Footnote 1: _Libellula pulchella._]

[Footnote 2: _Euphoea splendens_, Hagen.]

[Footnote 3: _Gymnacantha subinterrupta_, Ramb. distinguished by its
large size, is plentiful about the mountain streamlets.]

_The Ant-lion_.--Of the ant-lion, whose larvæ have earned a bad renown
from their predaceous ingenuity, Ceylon has, at least, four species,
which seem peculiar to the island.[1] This singular creature,
preparatory to its pupal transformation, contrives to excavate a conical
pitfall in the dust to the depth of about an inch, in the bottom of
which it conceals itself, exposing only its open mandibles above the
surface; and here every ant and soft-bodied insect which, curiosity
tempts to descend, or accident may precipitate into the trap, is
ruthlessly seized and devoured by its ambushed inhabitant.

[Footnote 1: _Palpares contrarius_, Walker; _Myrmeleon gravis_, Walker;
_M. dirus_, Walker; _M. barbarus_, Walker.]

_The White Ant_--But of the insects of this order the most noted are the
_white ants_ or termites (which are ants only by a misnomer). They are,
unfortunately, at once ubiquitous and innumerable in every spot where
the climate is not too chilly, or the soil too sandy, for them to
construct their domed edifices.

These they raise from a considerable depth under ground, excavating the
clay with their mandibles, and moistening it with tenacious saliva[1]
until it assume the appearance, and almost the consistency, of
sandstone. So delicate is the trituration to which they subject this
material, that the goldsmiths of Ceylon employ the powdered clay of the
ant hills in preference to all other substances in the preparation of
crucibles and moulds for their finer castings; and KNOX says, in his
time, "the people used this clay to make their earthen gods of, it is so
pure and fine."[2] These structures the termites erect with such
perseverance and durability that they frequently rise to the height of
ten or twelve feet from the ground, with a corresponding diameter. They
are so firm in their texture that the weight of a horse makes no
apparent indentation on their solidity; and even the intense rains of
the monsoon, which no cement or mortar can long resist, fail to
penetrate the surface or substance of an ant hill.[3]

[Footnote 1: It becomes an interesting question whence the termites
derive the large supplies of moisture with which they not only temper
the clay for the construction of their long covered-ways above ground,
but for keeping their passages uniformly damp and cool below the
surface. Yet their habits in this particular are unvarying, in the
seasons of droughts as well as after rain; in the driest and least
promising positions, in situations inaccessible to drainage from above,
and cut off by rocks and impervious strata from springs from below. Dr.
Livingstone, struck with this phenomenon in Southern Africa, asks: "Can
the white ants possess the power of combining the oxygen and hydrogen of
their vegetable food by vital force so as to form water?"--_Travels_, p.
22. And he describes at Angola an insect (A. goudotti? Bennett.)
resembling the _Aphrophora spumaria_; seven or eight individuals of
which distil several pints of water every night.--P. 414. It is highly
probable that the termites are endowed with some such faculty: nor is it
more remarkable that an insect should combine the gases of its food to
produce water, than that a fish should decompose water in order to
provide itself with gas. FOURCROIX found the contents of the air-bladder
in a carp to be pure nitrogen.--_Yarrell_, vol. i. p. 42. And the
aquatic larva of the dragon-fly extracts air for its respiration from
the water in which it is submerged. A similar mystery pervades the
inquiry whence plants under peculiar circumstances derive the water
essential to vegetation.]

[Footnote 2: KNOX'S _Ceylon_, Part I, ch. vi. p. 24.]

[Footnote 3: Dr. HOOKER, in his _Himalayan Journal_ (vol. i. p. 20) is
of opinion that the nests of the termites are not independent
structures, but that their nucleus is "the debris of clumps of bamboos
or the trunks of large trees which these insects have destroyed." He
supposes that the dead tree falls leaving the stump coated with sand,
_which the action of the weather soon fashions info a cone_. But
independently of the fact that the "action of the weather" produces
little or no effect on the closely cemented clay of the white ants'
nest, they may be daily seen constructing their edifices in the very
form of a cone, which they ever after retain. Besides which, they appear
in the midst of terraces and fields where no trees are to be seen; and
Dr. Hooker seems to overlook the fact that the termites rarely attack a
living tree; and although their nests may be built against one, it
continues to flourish not the less for their presence.]

In their earlier stages the termites proceed with such energetic
rapidity, that I have seen a pinnacle of moist clay, six inches in
height and twice as large in diameter, constructed underneath a table
between sitting down to dinner and the removal of the cloth.

As these lofty mounds of earth have all been carried up from beneath the
surface, a cave of corresponding dimensions is necessarily scooped out
below, and here, under the multitude of cupolas and pinnacles which
canopy it above, the termites hollow out the royal chamber for their
queen, with spacious nurseries surrounding it on all sides. Store-rooms
and magazines occupy the lower apartments, and all are connected by
arched galleries, long passages, and doorways of the most intricate and
elaborate construction. In the centre and underneath the spacious dome
is the recess for the queen--a hideous creature, with the head and
thorax of an ordinary termite, but a body swollen to a hundred times its
usual and proportionate bulk, and presenting the appearance of a mass of
shapeless pulp. From this great progenitrix proceed the myriads which
people the subterranean hive, consisting, like the communities of the
genuine ants, of labourers and soldiers, which are destined never to
acquire a fuller development than that of larvas, and the perfect
insects which in due time become invested with wings and take their
departing flight from the cave. But their new equipment seems only
destined to facilitate their dispersion from the parent nest, which
takes place at dusk; and almost as quickly as they leave it they divest
themselves of their ineffectual wings, waving them impatiently and
twisting them in every direction till they become detached and drop off,
and the swarm, within a few hours of their emancipation, become a prey
to the night-jars and bats, which are instantly attracted to them as
they issue in a cloud from the ground. I am not prepared to say that the
other insectivorous birds would not gladly make a meal of the termites,
but, seeing that in Ceylon their numbers are chiefly kept in check by
the crepuscular birds, it is observable, at least as a coincidence, that
the dispersion of the swarm generally takes place at _twilight_. Those
that escape the _caprimulgi_ lose their wings before morning, and are
then disposed of by the crows.

The strange peculiarity of the omnivorous ravages of the white ants is
that they shrink from the light, in all their expeditions for providing
food they construct a covered pathway of moistened clay, and their
galleries above ground extend to an incredible distance from the central
nest. No timber, except ebony and ironwood, which are too hard, and
those which are strongly impregnated with camphor or aromatic oils,
which they dislike, presents any obstacle to their ingress. I have had a
case of wine filled, in the course of two days, with almost solid clay,
and only discovered the presence of the white ants by the bursting of
the corks. I have had a portmanteau in my tent so peopled with them in
the course of a single night that the contents were found worthless in
the morning. In an incredibly short time a detachment of these pests
will destroy a press full of records, reducing the paper to fragments;
and a shelf of books will be tunnelled into a gallery if it happen to be
in their line of march.

The timbers of a house when fairly attacked are eaten from within till
the beams are reduced to an absolute shell, so thin that it may be
punched through with the point of the finger: and even kyanized wood,
unless impregnated with an extra quantity of corrosive sublimate,
appears to occasion them no inconvenience. The only effectual precaution
for the protection of furniture is incessant vigilance--the constant
watching of every article, and its daily removal from place to place, in
order to baffle their assaults.

They do not appear in the hills above the elevation of 2000 feet. One
species of white ant, the _Termes Taprobanes_, was at one time believed
by Mr. Walker to be peculiar to the island, but it has recently been
found in Sumatra and Borneo, and in some parts of Hindustan.

HYMENOPTERA. _Mason Wasp_.--In Ceylon as in all other countries, the
order of hymenopterous insects arrests us less by the beauty of their
forms than the marvels of their sagacity and the achievements of their
instinct. A fossorial wasp of the family of _Sphegidoe_,[1] which is
distinguished by its metallic lustre, enters by the open windows, and
disarms irritation at its movements by admiration of the graceful
industry with which it stops up the keyholes and similar apertures with
clay in order to build in them a cell, into which it thrusts the pupa of
some other insect, within whose body it has previously introduced its
own eggs; and, enclosing the whole with moistened earth, the young
parasite, after undergoing its transformations, gnaws its way into
light, and emerges a four-winged fly.[2]

[Footnote 1: It belongs to the genus _Pelopoeus_, _P. Spinoloe_, St.
Fargeau. The _Ampulex compressa_, which drags about the larvæ of
cockroaches into which it has implanted its eggs, belongs to the same

[Footnote 2: Mr. E. L. Layard has given an interesting account of this
Mason wasp in the _Annals and Magazine of Nat. History_ for May, 1853.

"I have frequently," he says, "selected one of these flies for
observation, and have seen their labours extend over a period of a
fortnight or twenty days; sometimes only half a cell was completed in a
day, at others as much as two. I never saw more than twenty cells in one
nest, seldom indeed that number, and whence the caterpillars were
procured was always to me a mystery. I have seen thirty or forty brought
in of a species which I knew to be very rare in the perfect state, and
which I had sought for in vain, although I knew on what plant they fed.

"Then again how are they disabled by the wasp, and yet not injured so as
to cause their immediate death? Die they all do, at least all that I
have ever tried to rear, after taking them from the nest.

"The perfected fly never effects its egress from the closed aperture,
through which the caterpillars were inserted, and when cells are placed
end to end, as they are in many instances, the outward end of each is
always selected. I cannot detect any difference in the thickness in the
crust of the cell to cause this uniformity of practice. It is often as
much as half an inch through, of great hardness, and as far as I can see
impervious to air and light. How then does the enclosed fly always
select the right end, and with what secretion is it supplied to
decompose this mortar?"]

_Wasps_.--Of the wasps, one formidable species (_Sphex ferruginea_ of
St. Fargeau), which is common to India and most of the eastern islands,
is regarded with the utmost dread by the unclad natives, who fly
precipitately on finding themselves in the vicinity[1] of its nests,
which are of such ample dimensions, that when suspended from a branch,
they often measure upwards of six feet in length.[2]

[Footnote 1: In ought to be remembered in travelling in the forests of
Ceylon that sal volatile applied immediately is a specific for the sting
of a wasp.]

[Footnote 2: At the January (1839) meeting of the Entomological Society,
Mr. Whitehouse exhibited portions of a wasps' nest from Ceylon, between
seven and eight feet long and two feet in diameter, and showed that the
construction of the cells was perfectly analogous to those of the hive
bee, and that when connected each has a tendency to assume a circular
outline. In one specimen where there were three cells united the outer
part was circular, whilst the portions common to the three formed
straight walls. From this Singhalese nest Mr. Whitehouse demonstrated
that the wasps at the commencement of their comb proceed slowly, forming
the bases of several together, whereby they assume the hexagonal shape,
whereas, if constructed separately, he thought each single cell would be
circular. See _Proc. Ent. Soc_. vol. iii. p. xvi.]

_Bees_.--Bees of several species and genera, some divested of stings,
and some in size scarcely exceeding a house-fly, deposit their honey in
hollow trees, or suspend their combs from a branch; and the spoils of
their industry form one of the chief resources of the uncivilised
Veddahs, who collect the wax in their upland forests, to be bartered for
arrow points and clothes in the lowlands.[1] I have never heard of an
instance of persons being attacked by the bees of Ceylon, and hence the
natives assert, that those most productive of honey are destitute of

[Footnote 1: A gentleman connected with the department of the
Surveyor-General writes to me that he measured a honey-comb which he
found fastened to the overhanging branch of a small tree in the forest
near Adam's Peak, and found it nine links of his chain or about six feet
in length and a foot in breadth where it was attached to the branch, but
tapering towards the other extremity. "It was a single comb with a layer
of cells on either side, but so weighty that the branch broke by the

_The Carpenter Bee_.--The operations of one of the most interesting of
the tribe, the Carpenter bee,[1] I have watched with admiration from the
window of the Colonial Secretary's official residence at Kandy. So soon
as the day grew warm, these active creatures were at work perforating
the wooden columns which supported the verandah. They poised themselves
on their shining purple wings, as they made the first lodgment in the
wood, enlivening the work with an uninterrupted hum of delight, which
was audible to a considerable distance. When the excavation had
proceeded so far as that the insect could descend into it, the music was
suspended, but renewed from time to time, as the little creature came to
the orifice to throw out the chips, to rest, or to enjoy the fresh air.
By degrees, a mound of saw-dust was formed at the base of the pillar,
consisting of particles abraded by the mandibles of the bee; and these,
when the hollow was completed to the depth of several inches, were
partially replaced in the excavation after being agglutinated to form
partitions between the eggs, as they are deposited within.

[Footnote 1: _Xylocopa tenuiscapa_, Westw.; X. _latipes_, Drury.]

_Ants_.--As to ants, I apprehend that, notwithstanding their numbers and
familiarity, information is very imperfect relative to the varieties and
habits of these marvellous insects in Ceylon.[1] In point of multitude
it is scarcely an exaggeration to apply to them the figure of "the sands
of the sea." They are everywhere; in the earth, in the houses, and in
the trees; they are to be seen in every room and cupboard, and almost on
every plant in the jungle. To some of the latter they are, perhaps,
attracted by the sweet juices secreted by the aphides and coccidæ; and
such is the passion of the ants for sugar, and their wonderful faculty
of discovering it, that the smallest particle of a substance containing
it, though placed in the least conspicuous position, is quickly covered
with them, where not a single one may have been visible a moment before.
But it is not sweet substances alone that they attack; no animal or
vegetable matter comes amiss to them; no aperture appears too small to
admit them; it is necessary to place everything which it may be
desirable to keep free from their invasion, under the closest cover, or
on tables with cups of water under every foot. As scavengers, they are
invaluable; and as ants never sleep, but work without cessation, during
the night as well as by day, every particle of decaying vegetable or
putrid animal matter is removed with inconceivable speed and certainty.
In collecting shells, I have been able to turn this propensity to good
account; by placing them within their reach, the ants in a few days will
remove every vestige of the mollusc from the innermost and otherwise
inaccessible whorls; thus avoiding all risk of injuring the enamel by
any mechanical process.

[Footnote 1: Mr. Jerdan, in a series of papers in the thirteenth volume
of the _Annals of Natural History_, has described forty-seven species of
ants in Southern India. But M. Nietner has recently forwarded to the
Berlin Museum upwards of seventy species taken by him in Ceylon, chiefly
in the western province and the vicinity of Colombo, Of these many are
identical with those noted by Mr. Jerdan as belonging to the Indian
continent. One (probably _Drepanognathus saltator_ of Jerdan) is
described by M. Nietner as "moving by jumps of several inches at a

But the assaults of the ants are not confined to dead animals alone,
they attack equally such small insects as they can overcome, or find
disabled by accidents or wounds; and it is not unusual to see some
hundreds of them surrounding a maimed beetle, or a bruised cockroach,
and hurrying it along in spite of its struggles. I have, on more than
one occasion, seen a contest between them and one of the viscous
ophidians, _Coecilia glutinosa_[1], a reptile resembling an enormous
earthworm, common in the Kandyan hills, of an inch in diameter, and
nearly two feet in length. It would seem as if the whole community had
been summoned and turned out for such a prodigious effort; they
surrounded their victim literally in tens of thousands, inflicting
wounds on all parts, and forcing it along towards their nest in spite of
resistance. In one instance to which I was a witness, the conflict
lasted for the latter part of a day, but towards evening the Cæcilia was
completely exhausted, and in the morning it had totally disappeared,
having been carried away either whole or piecemeal by its assailants.

[Footnote 1: See ante, Pt, 1. ch. iii. p. 201]

The species I here allude to, is a very small ant, called the _Koombiya_
in Ceylon. There is a still more minute description, which frequents the
caraffes and toilet vessels, and is evidently a distinct species. A
third, probably the _Formica nidificans_ of Jerdan, is black, of the
same size as that last mentioned, and, from its colour, called the _Kalu
koombiya_ by the natives. In the houses its propensities and habits are
the same as the others; but I have observed that it frequents the trees
more profusely, forming small paper cells for its young, like miniature
wasps' nests, in which it deposits its eggs, suspending them from the
leaf of a plant.

The most formidable of all is the great red ant or Dimiya.[1] It is
particularly abundant in gardens, and on fruit trees; it constructs its
dwellings by glueing the leaves of such species as are suitable from
their shape and pliancy into hollow balls, which it lines with a kind of
transparent paper, like that manufactured by the wasp. I have watched
them at the interesting operation of forming their dwellings;--a line of
ants standing on the edge of one leaf bring another into contact with
it, and hold both together with their mandibles till their companions
within attach them firmly by means of their adhesive paper, the
assistants outside moving along as the work proceeds. If it be necessary
to draw closer a leaf too distant to be laid hold of by the immediate
workers, they form a chain by depending one from the other till the
object is reached, when it is at length brought into contact, and made
fast by cement.

[Footnote 1: _Formica smaragdina_, Fab.]

Like all their race, these ants are in perpetual motion, forming lines
on the ground along which they pass, in continual procession to and from
the trees on which they reside. They are the most irritable of the whole
order in Ceylon, biting with such intense ferocity as to render it
difficult for the unclad natives to collect the fruit from, the mango
trees, which the red ants especially frequent. They drop from the
branches upon travellers in the jungle, attacking them with venom and
fury, and inflicting intolerable pain both upon animals and man. On
examining the structure of the head through a microscope, I found that
the mandibles, instead of merely meeting in contact, are so hooked as to
cross each other at the points, whilst the inner line is sharply
serrated throughout its entire length; thus occasioning the intense pain
of their bite, as compared with that of the ordinary ant.

To check the ravages of the coffee bug (_Lecanium coffeoe_, Walker),
which for some years past has devastated some of the plantations in
Ceylon, the experiment was made of introducing the red ants, who feed
greedily on the Coccus. But the remedy threatened to be attended with
some inconvenience, for the Malabar Coolies, with bare and oiled skins,
were so frequently and fiercely assaulted by the ants as to endanger
their stay on the estates.

The ants which burrow in the ground in Ceylon are generally, but not
invariably, black, and some of them are of considerable size. One
species, about the third of an inch in length, is abundant in the hills,
and especially about the roots of trees, where they pile up the earth in
circular heaps round the entrance to their nests, and in doing this I
have observed a singular illustration of their instinct. To carry up
each particle of sand by itself would be an endless waste of labour, and
to carry two or more loose ones securely would be to them embarrassing,
if not impossible; they therefore overcome the difficulty by glueing
together with their saliva so much earth or sand as is sufficient for a
burden, and each one may be seen hurrying up from below with his load,
carrying it to the top of the circular heap outside, and throwing it
over, whilst it is so strongly attached as to roll to the bottom without
breaking asunder.

The ants I have been here describing are inoffensive, differing in this
particular from the Dimiya and another of similar size and ferocity,
which is called by the Singhalese _Kaddiya_; and they have a legend
illustrative of their alarm for the bites of the latter, to the effect
that the cobra de capello invested the Kaddiya with her own venom in
admiration of the singular courage displayed by these little

[Footnote 1: KNOX'S _Historical Relation of Ceylon_, pt i. ch vi. p.

LEPIDOPTERA. _Butterflies_.--Butterflies in the interior of the island
are comparatively rare, and, contrary to the ordinary belief, they are
seldom to be seen in the sunshine, They frequent the neighbourhood of
the jungle, and especially the vicinity of the rivers and waterfalls,
living mainly in the shade of the moist foliage, and returning to it in
haste after the shortest flights, as if their slender bodies were
speedily dried up and exhausted by the exposure to the intense heat.

Among the largest and most gaudy of the Ceylon Lepidoptera is the great
black and yellow butterfly (_Ornithoptera darsius_, Gray); the upper
wings, of which measure six inches across, are of deep velvet black, the
lower, ornamented by large particles of satiny yellow, through which the
sunlight passes, and few insects can compare with it in beauty, as it
hovers over the flowers of the heliotrope, which furnish the favourite
food of the perfect fly, although the caterpillar feeds on the
aristolochia and the _betel leaf_ and suspends its chrysalis from its
drooping tendrils.

Next in size as to expanse of wing, though often exceeding it in
breadth, is the black and blue _Papilio Polymnestor_, which darts
rapidly through the air, alighting on the ruddy flowers of the hibiscus,
or the dark green foliage of the citrus, on which it deposits its eggs.
The larvæ of this species are green with white bands, and have a hump on
the fourth or fifth segment. From this hump the caterpillar, on being
irritated, protrudes a singular horn of an orange colour, bifurcate at
the extremity, and covered with a pungent mucilaginous secretion. This
is evidently intended as a weapon of defence against the attack of the
ichneumon flies, that deposit their eggs in its soft body, for when the
grub is pricked, either by the ovipositor of the ichneumon, or by any
other sharp instrument, the horn is at once protruded, and struck upon
the offending object with unerring aim.

Amongst the more common of the larger butterflies is the _P. Hector_,
with gorgeous crimson spots set in the black velvet of the inferior
wings; these, when fresh, are shot with a purple blush, equalling in
splendour the azure of the European "_Emperor_."

Another butterfly, but belonging to a widely different group, is the
"sylph" (_Hestia Jasonia_), called by the Europeans by the various names
of _Floater, Spectre,_ and _Silver-paper-fly_, as indicative of its
graceful flight. It is found only in the deep shade of the damp forest,
frequenting the vicinity of pools of water and cascades, about which it
sails heedless of the spray, the moisture of which may even be
beneficial in preserving the elasticity of its thin and delicate wings,
that bend and undulate in the act of flight.

The _Lycoenidoe_[1], a particularly attractive group, abound near the
enclosures of cultivated grounds, and amongst the low shrubs edging the
patenas, flitting from flower to flower, inspecting each in turn, and as
if attracted by their beauty, in the full blaze of sun-light; and
shunning exposure less sedulously than the other diurnals. Some of the
more robust kinds[2] are magnificent in the bright light, from the
splendour of their metallic blues and glowing purples, but they yield in
elegance of form and variety to their tinier and more
delicately-coloured congeners.

[Footnote 1: _Lycana polyommatus, &c._]

[Footnote 2: _Amblypodia pseudocentaurus, &c._]

Short as is the eastern twilight, it has its own peculiar forms, and the
naturalist marks with interest the small, but strong, _Hesperiidoe_,[1]
hurrying, by abrupt and jerking flights, to the scented blossoms of the
champac or the sweet night-blowing moon-flower; and, when darkness
gathers around, we can hear, though hardly distinguish amid the gloom,
the humming of the powerful wings of innumerable hawk moths, which hover
with their long proboscides inserted into the starry petals of the

[Footnote 1: _Pamphila hesperia, &c._]

Conspicuous amidst these nocturnal moths is the richly-coloured
_Acherontia Satanas_, one of the Singhalese representatives of our
Death's head moth, which utters a sharp and stridulous cry when seized.
This sound has been variously conjectured to be produced by the friction
of its thorax against the abdomen, and Reaumur believed it to be caused
by rubbing the palpi against the tongue. I have never been able to
observe either motion, and Mr. E. L. Layard is of opinion that the sound
is emitted from two apertures concealed by tufts of wiry bristles thrown
out from each side of the inferior portion of the thorax.[1]

[Footnote 1: There is another variety of the same moth in Ceylon which
closely resembles it in its markings, but I have never detected in it
the utterance of this curious cry. It is smaller than the _A. Satanas_,
and, like it, often enters dwellings at night, attracted by the lights;
but I have not found its larvæ, although that of the other species is
common on several widely different plants.]

_Moths._--Among the strictly nocturnal _Lepidoptera_ are some gigantic
species. Of these the cinnamon-eating _Atlas_, often attains the
dimensions of nearly a foot in the stretch of its superior wings. It is
very common in the gardens about Colombo, and its size, and the
transparent talc-like spots in its wings cannot fail to strike even the
most careless saunterer. But little inferior to it in size is the famed
Tusseh silk moth[1], which feeds on the country almond (_Terminalia
catappa_) and the palma Christi or Castor-oil plant; it is easily
distinguishable from the Atlas, which has a triangular wing, whilst its
[wing] is falcated, and the transparent spots are covered with a curious
thread-like division drawn across them.

[Footnote 1: _Antheroea mylitta_, Drury.]

Towards the northern portions of the island this valuable species
entirely displaces the other, owing to the fact that the almond and
_palma Christi_ abound there. The latter plant springs up spontaneously
on every manure-heap or neglected spot of ground; and might be
cultivated, as in India, with great advantage, the leaf to be used as
food for the caterpillar, the stalk as fodder for cattle, and the seed
for the expression of castor-oil. The Dutch took advantage of this
facility, and gave every encouragement to the cultivation of silk at
Jaffna[1], but it never attained such a development as to become an
article of commercial importance. Ceylon now cultivates no silkworms
whatever, notwithstanding this abundance of the favourite food of one
species; and the rich silken robes sometimes worn by the Buddhist
priesthood are still imported from China and the continent of India.

[Footnote 1: The Portuguese had made the attempt previous to the arrival
of the Dutch, and a strip of land on the banks of the Kalany river near
Colombo, still bears the name of Orta Seda, the silk garden. The attempt
of the Dutch to introduce the true silkworm, the _Bombyx mori_, took
place under the governorship of Ryklof Van Goens, who, on handing over
the administration to his successor in A.D. 1663, thus apprises him of
the initiation of the experiment:--"At Jaffna Palace a trial has been
undertaken to feed silkworms, and to ascertain whether silk may be
reared at that station. I have planted a quantity of mulberry trees,
which grow well there, and they ought to be planted in other
directions."--VALENTYN, chap. xiii. The growth of the mulberry trees is
noticed the year after in a report to the governor-general of India, but
the subject afterwards ceased to be attended to.]

In addition to the Atlas moth and the Mylitta, there are many other
_Bombycidoe_ in Ceylon; and, though the silk of some of them, were it
susceptible of being unwound from the cocoon, would not bear a
comparison with that of the _Bombyx mori_, or even of the Tusseh moth,
it might still prove to be valuable when carded and spun. If the
European residents in the colony would rear the larvæ of these
Lepidoptera, and make drawings of their various changes, they would
render a possible service to commerce, and a certain one to
entomological knowledge.

_The Wood-carrying Moth._--There is another family of insects, the
singular habits of which will not fail to attract the traveller in the
cultivated tracts of Ceylon--these are moths of the genus
_Oiketicus_,[1] of which the females are devoid of wings, and some
possess no articulated feet; the larvæ construct for themselves cases,
which they suspend to a branch frequently of the pomegranate,[2]
surrounding them with the stems of leaves, and thorns or pieces of twigs
bound together by threads, till the whole presents the appearance of a
bundle of rods about an inch and a half long; and, from the resemblance
of this to a Roman fasces, one African species has obtained the name of
"Lictor." The German entomologists denominated the group _Sack-träger_,
the Singhalese call them _Dalmea kattea_ or "billets of firewood," and
regard the inmates as human beings, who, as a punishment for stealing
wood in some former stage of existence, have been condemned to undergo a
metempsychosis under the form of these insects.

[Footnote 1: _Eumeta_, Wlk.]

[Footnote 2: The singular instincts of a species of Thecla, _Dipsas
Isocrates_, Fab., in connection with the fruit of the pomegranate, were
fully described by Mr. Westwood, in a paper read before the
Entomological Society of London in 1835.]

The male, at the close of the pupal rest, escapes from one end of this
singular covering, but the female makes it her dwelling for life; moving
about with it at pleasure, and entrenching herself within it, when
alarmed, by drawing together the purse-like aperture at the open end. Of
these remarkable creatures there are five ascertained species in Ceylon.
_Psyche Doubledaii_, Westw.; _Metisa plana_, Walker; _Eumeta Cramerii_,
Westw.; _E. Templetonii_, Westw.; and _Cryptothelea consorta_, Temp.

All the other tribes of minute _Lepidoptera_ have abundant
representatives in Ceylon; some of them most attractive from the great
beauty of their markings and colouring. The curious little split-winged
moth (_Pterophorus_) is frequently seen in the cinnamon gardens and the
vicinity of the fort, resting in the noonday heat in the cool grass
shaded by the coco-nut topes. Three species have been captured, all
characterised by the same singular feature of having the wings fan-like,
separated nearly their entire length into detached sections resembling
feathers in the pinions of a bird expanded for flight.

HOMOPTERA. _Cicada._--Of the _Homoptera_, the one which will most
frequently arrest attention is the cicada, which, resting high up on the
bark of a tree, makes the forest re-echo with a long-sustained noise so
curiously resembling that of a cutler's wheel that the creature which
produces it has acquired the highly-appropriate name of the

HEMIPTERA. _Bugs._--On the shrubs in his compound the newly-arrived
traveller will be attracted by an insect of a pale green hue and
delicately-thin configuration, which, resting from its recent flight,
composes its scanty wings, and moves languidly along the leaf. But
experience will teach him to limit his examination to a respectful view
of its attitudes; it is one of a numerous family of bugs, (some of them
most attractive[1] in their colouring,) which are inoffensive if
unmolested, but if touched or irritated, exhale an odour that, once
perceived, is never after forgotten.

[Footnote 1: Such as _Cantuo ocellatus, Leptopelis Marginalis, Callidea
Stockerius_, &c. &c. Of the aquatic species, the gigantic _Belostoma
Indicum_ cannot escape notice, attaining a size of nearly three inches.]

APHANIPTERA. _Fleas._--Fleas are equally numerous, and may be seen in
myriads in the dust of the streets or skipping in the sunbeams which
fall on the clay floors of the cottages. The dogs, to escape them,
select for their sleeping places spots where a wood fire has been
previously kindled; and here prone on the white ashes, their stomachs
close to the earth, and their hind legs extended behind, they repose in
comparative coolness, and bid defiance to their persecutors.

DIPTERA. _Mosquitoes._--But of all the insect pests that beset an
unseasoned European the most provoking by far are the truculent
mosquitoes.[1] Even in the midst of endurance from their onslaughts one
cannot but be amused by the ingenuity of their movements; as if aware of
the risk incident to an open assault, a favourite mode of attack is,
when concealed by a table, to assail the ankles through the meshes of
the blocking, or the knees which are ineffectually protected by a fold
of Russian duck. When you are reading, a mosquito will rarely settle on
that portion of your hand which is within range of your eyes, but
cunningly stealing by the underside of the book fastens on the wrist or
finger, and noiselessly inserts his proboscis there. I have tested the
classical expedient recorded by Herodotus, who states that the fishermen
inhabiting the fens of Egypt cover their beds with their nets, knowing
that the mosquitoes, although they bite through linen robes, will not
venture though a net.[2] But, notwithstanding the opinion of Spence,[3]
that nets with meshes an inch square will effectually exclude them, I
have been satisfied by painful experience that (if the theory is not
altogether fallacious) at least the modern mosquitoes of Ceylon are
uninfluenced by the same considerations which restrained those of the
Nile under the successors of Cambyses.

[Footnote 1: _Culex laniger_? Wied. In Kandy Mr. Thwaites finds _C.
fuscanus, C. circumvolens_, &c., and one with a most formidable hooked
proboscis, to which he has assigned the appropriate name _C. Regius_.]

[Footnote 2: HERODOTUS, _Euterpe_, xcv.]

[Footnote 3: KIRBY and SPENCE'S _Entomology_, letter iv.]

_List of Ceylon Insects._

For the following list of the insects of the island, and the remarks
prefixed to it, I am indebted to Mr. F. Walker, by whom it has been
prepared after a careful inspection of the collections made by Dr.
Templeton, Mr. E.L. Layard, and others; as well as those in the British
Museum and in the Museum of the East India Company.

"A short notice of the aspect of the Island will afford the best means
of accounting, in some degree, for its entomological Fauna: first, as it
is an island, and has a mountainous central region, the tropical
character of its productions, as in most other cases, rather diminishes,
and somewhat approaches that of higher latitudes.

"The coast-region of Ceylon, and fully one-third of its northern part,
have a much drier atmosphere than that of the rest of its surface; and
their climate and vegetation are nearly similar to those of the
Carnatic, with which this island may have been connected at no very
remote period.[1] But if, on the contrary, the land in Ceylon is
gradually rising, the difference of its Fauna from that of Central
Hindostan is less remarkable. The peninsula of the Dekkan might then be
conjectured to have been nearly or wholly separated from the central
part of Hindostan, and confined to the range of mountains along the
eastern coast; the insect-fauna of which is as yet almost unknown, but
will probably be found to have more resemblance to that of Ceylon than
to the insects of northern and western India--just as the insect-fauna
of Malaya appears more to resemble the similar productions of
Australasia than those of the more northern continent.

[Footnote 1: On the subject of this conjecture see _ante_, Vol. I. Pt.
I, ch. i. p. 7.]

"Mr. Layard's collection was partly formed in the dry northern province
of Ceylon; and among them more Hindostan insects are to be observed than
among those collected by Dr. Templeton, and found wholly in the district
between Colombo and Kandy. According to this view the faunas of the
Neilgherry Mountains, of Central Ceylon, of the peninsula of Malacca,
and of Australasia would be found to form one group;--while those of
Northern Ceylon, of the western Dekkan, and of the level parts of
Central Hindostan would form another of more recent origin. The
insect-fauna of the Carnatic is also probably similar to that of the
lowlands of Ceylon; but it is still unexplored. The regions of Hindostan
in which species have been chiefly collected, such as Bengal, Silhet,
and the Punjaub, are at the distance of from 1,300 to 1,600 miles from
Ceylon, and therefore the insects of the latter are fully as different
from those of the above regions as they are from those of Australasia,
to which Ceylon is as near in point of distance, and agrees more with
regard to latitude.

"Dr. Hagen has remarked that he believes the fauna of the mountains of
Ceylon to be quite different from that of the plains and of the shores.
The south and west districts have a very moist climate, and as their
vegetation is like that of Malabar, their insect-fauna will probably
also resemble that of the latter region.

"The insects mentioned in the following list are thus distributed:--


"The recorded species of _Cicindelidoe_ inhabit the plains or the coast
country of Ceylon, and several of them are also found in Hindostan.

"Many of the species of _Carabidoe_ and of _Staphylinidoe_, especially
those collected by Mr. Thwaites, near Kandy, and by M. Nietner at
Colombo, have much resemblance to the insects of these two families in
North Europe; in the _Scydmoenidoe,_ _Ptiliadoe, Phalacridoe,
Nitidulidoe, Colydiadoe_, and _Lathridiadoe_ the northern form is still
more striking, and strongly contrasts with the tropical forms of the
gigantic _Copridoe, Buprestidoe_, and _Cerambycidoe_, and with the
_Elateridoe, Lampyridoe, Tenebrionidoe, Helopidoe, Meloidoe,
Curculionidoe, Prionidoe, Cerambycidoe, Lamiidoe_, and _Endomychidoe_.

"The _Copridoe, Dynastidoe, Melolonthidoe, Cetoniadoe_, and _Passalidoe_
are well represented on the plains and on the coast, and the species are
mostly of a tropical character.

"The _Hydrophilidoe_ have a more northern aspect, as is generally the
case with aquatic species.

"The order _Strepsiptera_ is here considered as belonging to the
_Mordellidoe_, and is represented by the genus _Myrmecolax_, which is
peculiar, as yet, to Ceylon.

"In the _Curculionidoe_ the single species of _Apion_ will recall to
mind the great abundance of that genus in North Europe.

"The _Prionidoe_ and the two following families have been investigated
by Mr. Pascoe, and the _Hispidoe_, with the five following families, by
Mr. Baly; these two gentlemen are well acquainted with the above tribes
of beetles, and kindly supplied me with the names of the Ceylon species.


"These insects in Ceylon have mostly a tropical aspect. The _Physapoda_,
which will probably be soon incorporated with them, are likely to be
numerous, though only one species has as yet been noticed.


"The list here given is chiefly taken from the catalogue published by
Dr. Hagen, and containing descriptions of the species named by him or by
M. Nietner. They were found in the most elevated parts of the island,
near Rambodde, and Dr. Hagen informs me that not less than 500 species
have been noticed in Ceylon, but that they are not yet recorded, with
the exception of the species here enumerated. It has been remarked that
the _Trichoptera_ and other aquatic _Neuroptera_ are less local than the
land species, owing to the more equable temperature of the habitation of
their larvæ, and on account of their being often conveyed along the
whole length of rivers. The species of _Psocus_ in the list are far more
numerous than those yet observed in any other country, with the
exception of Europe.


"In this order the _Formicidoe_ and the _Poneridoe_ are very numerous,
as they are in other damp and woody tropical countries. Seventy species
of ants have been observed, but as yet few of them have been named. The
various other families of aculeate _Hymenoptera_ are doubtless more
abundant than the species recorded indicate, and it may be safely
reckoned that the parasitic _Hymenoptera_ in Ceylon far exceed one
thousand species in number, though they are yet only known by means of
about two dozen kinds collected at Kandy by Mr. Thwaites.


"The fauna of Ceylon is much better known in this order than in any
other of the insect tribes, but as yet the _Lepidoptera_ alone in their
class afford materials for a comparison of the productions of Ceylon
with those of Hindostan and of Australasia; 932 species have been
collected by Dr. Templeton and by Mr. Layard in the central, western,
and northern parts of the island. All the families, from the
_Papilionidoe_ to the _Tineidoe_, abound, and numerous species and
several genera appear, as yet, to be peculiar to the island. As Ceylon
is situate at the entrance to the eastern regions, the list in this
volume will suitably precede the descriptive catalogues of the
heterocerous _Lepidoptera_ of Hindostan, Java, Borneo, and of other
parts of Australasia, which are being prepared for publication. In some
of the heterocerous families several species are common to Ceylon and to
Australasia, and in various cases the faunas of Ceylon and of
Australasia seem to be more similar than those of Ceylon and of
Hindostan. The long intercourse between those two regions may have been
the means of conveying some species from one to the other. Among the
_Pyralites, Hymenia recurvalis_ inhabits also the West Indies, South
America, West Africa, Hindostan, China, Australasia, Australia, and New
Zealand; and its food-plant is probably some vegetable which is
cultivated in all those regions; so also _Desmia afflictalis_ is found
in Sierra Leone, Ceylon, and China.


"About fifty species were observed by Dr. Templeton, but most of those
here recorded were collected by Mr. Thwaites at Kandy, and have a great
likeness to North European species.

"The mosquitoes are very annoying on account of their numbers, as might
be expected from the moisture and heat of the climate. _Culex laniger_
is the coast species, and the other kinds here mentioned are from Kandy.
Humboldt observed that in some parts of South America each stream had
its peculiar mosquitoes, and it yet remains to be seen whether the gnats
in Ceylon are also thus restricted in their habitation. The genera
_Sciara, Cecidomyia_, and _Simulium_, which abound so exceedingly in
temperate countries, have each one representative species in the
collection made by Mr. Thwaites. Thus an almost new field remains for
the Entomologist in the study of the yet unknown Singhalese Diptera,
which must be very numerous.


"The species of this order in the list are too few and too similar to
those of Hindustan to need any particular mention. _Lecanium coffeoe_
may be noticed, on account of its infesting the coffee plant, as its
name indicates, and the ravages of other species of the genus will be
remembered, from the fact that one of them, in other regions, has put a
stop to the cultivation of the orange as an article of commerce.

"In conclusion, it may be observed that the species of insects in Ceylon
may be estimated as exceeding 10,000 in number, of which about 2,000 are
enumerated in this volume.


"Four or five species of spiders, of which the specimens cannot be
satisfactorily described; one _Ixodes_ and one _Chelifer_ have been
forwarded to England from Ceylon by Mr. Thwaites."

NOTE.--The asterisk prefixed denotes the species discovered in Ceylon
since Sir J.E. Tennent's departure from the Island in 1849.

ORDER, Coleoptera, _Linn._

Fam. CICINDELIDÆ, _Steph._
  Cicindela, _Linn._
    flavopunctata, _Aud._
    discrepans, _Wlk._
    aurofasciata, _Guér._
    quadrilineata, _Fabr._
    biramosa, _Fabr._
    catena, _Fabr._
    *insignificans, _Dohrn._
  Tricondyla, _Latr._
    femorata, _Wlk._
    *tumidula, _Wlk._
    *scitiscabra, _Wlk._
    *concinna, _Dohrn._

Fam. CARABIDÆ, _Leach._
  Casnouia, _Latr._
    *punctata, _Niet._
    *pilifera, _Niet._
  Ophionea, _Klug._
    *cyanocephala, _Fabr._
  Euplynes, _Niet._
    Dohrnii, _Niet._
  Heteroglossa, _Niet._
    *elegans, _Niet._
    *ruficollis, _Niet._
    *bimaculata, _Niet._
  Zuphium, _Latr._.
    *pubescens, _Niet._
  Pheropsophus, _Solier._
    Catoirei, _Dej._
    bimaculatus, _Fabr._
  Cymindis, _Latr._.
    rufiventris, _Wlk._
  Anchista, _Niet._
    *modesta, _Niet._
  Dromius, _Bon._
    marginifer, _Wlk._
    repandens, _Wlk._
  Lebia, _Latr._
    bipars, _Wlk._
  Creagris, _Niet._
    labrosa, _Niet._
  Elliotia, _Niet._
    pallipes, _Niet._
  Maraga, _Wlk._.
    planigera, _Wlk._
  Catascopus, _Kirby._
    facialis, _Wied._
    reductus, _Wlk._
  Scarites, _Fabr._
    obliterans, _Wlk._
    subsignans, _Wlk._
    designans, _Wlk._
    *minor, _Niet._
  Clivina, _Latr._
    *rugosifrons, _Niet._
    *elongatula, _Niet._
    *maculata, _Niet._
    recta, _Wlk._
  Leistus, _Froehl._
    linearis, _Wlk._
  Isotarsus, _Laferté._
    quadrimaculatus, _Oliv._
  Panagæeus, _Latr._
    retractus, _Wlk._
  Chlænius, _Bon._.
    bimaculatus, _Dej._
    diffinis, _Reiche._
    *Ceylanicus, _Niet._
    pulcher, _Niet._
    cupricollis, _Niet._
    rugulosus, _Niet._
  Anchomenus, _Bon._
    illocatus, _Wlk._
  Agonum, _Bon._
    placidulum, _Wlk._
  Colpodes? _Macl._
    marginicollis, _Wlk._
  Argutor, _Meg._.
    degener, _Wlk._
    relinquens, _Wlk._
  Simphyus, _Niet._
    *unicolor, _Niet._
  Bradytus, _Steph._
    stolidus, _Wlk._
  Curtonotus, _Steph._
    compositus, _Wlk._
  Harpalus, _Latr._
    *advolans, _Niet._
    dispellens, _Wlk._
  Calodromus, _Niet._
    *exornatus, _Niet._
  Megaristerus, _Niet._
    *mandibularis, _Niet._
    *stenolophoides, _Niet._
    *Indicus, _Niet._
  Platysma, _Bon._
    retinens, _Wlk._
  Morio, _Latr._
    trogositoides, _Wlk._
    cucujoides, _Wlk._
  Barysomus, _Dej_
    *Gyllenhalii, _Dej._
  Oodes, _Bon._
    *piceus, _Niet._
  Selenophorus, _Dej._
    infixus, _Wlk._
  Orthogonius, _Dej._
    femoratus, _Dej._
  Helluodes, _Westw._
    Taprobanæ, _Westw._
  Physocrotaphus, _Parry._
    Ceylonicus, _Parry._
    *minax, _West._
  Psysodera, _Esch._
    Eschscholtzii, _Parry._
  Omphra, _Latr._
    *ovipennis, _Reiche._
  Planetes, _Macl._
    bimaculatus, _Macleay._
  Cardiaderus, _Dej._
    scitus, _Wlk._
  Distrigus, _Dej._
    *costatus, _Niet._
    *submetallicus, _Niet._
    *rufopiceus, _Niet._
    *æeneus, _Niet._
    *Dejeani, _Niet._
  Drimostoma, _Dej._
   *Ceylanicum, _Niet._
   *marginale, _Wlk._
  Cyclosomus, _Latr._
    flexuosus, _Fabr._
  Ochthephilus, _Niet._
    *Ceylanicus, _Niet._
  Spathinus, _Niet._
    *nigriceps, _Niet._
  Acupalpus, _Latr._
    derogatus, _Wlk._
    extremus, _Wlk._
  Bembidium, _Latr._
    finitimum, _Wlk._
    *opulentum, _Niet._
    *truncatum, _Niet._
    *tropicum, _Niet._
    *triangalare, _Niet._
    *Ceylanicum, _Niet._
  Klugii, _Niet._
    *ebeninum, _Niet._
    *orientale, _Niet._
    *emarginatum, _Niet._
    *ornatum, _Niet._
    *scydmænoides, _Niet._

Fam. PAUSSIDÆ, _Westw._
  Cerapterus, _Swed._
    latipes, _Swed._
  Pleuropterus, _West._
    Westermanni, _West._
  Paussus, _Linn._
    pacificus, _West._

Fam. DYTISCIDÆ, _Macl._
  Cybister, _Curt._
    limbatus, _Fabr._
  Dytiscus, _Linn._
    extenuans, _Wlk._
  Eunectes, _Erich._
    griseus, _Fabr._
  Hydaticus, _Leach._
    festivus, _Ill._
    vittatus, _Fabr._
    disclocans, _Wlk._
    fractifer, _Wlk._
  Colymbetes, _Clairv._
    interclusus, _Wlk._
  Hydroporus, _Clairv._
    interpulsus, _Wlk._
    intermixtus, _Wlk._
    lætabilis, _Wlk._
    *inefficiens, _Wlk._

Fam. GYRINIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Dineutes, _Macl._
    spinosus, _Fabr._
  Porrorhynchus, _Lap._
    indicans, _Wlk._
  Gyretes, _Brullé_.
    discifer, _Wlk._
  Gyrinus, _Linn_.
    nitidulus, _Fabr._
    obliquus, _Wlk._
 Orectochilus, _Esch._
    *lenoeinium, _Dohrn_.

  Ocypus, _Kirby_.
    longipennis, _Wlk._
    congruus, _Wlk._
    punctilinea, _Wlk._
    *lineatus, _Wlk._
  Philonthus, _Leach_.
    *pedestris, _Wlk._
  Xantholinus, _Dahl_.
    cinctus, _Wlk._
    *inclinans, _Wlk._
  Sunius, _Leach_.
    *obliquus, _Wlk._
  Oedichirus, _Erich_.
    *alatus, _Niet._
  Poederus, _Fabr_.
    alternans, _Wlk._
  Stenus, _Latr._
    *barbatus, _Niet._
    *lacertoides, _Niet._
  Osorius? _Leach_.
    *compactus, _Wlk._
  Prognatha, _Latr._
    decisa, _Wlk._
    *tenuis, _Wlk._
  Leptochirus, _Perty_.
    *bispinus, _Erich_.
  Oxytelus, _Grav._
    rudis, _Wlk._
    productus, _Wlk._
    *bicolor, _Wlk._
  Trogophloeus? _Mann_.
    *Taprobanæ, _Wlk._
  Omalium, _Grav._
    filiforme, _Wlk._
  Aleochara, _Grav._
    postica, _Wlk._
    *translata, _Wlk._
    *subjecta, _Wlk._
  Dinarda, _Leach_.
    serricornis, _Wlk._

Fam. PSELAPHIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Pselaphanax, _Wlk._
    setosus, _Wlk._

Fam. SCYDMÆNIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Erineus, _Wlk._
    monstrosus, _Wlk._
  Scydmænus, _Latr._
    *megamelas, _Wlk_.
    *alatus, _Niet._
    *femoralis, _Niet._
    *Ceylanicus, _Niet._
    *intermedius, _Niet._
    *pselaphoides, _Niet._
    *advolans, _Niet._
    *pubescens, _Niet._
    *pygmæus, _Niet._
    *glanduliferus, _Niet._
    *graminicola, _Niet._
    *pyriformis, _Niet._
    *angusticeps, _Niet._
    *ovatus, _Niet._

Fam. PTILIADÆ, _Woll._
  Trichopteryx, _Kirby_.
    *cursitans, _Niet._
    *immatura, _Niet._
    *invisibilis, _Niet._
  Ptilium, _Schüpp._.
    *subquadratum, _Niet._
  Ptenidium, _Erich_.
    *macrocephalum, _Niet._

Fam. PHALACRIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Phalacrus, _Payk._
    conjiciens, _Wlk._
    confectus, _Wlk._

Fam. NITIDULIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Nitidula, _Fabr._
    contigens, _Wlk._
    intendens, _Wlk._
    significans, _Wlk._
    tomentifera, _Wlk._
    *submaculata, _Wlk._
    *glabricula, _Dohrn._
  Nitidulopsis, _Wlk._
    æqualis, _Wlk._
  Meligethes, _Kirby_.
    *orientalis, _Niet._
    *respondens, _Wlk._
  Rhizophagus, _Herbst_.
    parallelus, _Wlk_.

Fam. COLYDIADÆ, _Woll._
  Lyctus, _Fabr._
    retractus, _Wlk._
    disputans, _Wlk._
  Ditoma, _Illig._
    rugicollis, _Wlk._

Fam. TROGOSITIDÆ, _Kirby_.
  Trogosita, _Oliv._
    insinuans, _Wlk._
    *rhyzophagoides, _Wlk._

Fam. CUCUJIDÆ, _Steph._
  Loemophloeus, _Dej._
    ferrugineus, _Wlk._
  Cucujus? _Fabr._
    *incommodus, _Wlk._
  Silvanus, _Latr._
    retrahens, _Wlk._
    *scuticollis, _Wlk._
    *porrectus, _Wlk._
  Brontes, _Fabr._
    *orientalis, _Dej._

  Lathridius, _Herbst_.
    perpusillus, _Wlk._
  Corticaria, _Marsh_.
    resecta, _Wlk._
  Monotoma, _Herbst_.
    concinnula, _Wlk._

Fam. DERMESTIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Dermestes, _Linn_.
    vulpinus, _Fabr._
  Attagenus, _Latr._
    defectus, _Wlk._
    rufipes, _Wlk._
  Trinodes, _Meg._
    hirtellus, _Wlk._

Fam. BYRRHIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Inclica, _Wlk._
    solida, _Wlk._

Fam. HISTERIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Hister, _Linn_.
    Bengalensis, _Weid._
    encaustus, _Mars._
    orientalis, _Payk_.
    bipustulatus, _Fabr._
    *mundissimus, _Wlk._
  Saprinus, _Erich_.
    semipunctatus, _Fabr._
  Platysoma, _Leach_.
    atratum? _Erichs_.
    desinens, _Wlk._
    restoratum, _Wlk._
  Dendrophilus, _Leach._
    finitimus, _Wlk._

Fam. APHODIADÆ, _Macl._
  Aphodius, _Illig._
    robustus, _Wlk._
    dynastoides, _Wlk._
    pallidicornis, _Wlk._
    mutans, _Wlk._
    sequens, _Wlk._
  Psammodius, _Gyll._
    inscitus, _Wlk._

Fam. TROGIDÆ, _Macl._
  Trox, _Fabr._
    inclusus, _Wlk._
    cornutus, _Fabr._

Fam. COPRIDÆ, _Leach._
  Ateuchus, _Weber._
    sacer. _Linn._
  Gymnopleurus, _Illig._
    smaragdifer, _Wlk._
    Koenigii, _Fabr._
  Sisyphus, _Latr._
    setosulus, _Wlk._
    subsidens, _Wlk._
    prominens, _Wlk._
  Orepanocerus, _Kirby._
    Taprobanæ, _West._
  Copris, _Geoffr._
    Pirmal, _Fabr._
    sagax, _Quens._
    capucinus, _Fabr._
    cribricollis, _Wlk._
    repertus, _Wlk._
    sodalis, _Wlk._
    signatus, _Wlk._
    diminutivus, _Wlk._
  Onthophagus, _Latr._
    Bonassus, _Fabr._
    cervicornis, _Fabr._
    prolixus, _Wlk._
    gravis, _Wlk._
    diffieilis, _Wlk._
    lucens, _Wtk._
    negligens, _Wlk._
    moerens, _Wlk._
    turbatus _Wlk._
  Onitis, _Fabr._
    Philemon, _Fabr._

Fam. DYNASTIDÆ, _Macl._
  Oryetes, _Illig._
    rhinoceros, _Linn._
  Xylotrupes, _Hope._
    Gideon, _Linn._
    reductus, _Wlk._
    solidipes, _Wlk._
  Phileurus, _Latr._
    detractus, _Wlk._
  Orphnus, _Macl._
    detegens, _Wlk._
    scitissimus, _Wlk._

Fam. GEOTRUPIDÆ, _Leach._
  Bolboceras, _Kirby._
    lineatus, _Westw._

  Melolontha, _Fabr._
    nummicudens, _Newm._
    rubiginosa, _Wlk._
    ferruginosa, _Wlk._
    seriata, _Hope._
    pinguis, _Wlk._
    setosa, _Wlk._
  Rhizotrogus, _Lair._
    hirtipectus, _Wlk._
    æqualis, _Wlk._
    costatus, _Wlk._
    inductus, _Wlk._
    exactus, _Wlk._
    sulcifer, _Wlk._
  Phyllopertha, _Kirby._
    transversa, _Burm._
  Silphodes, _Westw._
    Indica, _Westw._
  Trigonostoma, _Dej._
    assimile, _Hope._
    compressum? _Weid._
    nanum, _Wlk._
  Serica, _Macl._
    pruinosa, _Hope._
  Popilia, _Leach._
    marginicollis, _Newm._
    cyanella, _Hope._
    discalis, _Wlk._
  Sericesthis, _Dej._
    rotundata, _Wlk._
    subsignata, _Wlk._
    mollis, _Wlk._
    confirmata, _Wlk._
  Plectris, _Lep. & Serv._
    solida, _Wlk._
    punctigera, _Wlk._
    glabrilinea, _Wlk._
  Isonychus, _Mann._
    ventralis, _Wlk._
    pectoralis, _Wlk._
  Omaloplia, _Meg._
    fracta, _Wlk._
    interrupta, _Wlk._
    semicincta, _Wlk._
    *hamifera, _Wlk._
    *picta, _Dohrn._
    *nana, _Dohrn._
  Apogonia, _Kirby_.
    nigrieaus, _Hope._
  Phytalus, _Erich._
    eurystomus; _Burm._
  Ancylonycha, _Dej._
    Reynaudii, _Blanch._
  Leucopholis, _Dej._
    Mellei, _Guer._
    pinguis, _Burm._
  Anomala, _Meg._
    elata, _Fabr._
    humeralis, _Wlk._
    discalis, _Wlk._
    varicolor, _Sch._
    conformis, _Wlk._
    similis, _Hope._
    punctatissima, _Wlk._
    infixa, _Wlk._
  Mimela, _Kirby_
    variegata, _Wlk._
    mundissima, _Wlk._
  Parastasia,  _Westw._
    rufopicta, _Westw._
  Euchlora, _Macl._
    viridis, _Fabr._
    perplexa, _Hope._

Fam. CETONIADÆ, _Kirby._
  Glycyphana, _Burm._
    versicolor, _Fabr._
    luctuosa, _Gory._
    variegata, _Fabr._
    marginicollis, _Gory._
  Clinteria, _Burm._
    imperialis, _Schaum._
    incerta, _Parry._
    chloronota, _Blanch_
  Tæniodera, _Burm._
    Malabariensis, _Gory._
    quadrivittata, _White._
    alboguttata, _Vigors._
  Protætia, _Burm._
    maculata, _Fabr._
    Whitehousii, _Parry._
  Agestrata, _Erich._
    nigrita, _Fabr._
    orichalcea, _Linn._
  Coryphocera, _Burm._
    elegans, _Fabr._
  Macronota, _Hoffm._
    quadrivittata, _Sch._

Fam. TRICHIADÆ, _Leach._
  Valgus, _Scriba._
    addendus, _Wlk._

Fam. LUCANIDÆ, _Leach._
  Odontolabis, _Burm._
    Bengalensis, _Parry._
    emarginatus, _Dej._
  Ægus, _Macl._
    acuminatus, _Fabr._
    lunatus, _Fabr._
  Singhala, _Blanch._
    tenella, _Blanch._
Fam. PASSALIDÆ, _Macl_.
  Passalus, _Fabr_.
    transversus, _Dohrn_.
    interstitialis, _Perch_.
    punctiger? _Lefeb_.
    bicolor, _Fabr_.

Fam. SPHÆRIDIADÆ, _Leach_.
  Sphæridium, _Fabr_.
    tricolor, _Wlk_.
  Cercyon, _Leach_.
    *vicinale, _Wlk_.

  Hydrous, _Leach_.
    *rufiventris, _Niet_.
    *inconspicuus, _Niet_.
  Hydrobius, _Leach_.
    stultus, _Wlk_.
  Philydrus, _Solier_.
    esuriens, _Wlk_.
  Berosus, _Leach_.
    *decrescens, _Wlk_.
  Hydrochus, _Germ_.
    *lacustris, _Niet_.
  Georyssus, _Latr_.
    *gemma, _Niet_.
    *insularis, _Dohrn_.
  Dastarcus, _Wlk_.
    porosus, _Wlk_.

Fam. BUPRESTIDÆ, _Stph_.
  Sternocera, _Esch_.
    chrysis, _Linn_.
    sternicornis, _Linn_.
  Chrysochroa, _Solier_.
    ignita, _Linn_.
    Chinensis, _Lap_.
    Rajah, _Lap_.
    *cyaneocephala, _Fabr_.
  Chyrsodema, _Lap_.
    sulcata, _Thunb_.
  Belionota, _Esch_.
    scutellaris, _Fabr_.
    *Petiti, _Gory_.
  Chrysobothris, _Esch_.
    suturalis, _Wlk_.
  Agrilus, _Meg_.
    sulcicollis, _Wlk_.
    *cupreiceps, _Wlk_.
    *cupreicollis, _Wlk_.
    *armatus, _Fabr_.

Fam. ELATERIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Campsosternos, _Latr_.
    Templetonii, _Westw_.
    aureolus, _Hope_.
    Bohemannii, _Cand_.
    venustulus, _Cand_.
    pallidipes, _Cand_.
  Agrypnus, _Esch_.
    fuscipes, _Fabr_.
  Alaus, _Esch_.
    speciosus, _Linn_.
    sordidus, _Westw_.
  Cardiophorus, _Esch_.
    humerifer, _Wlk_.
  Corymbites, _Latr_.
    dividens, _Wlk_.
    divisa, _Wlk_.
    *bivittava, _Wlk_.
  Lacon, _Lap_.
    *obesus, _Cand_.
  Athous, _Esch_.
    punctosus, _Wlk_.
    inapertus, _Wlk_.
    decretus, _Wlk_.
    inefficiens, _Wlk_.
  Ampedus, _Meg_.
    *acutifer, _Wlk_.
    *discicollis, _Wlk_.
  Legna, _Wlk_.
    idonea, _Wlk_.

Fam. LAMPYRIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Lycus, _Fabr_.
    triangularis, _Hope_.
    geminus, _Wlk_.
    astutus, _Wlk_.
    fallax, _Wlk_.
    planicornis, _Wlk_.
    melanopterus, _Wlk_.
    pubicornis, _Wlk_.
    duplex, _Wlk_.
    costifer, _Wlk_.
    revocans, _Wlk_.
    dispellens, _Wlk_.
    *pubipennis, _Wlk_.
    *humerifer, _Wlk_.
    expansicornis, _Wlk_.
    divisus, _Wlk_.
  Dictyopterus, _Latr_.
    internexus, _Wlk_.
  Lampyris, _Geoff_.
    tenebrosa, _Wlk_.
    diffinis, _Wlk_.
    lutescens, _Wlk_.
    *vitrifera, _Wlk_.
  Colophotia, _Dej_.
    humeralis, _Wlk_.
    [vespertina, _Fabr_.
    perplexa, _Wlk_.?]
    intricata, _Wlk_.
    extricans, _Wlk_.
    promelas, _Wlk_.
  Harmatelia, _Wlk_.
    discalis, _Wlk_.
    bilinea, _Wlk_.

Fam. TELEPHORIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Telephorus, _Schäff_.
    dimidiatus, _Fabr_.
    malthinoides, _Wlk_.
  Eugeusis, _Westw_.
    palpator, _Westw_.
    gryphus, _Hope_.
    olivaceus, _Hope_.

Fam. CEBRIONIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Callirhipis, _Latr_.
    Templetonii, _Westw_.
    Championii, _Westw_.

Fam. MERLYRIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Malachius, _Fabr_.
    plagiatus, _Wlk_.
  Malthinus, _Latr_.
    *forticornis, _Wlk_.
    *retractus, _Wlk_.
    fragilis, _Dohrn_.
  Enciopus, _Steph_.
    proficiens, _Wlk_.
  Honosca, _Wlk_.
    necrobioides, _Wlk_.

Fam. CLERIDÆ, _Kirby_.
  Cylidrus, _Lap_.
    sobrinus, _Dohrn_.
  Stigmatium, _Gray_.
    elaphroides, _Westw_.
  Necrobia, _Latr_.
    rufipes, _Fabr_.
    aspera, _Wlk_.

Fam. PTINIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Ptinus, _Linn_.
    *nigerrimus, _Boield_.

Fam. DIAPERIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Diaperis, _Geoff_.
    velutina, _Wlk_.
    fragilis, _Dohrn_.

  Zophobas, _Dej_.
    errans? _Dej_.
    clavipes, _Wlk_.
    ?solidus, _Wlk_.
  Pseudoblaps, _Guer_.
    nigrita, _Fabr_.
  Tenebrio, _Linn_.
    rubripes, _Hope_.
    retenta, _Wlk_.
  Trachyscelis, _Latr_.
    brunnea, _Dohrn_.

Fam. OPATRIDÆ, _Shuck_.
  Opatrum, _Fabr_.
    contrahens, _Wlk_.
    bilineatum, _Wlk_.
    planatum, _Wlk_.
    serricolle, _Wlk._
  Asida, _Latr_.
    horrida, _Wlk._
  Crypticus, _Latr_.
    detersus, _Wlk_.
    longipennis, _Wlk._
  Phaleria, _Latr_.
    rufipes, _Wlk._
  Toxicum, _Latr_.
    oppugnans, _Wlk_.
    biluna, _Wlk._
  Boletophagus, _Ill._
    *morosus, _Dohrn_.
    *exasperatus, _Doh._
  Uloma, _Meg_.
    scita, _Wlk._
  Alphitophagus, _Steph_.
    subfascia, _Wlk_.

Fam. HELOPIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Osdara, _Wlk_.
    picipes, _Wlk_.
  Cholipus, _Dej_.
    brevicornis, _Dej_.
    parabolicus, _Wlk_.
    læviusculus, _Wlk_.
  Helops, _Fabr_.
    ebenius, _Wlk_.
  Camaria, _Lep. & Serv_.
    amethystina, _L. & S_.
  Amarygmus, _Dalm_.
    chrysomeloides, _Dej_.

Fam. MELOIDÆ, _Woll_.
  Epicauta, _Dej_.
    nigrifinis, _Wlk_.
  Cissites, _Latr_.
    testaceus, _Fabr_.
  Mylabris, _Fabr_.
    humeralis, _Wlk_.
    alterna, _Wlk_.
    *recognita, _Wlk._
  Atractocerus, _Pal., Bv_.
    debilis, _Wlk_.
    reversus, _Wlk_.

Fam. OEDEMERIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Cistela,  _Fabr._
    congrua, _Wlk_.
    *falsitica, _Wlk_.
  Allecula, _Fabr_.
    fusiformis, _Wlk_.
    elegans, _Wlk_.
    *flavifemur], _Wlk_.
  Sora, _Wlk_.
    *marginata, _Wlk_.
  Thaccona, _Wlk_.
    dimelas, _Wlk_.

Fam. MORDELLIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Acosmus, _Dej_.
    languidus, _Wlk_.
  Rhipiphorus, _Fabr_.
    *tropicus, _Niet_.
  Mordella, _Linn_.
    composita, _Wlk_.
    *defectiva, _Wlk_.
  Myrmecolax, _Westw_.
    *Nietneri, _Westw_.

Fam. ANTHICIDÆ, _Wlk_.
  Anthicus, _Payk_
    *quisquilarius, _Niet_.
    *insularius, _Niet_.
    *sticticollis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CISSIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Cis, _Latr_.
    contendens, _Wlk_.

Fam. TOMICIDÆ, _Shuck_.
  Apate, _Fabr_.
    submedia, _Wlk_.
  Bostrichus, _Geoff_.
    mutilatus, _Wlk_.
    *vertens, _Wlk_.
    *moderatus, _Wlk_.
    *testaceus, _Wlk_.
    *exiguus, _Wlk_.
  Platypus, _Herbst_.
    minax, _Wlk_.
    solidus, _Wlk_.
    *latitinis, _Wlk_.
  Hylurgus, _Latr_.
    determinans, _Wlk_.
    *concinnulus, _Wlk_.
  Hylesinus, _Fabr_.
    curvifer, _Wlk_.
    despectus, _Wlk_.
    irresolutus, _Wlk_.

  Bruchus, _Linn_.
    scutellaris, _Fabr_.
  Spermophagus, _Steven_.
    convolvuli, _Thumb_.
    figuratus, _Wlk_.
    Cisti, _Fabr_.
    incertus, _Wlk_.
    decretus, _Wlk_.
  Dendropemon _Schön_.
    *melancholicus, _Dohrn_.
  Dendrotrogus, _Jek_.
    Dohrnii, _Jek_.
    discrepans, _Dohrn_.
  Eucorynus, _Schön_.
    colligendus, _Wlk_.
    colligens, _Wlk_.
  Basitropis, _Jek_.
    *disconotatus, _Jek_.
  Litocerus, _Schön_.
    punctulatus, _Dohrn_.
  Tropideres, _Sch_.
    punctulifer, _Dohrn_.
    fragilis, _Wlk_.
  Cedus, _Waterh_.
    *cancellatus, _Dohrn_.
  Xylinades, _Latr_.
    sobrinulus, _Dohrn_.
    indignus, _Wlk_.
  Xenocerus, _Germ_.
    anguliferus, _Wlk_.
    revocans, _Wlk_.
    *anchoralis, _Dohrn_.
  Callistocerus, _Dohrn_.
    *Nietneri, _Dohrn_.
  Anthribus, _Geoff_.
    longicornis, _Fabr_.
    apicalis, _Wlk_.
    facilis, _Wlk_.
 Aræcerus, _Schön_.
    coffeæ, _Fabr_.
    *insidiosus, _Fabr_.
    *musculus, _Dohrn_.
    *intangens, _Wlk_.
    *bifovea, _Wlk_.
  Dipieza, _Pasc_.
    *insignis, _Dohrn_.
  Apolecta, _Pasc_.
    *Nietneri, _Dohrn_.
    *musculus, _Dohrn_
  Arrhenodes, _Steven_.
    miles, _Sch_.
    pilicornis, _Sch_.
    dentirostris, _Jek_.
    approximans, _Wlk_.
    Veneris, _Dohrn_
  Cerobates, _Schön_.
    thrasco, _Dohrn_.
    aciculatus, _Wlk_.
  Ceocephalus, _Schön_.
    cavus, _Wlk_.
    *reticulatus, _Fabr_.
  Nemocephalus, _Latr_.
    sulcirostris, _De Haan_.
    planicollis, _Wlk_.
    spinirostris, _Wlk_.
 Apoderus, _Oliv_.
    longicollis ? _Fabr_.
    Tranquebaricus, _Fabr_.
    cygneus, _Fabr_.?
    scitulus, _Wlk_.
    *triangularis, _Fabr_.
    *echinatus, _Sch_.
  Rhynchites, _Herbst_.
    suffundens, _Wlk._
    *restituens, _Wlk._
  Apion, _Herbst_.
    *Cingalense, _Wlk._
  Strophosomus, _Bilbug_.
    *suturalis, _Wlk._
  Piazomias, _Schön._
    æqualis, _Wlk._
  Astycus, _Schön._
    lateralis, _Fabr.?_
    ebeninus, _Wlk._
    *immunis, _Wlk._
  Cleonus, _Schön._
    inducens, _Wlk._
  Myllocerus, _Schön._
    transmarinus, _Herbst_.?
    spurcatus, _Wlk._
    *retrahens, _Wlk._
    *posticus, _Wlk._
  Phyllobius, _Schön._
    *mimicus, _Wlk._
  Episomus, _Schön._
    pauperatus, _Fabr._
  Lixus, _Fabr._
    nebulifascia, _Wlk._
  Aclees, _Schön._
    cribratus, _Dej._
  Alcides, _Dalm._
    signatus, _Boh._
    obliquus, _Wlk._
    transversus, _Wlk._
    *clausus, _Wlk._
  Acicnemis, _Fairm._
    Ceylonicus, _Jek._
  Apotomorhinus, _Schön._
    signatus, _Wlk._
    alboater, _Wlk._
  Cryptorhynchus, _Illig._
    ineffectus, _Wlk._
    assimilans, _Wlk._
    declaratus, _Wlk._
    notabilis, _Wlk._
    vexatus, _Wlk._
  Camptorhinus, _Schön.?_
    reversus, _Wlk._
    *indiscretus, _Wlk._
  Desmidophorus, _Chevr._
    hebes, _Fabr._
    communicans, _Wlk._
    strenuus, _Wlk._
    *discriminans _Wlk._
    inexpertus, _Wlk._
    *fasciculicollis, _Wlk._
  Sipalus, _Schön._
    granulatus, _Fabr._
    porosus, _Wlk._
    tinctus, _Wlk._
  Mecopus, _Dalm._
    *Waterhousei, _Dohrn._
  Rhynchophorus, _Herbst_.
    ferrugineus, _Fabr._
    introducens, _Wlk._
  Protocerus, _Schön._
    molossus? _Oliv._
  Sphænophorus, _Schön._
    glabridiscus, _Wlk._
    exquisitus, _Wlk._
    Dehaani? _Jek._
    cribricollis, _Wlk._
    ? panops, _Wlk._
  Cossonus, _Clairv._
    *quadrimacula, _Wlk._
    ? hebes, _Wlk._
    ambiguus, _Sch.?_
  Sitophilus, _Schön._
    oryzæ, _Linn._
    disciferus, _Wlk._
  Mecinus, _Germ._
    *? relictus, _Wlk._

Fam. PRIONIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Trictenotoma, _G.H. Gray_.
    Templetoni, _Westw._
  Prionomma, _White_.
    orientalis, _Oliv._
  Acanthophorus, _Serv._
    serraticornis, _Oliv._
  Cnemoplites, _Newm._
    Rhesus, _Motch._
  Ægosoma, _Serv._
    Cingalense, _White_.

  Cerambyx, _Linn._
    indutus, _Newm._
    vernicosus, _Pasc._
    consocius, _Pasc._
    versutus, _Pasc._
    nitidus, _Pasc._
    macilentus, _Pasc._
    venustus, _Pasc._
    torticollis, _Dohrn._
  Sebasmia, _Pasc._
    Templetoni, _Pasc._
  Callichroma, _Lair._
    trogoninum, _Pasc._
    telephoroides, _Westw._
  Homalomelas, _White_.
    gracilipes, _Parry_.
    zonatus, _Pasc._
  Colobus, _Serv._
    Cingalensis, _White_.
  Thranius, _Pasc._
    gibbosus, _Pasc._
  Deuteromma, _Pasc._
    mutica, _Pasc._
  Obrium, _Meg._
    laterale, _Pasc._
    moestum, _Pasc._
  Psilomerus, _Blanch._
   macilentus, _Pasc._
  Clytus _Fabr._
    vicinus, _Hope_.
    ascendens, _Pasc._
    Walkeri, _Pasc._
    annularis, _Fabr._
    *aurilinea, _Dohrn._
  Rhaphuma, _Pasc._
    leucoscutellata, _Hope_.
  Ceresium, _Newm._
    cretatum, _White_.
    Zeylanicum, _White._
  Stromatium, _Serv._
    barbatum, _Fabr._
    maculatum, _White._
  Hespherophanes, _Muls._
    simplex, _Gyll._

Fam. LAMIIDÆ, _Kirby_.
  Nyphona, _Muls._
    cylindracea, _White_.
  Mesosa, _Serv._
    columba, _Pasc._
  Coptops, _Serv._
    bidens, _Fabr._
  Xylorhiza, _Dej._
    adusta, _Wied._
  Cacia, _Newm._
    triloba, _Pasc._
  Batocera, _Blanch._
    rubus, _Fabr._
    ferruginea, _Blanch._
  Monohammus, _Meg._
    fistulator, _Germ._
    crucifer, _Fabr._
    nivosus, _White_.
    commixtus, _Pasc._
  Cereopsius, _Dup._
    patronus, _Pasc._
  Pelargoderus, _Serv._
    tigrinus, _Chevr._
  Olenocamptus, _Chevr._
    bilobus, _Fabr._
  Praonetha, _Dej._
    annulata, _Chevr._
    posticalis, _Pasc._
  Apomecyna, _Serv._
    histrio, _Fabr._ var.?
  Ropica, _Pasc._
    præusta, _Pasc._
  Hathlia, _Serv._
    procera, _Pasc._
  Iolea, _Pasc._
    proxima, _Pasc._
    histrio, _Pasc._
  Glenea, _Newm._
    sulphurella, _White_.
    commissa, _Pasc._
    scapifera, _Pasc._
    vexator, _Pasc._
  Stibara, _Hope_.
    nigricornis, _Fabr._

Fam. HISPIDÆ, _Kirby_.
  Oncocephala, _Dohrn_.
    deltoides, _Dohrn_.
  Leptispa, _Baly_.
    pygmæa, _Baly_.
  Amblispa, _Baly_,
    Döhrnii, _Baly_.
  Estigmena, _Hope_.
    Chinensis, _Hope_.
  Hispa, _Linn_.
    hystrix, _Fabr_.
    erinacea, _Fabr_.
    nigrina, _Dohrn_.
    *Walkeri, _Baly_.
  Platypria, _Guér_.
    echidna, _Guér_.

Fam. CASSIDIDÆ, _Westw_.
  Epistictia, _Boh_.
    matronula, _Boh_.
  Hoplionota, _Hope_.
    tetraspilota, _Baly_.
    rubromarginata, _Boh_.
    horrifica, _Boh_.
  Aspidomorpha, _Hope_.
    St. crucis, _Fabr_.
    miliaris, _Fabr_.
    pallidimarginata, _Baly_.
    dorsata, _Fabr_.
    calligera, _Boh_.
    micans, _Fabr_.
  Cassida, _Linn_.
    clathrata, _Fabr_.
    timefacta, _Boh_.
    farinosa, _Boh_.
  Laccoptera, _Boh_.
    14-notata, _Boh_.
  Coptcycla, _Chevr_.
    sex-notata, _Fabr_.
    13-signata, _Boh_.
    13-notata, _Boh_.
    ornata, _Fabr_.
    Ceylonica, _Boh_.
    Balyi, _Boh_.
    trivittata, _Fabr_.
    15-punctate, _Boh_.
    catenata, _Dej_.

Fam. SAGRIDÆ:, _Kirby_.
  Sagra, _Fabr_.
    nigrita, _Oliv_.

Fam. DONACIDÆ, _Lacord_.
  Donacia, _Fabr_.
    Delesserti, _Guér_
  Coptocephala, _Chev_.
    Templetoni, _Baly_.

Fam. EUMOLPIDÆ, _Baly_.
  Corynodes, _Hope_.
    cyaneus, _Hope_.
    æneus, _Baly_.
  Glyptoscelis, _Chevr_.
    Templetoni, _Baly_.
    pyrospilotus, _Baly_.
    micans, _Baly_.
    cupreus, _Baly_.
  Eumolpus, _Fabr_.
    lemoides, _Wlk_.

  Cryptocephalus, _Geoff_.
    sex-punctatus, _Fabr_.
    Walkeri, _Baly_.
  Diapromorpha, _Lac_.
    Turcica, _Fabr_.

  Chalcolampa, _Baly_.
    Templetoni, _Baly_.
  Lina, _Meg_.
    convexa, _Baly_.
  Chrysomela, _Linn_.
    Templetoni, _Baly_.

Fam. GALERUCIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Galeruca, _Geoff_.
  *pectinata, _Dohrn_.
  Graptodera, _Chevr_.
    cyanea, _Fabr_.
  Monolepta, _Chevr_.
    pulchella, _Baly_.
  Thyamis, _Steph_.
    Ceylonicus, _Baly_.

  Epilachna, _Chevr_.
    28-punctata, _Fabr_.
    Delessortii, _Guér_.
    pubescens, _Hope_.
    innuba, _Oliv_.
  Coccinella, _Linn_.
    tricincta, _Fabr_.
    *repanda, _Muls_.
    tenuilinea, _Wlk_.
    rejiciens, _Wlk_.
    interrumpens, _Wlk_.
    quinqueplaga, _Wlk_.
    simplex, _Wlk_.
    antica, _Wlk_.
    flaviceps, _Wlk_.
  Neda, _Muls_.
    tricolor, _Fabr_.
  Coelophora, _Muls_.
    9-maculata, _Fabr_. ?
  Chilocorus, _Leach_.
    opponens, _Wlk_.
  Seymnus, _Kug_.
    variabilis, _Wlk_.

Fam. EROTYLIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Fatua, _Dej_.
    Nepalensis, _Hope_.
  Triplax, _Payk_.
    decorus, _Wlk_.
  Tritoma, _Fabr_.
    *bifacies, _Wlk_.
    *preposita, _Wlk_.
  Ischyrus, _Cherz_.
    grandis, _Fabr_.

Fam. ENDOMYCHIDÆ, _Leach._
  Eugonius, _Gerst_.
    annularis, _Gerst_.
    lunulatus, _Gerst_.
  Eumorphus, _Weber_.
    pulchripes, _Gerst_.
    *tener, _Dohrn_.
  Stenotarsus, _Perty_.
    Nietneri, _Gerst_.
    *castaneus, _Gerst_.
    *tomentosus, _Gerst_.
    *vallatus, _Gerst_.
  Lycoperdina, _Latr_.
    glabrata, _Wlk_.
  Ancylopus, _Gerst_.
    melanocephalus, _Oliv_.
  Saula, _Gerst_.
    *nigripes, _Gerst_.
    *ferruginea, _Gerst_.
  Mycetina, _Gerst_.
    castanea, _Gerst_.

Order Orthoptera, _Linn_.

Fam. FORFICULIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Forficula, _Linn_.

Fam. BLATTIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Panesthia, _Serv_.
    Javanica, _Serv_.
    plagiata, _Wlk_.
  Polyzosteria, _Burm_.
  Corydia, _Serv_.
    Petiveriana, _Linn_.

Fam. MANTIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Empusa, _Illig_.
    gongylodes, _Linn_.
  Harpax, _Serv_.
    signifer, _Wlk_.
  Schizocephala, _Serv_,
    bicornis, _Linn_.
  Mantis, _Linn_.
    superstitiosa, _Fabr_.
    aridifolia, _Stoll_
    extensicollis ? _Serv_.

Fam. PHASMIDÆ, _Serv_.
  Acrophylla, _Gray_.
    systropedon, _Westw_.
  Phasma, _Licht_.
    sordidum, _De Haan_.
  Phyllium, _Illig_.
    siccifolium, _Linn_.

Fam. GRYLLIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Acheta, _Linn_.
    bimaculata, _Deg_.
    supplicans, _Wlk_.
    æqualis, _Wlk_.
    confirmata, _Wlk_.
  Platydactylus, _Brull_.
    crassipes, _Wlk_.
  Steirodon, _Serv_.
    lanceolatum, _Wlk_.
  Phyllophora, _Thunb_.
    falsifolia, _Wlk_.
  Acanthodis, _Serv_.
    rugosa, _Wlk_.
  Phaneroptera, _Serv_.
    attenuata, _Wlk_.
  Phymateus, _Thunb_.
    miharis, _Linn_.
  Truxalis, _Linn_.
    exaltata, _Wlk_.
    porrecta, _Wlk_.
  Acridium, _Geoffr_.
    extensum, _Wlk_.
    deponens, _Wlk_.
    rufitibia, _Wlk_.
    cinctifemur, _Wlk_.
    respondens, _Wlk_.
    nigrifascia, _Wlk_.

Order, Physapoda, _Dum_.
  Thrips, _Linn_.
    stenomelas, _Wlk_.

Order, Neuroptera, _Linn_.

  Mormonia, _Curt_.
    *ursina, _Hagen_.

Fam. LEPTOCERIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Macronema, _Pict_.
    multitarium, _Wlk_.
    *splendidum, _Hagen_.
    *nebulosum, _Hagen_.
    *obliquum, _Hagen_.
    *Ceylanicum, _Niet_.
    *annulicorne, _Niet_.
  Molanna, _Curt_.
    mixta, _Hagen_.
  Sctodes, _Ramb_.
    *Iris, _Hagen_.
    *Ino, _Hagen_.

Fam. PSYCHOMIDÆ, _Curt_.
  Chimarra, _Leach_.
    *auriceps, _Hagen_.
    *funesta, _Hagen_.
    *sepulcralis, _Hagen_.

  Hydropsyche, _Pict_.
    *Taprobanes, _Hagen_.
    *mitis, _Hagen_.

  Rhyacophila, _Pict_.
    *castanea, _Hagen_.

Fam. PERLIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Perla, _Geoffr_.
    angulata, _Wlk_.
    *testacea, _Hagen_.
    *limosa, _Hagen_.

Fam. SILIADÆ, _Westw_.
  Dilar, _Ramb_.
    *Nietneri, _Hagen_.

Fam. HEMEROBIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Mantispa, _Illig_.
    *Indica, _Westw_.
    mutata, _Wlk_.
  Chrysopa, _Leach_.
    invaria, _Wlk_.
    *tropica, _Hagen_.
    aurifera, _Wlk_.
    *punctata, _Hagen_.
  Micromerus, _Ramb_.
    *linearis, _Hagen_.
    *australis, _Hagen_.
  Hemerobius, _Linn_.
    *frontalis, _Hagen_.
  Coniopteryx, _Hal_.
    *cerata, _Hagen_.

  Palpares, _Ramb_.
    contrarius, _Wlk_.
  Acanthoclisis, _Ramb_.
    *--n. s. _Hagen_.
    *molestus, _Wlk_.
  Myrmeleon, _Linn_.
    gravis, _Wlk_.
    dirus, _Wlk_.
    barbarus, _Wlk_.
  Ascalaphus, _Fabr_.
    nugax, _Wlk_.
    incusans, _Wlk_.
    *cervinus, _Niet_.

Fam. PSOCIDÆ, _Leach_.

  Psocus, _Latr_.
    *Taprobanes, _Hagen_.
    *oblitus, _Hagen_.
    *consitus, _Hagen_.
    *trimaculatus, _Hagen_.
    *obtusus, _Hagen_.
    *elongatus, _Hagen_.
    *chloroticus, _Hagen_.
    *aridus, _Hagen_.
    *coleoptratus, _Hagen_.
    *dolabratus, _Hagen_.
    *infelix, _Hagen_.

Fam. TERMITIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Termes, _Linn_.
    Taprobanes, _Wlk_.
    fatalis, _Koen_.
    monoceros, _Koen_.
    *umbilicatus, _Hagen_.
    *n.s. _Jouv_.
    *n.s. _Jouv_.

Fam. EMBIDÆ, _Hagen_.

  Oligotoma, _Westw_.
    *Saundersii, _Westw_.

Fam. EPHEMERIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Bætis, _Leach_.
    Taprobanes, _Wlk_.
  Potamanthus, _Pict_.
    *fasciatus, _Hagen_.
    *annulatus, _Hagen_.
    *femoralis, _Hagen_.
  Cloe, _Burm_.
    *tristis, _Hagen_.
    *consueta, _Hagen._
    *solida, _Hagen_.
    *sigmata, _Hagen_.
    *marginalis, _Hagen_.
  Cænis, _Steph_.
    perpusilla, _Wlk_.

  Calopteryx, _Leach_.
    Chinensis, _Linn_.
  Euphoea, _Selys_.
    splendens, _Hagen_.
  Micromerus, _Ramb_.
    lineatus, _Burm_.
  Trichocnemys, _Selys_.
    *serapica, _Hagen_.
  Lestes, _Leach_.
    *elata, _Hagen_.
    *gracilis, _Hagen_.
  Agrion, _Fabr._
  *Coromandelianum, _F._
    *tenax, _Hagen._
    *hilare, _Hagen._
    *velare, _Hagen._
    *delicatum, _Hagen._
  Gynacantha, _Ramb._
    subinterrupta, _Ramb._
  Epophthalmia, _Burm._
    vittata, _Burm._
  Zyxomma, _Ramb._
    petiolatum, _Ramb._
  Acisoma, _Ramb._
    panorpoides, _Ramb._
  Libellula, _Linn._
    Marcia, _Drury._
    Tillarga, _Fabr._
    variegata, _Linn._
    flavescens, _Fabr._
    Sabina, _Drury._
    viridula, _Pal. Beauv._
    congener, _Ramb._
    soror, _Ramb._
    Aurora, _Burm._
    violacea, _Niet._
    perla, _Hagen._
    sanguinea, _Burm._
    trivialis, _Ramb._
    contaminata, _Fabr._
    equestris, _Fabr._
    nebulosa, _Fabr._

Order, Hymenoptera, _Linn_.

Fam. FORMICIDÆ, _Leach._
  Formica, _Linn._
    smaragdina, _Fabr._
    mitis, _Smith._
    *Taprobane, _Smith._
    *variegata, _Smith._
    *exercita, _Wlk._
    *exundans, _Wlk._
    *meritans, _Wlk._
    *latebrosa, _Wlk_
    *pangens, _Wlk._
    *ingruens _Wlk._
    *detorquens, _Wlk._
    *diffidens, _Wlk._
    *obscurans, _Wlk._
    *indeflexa, _Wik._
    consultans, _Wlk._
  Polyrhachis, _Smith._
    *illaudatus, _Wlk._

Fam. PONERIDÆ, _Smith._
  Odontomachus, _Latr._
    simillimus, _Smith._
  Typhlopone, _Westw._
    Cartisii, _Shuck._
  Myrmica, _Latr._
    basalis, _Smith._
    contigua, _Smith._
    glyciphila, _Smith._
    *consternens, _Wlk._
  Crematogaster, _Lund._
    *pellens, _Wlk._
    *deponens, _Wlk._
    *forticulus, _Wlk._
  Pseudomyrma, _Guré._
    *atrata, _Smith._
    allaborans, _Wlk._
  Atta, _St. Farg._
    didita, _Wlk._
  Pheidole, _Westw._
    Janus, _Smith._
    *Taprobanæ, _Smith._
    *rugosa, _Smith._
  Meranoplus, _Smith._
    *dimicans, _Wlk._
  Cataulacus, _Smith._
    Taprobanæ, _Smith._

Fam. MUTILLIDÆ, _Leach._
  Mutilla, _Linn._
    *Sibylla, _Smith._
  Tiphia, _Fabr._
    *decrescens, _Wlk._

Fam. EUMENIDÆ, _Westw._
  Odynerus, _Latr._
    *tinctipennis, _Wlk._
    *intendens, _Wlk._
  Scolia, _Fabr._
    auricollis, _St. Farg._

Fam, CRABRONIDÆ, _Leach._
  Philanthus, _Fabr._
    basalis, _Smith._
  Stigmus, _Jur._
    *congruus, _Wlk._

Fam. SPHEGIDÆ, _Steph._
  Ammophila, _Kirby._
    atripes, _Smith._
  Pelopoæus, _Latr._
  Spinolæ, _St. Farg._
  Sphex, _Fabr._
    ferruginea, _St. Farg._
  Ampulex, _Jur._
    conapressa, _Fabr._

Fam. LARRIDÆ, _Steph._
  Larrada, _Smith._
    *extensa, _Wlk._

Fam. POMPILIDÆ, _Leach._
  Pompilus, _Fabr._
    analis, _Fabr._

Fam. APIDÆ, _Leach._
  Andrena, _Fabr._
    *exagens, _Wlk._
  Nomia, _Latr._
    rustica, _Westw._
    *vincta, _Wlk._
  Allodaps, _Smith._
    *marginata, _Smith._
  Ceratina, _Latr._
    viridis, _Guér._
    picta, _Smith._
    *simillima, _Smith._
  Cælioxys, _Latr._
    capitata, _Smith._
  Crocisa, _Jur._
    *ramosa, _St. Farg._
  Stelis, _Panz._
    carbonaria, _Smith._
  Anthophora, _Latr._
    zonata, _Smith._
  Xylocopa, _Latr._
    tenuiscapa, _Westw._
    latipes, _Drury._
  Apis, _Linn._
    Indica, _Smith._
  Trigona, _Jur._
    iridipennis, _Smith._
    *præterita, _Wlk._

Fam, CHRYSIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Stilbum, _Spin._
    splendidum, _Dahl._

Fam. DORYLIDÆ, _Shuck._
  Enictus, _Shuck._
    porizonoides, _Wlk._

  Cryptus, _Fabr._
    *onustus, _Wlk._
  Hemiteles ? _Grav._
    *varius, _Wlk._
  Porizon, _Fall._
    *dominans, _Wlk._
  Pimpla, _Fabr._
    albopicta, _Wlk._

Fam. BRACONIDÆ, _Hal._
  Microgaster, _Latr._
    *recusans, _Wlk._
    *significans, _Wlk._
    *subducens, _Wlk._
    *detracta, _Wlk._
  Spathius, _Nees._
    *bisignatus, _Wlk._
    *signipennis, _Wlk._
  Heratemis, _Wlk_
    *filosa, _Wlk._
  Nebartha, _Wlk_.
    *macropoides, _Wlk_.
  Psyttalia, _Wlk_.
    *testacea, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHALCIDIÆ, _Spin_.
  Chalcis, _Fabr_.
    *dividens, _Wlk_.
    *pandens, _Wlk_.
  Halticella, _Spin_.
    *rufimanus, _Wlk_.
    *inficiens, _Wlk_.
  Dirrhinus, _Dalm_.
    *Anthracia, _Wlk_.
  Eurytoma, _Ill_.
    *contraria, _Wlk_.
    *indefensa, _Wlk_.
  Eucharis, _Latr_.
    *convergens, _Wlk_.
    *deprivata, _Wlk_.
  Pteromalus, _Swed_.
    *magniceps, _Wlk_.
  Encyrtus, _Latr_.
    *obstructus, _Wlk_.

Fam. DIAPHIDÆ, _Hal_.
  Diapria, _Latr_.
    apicalis, _Wlk_.

Order, Lepidoptera, _Linn_.

Fam. PAPILIONIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Ornithoptera, _Boisd_.
    Darsius, _G. R. Gray_.
  Papilio, _Linn_.
    Diphilus, _Esp_.
    Jophon, _G. R. Gray_.
    Hector, _Linn_.
    Romulus, _Cram_.
    Polymnestor, _Cram_.
    Crino, _Fabr_.
    Helenus, _Linn_.
    Pammon, _Linn_.
    Polytes, _Linn_.
    Erithonius, _Cram_.
    Antipathis, _Cram_.
    Agamemnon, _Linn_.
    Eurypilos, _Linn_.
    Bathycles, _Zinck-Som_.
    Sarpedon, _Linn_.
    dissimilis, _Linn_.
  Pontia, _Fabr_.
    Nina, _Fabr_.
  Pieris, _Schr_.
    Eacharis, _Drury_.
    Coronis, _Cram_.
    Epicharis, _Gudt_.
    Nama, _Doubl_.
    Remba, _Moore_.
    Mesentina, _Godt_.
    Severina, _Cram_.
    Namouna, _Doubl_.
    Phryne, _Fabr_.
    Paulina, _Godt_.
    Thestylis, _Doubl_.
  Callosune, _Doubl_.
    Eucharis, _Fabr_.
    Danaë, _Fabr_.
    Etrida, _Boisd_.
  Idmais, _Boisd_.
    Calais, _Cram_.
  Thestias, _Boisd_.
    Mariamne, _Cram_.
    Pirene, _Linn_.
  Hebomoia, _Hübn_.
    Glaucippe, _Linn_.
  Eronia, _Hübn_.
    Valeria, _Cram_.
  Callidryas, _Boisd_.
    Phillipina, _Boisd_.
    Pyranthe, _Linn_.
    Hilaria, _Cram_.
    Alemeone, _Cram_.
    Thisorella, _Boisd_.
  Terias, _Swain_.
    Drona, _Horsf_.
    Hecabe, _Linn_.

Fam. NYMPHALIDÆ, _Swain_.
  Euploea, _Fabr_.
    Prothoe, _Godt_.
    Core, _Cram_.
    Alcathoë, _Godt_.
  Danais, _Latr_.
    Chrysippus, _Linn_.
    Plexippus, _Linn_.
    Aglae, _Cram_.
    Melissa, _Cram_.
    Limniacæ, _Cram_.
    Juventa, _Cram_.
  Hestia, _Hübn_.
    Jasonia, _Westw_.
  Telchinia, _Hübn_.
    violæ, _Fabr_.
  Cethosia, _Fabr_.
    Cyane, _Fabr_.
  Messarus, _Doubl_.
    Erymanthis, _Drury_.
  Atella, _Doubl_.
    Phalanta, _Drury_.
  Argynnis, _Fabr_.
    Niphe, _Linn_.
    Clagia, _Godt_.
  Ergolis, _Boisd_.
    Taprobana, _West_.
  Vanessa, _Fabr_.
    Charonia, _Drury_.
  Libythea, _Fabr_.
    Medhavina, _Wlk_.
    Pushcara, _Wlk_.
  Pyrameis, _Hübn_.
    Charonia, _Drury_.
    Cardui, _Linn_.
    Callirhoë, _Hübn_.
  Junonia, _Hübn_.
    Limonias, _Linn_.
    Oenone, _Linn_.
    Orithyia, _Linn_.
    Laomedia, _Linn_.
    Asterie, _Linn_.
  Precis, _Hübn_.
    Iphita, _Cram_.
  Cynthia, _Fabr_.
    Arsinoe, _Cram_.
  Parthenos, _Hübn_.
    Gambrisius, _Fabr_.
  Limenitis, _Fabr_.
    Calidusa, _Moore_.
  Neptis, _Fabr_.
    Heliodore, _Fabr_.
    Columella, _Cram_.
    aceris, _Fabr_.
    Jumbah, _Moore_.
    Hordonia, _Stoll_.
  Diadema, _Boisd_.
    Auge, _Cram_.
    Bolina, _Linn_.
  Symphædra, _Hübn_.
    Thyelia, _Fabr_.
  Adolias, _Boisd_.
    Evelina, _Stoll_.
    Lubentina, _Fabr_.
    Vasanta, _Moore_.
    Garada, _Moore_.
  Nymphalis, _Latr_.
    Psaphon, _Westw_.
    Bernardus, _Fabr_.
    Athamas, _Cram_.
    Fabius, _Fabr_.
    Kallima, _Doubl_.
    Philarchus, _Westw_.
    Melanitis, _Fabr_.
    Banksia, _Fabr_.
    Leda, _Linn_.
    Casiphone, _G. R. Gray_.
    unduluris, _Boisd_.
  Ypththima, _Hübn_.
    Lysandra, _Cram_.
    Parthalis, _Wlk_.
  Cyllo, _Boisd_.
    Gorya, _Wlk_.
    Cathæna, _Wlk_.
    Embolima, _Wlk_.
    Neilgherriensis, _Guér_.
    Purimata, _Wlk_.
    Pushpamitra, _Wlk_.
  Mycalesis, _Hübn_.
    Patnia, _Moore_.
    Gamuliba, _Wlk_.
    Dosaron, _Wlk_.
    Samba, _Moore_.
  Cænonympha, _Hübn_.
    Euaspla, _Wlk._
  Emesis, _Fabr._
    Echerius, _Stoll._

Fam. LYCÆNIDÆ, _Leach._
  Anops, _Boisd._
    Bulis, _Boisd._
    Thetys, _Drury._
  Loxura, _Horsf._
    Atymnus, _Cram._
  Myrina, _Godt._
    Selimnus, _Doubled._
    Triopas, _Cram._
  Amblypodia, _Horsf._
    Longinus, _Fabr._
    Narada, _Horsf._
    Pseudocentaurus, _Do._
    quercetorum, _Boisd._
  Aphnæus, _Hübn._
    Pindarus, _Fabr._
    Etolus, _Cram._
    Hephæstos, _Doubled._
    Crotus, _Doubled._
  Dipsas, _Doubled._
    Chrysomallos, _Hübn._
    Isocrates, _Fabr._
  Lycæna, _Fabr._
    Alexis, _Stoll._
    Boetica, _Linn._
    Cnejus, _Horsf._
    Rosimon, _Fabr._
    Theophrastus, _Fabr._
    Pluto, _Fabr._
    Parana, _Horsf._
    Nyseus, _Guér._
    Ethion, _Boisd._
    Celeno, _Cram._
    Kandarpa, _Horsf._
    Elpis, _Godt._
    Chimonas, _Wlk._
    Gandara, _Wlk._
    Chorienis, _Wlk._
    Geria, _Wlk._
    Doanas, _Wlk._
    Sunya, _Wlk._
    Audhra, _Wlk._
  Polyommatus, _Latr._
    Akasa, _Horsf._
    Puspa, _Horsf._
    Laius, _Cram._
    Ethion, _Boisd._
    Cattigara, _Wlk._
    Gorgippia, _Wlk._
  Lucia, _Westw._
    Epius, _Westw._
  Pithecops, _Horsf._
    Hylax, _Fabr._

Fam. HESPERIDÆ, _Steph._
  Goniloba, _Westw._
    Iapetus, _Cram._
  Pyrgus, _Hübn._
    Superna, _Moore._
    Danna, _Moore._
    Genta, _Wlk._
    Sydrus, _Wlk._
  Nisoniades, _Hübn._
    Diocles, _Boisd._
    Salsala, _Moore._
    Toides, _Wlk._
  Pamphila, _Fabr._
    Angías, _Linn._
  Achylodes, _Hübn._
    Temala, _Wlk._
  Hesperia, _Fabr._
    Indrani, _Moore._
    Chaya, _Moore._
    Cinnara, _Moore._
    gremius, _Latr._
    Cendochates, _Wlk._
    Tiagara, _Wlk._
    Cotiaris, _Wlk._
    Sigala, _Wlk._

Fam. SPHINGIDÆ. _Leach._
  Sesia, _Fabr._
    Hylas, _Linn._
  Macroglossa, _Ochs._
    Stellatarum, _Linn._
    gyrans, _Boisd._
    Corythus, _Boisd._
    divergens, _Wlk._
  Calymnia, _Boisd._
    Panopus, _Cram._
  Choerocampa, _Dup._
    Thyelia, _Linn._
    Nyssus, _Drury._
    Clotho, _Drury._
    Oldenlandiæ, _Fabr._
    Lycetus, _Cram._
    Silhetensis, _Boisd._
  Pergesa, _Wlk._
    Acteus, _Cram._
  Panacra, _Wlk._
    vigil, _Guer._
  Daphnis, _Hübn._
    Nerii, _Linn._
  Zonilia, _Boisd._
    Morpheus, _Cram._
  Macrosila, _Boisd._
    obliqua, _Wlk._
    discistriga, _Wlk._
  Sphinx, _Linn._
    convolvuli, _Linn._
  Acherontia, _Ochs._
    Satanas, _Boisd._
  Smerinthus, _Latr._
    Dryas, _Boisd._

  Eusemia, _Dalm._
    bellatrix, _Westw._
  Ægocera, _Latr._
    Venulia, _Cram._
    bimacula, _Wlk._

Fam. ZYGÆNIDÆ, _Leach._
  Syntomis, _Ochs._
    Schoenherri, _Boisd._
    Creusa, _Linn._
    Imaon, _Cram._
  Glaucopis, _Fabr._
    subaurata, _Wlk._
  Enchromia, _Hübn._
    Polymena, _Cram._
    diminuta, _Wlk._

Fam. LITHOSIIDÆ, _Steph._
  Scaptesyle, _Wlk._
    bicolor, _Wlk._
  Nyctemera, _Hübn._
    lacticinia, _Cram._
    latistriga, _Wlk._
    Coleta, _Cram._
  Euschema, _Hübn._
    subrepleta, _Wlk._
    transversa, _Wlk._
    vilis, _Wlk._
  Chalcosia, _Hübn._
    Tiberina, _Cram._
    venosa, _Anon._
  Eterusia, _Hope._
    Ædea, _Linn._
  Trypanophora, _Wlk._
    Taprobanes, _Wlk._
  Heteropan, _Wlk._
    scintillans, _Wlk._
  Hypsa, _Hübn._
    plana, _Wlk._
    caricæ, _Fabr._
    ficus, _Fabr._
  Vitessa, _Moor._
    Zemire, _Cram._
  Lithosia, _Fabr._
    antica, _Wlk._
    brevipennis, _Wlk._
  Setina, _Schr._
    semifascia, _Wlk._
    solita, _Wlk._
  Doliche, _Wlk._
    hilaris, _Wlk._
  Pitane, _Wlk._
    conserta, _Wlk._
  Æmene, _Wlk._
    Taprobanes, _Wlk._
  Dirades, _Wlk._
    attacoides, _Wlk._
  Cyllene, _Wlk._
    transversa, _Wlk._
    *spoliata, _Wlk._
  Bizone, _Wlk._
    subornata, _Wlk._
    peregrina, _Wlk._
  Deiopeia, _Steph._
    pulchella, _Linn._
    Astrea, _Drury._
    Argus, _Kollar._

Fam. ARCTIIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Alope, _Wlk._
    ocellifera, _Wlk._
    Sangarida, _Cram._
  Tinolius, _Wlk._
    eburneigutta, _Wlk._
  Creatonotos, _Hübn._
    interrupta, _Linn._
    emittens, _Wlk._
  Acmonia, _Wlk._
    lithosioides, _Wlk._
  Spilosoma, _Steph._
    subfascia, _Wlk._
  Cycnia, _Hübn._
    rubida, _Wlk._
    sparsigutta, _Wlk._
  Antheua, _Wlk._
    discalis, _Wlk._
  Aloa, _Wlk_.
    lactinea, _Cram._
    candidula, _Wlk._
    erosa, _Wlk._
  Amerila, _Wlk._
    Melanthus, _Cram._
  Ammatho, _Wlk._
    cunionotatus, _Wlk._

Fam. LIPARIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Artaxa, _Wlk._
    guttata, _Wlk._
    *varians, _Wlk._
    atomaria, _Wlk._
  Acyphas, _Wlk._
    viridescens, _Wlk._
  Lacida, _Wlk._
    rotundata, _Wlk._
    antica, _Wlk._
    subnotata, _Wlk._
    complens, _Wlk._
    promittens, _Wlk._
    strigulifera, _Wlk._
  Amsacta? _Wlk._
    tenebrosa, _Wlk._
  Antipha, _Wlk._
    costalis, _Wlk._
  Anaxila, _Wlk._
    notata, _Wlk._
  Procodeca, _Wlk._
    augulifera, _Wlk._
  Redoa, _Wlk._
    submarginata, _Wlk._
  Euproctis, _Hübn._
    virguncula, _Wlk._
    bimaculata, _Wlk._
    lunata, _Wlk._
    tinctifera, _Wlk._
  Cispia, _Wlk._
    plagiata, _Wlk._
  Dasychira, _Hübn._
    pudibunda, _Linn._
  Lymantria, _Hübn._
    grandis, _Wlk._
    marginata, _Wlk._
  Enome, _Wlk._
    ampla, _Wlk._
  Dreata, _Wlk._
    plumipes, _Wlk._
    geminata, _Wlk._
    mutans, _Wlk._
    mollifera. _Wlk._
  Pandala, _Wlk._
    dolosa, _Wlk._
  Charnidas, _Wlk._
    junctifera, _Wlk._

Fam PSYCHIDÆ, _Bru._
  Psyche, _Schr._
    Doubledaii, _Westw._
  Metisa, _Wlk._
    plana, _Wlk._
  Eumeta, _Wlk._
    Cramerii, _Westw._
    Templetonii, _Westw._
  Cryptothelea, _Templ._
    consorta, _Templ._

  Cerura, _Schr._
    liturata, _Wlk._
  Stauropus, _Germ._
    alternans, _Wlk._
  Nioda, _Wlk._
    fusiformis, _Wlk._.
    transversa,  _Wlk._
  Rilia, _Wlk._
    lanceolata, _Wlk._
    basivitta, _Wlk._
  Ptilomacra, _Wlk._
    juvenis, _Wlk._
  Elavia, _Wlk._
    metaphæa, _Wlk._
  Notodonta, _Ochs._
    ejecta, _Wlk._
  Ichthyura, _Hübn._
    restituens, _Wlk._

  Scopelodes, _Westw._
    unicolor, _Westw._
  Messata, _Wlk._
    rubiginosa, _Wlk._
  Miresa, _Wlk._
    argentifera, _Wlk._
    aperiens, _Wlk._
  Nyssia, _Herr. Sch._
    læta, _Westw._
  Nesera, _Herr. Sch._
    graciosa, _Westw._
  Narosa, _Wlk._
    conspersa, _Wlk._
  Naprepa, _Wlk._
    varians, _Wlk._

  Oreta, _Wlk._
    suffusa, _Wlk._
    extensa, _Wlk._
  Arna, _Wlk._
    apicalis, _Wlk._
  Ganisa, _Wlk._
    postica, _Wlk._

Fam.  SATURINIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Attacus, _Linn._
    Atlas, _Linn._
    lunula, _Anon._
  Antheræa, _Hübn._
    Mylitta, _Drury._
    Assama, _Westw._
  Tropæa, _Hübn._
    Selene, _Hübn._

Fam. BOMBYCIDÆ, _Steph._
  Trabala, _Wlk._
    basalis, _Wlk._
    prasina, _Wlk._
  Lasiocampa, _Schr._
    trifascia, _Wlk._
  Megasoma, _Boisd._
    venustum, _Wlk._
  Lebeda, _Wlk._
    repanda, _Wlk._
    plagiata, _Wlk._
    bimaculata, _Wlk._
    scriptiplaga, _Wlk._

Fam. COSSIDÆ, _Newm._
  Cossus, _Fabr._
    quadrinotatus, _Wlk._
  Zeuzera, _Latr_.
    leuconota, _Steph._
    pusilla, _Wlk._

Fam. HEPIALIDÆ, _Steph._
  Phassus, _Steph._
    signifer, _Wlk._

Fam. CYMATOPHORIDÆ, _Herr. Sch._
  Thyatira, _Ochs._
    repugnans, _Wlk._

  Bryophila, _Treit._
    semipars, _Wlk._

Fam. BOMBYCOIDÆ, _Guén._
  Diphtera, _Ochs._
    deceptura, _Wlk._

Fam. LEUCANIDÆ, _Guén._
  Leucania, _Ochs._
    confusa, _Wlk._
    exempta, _Wlk._
    inferens, _Wlk._
    collecta, _Wlk._
  Brada, _Wlk._
    truncata, _Wlk._
  Crambopsis, _Wlk._
    excludens, _Wlk._

Fam. GLOTTULIDÆ, _Guén._
  Polytela, _Guén._
    gloriosa, _Fabr._
  Glottula, _Guén._
    Dominica, _Cram._
  Chasmina, _Wlk._
    pavo, _Wlk._
    cygnus, _Wlk._

Fam. APAMIDÆ, _Guén._
  Laphygma, _Guén._
    obstans, _Wlk._
    trajiciens, _Wlk._
  Prodenia, _Guén._
    retina, _Friv._
    glaucistriga, _Wlk._
    apertura, _Wlk._
  Calogramma, _Wlk._
    festiva, _Don._
  Heliophobus, _Boisd._
    discrepans, _Wlk._
  Hydræcia, _Guén._
    lampadifera, _Wlk._
  Apamea, _Ochs._
    undecilia, _Wlk._
  Celæna, _Steph._
    serva, _Wlk._

  Amyna, _Guén._
    selenampha, _Guén._

Fam. NOCTUIDÆ, _Guén._
  Agrotis, _Ochs._
    aristifera, _Guén._
    congrua, _Wlk._
    punctipes, _Wlk._
    mundata, _Wlk._
    transducta, _Wlk._
    plagiata, _Wlk._
    plagifera, _Wlk._

Fam. HADENIDÆ, _Guén._
  Eurois, _Hübn._
    auriplena, _Wlk._
    inclusa, _Wlk._
  Epiceia, _Wlk._
    subsignata, _Wlk._
  Hadena, _Treit._
    subcurva, _Wlk._
    postica, _Wlk._
    retrahens, _Wlk._
    confundens, _Wlk._
    congressa, _Wlk._
    ruptistriga, _Wlk._
  Ansa, _Wlk._
    filipalpis, _Wlk._

Fam. XYLINIDÆ, _Guén,_
  Ragada, _Wlk._
    pyrorchroma, _Wlk._
  Cryassa, _Wlk._
    bifacies, _Wlk._
  Egelista, _Wlk._
    rudivitta, _Wlk._
  Xylina, _Ochs._
    deflexa, _Wlk._
    inchoans, _Wlk._

Fam. HELIOTHIDÆ, _Guén._
  Heliothis, _Ochs._
    armigera, _Hübn._

Fam. HÆMEROSIDÆ, _Guén._
  Ariola, _Wlk._
    coelisigna, _Wlk._
    dilectissima, _Wlk._
    saturata, _Wlk._

Fam. ACONTIDÆ, _Guén._
  Xanthodes, _Guén._
    intersepta, _Guén._
  Acontia, _Ochs._
    tropica, _Guén._
    olivacea, _Wlk._
    fasciculosa, _Wlk._
    signifera, _Wlk._
    turpis, _Wlk._
    mianöides, _Wlk._
    approximans, _Wlk._
    divulsa, _Wlk._
    *egens, _Wlk._
    plenicosta, _Wlk._
    determinata, _Wlk._
    hypætroides, _Wlk._
  Chlumetia, _Wlk._
    multilinea, _Wlk._

  Micra, _Guén._
    destituta, _Wlk._
    derogata, _Wlk._
    simplex, _Wlk._

Fam. ERIOPIDÆ, _Guén._
  Callopistria, _Hübn._
    exotica, _Guén._
    rivularis, _Wlk._
    duplicans, _Wlk._

Fam. EURHIPIDÆ, _Guén._
  Penicillaria, _Guén._
    nugatrix, _Guén._
    resoluta, _Wlk._
    solida, _Wlk._
    ludatrix, _Wlk._
  Rhesala, _Wlk._
    imparata, _Wlk._
  Eutelia, _Hübn._
    favillatrix, _Wlk._
    thermesiides, _Wlk._

Fam. PLUSIIDÆ, _Boisd._
  Abrostola, _Ochs._
    transfixa, _Wlk._
  Plusia, _Ochs._
    aurifera, _Hübn._
    verticillata, _Guén._
    agramma, _Guén._
    obtusisigna, _Wlk._
    nigriluna, _Wlk._
    signata, _Wlk._
    dispellens, _Wlk._
    propulsa, _Wlk._

Fam. CALPIDÆ, _Guén._
  Calpe, _Treit._
    minuticornis, _Guén._
  Oroesia, _Guén._
    emarginata, _Fabr._
  Deva, _Wlk._
    conducens, _Wlk._

Fam. HEMICERIDÆ, _Guén._
  Westermannia, _Hübn._
    superba, _Hübn._

Fam. HYBLÆIDÆ, _Guén._
  Hyblæa, _Guén._
    Puera, _Cram._
    constellata, _Guén._
  Nolasena, _Wlk._
    ferrifervens, _Wlk._

  Cosmophila, _Boisd._
    Indica, _Guén._
    xanthindyma, _Boisd._
  Anomis, _Hübn._
    fulvida, _Guén._
    iconica, _Wlk._
  Gonitis, _Guén._
    combinans, _Wlk._
    albitibia, _Wlk._
    mesogona, _Wlk._
    guttanivis, _Wlk._
    involuta, _Wlk._
    basalis, _Wlk_.
  Eporedia, _Wlk_.
    damnipennis, _Wlk_.
  Rusicada, _Wlk_.
    nigritarsis, _Wlk_.
  Pasipeda, _Wlk_.
    rufipalpis, _Wlk_.

  Toxocampa, _Guén_.
    metaspila, _Wlk_.
    sexlinea, _Wlk_.
    quinquelina, _Wlk_.
  Albonica, _Wlk_.
    reversa, _Wlk_.

  Polydesma, _Boisd_.
    boarmoides, _Wlk_.
    erubescens, _Wlk_.

  Alamis, _Guén._
    spoliata, _Wlk_.
  Homoptera, _Boisd_.
    basipallens, _Wlk_.
    retrahens, _Wlk_.
    costifera, _Wlk_.
    divisistriga, _Wlk_.
    procumbens, _Wlk_.
  Diacuista, _Wlk_.
    homopteroides, _Wlk_.
  Daxata, _Wlk_.
    bijungens, _Wlk_.

  Briarda, _Wlk_.
    precedens, _Wlk_.
  Brana, _Wlk_.
    calopasa, _Wlk_.
  Corsa, _Wlk_.
    lignicolor, _Wlk_.
  Avatha, _Wlk_.
    includens, _Wlk_.
  Gadirtha, _Wlk_.
    decrescens, _Wlk_.
    impingens, _Wlk_.
    spurcata, _Wlk_.
    rectifera, _Wlk_.
    duplicans, _Wlk_
    intrusa, _Wlk_.
  Ercheia, _Wlk_.
    diversipennis, _Wlk_.
  Plotheia, _Wlk_.
    frontalis, _Wlk_.
  Diomea, _Wlk_.
    rotundata, _Wlk_,
    chloromela, _Wlk_.
    orbicularis, _Wlk_.
    muscosa, _Wlk_.
  Dinumma, _Wlk_.
    placens, _Wlk_.
  Lusia, _Wlk_.
    geometroides, _Wlk_.
    perficita, _Wlk_,
    repulsa, _Wlk_.
  Abunis, _Wlk_.
    trimesa, _Wlk_.

Fam. CATEPHIDÆ, _Guén_
  Cocytodes, _Guén._
    coerula, _Guén_.
    modesta, _Wlk_.
  Catephia, _Ochs_.
    lioteola, _Guén_.
  Anophia, _Guén_.
    acronyctoides, _Guén_.
  Steiria, _Wlk_.
    subobliqua, _Wlk_.
    trajiciens, _Wlk_.
  Aucha, _Wlk_.
    velans, _Wlk_.
  Ægilia, _Wlk_.
    describens, _Wlk_.
  Maceda, _Wlk_.
    mansueta, _Wlk_.

Fam. HYPOCALIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Hypocala, _Guén_.
    efflorescens, _Guén_.
    subsatura, _Guén_.

Fam. CATOCALIDÆ, _Boisd_.
  Blenina, _Wlk_.
    donans, _Wlk_.
    accipiens, _Wlk_.

Fam. OPHIDERIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Ophideres, _Boisd_.
    Materna, _Linn_.
    fullonica, _Linn_.
    Cajeta, _Cram_.
    Ancilla, _Cram_.
    Salaminia, _Cram_.
    Hypermnestra, _Cram_.
    multiscripta, _Wlk_.
    bilineosa, _Wlk_.
  Potamophera, _Guén._
    Manlia, _Cram_.
  Lygniodes, _Guén_.
    reducens, _Wlk_,
    disparans, _Wlk_.
    hypoleuca, _Guén_.

Fam. EREBIDÆ, _Guén._
  Oxyodes, _Guén_.
    Clytia, _Cram_.

  Speiredonia, _Hübn_.
    retrahens, _Wlk_.
  Sericia, _Guén._
    anops, _Guén_.
    parvipennis, _Wlk_.
  Patula, _Guén_.
    macrops, _Linn_.
  Argiva, _Hübn_.
    hieroglyphica, _Drury_.
  Beregra, _Wlk_.
    replenens, _Wlk_.

Fam. HYPOPYRIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Spiramia, _Guén_.
    Heliconia, _Hübn_.
    triloba, _Guén_.
  Hypopyra, _Guén._
    vespertilio, _Fabr_.
  Ortospana, _Wlk_.
    connectens, _Wlk_.
  Entomogramma, _Guén_.
    fautrix, _Guén_.

Fam. BENDIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Homæa, _Guén_.
    clathrum _Guén_.
  Hulodes, _Guén_.
    caranea, _Cram_.
    palumba, _Guén_.

Fam. OPHIUSIDÆ, _Guén._
  Sphingomorpha, _Guén._
    Chlorea _Cram_.
  Lagoptera, _Guén_.
    honesta, _Hübn_.
    magica, _Hübn_.
    dotata, _Fabr_,
  Ophiodes, _Guén_.
    discriminans, _Wlk_.
    basistigma, _Wlk_.
  Cerbia, _Wlk_.
    fugitiva, _Wlk_.
  Ophisma, _Guén_.
    lætabilis, _Guén_.
    deficiens, _Wlk_.
    gravata, _Wlk_.
    circumferens, _Wlk_.
    terminans, _Wlk_.
  Achæa, _Hübn_.
    Melicerta, Drury.
    Mezentia, Cram.
    Cyllota, _Guén._
    Cyllaria, _Cram_.
    fusifera, _Wlk_.
    signivitta, _Wlk_.
    reversa, _Wlk_.
    combinans, _Wlk_.
    expectans, _Wlk_.
  Serrodes, _Guén_.
    campana, _Guén_.
  Naxia, _Guén_.
    absentimacula, _Guén_.
    Onelia, _Guén_.
    calefaciens, _Wlk_.
    calorifica, _Wlk_.
  Calesia, _Guén_.
    hoemorrhoda, _Guén_.
  Hypætra, _Guén_.
    trigonifera, _Wlk_.
    curvifera, _Wlk_.
    condita, _Wlk_.
    complacens, _Wlk_.
    divisa, _Wlk_.
  Ophiusa, _Ochs_.
    myops, _Guén_.
    albivitta, _Guén_.
    Achatina, _Sulz_.
    fulvotænia, _Guén_.
    simillima, _Guén_.
    festinata, _Wlk_.
    pallidilinea, _Wlk_.
    luteipalpis, _Wlk_.
  Fodina, _Guén_.
    stola, _Guén_.
  Grammodes, _Guén_.
    Ammonia, _Cram_.
    Mygdon, _Cram_.
    stolida, _Fabr_.
    mundicolor, _Wlk_.

Fam. EUCLIDIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Trigonodes, _Guén_.
    Hippasia, _Cram_.

Fam. REMIGIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Remigia, _Guén_.
    Archesia, _Cram_.
    frugalis, _Fabr_.
    pertendens, _Wlk_.
    congregata, _Wlk_.
    opturata, _Wlk_.

Fam. FOCILLIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Focilla, _Guén_.
    submemorans, _Wlk_.

  Lacera, _Guén_.
    capella, _Guén_.
  Amphigonia, _Guén_.
    hepatizans, _Guén_.

Fam. THERMISIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Sympis, _Guén_.
    rufibasis, _Guén_.
  Thermesia, _Hübn_.
    finipalpis, _Wlk_.
    soluta, _Wlk_.
  Azazia, _Wlk_.
    rubricans, _Boisd_.
  Selenis, _Guén_.
    nivisapex, _Wlk_.
    multiguttata, _Wlk_.
    semilux, _Wlk_.
  Ephyrodes, _Guén_.
    excipiens, _Wlk_.
    crististera, _Wlk_.
    lineifera, _Wlk_.
  Capnodes, _Guén_.
    *maculicosta, _Wlk_.
  Ballatha, _Wlk_.
    atrotumens, _Wlk_.
  Daranissa, _Wlk_.
    digramma, _Wlk_.
  Darsa, _Wlk_.
    defectissima, _Wlk_.

Fam. URAPTERYDÆ, _Guén_.
  Lagyra, _Wlk_.
    Talaca, _Wlk_.

Fam. ENNOMIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Hyperythra, _Guén_.
    limbolaria, _Guén_.
    deductaria, _Wlk_.
  Orsonoba, _Wlk_.
    Rajaca, _Wlk_.
  Sabaria, _Wlk_.
    contractaria, _Wlk_.
  Angerona, _Dup_.
    blandiaria, _Wlk_.
  Fascellina, _Wlk_.
    chromataria, _Wlk_.

Fam. BOARMIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Amblychia, _Guén_.
    angeronia, _Guén_.
  Hemerophila, _Steph_.
    Vidhisara, _Wlk_.
    poststrigaria, _Wlk_.
  Boarmia, _Treit_.
    sublavaria, _Guén_.
    admissaria, _Guén_.
    raptaria, _Wlk_.
    Medasina, _Wlk_.
    Bhurmitra, _Wlk_.
    Suiasasa, _Wlk_.
    diffluaria, _Wlk_.
    caritaria, _Wlk_.
    exclusaria, _Wlk_.
  Hypochroma, _Guén_.
    minimaria, _Guén_.
  Gnophos, _Treit_.
    Pulinda, _Wlk_.
    Culataria, _Wlk_.
  Hemerophila, _Steph_.
    vidhisara, _Wlk_.
  Agathia, _Guén_.
    blandiaria, _Wlk_.
  Bulonga, _Wlk_.
    Ajaia, _Wlk_.
    Chacoraca, _Wlk_.
    Chandubija, _Wlk_.

Fam. GEOMETRIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Geometra, _Linn_.
    specularia, _Guén_.
    Nanda, _Wlk_.
  Nemoria, _Hübn_.
    caudularia, _Guén_.
    solidaria, _Guén_.
  Thalassodes, _Guén_.
    quadraria, _Guén_.
    catenaria, _Wlk_.
    immissaria, _Wlk_.
    Sisunaga, _Wlk_.
    adornataria, _Wlk_.
    meritaria, _Wlk_.
    coelataria, __WlK_.
    gratularia, _Wlk_.
    chlorozonaria, _Wlk_.
    læsaria, _Wlk_.
    simplicaria, _Wlk_.
    immissaria, _Wlk_.
  Comibæna, _Wlk_.
    Divapala, _Wlk_.
    impulsaria, _Wlk_.
  Celenna, _Wlk_.
    saturaturia, _Wlk_.
  Pseudoterpna, _Wlk_.
    Vivilaca, _Wlk_.
  Amaurinia, _Guén_.
    rubrolimbaria, _Wlk_.

Fam. PALYADÆ, _Guén_.
  Eumelea, _Dunc_.
    ludovicata, _Guén_.
    aureliata, _Guén_.
    carnearia, _Wlk_.

Fam. EPHYRIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Ephyra, _Dap_.
    obrinaria, _Wlk_.
    decursaria, _Wlk_.
    Cacavena, _Wlk_.
    abhadraca, _Wlk_.
    Vasudeva, _Wlk_.
    Susarmana, _Wlk_.
    Vutumana, _Wlk_.
    inæquata, _Wlk_.

Fam. ACIDALIDÆ, _Guén_.
  Drapetodes, _Guén_.
    mitaria, _Guén_.
  Pomasia, _Guén_.
    Psylaria, _Guén_.
    Sunandaria, _Wlk_.
  Acidalia, _Treit._
    obliviaria, _Wlk._
    adeptaria, _Wlk._
    nexiaria, _Wlk._
    addictaria, _Wlk._
    actiosaria, _Wlk._
    defamataria, _Wlk._
    negataria, _Wlk._
    actuaria, _Wlk._
    cæsaria, _Wlk._
  Cabera, _Steph._
    falsaria, _Wlk._
    decussaria, _Wlk._
    famularia, _Wlk._
    nigrarenaria, _Wlk._
  Hyria, _Steph._
    elataria, _Wlk._
    marcidaria, _Wlk._
    oblataria, _Wlk._
    grataria, _Wlk._
    rhodinaria, _Wlk._
  Timandra, _Dup._
    Ajuia, _Wlk._
    Vijuia, _Wlk._
  Agyris, _Guén._
    deliaria, _Guén._
  Zanclopteryx, _Herr. Sch._
    saponaria, _Herr. Sch._

Fam. MICRONIDÆ, _Guén._
  Micronia, _Guén._
    caudata, _Fabr._
    aculeata, _Guén._

Fam. MACARIDÆ, _Guén._
  Macaria, _Curt._
    Eleonora, _Cram._
    Varisara, _Wlk._
    Rhagivata, _Wlk._
    Palaca, _Wlk._
    honestaria, _Wlk._
    Sangata, _Wlk._
    honoraria, _Wlk._
    cessaria, _Wlk._
    subcandaria, _Wlk._
  Doava, _Wlk._
    adjutaria, _Wlk._
    figuraria, _Wlk._

Fam. LARENTIDÆ, _Guén._
  Sauris, _Guén._
    hirudinata, _Guén._
  Camptogramma, _Steph._
    baccata, _Guén._
  Blemyia, _Wlk._
    Bataca, _Wlk._
    blitiaria, _Wlk._
  Coremia, _Guén._
    Gomatina, _Wlk._
  Lobophora, _Curt._
    Salisuca, _Wlk._
    Ghosha, _Wlk._
    contributaria, _Wlk._
  Mesogramma, _Steph._
    lactularia, _Wlk._
    scitaria, _Wlk._
  Eupithecia, _Curt._
    recensitaria, _Wlk._
    admixtaria, _Wlk._
    immixtaria, _Wlk._
  Gathynia, _Wlk._
    miraria, _Wlk._

Fam. PLATYDIDÆ, _Guén._
  Trigonia, _Guén._
    Cydonialis, _Cram._

Fam. HYPENIDÆ, _Herr. Sch._
  Dichromia, _Guén._
    Orosialis, _Cram._
 Hypena, _Schr._
    rhombalis. _Guén._
    jocosalis, _Wlk._
    mandatalis, _Wlk._
    quæsitalis, _Wlk._
    laceratalis, _Wlk._
    iconicalis, _Wlk._
    labatalis, _Wlk._
    obacerralis, _Wlk._
    pactalis, _Wlk._
    raralis, _Wlk._
    paritalis, _Wlk._
    surreptalis, _Wlk._
    detersalis, _Wlk._
    ineffectalis, _Wlk._
    incongrualis, _Wlk._
    rubripunctum, _Wlk._
  Gesonia, _Wlk._
    *obeditalis, _Wlk._
    duplex, _Wlk._

Fam. HERMINIDÆ, _Dup._
  Herminia, _Latr._
    Timonalis, _Wlk._
    diffusalis, _Wlk_
    interstans, _Wlk._
  Adrapsa, _Wlk._
    ablualis, _Wlk._
  Bertula, _Wlk._
    abjudicalis, _Wlk._
    raptatalis, _Wlk._
    contigens, _Wlk._
  Bocana, _Wlk._
    jutalis, _Wlk._
    manifestalis, _Wlk._
    ophiusalis, _Wlk._
    vagalis, _Wlk._
    turpatalis, _Wlk._
    hypernalis, _Wlk._
    gravatalis, _Wlk._
    tumidalis, _Wlk._
  Orthaga, _Wlk._
    Euadrusalis, _Wlk._
  Hipoepa, _Wlk._
    lapsalis, _Wlk._
  Lamura, _Wlk._
    oberratalis, _Wlk._
  Echana, _Wlk._
    abavalis, _Wlk._
  Dragana, _Wlk._
    pansalis, _Wlk._
  Pingrasa, _Wlk._
    accuralis, _Wlk._
  Egnasia, _Wlk._
    ephyradalis, _Wlk._
    accingalis, _Wlk._
    participalis, _Wlk._
    usurpatalis, _Wlk._
  Berresa, _Wlk._
    natalis, _Wlk._
  Imma, _Wlk._
    rugosalis, _Wlk._
  Chusaris, _Wlk._
    retatalis, _Wlk._
  Corgatha, _Wlk._
    zonalis, _Wlk._
  Catada, _Wlk._
    glomeralis, _Wlk._
    captiosalis, _Wlk._

Fam. PYRALIDÆ, _Guén._
  Pyralis, _Linn._
    igniflualis, _Wlk._
    Palesalis, _Wlk._
    reconditalis, _Wlk._
    Idalialis, _Wlk._
    Janassalis, _Wlk._
  Aglossa, _Latr._
    Gnidusalis, _Wlk._
  Isabanda, _Wlk._
    herbealis. _Wlk._

Fam. ENNYCHIDÆ, _Dup._
  Pyrausta, _Schr._
    *absistalis, _Wlk._

Fam. ASOPIDÆ, _Guén._
  Desmia, _Westw._
    afflictalis, _Guén._
    concisalis, _Wlk._
  Ædiodes, _Guén._
    flavibasalis, _Guén.._
    effertalis, _Wlk._
  Samea, _Guén._
    gratiosalis, _Wlk._
  Asopia, _Guén._
    vulgalis, _Guén._
    falsidicalis, _Wlk._
    abruptalis, _Wlk._
    latimarginalis, _Wlk._
    præteritalis, _Wlk._
    Eryxalis, _Wlk._
    roridalis, _Wlk_.
  Agathodes, _Guén._
    ostentalis, _Geyer_.
  Leucinades, _Guén_.
    orbonalis, _Guén_.
  Hymenia, _Hübn_.
    recurvalis, _Fabr_.
  Agrotera, _Schr_.
    suffusalis, _Wlk_.
    decessalis, _Wlk_.
  Isopteryx, _Guen_.
    *melaleucalis, _Wlk_.
    *impulsalis, _Wlk_.
    *spilomelalis, _Wlk_.
    acclaralis, _Wlk_.
    abnegatalis, _Wlk_.

  Oligostigma, _Guén_.
    obitalis, _Wlk_.
    votalis, _Wlk_.
  Cataclysta, _Herr. Sch._
    dilucidalis, _Guér_.
    bisectalis, _Wlk_.
    blandialis, _Wlk_.
    elutalis, _Wlk_.

  Lepyrodes, _Guén_.
    geometralis, _Guén_.
    lepidalis, _Wlk_.
    peritalis, _Wlk_.
  Phalangiodes, _Guén_.
    Neptisalis, _Cram_.
  Spilomela, _Guén_.
    meritalis, _Wlk_.
    abdicalis, _Wlk_.
    decussalis, _Wlk_.
    aurolinealis, _Wlk_.
  Nistra, _Wlk_.
    coelatalis, _Wlk_.
  Pagyda, _Wlk_.
    salvalis, _Wlk_.
  Massepha, _Wlk_.
    absolutalis, _Wlk_.

  Glyphodes, _Guén_.
    diurnalis, _Guén_.
    decretalis, _Guén_.
    coesalis, _Wlk_.
    univocalis, _Wlk_.
  Phakellura, _L. Guild_.
    gazorialis, _Guén_.
  Margarodes, _Guén_.
    psittacalis, _Hübn_.
    pomonalis, _Guén_.
    hilaralis, _Wlk_.
  Pygospila, _Guén_.
    Tyresalis, _Cram_.
  Neurina, _Guén,_
    Procopialis, _Cram_.
    ignibasalis, _Wlk_.
  Ilurgia, _Wlk_.
    defamalis, _Wlk_.
  Maruca, _Wlk_.
    ruptalis, _Wlk_.
    caritalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. BOTYDÆ,  _Guén_.
  Botys, _Latr_.
    marginalis, _Cram_.
    sellalis, _Guén._
    multilinealis, _Guén_.
    admensalis, _Wlk_.
    abjungalis, _Wlk_.
    rutilalis, _Wlk_.
    admixtalis, _Wlk_.
    celatalis, _Wlk_.
    deductalis, _Wlk_.
    celsalis, _Wlk_.
    vulsalis, _Wlk_.
    ultimalis, _Wlk_.
    tropicalis, _Wlk_.
    abstrusalis, _Wlk_.
    ruralis, _Wlk_.
    adhoesalis, _Wlk_.
    illisalis, _Wlk_.
    stultalis, _Wlk_.
    adductalis, _Wlk_.
    histricalis, _Wlk_.
    illectalis, _Wlk_.
    suspicalis, _Wlk_.
    Janassalis,  _Wlk_.
    Nephealis, _Wlk_.
    Cynaralis, _Wlk_.
    Dialis, _Wlk_.
    Thaisalis, _Wlk_.
    Dryopealis, _Wlk_.
    Myrinalis, _Wlk_.
    phycidalis, _Wlk_.
    annulalis, _Wlk_.
    brevilinealis, _Wlk._
    plagiatalis, _Wlk._
  Ebulea, _Guén._
    aberratalis, _Wlk_.
    Camillalis, _Wlk_.
  Pionea, _Guén._
    actualis, _Wlk_.
    Optiletalis, _Wlk_.
    Jubesalis, _Wlk_.
    brevialis, _Wlk_.
    suffusalis, _Wlk_.
  Scopula, _Schr_.
    revocatalis, _Wlk_.
    turgidalis, _Wlk_.
    volutatalis, _Wlk_.
  Godara, _Wlk_.
    pervasalis, _Wlk_.
  Herculia, _Wlk_.
    bractialis, _Wlk._
  Mecyna, _Guen_.
    deprivulis, _Wlk_.

Fam. SCOPARIDÆ, _Guén_

  Scoparia, _Haw_.
    murificalis, _Wlk_.
    congestalis, _Wlk_.
    Alconalis, _Wlk_.
  Davana, _Wlk_.
    Phalantalia, _Wlk_.
  Darsania, _Wlk_.
    Niobesalis, _Wlk_.
  Dosara, _Wlk_.
    coelatella, _Wlk_.
    lapsalis, _Wlk_.
    immeritalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHOREUTIDÆ, _Staint._
  Niaccaba, _Wlk_.
    sumptialis, _Wlk_.
  Simæthis, _Leach_.
    Clatella, _Wlk_.
    Damonella, _Wlk_.
    Bathusella, _Wlk_.

Fam. PHYCIDÆ, _Staint_.
  Myelois, _Hübn_.
    actiosella, _Wlk_.
    bractiatella, _Wlk_.
    cautella, _Wlk_.
    adaptella, _Wlk_.
    illusella, _Wlk_.
    basifuscella, _Wlk_.
    Ligeralis, _Wlk_.
    Marsyasalis, _Wlk_.
  Dascusa, _Wlk_.
    Valensalis, _Wlk_.
  Daroma, _Wlk_.
    Zeuxoalis, _Wlk_.
    Epulusalis, _Wlk_.
    Timeusalis, _Wlk_.
  Homoesoma, _Curt_.
    gratella, _Wlk_.
    Getusella, _Wlk_.
  Nephopteryx, _Hübn_.
    Etolusalis, _Wlk_.
    Cyllusalis, _Wlk_.
    Hylasalis, _Wlk_.
    Acisalis, _Wlk_.
    Harpaxalis, _Wlk_.
    Æolusalis, _Wlk_.
    Argiadesalis, _Wlk_.
    Philiasalis, _Wlk_.
  Pempelia, _Hühn_.
    laudatella, _Wlk_.
  Prionapteryx, _Steph_.
    Lincusalis, _Wlk_.
  Pindicitora, _Wlk_.
    Acreonalis, _Wlk_.
    Annusalis,  _Wlk_.
    Thysbesalis, _Wlk_.
    Linceusalis, _Wlk_.
  Lacipea, _Wlk_.
    muscosella, _Wlk_.
  Araxes, _Steph_.
    admotella, _Wlk_.
    decusella, _Wlk_.
    celsella, _Wlk_.
    admigratella, _Wlk_.
    coesella, _Wlk_.
    candidatella, _Wlk_.
  Catagela, _Wlk_.
    adjurella, _Wlk_.
    acricuella, _Wlk_.
    lunulella, _Wlk_.

Fam. CRAMBIDÆ, _Dup_.
  Crambus, _Fabr_.
    concinellus, _Wlk_.
  Darbhaca, _Wlk_.
    inceptella, _Wlk_.
  Jartheza, _Wlk_.
    honorella, _Wlk_.
  Bulina, _Wlk_.
    solitella, _Wlk_.
  Bembina, _Wlk_.
    Cyanusalis, _Wlk_.
  Chilo, _Zinck_.
    dodatella, _Wlk_.
    gratiosella, _Wlk_.
    aditella, _Wlk_.
    blitella, _Wlk_.
  Dariausa, _Wlk_.
    Eubusalis, _Wlk_.
  Arrhade, _Wlk_.
    Ematheonalis, _Wlk_.
  Darnensis, _Wlk_.
    Strephonella, _Wlk_.

Fam. CHLOEPHORIDÆ, _Staint_.
  Thagora, _Wlk_.
    figurans, _Wlk_.
  Earias, _Hübn_.
    chromatana, _Wlk_.

Fam. TORTRICIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Lozotænia, _Steph_.
    retractana, _Wlk_.
  Peronea, _Curt_.
    divisana, _Wlk_.
  Lithogramma, _Steph_.
    flexilineana, _Wlk_.
  Dictyopteryx, _Steph_.
    punctana, _Wlk_.
  Homona, _Wlk_.
    fasciculana, _Wlk_.
  Hemonia, _Wlk_.
    orbiferana, _Wlk_.
  Achroia, _Hübn_.
    tricingulana, _Wlk_.

  Atteva, _Wlk_.
    niveigutta, _Wlk_.

Fam. GELICHIDÆ, _Staint_.
  Depressaria, _Haw_.
    obligatella, _Wlk_.
    fimbriella, _Wlk_.
  Decuaria, _Wlk_.
    mendicella, _Wlk_.
  Gelechia, _Hübn_.
    nugatella, _Wlk_.
    calatella, _Wlk_.
    deductella, _Wlk_.
    Perionella, _Wlk_.
  Gizama, _Wlk_.
    blandiella, _Wlk_.
  Enisipia, _Wlk_.
    falsella, _Wlk_.
  Gapharia, _Wlk_.
    recitatella, _Wlk_.
  Goesa, _Wlk_.
    decusella, _Wlk_.
  Cimitra, _Wlk_.
    seclusella, _Wlk_.
  Ficulea, _Wlk_.
    blandulella, _Wlk_.
  Fresilia, _Wlk_.
    nesciatella, _Wlk_.
  Gesontha, _Wlk_.
    captiosella, _Wlk_.
  Aginis, _Wlk_.
    hilariella, _Wlk_.
  Cadra, _Wlk_.
    defectella, _Wlk_.

Fam. GLYPHYPTIDÆ, _Staint_.
  Glyphyteryx, _Hübn_.
    scitulella, _Wlk_.
  Hybele, _Wlk_.
    mansuetella, _Wlk_.

Fam. TINEIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Tinea, _Linn_.
    tapetzella, _Linn_.
    receptella, _Wlk_.
    pelionella, _Linn_.
    plagiferella, _Wlk_.

Fam. LYONETIDÆ, _Staint_.
  Cachura, _Wlk_.
    objectella, _Wlk_.

  Pterophorus, _Geoffr_.
    leucadactylus, _Wlk_.
    oxydactylus, _Wlk_.
    anisodactylus, _Wlk_.

Order Diptera, _Linn_.

  Sciara, _Meig_.
   *valida, _Wlk_.

  Cecidomyia, _Latr_.
   *primaria, _Wlk_.

Fam. SIMULIDÆ, _Hal_.
  Simulium, _Latr_.
    *destinatum, _Wlk_.

  Ceratopogon, _Meig_.
    *albocinctus, _Wlk_.

Fam. CULICIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Culex, _Linn_.
    regius, _Thwaites_.
    fuscanus, _Wied_.
    circumvolans, _Wlk_.
    contrahens, _Wlk_.

Fam. TIPULIDÆ, _Hal_.
  Ctenophora, _Fabr_.
    Taprobanes, _Wlk_.
  Gymnoplistia? _Westw_.
    hebes, _Wlk_.

  Ptilocera, _Wied_.
    quadridentata, _Fabr_.
    fastuosa, _Geist_.
  Pachygaster, _Meig_.
    rufitarsis, _Macq._
  Acanthina, _Wied_.
    azurea, _Geist_

Fam. TABANIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Pangonia, _Latr_.
    Taprobanes, _Wlk_.

Fam. ASILIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Trupanea, _Macq_.
    Ceylanica, _Macq_.
  Asilus, _Linn_.
    flavicornis, _Macq_.
    Barium, _Wlk_.

Fam. DOLICHOPIDÆ, _Leach._
  Psilopus, _Meig._
    *procuratus, _Wlk._

Fam. MUSCIDÆ, _Latr._
  Tachina? _Fabr._
    *tenebrosa, _Wlk._
  Musca. _Linn._
    domestica, _Linn._
  Dacus, _Fabr._
    *interclusus, _Wlk._
    *nigroseneus, _Wlk._
    *detentus, _Wlk._
  Ortalis, _Fall._
    *confundens, _Wlk._
  Sciomyza, _Fall._
    *leucotelus, _Wlk._
  Drosophila, _Fall._
    *restituens, _Wlk._

Fam. NYCTERIBIDÆ, _Leach._
  Nycteribia, _Latr._
    ----? a species
    parasitic on Scatophilus
    _Bligh._ See
    _ante,_ p. 161.

Order Hemiptera, _Linn._

  Cantuo, _Amyot & Serv._
    ocellatus, _Thunb_.
  Callidea, _Lap._
    superba, _Dall._
    Stockerus, _Linn._

  Trigonosoma, _Lap._
    Desfontainii, _Fabr._

Fam. PLATASPIDÆ, _Dall._
  Coptosoma, _Lap._
    laticeps, _Dall._

Fam. HALYDIDÆ, _Dall._
  Halys, _Fabr._
    dentate, _Fabr._

  Pentatoma, _Oliv._
    Timorensensis, _Hope._
    Taprobanensls, _Dall._
  Catacanthus, _Spin._
    incarnatus, _Drury._
  Rhaphigaster, _Lap._
    congrua, _Wlk._

Fam. EDESSIDÆ, _Dall._
  Aspongopus, _Lap._
    Janus, _Fabr._
  Tesseratoma,  _Lep. & Serv._
    papillosa, _Drury._
  Cyclopelta, _Am. & Serv._
    siccifolia, _Hope._

   Phyllocephala, _Lap._
     Ægyptiaca, _Lefeb._

Fam. MICTIDÆ, _Dall._
  Mictis, _Leach._
    castanea, _Dall._
    yalida, _Dall._
    punctum, _Hope._
  Crinocerus, _Burm._
    ponderosus, _Wlk._

  Leptoscelis, _Lap._
    ventralis, _Dall._
    turpis, _Wlk._
    marginalis, _Wlk._
  Serinetha, _Spin._
    Taprobanensis, _Dall._
    abdominalis, _Fabr._

Fam. ALYDIDÆ, _Dall._
   Alydus, _Fabr._
      linearis, _Fabr._

  Leptocorisa, _Latr._
    Chinensis, _Dall._

Fam. COREIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Rhopalus, _Schill._
    interruptus, _Wlk._

Fam. LYGÆIDÆ, _Westw._
  Lygæus, _Fabr._
    lutescens, _Wlk._
    figuratus, _Wlk._
    discifer, _Wlk._
  Rhyparochromus, _Curt._
    testaciepes, _Wlk._

Fam. ARADIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Piestosoma, _Lap._
    picipes, _Wlk._

Fam. TINGIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Calloniana, _Wlk._
    *elegans, _Wlk._

Fam. CIMICIDÆ, _Wlk._
  Cimex, _Linn_.
    lectularius, _Linn._?

Fam. REDUVIIDÆ, _Steph._
  Pirates, _Burm._
    marginatus, _Wlk._
  Acanthaspis, _Am. & Serv._
    sanguinipes, _Wlk._
    fulvispina, _Wlk._

  Ptilomera, _Am. & Serv._
    laticauda, _Hardw._

Fam. NEPIDÆ, _Leach._
  Belostoma, _Latr._
    Indicum, _St. Farg. & Serv._
  Nepa, _Linn._
    minor, _Wlk._

Fam. NOTONECTIDÆ, _Steph_.
  Notonecta, _Linn._
    abbreviata, _Wlk._
    simplex, _Wlk._
  Corixa, _Geoff._
    *subjacens, _Wlk._

Order Homoptara, _Latr._

Fam. CICADIDÆ, _Westw._
  Dundubia, _Am. & Serv._
    stipata, _Wlk._
    Cioafa, _Wlk._
    Larus, _Wlk._
  Cicada, _Linn_.
    limitaris, _Wlk._
    nuhifurea, _Wlk._

Fam. FULCORIDÆ, _Schaum._
  Hotinus, _Am. & Serv._
    maculatus, _Oliv._
    fulvirostris, _Wlk._
    coccineus, _Wlk._
  Pyrops, _Spin._
    punctata _Oliv._
  Aphæna, _Guér_.
    sanguinalis, _Westw_.
  Elidiptera, _Spin_.
    Emersoniana, _White_.

Fam. CIXIIDÆ, _Wlk_.
  Eurybrachys, _Guér_.
    tomentosa, _Fabr_.
    dilatata, _Wlk_.
    crudelis, _Westw_.
  Cixius, _Latr_.
    *nubilus, _Wlk_.

Fam. ISSIDÆ, _Wlk_.
  Hemisphærius, _Schaum_.
    *Schaumi, _Stal_.
    *bipustulatus, _Wlk_.

Fam. DERBIDÆ, _Schaum_.
  Thracia, _Westw_.
    pterophorides, _Westw_.
  Derbe, _Fabr_.
    *furcato-vittata, _Stal_.

Fam. FLATTIDÆ, _Schaum_.
  Flatoides, _Guér_.
    hyalinus, _Fabr_.
    tenebrosus, _Wlk_.
  Ricania, _Germ_.
    Hemerobii, _Wlk_.
  Poeciloptera, _Latr_.
    pulverulenta, _Guér_.
    stellaris, _Wlk_.
    Tennentina, _White_.

  Oxyrhachis, _Germ_.
    *indicans, _Wlk_.
  Centrotus, _Fabr_.
    *reponens, _Wlk_.
    *malleus, _Wlk_.
    substitutus, _Wlk_.
    *decipiens, _Wlk_.
    *relinquens, _Wlk_.
    *imitator, _Wlk_.
    *repressus, _Wlk_.
    *terminalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. CERCOPIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Cercopis, _Fabr_.
    inclusa, _Wlk_.
  Ptyelus, _Lep. & Serv_.
    costalis, _Wlk_.

  Tettigonia, _Latr_.
    paulula, _Wlk_.

Fam. SCARIDÆ, _Wlk_.
  Ledra, _Fabr_.
    rugosa, _Wlk_.
    conica, _Wlk_.
  Gypona, _Germ_.
    prasina, _Wlk_.

Fam. IASSIDÆ, _Wlk_.
  Acocephalus, _Germ_.
    porrectus, _Wlk_.

Fam. PSYLLIDÆ, _Latr_.
  Psylla, _Goff_.
    *marginalis, _Wlk_.

Fam. COCCIDÆ, _Leach_.
  Lecanium, _Illig_.
    Coffeæ, _Wlk_.



With a few striking exceptions, the true _spiders_ of Ceylon resemble in
oeconomy and appearance those we are accustomed to see at home. They
frequent the houses, the gardens, the rocks and the stems of trees, and
along the sunny paths, where the forest meets the open country, the
_Epeira_ and her congeners, the true net-weaving spiders, extend their
lacework, the grace of their designs being even less attractive than the
beauty of the creatures that elaborate them.

Those that live in the woods select with singular sagacity the
bridle-paths and narrow passages for expanding their nets; no doubt
perceiving that the larger insects frequent these openings for facility
of movement through the jungle; and that the smaller ones are carried
towards them by the currents of air. These nets are stretched across the
path from four to eight feet above the ground, hung from projecting
shoots, and attached, if possible, to thorny shrubs; and sometimes
exhibit the most remarkable scenes of carnage and destruction. I have
taken down a ball as large as a man's head consisting of successive
layers rolled together, in the heart of which was the den of the family,
whilst the envelope was formed, sheet after sheet, by coils of the old
web filled with the wings and limbs of insects of all descriptions, from
the largest moths and butterflies to mosquitoes and minute coleoptera.
Each layer appeared to have been originally suspended across the passage
to intercept the expected prey; and, as it became surcharged with
carcases, it was loosened, tossed over by the wind or its own weight,
and wrapped round the nucleus in the centre, the spider replacing it by
a fresh sheet, to be in turn detached and added to the mass within.

Walckenaer has described a species of large size, under the name of
_Olios Taprobanius_, which is very common and conspicuous from the fiery
hue of the under surface, the remainder being covered with gray hair so
short and fine that the body seems almost denuded. It spins a
moderate-sized web, hung vertically between two sets of strong lines,
stretched one above the other athwart the pathways. Some of the
spider-cords thus carried horizontally from tree to tree at a
considerable height from the ground are so strong as to cause a painful
check across the face when moving quickly against them; and more than
once in riding I have had my hat lifted off my head by a single

[Footnote 1: Over the country generally are scattered species of
_Gasteracantha_, remarkable for their firm shell-covered bodies, with
projecting knobs arranged in pairs. In habit these anomalous-looking
_Epeiridæ_ appear to differ in no respect from the rest of the family,
waylaying their prey in similar situations and in the same manner.

Another very singular subgenus, met with in Ceylon, is distinguished by
the abdomen being dilated behind, and armed with two long spines,
arching obliquely backwards. These abnormal kinds are not so handsomely
coloured as the smaller species of typical form.]

Separated by marked peculiarities of structure, as well as of instinct,
from the spiders which live in the open air, and busy themselves in
providing food during the day, the _Mygale fasciata_ is not only
sluggish in its habits, but disgusting in its form and dimensions. Its
colour is a gloomy brown, interrupted by irregular blotches and faint
bands (whence its trivial name); it is sparingly sprinkled with hairs,
and its limbs, when expanded, stretch over an area of six to eight
inches in diameter. It is familiar to Europeans in Ceylon, who have
given it the name, and ascribed to it the fabulous propensities, of the

[Footnote 1: Species of the true _Tarentulæ_ are not uncommon in Ceylon;
they are all of very small size, and perfectly harmless.]

By day it remains concealed in its den, whence it issues at night to
feed on larvæ and worms, devouring cockroaches[1] and their pupæ, and
attacking the millepeds, gryllotalpæ, and other fleshy insects. The
Mygale is found abundantly in the northern and eastern parts of the
island, and occasionally in dark unfrequented apartments in the western
province; but its inclinations are solitary, and it shuns the busy
traffic of towns.

[Footnote 1: Mr. EDGAR L. LAYARD has described the encounter between a
Mygale and a cockroach, which he witnessed in the madua of a temple at
Alittane, between Anarajapoora and Dambool. When about a yard apart,
each discerned the other and stood still, the spider with his legs
slightly bent and his body raised, the cockroach confronting him and
directing his antennæ with a restless undulation towards his enemy. The
spider, by stealthy movements, approached to within a few inches and
paused, both parties eyeing each other intently: then suddenly a rush, a
scuffle, and both fell to the ground, when the blatta's wings closed,
the spider seized it under the throat with his claws, and dragging it
into a corner, the action of his jaws was distinctly audible. Next
morning Mr. Layard found the soft parts of the body had been eaten,
nothing but the head, thorax, and elytra remaining.--_Ann. & Mag. Nat.
Hist._ May, 1853.]

_Ticks_.--Ticks are to be classed among the intolerable nuisances to the
Ceylon traveller. They live in immense numbers in the jungle[1], and
attaching themselves to the plants by the two forelegs, lie in wait to
catch at unwary animals as they pass. A shower of these diminutive
vermin will sometimes drop from a branch, if unluckily shaken, and
disperse themselves over the body, each fastening on the neck, the ears,
and eyelids, and inserting a barbed proboscis. They burrow, with their
heads pressed as far as practicable under the skin, causing a sensation
of smarting, as if particles of red hot sand had been scattered over the
flesh. If torn from their hold, the suckers remain behind and form an
ulcer. The only safe expedient is to tolerate the agony of their
penetration till a drop of coco-nut oil or the juice of a lime can be
applied, when these little furies drop off without further ill
consequences. One very large species, dappled with grey, attaches itself
to the buffaloes.

[Footnote 1: Dr. HOOKER, in his _Himalayan Journal_, vol. 1. p. 279, in
speaking of the multitude of these creatures in the mountains of Nepal,
wonders what they find to feed on, as in these humid forests in which
they literally swarmed, there was neither pathway nor animal life. In
Ceylon they abound everywhere in the plains on the low brushwood; and in
the very driest seasons they are quite as numerous as at other times. In
the mountain zone, which is more humid, they are less prevalent. Dogs
are tormented by them; and they display something closely allied to
cunning in always fastening on an animal in those parts where they
cannot be torn off by his paws; on his eyebrows, the tips of his ears,
and the back of his neck. With a corresponding instinct I have always
observed in the gambols of the Pariah dogs, that they invariably
commence their attentions by mutually gnawing each other's ears and
necks, as if in pursuit of ticks from places from which each is unable
to expel them for himself. Horses have a similar instinct; and when they
meet, they apply their teeth to the roots of the ears of their
companions, to the neck and the crown of the head. The buffaloes and
oxen are relieved of ticks by the crows which rest on their backs as
they browse, and free them from these pests. In the low country the same
acceptable office is performed by the "cattle-keeper heron" (_Ardea
bubuleus_), which is "sure to be found in attendance on them while
grazing; and the animals seem to know their benefactors, and stand
quietly, while the birds peck their tormentors from their
flanks."--_Mag. Nat. Hist._ p. 111, 1844.]

_Mites_.--The _Trombidium tinctorum_ of Hermann is found about Aripo,
and generally over the northern provinces,--where after a shower of rain
or heavy night's dew, they appear in countless myriads. It is about half
an inch long, like a tuft of crimson velvet, and imparts its colouring
matter readily to any fluid in which it may be immersed. It feeds on
vegetable juices, and is perfectly innocuous. Its European
representative, similarly tinted, and found in garden mould, is commonly
called the "Little red pillion."

MYRIAPODS.--The certainty with which an accidental pressure or unguarded
touch is resented and retorted by a bite, makes the centipede, when it
has taken up its temporary abode within a sleeve or the fold of a dress,
by far the most unwelcome of all the Singhalese assailants. The great
size, too (little short of a foot in length), to which it sometimes
attains, renders it formidable; and, apart from the apprehension of
unpleasant consequences from a wound, one shudders at the bare idea of
such hideous creatures crawling over the skin, beneath the innermost
folds of one's garments.

At the head of the _Myriapods_, and pre-eminent from a
superiorly-developed organisation, stands the genus _Cermatia_:
singular-looking objects; mounted upon slender legs, of gradually
increasing length from front to rear, the hind ones in some species
being amazingly prolonged, and all handsomely marked with brown annuli
in concentric arches. These myriapods are harmless, excepting to
woodlice, spiders, and young cockroaches, which form their ordinary
prey. They are rarely to be seen; but occasionally at daybreak, after a
more than usually abundant repast, they may be observed motionless, and
resting with their regularly extended limbs nearly flat against the
walls. On being disturbed they dart away with a surprising velocity, to
conceal themselves in chinks until the return of night.

[Illustration: CERMATIA.]

But the species to be really dreaded are the true _Scolopendræ_, which
are active and carnivorous, living in holes in old walls and other
gloomy dens. One species[1] attains to nearly the length of a foot, with
corresponding breadth; it is of a dark purple colour, approaching black,
with yellowish legs and antennæ, and its whole aspect repulsive and
frightful. It is strong and active, and evinces an eager disposition to
fight when molested. The _Scolopendræ_ are gifted by nature with a rigid
coriaceous armour, which does not yield to common pressure, or even to a
moderate blow; so that they often escape the most well-deserved and
well-directed attempts to destroy them, seeking refuge in retreats which
effectually conceal them from sight.

[Footnote 1: _Scolopendra crassa_, Temp.]

There is a smaller one[1], which frequents dwelling-houses, about one
quarter the size of the preceding, of a dirty olive colour, with pale
ferruginous legs. It is this species which generally inflicts the wound,
when persons complain of being bitten by a scorpion; and it has a
mischievous propensity for insinuating itself into the folds of dress.
The bite at first does not occasion more suffering than would arise from
the penetration of two coarsely-pointed needles; but after a little time
the wound swells, becomes acutely painful, and if it be over a bone or
any other resisting part, the sensation is so intolerable as to produce
fever. The agony subsides after a few hours' duration. In some cases the
bite is unattended by any particular degree of annoyance, and in these
instances it is to be supposed that the contents of the poison gland had
become exhausted by previous efforts, since, if much tasked, the organ
requires rest to enable it to resume its accustomed functions and to
secrete a supply of venom.

[Footnote 1: _Scolopendra pullipes_.]

_Millipeds._--In the hot dry season, and in the northern portions of the
island more especially, the eye is attracted along the edges of the
sandy roads by fragments of the dislocated rings of a huge species of
millipede,[1] lying in short, curved tubes, the cavity admitting the tip
of the little finger. When perfect the creature is two-thirds of a foot
long, of a brilliant jet black, and with above a hundred yellow legs,
which, when moving onward, present the appearance of a series of
undulations from rear to front, bearing the animal gently forwards. This
_julus_ is harmless, and may be handled with perfect impunity. Its food
consists chiefly of fruits and the roots and stems of succulent
vegetables, its jaws not being framed for any more formidable purpose.
Another and a very pretty species,[2] quite as black, but with a bright
crimson band down the back, and the legs similarly tinted, is common in
the gardens about Colombo and throughout the western province.

[Footnote 1: _Julus ater_, Temp.]

[Footnote 2: _Julus carnifex_, Fab.]

CRUSTACEA.--The seas around Ceylon abound with marine articulata; but a
knowledge of the crustacea of the island is at present a desideratum;
and with the exception of the few commoner species which frequent the
shores, or are offered in the markets, we are literally without
information, excepting the little that can be gleaned from already
published systematic works.

In the bazaars several species of edible crabs are exposed for sale; and
amongst the delicacies at the tables of Europeans, curries made from
prawns and lobsters are the triumphs of the Ceylon cuisine. Of these
latter the fishermen sometimes exhibit specimens[1] of extraordinary
dimensions, and of a beautiful purple hue, variegated with white. Along
the level shore north and south of Colombo, and in no less profusion
elsewhere, the nimble little Calling Crabs[2] scamper over the moist
sands, carrying aloft the enormous hand (sometimes larger than the rest
of the body), which is their peculiar characteristic, and which, from
its beckoning gesture, has suggested their popular name. They hurry to
conceal themselves in the deep retreats which they hollow out in the
banks that border the sea.

[Footnote 1: _Palinurus ornatus_, Fab.]

[Footnote 2: _Gelasimus tatragonon_? Edw.; _G. annulipes_? Edw.; _G.
Dussumieri_? Edw.]


_Sand Crabs._--In the same localities, or a little farther inland, the
_ocypode_[1] burrows in the dry soil, making deep excavations, bringing
up literally armfuls of sand; which with a spring in the air, and
employing its other limbs, it jerks far from its burrows, distributing
it in radii to the distance of several feet.[2] So inconvenient are the
operations of these industrious pests that men are kept regularly
employed at Colombo in filling up the holes formed by them on the
surface of the Galle face, which is the only equestrian promenade of the
capital; but so infested by these active little creatures that accidents
often occur by horses stumbling in their troublesome excavations.

[Footnote 1: _Ocypode ceratophthalmus_, Pall.]

[Footnote 2: _Ann. Nat. Hist._ April, 1852. Paper by Mr. EDGAR L.

_Painted Crabs._--On the reefs which lie to the south of the harbour at
Colombo, the beautiful little painted crabs,[1] distinguished by dark
red markings on a yellow ground, may be seen all day long running nimbly
in the spray, and ascending and descending in security the almost
perpendicular sides of the rocks which are washed by the waves.
_Paddling Crabs_,[2] with the hind pair of legs terminated by flattened
plates to assist them in swimming, are brought up in the fishermen's
nets. _Hermit Crabs_ take possession of the deserted shells of the
univalves, and crawl in pursuit of garbage along the moist beach. Prawns
and shrimps furnish delicacies for the breakfast table; and the delicate
little pea crab, _Pontonia inflata_,[3] recalls its Mediterranean
congener,[4] which attracted the attention of Aristotle, from taking up
its habitation in the shell of the living pinna.

[Footnote 1: _Grapsus strigosus_, Herbst.]

[Footnote 2: _Neptunus pelagicus_, Linn,; _N. sanguinolentus_, Herbst,
&c. &c.]

[Footnote 3: MILNE EDW. _Hist. Nat. Crust._ vol. ii. p. 360.]

[Footnote 4: _Pinnotheres veterum._]

ANNELIDÆ.--The marine _Annelides_ of the island have not as yet been
investigated; a cursory glance, however, amongst the stones on the beach
at Trincomalie and in the pools, which afford convenient basins for
examining them, would lead to the belief that the marine species are not
numerous; tubicole genera, as well as some nereids, are found, but there
seems to be little diversity; though it is not impossible that a closer
scrutiny might be repaid by the discovery of some interesting forms.

_Leeches._--Of all the plagues which beset the traveller in the rising
grounds of Ceylon, the most detested are the land leeches.[1] They are
not frequent in the plains, which are too hot and dry for them; but
amongst the rank vegetation in the lower ranges of the hill country,
which is kept damp by frequent showers, they are found in tormenting
profusion. They are terrestrial, never visiting ponds or streams. In
size they are about an inch in length, and as fine as a common knitting
needle; but capable of distension till they equal a quill in thickness,
and attain a length of nearly two inches. Their structure is so flexible
that they can insinuate themselves through the meshes of the finest
stocking, not only seizing on the feet and ankles, but ascending to the
back and throat and fastening on the tenderest parts of the body. The
coffee planters, who live amongst these pests, are obliged, in order to
exclude them, to envelope their legs in "leech gaiters" made of closely
woven cloth. The natives smear their bodies with oil, tobacco ashes, or
lemon juice;[2] the latter serving not only to stop the flow of blood,
but to expedite the healing of the wounds. In moving, the land leeches
have the power of planting one extremity on the earth and raising the
other perpendicularly to watch for their victim. Such is their vigilance
and instinct, that on the approach of a passer-by to a spot which they
infest, they may be seen amongst the grass and fallen leaves on the edge
of a native path, poised erect, and preparing for their attack on man
and horse. On descrying their prey they advance rapidly by semicircular
strides, fixing one end firmly and arching the other forwards, till by
successive advances they can lay hold of the traveller's foot, when they
disengage themselves from the ground and ascend his dress in search of
an aperture to enter. In these encounters the individuals in the rear of
a party of travellers in the jungle invariably fare worst, as the
leeches, once warned of their approach, congregate with singular
celerity. Their size is so insignificant, and the wound they make is so
skilfully punctured, that both are generally imperceptible, and the
first intimation of their onslaught is the trickling of the blood or a
chill feeling of the leech when it begins to hang heavily on the skin
from being distended by its repast. Horses are driven wild by them, and
stamp the ground in fury to shake them from their fetlocks, to which
they hang in bloody tassels. The bare legs of the palankin bearers and
coolies are a favourite resort; and, their hands being too much engaged
to be spared to pull them off, the leeches hang like bunches of grapes
round their ankles; and I have seen the blood literally flowing over the
edge of a European's shoe from their innumerable bites. In healthy
constitutions the wounds, if not irritated, generally heal, occasioning
no other inconvenience than a slight inflammation and itching; but in
those with a bad state of body, the punctures, if rubbed, are liable to
degenerate into ulcers, which may lead to the loss of limb or of life.
Both Marshall and Davy mention, that during the marches of troops in the
mountains, when the Kandyans were in rebellion, in 1818, the soldiers,
and especially the Madras sepoys, with the pioneers and coolies,
suffered so severely from this cause that numbers of them perished.[3]

[Footnote 1:


_Hæmadipsa Ceylanica_, Bosc. Blainv. These pests are not, however;
confined to Ceylon; they infest the lower ranges of the Himalaya.
--HOOKER, vol. i. p. 107; vol. ii. p. 54. THUNBEBG, who records
(_Travels_, vol. iv. p. 232) having seen them in Ceylon, likewise met
with them in the forests and slopes of Batavia. MARSDEN (_Hist_. p. 311)
complains of them dropping on travellers in Sumatra. KNORR, found them
at Japan; and it is affirmed that they abound in islands farther to the
eastward. M. GAY encountered them, in Chili.--MOQUIN-TANDON,
(_Hirudinèes_, p. 211, 346.) It is very doubtful, however, whether all
these are to be referred to one species. M. DE BLAINVILLE, under _H.
Ceylanica_, in the _Diet, de Scien. Nat._ vol. xlvii. p. 271, quotes M.
BOSC as authority for the kind which that naturalist describes being
"rouges et tachetées;" which is scarcely applicable to the Singhalese
species. It is more than probable therefore, considering the period at
which M. BOSC wrote, that he obtained his information from travellers to
the further east, and has connected with the habitat universally
ascribed to them from old KNOX'S work (Part I. chap, vi.) a meagre
description, more properly belonging to the land leech of Batavia or
Japan, In all likelihood, therefore, there may be a _H. Boscii,_
distinct from the _H. Ceylanica._ That which is found in Ceylon is
round, a little flattened on the inferior surface, largest at the
extremity, thence graclimlly tapering forward, and with the anal sucker
composed of four rings, and wider in proportion than in other species.
It is of a clear brown colour, with a yellow stripe the entire length of
each side, and a greenish dorsal one. The body is formed of 100 rings;
the eyes, of which there are five pairs, are placed in an arch on the
dorsal surface; the first four pairs occupying contiguous rings (thus
differing from the water-leeches, which have an unoccupied ring betwixt
the third and fourth); the fifth pair are located on the seventh ring,
two vacant rings intervening. To Dr. Thwaites, Director of the Botanic
Garden at Peradenia, who at my request examined their structure
minutely, I am indebted for the following most interesting particulars
respecting them. "I have been giving a little time to the examination of
the land leech. I find it to have five pairs of ocelli, the first four
seated on corresponding segments, and the posterior pair on the seventh
segment or ring, the fifth and sixth rings being eyeless (_fig_. A). The
mouth is very retractile, and the aperture is shaped as in ordinary
leeches. The serratures of the teeth, or rather the teeth themselves,
are very beautiful. Each of the three 'teeth,' or cutting instruments,
is principally muscular, the muscular body being very clearly seen. The
rounded edge in which the teeth are set appears to be cartilaginous in
structure; the teeth are very numerous, (_fig_. B); but some near the
base have a curious appendage, apparently (I have not yet made this out
quite satisfactorily) set upon one side. I have not yet been able to
detect the anal or sexual pores. The anal sucker seems to be formed of
four rings, and on each side above is a sort of crenated flesh-like
appendage. The tint of the common species is yellowish-brown or
snuff-coloured, streaked with black, with a yellow-greenish dorsal, and
another lateral line along its whole length. There is a larger species
to be found in this garden with a broad green dorsal fascia; but I have
not been able to procure one although I have offered a small reward to
any coolie who will bring me one." In a subsequent communication Mr.
Thwaites remarks "that the dorsal longitudinal fascia is of the same
width as the lateral ones, and differs only in being perhaps slightly
more green; the colour of the three fasciæ varies from brownish-yellow
to bright green." He likewise states "that the rings which compose the
body are just 100, and the teeth 70 to 80 in each set, in a single row,
except to one end, where they are in a double row."]

[Footnote 2: The Minorite friar, ODORIC of Portenau, writing in A.D.
1320, says that the gem-finders who sought the jewels around Adam's
Peak, "take lemons which they peel, anointing themselves with the juice
thereof, so that the leeches may not be able to hurt them."--HAKLUYT,
_Voy._ vol. ii. p. 58.]

[Footnote 3: DAVY'S _Ceylon_, p. 104; MARSHALL'S _Ceylon_, p. 15.]

[Illustration: LAND LEECHES.]

One circumstance regarding these land leeches is remarkable and
unexplained; they are helpless without moisture, and in the hills where
they abound at all other times, they entirely disappear during long
droughts;--yet re-appear instantaneously on the very first fall of rain;
and in spots previously parched, where not one was visible an hour
before; a single shower is sufficient to reproduce them in thousands,
lurking beneath the decaying leaves, or striding with rapid movements
across the gravel. Whence do they re-appear? Do they, too, take a
"summer sleep," like the reptiles, molluscs, and tank fishes, or may
they be, like the _Rotifera_, dried up and preserved for an indefinite
period, resuming their vital activity on the mere recurrence of

Besides the medicinal leech, a species of which[1] is found in Ceylon,
nearly double the size of the European one, and with a prodigious
faculty of engorging blood, there is another pest in the low country,
which is a source of considerable annoyance, and often of loss, to the
husbandman. This is the cattle leech[2], which infests the stagnant
pools, chiefly in the alluvial lands around the base of the mountain
zone, to which the cattle resort by day, and the wild animals by night,
to quench their thirst and to bathe. Lurking amongst the rank vegetation
which fringes these deep pools, and hid by the broad leaves, or
concealed among the stems and roots covered by the water, there are
quantities of these pests in wait to attack the animals that approach
them. Their natural food consists of the juices of lumbrici and other
invertebrata; but they generally avail themselves of the opportunity
afforded by the dipping of the muzzles of the animals into the water to
fasten on their nostrils, and by degrees to make their way to the deeper
recesses of the nasal passages, and the mucous membranes of the throat
and gullet. As many as a dozen have been found attached to the
epiglottis and pharynx of a bullock, producing such irritation and
submucous effusion that death has eventually ensued; and so tenacious
are the leeches that even after death they retain their hold for some

[Footnote 1: _Hirudo sanguisorba._ The paddifield leech of Ceylon, used
for surgical purposes, has the dorsal surface of blackish olive, with
several longitudinal striæ, more or less defined; the crenated margin
yellow. The ventral surface is fulvous, bordered laterally with olive;
the extreme margin yellow. The eyes are ranged as in the common
medicinal leech of Europe; the four anterior ones rather larger than the
others. The teeth are 140 in each series, appearing as a single row; in
size diminishing gradually from one end, very close set, and about half
the width of a tooth apart. When of full size, these leeches are about
two inches long, but reaching to six inches when extended. Mr. Thwaites,
to whom I am indebted for these particulars, adds that he saw in a tank
at Colonna Corle leeches which appeared to him flatter and of a darker
colour than those described above, but that he had not an opportunity of
examining them particularly.

[Illustration: DORSAL.]

[Illustration: VENTRAL.]

Mr. Thwaites states that there is a smaller tank leech of an olive-green
colour, with some indistinct longitudinal striæ on the upper surface;
the crenated margin of a pale yellowish-green; ocelli as in the
paddi-field leech. Length, one inch at rest, three inches when extended.

Mr. E. LAYARD informs us, _Mag. Nat. Hist._ p. 225, 1853, that a
bubbling spring at the village of Tonniotoo, three miles S.W. of
Moeletivoe, supplies most of the leeches used in the island. Those in
use at Colombo are obtained in the immediate vicinity.]

[Footnote 2: _Hæmopsis paludum._ In size the cattle leech of Ceylon is
somewhat larger than the medicinal leech of Europe; in colour it is of a
uniform brown without bands, unless a rufous margin may be so
considered. It has dark striæ. The body is somewhat rounded, flat when
swimming, and composed of rather more than ninety rings. The greatest
dimension is a little in advance of the anal sucker; the body thence
tapers to the other extremity, which ends in an upper lip projecting
considerably beyond the mouth. The eyes, ten in number, are disposed as
in the common leech. The mouth is oval, the biting apparatus with
difficulty seen, and the teeth not very numerous. The bite is so little
acute that the moment of attachment and of division of the membrane is
scarcely perceived by the sufferer from its attack.]

[Footnote 3: Even men are not safe, when stooping to drink at a pool,
from the assault of the cattle leeches. They cannot penetrate the human
skin, but the delicate membrane of the mucous passages is easily
ruptured by their serrated jaws. Instances have come to my knowledge of
Europeans into whose nostrils they have gained admission and caused
serious disturbance.]




Podura _albicollis_.
Achoreutes _coccinea_.
Lepisma nigrofasciata, _Temp. nigra_.


Buthus afer, _Linn_.
  Ceylonicus, _Koch_.
Scorpio _linearis_.
Chelifer librorum.
Obisium _crassifemur_.
Phrynus lunatus, _Pall_.
Thelyphonus caudatus, _Linn_.
Phalangium _bisignatum_.
Mygale fasciata, _Walck_.
Olios taprobanius, _Walck_.
Trombidium tinctorum, _Herm_.


Cermatia _dispar_.
Lithobius _umbratilis_.
Scolopendra _crassa_.
  spinosa, _Newp_.
  _Grayii? Newp._
  tuberculidens, _Newp_.
  Ceylonensis, _Newp_.
  flava, _Newp_.
Cryptops _sordidus_.
Geophilus _tegularius_.
Julus _ater_.
  carnifex, _Fabr_.
Craspedosoma _juloides_.
Polydesmus _granulatus_.
Cambala _catenulata_.
Zephronia _conspicua_.


Decapoda brachyura.

Neptunus pelagicus, _Linn_.
  sanguinolentus, _Herbst_.
Thelphusa _Indica, Latr.
Ocypoda ceratophthalmus, _Pall_.
  _macrocera, Edw_.
Gelasimus _tetragonon, Edw_.
  _annulipes, Edw_.
Macrophthalmus _carinimanus, Latr_.
Grapsus _messor, Forsk_.
  strigosus, _Herbst_.
Plagusia depressa, _Fabr_.
Calappa philargus, _Linn_.
  _tuberculata, Fabr_.
Matuta victor, _Fabr_.
Leucosia _fugax, Fabr

Decapoda anomura.

Hippa Asiatica, _Edw_.
Paguras affinis, _Edw_.
  _punctulatus, Oliv.
Decapoda Macrura.
Scyllarus _orientalis, Fab._.
Palinurus ornatus, _Fab._.
  _affinis_, _N_._S_.
Pontonia inflata, _Edw_.
Palæmon carcinus, _Fabr_.

Gonodactylus chiragra, _Fabr_.




  Hirudo _sanguisorba_.
  Hæmopsis _paludum_.
  Hæmadipsa Ceylana. _Blainv_.


       *       *       *       *       *




It was long affirmed by Europeans that the Singhalese annals, like those
of the Hindus, were devoid of interest or value as historical material;
that, as religious disquisitions, they were the ravings of fanaticism,
and that myths and romances had been reduced to the semblance of
national chronicles. Such was the opinion of the Portuguese writers DE
BARROS and DE COUTO; and VALENTYN, who, about the year 1725, published
his great work on the Dutch possessions in India, states his conviction
that no reliance can be placed on such of the Singhalese books as
profess to record the ancient condition of the country. These he held to
be even of less authority than the traditions of the same events which
had descended from father to son. On the information of learned
Singhalese, drawn apparently from the _Rajavali_, he inserted an account
of the native sovereigns, from the earliest times to the arrival of the
Portuguese; but, wearied by the monotonous inanity of the story, he
omitted every reign between the fifth and fifteenth centuries of the
Christian era.[1]

[Footnote 1: VALENTYN, _Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien, &c., Landbeschryving
van t' Eyland Ceylon_, ch iv. p. 60.]

A writer, who, under the signature of PHILALETHES, published, in 1816,
_A History of Ceylon from the earliest period_, adopted the dictum of
Valentyn, and contented himself with still further condensing the
"account," which the latter had given "of the ancient Emperors and
Kings" of the island. Dr. DAVY compiled that portion of his excellent
narrative which has reference to the early history of Kandy, chiefly
from the recitals of the most intelligent natives, borrowed, as in the
case of the informants of Valentyn, from the perusal of the popular
legends; and he and every other author unacquainted with the native
language, who wrote on Ceylon previous to 1833, assumed without inquiry
the nonexistence of historic data.[1]

[Footnote 1: DAVY's _Ceylon_, ch. x. p. 293. See also PERCIVAL'S
_Ceylon_, p. 4.]

It was not till about the year 1826 that the discovery was made and
communicated to Europe, that whilst the history of India was only to be
conjectured from myths and elaborated from the dates on copper grants,
or fading inscriptions on rocks and columns[1], Ceylon was in possession
of continuous written chronicles, rich in authentic facts, and not only
presenting a connected history of the island itself, but also yielding
valuable materials for elucidating that of India. At the moment when
Prinsep was deciphering the mysterious Buddhist inscriptions, which are
scattered over Hindustan and Western India, and when Csoma de Körös was
unrolling the Buddhist records of Thibet, and Hodgson those of Nepaul, a
fellow labourer of kindred genius was successfully exploring the Pali
manuscripts of Ceylon, and developing results not less remarkable nor
less conducive to the illustration of the early history of Southern
Asia. Mr. Turnour, a civil officer of the Ceylon service[2], was then
administering the government of the district of Saffragam, and being
resident at Ratnapoora near the foot of Adam's Peak, he was enabled to
pursue his studies under the guidance of Gallé, a learned priest,
through whose instrumentality he obtained from the Wihara, at
Mulgiri-galla, near Tangalle (a temple founded about 130 years before
the Christian era), some rare and important manuscripts, the perusal of
which gave an impulse and direction to the investigations which occupied
the rest of his life.

[Footnote 1: REINAUD, _Mémoire sur l' Inde_, p. 3.]

[Footnote 2: GEORGE TURNOUR was the eldest son of the Hon. George
Turnour, son of the first Earl of Winterton; his mother being Emilie,
niece to the Cardinal Due de Beausset. He was born in Ceylon in 1799 and
having been educated in England under the guardianship of the Right Hon.
Sir Thomas Maitland, then governor of the island, he entered the Civil
Service in 1818, in which he rose to the highest rank. He was
distinguished equally by his abilities and his modest display of them.
Interpreting in its largest sense the duty enjoined on him, as a public
officer, of acquiring a knowledge of the native languages, he extended
his studies, from the vernacular and written Singhalese to Pali, the
great root and original of both, known only to the Buddhist priesthood,
and imperfectly and even rarely amongst them. No dictionaries then
existed to assist in defining the meaning of Pali terms which no teacher
could be found capable of rendering into English, so that Mr. Turnour
was entirely dependent on his knowledge of Singhalese as a medium for
translating them. To an ordinary mind such obstructions would have
proved insurmountable, aggravated as they were by discouragements
arising from the assumed barrenness of the field, and the absence of all
sympathy with his pursuits, on the part of those around him, who
reserved their applause and encouragement till success had rendered him
indifferent to either. To this apathy of the government officers, Major
Forbes, who was then the resident at Matelle, formed an honourable
exception; and his narrative of _Eleven Years in Ceylon_ shows with what
ardour and success he shared the tastes and cultivated the studies to
which he had been directed by the genius and example of Turnour. So
zealous and unobtrusive were the pursuits of the latter, that even his
immediate connexions and relatives were unaware of the value and extent
of his acquirements till apprised of their importance and profundity by
the acclamation with which his discoveries and translations from the
Pali were received by the savans of Europe. Major Forbes, in a private
letter, which I have been permitted to see, speaking of the difficulty
of doing justice to the literary character of Turnour, and the ability,
energy, and perseverance which he exhibited in his historical
investigations, says, "his _Epitome of the History of Ceylon_ was from
the first _correct;_ I saw it seven years before it was published, and
it scarcely required an alteration afterwards." Whilst engaged in his
translation of the _Mahawanso_, TURNOUR, amongst other able papers on
_Buddist History_ and _Indian Chronology_ in the _Journal of the Bengal
Asiatic Society_, v. 521, vi. 299, 790, 1049, contributed a series of
essays _on the Pali-Buddhistical Annals_, which were published in 1836,
1837, 1838.--_Journ. Asiatic Soc. Bengal_, vi. 501, 714, vii. 686, 789,
919. At various times he published in the same journal an account of the
_Tooth Relic of Ceylon, Ib._ vi. 856, and notes on the inscriptions on
the columns of Delhi, Allahabad, and Betiah, &c. &c.; and frequent
notices of Ceylon coins and inscriptions. He had likewise planned
another undertaking of signal importance, the translation into English
of a Pali version of the Buddhist scriptures, an ancient copy of which
he had discovered, unencumbered by the ignorant commentaries of later
writers, and the fables with which they have defaced the plain and
simple doctrines of the early faith. He announced his intention in the
_Introduction to the Mahawanso_ to expedite the publication, as "the
least tardy means of effecting a comparison of the Pali with the
Sanskrit version" (p. cx.). His correspondence with Prinsep, which I
have been permitted by his family to inspect, abounds with the evidence
of inchoate inquiries in which their congenial spirits had a common
interest, but which were abruptly ended by the premature decease of
both. Turnour, with shattered health, returned to Europe in 1842, and
died at Naples on the 10th of April in the following year, The first
volume of his translation of the _Mahawanso_, which contains
thirty-eight chapters out of the hundred which form the original work,
was published at Colombo in 1837; and apprehensive that scepticism might
assail the authenticity of a discovery so important, he accompanied his
English version with a reprint of the original Pali in Roman characters
with diacritical points.

He did not live to conclude the task he had so nobly begun; he died
while engaged on the second volume of his translation, and only a few
chapters, executed with his characteristic accuracy, remain in
manuscript in the possession of his surviving relatives. It diminishes,
though in a slight degree, our regret for the interruption of his
literary labours to know that the section of the _Mahawanso_ which he
left unfinished is inferior both in authority and value to the earlier
portion of the work, and that being composed at a period when literature
was at its lowest ebb in Ceylon, it differs little if at all from other
chronicles written during the decline of the native dynasty.]

It is necessary to premise, that the most renowned of the Singhalese
books is the _Mahawanso_, a metrical chronicle, containing a dynastic
history of the island for twenty-three centuries from B.C. 543 to A.D.
1758. But being written in Pali verse its existence in modern times was
only known to the priests, and owing to the obscurity of its diction it
had ceased to be studied by even the learned amongst them.

To relieve the obscurity of their writings, and supply the omissions,
occasioned by the fetters of rhythm and the necessity of permutations
and elisions, required to accommodate their phraseology to the
obligations of verse; the Pali authors of antiquity were accustomed to
accompany their metrical compositions with a _tika_ or running
commentary, which contained a literal version of the mystical text, and
supplied illustrations of its more abstruse passages. Such a _tika_ on
the _Mahawanso_ was generally known to have been written; but so utter
was the neglect into which both it and the original text had been
permitted to fall, that Turnour till 1826 had never met with an
individual who had critically read the one, or more than casually heard
of the existence of the other.[1] At length, amongst the books which,
were procured for him by the high, priest of Saffragam, was one which
proved to be this neglected commentary on the mystic and otherwise
unintelligible _Mahawanso_; and by the assistance of this precious
document he undertook, with confidence, a translation into English of
the long lost chronicle, and thus vindicated the claim of Ceylon to the
possession of an authentic and unrivalled record of its national

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR's _Mahawanso_, introduction, vol. i. p. ii.]

The title "Mahawanso," which means literally the "_Genealogy of the
Great_," properly belongs only to the first section of the work,
extending from B.C. 543 to A.D. 301,[1] and containing the history of
the early kings, from Wijayo to Maha Sen, with whom the Singhalese
consider the "Great Dynasty" to end. The author of this portion was
Mahanamo, uncle of the king Dhatu Sena, in whose reign it was compiled,
between the years A.D. 459 and 477, from annals in the vernacular
language then existing at Anarajapoora.[2]

[Footnote 1: Although the _Mahawanso_ must be regarded as containing the
earliest _historical_ notices of Ceylon, the island, under its Sanskrit
name of Lanka, occupies a prominent place in the mythical poems of the
Hindus, and its conquest by Rama is the theme of the _Ramayana_, one of
the oldest epics in existence. In the _Raja-Tarangini_ also, an
historical chronicle which may be regarded as the _Mahawanso_ of
Kashmir, very early accounts of Ceylon are contained, and the historian
records that the King Megavahana, who, according to the chronology of
Troyer, reigned A.D. 24, made an expedition to Ceylon for the purpose of
extending Buddhism, and visited Adam's Peak, where he had an interview
with the native sovereign.--_Raja-Tarangini_, Book iii. sl. 71-79. _Ib._
vol. ii. p. 364.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. i. The Arabian travellers in Ceylon
mention the official historiographers employed by order of the kings.
See Vol. I Pt. III. ch. viii. p. 387, note.]

The sovereigns who succeeded Maha Sen are distinguished as the
"Sulu-wanse," the "lower race," and the story of their line occupies the
continuation of this extraordinary chronicle, the second portion of
which was written by order of the illustrious king Prakrama Bahu, about
the year A.D. 1266, and the narrative was carried on, under subsequent
sovereigns, down to the year A.D. 1758, the latest chapters having been
compiled by command of the King of Kandy, Kirti-Sri, partly from
Singhalese works brought back to the island from Siam (whither they had
been carried at former periods by priests dispatched upon missions), and
partly from native histories, which had escaped the general destruction
of such records in the reign of Raja Singha I., an apostate from
Buddhism, who, about the year A.D. 1590, during the period when the
Portuguese were in occupation of the low country, exterminated the
priests of Buddha, and transferred the care of the shrine on Adam's Peak
to Hindu Fakirs.

But the _Mahawanso_, although the most authentic, and probably the most
ancient, is by no means the only existing Singhalese chronicle. Between
the 14th and 18th centuries several historians recorded passing events;
and as these corroborate and supplement the narrative of the greater
work, they present an uninterrupted Historical Record of the highest
authenticity, comprising the events of nearly twenty-four centuries.[1]

[Footnote 1: In 1833 Upham published, under the title of _The Sacred and
Historical Books of Ceylon_, translations of what professed to be
authentic copies of the _Mahawanso_, the _Rajaratnacari_, and
_Rajavali_; prepared for the use of Sir Alexander Johnston when
Chief-Justice of the island. But Turnour, in the introduction to his
masterly translation of the _Mahawanso_; has shown that Sir Alexander
had been imposed upon, and that the alleged transcripts supplied to him
are imperfect as regards the original text and unfaithful as
translations. Of the _Mahawanso_ in particular, Mr. Turnour says, in a
private letter which I have seen, that the early part of Upham's volume
"is not a translation but a compendium of several works, and the
subsequent portions a mutilated abridgment." The _Rajavali_, which is
the most valuable of these volumes, was translated for Sir Alexander
Johnston by Mr. Dionysius Lambertus Pereira, who was then
Interpreter-Moodliar to the Cutchery at Matura. These English versions,
though discredited as independent authorities, are not without value in
so far as they afford corroborative support to the genuine text of the
_Mahawanso_, and on this account I have occasionally cited them.]

From the data furnished by these, and from corroborative sources,[1]
Turnour, in addition to many elaborate contributions drawn from the
recesses of Pali learning in elucidation of the chronology of India, was
enabled to prepare an _Epitome of the History of Ceylon,_ in which he
has exhibited the succession and genealogy of one hundred and sixty-five
kings, who filled the throne during 2341 years, extending from the
invasion of the island from Bengal, by Wijayo, in the year B.C. 543 to
its conquest by the British in 1798. In this work, after infinite
labour, he has succeeded in condensing the events of each reign,
commemorating the founders of the chief cities, and noting the erection
of the great temples and Buddhist monuments, and the construction of
some of those gigantic reservoirs and works for irrigation, which,
though in ruins, arrest the traveller in astonishment at their
stupendous dimensions. He thus effectually demonstrated the
misconceptions of those who previously believed the literature of Ceylon
to be destitute of historic materials.[2]

[Footnote 1: Besides the _Mahawanso, Rajaratnacari_, and _Rajavali_, the
other native chronicles relied on by Turnour in compiling his epitome
were the _Pujavali_, composed in the thirteenth century, the
_Neekaasangraha_, written A.D. 1347, and the _Account of the Embassy to
Siam_ in the reign of Raja Singha II., A.D. 1739-47, by WILBAAGEDERE

[Footnote 2: By the help of TURNOUR'S translation of the _Mahawanso_ and
the versions of the _Rajaratnacari_ and _Rajavali,_ published by Upham,
two authors have since expanded the _Epitome_ of the former into
something like a connected narrative, and those who wish to pursue the
investigation of the early story of the island, will find facilities in
the _History of Ceylon,_ published by KNIGHTON in 1845, and in the first
volume of _Ceylon and its Dependencies,_ by PRIDHAM, London, 1849. To
facilitate reference I have appended a _Chronological List of Singhalese
Sovereigns,_ compiled from the historical epitome of Turnour. See Note
B. at the end of this chapter.]

Besides evidence of a less definite character, there is one remarkable
coincidence which affords grounds for confidence in the faithfulness of
the purely historic portion of the Singhalese chronicles; due allowance
being made for that exaggeration of style which is apparently
inseparable from oriental recital. The circumstance alluded to is the
mention in the _Mahawanso_ of the Chandragupta[1], so often alluded to
by the Sanskrit writers, who, as Sir William Jones was the first to
discover, is identical with Sandracottus or Sandracoptus, the King of
the Prasii, to whose court, on the banks of the Ganges, Megasthenes was
accredited as an ambassador from Seleucus Nicator, about 323 years
before Christ. Along with a multitude of facts relating to Ceylon, the
_Mahawanso_ contains a chronologically connected history of Buddhism in
India from B.C. 590 to B.C. 307, a period signalized in classical story
by the Indian expedition of Alexander the Great, and by the Embassy of
Megasthenes to Palibothra,--events which in their results form the great
link connecting the histories of the West and East, but which have been
omitted or perverted in the scanty and perplexed annals of the Hindus,
because they tended to the exaltation of Buddhism, a religion loathed by
the Brahmans.

[Footnote 1: The era and identity of Sandracottus and Chandragupta have
been accurately traced in MAX MÜLLER'S _History of Sanskrit Literature_,
p. 298, &c.]

The Prasii, or people of Megadha, occupy a prominent place in the
history of Ceylon, inasmuch as Gotama Buddha, the great founder of the
faith of its people, was a prince of that country, and Mahindo, who
finally established the Buddhist religion amongst them, was the
great-grandson of Chandagutto, a prince whose name thus recorded in the
_Mahawanso_[1] (notwithstanding a chronological discrepancy of about
sixty years), may with little difficulty be identified with the
"Chandragupta" of the Hindu Purána, and the "Sandracottus" of

[Footnote 1: Mahawanso, ch. v. p. 21. See also WILSON'S _Notes to the
Vishnu Purána_, p. 468.]

This is one out of the many coincidences which demonstrate the
authenticity of the ancient annals of Ceylon; and from sources so
venerable, and materials so abundant, I propose to select a few of the
leading events, sufficient to illustrate the origin, and explain the
influence of institutions and customs which exist at the present day in
Ceylon, and which, from time immemorial, have characterised the
inhabitants of the island.



So far as I am aware, no map has ever been produced, exhibiting the
comparative geography of Ceylon, and placing its modern names in
juxtaposition with their Sanskrit and Pali.




_according to_

The Sanscrit Pali & Singhalese Authorities.

       *       *       *       *       *

NB The modern Names are given in Italics.


Sir J. Emerson Tennet]



N.B. The names of subordinate or cotemporary Princes are printed in

Names and Relationship of each
succeeding Sovereign.                          Capital.           Accession

1. Wejaya, founder of the Wejayan dynasty      Tamananeuera        543
2. Upatissa 1st, minister--regent              Upatissaneuera      505
3. Panduwása, paternal nephew of Wejaya           ditto            504
       _Ráma_                                  _Rámagona_
       _Rohuna_                                _Rohuna_
       _Diggaina_                              _Diggámadulla_
       _Urawelli_                              _Mahawelligama_
       _Anurádha_                              _Anurádhapoora_
       _Wijitta_                               _Wijittapoora_
 [these six are brothers-in-law]
4. Abhaya, son of Paduwása, dethroned          Upatissaneuera      474
      Interregnum                                                  454
5. Pandukábhaya, maternal
      grandson of Panduwása                    Anurádhapoora       437
6. Mutasiwa, paternal grandson                    ditto            367
7. Devenipiatissa, second son                     ditto            307
       _Mahanága, brother_                     _Mágama_
       _Yatálatissa, son_                      _Kellania_
       _Gotábhaya, son_                        _Mágama_
       _Kellani-tissa, not specified_          _Kellania_
       _Káwan-tissa, son of Gotábhaya_         _Mágama_
8. Uttiya, fourth son of Mutasiwa              Anurádhapoora       267
9. Mahasiwa, fifth do.                            ditto            257
10. Suratissa, sixth do. put to death             ditto            247
11. Séna and Guttika, foreign
      usurpers--put to death                      ditto            237
12. Aséla, ninth son of Mutasiwa--deposed         ditto            215
13. Elála, foreign usurper--killed in battle      ditto            205
14. Dutugaimunu, son of _Káwantissa_              ditto            161
15. Saidaitissa, brother                          ditto            137
16. Tuhl or Thullathanaka,
      younger son--deposed                        ditto            119
17. Laiminitissa 1st or
      Lajjitissa, elder brother                   ditto            119
18. Kalunna or Khallátanága,
      brother--put to death                       ditto            109
19. Walagambáhu 1st or
      Wattagamini, brother--deposed               ditto            104
20. [Five foreign usurpers--successively
       deposed and put to death]
      Pulahattha                                  ditto            103
      Báyiha                                      ditto            100
      Panayamárá                                  ditto             98
      Peliyamárá                                  ditto             91
      Dáthiya                                     ditto             90
21. Walagambáhu 1st, reconquered
      the kingdom                                 ditto             88
22. Mahadailitissa or Mahachula, son              ditto             76
23. Chora Nága, son--put to death                 ditto             62
24. Kudá Tissa, son--poisoned by his wife         ditto             50
25. Anulá, widow                                  ditto             47
26. Makalantissa or Kallakanni Tissa, second
      son of Kudátissa                            ditto             41
27. Bátiyatissa 1st or Bátikábhaya, son           ditto             19

Names and Relationship of                        Capital.        Accession.
each succeeding Sovereign.
28. Maha Dailiya Mána or Dáthika, brother      Anurádhapoora         9
29. Addagaimunu or Amanda Gámini, son--put
      to death                                    ditto             21
30. Kinibirridaila or Kanijáni Tissa, brother     ditto             30
31. Kudá Abhá or Chulábhaya, son                  ditto             33
32. Singhawallí or Síwalli, sister--put to
      death                                       ditto             34
       Interregnum                                                  35
33. Elluná or Ha Nága, maternal nephew of
      Addagaimunu                                 ditto             38
34. Sanda Muhuna or Chanda Mukha Siwa, son        ditto             44
35. Yasa Silo or Yatálakatissa, brother--put
      to death                                    ditto             52
36. Subha, usurper--put to death                  ditto             60
37. Wahapp or Wasahba, descendant of
      Laiminitissa                                ditto             66
38. Waknais or Wanka Násica, son                  ditto            110
39. Gajábáhu 1st or Gámini, son                   ditto            113
40. Mahalumáná or Mallaka Nága, maternal
      cousin                                      ditto            125
41. Bátiya Tissa 2nd or Bhátika Tissa, son        ditto            131
42. Chula Tissa or Kanittbatissa, brother         ditto            155
43. Kuhuna or Chudda Nága, son--murdered          ditto            173
44. Kudanáma or Kuda Nága, nephew--deposed        ditto            183
45. Kuda Siriná or Siri Nága 1st,
      brother-in-law                              ditto            184
46. Waiwahairatissa or Wairatissa, son--murdered  ditto            209
47. Abhá Sen or Abhá Tissa, brother               ditto            231
48. Siri Nága 2nd, son                            ditto            239
49. Weja Indu or Wejaya 2nd, son--put to death    ditto            241
50. Sangatissa 1st, descendant of
      Laiminitissa--poisoned                      ditto            242
51. Dahama Sirisanga Bo or Sirisanga Bodhi
      1st, do do.--deposed                        ditto            245
52. Golu Abhá, Gothábhaya or Megha warna
      Abhay, do. do.                              ditto            248
53. Makalan Detu Tissa 1st, son                   ditto            261
54. Maha Sen, brother                             ditto            275
55. Kitsiri Maiwan 1st or Kirtisri Megha
      warna, son                                  ditto            302
56. Detu Tissa 2nd, brother                       ditto            330
57. Bujas or Budha Dása, son                      ditto            339
58. Upatissa 2nd, son                             ditto            368
59. Maha Náma, brother                            ditto            410
60. Senghot or Sotthi Sena, son--poisoned         ditto            432
61. Laimini Tissa 2nd or Chatagáhaka,
      descendant of Laiminitissa                  ditto            432
62. Mitta Sena or Karalsora, not
      specified--put to death                     ditto            433
63. Pándu 24.9. Foreign usurpers                  ditto            434
    Párinda Kuda 24.9. Foreign usurpers           ditto            439
    Khudda Párinda 24.9. Foreign usurpers         ditto            455
    Dátthiya 24.9. Foreign usurpers               ditto            455
    Pitthiya 24.9. Foreign usurpers               ditto            458
64. Dásenkelleya or Dhátu Séna, descendant of
      the original royal family--put to death     ditto            459
65. Sígiri Kasumbu or Kásyapa 1st,
       son--committed suicide                  Sigiri Galla Neuera 477

Names and Relationship of each succeeding
Sovereign.                                      Capital.       Accession.

66. Mugallána 1st, brother                     Anurádhapoora       495
67. Kumára Dás or Kumára Dhátu Séna,
      son-immolated himself                       ditto            513
68. Kirti Séna, son-murdered                      ditto            522
69. Maidi Síwu or Síwaka, maternal uncle-murdered ditto            531
70. Laimini Upátissa 3rd, brother-in-law          ditto            531
71. Ambaherra Salamaiwan or Silákála, son-in-law  ditto            534
72. Dápulu 1st or Dátthápa Bhodhi, second
      son--committed suicide                      ditto            547
73. Dalamagalan or Mugallána 2nd, elder brother   ditto            547
74. Kuda Kitsiri Maiwan 1st or Kirtisri
      Meg-hawarna, son-put to death               ditto            567
75. Senewi or Maha Nága, descendant of the
      Okáka branch                                ditto            586
76. Aggrabodhi 1st or Akbo, maternal nephew       ditto            589
77. Aggrabodhi 2nd or Sula Akbo, son-in-law       ditto            623
78. Sanghatissa, brother-decapitated              ditto            633
79. Buna Mugalan or Laimini Bunáya,
      usurper-put to death                        ditto            633
80. Abhasiggáhaka or Asiggáhaka, maternal
      grandson                                    ditto            639
81. Siri Sangabo 2nd, son-deposed                 ditto            648
82. Kaluna Detutissa or Laimina Katuriya,
      descendant of Laiminitissa-committed     Dewuneura
      suicide                                  or Dondera          648
    Siri Sangabo 2nd, restored, and again
      deposed                                  Anurádhapoora       649
83. Dalupiatissa 1st or Dhatthopatissa, Laimini
      branch-killed in battle                     ditto            665
84. Paisulu Kasumbu or Kásyapa 2nd, brother
      of Sirisangabo                              ditto            677
85. Dapulu 2nd, Okáka branch-deposed              ditto            686
86. Dalupiatissa 2nd or Hattha-Datthopatissa,
      son of Dalupiatissa 1st                     ditto            693
87. Paisulu Siri Sanga Bo 3rd or Aggrabodhi,
      brother                                     ditto            702
88. Walpitti Wasidata or Dantanáma, Okáka branch  ditto            718
89. Hununaru Riandalu or Hatthadátha, original
      royal family-decapitated                    ditto            720
90. Máhalaipánu or Mánawamma, do. do.             ditto            720
91. Kásiyappa 3rd o Kasumbu, son                  ditto            726
92. Aggrabodhi 3rd or Akbo, nephew             Pollonnarrua        729
93. Aggrabodhi 4th or Kudá Akbo, son              ditto            769
94. Mahindu 1st or Salamaiwan, original royal
      family                                      ditto            775
95. Dappula 2nd, son                              ditto            795
96. Mahindu 2nd or Dharmika-Sîlámaiga, son        ditto            800
97. Aggrabodhi 5th or Akbo, brother               ditto            804
98. Dappula 3rd or Kudá Dappula, son              ditto            815
99. Aggrabodhi 6th, cousin                        ditto            831
100. Mitwella Sen or Silámaiga, son               ditto            838
101. Kásiyappa 4th or Máganyin Séna or Mihindu,
       grandson                                   ditto            858
102. Udaya 1st, brother                           ditto            891

Names and Relationship of                        Capital.        Accession.
each succeeding Sovereign.
103. Udaya 2nd, son                            Pollonnarrua        926
104. Kásiyappa 5th, nephew and son-in-law         ditto            937
105. Kásiyappa 6th, son-in-law                    ditto            954
106. Dappula 4th, son                             ditto            964
107, Dappula 5th, not specified                   ditto            964
108. Udaya 3rd, brother                           ditto            974
109. Séna 2nd, not specified                      ditto            977
110. Udaya 4th,   do.   do.                       ditto            986
111. Séna 3rd,    do.   do.                       ditto            994
112. Mihindu 3rd, do.   do                        ditto            997
113. Sèna 4th, son--minor                         ditto           1013
114. Mihindu 4th, brother--carried captive to  Anurádhapoora      1023
       India during the Sollean conquest
   Interregnum Sollean viceroyalty             Pollonnarrua       1059
   _Maha Lai or Maha_      }                 {
   _Lála Kirti_            }                 { _Rohuna_
   _Wikrama Pándi_         } _Subordinate_   { _Kalutotta_
   _Jagat Pándi or Jagati_ } _native kings_  {
   _Pála_                  } _during the_    { _Rohuna_
   _Prákrama Pándi or_     } _Sollean_       {
   _Prákhrama Báhu_        } _vice-royalty._ {   _ditto_
   _Lokaiswara_            }                 { _Kácharagama_
115. Wejayabáhu 1st or Sirisangabo 4th,
       grandson of Mihindu 4th                 Pollonnarrua       1071
116. Jayabáhu 1st, brother                        ditto           1126
117. Wikramabáhu 1st   }                          ditto       }
  _    _Mánábarana_    } A disputed            _Rohuna_       }
118. Gajábáhu 2nd      } succession            Pollonnarrua   }   1127
       _Siriwallaba or_}                                      }
       _Kitsiri Maiwan_}                       _Rohuna_       }
119. Prákrama Báhu 1st, son of Mánábárana      Pollonuarrua       1153
120. Wejayabáhu 2nd, nephew--murdered             ditto           1186
121. Mihindu 5th or Kitsen Kisdas,
       usurper--put to death                      ditto           1187
122. Kirti Nissanga, a prince of Kálinga          ditto           1187
     Wírabáhu, son--put to death                  ditto           1196
123. Wikramabáhu 2nd, brother of Kirti
     Nissanga--put to death                       ditto           1196
124. Chondakanga, nephew--deposed                 ditto           1196
125. Lálawátí, widow  of Prákramabáhu--deposed    ditto           1197
126. Sáhasamallawa, Okáka branch--deposed         ditto           1200
127. Kalyánawati, sister of Kirti Nissanga        ditto           1202
128. Dharmásóka, not specified--a minor           ditto           1208
129. Nayaanga or Nikanga, minister--put to death  ditto           1209
     Lílawatí, restored, and again deposed        ditto           1209
130. Lokaiswera 1st, usurper--deposed             ditto           1210
     Lílawatí, again restored,
       and deposed a third time                   ditto           1211
131. Pandi Prákrama Báhu 2nd, usurper--deposed    ditto           1211
132. Mágha, foreign usurper                       ditto           1214
133. Wejayabáhu 3rd,
       descendant of Sirisangabo 1st           Dambadenia         1235
134. Kalikála Sahitya Sargwajnya or Pandita
       Prakrama Báhu 3rd, son                     ditto           1266
135. Bosat Wejaya Báhu 4th, son                Pollonnarrua       1301

Names and Relationship
  of each succeeding Sovereign.                 Capital.       Accession.
     _Bhuwaneka Báhu_                          _Yapahu or
136. Bhuwaneka Báhu 1st, brother                  ditto           1303
137. Prákrama Báhu 3rd, son of Bosat
       Wejayabáhu                              Pollonnarrua       1314
138. Bhuwaneka Báhu 2nd, son of Bhuwaneka      Kurunaigalla or    1319
       Báhu                                    Hastisailapoora
139. Pandita Prákrama Báhu 4th, not specified     ditto
140. Wanny Bhuwaneka Báhu 3rd,        do.         ditto
141. Wejaya Báhu 5th,                 do.         ditto
142. Bhuwaneka Báhu 4th,              do.      Gampola or
                                               Gangásiripoora     1347
143. Prákrama Báhu 5th,               do.         ditto           1361
144. Wikram Báhu 3rd, cousin                   Partly at Kandy or
                                              Sengadagalla Neuera 1371
145. Bhuwaneka Báhu 5th, not specified         Gampola or
                                               Gangásiripoora     1378
146. Wejaya Báhu 5th, or Wíra Báhu,   do          ditto           1398
147. Sri Prákrama Bahu 6th,           do.      Kotta or
                                               Jayawardanapoora   1410
148. Jayabáhu 2nd, maternal grandson--put
     to death                                     ditto           1462
149. Bhuwaneka Báhu 6th, not specified            ditto           1464
150. Pandita Prákrama Báhu 7th, adopted son       ditto           1471
151. Wíra Prákrama Báhu 8th, brother of
     Bhuwaneka Báhu 6th                           ditto           1485
152. Dharma Prákrama Báhu 9th, son                ditto           1505
153. Wejaya Báhu 7th, brother--murdered           ditto           1527
     _Jayawíra Bandára_                        _Gampola_
154. Bhuwaneka Báhu 7th, son                   Kotta              1534
     _Máyádunnai_                              _Setawacca_
     _Raygam Bandára_                          _Raygam_
     _Jayawíra Bandára_                        _Kandy_
155. Don Juan Dharmapála                       Kotta              1542
     _A Malabar_                               _Yapahu_
     _Portuguese_                              _Colombo_
     _Wídiye Rája_                             _Pailainda Neuera_
     _Rája Singha_                             _Aiwissáwelle_
     _Idirimáné Suriya_                        _Seven Korles_
     _Wikrama Báhu descendant of_
        Sirisangabo 1st                        _Kandy_
156. Rája Singha 1st, son of _Máyádunnai_      Setawacca          1581
     _Jaya Suriya_                             _Setawacca_
     _Wídiye Rája's queen_                        _ditto_
157. Wimala Dharma, original royal family      Khandy             1592
158. Senáraana or Senarat, brother                ditto           1604
159. Rája-singha 2nd, son                         ditto           1637
     _Kumára-singa, brother_                   _Ouvah_
     _Wejaya Pála, brother_                    _Matelle_
160. Wimala Dharma Suriya 2nd, son of
       Rájasingha                              Khandy             1687
161. Sriwíra Prákrama Narendrasingha or
       Kundasála                                  ditto           1707
162. Sriwejaya Rája Singha or Hanguranketta,
       brother-in-law                             ditto           1739
163. Kirtisri Rája Singha, brother-in-law         ditto           1747
164. Rajádhi Rája Singha, brother                 ditto           1781
165. Sri Wikrema Rája Singha, son of the late
       king's wife's sister, deposed by the
       English in 1815, and died in captivity
       in 1832                                    ditto           1798

NOTE.--The Singhalese vowels _a_, _e_, _i_, _o_, _u_ are to be
pronounced as in French or Italian.



Divested of the insipid details which overlay them, the annals of Ceylon
present comparatively few stirring incidents, and still fewer events of
historic importance to repay the toil of their perusal. They profess to
record no occurrence anterior to the advent of the last Buddha, the
great founder of the national faith, who was born on the borders of
Nepaul in the _seventh_ century before Christ.

In the theoretic doctrines of Buddhism "_Buddhas_"[1] are beings who
appear after intervals of inconceivable extent; they undergo
transmigrations extending over vast spaces of time, accumulating in each
stage of existence an increased degree of merit, till, in their last
incarnation as men, they attain to a degree of purity so immaculate as
to entitle them to the final exaltation of "Buddha-hood," a state
approaching to incarnate divinity, in which they are endowed with wisdom
so supreme as to be competent to teach mankind the path to ultimate

[Footnote 1: A sketch of the Buddhist religion may be seen in Sir J.
EMERSON TENNENT'S _History of Christianity in Ceylon_, ch. v. London,
1850. But the most profound and learned dissertations on Buddhism as it
exists in Ceylon, will be found in the works of the Rev. R. SPENCE
HARDY, _Eastern Monachism_, Lond. 1850, and _A Manual of Buddhism_,
Lond. 1853.]

Their precepts, preserved orally or committed to writing, are cherished
as _bana_ or the "_word_;" their doctrines are incorporated in the
system of _dharma_ or "_truth_;" and, at their death, instead of
entering on a new form of being, either corporeal or spiritual, they are
absorbed into _Nirwana_, that state of blissful unconsciousness akin to
annihilation which is regarded by Buddhists as the consummation of
eternal felicity.

Gotama, who is represented as the last of the series of Buddhas[1],
promulgated a religious system in India which has exercised a wider
influence over the Eastern world than the doctrines of any other
uninspired teacher in any age or country.[2] He was born B.C. 624 at
Kapila-Vastu (a city which has no place in the geography of the Hindus,
but which appears to have been on the borders of Nepaul); he attained
his superior Buddha-hood B.C. 588, under a bo-tree[3] in the forest of
Urawela, the site of the present Buddha Gaya in Bahar; and, at the age
of eighty, he died at Kusinara, a doubtful locality, which it has been
sought to identify with the widely separated positions of Delhi, Assam,
and Cochin China.[4]

[Footnote 1: There were twenty-four Buddhas previous to the advent of
Gotama, who is the fourth in the present Kalpa or chronological period.
His system of doctrine is to endure for 5000 years, when it will be
superseded by the appearance and preaching of his
successor.--_Rajaratnacari_, ch. i. p. 42.]

[Footnote 2: HARDY'S _Eastern Monachism_, ch. i. p. 1. There is evidence
of the widely-spread worship of Buddha in the remotely separated
individuals with whom it has been sought at various times to identify
him. "Thus it has been attempted to show that Buddha was the same as
Thoth of the Egyptians, and Turm of the Etruscans, that he was Mercury,
Zoroaster, Pythagoras, the Woden of the Scandinavians, the Manes of the
Manichæans, the prophet Daniel, and even the divine author of
Christianity." (PROFESSOR WILSON, _Journ. Asiat. Soc._, vol. xvi. p.
233.) Another curious illustration of the prevalence of his doctrines
may be discovered in the endless variations of his name in the numerous
countries over which his influence has extended: Buddha, Budda, Bud,
Bot, Baoth, Buto, Budsdo, Bdho, Pout, Pote, Fo, Fod, Fohi, Fuh, Pet,
Pta, Poot, Phthi, Phut, Pht, &c.--POCOCKE'S _India in Greece_, appendix,
397. HARDY'S _Buddhism_, ch. vii. p. 355. HARDY in his _Eastern
Monachism_ says, "There is no country in either Europe or Asia, _except
those that are Buddhist_, in which the same religion is now professed
that was there existent at the time of the Redeemer's death," ch. xxii.
p. 327.]

[Footnote 3: The Pippul, _Ficus religiosa_.]

[Footnote 4: Professor H.H. WILSON has identified Kusinara or Kusinagara
with _Kusia_ in Gorakhpur, _Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc._, vol xvi. p. 246.]

In the course of his ministrations Gotarna is said to have thrice landed
in Ceylon. Prior to his first coming amongst them, the inhabitants of
the island appear to have been living in the simplest and most primitive
manner, supported on the almost spontaneous products of the soil. Gotama
in person undertook their conversion, and alighted on the first occasion
at Bintenne, where there exists to the present day the remains of a
monument erected two thousand years ago[1] to commemorate his arrival.
His second visit was to Nagadipo in the north of the island, at a place
whose position yet remains to be determined; and the "sacred foot-print"
on Adam's Peak is still worshipped by his devotees as the miraculous
evidence of his third and last farewell.

[Footnote 1: By Dutugaimunu, B.C. 164. For an account of the present
condition of this Dagoba at Bintenne, see Vol. II. Pt. IX. ch. ii.]

To the question as to what particular race the inhabitants of Ceylon at
that time belonged, and whence or at what period the island was
originally peopled, the Buddhist chronicles furnish no reply. And no
memorials of the aborigines themselves, no monuments or inscriptions,
now remain to afford ground for speculation. Conjectures have been
hazarded, based on no sufficient data, that the Malayan type, which
extends from Polynesia to Madagascar, and from Chin-India to Taheite,
may still be traced in the configuration, and in some of the immemorial
customs, of the people of Ceylon.[1]

[Footnote 1: Amongst the incidents ingeniously pressed into the support
of this conjecture is the use by the natives of Ceylon of those _double
canoes_ and _boats with outriggers_, which are never used on the Arabian
side of India, but which are peculiar to the Malayan race in almost
every country to which they have migrated; Madagascar and the Comoro
islands, Sooloo, Luzon, the Society Islands, and Tonga. PRITCHARD'S
_Races of Man_, ch. iv. p. 17. For a sketch of this peculiar canoe, see
Vol. II. Pt. VII. ch. i.

There is a dim tradition that the first settlers in Ceylon arrived from
the coasts of China. It is stated in the introduction to RIBEYRO'S
_History of Ceylon_, but rejected by VALENTYN, ch, iv. p. 61.

The legend prefixed to RIBEYRO is as follows. "Si nous en croyons les
historiens Portugais, les Chinois out été les premiers qui ont habité
cette isle, et cela arriva de cette manière. Ces peuples étoient les
maîtres du commerce de tout l'orient; quelques unes de leurs vaisseaux
furent portéz sur les basses qui sont près du lieu, que depuis on
appelle Chilao par corruption au lieu de Cinilao. Les équipages se
sauvèrent à terre, et trouvant le pais bon et fertile ils s'y
établirent: bientôt après ils s'allièrent avec les Malabares, et les
Malabares y envoyoient ceux qu'ils exiloient et qu'ils nominoient
_Galas_. Ces exiles s'étant confondus avec les Chinois, de deux noms
n'en out fait qu'un, et se sont appellés _Chin-galas_ et ensuite
Chingalais."--RIBEYRO, _Hist. de Ceylan_, pref. du trad.

It is only necessary to observe in reference to this hypothesis that it
is at variance with the structure of the Singhalese alphabet, in which
_n_ and _g_ form but one letter. DE BARROS and DE COUTO likewise adhere
to the theory of a mixed race, originating in the settlement of Chinese
in the south of Ceylon, but they refer the event to a period subsequent
to the seizure of the Singhalese king and his deportation to China in
the fifteenth century. DE BARROS, Dec. iii. ch. i.; DE COUTO, Dec. v.
ch. 5.]

But the greater probability is, that a branch of the same stock which
originally colonised the Dekkan extended its migrations to Ceylon. All
the records and traditions of the peninsula point to a time when its
nations were not Hindu; and in numerous localities[1], in the forests
and mountains of the peninsula, there are still to be found the remnants
of tribes who undoubtedly represent the aboriginal race.

[Footnote 1: LASSEN, _Indische Alterthumskunde_, vol. i. p. 199, 362.]

The early inhabitants of India before their comparative civilisation
under the influence of the Aryan invaders, like the aborigines of Ceylon
before the arrival of their Bengal conquerors, are described as
mountaineers and foresters who were "rakshas" or demon worshippers; a
religion, the traces of which are to be found to the present day amongst
the hill tribes in the Concan and Canara, as well as in Guzerat and
Cutch. In addition to other evidences of the community of origin of
these continental tribes and the first inhabitants of Ceylon, there is a
manifest identity, not alone in their popular superstitions at a very
early period, but in the structure of the national dialects, which are
still prevalent both in Ceylon and Southern India. Singhalese, as it is
spoken at the present day, and, still more strikingly, as it exists as a
written language in the literature of the island, presents unequivocal
proofs of an affinity with the group of languages still in use in the
Dekkan; Tamil, Telingu, and Malayalim. But with these its identification
is dependent on analogy rather than on structure, and all existing
evidence goes to show that the period at which a vernacular dialect
could have been common to the two countries must have been extremely

[Footnote 1: The _Mahawanso_ (ch. xiv.) attests that at the period of
Wijayo's conquest of Ceylon, B.C. 543, the language of the natives was
different from that spoken by himself and his companions, which, as they
came from Bengal, was in all probability Pali. Several centuries
afterwards, A.D. 339, the dialect of the two races was still different;
and some of the sacred writings were obliged to be translated from Pali
into the Sihala language.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii. xxxviii. p. 247. At
a still later period, A.D. 410; a learned priest from Magadha translated
the Attah-Katha from Singhalese into Pali.--_Ib_. p. 253. See also DE
ALWIS, _Sidath-Sangara_, p. 19.]

Though not based directly on either Sanskrit or Pali, Singhalese at
various times has been greatly enriched from both sources, and
especially from the former; and it is corroborative of the inference
that the admixture was comparatively recent; and chiefly due to
association with domiciliated strangers, that the further we go back in
point of time the proportion of amalgamation diminishes, and the dialect
is found to be purer and less alloyed. Singhalese seems to bear towards
Sanskrit and Pali a relation similar to that which the English of the
present day bears to the combination of Latin, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman
French, which serves to form the basis of the language. As in our own
tongue the words applicable to objects connected with rural life are
Anglo-Saxon, whilst those indicative of domestic refinement belong to
the French, and those pertaining to religion and science are borrowed
from Latin[1]; so, in the language of Ceylon, the terms applicable to
the national religion are taken from Pali, those of science and art from
Sanskrit, whilst to pure Singhalese belong whatever expressions were
required to denote the ordinary wants of mankind before society had
attained organisation.[2]

[Footnote 1: See TRENCH on the _Study of Words_.]

[Footnote 2: See DE ALWIS, _Sidath-Sangara_, p. xlviii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 543.]

Whatever momentary success may have attended the preaching of Buddha, no
traces of his pious labours long survived him in Ceylon. The mass of its
inhabitants were still aliens to his religion, when, on the day of his
decease, B.C. 543, Wijayo[1], the discarded son of one of the petty
sovereigns in the valley of the Ganges[2] effected a landing with a
handful of followers in the vicinity of the modern Putlam.[3] Here he
married the daughter of one of the native chiefs, and having speedily
made himself master of the island by her influence, he established his
capital at Tamana Neuera[4], and founded a dynasty, which, for nearly
eight centuries, retained supreme authority in Ceylon.

[Footnote 1: Sometimes spelled _Wejaya_. TURNOUR has demonstrated that
the alleged concurrence of the death of Buddha and the landing of Wijayo
is a device of the sacred annalists, in order to give a pious interest
to the latter event, which took place about sixty years later.--Introd
_Mahawanso_, p. liii.]

[Footnote 2: To facilitate reference to the ancient divisions of India,
a small map is subjoined, chiefly taken from Lassen's _Indische

[Illustration: MAP OF ANCIENT INDIA.]]

[Footnote 3: BURNOUF conjectures that the point from which Wijayo set
sail for Ceylon was the Godavery, where the name of Bandar-maha-lanka
(the Port of the Great Lanka), still commemorates the event.--_Journ.
Asiat._ vol. xviii. p. 134. DE COUTO, recording the Singhalese tradition
as collected by the Portuguese, he landed at Preaturé (Pereatorre),
between Trincomalie and Jaffna-patam, and that the first city founded by
him was Mantotte.--_Decade_ v. l. 1. c. 5.]

[Footnote 4: See a note at the end of this chapter, on the landing of
Wijayo in Ceylon, as described in the _Mahawanso_.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 543.]

The people whom he mastered with so much facility are described in the
sacred books as _Yakkhos_ or "demons,"[1] and _Nagas_[2], or "snakes;"
designations which the Buddhist historians are supposed to have employed
in order to mark their contempt for the uncivilised aborigines[3], in
the same manner that the aborigines in the Dekkan were denominated
goblins and demons by the Hindus[4], from the fact that, like the
Yakkhos of Ceylon, they too were demon worshippers. The Nagas, another
section of the same superstition, worshipped the cobra de capello as an
emblem of the destroying power. These appear to have chiefly inhabited
the northern and western coasts of Ceylon, and the Yakkhos the
interior[5]; and, notwithstanding their alleged barbarism, both had
organised some form of government, however rude.[6] The Yakkhos had a
capital which they called Lankapura, and the Nagas a king, the
possession of whose "throne of gems"[7] was disputed by the rival
sovereign of a neighbouring kingdom. So numerous were the followers of
this gloomy idolatry of that time in Ceylon, that they gave the name of
Nagadipo[8], _the_ _Island of Serpents_, to the portion of the country
which they held, in the same manner that Rhodes and Cyprus severally
acquired the ancient designation of _Ophiusa_, from the fact of their
being the residence of the Ophites, who introduced serpent-worship into

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii.; FA HIAN, _Fo[)e]-kou[)e]-ki_, ch.

[Footnote 2: _Rajavali_, p. 169.]

[Footnote 3: REINAUD, Introd. to _Abouldfeda_, vol. i. sec. iii. p.
ccxvi. See also CLOUGH'S _Singhalese Dictionary_, vol. ii. p. 2.]

[Footnote 4: MOUNTSTUART ELPHINSTONE'S, _History of India_, b. iv. ch.
xi. p. 216.]

[Footnote 5: The first descent of Gotama Buddha in Ceylon was amongst
the Yakkhos at Bintenne; in his second visit he converted the "_Naga_
King of Kalany," near Colombo, _Mahawanso_, ch. i. p. 5.]

[Footnote 6: FABER, _Origin of Idolatry_, b. ii ch. vii. p. 440.]

[Footnote 7: _Mahawanso_, ch. i.]

[Footnote 8: TURNOUR was unable to determine the position on the modern
map of the ancient territory of Nagadipo.--Introd. p. xxxiv. CASIE
CHITTY, in a paper in the _Journal of the Ceylon Asiatic Society_, 1848,
p. 71, endeavours to identify it with Jaffna, The _Rajaratnacari_ places
it at the present Kalany, on the river of that name near Colombo (vol.
ii. p. 22). The _Mahawanso_ in many passages alludes to the existence of
Naga kingdoms on the continent of India, showing that at that time
serpent-worship had not been entirely extinguished by Brahmanism in the
Dekkan, and affording an additional ground for conjecture that the first
inhabitants of Ceylon were a colony from the opposite coast of Calinga.]

[Footnote 9: BRYANT'S _Analysis of Mythology_, chapter on Ophiolatria,
vol. i p. 480, "Euboea means _Oub-aia_, and signifies the serpent
island." (_Ib_.)

But STRABO affords us a still more striking illustration of the
_Mahawanso_, in calling the serpent worshippers of Ceylon "Serpents,"
since he states that in Phrygia and on the Hellespont the people who
were styled [Greek: ophiogeneis], or the Serpent races, actually
retained a physical affinity with the snakes with whom they were
popularly identified, [Greek: "entautha mytheuousi tous Ophiogeneis
syngenneian tina echein pros tous oseis."]--STRABO, lib. xiii. c. 588.

PLINY alludes to the same fable (lib. vii.). And OVID, from the incident
of Cadmus' having sown the dragon's teeth (that is, implanted
Ophiolatria in Greece), calls the Athenians _Serpentigenæ_.]

But whatever were the peculiarities of religion which distinguished the
aborigines from their conquerors, the attention of Wijayo was not
diverted from his projects of colonisation by any anxiety to make
converts to his own religious belief. The earliest cares of himself and
his followers were directed to implant civilisation, and two centuries
were permitted to elapse before the first effort was made to supersede
the popular worship by the inculcation of a more intellectual faith.

       *       *       *       *       *



The landing of Wijayo in Ceylon is related in the 7th chapter of the
_Mahawanso_, and Mr. TURNOUR has noticed the strong similarity between
this story and Homer's account of the landing of Ulysses in the island
of Circe. The resemblance is so striking that it is difficult to
conceive that the Singhalese historian of the 5th century was entirely
ignorant of the works of the Father of Poetry. Wijayo and his followers,
having made good their landing, are met by a "devo" (a divine spirit),
who blesses them and ties a sacred thread as a charm on the arm of each.
One of the band presently discovers the princess in the person of a
devotee, seated near a tank, and she being a magician (Yakkhini)
imprisons him and eventually the rest of his companions in a cave. The
_Mahawanso_ then proceeds: "all these persons not returning, Wijayo,
becoming alarmed, equipping himself with the five weapons of war,
proceeded after them, and examined the delightful pond: he could
perceive no footsteps but those leading down into it, and there he saw
the princess. It occurred to him his retinue must surely have been
seized by her, and he exclaimed, 'Pray, why dost not thou produce my
attendants?' 'Prince,' she replied, 'from attendants what pleasure canst
thou derive? drink and bathe ere thou departest.' Seizing her by the
hair with his left hand, whilst with his right he raised his sword, he
exclaimed, 'Slave, deliver my followers or die.' The Yakkhini terrified,
implored for her life; 'Spare me, prince, and on thee will I bestow
sovereignty, my love, and my service.' In order that he might not again
be involved in difficulty he forced her to swear[1], and when he again
demanded the liberation of his attendants she brought them forth, and
declaring 'these men must be famishing,' she distributed to them rice
and other articles procured from the wrecked ships of mariners, who had
fallen a prey to her. A feast follows, and Wijayo and the princess
retire to pass the night in an apartment which she causes to spring up
at the foot of a tree, curtained as with a wall and fragrant with
incense." It is impossible not to be struck with a curious resemblance
between this description and that in the 10th book of the Odyssey, where
Eurylochus, after landing, returns to Ulysses to recount the fate of his
companions, who, having wandered towards the palace of Circe, had been
imprisoned after undergoing transformation into swine. Ulysses hastens
to their relief, and having been provided by Mercury with antidotes,
which enabled him to resist the poisons of the sorceress, whom he
discovers in her retreat, the story proceeds:--


  Ôs phat egô d aor oxu eryssamenos para mêrou
  Kirkêepêixa hôste ktameuai meneainôn. k. t. l.]

[Footnote 1: [Greek:

  Ei mê moi tlaiês ge, thea, megan horkon homossai
  Mêti moi autps pêma kakon bouleusemen allo.]--_Odys_. x. l. 343.]

  "She spake, I, drawing from beside my thigh
  The faulchion keen, with death denouncing looks,
  Rush'd on her,--she, with a shrill scream of fear,
  Ran under my raised arm, seized fast my knees,
  And in winged accents plaintive thus began:--
  'Who, whence thy city, and thy birth declare,--
  Amazed I see thee with that potion drenched,
  Yet unenchanted: never man before
  Once passed it through his lips and lived the same.
  *      *        *        *    Sheath again
  Thy sword, and let us on my bed recline,
  Mutual embrace, that we may trust henceforth
  Each other without jealousy or fear.'
  The goddess spake, to whom I thus replied:
  'Oh Circe, canst thou bid me meek become,
  And gentle, who beneath thy roof detain'st
  My fellow-voyagers.      *        *        *
  No, trust me, never will I share thy bed,
  Till first, oh goddess, thou consent to swear
  That dread, all-binding oath, that other harm
  Against myself, thou wilt imagine none.'
  I spake, she, swearing as I bade, renounced
  All evil purpose, and her solemn oath
  Concluded, I ascended next her bed."[1]

[Footnote 1: COWPER's _Odyssey_, B. x, p. 392.]

The story of Wijayo's interview with Kuweni is told in nearly the same
terms as it appeared in the _Mahawanso_ in the _Rajavali_, p. 172.

Another classical coincidence is curious: we are strongly reminded of
Homer's description of the Syrens by the following passage, relative to
the female _Rakshasis_, or demons, by whom Ceylon was originally
inhabited, which is given in the memoirs of HIOUEN-THSANG, the Chinese
traveller in the 7th century, as extracted by him from the Buddhist
Chronicles. "Elles épiaient constamment les marchands qui abordaient
dans l'isle, et se changeant en femmes d'une grande beauté elles
venaient au-devant d'eux avec des fleurs odorantes et au son des
instruments de musique, leur adressaient des paroles bienveillantes et
les attiraient dans la ville de fer. Alors elles leur offraient un
joyeux festin et se livraient au plaisir avec eux: puis elles les
enfermaient dans un prison de fer et les mangeaient l'un après

[Footnote 1: HIOUEN-THSANG, _Mém. des Péler. Boudd_. 1. xi. p. 131.]



[Sidenote: B.C. 543.]

The sacred historians of Ceylon affect to believe in the assertion of
some mysterious connection between the landing of Wijayo, and the
conversion of Ceylon to Buddhism, one hundred and fifty years
afterwards; and imply that the first event was but a pre-ordained
precursor of the second.[1] The Singhalese narrative, however, admits
that Wijayo was but a "lawless adventurer," who being expelled from his
own country, was refused a settlement on the coast of India before he
attempted Ceylon, which had previously attracted the attention of other
adventurers. This story is in no way inconsistent with that told by the
Chinese Buddhists, who visited the island in the fifth and seventh
centuries. FA HIAN states, that even before the advent of Buddha, Ceylon
was the resort of merchants, who repaired there to exchange their
commodities for gems, which the "demons" and "serpents," who never
appeared in person, deposited on the shore, with a specified value
attached to each, and in lieu of them the strangers substituted certain
indicated articles, and took their departure.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii.]

[Footnote 2: FA HIAN, _Fo[)e]-Kou[)e]-ki_, ch. xxxviii. See a notice of
this story of FA HIAN, as it applies to the still existing habits of the
Veddahs, Vol. I. Pt III. ch. vii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 543.]

HIOUEN-THSANG, at a later period, disposes of the fables of Wijayo's
descent from a lion[1], and of his divine mission to Ceylon, by
intimating, that, according to certain authorities, he was the son of a
merchant (meaning a sea-faring trader), who, having appeased the enmity
of the Yakkhos, succeeded by his discretion in eventually making himself
their king.[2]

[Footnote 1: The legend of Wijayo's descent from a lion, probably
originated from his father being the son of an outlaw named "Singha."]

[Footnote 2: "Suivant certains auteurs, Sengkia-lo (Wijayo) serait le
nom du fils d'un marchand, qui, par sa prudence, ayant échappé à la
fureur homicide des Lo-tsa" (demons) "réussit ensuite à se faire
Roi."--HIOUEN THSANG, _Voyages &c_. l. iv. p. 198.]

Whatever may have been his first intentions, his subsequent policy was
rather that of an agriculturist than an apostle. Finding the country
rich and fertile, he invited merchants to bring their families, and take
possession of it.[1] He dispersed his followers to form settlements over
the island, and having given to his kingdom his patrimonial name of
Sihala[2], he addressed himself to render his dominions "habitable for
men."[3] He treated the subjugated race of Yakkhos with a despotic
disdain, referable less to pride of caste than to contempt for the rude
habits of the native tribes. He repudiated the Yakkho princess whom he
had married, because her unequal rank rendered her unfit to remain the
consort of a king[4]; and though she had borne him children, he drove
her out before his second marriage with the daughter of an Indian
sovereign, on the ground that the latter would be too timid to bear the
presence of a being so inferior.[5]

[Footnote 1: HIOUEN THSANG, ch iv.]

[Footnote 2: Whence Singhala (and Singhalese) Silan, Seylan, and

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii p. 49. _Rajaratnacari_, ch. i.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii. p. 51.]

[Footnote 5: Ibid., p. 52.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 504.]

Leaving no issue to inherit the throne, he was succeeded by his
nephew[1], who selected a relation of Gotama Buddha for his queen; and
her brothers having dispersed themselves over the island, increased the
number of petty kingdoms, which they were permitted to form in various
districts[2], a policy which was freely encouraged by all the early
kings, and which, though it served to accelerate colonisation and to
extend the knowledge of agriculture, led in after years to dissensions,
civil war, and disaster. It was at this period that Ceylon was resolved
into the three geographical divisions, which, down to a very late
period, are habitually referred to by the native historians. All to the
north of the Mahawelli-ganga was comprised in the denomination _Pihiti_,
or the Raja-ratta, from its containing the ancient capital and the
residence of royalty; south of this was _Rohano_ or _Rahuna_, bounded on
the east and south by the sea, and by the Mahawelli-ganga and
Kalu-ganga, on the north and west; a portion of this division near
Tangalle still retains the name of Roona.[3] The third was the
_Maya-ratta_, which lay between the mountains, the two great rivers and
the sea, having the Dedera-oya to the north, and the Kalu-ganga as its
southern limit.

[Footnote 1: B.C. 504.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii. p. 51, ix. p. 57; _Rajavali_, part i.
p. 177, 186; and TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 12, 14.]

[Footnote 3: The district of Rohuna included the mountain zone of
Ceylon, and hence probably its name, _rohuno_ meaning the "act or
instrument of ascending, as steps or a ladder." Adam's Peak was in the
Maya division; but Edrisi, who wrote in the twelfth century, says, that
it was then called "El Rahoun."--_Géographie, &c_. viii, JAUBERT'S
_Transl_. vol. ii. p. 71. _Rahu_ is an ordinary name for it amongst
Mahometan writers, and in the _Raja Tarangini_, it is called "Rohanam,"
b. iii. 56, 72.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 504.]

The patriarchal village system, which from time immemorial has been one
of the characteristics of the Dekkan, and which still prevails
throughout Ceylon in a modified form, was one of the first institutions
organised by the successors of Wijayo. "They fixed the boundaries of
every village throughout Lanka;"[1] they "caused the whole island to be
divided into fields and gardens;"[2] and so uniformly were the rites of
these rural municipalities respected in after times, that one of the
Singhalese monarchs, on learning that merit attached to alms given from
the fruit of the donor's own exertions, undertook to sow a field of
rice, and "from the portion derived by him as the cultivator's share,"
to bestow an offering on a "thero."[3]

[Footnote 1: It was established by Pandukabhaya, A.D. 437.--_Mahawanso_,
ch. x. p. 67, _Rajaratnacari_, ch. i.]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii., _Rajavali_, b. i. p. 185.]

[Footnote 3: The king was Mahachula, 77 B.C.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv.]

From the necessity of providing food for their followers, the earliest
attention of the Bengal conquerors was directed to the introduction and
extension of agriculture. A passage in the _Mahawanso_ would seem to
imply, that previous to the landing of Wijayo, rice was imported for
consumption[1], and upwards of two centuries later the same authority
specifies "one hundred and sixty loads of hill-paddi,"[2] among the
presents which were sent to the island from Bengal.

[Footnote 1: Kuweni distributed to the companions of Wijayo; "rice and
other articles, _procured from the wrecked ships of mariners_."
(_Mahawanso_, ch. vii. p. 49.) A tank is mentioned as then existing near
the residence of Kuweni; but it was only to be used as a bath. (Ib. c.
vii. p. 48.) The _Rajaratnacari_ also mentions that, in the fabulous age
of the second Buddha, of the present Kalpa, there was a famine in
Ceylon, which dried up the cisterns and fountains of the inland. But
there is no evidence of the existence of systematic tillage anterior to
the reign of Wijayo.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xi. p. 70. _Paddi_ is rice before it has
been freed from the husk.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 504.]

In a low and level country like the north of Ceylon, where the chief
subsistence of the people is rice, a grain which can only be
successfully cultivated under water, the first requisites of society are
reservoirs and canals. The Buddhist historians extol the father of
Wijayo for his judgment and skill "in forming villages in situations
favourable for irrigation;"[1] his own attention was fully engrossed
with the cares attendant on the consolidation of his newly acquired
power; but the earliest public work undertaken by his successor
Panduwasa, B.C. 504, was a tank, which he caused to be formed in the
vicinity of his new capital Anarajapoora, the _Anurogrammum_ of Ptolemy,
originally a village founded by one of the followers of Wijayo.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. vi. p. 46.]

[Footnote 2: The first tank recorded in Ceylon is the Abayaweva, made by
Panduwasa, B.C. 505 (_Mahawanso_, ch. ix. p. 57). The second was the
Jayaweva, formed by Pandukabhaya, B.C. 437. (Ib. ch. x. p. 65.) The
_third_, the Gamini tank, made by the same king at the same place,
Anarajapoora.--Ib. ch. x. p. 66.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 307.]

The continual recurrence of records of similar constructions amongst the
civil exploits of nearly every succeeding sovereign, together with the
prodigious number formed, alike attests the unimproved condition of
Ceylon, prior to the arrival of the Bengal invaders, and the indolence
or ignorance of the original inhabitants, as contrasted with the energy
and skill of their first conquerors.

[Sidenote: B.C. 307.]

Upwards of two hundred years were spent in initiatory measures for the
organisation of the new state. Colonists from the continent of India
were encouraged by the facilities held out to settlers, and carriage
roads were formed in the vicinity of the towns.[1] Village communities
were duly organised, gardens were planted, flowers and fruit-bearing
trees introduced,[2] and the production of food secured by the
construction of canals,[3] and public works for irrigation. Moreover,
the kings and petty princes attested the interest which they felt in the
promotion of agriculture, by giving personal attention to the formation
of tanks and to the labours of cultivation.[4]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xiv. xv. xvi.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xi. p. 60 (367 B.C.), ch. xxxiv. p. 211
(B.C. 20), ch. xxxv. p. 215 (A.D. 20). _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 29.
_Rajavali_, p. 185, 227.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv. p. 210 (B.C. 42), ch. xxxv. p. 221,
222 (A.D. 275), ch. xxxvii. p. 238. _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 49, and
_Rajavali_, p. 223, &c.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_, ch. x. p. 61, xxii. p. 130, xxiv. p. 149.
_Rajavali_, p. 185, 186. The Buddhist kings of Burmah, at the present
day, in imitation of the ancient sovereigns of Ceylon, rest their
highest claims to renown on the number of works for irrigation which
they have either formed or repaired. See _Yule's Narrative of the
British mission, to Ava in 1855_, p. 106.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 307.]

Meantime, the effects of Gotama's early visits had been obliterated, and
the sacred trees which he planted were dead; and although the bulk of
the settlers had come from countries where Buddhism was the dominant
faith, no measures appear to have been taken by the immigrants to revive
or extend it throughout Ceylon. Wijayo was, in all probability, a
Brahman, but so indifferent to his own faith, that his first alliance in
Ceylon was with a demon worshipper.[1] His immediate successors were so
eager to encourage immigration, that they treated all religions with a
perfect equality of royal favour. Yakkho temples were not only
respected, but "annual demon offerings were provided" for them; halls
were built for the worshippers of Brahma, and residences were provided
at the public cost, for "five hundred persons of various foreign
religious faiths;"[2] but no mention is made in the _Mahawanso_ of a
single edifice having been then raised for the worshippers of Buddha,
whether resident in the island, or arriving amongst the colonists from

[Footnote 1: According to the _Mahawanso_, Vishnu, in order to protect
Wijayo and his followers from the sorceries of the Yakkhos, met them on
their landing in Ceylon, and "_tied threads on their arms_," ch. vii.;
and at a later period, when the king Panduwasa, B.C. 504, was afflicted
with temporary insanity, as a punishment in his person of the crime of
perjury, committed by his predecessor Wijayo, _Iswara_ was supplicated
to interpose, and by his mediation the king was restored to his right
mind.--_Rajavali_, p. 181.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. x. p. 67; ch, xxxiii, p. 203.]

It was not till the year B.C. 307, in the reign of Tissa, that the
preacher Mahindo ventured to visit Ceylon, under the auspices of the
king, whom he succeeded in inducing to abstain from Brahmanical rites,
and to profess faith in the doctrines of Buddha. From the prominent part
thus taken by Tissa in establishing the national faith of Ceylon, the
sacred writers honour his name with the prefix of _Déwánan-pia_, or
"beloved of the saints."

[Sidenote: B.C. 307.]

The _Mahawanso_ exhausts the vocabulary of ecstacy in describing the
advent of Mahindo, a prince of Magadha, and a lineal descendant of
Chandragutto. It records the visions by which he was divinely directed
to "depart on his mission for the conversion of Lanka;" it describes his
aërial flight, and his descent on Ambatthalo, the loftiest peak of
Mihintala, the mountain which, rising suddenly from the plain, overlooks
the sacred city of Anarajapoora. The story proceeds to explain, how the
king, who was hunting the elk, was miraculously allured by the fleeing
game to approach the spot where Mahindo was seated[1]; and how the
latter forthwith propounded the Divine doctrine "to the ruler of the
land; who, at the conclusion of his discourse, together with his forty
thousand followers, obtained the salvation of the faith."[2]

[Footnote 1: The story, as related in the _Mahawanso_, bears a
resemblance to the legend of St. Hubert and the stag, in the forest of
Ardennes, and to that of St. Eustace, who, when hunting, was led by a
deer of singular beauty towards a rock, where it displayed to him the
crucifix upon its forehead; whence an appeal was addressed which
effected his conversion. "The king Dewananpiyatissa departed for an elk
hunt, taking with him a retinue; and in the course of the pursuit of the
game on foot, he came to the Missa mountain. A certain devo, assuming
the form of an elk, stationed himself there, grazing; the sovereign
descried him, and saying 'it is not fair to shoot him standing,' sounded
his bowstring, on which the elk fled to the mountain. The king gave
chase to the flying animal, and, on reaching the spot where the priests
were, the thero Mahindo came within sight of the monarch; but the
metamorphosed deer vanished."--_Mahawanso_, c. xiv.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xiv. p. 80.]

Then follows the approach of Mahindo to the capital; the conversion of
the queen and her attendants, and the reception of Buddhism by the
nation, under the preaching of its great Apostle, who "thus became the
luminary which shed the light of religion over the land." He and his
sister Sanghamitta thenceforth devoted their lives to the organisation
of Buddhist communities throughout Ceylon, and died in the odour of
sanctity, in the reign of King Uttiya, B.C. 267.

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

But the grand achievement which consummated the establishment of the
national faith, was the arrival from Magadha of a branch of the sacred
Bo-tree. Every ancient race has had its sacred tree; the Chaldeans, the
Hebrews[1], the Greeks, the Romans and the Druids, had each their
groves, their elms and their oaks, under which to worship. Like them,
the Brahmans have their _Kalpa tree_ in Paradise, and the Banyan in the
vicinity of their temples; and the Buddhists, in conformity with
immemorial practice, selected as their sacred tree the Pippul, which is
closely allied to the Banyan, yet sufficiently distinguished from it, to
serve as the emblem of a new and peculiar worship.[2] It was whilst
reclining under the shade of this tree in Uruwela, that Gotama received
Buddhahood; hence its adoption as an object of reverence by his
followers, and in all probability its adoration preceded the use of
images and temples in Ceylon.[3]

[Footnote 1: "They sacrifice upon the tops of mountains, and burn
incense under oaks, and poplars, and elms, because the shadow thereof is
good."--_Hosea_, iv. 13.]

[Footnote 2: The Bo-tree (_Ficus religiosa_) is the "pippul" of India.
It differs from the Banyan (_F. indica_), by sending down no roots from
its branches. Its heart-shaped leaves, with long attenuated points, are
attached to the stem by so slender a stalk, that they appear in the
profoundest calm to be ever in motion, and thus, like the leaves of the
aspen, which, from the tradition that the cross was made of that wood,
the Syrians believe to tremble in recollection of the events of the
crucifixion, those of the Bo-tree are supposed by the Buddhists to
exhibit a tremulous veneration, associated with the sacred scene of
which they were the witnesses.]

[Footnote 3: Previous Buddhas had each his Bo-tree or Buddha-tree. The
pippul had been before assumed by the first recorded Buddha; others had
the iron-tree, the champac, the nipa, &c.--_Mahawanso_, TURNOUR'S
Introd. p. xxxii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

In order that his kingdom might possess a sacred tree of the supremest
sanctity, king Tissa solicited a branch of the identical tree under
which Gotama reclined, from Asoca, who then reigned in Magadha. The
difficulty of severing a portion without the sacrilegious offence of
"lopping it with any weapon," was overcome by the miracle of the branch
detaching itself spontaneously, and descending with its roots into the
fragrant earth prepared for it in a golden vase, in which it was
transported by sea to Ceylon[1], and planted by king Tissa in the spot
at Anarajapoora, where, after the lapse of more than 2000 years, it
still continues to flourish and to receive the profound veneration of
all Buddhist nations.[2]

[Footnote 1: The ceremonial of the mysterious severance of the sacred
branch "amid the din of music, the clamours of men, the howling of the
elements, the roar of animals, the screams of birds, the yells of
demons, and the crash of earthquakes," is minutely described in an
elaborate passage of the _Mahawanso_. And its landing in Ceylon, the
retinue of its attendants, the homage paid to it, its progress to the
capital, its arrival at the Northern-gate "at the hour when shadows are
most extended," its reception by princes "adorned with the insignia of
royalty," and its final deposition in the earth, under the auspices of
Mahindo and his sister Sanghamitta, form one of the most striking
episodes in that very singular book.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xviii. xix.]

[Footnote 2: The planting of the Bo-tree took place in the eighteenth
year of the reign of King Devenipiatissa, B.C. 288; it is consequently
at the present time 2147 years old.]




[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

Almost simultaneously with the establishment of the Buddhist religion
was commenced the erection of those stupendous ecclesiastical
structures, the number and magnitude of whose remains form a remarkable
characteristic in the present aspect of the country.

The architectural history of continental India dates from the third
century before Christ; not a single building or sculptured stone having
as yet been discovered there, of an age anterior to the reign of
Asoca[1], who was the first of his dynasty to abandon the religion of
Brahma for that of Buddha. In like manner the earliest existing
monuments of Ceylon belong to the same period; they owe their
construction to Devenipiatissa, and the historical annals of the island
record with pious gratitude the series of dagobas, wiharas, and temples
erected by him and his successors.

[Footnote 1: FERGUSON, _Handbook of Architecture_, b. i. c. i. p. 5.]

Of these the most remarkable are the Dagobas, piles of brickwork of
dimensions so extraordinary that they suggest comparison with the
pyramids of Memphis[1], the barrow of Halyattys[2], or the mounds in the
valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates.

[Footnote 1: So vast did the dagobas appear to the Singhalese that the
author of the _Mahawanso_, in describing the construction of that called
the _Ruanwelle_ at Anarajapoora, states that each of the lower courses
contained ten kotis (a koti being equal to 100 lacs) or 10,000,000
bricks.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxx, p. 179.]

[Footnote 2: "The ancient edifices of Chi-Chen in Central America bear a
striking resemblance to the topes of India. The shape of one of the
domes, its apparent size, the small tower on the summit, the trees
growing on the sides, the appearance of masonry here and there, the
shape of the ornaments, and the small doorway at the base, are so
exactly similar to what I had seen at Anarajapoora that when my eyes
first fell on the engravings of these remarkable ruins I supposed that
they were presented in illustration of the dagobas of Ceylon."--HARDY's
_Eastern Monachism_, c. xix. p. 222.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

A dagoba (from _datu_, a relic, and _gabbhan_, a shrine[1]) is a
monument raised to preserve one of the relics of Gotama, which were
collected after the cremation of his body at Kusinara, and it is
candidly admitted in the _Mahawanso_ that the intention in erecting them
was to provide "objects to which offerings could be made."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Deha_, "the body," and _gopa_, "what preserves;" because
they enshrine hair, teeth, nails, &c. of Buddha.--WILSON'S _Asiat. Res._
vol. xvii. p. 605.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xvii. p. 104.]


[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

Ceylon contains but one class of these structures, and boasts no tall
monolithic pillars like the _lats_ of Delhi and Allahabad, and no
regularly built columns similar to the _minars_ of Cabul; but the
fragments of the bones of Gotama, and locks of his hair, are enclosed in
enormous masses of hemispherical masonry, modifications of which may be
traced in every Buddhist country of Asia, in the topes of Affghanistan
and the Punjaub, in the pagodas of Pegu, and in the Boro-Buddor of Java.
Those of Ceylon consist of a bell-shaped dome of brick-work surmounted
by a terminal or _tee_ (generally in the form of a cube supporting a
pointed spire), and resting on a square platform approached by flights
of stone steps. Those, the ruins of which have been explored in modern
times, have been found to be almost solid, enclosing a hollow vessel of
metal or stone which had once contained the relic, but of which the
ornament alone and a few gems or discoloured pearls set in gold, are
usually all that is now discoverable.

Their outline exhibits but little of ingenuity or of art, and their
construction is only remarkable for the vast amount of labour which must
necessarily have been expended upon them. But, independently of this,
the first dagoba erected at Anarajapoora, the Thuparamaya, which exists
to the present day, "as nearly as may be in the same form in which it
was originally designed, is possessed of a peculiar interest from the
fact that it is in all probability the oldest architectural monument now
extant in India."[1] It was raised by King Tissa, at the close of the
third century before Christ, over the collar-bone of Buddha, which
Mahindo had procured for the king.[2] In dimensions this monument is
inferior to those built at a later period by the successors of Tissa,
some of which are scarcely exceeded in diameter and altitude by the dome
of St. Peter's[3]; but in elegance of outline it immeasurably surpassed
all the other dagobas, and the beauty of its design is still perceptible
in its ruins after the lapse of two thousand years.

[Footnote 1: FERGUSON'S _Handbook of Architecture_, b. i. c. iii. p.

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xvii. _The Rajavali_ calls it the
jaw-bone, p. 184.]

[Footnote 3: The Abhayagiri dagoba at Anarajapoora, built B.C. 89, was
originally 180 cubits high, which, taking the Ceylon cubit at 2 feet 3
inches, would be equal to 405 feet. The dome was hemispherical, and
described with a radius of 180 feet, giving a circumference of 1130
feet. The summit of this stupendous work was therefore fifty feet higher
than St. Paul's, and fifty feet lower than St. Peter's.]

The king, in addition to this, built a number of others in various parts
of Ceylon[1], and his name has been perpetuated as the founder of
temples, for the rites of the new religion, and of Wiharas or
monasteries for the residence of its priesthood. The former were of the
simplest design, for an atheistical system, which substitutes meditation
for worship, dispenses with splendour in its edifices and pomp in its

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 15.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

The images of Grotama, which in time became objects of veneration, were
but a late innovation[1], and a doubt even been expressed whether the
religion of Buddha in its primitive constitution, rejecting as it does
the doctrine of a mediatorial priesthood, contemplated the existence of
any organised ministry.

[Footnote 1: The precise date of their introduction is unknown, but the
first mention of a statue occurs in an inscription on the rock at
Mihintala, bearing date A.D. 246, and referring to the house constructed
over a figure of Buddha.]

Caves, or insulated apartments in imitation of their gloom and
retirement, were in all probability the first resort of devotees in
Ceylon, and hence amongst the deeds of King Tissa, the most conspicuous
and munificent were the construction of rock temples, on Mihintala, and
of apartments for the priests in all parts of his dominions.[1]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR's _Epitome_, p. 15.]

The directions of Gotama as to the residence of his votaries are
characterised by the severest simplicity, and the term "pansala,"
literally "a dwelling of leaves,"[1] by which the house of a priest is
described to the present day, serves to illustrate the original
intention that persons dedicated to his service should cultivate
solitude and meditation by withdrawing into the forest, but within such
a convenient distance as would not estrange them from the villagers, on
whose bounty and alms they were to be dependent for subsistence.

[Footnote 1: It is questionable whether the Sarmanai, mentioned by
Megasthenes, were Buddhists or Brahmans; but the account which he gives
of the class of them whom he styles the Hylobii, would seem to identify
them with the Sramanas of Buddhism, "passing their lives in the woods,
[Greek: zôntes en tais ulais], living on fruits and seeds, and clothed
with the bark of trees."--MEGASTHENES' _Indica_, &c., Fragm. xlii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

In one of the rock inscriptions deciphered by Prinsep, King Asoca, in
addressing himself to his Buddhist subjects, distinguishes them as
"ascetics and _house-holders_." In the sacred books a laic is called a
"graha pali," meaning "the ruler of a house;" and in contra-distinction
Fa Hian, the Chinese Buddhist, speaks of the priests of Ceylon under the
designation of "the house-less," to mark their abandonment of social
enjoyments.[1] Anticipating the probable necessity of their eventually
resorting to houses for accommodation, Buddha directed that, if built
for an individual, the internal measurement of a cell should be twelve
spans in length by seven in breadth[2]; and, if restricted to such
dimensions, the assertions of the Singhalese chronicles become
intelligible as to the prodigious number of such dwellings said to have
been raised by the early kings.[3]

[Footnote 1: "Les hommes hors de leur maisons."--FA HIAN, _Fo[)e]
Kou[)e] Ki_, ch. xxxix. This is the equivalent of the Singhalese term
for the same class, _agariyan-pubbajito_, used in the Pittakas.]

[Footnote 2: HARDY'S _Eastern Monachism_, ch. xiii. p. 122.]

[Footnote 3: The _Rajaratnacari_ says that Devenipiatissa caused
_eighty-four thousand_ temples to be built during his reign, p. 35.]

But the multitudes who were thus attracted to a life of indolent
devotion became in a short time so excessive that recourse was had to
other devices for combining economy with accommodation, and groups of
such cells were gradually formed into wiharas and monasteries, the
inmates of which have uniformly preserved their organisation and order.
Still the edifices thus constructed have never exhibited any tendency to
depart from the primitive simplicity so strongly enjoined by their
founder; and, down to the present time, the homes of the Buddhist
priesthood are modest and humble structures generally reared of mud and
thatch, with no pretension to external beauty and no attempt at internal

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

To supply to the ascetics the means of seclusion and exercise, the early
kings commenced the erection of ambulance-halls; and gardens were set
apart for the use of the great temple communities. The _Mahawanso_
describes, with all the pomp of Oriental diction, the ceremony observed
by King Tissa on the occasion of setting apart a portion of ground as a
site for the first wihara at his capital; the monarch in person,
attended by standard bearers and guards with golden staves, having come
to mark out the boundary with a plough drawn by elephants.[1] A second
monastery was erected by him on the summit of Mihintala[2]; a third was
attached to the dagoba of the Thuparamaya, and others were rapidly
founded in every quarter of the island.[3]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xv. p. 99.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xx. p. 123.]

[Footnote 3: Five hundred were built by one king alone, the third in
succession from Devenipiatissa, B.C. 246 (_Mahawanso_, ch. xxi, p. 127).
About the same period the petty chiefs of Rohuna and Mahagam were
equally zealous in their devout labours, the one having erected
sixty-four wiharas in the east of the island, and the other sixty-eight
in the south.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxiv. p. 145, 148.]

It was in all probability owing to the growth of these institutions, and
the establishment of colleges in connection with them, that halls were
eventually appropriated for the reception of statues; and that
apartments so consecrated were devoted to the ceremonies and worship of
Buddha. Hence, at a very early period, the dwellings of the priests were
identified with the chaityas and sacred edifices, and the name of the
Wihara came to designate indifferently both the temple and the

But the hall which contains the figures of Buddha, and which constitutes
the "temple" proper, is always detached from the domestic buildings, and
is frequently placed on an eminence from which the view is commanding.
The interior is painted in the style of Egyptian chambers, and is filled
with figures and illustrations of the legends of Gotama, whose statue,
with hand uplifted in the attitude of admonition, or reclining in repose
emblematic of the blissful state of Nirwana, is placed in the dimmest
recess of the edifice. Here lamps cast a feeble light, and the air is
heavy with the perfume of flowers, which are daily renewed by fresh
offerings from the worshippers at the shrines.

[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

In no other system of idolatry, ancient or modern, have the rites been
administered by such a multitude of priests as assist in the passionless
ceremonial of Buddhism. Fa Hian, in the fourth century, was assured by
the people of Ceylon that at that period the priests numbered between
fifty and sixty thousand, of whom two thousand were attached to one
wihara at Anarajapoora, and three thousand to another.[1]

[Footnote 1: FA HIAN, _Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_, ch. xxxviii. p. 336, 350. At
the present day the number in the whole island does not probably exceed
2500 (HARDY'S _Eastern Monachism_, p. 57, 309). But this is far below
the proportion of the Buddhist priesthood in other countries; in Siam
nearly every adult male becomes a priest for a certain portion of his
life; a similar practice prevails in Ava; and in Burmah so common is it
to assume the yellow robe, that the popular expedient for effecting
divorce is for the parties to make a profession of the priesthood, the
ceremonial of which is sufficient to dissolve the marriage vow, and
after an interval of a few months, they can throw off the yellow robe
and are then at liberty to marry again.]

As the vow which devotes the priests of Buddha to religion binds them at
the same time to a life of poverty and mendicancy, the extension of the
faith entailed in great part on the crown the duty of supporting the
vast crowds who withdrew themselves from industry to embrace devotion
and indigence. They were provided with food by the royal bounty, and
hence the historical books make perpetual reference to the priests
"going to the king's house to eat,"[1] when the monarch himself set the
example to his subjects of "serving them with rice broth, cakes, and
dressed rice."[2] Rice in all its varieties is the diet described in the
_Mahawanso_ as being provided for the priesthood by the munificence of
the kings; "rice prepared with sugar and honey, rice with clarified
butter, and rice in its ordinary form."[3] In addition to the enjoyment
of a life of idleness, another powerful incentive conspired to swell the
numbers of these devotees. The followers and successors of Wijayo
preserved intact the institution of caste, which they had brought with
them from the valley of the Ganges; and, although caste was not
abolished by the teachers of Buddhism, who retained and respected it as
a social institution, it was practically annulled and absorbed in the
religious character;--all who embraced the ascetic life being
simultaneously absolved from all conventional disabilities, and received
as members of the sacred community with all its exalted prerogatives.[4]

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, p. 198. Hiouen Thsang, the Chinese pilgrim,
describing Anarajapoora in the seventh century, says: "A côté du palais
du roi; on a construit une vaste cuisine où l'on prépare chaque jour des
aliments pour dix-huit mille religieux. A l'heure de repas, les
religieux viennent, un pot à la main, pour recevoir leur nourriture.
Après l'avoir obtenue ils s'en retournent chacun dans leur
chambre."--HIOUEN THSANG, _Transl._ M. JULIEN, lib. xi. tom. ii. p.

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xiv. p. 82.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii.; _Rajaratnacari_, ch. i. p. 37, ch.
ii. p. 56, 60, 62.]

[Footnote 4: Professor Wilson, _Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc._ vol. xvi. p.

Along with food, clothing consisting of three garments to complete the
sacerdotal robes, as enjoined by the Buddhist ritual[1], was distributed
at certain seasons; and in later times a practice obtained of providing
robes for the priests by "causing the cotton to be picked from the tree
at sunrise, cleaned, spun, woven, dyed yellow, and made into garments
and presented before sunset."[2] The condition of the priesthood was
thus reduced to a state of absolute dependency on alms, and at the
earliest period of their history the vow of poverty, by which their
order is bound, would seem to have been righteously observed.

[Footnote 1: To avoid the vanity of dress or the temptation to acquire
property, no Buddhist priest is allowed to have more than one set of
robes, consisting of three pieces, and if an extra one be bestowed on
him it must be surrendered to the chapter of his wihara within ten days.
The dimensions must not exceed a specified length, and when obtained new
the cloth must be disfigured with mud or otherwise before he puts it on.
A magnificent robe having been given to Gotama, his attendant Ananda, in
order to destroy its intrinsic value, cut it into thirty pieces and
sewed them together in four divisions, so that the robe resembled the
patches of a rice-field divided by embankments. And in conformity with
this precedent the robes of every priest are similarly dissected and
reunited.--Hardy's _Eastern Monachism_, c. xii. p. 117; _Rajaratnacari_,
ch. ii. pp. 60, 66.]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, pp. 104, 109, 112. The custom which is
still observed in Ceylon, of weaving robes between sunrise and sunset is
called _Catina dhwana_ (_Rajavali_, p. 261). The work is performed
chiefly by women, and the practice is identical with that mentioned by
Herodotus, as observed by the priests of Egypt, who celebrated a
festival in honour of the return of Rhampsinitus, after playing at dice
with Ceres in Ilades, by investing one of their body with a cloak made
in a single day, [Greek: pharos autêmeron exyphênantes], _Euterpe_,
cxxii. Gray, in his ode of _The Fatal Sisters_, has embodied the
Scandinavian myth in which the twelve weird sisters, the _Valkiriur_,
weave "the crimson web of war" between the rising and setting of the



[Sidenote: B.C. 289.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 266.]

For nearly a century after the accession of Devenipiatissa, the religion
and the social development of Ceylon thus exhibited an equally steady
advancement. The cousins of the king, three of whom ascended the throne
in succession, seem to have vied with each other in works of piety and
utility. Wiharas were built in all parts of the island, both north and
south of the Maha-welli-ganga. Dagobas were raised in various places,
and cultivation was urged forward by the formation of tanks and canals.
But, during this period, from the fact of the Bengal immigrants being
employed in more congenial or more profitable occupations (possibly also
from the numbers who were annually devoting themselves to the service of
the temples), and from the ascertained inaptitude of the native
Singhalese to bear arms, a practice was commenced of retaining foreign
mercenaries, which, even at that early period, was productive of
animosity and bloodshed, and in process of time led to the overthrow of
the Wijayan dynasty and the gradual decay of the Sinhala sovereignty.

[Sidenote: B.C. 266.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 237.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 205.]

The genius of the Gangetic race, which had taken possession of Ceylon,
was essentially adapted to agricultural pursuits--in which, to the
present day, their superiority is apparent over the less energetic
tribes of the Dekkan. Busied with such employments, the early colonists
had no leisure for military service; besides, whilst Devenipiatissa and
his successors were earnestly engaged in the formation of religious
communities, and the erection of sacred edifices in the northern portion
of the island, various princes of the same family occupied themselves in
forming settlements in the south and west; and hence, whilst their
people were zealously devoted to the service and furtherance of
religion, the sovereign at Anarajapoora was compelled, through a
combination of causes, to take into his pay a body of Malabars[1] for
the protection both of the coast and the interior. Of the foreigners
thus confided in, "two youths, powerful in their cavalry and navy, named
Sena and Gottika,"[2] proved unfaithful to their trust, and after
causing the death of the king Suratissa (B.C. 237), retained the supreme
power for upwards of twenty years, till overthrown in their turn and put
to death by the adherents of the legitimate line.[3] Ten years, however,
had barely elapsed when the attempt to establish a Tamil sovereign was
renewed by Elala, "a Malabar of the illustrious Uju tribe, who invaded
the island from the Chola[4] country, killed the reigning king Asela,
and ruled the kingdom for forty years, administering justice impartially
to friends and foes."

[Footnote 1: The term "Malabar" is used throughout the following pages
in the comprehensive sense in which it is applied in the Singhalese
chronicles to the continental invaders of Ceylon; but it must be
observed that the adventurers in these expeditions, who are styled in
the _Mahawanso, "damilos"_ or Tamils, came not only from the
south-western tract of the Dekkan, known in modern geography as
"Malabar," but also from all parts of the peninsula, as far north as
Cuttack and Orissa.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxi. p. 127.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, xxi.; _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii.]

[Footnote 4: Chola, or Solee, was the ancient name of Tanjore, and the
country traversed by the river Caveri.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

Such is the encomium which the _Mahawanso_ passes on an infidel usurper,
because Elala offered his protection to the priesthood; but the orthodox
annalist closes his notice of his reign by the moral reflection that
"even he who was an heretic, and doomed by his creed to perdition,
obtained an exalted extent of supernatural power from having eschewed
impiety and injustice."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, xxi. p. 129. The other historical books, the
_Rajavali_, and _Rajaratnacari_, give a totally different character of
Elala, and represent him as the desecrator of monuments and the
overthrower of temples. The traditional estimation which has followed
his memory is the best attestation of the superior accuracy of the

[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

But it was not the priests alone who were captivated by the generosity
of Elala. In the final struggle for the throne, in which the Malabars
were worsted by the gallantry of Dutugaimunu, a prince of the excluded
family, the deeds of bravery displayed by him were the admiration of his
enemies. The contest between the rival chiefs is the solitary tale of
Ceylon chivalry, in which Elala is the Saladin and Dutugaimunu the
Coeur-de-lion. So genuine was the admiration of Elala's bravery that his
rival erected a monument in his honour, on the spot where he fell; its
ruins remain to the present day, and the Singhalese still regard it with
respect and veneration. "On reaching the quarter of the city in which it
stands," says the _Mahawanso_[1], "it has been the custom for the
monarchs of Lanka to silence their music, whatsoever cession they may be
heading;" and so uniformly was the homage continued down to the most
recent period, that so lately as 1818, on the suppression of an
attempted rebellion, when the defeated aspirant to the throne was making
his escape by Anarajapoora, he alighted from his litter, on approaching
the quarter in which the monument was known to exist, "and although
weary and almost incapable of exertion, not knowing the precise spot, he
continued on foot till assured that he had passed far beyond the ancient

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxi.]

[Footnote 2: FORBES' _Eleven Years in Ceylon_, vol. i. p. 233.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

Dutugaimunu, in the epics of Buddhism, enjoys a renown, second only to
that of King Tissa, as the champion of the faith. On the recovery of his
kingdom he addressed himself with energy to remove the effects produced
in the northern portions of the island by forty years of neglect and
inaction under the sway of Elala. During that monarch's protracted
usurpation the minor sovereignties, which had been formed in various
parts of the island prior to his seizure of the crown, were little
impeded in their social progress by the forty-four years' residence of
the Malabars at Anarajapoora. Although the petty kings of Rohuna and
Maya submitted to pay tribute to Elala, his personal rule did not extend
south of the Mahawelli-ganga[1], and whilst the strangers in the north
of the island were plundering the temples of Buddha, the feudal chiefs
in the south and west were emulating the munificence of Tissa in the
number of wiharas which they constructed.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxii., _Rajavali_, p. 188,
_Rajaratnacari_, p. 36. The _Mahawanso_ has a story of Dutugaimunu, when
a boy, illustrative of his early impatience to rid the island of the
Malabars. His father seeing him lying on his bed, with his hands and
feet gathered up, inquired, "My boy, why not stretch thyself at length
on thy bed?" "Confined by the Damilos," he replied, "beyond the river on
the one side, and by the unyielding ocean on the other, how can I lie
with outstretched limbs?"]

Eager to conciliate his subjects by a similar display of regard for
religion, Dutugaimunu signalised his victory and restoration by
commencing the erection of the Ruanwellé dagoba, the most stupendous as
well as the most venerated of those at Anarajapoora, as it enclosed a
more imposing assemblage of relics than were ever enshrined in any other
in Ceylon.

The mass of the population was liable to render compulsory labour to the
crown; but wisely reflecting that it was not only derogatory to the
sacredness of the object, but impolitic to exact any avoidable
sacrifices from a people so recently suffering from internal warfare,
Dutugaimunu came to the resolution of employing hired workmen only, and
according to the _Mahawanso_ vast numbers of the Yakkhos became converts
to Buddhism during the progress of the building[1], which the king did
not live to complete.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxviii. xxix. xxx. xxxi.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

But the most remarkable of the edifices which he erected at the capital
was the Maha-Lowa-paya, a monastery which obtained the name of the
_Brazen Palace_ from the fact of its being roofed with plates of that
metal. It was elevated on sixteen hundred monolithic columns of granite
twelve feet high, and arranged in lines of forty, so as to cover an area
of upwards of two hundred and twenty feet square. On these rested the
building nine stories in height, which, in addition to a thousand
dormitories for priests, contained halls and other apartments for their
exercise and accommodation.

The _Mahawanso_ relates with peculiar unction the munificence of
Dutugaimunu in remunerating those employed upon this edifice; he
deposited clothing for that purpose as well as "vessels filled with
sugar, buffalo butter and honey;" he announced that on this occasion it
was not fitting to exact unpaid labour, and, "placing high value on the
work to be performed, he paid the workmen with money."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxvii. p. 163.]

The structure, when completed, far exceeded in splendour anything
recorded in the sacred books. All its apartments were embellished with
"beads, resplendent like gems;" the great hall was supported by golden
pillars resting on lions and other animals, and the walls were
ornamented with festoons of pearls and of flowers formed of jewels; in
the centre was an ivory throne, with an emblem on one side of a golden
sun, and on the other of the moon in silver, and above all glittered the
imperial "chatta," the white canopy of dominion. The palace, says the
_Mahawanso_, was provided with rich carpets and couches, and "even the
ladle of the rice boiler was of gold."

[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

The vicissitudes and transformations of the Brazen Palace are subjects
of frequent mention in the history of the sacred city. As originally
planned by Dutugaimunu, it did not endure through the reign of his
successor Saidaitissa, at whose expense it was reconstructed, B.C. 140,
but the number of stories was lowered to seven.[1] More than two
centuries later, A.D. 182, these were again reduced to five[2], and the
entire building must have been taken down in A.D. 240, as the king who
was then reigning caused "the pillars of the Lowa Pasado to be arranged
in a different form."

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvi.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiii.]

The edifice erected on its site was pulled to the ground by the apostate
Maha Sen, A.D. 301[1]; but penitently reconstructed by him on his
recantation of his errors. Its last recorded restoration took place in
the reign of Prakrama-bahu, towards the close of the twelfth century,
when "the king rebuilt the Lowa-Maha-paya, and raised up the 1600
pillars of rock."

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii.]


[Sidenote: B.C. 161.]

Thus exposed to spoliation by its splendour, and obnoxious to infidel
invaders from the religious uses to which it was dedicated, it was
subjected to violence on every commotion, whether civil or external,
which disturbed the repose of the capital; and at the present day, no
traces of it remain except the indestructible monoliths on which it
stood. A "world of stone columns," to use the quaint expression of Knox,
still marks the site of the Brazen Palace of Dutugaimunu, and attests
the accuracy of the chronicles which describe its former magnificence.

[Sidenote: B.C. 137.]

The character of Dutugaimunu is succinctly expressed in his dying
avowal, that he had lived "a slave to the priesthood."[1] Before
partaking of food, it was his practice to present a portion for their
use; and recollecting in maturer age, that on one occasion, when a
child, he had so far forgotten this invariable rule, as _to eat a
chilly_ without sharing it with the priest, he submitted himself to a
penance in expiation of this youthful impiety.[2] His death scene, as
described in the _Mahawanso_, contains an enumeration of the deeds of
piety by which his reign had been signalised.[3] Extended on his couch
in front of the great dagoba which he had erected, he thus addressed one
of his military companions who had embraced the priesthood: "In times
past, supported by my ten warriors, I engaged in battles; now,
single-handed, I commence my last conflict, with death; and it is not
permitted to me to overcome my antagonist." "Ruler of men," replied the
thero, "without subduing the dominion of sin, the power of death is
invincible; but call to recollection thy acts of piety performed, and
from these you will derive consolation." The secretary then "read from
the register of deeds of piety," that "one hundred wiharas, less one,
had been constructed by the Maharaja, that he had built two great
dagobas and the Brazen Palace at Anarajapoora; that in famines he had
given his jewels to support the pious; that on three several occasions
he had clothed the whole priesthood throughout the island, giving three
garments to each; that five times he had conferred the sovereignty of
the land for the space of seven days on the National Church; that he had
founded hospitals for the infirm, and distributed rice to the indigent;
bestowed lamps on innumerable temples, and maintained preachers, in the
various wiharas, in all parts of his dominions. 'All these acts,' said
the dying king, 'done in my days of prosperity, afford no comfort to my
mind; but two offerings which I made when in affliction and in
adversity, disregardful of my own fate, are those which alone administer
solace to me now.[4] After this, the pre-eminently wise Maharaja
expired, stretched on his bed, in the act of gazing on the Mahatupo."[5]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxiv, xxv.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii.]

[Footnote 5: Another name for the Ruanwellé dagoba, which he had built.]



[Sidenote: B.C. 137.]

After the reign of Dutugaimunu there is little in the pages of the
native historians to sustain interest in the story of the Singhalese
monarchs. The long line of sovereigns is divided into two distinct
classes; the kings of the _Maha-wanse_ or "superior dynasty" of the
uncontaminated blood of Wijayo, who occupied the throne from his death,
B.C. 505, to that of Maha Sen, A.D. 302;--and the _Sulu-wanse_ or
"inferior race," whose descent was less pure, but who, amidst invasions,
revolutions, and decline, continued, with unsteady hand, to hold the
government clown to the occupation of the island by Europeans in the
beginning of the sixteenth century.

[Sidenote: B.C. 137.]

To the great dynasty, and more especially to its earliest members, the
inhabitants were indebted for the first rudiments of civilisation, for
the arts of agricultural life, for an organised government, and for a
system of national worship. But neither the piety of the kings nor their
munificence sufficed to conciliate the personal attachment of their
subjects, or to strengthen their throne by national attachment such as
would have fortified its occupant against the fatalities incident to
despotism. Of fifty-one sovereigns who formed the pure Wijayan dynasty,
two were deposed by their subjects, and nineteen put to death by their
successors.[1] Excepting the rare instances in which a reign was marked
by some occurrence, such as an invasion and repulse of the Malabars,
there is hardly a sovereign of the "Solar race" whose name is associated
with a higher achievement than the erection of a dagoba or the formation
of a tank, nor one whose story is enlivened by an event more exciting
than the murder through which he mounted the throne or the conspiracy by
which he was driven from it.[2]

[Footnote 1: There is something very striking in the facility with which
aspirants to the throne obtained the instant acquiescence of the people,
so soon as assassination had put them in possession of power. And this
is the more remarkable, where the usurpers were of the lower grade, as
in the instance of Subho, a gate porter, who murdered King Yasa Silo,
A.D. 60, and reigned for six years (_Mahaw._ ch. xxxv. p. 218). A
carpenter, and a carrier of fire-wood, were each accepted in succession
as sovereigns, A.D. 47; whilst the "_great dynasty_" was still in the
plenitude of its popularity. The mystery is perhaps referable to the
dominant necessity of securing tranquillity at any cost, in the state of
society where the means of cultivation were directly dependent on the
village organisation, and famine and desolation would have been the
instant and inevitable consequences of any commotions which interfered
with the conservancy and repair of the tanks and means of irrigation,
and the prompt application of labour to the raising and saving of
produce at the instant when the fall of the rains or the ripening of the
crops demanded its employment with the utmost vigour.]

[Footnote 2: In theory the Singhalese monarchy was elective in the
descendants of the Solar race: in practice, primogeniture had a
preference, and the crown was either hereditary or became the prize of
those who claimed to be of royal lineage. On reviewing the succession of
kings from B.C. 307 to A.D. 1815, _thirty-nine_ eldest sons (or nearly
one fourth), succeeded to their fathers: and _twenty-nine_ kings (or
more than one fifth), were succeeded by brothers. _Fifteen_ reigned for
a period less than one year, and thirty for more than one year, and less
than four. Of the Singhalese kings who died by violence, twenty-two were
murdered by their successors; six were killed by other individuals;
thirteen fell in feuds and war, and four committed suicide; eleven were
dethroned, and their subsequent fate is unknown. Not more than
two-thirds of the Singhalese kings retained sovereign authority to their
decease, or reached the funeral pile without a violent death.--FORBES'
_Eleven Years in Ceylon_, vol. i. ch. iv. p. 80, 97; JOINVILLE,
_Religion and Manners of the People of Ceylon; Asiat. Res._ vol. vii. p.
423. See also _Mahawanso_, ch. xxiii. p. 201.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 119.]

One source of royal contention arose on the death of Dutugaimunu; his
son, having forfeited his birthright by an alliance with a wife of lower
caste, was set aside from the succession; Saidaitissa, a brother of the
deceased king, being raised to the throne in his stead. The priests, on
the death of Saidaitissa, B.C. 119, hastened to proclaim his youngest
son Thullatthanako[1], to the prejudice of his elder brother
Laiminitissa, but the latter established his just claim by the sword,
and hence arose two rival lines, which for centuries afterwards were
prompt on every opportunity to advance adverse pretensions to the
throne, and assert them by force of arms.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiii. p. 201.]

In such contests the priesthood brought a preponderant influence to
whatever side they inclined [1]; and thus the royal authority, though
not strictly sacerdotal, became so closely identified with the
hierarchy, and so guided by its will, that each sovereign's attention
was chiefly devoted to forwarding such measures as most conduced to the
exaltation of Buddhism and the maintenance of its monasteries and

[Footnote 1: It was the dying boast of Dutugaimunu that he had lived "a
slave to the priesthood." The expression was figurative in his case; but
so abject did the subserviency of the kings become, and so rapid was its
growth, that Bhatiya Tissa, who reigned A.D. 8, rendered it literal, and
"dedicated himself, his queen, and two sons, as well as his charger, and
state elephant, as _slaves to the priesthood_." The _Mahawanso_
intimates that the priests themselves protested against this debasement,
ch. xxxiv. p. 214.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 119.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

A signal effect of this regal policy, and of the growing diffusion of
Buddhism, is to be traced in the impulse which it communicated to the
reclamation of lands and the extension of cultivation. For more than
three hundred years no mention is made in the Singhalese annals of any
mode of maintaining the priesthood other than the royal distribution of
clothing and voluntary offerings of food. They resorted for the "royal
alms" either to the residence of the authorities or to halls specially
built for their accommodation [1], to which they were summoned by "the
shout of refection;" [2] the ordinary priests receiving rice, "those
endowed with the gift of preaching, clarified butter, sugar, and
honey."[3] Hospitals and medicines for their use, and rest houses on
their journeys, were also provided at the public charge.[4] These
expedients were available so long as the numbers of the priesthood were
limited; but such were the multitudes who were tempted to withdraw from
the world and its pursuits, in order to devote themselves to meditation
and the diffusion of Buddhism, that the difficulty became practical of
maintaining them by personal gifts, and the alternative suggested itself
of setting apart lands for their support. This innovation was first
resorted to during an interregnum. The Singhalese king Walagam Bahu,
being expelled from his capital by a Malabar usurpation B.C. 104, was
unable to continue the accustomed regal bounty to the priesthood;
dedicated certain lands while in exile in Rohuna, for the support of a
fraternity "who had sheltered him there."[5] The precedent thus
established, was speedily seized upon and extended; lands were
everywhere set apart for the repair of the sacred edifices[6], and
eventually, about the beginning of the Christian era, the priesthood
acquired such an increase of influence as sufficed to convert their
precarious eleemosynary dependency into a permanent territorial
endowment; and the practice became universal of conveying estates in
mortmain on the construction of a wihara or the dedication of a

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xx. p. 123; xxii. p. 132,135.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxviii. p. 167.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii. p. 196-7.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxii. p. 196 xxxvii. p. 244;
_Rajaratnacari_, p. 39, 41.]

[Footnote 5: _Mahawanso_, ch, xxxiii. p. 203. Previous to this date a
king of Rohuna, during the usurpation of Elala, B.C. 205, had
appropriated lands near Kalany, for the repairs of the
dagoba.--_Rajaratnacari_, p. 37.]

[Footnote 6: In the reign of Batiya Tissa, B.C. 20. _Mahawanso_,, ch.
xxxiv. p. 212; _Rajaratnacari_, p. 51.]

[Footnote 7: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv. p. 214.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

The corporate character of the recipients served to neutralise the
obligations by which they were severally bound; the vow of poverty,
though compulsory on an individual priest, ceased to be binding on the
community of which he was a member; and whilst, on his own behalf, he
was constrained to abjure the possession of property, even to the extent
of one superfluous cloth, the wihara to which he was attached, in
addition to its ecclesiastical buildings, and its offerings in gems and
gold, was held competent to become the proprietor of broad and fertile
lands.[1] These were so bountifully bestowed by royal piety, by private
munificence, and by mortuary gifts, that ere many centuries had elapsed
the temples of Ceylon absorbed a large proportion of the landed property
of the kingdom, and their possessions were not only exempted from
taxation, but accompanied by a right to the compulsory labour of the
temple tenants.[2]

[Footnote 1: HARDY'S _Eastern Monachism_, ch. viii. p. 68.]

[Footnote 2: The _Rajaratnacari_ mentions an instance, A.D. 62, of eight
thousand rice fields bestowed in one grant; and similar munificence is
recorded in numerous instances prior, to A.D. 204.--_Rajaratnacari_, p.
57, 59, 64, 74, 113, &c. _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p. 223, 224; ch. xxxvi.
p. 233.]

As the estates so made over to religious uses lay for the most part in
waste districts, the quantity of land which was thus brought under
cultivation necessarily involved large extensions of the means of
irrigation. To supply these, reservoirs were formed on such a scale as
to justify the term "consecrated lakes," by which they are described in
the Singhalese annals.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 37; _Rajavali_, p. 237.]

Where the circumstances of the ground permitted, their formation was
effected by drawing an embankment across the embouchure of a valley so
as to arrest and retain the waters by which it was traversed, and so
vast were the dimensions of some of these gigantic tanks that many yet
in existence still cover an area of from fifteen to twenty miles in
circumference. The ruins of that at Kalaweva, to the north-west of
Dambool, show that its original circuit could not have been less than
forty miles, its retaining bund being upwards of twelve miles long. The
spill-water of stone, which remains to the present time, is "perhaps one
of the most stupendous monuments of misapplied human labour in the

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR, _Mahawanso_, p. 12. The tank of Kalaweva was
formed by Dhatu Sena, A.D. 459.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii. p. 257.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

The number of these stupendous works, which were formed by the early
sovereigns of Ceylon, almost exceeds credibility. Kings are named in the
native annals, each of whom made from fifteen to thirty[1], together
with canals and all the appurtenances for irrigation. Originally these
vast undertakings were completed "for the benefit of the country," and
"out of compassion for living creatures;"[2] but so early as the first
century of the Christian era, the custom became prevalent of forming
tanks with the pious intention of conferring the lands which they
enriched on the church. Wide districts, rendered fertile by the
interception of a river and the formation of suitable canals, were
appropriated to the maintenance of the local priesthood[3]; a tank and
the thousands of acres which it fertilised were sometimes assigned for
the perpetual repairs of a dagoba[4], and the revenues of whole villages
and their surrounding rice fields were devoted to the support of a
single wihara.[5]

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 41, 45, 54, 55; King Saidaitissa B.C.
137, made "eighteen lakes" (_Rajavali_, p. 233). King Wasabha, who
ascended the throne A.D. 62, "caused sixteen large lakes to be enclosed"
(_Rajaratnacari_, p. 57). Detu Tissa, A.D. 253, excavated six
(_Rajavali_, p. 237), and King Maha Sen, A.D. 275, seventeen
(_Mahawanso_, ch, xxxviii. p. 236).]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch, xxxvii. p. 242.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv. p. 210; xxxv. p. 221; xxxviii. p.
237, _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 57, 59, 64, 69, 74.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p. 215, 218, 223; ch. xxxvii. p.
234; _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 51. TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 21.]

[Footnote 5: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p. 218, 221; _Rajaratnacari_, ch.
ii. p. 51; _Rajaviai_, p. 241.]

So lavish were these endowments, that one king, who signalised his reign
by such extravagances as laying a carpet seven miles in length, "in
order that pilgrims might proceed with unsoiled feet all the way from
the Kadambo river (the Malwatté oya) to the mountain Chetiyo
(Mihintala)," awarded a priest who had presented him with a draught of
water during the construction of a wihara, "land within the
circumference of half a yoyana (eight miles) for the maintenance of the

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv, p. 3.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

It was in this manner that the beautiful tank at Mineri, one of the most
lovely of these artificial lakes, was enclosed by Maha Sen, A.D. 275;
and, together with the 80,000 amonams of ground which it waters, was
conferred on the Jeytawana Wihara which the king had just erected at

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 69.]

To identify the crown still more closely with the interests of
agriculture, some of the kings superintended public works for irrigating
the lands of the temples[1]; and one more enthusiastic than the rest
toiled in the rice fields to enhance the merit of conferring their
produce on the priesthood.[2]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 33.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv. The Buddhist kings of Burmah are
still accustomed to boast, almost in the terms of the _Mahawanso_, of
the distinction which they have earned, by the multitudes of tanks they
have constructed or restored. See YULE'S _Narrative of the Mission to
Ava in 1855_, p. 106.]

These broad possessions, the church, under all vicissitudes and
revolutions, has succeeded in retaining to the present day. Their
territories, it is true, have been diminished in extent by national
decay; the destruction of works for irrigation has converted into
wilderness and jungle plains once teeming with fertility; and the mild
policy of the British government, by abolishing _raja-kariya_[1], has
emancipated the peasantry, who are no longer the serfs either of the
temples or the chiefs. But in every district of the island the priests
are in the enjoyment of the most fertile lands, over which the crown
exercises no right of taxation; and such is the extent of their
possessions that, although their precise limits have not been
ascertained by the local government, they have been conjectured with
probability to be equal to one-third of the cultivated land of the

[Footnote 1: Compulsory labour.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

One peculiarity in the Buddhist ceremonial served at all times to give a
singular impulse to the progress of horticulture. Flowers and garlands
are introduced in its religious rites to the utmost excess. The
atmosphere of the wiharas and temples is rendered oppressive with the
perfume of champac and jessamine, and the shrine of the deity, the
pedestals of his image, and the steps leading to the temple are strewn
thickly with blossoms of the nagaha and the lotus. At an earlier period
the profusion in which these beautiful emblems were employed in sacred
decorations appears almost incredible; the _Mahawanso_ relates that the
Ruanwellé dagoba, which was 270 feet in height, was on one occasion
"festooned with garlands from pedestal to pinnacle till it resembled one
uniform bouquet;" and at another time, it and the lofty dagoba at
Mihintala were buried under heaps of jessamine from the ground to the
summit.[1] Fa Hian, in describing his visit to Anarajapoora in the
fourth century, dwells with admiration and wonder on the perfumes and
flowers lavished on their worship by the Singhalese[2]; and the native
historians constantly allude as familiar incidents to the profusion in
which they were employed on ordinary occasions, and to the formation by
successive kings of innumerable gardens for the floral requirements of
the temples. The capital was surrounded on all sides[3] by flower
gardens, and these were multiplied so extensively that, according to the
_Rajaratnacari_, one was to be found within a distance of four leagues
in any part of Ceylon.[4] Amongst the regulations of the temple built at
Dambedinia, in the thirteenth century, was "every day an offering of
100,000 flowers, and each day a different flower."[5]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv.; _Rajaratnacari_, p. 52, 53.]

[Footnote 2: FA HIAN. _Foè Kouè Ki_, ch. xxxviii. p. 335.]

[Footnote 3: _Rajavali_, p. 227; _Mahawanso_, ch. xi. p. 67.]

[Footnote 4: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 29, 49. Amongst the officers attached
to the great establishments of the priests in Mihintala, A.D. 246, there
are enumerated in an inscription engraven on a rock there, a secretary,
a treasurer, a physician, a surgeon, a painter, twelve cooks, twelve
thatchers, ten carpenters, six carters, and _two florists_.]

[Footnote 5: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 103. The same book states that another
king, in the fifteenth century, "offered no less than 6,480,320 sweet
smelling flowers" at the shrine of the Tooth.--_Ib._, p. 136.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

Another advantage conferred by Buddhism on the country was the planting
of fruit trees and esculent vegetables for the gratuitous use of
travellers in all the frequented parts of the island. The historical
evidences of this are singularly corroborative of the genuineness of the
Buddhist edicts engraved on various rocks and monuments in India, the
deciphering of which was the grand achievement of Prinsep and his
learned coadjutors. On the pillars of Delhi, Allahabad, and other
places, and on the rocks of Girnar and Dhauli, there exist a number of
Pali inscriptions purporting to be edicts of Asoca (the Dharmasoca of
the _Mahawanso_), King of Magadha, in the third century before the
Christian era, who, on his conversion to the religion of Buddha,
commissioned Mahindo, his son, to undertake its establishment in Ceylon.
In these edicts, which were promulgated in the vernacular dialect, the
king endeavoured to impress both upon his subjects and allies, as well
as those who, although aliens, were yet "united in the law" of Buddha,
the divine precepts of their great teacher; prominent amongst which are
the prohibition against taking animal life[1], and the injunction that,
"everywhere wholesome vegetables, roots, and fruit trees shall be
cultivated, and that on the roads wells shall be dug and trees planted
for the enjoyment of men and animals." In apparent conformity with these
edicts, one of the kings of Ceylon, Addagaimunu, A.D. 20, is stated in
the _Mahawanso_ to have "caused to be planted throughout the island
every description of fruit-bearing creepers, and interdicted the
destruction of animal life,"[2] and similar acts of pious benevolence,
performed by command of various other sovereigns, are adverted to on
numerous occasions.

[Footnote 1: It is curious that one of these edicts of Asoca, who was
contemporary with Devenipiatissa, is addressed to "all the conquered
territories of the raja, even unto the ends of the earth; as in Chola,
in Pida, in Keralaputra, _and in Tambapanni_ (or Ceylon)." This license
of speech, reminding one of the grandiloquent epistles "from the
Flaminian Gate," was no doubt assumed in virtue of the recent
establishment of Buddhism, or, as it is called in the _Mahawanso_ "the
religion of the Vanquisher," and Asoca, as its propagator, thus claims
to address the converts as his "subjects."]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p. 215. The king Upatissa, A.D. 368,
in the midst of a solemn ceremonial, "observing ants, and other insects
drowning in an inundation, halted, and having swept them towards the
with the feathers of a peacock's tail, and enabled them to save a
themselves, he continued the procession."--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii p.
249; _Rajaratnacari_, p. 49, 52; _Rajavali_, p. 228.]



[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

It has already been shown, that devotion and policy combined to
accelerate the progress of social improvement in Ceylon, and that before
the close of the third century of the Christian era, the island to the
north of the Kandyan mountains contained numerous cities and villages,
adorned with temples and dagobas, and seated in the midst of highly
cultivated fields. The face of the country exhibited broad expanses of
rice land, irrigated by artificial lakes, and canals of proportionate
magnitude, by which the waters from the rivers, which would otherwise
have flowed idly to the sea, were diverted inland in all directions to
fertilise the rice fields of the interior.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. xxxvii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

In the formation of these prodigious tanks, the labour chiefly employed
was that of the aboriginal inhabitants, the Yakkhos and Nagas, directed
by the science and skill of the conquerors. Their contributions of this
kind, though in the instance of the Buddhist converts they may have been
to some extent voluntary, were, in general, the result of compulsion.[1]
Like the Israelites under the Egyptians, the aborigines were compelled
to make bricks[2] for the stupendous dagobas erected by their
masters[3]; and eight hundred years after the subjugation of the island,
the _Rajavali_ describes vast reservoirs and appliances for irrigation,
as being constructed by the forced labour of the  Yakkhos[4] under the
superintendence of Brahman engineers.[5] This, to some extent, accounts
for the prodigious amount of labour bestowed on these structures; labour
which the whole revenue of the kingdom would not have sufficed to
purchase, had it not been otherwise procurable.

[Footnote 1: In some instances the soldiers of the king were employed in
forming works of irrigation.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid_., ch. xxvii.]

[Footnote 4: _Rajavali_, p. 237, 238. Exceptions to the extortion of
forced labour for public works took place under the more pious kings,
who made a merit of paying the workmen employed in the erection of
dagobas and other religious monuments.--_Mahawanso_, ch, xxxv.]

[Footnote 5: _Maharwanso_, ch. x.]

Under this system, the fate of the aborigines was that usually
consequent on the subjugation of an inferior race by one more highly
civilised. The process of their absorption into the dominant race was
slow, and for centuries they continued to exist distinct, as a
subjugated people. So firmly rooted amongst them was the worship both of
demons and serpents, that, notwithstanding the ascendency of Buddhism,
many centuries elapsed before it was ostensibly abandoned; from time to
time, "demon offerings" were made from the royal treasury[1]; and one of
the kings, in his enlarged liberality, ordered that for every ten
villages there should be maintained an astrologer and a "devil-dancer,"
in addition to the doctor and the priest.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. x.; TURNOUR'S _Epitome_. p. 23.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 27; _Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii.;
_Rajavali_, p. 241.]

Throughout the Singhalese chronicles, the notices of the aborigines are
but casual, and occasionally contemptuous. Sometimes they allude to
"slaves of the Yakkho tribe,"[1] and in recording the progress and
completion of the tanks and other stupendous works, the _Mahawanso_ and
the _Rajaratnacari_, in order to indicate the inferiority of the natives
to their masters, speak of their conjoint labours as that of "men and
snakes,"[2] and "men and demons."[3]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. x.]

[Footnote 2: Ibid., ch. xix, p. 115.]

[Footnote 3: The King Maha-Sen, anxious for the promotion of
agriculture, caused many tanks to be made "by men and
devils."--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii.; UPHAM'S _Transl.; Rajaratnacari_, p.
69; _Rajavali_, p. 237.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

Notwithstanding the degradation of the natives, it was indispensable to
"befriend the interests" of a race so numerous and so useful; hence,
they were frequently employed in the military expeditions of the Wijayan
sovereigns[1], and the earlier kings of that dynasty admitted the rank
of the Yakkho chiefs who shared in these enterprises. They assigned a
suburb of the capital for their residence[2], and on festive occasions
they were seated on thrones of equal eminence with that of the king.[3]
But every aspiration towards a recovery of their independence was
checked by a device less characteristic of ingenuity in the ascendant
race, than of simplicity combined with jealousy in the aborigines. The
feeling was encouraged and matured into a conviction which prevailed to
the latest period of the Singhalese sovereignty, that no individual of
pure Singhalese extraction could be elevated to the supreme power, since
no one could prostrate himself before one of his own nation.[4]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso,_ ch. x.]

[Footnote 2: _Ibid.,_ ch. x. p. 67.]

[Footnote 3: _Ibid.,_ p. 66.]

[Footnote 4: JOINVILLE'S _Asiat. Res,_ vol. vii. p. 422.]

For successive generations, however, the natives, although treated with
partial kindness, were regarded as a separate race. Even the children of
Wijayo, by his first wife Kuweni, united themselves with their maternal
connexions on the repudiation of their mother by the king, "and retained
the attributes of Yakkhos,"[1] and by that designation the natives
continued to be distinguished down to the reign of Dutugaimunu.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso,_ ch. vii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

In spite of every attempt at conciliation, the process of amalgamation
between the two races was reluctant and slow. The earliest Bengal
immigrants sought wives among the Tamils, on the opposite coast of
India[1]; and although their descendants intermarried with the natives,
the great mass of the population long held aloof from the invaders, and
occasionally vented their impatience in rebellion.[2] Hence the progress
of civilisation amongst them was but partial and slow, and in the
narratives of the early rulers of the island there is ample evidence
that the aborigines long retained their habits of shyness and timidity.

[Footnote 1: _Ibid.,_ p. 53.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch, lxxxv.]

Notwithstanding the frequent resort of every nation of antiquity to its
coasts, the accounts of the first voyagers are almost wholly confined to
descriptions of the loveliness of the country, the singular brilliancy
of its jewels, the richness of its pearls, the sagacity of its
elephants, and the delicacy and abundance of its spices; but the
information which they furnish regarding its inhabitants is so uniformly
meagre, as to attest the absence of intercourse; and the writers of all
nations, Romans, Greeks, Arabians, Chinese and Indians, concur in their
allusions to the unsocial and uncivilised customs of the islanders.[1]

[Footnote 1: See an account of these singular peculiarities, Vol. I. P.
IV. c. vii.]

As the Bengal adventurers advanced into the interior of the island, a
large section of the natives withdrew into the forests and hunting
grounds on the eastern and southern coasts.[1] There, subsisting by the
bow[2] and the chase, they adhered, with moody tenacity, to the rude
habits of their race; and in the Veddah of the present day, there is
still to be recognised a remnant of the untamed aborigines of Ceylon.[3]

[Footnote 1: _Hiouen Thsang,_ the Chinese geographer, who visited India
in the seventh century, says that at that time the Yakkhos had retired
to the south-east corner of Ceylon;--and here their descendants, the
Veddahs, are found at the present day,--_Voyages,_ &c., liv. iv. p.

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso,_ ch. xxiv. p. 145, xxxiii. p. 204.]

[Footnote 3: DE ALWIS, _Sidath Sangara,_ p. xvii. For an account of the
Veddahs and their present condition, see Vol. II. P. ix. ch. iii.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

Even those of the original race who slowly conformed to the religion and
habits of their masters, were never entirely emancipated from the
ascendency of their ancient superstitions. Traces of the worship of
snakes and demons are to the present hour clearly perceptible amongst
them; the Buddhists still resort to the incantations of the "devil
dancers" in case of danger and emergency[1]; a Singhalese, rather than
put a Cobra de Capello to death, encloses the reptile in a wicker cage,
and sets it adrift on the nearest stream; and in the island of
Nainativoe, to the south-west of Jaffa, there was till recently a little
temple, dedicated to the goddess Naga Tambiran, in which consecrated
serpents were tenderly reared by the Pandarams, and daily fed at the
expense of the worshippers.[2]

[Footnote 1: For an account of Demon worship as it still exists in
Ceylon, see Sir J. EMERSON TENNANT'S _History of Christianity in
Ceylon,_ ch. v. p. 236.]

[Footnote 2: CASIE CHITTY'S _Gazetteer, &c.,_ p. 169.]



[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

From the death of Dutugaimunu to the exhaustion of the superior dynasty
on the death of Malta-Sen, A.D. 301, there are few demonstrations of
pious munificence to signalise the policy of the intervening sovereigns.
The king whom, next to Devenipiatissa and Dutugaimunu, the Buddhist
historians rejoice to exalt as one of the champions of the faith, was
Walagam-bahu I.[1], whose reign, though marked by vicissitudes, was
productive of lasting benefit to the national faith. Walagam-bahu
ascended the throne B.C. 104., but was almost immediately forced to
abdicate by an incursion of the Malabars; who, concerting a simultaneous
landing at several parts of the island, combined their movements so
successfully that they seized on Anarajapoora, and drove the king into
concealment in the mountains near Adam's Peak; and whilst one portion of
the invaders returned laden with plunder to the Dekkan, their companions
remained behind and held undisputed possession of the northern parts of
Ceylon for nearly fifteen years.

[Footnote 1: Called in the _Mahawanso_, "Wata-gamini".]

[Sidenote: B.C. 104.]

In this and the frequent incursions which followed, the Malabar leaders
were attracted by the wealth of the country to the north of the
Mahawelli-ganga; the southern portion of the island being either too
wild and unproductive to present a temptation to conquest, or too steep
and inaccessible to afford facilities for invasion. Besides, the
highlanders who inhabit the lofty ranges that lie around Adam's Peak; (a
district known as Malaya, "the region of mountains and torrents,")[1]
then and at all times exhibited their superiority over the lowlanders in
vigour, courage, and endurance. Hence the petty kingdoms of Maya and
Rohuna afforded on every occasion a refuge to the royal family when
driven from the northern capital, and furnished a force to assist in
their return and restoration. Walagam-bahu, after many years'
concealment there, was at last enabled to resume the offensive, and
succeeded in driving out the infidels, and recovering possession of the
sacred city, an event which he commemorated in the usual manner by the
erection of dagobas, tanks, and wiharas.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii.]


[Sidenote: B.C. 89.]

But the achievement by which most of all he entitled himself to the
gratitude of the Singhalese annalists, was the reduction to writing of
the doctrines and discourses of Buddha, which had been orally delivered
by Mahindo, and previously preserved by tradition alone. These sacred
volumes, which may be termed the Buddhist Scriptures, contain the
Pittakataya, and its commentaries the Atthakatha, and were compiled by a
company of priests in a cave to the north of Matelle, known as the
Aloo-wihara.[1] This, and other caverns in which the king had sought
concealment during his adversity, he caused to be converted into rock
temples after his restoration to power. Amongst the rest, Dambool, which
is the most remarkable of the cave temples of Ceylon from its vastness,
its elaborate ornaments, and the romantic beauty of its situation and
the scenery surrounding it.

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, ch. i. p. 43. Abouzeyd states that at that
time public writers were employed in recording the traditions of the
island: "Le Royaume de Serendyb a une loi et des docteurs qui
s'assemblent de temps en temps comme se réunissent chez nous les
personnes qui recreillent les traditions du prophète, et les Indiens se
rendent auprès des docteurs, et écrivent sous leurs dictée, la vie de
leurs prophètes et les préceptes de leur loi."--REINAUD, _Relation,
&c.,_ tom. i. p. 127.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 62.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 50.]

The history of the Buddhist religion in Ceylon is not, however, a tale
of uniform prosperity. The first of its domestic enemies was Naga, the
grandson of the pious Walagam-bahu, whom the native, historians
stigmatise by the prefix of "chora" or the "marauder." His story is thus
briefly but emphatically told in the _Mahawanso_: "During the reign of
his father Mahachula, Chora Naga wandered through the island leading the
life of a robber; returning on the demise of the king he assumed the
monarchy; and in the places which had denied him an asylum during his
marauding career, he impiously destroyed the wiharas.[1] After a reign
of twelve years he was poisoned by his queen Anula, and regenerated in
the Lokantariko hell."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiii.; _Rajarali_, p. 224; TURNOUR'S
_Epitome_, p. 19; _Rajaratnacari_, ch. i. p. 43, 44.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiv. p. 209.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 47.]

[Sidenote: B.C. 41.]

His son, King Kuda Tissa, was also poisoned by his mother, in order to
clear her own way to the throne. The Singhalese annals thus exhibit the
unusual incident of a queen enrolled amongst the monarchs of the _great
dynasty_--a precedent which was followed in after times; Queen Siwalli
having reigned in the succeeding century, A.D. 37, Queen Lila-wati, in
A.D. 1197, and Queen Kalyana-wati in A.D. 1202. From the excessive
vileness of her character, the first of these Singhalese women who
attained to the honours of sovereignty is denounced in the _Mahawanso_
as "the infamous Anula." In the enormity of her crimes and debauchery
she was the Messalina of Ceylon;--she raised to the throne a porter of
the palace with whom she cohabited, descending herself to the
subordinate rank of Queen Consort, and poisoned him to promote a
carpenter in his stead. A carrier of firewood, a Brahman, and numerous
other paramours followed in rapid succession, and shared a similar fate,
till the kingdom was at last relieved from the opprobrium by a son of
Prince Tissa, who put the murderess to death, and restored the royal
line in his own person. His successors for more than two centuries were
a race of pious _fainéants_, undistinguished by any qualities, and
remembered only by their fanatical subserviency to the priesthood.

[Sidenote: A.D. 209.]

Buddhism, relieved from the fury of impiety, was next imperilled by the
danger of schism. Even before the funeral obsequies of Buddha, schism
had displayed itself in Maghadha, and two centuries had not elapsed from
his death till it had manifested itself on no less than seventeen
occasions, and in each instance it was with difficulty checked by
councils in which the priesthood settled the faith in relation to the
points which gave rise to dispute; but not before the actual occurrence
of secessions from the orthodox church.[1] The earliest differences were
on questions of discipline amongst the colleges and fraternities at
Anarajapoora; but in the reign of Wairatissa, A.D. 209, a formidable
controversy arose, impugning the doctrines of Buddhism, and threatening
for a time to rend in sunder the sacred unity of the church.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. v. p. 21.]

[Footnote 2: Ibid., ch. xxxiii.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 209.]

Buddhism, although, tolerant of heresy, has ever been vehement in its
persecution of schism. Boldly confident in its own superiority, it bears
without impatience the glaring errors of open antagonists, and seems to
exult in the contiguity of competing systems as if deriving strength by
comparison. In this respect it exhibits a similarity to the religion of
Brahma, which regards with composure shades of doctrinal difference, and
only rises into jealous energy in support of the distinctions of caste,
an infringement of which might endanger the supremacy of the
priesthood.[1] To the assaults of open opponents the Buddhist displays
the calmest indifference, convinced that in its undiminished strength,
his faith is firm and inexpugnable; his vigilance is only excited by the
alarm of internal dissent, and all his passions are aroused to stifle
the symptoms of schism.[2]

[Footnote 1: Hence the indomitable hatred with which the Brahmans
pursued the disciples of Buddhism from the fourth century before Christ
to its final expulsion from Hindustan. "Abundant proofs," says Turnour,
"may be adduced to show the fanatical ferocity with which these two
great sects persecuted each other; and which, subsided into passive
hatred and contempt, only when the parties were no longer placed in the
position of actual collision."--Introd. _Mahawanso_, p. xxii.]

[Footnote 2: In its earliest form Buddhism was equally averse to
persecution, and the _Mahawanso_ extols the liberality of Asoca in
giving alms indiscriminately to the members of all religions
_(Mahawanso_, ch. v. p. 23). A sect which is addicted to persecution is
not likely to speak approvingly of toleration, but the _Mahawanso_
records with evident satisfaction the courtesy paid to the sacred things
of Buddhism by the believers in other doctrines; thus the Nagas did
homage to the relics of Buddha and mourned their removal from Mount Meru
(_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxi. p. 189); the Yakkhos assisted at the building of
dagobas to enshrine them, and the Brahmans were the first to respect the
Bo-tree on its arrival in Ceylon (_Ib._ ch. xix. p. 119). COSMAS
INDICOPLEUSTES, whose informant, Sopater, visited Ceylon in the sixth
century, records that there was then the most extended toleration, and
that even the Nestorian Christians had perfect freedom and protection
for their worship.

Among the Buddhists of Burmah, however, "although they are tolerant of
the practice of other religions by those who profess them, secession
from the national faith, is rigidly prohibited, and a convert to any
other form of faith incurs the penalty of death."--Professor WILSON,
_Journ. Roy. Asiat. Soc._ vol. xvi. p. 261.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 209.]

This characteristic of the "religion of the Vanquisher" is in strict
conformity, not alone with the spirit of his doctrine, but also with the
letter of the law laid down for the guidance of his disciples. Two of
the singular rock-inscriptions of India deciphered by Prinsep, inculcate
the duty of leaving the profession of different faiths unmolested; on
the ground, that "all aim at moral restraint and purity of life,
although all cannot be equally successful in attaining to it." The
sentiments embodied in one of the edicts[1] of King Asoca are very
striking: "A man must honour his own faith, without blaming that of his
neighbour, and thus will but little that is wrong occur. There are even
circumstances under which the faith of others should be honoured, and in
acting thus a man increases his own faith and weakens that of others. He
who acts differently, diminishes his own faith and injures that of
another. Whoever he may be who honours his own faith and blames that of
others out of devotion to his own, and says, 'let us make our faith
conspicuous,' that man merely injures the faith he holds. Concord alone
is to be desired."

[Footnote 1: The twelfth tablet, which, as translated by BURNOUF and
Professor WILSON, will be found in Mrs. SPEIR'S _Life in Ancient India_,
book ii. ch. iv. p. 239.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 209.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 248.]

The obligation, to maintain the religion of Buddha was as binding as the
command to abstain from assailing that of its rivals, and hence the
kings who had treated the snake-worshippers with kindness, who had made
a state provision for maintaining "offerings to demons," and built
dwellings at the capital to accommodate the "ministers of foreign
religions," rose in fierce indignation against the preaching of a firm
believer in Buddha, who ventured to put an independent interpretation on
points of faith. They burned the books of the Wytulians, as the new sect
were called, and frustrated their irreligious attempt.[1] The first
effort at repression was ineffectual. It was made by the King
Wairatissa, A.D. 209; but within forty years the schismatic tendency
returned, the persecution was renewed, and the apostate priests, after
being branded on the back were ignominiously transported to the opposite
coast of India.[2]

[Footnote 1: The _Mahawanso_ throws no light on the nature of the
Wytulian (or Wettulyan) heresy (ch. xxvii. p. 227), but the
_Rajaratnacari_ insinuates that Wytulia was a Brahman who had "subverted
by craft and intrigue the religion of Buddha" (ch. ii, p. 61). As it is
stated in a further passage that the priests who were implicated were
stripped of their habits, it is evident that the innovation had been
introduced under the garb of Buddha.--_Rajaratnacari_, ch. ii. p. 65.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 25, _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvi. p. 232.
As the _Mahawanso_ intimates in another passage that amongst the priests
who were banished to the opposite coast of India, there was one
Sangha-mitta, "who was profoundly versed in the rites of the demon faith
('bhuta')," it is probable that out of the Wytulian heresy grew the
system which prevails to the present day, by which the heterodox
_dewales_ and halls for devil dances are built in close contiguity to
the temples and wiharas of the orthodox Buddhists, and the barbarous
rites of demon worship are incorporated with the abstractions of the
national religion. On the restoration of Maha-Sen to the true faith, the
_Mahawanso_ represents him as destroying the _dewales_ at Anarajapoora
in order to replace them with wiharas (_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii. p. 237).
An account of the mingling of Brahmanical with Buddhist worship, as it
exists at the present day, will be found in HARDY'S _Oriental
Monachism_, ch. xix. Professor H.H. WILSON, in his _Historical Sketch of
the Kingdom of Pandya_, alludes to a heresy, which, anterior to the
sixth century, disturbed the _sangattar_ or college of Madura; the
leading feature of which was the admixture of Buddhist doctrines with
the rite of the Brahmans, and "this heresy," he says, "some traditions
assert was introduced from Ceylon."--_Asiat. Journ._ vol. iii. p. 218.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 275.]

The new sect had, however, established an interest in high places; and
Sangha-mitta, one of the exiled priests, returning from banishment on
the death of the king, so ingratiated himself with his successor, that
he was entrusted with the education of the king's sons. One of the
latter, Maha-Sen, succeeded to the throne, A.D. 275, and, openly
professing his adoption of the Wytulian tenets, dispossessed the popular
priesthood, and overthrew the Brazen Palace. With the materials of the
great wihara, he constructed at the sacred Bo-tree a building as a
receptacle for relics, and a temple in which the statue of Buddha was to
be worshipped according to the rites of the reformed religion.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii. p. 235.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 275.]

So bold an innovation roused the passions of the nation; the people
prepared for revolt, and a conflict was imminent, when the schismatic
Sangha-mitta was suddenly assassinated, and the king, convinced of his
errors, addressed himself with energy to restore the buildings he had
destroyed, and to redress the mischiefs chiefs caused by his apostacy.
He demolished the dewales of the Hindus, in order to use their sites for
Buddhist wiharas; he erected nunneries, constructed the Jaytawanarama (a
dagoba at Anarajapoora), formed the great tank of Mineri by drawing a
dam across the Kara-ganga and that of Kandelay or Dantalawa, and
consecrated the 20,000 fields which it irrigated to the Dennanaka
Wihare.[1] "He repaired numerous dilapidated temples throughout the
island, made offerings of a thousand robes to a thousand priests, formed
sixteen tanks to extend cultivation--there is no defining the extent of
his charity"--and having performed during his existence acts both of
piety and impity, the _Mahawanso_ cautiously adds, "his destiny after
death was according to his merits."[2]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR's _Epitome_, p. 25.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxiii. p. 238.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 302.]

With King Maha-Sen end the glories of the "superior dynasty" of Ceylon.
The "sovereigns of the _Suluwanse_, who followed," says the _Rajavali_,
"were no longer of the unmixed blood, but the offspring of parents, only
one of whom was descended from the sun, and the other from the bringer
of the Bo-tree or the sacred tooth; on that account, because the God
Sakkraia had ceased to watch over Ceylon, because piety had disappeared,
and the city of Anarajapoora was in ruins, and because the fertility of
the land was diminished, the kings who succeeded Maha-Sen were no longer
reverenced as of old."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, p. 289.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 302.]

The prosperity of Ceylon, though it may not have attained its acme, was
sound and auspicious in the beginning of the fourth century, when the
solar line became extinct. Pihiti, the northern portion of the island,
was that which most engaged the solicitude of the crown, from its
containing the ancient capital, whence it obtained its designation of
the Raja-ratta or country of the kings. Here the labour bestowed on
irrigation had made the food of the population abundant, and the sums
expended on the adornment of the city, the multitude of its sacred
structures, the splendour of its buildings, and the beauty of its lakes
and gardens, rendered it no inappropriate representative of the wealth
and fertility of the kingdom.

Anarajapoora had from time immemorial been a venerated locality in the
eyes of the Buddhists; it had been honoured by the visit of Buddha in
person, and it was already a place of importance when Wijayo effected
his landing in the fifth century before the Christian era. It became the
capital a century after, and the King Pandukabhaya, who formed the
ornamental lake which adjoined it, and planted gardens and parks for
public festivities, built gates and four suburbs to the city; set apart
ground for a public cemetery, and erected a gilded hall of audience, and
a palace for his own residence.

The _Mahawanso_ describes with particularity the offices of the
Naggaraguttiko, who was the chief of the city guard, and the
organisation of the low caste Chandalas, who were entrusted with the
cleansing of the capital and the removal of the dead for interment. For
these and for the royal huntsmen villages were constructed in the
environs, mingled with which were dwellings for the subjugated native
tribes, and temples for the worship of foreign devotees.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. x. p. 66.]

Seventy years later, when Mahindo arrived in Ceylon, the details of his
reception disclose the increased magnificence of the capital, the
richness of the royal parks, and the extent of the state establishments;
and describe the chariots in which the king drove to Mihintala to
welcome his exalted guest.[1]

[Footnote 1: Ibid., ch. xiv., xv., xx.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 302.]

Yet these were but preliminary to the grander constructions which gave
the city its lasting renown; stupendous dagobas raised by successive
monarchs, each eager to surpass the conceptions of his predecessors;
temples in which were deposited statues of gold adorned with gems and
native pearls; the decorated terraces of the Bo-tree, and the Brazen
Palace, with its thousand chambers and its richly embellished halls. The
city was enclosed by a rampart upwards of twenty feet in height[1],
which was afterwards replaced by a wall[2]; and, so late as the fourth
century, the Chinese traveller Fa Hian describes the condition of the
place in terms which fully corroborate the accounts of the _Mahawanso_.
It was crowded, he says, with nobles, magistrates, and foreign
merchants; the houses were handsome, and the public buildings richly
adorned. The streets and highways were broad and level, and halls for
preaching and reading _bana_ were erected in all the thoroughfares. He
was assured that the island contained not less than from fifty to sixty
thousand ecclesiastics, who all ate in common; and of whom from five to
six thousand were supported by the bounty of the king.

[Footnote 1: By WASABHA, A.D. 66. _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p. 222.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR, in his _Epitome of the History of Ceylon_, says
that Anarajapoora was enclosed by a rampart seven cubits high, B.C. 41,
and that A.D. 66 King Wasabha built a wall round the city sixteen gows
in circumference. As he estimates the gow at four English miles, this
would give an area equal to about 300 square miles. A space so
prodigious for the capital seems to be disproportionate to the extent of
the kingdom, and far too extended for the wants of the population.
TURNOUR does not furnish the authority on which he gives the dimensions,
nor have I been able to discover it in the _Rajavali_ nor in the
_Rajaratnacari_. The _Mahawanso_ alludes to the fact of Anarajapoora
having been fortified by Wasabha, but, instead of a wall, the work which
it describes this king to have undertaken, was the raising of the height
of the rampart from seven cubits to eighteen (_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxv. p.
222). Major Forbes, in his account of the ruins of the ancient city,
repeats the story of their former extent, in which he no doubt
considered that the high authority of Turnour in matters of antiquity
was sustained by a statement made by Lieutenant Skinner, who had
surveyed the ruins in 1822, to the effect that he had discovered near
Alia-parte the remains of masonry, which he concluded to be a portion of
the ancient city wall running north and south and forming the west face;
and, as Alia-parte is seven miles from Anarajapoora, he regarded this
discovery as confirming the account given of its original dimensions.
Lieutenant, now Major, Skinner has recently informed me that, on mature
reflection, he has reason to fear that his first inference was
precipitate. In a letter of the 8th of May, 1856, he says:--"It was in
1833 I first visited Anarajapoora, when I made my survey of its ruins.
The supposed foundation of the western face of the city wall was pointed
out near the village of Alia-parte by the people, and I hastily adopted
it. I had not at the time leisure to follow up this search and determine
how far it extended, but from subsequent visits to the place I have been
led to doubt the accuracy of this tradition, though on most other points
I found the natives tolerably accurate in their knowledge of the history
of the ancient capital. I have since sought for traces of the other
faces of the supposed wall, at the distances from the centre of the city
at which it was said to have existed, but without success." The ruins
which Major Skinner saw at Alia-parte are most probably those of one of
the numerous forts which the Singhalese kings erected at a much later
period, to keep the Malabars in check.]

The sacred tooth of Buddha was publicly exposed on sacred days in the
capital with gorgeous ceremonies, which he recounts, and thence carried
in procession to "the mountains without fear;" the road to which was
perfumed and decked with flowers for the occasion; and the festival was
concluded by a dramatic representation of events in the life of Buddha,
illustrated by scenery and costumes, with figures of elephants and
stags, so delicately coloured as to be undistinguishable from nature.[1]

[Footnote 1: FA HIAN, _Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_, ch. xxxviii. p. 334, &c.]



[Sidenote: A.D. 302.]

The story of the kings of Ceylon of the _Sulu-wanse_ or "lower line," is
but a narrative of the decline of the power and prosperity which had
been matured under the Bengal conquerors and of the rise of the Malabar
marauders, whose ceaseless forays and incursions eventually reduced
authority to feebleness and the island to desolation. The vapid
biography of the royal imbeciles who filled the throne from the third to
the thirteenth century scarcely embodies an incident of sufficient
interest to diversify the monotonous repetition of temples founded and
dagobas repaired, of tanks constructed and priests endowed with lands
reclaimed and fertilised by the "forced labour" of the subjugated races.
Civil dissensions, religious schisms, royal intrigues and assassinations
contributed equally with foreign invasions to diminish the influence of
the monarchy and exhaust the strength of the kingdom.

Of sixty-two sovereigns who reigned from the death of Maha-Sen, A.D.
301, to the accession of Prakrama Bahu, A.D. 1153, nine met a violent
death at the hands of their relatives or subjects, two ended their days
in exile, one was slain by the Malabars, and four committed suicide. Of
the lives of the larger number the Buddhist historians fail to furnish
any important incidents; they relate merely the merit which each
acquired by his liberality to the national religion or the more
substantial benefits conferred on the people by the formation of lakes
for irrigation.

[Sidenote: A.D. 330.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 339.]

Unembarrassed by any questions of external policy or foreign
expeditions, and limited to a narrow range of internal administration, a
few of the early kings addressed themselves to intellectual pursuits.
One immortalised himself in the estimation of the devout by his skill in
painting and sculpture, and in carving in ivory, arts which he displayed
by modelling statues of Buddha, and which he employed himself in
teaching to his subjects.[1] Another was equally renowned as a medical
author and a practitioner of surgery[2], and a third was so passionately
attached to poetry that in despair for the death of Kalidas[3], he flung
himself into the flames of the poet's funeral pile.

[Footnote 1: Detoo Tissa, A.D. 330, _Mahawanso_, xxxvii. p. 242.]

[Footnote 2: Budha Daasa, A.D. 339. _Mahawanso_, xxxvii, p. 243. His
work on medicine, entitled _Sara-sangraha_ or _Sarat-tha-Sambo_, is
still extant, and native practitioners profess to consult it.--TURNOUR'S
_Epitome_, p. 27.]

[Footnote 3: Not KALIDAS, the author of _Sacontala_, to whom Sir W.
Jones awards the title of "The Shakspeare of the East," but PANDITA
KALIDAS, a Singhalese poet, none of whose verses have been preserved.
His royal patron was Kumara Das, king of Ceylon, A.D. 513. For an
account of Kalidas, see DE ALWIS'S _Sidath Sangara_, p. cliv.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 400.]

With the exception of the embassy sent from Ceylon to Rome in the reign
of the Emperor Claudius[1], the earliest diplomatic intercourse with
foreigners of which a record exists, occurred in the fourth or fifth
centuries, when the Singhalese appear to have sent ambassadors to the
Emperor Julian[2], and for the first time to have established a friendly
connection with China. It is strange, considering the religious
sympathies which united the two people, that the native chronicles make
no mention of the latter negotiations or their results, so that we learn
of them only through Chinese historians. The _Encyclopoedia_ of
MA-TOUAN-LIN, written at the close of the thirteenth century[3], records
that Ceylon first entered into political relations with China in the
fourth century.[4] It was about the year 400 A.D., says the author, "in
the reign of the Emperor Nyan-ti, that ambassadors arrived from Ceylon
bearing a statue of Fo in jade-stone four feet two inches high, painted
in five colours, and of such singular beauty that one would have almost
doubted its being a work of human ingenuity. It was placed in the
Buddhist temple at Kien-Kang (Nankin)." In the year 428 A.D., the King
of Ceylon (Maha Nama) sent envoys to offer tribute, and this homage was
repeated between that period and A.D. 529, by three other Singhalese
kings, whose names it is difficult to identify with their Chinese
designations of Kia-oe, Kia-lo, and the Ho-li-ye.

[Footnote 1: PLINY, lib. vi. c. 24.]

[Footnote 2: AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS, lib. XX. c. 7.]

[Footnote 3: KLAPROTH doubts, "si la science de l'Europe a produit
jusqu'à présent un ouvrage de ce genre aussi bien exécuté et capable de
soutenir la comparaison avec cette encyclopédie chinoise."--_Journ.
Asiat._ tom. xxi. p. 3. See also _Asiatic Journal_, London, 1832, xxxv.
p. 110. It has been often reprinted in 100 large volumes. M. STANISLAS
JULIEN says that in another Chinese work, _Pien-i-tien_, or _The History
of Foreign Nations_, there is a compilation including every passage in
which Chinese authors have written of Ceylon, which occupies about forty
pages 4to. _Ib_. tom. xxix. p. 39. A number of these authorities will be
found extracted in the chapter in which I have described the intercourse
between China and Ceylon, Vol. I. P. v. ch. iii.]

[Footnote 4: Between the years 317 and 420 A.D.--_Journ. Asiat._ tom.
xxviii. p. 401.]

In A.D. 670, another ambassador arrived from Ceylon, and A.D. 742,
Chi-lo-mi-kia sent presents to the Emperor of China consisting of pearls
(_perles de feu_), golden flowers, precious stones, ivory, and pieces of
fine cotton cloth. At a later period mutual intercourse became frequent
between the two countries, and some of the Chinese travellers who
resorted to Ceylon have left valuable records as to the state of the

[Sidenote: A.D. 413.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 432.]

It was during the reign of Maha Nama, about the year 413 A.D., that
Ceylon was visited by Fa Hian, and the statements of the _Mahawanso_ are
curiously corroborated by the observations recorded by this Chinese
traveller. He describes accurately the geniality of the climate, whose
uniform temperature rendered the seasons undistinguishable. Winter and
summer, he says, are alike unknown, but perpetual verdure realises the
idea of a perennial spring, and periods for seed time and harvest are
regulated by the taste of the husbandman. This statement has reference
to the multitude of tanks which rendered agriculture independent of the
periodical rains.

[Sidenote: A.D. 459.]

Fa Hian speaks of the lofty monuments which were the memorials of
Buddha, and of the gems and gold which adorned his statues at
Anarajapoora. Amongst the most surprising of these was a figure in what
he calls "blue jasper," inlaid with jewels and other precious materials,
and holding in one hand a pearl of inestimable value.[1] He describes
the Bo-tree in terms which might almost be applied to its actual
condition at the present day, and he states that they had recently
erected a building to contain "the tooth of Buddha," which was exhibited
to the pious in the middle of the third moon with processions and
ceremonies which he minutely details.[2] All this corresponds closely
with the narrative of the _Mahawanso_. The sacred tooth of Buddha,
called at that time _Dáthá dhátu_, and now the _Dalada_, had been
brought to Ceylon a short time before Fa Hian's arrival in the reign of
Kisti-Sri-Megha-warna, A.D. 311, in charge of a princess of Kalinga, who
concealed it in the folds of her hair. And the _Mahawanso_ with equal
precision describes the procession as conducted by the king and by the
assembled priests, in which the tooth was borne along the streets of
Anarajapoora amidst the veneration of the multitude.[3]

[Footnote 1: It was whilst looking at this statue that FA HIAN
encountered an incident which he has related with touching
simplicity:--"Depuis que FA HIAN avait quitté la _terre de Han_,
plusieurs années s'étaient écoulées; les gens avec lesquels il avait des
rapports étaient tous des hommes de contrées étrangères. Les montagnes,
les rivières, les herbes, les arbres, tout ce qui avait frappé ses yeux
était nouveau pour lui. De plus, ceux qui avaient fait route avec lui,
s'en étaient séparés, les uns s'étant arrêtés, et les autres étant
morts. En réfléchissant au passé, son coeur était toujours rempli de
pensées et de tristesse. Tout à coup, à cóté de cette figure de jaspe,
il vit un marchand qui faisait hommage à la statue d'un éventail de
taffetas blanc du pays de _Tsin_. Sans qu'en s'en aperçût cela lui causa
une émotion telle que ses larmes coulèrent et remplirent ses yeux." (FA
HIAN, _Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_, ch. xxxviii. p. 333.) "Tsin" means the
province of Chensi, which was the birthplace of Fa Hian.]

[Footnote 2: FA HIAN, _Fo[)e] Kou[)e] Ki_, ch. xxxviii. p. 334-5.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii. p. 241, 249. After the funeral
rites of Gotama Buddha had been performed at Kusinara, B.C. 543, his
"left canine tooth" was carried to Dantapura, the capital of Kalinga,
where it was preserved for 800 years. The King of Calinga, in the reign
of Maha-Sen, being on the point of engaging in a doubtful conflict,
directed, in the event of defeat, that the sacred relic should be
conveyed to Ceylon, whither it was accordingly taken as described.
(_Rajavali_, p. 240.) Between A.D. 1303 and 1315 the tooth was carried
back to Southern India by the leader of an army, who invaded Ceylon and
sacked _Yapahoo_, which was then the capital. The succeeding monarch,
Prakrama III., went in person to Madura to negotiate its surrender, and
brought it back to Pollanarrua. Its subsequent adventures and its final
destruction by the Portuguese, as recorded by DE COUTO and others, will
be found in a subsequent passage, see Vol. II. P. VII. ch. v. The
Singhalese maintain that the Dalada, still treasured in its strong tower
at Kandy, is the genuine relic, which was preserved from the Portuguese
spoilers by secreting it at Delgamoa in Saffragam.

TURNOUR'S _Account of the Tooth Relic of Ceylon; Journal of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal_, 1837, vol. vi. p. 2, p. 856.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 459.]

One of the most striking events in this period of Singhalese history was
the murder of the king, Dhatu Sena, A.D. 459, by his son, who seized the
throne under the title of Kasyapa I. The story of this outrage, which is
highly illustrative of the superstition and cruelty of the age, is told
with much feeling in the _Mahawanso_; the author of which, Mahanamo, was
the uncle of the outraged king, Dhatu Sena was a descendant of the royal
line, whose family were living in retirement during the usurpation of
the Malabars, A.D. 434 to 459. As a youth he had embraced the
priesthood, and his future eminence was foretold by an omen. "On a
certain day, when chaunting at the foot of a tree, when a shower of rain
fell, a cobra de capello encircled him with its folds and covered his
book with its hood."[1] He was educated by his uncle, Mahanamo, and in
process of time, surrounding himself with adherents, he successfully
attacked the Malabars, defeated two of their chiefs in succession, put
three others to death, recovered the native sovereignty of Ceylon, "and
the religion which had been set aside by the foreigners, he restored to
its former ascendancy." He recalled the fugitive inhabitants to
Anarajapoora; degraded the nobles who had intermarried with the
Malabars, and vigorously addressed himself to repair the sacred edifices
and to restore fertility to the lands which had been neglected during
their hostile occupation by the strangers. He applied the jewels from
his head-dress to replace the gems of which the statue of Buddha had
been despoiled. The curled hair of the divine teacher was represented by
sapphires, and the lock on his forehead by threads of gold.

[Footnote 1: This is a frequent traditionary episode in connection with
the heroes of Hindu history.--_Asiat. Researches_, vol. xv. p. 275.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 459.]

The family of the king consisted of two sons and a daughter, the latter
married to his nephew, who "caused her to be flogged on the thighs with
a whip although she had committed no offence;" on which the king, in his
indignation, ordered the mother of her husband to be burned. His nephew
and eldest son now conspired to dethrone him, and having made him a
prisoner, the latter "raised the chatta" (the white parasol emblematic
of royalty), and seized on the supreme power. Pressed by his son to
discover the depository of his treasures, the captive king entreated to
be taken to Kalawapi, under the pretence of pointing out the place of
their concealment, but in reality with a determination to prepare for
death, after having seen his early friend Mahanamo, and bathed in the
great tank which he himself had formerly constructed. The usurper
complied, and assigned for the journey a "carriage with broken wheels,"
the charioteer of which shared his store of "parched rice" with the
fallen king. "Thus worldly prosperity," says Mahanamo, who lived to
write the sad story of the interview, "is like the glimmering of
lightning, and what reflecting man would devote himself to its pursuit!"
The Raja approached his friend and, "from the manner these two persons
discoursed, side by side, mutually quenching the fire of their
afflictions, they appeared as if endowed with royal prosperity. Having
allowed him to eat, the thero (Mahanamo) in various ways administered
consolation and abstracted his mind from all desire to prolong his
existence." The king then bathed in the tank; and pointing to his friend
and to it, "these," he exclaimed to the messengers, "are all the
treasures I possess."

[Sidenote: A.D. 477.]

He was conducted back to the capital; and Kasyapa, suspecting that the
king was concealing his riches for his second son, Mogallana, gave the
order for his execution. Arrayed in royal insignia, he repaired to the
prison of the raja, and continued to walk to and fro in his presence:
till the king, perceiving his intention to wound his feelings, said
mildly, "Lord of statesmen, I bear the same affection towards you as to
Mogallana." The usurper smiled and shook his head; then stripping the
king naked and casting him into chains, he built up a wall, embedding
him in it with his face towards the east, and enclosed it with clay:
"thus the monarch Dhatu-Sena, who was murdered by his son, united
himself with Sakko the ruler of Devos."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii. To this hideous incident Mahanamo
adds the following curious moral: "This Raja Dhatu Sena, at the time he
was improving the Kalawapi tank, observed a certain priest absorbed in
meditation, and not being able to rouse him from abstraction, had him
buried under the embankment by heaping earth over him. His own living
entombment _was the retribution_ manifested in this life for that
impious act."]

[Sidenote: A.D. 477.]

The parricide next directed his groom and his cook to assassinate his
brother, who, however, escaped to the coast of India.[1] Failing in the
attempt, he repaired to Sihagiri, a place difficult of access to men,
and having cleared it on all sides, he surrounded it with a rampart. He
built three habitations, accessible only by flights of steps, and
ornamented with figures of lions (siho), whence the fortress takes its
name, _Siha-giri_, "the Lion Rock." Hither he carried the treasures of
his father, and here he built a palace, "equal in beauty to the
celestial mansion." He erected temples to Buddha, and monasteries for
his priests, but conscious of the enormity of his crimes, these
endowments were conferred in the names of his minister and his children.
Failing to "derive merit" from such acts, stung with remorse, and
anxious to test public feeling, he enlarged his deeds of charity; he
formed gardens at the capital, and planted groves of mangoes throughout
the island. Desirous to enrich a wihara at Anarajapoora, he proposed to
endow it with a village, but "the ministers of religion, regardful of
the reproaches of the world, declined accepting gifts at the hands of a
parricide. Kasyapa, bent on befriending them, dedicated the village to
Buddha, after which they consented, _on the ground that it was then the
property of the divine teacher_." Impelled, says the _Mahawanso_, by the
irrepressible dread of a future existence, he strictly performed his
"aposaka"[2] vows, practised the virtue of non-procrastination, acquired
the "dathanga,"[3] and caused books to be written, and image and
alms-edifices to be formed.

[Footnote 1: I am indebted to the family of the late Mr. Turnour for
access to a manuscript translation of a further portion of the
_Mahawanso_, from which this continuation of the narrative is

[Footnote 2: A lay devotee who takes on himself the obligation of
asceticism without putting on the yellow robe.]

[Footnote 3: The dathanga or "teles-dathanga" are the thirteen
ordinances by which the cleaving to existence is destroyed, involving
piety, abstinence, and self-mortification.--HARDY'S _Eastern Monachism_,
ch. ii. p. 9.]


[Sidenote: A.D. 495.]

Meanwhile, after an interval of eighteen years, Mogallana, having in his
exile collected a sufficient force, returned from India to avenge the
murder of his father; and the brothers encountered each other in a
decisive engagement at Ambatthakolo in the Seven Corles. Kasyapa,
perceiving a swamp in his front, turned the elephant which he rode into
a side path to avoid it; on which his army in alarm raised the shout
that "their liege lord was flying," and in the confusion which followed,
Mogallana, having struck off the head of his brother, returned the krese
to its scabbard, and led his followers to take possession of the
capital; where he avenged the death of his father, by the execution of
the minister who had consented to it. He established a marine force to
guard the island against the descents of the Malabars, and "having
purified both the orthodox dharma[1], and the religion of the
vanquisher, he died, after reigning eighteen years, signalised by acts
of piety."[2] This story as related by its eye-witness, Mahanamo, forms
one of the most characteristic, as well as the best authenticated
episodes of contemporary history presented by the annals of Ceylon.

[Footnote 1: The doctrines of Buddha.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxix. Manuscript translation by TURNOUR.
TURNOUR, in his _Epitome_, says Kasyapa "committed suicide on the field
of battle," but this does not appear from the narrative of the

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

Such was the feebleness of the royal house, that of the eight kings who
succeeded Mogallana between A.D. 515 and A.D. 586, two died by suicide,
three by murder, and one from grief occasioned by the treason of his
son. The anarchy consequent upon such disorganisation stimulated the
rapacity of the Malabars; and the chronicles of the following centuries
are filled with the accounts of their descents on the island and the
misery inflicted by their excesses.



[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

It has been already explained that the invaders who engaged in forays
into Ceylon, though known by the general epithet of Malabars (or as they
are designated in Pali, _damilos_, "Tamils"), were also natives of
places in India remote from that now known as Malabar. They were, in
reality, the inhabitants of one of the earliest states organised in
Southern India, the kingdom of Pandya[1], whose sovereigns, from their
intelligence, and their encouragement of native literature, have been
appropriately styled "the Ptolemies of India." Their dominions, which
covered the extremity of the peninsula, comprehended the greater portion
of the Coromandel coast, extending to Canara on the western coast, and
southwards to the sea.[2] Their kingdom was subsequently contracted in
dimensions, by the successive independence of Malabar, the rise of the
state of Chera to the west, of Ramnad to the south, and of Chola in the
east, till it sank in modern times into the petty government of the
Naicks of Madura.[3]

[Footnote 1: Pandya, as a kingdom was not unknown in classical times,
and its ruler was the [Greek: Basileus Pandiôn] mentioned in the
_Periplus of the Erythræan Sea_, and the king Pandion, who sent an
embassy to Augustus.--PLINY, vi. 26; PTOLEMY, vii. 1.]

[Footnote 2: See an _Historical Sketch of the Kingdom of Pandya_, by
Prof. H. H. WILSON, _Asiat. Journ._, vol. iii.]

[Footnote 3: See _ante_, p. 353, n.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

The relation between this portion of the Dekkan and the early colonisers
of Ceylon was rendered intimate by many concurring incidents. Wijayo
himself was connected by maternal descent with the king of Kalinga[1],
now known as the Northern Circars; his second wife was the daughter of
the king of Pandya, and the ladies who accompanied her to Ceylon were
given in marriage to his ministers and officers.[2] Similar alliances
were afterwards frequent; and the Singhalese annalists allude on more
than one occasion to the "damilo consorts" of their sovereigns.[3]
Intimate intercourse and consanguinity, were thus established from the
remotest period. Adventurers from the opposite coast were encouraged by
the previous settlers; high employments were thrown open to them,
Malabars were subsidised both as cavalry and as seamen; and the first
abuse of their privileges was in the instance of the brothers Sena and
Goottika, who, holding naval and military commands, took advantage of
their position and seized on the throne, B.C. 237; apparently with such
acquiescence on the part of the people, that even the _Mahawanso_
praises the righteousness of their reign, which was prolonged to
twenty-two years, when they were put to death by the rightful heir to
the throne.[4]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. vi. p. 43.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. vii. p. 53; the _Rajarali_ (p. 173) says
they were 700 in number.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii. p. 253.]

[Footnote 4: _Mahawanso_ ch. xxi. p. 127.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

The easy success of the first usurpers encouraged the ambition of fresh
aspirants, and barely ten years elapsed till the _first_ regular
invasion of the island took place, under the illustrious Elala, who,
with an army from Mysore (then called Chola or Soli), subdued the entire
of Ceylon, north of the Mahawelli-ganga, and compelled the chiefs of the
rest of the island, and the kings of Rohuna and Maya, to acknowledge his
supremacy and become his tributaries.[1] As in the instance of the
previous revolt, the people exhibited such faint resistance to the
usurpation, that the reign of Elala extended to forty-four years. It is
difficult to conceive that their quiescence under a stranger was
entirely ascribable to the fact, that the rule of the Malabars, although
adverse to Buddhism, was characterised by justice and impartiality.
Possibly they recognised to some extent their pretensions, as founded on
their relationship to the legitimate sovereigns of the island, and hence
they bore their sway without impatience.[2]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 17; _Mahawanso_, ch. xxi. p. 128;
_Rajavali_, p. 188.]

[Footnote 2: See _ante_, p. 360, n.]

The majority of the subsequent invasions of Ceylon by the Malabars
partook less of the character of conquest than of forays, by a restless
and energetic race, into a fertile and defenceless country. Mantotte, on
the northwest coast, near Adam's Bridge, became the great place of
debarcation; and here successive bands of marauders landed time after
time without meeting any effectual resistance from the unwarlike

The _second_ great invasion took place about a century after the first,
B.C. 103, when seven Malabar leaders effected simultaneous descents at
different points of the coast[1], and combined with a disaffected
"Brahman prince" of Rohuna, to force Walagam-bahu I. to surrender his
sovereignty. The king, after an ineffectual show of resistance, fled to
the mountains of Malaya; one of the invaders carried off the queen to
the coast of India; a third despoiled the temples of Anarajapoora and
retired, whilst the others continued in possession of the capital for
nearly fifteen years, till Walagam-bahu, by the aid of the Rohuna
highlanders, succeeded in recovering the throne.

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 16. The _Mahawanso_ says they
landed at "Mahatittha."--_Mantotte_, ch. xxxiii. p. 203.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

The _third_ great invasion on record[1] was in its character still more
predatory than those which preceded it, but it was headed by a king in
person, who carried away 12,000 Singhalese as slaves to Mysore. It
occurred in the reign of Waknais, A.D. 110, whose son Gaja-bahu, A.D.
113, avenged the outrage by invading the Solee country with an
expedition which sailed from Jaffnapatam, and brought back not only the
rescued Singhalese captives, but also a multitude of Solleans, whom the
king established on lands in the Alootcoor Corle, where the Malabar
features are thought to be discernible to the present day.[2]

[Footnote 1: This incursion of the Malabars is not mentioned in the
_Mahawanso_, but it is described in the _Rajavali_, p. 229, and
mentioned by TURNOUR, in his _Epitome_, &c., p. 21. There is evidence of
the conscious supremacy of the Malabars over the north of Ceylon, in the
fourth century, in a very curious document, relating to that period. The
existence of a colony of Jews at Cochin, in the southwestern extremity
of the Dekkan, has long been known in Europe, and half a century ago,
particulars of their condition and numbers were published by Dr.
Claudius Buchanan. (_Christian Researches, &c._) Amongst other facts, he
made known their possession of Hebrew MSS. demonstrative of the great
antiquity of their settlement in India, and also of their title deeds of
land (_sasanams_), engraved on plates of copper, and presented to them
by the early kings of that portion of the peninsula. Some of the latter
have been carefully translated into English (see _Madras Journ._, vol.
xiii. xiv.). One of their MSS. has recently been brought to England,
under circumstances which are recounted by Mr. FORSTER, in the third
vol. of his _One Primeval Language_, p. 303. This MS. I have been
permitted to examine. It is in corrupted Rabbinical Hebrew, written
about the year 1781, and contains a partial synopsis of the modern
history of the section of the Jewish nation to whom it belongs; with
accounts of their arrival in the year A.D. 68, and of their reception by
the Malabar kings. Of one of the latter, frequently spoken of by the
honorific style of SRI PERUMAL, but identifiable with IRAVI VARMAR, who
reigned A.D. 379, the manuscript says that his "_rule extended from Goa
to Colombo_."]

[Footnote 2: CASTE CHITTY, _Ceylon Gazetteer_, p. 7.]

A long interval of repose followed, and no fresh expedition from India
is mentioned in the chronicles of Ceylon till A.D. 433, when the capital
was again taken by the Malabars; the Singhalese families fled beyond the
Mahawelli-ganga; and the invaders occupied the entire extent of the
Pihiti Ratta, where for twenty-seven years, five of them in succession
administered the government, till Dhatu Sena collected forces sufficient
to overpower the strangers, and, emerging from his retreat in Rohuna,
recovered possession of the north of the island.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, p. 243; TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 27.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

Dhatu Sena, after his victory, seems to have made an attempt, though an
ineffectual one, to reverse the policy which had operated under his
predecessors as an incentive to the immigration of Malabars; settlement
and intermarriages had been all along encouraged[1], and even during the
recent usurpation, many Singhalese families of rank had formed
connections with the Damilos. The schisms among the Buddhist themselves,
tending as they did to engraft Brahmanical rites upon the doctrines of
the purer faith, seem to have promoted and matured the intimacy between
the two people; some of the Singhalese kings erected temples to the gods
of the Hindus[2], and the promoters of the Wytulian heresy found a
refuge from persecution amongst their sympathisers in the Dekkan.[3]

[Footnote 1: Anula, the queen of Ceylon, A.D. 47, met with no opposition
in raising one of her Malabar husbands to the throne.--TURNOUR'S
_Epitome_, p. 19. Sotthi Sena, who reigned A.D. 432, had a Damilo
queen.--_Mahawanso_, ch. xxxviii. p. 253.]

[Footnote 2: Sri Sanga Bo III. A.D. 702, "made a figure of the God
Vishnu; and was a supporter of the religion of Buddha, and a friend of
the people."--_Rajaratnacari_, p. 78.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvii. p. 234; TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p.

[Sidenote: A.D. 515.]

The Malabars, trained to arms, now resorted in such numbers to Ceylon,
that the leaders in civil commotions were accustomed to hire them in
bands to act against the royal forces[1]; and whilst no precautions were
adopted to check the landing of marauders on the coast, the invaders
constructed forts throughout the country to protect their conquests from
recapture by the natives. Proud of these successful expeditions, the
native records of the Chola kings make mention of their victories; and
in one of their grants of land, engraved on copper, and still in
existence, Viradeva-Chola, the sovereign by whom it was made, is
described as having triumphed over "Madura, Izham, Caruvar, and the
crowned head of Pandyan;" Izham, (or Ilám) being the Tamil name of
Ceylon.[2] On their expulsion by Dhatu Sena, he took possession of the
fortresses and extirpated the Damilos; degraded the Singhalese who had
intermarried with them; confiscated their estates in favour of those who
had remained true to his cause; and organised a naval force for the
protection of the coasts[3] of the island.

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. xxxvi. p. 238.]

[Footnote 2: DOWSON, on the Chera Kingdom of India.--_Asiat. Journ._
vol. viii. p. 24.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawansa_ ch. xxxviii. p. 256. and xxxix. TURNOUR'S MS.,

But his vigorous policy produced no permanent effect; his son Mogallana,
after the murder of his father and the usurpation of Kasyapa, fled for
refuge to the coast of India, and subsequently recovered possession of
the throne, by the aid of a force which he collected there.[1] In the
succession of assassinations, conspiracies, and civil wars which
distracted the kingdom in the sixth and seventh centuries, during the
struggles of the rival branches of the royal house, each claimant, in
his adversity, betook himself to the Indian continent, and Malabar
mercenaries from Pandya and Soli enrolled themselves indifferently under
any leader, and deposed or restored kings at their pleasure.[2]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 29; _Rajavali_ p. 244.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 31; _Rajavali_ p. 247.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 523.]

The _Rajavali_, in a single passage enumerates fourteen sovereigns who
were murdered each by his successor, between A.D. 523, and A.D. 648.
During a period of such violence and anarchy, peaceful industry was
suspended, and extensive emigrations took place to Bahar and Orissa.
Buddhism, however, was still predominant, and protection was accorded to
its professors.

[Sidenote: A.D. 640.]

Hiouen Thsang, a Chinese traveller, wno visited India between 629 A.D.
and 645[1], encountered numbers of exiles, who informed him that they
fled from civil commotions in Ceylon, in which religion had undergone
persecution, the king had lost his life, cultivation had been
interrupted, and the island exhausted by famine. This account of the
Chinese voyager accords accurately with the events detailed in the
Singhalese annals, in which it is stated that Sanghatissa was deposed
and murdered, A.D. 623, by the Seneriwat, his minister, who, amidst the
horrors of a general famine, was put to death by the people of Rohuna,
and a civil war ensued; one result of which was the defeat of the
Malabar mercenaries and their distribution as slaves to the temples.
Hiouen Thsang relates the particulars of his interviews with the
fugitives, from whom he learned the extraordinary riches of Ceylon, the
number and wealth of its wiharas, the density of its population in
peaceful times, the fertility of its soil, and the abundance of its

[Footnote 1: _Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen Thsang, et de ses Voyages
dans l'Inde depuis l'an_ 629 _jusquèn_ 643. _Par_ HOEI-LI _et_
YEN-THSANG, _&c. Traduite du Chinois par_ STANISLAUS JULIEN, Paris,

[Footnote 2: "Ce royaume a sept mille li de tour, et sa capitale
quarante li; la population est agglomérée, et la terre produit des
grains en abondance."--HIOUEN-THSANG, liv. iv. p. 194.]

For nearly four hundred years, from the seventh till the eleventh
century, the exploits and escapes of the Malabars occupy a more
prominent portion of the Singbalese annals than that devoted to the
policy of the native sovereigns. They filled every office, including
that of prime minister[1], and they decided the claims of competing
candidates for the crown. At length the island became so infested by
their numbers that the feeble monarchs found it impracticable to effect
their exclusion from Anarajapoora[2]; and to escape from their
proximity, the kings in the eighth century began to move southwards, and
transferred their residence to Pollanarrua, which eventually became the
capital of the kingdom. Enormous tanks were constructed in the vicinity
of the new capital; palaces were erected, surpassing those of the old
city in architectural beauty; dagobas were raised, nearly equal in
altitude to the Thuparama and Ruanwelli, and temples and statues were
hewn out of the living rock, the magnitude and beauty of whose ruins
attest the former splendour of Pollanarrua.[3]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 33.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, A.D. 686, p. 31.]

[Footnote 3: The first king who built a palace at Pollanarrua was Sri
Sanga Bo II., A.D. 642. His successor, Sri Sanga Bo III., took up his
residence there temporarily, A.D. 702; it was made the capital by Kuda
Akbo, A.D. 769, and its embellishment, the building of colleges, and the
formation of tanks in its vicinity, were the occupations of numbers of
his successors.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 640.]

Notwithstanding their numbers and their power, it is remarkable that the
Malabars were never identified with any plan for promoting the
prosperity and embellishment of Ceylon, or with any undertaking for the
permanent improvement of the island. Unlike the Gangetic race, who were
the earliest colonists, and with whom originated every project for
enriching and adorning the country, the Malabars aspired not to beautify
or enrich, but to impoverish and deface;--and nothing can more
strikingly bespeak the inferiority of the southern race than the single
fact that everything tending to exalt and to civilise, in the early
condition of Ceylon, was introduced by the northern conquerors, whilst
all that contributed to ruin and debase it is distinctly traceable to
the presence and influence of the Malabars.

[Sidenote: A.D. 840.]

The Singhalese, either paralysed by dread, made feeble efforts to rid
themselves of the invaders; or fascinated by their military pomp,
endeavoured to conciliate them by alliances. Thus, when the king of
Pandya over-ran the north of Ceylon, A.D. 840, plundered the capital and
despoiled its temples, the unhappy sovereign had no other resource than
to purchase the evacuation of the island by a heavy ransom.[1] Yet such
was the influence still exercised by the Malabars, that within a very
few years his successor on the throne lent his aid to the son of the
same king of Pandya in a war against his father, and conducted the
expedition in person.[2] His army was, in all probability, composed
chiefly of Damilos, with whom he overran the south of the Indian
peninsula, and avenged the outrage inflicted on his own kingdom in the
late reign by bearing back the plunder of Madura.

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 35; _Rajaratnacari_, p. 79.]

[Footnote 2: A.D. 858; _Rajaratnacari_, p, 84.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 954.]

This exploit served to promote a more intimate intercourse between the
two races, and after the lapse of a century, A.D. 954, the king of
Ceylon a second time interposed with an army to aid the Pandyan
sovereign in a quarrel with his neighbour of Chola, wherein the former
was worsted, and forced to seek a refuge in the territory of his insular
ally, whence he was ultimately expelled for conspiracy against his
benefactor. Having fled to India without his regalia, his Cholian rival
made the refusal of the king of Ceylon to surrender them the pretext for
a fresh Malabar invasion, A.D. 990, when the enemy was repulsed by the
mountaineers of Rohuna, who, from the earliest period down to the
present day, have evinced uniform impatience of strangers, and steady
determination to resist their encroachments.

[Sidenote: A.D. 997.]

But such had been the influx of foreigners, that the efforts of these
highland patriots were powerless against their numbers. Mahindo III.,
A.D. 997, married a princess of Calinga[1], and in a civil war which
ensued, during the reign of his son and successor, the novel spectacle
was presented of a Malabar army supporting the cause of the royal family
against Singhalese insurgents. The island was now reduced to the extreme
of anarchy and insecurity; "the foreign population" had increased to
such an extent as to gain a complete ascendency over the native
inhabitants, and the sovereign had lost authority over both.[2]

[Footnote 1: Now the Northern Circars.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 37.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1023.]

In A.D. 1023, the Cholians again invaded Ceylon[1], carried the king
captive to the coast of India (where he died in exile), and established
a Malabar viceroy at Pollanarrua, who held possession of the island for
nearly thirty years, protected in his usurpation by a foreign army.
Thus, "throughout the reign of nineteen kings," says the _Rajaratnacari_
"extending over eighty-six years, the Malabars kept up a continual war
with the Singhalese, till they filled by degrees every village in the

[Footnote 1: In the reign of Mahindo IV.]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 85.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1028.]

During the absence of the rightful sovereign, and in the confusion which
ensued on his decease, various members of the royal family arrived at
the sovereignty of Rohuna, the only remnant of free territory left. Four
brothers, each assuming the title of king, contended together for
supremacy; and amidst anarchy and intrigue, each in turn took up the
reins of government, as they fell or were snatched from the hands of his
predecessor[1], till at length, on the retirement of all other
candidates, the forlorn crown was assumed by the minister Lokaiswara,
who held his court at Kattragam, and died A.D. 1071.[2]

[Footnote 1: TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 39.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxi.]



[Sidenote: A.D. 1071.]

From the midst of this gloom and despondency, with usurpation successful
in the only province where even a semblance of patriotism survived, and
a foreign enemy universally dominant throughout the rest of Ceylon,
there suddenly arose a dynasty which delivered the island from the sway
of the Malabars, brought back its ancient wealth and tranquillity, and
for the space of a century made it pre-eminently prosperous at home and
victorious in expeditions by which its rulers rendered it respected

The founder of this new and vigorous race was a member of the exiled
family, who, on the death of Lokaiswara, was raised to the throne under
the title of Wijayo Bahu.[1] Dissatisfied with the narrow limits of
Rohuna, he resolved on rescuing Pihiti from the usurping strangers; and,
by the courage and loyalty of his mountaineers, he recovered the ancient
capitals from the Malabars, compelled the whole extent of the island to
acknowledge his authority, reunited the several kingdoms of Ceylon under
one national banner, and, "for the security of Lanka against foreign
invasion, placed trustworthy chiefs at the head of paid troops, and
stationed them round the coast."[2] Thus signally successful at home,
the fame of his exploits "extended over all Dambadiva[3], and
ambassadors arrived at his court from the sovereigns of India and Siam."

[Footnote 1: A.D. 1071.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. lix.; _Rajaranacari_, p. 58; _Rajavali_,
p. 251; TURNOUR'S _Epitome_, p. 39.]

[Footnote 3: India Proper.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1126.]

As he died without heirs a contest arose about the succession, which
threatened again to dissever the unity of the kingdom by arraying Rohuna
and the south against the brother of Wijayo Bahu, who had gained
possession of Pollanarrua. But in this emergency the pretensions of all
other claimants to the crown were overruled in favour of Prakrama, a
prince of accomplishments and energy so unrivalled as to secure for him
the partiality of his kindred and the admiration of the people at large.

He was son to the youngest of four brothers who had recently contended
together for the crown, and his ambition from childhood had been to
rescue his country from foreign dominion, and consolidate the monarchy
in his own person. He completed by foreign travel an education which,
according to the _Mahawanso_, comprised every science and accomplishment
of the age in which he lived, including theology, medicine, and logic;
grammar, poetry, and music; the training of the elephant and the
management of the horse.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxiv.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1153.]

On the death of his father he was proclaimed king by the people, and a
summons was addressed by him to his surviving uncle, calling on him to
resign in his favour and pay allegiance to his supremacy. As the feeling
of the nation was with him, the issue of a civil war left him master of
Ceylon. He celebrated his coronation as King of Pihiti at Pollanarrua,
A.D. 1153, and two years later after reducing the refractory chiefs of
Rohuna to obedience, he repeated the ceremonial by crowning himself
"sole King of Lanka."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxi.]

There is no name in Singhalese history which holds the same rank in the
admiration of the people as that of Prakrama Bahu, since to the piety of
Devenipiatissa he united the chivalry of Dutugaimunu.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

The tranquillity insured by the independence and consolidation of his
dominions he rendered subservient to the restoration of religion, the
enrichment of his subjects, and the embellishment of the ancient
capitals of his kingdom; and, ill-satisfied with the inglorious ease
which had contented his predecessors, he aspired to combine the renown
of foreign conquests with the triumphs of domestic policy.

Faithful to the two grand objects of royal solicitude, religion and
agriculture, the earliest attention of Prakrama was directed to the
re-establishment of the one, and the encouragement and extension of the
other. He rebuilt the temples of Buddha, restored the monuments of
religion in more than their pristine splendour, and covered the face of
the kingdom with works for irrigation to an extent which would seem
incredible did not their existing ruins corroborate the historical
narrative of his stupendous labours.

Such had been the ostensible decay of Buddhism during the Malabar
domination that, when the kingdom was recovered from them by Wijayo
Bahu, A.D. 1071, "there was not to be found in the whole island five
tirunansis," and an embassy was bent to Arramana[1] to request that
members of this superior rank of the priesthood might be sent to restore
the order in Ceylon.[2]

[Footnote 1: A part of the Chin-Indian peninsula, probably between
Arracan and Siam.]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 85; _Rajavali_, p. 252; _Mahawanso_,
ch, lx.

From the identity of the national faith in the two countries;
intercourse existed between Siam and Ceylon from time immemorial. At a
very early period missions were interchanged for the inter-communication
of Pali literature, and in later times, when, owing to the oppression of
the Malabars certain orders of the priesthood had become extinct in
Ceylon, it became essential to seek a renewal of ordination at the hands
of the Siamese heirarchy (_Rajaratnacari_, p. 86). In the numerous
incursions of the Malabars from Chola and Pandya, the literary treasures
of Ceylon were deliberately destroyed, and the _Mahawanso_ and
_Rajavali_, make frequent lamentations over the loss of the sacred
books. (See also _Rajaratnacari_, pp 77, 95, 97.) At a still later
period the savage Raja Singha who reigned between A.D. 1581 and 1592,
and became a convert to Brahmanism, sought eagerly for Buddhistical
books, and "delighted in burning them in heaps as high as a coco-nut
tree." These losses it was sought to repair by an embassy to Siam, sent
by Kirti-Sri in A.D. 1753, when a copious supply was obtained of Burmese
versions of Pali sacred literature.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

During the same troublous times, schisms and heresy had combined to
undermine the national belief, and hence one of the first cares of
Prakrama Bahu was to weed out the perverted sects, and establish a
council for the settlement of the faith on debatable points.[1] Dagobas
and statues of Buddha were multiplied without end during his reign, and
temples of every form were erected both at Pollanarrua and throughout
the breadth of the island. Halls for the reading of bana, image rooms,
residences for the priesthood, ambulance halls and rest houses for their
accommodation when on journeys, were built in every district, and rocks
were hollowed into temples; one of which, at Pollanarrua, remains to the
present day with its images of Buddha; "one in a sitting and another in
a lying posture," almost as described in the _Mahawanso_.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxvii.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxii. For a description of this temple
see the account of Pollanarrua in the present work, Vol. II. Pt. x. ch.

In conformity with the spirit of toleration, which is one of the
characteristics of Buddhism, the king "erected a house for the Brahmans
of the capital to afford the comforts of religion even to his Malabar
enemies." And mindful of the divine injunctions engraven on the rock by
King Asoca, "he forbade the animals in the whole of Lanka, both of the
earth and the water, to be killed,"[1] and planted gardens, "resembling
the paradise of the God-King Sakkraia, with trees of all sorts bearing
fruits and odorous flowers."

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxvii. Among the religious edifices
constructed by Prakrama Bahu in many parts of his kingdom, the
_Mahawanso_, enumerates three temples at Pollanarrua, besides others at
every two or three gows distance; 101 dagobas, 476 statues of Buddha,
and 300 image rooms built, besides 6100 repaired. He built for the
reception of priests from a distance, "230 lodging apartments, 50 halls
for preaching, and 9 for walking, 144 gates, and 192 rooms for the
purpose of offering flowers. He built 12 apartments and 230 halls for
the use of strangers, and 31 rock temples, with tanks, baths, and
gardens for the priesthood."]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

For the people the king erected almonries at the four gates of the
capital, and hospitals, with slave boys and maidens to wait upon the
sick, superintending them in person, and bringing his medical knowledge
to assist in their direction and management.

Even now the ruins of Pollanarrua, the most picturesque in Ceylon,
attest the care which he lavished on his capital. He surrounded it with
ramparts, raised a fortress within them, and built a palace for his own
residence, containing four thousand apartments. He founded schools and
libraries; built halls for music and dancing; formed tanks for public
baths; opened streets, and surrounded the whole city with a wall which,
if we are to credit the native chronicles, enclosed an area twelve miles
broad by nearly thirty in length.

By his liberality, Rohuna and Pihiti were equally embellished; the
buildings of Vigittapura and Sigiri were renewed; and the ancient
edifices at Anarajapoora were restored, and its temples and palaces
repaired, under the personal superintendence of his minister. It is
worthy of remark that so greatly had the constructive arts declined,
even at that period, in Ceylon, that the king had to "bring Damilo
artificers" from the opposite coast of India to repair the structures at
his capital.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxv. lxxvii.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

The details preserved in the Singhalese chronicles as to the works for
irrigation which he formed or restored, afford an idea of the prodigious
encouragement bestowed upon agriculture in this reign, as well as of the
extent to which the rule of the Malabars had retarded the progress and
destroyed the earlier traces of civilisation. Fourteen hundred and
seventy tanks were constructed by the king in various parts of the
island, three of them of such vast dimensions that they were known as
the "Seas of Prakrama;"[1] and in addition to these, three hundred
others were formed by him for the special benefit of the priests. The
"Great Lakes" which he repaired, as specified in the _Mahawanso_, amount
to thirteen hundred and ninety-five, and the smaller ones which he
restored or enlarged to nine hundred and sixty. Besides these, he made
five hundred and thirty-four watercourses and canals, by damming up the
rivers, and repaired three thousand six hundred and twenty-one.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 88]

[Footnote 2: The useful ambition of signalising their reign by the
construction of works of irrigation, is still exhibited by the Buddhist
sovereigns of the East; and the king of Burmah in his interview with the
British envoy in 1855, advanced his exploits of this nature as his
highest claim to distinction. The conversation is thus reported in
YULE'S _Narrative of the Mission_. London, 1858.

"_King._ Have you seen any of the royal tanks at Oung-ben-le', which
have recently been constructed?

"_Envoy._ I have not been yet, your Majesty, but I purpose going.

"_King._ I have caused _ninety-nine_ tanks and ancient reservoirs to be
dug and repaired; and _sixty-six_ canals: whereby a great deal of rice
land will be available. * * * In the reign of Nauraba-dzyar 9999 tanks
and canals were constructed: I purpose renewing them."--P. 109.]

The bare enumeration of such labours conveys an idea of the prodigious
extent to which structures of this kind had been multiplied by the early
kings; and we are enabled to form an estimate of the activity of
agriculture in the twelfth century, and the vast population whose wants
it supplied, by the thousands of reservoirs still partially used, though
in ruins; and the still greater number now dry and deserted, and
concealed by dense jungle, in districts once waving with yellow grain.
Such was the internal tranquillity which, under his rule, pervaded
Ceylon, that an inscription, engraved by one of his successors, on the
rock of Dambool, after describing the general peace and "security which
he established, as well in the wilderness as in the inhabited places,"
records that, "even a woman might traverse the island with a precious
jewel and not be asked what it was."[1]

[Footnote 1: Moore's melody, beginning "Rich and rare were the gems she
wore," was founded on a parallel figure illustrative of the security of
Ireland under the rule of King Brien; when, according to Warner, "a
maiden undertook a journey done, from one extremity of the kingdom to
another, with only a wand in her hand, at the top of which was a ring of
exceeding great value."]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

In the midst of these congenial operations the energetic king had
command of military resources, sufficient not only to repress revolt
within his own dominions, but also to carry war into distant countries,
which had offered him insult or inflicted injury on his subjects. His
first foreign expedition was fitted out to chastise the king of Cambodia
and Arramana[1] in the Siamese peninsula, who had plundered merchants
from Ceylon, visiting those countries to trade in elephants; he had
likewise intercepted a vessel which was carrying some Singhalese
princesses, had outraged Prakrama's ambassador, and had dismissed him
mutilated and maimed. A fleet sailed on this service in the sixteenth
year of Prakrama's reign, he effected a landing in Arramana, vanquished
the king, and obtained full satisfaction.[2] He next directed his arms
against the Pandyan king, for the countenance which that prince had
uniformly given to the Malabar invaders of the island. He reduced Pandya
and Chola, rendered their sovereigns his tributaries, and having founded
a city within the territory of the latter, and coined money in his own
name, he returned in triumph to Ceylon.[3]

[Footnote 1: See _ante_, p. 406, n.]

[Footnote 2: TURNOUR's _Epitome_, p. 41; _Mahawanso_, lxxiv.;
_Rajaratnacari_, p. 87; _Rajavali_, p. 254.]

[Footnote 3: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxvi. I am not aware whether the Tamil
historians have chronicled this remarkable expedition, and the conquest
of this portion of the Dekkan by the king of Ceylon; but in the
catalogue of the Kings appended by Prof. WILSON to his _Historical
Sketch of Pandya_ (Asiat. Journ. vol. iii. p. 201) the name of "Pracrama
Baghu" occurs as the sixty-fifth in the list of sovereigns of that
state. For an account of Dipaldenia, where he probably coined his Indian
money, see _Asiat. Soc. Journ. Bengal_, v. vi. pp. 218, 301.]

"Thus," says the _Mahawanso_, "was the whole island of Lanka improved
and beautified by this king, whose majesty is famous in the annals of
good deeds, who was faithful in the religion of Buddha, and whose fame
extended abroad as the light of the moon."[1] "Having departed this
life," adds the author of the _Rajavali_, "he was found on a silver rock
in the wilderness of the Himalaya, where are eighty-four thousand
mountains of gold, and where he will reign as a king as long as the
world endures."[2]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxviii]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 91.]



[Sidenote: A.D. 1155.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1186.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1187.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1192.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1196.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1197.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1202.]

The reign of Prakrama Bahu, the most glorious in the annals of Ceylon,
is the last which has any pretension to renown. His family were unequal
to sustain or extend the honours he had won, and his nephew[1], a pious
voluptuary, by whom he was succeeded, was killed in an intrigue with the
daughter of a herdsman whilst awaiting the result of an appeal to the
Buddhist sovereign of Arramana to aid him in reforming religion. His
murderer, whom he had previously nominated his successor, himself fell
by assassination. An heir to the throne was discovered amongst the
Singhalese exiles on the coast of India[2], but death soon ended his
brief reign. His brother and his nephew in turn assumed the crown; both
were despatched by the Adigar, who, having allied himself with the royal
family by marrying the widow of the great Prakrama, contrived to place
her on the throne, under the title of Queen Leela-Wattee, A.D. 1197.
Within less than three years she was deposed by an usurper, and he being
speedily put to flight, another queen, Kalyana-Wattee, was placed at the
head of the kingdom. The next ill-fated sovereign, a baby of three
months old, was speedily set aside by means of a hired force, and the
first queen, Leela-Wattee, restored to the throne. But the same band who
had effected a revolution in her favour were prompt to repeat the
exploit; she was a second time deposed, and a third time recalled by the
intervention of foreign mercenaries.[3]

[Footnote 1: Wijayo Bahu II., killed by Mihindo, A.D. 1187.]

[Footnote 2: Kirti Nissanga, brought from Calinga, A.D. 1192.]

[Footnote 3: Of the very rare examples now extant of Singhalese coins,
one of the most remarkable bears the name of Leela-Wattee.--_Numismatic
Chronicle, 1853. Papers on some Coins of Ceylon, by_ W.S.W. Vaux,
_Esq_., p. 126.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1211.]

Within thirty years from the decease of Prakrama Bahu, the kingdom was
reduced to such an extremity of weakness by contentions amongst the
royal family, and by the excesses of their partisans, that the vigilant
Malabars seized the opportunity to land with an army of 24,000 men,
reconquered the whole of the island, and Magha, their leader, became
king of Ceylon A.D. 1211.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, p. 256.]

The adventurers who invaded Ceylon on this occasion came not from Chola
or Pandya, as before, but from Calinga, that portion of the Dekkan which
now forms the Northern Circars. Their domination was marked by more than
ordinary cruelty, and the _Mahawanso_ and _Rajaratnacari_ describe with
painful elaboration the extinction of Buddhism, the overthrow of
temples, the ruin of dagobas, the expulsion of priests, and the
occupation of their dwellings by Damilos, the outrage of castes, the
violation of property, and the torture of its possessors to extract the
disclosure of their treasures, "till the whole island resembled a
dwelling in flames or a house darkened by funeral rites."[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxix.; _Rajaratnacari_, p. 93;
_Rajavali_, p. 256.]


[Sidenote: A.D. 1211.]

On all former occasions Rohuna and the South had been comparatively free
from the actual presence of the enemy, but in this instance they
established themselves at Mahagam[1], and thence to Jaffnapatam, every
province in the island was brought under subjection to their rule.

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, 257.]

The peninsula of Jaffna and the extremity of the island north of Adam's
Bridge, owing to its proximity to the Indian coast, was at all times the
district most infested by the Malabars. Jambukola, the modern
Colombogam, is the port which is rendered memorable in the _Mahawanso_
by the departure of embassies and the arrival of relics from the
Buddhist countries, and Mantotte, to the north of Manaar, was the
landing place of the innumerable expeditions which sailed from Chola and
Pandya for the subjugation of Ceylon.

The Tamils have a tradition that, prior to the Christian era, Jaffna was
colonised by Malabars, and that a Cholian prince assumed the government,
A.D. 101,--a date which corresponds closely with the second Malabar
invasion recorded in the _Mahawanso_. Thence they extended their
authority over the adjacent country of the Wanny, as far south as
Mantotte and Manaar, "fortified their frontiers and stationed wardens
and watchers to protect themselves from invasion."[1] The successive
bands of marauders arriving from the coast had thus on every occasion a
base for operations, and a strong force of sympathisers to cover their
landing; and from the inability of the Singhalese to offer an effectual
resistance, those portions of the island were from a very early period
practically abandoned to the Malabars, whose descendants at the present
day form the great bulk of its population.

[Footnote 1: See a paper on the early History of Jaffna by S. CASIE
CHITTY, _Journal of the Royal Asiat. Society of Ceylon, 1847_, p. 68.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1235.]

After an interval of twenty years, Wijayo Bahu III., A.D. 1235,
collected as many Singhalese followers as enabled him to recover a
portion of the kingdom, and establish himself in Maya, within which he
built a capital at Jambudronha or Dambedenia, fifty miles to the north
of the present Colombo. The Malabars still retained possession of Pihiti
and defended their frontier by a line of forts drawn across the island
from Pollanarrua to Ooroototta on the western coast.[1]

[Footnote 1: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxx. lxxxii.; _Rajaratnacuri_, pp. 94,
94; _Rajavali_, p.258.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1266.]

Thirty years later Pandita Prakrama Bahu III, A.D. 1266, effected a
further dislodgment of the enemy in the north; but Ceylon, which

  "The fatal gift of beauty, that became A funeral dower of present woes
  and past,"

was destined never again to be free from the evils of foreign invasion;
a new race of marauders from the Malayan peninsula were her next
assailants[1]; and these were followed at no very long interval by a
fresh expedition from the coast of India.[2]

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, pp. 256, 260. A second Malay landing is
recorded in the reign of Prakrama III., A.D. 1267.]

[Footnote 2: _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxxii.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1303.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1319.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1347.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1410.]

Having learned by experience the exposure and insecurity of the
successive capitals, which had been built by former sovereigns in the
low lands, this king founded the city of Kandy, then called
Siriwardanapura, amongst the mountains of Maya[1], to which he removed
the sacred _dalada_, and the other treasures of the crown. But such
precautions came too late: to use the simile of the native historian,
they were "fencing the field whilst the oxen were within engaged in
devouring the corn."[2] The power of the Malabars had become so firmly
rooted, and had so irresistibly extended itself, that, one after
another, each of the earlier capitals was abandoned to them, and the
seat of government carried further towards the south. Pollanarrua had
risen into importance in the eighth and ninth centuries, when
Anarajapoora was found to be no longer tenable against the strangers.
Dambedenia was next adopted, A.D. 1235 as a retreat from Pollanarrua;
and this being deemed insecure, was exchanged, A.D. 1303, for Yapahu in
the Seven Corles. Here the Pandyan marauders followed in the rear of the
retreating sovereign[3], surprised the new capital, and carried off the
dalada relic to the coast of India. After its recovery Yapahu was
deserted, A.D. 1319. Kornegalle or Kurunaigalla, then called
Hastisailapoora and Gampola[4], still further to the south and more
deeply intrenched amongst the Kandyan mountains, were successively
chosen for the royal residence, A.D. 1347. Thence the uneasy seat of
government was carried to Peradenia, close by Kandy, and its latest
migration, A.D. 1410, was to Jaya-wardana-pura, the modern Cotta, a few
miles east of Colombo.

[Footnote 1: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 104; _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxxiii.]

[Footnote 2: _Rajaratnacari_, p. 82.]

[Footnote 3: A.D. 1303.]

[Footnote 4: Gampola or Gam-pala, _Ganga-siripura_, "the beautiful city
near the river," is said in the _Rajaratnacari_ to have been built by
one of the brothers-in-law of Panduwaasa, B.C. 504.]

Such frequent removals are evidences of the alarm and despondency
excited by the forays and encroachments of the Malabars, who from their
stronghold at Jaffna exercised undisputed dominion over the northern
coasts on both sides of the island, and, secure in the possession of the
two ancient capitals, Anarajapoora and Pollanarrua, spread over the rich
and productive plains of the north. To the present hour the population
of the island retains the permanent traces of this alien occupation of
the ancient kingdom of Pihiti. The language of the north of the island,
from Chilaw on the west coast to Batticaloa on the east, is chiefly, and
in the majority of localities exclusively, Tamil; whilst to the south of
the Dederaoya and the Mahawelli-ganga, in the ancient divisions of
Rohuna and Maya, the vernacular is uniformly Singhalese.

[Sidenote: A.D. 1410.]

Occasionally, after long periods of inaction, collisions took place; or
the Singhalese kings equipped expeditions against the north; but the
contest was unequal; and in spite of casual successes, "the king of the
Ceylonese Malabars," as he is styled in the _Rajavali_, held his court
at Jaffnapatam, and collected tribute from both the high and the low
countries, whilst the south of the island was subdivided into a variety
of petty kingdoms, the chiefs of which, at Yapahu, at Kandy, at Gampola,
at Matura, Mahagam, Matelle, and other places[1], acknowledged the
nominal supremacy of the sovereign at Cotta, with whom, however, they
were necessarily involved in territorial quarrels, and in hostilities
provoked by the withholding of tribute.

[Footnote 1: _Rajavali_, p. 263; _Mahawanso_, ch. lxxxvii.]

[Sidenote: A.D. 1410.]

It was during this period that an event occurred, which is obscurely
alluded to in some of the Singhalese chronicles, but is recorded with
such minute details in several of the Chinese historical works, as to
afford a reliable illustration of the condition of the island and its
monarchy in the fifteenth century. Prior to that time the community of
religion between Ceylon and China, and the eagerness of the latter
country to extend its commerce, led to the establishment of an
intercourse which has been elsewhere described[1]; missions were
constantly despatched charged with an interchange of courtesies between
their sovereigns; theologians and officers of state arrived in Ceylon
empowered to collect information regarding the doctrines of Buddha; and
envoys were sent in return bearing royal donations of relics and sacred
books. The Singhalese monarchs, overawed by the magnitude of the
imperial power, were induced to avow towards China a sense of dependency
approaching to homage; and the gifts which they offered are all recorded
in the Chinese annals as so many "payments of tribute." At length, in
the year 1405 A.D,[2], during the reign of the emperor Yung-lo[3] of the
Ming dynasty, a celebrated Chinese commander, Ching-Ho, having visited
Ceylon as the bearer of incense and offerings, to be deposited at the
shrine of Buddha, was waylaid, together with his followers, by the
Singhalese king, Wijayo Bahu VI., and with difficulty effected an escape
to his ships. To revenge this treacherous affront Ching-Ho was
despatched a few years afterwards with a considerable fleet and a
formidable military force, which the king (whom the Chinese historian
calls A-lee-ko-nae-wih) prepared to resist; but by a vigorous effort Ho
and his followers succeeded in seizing the capital, and bore off the
sovereign, together with his family, as prisoners to China. He presented
them to the emperor, who, out of compassion, ordered them to be sent
back to their country on the condition that "the wisest of the family
should be chosen king." "_Seay-pa-nea-na_"[4] was accordingly elected,
and this choice being confirmed, he was sent to his native country, duly
provided with a seal of investiture, as a vassal of the empire under the
style of Sri Prakrama Bahu VI.,--and from that period till the reign of
Teen-shun, A.D. 1434-1448, Ceylon continued to pay an annual tribute to

[Footnote 1: See Part v. ch. iii.]

[Footnote 2: The narrative in the text is extracted from the
_Ta-tsing-yi-tung_, a "Topographical Account of the Manchoo Empire,"
written in the seventeenth century, to a copy of which, in the British
Museum, my attention was directed by the erudite Chinese scholar, Mr.
MEADOWS, author of "_The Chinese and their Rebellions_." The story of
this Chinese expedition to Ceylon will also be found in the
_Se-yih-ké-foo-choo_, "A Description of Western Countries," A.D. 1450;
the _Woo heo-pecu_, "A Record of the Ming Dynasty," A.D. 1522, b. lviii.
p. 3, and in the _Ming-she_, "A History of the Ming Dynasty," A.D. 1739,
cccxxvi. p. 2. For a further account of this event see Part v. of this
work; ch. iii.]

[Footnote 3: The _Ming-she_ calls the Emperor "Ching-tsoo."]

[Footnote 4: So called in the Chinese original.]

From the beginning of the 13th century to the extinction of the
Singhalese dynast