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order to give the oysters time to grow, which are supsed to attain their maturity in about seven years. The period allowed to the merchant to complete his fishery is about six weeks, during which period all the boats go out and return together, and are subject to very rigorous laws. The dexterity of the divers is very striking; they are as adroit in the use of their feet as their hands; and can pick up the smallest object under water with their toes. Their descent is aided by a great stone, which they slip from their feet when they arrive at the bottom, where they can remain about two minutes. There are instances, however, of divers who have so much of the aquatic in their nature, as to remain under water for five or six minutes. Their great enemy is the ground shark; for the rule of, eat and be eaten, which Dr. Darwin called the great law of nature, obtains in as much force fathoms deep beneath the waves as above them : this animal is as fond of the legs of Hindoos, as Hindoos are of the pearls of oysters; and as one appetite appears to him much more natural, and less capricious than the other, he never fails to indulge it. Where fortune has so much to do with peril and profit, of course there is no deficiency of conjurers, who, by divers enigmatical grimaces, endeavour to ostracise this sub-marine invader. If they are successful, they are well paid in pearls; and when a shark indulges himself with the leg of a Hindoo, there is a witch who lives at Colang, on the Malabar coast, who always bears the blame. A common mode of theft practised by the common people engaged in the pearl fishery, is by swallowing the pearls. Whenever any one is suspected of having swallowed these precious pills of Cleopatra, the police apothecaries are instantly sent for; a brisk cathartic is immediately despatched after the truant pearl, with the strictest orders to apprehend it, in whatever corner of the viscera it may be found lurking. Oyster lotteries are carried on here to a great extent. They consist in purchasing a quantity of the oysters unopened, and running the chance of either finding or not finding pearls in them. The European gentlemen and officers who attend the pearl fishery through duty or curiosity are particularly fond of these lotteries, and frequently make purchases of this sort. The whole of this account is very well written, and has afforded us a great degree of amusement. By what curious links, and fantastical relations, are mankind connected together At the distance of half the globe, a Hindoo gains his support by groping at the bottom of the sea for the morbid concretion of a shell-fish, to decorate the throat of a London alderman's wife. It is said that the great Linnaeus had discovered the secret of infecting oysters with this perligenous disease; what is become of the secret we do not know, as the only interest we take in oysters is of a much more vulgar, though perhaps a more humane nature.
The principal woods of cinnamon lie in the neighbourhood of Columbo. They reach to within half a mile of the fort, and fill the whole surrounding prospect. The grand garden near the town is so extensive, as to occupy a track of country from 10 to 15 miles in length.
“Nature has here concentrated both the beauty and the riches of the island. Nothing can be more delightful to the eye, than the prospect which stretches around Columbo. The low cinnamon trees which cover the plain allow the view to reach the groves of evergreens, interspersed with tall clumps, and bounded every where with extensive ranges of cocoa nut and other large trees. The whole is diversified with small lakes and green marshes, skirted all round with rice and pasture fields. In one part, the intertwining cinnamon trees appear completely to clothe the face of the plain; in another, the openings made by the intersecting footpaths just serve to show that the thick underwood has been penetrated. One large road, which goes out at the west gate of the fort, and returns by the gate on the south, makes a winding circuit of seven miles among the woods. It is here that the officers and gentlemen belonging to the garrison of Columbo take their morning ride, and enjoy one of the finest scenes in nature.”— (pp. 336, 337.)
As this spice constitutes the wealth of Ceylon, great pains are taken to ascertain its qualities, and propagate 1ts choicest kinds. The prime sort is obtained from the Laurus Cinnamomum. The leaf resembles the laurel in shape, but is not of so deep a green. When chewed it has the smell and taste of cloves. There are several different species of cinnamon tree on the island; but four sorts only are cultivated and barked. The picture which we have just quoted from Mr. Percival of a morning ride in a cinnamon wood is so enchanting, that we are extremely sorry the addition of aromatic odours cannot with veracity be made to it. The cinnamon has, unfortunately, no smell at all but to the nostrils of the poet. Mr. Percival gives us a very interesting account of the process of making up cinnamon for the market, in which we are sorry our limits will not permit us to follow him. The different qualities of the cinnamon bundles can only be estimated by the taste; an office which devolves upon the medical men of the settlement, who are employed for several days together in chewing cinnamon, the acrid juice of which excoriates the mouth, and puts them to the most dreadful tortures. The island of Ceylon is completely divided into two parts by a very high range of mountains, on the two sides of which the climate and the seasons are entirely different. These mountains also terminate completely the effect of the monsoons, which set in periodically from opposite sides of them. On the west side, the rains prevail in the months of May, June, and July, the season when they are felt on the Malabar coast. This monsoon is usually extremely violent during its continuance. The northern parts of the island are very little affected. In the months of October and November, when the opposite monsoon sets in on the Coromandel coast, the north of the island is attacked; and scarcely any impression reaches the southern parts. The heat during the day is nearly the same throughout the year: the rainy season renders the nights much cooler. The climate, upon the whole, is much more temperate than on the continent of India. The temperate and healthy climate of Ceylon is, however, confined to the sea-coast. In the interior of the country,
the obstructions which the thick woods oppose to the free circulation of air, render the heat almost insupportable, and generate a low and malignant fever, known to Europeans by the name of the Jungle fever. The chief harbours of Ceylon are Trincomalee, Point de Galle, and, at certain seasons of the year, Columbo. The former of these, from its nature and situation, is that which stamps Ceylon one of our most valuable acquisitions in the East Indies. As soon as the monsoons commence, every vessel caught by them in any other part of the Bay of Bengal is obliged to put to sea immediately, in order to avoid destruction. At these seasons, Trincomalee alone, of all the parts on this side of the peninsula, is capable of affording to vessels a safe retreat; which a vessel from Madras may reach in two days. These circumstances render the value of to. much greater than that of the whole island; the revenue of which will certainly be hardly sufficient to defray the expense of the establishments kept up there. The agriculture of Ceylon is, in fact, in such an imperfect state, and the natives have so little availed themselves of its natural fertility, that great part of the provisions necessary for its support are imported from Bengal.
&o produces the elephant, the buffalo, tiger, elk, wild-hog, rabbit, hare, flying-fox, and musk-rat. Many articles are rendered entirely useless by the smell of musk, which this latter animal communicates in merely running over them. Mr. Percival asserts (and the fact has been confirmed to us by the most respectable authority), that if it even pass over a bottle of wine, however well corked and sealed up, the wine becomes so strongly tainted with musk, that it cannot be used; and a whole cask may be rendered useless in the same manner. Among the great variety of birds, we were struck with Mr. Percival's account of the honey-bird, into whose body the soul of a common informer appears to have migrated. It makes a loud and shrill noise, to attract the notice of anybody whom it may perceive; and thus inducing him to follow the course it points out, leads him to the tree where the bees have con2’ cealed their treasure; after the apiary has been robbed, this feathered scoundrel gleans his reward from the hive. The list of Ceylonese snakes is hideous; and we become reconciled to the crude and cloudy land in which we live, from reflecting, that the indiscriminate activity of the sun generates what is loathsome, as well as what is lovely; that the asp reposes under the rose; and the scorpion crawls under the fragrant flower, and the luscious fruit. The usual stories are repeated here, of the immense size and voracious appetite of a certain species of serpent. The best history of this kind we ever remember to have read, was of a serpent killed near one of our settlements, in the East Indies; in whose bod they found the chaplain of the garrison, all in black, the Rev. Mr. , (somebody or other, whose name we have forgotten,) and who, after having been missing for above a week, was discovered in this very inconvenient situation. The dominions of the King of Candia are partly defended by leeches, which abound in the woods, and from which our soldiers suffered in the most dreadful manner. The Ceylonese, in compensation for their animated plagues, are endowed with two vegetable blessings, the cocoa nut tree and the talipot tree. The latter affords a prodigious leaf, impenetrable to sun or rain, and large enough to shelter ten men. It is a natural umbrella, and is of as eminent service in that country as a great-coat tree would be in this. A leaf of the talipot tree is a tent to the soldier, a parasol to the traveller, and a book to the scholar.” The cocoa tree affords bread, milk, oil, wine, spirits, vinegar, yeast, sugar, cloth, paper, huts, and ships. We could with great pleasure proceed to give a further abstract of this very agreeable and interesting publication, which we very strongly recommend to the public. It is written with great modesty, entirely without pretensions, and abounds with curious and im