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wild asses, shaped and spotted like goats; but larger; without horns, or joints in the legs; that never lay down to sleep, nor could raise themselves, if overthrown.
Diocles, as quoted by Pliny, describes the Nemæan lion as having been green ; Solinus says, that red lions were frequent in Armenia; and Mondavilla (quoted by Aldrovandus) speaks of white ones existing in the island of Scilla. Appian, in his work on “Hunting,” says black lions were common in Ethiopia. Thus, Bargæus, (lib. iii.)
Non illis fulvo spectantur terga colore,
Appian speaks, also, of black lions with yellow mouths. He says, he had seen them; and their existence is attested by Ælian, who says, also, that lions existed in Lybia, which had their sides tinctured with blue spots. Paulus Venetus, also, says, that he saw lions among the Tartars, some of which were part black and part red; and others striped with black and white. Even Gesner speaks of black lions having been common in the interior of Africa b.
The unicorn still exists in the interior of Thibet. It is · there called the one-horned tso-po. Its hoofs are divided, it is about twelve or thirteen hands high ; it is extremely wild and fierce, yet associating in large herds. Its tail is shaped like that of a boar; and its horn, which is curved, grows out of its forehead. It is seldom caught alive; but the Tartars frequently shoot it, and use its flesh for food. An account of
• Var. Hist. xii. 7. 06 Leones nigros,” says he, “ IN INTIMA AFRICA.”—Inspector, No. 107.
c Quarterly Review, No. xlvii. p. 120, 1.-Ancient writers mention three animals, with horns growing out of the middle of the forehead. The cartazonon *, or wild Indian ass ; the African oryx t; and the monoceros I.
* Solid hoof. + Cloven hoof; tall as a rhinoceros, and form like that of a deer. Ælian mentions some with four horns.
the existence of this animal was communicated by Major Lattar, commander of the territories of the rajah of Sikkim in the mountainous country east of Nepaul, to General Nicol, who transmitted the account to the Marquis of Hastings.
Of extinct animals, the remains of which have been found in various parts of the globe, Cuvier reckons forty-nine species of quadrupeds ; of which twenty-seven are referrible to seven new genera :-the others to known ones. Of these are “a tapir as large as an elephant; a species of sloth, as large as a rhinoceros ; and a minotaur, possessing the magnitude of a crocodile.” For a more particular account of these antediluvian animals, the reader is referred to the works of Cuvier and Buckland, as affording curious data in respect to the evidence, they present, of an order of things, previous to the one now prevailing on the surface of the globe. In regard to the mammoth, remains of which are found in various countries, at wide distances from each other, it may be proper to remark, that Fischer discovered the skull of one, near Moscow, which measured five feet in length; and that one has been found in a state of great preservation by a Tungus chief at Schoumachoff, on the borders of the Frozen Ocean, imbedded in ice, where it must have remained a vast multitude of years. It still retained its flesh, its skin, and
a Webbe says, in his Travels, A. D. 1590:-“ I have seene in a place like a parke, adjoyning unto Prester John's court, three score and seventeene uni. cornes and oliphants, all alive at one time, and they were so tame, that I have played with theme as one would playe with young lambes.”
For the unicorn of Africa, see Campbell's Journey into Southern Africa, and Missionary Sketches, No. xv. This animal is larger than the rhinoceros, and answers better with that, mentioned in Job; where it is associated with strength, untameableness, and ferocity.–Vid. ch. 39.
Perhaps this animal is the same as that, mentioned by Aristotle, Appian, Pliny, Juvenal, and Martial, under the name of Oryx. I have not, however, had sufficient leisure to examine how they agree.
Conrad Gesner speaks of a large unicorn's horn, presented to the king of France, and valued at 80,000 ducats. What this could be I have no informa. tion, on which to form a conjecture.
its hair. The skeleton is now in the Museum Academy at St. Petersburgha.
FORMATION OF ISLANDS.
By the silent labours of the Corallina have immense continents been formed. Reefs extend along the whole western coasts of Guinea "; and Madagascar ; the eastern coast of Abyssina; the Red Sea ; the Mediterranean ; the coasts of China, Japan, Corea “, and the Straits of Sunda ; while they extend also along the whole eastern coasts of Australasia ; and are found in almost every part of the Pacific, covering not only detached parts, but extending several thousand square leagues.
Thus islands are formed. The corallina, with gradual, but incessant, labour, raise their foundations from the bed of the ocean : on these reefs d, after an interval, the high tides deposit sand, shells, pumice, pebbles, mud, weeds; pieces of coral, roots, wood, and soil. Birds then begin to settle upon them ; salt plants take root upon them; tropical trees, vegetables, seeds, and shells, are washed upon them; and birds deposit their exuvia. In this manner islands are formed into groups and archipelagos ; and become enriched with soil: and in a few years they are clothed with the prurient vegetation of tropical climates. Man then takes possession ; and Nature has rewarded herself for her labours : but she does not cease to extend her operations. Her work of marine creation still goes on; and the time may, one day, come, when the existence of the Pacific, as an entire ocean, will be esteemed as fabulous, as the ancient Atlantis. Islands are increasing every year; in size every hour. They rise in archipelagos, and archipelagos, in future ages, may associate into continents a.
* There is also a skeleton of the mammoth in the Museum of Philadelphia : a middle-sized man may stand with his arms outstretched under its body.
b On this coast are two species of Coral ; one of which, in Bosman's time, was called Conta de Terra; the other was of a blue colour. The latter was valued at its equal weight in gold; the former at four times its weight.
c Vid. Capt. Hall's Voyage of Discovery to the west coast of Corea and Loo-choo Islands, 4to., p. 107, 8, 9. The Loo-choos call coral Odroo.-Vid. Clifford's Vocabulary.
d Vid. Flinders' Voy. to Terra Australis, ii. p. 115. Peron's Voy. to Austral. asia, p. 183.
e Mosses and lichens clothe the soil with verdure in newly-formed countries, where the atmosphere is humid; but in countries near the tropics, the succu. lent plants.
We may read the manner, in which Alluvial Islands b are constituted, by that in which Edmonstone Island has been formed. A few years since and it was not in existence. It is now situated in the upper part of the bay of Bengal; between the mouths of the Hoogly and Channel Creek. It is two miles long, and about half a mile in breadth : a mere sandbanko; but it is rapidly acquiring a much higher character.
From the manner in which this island is proceeding, we may also form no very erroneous idea of the method, with which Nature has secured the gradual extension of her vegetable productions ; and the adorning remote islands with flowers and plants. This island, having gradually accumulated by the soil of two rivers, trunks of trees, with branches containing pods and seeds, were deposited upon it. Plants, too, of various kinds were washed upon its sides. Some of these decomposed ; and with the excrement of birds assisted in the formation of a fruitful soil. Seeds, too, have taken root upon the higher beach ; these when afterwards in seed were scattered by the birds and winds : and some of the branches of trees, cast ashore, being gradually covered with soil by succeeding tides, took root.
No human hand has yet planted one tree, shrub, flower,
• Some have even supposed, that all marbles, limestones, and calcareous rocks, were originally formed by analogous animated beings.
b For observations on the alluvial land of the Danish islands in the Baltic, and on the coast of Sleswick, vid. Jameson on Cuvier, p. 202.
c Vid. Journal of a Voyage to Sangor, Asiat. Journ. vii, 355.
or even seed upon this island ; and yet the central part has a strong verdure, formed by the ipomea pes capre, and the salsola : and several tufts of the saccharum spontaneum have lately been observed in a flourishing condition. A few trees and plants are, also, growing up; amongst which are the manby date and morinda ; a species of bean ; and no inconsiderable quantity of purslane. The northern part of the beach is occupied by a large quantity of small sea crabs : and turtles are frequently seen upon the southern part.
In the north of Siberia, two islands, between the mouths of the Lena and the Indigerka, have been formed by the bones of animals, carried down, like trees, from the interior. These bones, having accumulated during the progress of ages, were at length cemented with sand and ice, till they formed two complete islands : affording a curious instance of the art, with which Nature sometimes avails herself of animal materials.
It would seem, that America is not so old a continent as either Europe or Asia. The depth of mould is very fleet; in the forests seldom more than six feet; and frequently not more than three. Some islands have been formed by the mud of large rivers, which has gradually risen above the utmost reach of the tide. Some derive existence from the accumulation of sea weeds and trees upon rocks, but slightly buried under the waves. These substances being cast higher and higher every spring tide, become a substratum for future decompositions. Sands, blown upon each other by high winds, when left by the tide, accumulate into large banks, and alter and shift their positions at the discretion of the winds, until they acquire permanency from vegetation. The Baltic, near Kronolung, on the Swedish side, becomes shallower every year, on account of the great accumulation of sand, grass, wrack, and sea-weed.
Some islands are composed almost entirely of alluvial soil.