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CHAP. XXIII.

THE RHINOCEROS.

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Next to the elephant, the Rhinoceros is the most powerful of animals. It is usually found twelve feet long, from the tip of the nose to the insertion of the tail; from six to seven feet high; and the cir. cumference of its body is nearly equal to its length. It is, therefore, equal to the elephant in bulk; and if it appears much smaller to the eye, the reason is, that its legs are much shorter. Words can convey but a very confused idea of this animal's shape; and yet there are few so remarkably formed: its head is furnished with a horn, grow. ing from the snout, sometimes three feet and a hall long: and but for this that part would have the appearance of the head of a hog; the upper lip, how

History Of The RHINOCEROS.— If the The first rhinoceros of which any mention moderns are able to boast of a more extended is made in ancient history, was that which knowledge of animated nature than was pos. appeared at the celebrated festival of Ptolesessed by the ancients, it must be acknow. mæus Philadelphus, and which was made to ledged that it is rather the result of their march the last of all the strange animals exgeographical discoveries, than of the zeal of hibited at that epoch, as being apparently the their governments or commercial companies most curious and rare. It was brought from for its promotion. And it is humiliating to Ethiopia. think that the nations, among which a pure The first which appeared in Europe graced love of science is most widely diffused, still the triumph and games of Pompey. Pliny should be debarred the contemplation of those states that this animal had but one horu, rarer species of quadrupeds inhabiting the and that that number was the most common. Old World, which in ancient Rome were re- Augustus caused two to be slain, together peatedly exhibited to gratify a tyrant's love with a hippopotamus, when he triumphed of ostentation, and a people's lust for the after the death of Cleopatra : and these, also, cruel combats and wholesale slaughter of the are described as having each but one horn. Amphitheatre.

Strabo very exactly describes a one-horned The history of the remarkable quadruped rhinoceros, which he saw at Alexandria, and with which the present work commences (the mentions the folds in its skin. But Pausa. Giraffe) in some measure exemplifies this nias gives a detailed account of the position anomalous fact, and the rhinoceros is a still of the two horns, on a species having that stronger proof of it. This quadruped, which number, which he terms the Ethiopian Bull. is second in bulk to the elephant alone, is of this latter kind two appeared at Rome peculiar to the Old World ; yet of the five or under Domitian, and were engraved on some six distinct species which inhabit Africa and of the medals of that emperor; these occaAsia, only one has been exhibited in moderr sioned some of the epigrams of Martial, which Europe, and that at rare and distant intervals; modern commentators, from ignorance of the while the knowledge of the rest has been species with two herns, found so much diftchiefly acquired in our own times.

culty in comprehending.

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ever, is much longer in proportion, ends in a point, is very pliable, serves to collect its food, and deliver it into the mouth; the ears are large, erect, and pointed; the eyes are small and piercing ; the skin is naked, rough, knotty, and lying upon the body in folds, after a very peculiar fashion: there are two tolds very remarkable ; one above bis shoulders, and another over the rump :

The emperors Antoninus, Heliogabalus, the latter are wholly deficient. The Abysand Gordian, severally exhibited the rhino- sinian traveller Bruce has given a vague ceros: and Cosmus expressly speaks of the indication of a two-horned rhinoceros, which Ethiopian species as having two horns: there exhibits the plaiting of the hide peculiar to is abundant evidence, therefore, that the the Indian species, and some naturalists ancients possessed a degree of knowledge have supposed it probable, from the form of respecting these animals, of which the mo- the horns, that this may ultimately be found derns were for a long period destitute. to be a true and distinct species. More

The first rhinoceros which was exhibited recently, again, the accurate and scientific in Europe after the revival of literature, was traveller Burchell has announced the exista specimen of the one-horned species. It ence in the interior of the southern promonwas sent from India to Emmanuel, king of tory of Africa, of a rhinoceros double the Portugal, in the year 1513. This sovereign size of the ordinary Cape species, which, made a present of it to the Pope ; but the like it, has also two horns, and a skin withanimal being seized during its passage without hairs or folds, but which differs in having a fit of fury, occasioned the loss of the vessel the lips and nose thickened, enlarged, and as in which it was transported. A second rhino- if flattened. ceros was brought to England in 1685; a An interesting memoir from the pen of third was exhibited over almost the whole of M. Frederic Cuvier, has appeared in the Europe in 1739; and a fourth, which was a splendid work published by him conjointly female, in 1741. That exhibited in 1739 with M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, on the animals was described and figured by Parsons, in the in the menagerie in the Garden of Plants at Philosophical Transactions (vol. xlii. p. 583), Paris. It relates to the rhinoceros lately who mentioned also that of 1685 and of living in that establishment, and from which 1741. A fifth specimen arrived at Versailles the figure was taken which serves to illusin 1771, and it died in 1793 at the age of trate the present account.-ZOOLOGICAL Mag. twenty-five or twenty-six years. The sixth “This rhinoceros was but young at the time was a very young rhinoceros, which died in that the figure was taken ; and,

contrary to this country in the year 1800: some account the commonly received opinion, was habituof its anatomy was published by Mr. Thomas, ally of a very gentle disposition, obedient to in the Philosophical Transactions for that his keeper, and receiving his care and attenyear. Lastly, a seventh specimen was living tion with a real affection. However, he a few years ago in the Garden of Plants at would occasionally be seized with fits of fury, Paris. All these specimens were one-horned, during which it was not prudent to come near and all from India. So that the two-horned him. No cause could be assigned for these rhinoceros has never been brought alive to violent paroxysms: one might say that a modern Europe, and it was long before even blind impulse or desire to regain a state of an accurate description of it was given by liberty, (which he had never enjoyed,) extravellers; its existence was known only by cited him to break his chains, and escape specimens of the horns adhering to the skin from the bondage in which he was retained. of the head, which were preserved in different Bread and fruits, however, always pacified museums. As these specimens were from him; and the claims of hunger always siAfrica, and as the first authentic accounts of lenced those of liberty; so that this resource the living animal of the two-horned species against his fury was always kept in reserve. were derived from the histories of African He knew those persons who most indulged travellers, a general notion prevailed that him in his gourmandise, and they were reAsia afforded the one-horned species only, ceived with the liveliest manifestations of and that the two-horned kind was peculiar to affection: the moment he saw them he Africa. However, in the year 1793, Mr. stretched towards them his long upper lip, William Bell, a surgeon in the service of the opened his mouth, and drew in his tongue. East India Company, discovered a species of The narrow stall in which he was confined rhinoceros in the Island of Sumatra, which did not allow him to manifest much intellihad also two horns, whose skin, like the gence; and his keeper took no other pains African two-horned species, did not exhibit than to induce him to forget or misconceive those folds which are so peculiar to the hide his own strength, and to obey : but from the of the Indian rhinoceros. This species, how- attention which he paid to every thing which ever, differed from the African rhinoceros in was passing around him, and from the readipossessing incisive or front teeth, which in ness with which he distinguished individuals the skin, which is of a dirty brown colour, is so thick as to turn the edge of a scimitar, and to resist a musket-ball: the belly hangs low; the legs are short, strong and thick, and the hoofs divided into three parts, each pointing forward.

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Such is the general outline of an animal that appears chiefly formidable from the born growing from its snout: and formed rather for war, than with a propensity to engage. This horn is sometimes found from three to three feet and a balf long, growing from the solid bone, and so disposed as to be managed to the greatest advantage. * It is composed of the most solid substance; and

and recognised those circumstances which with a herd of seven of them, led, as it apseemed the preliminaries of his receiving peared, by one larger and stronger than the something agreeable to him, one can readily rest. When the large rhinoceros charged the judge that his intelligence would have ac hunters, the leading elephants, instead of quired greater developement under favour. using their tusks or weapeous, which in ordiable circumstances. But his immense force, nary cases they are ready enough to do, and the apprehensions constantly entertained wheeled round, and received the blow of the that in one of his fits of passion he would rhinoceros's horn upon their posteriors; the break down his apartment, insured for him blow brought them immediately to the the most indulgent treatment; nothing was ground with their riders; and as soon as required of him without a reward; and the they had risen, the brute was again ready, little degree of motion which was allowed and again brought them down; and in this him, was an additional reason for requiring manner did the contest continue until four from him no other actions than to open his out of the seven were killed, when the rest mouth, turn his head to the right or to the made good their retreat. left, hold up his leg, &c.” – ZOOLOGICAL MAG. “ By comparing the tenor of these short

TRACTABILITY OF THE RHINOCEROS.—The observations of them in their wild condition learned Bishop Heber confirms the supposi- and in a state of confinement, we may gather tion of Frederic Cuvier, as to the tractability sufficient data on which to form a tolerable of the rhinoceros. In his journey through estimate of the character of these animals. India, he observes : " At Lucknow there Endowed with amazing powers of body,were five or six very large rhinoceroses, thu powers which can repel, if not overcome the first animals of the kind I ever saw, and of active ferocity of the lion and the ponderous which I found that prints and drawings had strength of the elephant, but at the same given me a very imperfect conception. They time seeking their sustenance not by the deare more bulky animals, and of a darker co-struction of animal life, but in the profuse lour than I had supposed, and the thickness banquet of the vegetable kingdom, they of the folds of their impenetrable skin much might naturally be expected to avail them surpasses all which I had expected. These selves of their physical power principally in at Lucknow are quiet and gentle animals, self-defence. Accordingly we find that to except that one of them has a feud with the first aggressor the rhinoceros is a terrible horses. They seem to propagate in captivity enemy; but if left to the ordinary bent of his without reluctance, and I should conceive own inclination, if unmolested, in short, he might be available to carry burthens as well does not wantonly seek occasion to exercise as the elephant, except that as their pace is his strength to the injury of other creatures." still slower than his, their use could only be - ZOOLOGICAL MAGAZINE. applicable to very great weights, and very * The UNICORN.—There is every reason gentle travelling. These have sometimes to believe that the graceful Unicorn of herald. had howdahs op them, and were once fas. ry had no other foundation in truth, than the tened in a carriage, but only as an experiment, uncertain description given by early travelwhich was never followed up."- vol. ii. lers, of the clumsy figure of the above ani

And in the third volume he observes: “In mal. Mr. Edward Ruppell, who has resided passing through the city I saw two very fine during six successive years in the northhunting tigers in silver chains; and a rhino- eastern regions of Africa, has published ceros, (the present of Lord Amherst to the several numbers of a work illustrative of the Guicwar,) which is so tame as to be ridden by natural history of these regions. To our a mohout

quite as patiently as an elephant.” knowledge of the giraffe he has added conThe able translator of Cuvier's Animal siderably. He obtained in Nubia and KorKingdom observes : “ The power of this spe. dofan five specimens, two of which were cies is frequently displayed to a surprising males and three females. He regards the degree when hunting it. A few years ago, a horns as constituting the principal generic party of Europeans with their native atten- character, they being formed by distinct dants and elephants, when out on the dan. bones, united to the frontal and parietal gerous sport of hunting these animals, met bones, by a very obvious suture, and having pointed so as to inflict the most fatal wounds. The elephant, the boar, or the buffalo, are obliged to strike transversely with their weapons; but the rhinoceros employs all his force with every blow; so that the tiger will more willingly attack any

other animal of the forest than one whose strength is so justly employed. Indeed, there is no force which this terrible animal has to apprehend: defended, on every side, by a thick horny hide, which the claws of the lion or the tiger are unable to pierce, and armed before with a weapon that even the elephant does not choose to oppose.

But though the rhinoceros is thus formidable by nature, yet imagination has not failed to exert itself in adding to its terrors. The scent is said to be most exquisite; and it is affirmed that it consorts with the tiger. It is reported, also, that, when it has overturned a man, or any other animal, it continues to lick the flesh quite from the bone with its tongue, which is said to be extremely rough. All this, however, is fabulous: the scent, if we may judge from the expansion of the olfactory nerves, is not greater than that of a hog, which we know to be indifferent; it keeps company with the tiger only because they both frequent watery throughout the same structure with the other and which is situated immediately beyond bones. In both sexes one of these abnormal the snows of the Kooti pass; that in this bones is situated on each branch of the coro- valley beds of salt abound, to which the Chinal suture, and the male possesses an addi- rus are said to resort in vast herds. They are tional one placed more anteriorly, and occu. represented as in the highest degree wild, and pying the middle of the frontal suture. The unapproachable by man, flying on the least anomalous position of this appendage furalarm; but if opposed, assuming a bold and nishes a complete refutation of the theory of determined front. The male and female are Camper with regard to the unicorn, that such said to present the same general appearance. an occurrence was contrary to nature, and The living subject of Mr. Hodgson's deproves at least the possibility of the existence scription presented none of those formidable of such an animal. Mr. Ruppell also ob- attributes with which the tales of the Bhoteas tained some information in Kordofan respect. had clothed the Chiru. In form and size he. ing this much debated animal. It was stated offered the common character of the antelope to be of the size of a small horse, of the tribe, lived chiefly on grass, and did not seem slender make of the gazelle, and furnished dissatisfied with his captivity, although his with a long, straight, slender horn in the panting showed that even the climate of Nemale, which was wanting in the female. Ac- pal was oppressive to him; he at length cording to the statements made by various sunk under a temperature which rarely expersons, it inhabits the deserts to the south ceeded 80° as a maximum at the commenceof Kordofan, is uncommonly fleet, and comes ment of the hot weather. Although timid, only occasionally to the Koldagi Heive and on his guard against the approach of Mountain or the borders of Kordofan

strangers, he would, when warily laid hold EDINBURGH New PhuLOSOPHICAL JOURNAL. of, submit patiently to handling.

ACCOUNT OF THE Chiru, OR UNICORN OF The general form of the animal was graceThe HimalayaU MOUNTAINS. – Mr. Hodg. ful, like that of other antelopes, and was son's paper on the Chiru concerned the ani- adorned with their matchless eye. His colour mal which has been so often mentioned as was reddish or fawu on the upper, and white the unicorn of the Himalayah. The reports on the lower part of the body. His distinrespecting this animal have been so nume- guishing characters were, first, long, sharp, rous and concurring, and so borne out by the black horns, having a wavy, triple curvature, specimens of single horns sent down at vari. with circular rings towards their base, which ous times to the Asiatic Society, and by projected more before than behind; and, seBhotea drawings of a deer-like animal with conlly, two tufts of hair projecting on the one horn springing from the centre of the outer side of each nostril, together with an forehead, that scepticism has been almost unusual quantity of bristles about the nose silenced by the variety and quantity of evi. and mouth, and which gave to his head a dence. The skin and horns sent by Mr. somewhat thickened appearance. The hair Hodgson were the spoils of an animal which of the animal resembled in texture that of all died in the menagerie of the Rajah of Nepal, the trans-Himalayah animals which Mr. to whom it was presented by the Lama of Hodgson has had the opportunity of examinDigurchi, whose pet it had been. The per- ing, being harsh and of a hollow appearance. sons who brought the animal to Nepal in. “ It was about two inches long, and so thick formed Mr. Hodgson that the favourite abode as to present to the hand a sense of solidity ; of the Chiru is the Tingri Maidan, a fine and beneath lay a spare fleece of the softest plain or valley through which the Arun flows, wool."- ARCANA OF SCIENCE, 1828.

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places in the burning climates where they are bred; and as to its rough tongue. that is so far from the truth that no animal of near its size has so soft a one." I bave often felt it myself,” says Ladvocat, in bis description of this animal ; "it is smooth, soft, and small, like that of a dog, and to the feel it appears as if one passed the hand over velvet. I have often seen it lick a young man's face who kept it, and both seemed pleased with the action.".

The age of these animals is not well known. It is said by some that they bring forth at three years old ; and, if we may reason from analogy, it is probable they seldom live till above twenty. That which was shown in London was said, by its keeper, to be eighteen years old, and even at that age he pretended to consider it as a young one: however, it died shortly after, and that probably in the course of nature.

The rhinoceros is a native of the deserts of Asia and Africa, and is usually found in those extensive forests that are frequented by the elephant and the lion. As it subsists entirely upon vegetable food, it is peaceful and harmless among its fellows of the brute creation ; but, though it never provokes to combat, it equally disdains to fly. It is every way fitted for war, but rests content in the consciousness of its security. It is particularly fond of the prickly branches of trees, and is seen to feed upon such thorny shrubs as would be dangerous to other animals either to gather or to swallow. The prickly points of these, however, may only serve to give a poignant relish to this animal's palate, and may answer the same grateful ends in seasoning its banquet that spices do in heightening ours.

In some parts of the kingdom of Asia, where the natives are more desirous of appearing warlike than showing themselves brave, these animals are tamed, and led into the field to strike terror into the enemy; but they are always an unmanageable and restive animal, and probably more dangerous to the employers than those whom they are brought to oppose.

The method of taking them is, chiefly, watching them till they are found either in some moist or marshy place, where, like hogs, they are fond of sleeping and wallowing. They then destroy the old one with fire-arms; for no weapons that are thrown by the force of man are capable of entering this animal's hide. If, when the old one is destroyed, there happens to be a cub, they seize and tame it. These animals are sometimes taken in pitfalls, covered with green branches, laid in those paths which the rhinoceros makes in going from the forest to the river side.

There are some varieties in this animal as in most others. Some of them are found in Africa with a double horn, one growing above the other: this weapon, if considered in itself, is one of the strongest and most dangerous that Nature furnishes to any part of the animal creation. The horn is entirely solid, formed of the hardest bony substance, growing from the upper maxillary bone by so strong an apophyse as seemingly to make but one part with it. Many are the medicinal virtues that are ascribed to this horn when taken in powder; but these qualities have been attributed to it without any real foundation, and make only a small part of the many fables which this extraordinary animal has given rise to.

*ENNITY AGAINST THE ELEPHANT.—The The elephant was worsted, and fled, followed
rhinoceros and male elephant have been disco. by the rhinoceros, into a heavy jungle where
vered both dead—the elephant's bowels being much roaring was heard, but nothing could
ripped open, and the rhinoceros transfixed be discerned.
under the ribs by one of the elephant's teeth. TRICK-DEFENCE.—The rhinoceros, as well
These combats are, however, very rarely seen. as the camel, is retromingent; and, like that
Major Lally, in one of his hunting parties, as animal, not only smells extremely rank, but
mentioned in the Oriental Field Sports, having its urine is highly offensive and corrosive.
arrived at the summit of a low range of hills, This might be of no moment, had not the
was suddenly presented with a distinct view rhinoceros a filthy trick of discharging his
of a most desperate engagement between a urine suddenly at such as are behind him,
rhiperos and a large male elephant; the causing great pain and inflammation to the

all appearance, protecting a snall individual unfortunately operated upon. The
ere retiring in a state of alarm. lizard and spider are equally obnoxious on this

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