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sion on them, and provides for the quiet of his shop by giving a copper cash to each ; on receiving which they depart, and repeat the same experiment elsewhere. The streets abound with these blind beggars, who are seldom treated with indignity. A kindly indulgence is extended to them, and they enjoy a prescriptive right of levying a copper cash from every shop or house they enter. It is said that this furnishes a liberal means of livelihood to an immense number of blind persons, who, in many instances, are banded together in companies or societies, subject to a code of rules, on breach of which the transgressor is expelled the community, and loses his guild. In
every little open space there are crowds of travelling doctors, haranguing the multitude on the wonderful powers and healing virtues of the medicines which they expose for sale. Close by, some cunning fortune-teller may be seen, with crafty look, explaining to some awe-stricken simpleton his future destiny in life, from a number of books arranged before him, and consulted with due solemnity. In another part, some tame birds are exhibiting their clever feats, in singling out, from amongst a hundred others, a piece of paper enclosing a coin, and then receiving a grain of millet as a reward of their cleverness.
At a little distance are some fruit-stalls, at which old and young are making purchases, casting lots for the quantity they are to receive. Near these, again, are noisy gangs of people, pursuing a less equivocal course of gambling, and evincing, by their excited looks and clamours, the intensity of their interest in the issue. In another part may be seen disposed the apparatus of some Chinese tonsor, who is performing his skilful vocation on the crown of some fellow-countryman unable to command the attendance of the artist at a house of his own.
AN ELEPHANT CORRAL IN CEYLON,
In constructing the corral care is taken to avoid disturbing the trees or the brushwood within the included
and especially on the side by which the elephants are to approach, where it is essential to conceal the stockade as much as possible by the density of the foliage. The trees used in the structure are from ten to twelve inches in diameter, and are sunk about three feet in the earth, so as to leave a length of from twelve to fifteen feet above ground, with spaces between each post sufficiently wide to permit a man to glide through. The space
thus enclosed on the occasion I am now attempting to describe was about five hundred feet in length by half that in width. At one end an entrance was left open, fitted with sliding bars, so prepared as to be capable of being instantly shut; and from each angle of the end by which the elephants were to approach, two lines of the same strong fencing were continued on either side, and cautiously concealed by the trees, so that, if instead of entering by the open passage, the herd were to swerve to the right or left, they would find themselves suddenly stopped and forced to retrace their course to the gate.
The corral being thus prepared, the beaters address themselves to drive in the elephants. For this purpose it is often necessary to fetch a circuit of many miles in order to surround a sufficient number; and the caution to be observed involves patience and delay, as it is essential to avoid alarming the elephants, which might otherwise rush in the wrong direction. Their disposition being essentially peaceful, and their only impulse to browse it solitude and security, they withdraw instinctively before the slightest intrusion; and advantage is taken of this timidity and love of retirement to cause only just such an amount of disturbance as will induce them to move slowly onward in the direction which it is desired they should take. Several herds are by this means concentrated within such an area as will admit of their being completely encircled by the watchers; and day after day, by slow degrees, they are moved gradually onward to the immediate confines of the corral. When their suspicions become awakened and they exhibit restlessness and alarm, bolder measures are resorted to, for preventing their escape. Fires are kept burning at ten paces apart, night and day, along the circumference of the area within which they are detained; a corps of from two to three thousand beaters is completed, and pathways are carefully cleared through the jungle so as to open a communication along the entire line. The headmen keep up a constant patrol, to see that their followers are alert at their posts, since neglect at any one spot might permit the escape of the herd, and undo in a moment the vigilance of weeks. By this means any attempt of the elephants to break away is immediately checked, and on any point threatened a sufficient force can be instantly assembled to drive them back.
At last the elephants are forced onward so close to the enclosure that the investing cordon is united at either end with the wings of the corral, the whole forming a circle of about two miles, within the area of which the herd is detained to await the signal for the final drive.
Two months had been spent in these preparations, and they had been thus far completed on the day when we arrived and took our places on the stage erected for us, overlooking the entrance to the corral. Close beneath us a group of tame elephants, sent by the temples and the chiefs to assist in securing the wild ones, were picketed in the shade, and lazily fanning themselves with leaves. Three distinct herds, whose united numbers were variously represented at from forty to fifty elephants, were enclosed, and were at that moment concealed in the jungle within a short distance of the stockade.
After sunset the scene exhibited was of extraordinary interest. The low fires, which had apparently only smouldered in the sunlight, assumed their ruddy glow amidst the darkness, and threw their tinge over the groups collected round them, while the smoke ruse in eddies through the rich foliage of the trees. The crowds
of spectators maintained profound silence, and not a sound was perceptible beyond the hum of an insect. On a sudden the stillness was broken by the roll of a drum, followed by a discharge of musketry. This was the signal for the renewed assault, and the hunters entered the circle with shouts and clamour. Dry leaves and sticks were flung upon the watch-fires till they blazed aloft, and formed a line of flame on every tide except in the direction of the corral, which was studiously kept dark; and thither the terrified elephants betook themselves, followed by the yells and racket of their pursuers.
They approached at a rapid pace, trampling down the brushwood and crushing the dry branches: the leader emerged in front of the corral, paused for an instant, stared wildly round, and then rushed headlong through the open gate followed by the rest of the herd.
As if by magic, the entire circuit of the corral, which till this moment had been kept in profound darkness, now blazed with a thousand lights, every hunter, on the instant that the elephants entered, rushing forward to the stockade with a torch kindled at the nearest watch-fire.
The elephants first dashed to the very extremity of the enclosure, and being brought up by the powerful fence, started back to regain the gate, but found it closed. Their terror was sublime. They hurried round the corral at a rapid pace, but saw it now girt by fire on every side; they attempted to force the stockade, but were driven back by the guards with spears and flambeaux; and on whichever side they approached, they were repulsed with shouts and discharges of musketry. Collecting into one group, they would pause for a moment in apparent bewilderment, then burst off in another direction, as if it had suddenly occurred to them to try some point which they had before overlooked; but again repulsed, they slowly returned to their forlorn resting-place in the centre of the corral.
NORTAWARD of the great plain of India, and along its whole extent, towers the sublime mountain region of the Himalayah, ascending gradually till it terminates in a long range of summits wrapped in perpetual snow. There may be traced, for the space of 1000 miles, a continuous line 20,000 feet above the sea; from which, as a base, detached peaks ascend to the additional height of 8000 or 9000 feet. The inhabitant of the burning plains contemplates, not without wonder, this long array of white pinnacles, forming the boundary of the distant horizon. in this progressive ascent Nature assumes a continually changing aspect; and hence it will be necessary to view in succession the different stages through which she passes.
The Himalayah range, where it touches on the champaign country, is almost everywhere girt with a peculiar belt or border, called the Tarryai. This term is applied to a plain about twenty miles broad, upon which the waters from the higher regions are poured down in such profusion that the river-beds are unable to contain them. They accordingly overflow, and convert the ground into a species of swamp; which, acted on by the burning rays of a tropical sun, throws up an excessively rank vegetation, whereby the earth is choked, rather than covered. The soil is concealed beneath a mass of dark and dismal foliage, while long grass and prickly shrubs shoot up so densely and so close as to form an almost impenetrable barrier. It is still more awfully guarded by the pestilential vapours exhaling from those dark recesses, which make it, at certain seasons, a region of death. Beneath these melancholy shades, too, the elephant, the tiger, and other wild animals, prowl unmolested; while the few human beings who occupy the vicinity present a meagre, dwarfish, and most sickly aspect.
In emerging from this dark and deadly plain, and beginning to ascend the lower mountain-stages, the visitor enjoys a much more