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than its place is supplied by epiphytes, chiefly of the fragrant orchid tribe, of the most singular and beautiful forms.
"The interrupted notes of birds, loud or low, rapid or long-drawn, cheerful or plaintive, and ranging over a greater or less musical compass, are the most pleasing sounds heard; the most constant are those of insects, which sometimes rise into a shrill and deafening clangour; and the most impressive are the prolonged complaining cries of the unkas. penetrate deeper into the forest, green and harmless snakes hang like tender branches; others of deeper and mingled colours, but less innocuous, lie coiled up, or, disturbed by the human intruder, assume an angry and dangerous look, but glide out of sight. Insects, in their shapes and hues, imitate leaves, twigs, and flowers. Monkeys of all sizes and colours spring from branch to branch, or in long trains rapidly retreat up the trunks. Deer, and among them the graceful palandoh, no bigger than a hare, and celebrated in Malayan poetry, on our approach fly startled from the pools which they and the wild hog frequent. Lively squirrels of different species are everywhere met with. Amongst a great variety of other remarkable animals which range the forest, we may, according to our locality, number herds of elephants, the rhinoceros, tigers, the tapir, the bábírúsa, the orang útan, the sloth; and of the winged tribes, the gorgeously beautiful birds of paradise, the loris, the peacock, and the argus pheasant. The margins of rivers and creeks are haunted by large alligators. An endless variety of fragile and richly-coloured shells not only lie empty on the sandy beaches, but are tenanted by pagurian crabs, which in clusters batten upon every morsel of fat seaweed that has been left by the retiring waves. The coasts are fringed by living rocks of beautiful colours, and shaped like trees, flowers, bushes, and other symmetrical forms."
Such is the vivid description of this scene given by a local writer in the Journal of the Indian Archipelago; and amid this exuberance of life the gutta percha lifts its tall head, pre-eminent over many around it.
An interesting account of this tree has been given by Mr. Oxley in the periodical last quoted. From this account we learn that the tree is from sixty to seventy feet in height, and from two to three feet in diameter on the average. In general appearance it resembles the well-known Doorian; so much so as to strike the most superficial observer. The under surface of the leaf, however, is of a more reddish and decided brown than the doorian, and the shape is somewhat different. Only a short time ago this tree, locally called the tuban tree, was tolerably abundant in the Island of Singapore; but already all the large timber has been felled, and few if any other than small plants are now to be found. The range of its growth, however, appears to be considerable, although as yet the inhabitants scarcely seem to be aware of the fact.
The localities in which it most luxuriantly flourishes are, as already noticed, the alluvial tracts along the foot of the hills, where it flourishes abundantly. But notwithstanding the indigenous character of the tree, its apparent abundance and wide-spread diffusion, it appeared at one time very probable that gutta percha would become speedily a very scarce article, in consequence of the improvident manner in which it was collected by the Malays and Chinese. The mode of collection then adopted was the following:-A tree of full growth was cut down, and the bark removed in rings, at distances of about twelve to eighteen inches apart. An empty receptacle, such as a cocoa-nut shell, the spathe of a palm, or such like, was then placed under the fallen trunk, so as to receive the milky sap
which exuded at every incision. The sap was then collected in bamboos, taken to the houses of the collectors and boiled, in order to drive off the watery particles, and to inspissate the liquor to a proper consistence. The process of boiling appears necessary when it is collected in large quantities; but if a gutta percha tree be partially wounded, and a small quantity allowed to exude, and it be collected and moulded in the hand, it will consolidate perfectly in a few minutes, and present the same appearance as that prepared in the other way.
When gutta percha is quite pure, the colour is of a greyish white; but the commercial specimens are more commonly found to possess a reddish hue. This colour arises, it is said, from chips of bark which fall into the sap in the act of making the incisions, and which yield their colour to it. Besides these accidental chips, there is an enormous amount of intentional adulteration by sawdust and other materials. The quantity yielded by one tree, treated in the manner above described, has been stated at from five to twenty catties; so that, taking the average of ten catties as obtained from each, and this is a very liberal one, it will require the destruction of ten trees to produce one picul, or 133 lbs.
"The quantity exported," proceeds the writer, in the Journal of the Malayan Archipelago, from whence we have borrowed the above account, "from Singapore to Great Britain, from January 1, 1846, to June 1847, amounted to 6,918 piculs, to obtain which 69,180 trees must have been sacrificed. How much better would it, therefore, be to adopt the method of tapping the tree practised by the Burmese in obtaining the caoutchouc from the Ficus elastica (namely, to make oblique incisions in the bark, placing bamboos to receive the sap, which runs out freely), than to kill the goose in the manner they are at present doing. True, they would not get at first so much from a single tree, but the ultimate gain would be incalculable, particularly as the tree seems to be one of slow growth. If the present method of extermination be persisted in, there will probably be a cessation of the supply.
SEA-SIDE PLEASURES, No. III. (continued).
BUT the eye took in the whole expanse of the Sands, extending in a sweeping curve for about three miles, and terminating in a long and lofty promontory known as Baggy Point. The great breadth of this beach of sand, for the tide had now receded far; its uniform yellow hue, unsullied by a speck, save where a flock of gulls were washing their feet in a tiny streamlet; the promontory beyond, chequered over with fields and hedges; the still bolder promontory of Hartland Point (the Herculis Promontorium of ancient geography), blue and well-defined, though twenty miles distant, and running out to a great length upon the horizon, were all objects on which the eye of the beholder rested with pleasure. But perhaps more lovely than all beside was the wide expanse of sea, sleeping in azure brightness, and reflecting in one part, as from a mirror of steel, the dazzling rays of the afternoon sun.
The sides of the road were sweet with wild thyme, and gay with the delicate pink blossoms of the little centaury; but what interested me more was that the furze-bushes, for a considerable space, were covered with the leafless stems of that curious plant, the dodder, looking as if hanks of crimson thread had been opened and spread over them.
Just before we arrive at Barricane, the road makes an abrupt bend around the head of a deep and narrow cove, called Combe's-gate; and I ran down the intervening slope of meadow-ground, to look at it. At the seaward edge I found a loose broken cliff, copiously fringed with the lilac spikes of the lavender-thrift-beautiful, but scentless
"The sea lavender which lacks perfume." (CRABBE.)
It was now in full blossom, as was also the samphire, which was growing in large bushy masses, of deepest green, about these rocks. Below was a beach of smooth yellow sand, environed by ledges of that peculiarly rough and black rock that I have already spoken of; but towards its head, the cove narrows to a deep gloomy gorge, into the extremity of which pours perpendicularly a slender cascade, about thirty feet high, slightly broken and interrupted, but most picturesque. The narrow cleft down which it fell was fringed with various kinds of ferns and mosses, preserved in the brightest verdure by the spray which continually sprinkled them; and grasses and other herbaceous plants around the bottom were nourished into a rank luxuriance by the same cause. Some of our party, who were familiar with Shanklin Chine, said that the whole scene reminded them of that spot, so celebrated for its romantic beauty.
And thus we came to Barricane. A steep footpath leads down to an area of what you would suppose to be minute pebbles; but which, when you come down to them, you find to be almost entirely composed of shells. The greater part, indeed, are broken by the waves into minute fragments, but a good number are found in a state sufficiently entire to be worth pre
serving. A group of women and girls may always be seen, raking with their fingers among the fragments for such specimens. They usually lie at length upon the beach, to work with greater ease; but when a visitor comes down, they throng round him like bees; and he must be a skilful tactician if he be not at least sixpence the poorer when he leaves the cove. Sometimes they offer the shells for sale just as they are found; but more commonly they make with them ornamental baskets, inkstands, &c., by gluing the smaller shells on the pasteboard or stone-bottle, in some kind of regular arrangement, scattering pounded glass upon the work to give it a sparkling appearance.
Among the shells found in great abundance here there are several which I have not met with in any other part of this coast. Besides two or three little kinds of whelk, and the common murex, and purpura, which are everywhere abundant, and the beautiful little cowry, which cannot be considered rare, there is the elegant wentle-trap (Scalaria communis), the elephant's tusk, or horn-shell (Dentalium entalis), the cylindrical dipper (Bulla cylindracea), called by the local collectors, "maggot," and the beaded nerite (Natica monilifera), a large and beautiful shell, to which the women have given the euphonious appellation of "guggy." The comparison of the little white Bulla to a maggot is by no means unapt, but the meaning of "guggy" I do not pretend to have fathomed. These " guggies" are frequently tenanted by the soldier-crab, a little rogue of a fellow, strongly armed, that takes possession of any suitable shell that he can find on the beach, insinuating his hinder parts into its whorls, and crawling nimbly about with it, as if he had made it instead of stolen it. One of the girls brought me a "guggy" so inhabited, as a great curiosity, assuring me that the crab was a young lobster. My zoological lore was here all in vain: what is theory compared with practice? The girl had been gathering guggies" all her life; ought not she to know?
But," said I," the lobster lives free out in the deep sea, and does not creep into shells, or crawl about on the beach."
"O yes, he does, when he's young."
Then I thought of an irrefragable argument. I broke the shell, and pulling out the intruder, pointed triumphantly to the soft, inflated, and distorted hinder parts. "There! did you ever see a real lobster with a tail like that?"
"O yes, he's always so, when he's young. When he gets old, he gets hard."
What could I say? I knew that metamorphoses far more extensive and more startling, both in structure and habits, do really occur in the history of the Crustacea, and as I had only my bare word that this was not an example of a similar change, I was dumb-foundered. In confidence to you, however, gentle reader, I will again just say, that he of the "guggies" will never live long enough to become a lobster.
Leaving the shell-collectors, I strolled down the long narrow inlet to the tide-pools at the water's edge. This was a long way out, and as I walked between the walls of rock, I observed that the shells were accumulated only about high-water mark; below this all was yellow sand to the sea.
The rock-pools were deep, narrow, wall-sided, and dark; all which qualities rendered them first-rate exploring ground for a naturalist. Finding I could not rifle their treasures from without, I stripped and jumped in, working away with my hammer and chisel as long as I dared, with the water as high as my breast.
Among the sea-weeds there were two growing in this deep pool far under water, which I had not before met with. One was Cladostephus verticillatus, consisting of stalks much branched, no thicker than threads, but set round at short intervals with close whorls of minute olive-coloured hairs. The other was a rare species, though sufficiently abundant here,Taonia atomaria, resembling a thin yellowish leaf, split into several divisions, and cut to somewhat of the shape of a fan. The whole leaf is crossed by many dark-brown lines, which on being magnified are seen to be composed of dots clustered together in this manner. These are the spores, or seeds of the plant.
Antiopa cristata (magnified); a, viewel from above; b, viewed from beneath.
It would take up too many pages of the Home Friend if I were to attempt descriptions of all the curious animals that I found during the half-hour that I spent in the water of this rock-pool. They afforded me matter for observation and study for many days afterwards, and in all I found fresh displays of the glory of Him whose Name is above every name. One of them, however, a creature of exquisite beauty, I must just mention. It was the Crested Antiopa, one of a numerous tribe of animals allied to the slugs of our gardens, but formed to live and breathe beneath the sea, by means of organs which are exterior to the body. The accompanying figures from a drawing which I made of my captive will give an idea of its general appearance. The breathing organs are very numerous; they consist of oval bags delicately pellucid, arranged all round the sides and front of the animal, and have an extremely elegant appearance. Each one has a brown line running through its transparent substance, and is tipped with silver-white. The general colour of the animal is pellucid grey, with spots and lines of opaque white that have the lustre of silver. It is about an inch in length. The tribe of animals to which it belongs is known as the Nudibranchiate (that is, naked-gilled) Mollusca: about a hundred species are enumerated as natives of the British coasts, and these