Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and - Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and - Productions, Volume 1
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Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and - Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and - Productions, Volume 1

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions, Volume 1 (of 2), by James Emerson Tennent This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and Topographical with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions, Volume 1 (of 2) Author: James Emerson Tennent Release Date: September 28, 2004 [eBook #13552] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 ***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CEYLON; AN ACCOUNT OF THE ISLAND PHYSICAL, HISTORICAL, AND TOPOGRAPHICAL WITH NOTICES OF ITS NATURAL HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES AND PRODUCTIONS, VOLUME 1 (OF 2)*** E-text prepared by Carnegie Mellon University, Juliet Sutherland, Leonard Johnson, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team Frontispiece for Vol I NOOSING WILD ELEPHANTS--Vol 2 p 359 368 &c CEYLON AN ACCOUNT OF THE ISLAND PHYSICAL, HISTORICAL, AND TOPOGRAPHICAL WITH NOTICES OF ITS NATURAL HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES AND PRODUCTIONS BY SIR JAMES EMERSON TENNENT, K.C.S. LL.D. &c. ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS, PLANS AND DRAWINGS FOURTH EDITION, THOROUGHLY REVISED VOLUME I. LONDON 1860 CONTENTS OF THE FIRST VOLUME. PART I.

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The Project Gutenberg eBook,
Ceylon; an Account of the Island
Physical, Historical, and
Topographical with Notices of Its
Natural History, Antiquities and
Productions, Volume 1 (of 2), by
James Emerson Tennent
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and Topographical
with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions, Volume 1 (of 2)
Author: James Emerson Tennent
Release Date: September 28, 2004 [eBook #13552]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK CEYLON; AN
ACCOUNT OF THE ISLAND PHYSICAL, HISTORICAL, AND
TOPOGRAPHICAL WITH NOTICES OF ITS NATURAL HISTORY,
ANTIQUITIES AND PRODUCTIONS, VOLUME 1 (OF 2)***
E-text prepared by Carnegie Mellon University,
Juliet Sutherland, Leonard Johnson,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading
TeamFrontispiece for Vol I
NOOSING WILD ELEPHANTS--Vol 2 p 359 368 &c
CEYLON
AN ACCOUNT OF THE ISLAND
PHYSICAL, HISTORICAL, AND TOPOGRAPHICAL
WITH
NOTICES OF ITS NATURAL HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES AND
PRODUCTIONS
BY
SIR JAMES EMERSON TENNENT, K.C.S. LL.D.
&c.
ILLUSTRATED BY MAPS, PLANS AND DRAWINGS
FOURTH EDITION, THOROUGHLY REVISED
VOLUME I.
LONDON
1860
CONTENTS
OFTHE FIRST VOLUME.
PART I.
PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.
CHAPTER I.
GEOLOGY.—MINERALOGY.—GEMS.
I. General Aspect.
Singular beauty of the island 3
Its ancient renown in consequence 4
Fable of its "perfumed winds" (note) 4
Character of the scenery 5
II. Geographical Position 6
Ancient views regarding it amongst the Hindus,—"the Meridian of
Lanka" 6
Buddhist traditions of former submersions (note) 7
Errors as to the dimensions of Ceylon 8
Opinions of Onesicritus, Eratosthenes, Strabo, Pliny, Ptolemy,
Agathemerus 8, 9
The Arabian geographers 9
Sumatra supposed to be Ceylon (note) 10
True latitude and longitude 11
General Eraser's map of Ceylon (note) 11
Geological formation 12
Adam's Bridge 13
Error of supposing Ceylon to be a detached fragment of India 14
III. The Mountain System 14
Remarkable hills, Mihintala and Sigiri 15
Little evidence of volcanic action 16
Rocks, gneiss 16
Rock temples 17
Laterite or "Cabook" 17
Ancient name Tamba-panni (note) 17
Coral formation 19
Extraordinary wells 21
Darwin's theory of coral wells examined (note) 22
The soil of Ceylon generally poor 24
"Patenas," their phenomena obscure 24
Rice lands between the hills 26
Soil of the plains, "Talawas" 27
IV. Metals.—Tin 29
Gold, nickel, cobalt 29
Quicksilver (note) 29
Iron 30
V. Minerals.—Anthracite, plumbago, kaolin, nitre caves 31
List of Ceylon minerals (note) 32
VI. Gems, ancient fame of 32
Rose-coloured quartz (note) 33
Mode of searching for gems 34
Rubies 34
Sapphire, topaz, garnet, and cinnamon stone, cat's-eye, amethyst,moonstone 37, 38
Diamond not found in Ceylon (note) 38
Gem-finders and lapidaries 39
VII. Rivers.—Their character 40
The Mahawelli-ganga 41
Table of the rivers 41
VIII. Singular coast formation , and its causes 43
The currents and their influence 44
Word "Gobb" explained (note) 46
Vegetation of the sand formations 48
Their suitability for the coconut 51
IX. Harbours.—Galle and Trincomalie 52
Tides 52
Red infusoria 53
Population of Ceylon 53
CHAP. II.
CLIMATE.—HEALTH AND DISEASE.
Uniformity of temperature 54
Brilliancy of foliage 56
Colombo.—January—long shore wind 56
February—cold nights (note) 57
March, April 58
May—S.W. monsoon 58
Aspect of the country before it 59
Lightning 60
Rain, its violence 61
June 62
July and August, September, October, November. N.E. monsoon 63
December 64
Annual quantity of rain in Ceylon and Hindustan (note) 65
Opposite climates of the same mountain 66
Climate of Galle 67
Kandy and its climate 67
Mists and hail 69
Climate of Trincomalie (text and note ) 70
Jaffna and its climate 71
Waterspouts 72
Anthelia 73
Buddha rays 73
Ceylon as a sanatarium.—Neuera-ellia 74
Health 75
Malaria 75
Food and wine 76, 77
Effects of the climate of Ceylon on disease 79
Precautions for health 80
CHAP. III
VEGETATION.—TREES AND PLANTS.
The Flora of Ceylon imperfectly known 83
Vegetation similar to that of India and the Eastern Archipelago 84Trees of the sea-borde.—Mangroves—Screw-pines, Sonneratia 85
The Northern Plains.—Euphorbiæ Cassia.—Mustard-tree of Scripture 87
Western coast.—Luxurious vegetation 87
Eastern coast 88
Pitcher plant.—Orchids 88
Vines 89
Botany of the Mountains .—Iron-wood, Bamboo, European fruit-trees 90
Tea-plant—Rhododendron—Mickelia 90
Rapid disappearance of dead trees in the forests 91
Trees with natural buttresses 91
Flowering Trees.—Coral tree 92
The Murutu—Imbul—Cotton tree—Champac 93
The Upas Tree—Poisons of Ceylon 95
The Banyan 95
The Sacred Bo-tree 97
The India Rubber-tree—The Snake-tree 98
Kumbuk-tree: lime in its bark 99
Curious Seeds.—The Dorian, Sterculia foetida 100
The Sea Pomegranate 100
Strychnos, curious belief as to its poison 101
Euphorbia—The Cow-tree, error regarding (note) 101
Climbing plants, Epiphytes, and flowering creepers 102
Orchids—Brilliant terrestrial orchid, the Wanna-raja.—Square-stemmed
Vine 103
Gigantic climbing Plants 104
Enormous bean 105
Bonduc seeds.—Ratans—Ratan bridges 106
Thorny Trees.—Raised as a natural fortification by the Kandyans 107
The buffalo thorn, Acacia tomentosa 108
Palms 109
Coco-nut—Talipat 110
Palmyra 111
Jaggery Palm—Arcea Palm 112
Betel-chewing, its theory and uses 112
Pingos 114
Timber Trees 115
Jakwood—Del—Teak 116
Suria 117
Cabinet Woods.—Satin-wood—Ebony—Cadooberia 117
Calamander, its rarity and beauty 118
Tamarind 119
Fruit-trees 119
Remarkable power of trees to generate cold and keep their fruit chill
121
Aquatic Plants—Lotus, red and blue 123
Desmanthus natans, an aquatic sensitive plant 123
PART II.
ZOOLOGY.
CHAPTER I.
MAMMALIA.Neglect of Zoology in Ceylon 127
Monkeys 128
Wanderoo 129
Error regarding the Silenus Veter (note) 129
Presbytes Cephalopterus 130
P. Ursinus in the Hills 131
P. Thersites in the Wanny 132
P. Priamus, Jaffna and Trincomalie 132
No dead monkey ever found 133
Loris 133
Bats 135
Flying fox 135
Horse-shoe bat 136
Carnivora.—Bears 137
Their ferocity 138
Singhalese belief in the efficacy of charms (note) 139
Leopards 139
Curious belief 140
Anecdotes of leopards 142
Palm-cat 144
Civet 144
Dogs 144
Jackal 145
The horn of the jackal 145
Mungoos 145
Its fights with serpents 146
Theory of its antidote 147
Squirrels 148
Flying squirrel 148
Tree rat 149
Story of a rat and a snake 149
Coffee rat 149
Bandicoot 150
Porcupine 150
Pengolin 151
Ruminantia.—The Gaur 151
Oxen 152
Humped cattle 152
Encounter of a cow and a leopard 153
Buffaloes 154
Sporting buffaloes 155
Peculiar structure of the hoof 155
Deer 156
Meminna 157
Elephants 158
Whales 158
General view of the mammalia of Ceylon 159
List of Ceylon mammalia 159
Curious parasite of the bat (note) 161
CHAP. II.
BIRDS.
Their numbers 163
Songsters 163Hornbills, the "bird with two heads" 164
Pea fowl 165
Sea birds, their number 165
I. Accipitres.—Eagles 166
Falcons and hawks 166
Owls—the devil bird 167
II. Passeres.—Swallows 167
Kingfishers—sunbirds 168
Bul-bul—tailor bird—and weaver 169
Crows, anecdotes of 170
III. Scansores.—Parroquets 172
IV. Columbiæ.—Pigeons 173
V. Gallinæ.—Jungle-fowl 174
VI. Grallæ.—Ibis, stork, &c. 175
VII. Anseres.—Flamingoes 175
Pelicans 176
Game.—Partridges, &c.176
List of Ceylon birds 177
List of birds peculiar to Ceylon 180
CHAP. III.
REPTILES.
Lizards.—Iguana 182
Kabragoya, barbarous custom in preparing the cobra-tel poison
(note) 183
The green calotes 184
Chameleon 184
Ceratophora 185
Geckoes,—their power of reproducing limbs 185, 186
Crocodiles 186
Their power of burying themselves in the mud 187
Tortoises—Curious parasite 188
Land tortoises 189
Edible turtle 190
Huge Indian tortoises (note) 190
Hawk's-bill turtle, barbarous mode of stripping it of the tortoise-shell
190
Serpents.—Venomous species rare 191
Cobra de capello 192
Instance of land snakes found at sea 193
Tame snakes (note) 193
Singular tradition regarding the cobra de capello 194
Uropeltidæ.—New species discovered in Ceylon 195
Buddhist veneration for the cobra de capello 195
Anecdotes of snakes 196
The Python 196
Water snakes 197
Snake stones 197
Analysis of one 199
Cæcilia 201
Large frogs 202
Tree frogs 202
List of Ceylon reptiles 203CHAP. IV.
FISHES.
Ichthyology of Ceylon, little known 205
Fish for table, seir fish 205
Sardines, poisonous? 206
Sharks 207
Saw-fish 207
Fish of brilliant colours 207
Curious fish described by Ælian (note) 207
Fresh-water fish, little known,—not much eaten 208
Fresh-water fish in Colombo Lake 209
Immense profusion of fish in the rivers and lakes 209
Their re-appearance after rain 209
Mode of fishing in the ponds 210
Showers of fish 210
Conjecture that the ova are preserved, not tenable 212
Fish moving on dry land 213
Instances in Guiana (note) 214
Perca Scandens, ascends trees 215
Doubts as to the story of Daldorf 217
Fishes burying themselves during the dry season 218
The protopterus of the Gambia 218
Instances in the fish of the Nile 218
Instances in the fish of South America 219
Living fish dug out of the ground in the dry tanks in Ceylon 220
Other animals that so bury themselves, Melaniæ, Ampullariæ, &c.
220
The animals that so bury themselves in India (note) 220
Analogous case of (note) 221
Theory of æstivation and hybernation 221
Fish in hot-water in Ceylon 224
List of Ceylon fishes 224
Instances of fishes failing from the clouds 226
Overland migration of fishes known to the Greeks and Romans 227
Note on Ceylon fishes by Professor Huxley 229
Comparative note by Dr. Gray, Brit. Mus.231
CHAP. V.
MOLLUSCA, RADIATA, AND ACALEPHÆ.
I. Conchology—General character of Ceylon shells 233
Confusion regarding them in scientific works and collections 234
List of Ceylon shells 235
II. Radiata.—Star fish 244
Sea slugs 245
Parasitic worms 245
Planaria 235
III. Acalephæ, abundant 246
Corals little known 246
CHAP. VI.INSECTS.
Profusion of insects in Ceylon 247
Imperfect knowledge of 247
I. Coleoptera.—Beetles 248
Scavenger beetles 249
Coco-nut beetles 249
Tortoise beetles 250
II. Orthoptera.—Mantis and leaf-insects 250
Stick-insects 252
III. Neuroptera—Dragon flies 252
Ant-lion 252
White ants 253
Anecdotes of their instinct and ravages (text and note) 254
V. Hymenoptera.—Mason Wasps 256
Wasps 257
Bees 257
Carpenter Bee 258
Ants 258
Burrowing ants 262
VI. Lepidoptera.—Butterflies 262
Sylph 263
Lycænidæ 264
Moths 265
Silk worms (text and note ) 265
Wood-carrying Moths 266
Pterophorus 267
VII. Homoptera 267
Cicada 267
VIII. Hemiptera 267
Bugs 267
IX. Aphaniptera 268
X. Diptera.—Mosquitoes 268
General character of Ceylon insects 269
List of insects in Ceylon 274
CHAP. VII.
ARACHNIDE, MYRIOPODA, CRUSTACEA, ETC.
Spiders 294
Strange nests of the wood spiders 295
Olios Taprobanius 295
Mygale fasciata 295
Ticks 296
Mites.—Trombidium tinctorum 297
Myriapods.—Centipedes 297
Cermatia 298
Scolopendra crassa 298
S. pollipes 299
Millipeds—Iulus 299
Crustacea 300
Calling crabs 300
Land crabs 301
Painted crabs 301
Paddling crabs 301Annelidæ, Leeches.—The land leech 302
Medical leech 305
Cattle leech 306
List of Articulata, &c.307
PART III.
THE SINGHALESE CHRONICLES.
CHAPTER I.
SOURCES OF SINGHALESE HISTORY—THE MAHAWANSO.
Ceylon formerly thought to have no authentic history 311
Researches of Turnour 312
Biographical sketch of Turnour (note) 312
The Mahawanso 314
Recovery of the "tika" on the Mahawanso 315
Outline of the Mahawanso 315
Turnour's epitome of Singhalese history 316
Historical proofs of the Mahawanso 317
Identity of Sandracottus and Chandragupta 318
Ancient map of Ceylon (note) 318
List of Ceylon sovereigns 320
CHAP. II.
THE ABORIGINES.
Singhalese histories all illustrative of Buddhism 325
A Buddha 325
Gotama Buddha, his history 326
Amazing prevalence of his religion (note) 326
His three visits to Ceylon 327
Inhabitants of the island at that time supposed to be of Malayan type 327
Legend of their Chinese origin 328
Probably identical with the aborigines of the Dekkan 328
Common basis of their language 328
Characteristics of vernacular Singhalese 329
State of the aborigines before Wijayo's invasion 330
Story of Wijayo 330
The natives of Ceylon described as Yakkos and Nagas 331
Traces of serpent-worship in Ceylon 331
Coincidence of the Mahawanso with the Odyssey (note) 332
CHAP. III.
CONQUEST OF WIJAYO, B.C. 543.—ESTABLISHMENT OF BUDDHISM,
B.C. 307.
Early commerce of Ceylon described by the Chinese 335
Wijayo as a colonizer 336
His treatment of the native population 336
B.C. 505. His death and successors 336
A number of petty kingdoms formed 337