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The Malay Archipelago Volume 1 by by Alfred Russell Wallace

Part 3 out of 6

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central dome is fifty feet in diameter; around it is a triple
circle of seventy-two towers, and the whole building is six
hundred and twenty feet square, and about one hundred feet high.
In the terrace walls are niches containing cross-legged figures
larger than life to the number of about four hundred, and both
sides of all the terrace walls are covered with bas-reliefs
crowded with figures, and carved in hard stone and which must
therefore occupy an extent of nearly three miles in length! The
amount of human labour and skill expended on the Great Pyramid of
Egypt sinks into insignificance when compared with that required
to complete this sculptured hill-temple in the interior of Java.

GUNONG PRAU.--About forty miles southwest of Samarang, on a
mountain called Gunong Prau, an extensive plateau is covered with
ruins. To reach these temples, four flights of stone steps were
made up the mountain from opposite directions, each flight
consisting of more than a thousand steps. Traces of nearly four
hundred temples have been found here, and many (perhaps all) were
decorated with rich and delicate sculptures. The whole country
between this and Brambanam, a distance of sixty miles, abounds
with ruins, so that fine sculptured images may be seen lying in
the ditches, or built into the walls of enclosures.

In the eastern part of Java, at Kediri and in Malang, there are
equally abundant traces of antiquity, but the buildings
themselves have been mostly destroyed. Sculptured figures,
however, abound; and the ruins of forts, palaces, baths,
aqueducts, and temples, can be everywhere traced. It is
altogether contrary to the plan of this book to describe what I
have not myself seen; but, having been led to mention them, I
felt bound to do something to call attention to these marvellous
works of art. One is overwhelmed by the contemplation of these
innumerable sculptures, worked with delicacy and artistic feeling
in a hard, intractable, trachytic rock, and all found in one
tropical island. What could have been the state of society, what
the amount of population, what the means of subsistence which
rendered such gigantic works possible, will, perhaps, ever remain
a mystery; and it is a wonderful example of the power of
religious ideas in social life, that in the very country where,
five hundred years ago, these grand works were being yearly
executed, the inhabitants now only build rude houses of bamboo
and thatch, and look upon these relics of their forefathers with
ignorant amazement, as the undoubted productions of giants or of
demons. It is much to be regretted that the Dutch Government does
not take vigorous steps for the preservation of these ruins from
the destroying agency of tropical vegetation; and for the
collection of the fine sculptures which are everywhere scattered
over the land.

Wonosalem is situated about a thousand feet above the sea, but
unfortunately it is at a distance from the forest, and is
surrounded by coffee plantations, thickets of bamboo, and coarse
grasses. It was too far to walk back daily to the forest, and in
other directions I could find no collecting ground for insects.
The place was, however, famous for peacocks, and my boy soon shot
several of these magnificent birds, whose flesh we found to be
tender, white, and delicate, and similar to that of a turkey. The
Java peacock is a different species from that of India, the neck
being covered with scale-like green feathers, and the crest of a
different form; but the eyed train is equally large and equally
beautiful. It is a singular fact in geographical distribution
that the peacock should not be found in Sumatra or Borneo, while
the superb Argus, Fire-backed and Ocellated pheasants of those
islands are equally unknown in Java. Exactly parallel is the fact
that in Ceylon and Southern India, where the peacock abounds,
there are none of the splendid Lophophori and other gorgeous
pheasants which inhabit Northern India. It would seem as if the
peacock can admit of no rivals in its domain. Were these birds
rare in their native country, and unknown alive in Europe, they
would assuredly be considered as the true princes of the
feathered tribes, and altogether unrivalled for stateliness and
beauty. As it is, I suppose scarcely anyone if asked to fix upon
the most beautiful bird in the world would name the peacock, any
more than the Papuan savage or the Bugis trader would fix upon
the bird of paradise for the same honour.

Three days after my arrival at Wonosalem, my friend Mr. Ball came
to pay me a visit. He told me that two evenings before, a boy had
been killed and eaten by a tiger close to Modjo-agong. He was
riding on a cart drawn by bullocks, and was coming home about
dusk on the main road; and when not half a mile from the village
a tiger sprang upon him, carried him off into the jungle close
by, and devoured him. Next morning his remains were discovered,
consisting only of a few mangled bones. The Waidono had got
together about seven hundred men, and were in chase of the
animal, which, I afterwards heard, they found and killed. They
only use spears when in pursuit of a tiger in this way. They
surround a large tract of country, and draw gradually together
until the animal is enclosed in a compact ring of armed men. When
he sees there is no escape he generally makes a spring, and is
received on a dozen spears, and almost instantly stabbed to
death. The skin of an animal thus killed is, of course,
worthless, and in this case the skull, which I had begged Mr.
Ball to secure for me, was hacked to pieces to divide the teeth,
which are worn as charms.

After a week at Wonosalem, I returned to the foot of the
mountain, to a village named Djapannan, which was surrounded by
several patches of forest, and seemed altogether pretty well
spited to my pursuits. The chief of the village had prepared two
small bamboo rooms on one side of his own courtyard to
accommodate me, and seemed inclined to assist me as much as he
could. The weather was exceedingly hot and dry, no rain having
fallen for several months, and there was, in consequence, a great
scarcity of insects, and especially of beetles. I therefore
devoted myself chiefly to obtaining a good set of the birds, and
succeeded in making a tolerable collection. All the peacocks we
had hitherto shot had had short or imperfect tails, but I now
obtained two magnificent specimens more than seven feet long, one
of which I preserved entire, while I kept the train only attached
to the tail of two or three others. When this bird is seen
feeding on the ground, it appears wonderful how it can rise into
the air with such a long and cumbersome train of feathers. It
does so however with great ease, by running quickly for a short
distance, and then rising obliquely; and will fly over trees of a
considerable height. I also obtained here a specimen of the rare
green jungle-fowl (Gallus furcatus), whose back and neck are
beautifully scaled with bronzy feathers, and whose smooth-edged
oval comb is of a violet purple colour, changing to green at the
base. It is also remarkable in possessing a single large wattle
beneath its throat, brightly coloured in three patches of red,
yellow, and blue. The common jungle-cock (Gallus bankiva) was
also obtained here. It is almost exactly like a common game-cock,
but the voice is different, being much shorter and more abrupt;
hence its native name is Bekeko. Six different kinds of
woodpeckers and four kingfishers were found here, the fine
hornbill, Buceros lunatus, more than four feet long, and the
pretty little lorikeet, Loriculus pusillus, scarcely more than as
many inches.

One morning, as I was preparing and arranging specimens, I was
told there was to be a trial; and presently four or five men came
in and squatted down on a mat under the audience-shed in the
court. The chief then came in with his clerk, and sat down
opposite them. Each spoke in turn, telling his own tale, and then
I found that those who first entered were the prisoner, accuser,
policemen, and witness, and that the prisoner was indicated
solely by having a loose piece of cord twilled around his wrists,
but not tied. It was a case of robbery, and after the evidence
was given, and a few questions had been asked by the chief, the
accused said a few words, and then sentence was pronounced, which
was a fine. The parties then got up and walked away together,
seeming quite friendly; and throughout there was nothing in the
manner of any one present indicating passion or ill-feeling--a
very good illustration of the Malayan type of character.

In a month's collecting at Wonosaleni and Djapannan I accumulated
ninety-eight species of birds, but a most miserable lot of
insects. I then determined to leave East Java and try the more
moist and luxuriant districts at the western extremity of the
island. I returned to Sourabaya by water, in a roomy boat which
brought myself, servants, and baggage at one-fifth the expense it
had cost me to come to Modjo-kerto. The river has been rendered
navigable by being carefully banked up, but with the usual effect
of rendering the adjacent country liable occasionally to severe
floods. An immense traffic passes down this river; and at a lock
we passed through, a mile of laden boats were waiting two or
three deep, which pass through in their turn six at a time.

A few days afterwards I went by steamer to Batavia, where I
stayed about a week at the chief hotel, while I made arrangements
for a trip into the interior. The business part of the city is
near the harbour, but the hotels and all the residences of the
officials and European merchants are in a suburb two miles off,
laid out in wide streets and squares so as to cover a great
extent of ground. This is very inconvenient for visitors, as the
only public conveyances are handsome two-horse carriages, whose
lowest charge is five guilders (8s. 4d.) for half a day, so that
an hour's business in the morning and a visit in the evening
costs 16s. 8d. a day for carriage hire alone.

Batavia agrees very well with Mr. Money's graphic account of it,
except that his "clear canals" were all muddy, and his "smooth
gravel drives" up to the houses were one and all formed of coarse
pebbles, very painful to walk upon, and hardly explained by the
fact that in Batavia everybody drives, as it can hardly be
supposed that people never walk in their gardens. The Htel des
Indes was very comfortable, each visitor having a sitting-room
and bedroom opening on a verandah, where he can take his morning
coffee and afternoon tea. In the centre of the quadrangle is a
building containing a number of marble baths always ready for
use; and there is an excellent table d'hte breakfast at ten, and
dinner at six, for all which there is a moderate charge per day.

I went by coach to Buitenzorg, forty miles inland and about a
thousand feet above the sea, celebrated for its delicious climate
and its Botanical Gardens. With the latter I was somewhat
disappointed. The walks were all of loose pebbles, making any
lengthened wanderings about them very tiring and painful under a
tropical sun. The gardens are no doubt wonderfully rich in
tropical and especially in Malayan plants, but there is a great
absence of skillful laying-out; there are not enough men to keep
the place thoroughly in order, and the plants themselves are
seldom to be compared for luxuriance and beauty to the same
species grown in our hothouses. This can easily be explained. The
plants can rarely be placed in natural or very favourable
conditions. The climate is either too hot or too cool, too moist
or too dry, for a large proportion of them, and they seldom get
the exact quantity of shade or the right quality of soil to suit
them. In our stoves these varied conditions can be supplied to
each individual plant far better than in a large garden, where
the fact that the plants are most of them growing in or near
their native country is supposed to preclude, the necessity of
giving them much individual attention. Still, however, there is
much to admire here. There are avenues of stately palms, and
clumps of bamboos of perhaps fifty different kinds; and an
endless variety of tropical shrubs and trees with strange and
beautiful foliage. As a change from the excessive heat of
Batavia, Buitenzorg is a delightful abode. It is just elevated
enough to have deliciously cool evenings and nights, but not so
much as to require any change of clothing; and to a person long
resident in the hotter climate of the plains, the air is always
fresh and pleasant, and admits of walking at almost any hour of
the day. The vicinity is most picturesque and luxuriant, and the
great volcano of Gunung Salak, with its truncated and jagged
summit, forms a characteristic background to many of the
landscapes. A great mud eruption took place in 1699, since which
date the mountain has been entirely inactive.

On leaving Buitenzorg, I had coolies to carry my baggage and a
horse for myself, both to be changed every six or seven miles.
The road rose gradually, and after the first stage the hills
closed in a little on each side, forming a broad valley; and the
temperature was so cool and agreeable, and the country so
interesting, that I preferred walking. Native villages imbedded
in fruit trees, and pretty villas inhabited by planters or
retired Dutch officials, gave this district a very pleasing and
civilized aspect; but what most attracted my attention was the
system of terrace-cultivation, which is here universally adopted,
and which is, I should think, hardly equalled in the world. The
slopes of the main valley, and of its branches, were everywhere
cut in terraces up to a considerable height, and when they wound
round the recesses of the hills produced all the effect of
magnificent amphitheatres. Hundreds of square miles of country
are thus terraced, and convey a striking idea of the industry of
the people and the antiquity of their civilization. These
terraces are extended year by year as the population increases,
by the inhabitants of each village working in concert under the
direction of their chiefs; and it is perhaps by this system of
village culture alone, that such extensive terracing and
irrigation has been rendered possible. It was probably introduced
by the Brahmins from India, since in those Malay countries where
there is no trace of a previous occupation by a civilized people,
the terrace system is unknown. I first saw this mode of
cultivation in Bali and Lombock, and, as I shall have to describe
it in some detail there (see Chapter X.), I need say no more
about it in this place, except that, owing to the finer outlines
and greater luxuriance of the country in West Java, it produces
there the most striking and picturesque effect. The lower slopes
of the mountains in Java possess such a delightful climate and
luxuriant soil; living is so cheap and life and property are so
secure, that a considerable number of Europeans who have been
engaged in Government service, settle permanently in the country
instead of returning to Europe. They are scattered everywhere
throughout the more accessible parts of the island, and tend
greatly to the gradual improvement of the native population, and
to the continued peace and prosperity of the whole country.

Twenty miles beyond Buitenzorg the post road passes over the
Megamendong Mountain, at an elevation of about 4,500 feet. The
country is finely mountainous, and there is much virgin forest
still left upon the hills, together with some of the oldest
coffee-plantations in Java, where the plants have attained almost
the dimensions of forest trees. About 500 feet below the summit
level of the pass there is a road-keeper's hut, half of which I
hired for a fortnight, as the country looked promising for making
collections. I almost immediately found that the productions of
West Java were remarkably different from those of the eastern
part of the island; and that all the more remarkable and
characteristic Javanese birds and insects were to be found here.
On the very first day, my hunters obtained for me the elegant
yellow and green trogon (Harpactes Reinwardti), the gorgeous
little minivet flycatcher (Pericrocotus miniatus), which looks
like a flame of fire as it flutters among the bushes, and the
rare and curious black and crimson oriole (Analcipus
sanguinolentus), all of these species which are found only in
Java, and even seem to be confined to its western portion.

In a week I obtained no less than twenty-four species of birds,
which I had not found in the east of the island, and in a
fortnight this number increased to forty species, almost all of
which are peculiar to the Javanese fauna. Large and handsome
butterflies were also tolerably abundant. In dark ravines, and
occasionally on the roadside, I captured the superb Papilio
arjuna, whose wings seem powdered with grains of golden green,
condensed into bands and moon-shaped spots; while the elegantly-
formed Papilio coon was sometimes to be found fluttering slowly
along the shady pathways (see figure at page 201). One day a boy
brought me a butterfly between his fingers, perfectly unhurt. He
had caught it as it was sitting with wings erect, sucking up the
liquid from a muddy spot by the roadside. Many of the finest
tropical butterflies have this habit, and they are generally so
intent upon their meal that they can be easily be reached and
captured. It proved to be the rare and curious Charaxes kadenii,
remarkable for having on each hind wing two curved tails like a
pair of callipers. It was the only specimen I ever saw, and is
still the only representative of its kind in English collections.

In the east of Java I had suffered from the intense heat and
drought of the dry season, which had been very inimical to insect
life. Here I had got into the other extreme of damp, wet, and
cloudy weather, which was equally unfavourable. During the month
which I spent in the interior of West Java, I never had a really
hot fine, day throughout. It rained almost every afternoon, or
dense mists came down from the mountains, which equally stopped
collecting, and rendered it most difficult to dry my specimens,
so that I really had no chance of getting a fair sample of
Javanese entomology.

By far the most interesting incident in my visit to Java was a
trip to the summit of the Pangerango and Gedeh mountains; the
former an extinct volcanic cone about 10,000 feet high, the
latter an active crater on a lower portion of the same mountain
range. Tchipanas, about four miles over the Megamendong Pass, is
at the foot of the mountain. A small country house for the
Governor-General and a branch of the Botanic Gardens are situated
here, the keeper of which accommodated me with a bed for a night.
There are many beautiful trees and shrubs planted here, and large
quantities of European vegetables are grown for the Governor-
General's table. By the side of a little torrent that bordered
the garden, quantities of orchids were cultivated, attached to
the trunks of trees, or suspended from the branches, forming an
interesting open air orchid-house. As I intended to stay two or
three nights on the mountain, I engaged two coolies to carry my
baggage, and with my two hunters we started early the next

The first mile was over open country, which brought us to the
forest that covers the whole mountain from a height of about
5,000 feet. The next mile or two was a tolerably steep ascent
through a grand virgin forest, the trees being of great size, and
the undergrowth consisting of fine herbaceous plants, tree-ferns,
and shrubby vegetation. I was struck by the immense number of
ferns that grew by the side of the road. Their variety seemed
endless, and I was continually stopping to admire some new and
interesting forms. I could now well understand what I had been
told by the gardener, that 300 species had been found on this one
mountain. A little before noon we reached the small plateau of
Tjiburong, at the foot of the steeper part of the mountain, where
there is a plank-house for the accommodation of travellers. Close
by is a picturesque waterfall and a curious cavern, which I had
not time to explore. Continuing our ascent the road became
narrow, rugged and steep, winding zigzag up the cone, which is
covered with irregular masses of rock, and overgrown with a dense
luxuriant but less lofty vegetation. We passed a torrent of water
which is not much lower than the boiling point, and has a most
singular appearance as it foams over its rugged bed, sending up
clouds of steam, and often concealed by the overhanging herbage
of ferns and lycopodia, which here thrive with more luxuriance
than elsewhere.

At about 7,500 feet we came to another hut of open bamboos, at a
place called Kandang Badak, or "Rhinoceros-field," which we were
going to make our temporary abode. Here was a small clearing,
with abundance of tree-ferns and some young plantations of
Cinchona. As there was now a thick mist and drizzling rain, I did
not attempt to go on to the summit that evening, but made two
visits to it during my stay, as well as one to the active crater
of Gedeh. This is a vast semicircular chasm, bounded by black
perpendicular walls of rock, and surrounded by miles of rugged
scoria-covered slopes. The crater itself is not very deep. It
exhibits patches of sulphur and variously-coloured volcanic
products, and emits from several vents continual streams of smoke
and vapour. The extinct cone of Pangerango was to me more
interesting. The summit is an irregular undulating plain with a
low bordering ridge, and one deep lateral chasm. Unfortunately,
there was perpetual mist and rain either above or below us all
the time I was on the mountain; so that I never once saw the
plain below, or had a glimpse of the magnificent view which in
fine weather is to be obtained from its summit. Notwithstanding
this drawback I enjoyed the excursion exceedingly, for it was the
first time I had been high enough on a mountain near the Equator
to watch the change from a tropical to a temperate flora. I will
now briefly sketch these changes as I observed them in Java.

On ascending the mountain, we first meet with temperate forms of
herbaceous plants, so low as 3,000 feet, where strawberries and
violets begin to grow, but the former are tasteless, and the
latter have very small and pale flowers. Weedy composites also
begin to give a European aspect to the wayside herbage. It is
between 2,000 and 5,000 feet that the forests and ravines exhibit
the utmost development of tropical luxuriance and beauty. The
abundance of noble Tree-ferns, sometimes fifty feet high,
contributes greatly to the general effect, since of all the forms
of tropical vegetation they are certainly the most striking and
beautiful. Some of the deep ravines which have been cleared of
large timber are full of them from top to bottom; and where the
road crosses one of these valleys, the view of their feathery
crowns, in varied positions above and below the eye, offers a
spectacle of picturesque beauty never to be forgotten. The
splendid foliage of the broad-leaved Musceae and Zingiberaceae,
with their curious and brilliant flowers; and the elegant and
varied forms of plants allied to Begonia and Melastoma,
continually attract the attention in this region. Filling in the
spaces between the trees and larger plants, on every trunk and
stump and branch, are hosts of Orchids, Ferns and Lycopods, which
wave and hang and intertwine in ever-varying complexity. At about
5,000 feet I first saw horsetails (Equisetum), very like our own
species. At 6,000 feet, raspberries abound, and thence to the
summit of the mountain there are three species of eatable Rubus.
At 7,000 feet Cypresses appear, and the forest trees become
reduced in size, and more covered with mosses and lichens. From
this point upward these rapidly increase, so that the blocks of
rock and scoria that form the mountain slope are completely
hidden in a mossy vegetation. At about 5,000 feet European forms
of plants become abundant. Several species of Honeysuckle, St.
John's-wort, and Guelder-rose abound, and at about 9,000 feet we
first meet with the rare and beautiful Royal Cowslip (Primula
imperialis), which is said to be found nowhere else in the world
but on this solitary mountain summit. It has a tall, stout stem,
sometimes more than three feet high, the root leaves are eighteen
inches long, and it bears several whorls of cowslip-like flowers,
instead of a terminal cluster only. The forest trees, gnarled and
dwarfed to the dimensions of bushes, reach up to the very rim of
the old crater, but do not extend over the hollow on its summit.
Here we find a good deal of open ground, with thickets of shrubby
Artemisias and Gnaphaliums, like our southernwood and cudweed,
but six or eight feet high; while Buttercups, Violets,
Whortleberries, Sow-thistles, Chickweed, white and yellow
Cruciferae Plantain, and annual grasses everywhere abound. Where
there are bushes and shrubs, the St. John's-wort and Honeysuckle
grow abundantly, while the Imperial Cowslip only exhibits its
elegant blossoms under the damp shade of the thickets.

Mr. Motley, who visited the mountain in the dry season, and paid
much attention to botany, gives the following list of genera of
European plants found on or near the summit: Two species of
Violet, three of Ranunculus, three of Impatiens, eight or ten of
Rubus, and species of Primula, Hypericum, Swertia, Convallaria
(Lily of the Valley), Vaccinium (Cranberry), Rhododendron,
Gnaphalium, Polygonum, Digitalis (Foxglove), Lonicera (Honey-
suckle), Plantago (Rib-grass), Artemisia (Wormwood), Lobelia,
Oxalis (Wood-sorrel), Quercus (Oak), and Taxus (Yew). A few of
the smaller plants (Plantago major and lanceolata, Sonchus
oleraceus, and Artemisia vulgaris) are identical with European

The fact of a vegetation so closely allied to that of Europe
occurring on isolated mountain peaks, in an island south of the
Equator, while all the lowlands for thousands of miles around are
occupied by a flora of a totally different character, is very
extraordinary; and has only recently received an intelligible
explanation. The Peak of Teneriffe, which rises to a greater
height and is much nearer to Europe, contains no such Alpine
flora; neither do the mountains of Bourbon and Mauritius. The
case of the volcanic peaks of Java is therefore somewhat
exceptional, but there are several analogous, if not exactly
parallel cases, that will enable us better to understand in what
way the phenomena may possibly have been brought about.

The higher peaks of the Alps, and even of the Pyrenees, contain a
number of plants absolutely identical with those of Lapland, but
nowhere found in the intervening plains. On the summit of the
White Mountains, in the United States, every plant is identical
with species growing in Labrador. In these cases all ordinary
means of transport fail. Most of the plants have heavy seeds,
which could not possibly be carried such immense distances by the
wind; and the agency of birds in so effectually stocking these
Alpine heights is equally out of the question. The difficulty was
so great, that some naturalists were driven to believe that these
species were all separately created twice over on these distant
peaks. The determination of a recent glacial epoch, however, soon
offered a much more satisfactory solution, and one that is now
universally accepted by men of science. At this period, when the
mountains of Wales were full of glaciers, and the mountainous
parts of Central Europe, and much of America north of the great
lakes, were covered with snow and ice, and had a climate
resembling that of Labrador and Greenland at the present day, an
Arctic flora covered all these regions. As this epoch of cold
passed away, and the snowy mantle of the country, with the
glaciers that descended from every mountain summit, receded up
their slopes and towards the north pole, the plants receded also,
always clinging as now to the margins of the perpetual snow line.
Thus it is that the same species are now found on the summits of
the mountains of temperate Europe and America, and in the barren
north-polar regions.

But there is another set of facts, which help us on another step
towards the case of the Javanese mountain flora. On the higher
slopes of the Himalayas, on the tops of the mountains of Central
India and of Abyssinia, a number of plants occur which, though
not identical with those of European mountains, belong to the
same genera, and are said by botanists to represent them; and
most of these could not exist in the warm intervening plains. Mr.
Darwin believes that this class of facts can be explained in the
same way; for, during the greatest severity of the glacial epoch,
temperate forms of plants will have extended to the confines of
the tropics, and on its departure, will have retreated up these
southern mountains, as well as northward to the plains and hills
of Europe. But in this case, the time elapsed, and the great
change of conditions, have allowed many of these plants to become
so modified that we now consider them to be distinct species. A
variety of other facts of a similar nature have led him to
believe that the depression of temperature was at one time
sufficient to allow a few north-temperate plants to cross the
Equator (by the most elevated routes) and to reach the Antarctic
regions, where they are now found. The evidence on which this
belief rests will be found in the latter part of Chapter II. of
the "Origin of Species"; and, accepting it for the present as an
hypothesis, it enables us to account for the presence of a flora
of European type on the volcanoes of Java.

It will, however, naturally be objected that there is a wide
expanse of sea between Java and the continent, which would have
effectually prevented the immigration of temperate fortes of
plants during the glacial epoch. This would undoubtedly be a
fatal objection, were there not abundant evidence to show that
Java has been formerly connected with Asia, and that the union
must have occurred at about the epoch required. The most striking
proof of such a junction is, that the great Mammalia of Java, the
rhinoceros, the tiger, and the Banteng or wild ox, occur also in
Siam and Burmah, and these would certainly not have been
introduced by man. The Javanese peacock and several other birds
are also common to these two countries; but, in the majority of
cases, the species are distinct, though closely allied,
indicating that a considerable time (required for such
modification) has elapsed since the separation, while it has not
been so long as to cause an entire change. Now this exactly
corresponds with the time we should require since the temperate
forms of plants entered Java. These are now almost distinct
species, but the changed conditions under which they are now
forced to exist, and the probability of some of them having since
died out on the continent of India, sufficiently accounts for the
Javanese species being different.

In my more special pursuits, I had very little success upon the
mountain--owing, perhaps, to the excessively unpropitious
weather and the shortness of my stay. At from 7,000 to 8,000 feet
elevation, I obtained one of almost lovely of the small Fruit
pigeons (Ptilonopus roseicollis), whose entire head and neck are
of an exquisite rosy pink colour, contrasting finely with its
otherwise blue plumage; and on the very summit, feeding on the
ground among the strawberries that have been planted there, I
obtained a dull-coloured thrush, with the form and habits of a
starling (Turdus fumidus). Insects were almost entirely absent,
owing no doubt to the extreme dampness, and I did not get a
single butterfly the whole trip; yet I feel sure that, during the
dry season, a week's residence on this mountain would well repay
the collector in every department of natural history.

After my return to Toego, I endeavoured to find another locality
to collect in, and removed to a coffee-plantation some miles to
the north, and tried in succession higher and lower stations on
the mountain; but, I never succeeded in obtaining insects in any
abundance and birds were far less plentiful than on the
Megamendong Mountan. The weather now became more rainy than ever,
and as the wet season seemed to have set in in earnest, I
returned to Batavia, packed up and sent off my collections, and
left by steamer on November 1st for Banca and Sumatra.



(NOVEMBER 1861 to JANUARY 1862.)

The mail steamer from Batavia to Singapore took me to Muntok (or
as on English maps, "Minto"), the chief town and port of Banca.
Here I stayed a day or two, until I could obtain a boat to take me
across the straits, and all the river to Palembang. A few walks
into the country showed me that it was very hilly, and full of
granitic and laterite rocks, with a dry and stunted forest
vegetation; and I could find very few insects. A good-sized open
sailing-boat took me across to the mouth of the Palembang river
where, at a fishing village, a rowing-boat was hired to take me up
to Palembang--a distance of nearly a hundred miles by water.
Except when the wind was strong and favourable we could only
proceed with the tide, and the banks of the river were generally
flooded Nipa-swamps, so that the hours we were obliged to lay at
anchor passed very heavily. Reaching Palembang on the 8th of
November, I was lodged by the Doctor, to whom I had brought a
letter of introduction, and endeavoured to ascertain where I
could find a good locality for collecting. Everyone assured me
that I should have to go a very long way further to find any dry
forest, for at this season the whole country for many miles
inland was flooded. I therefore had to stay a week at Palembang
before I could determine my future movements.

The city is a large one, extending for three or four miles along
a fine curve of the river, which is as wide as the Thames at
Greenwich. The stream is, however, much narrowed by the houses
which project into it upon piles, and within these, again, there
is a row of houses built upon great bamboo rafts, which are
moored by rattan cables to the shore or to piles, and rise and
fall with the tide.

The whole riverfront on both sides is chiefly formed of such
houses, and they are mostly shops open to the water, and only
raised a foot above it, so that by taking a small boat it is easy
to go to market and purchase anything that is to be had in
Palembang. The natives are true Malays, never building a house on
dry land if they can find water to set it in, and never going
anywhere on foot if they can reach the place in a heat. A
considerable portion of the population are Chinese and Arabs, who
carry on all the trade; while the only Europeans are the civil
and military officials of the Dutch Government. The town is
situated at the head of the delta of the river, and between it
and the sea there is very little ground elevated above highwater
mark; while for many miles further inland, the banks of the main
stream and its numerous tributaries are swampy, and in the wet
season hooded for a considerable distance. Palembang is built on
a patch of elevated ground, a few miles in extent, on the north
bank of the river. At a spot about three miles from the town this
turns into a little hill, the top of which is held sacred by the
natives, shaded by some fine trees,and inhabited by a colony
of squirrels which have become half-tame. On holding out a few
crumbs of bread or any fruit, they come running down the trunk,
take the morsel out of your fingers, and dart away instantly.
Their tails are carried erect, and the hair, which is ringed with
grey, yellow, and brown, radiates uniformly around them, and
looks exceedingly pretty. They have somewhat of the motions of
mice, coming on with little starts, and gazing intently with
their large black eyes before venturing to advance further. The
manner in which Malays often obtain the confidence of wild
animals is a very pleasing trait in their character, and is due
in some degree to the quiet deliberation of their manners, and
their love of repose rather than of action. The young are
obedient to the wishes of their elders, and seem to feel none of
that propensity to mischief which European boys exhibit. How long
would tame squirrels continue to inhabit trees in the vicinity of
an English village, even if close to the church? They would soon
be pelted and driven away, or snared and confined in a whirling
cage. I have never heard of these pretty animals being tamed in
this way in England, but I should think it might be easily done
in any gentleman's park, and they would certainly be as pleasing
and attractive as they would be uncommon.

After many inquiries, I found that a day's journey by water above
Palembang there commenced a military road which extended up to
the mountains and even across to Bencoolen, and I determined to
take this route and travel on until I found some tolerable
collecting ground. By this means I should secure dry land and a
good road, and avoid the rivers, which at this season are very
tedious to ascend owing to the powerful currents, and very
unproductive to the collector owing to most of the lands in their
vicinity being underwater. Leaving early in the morning we did
not reach Lorok, the village where the road begins, until late at
night. I stayed there a few days, but found that most all the
ground in the vicinity not underwater was cultivated, and that
the only forest was in swamps which were now inaccessible. The
only bird new to me which I obtained at Lorok was the fine long-
tailed parroquet (Palaeornis longicauda). The people here assured
me that the country was just the same as this for a very long
way--more than a week's journey, and they seemed hardly to have
any conception of an elevated forest-clad country, so that I
began to think it would be useless going on, as the time at my
disposal was too short to make it worth my while to spend much
more of it in moving about. At length, however, I found a man who
knew the country, and was more intelligent; and he at once told
me that if I wanted forest I must go to the district of Rembang,
which I found on inquiry was about twenty-five or thirty miles

The road is divided into regular stages of ten or twelve miles
each, and, without sending on in advance to have coolies ready,
only this distance can be travelled in a day. At each station
there are houses for the accommodation of passengers, with
cooking-house and stables, and six or eight men always on guard.
There is an established system for coolies at fixed rates, the
inhabitants of the surrounding villages all taking their turn to
be subject to coolie service, as well as that of guards at the
station for five days at a time. This arrangement makes
travelling very easy, and was a great convenience for me. I had a
pleasant walk of ten or twelve miles in the morning, and the rest
of the day could stroll about and explore the village and
neighbourhood, having a house ready to occupy without any
formalities whatever. In three days I reached Moera-dua, the
first village in Rembang, and finding the country dry and
undulating, with a good sprinkling of forest, I determined to
remain a short time and try the neighbourhood. Just opposite the
station was a small but deep river, and a good bathing-place; and
beyond the village was a fine patch of forest, through which the
road passed, overshadowed by magnificent trees, which partly
tempted me to stay; but after a fortnight I could find no good
place for insects, and very few birds different from the common
species of Malacca. I therefore moved on another stage to Lobo
Raman, where the guard-house is situated quite by itself in the
forest, nearly a mile from each of three villages. This was very
agreeable to me, as I could move about without having every
motion watched by crowds of men, women and children, and I had
also a much greater variety of walks to each of the villages and
the plantations around them.

The villages of the Sumatran Malays are somewhat peculiar and
very picturesque. A space of some acres is surrounded with a high
fence, and over this area the houses are thickly strewn without
the least attempt at regularity. Tall cocoa-nut trees grow
abundantly between them, and the ground is bare and smooth with
the trampling of many feet. The houses are raised about six feet
on posts, the best being entirely built of planks, others of
bamboo. The former are always more or less ornamented with
carving and have high-pitched roofs and overhanging eaves. The
gable ends and all the chief posts and beams are sometimes
covered with exceedingly tasteful carved work, and this is still
more the case in the district of Menangkabo, further west. The
floor is made of split bamboo, and is rather shaky, and there is
no sign of anything we should call furniture. There are no
benches or chairs or stools, but merely the level floor covered
with mats, on which the inmates sit or lie. The aspect of the
village itself is very neat, the ground being often swept before
the chief houses; but very bad odours abound, owing to there
being under every house a stinking mud-hole, formed by all waste
liquids and refuse matter, poured down through the floor above.
In most other things Malays are tolerably clean--in some
scrupulously so; and this peculiar and nasty custom, which is
almost universal, arises, I have little doubt, from their having
been originally a maritime and water-loving people, who built
their houses on posts in the water, and only migrated gradually
inland, first up the rivers and streams, and then into the dry
interior. Habits which were at once so convenient and so cleanly,
and which had been so long practised as to become a portion of
the domestic life of the nation, were of course continued when
the first settlers built their houses inland; and without a
regular system of drainage, the arrangement of the villages is
such that any other system would be very inconvenient.

In all these Sumatran villages I found considerable difficulty in
getting anything to eat. It was not the season for vegetables,
and when, after much trouble, I managed to procure some yams of a
curious variety, I found them hard and scarcely eatable. Fowls
were very scarce; and fruit was reduced to one of the poorest
kinds of banana. The natives (during the wet season at least)
live exclusively on rice, as the poorer Irish do on potatoes. A
pot of rice cooked very dry and eaten with salt and red peppers,
twice a day, forms their entire food during a large part of the
year. This is no sign of poverty, but is simply custom; for their
wives and children are loaded with silver armlets from wrist to
elbow, and carry dozens of silver coins strung round their necks
or suspended from their ears.

As I had moved away from Palembang, I had found the Malay spoken
by the common people less and less pure, until at length it became
quite unintelligible, although the continual recurrence of many
well-known words assured me it was a form of Malay, and enabled
me to guess at the main subject of conversation. This district
had a very bad reputation a few years ago, and travellers were
frequently robbed and murdered. Fights between village and
village were also of frequent occurrence, and many lives were
lost, owing to disputes about boundaries or intrigues with women.
Now, however, since the country has been divided into districts
under "Controlleurs," who visit every village in turn to hear
complaints and settle disputes, such things are heard of no more.
This is one of the numerous examples I have met with of the good
effects of the Dutch Government. It exercises a strict
surveillance over its most distant possessions, establishes a
form of government well adapted to the character of the people,
reforms abuses, punishes crimes, and makes itself everywhere
respected by the native population.

Lobo Raman is a central point of the east end of Sumatra, being
about a hundred and twenty miles from the sea to the east, north,
and west. The surface is undulating, with no mountains or even
hills, and there is no rock, the soil being generally a red
pliable clay. Numbers of small streams and rivers intersect the
country, and it is pretty equally divided between open clearings
and patches of forest, both virgin and second growth, with
abundance of fruit trees; and there is no lack of paths to get
about in any direction. Altogether it is the very country that
would promise most for a naturalist, and I feel sure that at a
more favourable time of year it would prove exceedingly rich; but
it was now the rainy season, when, in the very best of
localities, insects are always scarce, and there being no fruit
on the trees, there was also a scarcity of birds. During a month's
collecting, I added only three or four new species to my list of
birds, although I obtained very fine specimens of many which were
rare and interesting. In butterflies I was rather more
successful, obtaining several fine species quite new to me, and a
considerable number of very rare and beautiful insects. I will
give here some account of two species of butterflies, which,
though very common in collections, present us with peculiarities
of the highest interest.

The first is the handsome Papilio memnon, a splendid butterfly of
a deep black colour, dotted over with lines and groups of scales
of a clear ashy blue. Its wings are five inches in expanse, and
the hind wings are rounded, with scalloped edges. This applies to
the males; but the females are very different, and vary so much
that they were once supposed to form several distinct species.
They may be divided into two groups--those which resemble the
male in shape, and, those which differ entirely from him in the
outline of the wings. The first vary much in colour, being often
nearly white with dusky yellow and red markings, but such
differences often occur in butterflies. The second group are much
more extraordinary, and would never be supposed to be the same
insect, since the hind wings are lengthened out into large spoon-
shaped tails, no rudiment of which is ever to be perceived in the
males or in the ordinary form of females. These tailed females
are never of the dark and blue-glossed tints which prevail in the
male and often occur in the females of the same form, but are
invariably ornamented with stripes and patches of white or buff,
occupying the larger part of the surface of the hind wings. This
peculiarity of colouring led me to discover that this
extraordinary female closely resembles (when flying) another
butterfly of the same genus but of a different group (Papilio
con), and that we have here a case of mimicry similar to those
so well illustrated and explained by Mr. Bates.[ Trans. Linn.
Soc. vol. xviii. p. 495; "Naturalist on the Amazons," vol. i. p.

That the resemblance is not accidental is sufficiently
proved by the fact, that in the North of India, where Papilio
con is replaced by all allied forms, (Papilio Doubledayi) having
red spots in place of yellow, a closely-allied species or variety
of Papilio memnon (P. androgens) has the tailed female also red
spotted. The use and reason of this resemblance appears to be
that the butterflies imitated belong to a section of the genus
Papilio which from some cause or other are not attacked by birds,
and by so closely resembling these in form and colour the female
of Memnon and its ally, also escape persecution. Two other
species of this same section (Papilio antiphus and Papilio
polyphontes) are so closely imitated by two female forms of
Papilio tbeseus (which comes in the same section with Memnon),
that they completely deceived the Dutch entomologist De Haan, and
he accordingly classed them as the same species!

But the most curious fact connected with these distinct forms is
that they are both the offspring of either form. A single brood
of larva were bred in Java by a Dutch entomologist, and produced
males as well as tailed and tailless females, and there is every
reason to believe that this is always the case, and that forms
intermediate in character never occur. To illustrate these
phenomena, let us suppose a roaming Englishman in some remote island
to have two wives--one a black-haired/ red-skinned Indian, the other a
woolly-headed/ sooty-skinned negress; and that instead of the
children being mulattoes of brown or dusky tints, mingling the
characteristics of each parent in varying degrees, all the boys
should be as fair-skinned and blue-eyed as their father, while
the girls should altogether resemble their mothers. This would be
thought strange enough, but the case of these butterflies is yet
more extraordinary, for each mother is capable not only of
producing male offspring like the father, and female like
herself, but also other females like her fellow wife, and
altogether differing from herself!

The other species to which I have to direct attention is the
Kallima paralekta, a butterfly of the same family group as our
Purple Emperor, and of about the same size or larger. Its upper
surface is of a rich purple, variously tinged with ash colour,
and across the forewings there is a broad bar of deep orange, so
that when on the wing it is very conspicuous. This species was
not uncommon in dry woods and thickets, and I often endeavoured
to capture it without success, for after flying a short distance
it would enter a bush among dry or dead leaves, and however
carefully I crept up to the spot I could never discover it until
it would suddenly start out again and then disappear in a similar
place. If at length I was fortunate enough to see the exact spot
where the butterfly settled, and though I lost sight of it for
some time, I would discover that it was close before my eyes, but
that in its position of repose it so closely resembled a dead leaf
attached to a twig as almost certainly to deceive the eye even when
gazing full upon it. I captured several specimens on the wing, and
was able fully to understand the way in which this wonderful resemblance
is produced.

The end of the upper wings terminates in a fine point, just as
the leaves of many tropical shrubs and trees are pointed, while
the lower wings are somewhat more obtuse, and are lengthened out
into a short thick tail. Between these two points there runs a
dark curved line exactly representing the midrib of a leaf, and
from this radiate on each side a few oblique marks which well
imitate the lateral veins. These marks are more clearly seen on
the outer portion of the base of the wings, and on the innerside
towards the middle and apex, and they are produced by striae and
markings which are very common in allied species, but which are
here modified and strengthened so as to imitate more exactly the
venation of a leaf. The tint of the undersurface varies much,
but it is always some ashy brown or reddish colour, which matches
with those of dead leaves. The habit of the species is always to
rest on a twig and among dead or dry leaves, and in this position
with the wings closely pressed together, their outline is exactly
that of a moderately-sized leaf, slightly curved or shrivelled.
The tail of the hind wings forms a perfect stalk, and touches the
stick while the insect is supported by the middle pair of legs,
which are not noticed among the twigs and fibres that surround
it. The head and antennae are drawn back between the wings so as
to be quite concealed, and there is a little notch hollowed out
at the very base of the wings, which allows the head to be
retracted sufficiently. All these varied details combine to
produce a disguise that is so complete and marvellous as to
astonish everyone who observes it; and the habits of the insects
are such as to utilize all these peculiarities, and render them
available in such a manner as to remove all doubt of the purpose
of this singular case of mimicry, which is undoubtedly a
protection to the insect.

Its strong and swift flight is sufficient to save it from its enemies
when on the wing, but if it were equally conspicuous when at rest it
could not long escape extinction, owing to the attacks of the
insectivorous birds and reptiles that abound in the tropical forests.
A very closely allied species, Kallima inachis, inhabits India, where
it is very common, and specimens are sent in every collection from
the Himalayas. On examining a number of these, it will be seen that
no two are alike, but all the variations correspond to those of
dead leaves. Every tint of yellow, ash, brown, and red is found
here, and in many specimens there occur patches and spots formed
of small black dots, so closely resembling the way in which
minute fungi grow on leaves that it is almost impossible at first
not to believe that fungi have gown on the butterflies

If such an extraordinary adaptation as this stood alone, it would
be very difficult to offer any explanation of it; but although it
is perhaps the most perfect case of protective imitation known,
there are hundreds of similar resemblances in nature, and from
these it is possible to deduce a general theory of the manner in
which they have been slowly brought about. The principle of
variation and that of "natural selection," or survival of the
fittest, as elaborated by Mr. Darwin in his celebrated "Origin of
Species," offers the foundation for such a theory; and I have
myself endeavoured to apply it to all the chief cases of
imitation in an article published in the "Westminster Review" for
1867, entitled, "Mimicry, and other Protective Resemblances
Among Animals," to which any reader is referred who wishes to
know more about this subject.

In Sumatra, monkeys are very abundant, and at Lobo Kaman they
used to frequent the trees which overhang the guard-house, and
give me a fine opportunity of observing their gambols. Two
species of Semnopithecus were most plentiful--monkeys of a
slender form, with very long tails. Not being much shot at they
are rather bold, and remain quite unconcerned when natives alone
are present; but when I came out to look at them, they would
stare for a minute or two and then make off. They take tremendous
leaps from the branches of one tree to those at another a little
lower, and it is very amusing when a one strong leader takes a
bold jump, to see the others following with more or less
trepidation; and it often happens that one or two of the last
seem quite unable to make up their minds to leap until the rest
are disappearing, when, as if in desperation at being left alone,
they throw themselves frantically into the air, and often go
crashing through the slender branches and fall to the ground.

A very curious ape, the Siamang, was also rather abundant, but it
is much less bold than the monkeys, keeping to the virgin forests
and avoiding villages. This species is allied to the little long-
armed apes of the genus Hylobates, but is considerably larger,
and differs from them by having the two first fingers of the feet
united together, nearly to the endm as does its Latin native,
Siamanga syndactyla. It moves much more slowly than the active
Hylobates, keeping lower down in trees, and not indulging in such
tremendous leaps; but it is still very active, and by means of
its immense long arms, five feet six inches across in an adult
about three feet high, can swing itself along among the trees at
a great rate. I purchased a small one, which had been caught by
the natives and tied up so tightly as to hurt it. It was rather
savage at first, and tried to bite; but when we had released it
and given it two poles under the verandah to hang upon, securing
it by a short cord, running along the pole with a ring so that
it could move easily, it became more contented, and would swing
itself about with great rapidity. It ate almost any kind of
fruit and rice, and I was in hopes to have brought it to England,
but it died just before I started. It took a dislike to me at
first, which I tried to get over by feeding it constantly myself.
One day, however, it bit me so sharply while giving it food, that
I lost patience and gave it rather a severe beating, which I
regretted afterwards, as from that time it disliked me more than
ever. It would allow my Malay boys to play with it, and for hours
together would swing by its arms from pole to pole and on to the
rafters of the verandah, with so much ease and rapidity, that it
was a constant source of amusement to us. When I returned to
Singapore it attracted great attention, as no one had seen a
Siamang alive before, although it is not uncommon in some parts
of the Malay peninsula.

As the Orangutan is known to inhabit Sumatra, and was in fact
first discovered there, I made many inquiries about it; but none
of the natives had ever heard of such an animal, nor could I find
any of the Dutch officials who knew anything about it. We may
conclude, therefore, that it does not inhabit the great forest
plains in the east of Sumatra where one would naturally expect to
find it, but is probably confined to a limited region in the
northwest part of the island entirely in the hands of native
rulers. The other great Mammalia of Sumatra, the elephant and the
rhinoceros, are more widely distributed; but the former is much
more scarce than it was a few years ago, and seems to retire
rapidly before the spread of cultivation. Lobo Kaman tusks
and bones are occasionally found about in the forest, but the living
animal is now never seen. The rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sumatranus)
still abounds, and I continually saw its tracks and its dung, and
once disturbed one feeding, which went crashing away through the
jungle, only permitting me a momentary glimpse of it through the
dense underwood. I obtained a tolerably perfect cranium, and a
number of teeth, which were picked up by the natives.

Another curious animal, which I had met with in Singapore and in
Borneo, but which was more abundant here, is the Galeopithecus,
or flying lemur. This creature has a broad membrane extending all
aound its body to the extremities of the toes, and to the point
of the rather long tail. This enables it to pass obliquely
through the air from one tree to another. It is sluggish in its
motions, at least by day, going up a tree by short runs of a few
feet, and then stopping a moment as if the action was difficult.
It rests during the day clinging to the trunks of trees, where
its olive or brown fur, mottled with irregular whitish spots and
blotches, resembles closely the colour of mottled bark, and no
doubt helps to protect it. Once, in a bright twilight, I saw one
of these animals run up a trunk in a rather open place, and then
glide obliquely through the air to another tree, on which it
alighted near its base, and immediately began to ascend. I paced
the distance from the one tree to the other, and found it to be
seventy yards; and the amount of descent I estimated at not more
than thirty-five or forty feet, or less than one in five. This I
think proves that the animal must have some power of guiding
itself through the air, otherwise in so long a distance it would
have little chance of alighting exactly upon the trunk. Like the
Cuscus of the Moluccas, the Galeopithecus feeds chiefly on
leaves, and possesses a very voluminous stomach and long
convoluted intestines. The brain is very small, and the animal
possesses such remarkable tenacity of life, that it is
exceedingly difficult to kill it by any ordinary means. The tail
is prehensile; and is probably made use of as an additional
support while feeding. It is said to have only a single young one
at a time, and my own observation confirms this statement, for I
once shot a female with a very small blind and naked little
creature clinging closely to its breast, which was quite bare and
much wrinkled, reminding me of the young of Marsupials, to which
it seemed to form a transition. On the back, and extending over
the limbs and membrane, the fur of these animals is short, but
exquisitely soft, resembling in its texture that of the

I returned to Palembang by water, and while staying a day at a
village while a boat was being made watertight, I had the good
fortune to obtain a male, female, and young bird of one of the
large hornbills. I had sent my hunters to shoot, and while I was
at breakfast they returned, bringing me a fine large male of the
Buceros bicornis, which one of them assured me he had shot while
feeding the female, which was shut up in a hole in a tree. I had
often read of this curious habit, and immediately returned to the
place, accompanied by several of the natives. After crossing a
stream and a bog, we found a large tree leaning over some water,
and on its lower side, at a height of about twenty feet, appeared
a small hole, and what looked like a quantity of mud, which I was
assured had been used in stopping up the large hole. After a
while we heard the harsh cry of a bird inside, and could see the
white extremity of its beak put out. I offered a rupee to anyone
who would go up and get the bird out, with the egg or young one;
but they all declared it was too difficult, and they were afraid
to try. I therefore very reluctantly came away. About an hour
afterwards, much to my surprise, a tremendous loud, hoarse
screaming was heard, and the bird was brought me, together with a
young one which had been found in the hole. This was a most
curious object, as large as a pigeon, but without a particle of
plumage on any part of it. It was exceedingly plump and soft, and
with a semi-transparent skin, so that it looked more like a bag
of jelly, with head and feet stuck on, than like a real bird.

The extraordinary habit of the male, in plastering up the female
with her egg, and feeding her during the whole time of
incubation, and until the young one is fledged, is common to
several of the large hornbills, and is one of those strange facts
in natural history which are "stranger than fiction."



IN the first chapter of this work I have stated generally the
reasons which lead us to conclude that the large islands in the
western portion of the Archipelago--Java, Sumatra, and Borneo--as
well as the Malay peninsula and the Philippine islands, have been
recently separated from the continent of Asia. I now propose to
give a sketch of the Natural History of these, which I term the
Indo-Malay islands, and to show how far it supports this view,
and how much information it is able to give us of the antiquity
and origin of the separate islands.

The flora of the Archipelago is at present so imperfectly known,
and I have myself paid so little attention to it, that I cannot
draw from it many facts of importance. The Malayan type of
vegetation is however a very important one; and Dr. Hooker
informs us, in his "Flora Indica," that it spreads over all the
moister and more equable parts of India, and that many plants
found in Ceylon, the Himalayas, the Nilghiri, and Khasia mountains
are identical with those of Java and the Malay peninsula. Among
the more characteristic forms of this flora are the rattans--
climbing palms of the genus Calamus, and a great variety of
tall, as well as stemless palms. Orchids, Aracae, Zingiberaceae
and ferns, are especially abundant, and the genus Grammatophyllum--
a gigantic epiphytal orchid, whose clusters of leaves and flower-stems
are ten or twelve feet long--is peculiar to it. Here, too, is the
domain of the wonderful pitcher plants (Nepenthaceae), which are only
represented elsewhere by solitary species in Ceylon, Madagascar, the
Seychelles, Celebes, and the Moluccas. Those celebrated fruits, the
Mangosteen and the Durian, are natives of this region, and will hardly
grow out of the Archipelago. The mountain plants of Java have already
been alluded to as showing a former connexion with the continent of
Asia; and a still more extraordinary and more ancient connection
with Australia has been indicated by Mr. Low's collections from
the summit of Kini-balou, the loftiest mountain in Borneo.

Plants have much greater facilities for passing across arms of
the sea than animals. The lighter seeds are easily carried by the
winds, and many of them are specially adapted to be so carried.
Others can float a long tune unhurt in the water, and are drifted
by winds and currents to distant shores. Pigeons, and other
fruit-eating birds, are also the means of distributing plants,
since the seeds readily germinate after passing through their
bodies. It thus happens that plants which grow on shores and
lowlands have a wide distribution, and it requires an extensive
knowledge of the species of each island to determine the
relations of their floras with any approach to accuracy. At
present we have no such complete knowledge of the botany of
the several islands of the Archipelago; and it is only by such
striking phenomena as the occurrence of northern and even
European genera on the summits of the Javanese mountains that we
can prove the former connection of that island with the Asiatic
continent. With land animals, however, the case is very
different. Their means of passing a wide expanse of sea are far
more restricted. Their distribution has been more accurately
studied, and we possess a much more complete knowledge of such
groups as mammals and birds in most of the islands, than we do of
the plants. It is these two classes which will supply us with
most of our facts as to the geographical distribution of
organized beings in this region.

The number of Mammalia known to inhabit the Indo-Malay region is
very considerable, exceeding 170 species. With the exception of
the bats, none of these have any regular means of passing arms of
the sea many miles in extent, and a consideration of their
distribution must therefore greatly assist us in determining
whether these islands have ever been connected with each other or
with the continent since the epoch of existing species.

The Quadrumana or monkey tribe form one of the most
characteristic features of this region. Twenty-four distinct
species are known to inhabit it, and these are distributed with
tolerable uniformity over the islands, nine being found in Java,
ten in the Malay peninsula, eleven in Sumatra, and thirteen in
Borneo. The great man-like Orangutans are found only in Sumatra
and Borneo; the curious Siamang (next to them in size) in Sumatra
and Malacca; the long-nosed monkey only in Borneo; while every
island has representatives of the Gibbons or long-armed apes, and
of monkeys. The lemur-like animals, Nycticebus, Tarsius, and
Galeopithecus, are found on all the islands.

Seven species found on the Malay peninsula extend also into
Sumatra, four into Borneo, and three into Java; while two range
into Siam and Burma, and one into North India. With the
exception of the Orangutan, the Siamang, the Tarsius spectrum,
and the Galeopithecus, all the Malayan genera of Quadrumana are
represented in India by closely allied species, although, owing
to the limited range of most of these animals, so few are
absolutely identical.

Of Carnivora, thirty-three species are known from the Indo-Malay
region, of which about eight are found also in Burma and India.
Among these are the tiger, leopard, a tiger-cat, civet, and
otter; while out of the twenty genera of Malayan Carnivora,
thirteen are represented in India by more or less closely allied
species. As an example, the Malayan bear is represented in North
India by the Tibetan bear, both of which may be seen alive at the
Zoological Society's Gardens.

The hoofed animals are twenty-two in number, of which about seven
extend into Burmahand India. All the deer are of peculiar
species, except two, which range from Malacca into India. Of the
cattle, one Indian species reaches Malacca, while the Bos sondiacus
of Java and Borneo is also found in Siam and Burma. A goat-like animal
is found in Sumatra which has its representative in India; while the
two-horned rhinoceros of Sumatra and the single-horned species of
Java, long supposed to be peculiar to these islands, are now both
ascertained to exist in Burma, Pegu, and Moulmein. The elephant of
Sumatra, Borneo, and Malacca is now considered to be identical with
that of Ceylon and India.

In all other groups of Mammalia the same general phenomena recur.
A few species are identical with those of India. A much larger
number are closely allied or representative forms, while there
are always a small number of peculiar genera, consisting of
animals unlike those found in any other part of the world. There
are about fifty bats, of which less than one-fourth are Indian
species; thirty-four Rodents (squirrels, rats, &c.), of which six
or eight only are Indian; and ten Insectivora, with one exception
peculiar to the Malay region. The squirrels are very abundant
and characteristic, only two species out of twenty-five extending
into Siam and Burma. The Tupaias are curious insect-eaters,
which closely resemble squirrels, and are almost confined to the
Malay islands, as,are the small feather-tailed Ptilocerus lowii
of Borneo, and the curious long-snouted and naked-tailed Gymnurus

As the Malay peninsula is a part of the continent of Asia, the
question of the former union of the islands to the mainland will
be best elucidated by studying the species which are found in the
former district, and also in some of the islands. Now, if we
entirely leave out of consideration the bats, which have the
power of flight, there are still forty-eight species of mammals
common to the Malay peninsula and the three large islands. Among
these are seven Quadrumana (apes, monkeys, and lemurs), animals
who pass their whole existence in forests, who never swim, and
who would be quite unable to traverse a single mile of sea;
nineteen Carnivora, some of which no doubt might cross by
swimming, but we cannot suppose so large a number to have passed
in this way across a strait which, except at one point, is from
thirty to fifty miles wide; and five hoofed animals, including
the Tapir, two species of rhinoceros, and an elephant. Besides
these there are thirteen Rodents and four Insectivora, including
a shrew-mouse and six squirrels, whose unaided passage over
twenty miles of sea is even more inconceivable than that of the
larger animals.

But when we come to the cases of the same species inhabiting two
of the more widely separated islands, the difficulty is much
increased. Borneo is distant nearly 150 miles from Biliton, which
is about fifty miles from Banca, and this fifteen from Sumatra,
yet there are no less than thirty-six species of mammals common
to Borneo and Sumatra. Java again is more than 250 miles from
Borneo, yet these two islands have twenty-two species in common,
including monkeys, lemurs, wild oxen, squirrels and shrews. These
facts seem to render it absolutely certain that there has been at
some former period a connection between all these islands and the
mainland, and the fact that most of the animals common to two or
more of then, show little or no variation, but are often absolutely
identical, indicates that the separation must have been recent in
a geological sense; that is, not earlier than the Newer Pliocene
epoch, at which time land animals began to assimilate closely with
those now existing.

Even the bats furnish an additional argument, if one were needed,
to show that the islands could not have been peopled from each
other and from the continent without some former connection. For
if such had been the mode of stocking them with animals, it is
quite certain that creatures which can fly long distances would
be the first to spread from island to island, and thus produce an
almost perfect uniformity of species over the whole region. But
no such uniformity exists, and the bats of each island are
almost, if not quite, as distinct as the other mammals. For
example, sixteen species are known in Borneo, and of these ten
are found in Java and five in Sumatra, a proportion about the
same as that of the Rodents, which have no direct means of
migration. We learn from this fact, that the seas which separate
the islands from each other are wide enough to prevent the
passage even of flying animals, and that we must look to the same
causes as having led to the present distribution of both groups.
The only sufficient cause we can imagine is the former connection
of all the islands with the continent, and such a change is in
perfect harmony with what we know of the earth's past history,
and is rendered probable by the remarkable fact that a rise of
only three hundred feet would convert the wide seas that separate
them into an immense winding valley or plain about three hundred
miles wide and twelve hundred long. It may, perhaps, be thought
that birds which possess the power of flight in so pre-eminent a
degree, would not be limited in their range by arms of the sea,
and would thus afford few indications of the former union or
separation of the islands they inhabit. This, however, is not the
case. A very large number of birds appear to be as strictly
limited by watery barriers as are quadrupeds; and as they have
been so much more attentively collected, we have more complete
materials to work upon, and are able to deduce from them still
more definite and satisfactory results. Some groups, however,
such as the aquatic birds, the waders, and the birds of prey, are
great wanderers; other groups are little known except to
ornithologists. I shall therefore refer chiefly to a few of the
best known and most remarkable families of birds as a sample of
the conclusions furnished by the entire class.

The birds of the Indo-Malay region have a close resemblance to
those of India; for though a very large proportion of the species
are quite distinct, there are only about fifteen peculiar genera,
and not a single family group confined to the former district.
If, however, we compare the islands with the Burmese, Siamese,
and Malayan countries, we shall find still less difference, and
shall be convinced that all are closely united by the bond of a
former union. In such well-known families as the woodpeckers,
parrots, trogons, barbets, kingfishers, pigeons, and pheasants,
we find some identical species spreading over all India, and as
far as Java and Borneo, while a very large proportion are common
to Sumatra and the Malay peninsula.

The force of these facts can only be appreciated when we come to
treat the islands of the Austro-Malay region, and show how
similar barriers have entirely prevented the passage of birds
from one island to another, so that out of at least three hundred
and fifty land birds inhabiting Java and Borneo, not more than
ten have passed eastward into Celebes. Yet the Straits of
Macassar are not nearly so wide as the Java sea, and at least a
hundred species are common to Borneo and Java.

I will now give two examples to show how a knowledge of the
distribution of animals may reveal unsuspected facts in the past
history of the earth. At the eastern extremity of Sumatra, and
separated from it by a strait about fifteen miles wide, is the
small rocky island of Banca, celebrated for its tin mines. One of
the Dutch residents there sent some collections of birds and
animals to Leyden, and among them were found several species
distinct from those of the adjacent coast of Sumatra. One of
these was a squirrel (Sciurus bangkanus), closely allied to three
other species inhabiting respectively the Malay peninsula,
Sumatra, and Borneo, but quite as distinct from them all as they
are from each other. There were also two new ground thrushes of
the genus Pitta, closely allied to, but quite distinct from, two
other species inhabiting both Sumatra and Borneo, and which did
not perceptibly differ in these large and widely separated
islands. This is just as if the Isle of Man possessed a peculiar
species of thrush and blackbird, distinct from the birds which
are common to England and Ireland.

These curious facts would indicate that Banca may have existed as
a distinct island even longer than Sumatra and Borneo, and there
are some geological and geographical facts which render this not
so improbable as it would at first seem to be. Although on the
map Banca appears so close to Sumatra, this does not arise from
its having been recently separated from it; for the adjacent
district of Palembang is new land, being a great alluvial swamp
formed by torrents from the mountains a hundred miles distant.

Banca, on the other hand, agrees with Malacca, Singapore, and the
intervening island of Lingen, in being formed of granite and
laterite; and these have all most likely once formed an extension
of the Malay peninsula. As the rivers of Borneo and Sumatra have
been for ages filling up the intervening sea, we may be sure that
its depth has recently been greater, and it is very probable that
those large islands were never directly connected with each other
except through the Malay peninsula. At that period the same
species of squirrel and Pitta may have inhabited all these
countries; but when the subterranean disturbances occurred which
led to the elevation of the volcanoes of Sumatra, the small
island of Banca may have been separated first, and its
productions being thus isolated might be gradually modified
before the separation of the larger islands had been completed.

As the southern part of Sumatra extended eastward and formed the
narrow straits of Banca, many birds and insects and some Mammalia
would cross from one to the other, and thus produce a general
similarity of productions, while a few of the older inhabitants
remained, to reveal by their distinct forms, their different
origin. Unless we suppose some such changes in physical geography
to have occurred, the presence of peculiar species of birds and
mammals in such an island as Banca is a hopeless puzzle; and I
think I have shown that the changes required are by no means so
improbable as a mere glance at the map would lead us to suppose.

For our next example let us take the great islands of Sumatra and
Java. These approach so closely together, and the chain of
volcanoes that runs through them gives such an air of unity to
the two, that the idea of their having been recently dissevered
is immediately suggested. The natives of Java, however, go
further than this; for they actually have a tradition of the
catastrophe which broke them asunder, and fix its date at not
much more than a thousand years ago. It becomes interesting,
therefore, to see what support is given to this view by the
comparison of their animal productions.

The Mammalia have not been collected with sufficient completeness
in both islands to make a general comparison of much value, and
so many species have been obtained only as live specimens in
captivity, that their locality has often been erroneously given,
the island in which they were obtained being substituted for that
from which they originally came. Taking into consideration only
those whose distribution is more accurately known, we learn that
Sumatra is, in a zoological sense, more neatly related to Borneo
than it is to Java. The great man-like apes, the elephant, the
tapir, and the Malay bear, are all common to the two former
countries, while they are absent from the latter. Of the three
long-tailed monkeys (Semnopithecus) inhabiting Sumatra, one
extends into Borneo, but the two species of Java are both
peculiar to it. So also the great Malay deer (Rusa equina), and
the small Tragulus kanchil, are common to Sumatra and Borneo, but
do not extend into Java, where they are replaced by Tragulas
javanicus. The tiger, it is true, is found in Sumatra and Java,
but not in Borneo. But as this animal is known to swim well, it
may have found its way across the Straits of Sunda, or it may
have inhabited Java before it was separated from the mainland,
and from some unknown cause have ceased to exist in Borneo.

In Ornithology there is a little uncertainty owing to the birds
of Java and Sumatra being much better known than those of Borneo;
but the ancient separation of Java as an island is well
exhibited by the large number of its species which are not found
in any of the other islands. It possesses no less than seven
pigeons peculiar to itself, while Sumatra has only one. Of its
two parrots one extends into Borneo, but neither into Sumatra. Of
the fifteen species of woodpeckers inhabiting Sumatra only four
reach Java, while eight of them are found in Borneo and twelve in
the Malay peninsula. The two Trogons found in Java are peculiar
to it, while of those inhabiting Sumatra at least two extend to
Malacca and one to Borneo. There are a very large number of
birds, such as the great Argus pheasant, the fire-backed and
ocellated pheasants, the crested partridge (Rollulus coronatus),
the small Malacca parrot (Psittinus incertus), the great helmeted
hornbill (Buceroturus galeatus), the pheasant ground-cuckoo
(Carpococcyx radiatus), the rose-crested bee-eater (Nyctiornis
amicta), the great gaper (Corydon sumatranus), and the green-
crested gaper (Calyptomena viridis), and many others, which are
common to Malacca, Sumatra, and Borneo, but are entirely absent
from Java. On the other hand we have the peacock, the green
jungle cock, two blue ground thrushes (Arrenga cyanea and
Myophonus flavirostris), the fine pink-headed dove (Ptilonopus
porphyreus), three broad-tailed ground pigeons (Macropygia), and
many other interesting birds, which are found nowhere in the
Archipelago out of Java.

Insects furnish us with similar facts wherever sufficient data
are to be had, but owing to the abundant collections that have
been made in Java, an unfair preponderance may be given to that
island. This does not, however, seem to be the case with the true
Papilionidae or swallow-tailed butterflies, whose large size and
gorgeous colouring has led to their being collected more frequently
than other insects. Twenty-seven species are known from Java,
twenty-nine from Borneo, and only twenty-one from Sumatra. Four are
entirely confined to Java, while only two are peculiar to Borneo and
one to Sumatra. The isolation of Java will, however, be best shown by
grouping the islands in pairs, and indicating the number of species
common to each pair. Thus:--

Borneo . . . . . 29 species
Sumatra . . . . . 21 do. 20 species common to both islands.

Borneo . . . . . 29 do.
Java . . . . . . 27 do. 20 do. do.

Sumatra . . . . . 21 do.
Java . . . . . . 27 do. 11 do. do.

Making some allowance for our imperfect knowledge of the Sumatran
species, we see that Java is more isolated from the two larger
islands than they are from each other, thus entirely confirming
the results given by the distribution of birds and Mammalia, and
rendering it almost certain that the last-named island was the
first to be completely separated from the Asiatic continent, and
that the native tradition of its having been recently separated
from Sumatra is entirely without foundation.

We are now able to trace out with some probability the course
of events. Beginning at the time when the whole of the Java sea,
the Gulf of Siam, and the Straits of Malacca were dry land,
forming with Borneo, Sumatra, and Java, a vast southern
prolongation of the Asiatic continent, the first movement would
be the sinking down of the Java sea, and the Straits of Sunda,
consequent on the activity of the Javanese volcanoes along the
southern extremity of the land, and leading to the complete
separation of that island. As the volcanic belt of Java and
Sumatra increased in activity, more and more of the land was
submerged, until first Borneo, and afterwards Sumatra, became
entirely severed. Since the epoch of the first disturbance,
several distinct elevations and depressions may have taken place,
and the islands may have been more than once joined with each
other or with the main land, and again separated. Successive
waves of immigration may thus have modified their animal
productions, and led to those anomalies in distribution which are
so difficult to account for by any single operation of elevation
or submergence. The form of Borneo, consisting of radiating
mountain chains with intervening broad alluvial valleys, suggests
the idea that it has once been much more submerged than it is at
present (when it would have somewhat resembled Celebes or Gilolo
in outline), and has been increased to its present dimensions by
the filling up of its gulfs with sedimentary matter, assisted by
gradual elevation of the land. Sumatra has also been evidently
much increased in size by the formation of alluvial plains along
its northeastern coasts.

There is one peculiarity in the productions of Java that is very
puzzling:--the occurrence of several species or groups
characteristic of the Siamese countries or of India, but which do
not occur in Borneo or Sumatra. Among Mammals the Rhinoceros
javanicus is the most striking example, for a distinct species
is found in Borneo and Sumatra, while the Javanese species occurs
in Burma and even in Bengal. Among birds, the small ground-dove,
Geopelia striata, and the curious bronze-coloured magpie,
Crypsirhina varians, are common to Java and Siam; while there are
in Java species of Pteruthius, Arrenga, Myiophonus, Zoothera,
Sturnopastor, and Estrelda, the near allies of which are found in
various parts of India, while nothing like them is known to
inhabit Borneo or Sumatra.

Such a curious phenomenon as this can only be understood by
supposing that, subsequent to the separation of Java, Borneo
became almost entirely submerged, and on its re-elevation was for
a time connected with the Malay peninsula and Sumatra, but not
with Java or Siam. Any geologist who knows how strata have been
contorted and tilted up, and how elevations and depressions must
often have occurred alternately, not once or twice only, but
scores and even hundreds of times, will have no difficulty in
admitting that such changes as have been here indicated, are not
in themselves improbable. The existence of extensive coal-beds in
Borneo and Sumatra, of such recent origin that the leaves which
abound in their shales are scarcely distinguishable from those of
the forests which now cover the country, proves that such changes
of level actually did take place; and it is a matter of much
interest, both to the geologist and to the philosophic
naturalist, to be able to form some conception of the order of
those changes, and to understand how they may have resulted in
the actual distribution of animal life in these countries; a
distribution which often presents phenomena so strange and
contradictory, that without taking such changes into
consideration we are unable even to imagine how they could have
been brought about.



(JUNE, JULY, 1856.)

THE islands of Bali and Lombock, situated at the eastern end of
Java, are particularly interesting. They are the only islands of
the whole Archipelago in which the Hindu religion still
maintains itself--and they form the extreme points of the two
great zoological divisions of the Eastern hemisphere; for
although so similar in external appearance and in all physical
features, they differ greatly in their natural productions. It
was after having spent two years in Borneo, Malacca and
Singapore, that I made a somewhat involuntary visit to these
islands on my way to Macassar. Had I been able to obtain a
passage direct to that place from Singapore, I should probably
never have gone near them, and should have missed some of the
most important discoveries of my whole expedition the East.

It was on the 13th of June, 1856, after a twenty days' passage
from Singapore in the "Kembang Djepoon" (Rose of Japan), a
schooner belonging to a Chinese merchant, manned by a Javanese
crew, and commanded by an English captain, that we cast anchor in
the dangerous roadstead of Bileling on the north side of the
island of Bali. Going on shore with the captain and the Chinese
supercargo, I was at once introduced to a novel and interesting
scene. We went first to the house of the Chinese Bandar, or chief
merchant, where we found a number of natives, well dressed, and
all conspicuously armed with krisses, displaying their large
handles of ivory or gold, or beautifully grained and polished wood.

The Chinamen had given up their national costume and adopted the
Malay dress, and could then hardly be distinguished from the
natives of the island--an indication of the close affinity of the
Malayan and Mongolian races. Under the thick shade of some mango-
trees close by the house, several women-merchants were selling
cotton goods; for here the women trade and work for the benefit
of their husbands, a custom which Mahometan Malays never adopt.
Fruit, tea, cakes, and sweetmeats were brought to us; many questions
were asked about our business and the state of trade in
Singapore, and we then took a walk to look at the village. It was
a very dull and dreary place; a collection of narrow lanes
bounded by high mud walls, enclosing bamboo houses, into some of
which we entered and were very kindly received.

During the two days that we remained here, I walked out into the
surrounding country to catch insects, shoot birds, and spy out
the nakedness or fertility of the land. I was both astonished and
delighted; for as my visit to Java was some years later, I had
never beheld so beautiful and well cultivated a district out of
Europe. A slightly undulating plain extends from the seacoast
about ten or twelve miles inland, where it is bounded by a wide
range of wooded and cultivated hills. Houses and villages, marked
out by dense clumps of cocoa-nut palms, tamarind and other fruit
trees, are dotted about in every direction; while between then
extend luxuriant rice-grounds, watered by an elaborate system of
irrigation that would be the pride of the best cultivated parts
of Europe. The whole surface of the country is divided into
irregular patches, following the undulations of the ground, from
many acres to a few perches in extent, each of which is itself
perfectly level, but stands a few inches or several feet above or
below those adjacent to it. Every one of these patches can be
flooded or drained at will by means of a system of ditches and
small channels, into which are diverted the whole of the streams
that descend from the mountains. Every patch now bore crops in
various stages of growth, some almost ready for cutting, and all
in the most flourishing condition and of the most exquisite green

The sides of the lanes and bridle roads were often edged with
prickly Cacti and a leafless Euphorbia, but the country being so
highly cultivated there was not much room for indigenous
vegetation, except upon the sea-beach. We saw plenty of the fine
race of domestic cattle descended from the Bos banteng of Java,
driven by half naked boys, or tethered in pasture-grounds. They
are large and handsome animals, of a light brown colour, with
white legs, and a conspicuous oval patch behind of the same
colour. Wild cattle of the same race are said to be still found
in the mountains. In so well-cultivated a country it was not to
be expected that I could do much in natural history, and my
ignorance of how important a locality this was for the
elucidation of the geographical distribution of animals, caused
me to neglect obtaining some specimens which I never met with
again. One of these was a weaver bird with a bright yellow head,
which built its bottle-shaped nests by dozens on some trees near
the beach. It was the Ploceus hypoxantha, a native of Java; and
here, at the extreme limits of its range westerly, I shot and
preserved specimens of a wagtail-thrush, an oriole, and some
starlings, all species found in Java, and some of them peculiar
to that island. I also obtained some beautiful butterflies,
richly marked with black and orange on a white ground, and which
were the most abundant insects in the country lanes. Among these
was a new species, which I have named Pieris tamar.

Leaving Bileling, a pleasant sail of two days brought us to
Ampanam in the island of Lombock, where I proposed to remain till
I could obtain a passage to Macassar. We enjoyed superb views of
the twin volcanoes of Bali and Lombock, each about eight thousand
feet high, which form magnificent objects at sunrise and sunset,
when they rise out of the mists and clouds that surround their
bases, glowing with the rich and changing tints of these the most
charming moments in a tropical day.

The bay or roadstead of Ampanam is extensive, and being at this
season sheltered from the prevalent southeasterly winds, was as
smooth as a lake. The beach of black volcanic sand is very steep,
and there is at all times, a heavy surf upon it, which during
spring-tides increases to such an extent that it is often
impossible for boats to land, and many serious accidents have
occurred. Where we lay anchored, about a quarter of a mile from
the shore, not the slightest swell was perceptible, but on
approaching nearer undulations began, which rapidly increased, so
as to form rollers which toppled over onto the beach at regular
intervals with a noise like thunder. Sometimes this surf
increases suddenly during perfect calms to as great a force and
fury as when a gale of wind is blowing, beating to pieces all
boats that may not have been hauled sufficiently high upon the
beach, and carrying away uncautious natives. This violent surf is
probably in some way dependent upon the swell of the great
southern ocean and the violent currents that flow through the
Straits of Lombock. These are so uncertain that vessels preparing
to anchor in the bay are sometimes suddenly swept away into the
straits, and are not able to get back again for a fortnight.

What seamen call the "ripples" are also very violent in the
straits, the sea appearing to boil and foam and dance like the
rapids below a cataract; vessels are swept about helplessly, and
small ones are occasionally swamped in the finest weather and
under the brightest skies.

I felt considerably relieved when all my boxes and myself had
passed in safety through the devouring surf, which the natives
look upon with some pride, saying, that "their sea is always
hungry, and eats up everything it can catch." I was kindly
received by Mr. Carter, an Englishman, who is one of the Bandars
or licensed traders of the port, who offered me hospitality and
every assistance during my stay. His house, storehouses, and
offices were in a yard surrounded by a tall bamboo fence, and
were entirely constructed of bamboo with a thatch of grass, the
only available building materials. Even these were now very
scarce, owing to the great consumption in rebuilding the place
since the great fire some months before, which in an hour or two
had destroyed every building in the town.

The next day I went to see Mr. S., another merchant to whom I had
brought letters of introduction, and who lived about seven miles
off. Mr. Carter kindly lent me a horse, and I was accompanied by
a young Dutch gentleman residing at Ampanam, who offered to be my
guide. We first passed through the town and suburbs along a
straight road bordered by mud walls and a fine avenue of lofty
trees; then through rice-fields, irrigated in the same manner as
I had seen them at Bileling; and afterwards over sandy pastures
near the sea, and occasionally along the beach itself. Mr. S.
received us kindly, and offered me a residence at his house
should I think the neighbourhood favourable for my pursuits.
After an early breakfast we went out to explore, taking guns and
insect nets. We reached some low hills which seemed to offer the
most favourable ground, passing over swamps, sandy flats
overgrown with coarse sedges, and through pastures and cultivated
grounds, finding however very little in the way of either birds
or insects. On our way we passed one or two human skeletons,
enclosed within a small bamboo fence, with the clothes, pillow,
mat, and betel-box of the unfortunate individual, who had been
either murdered or executed. Returning to the house, we found a
Balinese chief and his followers on a visit. Those of higher rank
sat on chairs, the others squatted on the floor. The chief very
coolly asked for beer and brandy, and helped himself and his
followers, apparently more out of curiosity than anything else as
regards the beer, for it seemed very distasteful to them, while
they drank the brandy in tumblers with much relish.

Returning to Ampanam, I devoted myself for some days to shooting
the birds of the neighbourhood. The fine fig-trees of the
avenues, where a market was held, were tenanted by superb orioles
(Oriolus broderpii) of a rich orange colour, and peculiar to this
island and the adjacent ones of Sumbawa and Flores. All round the
town were abundance of the curious Tropidorhynchus timoriensis,
allied to the Friar bird of Australia. They are here called
"Quaich-quaich," from their strange loud voice, which seems to
repeat these words in various and not unmelodious intonations.

Every day boys were to be seen walking along the roads and by the
hedges and ditches, catching dragonflies with birdlime. They
carry a slender stick, with a few twigs at the end well annointed,
so that the least touch captures the insect, whose wings are
pulled off before it is consigned to a small basket. The dragon-
flies are so abundant at the time of the rice flowering that
thousands are soon caught in this way. The bodies are fried in
oil with onions and preserved shrimps, or sometimes alone, and
are considered a great delicacy. In Borneo, Celebes, and many
other islands, the larvae of bees and wasps are eaten, either
alive as pulled out of the cells, or fried like the dragonflies.
In the Moluccas the grubs of the palm-beetles (Calandra) are
regularly brought to market in bamboos and sold for food; and
many of the great horned Lamellicorn beetles are slightly roasted
on the embers and eaten whenever met with. The superabundance of
insect life is therefore turned to some account by these

Finding that birds were not very numerous, and hearing much of
Labuan Tring at the southern extremity of the bay, where there
was said to be much uncultivated country and plenty of birds as
well as deer and wild pigs, I determined to go there with my two
servants, Ali, the Malay lad from Borneo, and Manuel, a Portuguese
of Malacca accustomed to bird-skinning. I hired a native boat with
outriggers to take us with our small quantity of luggage, on a day's
rowing and tracking along the shore brought us to the place.

I had a note of introduction to an Amboynese Malay, and obtained
the use of part of his house to live and work in. His name was
"Inchi Daud" (Mr. David), and he was very civil; but his
accommodations were limited, and he could only hire me part of
his reception-room. This was the front part of a bamboo house
(reached by a ladder of about six rounds very wide apart), and
having a beautiful view over the bay. However, I soon made what
arrangements were possible, and then set to work. The country
around was pretty and novel to me, consisting of abrupt volcanic
hills enclosing flat valleys or open plains. The hills were
covered with a dense scrubby bush of bamboos and prickly trees
and shrubs, the plains were adorned with hundreds of noble palm-
trees, and in many places with a luxuriant shrubby vegetation.
Birds were plentiful and very interesting, and I now saw for the
first time many Australian forms that are quite absent from the
islands westward. Small white cockatoos were abundant, and their
loud screams, conspicuous white colour, and pretty yellow crests,
rendered them a very important feature in the landscape. This is
the most westerly point on the globe where any of the family are
to be found. Some small honeysuckers of the genus Ptilotis, and
the strange moundmaker (Megapodius gouldii), are also here first
met with on the traveller's journey eastward. The last mentioned
bird requires a fuller notice.

The Megapodidae are a small family of birds found only in
Australia and the surrounding islands, but extending as far as
the Philippines and Northwest Borneo. They are allied to the
gallinaceous birds, but differ from these and from all others in
never sitting upon their eggs, which they bury in sand, earth, or
rubbish, and leave to be hatched by the heat of the sun or by
fermentation. They are all characterised by very large feet and
long curved claws, and most of the species of Megapodius rake and
scratch together all kinds of rubbish, dead leaves, sticks,
stones, earth, rotten wood, etc., until they form a large mound,
often six feet high and twelve feet across, in the middle of
which they bury their eggs. The natives can tell by the condition
of these mounds whether they contain eggs or not; and they rob
them whenever they can, as the brick-red eggs (as large as those
of a swan) are considered a great delicacy. A number of birds are
said to join in making these mounds and lay their eggs together,
so that sometimes forty or fifty may be found. The mounds are to
be met with here and there in dense thickets, and are great
puzzles to strangers, who cannot understand who can possibly have
heaped together cartloads of rubbish in such out-of-the-way
places; and when they inquire of the natives they are but little
wiser, for it almost always appears to them the wildest romance
to be told that it is all done by birds. The species found in
Lombock is about the size of a small hen, and entirely of dark
olive and brown tints. It is a miscellaneous feeder, devouring
fallen fruits, earthworms, snails, and centipedes, but the flesh
is white and well-flavoured when properly cooked.

The large green pigeons were still better eating, and were much
more plentiful. These fine birds, exceeding our largest tame
pigeons in size, abounded on the palm-trees, which now bore huge
bunches of fruits--mere hard globular nuts, about an inch in
diameter, and covered with a dry green skin and a very small
portion of pulp. Looking at the pigeon's bill and head, it would
seem impossible that it could swallow such large masses, or that
it could obtain any nourishment from them; yet I often shot these
birds with several palm-fruits in the crop, which generally burst
when they fell to the ground. I obtained here eight species of
Kingfishers; among which was a very beautiful new one, named by
Mr. Gould, Halcyon fulgidus. It was found always in thickets,
away from water, and seemed to feed on snails and insects picked
up from the ground after the manner of the great Laughing Jackass
of Australia. The beautiful little violet and orange species
(Ceyx rufidorsa) is found in similar situations, and darts
rapidly along like a flame of fire. Here also I first met with
the pretty Australian Bee-eater (Merops ornatus). This elegant
little bird sits on twigs in open places, gazing eagerly around,
and darting off at intervals to seize some insect which it sees
flying near; returning afterwards to the same twig to swallow it.
Its long, sharp, curved bill, the two long narrow feathers in its
tail, its beautiful green plumage varied with rich brown and
black and vivid blue on the throat, render it one of the most
graceful and interesting objects a naturalist can see for the
first time.

Of all the birds of Lombock, however, I sought most after the
beautiful ground thrushes (Pitta concinna), and always thought
myself lucky if I obtained one. They were found only in the dry
plains densely covered with thickets, and carpeted at this season
with dead leaves. They were so shy that it was very difficult to
get a shot at them, and it was only after a good deal of practice
that I discovered low to do it. The habit of these birds is to
hop about on the ground, picking up insects, and on the least
alarm to run into the densest thicket or take a flight close to
the ground. At intervals they utter a peculiar cry of two notes
which when once heard is easily recognised, and they can also be
heard hopping along among the dry leaves.

My practice was, therefore, to walk cautiously along the narrow
pathways with which the country abounded, and on detecting any sign
of a Pitta's vicinity to stand motionless and give a gentle whistle
occasionally, imitating the notes as near as possible. After half
an hour's waiting I was often rewarded by seeing the pretty bird
hopping along in the thicket. Then I would perhaps lose sight of
it again, until leaving my gun raised and ready for a shot, a
second glimpse would enable me to secure my prize, and admire its
soft puffy plumage and lovely colours. The upper part is rich
soft green, the head jet black with a stripe of blue and brown
over each eye; at the base of the tail and on the shoulders are
bands of bright silvery blue; the under side is delicate buff
with a stripe of rich crimson, bordered with black on the belly.
Beautiful grass-green doves, little crimson and black flower-
peckers, large black cuckoos, metallic king-crows, golden
orioles, and the fine jungle-cocks--the origin of all our
domestic breeds of poultry--were among the birds that chiefly
attracted my attention during our stay at Labuan Tring.

The most characteristic feature of the jungle was its thorniness.
The shrubs were thorny; the creepers were thorny; the bamboos
even were thorny. Everything grew zigzag and jagged, and in an
inextricable tangle, so that to get through the bush with gun or
net or even spectacles, was generally not to be done, and insect-
catching in such localities was out of the question. It was in
such places that the Pittas often lurked, and when shot it became
a matter of some difficulty to secure the bird, and seldom
without a heavy payment of pricks and scratches and torn clothes
could the prize be won. The dry volcanic soil and arid climate
seem favourable to the production of such stunted and thorny
vegetation, for the natives assured me that this was nothing to
the thorns and prickles of Sumbawa whose surface still bears the
covering of volcanic ashes thrown out forty years ago by the
terrible eruption of Tomboro.

Among the shrubs and trees that are not prickly the Apocynaceae
were most abundant, their bilobed fruits of varied form and colour
and often of most tempting appearance, hanging everywhere by the
waysides as if to invite to destruction the weary traveller who may
be unaware of their poisonous properties. One in particular with a
smooth shining skin of a golden orange colour rivals in appearance
the golden apples of the Hesperides, and has great attractions for
many birds, from the white cockatoos to the little yellow Zosterops,
who feast on the crimson seeds which are displayed when the fruit
bursts open. The great palm called "Gubbong" by the natives, a
species of Corypha, is the most striking feature of the plains,
where it grows by thousands and appears in three different
states--in leaf, in flower and fruit, or dead. It has a lofty
cylindrical stem about a hundred feet high and two to three feet
in diameter; the leaves are large and fan-shaped, and fall off
when the tree flowers, which it does only once in its life in a
huge terminal spike, upon which are produced masses of a smooth
round fruit of a green colour rind about an inch in diameter.
When those ripen and fall the tree dies, and remains standing a
year or two before it falls. Trees in leaf only are by far the
most numerous, then those in flower and fruit, while dead trees
are scattered here and there among them. The trees in fruit are
the resort of the great green fruit pigeons, which have been
already mentioned. Troops of monkeys (Macacus cynoraolgus) may
often be seen occupying a tree, showering down the fruit in great
profusion, chattering when disturbed and making an enormous
rustling as they scamper off among the dead palm leaves; while
the pigeons have a loud booming voice more like the roar of a
wild beast than the note of a bird.

My collecting operations here were carried on under more than
usual difficulties. One small room had to serve for eating,
sleeping and working,and one for storehouse and dissecting-room;
in it were no shelves, cupboards, chairs or tables; ants swarmed in
every part of it, and dogs, cats and fowls entered it at pleasure.
Besides this it was the parlour and reception-room of my host, and
I was obliged to consult his convenience and that of the numerous
guests who visited us. My principal piece of furniture was a box,
which served me as a dining table, a seat while skinning birds,
and as the receptacle of the birds when skinned and dried.
To keep them free from ants we borrowed, with somedifficulty, an old
bench, the four legs of which being placed in cocoa-nut shells filled
with water kept us tolerably free from these pests. The box and the
bench were, however, literally the only places where anything could
be put away, and they were generally well occupied by two insect boxes
and about a hundred birds' skins in process of drying. It may therefore
be easily conceived that when anything bulky or out of the common way was
collected, the question "Where is it to be put?" was rather a
difficult one to answer. All animal substances moreover require
some time to dry thoroughly, emit a very disagreeable odour while
doing so, and are particularly attractive to ants, flies, dogs,
rats, cats, and other vermin, calling for special cautions and
constant supervision, which under the circumstances above
described were impossible.

My readers may now partially understand why a travelling
naturalist of limited means, like myself, does so much less than
is expected or than he would himself wish to do. It would be
interesting to preserve skeletons of many birds and animals,
reptiles and fishes in spirits, skins of the larger animals,
remarkable fruits and woods and the most curious articles of
manufacture and commerce; but it will be seen that under the
circumstances I have just described, it would have been impossible
to add these to the collections which were my own more especial
favourites. When travelling by boat the difficulties are as great
or greater, and they are not diminished when the journey is by
land. It was absolutely necessary therefore to limit my
collections to certain groups to which I could devote constant
personal attention, and thus secure from destruction or decay
what had been often obtained by much labour and pains.

While Manuel sat skinning his birds of an afternoon, generally
surrounded by a little crowd of Malays and Sassaks (as the
indigenes of Lombock are termed), he often held forth to them
with the air of a teacher, and was listened to with profound
attention. He was very fond of discoursing on the "special
providences" of which he believed he was daily the subject.
"Allah has been merciful today," he would say--for although a
Christian he adopted the Mahometan mode of speech- "and has given
us some very fine birds; we can do nothing without him." Then one
of the Malays would reply, "To be sure, birds are like mankind;
they have their appointed time to die; when that time comes
nothing can save them, and if it has not come you cannot kill
them." A murmur of assent follow, until sentiments and cries of
"Butul! Butul!" (Right, right.) Then Manuel would tell a long
story of one of his unsuccessful hunts--how he saw some fine
bird and followed it a long way, and then missed it, and again
found it, and shot two or three times at it, but could never hit
it, "Ah!" says an old Malay, "its time was not come, and so it
was impossible for you to kill it." A doctrine is this which is
very consoling to the bad marksman, and which quite accounts for
the facts, but which is yet somehow not altogether satisfactory.

It is universally believed in Lombock that some men have the
power to turn themselves into crocodiles, which they do for the
sake of devouring their enemies, and many strange tales are told
of such transformations. I was therefore rather surprised one
evening to hear the following curious fact stated, and as it was
not contradicted by any of the persons present, I am inclined to
accept it provisionally as a contribution to the Natural History
of the island. A Bornean Malay who had been for many years
resident here said to Manuel, "One thing is strange in this
country--the scarcity of ghosts." "How so? "asked Manuel. "Why,
you know," said the Malay, "that in our countries to the
westward, if a man dies or is killed, we dare not pass near the
place at night, for all sorts of noises are heard which show that
ghosts are about. But here there are numbers of men killed, and
their bodies lie unburied in the fields and by the roadside, and
yet you can walk by them at night and never hear or see anything
at all, which is not the case in our country, as you know very
well." "Certainly I do," said Manuel; and so it was settled that
ghosts were very scarce, if not altogether unknown in Lombock. I
would observe, however, that as the evidence is purely negative
we should be wanting in scientific caution if we accepted this
fact as sufficiently well established.

One evening I heard Manuel, Ali, and a Malay man whispering
earnestly together outside the door, and could distinguish
various allusions to "krisses," throat-cutting, heads, etc. etc.
At length Manuel came in, looking very solemn and frightened, and
said to me in English, "Sir--must take care,--no safe here;--want
cut throat." On further inquiry, I found that the Malay had been
telling them that the Rajah had just sent down an order to the
village, that they were to get a certain number of heads for an
offering in the temples to secure a good crop of rice. Two or
three other Malays and Bugis, as well as the Amboyna man in whose
house we lived, confirmed this account, and declared that it was
a regular thing every year, and that it was necessary to keep a
good watch and never go out alone. I laughed at the whole thing,
and tried to persuade them that it was a mere tale, but to no
effect. They were all firmly persuaded that their lives were in
danger. Manuel would not go out shooting alone, and I was obliged
to accompany him every morning, but I soon gave him the slip in
the jungle. Ali was afraid to go and look for firewood without a
companion, and would not even fetch water from the well a few
yards behind the house unless armed with an enormous spear. I was
quite sure all the time that no such order had been sent or
received, and that we were in perfect safety. This was well shown
shortly afterwards, when an American sailor ran away from his
ship on the east side of the island, and made his way on foot and
unarmed across to Ampanam, having met with the greatest
hospitality on the whole route. Nowhere would the smallest
payment be taken for the food and lodging which were willingly
furbished him. On pointing out this fact to Manuel, he replied,
"He one bad man,--run away from his ship--no one can believe word
he say;" and so I was obliged to leave him in the uncomfortable
persuasion that he might any day have his throat cut.

A circumstance occurred here which appeared to throw some light
on the cause of the tremendous surf at Ampanam. One evening I
heard a strange rumbling noise, and at the same time the house
shook slightly. Thinking it might be thunder, I asked, "What is
that?" "It is an earthquake," answered Inchi Daud, my host; and
he then told me that slight shocks were occasionally felt there,
but he had never known them to be severe. This happened on the day of
the last quarter of the moon, and consequently when tides were low and
the surf usually at its weakest. On inquiry afterwards at Ampanam, I
found that no earthquake had been noticed, but that on one night there
had been a very heavy surf, which shook the house, and the next day
there was a very high tide, the water having flooded Mr. Carter's
premises, higher than he had ever known it before. These unusual
tides occur every now and then, and are not thought much of; but
by careful inquiry I ascertained that the surf had occurred on
the very night I had felt the earthquake at Labuan Tring, nearly
twenty miles off. This would seem to indicate, that although the
ordinary heavy surf may be due to the swell of the great Southern
Ocean confined in a narrow channel, combined with a peculiar form
of bottom near the shore, yet the sudden heavy surfs and high tides
that occur occasionally in perfectly calm weather, may be due to
slight upheavals of the ocean-bed in this eminently volcanic region.



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