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for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: 78
CHAPTER III. SNAKES EXPERIMENTS ON THEIR POISON. CEYLON LEECH. It
is not my intention, in this work, to give an account of any of the
plants of Ceylon; and, of its animals I propose to treat very
briefly, restricting myself to such notices as appear to me new, or
promise to be useful. It is natural to enquire, do the same animals
occur in Ceylon as on the adjoining continent of India In respect
to the mammalia, I am not aware that any species unknown on the
continent is to be found in Ceylon, though there are several
unknown in the latter, that are common on the continent; for
instance, the royal tiger, the wolf, and different species of
antelope. From the absence of these animals, it has been argued by
some, that Ceylon was never an integral part of India. But the
circumstance of the majority of the mammalia of the continent and
of the island being the same, is a better reason to suppose, that
they were once united and that the narrow and shallow strait which
now separates them, was formed at a period not very remote in the
history of our globe. Indeed, no one who looks at a map, and sees
the little distance between the nearest points of the island and
continent, and how, by the chain of rocks and sand-banks, commonly
called Adam's Bridge, they are still imperfectly connected, can
entertain much doubt, that the connection was once perfect. This
enquiry is rather curious than useful. It would be much more
useful, to endeavour to complete that which nature has begun, and
make the channel, which is now so obstructed and dangerous, clear
and safe, and fit for the purposes of coast-navigation. The
accomplishment of this is said to be impossible. It may be so; yet
I cannot help thinking, that the decision has been rather hasty and
premature, and made from imperfect...
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