The Malay Archipelago - Volume I. (of II.)
by Alfred Russel Wallace
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After dinner I asked him for a guide to the celebrated waterfall on the outlet stream of the lake. It is situated about a mile and half below the village, where a slight rising ground closes in the basin, and evidently once formed, the shore of the lake. Here the river enters a gorge, very narrow and tortuous, along which it rushes furiously for a short distance and then plunges into a great chasm, forming the head of a large valley. Just above the fall the channel is not more than ten feet wide, and here a few planks are thrown across, whence, half hid by luxuriant vegetation, the mad waters may be seen rushing beneath, and a few feet farther plunge into the abyss. Both sight and sound are grand and impressive. It was here that, four years before my visit, the Governor-General of the Netherland Indies committed suicide, by leaping into the torrent. This at least is the general opinion, as he suffered from a painful disease which was supposed to have made him weary of his life. His body was found next day in the stream below.

Unfortunately, no good view of the fall could now be obtained, owing to the quantity of wood and high grass that lined the margins of the precipices. There are two falls, the lower being the most lofty; and it is possible, by long circuit, to descend into the valley and see them from below. Were the best points of view searched for and rendered accessible, these falls would probably be found to be the finest in the Archipelago. The chasm seems to be of great depth, probably 500 or 600 feet. Unfortunately, I had no time to explore this valley, as I was anxious to devote every fine day to increasing my hitherto scanty collections.

Just opposite my abode in Rurukan was the schoolhouse. The schoolmaster was a native, educated by the Missionary at Tomohon. School was held every morning for about three hours, and twice a week in the evening there was catechising and preaching. There was also a service on Sunday morning. The children were all taught in Malay, and I often heard them repeating the multiplication-table, up to twenty times twenty, very glibly. They always wound up with singing, and it was very pleasing to hear many of our old psalm-tunes in these remote mountains, sung with Malay words. Singing is one of the real blessings which Missionaries introduce among savage nations, whose native chants are almost always monotonous and melancholy.

On catechising evenings the schoolmaster was a great man, preaching and teaching for three hours at a stretch much in the style of an English ranter. This was pretty cold work for his auditors, however warming to himself; and I am inclined to think that these native teachers, having acquired facility of speaking and an endless supply of religious platitudes to talk about, ride their hobby rather hard, without much consideration for their flock. The Missionaries, however, have much to be proud of in this country. They have assisted the Government in changing a savage into a civilized community in a wonderfully short space of time. Forty years ago the country was a wilderness, the people naked savages, garnishing their rude houses with human heads. Now it is a garden, worthy of its sweet native name of "Minahasa." Good roads and paths traverse it in every direction; some of the finest coffee plantations in the world surround the villages, interspersed with extensive rice-fields more than sufficient for the support of the population.

The people are now the most industrious, peaceable, and civilized in the whole Archipelago. They are the best clothed, the best housed, the best fed, and the best educated; and they have made some progress towards a higher social state. I believe there is no example elsewhere of such striking results being produced in so short a time—results which are entirely due to the system of government now adopted by the Dutch in their Eastern possessions. The system is one which may be called a "paternal despotism." Now we Englishmen do not like despotism—we hate the name and the thing, and we would rather see people ignorant, lazy, and vicious, than use any but moral force to make them wise, industrious, and good. And we are right when we are dealing with men of our own race, and of similar ideas and equal capacities with ourselves. Example and precept, the force of public opinion, and the slow, but sure spread of education, will do every thing in time, without engendering any of those bitter feelings, or producing any of that servility, hypocrisy, and dependence, which are the sure results of despotic government. But what should we think of a man who should advocate these principles of perfect freedom in a family or a school? We should say that he was applying a good, general principle to a case in which the conditions rendered it inapplicable—the case in which the governed are in an admitted state of mental inferiority to those who govern them, and are unable to decide what is best for their permanent welfare. Children must be subjected to some degree of authority, and guidance; and if properly managed they will cheerfully submit to it, because they know their own inferiority, and believe their elders are acting solely for their good. They learn many things the use of which they cannot comprehend, and which they would never learn without some moral and social, if not physical, pressure. Habits of order, of industry, of cleanliness, of respect and obedience, are inculcated by similar means. Children would never grow up into well-behaved and well-educated men, if the same absolute freedom of action that is allowed to men were allowed to them. Ruder the best aspect of education, children are subjected to a mild despotism for the good of themselves and of society; and their confidence in the wisdom and goodness of those who ordain and apply this despotism, neutralizes the bad passions and degrading feelings, which under less favourable conditions are its general results.

Now, there is not merely an analogy—there is in many respects an identity of relation between master and pupil or parent and child on the one hand, and an uncivilized race and its civilized rulers on the other. We know (or think we know) that the education and industry, and the common usages of civilized man, are superior to those of savage life; and, as he becomes acquainted with them, the savage himself admits this. He admires the superior acquirements of the civilized man, and it is with pride that he will adopt such usages as do not interfere too much with his sloth, his passions, or his prejudices. But as the willful child or the idle schoolboy, who was never taught obedience, and never made to do anything which of his own free will he was not inclined to do, would in most cases obtain neither education nor manners; so it is much more unlikely that the savage, with all the confirmed habits of manhood and the traditional prejudices of race, should ever do more than copy a few of the least beneficial customs of civilization, without some stronger stimulus than precept, very imperfectly backed by example.

If we are satisfied that we are right in assuming the government over a savage race, and occupying their country, and if we further consider it our duty to do what we can to improve our rude subjects and raise them up towards our own level, we must not be too much afraid of the cry of "despotism" and "slavery," but must use the authority we possess to induce them to do work which they may not altogether like, but which we know to be an indispensable step in their moral and physical advancement. The Dutch have shown much good policy in the means by which they have done this. They have in most cases upheld and strengthened the authority of the native chiefs, to whom the people have been accustomed to render a voluntary obedience; and by acting on the intelligence and self-interest of these chiefs, have brought about changes in the manners and customs of the people, which would have excited ill-feeling and perhaps revolt, had they been directly enforced by foreigners.

In carrying out such a system, much depends upon the character of the people; and the system which succeeds admirably in one place could only be very partially worked out in another. In Minahasa the natural docility and intelligence of the race have made their progress rapid; and how important this is, is well illustrated by the fact, that in the immediate vicinity of the town of Menado are a tribe called Banteks, of a much less tractable disposition, who have hitherto resisted all efforts of the Dutch Government to induce them to adopt any systematic cultivation. These remain in a ruder condition, but engage themselves willingly as occasional porters and labourers, for which their greater strength and activity well adapt them.

No doubt the system here sketched seems open to serious objection. It is to a certain extent despotic, and interferes with free trade, free labour, and free communication. A native cannot leave his village without a pass, and cannot engage himself to any merchant or captain without a Government permit. The coffee has all to be sold to Government, at less than half the price that the local merchant would give for it, and he consequently cries out loudly against "monopoly" and "oppression." He forgets, how ever, that the coffee plantations were established by the Government at great outlay of capital and skill; that it gives free education to the people, and that the monopoly is in lieu of taxation. He forgets that the product he wants to purchase and make a profit by, is the creation of the Government, without whom the people would still be savages. He knows very well that free trade would, as its first result, lead to the importation of whole cargoes of arrack, which would be carried over the country and exchanged for coffee. That drunkenness and poverty would spread over the land; that the public coffee plantations would not be kept up; that the quality and quantity of the coffee would soon deteriorate; that traders and merchants would get rich, but that the people would relapse into poverty and barbarism. That such is invariably is the result of free trade with any savage tribes who possess a valuable product, native or cultivated, is well known to those who have visited such people; but we might even anticipate from general principles that evil results would happen.

If there is one thing rather than another to which the grand law of continuity or development will apply, it is to human progress. There are certain stages through which society must pass in its onward march from barbarism to civilization. Now one of these stages has always been some form or other of despotism, such as feudalism or servitude, or a despotic paternal government; and we have every reason to believe that it is not possible for humanity to leap over this transition epoch, and pass at once from pure savagery to free civilization. The Dutch system attempts to supply this missing link, and to bring the people on by gradual steps to that higher civilization, which we (the English) try to force upon them at once. Our system has always failed. We demoralize and we extirpate, but we never really civilize. Whether the Dutch system can permanently succeed is but doubtful, since it may not be possible to compress the work of ten centuries into one; but at all events it takes nature as a guide, and is therefore, more deserving of success, and more likely to succeed, than ours.

There is one point connected with this question which I think the Missionaries might take up with great physical and moral results. In this beautiful and healthy country, and with abundance of food and necessaries, the population does not increase as it ought to do. I can only impute this to one cause. Infant mortality, produced by neglect while the mothers are working in the plantations, and by general ignorance of the conditions of health in infants. Women all work, as they have always been accustomed to do. It is no hardship to them, but I believe is often a pleasure and relaxation. They either take their infants with them, in which case they leave them in some shady spot on the ground, going at intervals to give them nourishment, or they leave them at home in the care of other children too young to work. Under neither of these circumstances can infants be properly attended to, and great mortality is the result, keeping the increase of population far below the rate which the general prosperity of the country and the universality of marriage would lead us to expect. This is a matter in which the Government is directly interested, since it is by the increase of the population alone that there can be any large and permanent increase in the production of coffee. The Missionaries should take up the question because, by inducing married women to confine themselves to domestic duties, they will decidedly promote a higher civilization, and directly increase the health and happiness of the whole community. The people are so docile and so willing to adopt the manners and customs of Europeans, that the change might be easily effected by merely showing them that it was a question of morality and civilization, and an essential step in their progress towards an equality with their white rulers.

After a fortnight's stay at Rurukan, I left that pretty and interesting village in search of a locality and climate more productive of birds and insects. I passed the evening with the Controlleur of Tondano, and the next morning at nine, left in a small boat for the head of the lake, a distance of about ten miles. The lower end of the lake is bordered by swamps and marshes of considerable extent, but a little further on, the hills come down to the water's edge and give it very much the appearance of a greet river, the width being about two miles. At the upper end is the village of Kakas, where I dined with the head man in a good house like those I have already described; and then went on to Langowan, four miles distant over a level plain. This was the place where I had been recommended to stay, and I accordingly unpacked my baggage and made myself comfortable in the large house devoted to visitors. I obtained a man to shoot for me, and another to accompany me the next day to the forest, where I was in hopes of finding a good collecting ground.

In the morning after breakfast I started off, but found I had four miles to walk over a wearisome straight road through coffee plantations before I could get to the forest, and as soon as I did so, it came on to rain heavily and did not cease until night. This distance to walk everyday was too far for any profitable work, especially when the weather was so uncertain. I therefore decided at once that I must go further on, until I found someplace close to or in a forest country. In the afternoon my friend Mr. Bensneider arrived, together with the Controlleur of the next district, called Belang, from whom I learned that six miles further on there was a village called Panghu, which had been recently formed and had a good deal of forest close to it; and he promised me the use of a small house if I liked to go there.

The next morning I went to see the hot-springs and mud volcanoes, for which this place is celebrated. A picturesque path among plantations and ravines brought us to a beautiful circular basin about forty feet in diameter, bordered by a calcareous ledge, so uniform and truly curved, that it looked like a work of art. It was filled with clear water very near the boiling point, and emitted clouds of steam with a strong sulphureous odour. It overflows at one point and forms a little stream of hot water, which at a hundred yards' distance is still too hot to hold the hand in. A little further on, in a piece of rough wood, were two other springs not so regular in outline, but appearing to be much hotter, as they were in a continual state of active ebullition. At intervals of a few minutes, a great escape of steam or gas took place, throwing up a column of water three or four feet high.

We then went to the mud-springs, which are about a mile off, and are still more curious. On a sloping tract of ground in a slight hollow is a small lake of liquid mud, with patches of blue, red, or white, and in many places boiling and bubbling most furiously. All around on the indurated clay are small wells and craters full of boiling mud. These seem to be forming continually, a small hole appearing first, which emits jets of steam and boiling mud, which upon hardening, forms a little cone with a crater in the middle. The ground for some distance is very unsafe, as it is evidently liquid at a small depth, and bends with pressure like thin ice. At one of the smaller, marginal jets which I managed to approach, I held my hand to see if it was really as hot as it looked, when a little drop of mud that spurted on to my finger scalded like boiling water.

A short distance off, there was a flat bare surface of rock as smooth and hot as an oven floor, which was evidently an old mud-pool, dried up and hardened. For hundreds of yards around where there were banks of reddish and white clay used for whitewash, it was still so hot close to the surface that the hand could hardly bear to be held in cracks a few inches deep, and from which arose a strong sulphureous vapour. I was informed that some years back a French gentleman who visited these springs ventured too near the liquid mud, when the crust gave way and he was engulfed in the horrible caldron.

This evidence of intense heat so near the surface over a large tract of country was very impressive, and I could hardly divest myself of the notion that some terrible catastrophe might at any moment devastate the country. Yet it is probable that all these apertures are really safety-valves, and that the inequalities of the resistance of various parts of the earth's crust will always prevent such an accumulation of force as would be required to upheave and overwhelm any extensive area. About seven miles west of this is a volcano which was in eruption about thirty years before my visit, presenting a magnificent appearance and covering the surrounding country with showers of ashes. The plains around the lake formed by the intermingling and decomposition of volcanic products are of amazing fertility, and with a little management in the rotation of crops might be kept in continual cultivation. Rice is now grown on them for three or four years in succession, when they are left fallow for the same period, after which rice or maize can be again grown. Good rice produces thirty-fold, and coffee trees continue bearing abundantly for ten or fifteen years, without any manure and with scarcely any cultivation.

I was delayed a day by incessant rain, and then proceeded to Panghu, which I reached just before the daily rain began at 11 A.M. After leaving the summit level of the lake basin, the road is carried along the slope of a fine forest ravine. The descent is a long one, so that I estimated the village to be not more than 1,500 feet above the sea, yet I found the morning temperature often 69 deg., the same as at Tondano at least 600 or 700 feet higher. I was pleased with the appearance of the place, which had a good deal of forest and wild country around it; and found prepared for me a little house consisting only of a verandah and a back room. This was only intended for visitors to rest in, or to pass a night, but it suited me very well. I was so unfortunate, however, as to lose both my hunters just at this time. One had been left at Tondano with fever and diarrhoea, and the other was attacked at Langowan with inflammation of the chest, and as his case looked rather bad I had him sent back to Menado. The people here were all so busy with their rice-harvest, which was important for them to finish owing to the early rains, that I could get no one to shoot for me.

During the three weeks that I stayed at Panghu it rained nearly everyday, either in the afternoon only, or all day long; but there were generally a few hours' sunshine in the morning, and I took advantage of these to explore the roads and paths, the rocks and ravines, in search of insects. These were not very abundant, yet I saw enough to convince me that the locality was a good one, had I been there at the beginning instead of at the end of the dry season. The natives brought me daily a few insects obtained at the Sagueir palms, including some fine Cetonias and stag-beetles. Two little boys were very expert with the blowpipe, and brought me a good many small birds, which they shot with pellets of clay. Among these was a pretty little flower-pecker of a new species (Prionochilus aureolimbatus), and several of the loveliest honeysuckers I had yet seen. My general collection of birds was, however, almost at a standstill; for though I at length obtained a man to shoot for me, he was not good for much, and seldom brought me more than one bird a day. The best thing he shot was the large and rare fruit-pigeon peculiar to Northern Celebes (Carpophaga forsteni), which I had long been seeking.

I was myself very successful in one beautiful group of insects, the tiger-beetles, which seem more abundant and varied here than anywhere else in the Archipelago. I first met with them on a cutting in the road, where a hard clayey bank was partially overgrown with mosses and small ferns. Here, I found running about, a small olive-green species which never took flight; and more rarely, a fine purplish black wingless insect, which was always found motionless in crevices, and was therefore, probably nocturnal. It appeared to me to form a new genus. About the roads in the forest, I found the large and handsome Cicindela heros, which I had before obtained sparingly at Macassar; but it was in the mountain torrent of the ravine itself that I got my finest things. On dead trunks overhanging the water and on the banks and foliage, I obtained three very pretty species of Cicindela, quite distinct in size, form, and colour, but having an almost identical pattern of pale spots. I also found a single specimen of a most curious species with very long antennae. But my finest discovery here was the Cicindela gloriosa, which I found on mossy stones just rising above the water. After obtaining my first specimen of this elegant insect, I used to walk up the stream, watching carefully every moss-covered rock and stone. It was rather shy, and would often lead me on a long chase from stone to stone, becoming invisible every time it settled on the damp moss, owing to its rich velvety green colour. On some days I could only catch a few glimpses of it; on others I got a single specimen; and on a few occasions two, but never without a more or less active pursuit. This and several other species I never saw but in this one ravine.

Among the people here I saw specimens of several types, which, with the peculiarities of the languages, gives me some notion of their probable origin. A striking illustration of the low state of civilization of these people, until quite recently, is to be found in the great diversity of their languages. Villages three or four miles apart have separate dialects, and each group of three or four such villages has a distinct language quite unintelligible to all the rest; so that, until the recent introduction of Malay by the Missionaries, there must have been a bar to all free communication. These languages offer many peculiarities. They contain a Celebes-Malay element and a Papuan element, along with some radical peculiarities found also in the languages of the Siau and Sanguir islands further north, and therefore, probably derived from the Philippine Islands. Physical characteristics correspond. There are some of the less civilized tribes which have semi-Papuan features and hair, while in some villages the true Celebes or Bugis physiognomy prevails. The plateau of Tondano is chiefly inhabited by people nearly as white as the Chinese, and with very pleasing semi-European features. The people of Siau and Sanguir much resemble these, and I believe them to be perhaps immigrants from some of the islands of North Polynesia. The Papuan type will represent the remnant of the aborigines, while those of the Bugis character show the extension northward of the superior Malay races.

As I was wasting valuable time at Panghu, owing to the bad weather and the illness of my hunters, I returned to Menado after a stay of three weeks. Here I had a little touch of fever, and what with drying and packing all of my collections and getting fresh servants, it was a fortnight before I was again ready to start. I now went eastward over an undulating country skirting the great volcano of Klabat, to a village called Lempias, situated close to the extensive forest that covers the lower slopes of that mountain. My baggage was carried from village to village by relays of men; and as each change involved some delay, I did not reach my destination (a distance of eighteen miles) until sunset. I was wet through, and had to wait for an hour in an uncomfortable state until the first installment of my baggage arrived, which luckily contained my clothes, while the rest did not come in until midnight.

This being the district inhabited by that singular annual the Babirusa (Hog-deer), I inquired about skulls and soon obtained several in tolerable condition, as well as a fine one of the rare and curious "Sapiutan" (Anoa depressicornis). Of this animal I had seen two living specimens at Menado, and was surprised at their great resemblance to small cattle, or still more to the Eland of South Africa. Their Malay name signifies "forest ox," and they differ from very small highbred oxen principally by the low-hanging dewlap, and straight, pointed horns which slope back over the neck. I did not find the forest here so rich in insects as I had expected, and my hunters got me very few birds, but what they did obtain were very interesting. Among these were the rare forest Kingfisher (Cittura cyanotis), a small new species of Megapodius, and one specimen of the large and interesting Maleo (Megacephalon rubripes), to obtain which was one of my chief reasons for visiting this district. Getting no more, however, after ten days' search, I removed to Licoupang, at the extremity of the peninsula, a place celebrated for these birds, as well as for the Babirusa and Sapiutan. I found here Mr. Goldmann, the eldest son of the Governor of the Moluccas, who was superintending the establishment of some Government salt-works. This was a better locality, and I obtained some fine butterflies and very good birds, among which was one more specimen of the rare ground dove (Phlegaenas tristigmata), which I had first obtained near the Maros waterfall in South Celebes.

Hearing what I was particularly in search of, Mr. Goldmann kindly offered to make a hunting-party to the place where the "Maleos" are most abundant, a remote and uninhabited sea-beach about twenty miles distant. The climate here was quite different from that on the mountains; not a drop of rain having fallen for four months; so I made arrangements to stay on the beach a week, in order to secure a good number of specimens. We went partly by boat and partly through the forest, accompanied by the Major or head-man of Licoupang, with a dozen natives and about twenty dogs. On the way they caught a young Sapi-utan and five wild pigs. Of the former I preserved the head. This animal is entirely confined to the remote mountain forests of Celebes and one or two adjacent islands which form part of the same group. In the adults the head is black, with a white mark over each eye, one on each cheek and another on the throat. The horns are very smooth and sharp when young, but become thicker and ridged at the bottom with age. Most naturalists consider this curious animal to be a small ox, but from the character of the horns, the fine coat of hair and the descending dewlap, it seemed closely to approach the antelopes.

Arrived at our destination, we built a but and prepared for a stay of some days—I to shoot and skin "Maleos", and Mr. Goldmann and the Major to hunt wild pigs, Babirusa, and Sapi-utan. The place is situated in the large bay between the islands of Limbe and Banca, and consists of steep beach more than a mile in length, of deep loose and coarse black volcanic sand (or rather gravel), very fatiguing to walk over. It is bounded at each extremity by a small river with hilly ground beyond, while the forest behind the beach itself is tolerably level and its growth stunted. We probably have here an ancient lava stream from the Klabat volcano, which has flowed down a valley into the sea, and the decomposition of which has formed the loose black sand. In confirmation of this view, it may be mentioned that the beaches beyond the small rivers in both directions are of white sand.

It is in this loose, hot, black sand that those singular birds, the "Maleos" deposit their eggs. In the months of August and September, when there is little or no rain, they come down in pairs from the interior to this or to one or two other favourite spots, and scratch holes three or four feet deep, just above high-water mark, where the female deposits a single large egg, which she covers over with about a foot of sand—and then returns to the forest. At the end of ten or twelve days she comes again to the same spot to lay another egg, and each female bird is supposed to lay six or eight eggs during the season. The male assists the female in making the hole, coming down and returning with her. The appearance of the bird when walking on the beach is very handsome. The glossy black and rosy white of the plumage, the helmeted head and elevated tail, like that of the common fowl, give a striking character, which their stately and somewhat sedate walk renders still more remarkable. There is hardly any difference between the sexes, except that the casque or bonnet at the back of the head and the tubercles at the nostrils are a little larger, and the beautiful rosy salmon colour a little deeper in the male bird; but the difference is so slight that it is not always possible to tell a male from a female without dissection. They run quickly, but when shot at or suddenly disturbed, take wing with a heavy noisy flight to some neighbouring tree, where they settle on a low branch; and, they probably roost at night in a similar situation. Many birds lay in the same hole, for a dozen eggs are often found together; and these are so large that it is not possible for the body of the bird to contain more than one fully-developed egg at the same time. In all the female birds which I shot, none of the eggs besides the one large one exceeded the size of peas, and there were only eight or nine of these, which is probably the extreme number a bird can lay in one season.

Every year the natives come for fifty miles round to obtain these eggs, which are esteemed as a great delicacy, and when quite fresh, are indeed delicious. They are richer than hens' eggs and of a finer favour, and each one completely fills an ordinary teacup, and forms with bread or rice a very good meal. The colour of the shell is a pale brick red, or very rarely pure white. They are elongate and very slightly smaller at one end, from four to four and a half inches long by two and a quarter or two and a half wide.

After the eggs are deposited in the sand, they are no further cared for by the mother. The young birds, upon breaking the shell, work their way up through the sand and run off at once to the forest; and I was assured by Mr. Duivenboden of Ternate, that they can fly the very day they are hatched. He had taken some eggs on board his schooner which hatched during the night, and in the morning the little birds flew readily across the cabin. Considering the great distances the birds come to deposit the eggs in a proper situation (often ten or fifteen miles) it seems extraordinary that they should take no further care of them. It is, however, quite certain that they neither do nor can watch them. The eggs being deposited by a number of hens in succession in the same hole, would render it impossible for each to distinguish its own; and the food necessary for such large birds (consisting entirely of fallen fruits) can only be obtained by roaming over an extensive district, so that if the numbers of birds which come down to this single beach in the breeding season, amounting to many hundreds, were obliged to remain in the vicinity, many would perish of hunger.

In the structure of the feet of this bird, we may detect a cause for its departing from the habits of its nearest allies, the Megapodii and Talegalli, which heap up earth, leaves, stones, and sticks into a huge mound, in which they bury their eggs. The feet of the Maleo are not nearly so large or strong in proportion as in these birds, while its claws are short and straight instead of being long and much curved. The toes are, however, strongly webbed at the base, forming a broad powerful foot, which, with the rather long leg, is well adapted to scratch away the loose sand (which flies up in a perfect shower when the birds are at work), but which could not without much labour accumulate the heaps of miscellaneous rubbish, which the large grasping feet of the Megapodius bring together with ease.

We may also, I think, see in the peculiar organization of the entire family of the Megapodidae or Brush Turkeys, a reason why they depart so widely from the usual habits of the Class of birds. Each egg being so large as entirely to fill up the abdominal cavity and with difficulty pass the walls of the pelvis, a considerable interval is required before the successive eggs can be matured (the natives say about thirteen days). Each bird lays six or eight eggs or even more each season, so that between the first and last there may be an interval of two or three months. Now, if these eggs were hatched in the ordinary way, either the parents must keep sitting continually for this long period, or if they only began to sit after the last egg was deposited, the first would be exposed to injury by the climate, or to destruction by the large lizards, snakes, or other animals which abound in the district; because such large birds must roam about a good deal in search of food. Here then we seem to have a case in which the habits of a bird may be directly traced to its exceptional organization; for it will hardly be maintained that this abnormal structure and peculiar food were given to the Megapodidae in order that they might not exhibit that parental affection, or possess those domestic instincts so general in the Class of birds, and which so much excite our admiration.

It has generally been the custom of writers on Natural History to take the habits and instincts of animals as fixed points, and to consider their structure and organization, as specially adapted, to be in accordance with these. This assumption is however an arbitrary one, and has the bad effect of stifling inquiry into the nature and causes of "instincts and habits," treating them as directly due to a "first cause," and therefore, incomprehensible to us. I believe that a careful consideration of the structure of a species, and of the peculiar physical and organic conditions by which it is surrounded, or has been surrounded in past ages, will often, as in this case, throw much light on the origin of its habits and instincts. These again, combined with changes in external conditions, react upon structure, and by means of "variation" and "natural selection", both are kept in harmony.

My friends remained three days, and got plenty of wild pigs and two Anoas, but the latter were much injured by the dogs, and I could only preserve the heads. A grand hunt which we attempted on the third day failed, owing to bad management in driving in the game, and we waited for five hours perched on platforms in trees without getting a shot, although we had been assured that pigs, Babirusas, and Anoas would rush past us in dozens. I myself, with two men, stayed three days longer to get more specimens of the Maleos, and succeeded in preserving twenty-six very fine ones—the flesh and eggs of which supplied us with abundance of good food.

The Major sent a boat, as he had promised, to take home my baggage, while I walked through the forest with my two boys and a guide, about fourteen miles. For the first half of the distance there was no path, and we had often to cut our way through tangled rattans or thickets of bamboo. In some of our turnings to find the most practicable route, I expressed my fear that we were losing our way, as the sun being vertical, I could see no possible clue to the right direction. My conductors, however, laughed at the idea, which they seemed to consider quite ludicrous; and sure enough, about half way, we suddenly encountered a little hut where people from Licoupang came to hunt and smoke wild pigs. My guide told me he had never before traversed the forest between these two points; and this is what is considered by some travellers as one of the savage "instincts," whereas it is merely the result of wide general knowledge. The man knew the topography of the whole district; the slope of the land, the direction of the streams, the belts of bamboo or rattan, and many other indications of locality and direction; and he was thus enabled to hit straight upon the hut, in the vicinity of which he had often hunted. In a forest of which he knew nothing, he would be quite as much at a loss as a European. Thus it is, I am convinced, with all the wonderful accounts of Indians finding their way through trackless forests to definite points; they may never have passed straight between the two particular points before, but they are well acquainted with the vicinity of both, and have such a general knowledge of the whole country, its water system, its soil and its vegetation, that as they approach the point they are to reach, many easily-recognised indications enable them to hit upon it with certainty.

The chief feature of this forest was the abundance of rattan palms hanging from the trees, and turning and twisting about on the ground, often in inextricable confusion. One wonders at first how they can get into such queer shapes; but it is evidently caused by the decay and fall of the trees up which they have first climbed, after which they grow along the ground until they meet with another trunk up which to ascend. A tangled mass of twisted living rattan, is therefore, a sign that at some former period a large tree has fallen there, though there may be not the slightest vestige of it left. The rattan seems to have unlimited powers of growth, and a single plant may moult up several trees in succession, and thus reach the enormous length they are said sometimes to attain. They much improve the appearance of a forest as seen from the coast; for they vary the otherwise monotonous tree-tops with feathery crowns of leaves rising clear above them, and each terminated by an erect leafy spike like a lightning-conductor.

The other most interesting object in the forest was a beautiful palm, whose perfectly smooth and cylindrical stem rises erect to more than a hundred feet high, with a thickness of only eight or ten inches; while the fan-shaped leaves which compose its crown, are almost complete circles of six or eight feet diameter, borne aloft on long and slender petioles, and beautifully toothed round the edge by the extremities of the leaflets, which are separated only for a few inches from the circumference. It is probably the Livistona rotundifolia of botanists, and is the most complete and beautiful fan-leaf I have ever seen, serving admirably for folding into water-buckets and impromptu baskets, as well as for thatching and other purposes.

A few days afterwards I returned to Menado on horse-back, sending my baggage around by sea; and had just time to pack up all my collections to go by the next mail steamer to Amboyna. I will now devote a few pages to an account of the chief peculiarities of the Zoology of Celebes, and its relation to that of the surrounding countries.


THE position of Celebes is the most central in the Archipelago. Immediately to the north are the Philippine islands; on the west is Borneo; on the east are the Molucca islands; and on the south is the Timor group—and it is on all sides so connected with these islands by its own satellites, by small islets, and by coral reefs, that neither by inspection on the map nor by actual observation around its coast, is it possible to determine accurately which should be grouped with it, and which with the surrounding districts. Such being the case, we should naturally expect to find that the productions of this central island in some degree represented the richness and variety of the whole Archipelago, while we should not expect much individuality in a country, so situated, that it would seem as if it were pre-eminently fitted to receive stragglers and immigrants from all around.

As so often happens in nature, however, the fact turns out to be just the reverse of what we should have expected; and an examination of its animal productions shows Celebes to be at once the poorest in the number of its species, and the most isolated in the character of its productions, of all the great islands in the Archipelago. With its attendant islets it spreads over an extent of sea hardly inferior in length and breadth to that occupied by Borneo, while its actual land area is nearly double that of Java; yet its Mammalia and terrestrial birds number scarcely more than half the species found in the last-named island. Its position is such that it could receive immigrants from every side more readily than Java, yet in proportion to the species which inhabit it, far fewer seem derived from other islands, while far more are altogether peculiar to it; and a considerable number of its animal forms are so remarkable, as to find no close allies in any other part of the world. I now propose to examine the best known groups of Celebesian animals in some detail, to study their relations to those of other islands, and to call attention to the many points of interest which they suggest.

We know far more of the birds of Celebes than we do of any other group of animals. No less than 191 species have been discovered, and though no doubt, many more wading and swimming birds have to be added; yet the list of land birds, 144 in number, and which for our present purpose are much the most important, must be very nearly complete. I myself assiduously collected birds in Celebes for nearly ten months, and my assistant, Mr. Allen, spent two months in the Sula islands. The Dutch naturalist Forsten spent two years in Northern Celebes (twenty years before my visit), and collections of birds had also been sent to Holland from Macassar. The French ship of discovery, L'Astrolabe, also touched at Menado and procured collections. Since my return home, the Dutch naturalists Rosenberg and Bernstein have made extensive collections both in North Celebes and in the Sula islands; yet all their researches combined have only added eight species of land birds to those forming part of my own collection—a fact which renders it almost certain that there are very few more to discover.

Besides Salayer and Boutong on the south, with Peling and Bungay on the east, the three islands of the Sula (or Zula) Archipelago also belong zoologically to Celebes, although their position is such that it would seem more natural to group them with the Moluccas. About 48 land birds are now known from the Sula group, and if we reject from these, five species which have a wide range over the Archipelago, the remainder are much more characteristic of Celebes than of the Moluccas. Thirty-one species are identical with those of the former island, and four are representatives of Celebes forms, while only eleven are Moluccan species, and two more representatives.

But although the Sula islands belong to Celebes, they are so close to Bouru and the southern islands of the Gilolo group, that several purely Moluccan forms have migrated there, which are quite unknown to the island of Celebes itself; the whole thirteen Moluccan species being in this category, thus adding to the productions of Celebes a foreign element which does not really belong to it. In studying the peculiarities of the Celebesian fauna, it will therefore be well to consider only the productions of the main island.

The number of land birds in the island of Celebes is 128, and from these we may, as before, strike out a small number of species which roam over the whole Archipelago (often from India to the Pacific), and which therefore only serve to disguise the peculiarities of individual islands. These are 20 in number, and leave 108 species which we may consider as more especially characteristic of the island. On accurately comparing these with the birds of all the surrounding countries, we find that only nine extend into the islands westward, and nineteen into the islands eastward, while no less than 80 are entirely confined to the Celebesian fauna—a degree of individuality which, considering the situation of the island, is hardly to be equalled in any other part of the world. If we still more closely examine these 80 species, we shall be struck by the many peculiarities of structure they present, and by the curious affinities with distant parts of the world which many of them seem to indicate. These points are of so much interest and importance that it will be necessary to pass in review all those species which are peculiar to the island, and to call attention to whatever is most worthy of remark.

Six species of the Hawk tribe are peculiar to Celebes; three of these are very distinct from allied birds which range over all India to Java and Borneo, and which thus seem to be suddenly changed on entering Celebes. Another (Accipiter trinotatus) is a beautiful hawk, with elegant rows of large round white spots on the tail, rendering it very conspicuous and quite different from any other known bird of the family. Three owls are also peculiar; and one, a barn owl (Strix rosenbergii), is very much larger and stronger than its ally Strix javanica, which ranges from India through all the islands as far as Lombock.

Of the ten Parrots found in Celebes, eight are peculiar. Among them are two species of the singular raquet-tailed parrots forming the genus Prioniturus, and which are characterised by possessing two long spoon-shaped feathers in the tail. Two allied species are found in the adjacent island of Mindanao, one of the Philippines, and this form of tail is found in no other parrots in the whole world. A small species of Lorikeet (Trichoglossus flavoviridis) seems to have its nearest ally in Australia.

The three Woodpeckers which inhabit the island are all peculiar, and are allied to species found in Java and Borneo, although very different from them all.

Among the three peculiar Cuckoos, two are very remarkable. Phoenicophaus callirhynchus is the largest and handsomest species of its genus, and is distinguished by the three colours of its beak, bright yellow, red, and black. Eudynamis melanorynchus differs from all its allies in having a jet-black bill, whereas the other species of the genus always have it green, yellow, or reddish.

The Celebes Roller (Coracias temmincki) is an interesting example of one species of a genus being cut off from the rest. There are species of Coracias in Europe, Asia, and Africa, but none in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, Java, or Borneo. The present species seems therefore quite out of place; and what is still more curious is the fact that it is not at all like any of the Asiatic species, but seems more to resemble those of Africa.

In the next family, the Bee-eaters, is another equally isolated bird, Meropogon forsteni, which combines the characters of African and Indian Bee-eaters, and whose only near ally, Meropogon breweri, was discovered by M. Du Chaillu in West Africa!

The two Celebes Hornbills have no close allies in those which abound in the surrounding countries. The only Thrush, Geocichla erythronota, is most nearly allied to a species peculiar to Timor. Two of the Flycatchers are closely allied to Indian species, which are not found in the Malay islands. Two genera somewhat allied to the Magpies (Streptocitta and Charitornis), but whose affinities are so doubtful that Professor Schlegel places them among the Starlings, are entirely confined to Celebes. They are beautiful long-tailed birds, with black and white plumage, and with the feathers of the head somewhat rigid and scale-like.

Doubtfully allied to the Starlings are two other very isolated and beautiful birds. One, Enodes erythrophrys, has ashy and yellow plumage, but is ornamented with broad stripes of orange-red above the eyes. The other, Basilornis celebensis, is a blue-black bird with a white patch on each side of the breast, and the head ornamented with a beautiful compressed scaly crest of feathers, resembling in form that of the well-known Cock-of-the-rock of South America. The only ally to this bird is found in Ceram, and has the feathers of the crest elongated upwards into quite a different form.

A still more curious bird is the Scissirostrum pagei, which although it is at present classed in the Starling family, differs from all other species in the form of the bill and nostrils, and seems most nearly allied in its general structure to the Ox-peckers (Buphaga) of tropical Africa, next to which the celebrated ornithologist Prince Bonaparte finally placed it. It is almost entirely of a slatey colour, with yellow bill and feet, but the feathers of the rump and upper tail-coverts each terminate in a rigid, glossy pencil or tuft of a vivid crimson. These pretty little birds take the place of the metallic-green starlings of the genus Calornis, which are found in most other islands of the Archipelago, but which are absent from Celebes. They go in flocks, feeding upon grain and fruits, often frequenting dead trees, in holes of which they build their nests; and they cling to the trunks as easily as woodpeckers or creepers.

Out of eighteen Pigeons found in Celebes, eleven are peculiar to it. Two of them, Ptilonopus gularis and Turacaena menadensis, have their nearest allies in Timor. Two others, Carpophaga forsteni and Phlaegenas tristigmata, most resemble Philippine island species; and Carpophaga radiata belongs to a New Guinea group. Lastly, in the Gallinaceous tribe, the curious helmeted Maleo (Megacephalon rubripes) is quite isolated, having its nearest (but still distant) allies in the Brush-turkeys of Australia and New Guinea.

Judging, therefore, by the opinions of the eminent naturalists who have described and classified its birds, we find that many of the species have no near allies whatsoever in the countries which surround Celebes, but are either quite isolated, or indicate relations with such distant regions as New Guinea, Australia, India, or Africa. Other cases of similar remote affinities between the productions of distant countries no doubt exist, but in no spot upon the globe that I am yet acquainted with, do so many of them occur together, or do they form so decided a feature in the natural history of the country.

The Mammalia of Celebes are very few in number, consisting of fourteen terrestrial species and seven bats. Of the former no less than eleven are peculiar, including two which there is reason to believe may have been recently carried into other islands by man. Three species which have a tolerably wide range in the Archipelago, are: (1) The curious Lemur, Tarsius spectrum, which is found in all the islands as far westward as Malacca; (2) the common Malay Civet, Viverra tangalunga, which has a still wider range; and (3) a Deer, which seems to be the same as the Rusa hippelaphus of Java, and was probably introduced by man at an early period.

The more characteristic species are as follow:

Cynopithecus nigrescens, a curious baboon-like monkey if not a true baboon, which abounds all over Celebes, and is found nowhere else but in the one small island of Batchian, into which it has probably been introduced accidentally. An allied species is found in the Philippines, but in no other island of the Archipelago is there anything resembling them. These creatures are about the size of a spaniel, of a jet-black colour, and have the projecting dog-like muzzle and overhanging brows of the baboons. They have large red callosities and a short fleshy tail, scarcely an inch long and hardly visible. They go in large bands, living chiefly in the trees, but often descending on the ground and robbing gardens and orchards.

Anoa depressicornis, the Sapi-utan, or wild cow of the Malays, is an animal which has been the cause of much controversy, as to whether it should be classed as ox, buffalo, or antelope. It is smaller than any other wild cattle, and in many respects seems to approach some of the ox-like antelopes of Africa. It is found only in the mountains, and is said never to inhabit places where there are deer. It is somewhat smaller than a small Highland cow, and has long straight horns, which are ringed at the base and slope backwards over the neck.

The wild pig seems to be of a species peculiar to the island; but a much more curious animal of this family is the Babirusa or Pig-deer; so named by the Malays from its long and slender legs, and curved tusks resembling horns. This extraordinary creature resembles a pig in general appearance, but it does not dig with its snout, as it feeds on fallen fruits. The tusks of the lower jaw are very long and sharp, but the upper ones instead of growing downwards in the usual way are completely reversed, growing upwards out of bony sockets through the skin on each side of the snout, curving backwards to near the eyes, and in old animals often reaching eight or ten inches in length. It is difficult to understand what can be the use of these extraordinary horn-like teeth. Some of the old writers supposed that they served as hooks, by which the creature could rest its head on a branch. But the way in which they usually diverge just over and in front of the eye has suggested the more probable idea, that they serve to guard these organs from thorns and spines, while hunting for fallen fruits among the tangled thickets of rattans and other spiny plants. Even this, however, is not satisfactory, for the female, who must seek her food in the same way, does not possess them. I should be inclined to believe rather, that these tusks were once useful, and were then worn down as fast as they grew; but that changed conditions of life have rendered them unnecessary, and they now develop into a monstrous form, just as the incisors of the Beaver or Rabbit will go on growing, if the opposite teeth do not wear them away. In old animals they reach an enormous size, and are generally broken off as if by fighting.

Here again we have a resemblance to the Wart-hogs of Africa, whose upper canines grow outwards and curve up so as to form a transition from the usual mode of growth to that of the Babirusa. In other respects there seems no affinity between these animals, and the Babirusa stands completely isolated, having no resemblance to the pigs of any other part of the world. It is found all over Celebes and in the Sula islands, and also in Bourn, the only spot beyond the Celebes group to which it extends; and which island also shows some affinity to the Sula islands in its birds, indicating perhaps, a closer connection between them at some former period than now exists.

The other terrestrial mammals of Celebes are five species of squirrels, which are all distinct from those of Java and Borneo, and mark the furthest eastward range of the genus in the tropics; and two of Eastern opossums (Cuscus), which are different from those of the Moluccas, and mark the furthest westward extension of this genus and of the Marsupial order. Thus we see that the Mammalia of Celebes are no less individual and remarkable than the birds, since three of the largest and most interesting species have no near allies in surrounding countries, but seem vaguely to indicate a relation to the African continent.

Many groups of insects appear to be especially subject to local influences, their forms and colours changing with each change of conditions, or even with a change of locality where the conditions seem almost identical. We should therefore anticipate that the individuality manifested in the higher animals would be still more prominent in these creatures with less stable organisms. On the other hand, however, we have to consider that the dispersion and migration of insects is much more easily effected than that of mammals or even of birds. They are much more likely to be carried away by violent winds; their eggs may be carried on leaves either by storms of wind or by floating trees, and their larvae and pupae, often buried in trunks of trees or enclosed in waterproof cocoons, may be floated for days or weeks uninjured over the ocean. These facilities of distribution tend to assimilate the productions of adjacent lands in two ways: first, by direct mutual interchange of species; and secondly, by repeated immigrations of fresh individuals of a species common to other islands, which by intercrossing, tend to obliterate the changes of form and colour, which differences of conditions might otherwise produce. Bearing these facts in mind, we shall find that the individuality of the insects of Celebes is even greater than we have any reason to expect.

For the purpose of insuring accuracy in comparisons with other islands, I shall confine myself to those groups which are best known, or which I have myself carefully studied. Beginning with the Papilionidae or Swallow-tailed butterflies, Celebes possesses 24 species, of which the large number of 18 are not found in any other island. If we compare this with Borneo, which out of 29 species has only two not found elsewhere, the difference is as striking as anything can be. In the family of the Pieridae, or white butterflies, the difference is not quite so great, owing perhaps to the more wandering habits of the group; but it is still very remarkable. Out of 30 species inhabiting Celebes, 19 are peculiar, while Java (from which more species are known than from Sumatra or Borneo), out of 37 species, has only 13 peculiar. The Danaidae are large, but weak-flying butterflies, which frequent forests and gardens, and are plainly but often very richly coloured. Of these my own collection contains 16 species from Celebes and 15 from Borneo; but whereas no less than 14 are confined to the former island, only two are peculiar to the latter. The Nymphalidae are a very extensive group, of generally strong-winged and very bright-coloured butterflies, very abundant in the tropics, and represented in our own country by our Fritillaries, our Vanessas, and our Purple-emperor. Some months ago I drew up a list of the Eastern species of this group, including all the new ones discovered by myself, and arrived at the following comparative results:—

Species of Species peculiar to Percentage Nymphalidae. each island. of peculiar Species.

Java..... 70...... 23.......... 33 Borneo.... 52...... 15.......... 29 Celebes ... 48...... 35.......... 73

The Coleoptera are so extensive that few of the groups have yet been carefully worked out. I will therefore refer to one only, which I have myself recently studied—the Cetoniadae or Rose-chafers—a group of beetles which, owing to their extreme beauty, have been much sought after. From Java 37 species of these insects are known, and from Celebes only 30; yet only 13, or 35 percent, are peculiar to the former island, and 19, or 63 percent, to the latter.

The result of these comparisons is, that although Celebes is a single, large island with only a few smaller ones closely grouped around it, we must really consider it as forming one of the great divisions of the Archipelago, equal in rank and importance to the whole of the Moluccan or Philippine groups, to the Papuan islands, or to the Indo-Malay islands (Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay peninsula). Taking those families of insects and birds which are best known, the following table shows the comparison of Celebes with the other groups of islands:—

PAPILIONIDAE AND HAWKS, PARROTS, AND PERIDAE PIGEONS. Percent of peculiar Percent of peculiar Species. Species. Indo-Malay region.... 56.......... 54 Philippine group .... 66.......... 73 Celebes......... 69.......... 60 Moluccan group ..... 52.......... 62 Timor group....... 42.......... 47 Papuan group ...... 64.......... 74

These large and well-known families well represent the general character of the zoology of Celebes; and they show that this island is really one of the most isolated portions of the Archipelago, although situated in its very centre.

But the insects of Celebes present us with other phenomena more curious and more difficult to explain than their striking individuality. The butterflies of that island are in many cases characterised by a peculiarity of outline, which distinguishes them at a glance from those of any other part of the world. It is most strongly manifested in the Papilios and the Pieridae, and consists in the forewings being either strongly curved or abruptly bent near the base, or in the extremity being elongated and often somewhat hooked. Out of the 14 species of Papilio in Celebes, 13 exhibit this peculiarity in a greater or less degree, when compared with the most nearly allied species of the surrounding islands. Ten species of Pieridae have the same character, and in four or five of the Nymphalidae it is also very distinctly marked. In almost every case, the species found in Celebes are much larger than thane of the islands westward, and at least equal to those of the Moluccas, or even larger. The difference of form is, however, the most remarkable feature, as it is altogether a new thing for a whole set of species in one country to differ in exactly the same way from the corresponding sets in all the surrounding countries; and it is so well marked, that without looking at the details of colouring, most Celebes Papilios and many Pieridae, can be at once distinguished from those of other islands by their form alone.

The outside figure of each pair here given, shows the exact size and form of the fore-wing in a butterfly of Celebes, while the inner one represents the most closely allied species from one of the adjacent islands. Figure 1 shows the strongly curved margin of the Celebes species, Papilio gigon, compared with the much straighter margin of Papilio demolion from Singapore and Java. Figure 2 shows the abrupt bend over the base of the wing in Papilio miletus of Celebes, compared with the slight curvature in the common Papilio sarpedon, which has almost exactly the same form from India to New Guinea and Australia. Figure 3 shows the elongated wing of Tachyris zarinda, a native of Celebes, compared with the much shorter wing of Tachyris nero, a very closely allied species found in all the western islands. The difference of form is in each case sufficiently obvious, but when the insects themselves are compared, it is much more striking than in these partial outlines.

From the analogy of birds, we should suppose that the pointed wing gave increased rapidity of flight, since it is a character of terns, swallows, falcons, and of the swift-flying pigeons. A short and rounded wing, on the other hand, always accompanies a more feeble or more laborious flight, and one much less under command. We might suppose, therefore, that the butterflies which possess this peculiar form were better able to escape pursuit. But there seems no unusual abundance of insectivorous birds to render this necessary; and as we cannot believe that such a curious peculiarity is without meaning, it seems probable that it is the result of a former condition of things, when the island possessed a much richer fauna, the relics of which we see in the isolated birds and Mammalia now inhabiting it; and when the abundance of insectivorous creatures rendered some unusual means of escape a necessity for the large-winged and showy butterflies. It is some confirmation of this view, that neither the very small nor the very obscurely coloured groups of butterflies have elongated wings, nor is any modification perceptible in those strong-winged groups which already possess great strength and rapidity of flight. These were already sufficiently protected from their enemies, and did not require increased power of escaping from them. It is not at all clear what effect the peculiar curvature of the wings has in modifying flight.

Another curious feature in the zoology of Celebes is also worthy of attention. I allude to the absence of several groups which are found on both sides of it, in the Indo-Malay islands as well as in the Moluccas; and which thus seem to be unable, from some unknown cause, to obtain a footing in the intervening island. In Birds we have the two families of Podargidae and Laniadae, which range over the whole Archipelago and into Australia, and which yet have no representative in Celebes. The genera Ceyx among Kingfishers, Criniger among Thrushes, Rhipidura among Flycatchers, Calornis among Starlings, and Erythrura among Finches, are all found in the Moluccas as well as in Borneo and Java—but not a single species belonging to any one of them is found in Celebes. Among insects, the large genus of Rose-chafers, Lomaptera, is found in every country and island between India and New Guinea, except Celebes. This unexpected absence of many groups, from one limited district in the very centre of their area of distribution, is a phenomenon not altogether unique, but, I believe, nowhere so well marked as in this case; and it certainly adds considerably to the strange character of this remarkable island.

The anomalies and eccentricities in the natural history of Celebes which I have endeavoured to sketch in this CHAPTER, all point to an origin in a remote antiquity. The history of extinct animals teaches us that their distribution in time and in space are strikingly similar. The rule is, that just as the productions of adjacent areas usually resemble each other closely, so do the productions of successive periods in the same area; and as the productions of remote areas generally differ widely, so do the productions of the same area at remote epochs. We are therefore led irresistibly to the conclusion, that change of species, still more of generic and of family form, is a matter of time. But time may have led to a change of species in one country, while in another the forms have been more permanent, or the change may have gone on at an equal rate but in a different manner in both. In either case, the amount of individuality in the productions of a district will be to some extent a measure of the time that a district has been isolated from those that surround it. Judged by this standard, Celebes must be one of the oldest parts of the Archipelago. It probably dates from a period not only anterior to that when Borneo, Java, and Sumatra were separated from the continent, but from that still more remote epoch when the land that now constitutes these islands had not risen above the ocean.

Such an antiquity is necessary, to account for the number of animal forms it possesses, which show no relation to those of India or Australia, but rather with those of Africa; and we are led to speculate on the possibility of there having once existed a continent in the Indian Ocean which might serve as a bridge to connect these distant countries. Now it is a curious fact, that the existence of such a land has been already thought necessary, to account for the distribution of the curious Quadrumana forming the family of the Lemurs. These have their metropolis in Madagascar, but are found also in Africa, in Ceylon, in the peninsula of India, and in the Malay Archipelago as far as Celebes, which is its furthest eastern limit. Dr. Sclater has proposed for the hypothetical continent connecting these distant points, and whose former existence is indicated by the Mascarene islands and the Maldive coral group, the name of Lemuria. Whether or not we believe in its existence in the exact form here indicated, the student of geographical distribution must see in the extraordinary and isolated productions of Celebes, proof of the former existence of some continent from whence the ancestors of these creatures, and of many other intermediate forms, could have been derived.

In this short sketch of the most striking peculiarities of the Natural History of Celebes, I have been obliged to enter much into details that I fear will have been uninteresting to the general reader, but unless I had done so, my exposition would have lost much of its force and value. It is by these details alone that I have been able to prove the unusual features that Celebes presents to us. Situated in the very midst of an Archipelago, and closely hemmed in on every side by islands teeming with varied forms of life, its productions have yet a surprising amount of individuality. While it is poor in the actual number of its species, it is yet wonderfully rich in peculiar forms, many of which are singular or beautiful, and are in some cases absolutely unique upon the globe. We behold here the curious phenomenon of groups of insects changing their outline in a similar manner when compared with those of surrounding islands, suggesting some common cause which never seems to have acted elsewhere in exactly the same way. Celebes, therefore, presents us with a most striking example of the interest that attaches to the study of the geographical distribution of animals. We can see that their present distribution upon the globe is the result of all the more recent changes the earth's surface has undergone; and, by a careful study of the phenomena, we are sometimes able to deduce approximately what those past changes must have been in order to produce the distribution we find to exist. In the comparatively simple case of the Timor group, we were able to deduce these changes with some approach to certainty. In the much more complicated case of Celebes, we can only indicate their general nature, since we now see the result, not of any single or recent change only, but of a whole series of the later revolutions which have resulted in the present distribution of land in the Eastern Hemisphere.


(DECEMBER 1857, MAY 1859, APRIL 1861.)

THE Dutch mail steamer in which I travelled from Macassar to Banda and Amboyna was a roomy and comfortable vessel, although it would only go six miles an hour in the finest weather. As there were but three passengers besides myself, we had abundance of room, and I was able to enjoy a voyage more than I had ever done before. The arrangements are somewhat different from those on board English or Indian steamers. There are no cabin servants, as every cabin passenger invariably brings his own, and the ship's stewards attend only to the saloon and the eating department. At six A.M. a cup of tea or coffee is provided for those who like it. At seven to eight there is a light breakfast of tea, eggs, sardines, etc. At ten, Madeira, Gin and bitters are brought on deck as a whet for the substantial eleven o'clock breakfast, which differs from a dinner only in the absence of soup. Cups of tea and coffee are brought around at three P.M.; bitters, etc. again at five, a good dinner with beer and claret at half-past six, concluded by tea and coffee at eight. Between whiles, beer and sodawater are supplied when called for, so there is no lack of little gastronomical excitements to while away the tedium of a sea voyage.

Our first stopping place was Coupang, at the west end of the large island of Timor. We then coasted along that island for several hundred miles, having always a view of hilly ranges covered with scanty vegetation, rising ridge behind ridge to the height of six or seven thousand feet. Turning off towards Banda we passed Pulo-Cambing, Wetter, and Roma, all of which are desolate and barren volcanic islands, almost as uninviting as Aden, and offering a strange contrast to the usual verdure and luxuriance of the Archipelago. In two days more we reached the volcanic group of Banda, covered with an unusually dense and brilliant green vegetation, indicating that we had passed beyond the range of the hot dry winds from the plains of Central Australia. Banda is a lovely little spot, its three islands enclosing a secure harbour from whence no outlet is visible, and with water so transparent, that living corals and even the minutest objects are plainly seen on the volcanic sand at a depth of seven or eight fathoms. The ever smoking volcano rears its bare cone on one side, while the two larger islands are clothed with vegetation to the summit of the hills.

Going on shore, I walked up a pretty path which leads to the highest point of the island on which the town is situated, where there is a telegraph station and a magnificent view. Below lies the little town, with its neat red-tiled white houses and the thatched cottages of the natives, bounded on one side by the old Portuguese fort. Beyond, about half a mile distant, lies the larger island in the shape of a horseshoe, formed of a range of abrupt hills covered with fine forest and nutmeg gardens; while close opposite the town is the volcano, forming a nearly perfect cone, the lower part only covered with a light green bushy vegetation. On its north side the outline is more uneven, and there is a slight hollow or chasm about one-fifth of the way down, from which constantly issue two columns of smoke, as well as a good deal from the rugged surface around and from some spots nearer the summit. A white efflorescence, probably sulphur, is thickly spread over the upper part of the mountain, marked by the narrow black vertical lines of water gullies. The smoke unites as it rises, and forms a dense cloud, which in calm, damp weather spreads out into a wide canopy hiding the top of the mountain. At night and early morning, it often rises up straight and leaves the whole outline clear.

It is only when actually gazing on an active volcano that one can fully realize its awfulness and grandeur. Whence comes that inexhaustible fire whose dense and sulphurous smoke forever issues from this bare and desolate peak? Whence the mighty forces that produced that peak, and still from time to time exhibit themselves in the earthquakes that always occur in the vicinity of volcanic vents? The knowledge from childhood of the fact that volcanoes and earthquakes exist, has taken away somewhat of the strange and exceptional character that really belongs to them. The inhabitant of most parts of northern Europe sees in the earth the emblem of stability and repose. His whole life-experience, and that of all his age and generation, teaches him that the earth is solid and firm, that its massive rocks may contain water in abundance, but never fire; and these essential characteristics of the earth are manifest in every mountain his country contains. A volcano is a fact opposed to all this mass of experience, a fact of so awful a character that, if it were the rule instead of the exception, it would make the earth uninhabitable a fact so strange and unaccountable that we may be sure it would not be believed on any human testimony, if presented to us now for the first time, as a natural phenomenon happening in a distant country.

The summit of the small island is composed of a highly crystalline basalt; lower down I found a hard, stratified slatey sandstone, while on the beach are huge blocks of lava, and scattered masses of white coralline limestone. The larger island has coral rock to a height of three or four hundred feet, while above is lava and basalt. It seems probable, therefore, that this little group of four islands is the fragment of a larger district which was perhaps once connected with Ceram, but which was separated and broken up by the same forces which formed the volcanic cone. When I visited the larger island on another occasion, I saw a considerable tract covered with large forest trees—dead, but still standing. This was a record of the last great earthquake only two years ago, when the sea broke in over this part of the island and so flooded it as to destroy the vegetation on all the lowlands. Almost every year there is an earthquake here, and at intervals of a few years, very severe ones which throw down houses and carry ships out of the harbour bodily into the streets.

Notwithstanding the losses incurred by these terrific visitations, and the small size and isolated position of these little islands, they have been and still are of considerable value to the Dutch Government, as the chief nutmeg-garden in the world. Almost the whole surface is planted with nutmegs, grown under the shade of lofty Kanary trees (Kanarium commune). The light volcanic soil, the shade, and the excessive moisture of these islands, where it rains more or less every month in the year, seem exactly to suit the nutmeg-tree, which requires no manure and scarcely any attention. All the year round flowers and ripe fruit are to be found, and none of those diseases occur which under a forced and unnatural system of cultivation have ruined the nutmeg planters of Singapore and Penang.

Few cultivated plants are more beautiful than nutmeg-trees. They are handsomely shaped and glossy-leaved, growing to the height of twenty or thirty feet, and bearing small yellowish flowers. The fruit is the size and colour of a peach, but rather oval. It is of a tough fleshy consistence, but when ripe splits open, and shows the dark-brown nut within, covered with the crimson mace, and is then a most beautiful object. Within the thin, hard shell of the nut is the seed, which is the nutmeg of commerce. The nuts are eaten by the large pigeons of Banda, which digest the mace, but cast up the nut with its seed uninjured.

The nutmeg trade has hitherto been a strict monopoly of the Dutch Government; but since leaving the country I believe that this monopoly has been partially or wholly discontinued, a proceeding which appears exceedingly injudicious and quite unnecessary. There are cases in which monopolies are perfectly justifiable, and I believe this to be one of them. A small country like Holland cannot afford to keep distant and expensive colonies at a loss; and having possession of a very small island where a valuable product, not a necessity of life, can be obtained at little cost, it is almost the duty of the state to monopolise it. No injury is done thereby to anyone, but a great benefit is conferred upon the whole population of Holland and its dependencies, since the produce of the state monopolies saves them from the weight of a heavy taxation. Had the Government not kept the nutmeg trade of Banda in its own hands, it is probable that the whole of the islands would long ago have become the property of one or more large capitalists. The monopoly would have been almost the same, since no known spot on the globe can produce nutmegs so cheaply as Banda, but the profits of the monopoly world have gone to a few individuals instead of to the nation.

As an illustration of how a state monopoly may become a state duty, let us suppose that no gold existed in Australia, but that it had been found in immense quantities by one of our ships in some small and barren island. In this case it would plainly become the duty of the state to keep and work the mines for the public benefit, since by doing so, the gain would be fairly divided among the whole population by decrease of taxation; whereas by leaving it open to free trade while merely keeping the government of the island; we should certainly produce enormous evils during the first struggle for the precious metal, and should ultimately subside into the monopoly of some wealthy individual or great company, whose enormous revenue would not equally benefit the community. The nutmegs of Banda and the tin of Banca are to some extent parallel cases to this supposititious one, and I believe the Dutch Government will act most unwisely if they give up their monopoly.

Even the destruction of the nutmeg and clove trees in many islands, in order to restrict their cultivation to one or two where the monopoly could be easily guarded, usually made the theme of so much virtuous indignation against the Dutch, may be defended on similar principles, and is certainly not nearly so bad as many monopolies we ourselves have until very recently maintained. Nutmegs and cloves are not necessaries of life; they are not even used as spices by the natives of the Moluccas, and no one was materially or permanently injured by the destruction of the trees, since there are a hundred other products that can be grown in the same islands, equally valuable and far more beneficial in a social point of view. It is a case exactly parallel to our prohibition of the growth of tobacco in England, for fiscal purposes, and is, morally and economically, neither better nor worse. The salt monopoly which we so long maintained in India was in much worse. As long as we keep up a system of excise and customs on articles of daily use, which requires an elaborate array of officers and coastguards to carry into effect, and which creates a number of purely legal crimes, it is the height of absurdity for us to affect indignation at the conduct of the Dutch, who carried out a much more justifiable, less hurtful, and more profitable system in their Eastern possessions.

I challenge objectors to point out any physical or moral evils that have actually resulted from the action of the Dutch Government in this matter; whereas such evils are the admitted results of every one of our monopolies and restrictions. The conditions of the two experiments are totally different. The true "political economy" of a higher race, when governing a lower race, has never yet been worked out. The application of our "political economy" to such cases invariably results in the extinction or degradation of the lower race; whence, we may consider it probable that one of the necessary conditions of its truth is the approximate mental and social unity of the society in which it is applied. I shall again refer to this subject in my CHAPTER on Ternate, one of the most celebrated of the old spice-islands.

The natives of Banda are very much mixed, and it is probable that at least three-fourths of the population are mongrels, in various degrees of Malay, Papuan, Arab, Portuguese, and Dutch. The first two form the bases of the larger portion, and the dark skins, pronounced features, and more or less frizzly hair of the Papuans preponderates. There seems little doubt that the aborigines of Banda were Papuans, and a portion of them still exists in the Ke islands, where they emigrated when the Portuguese first took possession of their native island. It is such people as these that are often looked upon as transitional forms between two very distinct races, like the Malays and Papuans, whereas they are only examples of intermixture.

The animal productions of Banda, though very few, are interesting. The islands have perhaps no truly indigenous Mammalia but bats. The deer of the Moluccas and the pig have probably been introduced. A species of Cuscus or Eastern opossum is also found at Banda, and this may be truly indigenous in the sense of not having been introduced by man. Of birds, during my three visits of one or two days each, I collected eight kinds, and the Dutch collectors have added a few others. The most remarkable is a fine and very handsome fruit-pigeon, Carpophaga concinna, which feeds upon the nutmegs, or rather on the mace, and whose loud booming note is to be continually heard. This bird is found in the Ke and Matabello islands as well as Banda, but not in Ceram or any of the larger islands, which are inhabited by allied but very distinct species. A beautiful small fruit-dove, Ptilonopus diadematus, is also peculiar to Banda.



TWENTY hours from Banda brought us to Amboyna, the capital of the Moluccas, and one of the oldest European settlements in the East. The island consists of two peninsulas, so nearly divided by inlets of the sea, as to leave only a sandy isthmus about a mile wide near their eastern extremity. The western inlet is several miles long and forms a fine harbour on the southern side of which is situated the town of Amboyna. I had a letter of introduction to Dr. Mohnike, the chief medical officer of the Moluccas, a German and a naturalist. I found that he could write and read English, but could not speak it, being like myself a bad linguist; so we had to use French as a medium of communication. He kindly offered me a room during my stay in Amboyna, and introduced me to his junior, Dr. Doleschall, a Hungarian and also an entomologist. He was an intelligent and most amiable young man but I was shocked to find that he was dying of consumption, though still able to perform the duties of his office. In the evening my host took me to the residence of the Governor, Mr. Goldmann, who received me in a most kind and cordial manner, and offered me every assistance. The town of Amboyna consists of a few business streets, and a number of roads set out at right angles to each other, bordered by hedges of flowering shrubs, and enclosing country houses and huts embossed in palms and fruit trees. Hills and mountains form the background in almost every direction, and there are few places more enjoyable for a morning or evening stroll than these sandy roads and shady lanes in the suburbs of the ancient city of Amboyna.

There are no active volcanoes in the island, nor is it now subject to frequent earthquakes, although very severe ones have occurred and may be expected again. Mr. William Funnell, in his voyage with Dampier to the South Seas in 1705, says: "Whilst we were here, (at Amboyna) we had a great earthquake, which continued two days, in which time it did a great deal of mischief, for the ground burst open in many places, and swallowed up several houses and whole families. Several of the people were dug out again, but most of them dead, and many had their legs or arms broken by the fall of the houses. The castle walls were rent asunder in several places, and we thought that it and all the houses would have fallen down. The ground where we were swelled like a wave in the sea, but near us we had no hurt done." There are also numerous records of eruptions of a volcano on the west side of the island. In 1674 an eruption destroyed a village. In 1694 there was another eruption. In 1797 much vapour and heat was emitted. Other eruptions occurred in 1816 and 1820, and in 1824 a new crater is said to have been formed. Yet so capricious is the action of these subterranean fires, that since the last-named epoch all eruptive symptoms have so completely ceased, that I was assured by many of the most intelligent European inhabitants of Amboyna, that they had never heard of any such thing as a volcano on the island.

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