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with God, and in the early morning of February 20th he passed away. Joseph II. was succeeded in all his digmities by his brother Leopold, a ruler who, though a dilettante and a profligate, possessed political and diplomatic talents of the highest order. With his accession commences a new period in the history of Austria. It falls to the imperial house of
Hapsburg, as the chief representative of the old régime, to bear the brunt of the fight against the civil and military propagandism of the French Revolution. And as that event is usually taken as setting an end to the shallow yet splendid life of the eighteenth century, it is here that we propose to conclude our sketch of the old court of Vienna.-Temple Bar.
BY SIR. W. H. GREGORY.
On arriving at Aden, I found a letter from the Governor of Ceylon, inviting me to make no arrangements on reaching that island, as there was to be an Elephant
Kraal early in February at a place about
fifty miles from Colombo. This was very exciting news to one during whose government of nearly six years in Ceylon, there had not been a single kraal. The whole affair was a private concern got up by certain chiefs of the Western Provinces as a compliment to their new governor. They took the entire expense on themselves of driving in the elephants, and of erecting some very pretty and comfortable houses, made of the leaves of the talipot palm, for the accommodation of the Governor and his party, and of the local officials. The promoters of the entertainment, however, expected to recoup themselves for their outlay by the sale of the captured elephants, but the sport alone would have induced them to undertake it. It seldom comes, it is true, for kraals are not an every-day occurrence. In 1866 one was given in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh ; and another in 1882 in honor of the English princes; but though few and far between, yet tradition keeps alive the story, and what Epsom is to an Englishman, or a “corrida de Toros” to Spaniards, such is a kraal to the Singalese. They will go any distance to one, and are as knowing and as garrulous about elephants and their doings as the most thorough “Aficionado” about Manchegan bulls. After a pleasant morning drive and a subsequent short ride along a bridle path we reached our destination, and found our leaf cottages very prettily situated in a meadow by the side of a clear stream.
We were invited to be the guests of the Governor in this pleasant bivouac, and much enjoyed the hospitality. The kraal itself was about three-quarters of a mile away, on the other side of the hill which flanked our meadow. It was constructed at the end of a valley, and ran up the side of the hill, and was two or three acres in extent. The word “ Kraal '' is Dutch, and is identical with the Spanish “Corral ” or enclosure ; and the present enclosure was formed of the trunks of trees sunk into the ground. Cross-bars lashed to them by tough creepers from the jungle, gave the palisade great strength, and peeled pointed sticks were arranged along it to repulse any attempt on the part of the captive elephants to break out. A grand stand, large enough to hold fifty persons, was erected over the palisade in a position which commanded a view of the kraal, and a small kind of crow’s nest was placed just over the opening through which the elephants were to be driven. From that post the Governor and a few friends would be able to see the first rush of the huge beasts into the kraal; and we were strictly enjoined when the time arrived not to speak or cough, and above all things, not to smoke, lest suspicion being aroused, the elephants should turn back. In the evening the Governor invited the two native chiefs who were getting up the hunt to dinner. They informed us that the herd was well surrounded, and they hoped to drive them in next morning. We had much elephant talk, and broke up full of expectation. The morning came, but with it the adverse news that the herd had fallen back, and that there would be no driving in that day; but in order that time might not hang heavily upon us, a fish kraal was proposed for our amusement in the afternoon. This was effected in a lovely spot where a large pool of a couple of acres in extent was hemmed in by a ridge of rocks, and filled by the river tumbling through a rocky defile above it. The fish which occupied the pool were driven into a corner by nets; in it were placed boughs and logs of wood, under which they hid. At length the net completely surrounded the corner, which seemed alive with fish. They were a species of carp, almost all small—scarcely any reaching 2 lb. in weight, but they jumped like the best Irish steeplechasers. The net was raised about three feet above the surface of the pool, and many of them cleared it gallantly and got off safely into the open water. A prodigious quantity were captured at last and distributed among the beaters, who received them with much satisfaction, fish curry being a special dainty. Next day good news arrived that though the elephants had broken through the inner circle the day before, yet that they had been driven back by the outer cordon and were expected to enter the kraal before noon. In elephant-catching there are two cordons, one in advance, the other some distance behind, to turn the elephants if they grow restive and succeed in breaking back. They are driven very slowly, only a few miles a day. There were from 500 to 600 beaters employed, who were relieved by a succession of newcomers from the villages on these occasions. When dusk advances, a halt is proclaimed and a cordon of fires in a constant blaze prevents the retreat of the elephants during the night. Next day after breakfast, we went up to the kraal and took our silent untobaccofied station in the crow’s nest over the entrance. We heard the wild cries of the beaters apparently near, louder and louder, quicker and quicker came the shots. We knew the great beasts were close at hand, all at once we held our breath, we saw the jungle wave, and then heard the crash of trees, and on rushed headlong into the kraal eleven elephants, bearing down everything before them. “Now we may light our cigars,” we cried, and so we did. In an instant the palisades in the space left open for the entry were securely fixed and all hope of escape impossible. The next step was to beat down the jungle within the
kraal, in order that the noosers might have every opportunity of easy approach. An opening was made in the enclosure, and six tame elephants stalked into it. Two turned tail the moment the wild herd approached them, and were so frightened that they would do nothing, so they were ignominiously turned out, and four remained for the work; two of them gigantic old tuskers who knew their business and never quailed. The poor captives, among whom were two mothers with calves, kept constantly together, thinking their safety lay in union. The great object was to pen them in some spot, in order that the noosers might get to their feet and fix the rope upon them. It was a most striking scene, the rush of the beasts bearing down everything crashing and waving before them, and all at once brought to a standstill by the sight of the huge tusker stepping gravely out and barring the way with his gigantic head. It seemed to be the perfect symbol of the AEschylean inexorable resistless fate, something treading slowly, noiselessly, bearing with it utter irretrievable ruin. The deliberation and calmness of the approach was a terrible sight, nothing appeared but the enormous head and the trunk which touched the ground, and the bright colors of the riders ; all the rest was hidden in the foliage. The poor prisoners halted, gazed, knew their master, and bolted another way; to be again encountered by his comrade. At last a roar, or rather a shriek, and a violent trumpeting denoted that a capture had been effected. The rope was fixed on the leg of a calf, a small one, but for all that he made a good fight. One of the large elephants dragged him down by the rope to a tree in the corner of the kraal by which a small stream was running and there he was tied up. Both on this and on other occasions it was amusing to see the good-natured manner in which the tame elephants handled their prisoners. They pushed then to the very spot where they wished them to go, and when there kept them perfectly steady till the tyingup process was effected. There was no attempt to beat or hurt them. They seemed as it were to say “there is not the slightest use in resistance,” and the captives after a very short struggle seemed to acquiesce in that view of the case. The noosing and tying-up process was continued the next day, but we were obliged to leave and failed in consequence to see a very touching episode. The calf of one of the cow elephants was noosed, the mother did her best to save it, but when it was dragged away by the huge tame tuskers she gave up the hopeless struggle, and retired into the rank of the still free wild ones. The young elephant was tied to a tree in a corner of the kraal within three or four yards of the largest concourse of spectators. The wild elephants being again driven round the kraal passed near the spot, and this time the poor cow walked deliberately out from her fellows and came down to her calf, with whom she remained the whole day, comforting and petting it with her trunk, and not paying the slightest heed to the stones and sticks and bad language which were constantly hurled at her. At last she too submitted to be tied up without resistance. The Governor’s party left that afternoon, and on the following day the remaining elephants were secured without loss of life or accident. It was notified to me on my arrival by the Kandyan chiefs of the North-Western Province that as a remembrance of the friendship which used to exist between us during my term of government, they were about to offer me the compliment of a kraal on a great scale in the wild regions of their province. They were already busily engaged in a drive of the elephants which abounded there, and were employing a prodigious force of beaters, from 1500 to 2000 men. It is probable there was some exaggeration in the number ; still there is no doubt that a vast number of men were employed, and a considerable tract of country was being beaten by them toward one point where the site for a kraal had been selected. News reached us from time to time of large herds of elephants being on the move. It was said that 120 had been counted within the circle, and among them a large and formidable tusker. Nothing could exceed the liberality of our entertainers; they had erected a large and tasteful house of talipot leaves close to the kraal for the accommodation of the Governor's party and myself. The Governor at first did not intend to be present, but allowed himself to be persuaded to change his mind, much to my gratification, as I again had the pleasure of his society. He was accompanied by
Lady and Miss Gordon, which made the party very agreeable. We received notice that on the 5th of March, the elephants would be close to the kraal. Rumors went abroad that about sixty elephants were being driven, the rest having either escaped by their own exertions, or having been allowed to depart as the number was unmanageable. On the 5th accordingly, we all departed from Kandy at early morn, breakfasted at his beautiful residence near Korunegala with the Government agent or satrap of the North-Western Province, and reached the kraal, which lay about 30 miles due west of Korunegala, at about 6 o'clock in the evening. On reaching our destination, I was most astonished at the scene which met the eye. A considerable town of leaf huts had suddenly sprung up, and the high road was lined with shops filled with all sorts of wares. Further down, in the almost dry bed, and by the banks of a large river, were rows of bullock carts, each of thern the abode of visitors, temporary hotels, and occupied by more than one sleeper, while there was just enough water for somewhat unsatisfactory toilets. Branching from the high road and leading to the kraal, was a by-road, and on each side of it were constructed houses made of talipot leaves, and inhabited by members of the civil service, and other well-to-do folk. They seemed to be filled with ladies in the gay and light attire of tropical costume. It was stated that there were 5000 persons, independently of the beaters, in this temporary camp, over which a week previously nothing had been £ except wild beasts. On reaching the precincts of the town, we were welcomed by a procession of elephants, and marched behind them in state to the spacious bungalow erected by the Kandyan chiefs for our reception. It was very prettily arranged and decorated, with about ten rooms, and not more than five minutes' walk from the kraal. The next day we visited the kraal. There were about two acres of ground enclosed by a strong stockade, and a beautiful two-storied grand stand had been erected, with upper and lower compartments, from which all the operations could be well seen. It was most tastefully decorated with scarlet and white drapery; the arms of the Governor and of myself were emblazoned on it, and it was carpeted like a drawing-room. We were in great hopes of being summoned to it on the following day, as it was confidently asserted that the elephants were close to the river, and once they were over it all the rest was a matter of plain sailing, and of a few hours' desperate driving. But the next day came, and then the next day and the next. Each day brought with it its own tales; one person confidently asserting he had seen the elephants close to the river; another being positive he too had seen them, but several miles away, and the last tidings bearer was right. On Sunday we had divine service at the Governor's bungalow, and the Rev. Mr. Ireland Jones preached to a large and attentive audience of Europeans and natives an admirable sermon on the text, “Every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” Still, the beasts of the forest would not or did not advance. We heard rumors of a particularly fierce cow elephant with a very young calf at her feet, disarranging the line by desperate attacks on the beaters, who could only repulse her by firing bullets at her from their extraordinary collection of fire-arms; and, indeed, such marvellous arms could never have been seen elsewhere : Portuguese and Dutch barrels adapted to flint-locks, old Tower muskets, huge pistols, blunderbusses. They all, however, made a noise and frightened the elephants; but they did more than that : they killed two beaters by being indiscriminately discharged. One of the victims, a poor boy, had climbed a tree to see the sport, when a shot fired in the air wounded him so severely that he died shortly afterward. As may be supposed, time began to hang heavily ; the weather was very hot, and the camp being surrounded by jungle, it was reached by little air. It was a mercy that we were not all attacked by some disorder. No exercise was possible, partly from the thickness of the covert all around, and partly owing to the strict in . junctions which were circulated that no one was to go in the direction of the elephants for fear of heading them back. There were not many episodes to beguile the time : one night an assault was committed by a wild rogue elephant, which invaded the camp and attacked and ill treated two simall tame elephants on the
outskirts. He was watched for next night, but departed never to return on receipt of a volley from some sportsmen, who failed to bring in his tail. Then there were horse races, and much hard and dangerous riding in them, as is sure to be the case when the planters gather together. They were succeeded by elephant races, and very grave, grotesque affairs they were. Whichever got the lead retained it, as in the best part of the course, and especially at the finish, there was only room for one. The delays and the excuses for the non arrival of the elephants continued into the new week, and at last became so intolerable that we all determined to depart, and on Wednesday the 12th, having been at the kraal since Wednesday the 5th, we revolted, packed
up our things and were on the point of
starting when in rushed a messenger in hot haste, and informed us that the whole herd would be driven in within five minutes. And sure enough we heard a tremendous outcry close at hand, accompanied with the reports of all manner of fire-arms. We arrived in time to see the dash in of the huge beasts, who ran round the stockade seeking an exit, but in vain. At every point there were spearmen, and the open space by which they entered was instantly closed up. It was difficult at first to see them as they took refuge in the thickest part of the covert. The first thing to be done was to beat down all the brushwood, to enable the noosers to go to work, and four tame elephants marched in for that purpose. It was most amusing to see the perfectly business-like manner with which they performed their task. They soon found out the few trees which were beyond their strength and they troubled themselves no more with them. The others they rocked to and fro till they overthrew them, and then walked along them breaking off the branches, and converting in a short time that which was previously a thick jungle into level ground. One large dark-colored elephant showed remarkable skill and sagacity, and we were all admiring his cleveness as he worked away just under the stand within a few yards of us. All at once a frightful occurrence took place. The Mahout sitting on his shoulders dropped his goad, and the man behind him, who was the regular attendant on the beast, got down to pick it up. In an instant the elephant turned on him, seized him with his trunk, threw him down, knelt upon him and drove his tush (lower tooth), for he was not a tusker, right through his body. The tush was broken off by the violence of the blow. He then actually mashed him with his knees. The Mahout kept his seat all this time, but vainly urged the beast to rise. At last, having satiated his revenge, he got up and allowed himself, all dripping from the mouth with his victim's blood, to be driven out of the enclosure as quietly as if nothing had happened. It was a terrible scene close under the eyes of a number of ladies, who, as well as some of the men, were altogether upset. The Governor at once ordered the proceedings to be stopped for a couple of hours. The oor native's death was instantaneous, for i. was crushed into a mass. It turned out afterward that the elephant ought never to have been worked that day, as he had given unmistakable signs of being “in must,” and had always been more or less ill-tempered. The drivers, however, had no misgivings, and so the owner did not interfere. But the poor man who fell a victim ought to have had every cause for misgiving, as the elephant had an old grudge against him on account of ill treatment, and had three times before attempted to kill him. An elephant does not forget ill-treatment, but will long bide his time. On returning to the kraal the process of noosing was begun and was most admirably carried on. At the former kraal, owing to the jealousies of the drivers of elephants coming from different districts, there were constant failures and disappointments, and even when a noosing was effected the ropes seemed continually to break like pack-thread. When one considers the enormous weight of the captured animal and the strain of his struggling one way and the tame elephant another it seems a miracle that any rope can stand ; but on the present occasion they did their work bravely. They were said to be made of cowhide. Two of the largest tamed elephants were furnished with these ropes, which were about forty feet long and fastened round their shoulders. When a favorable opportunity occurred and the herd of wild elephants was stopped and mixed in together, the nooser, rope in hand, entered the crowd with the most extraordinary courage, slipped it over the
first hind leg that was raised from the ground, and then with one tug the struggle began. One man particularly distinguished himself; he ran in front of the tame elephant to which he belonged, armed only with a spear, and several times turned with this weapon the attack of wild ones who resented his approach. The levelling of the jungle was a shorter job than it seemed likely to be. The rushings to and fro of a herd of twentysix wild elephants, for that number were enclosed, soon made the rough places smooth, and the noosing proceeded vigorously. The famous cow of whose fierceness we had heard so much was one of the captives. She had a very wee elephant at her foot, which we thought would every minute be smothered in the thick mud of a pond within the kraal which the captives had, by constantly running through it, worked up into a tenacious mass. The little fellow, however, struggled manfully for his liberty; but the poor mother had lost her courage, owing to the severity of her wounds, and soon gave in. Indeed there was but little resistance. Six weeks' continual driving had taken the steel out of them. They looked thoroughly woebegone and very sorry for themselves. One alone fought valiantly for his liberty. He was a large dark elephant and did not generally go with the herd but by himself. On several occasions, as the row of three or four tame elephants advanced toward him, he rushed at them—
“And thrice came on in fury,
but his courage failed and he again retreated. At last, however, he got his chance and did not miss it. Generally the pursuing elephants had a larger tusker leading by about three parts of a length, and there was no hope of worsting him. This time a small one took the lead, it was less in height than the wild one, but strong and well fed. The moment the captive saw the change in the ranks he came on in right good earnest, dashed at the small one and gave him a blow with his trunk, a tremendous stroke and apparently overwhelming ; but the little fellow stood it manfully, and, charging in turn, struck his antagonist with his forehead just in the shoulder and knocked him right back and down a bank near the scene of the en