the latter is profuse, and the other symp- of use, because, in absorbing the blood, toms are less prominent.

they must also absorb some of the poison, The local effects of the poison are par- though so little ihat, in the case of a setial paralysis of the bitten part, pain, swel- vere bite from a deadly snake, their effiling, hæmorrhage, and inflammation. The cacy must be a mere delusion. general symptoms are depression, faint- The result of experience is that, so far, ness, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, ex- no physiological antidote to snake virus is haustion, lethargy, unconsciousness. known, and that, when the full effect on

Sixty-five cases of snake bite are re- the respiratory centres is produced, remcorded in the Thanatophidia of India, and edies are of little, if any, avail ; albeit, from them it appears that the most fatal when the poison has entered in smaller periods are between two and three hours, quantities, medical treatment may be of and more than twenty-five per cent. of the service op general principles. In the treattotal deaths take place between one and ment of snake-bite, the object is to prethree hours after the infliction of the bite. vent the entry of the poison into the sys

Out of the fifty four cases where the tem, and this may be done by applying a exact spot is stated, 94.54 per cent of the tight ligature above the injured part. The wounds were in extremities ; this is a mat- next step is, if possible, to remove or deter of interest, as success depends on pre stroy the poison in the wound, by excision venting access to the circulation and in the or by burning, and the application of pofacility of removing the injured part. tassium permanganate. The subsequent

Snake-poisoning in this country, by the treatment is conducted on ordinary inediadder, is of the viperine character ; and cal principles, of which further details though its immediate effects as a nerve would be out of place here. poison are feeble, yet the effects on the A few words on the dentition of the blood and locally on the tissues may be snake. productive of serious, if not dangerous, In the innocuous snakes, the sinall, syinptoms.

sharp, recurved teeth are arranged in four As to reputed antidotes, almost every rows, an outer or maxillary and an inner known drug, and many other things be- or palatine. They are all tolerably equal sides, have been tried. Fontana, writing in size, and not canalized,

in size, and not canalized. In the venomin 1782 on spirits of hartshorn, which was ons snakes there are one, two, or three, considered in his time to be an antidote, seldom more, set in the movable maxilmaintains that the few cases cited are not lary bone ; the anterior of these is the enough to establish it as a specific, and poison fang. In the viper it is the only points out that remedies are frequently fixed tooth attached to this bone, while in considered to be effectual because recovery the poisonous colubrines—cobra to withas followed their application, while the there may be two or three smaller teeth fact that it is necessary to establish is that implanted in the maxillary bone behind the patient would have died without the the fang, which is less movable than in application. It is impossible to enumerate vipers ; and in all venomous snakes there all the remedies that have been reported are a number of reserve fangs of different beneficial ; but among those that have had sizes lying loose in the mucous capsule, the greatest repute may be mentioned ar- which are ready to take the place of the senic, ammonia (given as an internal rem- principal fang, should it be lost. edy and injected under the skin), alcohol, The bite of a venomous snake may thus quinine, strychnine, acids, besides snake be distinguished from that of an innocent poison, snake bile, and the snake-stones so one by two punctures at a certain distance much relied on in India. These are said apart, and by the absence of smaller puncto attach themselves closely to the bitten tures. The fangs are shed at intervals, part ; the blood that oozes out is rapidly and, to supply the loss, the reserve teeth imbibed by the so-called stone ; and when are provided. These lie in the capsule of it drops off the bitten person is said to be mucous membrane which ensheathes the out of danger. Faraday expressed his be- fang. These fangs are erroneously delief that these are pieces of charred bone scribed as being perforated. The fact is, which have been filled with blood and then the tooth during development is folded on cbarred again. There may be a fragınent itself, so as to forin a tube. In the vj. of truth in the supposition that they are pers the fusion of the involuted edges is so


perfect as to form a perfect tube, with a are smooth and imbricated ; there is no triangular opening at the base and another loreal shield, the postrils are lateral, and near the apex of the fang. It is somewhat the pupil of the eye is round. The head less perfect in the cobra, while in some is short and not very distinctly separate sca snakes it remains an open groove. It from the neck; the fangs are of moderate is along this channel that the poison passes size and but slightly movable i

there into the wound ; and when the fang is one or two small teeth behind them in the .deeply imbedded, the quantity of virus in- maxillary bone. jected is considerable, and its effects are The cobra is a nocturnal snake-at least rapidly manifested. But if the snake it is most active in the night, though often merely strike, and wound or scratch with- seen moving about in the day. It is oviout imbedding the fang, the severe symp- parous ; the eggs, eighteen to twenty-five toms of poisoning do not necessarily fol- in number, are obovate, about the size of low. Such is the explanation of some those of a pigeon ; the shell is white, snake-bites from which no serious evil has tough, and leathery. They feed on small resulted, or where the bitten person is sup- animals, birds' eggs, frogs, fish, even inposed to have been preserved by an anti- sects. They occasionally rob hen-roosts dote. In other similar escapes, it may and swallow the eggs whole, and prefer to have been that the snake was exhausted by take their food at dusk or during the night. previous biting.

They are said to drink much water ; but I must now give an account of the prin- it is certain that they will live weeks, even cipal forms of venomous snakes found in months, in captivity, without touching India. The Elapidæ are subdivided into food or water. They go into water readinajada, or hooded snakes, and the elap- ly and swim well, but are essentially teridæ

proper, which are not hooded. Na- restrial snakes. They can climb, and ocjadæ have only two genera, Naja and casionally ascend trees in search of food. Ophiophagus. Elapidæ have three Indian Cobras are not infrequently found in the genera—Bungarus, Xenurelaps, Callophis. roofs of huts, holes in walls, old ruins,

The najadæ .comprise the several varie fowl-houses, and among stacks of wood, ties of cobra, which are all of one species, cellars, old brick-kilns, old masonry of though differing considerably in external brick and stone, or mud among the grass appearance.

or low jungle ; such are the coinmon reThe Cobra di Capello, Naja tripudians, sorts, and during the rains or inundations has numerous synonyms in different parts they collect in such places of refuge, where of India. It is sometimes called the spec- they are frequently disturbed by men who, tacled or hooded snake ; some are marked stepping on or unintentionally disturbing with a figure like spectacles ; others have them, mostly at night, receive their death. a single occellus on the hood ; some have wound. no mark. The former are called by the The cobra sheds the epidermis with the natives of Bengal " gokurrah," the latter outer layer of the cornea frequently, per“ keautiah ;"! but they have other vernac- haps ten or twelve times a year ; the fangs ular synonyms in different regions. A also are shed. The entire slough is often common general native term is Kala Nag found marked by a single rent, through or Kala Samp. There are many varieties, which the creature has emerged, brightly both as to pattern on the hood and general colored and glistening in its new epidercoloration, and they are considered by na- mis. It aids the process of exfoliation by tives as being of different degrees of ac- friction against some hard substance, such tivity or deadliness ; but the probability as the branches of a tree, a stone, or the is that in these respects they are all much like. The cast-off epidermis is often found the same, any difference being due to tem- in fragments. porary or individual causes.

The cobra is found all over Hindustan, The cobras are all hooded snakes—that up to a beight of 8,000 feet in the Himis, the neck dilates into an oval disk, alayas and other mountain ranges. Hodgcaused by the expansion of a certain num- son says he never saw it in the Nepaul ber of elongated ribs. The body and tail Valley, but I suspect it is there nevertheare relatively of moderate length, seldom less. It is equally dreaded and fatal whertogether exceeding five or six feet, more ever met with ; fortunately, it is not natfrequently three or four feet. The scales urally aggressive, and seldom exercises its dangerous power unless provoked or in but this is a very different matter from self-defence, at which times its aspect is that of the so-called antidotes, all of which, most alarming. Raising the anterior tbird after long, carefully conducted, and often or more of its body, and expanding its repeated experiments, have been found uthood, with a loud bissing it draws back terly useless. How far remedies may be its head prepared to strike, and, when it of avail has been briefly noticed. does so, darts its head forward and either Cobras are frequently exhibited by the scratches, seizes, or imbeds its fangs in so-called snake-chariners. Their graceful the object of attack. If the grasp be com- and imposing attitudes, with raised heads plete and the fangs of a vigorous and up- and distended necks, as they sway from exhausted snake be imbedded in the flesh, side to side, watching the movements of the most dangerous and often fatal effects their keeper, and frequently striking at result ; but if the fangs only inflict a him with their heads, and the ease with scratch, or if the snake be weak or ex- which they are handled and made to perhausted, the same great danger is not in- form, make them favorites with this class curred. When the bite is inflicted by a and with the people generally. I may here vigorous snake it soon proves fatal ; if the remark that the cobra depicted in Hindco poison enter a large vein and thence be legends or old paintings is the gokurrah, quickly carried into the circulation, death or spectacled snake. Though generally, is very rapid-indeed, almost immediate.

when kept for the purpose of exhibition, Men have been known to perish from a co- they are deprived of their fangs (which is bra bite within half an hour. The largest done by roughly cutting them out with a and strongest as well as the smallest and coarse knife), the snake-catchers handle weakest creatures succumb. Fortunately, them fearlessly when armed. These men all who are bitten do not die. In the first know the babits of the creature thoroughplace, some human beings as well as lower ly, and are so well acquainted with the animals have greater tolerance than others extent to which they can move and strike, of this as of other poisons-a result, doubt- that they take them up withont fear, less, of idiosyncrasy or varying degrees of though with great caution, always grasp. nervous energy, which enables one to resisting them tightly just below the head wiih that to which another would succumb. Is one hand, and holding the tail with tle it possible that a degree of tolerance might other. To obviate any risk or needless be acquired—as in the case of King Mith- trouble, they deprive them of their fangs ridates, who fed on poisons till they nour- by breaking or cutting them off at the ished him-by which perhaps immunity roots, and thus rendering the snake temmight be gained ? I believe some inves- porarily harmless. They are aware that a tigations on this subject were made by Mr. new fang is soon produced, and to prevent Stradling, but I do not know with what this they sometimes destroy and remove result.

the capsule and reserve fangs, thus renIn the second place, a wound may have dering the snake permanently harmless. been inflicted and yet but little of the poi- Neglect of these precautions has often reson inoculated ; or, in the third place, sulted in dangerous accidents. The sole the snake may be weak or sickly, and not secret of these men lies in their dexterity secreting the most virulent form of poi. and fearlessness, engendered by habit. son ; or it may liave been exhausted by Their muntras or charms, their antidotes, recent biting, and thus have become tem- and the pipes or tubris with which they porarily deprived of the power of inflicting pretend to charm “never so wisely'' are à deadly though still a poisoned wound. as devoid of all real efficacy or power over But when a cobra in the full possession of the snake as are the snake-stones, roots, his powers bites, and injects the poison and other nostrums over its poison. They into man or beast, it is almost surely fatal, know as well that their dexterity in avoidand all the remedies vaunted as infallible ing the snake's fangs is their real security antidotes are futile. In bites that are less against being bitten, as that, if they are severe, medical aid may be of service, and bitten, the only way of escaping death is life may be preserved by simple measures ; at once to prevent the entry of the poison

into the circulation by placing a ligature * I had a cobra in Calcutta which was very vigorons and aggressive, but its virus seemed tightly round the trunk above the bitten to be quite harmless.

part, and the application of the knife, hot


iron, or live coal to destroy it in the brown ; the shields of the head, the scales wound.

of the neck, hinder part of body and tail, The snake-cbarmers, so called, prefer are edged with black; the body and hood the cobra, but also occasionally exhibit the are marked with black oblique bands, like ophiophagus—which, like the cobra, raises the chevrons on a sergeant's sleeve. the anterior part of its body and dilates parently there are several varieties with the hood when excited—the bungarus, the modifications of coloration, but the gendaboia, and also some of the innocent eral characters are essentially the same. snakes, such as chrysopelea, passerita, The young, however, differ considerably piyas, and erix, which are remarkable for from the old, and might be mistaken for the beauty of their colors and activity or another genus ; they are black, with nu. their peculiarity of form. These exhibi. merous white, equidistant, narrow crosstions are always accompanied by the music bands. The shields surrounding the ocof the tubri, or pipe—the cobras raising cipital are large, and give a distinctive their heads and moving slowly and grace- character to the adult snake. This snake, fully froin side to side, following the though widely distributed, is not any. movements of the snake-man. These where common, and probably does not movements, it is to be observed, are con- destroy many human lives ; but it is very fined to the elapide. The cobra is an ob- deadly, and its gold-colored virus seems to ject of veneration and superstitious awe to have similar effects to that of the cobra. the Hindoos, in whose mytbology it takes I had several specimens in Calcutta, one a prominent place. In a religion that dep- of nearly twelve feet in length, but it has recates the wrath of a cruel and relentless been seen of a greater length. It is appower by propitiating the deity in whom parently not found in the North-West or that power is vested, it is natural that the Central India, but in Bengal, Burman, type of evil, as represented in this reptile, Assam, Orissa, Southern India, and the should be regarded with peculiar deference. Sunderbunds. One was killed in the BoMany Hindoos object to destroy the cobra tanic Gardens of Calcutta of 87 feet long. if they find it in houses, as sometimes hap- The ophiophagus, like many other snakus, pens ; when one has taken up its abode in takes to the water readily. A friend ina hole in the wall, it is fed, protected, and formed me that he shot one in the river conciliated, as to provoke or injure it were near Terryah Ghat, at the foot of the to invoke misfortune on the house and Khasyah Hills. He was going slowly up family. Should fear, or perhaps the death the stream in a boat, when he met it of some inınate, prove stronger than su. coming toward him with its head raised perstition, it may be caught, tenderly several inches out of the water. This inhandled, and deported in an earthen jar to dividual was above nine feet in length. some field, where it is released and al- The Rev. Dr. Mason, in his work on lowed to escape. But this feeling, hap- Burmah, gives the following account of pily, is not universal, and the cobra has the ophiophagus many enemies, which limit its increase.

The natives describe a venomous serpent Besides by its natural foes, such as the which grows to be ten or twelve feet long, mongoose (Herpestes), pigs, rapacious with a short blunt head, a dilatable neck, birds, and other creatures, numbers are thick trunk, and short tail ; it is of a darker destroyed by low-caste people for the sake color than the cobra, or nearly black. I have of reward. But still the loss of human

never seen it, but the description accords so

well with the generic character of Hamadryas, life from their bites is very great, and calls that it must be a species of that genus. for more effective measures by which it may be mitigated.

“The Hamadryas," says Dr. Cantor, The Ophiophagus elaps (Hamadryad, “is very fierce, and is always ready not only Suņkerchor) is one of the largest venom- to attack, but to pursue when opposed.' ons snakes. It attains a length of twelve

This, too, is a conspicuous trait in our Tento fourteen feet, is very powerful and ac- asserim serpent. An intelligent Burman told tive, and is said to be aggressive; it is me that a friend of bis one day stumbled upon hooded like the cobra, and resembles it in a nest of these serpents and immediately regeneral configuration and character. The treated, but the old female gave chase. The culor varies according to age and locality ; wings to his flight, till, reaching a small river,

man fled with all speed, and terror added the adult is some shade of olive green or he plunged in, hoping he had thus escaped

on the

his enemy; but, on reaching the opposite Bungarus.—In this genus there are two bank, up reared the furious Hamadryad ready Indian species ; both are common, but the utter despair he bethought himself of his Bungarus cæruleus, or krait, is probably, turban, and in a moment dashed it on the ser.

next to the cobra, the most destructive pent, which darted at it like lightning, and for snake to human life. The other species, some moments wreaked its vengeance in furi- B. fasciatus, sankni or raj-samp, is probous bites, after which it returned quietly to ably equally poisonous ; but it is not so its former haunts.

Karens from Pegu describe a species of much brought in contact with men, and Hamadryad with black and white transverse

therefore occupies an inferior position bands. It is often seen twelve feet long by a to cæruleus

as a destroyer of human foot in circumference, and one of my infor life. mants tells me he has seen them three fathoms long and proportionately large.

The krait is of a dark, almost steel-blue

black to a chocolate brown, with narrow The Bengalee name is Sunkerchor. It white cross streaks, rings, or bars of white; is found in the forest and grass jungle. It the ventral surface is of a dark livid color, is said to live in hollow trees, and to climb or of a white or yellow tinge ; but there them readily, being frequently found rest- are varieties in the form of coloration. ing in the branches. As its name implies, This species is common all over India. it feeds on other snakes, though probably, The fangs are smaller than those of the when its favorite food is not forthcoming, cobra, and its poison is not so rapid in its it is conteuted with birds, small maminals, action ; but it is very dangerous and defrogs, fish.

structive. It is found in the fields, in It resembles the cobra, except that it is grassy plains, rice gkhets, low scrubby longer in proportion to its size, and its jungle, and among débris of wood and hood is relatively smaller ; it is even more buildings. It insinuates itself into houses, graceful in its movements and turns more into the bath-rooms, verandas, rapidly ; it is occasionally seen with the ledges of doors, jhiluils, book-cases, cupsnake-charmers, who prize it highly as a boards ; it is in such situations that it not show, but they say it is very dangerous to unfrequently causes fatal accidents. catch and difficult to handle before its I remember an instance where, after a fangs are removed. A fine specimen of night's journey in a palanquin, a lady, in the ophiophagus of about nine or ten feet taking out her things, found a krait coiled in length lived for some ten years in the up under her pillow; it had been her Zoological Society's Gardens, Regent's travelling companion all night. It is Park, and died a year or two ago ; it con- sometimes mistaken for Lycodon aulicus, sumed numbers of the common English an innocent snake which it much resemsnakes, and, I believe, would eat nothing bles; but the least examination detects else. It seemed a quiet, unaggressive the difference. The krait grows to the creature until roused, when it would raise length of nearly four feet. There was one its head, dilate its hood, and strike at any in the Indian Museum of 474 inches, but object brought near it. I have had several it is usually much smaller. The scales living specimens when in India, and never along the dorsal region are hexagonal and saw anything to suggest the idea that they very characteristic. were fiercer or more aggressive than the B. fasciatus (Raj-samp or Sankni). cobra ; on the contrary, they seemed, if Bites from this snake are comparatively anything, less. irascible and disposed to rare, but are very dangerous when they strike. The poison is as active and very occur ; it is larger than cæruleus and is similar in its effects to that of the cobra. beautifully marked with rings of yellow I have no means of ascertaining the extent on a dark steel

ground. The of injury to human life done by this snake. lic lustre of the skin is very beautiful ; its There can be no doubt that its bite is most body is of a triangular shape, and it has fatal ; but, from its comparative rarity and the characteristic hexagonal scales along the remoteness of its baunts, it seems the dorsal ridge. probable that human beings seldom fall I killed one in Rangoon of over five victims. I may note here that the largest feet in length. It is tolerably common in living specimen I ever possessed was near- Bengal, Burmah, and Southern India, and ly twelve feet in length ; it came from is known in the North-West. Its bite is Burmah and was of the dusky variety. very fatal, like that of the krait ; but, as

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