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top, and crowned by conical spiracles through
which the pigeons descend. Their interior resem-
bles a honeycomb pierced with a thousand holes,
each of which forms a snug retreat for a nest.
More care apjiears to have been bestowed upon
their outside than upon that of the generality of
dwelling-houses, for they are painted and
ornamented. The extraordinary flights of pigeons
which I have seen upon one of these buildings
afibrd perhaps a good illustration of the passage
in Isaiah (Ix. 8). Their great numbers and the
compactness of their mass literally looked like a
cloud at a distance, and obscured the sun in their
passage." " What gives addition value to this
illustration is the probability that similar dove
houses were in use among the Hebrews ; for they
certainly were so among their Egyptian neighbours,
as we see by the ancient paintings and in the
mosaic pavement at Praeneste, where the dove-
cotes are such large and round towers as IMorier
describes, decreasing in diameter upwards, but
they are without the conical spiracles which we
find in those of Persia." In the copy of the pave-
ment of Prseneste, we obsen'e ducks, geese, and
other aquatic birds apparently tame, but not the
common fowl ; nor do we find it either sculptured
or painted on the remains of art of the ancient


Egyptians, -which present us with the duck and
goose in abundance, birds which there is some
reason to suspect were prohibited as food under
the Levitical dispensation. Among the birds
regarded as clean or unclean, under that law, the
common fowl is not mentioued. Yet in the time
of Solomon domestic poultry of some kind were
kept, for in the First Book of Kings, iv., 23,
we read, that the daily cousumpliou' of live-stock
in the palace consisted of " ten fat oxen, and twenty
oxen out of the pastures, and a hundred sheep,
beside harts and roebucks, and fallow deer, and
fatted fotii." It would be hazardous to assert that
in the expression of " fatted fowl" the common
domestic fowl was included; yet if Solomon
received peacocks, which are natives of the East
Indies, it might have been. But it may be asked,
were the birds procured for Solomon j^eacocks, or
as Buxtorff conjectures parrots (jmttaci)? The
question turns on the country to which the navy
of Tarshish sailed, its outgoing and return occupy-
ing three years. It would appear that Solomon,
assisted by Hiram, king of Tyre, built a navy of
ships at Ezion-geber, on the shore of the Red Sea,
in the land of Edom. This fleet was destined for
Ophir, whence it brought back gold, algum-trees,
and precious stones. Some suppose Ophir to be
India (1 Kings, ix., 2G, et subseq.) ; sub-
sequently we are told (Ibid., x., 22) that
" the king had at sea a navy of Tharshish with the
navy of Hiram ; once in three years came the navy
of Tharshish, bringing gold and silver, ivory and
apes, and peacocks." Kow Tarshish is generally
regarded as a maritime town in ancient Spain,
visited by the early Phoenician voyagers for the
pm-pose of traffic. From such country, however,
neither gold nor silver, nor apes, nor peacocks
could have been procured. Howevei", it does not
say in the verse quoted that the ships of Tarshish
built in the Red Sea were destined for Tarshish,
a voyage uivolving the circumnavigation of Africa ;
and hence it has been suggested that the expres-
sion " ships of Tarshish " means only large vessels
fit for long voyages, and unlike the ordinary coast-
ing vessels of the time. In confirmation of this
view, we read (1 Kings, xxii. 48) that Jehosha-
phat made ships of Tarshish to go to Ophir for gold,
but they went not ; for the ships were broken at
Ezion-geber." But here a difficulty apparently
insurmountable arises, for in the 2nd Book of
Chronicles another account of both these transac-
tions is given, which nullifies the previous theory.
" For the king's (i. e. Solomon's) ships went to
Tarshish with the servants of Huram ; every three
years once came the ships of Tarshish, bringing
gold and silver, ivory and apes, and peacocks"
(ix. 21) ; and again, "He (Jehosophat) joined
himself with him (the then king of Israel, Ahaziah)
to make ships to go to Tarshish ; and they made

I the ships in Ezion-geber, and the ships were
broken that they were not able to go to Tarshish"
(xx., 36, 37).

' Now whether Ophir and Tarshish were two
different places or not, whether Ophir was touched

i at during the voyage to Tarshish or not, certain
it is that from Tarshish were brought ivory, and
gold, and peacocks. All idea, therefore, of Tar-
tessus in Spain must of course fall to the ground.
Ivory and peacocks could not be obtained there,
nor could a fleet get there from the Red Sea, unless
by coasting round Africa.

With respect to Ophir, some, as we have said,
place it in India, or regard it even as identical
with Ceylon ; others, as some portion of the south-

, west coast of Ai'abia; and others again, some por-

[ tion of Eastern Africa, Soiala being among the
districts contended for; here it is acknowledged
might have been obtained gold and silver, and
ivory, and also apes, but not peacocks. John dos

j Sanctos (see Furchus his Fihjrims), describing

i Sofala, speaks of the abundance of gold, silver,
and ivory there to be obtained, as well as ebony

I and other precious wood, gems, &c. "As for
peacocks (he says) I saw none there, but there
must needs be some within land, for I have seen
some Caflres wear their plumes on their heads."
If peacocks existed in Sofala in the time of John
dos Sanctos, they were probably introduced there
by the Portuguese, who had a settlement at In-
hamban, and at other spots, established about the
middle of the sixteenth century, which still linger.
The common domestic animals (of course in-
troduced) are found in Senna and Sofala (see art.
Senna and Sofala in Penny Cyclup.) We do not
say that either Ophir or Tarshish are to be looked
for in Sofala, but we lean to the idea that they
existed as districts or to\^'ns on some part of the
coast of Eastern Africa — first, because of the
character of the articles obtained ; and secondly,
because a coasting voyage was best adapted for
even the lai'gest ships of antiquity ; and thirdly,
because a voyage to India, say Ceylon, from a port
in the north of the Red Sea, through the Isthmus
of Suez and across the Arabian -Sea, without a
knowledge of the compass, must have been one of
no[ordinary difficulty. That the Phceuiciaus and
Tyrians navigated the Mediterranean, traded with
Spain, and even imported tin from our British
shores, we may readily admit ; we will admit that
they explored the African coast to a great extent,
but we hesitate to believe, as Herodotus was in-
formed, that the Phoenicians actually circumnavi-
gated Africa, sailing from the Red Sea, doubling
the Cape, and returning by the Mediterrauean,
under the orders of Pharaoh Xecho (king of
^oyP*^)-* Stfll less can we give credit to the

* Melpomene. This voyage occiued 400 yeais later tliau the


theory that in the time of Solomon the ships of
Hiram visited Ceylon.

Dr. J. Kitto, after a long and very critical
analysis of the opinions which have been hazarded
by the learned respecting Ophir and Tarshish,
thus sums up the matter: — "The reader will by
this time begin pei'haps to question whether any
particular places are denoted by the words
Tarshish and Ophir. In the note to ch. ix.
(2 Chron.) we explained that 'ships of Tarshish'
were probably so called from being, like those
which went from Phoenicia to the Atlantic,
especially adapted to a long voyage. Now, by an
obvious transition of ideas among a people whose
nc.ions of distant places were very indefinite,
when ships that made long voyages were called
ships of Tarshish, tlie name may in process of
time have been transferred so as to denote any
distant country to which such ships went. This
Avould adequately explain how it happens that the
ships which went to Ophir are called ships of
Tarshish in the Book of Kings, but in the later
Book of Chronicles are not so called, but are said to
have gone to Tarshish, that is, went on a distant
voyage. This explanation does not rest on our
authority; it is the explanation of Gesenius.
Heeren applies a somewhat similar explanation
to Ophir. He says, 'It is very probable that this
name, like those of Thule and others, did not
designate any fixed j^lace, but simply a certain
region of the world, like the names East or West
Indies in modern geography. Thus Ophir may
be understood as a general name for the rich
south country, including the shores of Arabia,
Africa, and India.' In confinnation of this he
observes elsewhere, after Tychsen, that the word
Ophir signifies in Arabic the rich countries. In
these explanations, as respecting the names of
Tarshish and Ophir, we entirely acquiesce. They
enable us to conclude that the fleet may have gone
trading to various places, collecting the different
commodities which were required, and relieve us
from the necessity of finding everything in one

It appears to us that this explanation is like
cutting the Gordian knot, instead of untying it.
We cannot imagine that Ophir or Tarshish meant,
indiscriminately, the shores of Arabia, Africa, and
India. Nor do we think that India was visited
at that early period by the united fleets of Solo-
mon and Hiram. Consequently we lean to the
idea that either parrots, or some other birds, per-
haps guinea-fowl, were the birds in question. It
is somewhat strange, if peacocks were possessed
by Solomon, that they were not kno\vn at a remote
period to the Greeks. It is true we do not know
at what period the peacock was introduced into
Greece, but at all events it must have been before
the time of Alexander. " Certain it is that the

peacock is mentioned in two plays of Aristophanes,
the 'Acharnians' and the 'Birds,' the first of
which was represented in the third year of the
88th Olympiad, and the last in the second year
of the 91st. Now, Alexander was not born till
the second year of the <J8th Olympiad. Athenseus
quotes from other old poets — Eupolis, for in-
stance : nor does Aristotle speak of the bird in
any other terms than those which would indicate
that it had become very well known when he
wrote. ' Some are jealous and vain, like the pea-
cock,' says Aristotle, when speaking of the qualities
exhibited by certain animals." — [Hist. Anim. i.)

After all, we leave the point in obscurity. It is
however at least probable, that if Solomon introduced
the peacock in his ships from some part of India,
the common fowl might have been imported by
the same means, and, though not expressly men-
tioned, have in his days begun to spread over
Western Asia, and thence throughout the warmer
and temperate parts of Europe, which it has so
long tenanted. That neither of these birds were
common in ancient Eg;^'pt (where the fowl is now
multiplied by artificial incubation) would appear
from its absence among the paintings and sculp-
tures of remote days ; while the figures of domestic
waterfowl are abundant, among which the chena-
lopex or Egyptian goose, the common goose, and
the duck are observable. Herodotus informs us,
that the Egyptians eat not only fish, both pickled
and dried in the sun, but also quails, ducks, and
other small birds, preserved in salt without any
other preparation ; and in the British Museum,
among dried fruits, bread, and other articles of
food, found in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian,
is a small water-bird, apparently a duck of some
species, which appears to have undergone some
|)reparation so as to have prevented its decay.
That these birds were well luiown in a domestic
state to the Israelites during the time of their
captivity cannot be doubted ; but it does not
appear that they brought any such with them
on their exodus, and perhaps regarded them with
aversion, although the quail was acceptable. It
must be remembered that a prohibition was issued
against multiplying horses, which would lead to
an intercourse with Egypt — [Deut. xvii. 16) — a
prohibition afterwards neglected, but which serves
to show that the domestic animals of Egjpt wei-e
not regarded by the Israelitish rulers with favour ;
nor can we wonder at it, when so many of them
were deified.

Thus, then, it would seem that all attempts,
beyond a certain point, to trace back the history
of some of our most common domestic poultry, are
in vain. The circumstances attending their pri-
meval subjugation are utterly buried in oblivion ;
nor can we follow them from their native seats,
detailing their progress and general diffusion— a


point the less to be wondered at Avhen tlie histoiy
of the turkey, a bird introduced from America
into Europe, somewhere about the beginning of
the sixteenth century, is involved in doubt and
difficulty. The same obscurity, then, which hangs
over the early history of our domestic quadrupeds,
hangs over that of our domestic birds, nor can we
hope ever to dissipate it.

From these brief preliminary observations,
which serve rather to show the limitation than
the extent of om- knowledge, we may advance to
the main subject before us.

Our domestic poultry belong respectively to
three distinct orders of the class Aves — viz., the
rasorial or gallinaceous order, the columbine or
gyratorial order, and the natatorial or swimming
order. These orders are distinguished from eacli
other by well-marked characters, which are ex-
hibited as much by the domestic as by the wild
species included in them. Each order, however,
is universally distributed, no country being with-
out some representatives ; and these are collected
into families, according to their mutual affinities.
In the execution of our plan, we ought, perhaps,
in due strictness, to take the columbine order
[gyratorcs, Nobis ; gyrantcs, Bonap.) first into con-
sideration, as it is generally regarded as inter-
vening between the passerine order {insessores,
Vigors) and the true gallinaceous order. This
intervention is, as it appears to us, rather assumed
than demonstrated. We know not to what tribe
or family of the insessores the pigeons are allied ;
while, on the other hand, we acknowledge that
through some forms, and especially the crowned
pigeons {lophyrus) of the Moluccas and New
Guinea, the columbine order approximates to the
order rasores. Nevertheless, granting that the
situation attributed to the columbine order (the
family columhida of some authoi's) is correct, still
as it yields, so far as utility to man is concerned,
to the gallinaceous or rasoi'ial order, we shall
commence with the latter, giving, at the outset,
a brief sketch of its leading characters.


As the term Rasores {raclo, scratch) leads
us naturally to conclude, the birds included in this
order are chiefly if not exclusively terrestrial in
their habits — many indeed I'oost, for they can
hardly be said to perch, on trees ; but some, as
the partridge, the quail, the red grouse, and
others, are absolutely terrestrial, not only scratch-
ing for their food, but reposing on the ground.
The habits of all animals and their organization
and external configuration, nay even their clothing,
are in accordance with each other. In birds which
make the ground then- province, and emulate
neither the dove, the pratincole {Glareola tor-
quata), the stone curlevf {(Edicnemus crepitans), nor

tlie lapwing* {Vanellus cristatus), in flight, we
cannot look for much strength of wing, but we
may expect to find the legs well developed, and
the thighs muscular. The rasores have in fact
a rounded heavy body, covered with loose plumage,
which in many instances assumes on the neck or
rump the character of plumes, or hackles, and
the tail feathers are often singularly developed.
The hackles on the neck of the domestic cock,
the gorgeous plume of the peacock (its rump
feathers), and the elongated tail-feathers of the
pheasant, and others of the genus phasianus, are
e.xamples in point. The wings, as a rule, are
short, rounded, and concave underneath, the quill
feathers are feeble, and the os furcatum., or merry-
thought, a bone which acts like the clavicles in the
human subject, supporting the shoulders during
the exertion of the pectoral muscles, is weak and
undeveloped. It is peculiarly so in the turkey.
In some rasorial birds, however, as the grouse,
ptarmigan, &c., the wings though short and con-
cave, have much firmer quill-feathers, and the os
furcatum is more developed. These birds fly for
comparatively short distances vnih great rapidity,
but they also run with ease and celerity on the

As organs of progression, the legs of the ra-
sores take a far higher rank than the wings. The
rounded full-made body is nicely balanced upon
them ; the thighs are powerful, the tendons of the
muscles inclining to become osseous; the tarsi or
shanks are long and stout, and covered anteriorly
with broad hard scales ; in the males of many
species they are armed with a horny spur, and in
some with a double spur ; rudiments of the spur
are apparent in the tarsi of the females, and
occasionally these weapons become considerably
developed; the toes are three before, united at
their base by a short membrane, and a short
posterior toe seated high up on the tarsus — little
more than its tip touching the gi'ound during
progression : the toes are covered above with broad
scales, but beneath the tough skin is protected by
hard granulations ; they are furnished at the
extremity with strong blunt nails or claws, convex
above, concave beneath, and well adapted for
scraping up the ground in quest of seeds, roots,
and insects. The toes have but a feeble power of
grasping. While perching, the weight of the body
acting on the contractor tendons of the toes, closes
them sufficiently for giving a tolerably secure hold,
especially as the body is well balanced ; \ still the

* The stone curlew, lapwing, and others of the grallatorial
order, as the snipe, woodcock, &c., obtain their food on the
gi-ound, affecting marshy situations, where they breed and repose,
t)ut in all other respects they are remote from the rasores.

+ For an account of the peculiarity in the arrangement of the
tendons of the leg, in birds, whereby their security in perching is
affected, see the Pictorial Museum of Animated Nature, vol. i.
p.383, col. 1.

hold is destitute of that tenacity wliich iu many
other birds is so reroarkable.

In looking at the head of the Rasorial Birds,
we find the beak stout, of moderate length, mth
the upper mandible convex above, the nostrils
being pierced iu a large membranous space ou
each side at its base. In many species the head
is furnished with naked membranes in the form
of a comb, and wattles or naked skin ou the
cheeks or around or over the eyes, or naked
carunculated appendages ou the head, and extend-
ing down the anterior part of the neck ; in some
the base of the beak is surrounded by a naked
membrane — in others the head is crested with
feathers or even galeated with an osseous helmet.
In most the trachea is simple, but in the curas-
rows it is more or less convoluted. The voice is
generally harsh or perhaps discordant, never
musical, unless the cock's "shrill clarion" may be
so denominated. The scream of the peacock, the
gobble of the turkey, and the harsh grating voice
of the guinea-fowl, are familiar sounds to all. The
sternum or breast bone is deeply notched or
indentated on each side of its posterior edge, and
the ribs are feeble.

As respects the senses, those of sight and
hearing are tolerably acute ; but smell and taste
do not seem to be at a high ratio, nor indeed is it
needful that they should be so. Grains, seeds of
various kinds, mast, bulbous roots, berries, the
sprouting leaves of vegetables, together with
worms, insects, and their larvae, constitute the
food of this group of birds. The young, indeed,
feed largely on the larvas of ants, and ou insects
generally, picking them up with a^^dity.

A few observations on the digestive organs of
the rasorial or gallinaceous group of birds, may
be here admissible; and the rather as these
parts ought to be understood by all who keep
poultry, and who have their assistance frequently
called into operation when fowls, as is their habit,
over-distend the crop with grain. The oesophagus
or gullet leads into a dilatation called the crop,
craw, or ingluvies — a large membranous cavity,
which lies just before the breast bone, and which
receives the food when first swallowed. It is
furnished with many mucous and salivary glands,
the exudation from which tends to soften the
grain, and fit it for farther elaboration. This
crop or sack is not very sensible, and when
gorged with food may be opened by means of a
sharp pen-knife or lancet, and relieved of its con-
tents. If the edges of the wound be neatly joiued
together, and secured by a few stitches — the bird
being at first kept fasting, and afterwards only
allowed a little sopped bread or the like — it will
generally recover without any ill symptoms. To
this crop succeeds a narrower portion, called
vcntriculus succenturiatus, the lining membrane of

TRV. 499

which is beset with numerous .glandular orifices,
forming a sort of belt, wliich pour out a copious
secretion of digesting or gastric juice, which
mingles with the food in the gizzard or grinding
stomach, into which the ventriculus succenturiatus
immediately leads. The gizziu'd is a powerful
grindiug mill, composed of immensely thick
and firm muscles, and lined with a tough insen-
sible coriaceous membrane. The two massive
hemispherical muscles which essentially form the
grinding apparatus are opposed face to' face, like
two millstones, and they work upon each other,
triturating to a pulp the food subjected to their
action, and rendering it fit, after being broken
down, for the influence of the gastric juice, which,
until this takes place, in the case of grain, would
have little or no solvent power upon it. To assist in
this mill-like operation of the gizzard granivorous
fowls swallow small pebbles or stones — a practice
clearly instinctive, and sometimes carried to a
greater extent by domestic fowls than would seem
necessary. Nevertheless, without a sufficiency of
these pebbles (and fowls should never be so kept
as to be unable to obtain them), digestion is sus-
pended, the body derives no nutriment from the
food (unless indeed it be pultaceous), and the bird
droops and wastes away. Sir Everard Home, in
his description of the gizzard of the turkey, says,
"When the external form of this organ is first
attentively examined, viewing that side which is
anterior in the living bird, and on which the two
bellies of the muscle and middle are more distinct,
there being no other part to obstruct the view,
the belly of the muscle on the left side is seen to
be larger than on the right. This appears, ou
reflection, to be of great advantage in producing
the necessary motion ; for if the two muscles were
of equal strength, they must keep up a greater
degree of exertion than is necessary — while in the
present case, the principal effect is produced by
that of the left side, and a smaller force is used
by that on the right to bring the parts back again.

" The two bellies of the muscle, by their
alternate action, produce two effects, — the one, a
constant friction on the contents of the cavity ;
the other, a pressure on them. This last arises
from a swelling of the muscle inwards, which
readily explains all the instances which have been
given by Spallanzani and others of the force of
the gizzard upon substances introduced into it — a
force which is found by their experiments always
to act in an oblique direction. The internal cavity,
when opened iu this distended state, is found to
be of an oval form, the long diameter being in the
line of the body ; its capacity nearly equal to the
size of a pullet's egg ; and on the sides there are
ridges in the homy coat (lining membrane) iu the
long direction of the oval.

" When the horny coat is examined in its


internal structure, the fibres of which it is formed
are not found in a direction perpendicular to the
ligamentous substance behind it ; but in the
upper portion of the cavity they have a direction
obliquely upwards.

" From this form of cavity it is evident that
no part of the sides are ever intended to be brought
in contact, and that the food is triturated by being
mixed with hard bodies and acted on by the
powerful muscles which form the gizzard." —

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