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appeared quite fresh and blooming; so I concluded the vampires pulled them from the tree, either to get at the incipient fruit, or to catch the insects which often take up their abode in flowers. The vampire, in general, measures about twentysix inches from wing to wing extended, though I once killed one that measured thirty-two inches. He frequents old abandoned houses and hollow trees; and sometimes a cluster of them may be seen in the forest, hanging head downwards from the branch of a tree."
Goldsmith .alludes to this in the "Deserted Village." Speaking of America, he says—
"And matted woods, where birds forget to sing,
"The vampire has a curious membrane, which rises from the nose, and gives it a very singular appearance. There are two species of vampire in Demerara, and both suck living animals. The larger, which is rather more than the size of the common bat, sucks men and other animals; the other measures about two feet from wing to wing extended, and seems to confine himself chiefly to birds. I learnt from a gentleman high up in the river Demerara, that he was completely unsuccessful with his fowls, on account of the small vampire. He showed me some that had been sucked the night before, they were scarcely able to walk. Some years ago," continues Mr. Waterton, " I went to the river Paumaron with a Scotch gentleman, by name Tarbet. We hung our hammocks in the thatched loft of a planter's house. Next morning I heard this gentleman muttering in his hammock, and now and then letting fall an imprecation or two, just about the time he ought to have been saying his morning prayers. 'What is the matter, Sir,' said I, softly, 'is anything amiss?' 'What's the matter?' answered he, surlily, 'why the vampires have been sucking me to death.' As soon as there was light enough I went to his hammock, and saw it much stained with blood. 'There,' said he, thrusting his foot out of the hammock,' see how these imps have been drawing my life's blood.' On examining his foot, I found the vampire had tapped his great toe; there was a wound somewhat less than that made by a leech; the blood was still oozing from it; I conjectured he might have lost from ten to twelve ounces of blood." Mr. Waterton must have been quite envious of this adventure of his friend, for he adds shortly after, "/ had often wished to have been once sucked by the vampire, in order that I might have it in my power to say it had really happened to me. There can be no pain in the operation, for the patient is always asleep when the vampire is sucking him; and as for the loss of a few ounces of blood, that would be a trifle in the long run. Many a night have I slept with my foot out of the hammock, to tempt this winged surgeon, expecting that he would be there, but it was all in vain; the vampire never sucked me, and I could never account for his not doing so, for we were inhabitants of the same loft for months together."
Humboldt relates, " that during a night encampment in South America his great dog was bitten, or, as the Indians say, pricked at the point of the nose by some enormous bats that hovered around the hammocks. The wound was very small and round: though the dog uttered a plaintive cry when he felt himself bitten, it was not from pain, but because he was affrighted at the sight of the bats that came out from beneath the hammocks." He adds, "that during the many years he so often slept in the open air, in climates where vampires are so common, he was never wounded."
These bats become very fat at certain times of the year, and are then said by the Indians to be good eating. Their smell is as strong as that of the fox; but the French, who reside in the Isle of Bourbon, boil them in their soup to give it a flavour.
In New Caledonia the natives interweave the hair with a kind of tough grass, and make ropes and tassels for their clubs. The bats mentioned by Belzoni, as abounding in the long and dreary galleries of the Egyptian pyramids, are the Rhinopoma Microphylla, or Chauve-souris cPEgypte; the French name is very appropriate, as the creature, in addition to its bird-like wings, has a long slender taiL
The largest of the bat tribe is the Kalong Pteropus Javanicus, or eatable bat of Java. In the Museum of the East India Company there are several specimens, the largest of which measures five feet two inches in the expansion of the wings, and the smallest three feet ten inches; the rest are about five feet. The length of the arm, including the fingers, is fourteen inches. The length of the hind legs is eight inches and a half. These bats are very numerous in the lower parts of Java. They live in societies, and select a large tree for their place of abode, suspending themselves by the claws in companies of some hundreds.
A species of Ficus (in habit resembling Ficus religiosa, or religious fig of India), which is often found near the dwellings of the natives, affords them a very favourite retreat, and the extended branches of one of these are sometimes covered by them. They are quite silent during day, unless disturbed, or any contention arises among them; they then utter sharp piercing cries, and the oppressive light of the sun causes them to make