The purposes for which they are commonly employed are rather those of pomp, of luxury, and of ostentation, than of utility. As a means of warlike offence they have been, since the introduction of firearms, absolutely disused; and it is only as beasts of burden that they are turned to any useful account. In this respect the services of a single Elephant are equal to those of five or six horses, as they will carry from fifteen to twenty hundred weight, and travel from forty to fifty miles a day. They generally consume a hundred weight and a half or two hundred weight of solid food, and thirty or forty gallons of fluid, in the course of the day. They are fond of wine, spirits, and other intoxicating articles, by the attraction of which they are frequently induced to exert their powers, and to perform various feats of dexterity, when all other methods have failed to render them tractable. They become strongly attached to their keepers; but, if irritated by ill usage, their hatred is as violent as their affection, and is carefully stored up until a favourable opportunity occurs, when they seldom fail to remember an insult or an injury, even at very distant periods of time.
The engravings have been executed throughout by Messrs. Branston and Wright. Determined on securing the accuracy of the representations, they have in every instance compared the proofs with the animals, and have made corrections where necessary until the resemblance has been rendered perfect. In one case alone has a deviation from the original been indulged in: the tail of the ocelot has been figured of the length usual in the species, instead of the truncated state in which it exists in the specimen; the markings of the animal are, however, as noticed in its article, accurately represented.