ferocityabristling its fins, and exhibiting the utmost excitement : one of these, seeing its reflection in a glass, will violently advance, head foremost, against the shadow. The battles of crickets and the formica-leo are favourite sports of the people, from their childhood up. Lotteries have been introduced by the Chinese, and often lead the Siamese to utter destitution. In fact, the passion for gaming and betting seems unchecked, either by public opinion or the power of the law.
Kite-flying is the amusement of young and old. I do not think the art is so well understood as in China, where not only kites of a great variety of size and shape are seen, but they are made musical. When certain winds prevail, kite-battles are much in vogue ; the sport being to entangle the kite of your adversary, and to drag it and the string into your own possession. Much noise and excitement accompany these aerial combats.
Boat-races are not unfrequent, nor are pugilistic combats. Dancing on the tight and slack rope, puppet-shows, sleights of hand, optical illusions, wrestling, and sham fights, are among the ordinary recreations of the people. They share the love of amusement with the Chinese, but have few of the laborious and persevering virtues which characterize the people of China.
Computation of Time.aTwo eras, a civil and a religious, are used by the Siamese. The latter is dated from the death of the present ruling Buddha (Somana Khodom\ five hundred and forty-three years before Christ; so that the present year (1856)Computation of Time.a Two eras, a civil and a religious, are used by the Siamese. The latter is dated from the death of the present ruling Buddha (Somana Khodom\ five hundred and forty-three years before Christ; so that the present year (1856)