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UNDER this title, as living occasionally both on land and in water, Linnæus has arranged the oviparous quadrupeds, usually denominated Reptiles, and the Serpents. It is true that it may be considered exceptionable on account of some individuals being confined to only one of those elements : these are, however, so very few, as not, with any propriety, to affect the general denomination.
Towards these animals mankind have ever entertained a great degree of abhorrence, originating in a dread of their supposed, and in some instances their undoubted poisonous properties, in the unpleasant sensation of touching cold animals, and in their often ugly and squalid forms. This abhorrence is so general, in all countries, and amongst all classes of people, that, even where the species are in themselves innoxious and beautiful, it is not without much difficulty to be overcome. To the philosopher, however, the various tribes afford an inexhaustible fund of instruction and delight : the form, destination, and importance of these animals in the grand scheme of nature, are truly admirable, and have been found