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Fellow of the Royal Socinies of London and Edfoburffa ; Honorary Mrmber of the Royal Irish Academy ; of the 
Royal Society of Seienen of Denmark ; of the Royal Academy of Scieneet of Berlin ; of the Royal Academy of 
Naples ; of the Geoloffieal Society of France ; Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta ; Fellow of 
the Royal Linnean, and of the Geological Societies of London ; of the Royal Oeologieal Society of Cornwall, and 
of the Canbridge Philosophical Society ; of the Antiquarian, Wemerian. Natural History, Royal M<^ieal. Royal 
Physieal, and Horticultural Societies of Edinburgh ; of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland ; of 
the Antiipiarian and Literary Society of Pt-rth ; of the SUtistieal Society of Glasgow ; of the Royal Dublin 
Society ; of the York, Bristol, Cambrian. Whitby, Northern, and Cork Institutions ; of the Natural History So- 
ciety of XVorthumberland, Durham, and Newcastle ; of the Imperial Pharmaceutical Society of Petersburgb ; of 
the Natural History Society of Wetteran ; of the Mineraloglcal Society of Jena ; of the Royal Mineralogieal So- 
ciety of Dresden ; of the Natural History Society of Paris ; of the Phllomathie Society of Paris; of the Natural 
History Society of CnWados ; of the Senkenberg Society of Natural History ; of the Society of Nataral Sciences 
and Medicine of Heidelberg ; Honorary Member of the Literary and Philosophical Society of New York \ of 
the New York Historical Society ; of the American Antiquarian Society ; of the Academy of Nataral Sciences of 
Philadelphia ; of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York { of the Natural History Society of Montreal ; of 
the FrnnlElin Institute of the State of PennaylyanJa for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts ; of the Geological 
Society of Pennsylrania ; of the Boston Society of Nataral History of the United States ; of the Soath African 
Institution of the Cape of Good Hope ; Honorary Member of the Statistical Society of France ; Member of the 
Bmomologleal Society of Stettin, fte. fte. ftc. 









Art. I. On the Foraminifera of America and of the Canary 

Islands, • • • • • 1 

II. Observations on Jerusalem, , • .13 

I. Qeneral Topography, . . .13 

II. Climate, . • . • .17 

III. On the Apples of Sodom that grow on the shores of 

the Dead Sea, . • . . .20 

I. Mr Lambert's Account, . . . .20 

II. Dr Bobinson's Account, . • .24 

IV. On Tropical Miasmata, , . • .27 

V. Researches on the Variations which take place at 
certain periods of the day in the Temperature of 
the Lower Strata of the Atmosphere. By Pro- 
fessor Mabcet, Transmitted by the Author, 34 

VI. Account of the Island of St Kilda, chiefly with refe- 
rence to its Natural History ; from Notes made 
during a Visit in July 1840. By Mr John Mac- 
GiLLiVBAT, Member of the Cuvierian Natural His- 
tory Society. Ck>mmunicated by the Author, 47 

VII. On Fresh-water Polypi. By M. Coste, . . 70 

VIII. American Geology— Erratic Blocks— Glacial Ac- 
tion, . . . . • .74 

IX. On the supposed Stinging Organs of Medusaa, and 
the occurrence of peculiar Structures in Inverte- 
brate Animals, which seem to constitute a new 
class of Organs of Motion. By Professor Ru- 
dolph Wagnee of Gottingen, . . .80 


X. On a Remarkable Structure observed by the Author 
in the Ice of Glaciers. By James D. Forbes, 
Esq., Sec. R.S. Ed. Professor of Natural Philo- 
sojihy in the University of Edinburgh. With a 
Plate. (Read to the 'Royal Society, Edinburgh, 
Dec. 1841.) Communicated by the Author, 84 

XI. Experiments on the Production and Transmission 
of Sound in Water, made in the Lake of Geneva. 
By M. Daniel Colladon. In a letter to M. 
Araqo, • • • • .91 

XII. New Views regarding the Distribution of Fossils 
in Formations. By Professor Agassiz. With 
Observations, by Professor Bronn, . .97 

XIII. Letter to M. Fischet de Waldheim, Ex-President of 
the Society of Naturalists of Moscow, from R. I. 
Murchison^ Esq., containing some of the results of 
his Second Geological Survey of Russia. Trans- 
mitted by the Author, • . .99 

XIV. On the Scratches and Furrows observed on the Rocks 

of Finland. With a Map, . • .103 

XV. Notices of Earthquake Shocks felt in Great Britain, 
and especially in Scotland, with Inferences sug- 
gested by these Notices as to the Causes of the 
Shocks. By David Milne, Esq. F.R.S.E.,M.W.S., 
F.G.S.,&c. Communicated by the Author. (Con- 
tinued from p. 309 of vol. xxxi.) * . 106 

XVI. Anatomical euid Physiological Studies of a Species 
of Musca, with the view of illustrating the His- 
tory of Metamorphoses, and the pretended Circu- 
lation of Insects. By M. Leon Dufour, . 127 
XVII. On Falls of Dust or Sand on vessels travelling the 

Atlantic, • • • « . 134 

XVIII. Descriptions of some New Species of Pycnogonidae. 
By Henry D. S. Goodsir, Esq. Read before the 
Wernerian Society, March 1841. Communicated 
by the Author. (With a Plate.)' . .136 

XIX. Account of the Arran Bar y to- Sulphate Pigment. 
By Professor Traill. Read before the Werne* 
rian Society, Uth December 1841. Communi- 
cated by the Author, • . • .139 




XX. Description of a Portable Diorama, constructed by 
George "T AIT, Esq., Advocate. Communicated 
by the Royal Society of Arts for Scotland, . 142 

XXI. Analyses of new Mineral Species. Communicated 

by Dr Thomas Axdebson of Leith, . . 147 

XXII^ Is Graphite the Metal of Carbon ? By Professor 

Hausmann of Gottingen, • • • 152 

XXIII. A Notice by Humboldt regarding £hrenberg*8 Dis- 
covery of Living Infusoria in Beds in and around 
Berlin, .««••• 153 

XXIV. On the Deposition^ Composition, and Origin of 
Masses of Tin Ore. By M. Daubbee, as reported 
on by the French Academy of Sciences. (M. Du- 
frenoy, Reporter.) • • . • 154 

XXV. Account of the 6clemnites of the Lower* Cretaceous 
Formations in the neighbourhood of Castellane. 
By M. Duval- Jouve, as reported on by the French 
Academy of Sciences, . • « .159 

XXVI. On certain kinds of Fishes and Reptiles which can- 

not be absolutely classed as either belonging to 
salt or fresh water. By M. Valenciennes, in a 
letter to M. Elie de Beaumont, • • 1G5 

XXVII. Botanical Climatology — Comparative Note as to 

the Epochs of Vegetation in different Countries. 
By M. AuGUsTE de Saint Uilaire, . .168 

XXVII L On the Phosphorescence of Zoophytes. By the 
Rev. David Landsborough, M.W.S., of Steven- 
son, in Ayrshire, . . • .169 

XXIX. Notice on the Discovery of a complete Skeleton of 

Metaxytherium. By M. Mabcel de Sebres, 173 

XXX. On the Identity of Albumen, Fibrin, and the White 

Matter of the Globules of Blood and of Caseum. 
Letter of M. Liebig. Communicated to the Aca- 
demy of Sciences by M. Liouville, . .175 

XXXI. On the Causes of the Green Colour in certain kinds 

of Oysters. By M. A. Valenciennes, < 176 

XXXII. Additional Notice regarding St Kilda. Communi- 
cated by the Author, . . • .178 


XXXIII. Researches on the inOuence which Light and the 
Green-coloured Organic Substance often found in 
Stagnant Water exercise on the Quality of the 
Gases contained in the latter. By Mr A. Morren, 180 

XXXiy. Proceedings of the Wemerian Natural History So- 
ciety, . . . . • - 185 

XXXV. Proceedings of the Geological Society, • . .185 

XXXVI. Proceedings of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts, 189 

XXXVII. Notice of the Meeting of the Italian Scientific As- 
sociation held at Florence in September 1841, 189 

XXXVIII. Scientific Intelligence — 


Begister of the Weather and Climate of Orkney, . 193 
Electrical Light on Bayonets, &c,; . . •196 


On the Corpuscles of the Blood. By Dr Martin Barry, 196 


Bemarjks on the Freezing of Water. B7 Professor KrieS; 198 


New Musicallnstrumenty * • • .199 

XXXIX. List of Patents granted for Scotland from 22d 

September to 22d December 1841, . . 201 


Notices of New Works in our next Number. Along with the Plates 
for this Number are two Plates belonging to the preceding Number, one 
illustrative of Professor Eschritht on Intestinal Worms, and another of 
Mr Sang on Orthographic Projection. 


Art. I. Oq the Geological Inyestigations and Writings of 
Baron Alexander Von Humboldt. By the late 
Professor Frederick Hoffmann of Berlin, 205 

II. On the Use of Chlorine as an Indication of the Il- 
luminating Power of Coal Gas, and on the Com^ 
parative Expense of Light derived from different 
sources. By Andrew Fyee, M.D., F.R.S.E, 
F R.S.S.A. Communicated by the Royal Scot- 
tish Society of Arts, . . -221 
III. On the General Movements of Serpents. By M. 

DUMERIL, . ' . . . 235 

f V. A General View of the Environs of Pekin. By M. 
KovANKO, Major in the Corps of Engineers of 
Mines ; translated by Lieutenant-General Lard 
Greenock, F.R.S.E., from the Annuaire du Jour- 
nal des Mines de Russie, annee 1838. Published 
at St Petersburg, 1840, . . 242 

V. On the Cultivation of the Sugar-Cane in Spain. 
By Thomas Stewart Traill, M.D., F.R.S.E. 
(Communicated by the Author.) Read before the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh, . . 256 

VI. Notice of Experiments regarding the Visibility of 
Lights in rapid Motion, made with a view to the 
Improvement of Lighthouses, and of some pecu- 
liarities in the impressions made by them on the 
Eye. By Alan Stevenson, LL.B., F.R.S.E., 
Civil Engineer. Communicated by the Author, 270 


VII* On the Classification of Invertebrate Animals. By 

Dr W. P. Erichson, . . 278 

VIII. Notice of the Magnetometric, Geographical, Hydro- 
graphical, and Geological Observations and Dis- 
coveries made by the Expedition under the com- 
mand of Captain James Ross, R.N., F.R.S., being 
copy of Extracts from a Despatch addressed to 
the Secretary of the Admiralty, . 285 

IX. Ascent of the Jungfrau, accomplished on the 28th 
August 1841, by Messrs Agassiz, Forbes, Du 
Chatelier, and Desor ; preceded by an account of 
their passage across the Mer de Glace from Grim- 
sel to Viesch in the Valais. By E. Desor. With 
a Plate, ..... 291 

Passage of the Col de POberaar, . . 292 

Ascent of the Jungfrau, . . . 303 

Note on the Ice of elevated Peaks^ .334 

X. Reminiscences of Werner and Freiberg, and of 
Malte-Brun. By Professor Henry Steffens of 
Berlin, . . . .337 

• 1. Werner and Freibeig, . . 337 

2. Malte-Brun, . . ." .351 

XI. Notice of Professor Steffens' Geological Writings, 355 
XII. Note and Tabular Statement of goods exported via 
Delhi across the North- West Frontier of India to 
Cabool, from May 1838 to 30th April 1841, 358 

XIII. Notices of Earthquake Shocks felt in Great Britain, 

and especially in Scotland, with inferences sug- 
gested by these notices as to the Causes of the 
Shocks. By David Milne, Esq., F.R.S.E., 
M.W.S., F.G.S., &c. Communicated by the Au- 
thor, ..... 362 

1. Accounts from Stratheam, . • 362 

XIV. Researches on the Structure of Mucous Membranes. 

By M. Flourens, . . . 378 

XV. Hydrometrical Observations. By David Steven- 
son, Esq., Civil Engineer, . . 382 
XVI. Description of a new Roofing Tile, manufactured 
by M. Courtois of Paris. With a plate. Com- 
municated by Sir J. Robison, K.H., F.R.S.E. 


Communicated by the Royal Scottish Society of 
Arts, ..... 390 

XYII. Remarks on a Paper by Dr Scoresby, " On the 

Ck>lours of the Dew Drop/' in the Edin. Phil. 

Joum. vol. xxxi. p. 50. In a Letter to the Editor. 

By Professok Forbes, . . . 391 

XVIII. Dr Martin Barry on Fibre, . 393 

XIX. Further Remarks on Fibre. By Martin Barrt, 

M.D.,F.R.SS.L.&E. . . 398 

XX. Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History 

Society. Continued from p. 185, • . 400 

XXI. Description of several New and Rare Plants which 
have lately Flowered in the Neighbourhood of 
Edinburgh, and chiefly in the Royal Botanic Gar- 
den. By Dr Graham^ Professor of Botany, 401 
Index, ..*.... 405 



On the Foraminiftra of America and of the Canary Islands. 

Alcidb d'Orbignt, celebrated for his trarels in South Ame- 
rica, has lately published three long essays on the imperfectly 
known class of the Foraminifera. One appeared in the Risioire 
Physique^ Politique^ et NaiureUe^ de tile de Cuba^parM. Ba- 
man de la Soffra ; a second in the Histoire NaiureUe des Bee 
Canaries, par MM. P. Barker- JFebb ei Sabin Berthelot; and the 
third in the Voyage dans VAmMqtie MMdionale^ par Jf. Al" 
cide d* Orbiffny. As these memoirs, so highly important for 
this class of animals, are contained in very expensive works, 
and are therefore the less accessible to the public, some ex- 
tracts from them may not be without interest for our readers. 

Every thing in nature which escapes the naked eye, not 
only remains unknown to the great mass of the people, but 
even unnoticed for centuries ^by those who anxiously en- 
deavour to investigate the beauties of creation. How many 
myriads of beings are still unknown to us ! How many years 
must yet elapse ere we acquire an adequate idea of the extent 
of zoology ! 

If the enormous size of the largest animals of our globe 
lead us to contemplate the omnipotence of the Creator, — ^if the 
regularity of their formsy the adaptation and perfection of 
their organs, the richness of their whole structure, prove to 
us their wonderful completeness, — so, our understanding is not 
the less astonished when we descend to those hardly notice- 
able beings, whose number counterbalances their infinite mi- 
nuteness, so that by their multiplicity they perform without 


2 On the Faraminifera of America^ and 

our being aware of iV <n^ of tiie most important part? in 
natore. Can it indeed fail to strike with wonder every one 
who reflects that the sand of all sea-coasts is so filled with 
these niicroseopic animals termed Foraminifera, that it is often 
composed of them to the extent of no less than a half ? Plan- 
cus* counted 6000 in an ounce of sand from the Adriatic Sea ; 
we ourselves have reckoned 3>840,000 in an ounce of sand 
from the Antilles. If we calculate larger quantities, as for 
example a cubic yard, the amount surpasses all human con- 
ception, and we have difficulty in expressing the resulting 
numbers in figures. And yet how insignificant is all this 
when we regard in the same point of view the whole enor- 
mous mass of the sea-coasts of the Earth ? We thence deduce 
the certainty that no other series of beings can, in regard to 
number, be compared to the group we are now considering, 
not even the myriads of minute Crustacea which colour large 
spaces on the surface of the sea,t and which affi)rd nourish- 
ment to the largest animals, viz. the whales, and not even 
the infusory animals of fresh water, whose shields partly com- 
pose Tripoli; J for these are, limited in their distribution, 
whereas the Foraminifera occur on all coasts. 

If we inquire what part is performed by the minute animals 
now under consideration, and many of which do not attain a 
half, a fomrth, or a sixth of a millimetre in size, we shall find no 
less reason for astonishment. The author has examined the sand 
of all parts of the earth, and found that it is the remains of 
the Foraminifera which constitute, in a great measure, banks 
that interrupt navigation, which stop up bays and straits of 
the sea, which fill up harbours, and which, together with co- 
rals, produce those islands that rise up in the warm portions 
of the Pacific Ocean. When we regard the influence of the 
Foraminifera on the strata of the crust of the globe, we be- 

* Ariminensis de eonehis miiitis notU. 

f Near Brazil we have seen the sea coloured a deep red for nearly a de- 
gree, and this was caused by a species of the genus Cetochyliis, which, ac- 
cording to the testimony of the whale fishers, forms almost exclusively the 
food of whales. — See Voyage dans rAnUrigue M^ridionale, part, Mtt, 1 1. p. If, 

X Academy of Sciences of Berlin, 29th July 1837. — Annales des Sdences 
J^at. v^ viii. p.^74 $ also Edinbui]!^ New Philosophical Joiunal, vol. xxji. 
p. 84, 

cf ike Omary IsUmds. 8 

come so much tbe more convinced of what we hare said as to 
the living sfiecies, and it is easy to adduce facts to shew that 
they contribute much to the formation of whole deposits. Be- 
ginning with the newer epochs, the tertiary formations, we 
have, above all, a striking case in the environs of Paris. The 
Calcaire grassier of that extensive basin is, in certain'places, so 
filled with Foraminifera, that a cubic inch from the quarries of 
Gentilly afforded 58,000, and that in beds of great thickness and 
of vast extent. This gives an average of about 3,000,000,000 
for the cubic metre ; a number so great as to preclude further 
calculation. We can hence, without exaggeration, conclude 
that the capital of France, as well as the towns and villages 
of the neighbouring departments, are almost entirely built of 
Foraminifera. This group of animals is not less abundant in the 
tertiary formations extending from Champagne to the sea, and 
its numbers are prodigious in the basins of the Gironde, of Aus- 
tria, of Italy, &c. The cretaceous beds likewise containmyriads, 
as is proved by the nummulitic limestone of which the great- 
est of the Egyptian pyramids is built, and by the vast number 
of these bodies of which the white chalk from Champagne in 
France across to England is composed.* We find also Fora- 
minifera down to the lowest beds of the Jura formation. Thus 
have these shells, which are hardly perceptible to the naked 
eye, altered not only the depths of the actual ocean as it now 
exists, but also, previously to our epoch, formed mountains 
and filled up basins of great extent. 

These very abundant beings remained, nevertheless, unnoticed 
for centuries. The first were observed in the sand of the 
Adriatic sea by Beccarius in the year 1731. It was for a long 
time believed that that sea alone contained Foraminifera; and, 
with the exception of some living ones observed in England 
by Walker and Boys, and some fossil species noticed by La- 
marck as occurring near Paris, nothing was known of the 
presence of Foraminifera in the other parts of the earth until 
the year 1825, when tlie author made known his first work on 
the subject. 

* Forandrnfires de la QraU blcmcke du hastin dc Pwris, Mem* dc la /So-' 
diU Qiologique de France. 

4 On tite Foraminifera of America^ and 

We must ascribe the obscurity in which the Foraminifera 
have remained to the difficulty of their observation and to 
the comparatively trifling results generally obtained from the 
investigation of microscopic bodies ; and yet there are few 
branches of study more accessible to eyery one, and which 
aflFord more important consequences. Should an obser\'er be 
resident on any coast whatever of the various quarters of the 
globe, or on any tertiary, chalk, or oolite formation of a con- 
tinent, he will find everywhere under his feet an immense 
multitude of Foraminifera, for whose examination a simple 
lens is sufficient. In regard to the importance of the study, 
it ought to possess equal interest for geologists as for zoolo- 
gists ; for the first, because it enables them to determine the 
temperature of the regions in which the fossil animals lived, by 
means of a comparison with those which still live in our seas, 
and also, because it gives them information respecting the for- 
mation of certain strata, questions of the highest importance 
for the history of our planet ; and, for the last, from the ele- 
gance of the forms of these animals, from their peculiarity of 
organization, and finally, because they constitute one of the 
most numerous classes of animals, and, notwithstanding their 
minuteness, play an important part in nature. 

The facts relating to the geographical distribution of the 
Foraminifera are extremely interesting. The author has brought 
together eighty-one species from the coasts of the two sides of 
. South America, a number which already aflFords data for cer- 
tain conclusions, but which will doubtless be afterwards in- 

The configuration of the coasts, their greater or less depth 
of water, their particular nature, and more especially the 
direction of the great currents, have the greatest influence 
on the distribution and the number of species of marine ani- 
mals. The configuration of South America is well known ; 
every one is aware that the narrow point stretching towards 
the pole forms the most distinctly marked boundary between 
the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans ; but no one knows that 
there the direction of the currents contributes not less than 
the configuration of the land to disunite the two oceans. The 
great currents from the south-west polar regions which flow 

of the Canary Lla^idt. 5 

towards the extremity of South America, there in fact sepa- 
rate into two different branches. The one proceeds east- 
ward past Cape Horn, follows in the Atlantic Ocean the coast 
of the Continent from south to north, and stretches along Pa* 
tagonia and the Pampas from Buenos Ayres to Brazil ; tho 
other, on the other hand, strikes against the extremity of 
America, remains in the Pacific Ocean, follows the shore from 
south to north, and proceeding along the coasts of Chili, 
Bolivia, and Peru, extends beyond the equator. The polar 
water which is divided at Capo Horn, and which follows the 
\ coasts on both sides, prevents the animals passing from one 

*• ocean into the other, for, to do so, it would be necessary for 

them to move against the current and against the prevail- 
ing winds, which is impossible. The form of the continent 
and the direction of the currents would therefore, a priori^ 
render it probable that the two seas should possess entirely 
distinct Faunas, and that the only possible point of contact of 
the two should be at Cape Horn, where the separation begins. 
The distribution of the Foraminifera confirms this view. 

Opposite Cape Horn, at a depth of about 160 metres, the 
bottom of the sea was examined by means of a sounding lead 
having a diameter of only a few centimetres, and yet this small 
surface yielded a considerable number of Foraminifera and 
Polypi. This is a fact of great importance, because it proves 
that these animals can live in great depths of the sea, and 
gives us an idea of the innumerable multitudes of thepe beings 
in such cold regions. The bottom of the sea must, in the strict 
sense of the word, be covered with them, in order to be able 
to furnish more than forty individuals to so small an object as 
the sounding lead. Among these forty individuals there were 
five species : Fotalina Alvarezii, Rotalina Fatagonica, Trun^- 
catulina vermiculata^ CassiduUna crassa, and Bidlinina elegan- 
tissima. Of these five species, the four first occur only on 
the coasts of Patagonia and of the Malvinas, and therefore be- 
long to the. Fauna of the Atlantic Ocean ; while the fifth lives 
in Chili and all Peru, and hence belongs to the Fauna of the 
Pacific Ocean. This result shews distinctly that Cape Hom^ 
is the point of departure of both the Faunas peculiar to the^ 
two different seas, and that a larger number of species belong 

6 On the J'ormminiftra of America and 

to the Atlantic than to the Pacific. This also is to be ex- 
plained by the direction of the currents ; for, as these come 
from the south-west, they must carry the water more easily 
to the east from Cape Horn than to the west, and hence must 
impart more of their peculiar species to the Atlantic than to 
the Pacific. This agrees extremely well with the distribution 
of the five species of Foraminifera. 

. Of the eighty-one species observed on the coasts of South 
America, fifty-two occur in the Atlantic Ocean without even 
one of them presenting itself in the Pacific, and thirty are 
peculiar to the Pacific, without a single individual of them 
being found in the Atlantic Ocean. The only species com- 
mon to the two seas {filohigerina bulMdes)^ lives not only on 
both coasts of America, but also in the Canary Islands, in the 
Mediterranean Sea, and even in India. As it occurs every- 
where, it does not alter the well-grounded results. The fol- 
lowing Ust of the species will exhibit more clearly what I have 
said : — * 

Species. Of the Atlantic. Of the Pftciflc. 

Oolina compressa Malvinas. 

Iseivigata Do. 

Tiludeboaaa Do. . ... 

candata Do. 

Isabelleana Do. 

melo Do. 

raricosta Do. 

striata Do. 

inomata Do. 

striaticollis Do. 

Dexitalina acutissima Do. 

MarginalinaWobbiana Do. 

Bobullna subcoltrata Do. 

Nonioxuna cultrata Do. 

subcarinata.. ... Do. 

pelagica ... in the open sea. 

FolTStomella Lessonii Malvinas; Patagonia. 

Owenii ....... Patagonia. 

articulata ... Malvinas; Patagonia. 
Alvarezii ... Do. 
Fene]:oplis pulchellus .. ,^. Do. 

carinatus.. ....... Patagonia. 

BotaUuAlraNia {^fj^^.*"^^' 

' fflnaritna 

Cape Honi; Fatagoni*. 

••• •.• 


Gape Horn ; MalTinas. 

••• ••• 

••• •.• 

••• •.• 

«.. ••• 
••• •«. 

••• ••• 


..• ••• 

* •.• • • • 

... ••• 
* •«. ••• 

. Patagonia. 
. MalTinaa. 


. Patagonia* 

. ... •»• 

. HalTiAaa. 

. Patagonia. 

1. «•• ♦•• 
■b. •*■ *** 
.. ... ••* 
,. Patagonia. 
.. Malrinas. 





Yalparaiflo; Goby a; 
CaUao; Payta. 



TniTicAt.n1inA difiPaT r t.-- 





Saulcyi ..^ 


inca .•• • • 


. ngosa 







amis •••• 

\ Callao; Payta. 



TtnliRinift nolehAllA 

jValparaiao; Callao; 
1 Payta. 

Valparaiflo ; GaUao. 

Gape Hora; Yalpft- 

i raises Callao. 



elegantissiina .. 


TJviglma raricosta 

striata ..••> 



Asterigina monticala 

dnitfddiilm&carassa. .•••• 

fCape Horn; Valpa- 
\ raiso; Callaa* 

Ttuiia »k*« 



frlnVmliiiA AQRtralis f 




costata. ••*.••«•••« • 


punctata . . t . . # i- # * . 


Bilocnlina peruviana .... 
patagonica .... 


inegularis .... 

On the Forammi/era of America and 

Species. Of the Atlantic. Of the Pacific. 

Triloculina rosea FaUgonia. 

cryptella Malvinas. 

lutea Do. 

boliTiana ... ... Cobija. 

globulus ... .... Fayta. 

Cruciloculina triangularis.. Malvinas. 
Quinqueloculina meridio- ) ^ . 

nalis 1 J'a^o^^ 

patagonica ... Do. .... 

Isabelleana... Do. 

magellanica ^ Malvinas. 

peruviana ... ... ... Arica. 

fiexuosa ... ... Do. 

inca . ... ... Do. 

araucana ... ... Valparaiso. 

cora...^ ... ... Fayta. 

Of the five Foraminifera of Cape Horn, four are peculiar 
to the Fauna of the Atlantic Ocean. Of these four, two are 
frequent in the Malvinas, without extending to the northern 
coasts of Patagonia ; one occurs on the coast of Patagonia, 
without presenting itself in the Malvinas ; and one is common 
to both localities. We thus see that the Foraminifera of Capo 
Horn are distributed through the Atlantic Ocean, because they 
follow the direction of the currents. 

In the Malvinas there are thirty-eight species, a high num- 
ber when we take into consideration the southern position 
and the low temperature of these islands ; and this is a proof 
that the Foraminifera can live and multiply in all parts of the 
earth, and in all temperatures, if the locality be favourable. 
Of these thirty-eight species, only five are found on the coast 
of Patagonia, near the Rio Negro. This might appear singu- 
lar, did we not know that the currents which proceed from 
Cape Horn diverge not a little towards the southern portion 
of America, so that one of the two branches follows the coasts 
of the continent, whUe the other traverses the Malvinas, and 
in this way the water vdiich washes these islands does not 
again come in contact with the coasts of the continent. Hence 
it follows that the Malvinas and Patagonia can have in com- 
mon only the species distributed over all coasts, while the 
Malvinas can possess their peculiar species, which iare distinct 

^ ihi Canary Islands. 9 

from those of the continent This is actually the fact» inas- 
much as they afiWd no less than thirty-three peculiar species. 

On the north coast of Patagonia, from the Bay of San Bias 
to the peninsula of San Josef, that is, from 20^ to 23'' S. L., 
the author discovered eighteen species of Foraminifera, of 
which five occur also in the Malvinas ; there thus remain thir- 
teen species which are peculiar to this part of America. 

In order to follow up this comparison, let us now direct our 
attention to the opposite side of America. Multiplied obser- 
vations shew, that near Valparaiso, in Lat. 34"^ S., the number 
of species varies in an extraordinary degree, according to the 
localities. In the sand of the Bay of Valparaiso, where the 
weakness of the current would lead us to suppose that light 
bodies must be accumulated in large quantity, two species only 
of Foraminifera were found ; but, on the other hand, on the 
opposite side of the point Cormillera, where the current is very 
perceptible, investigations made at a depth of 12 to 20 yards, 
on a bottom covered with corals, yielded a large number of 
Foraminifera. Hence it results, that the Foraminifera are 
more numerous where the current is. powerful than in still 
bays. It is also ascertained that this difference depends more 
on the natural constitution of the bottom than on the currents, 
inasmuch as sandy and muddy coasts are less favourable for 
the Foraminifera, whereas the localities rich in corals are 
well calculated to give development to great masses of these 
animals. In Chili twelve species of Foraminifera were col- 
lected, of which eight are peculiar to that region. The other 
four not only extend to the coasts of Bolivia, but are also met 
with in the Equatorial regions. We may assume that certain 
species are confined to certain limits of temperature, while 
others, less dependent on temperature, are transported by cur- 
rents to all the shores of South America. 

When we unite together the species of Arica and of Callao, 
the harbour of Lima, that is, from L. 12'* to 15° S., in order 
to compare them with those of 34**, we have fourteen, of which 
four occur also at Valparaiso, and four which extend northwards 
as far as Payta, and to the Equator. Thus there are only 
eight peculiar species ; a proof that the Foraminifera of the 
Peruvian coast agree partly with those of the temperate re^ 

10 On the FcranUnifera of America and 

gioas af Chili, and partly witk those of the warm regioDs of 
the Equator, but also offer some distinct species. 

We have still to speak of the F<Nraminifera ei the equato- 
rial regions, partly of those at Payta, in Peru, and partly of 
those at the mouth of the Guayaqml. There are nine species, 
of which four belong at the same time to the localities already 
enumerated, while the other five are peculiar to these places. 

It is proved by tiie ooaqparbon of q>ecies, that the two coasts 
of South America present, as regudi liM F^inuiiiiifem, iva 
entirely distinct and yet contemporaneous faunas. If we 
compare the species of the south coasts of the Atlantic ocean 
with those of the Antilles, or with the equatorial fauna, which 
includes one hundred and eighteen species, we find that among 
the latter there are none of the species of the south coasts, 
and although both series are in the same ocean, yet they are 
totally distinct. This result may be applied directly to the 
geology of the Tertiary period, and proves, that at inconsider- 
able distances on the same continent, entirely different and 
yet contemporaneous Faunas may exist. Different basins, 
therefore, which contain different species, may thus belong to 
the same epoch. 

Having given this numerical comparison of the species, let 
us now glance at the distribution of genera in the two Faunas 
of South America. In the otder Monosiegay we find that the 
genus Oolma^ so common and so rich in species in the Mal;^ 
vinas, is not represented by a single species on the coasts of 
the Pacific. The order SHchoetega affords the same result on 
the east coast; for, the genera 2>^»/a/ma and Marginulina oc- 
cur there, while we have no species in the Pacific. The more 
numerous members of the CH'der Helieoetega are more imi- 
formly distributed, but yet each sea has its particular genera. 
Fobulina^ Poli/BtomeUa^ Peneropolis^ and Uvigerina^ occur on 
the east coasts in the Malvinas and in Patagonia ; Falvulma 
alone occurs only on the west coasts in Chili, Bolivia, and 
Peru ; Nanionina^ BoiaHna^ Globigerinay Truncaiulina^ Bosa^ 
Una, and Bulinuna^ are common to both oceans. Of the En* 
tomostega, Asterigerina is met with only on the east coasts ; 
CaseiduUna on both sides. The EnaUoetega have the genera 
GuttuUna and GhbuUna in tiie Atlimtio alone ; while BoKmna 

of the Canary Ishrnds. 11 

is exehisrrely found in the Padfic* Am<mg the JgathUiega 
we find the genns CrueUoculiBa in the east ;. while BUoetUma 
TrUoeuHna^ and QuinqueloeuHma are ^inhabitants of the east 
as well as the west. 

Combining these data, we find, that of the twentj-faar ge- 
nera of South America, there are ten common to the two 
sides, two are peculiar to the Pacific, and twelve to the At- 
lantic ; or, what is the same thing, twenty-two genera Uve on 
the shores of the Atlantic, and only twelve on those . of the 
Pacific. If we ask the cause of this great difference in the 
number of species, and especially of the genera, between the 
two coasts of South America, we shall perhaps find a satis- 
factory explanation in the peculiar configuration of the two 
shores. Owing to the proximity of the Andes, the coasts of 
the Pacific are so steep, and the descent so abrupt, that no 
soundings can be obtained at a very short distance from land, 
viz. at little more than half an English mile ; thus a narrow 
stripe only remains for the Foraminifera, and sometimes they 
cannot live at all. On the shores of the Atlantic, on the other 
hand, the gentle slope of the land from the Andes to the sea 
is continued in the bottom of the sea, so that at a distance of 
more than two degrees frt>m the coasts there is still a depth 
of water suited to the Foraminifera. There is, therefore, on 
this side of America, a broad zone on which the Foraminifera 
are propagated, whose surface is at least ten times as large as 
the other. This double fact affords an explanation of a very 
important question — ^that as to the undoubted influence of 
the configuration of the surface on the composition of the 
series of beings which inhabit it, and also one of the most in- 
teresting applications to geology in the elucidation it offers as 
to the differences of species of fossil coverings of animals in 
contemporaneous formations. 

The rich materials of Cuba, Haiti, St Thomas, Jamaica, 
Martinique, and Guadaloupe, afforded the result that Cuba, 
owing to its wide extent, and to its favourable position as to 
winds and to the currents from all other islands, possesses on 
its coasts all the species of Foraminifera which are met with 
on the shores of the Antilles ; while the Cuba species are not 
distributed in proportion in the other parts of the Archipelago, 

12 On the Foraminifera of America and 

Another result is that in regard to tiie multiplicity of species 
met with in Cuba. No other place» with exception of the Ad- 
riatic Sea, can be compared to it. Cuba has no less than one 
hundred and eighteen species, or a tenth part of the total 
amoiXnt known to the author. 

The Foraminifera of the Canary Islands, forty-three in 
number, having been investigated from too limited materials, 
we may suppose that a much larger number will yet be dis- 
covered. In regard to their geographical distribution, the fol- 
lowing conclusions have been deduced : The Foraminifera of 
the Canary Islands, which are common also to France, are seven, 
and form nearly the sixth part of all the species. They may 
be divided into three series according to their mode of occur- 
rence, viz., 1. On the coasts of the ocean alone ; 2. on the 
coasts of the Mediterranean ; and, 3. on the coasts of the ocean 
and of the Mediterranean. Of the first section we have no. 
species; of the second six; Orhulina universa^ Globigerina 
bulloides^ PlanorbuUna vulgaris^ Truncatulina variabilis, and 
Tertularia sajittula ; of the third only one, TruncaitdiHa lo- 

Hence it appears, that, with the exception of the Truncatu^ 
Una lobata^ which is less dependent on temperature, as it oc* 
curs towards the North Pole, all belong to the Mediterranean 
Sea. We may, therefore, conclude that the Foraminifera found 
in the Canary Islands and on the coasts of France, live in de- 
pendence on the zone adapted to them, as the Mediterranean 
is warmer than belongs to its latitude, owing to its being shel- 
tered from the northern currents. 

The species belonging to the Canary Islands which occur 
in other places are four, Orbulina universa^ Linjulina carinaia^ 
JPlanorbulina vulgaris^ and Bosalina valvulata. These live also 
in the Antilles, and hence appear to be peculiar to tropical re^ 
gions, or they are transported by winds or vessels to the Ame- 
rican coasts. 

There is another division of the species of the Canaries, viz., 
those which occur likewise in a fossil state. These are six in 
number, of which five, Orbulina universa^ Lingulina carinata^ 
Globigerina buUoides^ Truncatulina lohata^ and Textularia sa^ 
fiittula» occur in the subapennine tertiary strata of Italy, and 

of the Canarjf Islands, 18 

the three last also in the tertiary formation of Austria near 
Nussdorf and Buitor. This number of identical species in« 
creases the approximation of the Canary Foraminifera to those 
of the Mediterranean ; for the greater part of the species still 
living in this sea also occur in a fossil state in the tertiary 
series of Italy and Austria. There still remains the sixth 
species, Quingueloculina Ueviffaiat which is found in the ter- 
tiary basin of Paris. 

There are likewbe thirty-three species which are peculiar 
to the Canary Islands. Taken together, tliese» though spe- 
cifically distinct, possess the habit of those belonging to the 

We subjoin M. d'Orbigny's definition of the group :— 
" The Foraminifera are very small, microscopic, non-aggre- 
gated animals, which invariably possess a separate individual 
existence. They have a coloured jelly-like body, which is 
either entire and rounded, or separated into sections, which 
lie in simple or alternating lines, are spirally rolled up, or 
wound round an axis. This body is contained in a chalky, 
rarely cartilaginous covering, which is formed according to the 
segments of the body, and completely corresponds to the shape 
of the latter. From one or more openings or pores of the 
last segment of the covering, there project contractile, colour- 
less, very long, thin, subdivided and branched threads, which 
serve as organs of motion."* 

Observations on Jerusalem, I. General Topography. 

II. Climale.f 

1. General Topography. 

Jerusalem, now called by the Arabs el-Kuds^ " the Holy," 

and also by Arabian writers Beit el-MUkdis^ or Beit el-Muk- 

addas, " the Sanctuary,"$ lies near the summit of a broad 

• Dr Troscliel in Wiegmann's Archiv fiir Natuigeschichtc, 1840. 

t Fiom Dr Bobinson's excellent Biblical Researches in Palestine, Mount 
8ihai« and Arabia-Petraea ; in three volumes octavo, with original maps. 
Published by Mniray, London, 1841: 

X Abulfed. Syr. ed. Kdhler, p. ». Edrtsi ed. Jaubert, L P; 341. Frey- 
lag Lex. Arab. iii. p. 40S. Edrxsi also once gives it the name Auraehcdm, 
whM^ 18 said to be etwietimes used bjr the native Chridtians, 1. c. p. 345. 

14 Observations on Jerusalem 

mountain ridge. This ridge or mountainous tract extends, 
-without interruption, from the plain of Esdraelon to a line 
drawn between the south end of the Dead Sea and the SE. 
corner of the Mediterranean ; or more properly, perhaps, it 
may be regarded as extending as far south as to Jebel' Ardif 
in the desert, where it sinks down at once to the level of the 
great western plateau. This tract, which is everywhere not 
less than from twenty to twenty-five geographical miles in 
breadth, is in fact high uneven table land.- It everywhere 
forms the precipitous western wall of the great valley of the 
Jordan and the Dead Sea, while towards the west it sinks 
down by an oflF-set into a range of lower hills which lie be- 
tw^een it and the great plain a;long the coast of the Mediter- 
ranean. The surface of this upper region is everywhere 
rocky, uneven, and mountainous, and is, moreover, cut up by 
deep valleys which run east or west on either side towards the 
Jordan or the Mediterranean. The line of division or water- 
shed between the waters of these valleys — a term which here 
applies almost exclusively to the waters of the rainy season-— 
follows for the most part the height of land along the ridge, 
yet not so but that the heads of the valleys which run off in 
different directions often interlap for a considerable distance. 
Thus, for example, a valley which descends to the Jordan 
often has its head a mile or two westward of the commence- 
ment of other valleys which run to the western sea. 

From the great plain of Esdraelon onwards towards the 
south, the mountainous country rises gradually, forming the 
tract anciently known as the mountains of Ephraim and Judah, 
until, in the vicinity of Hebron, it attains an elevation of nearly 
3000 Paris feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea. 
Further north, on a line drawn from the north end of the 
Dead Sea towards the true west, the ridge has an elevation 
of only about 2500 Paris feet ; and here, close upon the water 
shed, lies the city of Jerusalem.* Its mean geographical posi- 

* According to Schubert's measurements, the town of Hebron has an ele* 
vation of 2664 feet. Kussegger gives the same at 2842 feet. The adjacent 
hills are two or three hundred feet higher. The height of the Mount of 
Olives, according to Schubert, is 2565 Paris feet ; and, according to Eussegr 
ger, Jerusalem is 247D Paris feet above the sea. 

Ot$ermai(m§ tm JeruMlem. 15 

iBkk'mmh^9lirW4arVL,mA kng. SS'^ 13^ E . from Green- 

Six or seven miles N. and NW. of the citj, is spread oitt 
the open plain or basin ronnd about el-Jib (Gibeon), extend- 
ing also towards el-Bireh (Beeroth) ; the waters of whidi flow 
off at its SE. part, through the deep valley here called by the 
Arabs Wady Beit Hanina ; but to which the monks and tra- 
vellers have usually given the name of the Valley of Turpen- 
tine, or of the Terebinth, on the mistaken supposition that it 
is the ancient Valley of Elah.t This great valley passes along 
in a S W. directioif, an hour or more west of Jerusalem ; and 
finally opens out from the mountains into the western plain, 
at the distance of six or eight hours S W. from the city, under 
the name of Wady es-Surftr. The traveller, on his way from 
Ramleh to Jerusalem, descends into and crosses this deep 
valley at the village of Kulonieh, on its western side, an hour 
and a half from the latter city. On again reaching the high 
ground on its eastern side, he enters upon an open tract slop- 
ing gradually downwards towards the east ; and sees before 
him, at the distance of about two miles, the walls and domes 
of the Holy City, and beyond them the higher ridge or sum- 
mit of the Mount of Olives. 

The traveller now descends gradually towards the city, along 
a broad swell of ground, having at some distance on his left 
the shallow northern part of the Valley of Jehoshaphat ; and 
close at hand on his right, the basin which forms the begin- 

* The latitade here given is the mean of four observations^ viz. :— 

Niebohr; SV 46' 34" Reisebeschr. Ed. iii. Anb. s. 116. 

Bwftxenr'...^ 31 47 47 Zach's Monatl. Cor. zviii. s. 542. 

Captain Corry,.«^l 46 46 Comm. by Sec of R. G-eogr. Soc. Lond. 

Moore and Beke, 31 45 45 Jonm. of R. Geogr. Soc Lond. vol. viL 1837, p. 456 

Mean, 31" 46' 4*' differing only 3" from Corry, and 9" from Niebohr. 
The longitude is that fonnd by Capt. Conry from a lunar observation in 1818, 
kindly communicated by the 6ec. of the R. Geogr. Soc of London. This is 
the only tolerable observation yet made for the longitude. Seetzen, indeed, 
observed imperfectly at three different times ; but his results vary more 
than a degree from each other. The middle one is 32*" 46' £. from Faris^ 
or 35° 6' 24" £. from Greenwich. See Zach's Monatl. Corr. xviiL s. 644, 
Becgbaus has 32*' 53' 09" £• Paris = 35** 13' 33" £. Greenwich, a casual 
approximation deduced from a conquuison by .Itineraries fr<mi YftfSa. Me- 
moir zvL seiner Karte von Syrien^ i^. 28; 29. 

t 1 Sam. xviL 2, 19» 

16 Observations on Jerusalem. 

ningof the Valley of Hinnom. Further down, both these valleys 
become deep, narrow, and precipitous ; that of Hinnom bends 
south, and again east, nearly at right angles, and unites with 
the other, which then continues its course to the Dead Sea. 
Upon the broad and elevated promontory, within the fork of 
these two valleys, lies the Holy City. All around are higher 
hills : on the east the Mount of Olives ; on the south the Hill 
of Evil Counsel, so called, rising directly from the vale of Hin- 
nom ; on the west the ground rises gently, as above described, 
to the borders of the great Wady ; while on the north a bend 
of the ridge connected with the Mount of Olives bounds the 
prospect at the distance of more than a mile. Towards the 
south-west the view is somewhat more open, for here lies the 
plain of Rephaim, already described, commencing just at the 
southern brink of the Valley of Hinnom, and stretching off 
south-west, where it runs to the western sea. In the north- 
west, too, the eye reaches up along the upper part of the Val- 
ley of Jehoshaphat ; and, from many points, can discern the 
mosque of Neby-Samwil, situated on a lofty ridge beyond the 
great Wady, at the distance of two hours. 

The surface of the elevated promontory itself, on which the 
city stands, slopes somewhat steeply towards the east, termi- 
nating on the brink of the Valley of Jehoshaphat. From the 
northern part, near the present Damascus Gate, a depression 
or shallow Wady runs in a southern direction, having on the 
west the ancient hills of Akra and Zion, and on the east the 
lower ones of Bezetha and Moriah. Between the hills of 
Akra and Zion another depression or shallow Wady (still easy 
to be traced) comes down from near the Jaffa Gate, and joins 
the former. It then continues obliquely down to tiie slope, 
but with a deeper bed» in a southern direction quite to the 
Pool of Siloam and the Valley of Jehoshaphat. This is the 
ancient Tyropaeon. West of its lower part Zion rises loftily, 
lying mostly without the modern city ; while on the east of 
the Tyropseon and the valley first mentioned lie Bezetha, Mo- 
riah, and Ophel, the last a long and comparatively narrow 
ridge also outside of the modern city, and terminating in a 
rocky point over the Pool of Siloam. These three last hills 
may strictly be taken as only parts of one and the same ridge/ 
The whole site of Jerusalem, from the brow of the valley of 

Observations on Jerusalem. 17 

Hinnom, near the Yfifa Gate, to the brink of the Valley of Je- 
hoshaphat, is about 1020 yards, or nearly half a geographical 
mile ; of which distance 318 yards are occupied by the area of 
the great mosque El-Haramesh-Sherif. North of the Yafa 
Gate the city wall sweeps round more to the west, and in- 
creases the breadth of the city in that part. 

The country around Jerusalem is all of limestone formation, 
and not particularly fertile.* The rocks everywhere come 
out above the surface, which, in many parts, is also thickly 
strewed with loose stones ; and the aspect of the whole region 
is barren and dreary. Yet the olive thrives here abundantly, 
and fields of grain are seen in the valleys and level places ; 
but they are less productive than in the region of Hebron and 
Nabulus. Neither vineyards nor fig-trees flourish on the high 
ground around the city, though the latter are found in the 
gardens below Siloam, and are very plentiful in the vicinity 
of Bethlehem. 

2. Climate. 

The climate of the mountains on which Jerusalem is situated 
differs from that of the temperate parts of Europe and Ame- 
rica, more in the alternations of wet and dry seasons, than in 
the degrees of temperature. The variations of rain and sun- 
shine, which in the west exist throughout the whole year, are 
in Palestine confined chiefly to the latter part of the autumn 
and the winter, while the remaining months enjoy almost un- 
interruptedly a cloudless sky. 

The autumnal rains, the " eaily rains" of Scripture, usually 
commence in the latter half of October or beginning of Novem- 
ber, not suddenly, but by degrees, which gives opportunity for 
the husbandman to sow his fields of wheat and barley. The 
rains come mostly from the west or south-west,t continuing 

* The limestone of the neighbourhood of Jerusalem appears, from the ob- 
servations of Russegger and others, to belong to the Jura formation, with 
occasional patches of superimposed chalk strata. — Edit. 

t Luke xiL 54. — ^** When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway 
ye say, There cometh a shower ; and so it is.*' These words were spoken 
by our Loi-d at Jerusalem. 


18 Observations on Jerusalem, 

for two or three days at a time, and falling especially daring 
the nights. Then the wind chops round to the north or east, 
and several days of fine weather succeed. During the months 
of November and December the rains continue to fall heavily ; 
afterwards they return only at longer intervals, and are less 
heavy; but at no period during the winter do they entirely cease 
to occur. Snow often falls in Jerusalem in January and Feb- 
raary to the depth of a foot or more, but does not usually lie 
long.* The ground never freezes ; but Mr Whiting had seen 
the pool, at the back of his house (Hezekiah's), covered with 
thin ice for one or two days/ 

Rain continues to fall more or less through the month of 
March, but is rare after that period. During the present sea- 
son there had been little or none in March ; and, indeed, the 
whole quantity of rain had been less than usual. Nor are 
there at the present day any particular periods of rain, or suc- 
cession of showers, which might be regarded as distinct rainy 
seasons. The whole period from October to March now con- 
stitutes only one continued season of rain, without any regu- 
larly intervening term of prolonged fair weather. Unless, 
therefore, there has been some change in the climate since the 
times of the New Testament, the early and the latter rains, 
for which the husbandman waited with longing, seem rather 
to have implied the first showers of autumn, which revived the 
parched and thirsty earth, and prepared it for the seed ; and 
the later showers of spring, which continued to refresh and for- 
ward both the ripening and the vernal products of the field.t 

During the whole winter the roads, or rather tracks, in 
Palestine, are muddy, deep, and slippery, so that the traveller 
at this season is subjected to the utmost discomfort and incon- 
venience. When the rains cease, the mud soon disappears, and 
the roads become hard, though never smooth. Whoever there- 
fore wishes to profit most by a journey in Palestine, will take 
care not to arrive at Jerusalem earlier than the latter psart 
of March. During the months of April and May the sky is 

* So Shaw in 1722. Brown, near the close of tho century, found her© 
very deep snow for several days. — Comp. Scholz., p. 138. The infonnation 
m the text is derived from our resident fxiendsr 

f JTaiiws V' 7; iVov. xvi 15. 

Observations on Jemsalem. 19 

usually sei«n«^ tW air mild and balmy, and the face of nature, 
after seasons of ordinary raia^ still green and pleasant to the 
eye. Showers occur occasionally, hot they are mild and re* 
freshing. On the 1st of May we experienced showers in the 
city; and at the erening there was thunder and lightning 
(which are frequent in winter), with pleasant and reviving 
rain. The 6th of May was also remarkable for thunder, and 
for several showers, some of which were quite heavy. The 
rains of both these days extended far to the north, and over- 
took our missionary friends who were returning from Jerusa-^ 
lem to Beirut ; but the occurrence of rain so late in the sea- 
son was regarded as a very unusual circumstance. Morning 
mists, however, are occasionally seen at a later period. 

In ordinary seasons, from the cessation of the showers in 
spring until their commencement in October or November, 
rain never falls, and the sky is usually serene. If during the 
winter there has been a sufficiency (tf rain, the husbandman 
is certain of his crop ; and is also perfectly sure of fine weather 
for the ingathering of the harvest.* The high elevation of 
Jerusalem secures it the privilege of a pure atmosphere ; nor 
does the heat of summer ever become oppressive, except during 
the occasional prevalence of the south wind, or Sirocco.t 
During our sojourn from April 14. to May 6., the thermometer 
ranged at sunrise from 44° to 64® F., and at two p.m. from 
60° to 79° F. This last degree of heat was felt during a Si- 
rocco, April 30. From the 10th to the 13th of June at Jeru- 
salem, we had at sunrise a range from 66° to 74° ; and at two 
p. M. once 86°, with a strong NW. wind. Yet the air was fine, 
and the heat not burdensome. The nights are uniformly 
cool, often with a heavy dew ; and our friends had never had 
occasion to dispense with a coverlet upon their beds during 
summer. Yet the total absence of rain soon destroys the ver- 
dure of the fields ; and gives to the whole landscape the as- 

i ] \ 

* ** Snow in summer and rain in haurvest** were things incomprehensible 
to a Hebrew ; Prov. xxyi: 1. Bain in wheat harvest occurred only by a mi- 
racle ; 1. Sam. xii. 17 ; compare Amos, iv. 7, and Jerome's Commentary upon 
the passage. 

t Luke, xii. 55. " And when ye see the south wind blow ye say, There 
irill be heat ; and it cometh to pass*'^ 

20 Observations on Jerusalem, 

pect of drought and barrenness. The only green thing which 
remains is the foliage of thescatteredfruit-trees, and occasional 
vineyards and fields of millet. The deep green of the broad 
fig-leaves and of the millet, is delightful to the eye in the 
midst of the general aridness ; while the foliage of the olive, 
with its dull greyish hue, scarcely deserves the name of verdure. 
The harvest upon the mountains ripens of course later than 
in the plains of the Jordan and the sea-coast. The barley 
harvest precedes the wheat harvest by a week or fortnight. On 
the 4th and 5th of June the people of Hebron were just be- 
ginning to gather their wheat; on the 11th and 12th the 
thrashing-floors on the Mount of Olives were in full operation. 
We had already seen the harvest in the same stage of progress 
on the plains of Gaza on the 19th of May ; while at Jericho, 
on the 12th of May, the thrashing-floors had nearly completed 
their work. The first grapes ripen in July ; and from that 
time until November, Jerusalem is abundantly supplied with 
this delicious fruit. The general vintage takes place in Sep- 
tember. We found ripe apricots at Gaza in May ; and they 
are probably brought to Jerusalem, though I do not recollect 
to have seen any there. The fine oranges of Yafa were found 
in abundance both at Jerusalem and Hebron. In autumn the 
whole land has become dry and parched; the cisterns are 
nearly empty ; the few streams and fountains fail ; and all na- 
ture, physical and animal, looks forward with longing to the 
return of the rainy season. Mists and clouds begin to make 
their appearance, and showers occasionally to fall ; the hus- 
bandman sows his seed ; and the thirsty earth is soon drenched 
with an abundance of rain. 


On the Apples of Sodom that grow on the shores of the Dead 
Sea I. Mr Lambert's Accouljt. U. Dr Robinson's Ac- 

1. Some account of tJie Apples of Sodom, or thf GalU found on a 
species of Oak from the shores of the Dead Sea. By Aylmer 
BouRKE Lambert, Esq., F.R.S., V.P.L.S., &c. 

Some time ago I had the honour to submit to the Society 
(Linnaean Society) the branch of a shrub from Monte Video, 

Mr Lambert on the Apples of Sodom. 21 

bearing galls containing a new insect, brought by Mr Earle, 
who accompanied Captain Fitzroy in the Beagle. I have now 
the pleasure to exhibit specimens and a drawing of the far- 
famed apples, Mala insana^ from the mountains east of the 
Dead Sea, and which now prove to be a gall on a species of 
oak, containing an insect. These galls were brought home 
by the Hon. Robert Curzon, who has lately returned from the 
Holy Land. They are the first that have been seen in Eng- 
land, and will enable us to clear up the many great mistakes 
that have been made by travellers about them. Mr Curzon 
tells me the tree that produces them grows in abundance on 
the mountains in the neighbourhood of the Dead Sea, and is 
about the size of our apple-tree. It is perhaps the Quercus 
foliis dentato-aculeatis mentioned by Hasselquist as growing 
on Mount Tabor (Trav. p. 281.) There appear to be two or 
three dififerent plants for whose fruit these galls have been 
mistaken, viz. Solamim sodomeum, which appears to have 
been confounded with Solanum Melongena^ and ColotropU 
gigantea^ &c. I shall refer to what Hasselquist says (p. 287) 
of the Mala insanay and likewise the account given of it 
in that useful work, the Modern Traveller, by Mr Conder, 
who seems to have brought together all that has been said or 
written on this most interesting subject ; and, what is very ex- 
traordinary, and greatly to the praise of that gentleman, hav- 
ing probably never seen the production itself, he rightly 
guessed its real nature. Mr Curzon informs me these galls, 
when on the tree, are of a rich purple, and varnished over 
with a soft substance of the consistence of honey, shining with 
a most brilliant lustre in the sun, which makes the galls ap- 
pear like a most delicious and tempting fruit. Having had 
the curiosity to taste a small quantity of the interior of one, 
I found it the strongest of bitters, and that it may truly be 
said of it, " as bitter as gall." The gall is pear-shaped^ with 
a circle of small sharp-pointed protuberances on the upper 
part of it, which appear to be formed by the insect for air or 
defence, or some other purpose. In each of the galls there 
is an aperture through which the insect escapes, and in the 
centre there is a small round hole or nidus, where it has lodged. 
Since writing the above, I find the leaves of the oak to be 

32 Mr Lambert on (he Apples of Sodom, 

those of Quercus tnfectona, which is accurately figured in 
Olivier's Travels in the Levant, and that the galls are iden- 
tical with those of* commerce. The tree grows abundantly 
throughout Syria. The insect has been named by Olivier 
Diplolepis; and it is also accurately figured by him in the 
above-mentioned work ; but he does not appear to have been 
aware of the galls being the same with the Maia insana. 
The following are extracts from Conder's Modern Traiieller : 
" There yet remains to be noticed, in connexion with this 
Subject, the far-famed apples described by Tacitus and Josephus 
as beautiful to the eye, but crumbling at the touch to dust and 
bitter ashes.* Reland, Maundrell, and Shaw, all express them- 
selves as sceptical concerning its existence. But none of them 
explored the borders of the lake sufficiently to entitle them to 
give a decided opinion on the subject, having only seen its 
northern shore. Pococke is inclined to lay more stress on the 
ancient testimonies ; and he supposes the apples to be pomegra- 
nates, "which, having a tough, hard, rind, and being left on the 
trees two or three years, the inside may be dried to dust, and 
the outside may remain fair." Hasselquist, however, the pupil 
of Linnaeus, pronounces the Poma sodomitica to be the fruit 
of the Solanum Melongena (egg-plant nightshade, or mad-ap- 
ple), which he states to be found in great abundance round Je- 
richo, in the valleys near the Jordan, and in the neighbourhood 
of the Dead Sea. " It is true," he says, "that these apples are 
sometimes full of dust, but this appears only when the fruit is 
attacked by an insect (Tenthredo), which converts the whole of 
the inside into dust, leaving nothing but the rind entire, without 
causing it to lose any of its colour.'* M. Seetzen, differing from 
Hasselquist in opinion, supposes the apple of Sodom to be the 
fruit of a species of cotton-tree, which, he was told, grows in 
the plain of El Ghor, in appearance resembling a fig tree, and 
known by the name of Aheschaez, The cotton is contained 
in the fruit, which is like a pomegranate, but has no pulp. 

♦ Book of Wisdom, chap. x. verse 7. ** Of whose wickedness even to this 
day the waste land that smoketh is a testimony, and plants bearing fruit 
that never come to r^eness ; and a standing pillar of salt is a monument of 
an unbelieving souL" ' 

t See alio Wisdom, x. 7. 

Mr Lambert oh the Jpples ofSodow^ 33 

Chateaubriand follows, with his discoyery of what he conetudet 
to be the long-sought fruit. The shrub which bears it, he says, 
grows two or three leagues from the mouth of the Jordan ; it 
is thorny, with small taper leaves, and its fruit is exactly like 
the little Egyptian lemon, both in size and colour. *^ Before 
it is ripe it is filled with a corrosive saline juice ; when dried, 
it yields a blackish seed, which may be compared to ashes, and 
which, in taste resembles bitter pepper," He gathered half a 
dozen of these fruits, but has no name for them either popular 
or botanical. Next comes Mr Joliffe : He found in a thicket 
of brushwood, about half a mile from the plain of Jericho, a 
shmb five or six feet high, on which grew clusters of fruit, 
about the size of a small apricot, of a bright yellow colour, 
" which, contrasting with the delicate verdure of the foliage, 
seemed like the union of gold with emerald. Possibly when 
ripe they may crumble into dust upon any violent pressure.'' 
Those which this gentleman gathered did not crumble, nor 
even retain the slightest mark of indenture from the touch ; 
they would seem to want, therefore, the most essential cha- 
racteristic of the fruit in question. But they were not ripe. 
This shrub is probably the same as that described by Chateau- 
briand. Lastly, Captains Irby and Mangles have no doubt 
that they have discovered it in the oskar plant, which they no- 
ticed on the shores of the Dead Sea, grown to the stature of 
a tree, its trunk measuring, in many instances, two feet or 
more in circumference, and the boughs at least fifteen feet 
high. The filaments inclosed in the fruit somewhat resemble 
the down of a thistle, and are used by the natives as a stuffing 
for their cushions ; " they likewise twist them, like thin rope, 
into matches for their guns, which, they assured us, required 
no application of sulphur to render them combustible." This 
is probably the same tree that M. Seetzen refers to. But 
still the correspondence to the ancient description is by no 
means perfect ; there being little resemblance between cot- 
ton or thistledown, and ashes or dust. M. Chateaubriand's 
golden fruit, full of bitter seed, comes nearest to what is told 
us of the deceitful apple. If it be anything more than a fable, 
it must have been a production peculiar to this part of Pales- 
tine, or it would not have excited such general attention. On 

24: Mr Lambert (>» the Appki of Sodmt. 

this account the Oskar and Soianum seem alike entitled to 
the distinction ; and for the same reason, the pomegranate 
must altogether be excluded from consideration. The fruit 
of the Soianum MelongenUy which belongs to the same genus as 
the common potato, is white, resembling a large egg, and is 
said to impart an agreeable acid flavour to soups and sauces, 
for the sake of which it is cultivated in the South of Eui;ope. 
This could hardly be what Tacitus and Josephus referred to. 
It is possible, indeed, that what they describe may have origi- 
nated, like the oak-galls in this country, in the work of some 
insect ; for these remarkable productions sometimes require a 
considerable size and beauty of colour. Future travellers will 
be inexcusable if they leave this question undecided. — Trans- 
actions of the Linncean Society of London^ Vol. xvii., Part 3d, 
p, 445. 

II. On the Apples of Sodom, By Dr Robinson. 

Apples of Sodom, — One of the first objects which attracted 
our notice on arriving at Ain Jidy was a tree with singular 
fruit, which, without knowing at the moment whether it had 
been observed by former travellers or not, instantly suggested 
to our minds the far-famed fruits 

which grew 

Near that bitaminous lake >vhere Sodom stood. 

This was the Osher of the Arabs, Asclepias gi<}antea vet 
procera of botanists,* which is found in abundance in Upper 
Egypt and Nubia, and also in Arabia Felix ; but seems to be 
confined in Palestine to the borders of the Dead Sea. We 
saw it only at Ain Jidy ; Hasselquist found it in the desert 
between Jericho and the northern shore ; and Irby and Man- 
gles met with it of large size at the south end of the sea, and 
on the isthmus of the peninsula.t 

* Sprengel, Hist Rei Herbar. i. p. 252. 

t Hasselquist, Beise, p. 151. Irby and Mangles' Travels, pp. 354, 450. 
Comp. Seetzen in Zach's Monatl. Corresp. xviii. p. 442. Burckhardt, p. 392. 

Dr Robinson m the Apples €f Sodom. 25 

We saw here several trees of the kind, the trunks of which 
were six or eight inches in diameter ; and the whole height 
from ten to fifteen feet.* It has a greyish cork-like bark, with 
long oval leaves ; and in its general appearance and character it 
might be taken for a gigantic perennial species of the milk-weed 
or silk-weed found in the northern parts of the American 
States. Its leaves and flowers are very similar to those of the 
latter plant, and, when broken off, it in like manner discharges 
copiously a milky fluid. The fruit greatly resembles exter- 
nally a large smooth apple or orange, hanging in clusters of 
three or four together, and, when ripe, is of a yellow colour. 
It was now fair and delicious to the eye, and soft to the touch ; 
but on being pressed or struck, it exploded with a puff, like a 
bladder or puff-ball, leaving in the hand only the shreds of the 
thin rind and a few fibres. It is indeed filled chiefly with air, 
like a bladder, which gives it the round form ; while in the 
centre a small slender pod runs through it from the stem, and 
is connected by thin filaments with the rind. The pod con- 
tains a small quantity of fine silk with seeds, precisely like 
the pod of the silk- weed, though very much smaller, being in- 
deed scarcely the tenth part as large. The Arabs collect the 
silk and twist it into matches for their guns, preferring it to 
the common match, because it requires no sulphur to render 
it combustible. t 

The most definite account we have of the apples of Sodom, 
so called, is in Josephus, who, as a native of the country, is a 
better authority than Tacitus or other foreign writers. J After 
speaking of the conflagration of the plain, and the yet remain- 
ing tokens of the divine fire, he remarks, that ** there are still 
to be seen ashes reproduced in the fruits, which indeed rc- 

* Irby and Mangles found them measuring in many instances two feet or 
more in circumference, and the boughs at least fifteen feet in height, a size 
which far exceeded any they saw in Nubia. P. 450. 

t Gregory of Tours would seem to have heard of this tree : '* Prope Je- 
richo, habentur arbores, quae lanas gignant ; exhibent enim poma in modo 
cucurbitaTum, testas in circuitu habentia duras, intrinsecus autem plena sunt 
lanse." Of this wool, he says, fine garments were mode. Grcgor. Turonens 
Hirac lib. i. c. 18. 

X The Bible speaks only of the " vine of Sodom/* and that metaphorically. 
Dent, xxxii. 32. 

26 Dr Robinson on the Apples of Sodom. 

6emble edible fruits in colour, but, on being plucked with the 
hand, are dissolved into smoke and ashes."^ In this account, 
after a due allowance for the marvellous in all popular reports, 
1 find nothing which does not apply almost literallj to the 
firuit of the Osher, as we saw it. It must be plucked and 
handled with great care, in order to preserve it from bursting. 
We attempted to carry some of the boughs and fruit with us 
to Jerusalem, but without success.-f- 

Hasselquist finds the apples of Sodom in the finiit of the 
Solatium Melongena (nightshade, mad-apple) which we saw 
in great abundance at Ain Jidy, and in the plain of Jericho. 
These apples are much smaller than those of the Osher, and 
when ripe are full of small black grains. There is, however, 
nothing like explosion, nothing like " smoke and ashes," except 
occasionally, as the same naturalist remarks, *' when the fruit 
is punctured by an insect (Tenthredo) which converts the 
whole of the inside into dust, leaving nothing but the rind 
entire, without any loss of colour.''^ We saw the Solanum 
and the Osher growing side by side ; the former presenting 
nothing remarkable in its appearance, and being found in 

is Still more general, Hist. v. 6 : " Terramque ipsam specie torridam vim fru- 
giferam perdidisse. Nam cuncta sponte edita, aut manu data, sive herbse 
teniies aut flores, at solitam in speciem adolevere atra et inania velat in 
cinerem vanescunf 

t Seetzen was the first, I believe, to suggest the Osher (which he writes 
Aoschar) as producing the Bpples of Sodom, though he appears not to have 
seen the plant. Zach's Monatl. Corr. xviii. p. 442. According to Irby and 
Mangles, ** there is very little doubt of this being the fruit of the Dead Sea, 
often noticed by the ancients," &c, p. 450. I am not sure that Brocardus 
does not refer to the same plant when he says, that '• under En-gedi, by the 
Dead Sea, there are beautiful trees ; but their fruit, on being plucked, is 
found full of smoke and ashes," vii. p. 100. Fulcher Camot seems to 
mean the Osher, when, in describing the productions around Segor (Zoar), 
he says : " Ibi vidi pomain arboribus, quae, cum corticem rupissem, interius 
esse pulverulenta comperi et nigra." Gesta Dei, p. 405. 

X " Quod pulvere intus repleta sint, verum est nonnunquam sed non sem* 
per accidit ; nempe in nonnullis, quod Tenthredine punguntur, qusB substan- 
tiam totam intemam in pulverem redigit, et corticem solum egregie colora- 
tum integrum relinquit." Hasselquist Beise, p. 5G0. 

Oh Tropical AKasmaia. 27 

other parts of the country,* while the latter immediately ar- 
rested oar attention by its singular accordance with the ancient 
story, and is moreover peculiar in Palestine to the shores of 
the Dead Sea.f 

On Tropical Miasmata. 

In the Friend of Africa^ and also in this Journal, from 
that periodical, was inserted an analysis of the waters of the 
African coast, together with some remarks by Professor Daniell, 
on its bearing on the Niger Expedition. ** We have now the 
gratification," says the editor of the Friend of Africa, " to add 
the following letter from Professor Gustav Bischof of Bonn, 
well known to the English reader by his Observations on Vol- 
canos in Professor Jameson's Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, 
and who has heretofore shewn a lively interest in the welfare 
of the Niger Expedition." 

''Poppehdorfy mar Bonn, 20th April 1841. 

** My Dear Sir, — I am much obliged to you for sending 
The Friend of Africa. Deeply impressed with the vast im- 
portance of the expedition about to sail for the Niger, I in- 
stantly read over those valuable papers. The most interest- 
ing to me as a chemist, was the account of the sea-water on 
that coast, containing, in some instances, more than eleven 
cubic inches of sulphuretted hydrogen in a gallon. 

" In support of the supposition of Professor Daniell, that the 
probability of a volcanic origin of the sulphuretted hydrogen 
is small, and that, on the contrary, its origin by the action of 
vegetable matter upon the saline contents of the water is ex- 
tremely probable, I venture to call your attention to some ex- 
periments I made twelve years ago, and published in the Jar- 
buck der Chemie und Physiky 1829, vol. iii., p. 30, and Neuea 
Jarbuch der Chemie und Physik^ 1832, vol. iv., p. 377. These 
experiments being probably unknown to English philosophers, 
I take the liberty of communicating them briefly to you. 

* Hasselquist mentions it at Ras el Ain, near Tyre, p. 556. 
-f- Vide Robinson'* Biblical Researches in Palestine, vol. ii. p. 235. 

2& On Tropical Miasmata. . 

** To each bottle of an acidulous water, bottled in the year 
1828, I added from six to eight grains of sugar, and preserved 
them properly corked and sealed in a cellar. After about 
three months, I opened some of the bottles ; the water was 
found to smell very strongly of sulphuretted hydrogen. After 
about thirteen months, a few bottles were opened again, and 
the water smelled also very strongly of sulphuretted hydro- 
gen. In the bottles a black sediment was found, which I sup- 
posed to be a sulphuret of iron. Three years and a half after, 
many of these bottles were opened, and that black sediment 
collected. According to my analysis, it consisted of iron and 
sulphur very nearly in the same proportion as in iron pyrites. 
There was no doubt but the origin of this sulphuret of iron 
must be derived from the reaction of the sugar upon the sul- 
phate of soda contained in the mineral water, whereby a sul- 
phuret of sodium was formed, which decomposed the carbonate 
of protoxide of iron contained in it, and thus produced a 
sulphuret of iron. Indeed, the water remaining after the se- 
paration of this sulphuret of iron, contained scarcely a trace 
of sulphate of soda, whilst the mineral water taken up from 
the spring contained, in 10,000 parts of water, 1.098 parts of 
this salt, without the smallest trace of sulphuretted hydrogen. 
" Not only these experiments, but also other facts, favour 
the views of Professor Daniell concerning the origin of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen in the waters of the rivers on the western 
coast of Africa. It is well known that mineral waters con- 
taining sulphates, — ^for instance, that at Roisdorf near Bonn, 
— often acquire a smell of sulphuretted hydrogen, when any 
vegetable matter, as a small piece of straw, is accidentally 
present in the bottles. For this reason, in bottling, the great- 
est care is taken to remove such vegetable matter. 

" There is no question but that the sulphuret of copper 
found by Professor Daniell in the sheets taken from the bot- 
tom of the schooner Bonneta^ has been formed in a similar 
manner as the sulphuret of iron above alluded to. A fur- 
ther proof of this opinion may be found in considering ano- 
ther observation, made public in the before-mentioned Ger- 
man journal. 

-^^ the bottom of a basin enclosing a mineral spring. 

On Tropical Mtasmaia. 29 

pieces of iron pyrites, surrounding different vegetable matters, 
as pieces of wood, stalks of plants, &c., have been found. 
This iron pyrites was partly crystallized, and, like the com- 
mon ore, so hard as to scratch glass. According to my ana* 
lysis, the composition of this iron pyrites agreed as nearly as 
possible with that examined by Berzelius. It is beyond a 
doubt that this suiphuret has been formed by the action of 
the vegetable matter contained in it, upon the sulphate of soda 
and the carbonate of protoxide of iron contained in the mi- 
neral water. It may be added that traces of the former only 
were present in it, whereby it may be shewn that even the 
smallest proportions of sulphates are sufficient to produce sul- 
phuretted hydrogen under the circumstances alluded to. 

" Besides the paper published by Signer Gaetano Giorgini, 
in the 29th vol. of the Annales de Chmie, there is another in 
the 57th vol. of that Journal, p. 148, by M. Bossingault. This 
philosopher also remarks, ' La cause qui pent influer sur Pin- 
salubrite de certaines contrees, se developpe constamment 1^ 
oil la matiere vegetale morte est exposee k Taction de la 
chaleur et de Tbumidite. EUe est propre k tous les pays 
chauds et marecageux ou a ceux qui sent entoures de forets 
etendues. Son action se manifeste surtout d'une maniere terri- 
ble 1^ ou il se fait un melange d'eaux douces et d'eaux salees, 
k Tembouchure de grands fleuves, ou sur le littoral des golfes.' 
M. Boussingault alludes to many instances occurring within the 
tropics in America, whereby it is proved, that vegetable mat- 
ters putrefying by the influence of heat and humidity, spread 
infection over the neighbourhood of the most destructive kind. 
The results obtained by MM.Moscati, Rigaud, and Boussingault, 
prove sufficiently, that, in a marshy country, during the preci- 
pitation of dew, an organic matter is deposited with it, which 
blackens sulphuric acid. This matter is flocky, and, like an 
animal substance, contains nitrogen. M . Boussingault says, 
* On pent meme con9evoir Tefficacite de certaines precautions 
qui ont ete indiquees pour se preserver de leurs effets. On a dit, 
par exemple, qu'il suffisait de se couvrir la figure d'un voile. 
J'*ai vu, en effet, plusieurs fois, dans les marais du Cauca, les 
personnes obligees de les parcourir, s'entourer le visage d'un 
mouchoir de maniere k ne respirer qu'a travers le tissu." 

80 On Tropical Miasmakt. 

" All these circumstances lead to the suspicion that it is 
not sulphuretted hydrogen on which depend the diseases pe- 
culiar to the coast of Africa, but organic matter of animal 
composition. In considering that this matter is formed dur- 
ing the spontaneous decomposition of vegetable substances by 
an incomplete oxidation of their hydrogen and earbon, it is 
very probable that, when vegetable substances are oxidized 
by the oxygen of sulphates, a matter of a similar kind is also 
formed. As that matter formed by oxidation at the expense 
of atmospheric air is volatilized^ it is to be supposed that the 
same is done when such a matter is formed by another action; 
These views being correct, such matters would be evolved 
together with sulphuretted hydrogen. 

" As it is intended by the medical officers of the Expedi- 
tion, on approaching the coast of Africa, to test the water at 
different distances,. I venture to add the desirableness of test*^ 
ing also the atmospheric air by means of concentrated suU 
phuric acid, placed in a vessel on the windward side of the 
deck, and protected against insects. It is scarcely to be 
doubted that the more the air becomes infective, the more the 
sulphuric acid will be blackened. 

" As for the destructiveness of sulphuretted hydrogen, sup*- 
pc^ed in The Friend of Africa^ I may be permitted to suggest 
a few remarks. It is true that this gas is very deleterious, 
only jy^ij, part of it in the atmosphere kills a bird; but in 
what manner does this gas act on animal life \ When not 
present in such a proportion as to kill a man instantly, it 
causes inflammation in the lungs. Workmen cementing steam- 
vessels in the inside, where the cement, after some time, dis- 
engages sulphuretted hydrogen, offer instances of this kind. 
When this occurs before the workman has left the vessel, he 
risks, at least, a dangerous inflammation on the chest. It is 
to be supposed that sulphuretted hydrogen, when diluted with 
air in such a proportion as still to be injurious to animal life, 
will not affect in a different manner to it. But are the dis- 
eases, peculiar to the coast of Africa, of such a kind as those 
produced by sulphuretted hydrogen ? 

'* There are many places where this gas is evolved in large 
quantities ; for instance, in thcf Solfiettara of Pozxuoli, in the 

On Tropical MiaiHatu. 31 

nei^boarhood of Naples, in different spots of Sicily, in the 
neighbourhood of sulphureous springs, &e. Now, do you know 
any account about diseases proper to such places ? On the 
contrary, sulphureous springs are amongthemostdistinguished 
fountains of health. 

** I think, as to the exhalations of sulphuretted hydrogen^ 
the same holds good as is said of carburetted hydrogen. It is 
also supposed that thb gas, evolved from marshes, causes the 
intermittent fevers so common in their environs. Were this 
supposition correct, what diseases ought the miners to suffer, 
who frequently work in an atmosphere containing above ^^ of 
carburetted hydrogen ! 

" I believe that sulphuretted hydrogen may just as little 
take a sl^^re in causing diseases, as carburetted hydrogen does, 
though it is not to be denied, that a much smaller proportion 
of the former than of the latter is fatal to animal life. It is 
much more probable that the volatile vegetable matter ac- 
companying sulphuretted hydrogen, evolved from the water 
on the coast of Africa, originates diseases, as well as that 
which is mixed with carburetted hydrogen disengaged frota 

*' Professor Daniell remarks correctly, it is difficult to con- 
ceive how such a striking and important fact as the impreg* 
nation of the waters of the ocean, upon such a long line of 
coast, with sulphuretted hydrogen, could so long have escaped 
observaticm. It is true, he has turned, on this subject, to 
some of the accounts of the late travels in Africa, to seek for 
evidence, and communicated also some important observations 
made by Macgregor Laird. But in this account a horrid 
sickening stench peculiar to the miasma is only alluded to. 
It may still be supposed that this gentleman, when even un- 
acquainted with chemical properties, would have mentioned 
the similarity of that stench to that of putrefying eggs. An 
indescribable feeling of heaviness, languor, nausea, and dis- 
gust, with which one is oppressed in those swamps, is never 
experi^iced on breathing such quantities of sulphuretted hy- 
drogen as to fill a room with an unsupportable stench. 

*^ Otherwise gases, wbrai'even heavier than atmospheric air, 
ave Vei^ easily dktributed through it, and thereby extremely 

32 On Tropical Miamnata. 

diluted, provided that they are not exhaled in recesses or in 
enclosed spaces, which do not at all, or but slightly, partake 
of the external movements of the air. With respect to car- 
bonic acid gas, there are many instances of this kind in the 
neighbourhood of the Laacher Sea. I was many times in the 
neighbourhood of the village of IFehr, on a large plain, most 
likely an old crater of an extinct volcano, where carbonic acid 
gas is evolved in immeasurable quantities from hundreds of 
acidulous springs' close to one another, and where, at many 
points, bubbles as large as the head scatter the water to a 
height of more than a foot Nevertheless, in the middle of 
the marsh, the smell of the gas is hardly, but that of the 
marshly exhalations very distinctly, perceptible. From this 
it is to be seen that gases are by far more easily distributed 
through the atmosphere, than exhalations of putrefying matters. 

*' In applying these observations to the exhalations, of sul- 
phuretted hydrogen from the water on the coast of Africa, it is 
obvious that they, when even yet so considerable, will hardly 
affect a ship's company. But the exhalations of putrefying 
matters doubtless bear quite another relation to those exposed 
to them. 

" I think it will be found that the sea-water in that country 
will contain far less sulphuretted hydrogen than that analyzed 
by Professor Daniell, and that this gas for the most part has 
been produced during the carriage of the waters to England. 
Indeed, the vegetable matter found in different proportions in 
all those waters which contained sulphuretted hydrogen, seems 
to bfe the remaining part of what has been decomposed by the 
sulphates in them. All those waters were bottled in the months 
of September, October, and November, 1839. The Reports 
of Professor Daniell are dated on the 13th April 1840 ; when, 
therefore, the analysis of them was made, they had been pre- 
served in the bottles above half a year. This space of time 
is, however, according to my researches, more than sufficient 
to effect decompositions of sulphates by vegetable matters. 
Besides, according to the experiments of Professor Daniell, 
mentioned in No. 4 of The Friend of Africa, three months are 
alone sufficient to produce sulphuretted hydrogen, by adding 
a quantity of newly-fallen leaves to water, in which sulphate 

On Tropical Miasmaia. 33 

t)f sodft^ad been dissolved. The remark of this able chemistt 
that this mixture had a most insupportable siekening odour, 
much more than that of pure sulphuretted hydrogen, is not to 
be overlooked, because it extremely favours the supposition 
suggested by me, that by the action of vegetable matters oh 
sulphates, besides sulphuretted hydrogen, an organic substance 
is produced, which is by far more fatal to animal life than this 

*' As for the use of the chloride of lime, and the fumigation 
with chlorine, to decompose sulphuretted hydrogen, and thus 
to render it innoxious, it is well known that these means of 
mitigation also effect decompositions of putrefying matters ex- 
haled from the sea-water. Therefore, it is no doubt that these 
means will be, in every respect, very efficacious. 

** Though 1 am afraid of trespassing too much upon your 
valuable time, yet I cannot conclude this letter without allud- 
ing to a particular decomposition of sulphuretted hydrogen, 
newly investigated by M. Melloni. You will find this very 
interesting Report in a letter of this philosopher to M. Arago, 
published in the Oamptes rendusy torn. xi.,p. 352. M. Melloni 
found that a small piece of lighted tinder, or a lighted cigar, 
when placed near one of the /ufnaroh\ in the Solfatara, near 
Naples, instantly produced a vapour, or a thick white cloud, 
and that this effect reaches to a distance of from five to six 
feet from the lighted substance. M. Melloni caused M. Payen 
to examine into this remarkable phenomenon, and this chemist 
found that sulphuretted hydrogen artificially prepared, and 
mixed with a large quantity of atmospheric air, is affected by 
lighted tinder, or by any lighted substance, in the same man- 
ner as that evolved in the Solfatara. The products of this 
effect are sulphureous acid, water, and a few traces of sulphur. 
Among those circumstances, the ingredients of sulphuretted 
hydrogen are consequently united with atmospheric oxygen, 
and form sulphureous acid and water. M. Payen has further 
detected that iron, and nearly all its natural compounds, as 
iron-glance, titaniferous oxydulated iron, even iron-pyrites, 
and lava, all when heated, act precisely like lighted charcoal. 

" It is evident then, that a lighted cigar, an article fortunate- 
ly common on board all ships, will, in some measure, coun- 


: 34 Prof. Marcet <w the VatmtionB of the Temperature 

teract the noxious effects of sulphuretted hydrogen, when such 
is found to exist distributed through the atmosperic air.* 
To Captain Washington^ R.N. Gustay Bischof. 

Sesearchee on the Variations which take place at certain periods 
of the day in the Temperature of the Lower Strata of tJie 
AtmmpJiere. By Professor Marcet. Transmitted by the 
Author, t 

It appears, from researches now of old standing, and dating, 
for the most part, from the end of the last century, that the 
relations which exist between the temperature of the strata 
of air adjoining the esurth, are subject to variations depending 
either on the state of the sky, or on the time of the day at 
which the observation is made. Our countryman, M. Marc 
Auguste Pictet, was the first who, in 1770, studied with care 
the variations of two thermometers, one of which was placed 
5 feet above the ground, the other at a height of 75 feet He 
remarked, that when the weather was calm and clear, the 
tanperature of these two thermometers agreed about two hours 
tifter sunrise, and from that time throughout the whole day, 
the thermometer at 5 feet above the ground was constantly 
higher than tiiat at 75 feet ; that the two thermometers again 
corresponded some time after sunset, and from that time till 
eleven o^'clock in the evening, the lower thermometer under- 
went a relative depression of about 2i° of the centigrade 
scale. J Pictet adds, that when the sky was completely over- 
cast, or during the prevalence of a strong wind, the difference 
between the temperature of the two thermometers was scarce- 

* We are informed by letter from Dr Stanger, dated off the Niger, that 
Dr M^illiam^ wlio has carefully examined the sea-water near the mouths 
of all the rirers from time to time, has not yet been able to find any trace of 
»u^>Atfvv^4 hydrogen in freshly taken water ; but when the waters had been 
kept a few days in corked bottles, it was twice very evident, — Edit, o/Edin. 
PhiL Journal. 

t M^moires de la Society de Physique et d' Histoire Naturelle de Geneve, 
T. viiL 2mepartie. 

\ Tlvon^ioiit this memoir the indications are given according to the cen- 
tigracleiliennameter, untow the c<»iltary ia expressly mentioned* 

' of ike Lower Strata of the Atmo$pkere^ 35 

ly perceptible. These experiments were again renewed, in 
1784, by the English natural philosopher Six. This observer, 
having compared, for aocmsiderable length of time, the tempe- 
rature of three thermometers, one of. which was placed at the 
foot of Canterbury Cathedral, the second on the top of the prin- 
cipal tower of that edifice, at a height of about 200 feet, and the 
third at an elevation of 110 feet, states, that he has often re- 
marked a difference of from 5° to 6° between the two first 
thermometers during calm and clear nights, and an interme- 
diate temperature at the station of 110 feet When the wea- 
ther was cloudy, the temperature appeared to him to be nearly 
the same at the three stations ; if there was any difference in 
them, it was the reverse of what had taken place in clear wea- 
ther, that is to say, the thermometer near the earth stood 
higher than that at 200 feet White, in his Natural History 
of Selbourne, has likewise noticed a difference of from 5° to 
6°, and on one occasion a difference of lO*' between the tem- 
perature of the plain and that of a neighbouring hill about 
200 feet in height 

Leslie says, he has rem^irked* that, in England, about two 
hours after sunrise, the ground is of the same temperature as 
the stratum of the atmosphere in contact with it.t From that 
time till two o'clock in the afternoon, the ground is warmer 
than the contiguous atmosphere. After two o'clock, this differ- 
ence diminishes until about two hours before sunset, when the 
ground again becomes colder than the surrounding air. This 
difference, the author adds, goes on increasing during the 

Finally, Wells, in his essay on Dew, published in 1814, has 
observed that in calm and clear nights, the air at the height 
of four feet most frequently exceeded the temperature of the 
ground from 3 to 4 degrees, and sometimes from & to ftd^rees* 

From all these observations taken together, the two follow- 
ing facts seem to result : 1^^, During calm and clear nights. 

* Trims, of the Royal Society of Edinborgh^ vol. viii. On Impre$$Um» of 

1 The remark appears general \ the author does not apply it solely to calm 
ttid clear weather. 

36 Prof. Marcet on the Kariationa of the Temperature 

the air at 4 or 5 feet above the ground, is notably wanner than 
the ground itself ;* 2dly^ During calm and clear nights, and rec- 
koning from the height of 5 or 6 feet, the air becomes warmer 
as we ascend, according to some unknown law, and to an ele- 
vation the limit of which has not yet been determined. 

Before proceeding to detail the experiments which I under- 
took with the design of throwing some light on such parts of 
this subject as are still obscure, let us return to the observa- 
tions of Six, the only ones which have been made with some 
degree of continuity, and at considerable diflFerences of eleva- 
tion, and let us determine whether they took place in such cir- 
cumstances as were likely to lead to correct results. 

The two following considerations induce me to believe 
that the results of Six's experiments must very often deviate 
from the truth. 1*/, These experiments were made in the 
centre of a populous town, in which the temperature of the 
surrounding atmosphere must necessarily have been affected 
by the vicinity of a constantly renewed source of heat. The 
influence of this artificial heat must have been particularly felt 
during the period of nocturnal radiation, by preventing the 
cooling of the atmospheric strata nearest the earth. In con- 
sequence of this, the relative increase of heat, in proportion 
as we ascend, must have often appeared to Mr Six not so 
great as it really is. 2e//y, The heat acquired by the walls of 
the Cathedral, exposed during the day to the rays of the sun, 
ipust have often exercised an influence on the results obtained 
by the English philosopher. No one is now ignorant to wliat 
a degree stone and brick buildings become heated, when ex- - 
posed to the direct rays of the sun, particularly during the 
warm season ; it is so considerable that when a person is pas- 
sing along by the side of a wall in the evening, he very often 
feels the heat proceeding from it. Now, the strata of air next 
the Tower of Canterbury Cathedral must necessarily have been 
aflfected, particularly during the earlier part of the night, by 
the neighbourhood of a mass so heated, the more especially as 

* Often, according to Wells, from 4 to 5 degrees. Wilson has seen this 
difference amount to 8 degrees, the surface of the ground being covered with 

of the Lower Strata of the Atmosphere. 37 

ihe conducting power, which is pretty considerable^ of the ma- 
terials which compose the edifice, must have tended to retard 
the cooling of the surface by the effects of nocturnal radiation. 
From this it follows that the increase of the temperature of 
the atmosphere upwards, might often have appeared more con* 
siderable than it really was. In these various respects, the ob* 
servations of Six, however interesting they may have been at 
the time when they were made, do not possess a sufficiently 
exact character, to be of much avail in the present state of the 

Another motive which induced me to undertake new re- 
searches on the variations which take place in the temperature 
of the lower beds of the atmosphere, is the connection now 
well known to exist between that temperature and the radia- 
tion of the earth. The discovery of the Ethrioscope by Leslie, 
which me^ures the intensity of this radiation, furnishes the 
means of studying these two facts simultaneously, and of en- 
quiring in what degree they influence each other. The hy- 
grometrical state of the air must also exercise a certain influ- 
ence, particularly in the evening, on the temperature of the 
lower beds of the atmosphere : we know, in fact, that the de- 
position of dew is constantly followed by an elevation of tem- 
perature ;t therefore, all things being equal in other respects, 
the cooling of the lower strata of the atmosphere must be in 
the inverse ratio of the degree of the saturation of the air ; or, 
in other words, of the quantity of dew ready to be deposited. 

For the purpose of prosecuting these enquiries, I procured 
a mast or pole 114 feet long, composed of two pieces of fir 
securely boimd to each other. After having succeeded, not 

* The some thing may be affirmed of White of Selbourne's observations, 
in which he compares the temperature of the plain with that of the summit 
of a neighbouring hill. It may be conceived to what a degree the tempera- 
ture of the air in each of these stations might have been influenced either 
by neighbouring objects, or even by the character of the ground. Moreover, 
White expresses himself with little precision on many essential circum- 

t Sec ray observations on this subject in the 34th Number, p. 353 of the 
BiUioiheque XJidvtrzdU (New Series.) 

38 Prof. Marcet on the Variations of the Temperature 

without difficulty, in elevating it, I had it fixed verticaUy in 
the ground to the depth of six or seven feet. Various pre- 
cautions had been taken to prevent it being broken or over- 
thrown by the violence of the wind. It was placed in circum- 
stances most favourable for experiments of this nature, that 
is, situated in the middle of a large meadow, at a pretty con- 
siderable distance from any kind of dwelling, and even from 
groups of trees of any size. Along the mast, at intervals of 
ten feet, I had placed horizontal bars of fir two feet in length, 
each having a small pulley at the extremity for the purpose 
6f raising and bringing down the thermometers. The ther- 
mometers themselves, which were extremely sensitive and of 
large size, had their balls covered with a pretty thick layer of 
a non-conducting substance, such as soft wax, or unspun cotton, 
in order that their temperature might not vary during the 
time necessary to bring them down from their elevated posi- 
tion.* At the moment of every thermometrical observation, 
I noted the state of the atmosphere in its dificrent meteoro- 
logical relations, and on most occasions I examined Leslie'^s 
ethrioscope, as well as Saussure's hygrometer. 

The principal object I had in view by undertaking these 
researches, may be reduced to the solution of the four follow- 
ing questions : — 

laty How far is the increase of temperature which takes 
place at certain times of the day in proportion as we ascend, 
influenced by the state of the sky and the agitation of the air ? 

2dlf/y To determine the times of the day at which this in- 
crease of temperature commences ; does it continue constant, 
or shew a tendency to augment during the night ? 

3^fy, Is the limit of elevation at which the increase of tem- 
perature ceases constant, or does it vary according to the me- 
teorological state of the atmosphere ? 

4M^, Do the increase of temperature, as well as its limit in 
regard to elevation, remain constant, or do they vary accord- 
ing to the different seasons of the year ? 

^ This interval never exceeded three quarters of a minute. The balls of 
the thermometers were so protected^ that a difference of temperature amount- 
ing to five degrees did not begin to affect them for about a minute. 

t^ ih0 Lon>er Straia of ihe Aimo$ph€r0. 90. 

We shall examine each of the questioius in sucoesaion. 
1st Question.— Jlow/zr %» the mcreane of temperaiurt which iak4$ 
plaee at certam titnes of the day in proportion a$ W4 atcend^ k^ 
Jluenced by the state of the sky and the agitation of the air? 

It results from my experiments, that the degree of this in- 
crease appears subject, as had previously been observed, to 
the influence of both the circumstances in question. In ge- 
neral, the clearer and more tranquil the weather, and the less 
aqueous vapour there is suspended in the air, the more con- 
siderable is the diflerence of temperature as we ascend. It 
appeared to me to vary during the finest season of the year 
from 2 to 3 degrees ; I never saw it exceed 4 degrees in sum- 
mer and autumn, however clear the weather might be, and 
however favourable the other meteorological circumstances of 
a nature likely to have an influence on this phenomenon. If, 
in this respect, the diflerences which I observed during the 
summer are inferior to those mentioned by Six, I difler still 
more from that natural philosopher in this, that while he limits 
the increase of the temperature, ascending, to the case of a 
calm and clear sky, it appeared to me to take place constantly, 
at least during the finest season of the year and at the time 
of sunset, and however cloudy the weather might be, provided 
there was not a strong wind. From nearly a hundred obser- 
vations, taken at the times and in the circumstances already 
mentioned, I never failed to remark some increase in the 
temperature upwards,' except in the case of a strong wind. 
This augmentation, it is true, was often limited to a few hun- 
dred parts of a degree, and manifested itself in the very low- 
est strata of the atmosphere, ceasing sometimes at the height 
of 40 and even 30 feet.* I have even remarked, on more than 
one occasion, a complete equality among the djiferent ther- 
mometers two or three hours after sunset. This took place, 

* On the first of September, at seven o'clock in the evening, in cloudy 
weather, the wind south-west, and pretty strong, the thermometer at 5 feet 
above the ground stood at 12°.7# and at 40 feet, at 12*5. From 40 feet up to 
108 the thermometer underwent no sensible variation. The tame thing 
took place in the obiervations of the 6th September and 4th October, macto 
at the same hour. 

40 Prof, Marcet on (he Fariations of the Temperature 

for example, in my obseryation of the 20th September, made 
at ten o" clock in the evening in cloudy weather. In this ob- 
servation, the thermometer, at 4 feet from the ground, stood 
at 13°.85, and that at the height of 108 feet, at 13°.80. The 
mean of the first 50 feet was 13°.81, and the mean of the last 
50, 13''76, presenting, as will be perceived, a scarcely sensible 
variation. It is to be observed that, at the time of this, ob- 
servation, the ethrioscope indicated zero, thus shewing that 
the earth received as much heat from the upper strata of the 
atmosphere as it sent thither by means of radiation. The 
same thing happened in my observations of the 21st and 22d 
September, taken at half-past nine in the evening. At this time 
the temperature was uniform throughout the whole length of 
the mast ; the ethrioscope indicating in the first case 0°.5, and 
in thp second 1° of coldness in the focal ball. We see, there- 
fore, that when the sky is overcast, the diflTerent beds of the 
atmosphere may sometimes be found at the same temperature 
some hours after sunset. But I repeat that I havealwayij 
found a sensible diflFerence, at least during fine weather, when 
the observation was made at the moment of setting, always 
excepting in the case of violent winds, particularly if coming 
from the north-east : in the latter case, I have oftener than 
once found a uniform temperature throughout the whole length 
of the mast, even when the sky was not very much obscured. 

2d Question. — To dete'rmine the times of the day at which the in- 
crease of temperature as we ascend commences. Is it constant, 
or has it a tendency to augment during the night P 

The result obtained by my observations on this subject is, 
that, when the weather is clear and calm, the increase of tem- 
perature begins to be perceptible about half an hour or an 
hour before sunset. If the weather be cloudy, it most fre- 
quently does not become sensible but at the moment of set- 
ting. When the sky is clear, the increase usually attains its 
maximum at the time of setting or a little after it ; from this 
time it remains nearly stationary, when the weather does not 
vary. If, however, an abundant dew fall, I have remarked 
that the difference of temperature has a tendency sometimes 
to diminish. It was thus, for example, that, on the 17th of 

* of the Lomer Strata ef the Atmoephmt. 41 

September, at 'seven o'clock in tbe evening, the increase of 
the temperature from the height of 5 feet to that of 108 feet, 
was 2"^. At ten o'clock^ the dew being very plentiful, tiie dif- 
ference did iiot exceed 1^6, even although the sky continued 
perfectly transparent. The increase of temperature as we 
ascend does not become more sensible at the time of the rising 
of the sun ; on the contrary, most frequently the difference 
between the temperature of the stratum of air nearest the 
ground and of that situate at the height of 105 feet, appeared 
to me obviously less at the moment of the sun's rising than at 
that of its setting. This is probably owing to the abundance 
of the dew which is known usually to increase at sunrise ; I 
have even remarked that a little before sunrise, and after a 
strong dew, the phenomenon was sometimes reversed ; that is 
to say, the temperature seemed to decrease in proportion to 
the elevation, particularly when the sky was suddenly over- 
cast In the latter case, the temperature of the earth is al- 
most always warmer than that of the ambient air. Such was 
the case on the 5th October at half past six o'clock in the 
morning, the weather being calm and cloudy, with much dew ; 
the thermometer on the grass indicated 12^31, at the height 
of 5 feet, 12°, and at 105 feet, ir.7. The same thing took 
place on 7th October, at six o^dock in the morning, the ther- 
mometer at 5 feet was at lO'^.l, and that at 1C5 feet, 9°.75, the 
temperature of the ground being about 10°.3. We shall after- 
wards see that, in the severe colds of winter, and when the 
weather is obscure, the temperature of the stratum of air 
next the ground is in general warmer than that of the at- 
mosphere at a height of 50 or 100 feet, both at the time of 
sunset and sunrise. 

.3d Question. — To determine the limit of elevation at which the in- 
crease of temperature ceases ; is this limit constant, or does it 
vary according to the state of the atmosphere P 

When the sky was perfectly clear and serene at the time of 
sunset, it pretty often happened that the limit of the increase 
of temperature upwards was beyond the summit of the mast, 
that is to say, above the height of 108 feet. In general, how- 
ever, it appeared to me to be found between 90 and 105 feet. 

412 Prof. Marcet oh the FariaHms of ike Temperature 

that is to say, beyond thid latter elevation the inci^ease of 
temperature ascending was not generally very sensible, how- 
ever clear the weather might be. I could adduce a great 
number of observations in support of this assertion ; among 
others, those of the 1st and 2d August, of the 8th and 18th 
September, of the 3d and 4th October, &c., in which the li- 
mit of the increase of temperature was always found below 
100 feet. We shall afterwards see that in winter, especially 
when the weather is not very clear, the increase of tempera* 
ture at the moment of the rising and setting of the sun, is 
most frequently not observable except from the surface of the 
earth to the height of 5 or 6 feet ; from that elevation up to 
a height of 100 feet, the temperature remains uniform, and 
sometimes even goes on diminishing in proportion as we ascend* 

4th Qu£STiON.**i)o«9 the increase of temperature which takes place 
as we ascend at certain periods of the day^ vary according to 
the different seasons of the year ? 

The answer is in the affirmative ; for although I have not 
found conspicuous differences between the summer and au-* 
tumn, such is far from being the case with the winter season, 
which has presented to me some remarkable results in this re- 
spect, especially when the surface of the earth is covered with 

Viewed in relation to the increase of temperature as we 
ascend, winter differs from the other seasons of the year in 
the two following respects :— 

Istj The difference of temperature between the strata of 
air adjoining the earth is much more considerable than at 
any other period of the year ; such is the result of the series 
of observations made this year during the months of De- 
cember and January. The maximum of difference observed 
was on the 20th January, at half-past eight in the even- 
ing, the weather being perfectly calm and clear, and the 
earth covered with snow to the depth of about a foot. This 
difference amounted to nearly 8° for a change in an ele- 
vation of 60 feet ; the thermometer, at the height of 2 feet, 
indicating— 16^.2, and at the height of 62 feet— 8^4 ; at the 

of the Lower Strata of ike AtnwspAere. 43 

heigki of 105 feei it was at — ^7^.4, giying a total difference of 
8° 8 for an elevation of 105 feet. 

On the morning of the 2l8t January, still colder than the 
preceding, at six o'clock the thermometer, at 2 feet above the 
ground, was at — ^21^.2 ; at the height of 62 feet it was at 
— 15^5 ; and at 105 feet, at — 13^7. The increase of tempera- 
ture, it is thus seen, is less considerable than on the preceding 
day ; which is no doubt owing to this, that the cold of the 
earth's surface had had time to extend itself to the somewhat 
more elevated strata of the atmosphere. It amounts, never- 
theless, to 5^.7 for a height of 60 feet, and to 7^.5 for a height 
of 100 feet ; a difference which exceeds by many degrees the 
maximum of that which has been observed during the warm 
season. A mean of twelve observations made both at sunrise 
and sunset, during perfectly serene weather, and the ground 
being covered with snow, afforded a difference of 6®.4 between 
the temperature of the air at the height of 2 feet and that at 
52 feet above the ground. By comparing the station at 2 
feet with that at 105, this difference was 6°.4. 

In winter, when the ground was not covered with snow, the 
difference between the temperature of the lower strata of the 
atmosphere appeared to me to be less considerable ; it always, 
however, exceeded the maximum of what was observed during 
the serene evenings of summer and autumn. The maximum 
of difference observed by me when the ground was not cover- 
ed with snow, occurred on the 1st of December. The ther- 
mometer, 2 feet above the ground, marked — 4<*.7 ; at 52 feet 
+ 0.9 ; and at 105 feet, + 1.4 ; thus giving a difference of 
'5o.6 between two beds of air separated by an interval of 50 
feet, and of 6^.1 for an interval of 100 feet. The mean in- 
crease of temperature, calculated from a series of twenty ob- 
servations, made partly in December and partly in February, 
was found to be 3^.30 for a difference of elevation of 50 feet, 
and 3o.45 for a difference of 100 feet. We thus see that, in 
the circumstances above mentioned, the increase of tempera- 
ture as we ascend, even during perfectly serene weather, is 
extremely slight, reckoning on a height of 50 feet ; and we 
are of opinion that we are not far from the truth by fixing the 
extreme limit o£ this increase in winter below 100 feet, how- 

44 Prof. Marcet on the Variuiiana of the Temperature 

ever considerable it may be, at the same time, near the sur- 
face of the ground. 

In winter, when the sky is obscured, the difference between 
the temperature of the successive strata of the atmosphere 
and those very close to the earth, is extremely small, eve^ 
when the ground is covered with snow. And after we ascend 
above 100 feet, the temperature appears most frequently to 
be modified in a contrary sense to what takes place in clear 
weather — that is to say, it decreases in proportion as we as- 
cend. In eleven observations made both at sunrise and sun- 
set, and in the circumstances I have pointed out, the ther- 
mometer has been on two occasions lower by some centiemes 
of a degree at the height of 5 feet above the ground than at 
2 feet. The mean of the thermometrical difference between 
the height of 3 feet and that of 50 feet, has been only 0°.4 in 
favoiur of the highest elevation ; while the mean of the differ- 
ence between 52 feet and 105 feet, has, on the contrary, been 
0°23 in favour of the less elevated station. 

2dly^ Winter is further distinguished from the other seasons 
of the year, by the excessively low temperature of the surface 
of the ground at certain periods of the day, compared with that 
of the stratum of air immediately adjoining it ; that is to say, 
situate at the height of about 2 feet. This difference ap- 
peared to me scarcely appreciable during the finest season of 
the year, even when the sky was perfectly clear and serene. 
A mean deduced from a great number of observations made 
during the summer and autumn of 1837, gave only 0''.54 for 
the times of sunrise and sunset, the periods of the day when it 
is at other times most considerable. In winter the difference 
in question becomes much more remarkable ; it amounted on 
one occasion to 6°, the ground being covered with snow. A 
mean calculated from twelve observations, in clear weather, 
both at the rising and setting of the sun, afforded me a dif- 
ference of 3*^ between the temperature of the surface of the 
snow and that of a thermometer placed 6 feet above, the 
ground ; at the height of 2 feet this difference only amounted 
tor 5. 

I have remarked, oftener than once, in the course of the 
summer and autumn, that the surface of the ground has ap- 

of the Lower Strata of the jitmo^phere. 46 

peared momentarily a little warmer than the stratum sltnated 
at the height of 6 feet, even when, from the latter elevation, 
the increase of temperature upwards was already established. 
Thus, on the 3d October, at half-past five o'clock, the weather 
being clear, and a few moments before sunset, a thermometer 
at the surface of the ground indicated 13^^.3, and another at 
the height of five feet only 13°, while the atmosphere at an 
elevation of 80 feet, was at a temperature of 14''.55. The sam^ 
thing was observed on the 5th August at seven o^cIock in the 
evening, the weather being slightly cloudy, after a rainy after* 
noon, when I found the temperature of the turf at 17°, while 
that of the stratum of air 5 feet above it was only at 16°. 
This temperature, however, continued gradually to increase to 
the height of 105 feet, where it stood at 17M. My observa- 
tions, from the 6th to the 8th September, presented the same 
results. In exceptional cases of this nature, it is not easy to 
explain the sinking of the temperature in the strata of air 
nearest the earth relatively to that of the higher strata. The 
theory of radiation, indeed, ascribes it to the cooling of the 
ground, as a consequence of nocturnal radiation, which com- 
municates itself to the nearest strata of air, then in saccession 
to the superior ones, with a decreasing intensity as we ascend. 
But if the ground itself is found to be warmer than the body 
of air surrounding it, the above explanation becomes inadmis- 
sible, at least without some modification. Perhaps the ano^ 
maly in question, which, moreover, very rarely presents itself„ 
may be owing to a precipitation of dew, so sudden and abundant,; 
as momentarily to warm the surface of the ground ; the latter,, 
after a short time, would again cool by nocturnal radiation, and! 
before the slight elevation of temperature it had acquired! 
could communicate itself to the nearest strata of the atmos- 

I formerly mentioned, that one of the objects I had in view 
by repeating Pictet and Six's experiments, was to study the 
relations which must exist between the indications of Leslie'sP 

* In the course of upwards of a year's observation, I observed the above 
anomaly only four times, and always a little after sunset; the time when the 
deposition of dew -is most abundant. 

46 Prof. Marcet on the Variations of the Temperature^ S^c. 

ethrioscope as shewing the intensity of terrestrial radiation, 
and the increase of heat which takes place in certain pircum- 
stances in proportion as we ascend. I shall not, however, enter 
at present into any detail of the observations I made on this 
subject ; because, hitherto, they do not appear to me to have 
led to any decisive consequenee* But the general result of 
them is, that the variations manifested in the increase of the 
temp^ature of successive strata of the atmosphere, in different 
cases, when the night appeared equally clear and serene, have 
not coincided in a striking manner with the corresponding va- 
riations remarked in the intensity of terrestrial radiation, as the 
latter is indicated by the ethrioscope. Thus, I have often ob- 
served the liquid indicator of this instrument denote the same 
intensity of radiation during a clear summer night, when the. 
increase of temperature upwards did not exceed 2° or 3^ as. 
during the same kind of weather in winter, when the same 
increase amounted to 4° or 5°. And even the less important 
variations which manifested themselves during the summer 
from one day to another, in weather to all appearance equally, 
calm and clear, were not always accompanied by a correspond- 
ing change in the indications of the ethrioscope. There are 
probably other circumstances besides radiation, which have an 
influence on the phenomenon in question ; and it is only when 
these have been studied consecutively, that a determinate 
opinion can be formed on this subject 

The results of the observations described in this Memoir 
seem to lead to the following conclusions :— 

1*/, The increase of temperature in successive strata of the 
atmosphere as we ascend, and which is remarked at the time 
of sunset, however variable it may be either in regard to its 
intensity or its limit in reference to elevation, is a constant 
phenomenon in every state of the sky, except in the ease of 
violent winds. 

2fl?, The time of the maximum of this increase is immediately 
after sunset ; from that moment it is stationary, or even pretty 
frequently diminishes, particularly when the dew is plentiful. 
At sunrise, the increase is, for the most part, not so conside- 
rable as at simset. 

3^, The limit of elevation to which this increase of tempe- 
rature extends, seems rarely to surpass the height of 100 or 

Mr John MacGiHivray on the Island o/Si KUdm. Al 

110 feet, even when the sky is perfectly clear and calm. 
When the weather is cloudy or windy, and pretty frequently 
in winter, even when it is clear and calm, this limit appears to 
be less elevated. 

4M, The increase of temperature, ascending, varies both in 
regard to its intensity and its limit in elevation^ according to 
the different seasons of the year. It is in winter, and parti- 
cularly when the ground is covered with snow, that this phe- 
nomenon presents the most remarkable results. 

Account of the Island of St KUda, chiefly with reference to its 
Natural History ; from Notes made duriny a Visit us July 
1840. By Mr John Macgillivrat, Member of the Ou- 
vierian Natural History Society. Communicated by the 

The name of St Kilda is familiar to many, in connection 
with vague ideas of some remote and barren island, •• placed 
far amid the melancholy main/* tenanted by myriads of sea- 
fowl, and the abode of a race of men living in a state of pri- 
mitive simplicity. Believing that some account of a place so 
seldom visited, yet so interesting in every respect to the natu- 
ralist, may prove acceptable to the readers of this Journal, I 
have been induced to complete a series of hasty notes which 
were written during a few days spent in the principal island 
of the group. 

One of my chief objects in vidting the Outer Hebrides last 
summer having had reference to the numerous species of wa- 
ter birds which resort to the St Kilda Isles, during the breed- 
ing season, after a detention of several weeks by contrary 
winds, at daybreak on Monday the 29th June, I left Bomeray, 
a small island in the Sound of Harris, and crossed over to 
Pabbay, another island two miles distant. Here we procured 
a boat sufficiently large for our purpose, and, after consider- 
able delay, hoisted sail about twelve o'clock, having a strong 
easterly breeze in our favour. In due time we passed Haskir, 
a small island 20 miles distant, and famous as being the resort 
of multitudes of seals* and various species of sea-fowl, espe- 

* The EaUchcerus griieus, Nibsao^ or Great Seal, as indicated by a skull 

48 Mr Jdtm MacGilliyray m the Island of St Kilda. 

cially the Eider-Duck, which breeds there in considerable 
numbers. Soon after this, a thick fog came on, accompanied 
with rain, and as we had stiU 40 miles to go, without a com- 
pass, our situation became rather unpleasant, the more so, 
as it was judged a still greater hazard t<D turn back. Having 
proceeded about 20 miles further, we fell in with a large yacht 
belonging to the tacksman of St Kilda, who was on board, and, 
like us, on his way to that island. After following in the 
vessel's wake for some time, we eventually lost sight of her in 
the fog. Several grampuses, Delphinus Orca^ passed us from 
the westward, and 1 saw for an instant protruding from the 
water, the dorsal fin of a large basking shark, Selaehus maxi-' 
musy a fish of frequent occurrence among the Hebrides during 
the summer months. There is something extremely interesting 
in the sight, when at sea, of any of the larger cetacea, their 
appearance is so sudden ; and as each of these monsters of the 
deep raises his huge back from the water, noiselessly gliding 
into the silent depths below, it leaves an indescribable and 
perhaps unpleasant impression upon the mind. By this time 
the wind was judged to have shifted, and no landmark of 
course being visible, our only chance of ever making St Kilda 
lay in following in the course of the long strings of puffins, 
auks, and guillemots, and the small parties of gannets, which 
passed overhead almost incessantly, all flying in the same di- 
rection, or toward their home. Several fulmars were now 
seen for the first time, and land was judged to be not very far 
distant Evening was approaching fast, and yet nothing 
could be seen but the monotonous expanse of waters, and the 
dreary fog which covered it as with a mantle. The boatmen 
had begun to lose all hope, and told dismal stories of boats 
leaving for St Kilda that had never since been heard of, and 
of others tl\at had been several nights at sea, or glad to take 
shelter under a rock for a fortnight, as happened once to Mr 

in my collection, and the inspection of nnmerous skins of adults and young, 
seen with the Bev. Finlay M'Bae, Vallay. About eighty of these animals 
are annually killed by a boat's crew from North Uist, who visit the rock 
in the beginning of November. The seals are surprised at a distance from 
the water, and easily dispatched with clubs, though many are of large sLse, 
one which I measured being 7i feet in length. 

Mr John MacGifliTray an the Island of St KiUa. 49 ; 

M*Niel, a former tacksman. When matters were in this state, 
the fog paiiially -cleared up for a few moments, and to our great 
joy disclosed a black looking rock of vast height, two or three 
miles to windward. This was immediately recognised as the 
island of Borreray, the most northerly of the St Kilda group, and 
distant from our destination about 8 miles. The wind being now 
adverse, and having increased to a gale, we were fortunate in 
making, at a single tack under double-reefed square-sail, the 
lee-side of a rock called Leveinsh, off the entrance of the bay. 
Here "we lowered sail and mast^ and emerging from our place 
of shelter, rowed against a heavy sea till long after the sun had 
set. In the dim twilighf could be observed hundreds of ful- 
mars and stormy petrels passing and repassing, or skimming 
along the surface of the waves. After rowing two miles in as 
many hours, about midnight, we entered the bay, and cast 
anchor. By this time, we observed the singular phosphorescence 
of the water of the bay. Each dip of the oars, and every rip- 
ple on the surface, disclosed myriads of small rounded luminous 
bodies, while every now and then a large medusa passed us, 
appearing a globe of fire or submarine meteor. Soon after, I 
landed by a boat belonging to the Prince of Wales guurbrig, 
which, together with the yacht, had entered the bay a short 
time before. I spent the night in one of the huts, and in due 
time commenced my examination of the island, which occupied 
me for the four following days, and the result of which 1 shall 
now proceed to give^ 

The islands of St Kilda are situated about 50 miles to the 
westward of the Outer Hebrides. They are three in number ; 
Hirt, the principal and only inhabited one, generally called 
St Kilda ; Soay, about a mile to the westward ; and Borreray, 
lying eight miles due north. There are besides eight or ten 
others of smaller size, stacks (rocks) as they are called by the 
natives, all of which agree in general structure, being nearly 
perpendicular, and of great height. Some of these exhibit 
very singular forms : thus, one somewhat resembles a church 
steeple ; another forms a tolerably perfect triangle ; while a 
third bears a considerable resemblance to a vessel under sail. 
Not having been able to effect a landing on any of the smaller 


so Mr John MacGilliVray on the Island of Si JSSlda. 

islands, I shall confine my observations to the principal and 
largest one. 

Hirt or St Kilda, is about two miles and a half long from 
east to west, one mile at its greatest breadth, and nearly 
six in circumference. Roughly speaking, the island may 
be said to be one great mountain of irregular construction, 
with perpendicular sides descending to the sea, and forming 
precipices varying in height from 50 to nearly 1300 feet. 
Some idea of the rugged nature of the coast may be formed 
from the circumstance of there being but a single land- 
ing-place, accessible only in fine weather or during particu- 
lar winds. It consists of a flat shelving rock near the up- 
per part of a small bay on the eastern side of the island, where 
also is a narrow beach. The surface of the island varies from 
bare rock, covered in many places with loose blocks of stone, 
which have accumulated in the hollows, and left their debris 
upon the slopes, to a green carpet of the finest turf. Among 
the hills, in several places, valleys are formed, one being of 
considerable size, and descending for more than a mile, with 
a gradual slope towards the sea. The sea-margin of St KiHa 
is certainly among the most striking examples of the grandest 
rock scenery of the British isles, perhaps of the whole globe. 
No less than four of the promontories are perforated, and as 
many large caverns are formed, through which the sea passes. 
Considering the immense height of the mural precipices, it is 
no wonder that the St Kilda Isles are clearly visible from a 
very great distance, for they may be distinctly seen from near 
the level of the sea, when 60 miles distant. It is then indeed 
a glorious sight, while walking on the sandy beach of some 
green island, to watch the last rays of the setting sun, as he 
slowly sinks upon the ocean, lighting up with dazzling splen- 
dour the far distant St Kilda Isles, which, it has been no less 
truly than poetically observed, one may almost fancy some 
huge volcano newly emerged from the deep, or the unconquer* 
able barriers of some enchanted land. 

There are several springs in St Kilda never dried up, even 
during the hottest summer months. The water is extremely 
pure, though certainly not entitled to the extravagant encomi- 

Mr John MacGiUivray m ike Island of St KUda. 6t 

urns bestowed upon it by the natives. Thus, one is called Tobir 
na slainnte, or Well of Health, the water of which is reputed to 
cure almost all the diseases in their nosology. There is, be- 
sides, another spring, scarcely less famous, Tolnr na h* cige^ 
Wellof Youth, asit is called, issuing from out of the face of a pre- 
cipitous rock near the landing-place, and to be reached only 
after incurring considerable danger. As the water, to retain 
its efficacy, must be drunk upon the spot, it is no wonder that 
so few old persons have attempted the renewal of their youth 
by its means, although surprising effects are said to have been 
produced by it In former days. Having tasted of the waters 
of this modern '< Fountam of Youth,"* I can answer for their 
goodness ; but with respect to the probable longevity to be 
expected through their means, I can as yet say nothing. 
There are two small rivulets even in summer, one of them run- 
ning for about half-a-mile in the bottom of a beautiful glen on 
the western side of the island, the other entering the bay. 
Deep ruts are occasionally observable on the slopes, the effects 
of winter torrents. 

From tiie detached position of St Kilda, its bare surface and 
great height, it is exposed to every gale that sweeps over the 
Atlantic. Sudden gusts of wind not unfrequently, even in 
calm weather, descend from the hills with such violence as 
sometimes to unroof the huts and do considerable damage. A 
correct idea of the climate could not be formed from the ob« 
servations of only four days, and consequently the mean tem- 
perature, quantity of rain, peculiar winds, &c., cannot be 

With respect to the geology of the island I can say but lit- 
tle, my attention having been chiefly directed to more favour- 
ite and to me far more interesting pursuits. It is sufficient 
to refer the reader to Dr MacCulloch's work, which no doubt 
gives a very full account. The eastern extremity of the island, 
or about a third of the whole, is composed of syenite, which 
in one place rises to the height of 1380 feett l^his elevation. 

♦ See Washington Irrine's « Companiona of Columbus," p. 296. 
t Aceoxdiog to MacCulloch* 

5!^ Mr John MacGilliTray on the Island of St KUdd. 

known by the name of Conachan, forms the summit and eastern 
termination of the ridge composing the island, and by its ab- 
rupt descent to the sea produces a nearly perpendicular cliff, 
supposed to be the loftiest precipice in Britain. The remain* 
der of St Kilda consists of trap rock ; and the line formed by 
its junction with the syenite is well marked in various places, 
particularly on the north side of the island. At the upper end 
of the bay there has been formed a steep crumbling bank, re* 
ceding from its basaltic base, which shelves into the sea. At 
the landing-place may be seen a large collection of granitic 
masses, some of them weighing several tons, Vhich I was in- 
formed by the minister of the place were broken down from a 
cliff at the entrance of the bay, and washed on land by the 
heavy swell succeeding a continuance of easterly gales during 
the winter of 1829. 

The vegetation of St Kilda, though profuse among some of 
the clifis, is in general extremely stunted. It is truly surpris- 
ing how so many horses, cattle, and sheep, contrive to subsist 
on the scanty herbage of the hill pastures, which are, more- 
over, in many places, nearly ruined by the quantities of turf 
taken away for fuel, leaving exposed the subjacent rock. The 
pasturage is chiefly composed of Festuca ovina and duriutcula, 
with a fewother grasses, o&Aira cristata^ jdvena Jlavescens^kct 
and a sprinkling of the usual Leguminosse. Habenaria viridis^ 
Botrychium Lunaria, Gentiana campestris^ and Erythrcea cen- 
taurium var. latifolium^ occur in similar situations, but in small 
quantity, Cakile maritima^ Arenaria peploides, Salsola Kali, 
and Atriplex maritima^ are found at the upper end of the bay ; 
AnagcMis tenella, Leontodon Taraxacum var. palustre^ grow 
with Pinguicula vulgaris, in the marshy spots ; while Chrysan" 
ihemum segetum and Avena 8trigo$a occur but too plentifully 
among the corn. The eliffs in many places are abundantly 
stocked with Bhodiola rosea^ OxyHa reniformis^ Cochkaria offi^ 
cinalis and Danica, Statice armeria, Silene maritima^ Liyusti- 
cum Scoticumy and the maritime variety of Pyrethrum ino-^ 
dorumj all of them attaining a luxuriance (especially on the 
north-east side of Conachan) I never elsewhere saw equalled 
by these species. In the crevices of the rocks, and below the 
manse, Asplenium marinum grows to a large size, as in most 

Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of StEOda. 53 . 

of the Outer Hebrides, where it is of frequent occmTence« 
The pretty Sedum anglicum occurs in a few places growing 
upon dry banks and among moss-covered stones, which it 
adorns with its tiny blossoms of the most delicate pink. The 
only alpine species which I observed are Carex rigiday and Saliz 
herbacea^ both of which I found on the summit of one of the 
hills. The occurrence of the latter at so low an elevation is 
interesting, as shewing the influence of the sea-coast upon 
Alpine vegetation, for 1 had never before gathered the dwarf 
willow at a less elevation than about 3000 feet Upwards of 
50 species in all of phenogamous plants were gathered by me 
in St Kilda, chiefly during a short excursion with Mr M'Ken- 
zie, the worthy minister of the island ; but the more common 
and less interesting of these I have omitted mentioning. Be- 
sides these, a few cryptogamic plants may be noticed. Various 
lichens, and among them Bamalina scopulorum^ are abundant 
on the more maritime rocks, where the species just mentioned 
attains the length of nearly a foot in many places. Chondrus 
crispus is plentiful at the landing-place, and might be collect- 
ed in large quantity, but its use seems unknown to the natives. 
There is also abundance of Bhodomenia palmaia and Laminaria 
digitata in the bay, both of which are occasionally used as 

The crops of the St Kildians are said to be both better and 
earlier than elsewhere upon the west coast Be this as it may, 
during my visit, the fields of barley and oats were much far- 
ther advanced than any of those I had just left in the Long 
Island. It is curious, that throughout the greater part of the 
Outer Hebrides the small dark barley termed hlou^k oais alone 
seems to thrive. 

The inhabitants of St Kilda are about 120 in number, di- 
vided into 23 families. The population, after gradually de- 
creasing for about a century, became almost stationary, but is 
now slowly increasing. This mortality arose not from any 
deficiency of births, but from the prevalence among new-born 
infants of a convulsive disease, called ^o/ar na cuigeadh oidhche^ 
disease of the fifth night, from its usually appearing about that 
time afterbirth. Owing, however, to the improved condition of 
the natives, as regards cleanliness of the person and of their 

64 Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of Si Kilda. 

hbttses, doubtless the predisposing cause, this fatal scourge will 
soon be rooted out from amongst them, as no cases of it had 
occurred for more than a year previous to my visit * 

The St Kildians differ little in appearance from their He- 
bridian neighbours. Being of Danish origin, they are gene- 
rally of fair complexion, and of small stature, for I believe 
none of them exceed five feet and a half in height, the average 
being perhaps two inches less. Their language is of course 
the Gaelic, but their dialect is slightly peculiar, and they are, 
moreover, distinguished from all the other islanders by a lisp, 
which is more apparent in the women. 

With regard to the domestic manners of the natives of St 
Kilda, a great change has taken place, even within the last 
few years. Their houses are no longer the miserable hovels 
congregated together in a confused mass that formed their ham- 
let in former times, but, owing to the praiseworthy exertions 
of their most excellent minister, encouraged by the proprietor, 
they are now better lodged, clothed, and fed, than are the 
great mass of the population throughout the Hebrides. The 
modem village is built in regular order, with the gable end 
of each hut touching upon a well-paved footpath, which runs 
parallel to one side of the bay, and between which and the sea 
lie the cultivated lands, neatly divided, and kept in excellent 
order. Each family has two huts, one employed as a dwel- 
ling ; the other, used as a storehouse for the feathers and oil, 
is also employed as a stable during winter.^ These two houses 
are always adjacent, separated by a narrow passage into which 
the doors of both open, and thus mutually protecting each 
other from the sudden gusts from the hills and the storms of 
winter. The huts are very neatly built in the ordinary way, 
having double walls, the interval being filled with earth ; while 
the thatched roof is secured by means of straw ropes hav- 

* I have ^ince seen a fatal case in Bemeray, an island in the Sound of 
Harris, where it was once prevalent, but is now rare. 

t On first entering the bay, a stranger is struck with the number of small 
•tone edifices which he sees scattered at intervals along the slopes. These 
might naturally be mistaken for the dwellings of the natives, but are merely 
storehouses for turf and winter provisions, such' as dried ganneis, and the 
eggs of sea-fowl. 

Mr John MacGiUivray m Mt Island of Si JTiAte. 66 

mg large stones tied at each end. They consist of but a tingle 
apartment, entered by a very low doorway, on passing which 
the smell of fulmar oil from within, joined to the compound of 
villanous odours from the profusion of putrid carcasses of birds 
always lying about the doors, is sufficient to sicken any one 
but a St Kildian, possessed of even a moderate degree of ol*- 
factory development. The interior is generally filled with 
«moke, which escapes by the door and accidental apertures in 
the roof, chimneys being regarded as a superfluous piece of 
luxury. The roof and whole interior of the hut are thickly en- 
crusted with soot, which, in wet weather especially, is contin- 
ually dropping. No peat being found in St Kilda, turf is em- 
ployed as fuel, and the mouldering fire so supported is placed 
on the middle of the floor, while a pot-hook suspended from 
the roof dangles above it. Some agricultural implements, a 
quern, or hand-mill, bundles of ropes, a few articles of the 
•rudest furniture, and long strings of the gullets of the Solan 
goose, filled with fulmar oil, stretched from wall to wall, com- 
plete the picture of the interior of a St Kilda hut, in one of 
which I passed two nights. 

The querUf or hand-mill, is still used in St Kilda, and each 
family grinds its com as required for use. A flat stone, about 
a yard in diameter, furnished with a central upright pin^^is 
fixed in the ground ; a round slab of smaller size is laid upon 
the other by means of a hole in the middle, and is made to re- 
volve upon the central pin by a handle. The process of grind- 
ing with this primitive kind of mill is extremely tedious and 
fatiguing, and will probably soon be superseded by some mo- 
dem invention. 

The St Kildians are well characterized by their extreme 
laziness, a habit, however, more than compensated for by their 
cheerful disposition, religious principles, and great hospitality. 
Without going so far as to agree with Martin in his extrava- 
gant delusions,* I yet believe that in comparatively few places 

* ^ The inhabitants of St Kilda are much happier than the genetalitjr ef 
mankind, as being almost the only people in the world who feel Uie sweetness 
of tme liberty : What the condition of the people in the QMan Age is feigned 
by the poets to be^ that Iheifs really is, I mean in Xanocency and fiUmplUd- 

56 Mr John MacGiUlvray on the Island of Si Kildd. 

in the civilized globe, is there to be found a race of men so 
truly happy and contented with their lot. Although inter- 
course with strangers has created many artificial wants and pre- 
viously unknown luxuries, as well as encouraged an avaricious 
spirit, shewn by the value they place upon the articles offered 
for sale to strangers ; yet it very seldom happens that a St 
Kildian voluntarily leaves his native rock, dreary and barren 
though to others it may seem to be, in order to settle elsewhere. 
It is needless to add another word to this brief notice of their 
character, for, after all, I can hardly consider myself warranted 
in drawing conclusions respecting it, from such a slender basis 
as that afforded by a residence among them of only a few 

The mammalia of St Kilda consist exclusively of those in- 
troduced by the agency of man. I was told that some Mild 
cats are to be found among the rocks, where they live upon 
the sea-fowl which breed there ; however, not having seen any, 
I cannot state whether they belong to the truly indigenous 
race, as is highly improbable, or are merely the descendants 
of individuals that have escaped from confinement. The breed 
of horses, cattle, and sheep is of small size ; many of the lat- 
ter being of a dun colour, and remarkable for their length of 
legs and shortness of tail ; the wool, however, is Very fine. 
Goats are plentiful among the rocks, where they have nm wild. 
A breed of curs, apparently a cross of the sheep-dog with the 
Scotch terrier, is sometimes employed in puffin hunting, but 
could easily be dispensed with. These dogs feed upon the 
carcasses of birds lying around the dwellings, and are extremely 
annoying to strangers, which they, as well as the cattle, im- 
mediately recognise and follow, to their great annoyance. 

The land birds, as might be expected from the remote situ- 
.ation of the St Kilda Isles, are but few in number. Falco pe- 
regrinus and Tinnunculus, the Peregrine Falcon, and Kestrel, 
both breed in the precipices, but in small numbers. I pro- 

ij, Furitj, Mutual Love and Cordial Friendsbip, free from Solicitous Cares 
and Anxious Covetonsness^ from Envy, Deceit, and Dissimulation, from Am- 
. bition and Pride, and the consequences that attend them, &c.'' — A Late Voy- 
age to @t Kilda, the remotest of the Hebrides, or Western Isles of Scotland ; 
with a History of the Island, &c., by M. Martin, Gent, 1608, p. i37« 

Mr John MacGilUvray on the Island of Si Eilda. 57 

cured an egg of the former from the same nest which several 
years ago furnished two young birds to the Messrs Aitkinson 
of Newcastle.* Corvus Corax^ the^Raven {Biodht(tch\ is found 
in small numbers ; but C, Comix^ Hooded Crow {Feanna^D^ is 
more common. I have frequently seen about a dozen of the 
latter sitting upon the roof of one .of the huts, attracted pro- 
bably by the numbers of puffins' heads lying about the door. 
Though seemingly perfectly aware of the dangerous nature of 
a gun, they could yet be easily approached by a little address. 
Starlings, Stumus vulgaris {Truid\ are very numerous, breed- 
ing in the old walls ; and I often heard the loud dear song 
of the Thrush, Turdus musicusf (An smeorach) resounding 
along the hill-sides, and calling up pleasant recollections and 
many a rural scene. The Wheatear, Saxicola (Enanthe {An 
clacharan^ i.e. the Mason), breeds plentifully among stones, 
chiefly about the walls of the huts, as in the other Hebrides. 
Two species of Pipit, Anihus pratensis and agualicus {jtn 
Gi(Mhan)f are common, as are also the Lark, Alauda arvensis 
{An Uishag) BXiA, the Com Bunting, Emberiza Miliaria {An 
sparig). The Twite, Linda montium {An bican\ the only spe- 
cies of the genus observed by me in the Outer Hebrides, occurs 
jilso in St Kilda. 

To the above species seen by myself, a few others may be 
added. The cuckoo is said to visit the island at regular in- 
tervals ; and the Rev. Mr M'Kenzie informed me that, on 
one occasion during winter, after a succession of easterly 
gales, a ptarmigan was seen by him on one of the hill tops. 
Of Falco Islandicus^ the Iceland Falcon, sometimes reported 
to breed in St Kilda, I could obtain no information from the 
inhabitants, who could scarcely allow so conspicuous a bird to 
escape their observation. That they may breed there, how- 
ever, is possible, as a friend of mine in North Uist shot and 

* One of these gentlemen, I believe^ published an account of St Kilda m 
the Transactions of the Natural History Society of Newcastle, but this I 
have not been able to procure. 

1 1 may mention here (for the fact has been doubted) that tlttff Thrush is per. 
fectly identical with that so common oyer the rest d Scotland, though eggs 
collected by me in the Hebrides are certainly smaller and of a dai-kcr colour 
th::n usual. 

68 Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of Si KUda. 

preserved a beautiful specimen, and another was seen and fired 
at about the same time in the adjacent island of Pabbay. 

The Grallatores, like the land birds, are few in number. 
The Oyster-catcher, Hccmatopus ostralegus (An TrUachan) 
I found breeding among the loose stones at the upper margin 
of the bay, and also in some exposed shelving rocks on the 
west side of the island. Several pairs of the Dunlin, Tringa 
variabilis^ were observed upon the hill side, where they 
doubtless had young. A few Land-rails, Gallinula Crex 
(Dreunn)^ are always to be found among the corn, and their 
cry may be heard all night long, and occasionally during the 

In addition to these, the minister has occasionally observed 
the Golden Plover, Common Snipe, and the Woodcock, the 
last only in winter, when it is found by the lills along with 
the snipe. 

Far more interesting, however, than these, are the nume- 
rous water-birds which resort to St KUda for the purpose of 
breeding, and whose countless myriads enliven the otherwise 
'dreary solitudes of its rocky isles, and lend a charm to their 
gloomy and savage grandeur. Some faint idea of one of their 
breeding-places may perhaps be found, by a perusal of the fol- 
lowing extract from my note-book. 

Leaving the hut, I set off for the top of a high hill- above 
the village, and after a little scrambling among the loose 
blocks which covered its declivity, managed to reach it. The 
day was clear, and with the exception of small patches of fog 
which were hovering about, scarcely a cloud was to be seen. 
The dim outline of the Hebrides formed the eastern boundary 
of the horizon, which they filled as with a dim haze. On all 
other sides no land was to be seen, save the neighbouring 
islands of Borreray and Soay, with the adjacent rocks. After 
walking along the ridge a little way, I came suddenly upon 
the top of a tremendous precipice, far surpassing all my pre- 
conceived ideas of the grandest rock scenery. It was with a 
feeling of involuntary awe that I looked down 

*' High from the summit 
Of a craggy cliff, such as amazing frowns 
On utmost Hilda's shore, whose lonely race 
Resign the setting sun to Indian worlds," 

Mr John MacOIUiyray on the Island of St KUda. 56 

Far below me conld be seen the long heavy swell rolling in 
from the Atlantic, and climbing np the dark rock whose base 
it clothed with sheets of snow-white foam, as it broke with a 
sonnd at times scarcely perceptible, but at intenrals falling 
upon the ear like distant thunder. In many places the rock 
was scarcely visible on account of the absolute myriads of sea- 
birds sitting upon their nests ; the air was literally filled with 
ihem, and the water seemed profusely dotted with the larger 
fowl^the smaller ones beingnearly invisible on account of the dis- 
tance. The sound of their wings as they flew past, joined to their 
harsh screams as they wheeled along the face of the cliff, startled 
me from the reverie into which I was thrown by the strange 
scene before me. Every little ledge was thickly covered 
with kittiwakeSy auks, and guillemots ; all the grassy spots 
were tenanted by the fulmar, and honeycombed by myriads of 
puffins ; while close to the water, on the wet rocks which were 
hollowed out into deep caves, sat clusters of cormorants, erect 
and motionless, like so many unclean spirits guarding the en- 
trance of some gloomy cavern. On rolling down a large stone 
frbm the summit, a strange scene of confusion ensued. It 
would perhaps fall upon some unhappy fulmar sitting upon the 
nest, crushing her in an instant, then rolling down the crags, 
which reverberated its echoes far and near, tearing long fur- 
rows in the grassy slopes, and being shivered into fragments 
upon some projecting crag, scattering in dismay the dense 
groups of auks and guillemots. Its progress is all along marked 
by the clouds of birds which afl&ighted shoot out from the pre- 
cipice to avoid the fate which nevertheless would befal many, 
until at length it reaches the bottom, and is received into the 
water along with its many victims. The startled tenants of 
the rock now return to Uieir resting-places, and all is again 
comparatively quiet. 

Several species of gull are of common occurence. Laru9 
marinus axid fuscuSf the great and lesser Black-backed Gulls 
(^n Farspach)^ L. argentatus^ Herring {Faoileag\ L, eanus. 
Common Gull {FaoUeag Bheg)^ and L. tridactylus^ Kittiwake 
{Buideag.) Of these the last is the most abundant, and the 
L, cantM the least so. The kittiwake, unlike some of the 
others, is a social bird, and occupies the breeding-places, which 

60 .Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of St Kilda. 

it selects to the exclusion of almost every other species. It 
chooses the most inaccessible spots, and forms a regularly con- 
structed nest of turf and dried sea- weed, laying invariably three 
oggs, as the other gulls mentioned above generally do, with the 
exception of L. marinuSj which has usually only two. On dis' 
turbing a colony of kittiwakes, most of the birds leave their 
nests and fly about the intruder, uttering incessantly their cla- 
morous, but not unmusical cry. The noise from a large flock, 
.set in motion by repeated shots, is almost deafening ; the flap* 
ping of their wings, their loud cries, joined to the deep gutr 
tural notes of the passing gannets, and the screams of the 
larger gulls, form a combination of sounds without a paralld 
in nature. This bird is not deemed of sufficient importance 
by the fowlers to serve as an object of pursuit, probably on ac- 
count of its vigilance. 

St Kilda has been long noted as the only breeding-place in 
Britain of the fulmar petrel, ProceUaria glacialU (An Fulmar^ 
or Fulimar,)'* This bird exists there in almost incredible num- 

* As this bird has rarely been seen in its recent state by ornithologists, 
perhaps a short description of its colouring, with the measurements taken 
on the spot from numerous specimens, may be interesting, as it will be seen 
that my account differs considerably from those to be found in books. Up- 
per parts bluish-grey, darker on the wings, and gradually fading away to the 
tail ; head and neck white, with a slight tinge of yellow on the throat, and 
a small black spot before the eye, extending slightly over it ; bill bluish-yel- 
low, of different shades, notched with darker patches and streaks, whole of 
the under parts white, except the under surface of the wings, which is 
bluish-grey, the wing coverts being only slightly tinged with that colour. 
Legs pale-flesh coloured, darker on outer surface of outer toe. 

Mal^ Female. Female. 

In. 1. In. 1. In. 1. 

Length to end of tail, . . . . 18^ 1 7i ^X ^ 

Extent of wings, . . . . . I 10 3 9i 3 8 

Wing from flexure, . . . . 13 13 13 

Tail, 43 42 4 3 

Bill, measured straight, . . . 1 7i 16 16 

Nasal tube, 09 09 08 

Gape, 22 20 22 

Tarsus, .23 2 li 2 3 

Middle, 1 fS 3 2 9 

Outer, I toe and claw, . • . . < 3 1 3 2 lOi 

Inner, J 12 6 2 3 2 3 

Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of Si B^lda. 61 

bers, and to the natives is by far the most important of the 
productions of the island. It forms one of the principal means 
of support to the inhabitants, who daily risk their lives in its 
pursuit. The fulmar breeds on the face of the highest preci* 
pices, and only on such as are furnished with small grassy 
shelves, every spot on which above a few inches in extent is 
occupied with one or more of Its nests. The nest is formed of 
herbage, seldom bulky, generally a mere shallow excavation 
in the turf, lined with dried g^ss, and the withered tufts of 
the sea-pink, in which the bird deposits a single egg^ of a pure 
white colour when clean, which is seldom the case, and vary 
ing in size from 2 in. 7 lines, to 3 in. 1^ 1. in length, and 1 in. 
11 L to 2 inches in breadth. On the 30th of June, having 
partially descended a nearly perpendicular precipice 600 feet 
in height, the whole face of which was covered with the nests 
of the fulmar, I enjoyed an opportunity of observing the ha- 
bits of this bird, which has fallen to the lot of few of those 
who have described them, as if from personal observation. 
The nests had all been robbed about a month before by the 
natives, who esteem the eggs of this species above all others ; 
those of the auk, guillemot, kittiwake, and puffin, ranking next, 
and the gannet, scart, and cormorant, last of all. Many of the 
nests contained each a young bird a day or two old at farthest, 
thickly covered with long white down. Such of the eggs as 
I examined in situ, had a small aperture at the broad end, 
at which the bill of the chick was visible, sometimes protrud- 
ing a little way. Several addle eggs also occurred. The 
young birds were very clamorous on being handled, and vo- 
mited a quantity of plear oil, with which I sometimes observed 
the parent birds feeding them by disgorging it. The ful- 
mar is stated in most works on ornithology to possess the 
power of ejecting oil with much force through its tubular 
nostrils, using this as a mode of defence ; but although I 
surprised several upon the nest, I never observed them at- 
tempt this. On being seized, they instantly vomit a quan- 
tity of clear amber-coloured oil, which imparts to the whole 
bird, its nest and young, and even the very rock which it 
frequents, a peculiar and very disagreeable odour. Fulmar 
oil is among the most valuable productions of St Kilda, and: 

62 Mr John MacGilliTray on the bland of Si XSUa. 

is procured of two kinds by different processes. The best is 
obtained from the old bird by surprising it at night upon the 
rock, and tightly closing the bill until the fowler has secured 
the bird between his knees, with its head downwards. By 
opening the bill, the fulmar is allowed to disgorge about a 
table spoonful, or rather more, of oil, into the dried gullet and 
stomach of a solan goose, used as a reservoir for that purpose. 
These, when filled, are secured with a string, and hung on 
cords across the interior of the huts, until required for use. 
The oil thus procured and preserved, besides supplying their 
lamps, is used by the inhabitants as a medicine, being some* 
times of considerable efficacy in chronic rheumatism, and act* 
ing as a cathartic ; while, from its. nauseous taste and smell, it 
would doubtless prove an effectual emetic also to any but a 
St Kildian. In the beginning of August, the natives descend 
the rocks for the young fulmars, which are then nearly fledged, 
and by boiling with water, in proper vessels, are made to fur* 
nish a large quantity of fat, which is skimmed off, and pre- 
served in casks in the solid form. The old fiUmar is much 
esteemed as food by the St ELildians, principally on account of. 
Its subcutaneous covering of fat, a substance of which they 
are immoderately fond. One which I had the curiosity to 
taste unexpectedly proved tolerable enough, after the enve- 
lope in question had been removed. Perhaps the keenness of 
V^y appetite deceived me, as it was not blunted by the follow- 
ing bill of fare : fulmar, auk, guillemot, one of each, boiled ; 
two puffins, .roasted ; barley-cakes, ewe-cheese, and milk ; and 
by way of dessert, raw dulse and roasted limpets ad libiium. 

It is chiefly in pursuit of the fulmar that the St Kildian re^ 
quires to endanger his life, by descending the tremendous pre- 
cipices, on the faces of which it breeds in almost incredible 
numbers. Their mode of procedure is as follows : Two men 
go in company,*each furnished with several coils of rope,* about 
half an inch in diameter. The person whose turn it is to de* 

* Formerly^ ropes of hair and strips of hide were exclusively employed 
for this putpose, as being less acted on by friction against projecting angles. 
They are now, however, superseded by those of hemp ; less durable, to be 
tiaw, bat more ^coaomieal^ 09 hmg pfocorod rea^ mader 

Mr John MaoGilliyvay m the Ulmd of Si JBlda. 63 

scead fastens one of the ropes under his armpits, and» holding 
the extremity of another rope in one hand, is lowered down 
the cliff. His comrade stands a little away from the edge, 
holding the supporting rope firmly with both hands, and, let* 
ting it out very slowly, while he allows the other or guide-rope 
to slip out as is required from under one foot, which loosely 
secures it. When the rope is all run out, another is joined to 
it, by means of a noose with which it is provided, and the line 
is thus lengthened to any degree. On arriving at a ledge oo* 
cupied by birds, the fowler commences his operations, easily 
securing the eggs and young birds, knocking down the old 
ones with a short stick, or catching them by a noose attached 
to a long slender rod, killing them in a moment by dexterously 
bending*the head backwards upon the neck. He then secures 
his sport by bundling the birds together, and tying them to a 
rope let down from above, depositing, at the same time, in a 
small basket the eggs which he has collected. The dexterity 
of these rocksmen is truly astonishing. The smallest spot is 
considered by them as a secure enough standing-place ; and 
they will creep on hands and knees, though cumbered with a 
load of birds, along a narrow ledge, seemingly without concern 
for their personal safety. When exhibiting before strangers, 
which they are easily induced to do, they generally choose for 
the display of their agility a precipice about 600 feet in heighti 
overhanging the sea, at a short distance fr^m the village. One 
of them will then suspend himself about mid-way down the 
cUff, and, striking his feet against the rock, shoot himself out 
some ten or twelve feet or more, rebounding from it several 
times, and increasing the distance with each rebound ; per- 
forming this, and many similar feats, with all the agility of a 
professional performer upon the tight rope. It is truly sur- 
prising that no serious accident has occurred for the last ten 
years, although, a few years ago, a man fell into the sea from 
an immense height, but was fortunately picked up unhurt by 
his comrades, who were at hand with a boat. He floated, I 
jwas told, for some time, though, like the other natives, unable 
to swim. 

The fulmar flies with great buoyancy and considerable rapi- 
dity, and when at sea, is generally seen skimoiing along tha 

64 Mr John MapGilUvray on the island of St S!ada4 

surface of the wave at a slight elevation, thongh I never ob- 
served one to alight or pick up any thing from the water.* 
It is partially a noctamal bird, for I seldom observed it at any 
distance firom St Kilda except during the evening and about 
daybreak ; at the latter time, always flying in the direction of 
St Kilda, as if hastening homewards. I have also, on one or 
two occasions, when at sea, engaged in cod-fishing to the west- 
ward of the Harris islands, in very gloomy and rainy weather, 
observed a few fulmars flying about the boat, probably at- 
tracted by the fish we had caught. At its breeding-places^ 
however, the fulmar is always in motion, comparatively few 
being to be seen upon the rocks, the great mass being en- 
gaged flying in circles along the face of the precipice, and al- 
ways in the same direction, none crossing, probably on account 
of the confusion this would cause among such an immense mul- 
titude. I never obser\'ed them utter any cry when thus en-^ 
gaged, or even when their nests were being robbed. The ful* 
mar does not allow itself to be handled with impunity, but de- 
fends itself with its powerful bill, which it can use with as 
much efiect as good will. 

Phalacrocorax Carbo and cristatus^ the common and crest- 
ed cormorants (Xarbh-buiU and Xarbh-beg)^ are both found 
in St Kilda, the latter in great numbers. Their eggs are ex- 
tremely nauseous, and even the natives hold them in little 
esteem. They nestle in the numerous caves and recesses 
throughout the group, seldom ; however, breeding at any great 
height above the water, into which they drop like a stone when 
alarmed by man, which they seldom are, allowing him to ap 
proach within a very few feet. 

The gannet, or solan goose, Suia alba, (An Sulair)^ is to 
be seen in vast numbers about St Kilda, from whence a por- 
tion of them take their departure every morning to fish in the 
bays and channels of the other Hebrides, the nearest of which 
is about 50 miles distant. I have even seen them in Dimve- 
gan Loch, in the Isle of Skye, about 90 miles from St Kilda« 

.* Several wliich I dissected had the stomach filled with pore oil^ mixed up 
-Wiih the indigestible homy mandibles of some Of the Sepiadm^ which, we 
may conclude, form their piiiicipal food* 

* Mr John MacGillivray on (he liland of St EUda. 65 

to ^vhich I IiaVe no doubt they all retire at night In faot^ 
long strings of gannets may be seen on the approach of even- 
ing winging their way to the westward. This bird is appa- 
rently very select in the choice of its breeding- places, which 
it occupies to the total exclusion of every other species. None 
are to be found in Hirta, but the island Borreray is almost 
entirely occupied with them, as are also the adjacent rocks 
Stack Ly and Stack Narmin. The two latter, remarkable 
for their pointed summits and great height, along with por- 
tions of Borreray, appear even from the distance of many 
miles as if covered with snow, this deceptive appearance being 
caused by the myriads of gannets with which the rock is thickly 
covered, as well as the clouds of these birds passing and re- 
passing in the neighbourhood of their nests. The young birds 
are fledged in August if the produce of the first laying, but 
not till September if the first egg has been taken away, as it 
always is in spots of easy access. The ascent of Stack Ly, a 
rock which seems absolutely inaccessible, is considered the 
greatest of all the dangers to which a St Eildian can expose 
himself. Only a single man can land at a time, and that only 
in fine weather. Even then there is great danger in a near 
approach, on account of the heavy swell, which many years 
ago drove upon the rock the only boat belonging to the island, 
when all on board, with one exception, perished. A second 
boat had previously been lost at the same place, but the crew 
were so fortunate as to effect a landing, and were taken off 
the rock a few days after by a boat from Harris sent to col- 
lect the rent The man who lands first, after scrambling to 
the top, lowers a rope, by which the rest easily ascend, and 
commence plundering the nests, throwing down into the sea, 
to be afterwards picked up, the bodies of the young birds, 
and such of the old ones as they can secure. The old birds, 
however, are generally caught in gins, or killed under night 
when asleep. Great caution is required to prevent any of the 
gannets from giving the alarm, in which case the courage and 
ingenuity of the fowler will be exerted in vain. 

Great numbers of gannets are taken not only in St Kilda, 
but also throughout the Hebrides, by cautiously approaching 
them in a boat under sail, when gorged with fish and asleep 


d6 Mr John MacGilliyray an the Inland of St Kilda. 

upon the water. It requires great dexterity, however, to suc- 
ceed in this, and I have often seen it fail, especially in calm 
weather, or when there is only a slight breeze, the bird being 
awakened by the noise of the gliding of the boat through the 
water, and rising on wing, when it invariably disgorges with 
a loud harsh scream. The pasture on the island of Borreray 
is nearly destroyed by the gannets, which have dug great 
numbers of large deep holes in the turf, to procure materials 
for .their nests, which are composed externally of sea-weed. 
The latter substance many of them must procure from a dis- 
tance of 60 miles or more, there not being a sufficiency in any 
of the St Kilda Isles. In fact, I have seen a gannet flying 
apparently from Harris, with a large quantity of sea-weed in 
its bill. The force with which the gannet plunges from on 
wing in pursuit of a fish is astonishingly great. The follow- 
ing story, illustrating this point, was related to me by more 
than one person both in St Kilda and Harris, and I believe to 
be true. Several years ago, an open boat was returning from 
St Kilda to Harris, and a few herrings happened to be lying 
in the bottom, close to the edge of the ballast. A gannet 
passing over head, stopping for a moment, suddenly darted 
down upon the fish, and passed through the bottom of the 
boat as far as the middle of the body, which being retained in 
that position by one of the crew, effectually stopped the leak 
until they had reached their destination. The long streak of 
foam which follows the plunge of the gannet may be dis- 
tinctly seen at the distance of more than a mile, when the bird 
itself is far below the surface, and of course invisible. 

The account given by Martin of the barren gannets, which 
roost separately from the others, was confirmed by the natives. 

The stormy Petrel is abundant in St Kilda, but whether 
Thalassidroma BuUockii is there equally common with the 
other species, I am not able to determine. The island of 
Soay is the principal breeding-place of this bird, where, as 
well as in several spots among the others of the group, it 
nestles among debris and in crevices of the rocks, laying, ac- 
cording to my informants, for I never found the nest myself, 
one, sometimes two eggs. The bird sits very close upon the 
nesty from which it will allow itself to be taken by the hand^ 

Mr John MacGillivray on ike Island of Si Kilda. 67 

vomiting, on being handled, a quantity of pure oil, which is 
carefully preserved by the fowlers, and the bird allowed to 
escape. It is only at sunset and about daybreak that I have 
observed the stormy petrel at sea, except during gloomy wea* 
ther, save once while crossing the Minch, being then not far 
from one of their breeding-places, at Dunvegan Head, in the 
Isle of Skye. 

PuffinuB anfflorum, the Shearwater, or Manx Petrel, is not 
uncommon in St Kilda, where it breeds in excavations formed 
by itself in the soft earth filling many of the fissures among 
the rocks. Comparatively few are taken by the fowlers, for 
it is never made a regular object of pursuit ; and yet I have 
seen a bunch of several dozens brought by one of them from 
the island of Soay. It lays but a single egg, which I was told 
it deposits upon a slight nest of dried grass at the bottom of 
its burrow, where it spends most of the day, during which 
time few are to be seen, it being in a manner nocturnal in its 
habits. Its flight is very characteristic, and, joined to its 
dark colour, renders even a single individual very easy of de- 
tection, though among a flock of other birds and at a consi- 
derable distance. 

By far the most abundant species in St Kilda is the puffin, 
Mormon arciicus^ (Buikir or Boujer)^ which breeds in the 
crevices of the rocks, as well as in artificial burrows in almost 
every situation, sometimes at a considerable distance from the 
water's edge. This bird is taken by the fowlers in two ways : 
when on its nest, by introducing the hand and dragging out 
the bird, at the risk of a severe bite ; and when sitting on the 
rocks, by means of a noose of horse-hair attached to a slender 
rod, generally formed of bamboo-cane (procured probably 
from some wreck). The latter mode of fowling is most suc- 
cessful in wet weather, as the puffins then sit best upon the 
rocks, allowing a person to approach within a few yards, and 
as many as 300 may be taken in the course of the day by an 
expert birdr catcher. 

Of all the St Kilda birds, the puffin probably afibrds the 
greatest amusement to the sportsman, as well from the rapi- 

f I obUined a yearly vhite vaiietj whep in 19t Kil4«» 

0S Mr John MacGillivray on the Island of St Kilda. 

dity of its flight, as its habit of congregating in dense masses 
when sitting tipon the rocks. As many as a dozen may often 
be secured at a single shot, and I have more than once seen a 
small shelf about the size of a table, which was swept bare at 
a single discharge, the birds falling into the sea below. The 
smoke had scarcely cleared away, when the scene of slaughter 
was as thickly crowded as ever, and many more might have 
been easily procured. The food of the puffin during my visit 
I believe to have been chiefly the fry of the coal-fish, Gadus 
earbonariuSy from having repeatedly shot the birds flying to 
their nests with this fish in their bills, and I thus found that 
both males and females supply the young with food. The 
puffin forms the chief ^article of food with the St Kildians 
during the summer months, and is usually cooked by roasting 
among the ashes. 

Uria Troile^ the Common Guillemot (Lamhi^ or Lavy) is very 
abundant. U. GryUe^ the Black Guillemot {Gearra-hreac), less 
so. The latter is a solitary bird, breeding in holes and clefts 
among the rocks, while the common guillemot nestles on ex- 
posed shelves, usually close to the water's edge. 

Alca Torda, the Common Auk {An Fcdc)^ is nearly as plen- 
tiful as the guillemot, generally breeding, like that species, 
upon exposed shelves, but sometimes in fissures, from which I 
have dragged both the old and young birds. The cry of the 
latter, when seized, is a loud plaintive squeak, ending in a 

The Great Auk, Alca impennis, was declared by several 
of the inhabitants to be of not unfrequent occurrence about 
St Kilda, where, however, it has not been known to breed for 
many years back. Three or four specimens only have been 
ever procured during the memory of the oldest inhabitant. 

No doubt a considerable variety of fish might be found about 
St Kilda ; in fact there is abundance of excellent cod, ling, 
txisk, and skate about the entrance of the bay, all of which 
might be taken by lines fastened to the shore, on account of 
the depth of water immediately under the rocks ; but, either 
from indolence or the want of proper materials, the inhabi-. 
tants pay little attention to this important pursuit. 

Of the entomology of St Kilda I can give but a very mesLgve 

Mr Joha MacGillivray #;i the Isiand of St KUda. 69 

accoant Among the few Coleoptera picked up during my 
rambles, by far the most interesting are Elaphrus Lapponieua 
and Bifrrhus ceneuSy* both recent acquisitions to the British 
Fauna. The latter occurred beneath stones in several places, 
the former only in some wet gi'ound in a valley on the west 
side of the principal island. Carabus catenulatus and granu- 
latus (canc€llatu8\ of most authors), Elaphrut cupreus, Atopa 
Cervina^ Sclatosomus ameus^ Ctenicerus cupreus and tesielatusi 
and Geotrupea aylvaticus. complete the list of coleoptera of 
which I preserved specimens. 

Hipparchia PamphUus^ Charoeas graminis^ and Pluaia Gam- 
ma, yf ere the sole representatives of the Lepidoptera that I 
remember having observed. 

H(Bmatopoda pluvialia, Chryaops coscutiena, and an unde* 
termined species of Tabanua^ include the principal Diptera, 
with the exception of Gaaterophilua Equi, a pair of which I 

With the common Panorpa eommunia I may conclude this 
brief list of insects, some of which are, however, of consider- 
able rarity. A diligent search would no doubt produce many 

Having now brought to a close these cursory remarks upoti 
St Kilda, I may mention, that after a residence of only four 
days I was unexpectedly forced to hurry my departure, in 
order to take advantage of a favourable breeze that had just 
sprung up. Accordingly, at noon, on Saturday the 4th July, 
I bade farewell to this rugged isle and its hospitable inhabi- 
tants. The huge rocky piles, and their clouds of sea-fowl, 
became every moment more and more dim, and at length were 
lost in a thick fog which enveloped us. It rained most of the 
day ; and just as we had caught a glimpse of Haskir, the wind 
shifted, night came on, and we had lost our way. The wind 

* Since writiiig the above, I have found this species in great abundance 
on the sandy links of Old Aberdeen. 

t The splendid C. dathratus I found to be plentifully distributed through- 
out the Hebrides, having observed it in North and South Uist, the island of 
Bemera, as well as the range of flat moors at the southern extremity of the 
mainland of Harris, associated there with C, glabrattu. 

70 M, Ca8te on Fresh-water Pofypl 

had been gradually increasing, and now blew a heavy gale, 
breaking the tops of the huge billows which rolled iii majesti- 
cally from the Atlantic. The small leaky boat in which I was, 
in company with two St Kildians, proving rather troublesome, 
was abandoned by our friends in the other, who would tow us 
no longer. We were thus left to our fate, in a dark night, 
with a storm blowing off the land, to reach which we had a 
miserable boat half filled with water, and two oars, one of 
them broken. After rowing incessantly during the night, 
without making any progress, and barely escaping frt>m being 
drifted out to sea, at day-break we found ourselves off the 
Sound of Harris, and after a long continued struggle, contrived 
to make the uninhabited island of Shellay, where we landed 
upon a beach, at the upper part of which lay the dismantled 
skeleton of a huge grampus, while several pairs of eider-ducks 
were sporting about. Here we attempted to kindle a fire, 
intending to remain till the storm subsided, and relief could 
be sent us. Having fasted since the preceding morning, it 
was proposed to shoot a lamb and roast it; but it seems we 
had reckoned without our host, for wet sticks are not easily 
made to bum, and guns plugged up with rust, and half filled 
with water, can seldom be induced to go off ; so both schemes 
being found impracticable, were abandoned. After break- 
fasting on brackish water and raw limpets, I prevailed upon 
my companions to push off for Pabbay, the nearest landing- 
place on which was two miles distant. We accordingly em- 
barked once more in our frail vessel, and arrived in safety at 
our destination, after narrowly escaping being lost among 
some sunk rocks, on which at one time the breakers were ris- 
ing fearfully all around us. 

Old AsfiRDEBN, June 26. 1841. 

On Fresh-water FolypL By M. Coste. 

M. Coste has lately presented to the Academy of Sciences 
a short Memoir on Fresh-water Polypi, from which we sup- 
ply the following extracts. 

On the eve of my departure upon a journey of scientific dis- 

M. Coste on Freik-waier Polypi. 71 

CM>very to the shores of Italy, for the purpose of collecting mate- 
rials for the completion of my treatise on Ck>mparative Embryo- 
geny, I take leave to present to the Academy some results of 
a general work upon the Organization and Natural History of 
the Lower Animals, — ^a publication which I shall have the 
honour to submit in its complete form when all the plates are 
finished. In the mean time, I shall dwell only on the Fresh- 
water Polypi ; and hence this communication is to be consi- 
dered merely as a minute fragment of more extended researches. 
The points upon which I wish at present to fix attention are 
the following : TJ^e muscular apparatus is composed, 1st, Of 
the motor tubercular muscles, which are of two sorts, — the one 
flexors within the parts, the other flexors without : they exist 
throughout the whole extent of the tentacula, and present, in 
the course of their progress, a certain number of nodosities or 
knots. 2</, Of the motor muscles of the tongue, which are 
disposed in two parallel series before and behind, and are used 
in raising the organ. 3e/, Of the retractors of the animal, 
forming two large muscles, which, from the bottom of the cell 
into which they are inserted, somewhat in advance of the point 
of attachment of the ovary, mount up on each side of the in- 
testine, to which they send fibres of insertion in passing, and 
which, on reaching the middle of the oesophagus, divide into two 
unequal bundles; the largerattachesitself tothe sides of the buc- 
cal aperture at the base of the arms, and the other at the pos- 
terior of the base of these arms. In the Paludicella, the two 
fasciculi are not divided, the fibres being distributed and in- 
serted round nearly the whole circumference of the mouth. 
4/A, Of the proper retractors of the intestine, two in number, 
fixed, on the one hand, behind the point of insertion of the 
ovary, and, on the other, at the posterior part of the stomach, 
where they appear to terminate, after bifurcating. 5/A, Of 
the dilating muscles of the sheath. These are cutaneous, ar- 
ranged more or less transversely, and very numerous, in a 
certain extent of the length of the circumference of the free 
extremity of the cell. They are inserted, in one part, at the 
internal surface of the skin which covers the extremity of the 
cell, so, of course, favouring the exit of the animal by over- 

72 M. Coste, on Freshrwater Pofypi. 

co^li]lg the closure occasioned by the contraction of the sphinc- 
ter of the sheath to which they are antagonists. The Paludi- 
cella present, in this respect, a difference which it would be 
tedious to explain, but which will be accurately represented 
in the plates. 6^A, Of the regulator muscles of the sheath, to 
the number of about ten. They are arranged like so many 
cords, which, from the anterior third of the length of the in- 
side of the cell into which they are inserted, extend in the form 
of rays, converging forward from behind towards the circum- 
ference of the posterior extremity of the sheath, to the points 
of whose circumference they attach themselves. Their use 
seems to be to enable the sheath to maintain, in a permanent 
manner, the infolded arrangement which is natural to it, and 
likewise to oppose any undue unfolding of the animal. On 
this account, we designate them the regulators of the sheath. 
They are much fewer in the Paludicella than in the horse-shoe 
plumed polypi (cb panache en/er a cheval). The dilating and 
regulating muscles of the sheath are the only portions which 
have any traces, however obscure they may be, of the radiatory 
arrangement of the fresh-water polypi ; all the rest of the or- 
ganization being evidently binary. 

The Digestive Apparatus^ which is composed of three very 
distinct compartments, the oesophagus, stomach, and rectum.. 
The oesophagus commences in front by a circular and ciliated 
mouth, surmounted by a tongue which is also ciliated, which 
serves as an operculum, and varies in form, size, and arrange- 
ment, according to the species. It communicates behind with 
the stomach, by a mouth shaped as in the tench, projecting into 
the interior of this organ. This tongue and tench-like mouth 
form an anatomical arrangement which belongs exclusively to 
the horse-shoe plumed polypi, being absent in the Paludicella, 
which, in this respect, present an entirely different conforma- 
tion, and in which it is also found that the absence of a tongue 
and of the tench-shaped mouth coincides with that of a palmed 
membrane, which unites the base of the tentacula of the polypi 
to the horse-shoe plume. The stomach forms a large pouch, 
terminated posteriorly in a cul-de-sac, and presents through- 
out the extent of its inner surface many projecting longitudi- 

M. Coste on Freik-^aUer PoljfpL 73 

nal folds. The rectum commences towards the anterior part 
of the stomach, a little behind the cesophagus, by an aperture 
furnished with a sphincter, and opens externally upon the 
back of the animal. The coats of the three intestinal divi- 
sions are somewhat thick, — have a structure which appears 
glandular, and exhibit a muscular coat formed of circular 
fibres, which endows them with a strong contractile power, 
and which enables the stomach to operate on the aliment by 
its yery marked movements, facilitating, of course, the process 
of digestion. In the Paludicella this power of contraction 
being much less, there is substituted a number of very long 
cilia, which are placed round the opening of communication 
between the stomach and rectum, and which, by their vibra- 
tions, agitate the alimentary molecules. 

The Apparatus of SeproducHon. Besides the power of pro- 
pagating themselves by means of gemmse» the fresh-water 
polypi also propagate by ova, which are produced in a filiform 
ovary, situate at the posterior part of the stomach, to which 
it is attached by one of its extremities, whilst by the other it 
is fixed to the inner surface of the cell, between the two points 
of attachment of the retractor muscles of the animal and those 
of the intestine. All the members of the same polypidon ap- 
pear to produce ova, and consequently, if there are two sexes, 
they must be united in the same individual. In general, the 
ova of the Alcyonella produce two individuals which are 
united, soft, and contractile throughout their whole extent ; 
so that the new polypidon which results from the co-existence 
of these two individuals, is capable of displacing itself up to 
the moment when the superficial latter of Us external envelope 
becomes solid. The external envelope of the Cristatella never 
becomes solid, but always maintains the power of contraction. 
We have observed in the common visceral cavity which is com- 
mon to the two individuals which proceed from the ova of the 
Alcyonella a well-defined spheroidal mass, which diminishes in 
fflze in proportion as the young polypidon augments, and final- 
ly disappears entirely. This temporary Organ appears to be 
connected with the posterior extremity of the stomach, and 
should be considered, we believe, a kind of umbilical vessel. 
The young of the Cristatella have the whole of their visceral 

74 Geology of America. 

cavity occupied by a granidar matter, which appears to be of 
the same nature with that which fills the umbilical yesicle of 
the Alcyonella. This matter extends to the extremity of the 
tentacula, which clearly proves that these tentacula are hol- 
low throughout their whole extent, and have each a long cul- 
de-sac, coDlmunicating with the cavity which exists between 
the skin of the animal and its intestine. This communication 
is also provided, in adults, with a passage for a fluid which 
circulates in this cavity. 

The Nervous System is composed of a double sub-oesopha- 
gial ganglion, which supplies posterior filaments distributed 
along the oesophagus, and anterior ones, which appear to be 
distributed in front and on the sides. 

After thus regarding, then, the complicated organisation of 
the species of polypi which have been occupying our atten- 
tion, also the general binary disposition of their organs, the 
position of their nervous system ; after considering, also, that 
they have mouths, in many respects analogous to that of the 
moUusca, and that, like them, they produce the envelope 
which protects them ; and when to this we add certain special 
facts which the Cristatella present, as, for example, having a 
foot which is everywhere contractile, and their secreting, like 
the gasteropoda, a copious viscous matter, we shall be led not 
only to associate them with the class of the moUusca, but like- 
wise to introduce along with them all the animals which are 
^Eirther down the scale. Before, however, maintaining this as 
an irrefiiagably established fact, we shall request another op- 
portunity of explaining some additional results of our re- 

American Geology — Erratic JBlooks — Glacial Action. 

Thb October number of the American Journal of Science 
contains an address delivered by Professor Hitchcok to a 
meeting of geologists, which gives a general view of the pro- 
gress of the science in the United States. Some of the de- 
tails are not without interest on this side of the Atlantic. 
, Geological Surveys. — It appears that in a considerable num-* 

Geohgy of America. * 76 

ber of the States, the Goyemment has ordered geological sur- 
veys to be made at the public expense. This is a good ar- 
rangement, and peculiarly necessary in a country like the United 
States, where the field is immense, and the men of science 
few. Besides, a man clothed with public authority gets easier 
access to useful documents than an amateur ; his object is less 
likely to be misunderstood ; and being paid for his work, he 
does it systematically, instead of selecting special subjects of 
inquiry suited to his private convenience or his individual 

F'aUey oftJie Musts^ippi. — Nearly the whole of the vast basin 
of the Mississippi, from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Moun- 
tains, a space equal to two-thirds of Europe, is covered by a 
series of deposits, which has been divided into thirteen forma- 
tions, — ^the upper corresponding to the coal measures of Eng- 
land, the lower to the Devonians or Old Red Sandstone, the 
Silurians, and the Cambrians. The thickness of the whole is 
estimated at 40,000 feet, or nearly ei^hi miiei; and this is ex- 
clusive of the primary stratified rocks. The coal exists only 
in certain portions of the great basin. The Silurians have 
been identified by their fossils ; an interesting fact, when we 
consider that a space of 5000 miles intervenes between the Bri* 
tish and American Strata. Mr Murchison was highly grati- 
fied to find the British fossils in northern and central Russia, 
at the distance of 1200 or 1400 miles from the Silurian dis- 
trict of Wales ; but their appearance on the west side of the 
Alleghanies, is still more important. It enables us to state 
that the same species of sauroid and shell-fish, and corals, had 
existed at the Silurian period from the latitude of 40, to that 
of 60, and from the Volga to the Mississippi. At the present 
day the range of species is much more limited. The testacea, 
zoophytes, and fish for instance, of the Red Sea, are as a group 
extremely distinct from those of the Mediterranean (Lyell's Ele- 
ments, ii. p. 204.) 

The cretaceous formation has been found in the basin of 
the Mississippi, and identified by the fossils, but the rock does 
not assume the form of chalk — ^a case not uncommon. Patches 
of the oolite have been found in the same region ; and a stripe 
of tertiary deposits has been traced along the -eastern coast 

7.6 Geology of America. 

from Massachnsetts to Florida. Thus an identity, or at least 
a close correspondence (for we must .speak cautiously till the 
fossils are carefully compared) has been found to exist not 
only in the oldest but the newest formations, over a space ex- 
tending from Austria to New Orleans. The Tertiary rooks 
are believed to have beien originally formed in detached basins* 
and never to have been continuous, and their recurrence in 
distant parts of the globe was therefore less certain than in 
the case of the primary and secondary rocks. 

Grooved and polished rock» — Diluvium — Boulders. — The 
phenomena of polished, scratched, and grooved rocks, are more 
common, Dr Hltchcok thinks, in the United States than in 
Europe. If the formations of New England were denuded, 
*' one-third of the surfaces,'' he believes, ** would be found 
smoothed and furrowed." The diluvium or drift is also simi- 
lar to some extent, in composition and appearance, to that of 
Britain. The lowest portion is of sand, clay, gravel, and 
boulders, seldom stratified ; next are horizontal layers of fine 
blue clay ; above this is a bed of sand ; and scattered over tlie 
whole surface are insulated blocks, sometimes rounded, and 
sometimes angular. The chief difference between these de- 
posits and ours, is in the second, corresponding to our i4>per 
diluvial clay, which we have never seen stratified in this coun- 
try. The diluvium forms conical and oblong tumuli, and tor- 
tuous ridges ; features common to it here. 

The striae and grooves on the rocks generally point south- 
easterly, and this has been found to hold true, with small 
local exceptions, over a breadth of 2000 miles (meaning, we 
presume, the region from Florida to Canada) ; 2. They appear 
on mountains to the height of 3000 feet, but not on those ex- 
ceeding 4000 ; 3. They are feebler and fainter in the south of 
the United States than the north; 4. In New England erratic 
blocks have been traced to places one or two hundred miles, 
and west of the AUeghanies to places four or five hundred 
miles, from their original locality. The following remark is 
important, from its bearing on the Glacial Theory: — " It iai 
very natural to ascribe the smoothness and furrowing of the 
rocks to the action of water. But I have in vain examined ^ 

Geology of America. 77 

the beds of our monntain torrents, and the shores of the At- 
lantic, where the rocks hare been exposed to the unshielded 
and everlasting concussion of the breakers, and can find no 
attrition that rcUl at aU compare with that connected with drifts 
and I am satisfied that to explain it we must resort to some 
other agency.'* He adds, that the work of Agassiz on Glaciers 
has given us the first glimpse of what seems to be a solution 
of this problem. 

He observes, that, in the United States, the striae and fur*^ 
rows have not been found to tudiate in different directions 
from a mountain chain (as they do in the Alps, which Agassiz 
calls a *' centre of dispersion") ; and further, that the northern 
slopes of mountains are grooved^ even though very steep, while 
the drift covers the opposite side. We have here the pheno- 
menon of " Crag and Tail," so familiarly known in this coun- 
try, and under the same aspect ; for the marks of attrition 
here are generally found on the west or north sides of hills. 
New light has been thrown on this subject by Mr Murchison's 
researches in Russia. He thinks that the striated surfaces 
there cannot be accounted for by the abrasion of glaciers, but 
m£ty rather be ascribed to the action of floating fnaesee of ice^ 
armed with stones or gravel adhering to their bottoms, and that 
the mounds and ridges of gravel and clay arise from the ac- 
tion of currents casting up on their flanks masses of ice loaded 
with debris. 

This removes some difficulties ; but the question presents 
itself— why do these furrows, and these ridges or tails of al- 
luvium, generally point north-west and south-east in Russia, 
Sweden, Britain, and the United States, with the crag or bare 
scalp of rock on the north or north-west side, and the tail of 
alluvium on the south or S9uth-east? The phenomena in- 
dicate the motion of masses of water, ice, gravel, and clay, 
from the north or north-west, and may probably be accounted 
for as follows r-^-While the northern portions of the new and 
old continents were for the greater part under the sea, a broad 
current would set continually eastward, along the regions in- 
cluded in the temperate zone. The grounds which led me to 
form the condusion, were stated in my work on the geology of 
this distariet. Let us next assume what Agassiz has proved, that 

78 Geology of America. 

the ice which now surrounds the pole and covers the upper re- 
gions of our great mountain chains, is hut the remnant of much 
larger masses, which were chiefly seated in high latitudes, and 
were perhaps heaped up near the pole to the depth of ten thour 
sand feet. When the change of temperature took place, which 
partially dissolved and broke up this mountain of ice, as it may 
be termed, the water, liberated by fusion, would flow off on 
all sides from the pole, forming currents, and bearing with them 
floating masses of ice. The motion of these would be south- 
ward, like that of the icebergs often seen in the Atlantic, and 
that great floating raft of ice which Captain Parry supposed 
at first to be fixed, but which he afterwards found was in mo- 
tion, bearing him southward with nearly the same speed that 
he travelled northward on its siuface.* In moving south- 
ward the currents from the pole would meet the easterly cur- 
rents, be incorporated with them, and the result would be, 
currents compounded of the two — that is, moving in a south" 
easterly direction. And thus icebergs and floating fragments 
of ice, loaded at their bottoms with stones, gravel, and sand, 
and set loose from the polar regions, would be home along 
south-ea&tward, producing striae and farrows pointing .in that 
direction ; the declivities of hills facing the currents — that is, 
fronting the north-west, when moderately inclined (Corstor- 
phine Hill is an example) would be doubly, abraded and grooved* 
because there the onward pressure of the water aided the 
weight of the mass of ice ; on the other hand, declivities front- 
ing the south-east would scarcely feel the action of the cur- 
rents, but would be the seat of eddies, where the clay, sand, 
gravel, and boulders, would be deposited. 

Again, returning to the idea started by Mr Murchison ; if 
the south-easterly currents were occasionally choked with ice, 
which was afterwards torn up and driven along, we can under- 
stand that masses of it loaded with drift might be forced out 
laterally, and lodged on the flanks of the currents, as exempli- 
fied in the river Neva. Mr Murchison's hypothesis explains 

* The tendency of these masses would not be to move right southward, 
but rather south-westward, owing to the low velocity of revolution they 
broaght with them from the higher latitudes. The motion of the combined 
«iuff«&t» however, would still be 0oatIi«eaeteTly^btttft Utile mote to the uovHk^ 

Geology of America. 79 

how ihe long ridges of clay and gravel so common in Sweden 
and Finland, and seen also in the United States, might be 
formed, and the ideas now thrown out may serve to account 
for the north-west and south-east arrangement they generally 
affect. This arrangement would not be uniform, but would 
of course be modified by the position of mountain chains or 
high lands which rose above the water. In some cases the 
line of motion might be right southward, in others right east- 
ward, but in the greater number of cases it would be inter- 

If we suppose the fusion of the ice to be proceeding slowly 
for a thousand years, and numerous icebergs loaded with gravel 
and stones to be constantly detaching themselves from the 
polar nucleus, and pursuing their course south-easterly, we 
may comprehend how all the i*ocks at moderate depths might 
have their upper surfaces scratched and grooved in that di- 
rection. Some of the larger icebergs are believed to reach 
down 1000 feet below the surface of the water, and might 
scratch rocks even at that depth, while the smaller ones would 
operate on rocks almost close to the beach. Boulders would 
be tranq[)orted by the same agency over great distances. 
. Mr Murchison's hypothesis, if adopted, does not exclude 
that of Agassiz. On the contrary, it may be assumed, that, 
while the gladcal condition (which caused the great accu- 
mulation of ice in the northern regions) continued, every 
mountain chain which then had an elevation of two or three 
thousand feet above the sea, would be encrusted with ice, 
perhaps as far south as the latitude of 40. Each of these 
would be on a small, what the polar nucleus of ice was on a 
great scale — a " centre of dispersion.'^ Grooving clearly re- 
ferrible to glacial action, has been traced on Jura and the 
Vosges, and I believe also on the Scandinavian chain as well 
as the Alps. 

Mr Lyell has shewn that in the present state of our know- 
ledge, the ' distribution of erratic blocks cannot be explained, 
without assuming the agency of floating masses of ice in trans- 
porting some of them. We have a good example at hand in 
the Pentland Hills, where a block of mica-slate, which must 
bave tvavell^d from the Grampians, may be seen resting on 

80 Prof. Wagner on the Stinging Vtgans of the Medutas. 

the soil near the Waterfall at Habbie's How. It weighs 8 
or 10 tons, and occupies a position about 1100 feet above the 
sea. No glacier, by the mere expansion of its mass, could 
carry this across 50 or 60 miles of low country, and lodge it 
where it lies. 

Strata doubled over, and reversed. — Examples occur in the 
Alps of strata being doubled over, so that the newer rocks are 
found beneath the older. A remarkable specimen of this 
dislocated arrangement is described by Professor Hitchcok, 
as existing in the United States, and on a magnificent scale. 
The rocks consist of gneiss, mica-slate, talc, and clay-slate, 
with limestones and Silurians. They extend from Canada 
along the east side of the AUeghanies, to Alabama, a distance 
of 1200 miles. He says — " Along a large part of this distance 
a remarkable apparent inversion of the dip exhibits itself; so 
that the newer rocks appear to pass beneath the older ones ; 
and that, too, over a great width of surface. The effects of 
the extraordinary agency under consideration has not been 
simply to toss over the strata, so as to give them an inverted 
dip, but in general to produce a succession of folded axes, with 
a gentle slope and dip on the eastern side, and a high dip, or 
more frequently an inverted one, on their western side.**' He 
thinks that all the strata between the Hudson and Connecticut 
rivers, a space of 50 miles in breadth, have undergone this re- 
plication. He admits, however, that some geologists doubt 
the fact, and consider the inversion apparent only ; but assum-p 
ing its accuracy, he explains it, as Sir James Hall explained 
the foldings in the Lammermuir Hills, by supposing that the 
strata were forced to double over from being compressed 
edgeways. C. Maclaren^ Esq. F.B.S.E, Sfc. 

On the supposed Stinging Organs of Medusce, and the occurs 
rence of peculiar Structures in Invertebrate Animals^ which 
seem to constitute a new class of Organs of Motion, By Pro^ 
fessor Rudolph Wagitsr of Gottingen. 
It is well known that it has not yet been ascertained whe-^ 
ther the stinging or burning power of Medusse is to be ascribed 
to a corrosive liquids or to a mechanical injury.^ I think 

Prof. Wagner an ike Stinging Orgatu ofihe M$du$m. 61 

my investigaticns enable us to approach more nearly the de- 
cision of this question. 

The origin of the stinging is, at all events, to be sought for 
in the external surface of the skin of the Medusie. I have 
observed in a very beautiful and distinct manner the structure 
in the Pehgia noctiluca* The outer skin is in that species of 
a beautiful brownish violet and reddish colour on the convex 
discoid surface, on the exterior arched edge of the arms, and 
on the lobes of the rim (Bandiappen). This variegated mem- 
brane is easily separated, especially over the greater part of 
the convex surface of the disc, and then there appears the ho- 
mogeneous jelly-like substance which constitutes the real body 
of the animal. Where the red spots occur, we find, after the 
fskin is detached, round elevations or inequalities, like warts. 

By the assistance of a low magnifying power the red spots 
appear like collections of very small red grains of pigment, 
n whose vicinity the whole body is covered by that kind of 
epithelium called a Pflctsierepithelium^ consisting of larger and 
smaller cells, which contain distinct nuclei. It is an epider- 
mis analogous to that of the frogs and many other animals. 
The accumulations of pigment occur especially on the above- 
mentioned arched inequalities, which rise above the surface, 
and Jbave a substratum of muscular fibres. 

Between the red grains of pigment axe to be observed round . 
balls or bubbles, out of which frequently, by the aid of a power- 
ful magnifying power (for this whole organization can only 
be recognised through the microscope), fine threads are seen 
to project. The largest of these balls present themselves as 
firm well-filled capsules of j^th part of a line in size, in which 
lies internally a spirally rolled up thread which often comes 
out of itself, but always does so on the application of a slight 
pressure. This thread then appears as a whip-like appendage 
to the capsule, and has a very elegant outline. It is difficult 
to form an idea of its structure ; sometimes, it seems as if it 
had a canal. When the capsule is closed, while the thread is 
still rolled up in it, we perceive an inequality to which the 

*■ The examination was made at Nice and Yillafranca in the autumn of 


82 Prof. Wagner an the Stinging Organs cf ihe MeduM. 

thread when opened np is attached, as if to a stalk ; when 
stretched out, the fine thread is a line long. 

These hair or thread capsules are very loosely attached, and 
easily fall, and are rubbed off along with the slime, when the 
Medusa loses its skin ; they are found in quantity, as are also 
the threads themselves, in what is termed the stinging slin^e 
of the Medusae (which is nothing else than the cast-off epithe- 
lium)9 &3 is easily ascertained when these animals are kept in 
vessels. With more difficulty, there are loosened smaller, 
longsbaped, clear httle capsules, from yj^th to jg^jth of a line 
in size, which are partially covered with fine short little hairs, 
or whip'-shaped appendages. If we compare the reserve teeth 
of crocodiles, sharks, and poisonous serpents, we cannot help 
considering these little capsules as reserve cells, when the 
lai^ei* oigans are lost. 

Such individual little organs also exist beyond the spots, 
vid extend to the inner rim of the arms, and to the under 
surface of the disc, where they cease. At the rim of the disc 
there hang between every two lobes {Bandlappeti)^ alternating 
with the crystalline bodies of the edge {Bandkorperji or Orgs taU- 
drusen) fine long cylindrical threads of a violet colour. These 
are covered with shining hairs, and present a cylindrical epi-' 
thelium, which rests on the muscular fibres ; these threads are 
covered with numerous parcels of small stinging capsules. 

It is known that the slightest touch of a Medusa causes a 
perceptible burning sensation, and I, together with several 
pupils who accompanied me in my travels, experienced it in 
bathing. This ensues more feebly or more strongly, according 
to the vigour oi the animal. MedussB only sting at parts of 
tiieir bodies where the epidermis is preserved. We never ex- 
perienced the sensation when we came in contact with por-n 
l^s in which the epidermis had been removed ; a circumstanee 
which happens frequently in living animals. If we place a • 
separated portioQ of a Medusa with it& epidermis side on the 
bare skin, or if we rub off a little epidermis and apply it to. 
the skin, a burning sensation is felt after a period of from a 
few seconds to a minute ; after five minutes a slight redness 
appeared in my oase« smd then a simple lentil-shaped eleva- 
tion, more frequently three or four, neiar one another^ Me-^ 

Prof Wagner on the Stmging Organs of the Medum. 83 

dosie swimming in the sea act mttch more strongly* and even 
the eruptive appearances called Quaddeln are produced, as in 
the case of the JEssera or Urticaria. The pain soon ceases. 
It lasted half a-day with one of the party, Dr Will, and, after 
eight days, a redness was still perceptible. 

The internal substance of the body (the so-termed jelly of 
the Medusae) never stings, nor does the inner surface of the 
cavity of the stomach, nor the inner surface of the arms, where 
the pigment spots, the capsules, and the hairs, are awanting. 
At the parts of the skin on which I allowed myself to be stung, 
I always found separated capsules and hairs. It is well known 
that all Medusa do not sting ; and, for example, I found no 
power of this kind in the Cassiopea ; and microscopic investiga- 
tion proved the absence of those capsules and hairs over the 
whole sur&ce of the disc. On the other hand, an Oceania 
(allied to the ca^uminata) stings, but only with the edge 
threads, and in a much saftaller degree than the Pelagia. An 
examination shewed the existence of capsules, but of a length- 
ened shape, with long fine threads. But these organs were 
much smaller and fijier ; they had a remarkable resemblance 
to the structures which I described formerly as Spermatozoa of 
the Actiniae. A new investigation of the Actiniae, as, for ex- 
ample, oOhe Actinia cereusy convinced me that those structures 
formerly described as Spermatozoa are nothing else but sting- 
ing threads of the Medusae ; they stand closely studded round 
the feelers or arms, and on the exterior surface. The threads 
project from long-shaped cjipsules with that remarkable move- 
ment which I have elsewhere described, and which I found 
again precisely as formerly. The same organs, but only in 
a different form, occur again in Polypi, as Ehrenberg and Dr 
Erdl (one of my companions) found in the Hydrae ; and the 
latter discovered them also in Veretillum. 

It is probable that the stinging has a mechanical and che- 
mical origin ; just as in the majority of what are termed 
poison-organs we find a liquid which collects in a little bladder 
or capsule, and an apparatus capable of doing injury. So it 
is also with many stinging plants, as the Loase^e^ in which fine 
sharp hairs convey a juice, where circulation can be so beauti- 
fully observed. 

84 Prof, Forbes on a Remarkable Structure observed 

More extended researches regarding these structures, pro- 
yisionally considered as stinging organs, will make known 
much that is remarkable in reference to their occurrence, ar- 
rangement, structure, and movement, and will display great 
riches in respect to phenomena of organization.^ 

On a JRemarkable Structure observed by the Author in the Ice 
of Glaciers. By James D. Forbes, Esq., Sec. R.S. Ed. Pro- 
fessor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh. 
With a Plate. (Read to the Royal Society, Edinburgh, 
Dec. 6. 1841.) Communicated by the Author. 

The object of the present short communication is little more 
than to announce and describe a peculiarity which the Ice of 
Glaciers frequently exhibits, interesting in itself as connected 
with the theory of their formation and propagation, and per- 
haps having a bearing upon the explanation of some facts long 
felt by geologists to be perplexing. 

Had I yielded to my own first impulse, this communication 
would have formed but a part of a much more extensive one, 
intended to give such an account, as I best might, of the pre- 
sent views entertained respecting the mechanism and conser- 
vation of glaciers, and the curious and interesting question of 
their ancient extension, and perhaps vast geological influence 
in producing some of the latest evidences of revolution on the 
surface of the globe. When I considered, however, the great 
extent which such a communication, to be generally intelligi- 
ble, must necessarily have, — and farther, that a large share 
of the material must be drawn from the works and the obser- 
vations of others, — ^when I recollected, besides, that how* 
ever earnest and sustained had been my investigation of these 
curious points, there was still much left obscure or unproved 
to my own mind ; in short, that the communication I should 
lay before the Society could not have that completeness, deter- 
mination, and originality, which could properly entitle it to a 
permanent place in the Transactions of our Body, it seemed 

* From the ArcMvfiir Naturgcsckichte, ItiU 

tn the Ice of Glaciers. 85 

. to me that the wish which had been expressed by very many 
of those to whose judgment I am most willing to defer, that 
I should make such a detailed communication, was one with 
which, in my official position as Secretary, and having in some 
degree the control of the order and distribution of business, I 
could not properly comply. 

I do not, however, relinquish the idea of laying before the 
Society, and even at considerable length, the conclusionswhich 
I may ultimately form respecting the great physical and geo< 
logical questions now at issue, and the facts and reasonings 
upon which these conclusions are founded. The Glacier Theory, 
whether it regards the present or past history of those mighty 
and resistless vehicles of transport and instruments of degra- 
dation, yields to no other physical speculation of the present 
day in grandeur, importance, interest, and, I had almost said, 
novelty. I look forward to the prospect, which I hope may 
be realized, of extending much farther, during another sum- 
mer, my direct observations and experiments, and in the mean 
time I desire to prepare myself for the task, by a thoughtful 
review of the experience I have already had, and a close ana- 
lysis of what has been already argued and written upon the 
subject. Should the result be successful, the Society may, a 
year hence, expect the communication of it. For the present 
I mean to confine myself to the description of a single fact, 
which appears generally, if not universally, to have escaped 
the notice of former travellers amongst the Glaciers. 

On the 9th of August last (1841) I paid my first visit to 
the Lower Glacier of the Aar, upon or near which I spent the 
greater part of three weeks in company with Professor Agas- 
siz of Neufchatel, and Mr J. M. Heath of Cambridge. It is 
surprising how little we see until we are taught to observe. 
I had crossed and re-crossed many glaciers before, and attend- 
ed to their phenomena in a general way ; but it was with a 
new sense of the importance and difficulty of the investigeir 
tion of their nature and functions that I found something, ik 
remark at every step which had not struck me before ; find 
even in the course of the walk along our ofvn glacier (as we 
considered that of the Aar, when we had taken up our habi- 
tation upon it), we found on its vast and varied surface some- 
thing each day which had totally escaped us before. It was 

86 Prof. Forbes on a Bemarkable Structure observed 

fully three hours' good walking on the ice or moraine from 
. the lower extremity of the glacier to the huge block of stone, 
under whose friendly shelter we were to encamp ; and in the 
course of this walk (a distance of eight or nine miles, on a mo- 
derate computation, allowing for the roughness of the way) on 
the first day I noticed, in some parts of the ice, an appearance 
which I cannot more accurately describe, than by calling it a 
ribboned structure^ formed by thin and delicate blue and bluish- 
white bands or strata, which appeared to traverse the ice in a 
vertical direction, or rather which, by their apposition, formed 
the entire mass of the ice. The direction of these bands was 
parallel to the length of the glacier, and, of course, being ver- 
tical, they cropped out at the surface, and wherever that sur- 
fiwie was intersected and smoothed by superficial water-courses, 
their structure appeared with the beauty and sharpness of a 
delicately-veined chalcedony. I was surprised, on remarking 
it to Mr Agassiz as a thing which must be familiar to him, to 
find that he had not distinctly noticed it before, at least if he 
had, that he had considered it as a superficial phenomenon, 
wholly unconnected with the general structure of the ice. But 
we had not completed our walk before my suspicion that it 
was a permanent and deeply-seated structure was fully con- 
firmed. Not only did we trace it down the walls of the cre- 
vasses by which the glacier is intersected, as far as we could 
distinctly see, but, coming to a great excavation in the ice, 
at least 20 feet deep, formed by running water, we found the 
vertical strata or bands perfectly well defined throughout the 
whole mass of ice to that depth. An attempt has been made 
to convey some idea of their appearance in Plate I. Where 
the plane of vertical section was eroded by the action of water, 
the harder seams of blue ice stood protuberant ; whilst the in- 
termediate ones, partaking of a whitish-green colour and gra- 
nular structure, were washed out. We did not sleep that 
night until we had traced the structure in all directions, even 
far above the position of our cabin, and quite from side to side 
across the spacious glacier of the Finster Aar. 

During the whole of our subsequent residence amongst the 
glaciers, the phenomena and causes of this structure occupied 
our thoughts, very frequently. We had much difficulty in ar- 
riving at a correct description of the manner of its occurrence, 

inike lee ef Olmcwr: 87 

and still more in forming a theory in the least plausible re- 
jecting its origin. 

Its importance, however, as an indication of an unknown 
Y^ause, is very great ; not only because all that can illustrate 
what is so obscure as the manner of glacier formation and 
movement^ is so, but because it is precisely on this very point 
of <' What is the internal structure of the ice of a glacier?* 
that the question now pending respecting internal dilatation 
as a force producing progression, mainly hangs. Some con- 
sider ice as compact, others as granular ; some as crystallised, 
others as fractured into angular fragments ; some as horizon- 
tally stratified, others as homogeneous ; some as rigid, others 
as plastic ; some as wasting, others as growing ; some as ab- 
sorbing water, others as only parting with it ;— and yet no one 
seems to have observed, or at least observed as an object of 
study, this pervading slaty or ribboned structure, to be found 
probably in one part or other of every true glacier. 

With regard to extent^ this structure was observable on the 
Lower Glacier of the Aar, from its lower extremity up to the 
region of the fim or nevk^ where, the icy structure ceasing to 
exist, it could not be looked for ; yet even there, where fre- 
quent thaws, induced by the neighbourhood of rocks or stones, 
produced a compactor structure, the veins became apparent. 
In some parts of the glacier, it appears more developed than 
in others : in the neighbourhood of the moraines^ and the walls 
of the glacier, it was most apparent. This would seem to in. 
fer a relation to the frequency of thaws and recongelation. 

It penetrates the thickness of the glacier to great depths. 
It is an integral part of its inmost structure. That it could 
not be the production of a single season I was speedily con- 
vinced, by observing that where old crevices fissured the gla- 
cier transversely, the veined structure not only was reproduced 
on either side, but frequently with a shi/i or dislocation, or 
series of parallel fissures, presenting sometimes a series of dis- 
locations advancing in one direction. 

The course of the veined structure was, generally speaking^ 
on the Glacier of the Aar, strictly parallel with its length, and 
that with a degree of accuracy which seems extraordinary, if 
we attribute its production to the remote influence of the re- 

*|)8 Prof. Forbes an a Bemarkable Siri^iure observed 

.fining walls of the glacier, distant at least half a mile. Near 
the inferior extremity, where the declivity becomes rapid, the 
Structure varies its position in a manner very difficult to trace 
satisfactorily. There can be little doubt, however, that the 
nearly horizontal bands which appear on the «teep declivity of 
the glacier a,t its lower termination, are nothing else than the 
outcropping of these bands, which have there totally changed 
their direction, being transverse instead of longitudinal, and 
leaning forwards in the direction in which the glacier moves 
fit a very considerable angle. The ice in this part of the gla- 
cier is distinctly granular, being composed of large fissuwid 
morsels, nicely wedged together ; and the ribboned structure 
is greatly obscured. There seems no doubt, however, that the 
horizontal stratification in the lower part of glaciers, insisted 
on by several writers, is merely a deception arising from this 
cause, so familiar to the geologist who gets a section perpen- 
dicular to the dip of strata, which therefore appear horizon* 
tal. Towards the sides or walls of the glacier, at its lower ex- 
tremity, the veins have their plane twisted round a vertical- 
axis, having now their dip towards the centre of the glacier, 
and rising against the walls ; and this inclination sometimes 
extends nearly to the axis of the glacier, or the medial moraine, 
where I have observed the veins deviating from the vertical 
by an angle of about twenty degrees, the bands inclining from 
the centre (or rising towards the walls), as if the pressure 
arising from the superior elevation of the glacier under the 
moraine had squeezed them out. The whole phenomenon has 
a good deal the air of being a structure induced perpendicii" 
larly to the lines of greatest pressure^ though I do not assert that 
the statement is general. Whilst the glacier is confined be- 
tween precipitous barriers with a feeble inclination, the struc- 
ture is longitudinal. As the glacier, by its weight, falls over 
the lower part of its bed, and moulds itself into the form which 
the continued action of gravity on its somewhat plastic struc- 
ture impresses, the longitudinal structure is first annihilated 
(for throughout a certain space we could detect no indications 
of one kind or other), and the bands then reappear in a trans- 
verse direction, as if generated by the downward and forward 
pressure, which, at the lowest part of the glacier, rq>laces the 

• in the lee o/Gheieri, 8* 

tight wed^ng which higher up it received kterallf • It is not 
easy to convey without a model a clear idea of the forms of 
surface here intended, and which yet require considerable cor- 

I may mention, however, that the glacier of the Rhone, 
which I have carefully examined, presents a structure in con* 
forihity with the view thus developed* It will be recdUected 
by all who have seen that magnificent mass, that it pours in 
colossal fragments over the rocky barrier which separates the 
Gallenstock frcmi the valley of the Rhone, and having reached 
the last-named valley, it spreads itself across and along it 
pretty freely — much as a pailful of thickish mortar would do in 
like circumstances. The form into which it spreads is rudely 
represented in the annexed figure. 
In this particular case, even the 
strongest-^pertisans of the dilata- 
tion theory will hardly deny, that 
the accumulated ice descending 
from the glacier cataract A would 
form a centre of pressure at C» 
and that the lines of equal pres- 
sure would be found in the direc- 
tion of the dotted lines, following 
nearly the periphery of the gla- 
cier. Now these dotted lines pre- 
cisely trace out the course of the 
veined structure alluded to; and, 
moreover, they bend more and 
more forwards as we proceed from 
the centre of pressure C, especially in the direction of D, the 
line of greatest inclination of the bed, and down which gravity 
urges the icy mass. The front of the glacier, about E D F, 
presents the fallacious appearance of horizontal strata, as in 
the Aar Glacier ; but these are found to dip inward at an angle 
of 10° or 15°, which angle continually increases as we approach 
the heart of the glacier, rising to 40"", 50^ 60°, and even 70°, 
as we approach C. It cannot be doubted, that these facts are 
60 far favourable to the view which we have taken, although 
the establishment of it would require far more extensive obser- 

90 Prof. Forbes ^n a Remarkable Structure observed 

yatioD ; and in several glaciers which I have visited, the obser- 
vation of the convolutions of the veined structure is very diffi- 
cult «md obscure. Before quitting the subject, I must add an 
observation which I made on the Glacier of the Rhone, and 
which I am pretty confident is well founded. The lines of 
fissure^ or crevasses^ are always perpendicular to the conical 
surfaces of the veined structure. These fissures are denoted 
in the figure by the full lines a a a. Perhaps the primary cause 
of these fissures is, that the pressure of the ice at C forces the 
<glacier to distend itself into continually widening rings, which 
its ri^dity resists, and therefore it becomes traversed by radial 

. The veined structure itself, I have already said, arises from 
the alternation of more or less compact bands of ice. The 
breadth of these varies fi-om a small fraction of an inch to se- 
veral inches. The more porous of these bands are the likeliest 
vehicles for the transmission of water from the higher to the 
lower part of a glacier ; and that opinion receives some con- 
firmation from the fact, that, at a certain depth, in crevasses, 
we may see the veined structure marked out and exaggerated 
by the frozen stalagmite which is protruded from the section 
of the more porous layers. 

In conclusion (for the present), this structure deserves the 
attention of geologists generally, as shewing how the appear- 
ance of the most delicate stratification, and of sedimentary de- 
position, may be produced in homogeneous masses, where no- 
thing of the kind has occurred. For a short time, indeed, I 
was of opinion that this structure resulted from true stratifi- 
cation ; but a closer examination of the mass convinced me 
that, inexplicable as the fact remains, it must be accounted 
for in some other way. We have endeavoured to shew an 
empirical connection which appears to exist between the struc- 
tural planes and the sustaining walls of the glacier, and like- 
wise that the recurrence of congelation and thaw appears to 
strengthen the formation of the bands. But this cannot be 
considered as in any degree amounting to an explanation. 
The analogous difficulty of slaty cleavage in rocks, presents 
itself as not improbably connected with a similar unknown 
cause, whose action pervaded the mass of the crystallizing 


K] - 

' W^'ZC l^A^'^riPid^Wl'^PJ- I 3:i¥7J 

m the Ice ofGiaeiers. 91 

rock undergoing metamorphic change, as this pervades the 
mass of the crystallizing glacier. In the former case, we 
have cleavage planes perfectly parallel, almost indefinitely 
extending with unaltered features over vast surfaces of the 
most rugged country, changing neither direction, dip, nor 
interval, with hill or valley, cliff or scar, and passing alike 
through strata whose planes of stratification, horizontal, ele« 
vated, undulating, or contorted, offer no obstacle or modifica* 
tion to the omnipotent energy which has rearranged every 
particle in the mass subsequent to deposition. The supposi- 
tion of Professor Sedgwick, who has minutely described and 
considered this geological puzzle, that " crystalline or polar 
forces acted on the whole mass simultaneously in given direc- 
tions, and with adequate power,"* can hardly be considered 
as a solution of the difficulty, until it is shewn that the forces 
in question have so acted, and can so act. The experiment 
is one which the boldest philosopher would be puzzled to re- 
peat in his laboratory ; it probably requires acres for its scope, 
and years for its accomplishment. May it not be that Nature 
is performing in her icy domain a repetition of the same mys- 
terious process, and that in another view from the one which 
has recently been taken, the Theory of Glaciers may lead to 
the true solution of geological problems ? 

Experiments on the Production and Transmission of Sound in 
Water, made in the Lake of Geneva, By M. Daniel Col- 
LADON. In a Letter to M. AEAOo.t 

Sir, — I beg of you to have the goodness to communicate 
to the Academy of Sciences the results of some experiments 
which I have made in the Lake of Geneva. 

When I made my first experiments on the velocity with 
which sounds are propagated under water, at the close of the 
year 1826, you engaged me to try whether a sound reverbe- 
rated by the bottom of a lake or of the sea could be heard, 
in order to measure the depth of the water by the interval 
that elapsed between the primitive and reverberated sound. 

* Geological Transactions, Second Series, iii. 477. 
+ Bibliothequ© Universelle de Geneve, No. 68, p. 364. 

1^2 M. Daniel Colladon's Experiments on the Produciian 

. This experiment was tried in 1838 on the coast of the 
United States of America, by order of the Admiralty, by Mr 
C. Bonnycastl , a professor in the University of Virginia, A 
notice of these experiments appeared in the 316th Number of 
the Journal of the Institute, p. 25.* 

Mr Bonnycastle's Memoir contains an assertion which ap- 
pears to me to be opposed to the results I obtained in 1826, 
the details of which are inserted in the Annales de Physique 
for 1827, and in the 6th volume of the Memoirs of the Insti- 
tute. The American professor has concluded, from his ex- 
periments, that sound is better heard in air than in water, 
and he indicates the distance of from 8000 to 10,000 feet as 
the limit beyond which the sound of a bell under water could 
not be heard. The instrument which Mr Bonnycastle em- 
ployed was evidently v^ry defective, for, in my experiments 
in the month of November 1826, using a bell weighing 65 
kilogrammes, I could transmit the sound, notwithstanding the 
noise of pretty considerable waves, to the distance of 13.500 

When we listen close at hand, in the water and in the air, 
to the sound of a stroke on a sonorous body partially plunged 
in water, using a hydro-acoustic apparatus similar to that de- 
scribed and figured in the 6th volume of the Savants itrangers^ 
we distinctly hear two sounds ; the first, conveyed by the 
water, is shortest, and appears less intense than the second, 
transmitted by the air ; but in proportion as we recede, the re- 
lation of the two intensities varies, and at a suflScient dis- 
tance the noise heard in the water is much more intense than 
that perceived in the air ; and by still further increasing the 
distance, we continue to hear distinctly the sound in the water, 
even when it is impossible to hear any sound transmitted by 
the air, and that in perfectly calm weather and during the 
silence of the night. 

When we strike, with equal force, a bell, alternately placed 
under water and out of it, we obtain results in every respect 
like the preceding. 

In the air, it is difficult to increase to any great extent the 
intensity of the collected sounds ; the instrument I have de- 

* Sec J^m. Univ. August 1839 (vol. xxii.), p. 380. 

a$ui TransmimoH of Sound in Waier. 93 

scribed has the power of increasing those transmitted by water 
to an unknown extent, and which my recent experiments haye 
proved to be much beyond what I had previously ascertained* 
I possess an apparatus, the amplifying power of which is more 
than double that of the instrument I formerly used, and I am 
certain that I can still further augment it. 

I have had an instrument constructed for me vrith a horolo- 
gical movement, and a bell of somewhat less than a kilogramme 
in weight ; a hammer moved by the watch strikes the bell by 
the action of a spring in a continual state of tension. I have 
likewise made use of a small musical box, which plays imder 
water, whether it be sunk without a covering, or enclosed in a 
small diving-bell. It is with these two instruments that I 
have obtained the results I am about to announce. Among 
other facts, I have ascertained that shrill sounds can be more 
easily heard imder water at great distances than such as are 
of a deep tone. 

Vessels formed of very thin metallic plates, the latter closed 
at the bottom, form undoubtedly the most suitable hydro* 
acoustic apparatus ; but all kinds of solid bodies, partly sunk 
in water, and to which the head is applied for the purpose of 
hearing, may transmit to the ear soimds propagated imder 

When a sonorous body is put into a state of vibration under 
water, its vibrations, far from being speedily extinguished, 
may continue for a pretty long period, even although the den- 
sity of the sonorous body and that of the water be nearly the 
same. Thus, by striking a small crystal bell of 18 centime- 
ters at the opening, so as to make it vibrate under the water, 
we can satisfy ourselves, after the lapse of a second} that 
the vibrations still continue, although no sound be heard, for 
if we then withdraw the bell from the water, a very distinct 
sound is perceptible. A large metallic bell entirely submerged 
produces, when struck, a sound which continues for many 
seconds ; by placing a bar in the water at a little distance 
from the belUand at the same time holding it in the hand, we 
feel a very violent vibratory movement which is transmitted 
by the water to the bar. 

The intonations of the voice may be transmitted to some 
distance under water ; but if the person spiking is placed 

94 M. Daniel Colladon's Experiment on the Pfeduction 

in a diving-bell, only confused sounds are heard, without the 
articulations being distinguishable at the distance of a few 

The shock of a waterfall, or the action of the paddles of a 
steam*boat of a hundred horse-power and upwards, produces 
only a faint and confused sound under water, a kind of slight 
humming, at the distance of 60 metres. The wheels of a 
steam^boai produce, under water, a sound analogous to the 
humming of a bee ; and at the distance of 1000 metres no dis» 
tinet sound whatever is heardl I am therefore indined to 
think that it is a mistake to allege, as has been so often done, 
that the noise of steam-boats has the tendency to drive fishes 
from the rivers. 

Although the sounds transmitted by water, and made sen- 
sible by means of my apparatus, are of much shorter duration 
than there transmitted by the air ; yet we determine with the' 
greatest facility, not only the degree of acuteness and the 
musical value of the sound, but also the tone of the body, 
struck ; very frequently we can guess at its nature, and, to a 
certain point, its dimensions and the manner in which it has 
been struck. The noise of a chain moved under the water is 
so distinctly perceptible, that it may be known when a vessel, 
3000 or 4000 metres distant, raises her anchor. In maritime 
warfare this observation may prove of some importatrce. 

I have pointed out, in the memoir quoted, the influents of 
screens in diminishing the intensity of transmitted sound. This 
influence is not absolute ; if the vibrations are energetic, the 
sound is transmitted with a certain intensity beyond the solid 
obstacles it encounters. In an experiment made with a large 
bell; each stroke was reckoned in a house built at the edge of 
the water on an embankment, at a distance of about 3000 
metres from the bell, although the latter was separated from 
the house by a promontory : the sound seemed to issue from 
the foundation of the pillars of the walls. A bell weigh- 
ing 500 kilogrammes, belonging to one of the churches of the 
Canton of Geneva, was placed at my disposal for a few days. 
It was suspended to an apparatus placed on a vessel, by means 
of which it was easy to sink it in the water and draw it up. 
again. It was sunk to the depth of three metres, in a place 
where the water was about fifteen metres de^ ; to strSbe it a 

and TratMmMian of Sound in IFater: 9(^ 

hammer of the weight of ten kilogrammes was used, fixed t<k 
a long iron handle, the upper part of which being above ther 
water, was bent at a right angle ; the summit of this anglet 
was crossed by an axle-tree, to which the stalk of the hammer 
was suspended. This hammer, in all my experiments, wa» 
worked by one man, who could make a stroke every two 

I hoped to make, by means of this bell, a new series of ex- 
periments on the velocity of sound in the water of the lake^ 
the mean temperature of which, measured between the two 
stations, was found to be IT C, while by the observationa 
made with much exactness in the month of November 1826, 
tliis temperature was 8M C. The ease with which we bad 
heard strokes on this bell at the distance 35,000 metres, deter- 
mined me to choose this distance for the two stations. Mr. 
Muller, an astronomer connected with the observatory of Ge-. 
neva, and Professor of Natural Philosophy at Nyon, assisted 
me in this experiment, and heard the sounds along with me, 
by means of a second apparatus. Unfortunately, during the 
only two days given us for the execution of our purpose, the- 
clearness of the weather and the moonlight prevented us dis-^ 
tinguishing the lights produced by the burning of a pound of 
powder at each stroke, at the moment of the shock. 

This trial, made on the evening of the 5th August, between 
Promenthoux and Grandvaux, near Cully, has, however, de- 
monstrated to me the correctness of the views stated in my 
first memoir, respecting the utility that may result from this 
economical means of correspondiug under the waters of the^ 
sea, at such distances that all other means of communication, 
by signal lights or sounds, conveyed by the air, cannot be, 
made available. 

It now appears to me demonstrated that, in certain favour- 
able localities, we may corr^pond under the sea, by means of 
very vigorous strokes and well combined acoustic apparatus, 
at a distance of some hundred thousand metres. 

It is very probable that, in seas of nearly uniform depth, 
the intensity of sound, far from diminishing in proportion to 
the square of the distance, only diminishes in proportion to 
the simple distance, or nearly so. I have already mentioned. 
tbi» property of the waves of sound, that wb^ they are trang^ 

96 M. ThnielCklliAion^sExperimenis on Transmisiian of Sound. 

initted in water and meet the surface under a very acute angle, 
they become entirely reflected into the fluid mass. A great ex-^ 
tent of water, varying little in depth, represents a liquid-plate, 
whose two surfaces, the upper and the lower, concentrate and 
throw back into the interior of the fluid almost the whole of 
the vibrations which happen to meet these surfaces under very 
acute angles. 

It may be perceived that, in the bottom of gulfs, the vibra- 
tions, moved by the tide and concentrated on certain points/ 
may produce a very intense sound. It is easy, moreover, to 
conceive a multitude of arrangements aiid artificial construc- 
tions which would facilitate these telegraphic experiments, 
from which nautical men will derive advantage sooner or later. 
The agitation of the waves very little disturbs the nearly ab- 
solute silence which reigns under the waters of the sea, and 
does not impede the transmission of sound ; this silence should 
likewise favour the communications which may be attempted 
to be established under water.* 

At the distance of 35,000 metres (about nine leagues by 
land) each stroke given to the bell was distinctly heard with 
the two apparatus with which we were provided. One of 
these instruments was the same that I employed in my experi- 
ments in 1826 ; the sound by it seemed distinctly defined and' 
short. With the other instrument, improved, the sound was a 
little more prolonged ; we were conscious of the tingling of the 
bell, and could pretty well distinguish it43 tone. 
' Neither Mr MuUer nor myself could hear any echo, although 
the configuration of the lake led us to suppose that we would 
hear many. But Mr Veret, an old pupil of the central school, 
who during these experiments was moving about in a boat 
with an apparatus for hearing perpendicularly at the shore 
some thousand metres from the vessel in which the bell was 
placed, heard two distinct echoes in certain stations. For the 
most part, when placed in a simikir situation, one heard only 

* The sound of waves does not prevent ns distinguishing strokes on a bell,^ 
provided the construction of the instrument be such that the water glides 
upon its surface without directly dashing against it It is for this reason 
that the form adopted by Mr Bonnycastlc; in his experiments in 1838, appears 
to medisadYantageomk 

Professor A^assiz on the Dhtribuiion of FoasUs. 9f 

a kind of ringing sound, produced by the successive reper- 
cussions of the sonorous waves by the banks. 

My experiments on the possibility of hearing an echo re- 
flected by the bottom, are not yet sufficiently numerous to 
enable me to decide on the efficacy of this means of measuring 
the depth of water. 

New Fiefvs regarding the DisMbution of Fossils in Formations. 
By Professor Agassiz. ITith ObservationSy by Professor 

I DOUBT much if any one possesses such ample materials as 
I do, for judging of the limits of the species of Trigonia de- 
scribed in my Monograph. I have employed these with scien- 
tific care, without regard to prevalent opinions, and have ex- 
pressed candidly the result to which they have led me, viz. 
that no species occurs in two geological formations — ^nay, not 
even in two difi^erent parts of one formation ; and I have the 
more confidence in this conclusion, because I have invariably 
found it confirmed by fossil fishes and echinodermata. The 
question as to the extension of the boundaries of a species does 
not come into consideration here ; for the differences ascer- 
tained to exist between specimens from two localities — it 
matters not whether they belong to one or to two dififerent 
formations — ^remain for ever the same, whether they can be 
perceived easily or with difficulty, and whether the individuals 
be thrown together under the same label, or kept distinct. In 
order to express my conviction as to species, I state the follow- 
ing to be my opinion : That no so-termed character — that is, 
no observable mark — can be so striking as to indicate an abso^ 
lute specific distinction ; butj at the same time^ it should never 
be rega/tded as so trifling as to point to absolute identity ; that 
characters do not mark off species^ but that the combined rela^ 
tlons to the external world in all circumstances of life do. Thus, 
I believe I am able to shew that many organic beings are spe- 
cifically distinct, — or, at least, that they stand in no genealor 
gical relations to one another, — although the individuals are 
so like. as to be confounded. On the other hand, it is known 


98 Professor Agassiz on the Distribution of Fossili. 

that the male and female of a species have been made typ^S (^ 
different genera ; a circumstance which has also occurred ia 
regard to differences of age. These, therefore, cannot be re- 
cognised by resemblances, but by their whole relations. I do 
not doubt that, at a future time, it n>iU become necessary to 
express the specific difference of organic remains by the circum- 
stances of their occurrence, without it being possible to assign 
distinctions to them. Instead, then, of being involved in 
boundless uncertainty, our science will emerge from its dry 
foundation to a state of rich development. 

In reference to the above letter. Professor Bronn of Heidel- 
berg remarks : " It is hardly necessary to say, that my views 
do not agree with those expressed by Professor Agassiz on 
Trigoniae; for the latter are in opposition to the principles 
followed in my Lcthaa Geognostica, although I am far from 
wishing to assert that the forms which I have in other places 
united under any one species, according to the materials I 
possessed at the time, have been in all cases confirmed as va- 
rieties of one species, by the assistance of richer materials and 
direct autopsy. I am, however, convinced, that there are 
species which pass from one subdivision of a formation into 
another, and even from one formation into another ; and, in- 
stead of fettering myself by the preliminary assertion that no 
species occurs in two formations (as Agassiz does in the Mem. 
de Neuchat. ii. 17) ; or, instead of assuming that there are 
species which cannot be distinguished by any external charac- 
ters, but only by their exterior relations (that is, in the case 
before us, little else but their geognostical and geological rela- 
tions), I unite under one species all forms which can be proved 
to derive their origin from one and the same kind of ancestors 
(as in zoology and botany generally), or which do not differ 
from these more than they do among themselves ; and I am of 
opinion that, at the same time, many distinctions adhering to 
individuals are merely the result of the influence of the rela- 
tions of the external world.''* 

* Ff ojn the Neues Jctkfhuchfur Minetxdoffie, Qeo^wtie, &c. 

Results of a Second Geological Surtejf of Bussia. 9% 

Letter to M. Fischer de JFaldheim, Ex-President of the Sodetf 
of Naturalists of Moscow, from B. L Murehisony Esq., con- 
taining some of the results of his Second Geological Survey 
of Russia*. 

MoKow, Oct. 8. 1841. 

My deah Sib, — As you have taken a lively interest in the snccess of 
the geological expedition which I have just completed, accompanied by 
my friends M. de Verneuil, Count de Keyscrling, and Lieutenant Kok- 
sharoff, I hasten to communicate to you some of its chief results ; and I 
do so with real pleasure, because in requesting you to present them to the 
Society of Naturalists of Moscow, I acquit myself of a duty towards a 
distinguished body which has done me the honour of placing my name in 
the list of its foreign members. 

The wide extension in the North of Russia of the Silurian, Devonian, 
and Caiboniferous Systems, as proceeding from the last year's survey, by 
the same observers and our friend the Baron A. de Meyendorf, is already 
known to you from the abstracts of memoirs communicated to the Geo- 
logical Societies of London and Paris. Our principal objects this year 
were,— l*f. To study the order of superposition, the relations and geo- 
graphical distribution of the other and superior sedimentary rocks in the 
central and southern parts of the empire. 2d, To examine the Ural 
Mountains, and to observe the manner in which that chain rises from be- 
neath the horizontal formations of Russia. d(f. To explore the carboni- 
ferous region of the Donetz, and the adjacent rocks on the Sea of Azof. 

Our last year's sur\'ey had pretty nearly determined the limits of the 
great tract of carboniferous limestone of the North of Russia. On this 
occasion we have added to its upper part that remarkable mass of rock 
which forms the peninsula of the Volga near Samara, and which, clearly 
exposed in lofty, vertical clifis, and charged with myriads of the curious 
fossils FusiHna, constitutes one of the striking features of Russian geology. 

The carboniferous system is surmounted, to the east of the Volga, by a 
vast series of beds of marls, schists, limestones, sandstones, and conglo* 
merates, to which I propose to give the name of '' Permian System," be- 
cause, although this series represents as a whole' the lower new red sand- 
stone (Rothe todte UegendeJ and the magnesian limestone or Zechstetn, 
yet it cannot be classed exactly (whether by the succession of the strata 
or their contents) with either of the German or British subdivisions of 
this age. Moreover the British lithological term of lower new red sand- 
stonet, is as inapplicable to the great masses of marls, white and yellow 
limestones, and gray copper grits, as the name of old red sandstone was 
found to be in reference to the schistose black rocks of Devonshire. 

* We are indebted to Mr Murchison for a copy of his Letter* 
t See Siluriaa Systeni, p* 54. 

loo Pesuhs of a Second Geolo()ical Survei/ o/Sussia, 

To this " Permian system" we refer the chief deposits of gypsum of 
AruLjnaSy of Kazan^ and of the rivers Piana, Eama^ and Oufa, and of the 
environs of Orenbouig ; we also place in it the saline sources of Solikamsk 
and Seigicfsk, and the rock salt of Iletsk and other localities in the go* 
vcmment of Orenbouig, as well as all the copper mines and the large ac- 
cumulations of plants and petrified wood, of which you have given a list 
in the ''Bulletin" of your Society (anno 1840). Of the fossils of this sys- 
tem, some undescribed species of Producti might seem to connect the 
Permain with the carboniferous sera ; and other shells^ together with fishes 
and saurians> link it on more closely to the period of the Zechstein, whilst 
its peculiar plants appear to constitute a Flora of a type intermediate be- 
tween the epochs of the new red- sandstone or '' trias" and the coal- 
measures. Hence it is that I have ventured to consider this series as 
orthy of being regarded as a '* System." 

The overlying red deposits which occupy a great basin in the govern- 
ments of Vologda and Nijni Novogorod, hare not as yet been found to 
contain any organic remains except minute Cyprides and badly preserved 
Modiola; but when we take into consideration their thickness, geological 
position, and mineral characters, we are disposed to think that they may 
at some future day be identified with a portion of the " Trias" of German 
geologists. I am strengthened in this opinion by Count Keyserliug's dis- 
covering, during our tour at Monte Bogdo, certain fossils which are un- 
known in other parts of Russia, but which are associated with the Ammo* 
nttes Bogdoanus already described by Yon Buch, and which that distin- 
guished geologist refers to the tj'pe of the muschelkalk. 

True lias does not exist in Russia, as You Buch had decided from an 
examination of fossils sent to him ; but the Jurassic or oolitic series is 
divisible into two stages. The lowest of these, which is much more de- 
veloped than the upper, never occupies any considerable tract of country, 
being either distributed in patches^ or bidden by newer accumulations. 
From the eastern flanks of the Ural chain in the 64° of N. latitude to the 
Caspian Sea, it preserves nearly the same mineral and fossil chanicters. 
This formation represents'the inferior and middle oolite. The ferruginous . 
sands, calcareous grits, and black schists of the Moskwa are of this age ; 
and also those beds which were examined last year on the Yolja between 
Kostroma and Kinshma, at Makarief upon the Unja, as well as those 
shales and sands which we have seen this year in many other localities, 
particularly between Arzamas and Simbirsk, between Syzran and Saratof, 
at Saragula, and on the river Ilek near Orenbourg. 

The upper oolite group occurs in several situations along the Donetz, 
where it was first recognised by Major Blode. It is calcareous, often 
oolitic, of light yellow colour, and contains many TrigonuB, Nerinea:, &c., 
which enable us to compare it with the upper Jura of the Germans, or 
Portland and Coral rag division of my own country. 

The cretaceous system, though composed of very difierent beds of 
marls^ wliite chalk, sands and grits ^sometimes green), offers for the most 

Besults of a Second Geological Survey of Euesia. 101 

part the fossils of the white chalk of Europe, such as the Inocerami (Ca- 
tillus), Belemnites mucrGtiatug, Ostraa vesicularis, Terebratiila carnea,* 

Above the cretaceous system, we have not been able to discover in any 
part of Russia^ except in the Crimsea, the ^'nummulite limestone" which 
there sets on, and acquires, a great importance in its range through Georgiaj 
^SyP^f ^n<l t^^e Mediterranean basin. 

The equivalents of the lower tertiary formations (Eocene of Lyell) seem 
to exist in one part only of your country (S. of Saritof). On the other 
hand^ the middle and upper tortiarics (Miocene and Pleiocene) cover 
large surfaces on the Lower Volga, in Podolia, Volliynia, and also along 
the shores of the Sea of Azof and the Black Sea, where the youngest of 
these strata, very much resembling the ** upper crag" of Norfolk, arc 
beautifully displa3-ed. 

I have not time to enter upon the numerous and interesting phenomena 
of the Ural Mountains, the examination of which occupied us nearly three 
months. We there studied alternately the wonders of the gold alluvia, 
the sites of the entombment of your great mammalia, and sought for the 
causes of the astonishing metamorphism of the sedimentary rocks of that 
chain. For an explanation of the last class of phenomena, the works 
of Humboldt stnd Gustaf Rose must always be consulted. I will on this 
occasion simply say, that far from being primitive, as was supposed, this 
chain, with the exception of its eruptive masses, is entirely composed of 
Silurian, Devonian and Carloniferous rocks, more or less altered and cry- 
st<illized, but in which nevertheless we have been able to recognise in a 
great number of localities my own Pentaw.erua Knightii\, and many fossils 
which clearly define the age of the other strata. These rocks, though 
much broken up, are arranged in parallel bands, the mean direction of 
which in the North Ural is from N. and by W. to S. and by E., whilst 
in the South Ural, trending N. and S., they assume a fan-shaped arrange- 
ment, spreading out towards the 'southern steppe of the Kirghis, where, 
interlaced with porphyries and other trap-rocks, they are often converted 
into the far-famed jaspers of this region. 

Still less can I now pretend to treat of the great carboniferous region 
of the Donetz ; for without entering into details concerning this southern 
tract, so valuable to the future interests of Russia, I cannot render it 
the justice which it merits. Still I may say to you as a geologist, that its 
numerous beds of coal (bituminous and anthracitic), with its grits and 
shales, are completely subordinate to the mountain limestone series, and 
represent in no^ense the coal-Gelds of Great Britain, Belgium, and France. 

* Aft«r this letter was written, we found in the collection of Professor Eichwald, 
at St Petersburgh, a fine specimen of Exogyra and other fossils in a green sand- 
stone from the Lower Volga, sent to hira from a locality well known to us, which 
leaves little doubt of the existence also of a true representative of our green- 
sand.— R. I. M. 

t Silurian System, p. 615* 

102 BesuUs of a Second Geological Survey of Suesia. 

In concludiDg^ howeverj I must tell you of a very interesting discovery 
we made in returning from Taganrog to Petersburg!!. Count Keyserling 
took the line of Voroneje and the Don, and M. de Vemeuil and myself 
that of Koursk, Orel, and the river Oka, and on meeting at Moscow our 
results completely agreed.* It was, as you know, generally believed up 
to this moment, that central Russia presented a regular succession from 
older to younger deposits as you proceeded from north to south. This 
is not the case. A great axis of Devonian rocks or old red sandstone, 
having a width of at least 120 miles, rises in the heart of the country 
around Voroneje and Orel, and stretches to the W.N W., in which direc- 
tion it probably connects itself with deposits of the same age in Lithuania 
and in Courland. This discovery seems, indeed, to have an intimate re- 
lation to one which we made in entering Russia early in the spring, near 
to Schavli in Lithuania, of much red ground and a band of upper Silurian 
rocks. In fact it also explains the cause of the great difference which 
exists between the deposits of the carboniferous basin of the Donetz and 
those of your Moscow region, now proved to constitute a vast btisin. For 
as the two seas, in which these deposits were accumulated from high an^ 
tiquity, were separated by the ancient lands in question, so must we in<- 
fer that the conditions and nature of their shores, their rivers, their cur- 
rents and bottoms (on which of course the nature of marine deposits de- 
pend), must have been essentially different. 

This discovery also proves the symmetry of the opposite edges of the 
Moscow busin ; since in advancing from the governments of Tula and 
Kaluga on the south, we see the same ascending order as that which we 
before described in the Waldai Hills on the north. In both tracts the 
Devonian or old red rocks, with Holoptychius nobilUsimuSy and many 
fishes and shells of that system well known in the British Isles, t pass un- 
der the lowest stata of the carboniferous era, and serve as a base line to 
those thin beds of poor coal, associated with Unto sulcatum and Productuu 
gigas (hemisphericus. Sow.) which are at present the subject of new re- 
searches on the part of the Russian Government. 

The enormous space we traversed and examined, in all between 13 and 
14 thousand miles, might well astonish you, if I did not assure you, that 
the arrangements for this journey, undertaken under the auspices of the 
Minister of Finance, Count de Cancrine, were admirably prepared by 
General TcheffTdne, whose clear directions, united to that spirit of hos- 
pitality which characterizes all Russians, and above all the inhabitants of 
the Ural and Siberia, rendered every enterprise feasible, and enabled ua 
tb overcome every obstacle. 

^ Colonel Helmersen, so distinguished for his geographical and geological re- 
searches in Russia, and who aided us so much in both our surveys, also examined 
the tract near Orel in the course of the summer, and,had come to the same conclct- 
sions as our party. I was, however, unacquainted with his opinion when I wrote 
this letter.— R. I. M. 

t See Silurian System, p. 599. ^ 



roui I 
dnp i 
fion I 

rhis ; 

me, I 
itiy I 
iaii ■ 
ich ' 
Dd . 

FL A TE II . Edin rXew Phil. . Tdivr. Vol. 3tp. 103 . 


On the Scratches otmrved an the Boeke of Finland. VH 

I shall communicate to you at a later date^ and before our laige me* 
moir is prepared^ the general table of the order of superpontion of all the 
formations of Russia^ 'with sections.* 

Accept, dear Sir, the assurance of the affection and esteem of your de- 
voted servant, 

RonsRioK Impbt Murcbwon, 


Society of London, 

To His ExeeUmcy M, Fischer de WaMheim. 

On the Scratches and Furrows observed on the Bocks of 
Finland, With a Map. 

In the Bulletin Scientifique of the Petersburg Academy 
(vol. vii. pp. 107 and 191), Mr Wilhelm Bohtlingk gives a 
preliminary report of the journey through Finland undertaken 
by him in the summer of 1839, which, among other interest- 
ing information, contains results that go to confirm and ex- 
tend the observations made by Sefstrom-f* on the furrows or 
scratches on the rocks of Sweden. Everywhere during his 
journey from Petersburg along the Gulf of Finland to Hel- 
singfors, across the country to Gamla Carleby, along the 
Gulf of Bothnia to Tornea, up the river Kemi, over the low 
and marshy water shed at Niortitunturi, to Kola, along the 
coasts of Lapland washed by the Icy and White Seas, on the 
east side of the lakes of Onega and Ladoga, therefore as far 
as the primitive rocks extend, Mr Bohtlingk found the pro- 
jecting rocky eminences more or less polished, and exhibiting 
furrows or scratches, frequently with great distinctness, just 
as was observed by Sefstrom in Southern and Middle Sweden. 
In regard, however, to the direction of these scratches, Mr B. 
found that the facts by no means accorded with the view 
given by Sefstrom, viz. that a flood proceeding from north to 
south over the whole eastern half of the earth was the cause 

* These documents^ Mrhich were laid before His Imperial Highness in 
MS., are now in the hands of the engraver. 

t Seo Edin. New Philosophical Journal, vol. xxiii. p. 69, and VoL xxix. 
pi 185 ; and Poggendorf s Aiimlen, vol. xliii, p. 633. 

104 On ihe SeratcJtes observed on the Bocks of FifUand. 

of the phenomena. For although the scratches over a large 
portj.on of the country visited by Mr Bohtlingk, viz. at the 
lakes Onega and Ladoga, in Southern Finland, and on the 
Gulf of Bothnia between Gamla Carleby and Tornea, exhi- 
bited a north-western direction, and presented to the north- 
west the polished side of the rocky eminences; yet quite the 
opposite phenomenon was met with on the coasts of the White 
Sea and the Icy Sea, for there the scratches ran from satOk- 
west or west^ and the eminences were rounded and polished 
towards those directions. This feature occurs on the coast 
of the Icy Sea, from the Varangerfjord to the Sacred Pro- 
montory (Swiatoi noss), where not only the cliffs rising up 
from the sea, but also the rocks elevated to a height of a thou- 
sand feet, exhibit the action of diluvial floods with a distinct- 
ness not to be mistaken, and where also behind narrow ravines 
and promontories there are a large number of Biesentbpfe,'^ 
often of very considerable extent. One of the latter, at the 
entrance of the bay of Kola, is four yards in diameter, and 
two fathoms in depth. 

The map (Plate II.) gives, by means of arrows, a general 
idea of the diversity of directions of the scratches, and also 
shews by a dotted line the eastern boundary of the primitive 
rocks. From this distribution of the scratches, proceeding as 
it were from a centre, combined with other proofs, Mr Boht- 
lingk draws the conclusion that these form part of one and 
the same phenomenon with the elevation of the Scandinavian 
primitive rocks. 

He controverts the opinion of the French geologist M. 
Robert, that the projections of the folia of the slates had 
been regarded as scratches of this kind, and he does so on the 
fpllowing grounds : — 1. The direction of the scratches stands 
in no relation to the direction of the slaty structure. la 
Southern Finland the strata and plates of mica of the gneiss 
have an average E.NE. direction ; while the scratches have a 
N.N W.. strike, therefore about right angles to the other. 2. 

* Por an account of tbe Eiesentopfe, see the aiticle in this Journal al- 
ready quoted, vol. xxiii. p. 72, and Poggeivd^yrfs Annalen, vol. xxxviii. p. 617. 

On the Scraicheg obgerved m He Bocks of Finland. 105 

The scratches present tfaemselTes on slaty rocks just as they 
do on massive, rocks, and generally proceed nninterruptedly 
from one rock to the other, undergoing a change only o^ing 
to a diflFerence of hardness ; that is to say, they are deeper on 
a softer rock, like hornblende slate, than on a harder rock like 
granite, gneiss, &c. 3. There is always one side of the recks 
specially polished, that being the north-west in Southern Fin- 
land, and the south-west on the Icy Sea, as was remarked forty 
years previously by Lasteyrie.* 4. Weathering is the greatest 
enemy of the scratches ; for, where the rocks were protected 
from the weather, the polishing and scratching are the most 
distinct. 5. The scratches exhibit frequently a deviation 
from their normal direction where the rocks have a strong 
lateral inclination, and this deviation takes place, as was previ- 
ously remarked by Sefstrom, in the direction of the inclination. 
Mr Bohtlingk had also many opportunities of observing 
those remarkable raised beaches or dikes of rolled stones 
(masses of pebbles and rolled stones arranged in horizontal 
terraces), which afford such undoubted proofs of a previously 
different relative level of the water. He found them as well 
on the coasts (on the Gulf of Bothnia and the Icy Sea) as in- 
land, surrounding isolated rocky hills (as, for example, the 
terraces extending to the summit of the Kallikangas near 
Tomea, which is 174 feet in height ; also at Wammavaara, 
Ounasavaara, on the mountains near Kemitrask, &c.)t It is 
evident that these banks stand in intimate connection with 
those narrow long sand ridges (Asem), which are as frequent 
in Finland as in Sweden, and like the morasses and long lakes 

* Yon Leonhard's Lehrhuch der Qeognosie, 1836, p. 299. 

t Similar stone dikes are known to exist on the coast of Norway, as was 
previously observed by L. v. Bucb, and more lately by Bravais. The latter 
distinguishes two such previous lines of level, of which the upper has a 
height of 67-4 metres in the Kaa^ord, which gradually sinks to 42.C metres 
at the mouth of the Jemdv, and then falls still more rapidly till it reaches 
Hammerfgrl, where the height amounts to only 28.6 metres. The lower qpo 
has similar phases, and is inclined about thirty -five minutes ; at BoseJcop, in 
the Alten/jard, it has a height of 277 metres, and sinks at Hammerferjt to 
14.1 metres. Here, then, we have lines which are neither horizontal nor 
parallel. See Comples Bendus, vol. x. p. 691, and Edin. New Fhii. Journal, 
vol. xsix. p* 164t 

14)6 Mr D. Milne on Earthquake-Shocks in Great Briiam. 

with which the country abounds, have inTariably the direc- 
tion of the scratches, for example, from N.NW. to S.SE. in 
Southern Finland. Mr B. remarks, that the peculiar relations 
of the lakes, morasses, and ridges, will seem the more sur- 
prising when we examine the new geographical map of Schu- 
bert, which will convey the most striking picture that we yet 
possess in regard to this district of the direction and the ac- 
tion of the diluvial floods.* 

Notices of Earthquake-Shock$ felt in Great Britain^ and espe- 
cially in Scotland^ with inferences suggested hy these notices as 
to the causes of the Shocks. By David Milne, Esq. F. R. S. E., 
M. W. S., F. G. S., &c. Communicated by the Author, 
(Continued from page 309 of Volume zxxL) 

Chap. II. Account of Shocks felt at Comrie (Perthshire) since 
September 1839, with Explanations , shewing the nature and ejects 
of the most remarkable of these Shocks^ and the extent of country 
affected by them. 

In the foregoing part of this Memoir, a chronological account 
has been given of British Earthquakes, from the earliest au- 
thentic dates, down to October 1839. In the present chapter 
will be described those which have occurred, especially in 
Scotland, since that time. The shocks then became so fre- 
quent, and some of them were so violent, that they began to 
attract more attention and closer observation than had been 
previously given to the phenomena, at least in this country : — 
and hence, the nature of the motion and of the sound accom- 
panying the shocks, as well as the occurrence of the shocks 
themselves, came to be narrowly watched, and pretty exactly 
ascertained. The author having interested himself in the 
subject, he had the good fortune to find at Comrie, where the 
shocks were always most felt, an individual well qualified in 
every way to observe and register the phenomena. Mr Mac- 
farlane, post-master in that town, to a fondness for scientific 

• From Poggendorff's Annalcn, 1841; No. 4. 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks in Greai Bri/ain. 107 

ptmniits, added the adrantages of a good education, and of con- 
siderable natural talents ; and being obliged, from his office, 
to be almost constantly at home, there was no risk that shocks 
would occur which Mr Macfarlane would not perceive and 
register. He had begun, even before the author's acquaint- 
ance with him, to jot down the shocks as they occurred, as 
well as to turn his attention towards the invention of instru- 
ments for marking them, and in which he displayed much me- 
chanical skill. Having prevailed upon Mr Macfarlane to keep 
a regular register, the author is now enabled to give a table of 
all the shocks which have occurred at Comrie diuring the last 
two years. 

Table of Earthquake Phenomena perceived at Comrie. 

Colomn No. I. indicates the daj of the month. 

No. 2. ... the number of shocks in one day. 

No. 3. ... the honr of the three strongest shocks. 

No. 4. ... the estimated relative intensity of the three 

strongest shocks^ reckoning from 1 to 10, which last number marks the 

severest shock of 23d October 1840. 
A indicates Ante, P Poit Meridian. 



















Oct. 3. 


31 p. 


Dec. 2. 


^ 7. 


3^ p. 

4 P. 



^ 3. 


^ 9. 


^ 4. 


^ 10. 




^ 6. 


^ 11. 


10 P. 


_ 6. 


2 A. 


^ 12. 


1 p. 


3 p. 


4 p. 


^ 7. 

^ 13. 


9 A. 


11 A. 




^ 8. 



^ 14. 



^ 11. 

91 p. 


^ 15. 


3 p. 


^ 12. 

3 a. 


^ 16. 





5} P. 


13 to 18. 



^ 17. 



^ 20. 



^ 18. 



^ 24. 


19 to 22. 




^ 28. 

3 A. 


12 P. 



^ 23. 




11 p. 


12 H. 

^ 31. 

2 A. 


^ 24. 




^ 25. 



Jan. 2. 

11 A. 


^ 26. 


7 P. 


Ill P. 


^ 4. 

11 J P. 


^ 27, 



^ 8. 


121 P. 


1 A. 


^ 28. 


11* p. 


^ 11. 


2 A. 


12 p. 


^ 29. 


21 A. 

^ 18. 




10 p. 


v^ 30. 


^ 19. 


5' A. 


9 A. 


^ 31. 


^ 20. 

9 A. 


Nov. 1. 



^ 27. 

6 A. 






Feb. 6. 

81 A. 


^ 9. 




^ 9. 

9 a. 


19 to 28. 


4 A. 

^ 10. 


^ 29. 


^ 14. 

1 A. 


^ 30. 





^ 25. 

2 p. 


108 Mr D. MUne on Eariliquake Shocks in Great Britain. 



















Feb. 26. 


1 A. 


Feb. 16. 


March 8. 


6 A. 


4 p. 


March 6. 

9 A. 


^ 9. 




^ 10. 



^ 11. 


6 A. 


6 A. 



^ 11. 

1 A. 


^ 13. 


8 P. 


^ 22. 

1 A. 




^ 14. 




^ 23. 

1 A. 


^ 21. 




April 3. 

8 A. 


^ 24. 




11 A. 


L 9. 

7f A. 


^ 26. 


p. M. 


^ 12. 

6 a. 


^ 27. 






^ 14. 

6 A. 


AnrU 1. 


1 P. 





^ 17. 

12 A. 


^ 7. 


4 p. 


41 P. 


6 p. 

^ 24. 



p. M. 


^ 11. 




1 ^ 25. 

1 A. 


^ 12. 


p. M. 

May 6. 

9 A. 


«^ 13. 


P. M. 

^ 8. 

12 N. 


May 19. 


If P. 


p. M. 




^ 22. 


^ 22. 






^^ 26. 


July 3. 


11 A. 


^ 27. 

8 A. 


^ 11. 


11 A. 


! ^ 28. 

7 A. 


^ 16. 




^ 30. 



^ 17. 




1 June 29. 


^ i:3. 


1 A. 


July 2. 

5} A. 


Aug. 6. 


6 p. 


J 30. 








^ 6. 


2 A. 


^ 31. 


8 A. 




Sept. 19. 




Aug. I, 




^ 21. 


3 p. 


«r la 




^ 26. 


3 A. 


^ 12. 


m A. 

Oct. 4. 


9 p. 


^ 30, 



^ 20. 


11 A. 


Sept. 8. 


3 A,; 


^ 26. 




S D. 


U% y. 


Nov. 12. 




-^ 10. 




4* A. 



^ 13. 


2^ A. 


4 A. 


7 A. 


«« 16. 






^ 16. 


3 A. 


6 A. 


-^ 17. 


1 A. 


4? A. 


^ 24. 


4 A. 


^ 2-*'. 


11} r. 


Dec. 6. 


7 P. 


^ 23. 




^ 7. 


12 A. 


^ £9. 






-^ 8. 


12 A. 


Oct. 5, 




^ 10| 

-^ 2a 


L2 A. 

2 ' 

^ or} 


A. M. 



Nt>v. 3, 


12 A. 


^ llJ 

^ 5. 


\ A. 

^ 18. 


2 A. 


^ 6. 


8 A. 



^ 7. 



Jan. 6. 


12 P. 


^ 8, 


^ 18. 


2 A. 


^ la. 


8 A. 

^ 31. 


7* p. 


9 p. 

1 ] 

Lli r. 

1 ; 

Dec. 3. 

Si A. 

Feb. 1. 



^ a 


3 A. 



^ 14 




«». 1. 

1 3 A. 1 


The 4ih column in the preceding Table, which states the 
intensity of the recorded shocks, cannot be depended on as 
absolutely correct. It represents merely the result of Mr 
Macfarlane's impressions, aided, however, in most instances, 
with observation of the eifects of each shock. It is also pro- 
per to observe, that besides shocks or tremors, there were 
frequently passing sounds, unaccompanied by sliocks or tre- 
mors, and which are believed by the inhabitants of Comrie, 
— and apparently on good grounds, — ^to be no less connected 
with subterranean aution. Of these sounds, a register has been 

Mr D. Milne an Earihqudke Shocks in Great Britain, 100 

attempted to be formed by'Mr J. Drummond, shoemaker in 
Comrie, and whicli is still continued by him. 

It may be observed generally, of the foregoing Table, that 
there are 247 shocks recorded in it, for the two years follow- 
ing 3d October 1839 ; and that of these, 171 occurred during 
the six winter months from October to March inclusive, and 
76 during the six summer months, — a result remarkably in 
accordance with the inferences deduced in the former part of 
this Memoir. This remark, which regards only the frequency 
of the shocks, may be applied also to the severitjf of them, — 
the most violent having occurred, as the Table shews, during 
the six winter months. 

The author will proceed now to describe some of the more 
remarkable shocks recorded in the foregoing table, with the 
view of offering data, from which the nature of the shocks and 
the source from which they all proceeded, may be ascertained. 
He thinks that he cannot do this better, than by quoting as much 
as possible the language used by those who themselves felt the 
shocks, and who have been so obliging as to communicate 
their impressions to the author. 

He will arrange these reports under the different days on 
which the shocks occurred ; and those will be quoted first, 
which were given by persons who were at the time nearest to 
what will afterwards be seen to have been the central spot, 
from which all these shocks emanated. 

Sd October 1839. 

No particulars have been obtained regarding the shock which 
occurred on this day, except what are contained in the follow- 
ing extract of a letter from Mr Buchan of Blairmore^ 10 miles 
ENE. of Comrie. 

*' About 3 p. m., I was walking, when I heard a sound some- 
what resembling a peal of thunder at a great distance, — or 
rather the echo which succeeds a louder thunder peal passing 
along through the clouds. I would have believed it was from 
thunder, had I not felt the motion of the ground under me, 
ais if a heavy carriage had passed over it rapidly at a short dis- 
tance from me. The sound preceded the movement of the 
ground about 3' or 4V' 

110 Mr D< Milne on Earthquake Shocks in GretUBnttM. 

7th October 1839. ' 

There were five shocks felt on this day by different observers, 
of whidh three only are marked in the register. The other two 
are said to have occcirred at 4J a. Um and 11^ a.m. Mr Max- 
ton at Ctdtoquebey (1 mile east of Crieff), between 11 and 12 
A. X., heard a noise loud and rumbling, but no shake ; about 3 
p. M. he felt a decided shake of the ground, accompanied by a 
noise in air like thunder. The shake resembled what may be 
felt on a moving bog or moss. The concussion came from W. 
He was then on low flat sandy ground. About 4 p. h. he 
heard a slight nobe, but felt no shake. 

Qth October 1339, 

Mr Buchan of Bhirmore writes,— "Not long after 2 a. m. 
when in bed, I heard a sound, which, as formerly, somewhat 
preceded the shaking, appeared much nearer, and with ap<« 
parently less time intervening ; also louder and harsher, some* 
what resembling one of these winds called by countrymea 
* hearkening winds.' They come in heavy gusts with a roar- 
ing sound, die away after a little, and again roll as before. 
The motion (which almost immediately followed the sound), 
was very unpleasant. It appeared as if my bed had been sus- 
pended to the top of the room, and had then received a smart 
and violent blow from a heavy mallet. I was not conscious^ 
however, of any swing, but merely a tremulous or quavering 
feeling, occasioned by the motion of the bed. You may pos- 
sibly better understand what I mean by the pendulum of a 
clock when oscillating ; — if it is smartly struck by a small in- 
strument, it has a very reverberatory juid unsteady motion for 
a short time." 

IQih October 1839. 

At Comrie the shock (says the Rev. Mr Walker), " caused 
considerable upheaving of the earth. It' was accompanied 
with a very loud noise resembling hollow thunde*, increasing 
in intensity as it approached us, and again decreasing as it re- 

At Dunira, 3 miles west of Ck)mrie, the shock is described 
by Sir D. Dundas as ** severe, and weather muggy and close.'* 

At Strathallan^ about 10 miles SE. of Comrie, tJiere W9» 

Mr D. Milne tm Earthquake ShockM in Great Britain^. lU 

** raiher ah imdtilalory motion of the ground*' from the W. A 
nmn lying in bed N. and S. was thrown to east. 

A.i Ardvoirlich^ 10 miles W. of Comrie, there was no shak* 
ing felit and only a sonnd, which resembled *' a carriage driv* 
ing up to the door,'' for which it was mistaken. 

At Monzie, 10 miles NE. of Comrie, there was "merely 
heard a subterranean noise.^ 

12M October 1839. 

The Rev. Mr Walker of Comrie writes, that ** the shocks of 
12th at 1 and 4 p. ic. (which were very similar and which 
Were attended with a considerable tremor of the earth), were 
accompanied with a noise resembling a mixture produced by 
the rush of the strong vnnd and the peal of distant thunder. 
It was different from any noise which I ever heard before. 
The shock at 3 p. m. (which was far more severe than any that 
had preceded it, and which was attended with greater tremor 
or heaving of the earth), was accompanied with a noise which 
at first resembled the murmurings of distant waters. This 
continued increasing in intensity for about 2*, and then fol- 
lowed a very loud and terrific sound resembling that of a 
double shot for blasting rock immensely charged. 

•* The weather has been remarkably wet during the month 
of October, and indeed for some months previous, and still 
continues so. No day has brought along with it any other 
than a moist, and often a very moist atmosphere. This was 
especially the case on the 10th when the first severe shock 
was felt. In the morning of that day the clouds were evi- 
dently surcharged, while in the evening for some houi-s the 
rain fell in torrents, accompanied with a very violent wind 
from the SW. by W. Again, on the 12th, when three severe 
shocks, and so many slighter ones, were felt, the atmosphere 
was very moist. The air was much darkened during the 
shocks, and occasionally there fell a few drops of rain. After 
the second severe shock this day, I retired to the garden to 
note the appearance of the sky. I found that it had assumed 
an appearance peculiarly strange and alarming. The heavens, 
more especially towards the N. and NW., appeared as if hung 
with sackcloth. A dense dark indescribable species of mist 
enveloped the mountains in that direction. In many parts 
ibey were <!oi»pteteIy e<mcealed ; while in others, the broken 

112 Mp D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks in Great Sritain. 

crags could be seen as if growing through in terrible majesty, 
giving to the scene an aspect ineffably grand, and in some re- 
spects horrific. If I remember right, there was no heavy 
rains that evening nor the night following ; nor was there, as 
on the 10th, any boisterous wind. Before the shocks on the 
12th there was a slight breeze. This continued during the 
morning. Shortly before the first and third shocks there was 
a momentary calm. After these shocks, the wind again rose 
and blew gently, but from what direction I have not noted:'' 

Mr Walker adds, that " during the second severe shock on 
the 12th, some slates fell firom houses and some loose stones 
from walls. On that occasion also furniture was moved, and 
bells rung in some houses. Many persons felt as if under the 
influence of electricity. This was especially the case on the 
12th. Some complained of pain in the soles of their feet ; 
others in their ankle and knee-joints, and others in the wrists. 
As for myself, the efiects on my frame and spirits were a 
slight pain in the back, and subsequently a violent headach. My 
limbs felt exceedingly weak. A general tremor seized me." 

Mr Williamson of Lawers thus describes the effects of the 
shock which occurred at 3 p. m. : "A very severe shock was 
felt at Lawers (two miles east of Comrie), and through the 
whole of that part of the country, and I believe it was also 
felt at Stirling, Perth, and Edinburgh. In making observa- 
tions on the effect of this earthquake, I was placed by chance 
in a most desirable situation. The night before it had been 
exceedingly wet, and much rain had fallen on the forenoon of 
the 12th. About three o'clock in the afternoon, I, with an- 
other gentleman, Mr Buchanan, went out with our guns. We 
had made our way towards the parks in the Strath, below the 
house of Lawers, and at the time I was standing in the road 
leading from Lawers to Comrie, and facing the west, a loud 
explosion was heard, as if from a ten-pounder at a mile dis- 
tant, and instantaneously the earth became tremulous and 
shook violently. The report echoed from hill to hill, arid tra- 
velled on with great rapidity nearly due east. Its course was 
marked very distinctly along the tops of the hills. The road 
from Lawers to Comrie is overhung with trees, and every 
branch and leaf was saturated with water from the previous 
pains ; and as the shock of the earthquake passed, it produced 

Mr D. Miitte ^m Earthquake 8hock$ in Great Britain. 113 

a most singular effect. The water descended from the trees 
as if it had b«©« from a shower-bath, and I could see the drops 
falling upon the road like a passing showier, as if driven with 
a gale. The gentleman, Mr Buchanan, who wais with me, 
but in the neighbouring field, made the same observation. In 
this shock, another still more singular phenomenon presented 
itself. The rain had ceased about twelve oVlock, and the day 
in a manner cleared up, but still the mist hung upon the hills, 
and there was a remarkable languor and listlessness in the at- 
mosphere. It was a dead calm ; but no sooner had tlie report 
which accompanied the earthquake died away upon the ear, 
than a gentle breeze was felt coming from the east. It in- 
creased for twenty minutes, when, as a sailor would say, it 
blew a ten knot breeze. This gradually lessened, and in forty 
minutes it was again a dead calm. This was remarked also by 
my friend Mr Buchanan as very singular, and indicated plainly 
that the atmosphere was put in motion to fill up some vacuum. 
I should have mentioned that the thermometer stood at 54°." 

In farther explanation of the foregoing statetSents, the fol- 
lowing notes may be added, jotted down by the author after 
a conversation with Mr Williamson. 

** I was half way between Lawers and Comrie on the turn- 
pike road, under an avenue of tall trees, walking with my face 
to west. Suddenly I heard a loud report, as if a ten-pounder 
had been fired. It seemed to come rather from south of line 
of road, crossing it obliquely in its course eastward. At same 
moment, trees above my head shaken ; shake came from west. 
I could not see ground rise, or any objects on it lifted up. I 
looked back towards east, and saw rain-drops descend from 
trees, as far as eye could reach. The concussion appeared 
to travel more quickly than sound, — and at least 800 or 900 
yards in 2\ All the shocks and reports felt by me during 
this month, seemed to issue from same locality. Mr Thomas 
Stirling of Struan told me, he was standing at this time on 
edge of a bank near river Erne, when ground gave way be- 
neath him." 

Mr Stirling told the author that he felt one of the shocks 
at StruaUy as if coming from the northwards. There was a 
sound which preceded the shock. The earth seemed to trem- 
ble. He had a strong sensation of sea-sickness. 


1X4 Mr D, Milne on £arihquake^Sko€k$felt in Great Briiain. 

At Crieff, six miles east of Comrie, the following sensa- 
tions were experienced by Mr White, in a distillery half a 
mile S,W. of Crieff, as noted by the author after a con^- 
versation with him. *« About li p.m. the chairs on which 
we were sitting, were suddenly moved or shoved out of 
their places. The owner of the distillery instantly rushed 
out to see if any of his works had fallen in. At the door 
he met his clerk, who said that when in the court-yard he 
had felt himself raised up two or three inches. The noise 
was louder than the loudest thunder I ever heard, and lasted 
altogether nearly 2'. The shaking or tremor of the ground 
passed in 6" or 6". The day was hot and sultry. At 3 p.m. I 
was in Crieff and felt a shock ; but it was only a low rumbling 
sound which I heard. It lasted 4" or 5" ; and it was in the air. 
It passed from W. to E. Mr Forrester, the schoolmaster, 
was standing beside me, and said that he felt a motion of the 

At Kinkardine, about seven miles E. by S. of Comrie, Mr 
White's unci* felt the first of these shocks. At a quarter before 
2 P.M. he was in a room of the upper storey of a house. " The 
first sensation I experienced, was as if the west wall of the 
room was leaning over upon me. I rushed towards the door, 
which was on the opposite side of the room. The door then 
gave a crack. There was all this time a hollow rumbling 
sound» apparently subterranean, which seemed to be travel- 
ling in a S.E, direction. It lasted only a few seconds." 

At Bunira, the several shocks are thus described. General 
Sir Dougal Gilmour writes — " About 2 p.m. of the 12th, while 
walking in the neighbourhood of the farm-yard, a most tre* 
mendous noise was heard, not unlike the blowing up of a 
magasine, and immediately afterwards a quick undulating 
movement which lasted about 2^\ and apparently in the direct 
tion of N,E. to S.W. The tremiUation was fully stronger 
than I ever felt at Lisbon or elsewhere, with the addition of 
the tremendous crash previous to it.'** 

Sir David Dundas writes regarding the second shock, " I 
had walked out with two friends, and we were standing talk- 
ing at my home farm-steading, when a flock of turkeys came 
flying out among us as if very much frightened* A remark 
was made upon it ; and we immediately were sensible of s 

Mr D, Milae on Earthquake-Shocks ftlt in Great Britain. 116 

tolerably severe shock under us. The pigeons also at the 
same time kept flying about, as if in a state of alarm. We 
all at liie moment attributed this to the earthquake. The 
day was close and oppressive. The rain came on at two 
o'clock, and continued very heavy all the rest of the day.'** 

At Monzie Mr Laurie, the parochial schoolmaster^ writes. 
<' I heard two long loud peals, and there was a tremulous 
motion observed by some persons. A pond in Monzie Park 
was seen to be agitated as if by the wind, though it was a per* 
feet cakn at the time." 

A correspondent at Blairgowrie thus describes the shook in ^ 
that district, which is probably about forty miles E.NE. of 
Comrie. The first one felt there in October was about 3 p.m. 
It was felt *• only in the valley of Glenshee, about ten or 
twelve miles to the north of this town. The concussion was 
preceded by a hollow rumbling noise, which induced those 
near a road to fancy that there were several carriages passing 
along at a rapid rate, and those at a distance from any road, 
to imagine in some cases that it was occasioned by thunder, 
and in others by some of the outhouses falling to the ground. 
After the noise had continued about h" or 6^ a tremulous mo- 
tion or tremor was felt, but without any movement from side 
to side, or in an upward direction. One man who happened 
at the time to be fishing on a hill bum, about fifteen miles 
to the N. of this, in Glenshee, gives a very distinct account of 
the phenomena observed by him. He states, that he was at 
the moment walking across a patch of heather, when he heard 
a noise as if of a large covey of muir-fowl flying at a little dis- 
tance from him, and he indeed imagined the sound to proceed 
from this cause. Finding that it continued, and seemed ap- 
proaching him, the thought immediately struck him that it 
must be the approach of an earthquake, such as those he had 
been frequently reading of in the newspapers of late as having 
occurred about Crieff and Comrie. He therefore stood quite 
still, leaning on his fishing-rod to observe the phenomenon, 
and heard the sound distinctly approaching, until it seemed 
to surround him, when he felt the ground tremble under him 
(to use his own words) * as if shaken in a riddled He states 
the sound to have proceeded from a west or N W. direction^ 
and as resembling the sound of ^ Muir-bum/ or the rattling. 

116 Mr D. Milne on Earthquake-Shocks feU in Great Britain. 

crackling, and hissing noise made by a large extent of heather 
on fire." 

At Kenmore (at the east end of Loch-Tay, and eighteen 
miles north of Comrie), the Rev. Mr Duff heard *' a hollow, 
rolling, continuous sound," which he at first attributed to 
thunder ; but by subsequent observations he was satisfied it 
was connected with an earthquake. " Some masons happened 
at the time to be dressing stones at Kenmore, and they men- 
tioned that they perceived a tremulous motion in the blocks 
which lay before them. They stated their impression to 
. be, that the noise and motion came to them from the S. or 

lAth October 1841. 

At Tullybanocher^ situated about half a mile west of Comrie, 
the shock is described by the tenant of that farm as " a 
very alarming one. Some of my horses happened to be yok- 
ing in the carts at the time, and were observed to tremble 
exceedingly. I felt myself lifted, or rapidly heaved up and 

At Dunira, as Sir Dougal Gilmour relates, " another tre- 
mendous crash took place, which shook the house, and a con- 
siderable quantity of soot and lime was driven down into the 
chimney. It was from the same point (viz. NE.), and though 
the house is situated close under lofty mountains, there was 
no reverberation along them like what is produced by thunder. 
The weather was warm and muggy, with thick fog." 

Sir David Dundas writes that this day was " very wet ; at 
3 J P.M. a very severe shock occurred. Plaster from the in- 
side of several chimnies, brought down." 

At MonziCj Mr Lawrie writes — " I heard a noise approach- 
ing from the west, and although I knew the cause, I was taken 
by surprise, for the house in which I was, received in that di- 
rection such a concussion as I had no previous conception of. 
I do not say this in regard to the severity, so much as the 
nature of the shock. Suppose the house to have been a ship 
lying in still water, and a heavy body to have been unexpect- 
edly pitched against it, and you will have a tolerably good 
idea both of the concussion and of our sensations. I also felt 
an undulating motion pass along the room (which is on the 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake-Shocks feU in Great Britain. 117 

ground) from W* to E. The desk at which I was seated was 
sensibly lifted up, as was also a stove with its flue. Not only 
during the concussion, but before and after it, the windows 
shook violently. The sound did not rise out of the ground on 
all sides, but moved in a track like a train of gunpowder ex- 
ploding. It passed away to the E. with prodigious velocity ; 
and nothing could give a finer idea of rapid motion than it 
did. After it had reached an immense distance, its vibrations 
still continued for many seconds, but they rapidly became 
deeper and fainter until they died away in the distance. 

" After the concussion there followed a general shuddering 
of the ground. The noise was subterranean. It was a stifled 
sound, proceeding from the ground. It resembled the falling 
of snow from the roof of a house during thaw, and was equal 
to loud thunder. The clouds were very low, and generally 
there was a thick small rain." 

At Glenalmond(9 miles E.N.E.of Comrie) Mr Robert Ruther- 
furd, W.S., writes that " the concussion was as if a heavy cart 
of stones were driven violently against the house. There was 
an undulatory motion, and the room seemed to heave up, be- 
ginning at the SE. corner, and sinking down to NW. The 
chairs, and people sitting on them, seemed to rock like a boat 
at sea, affected by a ground swell. The pots and pans hang- 
ing in the kitchen vibrated, and rattled on the wall. I was 
reading in the room with Mr Paton, when the shock was felt, 
and was astonished, both at the noise and seeing the chairs 
undulate ; insomuch, that I thought Mr Paton was swinging 
on the back of his chair. I felt my own chair distinctly un- 
dulate, and felt a little affected with headache. There was a 
very loud noise, like the emptying of a cart of stones. The 
cattle in the field clustered together, and looked as if they 
were afraid. It had rained very much that morning and the 
preceding two days. Towards the afternoon, the day became 
very close, with a Scotch mist." 

At Dumbarnie (about 20 miles E, of Comrie), Dr Joseph 
Bell was walking along a road with some friends. Suddenly 
they heard " a rushing noise like the letting off of steam. Orie 
of the party was conscious about the same period, of an unu- 
sual feeling, which led him to suppose that some illness was 
impending* This did not last above 15* or 20"* 

118 Mr D. Milne on Earthquake- Shocks felt in Qreai Britain. 

At Kenmore^ as the Rev. Mr Duff relates, ^' at 3 p.h. a sea- 
man happened to be employed in a boat>-house close upon the 
river, when the building shook to such an alarming degree that 
he rushed out in the dread that it would be instantly in ruins ; 
and on reaching his house, which is also but a few yards from 
the river, he was told by his wife that the bell in one of the 
rooms had been ringing." In a subsequent letter, Mr Duff 
says, that '' the first circumstance which attracted the seaman^s 
attention was a tremulous motion of the loose objects in the 
building ; and, as he expresses it, a clattering of the slates 
over his head. The house merely trembled, and he was 
not sensible of a general movement in any direction. The 
thing bearing the greatest similitude to what he felt, is the 
tremor in a steam- boat, occasioned by the stroke of the arms 
of the wheels in the water.** 

The Rev. Mr Dewar was that day riding on a turnpike road 
on north side of Loch Tay, He heard a noise, apparently to- 
wards NK, similar to that of two or three carriages. His 
pony was startled by it. The day was very wet and rainy, 

October 16. 1841. 

At Dunira several shocks were felt by Mr George Clerk 
Craigie, who thus writes regarding them :— " At about 2 J a.m. 
every inhabitant of the house was awakened by a shock so se- 
vere as to shake the whole house, and accompanied by a noise 
as loud as, and much resembling, a severe thunder clap. The 
motion was at first of a lifting description, as if some one was 
forcing up the bed, and finished with a tremulous motion. The 
time occupied was from 15" to 20". The sound seemed to be 
both in the earth and air. The atmosphere was cloudy and 
calm, what we are accustomed to call muggy. Much alarm 
was felt by the domestics of Lady Dundas's household, and 
likewise by some of the peasantry. Another shock took place 
at 6 A.M., but comparatively slighter." 

At Ardvoirlichy the first of these shocks is stated by those 
who there heard it, ** as particularly severe, and the noise was 
described as having a sort of hissing sound, and was compared 
to a large steam-vessel letting off the steam.*' 

At BlairhiUj near the Rumbling Bridge (about 25 miles 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake^ Shocks fitii in 6r$ai Britain. 119 

SE. of Comrie), the shock between 2 and 8 a.m. " was very 
violent, causing the bed to shake greatly, and the artioles in 
the basin-stand to rattle strongly." 

At Kenmore, about 3 a.m. one of the maid-servants in the 
manse " declares that her bed shook like a cradle, and that 
the basin^stand made a rattling noise on the floor. She was 
so frightened, happening to be alone, that she was on the point 
of descending to take refuge in the apartment of her mi»- 

October 23. 1841. 

Leichdin^ a farm-house situated half a mile N.W. of 
Comrie village. " The great jolt felt between 10 and 11 
P.M. came from the north, and apparently from some point a 
little to the west of Lord Melville's monument. It created 
the sensation that the house and whole ground adjoining had 
been suddenly pushed and moved to the south, and then in- 
stantly brought back to its former position. There seemed to 
be two such jolts, with an interval of a second between them. 
There was a subterranean noise, which preceded the shook. 
Before midnight a similar subterranean sound was heard 
twelve times, accompanied on one occasion only with a shak- 

Comrie House. — ^About a quarter of a mile N. of Comrie 
village, Sir John Mansel (who then resided there) writes,— 
" The most violent shock occurred at about 10 6' p.m. From 
the first report to the ceasing of the sound, there might have 
been 46" or 50*. As it was dark, I am unable to say whether 
an undulation of the earth's surface was produced ; but some 
seconds after the shock, and while the vibration was still con- 
tinuing in the earth, it appeared to heave up. The sensation 
conveyed to me by the concussion, as I was standing on the 
ground-floor, was as if the earth was being rent asunder under 
my feet ; and this for some seconds I fully expected to hap- 
pen, from the violent movement, apparently in the bowels of 
the earth. This shock, like all the others, seemed to origi- 
nate a short distance north of this house. The rumbling noise 
follows a direction from N W. by N. to SE. by 8. A loud noise 
accompanies, every §hock, proportionate in loudness to^ its 

120 Mr D. Milne on Earthquake'Shocksfeltin Great Britain^ 

strength, and in the mote violent ones the vibration is of equal 
continuance with the sound ; but in the lesser ones no vibration 
is perceptible, merely the peculiar report is heard. In the great 
shock of the 23d there were two reports, with an interval of 4" 
or 5" between the first report and the commencement of the 
second, before any sensible vibration or concussion ensued. The 
nature of the noise usually resembles the report of a gun dis- 
charged among rocks, when the sound produced is deep and hol- 
low. This marks the first explosion. Then follows the sharp 
rumble, as if through a cavity in the earth, and in the sharper 
shocks produces a jingle like the jarring of some metallic body 
in the earth. 

" Towards the termination of the principal shock on the 
23d, there was a strong smell of a combination of sulphureous 
and metallic air emitted through the floor ; and though I felt 
perfectly convinced this was not the production of fancy, yet 
it has been satisfactory to me having heard from others since 
• that they experienced the same. In connection with this, it 
may be noticed, that some linen placed on the ground 1^ 
miles east from hence, to bleach on the morning of the 23d^ 
was on the following day discovered entirely covered with 
small particles of black. The clothes were on the usual spot 
for dressing the linen, and removed fifty yards at least from a 
solitary house, and with high trees intervening. I could not 
learn that the under surface next the ground was discoloured. 
" In my kitchen, several tin covers hanging on nails, and a 
few other things on an elevated situation, not firmly fixed, 
were thrown down with the shake. 

^' I have now resided at Comrie more than six years, and so 
far as my recollection carries me, in each month of November, 
I have experienced one and sometimes two shocks, usually 
occurring between 9 and 11 p. m. ; and I do not remember 
having felt any at any other period of the year, except once 
at 7 A. M. on a bright morning in April. I do not think the 
general efiect, character, or direction of these former earth- 
quakes differed in any respect from those I have felt and heard 
during the past months of October and November, except as 
regards the great one of the 23d, which was totally and es- 
sentially different from any I have ever heard, for they as 
well as the recent ones varied in strength, but possessed pre- 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks felt in Great Britain. 121 

cisely similar effects, as their power increased, and they ap* 
peared to occupy the same locality. 

^' The season for a long while prior to and dm'ing the fir^t 
earthquakes, up to the 16th October, was extremely wet, with 
generally very heavy rain* I understand, that on the 17th 
the weather cleared up, and there were slight frosts till the 
. 20th. The 21st October was a hazy lowering day without 
rain. It commenced raining at 7 a. m. on the 22d, and con- 
tinued without any cessation till the evening of the 24th. On 
the 22d the rain was heavy. On the 23d it was less so, with 
the atmosphere very thick and mild. On the 24th the rain 
was periodically heavy, but the atmosphere clearer. It tliere- 
fore appears, that, during the short change in the weather 
from that humid state to a more dry and clear atmosphere, 
the shocks abated, and with the return of that humidity they 
I ike wise- returned. Frcmi the 24th to the 31st October the 
weather still continued very moist, but some of the nights a 
little frosty. The first four days of November were extremely 
close, with a considerable quantity of rain falling, especially 
during the night. This is certain from observation, whatever 
influence (if any) the weather or atmosphere may have in pro- 
ducing these convulsions of the earth, they undoubtedly occur 
more, in certain states of it ; and the prevailing one is a de- 
pressed, still, muggy atmosphere ; and this is the more plainly 
borne out by the circumstance, that they almost invariably 
take place here in November, a season so generally present- 
ing that peculiar state. It is also worthy of remark, that 
whatever effect heavy rains may have on combined substances 
in the earth, the general feeling of the inhabitants is, that fair 
weather will put an end to the shocks ; and it is asserted, the 
first earthquakes that are remembered at Comrie commenced 
during a very wet summer and autumn, about fifty or fifty- 
two years ago." 

Cotnrie Filiate. — There are three individuals of intelligence 
and observation, from whose separate reports the following 
statements are extracted. 

(1.) Rev. Mr Walker. — Before his account of the shock 
and the effects of it is given, it*may not be inappropriate to 
notice some remarks made by him on the situation of Comrie 
village. '' Comrie lies as in a basin, being almost completely 

122 Mr D. MUne on Earthquake- Shocks felt in Great Britain. 

Burroitnded by hills and rising grounds. It Is bounded on the 
north by the base of the Grrampian range,—- on the west by th© 
Aberuchills hills,— on the south by a range of rising grounds, 
the highest of which is named Top Turlom, on the east by a 
ridge of similar grounds or hills crossing the valley of the Earne 
at Strowan and Clathin. In connection with the north boun- 
dary we have Glenlednaig separated from Comrie by the 
conical hill of Dunmore, being the eastern extremity of a range 
of hills forming a part of the base of the Grampian range, 
commonly termed the hills of Dunira. Among these, almost 
direct north from the east end of Locherne, lies a small lake 
of the name of Lochboultachan, in the centre of a small cir- 
cular glen of the same name. Among these hills, and near 
this lake, general opinion has placed the seat of the earth- 

" The shock of the 23d, at half past 10. p. m., which was 
by far the most severe of any remembered in this neighbour- 
hood, and which was attended with greater tremor or heav- 
ing of the earth, was accompanied with a noise in nature 
• and intensity indescribably terrific, — ^that of water, wind, 
thunder, discharge of cannon, and the blasting of rocks, ap- 
peared combined. Giving a short warning by a distant mur- 
mur, it gradually increased in intensity for some seconds, 
when at length becoming louder than thunder, and somewhat 
similar to the rush of the hurricane, it suddenly changed, 
and a noise resembling that of a blasting rock thrice re- 
peated followed, which again died away like distant thun- 
der." In reference to the effects of this shock Mr Walker 
states, that " in the village towards the north, one house, 
whose gable had been formerly slightly rent in different parts, 
had these rents considerably enlarged. The gable thus in- 
jured looked towards the east. The rents were, after the 
earthquake, from top to bottom. Several other houses in the 
village had portions of their chimnies loosened, and cans thrown 
down, — ^and the parts thrown down, fell almost invariably to- 
wards the west. At Dundurn, five miles west from Comrie, 
three chimney-tops were shattered, and one is said to have 
been tmsted^ but in what direction I have not learned." 

The chimney-tops here referred to by Mr Walker were 
pointed out to the author by Sir D. Dundas, on whose est-ate 

Mp D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks felt m Great Britain. 123 

the house is situated. The chimney-stalks were y\^ 
about four feet high, and were built of polished \Py> 
freestone. They were a few inches apart from J^ 
each other, and had their angles exactly oppo- y\ 
site, in the way represented by the adjoining \Oy^ 
woodcut A B. The effect of the shock is stated to ^^ 
have been to turn each chimney inwards, in the direction of 
the arrow, so that their faces came nearly opposite to each 

•• Posterior to the shock of the 23d (Mr Walker says), I 
heard from two respectable witnesses, that two cats were 
noticed by them to be wonderfully agitated. Of these, the one 
was seen passing from the ground to a considerable height, 
and then screaming and retiring to another part of the room. 
The other, between the first and second shocks, was seen to 
run from room to room, till at length burying itself amongst 
a quantity of bed-clothes, it lay as if completely paralyzed 
with terror. A respectable correspondent in Crieff adds on 
this subject, * birds in terror fell to the bottom of their cages, 
while at Lawers the horses in the stables became quite fu- 
rious.' " 

In 'regard to the state of the weather at the time of the 
principal shock on the 23d, Mr Walker says, that, " When it 
was felt, the rain was falling very heavy, and without inter- 
mission. Indeed, for about forty-eight hours previous to this, 
it may be said to have rained incessantly. During the 23d it 
was very dark, and more so towards the afternoon. Return- 
ing then from Crieff, I distinctly observed a dense dark cloud 
of mist floating over the eastern side of the village, and set- 
tling down upon the rising grounds by which it is bounded on 
the south. The Grampian range were at this time not per- 
ceptible, nor did they become so during the evening. In con- 
sequence of the heavy rains, the river Erne, with its tributa- 
ries, became very much swollen. The Erne during the even- 
ing might have risen about four feet above its usual banks. 
This rise, which may appear great to a stranger, was less 
than was expected from the known character of the river, 
taken in connection with the great quantity of rain that had 
fallen. It has, during this season, risen not only as high but 

:124 MrD. Milne on Earthquake Shacks felt in Great Britain. 

higher, and, upon one occasion (15th September), far higher. 
It must be said, however, of this last rising, that for thirty 
years previous, there had been none like it." Mr Walker adds, 
generally, of the previous part of the month of October, that 
^ the air felt mild, inclining to warm, and saturated with 
moisture, — circumstances that frequently and for long have 
been remarked as concomitants of these phenomena.^' 

(2.) Mr Cameron, parochial schoolmaster. — " The nature 
of the noise has been compared to various things ; but certainly 
the more violent appeared to me to resemble thunder more 
than any thing else, — certainly much deeper toned and more 
awful, and felt as if immediately under us, and causing some 
immense body to strike two or three strokes under our feet, 
with a momentum to make the earth and every thing on it to 
vibrate to and fro, and then move off with a tremulous mo- 
tion till it dies away in the distance. The slight ones are 
more aptly compared to the noise caused by the blasting of a 
soft rock at a considerable distance, followed by the reverbe- 
ration of the surrounding mountains. Noises of the louder 
kind continue very nearly a minute, — ^the slight ones not 
above one-third of that time. As to the direction of the 
shocks, many of the gentler kind which were distinctly heard 
in Comrie, were not heard to any distance to the north or 
south of the village ; and while they were not traceable much 
further west than Dunira, they were distinctly felt to the 
east, at least as far as Crieff. By this test, the direction of 
the noise seems to be from west to east. This is corroborated 
by the appearance of the chimney-tops here that were moved. 
Any stones that fell, fell to the west ; and when any were ob- 
served off the perpendicular, the inclination was westward ; 
and from the circumstance of more of the milder shocks being 
heard at Leichdin to the north of the village, it would appear 
that the centre of these is a particular spot to the north or 
north-west of Comrie, and such certainly was my own impres- 
sion from the direction in which they were heard. Wlien 
shocks occur, the atmosphere is almost invariably hazy and 
foggy. The 23d October was a deluge of rain. On the 12th 
October, when we had seven or eight shocks, the day was re- 
markably dark and murky. On the 14th (when shocks also 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks feli in Great Sritain. 125 

occurred) the same, — ^the mercury yery low, and weather calm 
and rainy. After the 23d, however, the mercury got unusual- 
ly high. On the 23d, the cows were observed to be all on 
their feet (quite unusual after 10 p.m.) ; very restless, and show- 
ing every symptom of fear. The dogs in a farm-house ran to 
the door, and howled mournfully* The only other circum- 
stance which occurs to me connected with these earthquakes^ 
is the sulphureous smell which was perceived. This was sup- 
posed to come off the river ; but several persons at a consi- 
derable distance from the river were sensible of it. Although 
I heard of many who said they perceived this,l would not be- 
lieve it, till one evening Mrs C. was standing at the water- 
edge, and wishing to convince me of its reality, asked me to 
go to the water-edge. I did so ; and I must say that the 
smell was so strong, that it could not be mistaken. It was a 
little after sun-set, and the evening having suddenly turned 
to intense frost, the whole course of the river could be traced 
from a distance, by a sort of vapoiur or mist that arose from 
it, — most favourable for giving out any effluvia. Having men- 
tioned the circumstance to a friend, and gone with him to the 
same spot about two hours afterwards, neither of us could then 
detect the smell." 

(3.) J. Drummond, shoemaker, in some written observa- 
tions, with the perusal of which the author was favoured, says 
— " Where the shock is perpendicular, we feel in general two 
violent concussions — sometimes there is only one. In the 
great shock of 23d October, there were three concussions. 
At each concussion there is a quivering of the earth, with a 
rumbling noise — ^the undulating shocks causing the earth to 
rise like two waves." 

On the foregoing passage, Mr Macfarlane makes the fol- 
lowing remarks. " This double shock or * dunt' (the first most 
violent), is certainly a remarkable accompaniment of many 
of these earthquakes, and that not of the apparently perpen- 
dicular ones only. Subsequently to the first comparatively 
violent part of the shock, there is a trembling of the earth 
and hollow rumbhng noise proceeding from the point where 
it is supposed to commence swelling (if the shock is not given 

126 Mr D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks felt in Great Britain. 

directly below), till it pass under the observer, and then dying 
away in the distance. I never noticed two waves.'' 

J. Drummond continues,— '^ When the great shock of 23d 
October occurred, I was between the outer and inner doors 
of my house. I felt the shock strike the ground perpendi* 
cularly under my feet three times, tike the stroke of a ponder* 
ous hammer, and, as far as I can guess, lifted the groimd sax 
or eight inches. Having some sticks in my hand, the first 
concussion tossed them out of it, and I felt something squeeze 
my heart that forced an involuntary cry. I was powerless 
between the first and second concussions, but when I got the 
third I recovered. I made to the door instantly, expecting 
the house immediately about my ears. I thought each cour 
cussion would have tossed the house from its foundation. The 
quivering of the ground was fearfully sublime, as well as the 
concussions. The noise in the earth and the rattling to and 
fro of the house and furniture, was truly awfuL I felt the 
shock before I heard the sound, and the first concussion was 
the greatest, — ^the last weakest. There was not one moment 
between each concussion. Between the first, and the end of 
the sound of the last, there was about one minute. There 
were about twenty houses more or less damaged, chiefly to the 
east and west of Comrie. Though it rained for fifty-two 
hours before the shook, the barometer stood at fair. The 
rivers were greatly swollen, but instantly after they began to 
fall, though the rain continued the most of the night. 

Comrie Manse^ situated about a mile to the south of Comrie 
village. The Rev. Mr Mackenzie, the parochial clergyman, 
states, that his manse faces the sun at 10 a,m., so that its gables 
run in a north-west and south-east direction. On the evening 
of the 23d, ** An inmate of the manse was very sensible of one 
undulation, i, «. as if the north-west corner of the house was 
first lifted up. It seems to be the prevailing opinion, that the 
shock heaved up the ground. The rent in Mrs M*Ewan's back 
wall seems to me clearly the efioct of an undulating heave. 
This house is situated in Comrie village on the south side of 
the Earne, and runs from west to east. The rent is perpen* 
dicular, and is near the west end of the wall. The inner 
lobby partition has separated from the south wall at both sides 

Mr D. Milne on Earthquake Shocks feU in Great Britain. 127 

of the front door, so far as to admit the little finger into the 
fissures. I conceive that these two injuries prove that the 
shook came from the north-west, causing the front wall to se- 
parate from the partition. In the manse, a person leaning 
ags^inst the east {qucere^ S.E.), side of a wall running south and 
north {quoere^ S.W, and N.E.), felt herself pushed forward^ 
The cracki^ in the ceilings of the manse are chiefly from west 
to east. A dyke of stone and lime running east and west on 
the north side of the river Earn at Woodend, fell to the south 
into the river. Several loose stones fell from a dyke near the 
manse. This dyke runs east and west, and the stones fell to 
the north. One of my servants was passing at the moment 
The loose caps of several chimney-cans were moved and turned 
to the west-^proving, as I think, that the shock came from 
the west. I was of opinion, that formerly all the shocks pro- 
ceeded from the opening to Glenlednock, just above the vil- 
lage of Comrie ; and this was the settled opinion of a gentle- 
man who lived at Comrie-house for nine years, and had spent 
many years in the West Indies ; but if so, they would strike 
the north side of the manse, and not its west gable, as they 
appeared to do. I am now inclined to conclude, that they 
come from some part of the hill between Dunira and Lord 
Melville's monument, and that there is a probability that the 
eentral radiating point has removed a little from east to 

Anatomical and Physiological Studies of a Species of Musca^ 
foith the view of Illustrating the History of Metamorphoses^ 
and the Pretended Circulation of Insects. By M. Lson 


BsFORs I am in a condition to present to tbo Academy the results of 
my numerous disseotions of insects of the entire order Diptera^ I am de- 
sirous to submit my researches on the organization, exterior as well as in- 
teriorj of the three forms of a well known species of Muscat the Musca 
ctmkoasi^ of Olivier, or Sareaphaga TMBrnwrrhoidalis. I have likewise un- 
4ertaken» considering the subject in a less restricted light, to examine and 
4e«idei by &q(s and reasouing, a disputed question of the highest iute-r 

128 M. Dafonr's ^inaiamical and Physiological Studies 

rest to general pbysiology, and vliicb divides the scientific naturalists of 
the present day, namely, tbe pretended circulation of insects. 

I bope tbc Academj will permit me to laj before it a sketcb of tbis 
work on metamorphoses and circulation, which are tbe two natural dlvi* 
sions of tbe subject. 

After describing and figuring tbe lanra, the nymph, and tbe winged in- 
sect, displaying the prodigious differences of those three states in the same 
individual, whose collective life presents a real trinity — ^after tracing tbe 
changes and developments, step by step, I have removed the tegumen- 
tary coverings, and, armed with a scalpel and microscope, have examined 
the various oiganic structures in their respective metamorphoses. I have 
endeavoured to initiate myself into the mysteries of organogeny. It is 
by dissections of tbe living animal, a hundred times repeated, that I have 
witnessed these three organisms unrolled; dissimilar indeed they are to each 
other, yet destined to become blended together and form only one. I have 
studied, in their inconceivable changes, the creation of tbe viscera of the 
larwi, a headless, apodous, crawling, mandibular, carnivorous worm, 
growing with great rapidity, but of no sex, and without the power of 
generation ; those of tbe nymph, which, by its inertness and absolute in* 
sensibility, is the real image of a mummy, but concealing a living prin* 
ciple ; lastly, those of tbe perfect insect, which flics, runs, and is full of 
activity, sucks with moderation a subtile aliment, does not grow, has two 
separate sexes, and reproduces its kind by generation. I have attempted 
to catch, in the play of their material elements, the changes of these par- 
tial lives for a common or definitive life, which is tbe type of perfect or- 
ganism. I have been fortunate enough at times to seize those interesting 
moments when one organism became blended with the remains of another 
which was in the act of being destroyed — ^those fleeting instants, in which 
organs about to be lost still lent their aid to others just forming. 

In the interest of this threefold study of transformations, I have been 
led, by the modifications of the facts, to establish in the organism inter- 
mediate between the larva and the fly, and forming a series of links 
between the one and the other, namely, in that of nymph, three ages, 
phases or stages, which have not been remarked by my predecessors, and 
which are of great importance to the understanding of the progress of 
metamorphoses. The first age, w ich I call the first transition, is that 
which immediately succeeds the passage of the larva into a nymph. There 
is still some organic connection of the latter with the envelope cast off by 
the larva. The second, the name of which is a sufiicient definition, is the 
fuUy-fanned nymph. The latter is uniformly whitish. The third, which 
corresponds to the change of the nymph into a fly, is the second transition. 
The eyes have a violet tint. 

In the three changes of the Sarcophaga, the sensitive apparatus consists 
of two single central nerves, the brain and the thoracic ganglion, from 
which emanate all the nerves which distribute the movements of life 
throughout the various tissues. The brain is deeply bilobed, oir is com- 

of a Species o/Musca. 129 

posed of two hemispberes. In the acephalous larva it cannot be included 
in the head. In the fully-formed hymph^ notwithstanding the existence 
of a large vesicular head^ it is still on the outside of the latter, not enter- 
ing within it till the second transition, and in the fly. A rudimentary 
retina is first observed in the mature nymph, and it is not till the follow- 
ing age, and particularly in the fly, that we see this retina developed, and 
forming the pigment of the choroid, both to the eyes and ocelli. In the 
larva and two first ages of the nymph, the brain and thoracic ganglion 
seem confounded in one and the same mass ; while in the Second transi- 
tion and in the fly, the thoracic ganglion is separated from the encephalic 
by a very distinct rachidian cord. The latter is simple in the Diptera, a 
discovery I can claim for myself. It is double in all the other orders of 
insects. The thoracic ganglion of the larva, like that of many other dip- 
terous forms, is furnished with numerous pairs of peculiar bodies of an 
ambiguous nature^ which have not been previously mentioned, and whi# 
I have designated by the name of gangHonoidal bodies. 

Respiration in insects is a true circulation of air, and the vascular ap- 
paratus through which it takes place is the seat of the two most import- 
ant functions of the aninjal. To this part of the subject I shall again re- 
vert. In the larva, the etigmata, or respiratory orifices, consist of two 
pairs. Each of the anterior pair is in the form of a moveable fan with 
fifteen digitations ; the posterior, lodged in what I have called the stig- 
matic cavity, the structure of which is worthy of admiration, are rather 
large, nmnded, somewhat reniform, placed near each other, and incapable > 
of motion, each having three small linear openings. When the trans- 
formation into a nymph takes place, the two pair of stigmata are re- 
jected by the larva, and left adhering to the walls of the pupal capsule, 
which is m^ely the hardened and coloured tegument of that state. At 
the same time, the nymph, notwithstanding its embryo condition, and 
apparent death, is not destitute of a respiratory apparatus. We find in 
it a single pair of stigmata, namely, the anterior pair; but it is very likely 
that they cease to exercise any active functions. After the fly is evolved 
from the nymph, it is provided vdth eight pair of simple stigmata, two 
bivalvular ones with hairy valves on the thorax, and six on the abdomen 
which are small, rounded, and encircled with a ring. 

The tracheee, the only vascular system in insects, are, in the larva, 
wholly of a tubular or elastic description, and constitute a perfectly sym- 
metrical apparatus. The latter consists, in each half of the body, of a 
wide dorso-lateral canal, which deserves the name of the tracheal artery, 
continued in a direct line from the posterior to the anterior stigma, and 
emitting on the right and left a determinate and regular number of nutri- 
tive branches. This arrangement incontestably proves that the inhala- 
tion of air or respiration takes place by the posterior stigmata. The two 
tracheal arteries communicate with each other anteriorly by a transverse 
canal. The tracheal system of the nymph closely resembles that of the 
VOL» XXXII^ no; LXIII. — ^JANUARY 1842. 1 

130 M. Dofour's Anatomical and Physiological Studies 

larra; but as no posterior stigmata exists the tracbeal artery is closed at 
its hinder extremity^ or terminates in a cul-de-sac. At this place there 
is a considerable interlacement of trache®. Numerous transverse bran ches 
establish a direct communication between the two great canals. The 
amount of respiration^ always proportioned to the degree of vital energy^ 
causes the necessity for a much more ramified system in the fly than in 
the preceding metamorphoses. The condition of the winged insect like- 
wise requires utricular tracheeo, which are truly aerostatic^ situate chiefly 
at the base of the abdominal cavity, exactly in the centre of the body, 
and designed to diminish the specific gravity as well as to balance the 
insect in its movements through the air. 

Let us now proceed to consider the digestive apparatus in the larva 
which is voracious in its propensities, — ^in the nymph which does not eat 
at all, — and in the fly which laps or sucks a liquid food» 
^Tiie digestive canal of the larva is seven or eight times longer than the 
body, filiform, rolled upon itself iu numerous circumvolutions. It com- 
mences in a large buccal expansion, a rigid gizzard, and four ventricular 
bags. These three organs are not to be met with either in the nymph or 
perfect fly. Tliis greater development of the digestive system is a cause 
or a consequence of the voracity and rapid growth of the larva. The sa- 
livary glands consist of two filiform vessels scarcely half the length of the 
body, and united by a salivary epiploon, which I have met with for the 
first time in these insects. There are four hepatic vessels, long, and as 
slender as a thread, yellow or greenish, free at one end, and uniting in 
pairs to a canal choUdoque^ where they discharge bile. 

After the transformation of the larva into a nymph, the buccal cavity, 
the gizzard, and ventricular, bags have disappeared, and the alimentary 
canal has lost two>thirds of its length. The chylific ventricle, which is 
narrow and oblong, and more ample than in the two other states of tho 
insect, has a rudimentary crop at its origin, and a new bag very diflcrcnt 
from that of the larva. It contains a liquid like syrup, and an intra- 
ventricular vesicle, the singular relict of the evolution of the digestive 
canal in the larva. The salivary glands are still those of the latter, but 
their elements shew a disposition to separate in order to assume a new 
form. The hepatic vessels, organs of the earliest formation, present no 
diflerencofrom those of the larva and the fly. 

The winged insect seems to have resumed the alimentary canal of th& 
larva, but without the three organs at its commencement. The salivary- 
glands> which have now entirely changed their primitive form, have taken 
their place ; a bag with a long neck and a bilobed reservoir is now placed 
at the termination of the oesophagus, and the intra«ventricular vesicle has 
not left the least trace of its existence. All the successive modifications 
of creations, all the substitutions, and changes ofler points of the highest 
interest^ and their parallelism throughout the diflerent metamorphoses 
furnishes considerations of great advantage to organogeny. 

The gefital apparatus should have been spoken of in this plaee ; but 

of a Species ^ Musca. 131 

u it IS the exclusive attribute of the petfect insect, I have reserred th« 
consideration of it for my general work on the Diptera. 

The adipose epUmdinic Hwue exists in three forms in the Sarcophaga* 
and performs an important part in the formation of the oigans« That of 
the larva is in large sheets, or membranous folds drilled with holes ; but 
when the period of change approaches, it is converted into a net-work, 
the irregular meshes of which are granulated. In the nymph they appear 
as detached globules, floating in a copious liquid. These granules are 
plastic materials fully formed, and ready to enter into the construction of 
the parts. I have often succeeded in observing these organogenic mar- 
rows disposed in linear series, dissolved in flakes, or laid out in plates, 
in order to form conduits, aHiculations, and membranes, in virtue of a 
law of organic affinity, not yet formally expressed, and of elective sensi- 
bility, with which human pathology furnishes us numerous examples. 

I have given provisionally the name of dorsai organ to an organ found 
in all the states of the Sarcophaga, in the median line of the back, and 
which is the analogue of the dorsal vessel of authors. In the Dipteron 
now under consideration^ it is much more complicated than in other 
insects, and would seem consequently to have a physiological pre-emi- 
nence. We distinguish in it an a»is and wmgs. The axis is a cord with-* 
out cavity or divisions, fixed at one extremity to the hinder part of the 
dorsal tegument, and at the other to the origin of the chylific ventriclei 
without penetrating into the cavity of the latter. Its thoracic portion is 
naked, free, and a little attenuated. The wings are exclusively confined 
to the abdominal portion* They consist, for the third part of the length 
from the hinder extremity, of a double series of twelve reddish spherieke, 
which are sessile, and terminate in the same number of ligaments, andj 
for two-thirds of the anterior part, of a sort of epiploon or mesenteriform 
strawberry, composed of very small granulations, and supported on both 
sides by four ligaments. A minutely careful examination of the form and 
structure of this dorsal organ (new to science), proves that it has no ana- 
logy either to a heart or a vessel, and that consequently it cannot be con- 
sidered as a circulating apparatus. It is possible that it may be a secret- 
ing organ, but of a particular kind, and having no relation to the ordinary 
glands of insects. In regard to this part of the subject, I have establish- 
ed a classification of secreting organs which are pretty frequently mel 
with among these animals, and its peculiar structure will exclude it from 
these. I have hazarded the conjecture, without attaching much import- 
ance to it, that the dorsal organ of the Sarcophaga may not be wholly 
unconnected with the formation and support of the tegumentary envelope 
of the Dipteron. 

The examination of the circulation of insects in general terminates my 
work. Although apparently foreign to my researches on the Sarcophaga^ 
it nevertheless arises out of them, from the details I have entered upon 
respecting the dorsal organ of this fly* For the solution of this problem^ 

132 M. Dutour's Anatomical and Physiological Studies 

I bave brouglit forward materials fumislied by insects of every 6rder> as 
well as tbe opinions expressed by all men of science. 

Among tbose wbo are in doubt about tbe existence of this circulation 
arc Maipigbi^ Swammerdam^ Lyonnet^ Guvier^ MM. Marcel de Serres, 
Dum^ril^ Duvemoy, Audouin, &c. ; and among tbose who contend for 
it are MM. Comparetti> Straus^ Wagner^ Garus> Bebn^ Duges> &c. We 
thus perceive that the most respectable and eminent names are to be 
found arrayed on both sides. 

Everlasting fame be assigned to our illustrious Guvier ! At a period 
remote from our own (upwards of forty years ago) he had established^ 
in reference to insects^ by that inspiration which belongs to genius alone^ 
this fundamental law of physiology^ that the existence of an aeriferous 
vascular apparatus excludes tliat of a sanguineous vascular apparatus ; 
or^ to express it in the sacred words of this legislator in science^ the nu- 
tritive fluid being unable to come into contact with the air, the air is caused 
to repair to it, in order to combine with it. Since that period^ tlie progress 
of discovery occasions no necessity for modifying the expression of this 
law. It still preserves^ in my opiAion^ all its spirit and force. 

It is very singular that instead of choosing the largest species of insects 
for the purpose of demonstrating a circulating system^ the savans who 
contend for its existence^ have^ on the contrary^ selected the most minute^ 
usually larv» in their earliest stage^ afid the movements of a liquid con- 
tained in the cavities of the body> and seen through the pellucid integu- 
ments^ have been considered sufficient to prove a circulation in these ani- 
mals. And yet the experiments and injections made by Guvier^ repeated 
on an extensive scale by M. Marcel de Serres, were altogether opposed 
to such a view of the subject. 

I have scrupulously analysed^ and, I conceive, successfully opposed the 
specious and sometimes contradictory assertions of M. Garus> who con- 
siders that the circulation, the double circulation of insects, is carried on 
by currents of liquid, by vessels without waUs, which he does not hesitate 
to qualify by the terms arterial and vHnous. These currents, subject, in 
mj opinion, to the laws of capillarity and organic affinities, cannot be 
regarded as constituting a circulating system. 

M. Straus has described and figured the supposed heart of a cockchafer, 
as being pierced with eight lateral pair of auriculo- ventricular openings, 
and the like number of ventricles or chambers separated by valvules. 
According to his view, the blood of the cavities enters the heart directly 
by these openmgs, passes into the artery which crosses the thorax, and 
spreads itself over the head, whence it returns to the cavities. While 
admitting, along with M. Straus, the existence of a similar structure, I 
prove that we cannot reasonably adduce it, as he does, to demonstrate a 
double circulation. The movement, in my opinion, is limited to the con- 
tinual play of a siphon, which can never accomplish the physiological 
purpose of a circulation. My dissections of the same cockcliafer have not 
enabled me to dcteot any opening in the dorsal organ of that insect. This 

ofm Species o/Mauea. 133 

organ is closed at its two extremities^ and one of these is fixed^ as in the 
8arcophaga> to the oesophagus of the insect, without penetrating into the 
interior of the digestive canal. This feet alone comp^telj destroys tlie 
system of M. Straus and the other advocates of circulation. Lyonnet> in 
his posthumous work, has noticed another of the same description. 

On taking a review of the dorsal oigan in the yarions orders of hexapod 
insects, we find in all the following characters : Isf, It is situated in llie 
median dorsal line of the body, immediately beneath the teguments; 
2d, its axis, which is more particularly the heart or the dorsal vessel of 
authors, is a fibro-fleshy simple cord, without divisions, openings, or 
cavities ; Sd, it is fixed and closed at the two extremities ; ^th, its abdo- 
minal portion is furnished at the sides with wings, sometimes membranous, 
cut or entire, or fixed with ligaments (as among the Hemiptera) under the 
form of a narrow linear border, without any means of connection from 
one end to the other; 6th, the most skilful dissections, the most delicato 
injections, have never detected the least vascular ramification in this or- 
gan, and almost all anatomists have admitted this negative fiict, which is 
of such high importance in reference to the question of circulation. 

The movements of the dorsal organ, which have been so imprudently 
designated by the names of systole and dinstole, and the agents which de- 
termine them, have been the object of my attentive study. They are 
either wanting or very difiScult to be determined in many insects. The 
general movements are principally regulated by the ligaments, the muscles 
attached to the skin, the tracheie put in motion by the act of rsspiration, 
and the fluctuation of the nutritive liquid. Its proper movements, or pul- 
sations (an improper term), depend principally on the contractibility of 
the fibre. These movements are irregular, and Malpighi has even said 
that he has seen them, in the same individual, sometimes directed from 
the anterior part backwards, and at other times from the hinder part for- 
wards ; a grave testimony against a circulating system. 

What adds still further to the numerous proofs of the non-existence of 
a heart and circulating system in insects is, that immediate death does 
not ensue from cutting the supposed heart through the middle, while the 
same operation, performed on the dorsal vessel, the true heart of a pul- 
monary Arachnid, instantly destroys life. 

I conclude from my ;^isseetions, experiments, and reasonings, that the 
existence of an aeriferous vascular system adapted to convey the physio- 
logical benefits of respiration to all the organs and tissues, is incompatible 
with the presence of a circulating humour. I am satisfied that the latter 
does not exist in insects provided with tracheae, and that the organ which 
has been supposed to perform this function is merely rudimentary, bear- 
ing some resemblance to the heart of the Arachnides ; in fact an obsolete 
heart, an organ deprived of every well-determined physiolQgical attribute, 
and perhaps a mere elementary tissue.* 

* From Annales des Sciences Naturelles, torn. zv. p. S. 

( 134 ) 

On Falls o/Dusi on FeaseU traversing the Atlantic^ 

Thb west coast of Africa, between Cape Bojador and Cape 
Verd, and thence outwards, is, during the dry season, that is, 
from November to May, constantly enveloped in fog. This 
stratum, which was at an earlier period considered as the land 
itself, and is a sure sign of its proximity, consists of nothing 
else but dust or sand, which, on account of its extraordinary 
fineness, is raised into the atmosphere by the slightest current 
of air, and retained in a state of suspension. 

The projection of this sand, and its falling on ships which 
traverse the Atlantic Ocean at a considerable distance from 
Africa, is, it is true, a well known fact, but still, details are 
wanting as to the distance to which the sand of the African 
deserts can be carried ; and the Journal kept on board the 
Prussian ship Princess Louisa contains instructive information 
on the subject. The phenomenon was observed both during 
the outward and the homeward voyage of the vessel, as the 
following abstract of a portion of the journal shews : — 

N. Lat W. Long. Distance 

1839. from land. 

Jan. 14. 24°20^ 20^42' Sails rendered quite yellow by sand, which ^ 

had probably been brought from the coast [ 12° 

of Africa. ) 

— 16. 23**06' 28°18' Sails still yellower ; when we struck the v 

sails we found the colour was produced I do. 
by fine sand^ which wfts thus loosened. ) 
May 6. 10*2y 32**i9' We remarked a yellow appearance on the \ 

sails like that seen during our outward V 17* 
voyage. j 

— 7. 12''20' 34*0' The saUs more yellow than they were yes- > ^ 

terday. ] ^^ 

— 8. 14'*21' 35*24' Sails and ropes covered with yellow dust. 19" 

— 9. 16''44' 36**37' No increasing dust visible on the sails. 20* 

How we should be surprised if dust, which had been brought 
to us from Sahara, were to fall on the plains of Northern Ger- 
many, or if we heard that the ashes of a new eruption of 
^tna had fallen at Copenhagen or Riga ! These are distances 
which may be compared to those of the Princess Louisa from 
the coasts of Africa at the time when the sails were covered 
with Senigambian dust. 

On FalU o/Du$i on Vessels traversing the Atlantic. 185 

About a fortnight after the time when this ship crossed these 
parts of the Atlantic on her outward voyage, an analogous phe- 
nomenon was observed on board the English ship Roxburgh. 
One of the passengers, the Rev. W. B. Clarke, communicated 
the following notice of it to the Geological Society of London : 
— " On Tuesday, February 4, the latitude of the ship at noon 
was 14^*31' N., longitude 25°16' W. The sky was overcast, 
and the weather thick and insufferably oppressive, though the 
thermometer was only 72°. At 3 p. m. the wind suddenly 
lulled into a calm, then rose from the S.W., accompanied by 
rain ; and the air appeared to be filled with dust, which affected 
the eyes of the passengers and crew. At noon on the 5th of 
February, the latitude of the Roxburgh was 12''36' N., longi- 
tude 24°13' W. ; the thermometer stood at 72**, and the baro- 
meter at 30^ the height which it had maintained during the 
voyage from England. The volcanic island of Fogo, one of 
the Cape de Verds, was about forty-five miles distant. The 
weather was clear and fine, but the sails were found to be 
covered with an impalpable reddish-brown powder, which, Mr 
Clarke states, resembled many of the varieties of ashes ejected 
from Vesuvius, and evidently was not sand blown from the 
African deserts." 

Although Mr Clarke thus decidedly expresses himself against 
the sand-dust, yet the author of this notice is inclined to ascribe 
to it the phenomenon observed on board the Roxburgh ; for, 
had it been produced by volcanic ashes, we must have heard 
of a simultaneous eruption of the volcano of Fogo, but such was 
not the case. 

Mr Clarke also mentioned the following instances of similar 
phenomena, chiefly on the authority of the officers of the Rox- 
burgh : — " In June 1822, the ship Kingston of Bristol, bound 
to Jamaica, while passing near Fogo, had her sails covered 
with a similar brownish powder, which, it is said, smelt strongly 
of sulphur. In the latitude of the Canaries, and longitude 
35° W., showers of ashes have been noticed two or three times. 
At Bombay, dust on one occasion fell on the decks of the ves- 
sels to the depth of an inch, and it was supposed to have been 
blown from Arabia. In January 1838, dust was noticed by 
the crt^v of a ship navigating the China Sea, and at a con- 
siderabio distance from the Bashee islands,* one of which had 

136 Mr H. Goodsir on some New Species of PtfcnogonidiB. 

been preyiously seen in eruption. In 1812 ashes fell on the 
deck of a packet bound to the Brazils, -and when 1000 miles 
from land.** — (From Berghaut^^ Almanack,) 

Descriptions of some New Species of Pycnogonidm^ By Henrt 
D. S. Goodsir, Esq. Read before the Wernerian Society, 
March 1841. Communicated by the Author. (With a Plate.) 

da^s^ Crustacea. — Sab-ClasSy Haustellata. 
Orcfer, Araneiformes. 

Genus L Phoxichilidium (Orythyia^ Johnston). 

Species 1. Phoxichilidium globosum (Mihi). Rostrum a little 
longer than the first joint of the mandibles ; eyes large and 
shining ; fourth articulation of the ambulatory legs very 
much dilated ; no spines on the eighth joint of the leg* ; 
whole body covered with fine hairs. 

The whole animal is of a light pea-green colour, of a robust 
form, and covered with fine hairs, which are thickest on the 
legs. The rostrum is shorter and thicker than in the other 
species of this genus. The mandibles lie on the upper sur- 
face of the rostrum, so as to hide it, and are hispid. The 
oculiferous tubercles are prominent, situated immediately be- 
hind the origin of the mandibles, and bear four black shin- 
ing eyes. The three first joints of the ambulatory legs are 
equal ; the fourth very much dilated, almost spherical ; first 
and second tibial equal ; first tarsal joint minute, second equal 
to the two fiirst coxal, and bearing no spines on its inferior 
surface, but armed with a strong claw. The length of the 
body rather more than half a line ; span of the legs three lines. 
This species is easily distinguished from the Orythyia coc- 
cinea of Dr Johnston, by the eyes being quite distinct, black, 
and covered with punctures. The most prominent characters, 
however, are the extreme dilatation of the thigh joint, and the 
absence of the spines on the inferior surface of the second tar- 
sal joint 

Taken by Messrs Edward Forbes and John Gocjsir in 

PLATE III, £dm rN^Fkd.Jour. V»l. 32. p. 13 h\ 

^'>^- ^^ Fi^.2. 





J ' 



isi joint 


line in 


> nst 

Bfr H. Goodsir om seme New Species <^ Pycnogtmidee. 137 

Genus 11. Pdkne (Johnston). 

Species 2. PaUene circuhris (Mihi). Body almost circuIoTi 
from a sinnated ridge which smromids it, and covers the 
CMrigins of the legs, extremely rough and spiney ; two ti* 
bial joints with three rows of strong hairs on the upper 
surface ; auxiliary claws obsolete ; abdomen very promi- 
n^it and pointed. 
The body and legs are covered with hairs, which are scat- 
tered irregularly over it, except on the two tibial joints, where 
they are arranged in three rows along the upper surface. The 
rostrum is as long as the first joint of the mandibles. The 
first joint of the body is very short, so that the rostrum, man- 
dibles, and first pair of legs, are inserted close to one another. 
The body surrounded by a spiny sinuated ridge, which covers 
the insertions of the legs. The . oculiferous tubercles with 
eyes, obtuse, black, shining, and placed in a quadrate form. 
The abdomen erec^ pointed, and very prominent Body one 
line in length ; span of the legs two lines ; colour dark straw. 
Hab. Firth of Fwth, 

Foe. t6e animal which shall be presently described, I have 
found it necessary to establish another genus. The animal is 
remarkable, inasmuch as it forms a connecting link between 
the non-palpate and palpate genera of this order. 

Genus III. Pephredo,* 
Rostrum short, cylindric; palpi 3-jointed, as long as the 
rostrum ; oviferous legs 6-jointed ; first tarsal joint minute ; 
no auxiliary claws. 

Species 3. Pephredo hirsuta (mihi). Animal robust, opaque ; 
rostrum as long as first joint of mandibles ; palpi with a 
bush at the extremity ; thigh not so long as the first tibiaL 
joint ; abdomen short and pointed. 

The animal is of a dark straw-colour. The rostrum cylin- 
dric. The three coxal joints are equal, and as long as the 
thigh-joint. The oculiferous tubercle is obtuse, and situated 
a little before the insertion of the anterior pair of legs : the 

eyes obscure. . The articulations of the body are very narrow, 

• - - - - _^ - ^. p . ■ 

* Pephredo, ene of the sea-nymphs^ 

138 Mr H. Goodsiri>9i same Nem Species of Pyenoffonidm. 

the origins of the legs being placed close to one another. The 
last joint of the abdomen is not much produced, but pointed. 
Oviferous legs are monfliform, the last joint armed with a 
straight claw or spine. 
Hab. — German Ocean. 

Genus IV. Nymph on. 
Species 4. Ntfmphon Johmtonii (mihi).* Body granular : legs 
smooth, without spines or hairs, except at the distal extre- 
mity of the second tarsal joint, which is armed with a fringe 
of strong spines : oculiferous tubercle projecting consider- 
ably aboye the eyes. 

The whole animal is of a straw-colour, except the claws at 
the extremities of the mandibles, and the edges of the oral 
aperture, which are black. The rostrum is longer than the 
first joint of the mandibles. The oculiferous tubercle is situ- 
ated on the posterior edge of the cephalo-thoracic segment of 
the body, and projects considerably backwards : the eyes, in- 
stead of being arranged on its summit, being arranged around 
its sides. The legs are slender, a deep sulcus runs along the 
sides of each of them, beginning at the proximal extremity of 
the thigh, and ending at the distal extremity of the second 
tarsal joint. The second tarsal articulation is armed with a 
fringe of strong spines, which are situated in a line above the 
auxiliary claws, and cover the bases of the latter. The abdo- 
minal segment is prominent, and the anal aperture is very 
distinctly seen in it. Length of the body two lines : span of 
the legs two inches and three quarters. 

Hab. German Ocean. 
Species 5. Nymphon peUucidum (mihi). Animal slender, pel- 
lucid : body without spines : legs armed with spines placed 
at regular intervals, patent on the second tibial joint, third 
coxal joint about half as long as the first, second tibial 
very long and slender : auxiliary claws strong : abdomen 
prominent, extremity bifid, j 
Hab. Firth of Fort . 
Species 6. Nymphon minutum (mihi). Animal slender, peU 

* I have named this species after Dr Johnston of Berwick— a naturalist 
who has done mach to elacidate the nataral history of this family of Crus« 

Arran BaryithSuiphate Pigment. 180 

lucid : rostrum not so long as the first joint of the mandi- 
bles : thigh longer than the first tibial joint : auxiliary 
claws obsolete : abdomen produced and pointed. 
The body and legs are covered with spines. The segments 
of the body are elongated. The three coxal joints are equal ; 
the three tarsal joints minute. The body is nearly one line 
in length ; the span of the legs two lines* 

Hab. Firth of Forth. 
Species 7. Nymphon spinosum (mihi). Rostrum longer than 
the palpi : posterior edges of the three middle segments 
of the body armed with a fiinge of strong spines : first 
tarsal joint minute. 

The body is covered with punctures, except at the posterior 
edges of the three middle segments, which are armed with a 
fringe of strong thickset spines. The whole animal is stronger 
and coarser than any of the preceding species. The second 
coxal joint is longer than the first and third united ; the first 
tarsal joint minute. The first joint of the oviferous legs is 
the longest. The abdomen is erect and prominent. 

Description of the Plate, 
Fig, 1. Phoxichilidium globosum. 
Fig. 2. Pallene circularis. 
Fig. 3. Nymphon spinosum. 
Fig. 4. Nymphon Jobnstomi. 
Fig. 6. Nymphon pellucidum* ' 
Fig. 6. Nymphon minutam. 
Fig. 7. Pephredo capillata. 
Fig. 8. Rostram and first segment of the body of N. spinosum^ with 

the oviferous legs^ palpi^ and mandibles attached. 
Fig. 9. Same parts in Pephredo capillata. The circular body in the 

middle of the first segment appears to be connected with 

the organs of circulation. 

Account of the Arran Baryto-Sulphate 'Figment. By Profes- 
sor Teaill.* 
About two years ago I read a short notice of the Denbigh- 
shire manufacture of a pigment from Sulphate of Baryta. 
Since that I have visited tlie works lately erected in the isle 
of Arran by the Duke of Hamilton for the same purpose ; an 
account of which I beg leave to submit to the Society, pre- 

* Bead before the Wer. Nat. Hist. Soc, Uth Dec. 1841. 

140 Arran Bary^O'S%dphate FigimnL 

mising that the manufacture has now extended to some Other 
places, and has assumed importance, as the conversion of a 
substance, hitherto considered as almost useless, into a pro- 
duct of considerable value. 

The works now to be described are about half a mile from 
the shore in Glen Sannox, within three or four hundred yards 
of several considerable veins of a very pure Sulphate of Ba- 
ryta, traversing the granite of Goatfell. The veins, which 
seem to be those discovered long ago by Professor Jameson, 
cross the impetuous mountain torrent that collects the waters 
of this wild glen ; and two of them have been wrought on both 
sides of the stream. Two open cuts have been made on the 
north side of the torrent, and wrought to the depth of 16 feet. 
The veins on that side seem to decrease in width as they re- 
cede from the stream ; but, on the south side, they appear to 
widen, and are now worked by means of a short adit, and a 
shaft, which at present is 25 feet deep. This shaft is kept 
dry by a pump, wrought by a small water-wheel, moved by 
one of the numerous streams that rush down the rocky sides 
of the glen. There are two principal veins, about 20 yards 
asunder. The direction of the most western is fr<Hn N.NE. 
to S.SW. ; the eastern runs from N. by E. to S. by W. ; and 
both possibly may be branches of one great vein. .They are 
nearly vertical where now opened. 

From these veins a large quantity of a very pure, crystal- 
line, translucent sulphate is extracted. Some masses have a 
slight brownish tint. It is the straight lamellar variety,, and, 
for purity, exceeds greatly the spar es^oyedin the Ayrshire 
and Welsh manufactories of Baryto-Sidplwie pigments. 

The works for preparing the paint are very well constructed. 
All the machinery is moved by an overshot water-wheel, 
26 feet in diameter and 6 feet wide. The spar is first sorted 
and washed. It is so brittle that it is easily broken into small 
pieces, when it is washed with warm diluted sulphuric acid to 
remove any colouring matter ; and it is afterwards crushed to 
powder by a pair of granite stones hooped with cast-iron, and 
revolving on their edges in a well-made circular trough of 
hewft granite. These stones weigh five tons. 

The powder thus produced is introduced into cstst-iron tubs, 
of about 10 feet in diameter, paved with slabs of granite, 

Arran Baryio-Sulphate Pigment 141 

where it is ground, below the Burface of water, by the attri- 
tion of four largo blocks of granite, each of which is attached 
by iron chains to the arms of a vertical axis, put in motion by 
the water-wheel. 

A stream of water is at intervals admitted into the tubs, 
and its overflow carries oflF the finer particles, which are col- 
lected in oblong troughs, where the water deposits the sedi- 
ment in the form of an impalpable powder. There are four 
such grinding tubs in one large room, which contains also the 
crushing apparatus. 

The collected sediment is drained and moulded into the 
form of thin bricks. These are removed to a stove kept at 
the heat of about 200"^ ; and when dry, they are crushed, and 
packed into casks, to be sent to mai'ket. 

The works are under the direction of a very intelligent 
overseer, Mr William Morton, who has had considerable ex- 
perience in other chemical works. 

The machinery at this place is capable of making twenty 
tons of white pigment a week, or more if there were two re- 
lays of workmen : at present, with only six workmen, ten tons 
per week are produced. 

This white sulphate is ground up with oil as a paint, and is 
also mixed with white lead, to form a cheaper though inferior 
basis of a pigment. But, at this manufactory, I found that va- 
rious colours are also imparted to the sulphate ; such as blue, 
yellow, and green of various shades. The colours are either 
here ground with oil into prepared pigments, or are sent to 
Glasgow, where the colours are sold by Messrs Fleming and 
Hope, in Hanover Street. 

The dry colours are sold at the following prices : — 
Prepared White, at . • L.4, 15s. per ton. 
Blue, from . . . L.15 to L.20 ... 

Ordinary Green, at > . L.20 
Finest Green, at . . L.26 

I did not ascertain the price of the yellow ; but it is pro- 
bably about the same as the best green. 

Of course, I did not ask how these colours were prepared ; 
but I analyzed them, and then succeeded in imitating them, 
by pree^itating various colours on the prepared sulphate, dif- 
fused in water — or rather in the metallic solutions which af- 

142 Mr Tait on a PartaUe Diorama* 

forded the different tints. Thus» when it is di£Fased in a do* 
lution of triple prussiate of potassa, the addition of sulphate 
of iron produces a fine blue ; when di£Fused in a solution of 
chromate of potassa, sugar of lead affords an excellent yellow. 
It is more difficult to procure a fine green from copper. I have 
not yet succeeded in procuring by precipitation so beautiful 
a green as that prepared in Glen Sannox. A fine green was 
obtained by precipitating Scheele's green, or the sulphate of 
baryta diffused in a solution of ammoniaco-sulphate of copper 
by means of arsenic. 

The remarkable fact is, that when thus precipitated, the 
colouring matter is less easily separated by acids than from 
mere mixtures of the materials ; as if there was some affinity 
between the metallic colours and the sulphate of baryta. 

Description of a Portable Diorama^ constructed by Gborob 
Tait, Esq. Advocate. Communicated by the Royal Scot- 
tish Society of Arts. 

The diorama, the ingenious invention of the celebrated 
French artist Daguerre, is a painting fitted up so as to re- 
ceive light both in front and behind, by the full or partial 
admission, or the total exclusion, of either of which lights a 
great variety of effects may be produced. No light is admitted 
to the eye except that which proceeds from the painting. 

The diorama is usually executed on an extensive surface 
of canvass, and placed in a large building fitted up for the 

It occurred to me that it might be made upon a much 
smaller scale ; and, accordingly (before the publication of Da- 
guerre's description),! constructed for the reception of sketches 
in water-colours, which I painted for the purpose, a small box 
having, for the admission of light before and behind, openings 
capable of being closed by moveable shades, and having also 
a small opening in front through which the sketches might be 
viewed. Upon trying a variety of sketches in this apparatus, 
I have found that many pleasing and striking effects may be 
produced ; for example, passing gleams of sunshine ; day 
melting into moonlight ; day fading into darkness, followed 
by morning gradually disclosing the landscape, having its for- 
mer verdure shrouded in snow^ 

Mr Tait on a Portable Diorama. 148 

I shall now describe the apparatus in detail* 

1. The Box, — Stretching frames are to be prepared for re« 
ceiving the paper or linen on which the pictures are to be exe- 
cuted ; and as tliese are confined within the inner edges of 
them, the frames ought to be made thick and narrow, so as 
not unnecessarily to increase the width of the box, and should 
be bevelled off to allow access to the brush in painting th9 
back. Those frames are inserted in succession through a slit 
in the top of the box, about two-thirds distant from the front, 
and are received into a groove projecting from the top, sides, 
and bottom of the box, of such a breadth as fully to cover 
the front of them. 

Two openings, one above in front and the other behind, 
admit the light ; and both should be as large as possible. The 
front opening ought to be of the form seen in the figure, in 
order to admit the light gradually ; an erect right angled tri« 
angle, with its base across the breadth of the box, being 
placed immediately behind the front-opening to aid this obn 
ject. The openings have a ply of fine tissue-paper, Persian 
silk, or other appropriate material, placed over them, to dif- 
fuse the light. This is moveable, and is usually white, but 
may be of an orange, purple, blue, or other tint for particular 
purposes ; and one or two plies may be used according to cir- 
cumstances. The shades for the openings may be made to 
open and close in any manner found convenient, but so as to- 
exclude all light when closed. 

The small opening in the front, through which the pictures 
are to be viewed, ought to be opposite to the ordinary height 
of the horizon of pictures, perhaps about a third or a fourth 
part of their whole height. A small tube of about two inches 
in length, is fixed before that opening. The outer end is to 
be about an inch and a quarter in length, and about an inch 
in height, and is to be made to fit the eye, so as to screen it 
from extraneous light ; while its inner end must expand into 
an oblong opening, so as to allow the spectator to view the 
entire picture. The tube may be made to receive lenses to 
magnify the pictures if desired. The internal end of this tube 
must be so constructed as to prevent light from above shining 
into it. 

The iimde of the tube^ and every part of the box seea 

144 Mr Tait on a Portable Diorama. 

through it, ought to be made as black as possible ; for which 
purpose black velvet is very effectual. The rest of the in- 
side, including the inner surface of the shades, ought to be 
white, in order to reflect light. The front of the box ought 
to be black outside, and surrounded by a black curtain. 

It is necessary to have- a small opening and tube through 
which an exhibitor may view the pictures, when the spectator 
is unacquainted with the management of the apparatus. It 
should be on the same level as the spectator'^s tube. If the 
box be large, so as to admit of a distahce of 8 or 9 inches 
from the spectator's tube, it may be on the front ; if not, it 
will be necessary to have it on the side close by the front, and 
the pictures may be reflected to it by a very small mirror 
within the box. There should be placed over and behind it, 
to screen the eye of the exhibitor from the light without, a 
black moveable shade, which may be conveniently made of 
two parts, the upright part to support the horizontal part 
when in use, and both when not in use to fold upon the box. 
The part of the box within this shade is to be painted black. 

The front and back shades should be fitted up in such a 
manner as to be opened conveniently, either by a spectator or 
by an exhibitor. 

The box may be made of any size or proportions — ^the 
larger, the more striking the effect. And it may be supported 
upon a stand, or in any other manner convenient. , 

The annexed figures show a perspective view, side elevation, 
and plan of the box. The letters of reference are the same 
in all the figures. 

A, Eye*hole for the spectator. 

B, Ditto for the exhibitor, with a shade over it. 

C, SmaU mirror reflecting the picture to the exhibitor. 
DBF, Form of front light. 

HI, Triangle to prevent a too sadden increase of light on raising the shade 

KL, Picture in its groove. 

MQN, Back-light. The slope NQ is close. Tlie slope MQ is open. It 
and the front-light DEF, are covered with tissue paper or other ap- 
propriate material. The back-shade PO extends beyond the opening. 
The intention of this construction is to admit the light in a proper 
position, and very gradually. 

TT, Curtain hung in front, to shade completely the light from the spectator. 

XXX, Levers for raising the shades easily, with cords attached. 

Mr Tait on a Portable Diorama. 



P O 








■*^J ^y^ 


/'fc ^^ 









P o 


146 Mr Tait on a Portable Diorama. 

2. The Pictures. — The pictures may be either in water- 
colours upon paper, stretched in the usual manner on the 
frames, or in oil upon linen. 

In painting the front, whether in water-colours or in oil, 
the lights are left out, as in ordinary water-colour painting, 
so as to admit the light from behind to pass through, and body 
colours are to be avoided. The back of the pictures is cover- 
ed with a strong semi-transparent tint in those parts where it 
is wished that light shall not pass freely, or it may be ren- 
dered opaque if required. When painting the back, no light 
is to be used except that transmitted through the front. 

Objects painted behind are, of course, not seen by the front 
light ; and objects painted in front appear so faint when seen 
by transmitted light, that it is easy to paint the back in such 
a manner as to make them disappear when the back light 
only is admitted, by which means great changes may be pro- 

For farther information with regard to the execution of the 
pictures, see Daguerre'^s description of his method of diora- 
mic painting. There is an English translation of it by Dr 

The appearance of fog, which is not mentioned in Daguerre's 
description, is produced by painting the objects intended to 
be affected by it on a second surface, immediately behind the 
front surface. Light is admitted behind. When the second 
surface is removed more or less from the other, the objects on 
it appear more or less involved in fog. And, as it is brought 
into contact with the other, the fog appears to clear away. 

A great variety of eflFects of day-light and moon-light may 
be produced by judicious management of the pictures, and by 
the adoption of contrivances sufficiently known or obvious to 
those who have paid any attention to art generally. 

3. The Light, — In day -light the back of the box is placed 
close to a window, and no more light ought to be admitted 
into the apartment than is necessary fully to light the box. 
At night the openings may be lighted with oil or gas, or even 
with a few candles, if the box be small. The very strong 
orange tinge of ordinary artificial light is unfavourable to the 

Dr Anderson^s Account of new Mineral Species. 147 

natural and pleasing effect of the pictures ; but it may be so 
far counteracted where necessary, as sometimes in night-scenes 
or snow views, by interposing tissue-paper or other appropriate 
material, tinted blue. 

The effect produced depends in a great measure on the 
management of the light, and a few experiments will soon 
enable toy one to regulate its admission so as to exhibit every 
change of effect. 

I have been induced, by the representations of friends, to 
bring this Portable Diorama under the notice of the Royal 
Scottish Society of Arts; and I have no doubt that the ex- 
periments of others may lead to many improvements in its 
construction. G. Tait. 

Edinbuboh, Ut November 1841. 

Analyses of new Mineral Species. Communicated by Dr 
Thomas Anderson of Leith.* 

Aphrodite, — A mineral found at Taberg and Sala, and long 
supposed to be Meerschaum, has, on analysis, been found to 
be Serpentine. A mineral, however, of the same sort, from 
Langbanshyttan, and which is identical in external characters, 
is found to have a different composition, and has been called 
Aphrodite, whose composition is 

Silicic acid, . • .51.55 

Ox. maoganese, . • . 1.62 

Protox. iroo> . . • 0.59 

Magnesia^ • .« • • 83.72 

Alumina, . . . 0.20 

Water, .... 12.32 


This is therefore the third bi-silicate,.of magnesia which oc- 
curs ; the other two being Picrosmine and Picrophylle. 

Berzelite. — Under this name Kuhn has described a mineral 
from Langbanshyttan, of an impure dirty white or honey-yel- 

* The above communication was sent from Stockholm by Dr T. Anderson^ 
who is at present studying there under Berzelius. 

14& Dr Anderson's Account of neie Mineral Species, 

low colour, and of a waxy lustre. Sp. gr. 2.52 ; hard. 5 — 6.. 
It gives signs of a cleavage plane ; is brittle and easily pul- 
verised ; before the blowpipe behaves as PharmacoHte. It 
appears to be a mixture of arseniates of lime, magnesia, and 
manganese. The composition is 

Lime, .... 20.96 

Magnesia^ • • . 15.G1 

Protox. manganese^ . . 4.20 

Arsenic acid, . . . 56.46 
Iron — a trace. 

Loss, . . • • 0.43 

Esmarkite, — ^Under this name Erdraann has described a mi- 
neral found about 100 paces from the locality of the Praseo- 
lithe (to be afterwards noticed) ; it occurs in granite, in the 
form of large irregular crystals, which seem to be prismatic, 
with the edges and angles rounded ; they are for the most 
part covered with a glittering coat. The crystals have an 
evident cleavage at right angles to the principal axis, and this 
cleavage has a feeble pearly lustre. The longitudinal fracture 
has a resinous lustre ; hardness between calc spar and fluor 
spar ; sp. gr. 2.709. Before the blowpipe gives water and be- 
comes bluish grey; melts on the thin edges only, to a green 
glass ; fuses with borax and microcosmic salt, with the colour 
of iron ; gives a yellow slag with soda. Its composition is 

Silicic acid, ••••.. 45.07 

Alumina, ... . . . • . 32.08 

Magnesia, . • . • • . 10.32 

Ox. of iron, ....... 3.83 

manganese, . . . . . 0.41 

Water, .11*.!.. 6.49 

Lime, oxides of copper, lead, cobalt, and titanium, 0.46 

Euxenite, — Under this name Scheerer has described a mine- 
ral from Jolster in Norway. It is amorphous, dark brown, of 
a metallic resinous lustre, and has an imperfect conchoidal frac- 
ture. In thin plates it is transparent, with a red colour ; gives 
a pale red powder ; sp. gr. 4.60 ; hardness near that of Thorite, 
which, however, it scratches ; does not melt alone before the 
blowpipe; fuses in borax and gives a yellow colour; with 

Dr Anderson's Account of new Mineral Species, 140 

microcosmic salt, if well neutralized, it gives after cooling a 
green glass which becomes darker ^with tin. The composi- 
tion is 

Tantalic acid. 


Titanic acidj « 

• • 




Prolox. of Uranium, 

• , 


— — Cerium, 



Ox. of lantanium. 








Water, . 



Leucophane. — This mineral, which is found on a small rock 
near the month of the Langesnndf jord in Norway, was dis* 
covered by Esmark, and analyzed by Erdmann. It occurs in 
syenite along with albite, elaolite, yttrotantalite, and another 
new mineral named Mosandritc. Leucophane is seldom regu- 
larly crystallized, but has three distinct cleavages. When 
cleaved it gives four-sided prisms, with angles of 53^.24'.7, and 
86°.26'.3, which appear to belong to the triclinometric system. 
Colour varies from pale impure green to dark wine yellow. la 
thin plates it is colourless. It gives a bluish phosphorescent 
light, and becomes slightly electric when heated. Hardness 
nearly that of fluor-spar, Sp. gr. 2.974. Melts before the blow- 
pipe into a clear, somewhat violet enamel. With borax gives 
a clear amethyst glass ; with a little soda it gives an opaque 
globule ; with more it melts into the charcoal ; with micro- 
cosmic salt in a tube it gives fluosilicic acid gas. Its compo- 
sition is 

Silicic «icid, .. . 47 82 

Ghicina, . .11.61 

Lime, . . 25.00 

Protox. mangan., . . 1.01 

Potassium, . '. - 026 

Sodium, . . .7 59 

Fluorine, . ' . ' . 6.17 

Momndrite.'^'l\\\9> mineral was found by Krdmann along with 

150 Dr Anderson's Account of New Mineral Species. 

Leucophane. It is a silicate and titanate of tlie oxides of cerium 
and lantanium. It is ^n part crystallized in imperfectly- 
formed prisms, and in part amorphous. It has one evident, 
and several obscure cleavages. The first of the two varieties 
has a lustre between resinous and vitreous ; the latter is resi- 
nous. Colour dark reddish-brown, in thin plates, red by trans- 
mitted light. Gives a greyish-brown powder, has the hard- 
ness of fluor-spar, and sp. gr. from 2 93 to 2.98. Before the 
blowpipe yields much water, and by ignition becomes brownish- 
yellow ; melts easily into a brownish-green pearl ; with boaax 
gives an amethyst-coloured glass, which in the reducing flame 
becomes nearly colourless ; does not fuse so easily with micro- 
cosmic salt, and in the reducing flame gives the colour of oxide 
of titanium. As yet it has been only quantatively analyzed, 
and found to contain silica, titanic acid, oxide of lantanium, 
manganese, lime, a little magnesia, alkali, and water. The 
four first are the chief ingredients. 

PraseoHihe. — Discovered by Pastor Esmark, and described 
by Erdman. It is found at Brakke, near Brevig, in Norway, 
in granite, accompanied by chlorite, titaniferous iron, and tour- 
maline. It is irregularly crystallized, and seems to form four- 
sided prisms, which, however, are often got with six, eight, or 
twelve sides, with the angles and edges rounded off^. Colour 
green, fi:om light to dark green. It has only one cleavage ; 
fracture splintery and conchoidal ; lustre small ; hardness be- 
tween calc-spar to fluor-spar ; gives a light green powder ; sp. 
gr. 2.754. Before the blowpipe gives water, and melts with 
difficulty on the sides to a bluish-grey glass. Its composition is 

Silicic acid^ 


AlumiDa^ .... 


Protox. of iron, . . . 


— — mangan.. 


Magnesia, .... 


Water, . . . . 


Oxides of lead, copper, cobalt, and lime. 


Titanic acid, ' . '. 


J?^«V^.— This is the name given by Swanberg to a new mi- 

Dr Anderson^s Account of new Mmerol Species. 151 

neral from Aker, long taken for amphodelite, which it closely 
resembles in external characters. It is found disseminated in 
calc spar in grains about the size of hemp seed. It is not re* 
gularly crystallized, but has a crystalline fracture, with natu- 
ral cleavage planes. It is softer than calc spar, but harder than 
gypsum. Sp. gr. 2.72. When heated before the blowpipe, 
it gives ofiF water and loses colour. It melts with great diffi- 
culty into a white slag ; with borax and microcosmic salt, it 
fuses with great difficulty ; with soda it melts easily, and an ad- 
ditional quantity does not render it less fusible. The distinc- 
tions between it and amphodelite are these, that amphodelite 
scratches fluor spar, but Rosite is scratched by it ; amphodelite 
is more difficultly fusible alone, and easily so with a little soda, 
but with a larger quantity is infusible. The composition of 
Rosite is — 

Silicic acid^ . . . 44.901 

Alumina^ . . » 34.606 

Perox. of iron, • • 0.688 

Ox. manganese^ • » • 0.191 

Potassa, . . • 6.628 
Soda — trace. 

Lime, .... '3.502 

Magnesia, . . . 2.498 

Water, .... 6.333 


Saponite. — Under this name, Swanberg has described a mi- 
neral found in the Braskvedst Svartvik mines in Dalecarlia ; 
it is met with filling up a cleft in the rock about an inch wide. 
When first obtained it is soft and of the consistence of soap or 
butter, but by exposure to the air, becomes hard, forming in 
part lumps, and in part falling into powder. It is easily 
scratched by the nail. Colour white, yellowish, or red ; has an 
unctuous feel ; adheres to the tongue. Before the blowpipe, it 
gives much water, and becomes black, like most magnesiau 
minerals ; fuses with borax and microcosmic salt, and, with 
soda, gives an opaque glass. Its analysis gives the following 
composition : — 

152 Professor Haosmann on the Meial of Carbon. 

Silicic acidy ; • • dO.8 

Magnesia^ • • • • 26.5 

Lime^ • * . • 0.7 

Alumina^ • • • .9.4 

Perox. of iroD> . . • 2.0 

Water, i . . , 10.5 


Is Graphite the Metal of Carbon i By Professor Hausmann 
of Gottingen. 

I HAVE to thank the kindness of Professor Wohler for a re- 
mai'kable variety of Graphite from Ceylon, which he lately 
found in the possession of an apothecary. It is of the foliated 
kind, has a thick columnar structure, and shews in some 
places a tendency to individual crystalline development. In 
the pieces now lying before me, the length of the columnar 
portions is two Parisian inches. They are partly straight and 
uniform, partly bent/ The pieces are bounded by parallel sur- 
faces, in regard to which the columns are either at right angles 
or somewhat obliquely placed ; and it is not improbable that 
they were obtained from a vein. The individual columns af- 
ford longitudinally au extremely perfect cleavage, to the small- 
est lamellae. By inserting the knife in one end of the columns, 
thin stripes may be taken off along the whole length, which 
retain their continuity, and become bent in a curved manner, 
jast as bark may be peeled from a young branch. The breadth 
of the folia depends on the size of the distinct concretions, and 
generally measures from a half to two lines. The cleavage 
surfaces have a high lustre, and are quite brilliant. When we 
examine them under a lens, we perceive on them sometimes 
lozenge-shaped perpendicular fissures, that seem to indicate 
concealed cleavages which cut the principal ones at right an- 
gles, and have previously been noticed in Graphite. If we 
place one of the separated folia on an anvil, it can be made 
somewhat thinner and larger by hammering, wdiich property 
(not, I believe, hitherto observed), in combination with the per- 
fect opacity of its thinnest folia and its electrical characters^ 

M. Humboldt on a Discovery of Living Infusoria. 153 

afford a new proof in favour of Karsten's opinion that graphite 
is to be regarded as the metal of carbon. According to the 
experiments of Professor Wohlcr on this foliated Graphite, it 
<5an scarcely be burnt by means of oxygon gas, although the 
diamond itself is consumed in this way ; and it does not of it- 
self continue in the least to burn in the gas. It appears to 
leave no ashes.* 

u^ Notice by Humboldt regarding Ehrenberg^s Discovery of 
Living Infusoria in Beds in and around Berlin.^ 

M. DE Humboldt lately presented to the French Academy 
of Sciences, on the part of M. Ehrenberg, Member of the 
Academy of Berlin, and corresponding member of the In- 
stitute, specimens of the turfy and argillaceous bed which, 
at the depth of twenty feet below the pavement of the city 
of Berlin, was found tilled with infusoria still in a living 
state, and having their ovaries perfectly preserved. The 
marks of this subterranean life are observable eight feet be- 
low the bottom of the Spree. Since M. Ehrenberg pointed out, 
in 1836, immense masses of fossil infusoria, and the siliceous 
and calcareous envelops of microscopic animals in partlcuLir 
geological formations of very recent date, then in chalk, in the 
oolitic limestone of Cracow, and even in the more ancient 
(transition) limestones of Russia, he has ascertained that or- 
ganic agents are still so active in mud taken from rivers and 
harbours, that, for example, of a mass of 2.592,000 cubic feet, 
taken in 1839, and 1.728,000 cubic feet taken in 18i0 from 
the harbour of Swinemlinde, on the shores of the Baltic, the 
one-half, or at least the one-third, was composed of microsco- 
pic organisms. The landes or heaths of Luneburg contain a 
bed of fossil infusoria twenty-eight feet thick. In the strata 
found at Berlin, extending to twenty, and in some localities 
(in the form of a funnel), even to sixty feet in depth, a great 
number of Gallionellae are met with, having their cells filled 

* From '* Stttdien des Oottingischen Vcreins,^^ 1841. 

t Similar beds occrr near Edinburgh, as on Arthur's Seat. — Edit. 

154 M. Daubree on ihe DeposiOon^ Campositian, and 

with green eggs. The animals cannot come in contact ivith 
the oxygen of the air in any other way than by means of the 
water which moistens the turf ; but we cannot doubt that tliey 
have the power of multiplying. In the subterraneous Navi- 
cuIk, spontaneous movements have been at times seen, but 
those movements were much slower. than in the Navicutefound 
near Berlin on the surface of the ground. The greatest num- 
ber of forms in the subterraneous bed are not found either 
near Berlin nor in the Baltic Sea, but in the neighbourhood 
of Plieger, among the strata of fossil infusoria, which alter- 
nate with lignites and beds of free-stone. The slender spines 
so characteristic of marine sponges likewise abound, and ap- 
pear to indicate that this extraordinary phenomenon is of pela- 
gic origin. In some quarters of Berlin, the solidity of build- 
ings is endangered by this bed of living infusoria. M . Ehren- 
berg presents at the same time an extract from five memoirs, 
a translation of which is to be desired for some of our journals 
of natural history. The observations of this philosopher em- 
brace the most distant countries, Dongola, Nubia, the delta of 
the Nile and its mud, the infusoria of North America (214 
species, of which 94 are living and 120 fossil), Siberia, the 
Malvina and Marianne islands. M. Ehrenberg intends to 
publish, at the close of this year, a great work in folio, similar 
to his magnificent publication on living infusoria, entitled — 
Forms of Life and Primitive Organization in the Solid Part of 
the Crust of the Globe ; with thirty-five plates engraved from 
the author's drawings.* 

On the Depositiony Composition, and Origin of Masses of 
Tin Ore, By M. Daubree, as reported on by the French 
Academy of Sciences. (M. Dufrenoy, Reporter). 

The use of metals goes back to the remotest antiquity, and 
there is no country where we do not find numerous traces of 
the working of mines of lead, copper, or iron. It is therefore 
natural to suppose, that if there remained anything to be dis- 

* From CompteG^ Bendas» No. XVIIL, 2d Nov. 1841, p. 897. 

Origm o/Ma^ae^ of Tin Ore. 155 

covered in the grand lauvs which have regulated the formation 
of the earthy the history of metallic beds is at least fully 
known. Such, however, is by no means the case, and the 
mineral kingdom presents us with the singular circumstance, 
which has already been remarked, that the phenomena least 
known are almost always those which we are in a condition to 
observe every day. Indeed, if we read the numerous descrip- 
tions which have been published on mineral deposits, we re- 
mark diflFerences which may well excite surprise. This is 
often owing, in part, to the observations having been made on 
a small scale, and to the circumstance of particular cases or 
exceptions having been too frequently mistaken for general 
laws. In this respect, M. Daubree's Memoir is of great in- 
terest. He has visited the greater number of tin mines in 
Europe ; and the remarkable conclusions he draws from their 
comparison, with respect to the origin of these metalliferous 
beds, deserve the full attention of geologists and chemists. Be- 
fore giving an account of them, we think we should state the 
principal circumstances mentioned by this young professor. 

Tin mines are disposed to assume two kinds of arrange- 
ment, which are carefully distinguished by the miner ; some 
form very circumscribed masses ; others, on the contrary, con- 
stitute veins of small width, but often of considerable extent. 
It will be understood, by these words alone, how different the 
modes of working them must necessarily be ; in the one case 
the works, included in a" very small space, are merely required 
to raise the bed in a mass ; in the other they are placed at 
some distance from each other, and form a long train. These 
differences in form are almost always accompanied with still 
greater differences in the disposition of the mineral ; in the 
case of the arrangement in masses, the oxydized tin composes 
very slender veins, which, taken together, form a net- work dif- 
fused in an almost uniform manner throughout the rock, in 
such a way as to appear contemporaneous with it. 

This arrangement is observed in the mass of Geyer, in 
Saxony, where the oxide of tin is disseminated throughout the 
matrix in fine particles, often imperceptible to the naked eye. 

In mines where the tin occurs in veins, the metalliferous 
part is, on the contrary, completely distinct from the enclosing 

156 M. Daubree on ike Deposition^ Composition, and 

rock ; and when the latter is schistose, as is the case with the 
killas of Cornwall, we perceive the veins cutting across the 
lamina of the slate in a very obvious manner; distinct sal- 
bandes^ besides, separate the ore, so that, to the least expe- 
rienced eye, it is evident that the tin ore is more modern than 
the formation in which it occurs ; that the latter, after being 
formed, was rent, and the fissure afterwards filled with the 
tin and its matrix. But a contrary origin has often been ad- 
mitted for the massive deposits, and some geologists still be- 
lieve that the tin is separated from the mass of the rock by 
simple crystallization, or that it has, so to speak, percolated 

M. Daubrce proves that, in the masses, as in the veins, the 
formation of the oxide of tin is more modem than the en- 
closing rock, even when this mineral is found disseminated 
throughout the very mass of the rock in invisible portions, as 
in the granite of Geyer. This arrangement takes pLicc only 
in certain places, which together form a determinate zone, a 
kind of cap which envelopes the rock on all sides. There is 
therefore a difference of origin in the granite and tin ; and 
what proves this difference is, " that when the granite is stan- 
niferous it loses its ordinary nature, its felspar disappears, it 
passes into a rock chiefly quartzose, with a little mica arranged 
like small veins ; there is even a connection between the hyalo- 
micte (granite without felspar) and the presence of tin, as if the 
penetration of the oxide of tin in a granite had been followed 
by the removal of the felspar," The difference of origin be- 
comes still more obvious when we study the small veins of the 
oxide of tin which always exist in the best characterized masses. 
That of Geyer, which we have mentioned as an example of the 
intimate penetration of tin in granite, likewise presents nume- 
rous little veins, which, although distinct at first, diminish in 
thickness by degrees, and at last become confounded with the 
mass ; but in such places, when they vary from 1 to 5 centi- 
metres in thickness, they offer all the distinctive characters of 
veins. " They are then composed principally of quartz and 
mica, and fully formed salbandes are observed in them." 

These details, which might be much extended, therefore 
prove, that, notwithstanding apparent differences, there is still 

Origin of Masses of Tin Ore. 157 

almost an identity between the two classes of formations in 
tin mines. This identity becomes almost absolute when wo 
examine the nature of the minerals which usually accompany 
tin, whether in masses or in veins. It is the study of these 
which forms the truly novel part of M. Daubree's work, and 
it has led him to ascribe a common origin to them. 

He has found that in all the formations quartz exists in 
great abundance, and that its existence is so connected with 
the presence of oxide of tin, that when the enclosing rocks are 
impregnated with that mineral, they become in general more 
quartzose, as is seen at Geyer and Altenberg. 

After the quartz, which always predominates, whether in the 
large or small veins, and also in the enclosing rock, the most 
constant accompaniments are the fluoric compounds, princi- 
pally fluo-silicates, sometimes fiuo-phosphates or fluorides. 

Thus the micas which accompany tin are in general rich in 
fluorine. That of Altenberg contains 3.47 per cent This 
substance enters in the proportion of from 4.84 to 8.00 in the 
two varieties of Zinwald mica analysed by Gmelin. 

Topaz and schorlite, which contain even a greater quantity 
of fluorine than these micas, are very frequently found in the 
stockwerks of tin ; and the latter substance forms a great mass 
in the formation of Altenberg. Lastly, we pretty frequently 
find apatite or the fluo-phosphate of lime, and even the fluo- 
ride of calcium. 

The granitic veins of Finbo, near Fahlun, which contain 
oxide of tin, with tantalic oxide, likewise produces topaz, 
fluor spar, and various fluorides of cerium and yttria. 

In the celebrated topaz and emerald mines of Adon-Tschelon, 
on the Chinese frontier of Siberia, we sometimes find oxide of 
tin, along with wolfram and mica, analogous to that of Zin- 
wald. Lastly, it may be observed that the specimens of tin 
from Greenland, which are to be found in most mineralogical 
collections, come from the same locality as the cryolite, so 
rich in fluorine. 

Thus, according to M. Daubree, all the stanniferous masses 
known are characterized by the presence of fluorine, the propor- 
tion of which is often considerable, if we compare it, not with 
the total volume of the maas, but with its richness in tin. The 

158 M. Daiibree on the Deposition, Composition^ and 

boric minerals, without being so frequent as those of a fluoric 
nature, appear in many circumstances to have a rendezvous 
(so to speak) likewise assigned them in these same metallic 
deposits. Tourmaline, which contains nearly 6 per cent, of 
boric acid, occurs in the greater number of stanniferous masses. 
It even often happens, as at Carclaze and Mont St Michel, in 
Cornwall, at Villeder and Pyriac in France, that it is disse- 
minated in abundance through the enclosing rocks. 

Such constant occurrence of fluoric minerals in deposits of tin, 
leads M. Daubree to suppose ^' that the fluorine has performed 
an important part in the formation of stanniferous masses." 
According to him, " this body, which has been so little attended 
to, that it has actually been passed over in silence in all de- 
scriptions of formations of tin, appears notwithstanding as ac- 
tive an agent as sulphur and the^ combinations of sulphur in 
the greater portion of other kinds of metallic deposits. 

" The fluoride of tin," he says, " being a fixed combination 
at all temperatures, and very volatile, we may suppose that 
this metal has come up from a depth which appears to be the 
general reservoir of metals in the state of fluorides ; it is 
probably the same thing with tungsten and molybdena, the 
constant accompaniments of tin. Boron having a strong affi- 
nity for fluorine, and forming with it a combination which can- 
not be decomposed by heat, and is very volatile, one is led to 
suppose that the transport of this body has likewise taken place 
in the state of a fluoride. Finally, silicium, which abounds in 
deposits of tin in the state of Silica, combines with the fluo- 
rine in a manner analogous to the boron, and it is equally natu- 
ral to admit that a portion of the Silica has been conveyed to its 
destination under the form of a fluo-silicic acid. In support of 
the theory which he brings forward in regard to the tran^ort 
of tin by means of fluoric acid, M. Daubree refers to the mine 
of Huelcoath, near St Agnes Beacon, in Cornwall, where oxide 
of tin is found in the form of felspar crystals. This re- 
markable epigenie, which is so difficult to understand by the 
natural reactions between the elements of felspar and tin, is 
very easily explained when we admit that the fluoric acid has 
served both as a vehicle for the tin and as the agent which 
destroyed the felspar. 

Origin of Masses of Tin Ore. 159 

We remember that about twenty years ago M. do Bueh 
ascribed this latter effect to fluorine, to account for the decom- 
position into kaolin of certain porphyries in the neighbourhood 
of Halle, in Saxony ; but M. Daubree is the first who has as- 
signed to this simple substance a power which may be said to 
be creative. 

The intervention of fluorine in the formation of the oxide of 
tin is in accordance with the greater part of the circumstances 
which accompany these metalliferous deposits. At the same 
time this ingenious theory is not free from all objection. M. 
Daubree announces, at the end of his memoir, that he is en- 
gaged with researches in the laboratory which will throw light 
on this important subject. 

Your commissioners hope that the details into which they 
have entered regarding M. Daubr^'s memoir, will prove to 
you, that, independently of the ingenious theoretical considera- 
tions to which it leads, the work contains a great number of 
carefully observed facts, and new and judicious applications 
of them. 

They consequently propose to you that thanks should be 
returned to this young professor for his interesting communi- 
cation, and that he should be invited to continue the researches 
he has commenced on the action of fluorine in the formation 
of metallic deposits. They likewise ask of you to vote for the 
memoir being printed in the collection of the Savants Etran-- 
gers^ if the means of publication have not been already pro- 
vided in the Anwdes des Mines. 

The conclusions of this report were adopted.* 

Account of the Belemnites of the Lower Cretaceous Formations 
in the fieighbourhood ofCa^teUane. By M. Duval- Jouve, as 
reported on by the French Academy of Sciences. 

Belemnites, which abound in a fossil state in secondary 
formations, and which owe their name to the rude resem- 
blance they bear to a dart or arrow, have, for a long time, 

« From Comptdff Bendus^ Ko. VI f 26th October 1841, pi. 854. 

16<> M. Duval on the Belemnites of the Lower Cretaceous 

attracted the attention of naturalists ; commentators have 
supposed they recognise them in the Lyncurium described 
by Theophrastus, or in the Dactylua idaeus of Pliny ; and 
howsoever the case may be with these obscure indications, 
we can, with certainty, trace the observations of which these 
bodies have been the object as far back as Agricola, The 
list of authors who have successively treated of them from 
the first half of the fifteenth century up to our own era, is of 
very great length. It is only, however, in later times that ob- 
servers have agreed as to the nature and origin of these re- 
mains of animals no longer existing, and, in order to do away 
with all uncertainty in this respect, not only the profound 
researches of many zoologists into their internal structure 
was necessary, but the discovery, besides, of a Belemnite ex- 
panded at its anterior extremity like the bone of a cuttle-fish, 
and still enclosing in a cavity thus formed an ink-bag similar 
to those of the Cephalopodes of our own seas. This fact, which 
M. Agassiz has determined in two fossils found by a lady at 
Lyme-Regis, eiFectually proves that Belemnites are not spines 
of Echini, or the cutaneous appendages of some other ecliino- 
derm, as Klein supposed upwards of a century ago, and as M. 
Raspail contended only a few years since, but really internal 
shells belonging to a mollusc whose organization must offer 
many points of analogy to the cuttle-fish {LoUgo) of the pre- 
sent era. This result will not be seriously questioned by any 
one who is capable of appreciating at their just value the re- 
searches on this subject, published by Miller, by our learned 
associate M. de Blainville, and also by Voltz, an observer as 
exact as he was laborious, whose recent death we have to la- 
ment. The nature of Belemnites was no longer, therefore, a 
problem requiring a solution ; but the study of the difi^erences 
these fossils present among themselves was but little advanced, 
and much uncertainty prevailed regarding the distinction of 
the species, — an interesting question to the zoologist, but still 
more important to the geologist, who might desire to find in 
those remains characters capable of fixing the date of the de- 
posits in which they are found embedded. 

In order to throw light on this part of the history of Belem- 
nites, it was not enough to compare and describe the varia- 

Formations in the neighbourhood of CaMteBane. 161 

tions observed in the exterior configuration, it was necessary 
to examine with care the modifications of internal structure 
which these fossils present, to determine the differences aris- 
ing from the age of the animals to which they belonged, and 
to egrdeavour to ascertain the limits of the variations to which 
individuals of the same species are subject, in consequence of 
the circumstances in which they have lived, or the accidents 
to which they have been exposed. Many naturalists have col- 
lected observations on this subject, more or less precise ; M. 
de Blainville, M. Voltz, and M. d'^Orbigny, for example ; but 
the small number of specimens which these gentlemen had 
generally at their disposal did not permit them to carry their 
researches so far as they would unquestionably have done, had 
materials been supplied to them. The author of the memoir 
now under examination, was placed in more favourable circum- 
stances ; and skilfully availing himself of the paleontological 
riches with which his mountains supply him in provision, he has 
been enabled to add new facts to those already known, and to 
solve in an explicit manner an important part of the questions 
hitherto unanswered. The vicinity of Grasse, where M. Duval 
is established as a professor of philosophy, is one of the locali- 
ties where Belemnites are found in the greatest abundance ; 
and during the ten years that this observer has applied himself 
to the study of these bodies, he has not ceased to explore the 
various strata of the lower cretaceous formations in which they 
are found, both in the north-west portion of the Department 
of Var, and in that bordering on the Lower Alps, near Cas- 
tellane. M. Emeric, who inhabits the same district, and who 
likewise actively devotes himself to paleontological pursuits, 
has furnished him with a valuable collection, so that our au- 
thor has had at his disposal not fewer than upwards of ten 
thousand individuals. It has been easy for him, therefore, to 
follow step by step the changes produced by growth in the 
form and structure of these curious shells ; to multiply as 
much as he pleased sections for the purpose of shewing the 
arrangement of their constituent parts, and to appreciate the 
value of the variations remarked in them. We cannot, with- 
out encroaching too far on the time of the Academy, follow 
M, Duval step by step in his exposition of the results to which 


162 M. Dnval on the Belemmtes of ike Lower Oeiaeeoug 

he has thus been led ; but to shew the most prominent fea- 
tures of his work, it will be sufficient to indicate some of the 
£Acts which this observer has established. 

The naturalists who have treated of Belemnites are not 
agreed as to the degree of importance which ought to be at-> 
tached to differences of form in these fossils ; and in order to 
shew to what an extent this difference of opinion has been 
carried, it may be sufficient to state, that thirty-three of the 
species described by M. Raspail are referred by M. d^Or- 
bigny to one and the same species — ^namely, the Belemmtes 
dUataiu$ of M. de Blainville. This is owing to the first of 
these authors regarding all the variations of external form as 
characteristic of distinct species, while M. d'Orbigny looks 
upon these variations as being dependent for the most part 
on the changes which the age of the animal occasions in the 
shape of the shell. This latter opinion was supported by 
powerful arguments, but its accuracy was not demonstrated ; 
and we were not in possession of a certain rule for distinguish- 
ing the specific peculiarities of different individuals, produced 
by the progress of its growth. Now, this rule has been defi- 
nitely laid down by M. Duval ; and, in the greater part of in- 
stances it admits of no uncertainty. 

Belemnites are found to be composed of two principal parts 
—namely, a conical alveolus or socket, a kind of cup divided 
by partitions, open in front, and a sort of sheath covering 
this socket, and prolonged more or less posteriorly, so as to 
form a rostrum directed backwards. The cup or socket in- 
creases by the formation of new chambers placed before those 
already e:dsting, and secreted by an organ lodged in the inte- 
rior ; the rostrum, on the contrary, acquires size nearly in the 
same manner as the stalk of an exogenous plant, by the suc- 
cessive deposit of layers applied exteriorly to the more ancient 
layers, and ]^oduced very probably by the action of a part 
which, in its turn, covered all this portion of the shell. These 
superimposed layers are, in general, very distinct amoxig them- 
selves ; and, consequently, by making suitable sections of the 
Belemnite, it becomes easy to ascertain in an adult individual 
the form which it must have borne after the deposition of 
0adi of these plates or layers — that is to say, at dififerent pe- 

Formaiiam in ike netghbaurhood of Casiellane. USB 

riods of its growtlu We thus see that, in certain species, the 
general form remains nearly constant, notwithstanding the in* 
crease of volume, because each new layer covers the entire 
rostrum, and is of the same thickness throughout ; while in 
other species the layers are deposited only on a part of the 
length of the rostrum, and vary among themselves in respect 
to their thickness in diflferent parts of their extent, whence 
more or less considerable variations ensue in the exterior 
form of the shell, in proportion as the animal increases in age. 
Now, this very simple circumstance enables us to appreciate 
the influence of the progress of growth on the configuration 
of these fos^l bodies, and famishes a certain rule for distin- 
guishing the peculiarities of form inherent in the species, and 
the variations depending on the age of individuals ; for each 
species carries along with it the indication of the form through 
which it has passed, and thus offers points of comparison for 
determining individuals of a less advanced age. It is in this 
way that M. Duval has been convinced that the B. UneariSf 
eksians and a%igu8tU8 of M. Raspail, are young individuals 
of B. dilatntus of Blainville ; that B. campUmafust and B. 
spaihulat%t$ of Raspail, are individuals of the same species a 
little more advanced in age ; and that B. sinuaius, eUipsddeSy 
and enuirginatua of the latter author, likewise pertain to this 
same species ; while B. Emerici^ which may easily be con- 
founded with B. dUaiatus^ and considered a variety of that 
species by M. d'Orbigny, is distinguished by its conformation 
when in a young state* 

The attentive study of the interior structure of Belemnites 
has led M. Duval to another result still more unexpected, and 
not less interesting, for it has enabled him to ascertain how 
the exterior form of these bodies may be modified in a multi* 
tude of ways more or less singular, in consequence of the frac- 
ture of Ihe terminal portion of the rostrum, and the means of 
consolidation employed by nature to repair the injury. He 
has satisfied himself that, after such a fracture, the deposition 
of the concentric layers of the rostrum may continue to go on, 
either after the fall of the posterior fragment, or around the 
same iragment nuHre or less thrown out of its normal position, 
and that in all the cases the shell has become deformed in » 

164 M Duval on the Cretaceous Formations of CasteUane. 

greater or less degree^ Nothing is more common than to find 
among the cretaceous formations of the Lower Alps Belemnites 
of irregular form and strange appearance, such as B. trtgueter, 
B. mitra^ B. mitraeformis^ B. difformis of M. Raspail ; now a 
longitudinal section invariably shews that these shapeless in- 
dividuals have undergone fractures, the marks of which can 
be easily recognised, and that the malformation they exhibit 
precisely corresponds to the seat of this mechanical injury. It 
is consequently evident that the existence of such irregulari- 
ties of form cannot constitute a specific character ; and it is by 
arguing on this fact that M. Duval proves, for example, that 
the four pretended species mentioned above have been pro- 
perly referred by M. d'Orbigny to the species provisionally 
denominated B. dilatatus by M. de Blainville. 

A third fact recorded in M, Duval's Memoir, and of sueh 
importance that we cannot omit to mention it in this place, 
refers to the position of the siphon which traverses the cham- 
bered portion of the Belemnites. In all the species previously 
known^ the canal appears in the median line, near the ventral 
face of the shell ; this character M. Duval has recognised in 
all the cylindrical Belemnites submitted to his examination ; 
but he has ascertained that in all the compressed Belemnites 
which occur in such great abundance in the cretaceous forma- 
tions of the Lower Alps, the siphon is situate on the opposite 
side ; that is to say, contiguous to the dorsal partition of the 
socket This peculiarity does not appear to have been pre- 
viously noted, and it furnishes our author with a basis for the 
classification of these fossils, which he divides into three fami- 
lies — Biparties, Notosiphites, and Grastrosiphites. 

M. Duval does not confine himself to these general obser- 
vations ; he figures and describes, with minute care, the six- 
teen sp^ies of Belemnites which he admits to exist in the 
cretaceous formations of the Lower Alps, and supplies inte- 
resting considerations respecting the geographical distribution 
of these fossils ; a subject which had previously been taken up 
by M. d'Orbigny. Lastly, we shall still further add, that M. 
Duval, in illustration of this part of his work, gives a geologi- 
cal description of the inferior cretaceous formations of the en- 
virons of Castellane, and distinguishes two stages in the neo- 

M. Valenciennes <m Fishes and Sepiilies. 163 

comian fonnations of that country, only the upper part of 
which contains Belemnites. M. Duval has submitted to our 
examination a considerable number of specimens demonstra- 
tive of the zoological facts of which we have had the honour 
to give an account, and the observations of this naturalist have 
appeared to us exact and interesting. This work will contri- 
bute greatly to advance our knowledge of Belemnites, and it 
appears to us in every respect deserving of approbation. We 
propose, therefore, that the Academy should thank M. Duval 
for his communication, and encourage him to study in the same 
spirit the other fossils met with in the neighbourhood of the 
town where his duties at the university render it necessary 
that he should reside. — From Comptes Bendus^ No. 17 ; 25th 
October 1841, p. 860. 

On certain kinds of Fishes and Reptiles which cannot be abso^ 
lutely classed as either belonging to salt or fresh mater, Sy 
M. Valenciennes, in a letter to M. Eue de Beaumont.* . 

It is very true that the form of the caudal, and the nature 
of the scales which cover the base of that fin, establish rela- 
tions between Paloeoniscus and the Sturgeons, but they estab- 
lished others as striking, and more intimate between other 
fishes belonging to families different from Sturgeons, and in- 
termediate between the pike and the herring ; or, to speak in 
ichthyological language, between the Lucidides and the dupe- 
dides; and these are fishes which, like the Sturgeons, reside 
in fresh water (the Lucioides\ or which pass from fresh water 
into salt, and vice versa (the Clupeoldes). From this you may 
infer what is the residence of Palaeoniscus. 

We must look at the question regarding the residence of 
these animals in a more general way, making no distinction 
between marine and fresh-water animals, whether they inha- 
bit fresh-water or salt without breathing through the medium 

* Having been occupied ivith the question, whether certain coal basins 
generally considered as fresh water can strictly be regarded as such, I found 
a difficulty in the presence of species of PaloBoniscus, inasmuch as fishes of 
the same genus exist in great numbers in the Zechstein, which is a marine 
formation. Having concfulted M. Valenciennes on this point, I received for 
answer the communication given above, which must, I think, possess in- 
terest for all paleontologists. — £.. E, de Beaumont, 

166 M. Valenciennes on Fishes and Bsptihs. 

of the water, or whether (what is more singular in a physio- 
logical sense) their respiratory organ being branchial, they 
can respire only through the medium of water. 

In the first case, nothing can have a more completely ma- 
rine form than the Cetacea ; whales, dolphins, and porpoises ge- 
nerally belong to the sea, but we have the Platanista of Pliny,*^ 
which lives in the water of the Ganges above Benares, to which 
the water of the sea never ascends. Porpoises (Taninas) are 
found in the Orinoco above the cataracts of Atures and May- 
pures, and the Beluga of Steller occurs in lakes and places 
where the water is fresh. So much, then, for the Cetacea. 

Among the mammifera, the seals likewise afford us another 
example of animals generally marine occurring also in fresh 
waters ; thus they are met with in lake Baikal, in the small 
lake Aral, and in the Caspian Sea, which, being less salt than 
the sea, may just as well be considered a collection of firesh 
water as a sea, or at least it forms a passage or connecting 
link between the two. 

I need not say any thing to you respecting aquatic birds ; 
but among reptiles no form can appear more peculiarly adapt- 
ed to fresh waters than Crocodiles, and it is in fact in all the 
great rivers of Africa, Asia, and America, that they take up 
their abode. But the CrocodUus biporcatus which inhabits 
the Sechelles, and others of the small islands of the Amirantes, 
as well as the other islands of Polynesia, Timor, Ceram, &c., 
swims in the sea, and obtains its food there. We must not, 
in a discussion of this kind^ insist upon the difference of 
species, for those slight modifications of form which we seize 
upon, and to which we assign that importance which they 
really ought to possess in the determination of species, do not 
affect the basis of organization. It is of small consequence 
that there are two projections on the muzzle of the CrocodUus 
MporcatuSy and that the same part in the crocodile of the Nile 
is smooth ; both of them are still crocodiles, formed on the 
same type of organization, breathing, moving, and feeling 
alike. Accordingly, when we find the CrocodUus biporcatus 
on the coast of Coromandel, where there is a great conflux of 
fresh water, the animal lives in the rivers. 

* The PlcUamsta of Pliny is by gome authors considered to be the Delphi- 
nus gangeticM of modem zoologists. 

M. Valenciennes on Fishes and Bepiiles. 167 

I am not acqaainted with a genus of fishes which can h% 
given as a marine form. Thus the Rays, an extensiye sea 
family, inhabit the fresh waters of America ; a Pastenague (a 
genus of the Ray tribe) is found in the Rio-del-Magdalena» at 
a height to which the water of the sea never reaches ; it is 
fished for in the neighbouring ponds. 

The Pieuronectes (Limandia and Soles) ascend rivers, the 
Loire, for example, even in its tributaries, so that they can 
be obtained for food at Roanne. Thus you see that Pleuro^ 
nectes flesus would have a shorter course in returning to the 
sea by taking the Rhone as its conveyance to the Mediter-x 
ranean. I have caught Limandia in the Seine at the Isle of 
St Denis, near Paris. The sole ascends the Rhine as far as 
Neuwied and Coblentz, where it is obtained for the table as 
at a searport. 

The Twaito Shads (Clupea alosa, L.) ascend periodically 
from the sea into .fresh waters, and in the Seine they are 
found as far up as Provins. Some kinds take up their abode 
in the lake of Garda, and never leave the fresh waters ; this 
is the case with the Agone of the Italians, which likewise 
lives in the Mediterranean. Eels when full grown pass from 
the fresh water into the sea, and again ascend when they 
have bred ; the contrary takes place with the Aloses and Sal- 
mon. The lake of Biserte and others lying along the coast 
of Africa as far as Tunis are full of Span and Scioenee, kc, 
marine fishes, and of which large shoals live in both kinds of 
water. Mullets do the same in our basins of Arcachon. 
These seem to me a sufficient number of examples. The Mol« 
lusca in this respect, are as well known to you as- they are 
to me. In Sweden and Norway, Nilson found our Anodontes 
on the shores of the sea, where there was no fresh water ; and 
the curious experiments of M. Macculloch, which I shall re- 
peat in another form if ever I have an opportunity, have like- 
wise been made on the MoUusca. All animals with a bran- 
chial respiration, always find enough of oxygen in the water 
for breathing, although the two kinds of water are not charged 
with the same quantity of air.* 

* From Annales des Sciences NaiurelleS; torn. xvi. p. 110. 

(,168 ) 

Boianieal Climatology — Comparative Note as to the Epochs of 
Vegetation in different Countries. By M. Augusts jit Saint 


Beixg desirous of comparing the vegetation of the tropics 
with that of northern countries, I took advantage of the close 
of last summer and beginning of autumn, to pay a hasty visit 
to Norway and the Scandinavian chain. Although my pro- 
gress was very rapid, it enabled me, notwithstanding, to rec- 
tify some of the notions I had formed respecting the distribu- 
tion of plants in these countries, and the influence which cli- 
mate exercises in that distribution. Two days only having 
elapsed smce my return to Paris, I am unable to give a full 
account of my observations to the Academy, which, however, 
will be introduced into a work of some extent with which I 
am now engaged ; I shall therefore confine myself at present 
to a brief indication of the comparative epochs of vegetation 
in different countries. 

In a memoir I read to the Academy many years ago, and 
which has probably not been without benefit to botanical geo- 
graphy, I stated, that after having left at Brest, on the 1st April, 
the peach-trees without leaves or flowers, I met with them at 
Lisbon, eight days later, entirely covered with flowers, and 
the same thing was observed with Cercis^ many species of La- 
thy rus, Vicia^ JuncttSy &c. : that on the 25th, at Madeira, the 
peaches were fully formed and the wheat in ear ; lastly, on 
the 29th, at Teneriffe, the harvest was commenced, and the 
peaches were fully ripe. In the journey which I have just con- 
cluded, I may be said to have noticed the vegetation in an in- 
verse sense. On the 10th of August the oat-harvest was com- 
pleted in the vicinity of Orleans ; on the 23d it terminated be- 
tween Beauvais and St Omer ; on the 31st between Ham- 
burg and Lubeck ; on the 2d September, cherries were still 
on sale in the Copenhagen market ; on the 27th the oat-har- 
vest was finished in the country around Christiania ; and from 
the 10th to the 18th I always observed it in progress between 
that town and Trondhjem in the 64th degree. It would be 
natural to suppose that, in returning from the latter town to 
Christiania, I should find the same harvest completely finished ; 

Rev. D. Landsborpugh on thePho$pharucemee ofZoophyies. 169 

but, on the contrary, during the whole of my journey between 
Trondhjem and Ghristiania the pat-hanrest wa& still going on, 
as it had been when 1 went from Christiania to Trondhjem. 
Those who have traversed mountainous countries, and who 
are acquainted with the influence of secondary causes in such 
places, will not be surprised at these apparent singularities. 
Thus, in Hedemarken, a very moist plain, the seed-time is 
extremely late, and consequently the harvests are so likewise ; 
on one of the banks of the great lake Miosen, the harvest is 
much earlier than on the other bank, the former having a 
southern exposure. 

It is known that, in northern counties, the shortness of the 
summer is compensated by the length of the days, and that in 
them vegetation goes through its various states in a much 
shorter time than in more southern regions. On leaving Chris- 
tiania on 10th September, it was nearly in the state which it 
attains in the middle of France during the last weeks of the 
same month ; at Roraas, one of the most elevated points of 
the Scandinavian chain, where the mercury freezes every year, 
and where the Betula nana grows in abundance, vegetation 
appeared on Ae 14th September in the same condition it ex- 
hibits among us in the earlier weeks of November ; that on 
the banks of Guldelf, at a little distance f)rom Trondhjem, had 
reached the same point on the 20th September as that of 
France during the last weeks of October ; finally, in Dovref- 
jeld, at a height of 3000 feet above the level of the sea, vege- 
tation appeared, on the 22d September, such as we see it in 
Sologne in the earliest days of December.* 

On the Phosphorescence of 2^ophyies, By the Rev* David 
Lanbsborough, of Stevenson, in Ayrshirct 

Dr Johnston, in his " History of British Zoophytes," quotes, 
in his description of Sertularia pumiia, the following passage 
from Stewart : — " This species, and probably many others, in 
some particular states of the atmosphere, gives out a phos- 
phoric light in the dark,^ If a leaf of the above Fucus serratus 

* Comptes Rendus, No. 18, 2d Nov. 1841, p. 882. 
t ^jmals of Natural History, voL viii p. 267. 

170 Rev. D. Landsborough tmike 

#ith the Serhilaria upon it, receive a smart stroke with a 
stick in the dark, the whole coralline is most beautifully illu- 
minated, every denticle seeming to be on fire/'* I have lately 
discovered that it is not <m\yprob€Me that many others ex* 
hibit the same phenom^ion, but that it is absolutely certain 
that they do so. I had thought that in making the experi- 
ment it would be necessary to put the searweed to which the 
Sertultma was attached into a vessel of searwater, but I find 
that it can be made with less trouble. 

About two months ago I brought from the shore in a pocket 
vasculum or tin-box, some zoophytes attached to sea-weeds, 
and laid the vasculum on the lobby table till I should have 
leisure to examine them. When night came I put my hand 
into the vasculum to remove some of the zoophytes for in^ 
i^pection, and on moving them I found to my surprise and de- 
light that they began to sparkle. Remembering what I had 
read in the extract given above, as I took them up, I gave 
them a hearty shake, and they instantly became quite bril- 
liant, like handfuls of little stars or sparkling diamonds. To 
ascertain what were the zoophytes that emitted this phos- 
phorescent light, it was necessary to take them up singly by 
candle-light, and afterwards to make the experiment in the 
dark. The first I tried was Valckeria cuscuia^ with which I 
was successful. From Sertuhria pofyzonias and CeUulana 
reptans little light arose ; Laamedea genictdata was very lumi- 
nous, every cell for a few moments becoming a star ; and as 
^ch polype had a will of its own, they lighted and extin- 
guished their little lamps, not simultaneously, but with rapid 
irregularity, so that this running fire had a very lively appear- 
ance. FluBtra membranacea also was very beautiful, though 
Very different from the former ; for as the cells are so closely 
and regularly arranged, it exhibited, when shaken, a simul- 
taneous blaze, and became foe a little like a sheet of fire. With 
Flwtra pUo^a I was very successful That variety, of it which 
is spread on a flat surface, and which, from the form that the 
polypidom assumes, is the Membranipora atellata of Thompson, 
on being bent or shaken, became doubly entitled to the name 
of siellaied, for every polype in its cell lighted up a very bril- 

'<^ Siewluri^s Elements of Nattval HSstory,Tol. it p. 425. 

Pkosphoreseence of Zoophytes. 171 

liant fittle star, and for a short time the polypidom became 
like an illuminated city. 

After some days, I repeated the experiment with other zoo- 
phytes, and with similar success. A third time I brought 
home a well-filled yasculum ; but as I happened to be other- 
wise occupied, it was allowed to lie unopened for five or six 
days, when, thinking that the zoophytes would be dead, I cast 
them out along with the sea-woods to which they were ad- 
hering. They lay in the open air for a night and a day, and 
as it rained heavily during the whole time, weeds and zoo- 
phytes were constantly drenched. When the second night 
had set in, I thought I would try whether there were any 
symptoms of remaining life. I shook Laomedea genicuiata^ 
but its tiny fires were quenched. Membranipora stellata light- 
ed up just one bright star ; and Flustra membranaeea shed one 
faint gleam of light, and refused to repeat the fire, however 
much shaken. 

About a week after, I brought home a fresh supply ; and on 
repeating tiie experiment, not only did the zoophytes sparkle, 
but my fingers in handling them became brilliant, being adorn- 
ed with little stars. 

The next time I made trial of these ** minims^ was in the 
end of October, when a very frosty morning had been suc- 
ceeded by a very sunny day. On that occasion Sertularia po- 
fyzonias, Celiularia reptans, Flustra membranaeea^ and Mem- 
branipora stellata would emit no light. As the specimens had 
lain for hours on the shore exposed to the morning frost and 
the mid-day sun, it is probable that the polypes were dead. 
Laomedea geniculata was taken up quite moist and fresh, ha- 
ving been covered with sea-weeds ; and when the darkness of 
evening came, not only did they brightly sparkle when roughly 
handled, but they emitted a strong smell of phosphorus. On 
being allowed to rest, they immediately ceased to be luminous ; 
and though, on being shaken or pressed with the fingers, they 
shone forth again, if often repeated the light became fainter. 

On this occasion I made an experiment with a creature be- 
longing to another department. Having found a very large 
specimen of Botryllus Schlosseri^ one of the Mollusca tunicata^ 
I subjected it to the eaperimentum crucis by shaking it roughly 
in the dark, and I had the satis&ction of seeing that it was as 

172 Jley.D.Landsborough an the Phosphorescence of Zoophytes. 

much disposed as the zoophytes to resent the insult. In this 
case, however, it was not the sparkling wrath of a pigmy mul' 
titude, but the overspreading glow of one massy creaturej 
which all shone, though with a lurid and sullen-looking fire. 

The last time I repeated the experiment was in the begin- 
ning of the present month of November. I tried Seriularia 
pumila^ the zoophyte mentioned by Mr Stewart as phospho- 
rescent ; but though roughly shaken it remained dark. I was 
equally unsuccessful with several others ; but the tiny polypes 
had lain for hours on the shore, under a November sky, and 
the spark of life I suppose had become extinct. A specimen 
of Laomedea geniculata^ which from being covered was quite 
fresh, was as brilliant as usual, and emitted as formerly its 
phosphoric odour. I tried for the first time the elegant Flu- 
mularia eristata^ and though it had been too long exposed to 
the cold air, it emitted, on being shaken, a little light Only 
a few of the denticles sent forth their stars, and they were 
very minute and of a darker red. 

From these experiments, may we not surmise that the power 
of emitting phosphoric light is more generally possessed by the 
inhabitants of the deep than we are apt to imagine ? We are 
not yet at liberty to say that it is possessed by all marine 
zoophytes ; but certain it is that it is by many. Neither are 
we entitled to say that it is possessed by all MoUusca tunicata; 
but we know for certain, what I think was not known before, 
that it is the property of them ; and what is possessed by one 
may also belong to more. As little are we entitled to say 
that it is possessed by all the little Medusas which, as transpa- 
rent jellies, abound in the sea; but as it is known that it is 
possessed by some of them, may they not in general be phos- 
phorescent when agitated ? And as they are at times very 
numerous in the sea, may not the beautiful phosphorescence 
of sea-water at certain seasons, when put in motion, be owing 
to them and to marine Infusories, which in numbers number-, 
less are found in the deep \ And is it certain that it is not 
possessed by some fishes ? The first time I spent a summer 
night at sea was in the herring-fishing season ; and the sailors 
shewed me how to ascertain whether the herring shoals were 
near at hand. When a smart blow was given to the vessel, 
the percussion was communicated to the deep, and immedi- 

M. Marcel de Serres an the Skeleton of Metaxytherium. 173 

ately a flash of light was seen at a considerable depth, and 
this the sailors assured me was from the shoal of herrings* 
If this was phosphoric light emitted by these finny wanderers, 
then is this phosphorescent quality possessed by zoophytes, 
MeduscBj MoUusca tunicata^ and fishes. D. L. 

Notice on tlie Discovery of a complete Skeleton of MetaxytAe^ 
rium. By M. Mabcbl db Sbbbbs. 

Thb genus Metazytherium has recently been established by 
M. Christol, on various fragments of bone belonging to a ma- 
rine mammiferous animal, which appears intermediate between 
the Lamantin and Dugong. Under the latter name we have 
described the numerous remains of the cetaceous animal we 
met with in the upper marine tertiary sands in the neighbour- 
hood of Montpellier. These fragments consist chiefly of the 
bones of the head, there being a great many of the jaw-bones 
armed with teeth ; the next in quantity are vertebrae and the 
bones of the limbs. Since that time, M. Christol has found 
various bones of the same animal in the inferior marine depo- 
sits of the departments of Charente and Maine-et-Loire, 

Availing himself of all the separate pieces, which he has 
compared with singular skill, he has found materials to consti- 
tute his genus Metaxytherium^ in which he has united the two 
species of hippopotamus described by Cuvier under the names 
of Hippopotamus medius and dubius. We need not be sur- 
prised that even such a skilful anatomist as Cuvier was de- 
ceived by the teeth of this marine mammifer, and that he sup- 
posed it to be of terrestrial habits. In fact, the molars when 
worn down, assume the en trefle appearance which character- 
izes the grinders of the hippopotamus to such a degree, that 
when they are not seen planted in the jaw, it would be easy to 
make the same mistake, if at the same time one'*s attention 
was not directed to the form and arrangement of their roots. 
And it is not a little singular that this observation did not 
escape Cuvier, which proves that the teeth referred by Peron 
to the hippopotamus really belonged to the Dugong.* 

The genus Metaxytherium, of which we possess the princi- 
pal pieces entering into the skeleton, makes a near approach 

* Recherches eur les Ossemens fossQes de G. Cuvier, t. v.> first part, p. 261. 

174 M. Marcel de Berres tm the Skdeim ^ Abimtyikerium* 

in the form of its head and jaws to the Lamantins, and to the 
Dugongs in the form of its limbs. A nearly entire skeleton 
of this last genus was recently discovered (August 1840) in 
the centre of a mass of coarse limestone composing tertiary 
stony banks, wrought at Beaucaire for building. 

This individual, of which a certain number of fragments 
have been shewn us by the obliging attention of Dr Quet, ap- 
pears to have been found nearly in a complete state, as we 
have already noticed. Unfortunately the pieces of bone brought 
to us, have taught us nothing more than we formerly knew, 
from those preserved in our own collection. 

According to the statement of the workmen, the Metaxy- 
therium met with at Beaucaire, would appear to have been 
in an extended state, when it was enveloped by the stony de- 
posit in which it was found. With regard to those which have 
hitherto been observed in the vicinity of M ontpellier, it is only 
in marine tertiary sands that they have been noticed. They 
have not been observed, at least up to the present time, as low 
as Beaucaire ; but they exist in much more ancient strata in 
the departments of Charente and Maine-et-Loire ; that is to 
say, in the inferior marine tertiary formations. 

It might be said, according to these facts and a multitude 
of others which we have brought forward in our work on ter- 
tiary formations, that the same fossil species have perished 
much later in ihe south than in the north of France. It is at 
least certain that their remains are found in much more re- 
cent formations in the one than in the other. 

The individual found at Beaucaire was of much larger di- 
mensions than those met with at Montpellier, a circumstance 
which seems to have depended solely on their relative age. 
That of the former of these localities was full grown, while 
those of Montpellier were young, their second teeth having 
not grown beyond the sockets. Thus we are feft in doubt 
whether there really existed many species of this genus, vdiere- 
as, M. Christol admits several influenced solely by their size. 
But, although the dimensions of the Metaxytherium of Beau- 
caire and Montpellier are very difiFerent, the individuals have 
not presented any other characters adequate to make us re- 
gard them as really constituting two species.* 

* Vwm Annales dev Sciences ITStuselles, tene sv^ p« I0# 

M. Lieb^ m ike IdmUUg qfAlbumenf 4r« 175 

On the Identity of Albumen, Fibrin^ and the WlaU Matter of 
the Globules of Blood and of Oaseum. Letter of M« Lib91Q. 
Communicated to the Academy of Sciencea by M. Liou- 


I HAYS at last the satisfactioii^ says M. Liebio to M. Paospxu Dams^ to 
inform you that the whole of your experiments regardiDg the identity of 
tlw composition of fibrin and albumen bare been found to be quite cor« 
rect. We have succeeded in entirely dissolving pure fibrin in a saturated 
solution of nitre> and in maintaining them together at a temperature of 
between 122'' and 183" Fahr. The fibrin at first became gelatiniform, 
leaving only a few insoluble flakes. The filtrated liquid possesses all the 
properties of albumen. I repeat^ that we have succeeded without the 
employment of caustic alkali, which at fint appeared to me to be indis- 
pensable and decisive. We have also remarked that boiled fibrin is in- 
dissoluble. The composition of dissolved fibrin, that is, fibrin changed 
into liquid albumen, was exactly that of common fibrin and albumen. 
And the fonnulary, carbon 48, hydrogen 74, nitrogen 14, oxygen 11, 
expresses the relative proportions of its elements. We have likewise 
succeeded in precipitating albumen under the form of globules, by add- 
ing a sufficient quantity of water to serum neutralized by an acid, and 
we have not been less fortunate in obtaining fibrins ftom the globules of 
blood, by following the procedure which you pointed out. By addoig 
a little caustic potash to albumen, it was precipitated by means of alco« 
hoi, under the fonn and with all the properties of caseum. Thu8> Sir, I 
rejoice that I have in any way assisted in placing your important disco-: 
veries beyond doubt. I am now busy vrith a memoir, in which I explain 
Che analyses which have been made in the prosecution of my object. 

Compo%itknofFibriny madeeohbkaeeefdingto M. Prosper DenU^s mefhedy 
and firedpUaied bif cold akoM from its nitrous solutkm, and aftsrwards 
treated with hoUing aieobol and ether, 

l«t Analyais. 2d Analysis. 84 Analysis. 
Carbon, 54.608 66.002 64.611^ T.. *n«.K«-#5M- «•**«, 

Hydrogen, 6.874 7.280 e-974MV?S ,!fiSf ' 

Nitrogen, 18.032 18.W 18^7 f cib to Nitr • -7.1 

Oxygen, 20.686 19.621 20.478) ^^^' *® ^'^'- ••7.1. 

FiMn of Blood, subjected to the direct action of water, coldaJoohot, botRng 
aloohol and ether, wi^out previous solution. 

Carbon, • . . 54.988 1 

Hydrogen, . . f-876l Carb. : Nitr. : :: 7:1. 
Nitrogen, • • • 18.190 ( 
Oxygen, . . . 19.946) 

* CgnytoaBanAi^ndMflireli 1841, 

176 M. A. Valencieimes on the Causes of the 

Albumen prepared by dissoimng serum which had been dried in the epen air 
at the usual temperature, then precipitating it in cold alcohol, and purify- 
ing it U9th boiled ether. . 

IttAnaljsif. 3d AnalytU. 

Carbon, 54.726 64.766) 

SSt'^'lffi llm\ ^^- : to Nit,. : : : 7 : 1. . 

Oxygen, 19.867 20.062) 

Serum of the Blood, suljeetedf vfOhout prevume solution, to the at^ien of cold 
(Ucohol and boiling ether. 

Carbon, . • • • 66.283 1 

Oxygen, . • . . 19.336) 

All tbese analyses were made in the laboratory of Qiessen, by Dr 
Soberer; and I baye taken all necessary pains to ensure their accuracy. 

On the Causes of the Green Colour in certain kinds of Oldsters, 
By M, A. Valencienmes. 

The observations I have made on green oysters have led to 
some results which appear to me sufficiently curious to deserve 
being communicated to the Academy. 

It is well known that the explanations hitherto given of the 
colouring of oysters still leaves much to be desired. 

Some have thought that feeding on certain ulvae was the 
cause of the green colour in oysters ; others have ascribed it 
to the absorption of the microscopic animalcules named Vibrio 
ostrearius; while others have maintained that oysters change 
colour, and become green, solely by absorbing the green mat- 
ter produced in the enclosures where they are kept. 

It may be remarked, in the outset, that we are occupied, as 
too often happens, in explaining a singular phenomenon, with- 
out observing how it takes place in an animal which we may 
examine by hundreds every day. 

In a green oyster there is only a single organ visible on the 
exterior which assumes this colour ; this is the four leaflets of 
the branchiae. By raising the upper part of the mouth, we 
perceive that only the inner surface of the labial palpi is green, 
and on examining the internal parts, we speedily ascertain, 
that the intestinal canal alone beyond the stomach is of a fine 

Green Colour in certain kinds of Oysters. 177 

green colour, which injects it and renders it very easy to be 
traced, because it is thereby very distinctly defined on the 
white bed formed for it by the fatty matter. The liver is of a 
blackish-green colour instead of its usual reddish tint But 
neither the great attaching muscle, nor the muscular fibres 
of the mouth, nor the cirri which surround it, nor the heart, 
blood, nerves, nor fatty substance, have undergone any change 
of colour. 

This colouring substance, existing only in the organs named, 
presents nothing .remarkable when examined by the micros- 
cope, but it possesses the following properties :— 

It is insoluble, whether cold or warm, in distilled water, in 
alcohol, and in sulphuric ether. These three reactives pro- 
duce no change on its shade of colour. 

All the acids change it into blue, slowly when cold, rapidly 
when warm. Weak sulphuric, hydrochloric and citric acids, 
as well as vinegar, produce thb change equally well. 

Ammonia reproduces the green colour. 

Nitric acid, when weak and cold, colours the matter blue ; 
when warm it destroys it, and communicates that yellow colour 
which so often appears from the action of nitric acid on animal 

Chlorine rapidly discolours the green matter and leaves the 
branchial leaflets entirely white. 

Sulphuretted hydrogen does not discolour it. 

Ammonia, after a long time, destroys the colour by chang- 
ing it into a very faint impure olive. 

Caustic potass dissolves the branchial leaflets and produces 
a brown liquid, from which acetic acid precipitates impure 
green flakes. 

These changes of colour take place inr the intestinal canal 
in the same manner as in the branchial leaflets. 

Our accomplished fellow-member, M. Diunas, has made 
some experiments to ascertain whether the green matter does 
not acquire a part of its colour from Prussian blue. They af- 
forded negative results. 

I made these observations on large oysters, of the kind named 
Green Marennea oysters^ the branchise of which, and portions 
of the intestinal canal subjected to the different agents above- 


178 Addiiional Notice tegardiny Si KUda. 

mentioned, I have now the honour to present lo the Acadnti^;. 
I found the same results from what are called Qreen OstenU 
oystersj although the latter are not so deeply coloured. 

Every thing, then, leads us to believe that the green colour 
of oysters belongs to an animal matter distinct from all green 
organic substances hitherto studied. As we see it appear in 
the intestinal c^nal, may we not venture to suppose that it is 
owing to a particular state of the bile, there producing a colour^ 
ing substance which fixes itself by assimilation on the paren- 
chyma of the two lamellar appendages of the oyster, its bran- 
chiae or labial palpi, by a physiological phenomenon analogous 
to that which M. Flourens has observed in regard to the assi- 
milation of madder, which gives a red colour only to the bones 
of an animal, while the cartilages, ligaments, and tendons, re- 
main white.* 

Additional Notice regardhig St Kilda. 

In reference to the subject of a preceding paper, we are 
favoured by James Wilson Esq., F.R.S., &c. (who visited St 
Kilda last summer) with the following supplementary observa- 
tions : — 

Mr Wilson states, that besides the Eastern or Village Bay, 
mentioned by Mr MacGillivray, and now commonly called 
Dickson's Bay, there is an excellent and capacious shelter on 
the other side, opening to the west or north-west, and called 
M'Leod's Bay. It is of consequence that this topographical 
feature should be known, because when the wind blows into 
one bay, and causes a surf which renders landing dangerous 
or difficult, the same wind blows /r^w the opposite bay, which 
will probably at the same time be found free from surf. 

In regard to horticulture, Mr Wilson observed that cabbages 
of difierent varieties, and a scanty supply of potatoes, were 
growing within the smaller enclosures. The minister has 
tried both carrots and onions with some success. Turnips 
seem to thrive well for a time, but are speedily cut off by some 
kind of injurious insect Peas and beans blossom, but produce 
no pods. Mustard was growing healthily near the manse. 
. Such, however, is the injurious effect of the salt spray during 

• A dditional Notice regarding Si Kilda. ' 179 

winter, even on their hardiest vegetation, that saroyB and 
German greens, which with us are improved rather than de- 
teriorated by the winter's cold, almost invariably perish soon 
after the commencement of autumn. This, however, is not 
owing to the rigour of the climate, but solely to the salt spray 
which the boisterous winds carry up from the turmoil of the 
raging shores^ and spread upon the surrounding vegetation. 
The minister has endeavoured to prevent thb by recently 
raising a stone dyke ten feet high around a small enclosure, 
in which his cabbages lie ensconced. In other respects, the 
climate is in truth extremely mild. The ice, which is formed 
even during the coldest night in winter, is scarcely thicker 
than a penny piece, and usually disappears entirely, if the sun 
is at all visible in the course of the ensuing day. 

The following table, kept by Mr Mackenzie, the clergyman 
of St Kilda, shews the temperature and direction of the wind 
for the months of January and February 1840 : — 
























































































































































































180 Mr Morren <fn the Influence of Light on the gnalitjf 

We have no thermometrical record for August, but in rela- 
tion to the other warm months, we may observe that the 
greatest heat did not exceed 59"". Even that height was rarely 
attained ; and the 26th and 27th of May was as warm as any 
day throughout the year, the thermometer standing, on each 
of these days, at 59°. The only day in June which equalled 
that heat was the 17th, and no day in July exceeded 68°, 

Mr Wilson's observations on the zoology of St Kilda accord 
with those of Mr Macgillivray. The clergyman made men- 
tion of an extremely beautiful foreign bird, of considerable 
size, which was observed to frequent the island one season for 
several weeks. Its plumage '* glittered in the sun/' and was 
of a resplendent green and blue colour. This was, probably, 
a stray example of the roller (Coracias garrula), a bird well 
known in Germany, and not unfrequent in Sweden during 

We shall only further observe, that the population of St 
Kilda, at the period of Mr Wilson's visit in August last, 
amounted precisely to 105. — ^Ed. 

Besearches on the influence which Light and the Green-coloured 
Organic substance often found in Stagnant Water exercise 
on the quality of the Gases contained in the latter. By Mr 


The author has Lad occasion to analyse the water of many fountains 
and wells in the town of Angers, as well as to examine the gases they 
contain. He has convinced himself that these waters, as well as 
those of the Loire and Maine, have nearly the twenty-fifth part of their 
volume, as is generally the case with well aired running water in its nor- 
mal state, formed of a gas composed of 32 per cent, of oxygen and 68 per 
cent, of azote. On one occasion, in tlie summer, he analysed the gas ex- 
tracted by boiling from the water of a fish pond which had a greenish ap- 
pearance, and was surprised to find that it contained from 66 to 58 per 
cent, of oxygen. On resuming this experiment the following day, only 
25 per cent, of oxygen was produced in the morning ; about mid-day, 48 
per cent. ; and at five o'clock in the evening 61 per cent. The volume 
of air dissolved increased with the proportion of oxygen ; the carbo- 
nic acid likewise varied, but the quantity of azote continued very nearly 

By continuing these experiments, he perceived that, independently of 
the evident influence of light on the oxygenation of the water, the cool- 

of Gates found in Stagnami Waters. 181 

ia^ of the air^ rain^and^ aboYe all, the presence or absence of the mattet 
which gave a green colour to the water> had the effect of consideiably 
modifying the results^ both as to the quantity and proportion of the gases 
dissolved in the water of the pond. As soon as the green substance re- 
appeared^ accompanied with heat and the solar influence^ the oxj-gena- 
tion of the water was considerable ; it diminished rapidly, on the con- 
trary, in the absence of the sun and heat. 

The author has devoted nearly a whole year to the daily examination 
(noting at tlie same time all the accessory circumstances) of the gases 
contained in the water of a deep-fish pond, fed by springs and rain, and 
containing about 8000 cubic feet of water. The walls of it were com- 
posed of slate-stones cemented with mortar, and it contained scarcely 
any conferva visible to the naked eye. He has likewise examined the 
water of many other ponds, and also that of the Maine and Loire. These 
experiments were generally made at the same hour, between one and 
three o'clock in the afternoon, although many of them were made at 
other times of the day. Mr Morren gives circumstantial details respect- 
ing the mode of operation which he prefers, the instruments he employed 
to disengage and collect the gases dissolved in the water, and the analytical 
methods he adopted. They are of such a nature as to inspire perfect con- 
fidence in the accuracy of his results. 

His memoir likewise contains a table in which are inserted the propor- 
tions of the gases in the water of the pond, taken day by day for nine 
months, as well as the state of the weather, and the presence or absence' 
of the green matter. From his long-continued researches, he thinks him- 
self authorized to draw the following conclusions : » 

The oxygenation of the water is most considerable in proportion to 
the intensity of the solar light and the elevation of the sun itself. It ne- 
vertheless takes place, though in a smaller degree, under the influence of 
a diffused light. It either ceases altogether, or cannot be appreciated in 
a rainy day. 

It commences at day-break, increases slowly at first, then rapidly, and 
reaches its maximum at four or five o'clock p.m. 

In winter, there must be a long succession of fine days before the wa- 
ter attain the same degree of oxygenation as in summer. The variations 
are much more rapid in this latter season, and the quantity of the oxygen 
of the air dissolved in the water, sometimes diminishes so much that cer- 
tain kinds of fishes can no longer live in it. 

The least oxygenated water contained 16 to 17 per cent, of oxygen in 
the dissolved air, and that whioh. was at the maximum contuned 61 per 

The quantity of azote has varied little, and the carbonic acid seems to 
undergo variations the reverse of those of the oxygen. 

When a black curtain was extended over the whole surfiice of the 
pond, the oxygenation was seen to diminiA, rapidly (&om 49 to %% per 

182 Mr Molten on the Influence of Light on the quality 

ceiit.)i idtliofngli the weather was fine and the other circumstances &\roaf'« 

What became of the oxygen with which the water of the pond wa§ 
chaiged^ at the moment of its greatest oxygenation ? The author placed 
in the pond a reversed globular vessel, open at the lower part, allowing 
the water of the pond to communicate with that contained in the vessel. 
Numerous air-bubbles were disengaged^ and this gas, when analysed, 
contained nearly the half of its volume of oxygen. Nevertheless, the 
oxygenation of the water contained in the vessel, and from which this 
air, so rich in oxygen, had been disengaged, had in no degree diminished, 
and was equal to that of the water of the pond at the time when it was 
placed in it. We must conclude from this that the oxygen absorbed by 
the water is not employed to form carbonic acid by combining with the 
organic matten^ it may contain, but that it is constantly carried off by the 
atmosphere. This source for the production of oxygen must be consider*- 
able, for, according to the calculations of the author, made in a favour* 
able day, the pond he examined, and which contained 8000 cubic feet of 
Water, disengaged 128 cubic feet of oxygen. 

The running waters of the Maine and Loire, even when the current is 
slow, as in the former, do not present ^ery sensible variations in their 
oxygenation. The author has ascertained that, when the oxygenation of 
the water, either by a sudden swell and overflowing of the neighbouring 
meadows, or by the unexpected destruction of the green matter, descends 
to 18 or 20 per cent, of oxygen in the air it contains, fishes can no longer 
live in it, and they are seen to perish in great numbers as if from asphyxia. 
The author has witnessed the same phenomena, on two occasions, in the 
fishpond; and on the 8th June 1835, after a sudden swell of the Maine, 
almost all the fishes perished, and their dead bodies diffused a mephitic 
odour. The voracious fishes were the first that suffered, and the author 
is convinced that in all these cases the oxygenation of the air contained 
in the water was very low.* 

It appears that, when the oxygen is found in water in considerable 
proportion, it is merely dissolved in it, and not chemically combined, as 
it is in Mr Th^nard's oxygenated water. In fact, the oxide of silver does 
not disengage the oxygen, as it does in the latter. It is possible, how- 
ever, that this preponderance of oxygen may be the cause of the whiten- 
ing of linen on the bleaching green, the oxygen of the water performing 
the dehydrogenating office of chlore on vegetable colours. 

* Very slight differences in the composition of the water in which fishes live 
are sufficient to cause death. The late Prof, de CandoUe has remarked that^ when 
the saltness of the salt-pits increased in a warm day one-half per cent, that was 
sufficient to kill all the fishes inhabiting them when this saltness approached the 
extreme limit which these animals can endure. In the morning, the saltness be- 
ing 7% they Wers vsiy vigorous^ in the evening, the taltness being 7i*, they were 

of Gages found in Siagnani JTaterM. 183 

. The author has endeavoured^ with that attention which the tubjeot de- 
serves^ to discover what is the real cause of the abundant disengagement of 
oxygen which he has ascertained to take place in stagnant waters. He 
has satisfied himself that oxygenation was at its greatest height when the 
~water^ under the influence of a strong solar lights had acquired a very 
deep tint of green. He easily discovered^ by means of the niicro0cope« 
•that this colour was owbg to the presence of green monodarian animal- 
cules, the greater part being the species named EwMU monadina vtVes- 
cens by M. Bory de St Vincent. It was sometimes accompanied by a 
larger species, also of a green colour, the EncMU pultiiculut viridU of 
Muller. When these were sufficiently abundant in the water of the pond 
to give it a green colour, the sun at the same time shining brightly, the 
oxygenation was rapidly developed, until it contained 60 in the hundred 
of oxygen in the gas disengaged, and it sunk if the animalcules became 
less numerous or disappeared. 

We must therefore admit that these beings, which no naturalist has re- 
fused tp consider as animals, possess, like plants, the property of decom- 
posing carbonic acid, and disengaging oxygen from it ; and their immense 
numbers, small size, and power of locomotion, which enables them to put 
themselves in the most favourable position for the complete action of the 
light, may explain the intensity of the effect produced. Their green co- 
lour, which becomes not so deep when they are kept for a time in the 
shade, seems to assimilate them to vegetables ; but their property, dis- 
covered by the author, of disengaging oxygen like leaves, appears to ren- 
der it impossible to draw any definite line of demarcation between ani- 
mals and plants. 

After the commencement of spring, the monadine enchelides appear 
in great numbers on the first fine day, and give a light green colour to 
the surface of still waters. Their colour by degrees becomes deeper. 
The duration of their lives is very variable. When the weather is mild, 
the air calm, and the sun unclouded, they press to the surface of the 
water, and engage in their manifold gyratory movements ; but if the sky 
be overcast, the air agitated, or rain falling, they retire to the bottom of 
the water, apparently to shelter themselves from sudden changes of^ tem- 
perature, which are always fatal to them. By means of bsensible and 
gradual variations, these animalcules may, however, be brought to live 
at a tempemture many degrees below zero ; their movements are then 
extremely sluggish. They ultimately disappear at the bottom of the 
water, and change into a mucous matter, from which, in due time, new 
generations of enchelides are produced. 

When viewed by the microscope, the monadine enchelid appears ra- 
pidly to dart forth a very delicate biciliary apparatus, which enables it 
to produce a rotatory movement. It likewise makes use of this to fon 
itself to any body, for example, to the object-glass. It then commences 
a swinging movement with the cilia as a centre. 

184 Mr Morreri on the Gases of Stagnant fTaters^ S^e, 

At the moment when the oxygenation of the water is at its height, 
great numbers of infusory animalcules, furnished with ciliary and rotatory 
apparatus, make their appearance ; they descend below the surface, when 
ti&e enchelides on which they prey likewise descend along with them. 

In recapitulating the facts deduced from these experiments, the author 
thinks he has proved that, with the assistance of light, the green animal- 
cules which live in stagnant waters decompose the carbonic acid con- 
tained in it, and absorb its carbon, and that the oxygenated gas disen- 
gaged dissolves in the water in the state of a nascent gas. 

The oxygenation of the water diminishes in proportion as we descend 
below the surface ; thus, at 3 feet, the air of the water contained 43 parts 
in 100 of oxygen, while there were only 34 parts in 100 at the depth of 
13 feet. 

The maximum of oxygenation runs from 56 to 61 in 100, and takes 
place about four or ^ve o'clock in the evening. 

I4 was important to ascertain whether the green colour was indispen- 
sable to the existence of the property of decomposing the carbonic acid 
in the microscopic infusory animalcules living in stagnant water. After 
many fruitless researches, Mr Morren at length succeeded in procuring 
the means of reproducing a great number of an animalcule of a fine 
purple colour, which he at first took for a Protococeus nivalis, h\xi which 
he afterwards found to be nearly allied to Trachehnumas voivoeina of 
Ehrenberg. He filled numerous bell glasses, containing from eight to 
ten litres with filtered rain water. He then poured into each of them 
half a litre of water well replenished with trachelomonas, and at the end 
of a month, all his vessels were shining with a magnificent reddish-purple 

He then had it in his power to repeat with these animalcules all the 
experiments he had made on the green ones, and he obtained results ab- 
solutely identical. Only the proportion of oxygen never exceeded at the 
maximum 47 per cent., instead of 61 obtained in the fish pond ; but it 
is easy to perceive that the artificial conditions of life in which the 
trachelomonas were placed may explain these differences. It is evident, 
therefore, that the green colour of the animalcules is not an indispen- 
sable element in the decomposition they cause of the carbonic acid con- 
tained in the water ; that the phenomenon is reproduced with those of 
a red colour, and that it is probably also an attribute of animalcules of 
every colour and condition of existence. This constitutes another bond 
of connection between the two great kingdoms of the organic creation, 
and a new and powerful agent in the purification of the atmosphere.* 

* From Bibliotheque Universelle de Geneve, No. Ixx., Oct. 1841, p. 380. 

( 186 ) 

Proceedings of the Wernerian Natural History Society. 

The thirty-fifth Session commenced on the 20^A November 1841, Pro- 
fessor Jaiibson, p., in the Gkur. The following office-bearers were elected 
for the ensuing' year :— 


RoBBRT Jameson, Esq. F.R.SS.L. & E., Professor of Natural History in 

the University of Edinburgh. 


W. A.CADELL,Esq.,F.R.SS.L.&E. Sir Wm. Nkwbiggiko, F.R.S.E. 
Dr Robert Hamilton, F.R.S.E. Right Hon. Lord Greenock, F.R.S.E. 

Dr Robert Qraham, F.R.S.E. SirC.G.S. MENTBATH,Bart.,F.R.S.E. 

Dr Patrick Neill, F.R.S.E., Secretary. T. J. Torrib, Esq. F.R.8.E., 

Assistant-Secretary. A. G. Ellis, Esq., Treasurer, ^James Wilson, 

Esq. F.R.S.E., Librarian. R. J. H. Cunningham, Esq., Assistant-Lib- 
rarian. P. Stme, Esq. Artist. W. H. Townsend, Esq., Assistant- 


David Falconab, Esq. David Milne, Esq. F.R.S.E. 

Dr Robert Paterson. John Stark, Esq. F.R.S.E. 

Edward Forbes, Esq. Thomas Brown of Lanfine, Esq. 

Robert Stevenson, Esq. F.RS.E. Sir Wm. Jardine, Bart. F.R.S.E. 

December 11. — Professor Jameson, P., in the Cliair. Dr Traill read a 
Notice of a mine of Sulphate of Baryta in Glen Sannoz, Arran, and of 
the manufacture of pigments from that mineral, which he illustrated by 
specimens of the various preparations (published in this No. of Journal, 
p. 189). A paper was read on the Island of St Kilda, by Mr John Mac- 
Gillivray (published in this No., p. 47). The Assistant-Secretary then 
read a letter from Dr Stanger giving an account of tlie progress of the 
Niger Expedition, and a communication from a correspondent regarding 
the Scientific Reunion at Florence. 

Proceedings of the Geological Society. 

This Society commenced its session on the 30th inst ; Mr Mur- 
CHisoN, President, in the chair. Two communications were read, 
— 1. a supplement to a paper entitled, " A synopsis of the Eng- 
lish series of Stratified Rocks inferior to the old Red. Sandstone,'* 
with additional remarks on the carboniferous series and old red-sand- 
stone of the British Isles, by Professor Sedgwick. The author com- 
mences by stating that his former synopsis is now modified ; firsts 
by tbo new dassi&cation of the stratified rocks of Dovon and Corn- 

186 Proceedings of the Geological Society. 

wall ; secondly y by a larger knowledge of fossils, derived from some 
of the groups described ; and, thirdly, by new observations made 
during the past summer in the south of Ireland, the south-west of 
Scotland, and the north of £ngland. 

New Bed Sandstone, — The upper part of this series of strata is 
shewn, by sections derived from Warwickshire, to be sometimes un- 
confoimable to the lower portion, which represents the magnesian 
limestone and inferior beds ; and the latter division is also shewn to 
pass into the coal measures, the intermediate strata being loaded with 
common carboniferous plants. In the neighbourhood of Whitehaven, 
however, there is no passage from the lower new red sandstone into 
the coal measures, though the carboniferous flora apparently existed 
•in full perfection during the period in which the former strata were 
deposited. The new red sandstone of Dumfriesshire is shewn to be 
continuous with that of the plains of Carlisle ; but the lower divisions 
of the series are considered to be wanting. The strata near Dum- 
fries are stated to be mineralogically the same as those of Corncockle 
Moor, and to contain impressions of footsteps. To the north of the 
Galloway chain the new red series occurs at very few localities ; and 
coupling this fact with the great development in many parts of Scot- 
land of red sandstones of the carboniferous series, the author concludes 
that the highest stratified beds of Arran do not represent the new 
red-sandstone, but a portion of the coal measures, though there is 
no counterpart in England of the upper conglomerate of that island. 

Carboniferous Series, — The changes in this series, in its range 
from the north of England to the basin of the Tweed, are briefly no- 
ticed, and the coal-field of the latter district is shewn to be geologi- 
cally far below the great coal-field of Newcastle, assuming the Scotch 
type, though the coal-field on the south side of the Firth conforms to 
the English type. The carboniferous series of Scotland is then 
stated to be divisible into the three following groups ; — -frst, the rich 
deposits, with numerous beds of coal, presenting, in their general 
characters, the closest analogy to the English coal-fields, though 
their exact position in the geological sequence cannot be determined ; 
secondly, a great group, forming the base of the most productive coal 
measures, and containing beds of coal of an inferior quality, also 
many thin bonds of limestone alternating with sandstones and shales, 
and having generally thick beds of limestone at the top ; thirdly, a 
variable deposit of red sandstone, shales, &c., containing, in the 
higher portions, coal-measure plants, with even thin beds of coal, and 
passing downwards by insensible gradations into the old red-sand- 
stone. The author next points out the perplexity which has been 
introduced into the geological map of Scotland, by representing the 

Proceedings of the Oeologicat Society. 187 

carboniferous series and the old red^sandstone of one colour ; and by 
confounding, along a considerable part of the country bordering on 
the north shore of the Solway Firth, the new with the old red-sand- 

Old Red- Sandstone, — ^The extraordinary irregularity of this for- 
mation in the British Isles is first noticed ; the old red conglome- 
rates of Cumberland are then compared with those on both sides of 
the Galloway chain ; . and the sections in the south of Ireland, con- 
necting the old red-sandstone with the carboniferous series, and con- 
stituting a good passage, are next described. The lower carbonifer- 
ous shales there pass into roofing slates, resembling the black slates 
at the base of the Devonshire culm-measure ; and the great coal-field 
in the west of Ireland overlying the mountain-limestone assumes 
the characters of the same culm-measures. These facts, the author 
says, remove the difficulty in classification presented by the mineral 
structure of the Devonshire culm-series. From the details connected 
with the above statements, Mr Sedgwick draws the inference, that 
no new formation can be interpolated between the old red-sandstone 
and the carboniferous series, the sequence of strata being complete ; 
and as the sections in the silurian country described by Mr Murchi- 
son, shew that no member is wanting between the old red-sandstone 
and the Ludlow rocks, there is consequently one continuous unbroken 
succession from the lower division of the new red-sandstone down to 
the Llandeilo Flagstone ; and, therefore, that the argument for the 
true place of the Devonian system is complete. For any formation 
with fossils intermediate between the carboniferous and silurian sys- 
tems must have an intermediate position, — must, therefore, be on the 
parallel of some part of the old red-sandstone which fills that whole 
intermediate position. 

Sections of North Wales, — The author, after referring to his 
former description of the great masses of North Wales, states that 
his Snowdonian fossils have been found to be identical with Silurian 
species ; and that the same result has been obtained from an exami- 
nation of the organic remains of the Berwyns. Hence, he concludes, 
that in the great section of North Wales, there is no positive "zoolo- 
gical distinction in the successive descending groups, the only differ- 
ence being the gradual disappearance of species which occur in the 
higher beds. 

Cumbrian Groups, — The groups exhibited in a section from Kes- 
wick, through Kendal, Kirby-Lonsdale, are, \sty that by Skiddaw 
Forest ; 2<i, a group essentially composed of quartzoze and chloritic 
roofing-slates, associated with innumerable igneous rocks, and bound- 
ed by calcareous slates, which extenii from the south of Cumber- 

188 Froceedinge i^ihe Geatoyical Soeieiy* 

land to the neighbourhood of Shap Falls ; Sd, a great series of beds, 
ranging from the calcareous slates to the carboniferous series, and 
separated provisionally by the author into two divisions, the lower 
consisting of slates and flagstones, with occasionally thick, hard, are- 
naceous strata, the fossils containing many species characteristic of 
the lower Silurian rocks, and the upper being composed of arena- 
ceous flagstones, with beds of hard grey wacke, calcareous matter occa- 
sionally occurring, but no beds of limestone fit for use. The fossils 
of this division, a list of which, by Mr J. Sowerby, accompanies the 
paper, contains numerous species belonging to the upper siluriau 
rocks of Mr Murcliison, or to the beds which have been considered 
to form the base of the old red-sandstone in Shropshire. From the 
above specific determinations of organic remains, the author says the 
following definite information is obtained, namely, that the lower 
division is lower silurian, and that the upper ends at the very top of 
the silurian system. Two other sections are then briefly noticed, 
one from the Shap granite, through the fossiliferous slate to How- 
gill Fell, the beds of which are placed in the upper division of the 
silurian system, but not the highest part ; and the other from the 
western boundary of the calcareous slates to Ulverston, including, 
liftf the calcareous slates (Caradoc) of Millom, in Cumberland ; 2c/, 
quartzose flagstones ; 3<£, the roofing-slates of Kirby-Julith ; 4tA, a 
second band of calcareous slates with lower silurian fossils; and 
5^, an upper series of flags and slates, which reach to the neigh- 
bourhood of Ulverston. The last beds are overlaid by strata of a 
coarse composition, but which, in a section continued to Morecambe 
Bay, do not shew any upper fossiliferous bands. 

Ireland and South of Scotland, — Some sections in the counties 
of Waterford and Kerry, to which the author was conducted by Mr 
Griffith, are then briefly noticed. He afterwards shews that Mr 
Griffith's present grouping of the older strata in the south of Ire- 
land is not only sanctioned by the section, but removes the supposed 
anomaly of carboniferous fossils reappearing at different levels in a 
descending series. The silurian fossils of the north of Ireland, pre- 
paring for publication by Captain Portlock, are also noticed ; but it 
is stated that the sections of that part of the kingdom do not appear 
to connect these fossiliferous rocks in such a manner with the older 
formations, as to materially assist in their subdivisions or grouping. 
Moume Mountains, Galloway chain, S^c, After a few details on the 
physical features and mineral composition of Devonshire, Mr Sedg- 
wick describes the chain, extending from the Mull of Galloway to 
St Abb's Head. The prevailing strike of this i-ange, like that of 
the Mouruo Mountains, is ab>>ut N£. by £., even in the neighbour- 

Proceedings of the Royal Scottish Society of Arte. 189 

hood of protruded masses of granite. The strata consist generally 
of a hard, fine or coarse grejwacke, passing occasionally into i*oof- 
ing-slates, and destitute of fossils, except in the finer schists in which 
the Graptolites foliaceus has been found. The strata which break 
out from under the carboniferous basin of Girvan Water in Ayrshire 
are next described, and shewn to contain many silurian fossils. 
Lastly, a synoptical table is given of the great groups, ranging from 
the carboniferous series to the lowest beds of the north of £ngland, 
the classification being as follows : — let, the Carboniferous series ; 
2d, the old red sandstone (Devonian system) ; 3d, Silurian system ; 
4thf the Subsilurian, or upper Cambrian ; dth, the lower Cambrian, 
including the great groups of North Wales, between the Bala lime- 
stone and the old roofing slates of Cumberland ; 6f A, the lower Cum- 
brian or Skiddaw slates, and containing provisionally the chloritic 
slates of Anglesea and Caernarvonshire. 

Proceedings of the Boyal Scottish Society of Arts. 
18M October 1841.— Andrew Fyfe, M.D., F.R.S.E., Presi^ 
dent, in the chair. 


1. The Royal Charter of Incorporation of the Society was laid on 
the table. 

2. The draft of the Laws of the Society, as altered and amended 
by the Coundl, were read and considered, and, after some farther al- 
terations, adopted. 

3. Arrangements relative to the Curatorship of the Museum re- 
mitted to the Council to consider and report. 

4. A letter from the Treasurer of His Koyal Highness Prince 
Albert, K.G. &c., was read, acknowledging his Royal Highnesses 
election as an Honorary Member. 

26M October 1841.— Andrew Fyfe, M.D., F.R.S.E., Presi- 
dent, in the chair. 


The Laws of the Society, as altered, amended, and adopted by the 
Society at last meeting, were again submitted for approval, and were 
finally adopted. 

Notice of the Meeting of the Italian Scientific Association held 
at Florence in September 1841. 

NoTHiMO could have gone off* better than the meeting here^ which lasted a 
forbught^ and at wbieh nearly 900 peisons enrolled their oameSr Twenty- 

190 Notice of the Italian Scientific As$ociation. 

two British subjects entered their names^ among whom were R. Brown 
and Mr Babbage. I arrived here on the 14th September^ the day before 
the Congress assembled^ and on enrolling mj name received a card, o^ 
the presentation of which all the public institutions of Florence were open 
to the members, with a small book and map of the city, prepared and 
printed expressly for the occasion. On the 15th, the first meeting was 
preceded by a mass in music, performed in the church of Santa Croce, 
the Florentine Pantheon, where all the savans and most of the aristocracy 
of Florence were present ; the effect was Tcry grand in the midst of the 
tombs of Machiavelli, Miehel Angelo, and Qalileo, and surrounded by 
the chefi d'auvre of Giotto, Gaddi, and the other founders of the Flo- 
rentine school of painting. From the church we adjourned to the great 
hall of the Palazzo Yecchio, constructed for the purpose of assembling the 
Florentine citizens during the Republic, and which, for nearly three cen- 
turies, had never witnessed so numerous an auditory. There, in the pre- 
sence of the Grand Duke and his family, the President, the Marquis Ri- 
dolfi, opened the business of the Congress by a very good speech, which 
elicited general and well-merited applause. This done, the members re- 
paired to another building, the Museum of Natural History, to be pre- 
sent at the inauguration of the. statue of Galileo, and to divide themselves 
into sections and name their ofl^cers. I must first of all say a few words 
respecting the Tribune of Galileo. The present Grand Duke of Tus^ 
cany, Leopold II., is one of the sovereigns of the present day who has 
^one most, compared with his means, to encourage the atts and sciences 
in his state. Among other things, he has collected, at a very great ex<» 
-pense, not only every MS. of Ghilileo he could procure, but also those 
of his pupils, who formed the celebrated and too short-lived Academia 
del Cimento, as well as the instruments used by Galileo and his fol- 
lowers, and by means of which they founded the modem school of 
experimental philosophy. Having done this much, Leopold II. deter- 
mined to raise a monument to his immortal countryman, and to inau- 
gurate it on the occasion of the Italian Association for the advance- 
ment of science assembling at Florence ; and to place in a tribune, de- 
dicated to Galileo, every thing that had been collected relating to him. 
The Museum of Natural History, which contains also the observatory 
and the cabinet of philosophical instruments, and which adjoins the grand 
ducal palace, was selected as the site of this temple to the cause of science 
in the person of its greatest founder. It forms a beautiful tribune, with 
^ magnificent statue of Galileo in the centre, surrounded by niches, in 
'which are placed busts of his pupils, and with presses containing the in- 
struments with which he made his greatest discoveries. Tlie walls are 
inlaid witli marble and jasper, a kind of work for which the Florentine 
artists are so celebrated, and the ceiling painted by the first artists of the 
day, representing diflerent events in the life of the Tuscan philosopher. 
Every thing that art and taste could effect to render the edifice worthy 
<4 its object has been done, and the result has been edndrable. What 

^oHce of the ItaKanScieniiJIc Ae$oeitUim. 191 

. the world does not know geneiallj is'tlie great sacrifice which the Grand 
Duke has made for this monument. I have been Assured that the outUiy 

hitherto (and there still remains something to be done to complete the 
tribune)^ amounts to L.d6j000 Sterling, not including the purchase of the 
manuscripts of Galileo above alluded to-^what an example for more 
powerful sovereigns ! To return to the Congress^ — ^it divided itself into 
iiTe sections^ viz. Agriculture; Medicine; Geology, Mineralogy, and Geo- 
graphy; Natural Philosophy, Mathematics, and Astronomy; Zoology 
and Botany. The sections met at different hours ; those of Agriculture, 
Natural Philosophy, and Medicine being the most numerously attended. 
The Grand Duke and his Duchess attended one or more of the sections 
every day without any state or ceremony. The greatest good humour 
prevailed at all the sections, and I was astonished to witness the gre^t 
facility with which the Italian savans spoke on the most abstruse subjects. 
In the geological section we had some very good papers on Italian geo- 
logy, and several interesting discussions.. I took some part in the latter, 
having, during my former joumeyings in Italy, attended much to the sub- ^ 
ject, and I communicated at the first meeting a brief outline of Boss's 
brilliant discoveries in the Antarctic regions, which created subsequently 
a good deal of interest in Florence. On another occasion I gave a sketch 
of the geology of the And«s, as compared with that of some other moun- 
tain regions, and especially with the Apennines by which we were sur- 
rounded. We had all the best Italian geologiits present, viz. Passini, 
Pareto, Savi^ Sismonda, and Collegno* At our recommendation the 
Grand Duke has consented to found at Florence a Geological Museum, 
to contain a collection from every part of Italy, accompanied with sec- 
tions, maps, and every thing necessary to convey an accurate idea of the 
physical constitution not only of Tuscany, but of every other state of the 
Peninsula. He will pay all expenses and the salaries of curators ; and 
the different geologists will be invited to send duplicates of their collec- 
tions. His highness has consented to found a similar central museum, 
for the vegetable productions of Italy, which will contain an herbarium 

•of its different regions. This generous conduct on the part of Leopold II. 
will give you some idea of the liberality and enlightened views of the 
sovereign of this happy state, who, I may say without exaggeration, 13 

. most sincerely beloved by all classes, from the peasant to the highest 
nobleman in his dominions. Our meetings continued every day, except 

• Sundays, until the 90th, and every one saw their approaching termination 
with regret. We geologists made some very pleasant excursions in th^ 
neighbourhood, and wherever we went, . dinners were prepared for u9 
by the gentry of the vicinity. Towards the dose of the Con^i^ss the 
Grand Duke, who, during its continuance, had invited in parties of twenty 
several of us to his table, gave a grand banquet at one of his villas close 
to Florence (Poggio Imperiale) to the whole Association. The dangerous 
state in which his eldest daughter then was (she died three days after- 
b), pievented his being preieai ; bttt ib» great officersof the household 

192 Notice of the Italian Scientific Association. 

did the honours^ and nearly one thousand persons sat down to dinner in 
the most perfect order. On the Uist day of the meeting a general assembly 
of the Italian members (foreigners not .being allowed to vote) took place 
to fix the place of assembling in 1843, in consequence of the Ex-Empress 
Maria Louisa, who now governs Parma, having refused her sanction to 
the Association going to Parma, as previously agreed upon. Lucca was 
selected, and the Duke of that principality has given his consent. In 
1842 the Association will assemble at Padua, where I think it will meet 
a kind and hospitable reception, although we cannot expect to be treated 
as we have been here ; but Padua, nevertheless, offers many facilities in its 
extensive university, and its environs have many points of attraction for 
tlie geologist in the Euganean hills, and the tertiary deposits of the not 
far distant districts of Verona and Vicenza, whilst I believe that the Aus- 
trian authorities, far from setting their face against the Association, as 
those of Rome and Naples have done, will do every thing to encourage 
it. A medal had been ordered to ^be struck to commemorate the Flo- 
rentine meeting, a copy of which was given at Its close to each of its 
members, in silver to the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries, 
and in bronze to the other members. In addition to this, the Grand Duke 
in his liberality had printed a new and enlarged edition of the acts of the 
Academia del Cimento, and an illustrated description of the Tribune of 
Galileo, of both of which copies were presented to all members not Flo- 
rentine, on going for their passports, and have been given since to many 
of the latter. An account of the proceedings of each day, with a list of 
new members, was printed every morning and sent round to all the «oten- 
zatiy and in a few weeks a large volume will be published containing the 
detailed proceedings of the Association. From France we had M. de 
Blainville for a few days ; from Belgium the king sent a formal mission 
in the person of Professor Morren of Liege, the botanist ; and from Ger- 
many there were the venerable and excellent botanist Link of Berlin, Char- 
pentier, the geologist of the Pyrenees, and of the modem glacier theory. 
Professor Mahlmann of Berlin, Mittermayer of Heidelberg, and others. We 
had also a few Americans, Greeks, and Spaniards, and a Spanish Ameri- 
can medical man. As to Italians, the number would have been greater 
had not the Roman and Neapolitan governments opposed the coming of 
their subjects. Several, however, eluded the prohibition, and amongst 
others Tenore the Neapolitan botanist; as to Austria and Sardinia, every 
facility and encouragement were afforded to those who wished to be pre- 
sent on the occasion. The result of the Florentine meeting has been to 
bring Italians together after a lapse of some centuries, and to give an im- 
pulse to science throughout the peninsula, which, I am persuaded, will 
be attended by very beneficial results. We know what have been the 
good effects of such ambulatory meetings in Germany and Switzerland 
within the present century ; and in Italy, placed as its inhabitants are, 
under different governments, whilst speaking the same language, I thmk 
we are justified in anticipating equally profitable consequences^ ponsider- 

Scientific Intelligence — Metcorelogy. 


ing the genius of the people, their past histofy as regards literature, 
science, and the arts, and the protection of the principal sovereigns, as 
already evinced by those of Austria, Piedmont, and Tuscany. As to the 
ifflmcdiate scientific results of the meeting, several very good papers were 
presented on geology, botany, and zoology, and some very interesting re- 
searches on magnetism and mechanics in the physical section* (^Letter 
from a Correspondent, dated Florence, October 18. 1841.) 



Register of the Weather and Climate of Orhney. By Rev. 
Charles Clouston.* I have kept a register of the weather for the 
last twelve years ; the latter half only in this parish, and the former 
in the manse of Stromness, where there is no great difference in the 
climate. As the temperature and pressure of the atmosphere, the 
direction and force of the wind, with the state of the weather, were 
noted twice a-day, at 10 a.m. and 10 P.M., during all that period ; it 
would occupy too much space to insert the whole of that register 
here ; but the following tables, shewing the mean state of the baro- 
meter and thermometer for each month and year, may be interesting, 
as applicable to Orkney in general, and must be pretty accurate, 
being formed from extensive data. 

TyiBLS shewing the mean monthly and annual height of the barometer, from 1827 
till 1838 inclusive ; the line below shewing the mean of each month during 
that timcy and the mean of the gears. 










































• From this cleigyman's Statistical Account of the parish of Sandwick, 
in Statistical Account of Scotland. 
-vol.* XXXII« NO. LXIII. — ^JAKVART 1842. » 


Scientific Intelligence. — Meteorology. 

Table shewing the mean monthly and annual temperature^ from 1S27 till 1838 
inclusive^ mith the mean temperature of all these twelve years^ which may be 
considered the mean temperature of our climate. 








Aug. 1 Sept 



























38.01 ; 40.26 




56.20 j 54.72 1 52.43 





Of tKo meteors, tbe polar lights are the most remarkable here, 
l^ing often extremely brilliant and beautiful. 

The west or south-west wind is understood to be the strongest, and 
the stone aad lime on that side of a house most exposed to it, are 
genertdlj the first to give way., A gale from that quarter is fre- 
quently prognosticated by the great swell of the sea, which rages even 
during a perfect calm. On this subject I take the liberty of repeat- 
ing an observation which \ have made elsewhere.* ^* This great 
awell* or * sea,' as it is here cajled, generally indicates a storm in a 
distant part of the ocean, which may reach Orkney a day or two af- 
terwards ; hence, on the west coast, this great swell is considered a 
prognostic of west wind. From this we infer, Ist, that the agitation 
caused by the wind on the surface of the ocean travels faster than the 
wind itself; and, 2<i, that the breeze begins to windward, and takes 
some time to reach the pohit towaixls which it proceeds to leaward, 
which tends to overturn the usually received theory as to the cause 
oi' winds. Sometimes, however, the distant storm which causes this 
agitation does not reach these islands at all." In proof of this, I may 
mention, that, in August 1881, from the 9th to the 13th inclusive, 
the great swell of the sea is remarked in my register, every day being 
also marked calm, with the barometer high and steady. Afterwards, 
however, I learnt tliat on the 7th and 8th of that month, thei^ was a 
gale, in latitude 57"^ 21' north, longitude 13° 16' west, which damaged 
a vessel that put back to Strpmness to repair, and on the 11th it be- 
gan at Barbadoes, and devastated that and other West India islands, 
but the gale never reached Orkney, though its effects on the sea were 
so conspicuous. 

Climate — Our insular situation prevents the extremes of tempera- 

' * Guide U> the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, p! 629* 

Scieniific IntelUgence. — MeUorohgjf. 195 

ture that are felt in continents of such a high latitude, the surround- 
ing ocean tempering the heat of summer, and the cold of winter ; so 
that for more than 12 years, the thermometer has only once fallen so 
low as 18** of Fahrenheit, and the snow does not lie so long here as 
in the more inland parts of the south of Scotland, or, I belieye, the 
north of England. Indeed, the mean temperature of every month 
was above the freezing point, except that of February 1838. Our 
mean annual temperature is 46^ 25', and the mean height of the ba- 
rometer 29.640, as will be seen from the annexed tables, but the na- 
ture of our climate will be more correctly understood by comparing 
the mean temperature of each month, as there stated, with that of 
other places. The highest hill commands an extensive view, not only 
of the west mainland, but of part of the north and south isles, and 
from it, and other elevated grounds near the west coast, may be seen 
the hills of Hoy, terminating in stupendous precipices, and, in calm 
and clear weather, those of Sutherland in the distance, stretching 
out towards Cape Wrath, add much to the beauty of the scene ; but 
during a storm from the west it is awfully grand. The huge accu- 
mulations of water that then roll after each other, foaming with ter- 
rible violence to the shore, impress the mind with their irresistible 
power, and might well give a stranger a feeling of insecurity, and 
when they dash themselves against the precipice, it seems half sunk, 
for a time, like a wrecked vessel amid the waves ; sheets of spray are 
thrown far up into the air, and carried over all the country, making 
springs a mile from the coast brackish for some days, and encrusting 
every thing with salt, even fifteen or twenty miles oif. I am told 
by those living a few hundred yards from the spot, that the floors of 
their cottages are shaken by the violence with which the waves strike 
the crags ; and I have seen innumerable sea insects alive on their 
summits, and even a limpet adhering to them after such a storm ; 
also numerous fragments of the slaty stone, some of them a foot long, 
which had been whirled into the air, and had penetrated six inches 
into the soil in falling. 

Our climate, in short, is more remarkable for dampness and storms, 
than for cold ; the atmosphere being often loaded with sea spray In 
winter, and moistened with the constant evaporation in summer. 
Pulmonary and rheumatic complaints seem to be prevalent, owing te 
this peculiarity of the climate; and on our sudden, and frequent 
changes of weather, some cases of cramp may also be ascribed to the 
dampness ; and a neighbouring clergyman, who is afflicted with loss 
of voice, has, more than once, been immediately cured by the air of 
Edinburgh. Dyspeptic complaints are very common among the pea- 
santry, but they are probably caused by poor diet. 

19d Scientific Intelligence— Zoology. 

Electrical Light on BayoneU^ ^c-^An officer of the Algerian 
armjy sent a note relative to certain unasual phenomena of electricity 
obsenred in Africa. During a violent storm on the 25th of Septem- 
ber 1840, he had observed that the arms of the men, when piled in 
stands, exhibited no symptoms of the electric fluid playing about 
them ; but when the men carried them, the points of the bayonets 
were strongly luminous, not, however, giving out any sparks. The 
drops of rain that fell during the storm on the beards and mustachios 
of the men, remained hanging fi-om them in a state of phosphores- 
cence. When the hair was wiped, the phenomenon ceased ; but was 
renewed the moment any fresh drops fell on it — Literary Gazette^ 
No. 1269. 


" On the Corpuscles of the Bloods — ^By Martin Barry, M.D.^ 
F.B.SS. L. and E.* 

. After remarking that no clear conception has hitherto existed of 
the mode in which the floating corpuscles of the blood conduce to 
nourishment, the author states that he has found every structure he 
has examined to arise out of corpuscles having the same appearance 
as the corpuscles of the blood. The following are the tissues which 
he has submitted to actual observation, and which have given the 
above result, namely, the cellular, the nervous, and the muscular ; 
besides cartilage, the coats of blood-vessels, several membranes, the 
tables and cells of the epithelium, the pigmentum nigrum, the ciliary 
processes, the crystalline lens itself, and even the spermatozoon and 
the ovum. 

The author then traces the nucleus of the blood-corpuscle into the 
pus-gobule ; showing that every stage in the transition presents a 
definite figure. The formation of the pus-globule out of the nucleus 
of the blood-corpuscle is referable to the same process, essentially, as 
that by means of which the germinal spot comes to fill the germinal 
vesicle in the ovum. This process, which, in a former memoir, he 
had traced in the corpuscles of the blood, he now shews to be uni- 
versal, and nowhere more obvious than .in the reproduction of tlie 
tables of the epithelium. The epithelium -cylinder seems to be con- 
stituted, not by coalescence of two objects previously single, as has 

* The Memoir of which the above is a notice, was read before the Bo^al 
Society of London in June 1841. 

Seiemiifie IntdUgenee^Zoohgy^ 197 

been supposed, but bj division of a pretiously single object. Certain 
objects, called b j the author prtmttttM duct, exhibit an inherent con* 
tractile power, both when isolated, and when forming parts of a larger 
object; an incipi^it epithelium-cylinder having been observed by 
him to revolve by this means. Molecular motions are sometimes 
discernible within corpuscles of the blood. The author has noticed 
young blood-corpuscles, exhibiting motions, comparable to the mole- 
cular, and moving through a considerable space; and he has met 
with the nuclei of blood-corpuscles endowed with cilia, revolving and 
performing locomotion. In his first paper on the Corpuscles of the 
Blood, he described certain instantaneous changes in form which he 
had observed in blood-corpuscles» and afterwards expressed his belief, 
that these changes were referable to contiguous cilia, although he 
had not been able to discern any such cilia. He now states that 
subsequent observation inclines him to think that these changes in 
form arise from some inherent power, distinct from the motions oc- 
casioned by cilia. The primitive disc, just mentioned, seems to cor- 
respond, in some instances, with the "cytoblasf* of Schleiden. Thus 
the very young corpuscle of the blood is a mere disc ; but the older 
corpuscle is a cell. The author minutely describes the mode of origin 
of the pigmentum nigrum ; shewing that it arises in a similar man- 
ner in the tail of the tadpole, and in the choroid coat of the eye. He 
had before described the Graafian vesicle as formed by the addition 
of a covering to the previously-existing ovisac : this covering, he 
afterwards stated, becomes the corpus luteum. He now confirms 
these observations, with the addition, that it is the blood-corpuscles 
entering into the formation of the covering of the ovisac, which give 
origin to the corpus luteum. The spermatozoon appears to be com- 
posed of a few coalesced discs. The fibres of the crystalline lens are 
not elongated cells, as supposed by Schwann ; but coalesced cells, at 
first arranged in the same manner as beads in a necklace. 

. The author concludes with the following recapitulation :-— 1. The 
nucleus of the corpuscle of the blood admits of being traced into the 
pus-globule. 2. The various structures arise out of corpul^cles hav- 
ing the same appearance, form, and size as corpuscles of the blood. 
3. The corpuscles having this appearance, and giving origin to struc- 
tures, are propagated by division of their nuclei. 4. The corpuscles 
of the blood, also, are propagated by division of their nuclei.^ 5. Tho 
minuteness of the young blood-corpuscles is sometimes extreme ; and 
they are to be found in parts usually considered as not being per- 
meable by red blood. 

198 adenHfic InteUigence—Geologtf. 

In a postscript, the author adds, that blood found in the heart im- 
mediately after death by bleeding, presents incessant alterations in 
the position of its corpuscles. Among these, when a single corpuscle 
is examined very attentively, it is seen to change its form ; and the 
author is disposed to think it is this change gf form that produces 
the alterations in position. The changes in form are slight, compared 
with those previously described by him as observed in blood else- 
where, and are not seen without close attention. The motions re- 
semble those called molecular ; and in the minutest corpuscles, which 
are mere points, nothing besides molecular motion can be discerned. 
It may be a question, the author thinks, whether molecular motion 
differs in its nature from the motion of the larger corpuscles just 
referred to. The division of the blood-corpuscles into corpuscles of 
minuter size, though apparent in blood from either side of the heart, 
has seemed more general in that from the left side ; which, it is sug- 
gested, is perhaps deserving of notice in tsonnection with the subject' 
of respiration, 


Bemarks on the Freezing of Water.r^'Bj Professor KBtBS of 
Gotha.* — On a previous occasion I had an opportunity of repeating 
Professor August's observation on the freezing and non*freezing of 
water in vacuo,i by means of a beautiful double water hammer which 
our cabinet received from the collection of Duke Ernest II. This 
instrument had remained many winters quietly hanging in a shut-up 
cabinet, but, in the severe winter of 1829-30, it was unfortunately 
frozen in two, and the ice and water fell out ; so that I had no op- 
portunity of remarking the nature of the former. I cannot say what 
temperature caused this to take place ; for, as my house is not in 
communication with the collection of instruments, several days often 
elapse without my visiting it. 

I had at another time an opportunity of making an interesting ob- 
servation on the freezing of water in the case of an electric light 
apparatus, which, during a very cold night, had stood not far from 
the window of a cold room which was never heated. The fine glass 
ball, about eight inches in diameter, was entirely filled with water, 
and I imagined that by the morning it would certainly be broken in 
two. But, on the contrary, it was entire^ and the water perfectly 
pure and liquid. I opened carefully the cock, and allowed some 
water to escape, so as to provide space for expansion when the re- 

• From Poggendorfs Annalen. 1841. No. 4. 't lb. vol. lii. p. 184. 

Scientific InteUigence — Arts. 199 

maining irater should freeze. I then took tlie bftU^ cautiously be- 
tween mj hands, and carried it slowly into the neighbouring warm 
room. I had scarcely entered it when a portion became frozen, and 
the whole was filled with a multitude of small icy needles. Here, • 
then, the slight movement, notwithstanding the warmth of my hands 
and of the air of the room, was sufficient to cause the freezing, inas- 
much as the requisite expansion of the water now met with no ob- 
stacle. It seems probable that the resistance of the glass when the 
globe was full, prevented the freezing during the night. 

It appears to me a circumstance worth noticing in the observation 
of Professor August, that the ice in the broken tube was entirely 
free from bubbles. This does not agree witli tlie observation of 
Lichtenberg, who allowed water to freeze in vacuo under an air-pump, 
having as much as possible removed all air from it by boiling and ex- 
hausting, and, instead of solid ice, obtained a frozen froth-like mass 
(Erzleben Naturlehre, 6th edition, p. 361.) This matter deservqs 
the more to bo further investigated, because, according to the obser- 
vations of Hugi {Naiurkistorische Alpenreise, p. 224), during the 
melting of ice, the bubbles did not give the smallest vesicles of air, 
and therefore could not, as Professor August supposes, be attributed 
to the absorbed air.* 


New Musical Instrument. — In a very recent report given in to the 
Academy of Sciences by a joint commission of that body and the Aca- 
demy of the Fine Arts,t there are the following remarks by M. Se- 
guier the reporter >-^The commission are most anxious to assure to 
M. Isoard, an artist so worthy of commendation for his knowledge of 
acoustics, and for his perseverance in applying it to useful purposes, 
the honour and the fruits of the invention of his new method of pro- 
ducing sounds. It is not to a lucky accident that his invention is to 
be ascribed ; in its present state so remarkable, it is yet, we hope, 

* In Hagi's Travels, there are interesting details regarding the structure 
of glacier ice. The occurrence, in ice, of the geometrical, granular, tabular, 
concentric, stratified (both kinds), jointed, and venigenous structures, need 
excite no surprise, when ve recollect that ice is a mineral, and consequently 
c^»ablo of taking on the structures observable in the more solid mineral 
masses of which the earth is composed* — Editor. 

t This commission consisted of the following distinguished individuals, 
\iz. MM. Cherubini, Berton, Hal^vy, Carafa, and Spontini, of the Academy 
of the Fine Arts ; and MM. Arago, Puissant, Becquerel, Dutrochet, Ponce- 
let» Pouillety and Seguier, of the Academy of Sciences, 

^00 Scientific InteUigenee—Aria. 

destined to produce the most powerful musical effects. A mechani- 
cian by profession, being a manufacturer of steam-engines in the es- 
tablishment of Chaillot, M. Isoai*d was led bj an irresistible fondness 
for music to attend the lectures of M. Savart, and it is from that rich 
source of information that he has derived his knowledge of the theory 
of vibrations ; and from listening to these fertile instructions on the 
application of such theoretical views that he has deduced the possibi- 
lity of impressing on a string powerful vibrations, causing it to per- 
form the part of the reed of a wind-instrument. The novelty of the 
contrivance excited the surprise of the professor, and the extent to 
which it might be carried immediately struck his acute perception. 
The ingenious artizan, who had been his assiduous and attentive 
pupil^ became his friend ; and I recollect with pleasure having been 
admitted by M. Savart to partake in his sympathies, and more than 
once I was a witness of the warm interest with which he was inspired 
by the undaunted mechanician who, in the pursuit of his object, aban- 
doned the sure resources of his profession, sacrificed every thing he 
had acquired by his toil, and sold piece by piece his fuimiture and 
even his tools. The talented professor of acoustics warned his pupil 
of all the difficulties of his undertaking ; and it is only now after ten 
years of constant and expensive experiments, that he presents the 
feeble but interesting specimen of the effects which will one day be 
produced by the application of the new method of producing sounds. 
To convert the ordinary vibration of the string of a piano into a 
powerful sound of a wind instrument, alt that M. Isoard does is to 
place under the strings a moveable case, divided into as many com- 
partments as there are different strings which he wishes to cause to 
vibrate. Each compartment communicates with a common poit-vent 
by means of a valve. The air, compressed by double bellows, is 
stored in a special magazine ; and it is admitted at the proper time 
into each compartment by means of the opening of the valve upon 
touching the key. The emission of the air, thus introduced for the 
purpose of continuing and augmenting the vibration of tlie string, 
takes place through a longitudinal slit in which the string may be in- 
serted at will. We say intentionally, that the string stmck by the 
air continues to vibrate; for M. Isoard, like his predecessors in 1790, 
has had to contend with the slowness with which certain strings com- 
mence their vibration ; like them he has been able to triumph over 
the obstacle, but by a very difiPerent means. The much more simple 
mechanism of the hammer which strikes the string, has been preferred 
by him to the very ingenious but very complicated apparatus which 
rubs the string in order to cause its vibration to commence* 

Lift of Patents. 201 

7h6 choice of the hammer is happy, because it affords M. Isoard 
the real advantage of restoring to his strings their original sound ; 
by lowering the moYeable case, the string being struck when out of 
the slit where it receives the action of the air, emits only the sound 
of the piano. He can then, by means of a simple pedal, which raises 
or depresses the air-case at pleasure, suddenly change the nature of 
the sound of the instrument, and this power offers numerous resources 
for varying the musical effects. By dividing the air-case into several 
portions separately moveable, each including an octave, it would be 
easy to combine the two kinds of sounds ; for example, the sound of 
the piano might be retained for the high strings, and that of the reeds 
given to the low strings, or vice versa. 

The poverty of the artist has prevented him from presenting to 
you his work realized according to his designs, and he has been obliged 
to submit it attached to a very poor piano. He regrets exceedingly 
being unable to allow you to hear a much more powerful instrument, 
but he feels confident that in the rudiments of so incomplete a speci- 
men, your sagacity will recognise its fundamental principlc-^Conipte^ 
Bendus, vol. xiii. p. 969.) 

List of Patents granted for Scotland from 22d September to 
22d December 1841. 

1. To Thomas GoaB of lianchester, in the county of Lancaster, machine- 
maker, << certain improvements in machinery or apparatus for roving, spin- 
ning, and doubling cotton, silk, wool, and other fibrous materials/'— -24th 
September 1841. 

2. To James WaHren of Montague Terrace, Mile End Koad, in the 
cottHtf of Middlesex, gentleman, *'an improved machine for making screws.'' 
—30th Se^mber 1841. 

3. To Georob Enoland of Westbury, in the county of Wilts, clothier, 
** improvements in weaving woollens and other fabrics, and for twisting, 
spooling, and warping woollen and other fabrics ; also for improvements in 
the manufacture of woollen doe-skins." — 30th September 1841. 

4. To William Chubch of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick, gen- 
tleman, *' certain improvements in hooks and eyes, and in machinery for 
manufacturing the same." — 4th October 1841. 

&» To Joseph Miller of Monastry Cottage, East India Bead, in the 

county of Middlesex, engineer, '' an improved arrangement and combination 

of certain parts of steam-engines used for steam navigation." — 8th October 


€. To John Yablet of No. 3 Bayswater TexracO; Bayswater, in the 


202 List of Patents. 

county of Middletex, artiit^ "an improTement in carriageft.*'-«lUh Octo- 
ber 1641. 

7* To John Babwisb of Saint Martin's Lanoxin the connty of Middlesex, 
chronometer maker, and Alexander Bun of Wigmore Street, in the said 
county of Middlesex, mechanist, ^' improvements in the application of mov- 
ing power to clocks and time-pieces." — 16th October 1841. 

8. To "William Craig^ engineer, Bobert Jabvib, rope-maker, and 
James Jarvie, rope-maker, all of Glasgow, in the kingdom of Scotland, 
'* certain improvements in machinery for preparing and spinning hemp, flax, 
wool, and other fibrous materials." — 19th October 1841. 

9. To William Edward Newton, of the office for Patents, 66 Chancery 
Lane, in the county of Middlesex, civil engineer, being a communication 
from abroad, '' certain improvements in the manufacture of fuel." — 19th Oc- 
tober 1841. 

10. To Floridb Heindriickx of Fenchurch Street, in the city of Lon- 
don, engineer, '' certain improvements in the construction and arrangement 
of fire-places and furnaces applicable to various useful purposes." — ^20th Oc- 
tober 1841. 

U. To Joseph Wright of Garisbrook, Isle of Wight, mechanic, " im- 
provements in apparatus used for dragging or skidding wheels of wheeled- 
carriages."— 27th October 1841. 

12. To BoBHRT LooAN of Blackheath, in the county of Kent, Esquire, 
'' improvements in obtaining and preparing the fibres and other products of 
the cocoa nut and its husk."— 27th October 1811. 

13. To Joseph Chisild Dakiel of Tiverton Mills, near Bath, "improve- 
ments in the manufacture of manure, or composition to be used on land as 
manure."—27th October 1841. 

14. To Alprbd Jbfpbet, late of Prospect Place, New Hampton, in the 
county of Middlesex, and now of Lloyd Street, Pentonville, in the same 
county, '* a new method of defending the sheathing of ships and protecting 
their sides and bottoms." — 27th October 1841. 

16. To William Neilson, builder, residing in Glasgow, and David Lyon, 
builder, residing in Tradeston of Glai^ow, both in the county of Lanark, and 
Peter M'Onib, engineer, residing in Kinning Place, Glasgow, in the county 
of Renfrew, all in Scotland, " a mode or modes of, or an improvement or im- 
provements in, cutting, dressing, preparing, and polishing stones, marble, 
and other substances, and also in forming flat or rounded mouldings and 
other figures thereon."— 29th October 1841. 

16. To James Whttelaw of Glasgow, in the county of Lanark, aAd 
James Stirrat of Paisley, in the county of Renfrew, manufacturer, « im- 
provements in rotary machines to be worked by water."— 3d November 1841. 

17. To Martyn John Roberts of Brynycaeran, in the county of Caer- 
marthen, gentleman, and William Brown of the city of Glasgow, merchant, 
« improvements in the process of dyeing vanoud matters, whether the raw 

List of Patents. TfXR 

malorial of wool, silk, flax, hemp^ cotton^ (Mr other similor fibroiDB substaaoes, 
or the same substances in any stage of manufacture, and in the preparation 
of pigments or painters' colors."— 10th November 1841. 

18. To John Annbs of Plymouth, in the county of Devon, painter, '* a 
new and improved method of making paint from materials not before used 
for that purpose." — 12th November 1841, 

19. To William Palmer of Sutton Street, Clerkenwell,in the county of 
Middlesex, manufacturer, being a communication from abroad, and partly by 
invention of his own, " improvements in the manufacture of condlds.*'— 
17th November 1841. 

20. To Qbobob Bbnt Ollivant and Adam Howabd, of Manchester, 
mill-wrights, *^ certain improvements in cylindrical printing machinery, for 
printing calicoes and other fabrics, and the apparatus connected therewith, 
which is also applicable to other useful purposes.''*— 17th November 184 1< 

21. To John Steward of Wolverhampton, in the county of Stafford, Esq., 
'* certain improvements in the construction of pianofortes." — 22d November 

22. To George Lowe of Finsbury Circus, in the city of London, civil 
engineer, " improved methods of supplying gas under certain circumstances, 
and of improving its purity and illuminating power."— 24th November 1841. 

23. To William Edward Newton, of the office for patents, 68 Chan- 
cery Lane, in the county of Middlesex, civil-engineer, being a communica- 
tion from abroad, ^ certain improvements in the production of ammonia."— 
1st December 1841. 

24. To James Balderston of Paisley, in the county of Renfrew, Qianu- 
facturcr, " certain improvements in machinery, or apparatus for doubling, 
twisting, twining, and finishing cotton and other fibrous substances." — 7th 
December 1841. 

25. To James Colman of Stoke, Holy Cross, in the county of Norfolk, 
starch-manufacturer, " improvements in the manufacture of starch." — 10th 
December 1841. 

26. To Alexander Parkes of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick 
artist, ** certain improvements in the production of works of ajrt in metal by 
electric deposition." — 10th December 1841. 

27. To William Irving of Prince's Street, Rotherhfthe, in the county 
Surrey, gentleman, '' improvements in the manufacture of bricks and tiles." 
—10th December 1841. 

28. To George Hickes of Huddersfield, in the county of York, agent, 
" an improved machine for cleaning or freeing wool and other fibrous mate- 
rials, of burs and other extraneous substances." — 10th December 1841. 

29. To Joseph Needham Tayler of Devonport,in the county of Devon, 
a post-captain in Her Majesty's Navy, '* a certain method or certain me- 
thods of abating or lessening the shock or force of the waves of the ocean, 
lakes, or rivers, and of reducing them to the comparatively harmless state 
known by the term, '* broken water," and thereby preventing the injury done to 

204 LUt of Patents. v 

and increasing the durability of, breakwaters, mole-headi, piers, foitifications, 
lighthouses, docks,, wharfs, landing-places, embankments, bridges, or pontoon 
bridges, and also of adding to the security and defenco of harbours, road- 
steads, anchorages, and other places exposed to the violent action of the 
waves."— nth December 1841. 

30. To BoBEBT Holt of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, cotton 
spinner, and Robinson Jackson of Manchester, aforesaid, engineer, ^ cer- 
tain improvements in machinRy or apparatus for the production of rotary 
motion for obtaining mechanical |>ower, which said improvements are also 
applicable for raising and impelling fluids,*' — Tlth December 1841. 

SI. To William Hill Darkbk senior, and William Hill Darker 
junior, both of Lambeth, in the county of Surrey, engineers, and William 
Wood of Wilton, in the county T>f Wilts, carpet-manufacturer, ^ certain im- 
provements in looms for weaving." — 14th Deoember 1841. 

33. To Archibald Tbmplbton of Lancaster, in the county of Lancaster, 
silk-spinner, '' a new or improved method of preparing for spinning, silk and 
other fibrouB materials.'' — 16th December 1841. 

33. To James Collby March of Barnstable, in the county of Devon, sur- 
geon, '' certain improved means of producing heat from the combustion of 
pertain kinds of fuek"— 16th December 1841. 

34. To Christopher Dumont of Ment2, in the kingdom'of Germany, but 
now residing at Mark Lane, in the city of London, gentleman, being a com- 
mnnicatioa from abroad, ** improvements in the manufacture of metallic 
letteiB, figures, and other devices.''— 16th December 1841. 

35. To Morris West Ruthvbn of Rotherham, in the county of York, 
engineer, *' a new mode of encreasing the power of certain media when 
acted upon by rotary fans or other similar apparatus." — 16th December 1841. 

36. To Hbnrt Augustus Wells of Begent Street, in the county of 
Middlesex, gentleman, being a communication from abroad, '' improvements 
in machinery for driving piles." — 17th December 1841. 

37. To Henrt Booth of Liveipool, Esq., *' improvements in the method 
of propelling vessels through water."—- 17th December 1841. 

38. To John Hall of Breezes Hill, Ratcliff Highway, in the county of 
Middlesex, sugar-fefiner, ** improvements in the construction of boilers for 
generating steam, and in the application of steam to mechanical power.*' — 
17th December 184L 

39. To Hbnrt Browne of Codnor Park Iron Works, in the county of 
Derby, iron manufacturer, '* improvements in the manufacture of steeL"— 
18th December 1841. 

40. To William Newton of the office for patents, 66 Chancery Lane, 
in the county of Middlesex, civil engineer, being a communication from 
abroad, ** certain improvements in engines to be worked b/.gas, vapour, or 
steam."— 20th Deoember 1841. 



On the Geological Investigations and Writings of Baron Alex- 
ander ton Humboldt. By the late Professor Frederick 
HoFFUAKN of Berlin, 

Alexander von Humboldt attended the Mining Academy 
of Freyberg simultaneously with Leopold von Buch, and, like 
him, he not only fully adopted Werner's views, but also en- 
deavoured to disseminate and confirm them by his own per- 
sonal obsei:vations. After finishing his studies,* his first years 
were devoted to mining, and from 1795 to 1797 he was Ober- 
Bergmeister (Superior Director of the Mines) in the FichteU 
gebirge. Among the geognostical investigations which he 
prosecuted at that period of his life, the discoveries regarding 
the magnetic properties of certain mountain rocks are remark- 
able, and more especially his examination of the magnetism of 
the serpentine of the Heidberg near Zell, which attracted the 
attention of naturalists. He afterwards made his first journey 
in the Alps along with Von Buch, and then accompanied him 

* Baxon Humboldt was bom at Berlin on the 14th September 1709, and 
studied at Qottingen and Frankfort on the Oder. He also received instruc- 
tions from Btisch at the Commercial Academy of Hamburgh and in 1790 he 
made a journey^ in company with O. Forster, to the Bhine^ Holland^ and 
England. The first essay by him with which we are acquainted, is an in- 
genious dissertation on the basalts of the Bhine^ dedicated to Forster, and 
published at Brunswick in 1790. It is entitled Mmercikgiiche Beohaohfrngexk 
iiber eimge Bascdte am Rhein* Bdit. 

VOL. XXXII. NO. LXIV. — APRIL 1842. t 

206 Professor HofiPmann on the Geological 

and Gay-Lussac to Vesuvius. We find, however, that compa- 
ratively little was then done by him in the way of special 
geognostical observations, for he was occupied to a much 
greater extent with the general consideration of the natural 
sciences connected with physical geography, and no subject 
of this description escaped him. No one has succeeded in so 
high a degree as he has done, in mastering and extending all 
the branches of that science. Soon after he had an opportu- 
nity of personally studying nature, he was attracted by Geo- 
gnosy, and more especially by some of the more important 
problems which are of the greatest moment for enabling us to 
form an opinion regarding the relations of our globe at the 
earlier periods of its existence. 

The subject which chiefly occupied his attention, was the 
change of climate which the earth must have undergone du- 
ring the periQds that preceded our epoch. It is well known, 
that, in the different layers composing the crost of the globe, 
there occur remains of races of animals and vegetables which 
have successively existed and become extinct ; and that their 
forms correspond most nearly with the species of tropical 
climates, their whole organisation proving that ^ere alone 
they could flourish. We do not yet know over what extent 
of our earth these primeval organisms were distributed, but 
of this much we are certain, that many of them are met with 
in comparatively very high latitudes, in the temperate zone, 
and near the Polar regions, where they never could have 
flourished if the climate had not at that time been very simi- 
lar to that of the tropical zone at the present day. 

Various attempts have been made to explain this remark- 
able phenomenon in a manner consistent with nature ; and, as 
the distribution of heat on the earth'^s surface depends on the 
elevation which the sun attains above the horizon at each 
place, it has been assumed fipom an early period, in order to 
resolve the problem, that there formerly subsisted quite a differ- 
ent relation from the present one, as regards the position of the 
earth in reference to that of the sun. Instead of the plane of 
the ecliptic (the course of the earth round the sun) being, as 
ut present, inclined at an angle of about 23^"" to the plane of 

Invest^uHon^ and JFritingH of Baron Humboldt. 207 

the equator (whence it follows that it is only at places which 
are within the distance of 23^^"' from the equator that the sun ac- 
quires a perpendicular position, and can exercise its greatest 
heating power), it was assumed that the reciprocal inclination 
of the two planes had formerly been different. It might of 
course have been either greater or smaller, and consequently 
two extreme oases are possible, which serve as the explanation 
of all the remaining intermediate ones. The planes of the 
ecliptic and the equator could either at one time have been 
perpendicular to each other, or they could have been identical. 
In the first case the sun would stand perpendicularly over 
each point of the earth's surface successively, and twice a year, 
and it would do so over the poles themselves, and would thus 
produce at each point a tropical summer ; butit would also* 
upon the same supposition, not rise at all during a certain 
period of the year at any part of the earth^s surface, except 
only at the equator. All these places therefore would have si- 
midtaneously a more or less continued real polar winter. Thus 
this division of the seasons woidd by no means correspond with 
the nature of our tropical climates. But, supposing that the 
plane of the ecliptic was the same with that of the equator 
(as was considered probable by the ancients, who thought that 
this cause had produced the condition of perpetual spring 
which they supposed to have primarily existed), we would of 
course have had the sun visible at the equator from all points 
of the surface of the earth ; day and night would thus have 
been of equal length in all portions of the earth (with the 
exception of the poles, where there would have been perpetual 
twilight), and every distinction of season would have ceased. 
Under such circumstances the sun with us would never rise 
Ugher than 37^"^ above the horizon, while at present it rises 
to 61° in summer ; we should throughout the whole year have 
the low temperature of our equinoctial periods, the more 
northern localities would be constantly dreary, and, even in 
the tropical zone, its products would flourish at comparatively 
much smaller distances from the equator than at present. 

Hence it is clear that the climate of earlier periods cannot 
be explained by an altered position of the sun in relation to 
the earth* The assumption of such a change of position is so 

208 Professor Hofiinaixn on the Geological 

much the more daring, inasmnch as astronomical reasons also 
are much against its probability ; for, if a certain alteration in 
the obliquity of the ecliptic has really taken place. La Place 
has pi'oyed that it was confined within fixed and periodically 
recurring limits, which he, agreeing with De Lambre, believed 
he might assume to be about 1^ 29'. Another supposition 
which has been advanced to explain this problem is just as 
inadmissible, that the axis of rotation of the globe has been 
changed by a sudden shock ; for that such alterations cannot 
have been of magnitude, at least since the time when our 
earth was consolidated, is proved by the flattened form at the 

A. von Humboldt believed, therefore, that in order to solve 
this problem, we must proceed from quite another basis, and 
he developed his ideas in an important paper on the disen- 
gagement of Caloric considered as a geognostical phenomenon. 
(Ueber die Enthindung des IFdrmestoffs als Geognostisches 
Phdnomen beirachtet*) He directed attention to the fact, 
that the original deposition of mighty mountain masses pre- 
supposes the evolution of a large quantity of free caloric ; for 
a body cannot pass from a state of solution into that of com- 
pactness, without at the same time losing a certain quantity 
of its heat, -which was necessary to preserve it in its previous 
condition. This heat set free must naturally have been com- 
municated to the nearest strata of the atmosphere. In 
his elucidations he proceeds from the fundamental principle, 
that all portions of the earth must have been dissolved in a 
common chaotic menstruum, whether that was in a liquid 
or an elastic (gaseous) condition. The first precipitation 
(produced by unknown causes) being regarded as given, 
had, by the consolidation of large masses, produced a consi- 
derable development of heat ; this heat caused evaporation, 
and consequently a diminution of the volume of the liquid 
resting upon consolidated mass. Bepeated precipitations 
were the result ; with each of these the temperature was at 
the same time elevated ; in fact, they would have continued 
to go on with constantly increasing rapidity, had not the ac- 

* Von MoU's Jahrhmh der Berg^wid'HiittenkuncU, iii. p. 1—15, 1799* 

InvesHffaiions and fTritings of Baron HumboldL 209 

tire eTaporation filled the atmosphere with vapours of the 
most varied description. In this ^way it exerciscfd a much 
greater pressure on the closely covered solution than pre- 
viously, and hindered its rapid vaporisation; the solution 
must have acquired a greater heat ere new precipitates could 
be produced, and the separation of its constituents must have 
taken place more slowly. By this supposition was explained, 
in a very ingenious manner, the highly crystalline condition of 
the older rocks, which were formed at a lower temperature, 
and the more earthy, imperfectly crystalline aspect of all 
newer formations, which were separated more rapidly at a 
higher temperature. The heat arising from these events 
must for some time have produced, at all parts of the earth's 
surface, a climate similar to a tropical one, which disappeared 
so soon as the heat developed was lost by radiation and dis- 
persion in space, and remained only for that portion of the 
surface in which the position of the sun rendered possible the 
continuance of a considerable development of heat. 

This able view has this great advantage, that we do not 
require, as in those mentioned above, to introduce violent 
means for explsdning the phenomena. Farther, it agrees 
extremely well with the known laws of the phenomena of 
nature, as these are exhibited in fluid bodies when they pass , 
into the solid state ; and this is certainly a great recommenda- 
tion. However, we can, by a general consideration of the 
phenomena presented by nature, very easily convince our- 
selves that it is not suflEicient as an explanation in the manner 
just described. It is certain that the greater portion of the 
deposits which resulted from the general mass of water at the 
different periods of the formation of the crust of the earth, 
and which furnished the stratified rocks, were more of a me- 
chanical than a chemical nature. The immensely extensive 
formations of sandstone and conglomerate are composed of 
parts which were formerly suspended and not dissolved in the 
water. The masses of clay belonging to them, the clayslates, 
the slate clays of the coal formation, the slaty clays of the 
newer sandstones* are evidently chiefly the result of the de- 
struction of the previously existing very felspathic older rocks, 
which,l)y decomposition, are partially converted into masses of 

210 Professor Hofimann on the Geologietd 

clay bef(»re oar eyes. It is only in a scattered and isolated manner 
that we find in them traces of chemical action in the siliceous 
nature of the uniting basis, or in the crystalline-granular de^ 
posits of quartz. The originally chemical formation of a large 
portion of the mountain masses of limestone is more probable, 
because that rock is deposited at present in a similar way 
from solutions in carbonated waters ; nevertheless, very many 
of them also, such a^i the limestones rendered impure hj clay, 
resemble so perfectly the strata deposited by mechanical 
agency, that we cannot avoid regarding them as ffnmed in a 
similar manner. We thus find, therefore, that the deposits 
produced in a chemical way are reduced to comparatively a 
very small portion of the crust of our globe, and these can 
have contributed but little to the elevation of the tempera- 
ture of the ancient world i for, a more close investigation 
proves that these, as well as all other deposits, at least all the 
finer mechanical deposits, must have been formed very gra- 
dually, and during very long periods. The occurrence of re- 
mains of plants and animals in the strata of the crust of the globe 
affords incontrovertible evidence on this head ; thus we generally 
find in limestone rocks the shells and zoophytes in whole beds 
together, and in all periods of life next one another ; we find 
also broods of shells in the cavities of coral reefs, pholades in 
the hollows bored by themselves, and all these contained in 
regular strata. Hence, undoubtedly, a very long period must 
have elapsed while these strata were in the course of being 
deposited, and while they enveloped throughout a long time 
the bodies of animals of many successive generations, which 
had existed in a state of undisturbed development. Thus, also, 
the rocks of the coal formation contain in certain strata, in the 
greatest abundance, the products of a vegetation contempo- 
raneous with themselves, in a full grown state; colossal, and 
partly upright trees, must thus have had to perfect their growth 
previous to the deposition of the clays in which we find their 
individual portions at present enveloped. Hence it appears, 
that, though we should admit in its fullest extent the che- 
mical mode of formation of rocky strata, yet the influence of 
the heat developed by deposits can have been of very little 

InvestiffaHons and Writings of Baron Humboldt. 2 11 

But another consideration comes here to be taken into ac- 
count. When Humboldt elucidated the above view, he as - 
sumed the fondamental principles of Werner, that all the older 
crystalline rocks, such as granite, had been likewise produced 
by deposition from water ; but we now know that these could 
not have been formed by the action of water, and we have thus 
to separate such substances from the series. As, however, these 
rocks have been produced by volcanic action, although we lose 
them as a support of the theory by precipitation, there is opened 
to us another and more poweri^l source of heat, arising from the 
eruption of large masses of burning matter, and from the dis- 
engagement of their accompanying hot vapours. These phe- 
nomena have, at different periods of the history of the earth, 
included at one and the same time a space of many thousand 
square miles; and hence, in recent times, it has become a pro- 
bable opinion that the uniformly elevated temperature of the 
ancient world is to be ascribed to the much more vigorous 
activity of volcanic agency ; nay, even Humboldt himself has 
been one of the first to express openly this belief, and to argue 
in its favour. In the year 1823 he treats of this view in an 
extremely beautiful memoir on the structure and mode of 
action of volcanos. 

This last opinion as to the causes of the higher temperature 
which prevailed over the ancient surface of our globe, ap- 
proaches the remarkable hypothesis of Buffon ; and it cannot 
be denied that it is much more capable of explaining the phe- 
nomena in question. Nevertheless, there is one fact which 
has hitherto defied all attempts to include it in this solu- 
tion of the problem. After the heat and the general character 
of the tropical climate had existed for an unlimited period, 
over a large portion of the earth'^s surface, it must have ter- 
minated by some suddenly occurring event. It is well known 
that the elephants, bufiklos, and rhinoceroses which at one pe- 
riod inhabited Siberia, and some quarters of North America, 
and especially the banks of the Wilui and Lena, were, with 
their soft parts, enveloped by the ice in which they are now 
found. Hence, at a certain time, when they were living in 
full vigour and tranquillity, they must have been surprised by 
the inconceivably sudden occurrence of a cold approachmg 

213 Professor Hoffmann on the Geological . 

nearly that which prevails at the present day in these regions 
The same thing is indicated by the beds of shells and corals, 
and by the vegetable forms, which are found in the newest 
strata of the tertiary series ; for even their forms belong to a 
tropical world, and they are preserved with as much fresbness 
and integrity in their most delicate portions, as if they had 
been destroyed at the period of their fullest perfection, by a 
change of climate which they could not resist, at the last re- 
volution which has affected our earth. 

This suddenness of the change is not taken into account by 
Humboldt, in h|s suppositions regarding the causes of the al- 
teration of temperature. According to his view, a successive 
diminution of the previously existing higher temperature, pro- 
duced by the gradual disappearance of the quantity of heat 
communicated to the atmosphere, must have taken place, and 
the products of a tropical climate must gradually have been 
incommoded and enfeebled, and have been replaced by such 
products as correspond with the present arrangement of the 
climate. The largest portion of the former would have been 
extinct, and, at least in so far as regards the more delicate 
forms, destroyed, long before they were covered by the super- 
imposed strata. But there is no trace in the strata of the crust 
of the globe of such a gradual diminution of fitness for cer- 
tain forms, or of such a mingling of the products of the tropi- 
cal climate with those of the present distribution of the heat 
of the surface of the earth. Both races, that of the newest, 
and that of the immediately preceding ancient period, are 
sharply separated from each other ; and hence, also, one of the 
greatest naturalists of our time who has devoted himself to 
this subject, Cuvier,* has laid especial weight on this sudden 
occurrence of the last of the revolutions which have taken 
place on the surface of our earth. We thus at once perceive, 
that all attempts to explain this wonderful fact have been un- 
satisfactory, and that it must still be reserved for the future, 
as a problem of extreme importance, in the knowledge of the 
various events in the formation of our earth's crust. 

In the view promulgated by Humboldt, we find the first 

^ Diioours JPrilimnaire to the Becherches snr les Ossemens Fossiles. 

InvesHgatioM and fTriiings of Baron Humboldt. 213 

mention made of a circumstance which is rich in consequences, 
and well deserving of notice. This is the assumed condition 
of greater density (of increased pressure) which is ascribed 
to the atmosphere, at early periods of the formation of the 
earth. It is certainly not improbable, that the atmosphere, like 
the water, was at early periods loaded with a quantity of 
foreign substances, which, by the action of volcanos, ascended in 
their vapours at ahigh temperature, and were afterwards sepa« 
rated from them, just as partially takes place on a small scale 
at the present day, in volcanic eruptions. The greater heat thus 
produced in the solution, and the greater elasticity of the par* 
tides caused by increase of pressure, must necessarily have in« 
creased the dissolving power of the general body of water; and it 
may thus be naturally explained how the water, at early periods 
of the earth's history, cotdd contain a large quantity of matters 
dissolved, whichat the present time are, it is true, still contained 
in it, tiiough in very small quantity. This circumstance is of 
great consequence in the explanation of many details, which we 
must here pass over ; but it affects, on the great scale, not only 
the quantity of lime formerly dissolved in such large quantity 
in the water, but perhaps still more the silica which at certain 
places has been precipitated in large quantity from a chemical 
solution. On this point w« find a remarkable example in the 
springs of the Geysers, in Iceland, where, at a high tempera- 
ture, and under increased pressure, the water is able to take 
up a much larger quantity of silica than it can under ordinary 
circumstances. Lastly, we know that, under high pressure, 
not only gaseous bodies can be converted into liquid ones, but 
also that water can absorb large quantities of gaseous bodies* 
But we have here, at the same time, a mode of explaining the 
altered chemical action of many bodies on each other, and the 
possibility of the union of these in the earlier conditions of the 
earth, which could not occur under the present general state 
of matters, but which are by no means in opposition to the 
laws of nature. Hence many of the most distinguished natu- 
ralists have adopted this view of the increased atmospheric 
pressure, accompanied by elevation of temperatue, which ex- 
isted at early periods, and it has more especially attracted the 
notice of Mitscherlich. 

il4 Professor Hoffmann on the Geoloffieat 

This view, which was undoubtedly first started by Hum- 
boldt, is one of the richest in consequences which have been 
brought forward in recent times; and many others were 
linked with it, which at that time occupied the attention of 
this great naturalist. He was at that period, like Leopold Von 
Buch, much engaged in the investigation of the parallel strike 
of mountain chains, and of the strata belonging to them. 
He had previously made the observation respecting this paral- 
lelism in the Fichtelgebirge, mountains which belong to the 
system of the Erzgebirge ; he found it confirmed in the Alps; 
for accident led him to investigate there a mass of moimtains, 
whose line of strike had the same direction as that of the 
Erzgebirge ; further, he had made a tour to the Rhine, and 
also occupied himself there with the study of its basalts, whose 
neptunian origin he at that time defended with great acuteness. 
He found again there, that the strata of the widely extended 
slate mountains had the same direction as the Alps, and thus 
arrived at the conclusion, that the line of strike of all the 
older strata of mountains, over the whole surface of the 
earth, had an uniform direction from S.W. to N.E. He ex- 
pressed this by saying, that the strata of the mountains formed 
with the meridian a certain constant angle (of about 52^), and 
he believed that this phenomenon was founded on certain cos- 
mological relations. He vms now in the highest degree anxious 
to ascertain if observation would confirm also, in respect to 
the new world, on the continent of America, a fact which 
seemed to him established in regard to the old. It was this, 
as he expressly says, which formed one of the motives that 
caused him to undertake his voyage to America in 1799. 
There he first reached the coast regions of Caraccas and Vene- 
zuela, where, notwithstanding the totally dififerent circum- 
stances, the line of strike of the Alps also prevails in the arrange- 
ment of the mountains, and the strata of which they are com- 
posed. This struck him with wonder; and his first letters sent 
to Europe are therefore full of enthusiasm as to this tmexpected 
discovery, by which what appeared to him a general law of 
nature in the formation of the globe, seemed to be confirmed 
in a remarkable manner. He intended to make this subject 
the object of an extensive examination and investigation after 

Inve9iigatiw%8 and Writi^$ of Baron Bumholdt 21& 

his return', in order to discover the causes on which it was based. 
But such Tiews became much altered, after he penetrated into 
the interior of the region of the Cordilleras, for he there ibund 
that a line of strike from N. to S. or N.W. to S.E. presented 
itself, with at least as much distinctness, and on as great a 
scale, as did the direction corresponding with that of the Alps^ 

A. von Humboldt's scientific travels in America continued 
iminterruptedly from the year 1799 to 1804 inclusive. It is 
not our object to indicate at all in detail how much these ex- 
peditions contributed to our particular science, as they did to 
all branches of natural knowledge. The results were not 
only in this respect important, that they made us acquainted 
with a number of mountain rocks occurring in America which 
eould be perfectly well compared with the more minutely 
studied ones of Europe, and that it was ascertained that the 
same law obtained there as in Europe as to the order of suc-^ 
cession of strata ; but we have also to thank the exertions of 
this remarkable man for the possession of a very perfect view 
of the structure and arrangement of the mountain chains, as 
well as of the elevations and depressions of America. It re- 
sults, that we cannot doubt of the applicability of the view 
entertained regarding the origin of other mountain chains, inas« 
much as tiie constitution of the Cordilleras, the vastest display 
of nK>untains in the world, possesses so completely the struc* 
ture of a variously shattered and protruded wall rising from 
a fissure. 

Another very great service rendered by these investigations, 
consists in the valuable extension of our views regarding the 
phenomena of volcanos, and the intimately connected sub* 
ject of earthquakes. Our indefatigable traveller found him- 
self in a remarkably favourable field for the observation of 
such objects in America, and his rare gift of combination 
allowed him to place in the necessary and usefill connection 
with one another, phenomena which previously had only been 
known in an isolated state. Thus we have to thank him for 
the first descriptions of the mightiest volcanic phenomena 
which exist on the earth, and which, in some degree, may be 
placed in comparison with the analogous phenomena which 
must have occurred during the early periods of the formation 

216 Professor Hoffmann M the Geological 

of tbe crust of our globe. Humboldt taught us for the fiist 
time that the focus of volcanic activity, which we find so 
abundantly and powerfully displayed in the region of the 
chain of the Cordilleras, must be regarded as standing in con- 
nection with another at a distance of hundreds of geographical 
miles ; he shewed us how, in this respect, a kind of constant 
propagation of volcanic phenomena takes place ; at one time 
from south to north, and at another in a contrary direction. 
He pointed out the connection in which the littoral regions of 
the Mexican Gulf and the Antilles stand in relation to the 
series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions ; and how the 
operations of subterranean shocks are felt simultaneously over 
a space of several thousand square miles. 

We have to thank Humboldt for the investigation at the 
very place, and for the delineation of one of the greatest vol- 
canic catastrophes which has happened in historical periods-— 
the eruption which, in September 1759, caused in a few days 
the production, on the plateau of Mexico, of the mountain of 
JoruUo, which has a height of 1578 German feet ; and which, 
moreover, caused to be fonned out of it five other similar 
hills, and covered nearly four square German miles* to a height 
of 500 feet with lava, sand, and slag.t With this investiga- 
tion may be appropriately united, as onie of the most remark- 
able results of this expedition, the discovery of the fact, that 
the continent of America, between the 18th and 19th de- 
gree (18° 59^ and 19^ 120, is intersected by a rent, 150 Ger- 
man miles long, extending right across from the coast of 'the 
Atlantic to that of the Pacific, and on which rise behind one 
another, and sometimes to upwards of 16,000 feet, the vol- 
canos of Tuxtla, Orizaba, Puebla, Nevado di Toluca, Tanci- 
taro, and Colima. This rent is probably continued to a great 
distance in the South Sea; for, if prolonged westward, it would 
meet at a '^distance of more than 50 German miles, tbe en- 
tirely volcanic Revillagigedo islands ; and it is certainly not 
entirely accidental, that in its direction there should be found, 
in the midst of the South Sea, the Archipelago of the Sand- 

* The German mile = 4| floglish. 

t Vue des Cordilleras, ii. 216. Etmi Politique, vol. L p. 248. 

InvesH^atiofM and Writings of Baron Humboldi. 217 

wich islands, with the moiintain of Mowna Roa, which has a 
height of 15,000 feet 

These remarkable facts, by which our geognostical know* 
ledge has been so essentially enriched, are related, along with 
a multitude of detailed observations, in Humbojdf s Travels 
in the equinoctial regions of the New Continent (JReiaen in die 
AequinokHal gegenden de$ neuen Kontinente8\ in 4 volumes,* 
and the Estai Politique sur la nouveUe Espagne, 4 volumes, 
2d edition, 1826. The description of the rocks of America, 
and their comparison with those of Europe, are contained in 
the more general work, Essai Giognostique $ur le Gisement 
des Soehes dans lea deux Himispheres. 1823.f In this last 
work there is given a very complete general view of the 
known mountain rocks, with full information on the literature 
of the subject. Directly connected with this work is an essay, 
rich in clear views on the structure and action of volcanos, 
read to the Academy of Sciences of Berlin, on the 24th of 
January 1823. 

In later times, Humboldt has not ceased devoting himself 
with zeal to the objects of our science. His journey to Asiatic 
Russia, undertaken in 1829, and which extended to the fron^ 
tiers of China, has produced important results for the exten- 
sion of our geognostical knowledge. One of the objects of 
this journey was to obtain more accurate information respect- 
ing the constitution of the metallic repositories of the Ural, 
and more especially to compare with analogous phenomena in 
America the characters of tibie alluvial matters containing 
gold and platina, which had been recently met with covering 
a large extent of country on both sides of that chain. 

He found in this respect a remarkable agreement ; for both 
in the Ural and on the west side of the Cordilleras of South 
America, the gold and platina are separated precisely in a 
similar manner in repositories quite distinct from each other. 
The auriferous alluvial matters presented themselves together, 
and with extremely trifling exceptions, in a district extending 
along the east side of the Ural ; they there include an extent 

* Translated into English by Helen Maria Williams. 

t Tranidated into German by C. von Leonhard ; and into English, 1823. 

218 ProfesscNT Hoffmann on the Qeoksic^ 

of aUmt SOfeographieal miles in length, vi?. isovBk fliibaut 14 
German miles north of Boguslawsk to near Miadc, betweesr 
54"" and 60'' N. L., and the gold has apparently been derived 
from the disintegration of auriferous iron pyrites* contained in* 
rocks rich in fel^ar and quarts, just as it is found existing in the 
granite veins of the mines of Beresovsk near Katharinenburg. 
This destruction can very well be fixed to have taken place in. 
the latter part of the diluvial period ; for the teeth and bones of 
theqtecies of elephant destroyed during the last revolution were 
met witix in the auriferous 8and« The oQCEErvmee of platinv: 
on the other hand, was confined, aa it is in the Cordilleras <tf 
ChocOy to the west side of the mountain chain. Masses have 
been found of a fffeviously unheard of si^e, for Humboldt 
brought back one weighing 3 pounds 6^ loth^t and afterwards 
a mucl\ larger one was discovered, weighing lOf Russian, orv 
9.3 Prussian pounds. The chief locality is a marshy plateau 
(called Martian) near Nischne-Tagilsk, about 1800 feet above 
the level of the sea. 

For a long time, the original occurrence of platina in fixed 
rocks was imknown ; the notice published by Von Engelhardt' 
of its being found in a greenstone was not confirmed. Now 
we know, from the labours of Gustav Rose, that platina is met 
with in grains embedded in chromate of iron ; and as the 
latter is generally accompanied by serpentine, of which large 
masses present themselves in the neighbourhood, it was probable 
that the serpentine was actually the matrix of the platina; and 
this has more recently been confirmed by direct observa- 

All the repositories of platina are poor in gold, but still 
the latter does occur in them, though in small quantity. 

Guided by the analogy with the phenomena presented in 
America, Humboldt was the cause of the discovery of dia-^ 
monds in these remarkable alluvial deposits. They were first 
found in July 1829, on the western declivity of the Ural, 

* Jameson's Journal, vol. xiii. p. 189. 

t The Prussian pound is equal to 1.25 lb. Troj; and the loth is equal to 
half aa ounce. 

X Poggendorflfs Annalen^ xxzL p. 673> and Jameso&'B Joumal, voL xvML 
p. 360. 

Inveiti^iUions and Writings of Baron HumboUL 219 

along with gold saad, near the iron-worka of Bissmrsk, at the 
small stream of Poludennaja, which falls into the Kama, after 
having previously joined the Tschussovaja. According to 
the accounts given by Von Engelhardt,,* it is probaUe, 
although by no means certain, that the rock in which these 
diamonds originally occur is a granular dolomite. 

In the course of the same journey, a multitude of remark- 
able facts on the geognostical constitution of the Ural Moun- 
tains was collected, and accurate determinations made regard- 
ing their mountain rocks ; which will be very beneficial for 
our knowledge of the rocks occurring near us at home, and an 
account of which is now in preparation by Gustav Rose.f 
The journey was continued across the Ural by Tobolsk into 
the valley of the Irtisch, and to the frontiers of China. 

On the western declivity of the Altai Mountains, Hum- 
boldt discovered an extremely remarkable geognostical fact. 
On the lofky rocky banks of the Irtisch, between Bucktarma 
and Ust-Kamenogorsk, the granite not only breaks through 
the clay-slate, as it frequently does, more or less distinctly, 
in England, Scotland, France, and Germany, but it spreads 
itself horizontally over the surface of the clay-slate for dis- 
tances of several German miles in length. By means of this 
important discovery, we have attained a convincing proof of a 
kind which we did not previously possess, of the volcanic 
origin of granite, and of its actually having, at former times, 
flowed over large tracts of country. 

One of the most valuaUe results of the same journey is the 
delineation of the connection of the mountain chains in the 
interior of Asia, which was derived from the numerous obser- 
vations made on the subject. Upon this was founded the re- 
markable observation, that, in the interior of the Asiatic conti- 
nent, and partly at distances of upwards of 100 German miles 
from the coast of the sea, there arevolcanos of considerable size, 
and still in a state of continued activity, a fact of which we 
had previously not a single example, and which we were for- 
merly often inclined to deny, from theoretical grounds, on 

* Poggendorff's Annaleu; xx. p* 524^ and xxzi p. 608. 
t I9iace published. 

220 Professor Hofftnann en the Writings of Barm Humboldt. 

account of the probably necessary connection of the focus of 
Tolcanos with the sea. The essay in which this remarkable 
phenomenon is described forms a portion of a collection, en- 
titled Fragmens de Geologie et de Climatologie j4siatiqu€s. 
1831. 2 vols. It is also published in PoggendorflTs Anna- 
len, vol. xviii, p. 1, and entitled, " On the Mountain-chains 
and Yolcanos of Central Asia" (Ueber die Bergketten und 
Vidkane von Inner-Asien) 

We must here necessarily pass over all tiiat Humboldt has 
contributed to our knowledge of the physical relations of our 
globe, to geography, meteorology, and the geographical dis- 
tribution of plants, of which last subject he has himself created 
several new branches.* 

* FromHofirmanii'8J7tn(er2a<«en«Trtfrib€: We think it may be useful for our 
readers to subjoin a list of thepapers by Humboldt which have appeared in this 
Journal, many of which are specially referred to in the above summaiy of 
his geognostical investigations. EdxnJburgh PkUo$ophkal Journal : — On the 
Earthquake which destroyed the Town of Caraocas, toI. i. p. 272 ; on the 
Detonating Mud of South America, &c.,, voL i. p. 423, and 424 ; Account, of 
Electrical Eels, voL ii. p. 242 ; on Isothermal Lines, and the Distribution of 
Heat over the Globe, voL iiL p. 1 and 266, vol. iv. p. 23 and 262, and vol. v. 
p. 28 ; on the Great Cavern of the Guacharo, vol. iii. p. 83 ; on the Tem- 
perature of the Mines of South America, vol. iii p. 286 ; on the Distribution 
of Vegetable Forms, voL tL p. 273, and vol. vii. p. 47 ; on. Fossil Oiganic 
Bemains, voL iz. p. 20 ; on Bock Formations, vol. z. p. 40 and 224 ; on the 
Horary Variations of the Barometer under the Tropics, vol. adv. p. 328. 
Ediiiburgh New PkUosopkioal Jowmal: — On the Principal Causes of the 
Difference of Temperature on the Globe, vol. iv. p. 329 ; on the Structure 
and Action of Volcanos |in different Begions of the Earth, vol. v. p. 222 ; 
Discourse delivered at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Imperial Academy 
of Sciences of St Petersburg, vol. ix. p. 97 ; on the Mountain-chains and 
Volcanos of Central Asia (with a map), vol. xi. p. 227, and voL ziL p. 145 ; 
on Two Attempts to ascend Chimborazo^ vol zziii. p. 291.-^Epzt. 

( 221 ) 

On the Use of Chlorine as an Indication of the UluminMng 
Potter of Coal Gas, and on the Comparative Expense of 
Li^ht derived from different sources. By Andbbw Fym, 
M.D., F.R.S.E., F.R.S.S.A. Communicated by the Royal 
Scottish Society of Arts.* 

In a paper published in the Edinburgh Philosophical Jour- 
nal for 1824, I recommended the condensation of the heavy 
hydro-carbons by chlorine, as an easy and efficacious method 
of ascertaining the comparative illuminating power of coal- 
gas, while, at the saAie time, it had the advantage of enabling 
us to compare one gas with another, though not brought di- 
rectly into contrast with it, and thus^ by fixing on one as a 
standard, to state the illuminating power numerically. 

With regard to the methods now in use, I mean the specific 
gravity, the quantity of oxygen necessary for combustion, and 
the depth of shadow, the last is the only one in which we can 
place any confidence. As to the specific gravity, if the gas be 
pure, that is, free from carbonic acid and sulphuretted hydro- 
gen, then the heavier it is the more likely is it to be of high 
illuminating power ; but this is not always the case : thus the 
specific gravity of defiant gas and of carbonic oxide is the 
same, but the latter burns with a feeble blue flame, whereas 
the former gives forth a brilliant light. Now, suppose coal- 
gas to contain little of the heavy hydro-carbon, and a large 
proportion of carbonic oxide, then the specific gravity may be 
such as to induce us to expect the illuminating power to be 
high, when in fact it is not. 

The same remark is applicable to the mode of testing by the 
quantity of oxygen necessary for complete combustion. A 
gas with much olefiant will no doubt require much oxygen, this 
gas taking no less than thrice its own bulk ; but let us sup- 
pose a variety of gases to have the same proportion of olefiant 

• Bead before the Boyal Scottish Society of Arts, 10th January 1842. 

222 Dr Fyfe on the Illuminating Pofver of Coal-Gas, 8fc. 

or of heavy hydro-carbons, while the proportion of the odier 
inflammable gases varies, which, though they consume oxygen, 
give out little light during their combustion, and we shall find 
that the am'bunt of oxygen required gives no indication what- 
ever of the illuminatiixg power. 

Thus, suppose the composition to be 

defiant, . . . . 13 13 13 

Carburetted hydrogen, .. 83 65 51 

Carbonic oxide, . « 4 14 8 

Hydrogen, • • . . 8 28 

100 100 100 

the first would require 207, the second 180, the third 169, of 
oxygen, yet the illuminating power would be nearly the same 
in all. Supposing the^heavy hydro-carbons to vary, and even 
to become considerable, yet the quantity of oxygen may not be 
in proportion, owing to the hydrogen and carbonic oxide, which 
require only half of their bulk of that gas for combustion. The 
mode of ascertaining the illuminating power by the shadow is 
one in which we may place the utmost reliance, provided we 
bum the gases with the same kind of burners, and pay parti- 
cular attention to the circumstances afiTecting the appearance 
of the shadow ; for it is well known that the colour of the 
shadow varies even from the same gas, when the flames from 
dififerent burners are contrasted ; besides, the reflection of light 
from surrounding objects will also occasion a difierence. Great 
care is therefore necessary when conducting the trials in this 
way ; and it requires nicely adjusted metres, and a regular 
pressure, so that the consumpt shall not vary during the per- 
formance of the experiment. 

The other method which I formerly recommended is not 
liable to these fallacies. In the paper to which I have already 
alluded the results of numerous trials are given, in which the 
illuminating power, as shewn by the chlorine test, very nearly 
agrees with those indicated by the photometric process ; and 
these experiments were performed with every possible atten- 
tion to the circumstances likely to aflect the results, so far as 
the^ were then known. In a paper subsequently published by 

Dr Fyfe oh Ai$ Uluminating Power of Coal^Gai, Sre. 223 

Drs Christison and Ttamer, the accuracy of the chlorine test 
was called in question, partly because, when testing the gases 
by the photometric process, as pointed out by Rumford, due 
attention was not paid to the different circumstances affecting 
the combustion, and partly owing to the opinion expressed in 
the paper by the authors, that other ingredients than defiant 
exist in coal-gas, which afford light by their combustion, and 
which are also oondensible by chlorine. As to the latter ob- 
jection it is of little value, provided we find the results in- 
dicated by the chlorine test, to agree with the photometric 
one. With regard to the latter, it must be admitted, that 
kL some of the trials, where two gases were compared with 
each other, due attention was not paid to the height of 
the flame, and to the other circumstances affecting the com* 
bustion, which, at the time that I was engaged in the in- 
quiry, were not known to have an influence on the illumi- 
nating power. The influence of these has now been fully in- 
vestigated, and made known, in the paper by Drs Christison 
and Turner, and also in that which I read to the Society in 
1840* Since then, I have again had my attention drawn to 
the subject, and have had many opportunities of putting the 
chlorine method to the test of experiment ; and I must say that 
I am more and more inclined to put the most implicit confix 
dence in it, not only as a very simple, but at the same time 
a correct method of ascertaining the comparative illuminat- 
ing power. I trust the results of the trials will not be devoid 
of interest. 

In fixing the illuminating power of the gases by the shadow, 
two accurately adjusted metres were used, one for the one 
gas, the other for the other. Sometimes the gases were con- 
trasted with each other ; in which case, similar burners, con- 
suming the gas under the same circumstances, were employed ; 
and with the view of securing accuracy in the results, the 
burners were sometimes changed from one gas to another; at 
other times, the light given by the gas was contrasted with 
that from candles. The gases subjected to trial were some- 
times those with which Edinburgh is at present supplied, 
sometimes they were prepared by myself, in a small appara- 

224 Dr Fyfe on the lUuminating Power of Coal-Oas; ^e. 

tus, with the view of having the illuminating power as v^^uried 
as I could possibly obtain. 

It is well known that the quality of coal-gas, even when 
manufactured from the same kind of coal, depends much on 
the mode of manufacture ; when slowly prepared, and when 
the same charge of coal is long subjected to heat^ a larger 
quantity of gas is given off, than when the time for the charge 
is shorter ; but then the illuminating power is low, owing to 
the gas which is last evolved having very little of the heavy 
hydro-carbons; and hence those companies who dispose of 
their coke to advantage, have, besides the quantity t)f gas 
to be got, another object in view, viz, the freeing of the coke 
from all its gaseous ingredients, otherwise it is not considered 
valuable, indeed will not be purchased by those in the cus- 
tom of using it It i&this which, in addition to the difference 
in the quality of the coal employed, makes such a difference 
between the quality of gas prepared in England and Scotland ; 
for, as the coke from English caking-coal is more prized than 
that from parrot-coal, which is much used in Scotland, the 
English companies may generally be considered, not only as gas 
companies, but also as coke companies, indeed derive a great 
deal of their profit from the coke. Hence, in judging of the 
price of gas, we must take into account its quality ; and hence 
I conceive the importance of having an easy method of ascer- 
taining this, and of comparing different gases with each other. 

In the first series of experiments, the results of which I am 
now to give, two gases, manufactured under different circum- 
stances, were compared with the light afforded by a wax 
candle kept burning, as nearly as possible with a uniform 
flame ; the gases being consumed in jet burners with a 6 inch 
flame. Taking the average of several trials, gas A gave a light 
as 2.16, compared to that of the wax-candle as 1; the conden- 
sation by chlorine was 15. Gas B, under similar circum- 
tances, gave a light as 1.98 ; condensation by chlorine 13, and 
15 : 13 : : 2.16 : 1.86 ; by the shadow it was 1.98. 

In another trial with other gases the light was compared 
with that afforded by a tallofv candle (short six). Gas C, the 

Dr Fyfe on the Illuminating Power of Coal^Gae, 8fC. 225 

light was as 2.81, to that of the candle as 1 ; condensation by 
chlorine 15. Gas D. the light was 2.27, chlorine test 12, 
and as 2.81 : 2.27 : : 11 : 8.02 
and as 15 : 13 : : 1 : 8.00, 
which is a very close approximation. 

Two gases were next contrasted with each other, being 
consumed with fish-tail burners. By the shadow the light for 
equal consumpt was 1 to .827, by the chlorine, 14 : 12, and as 
14 : 12 : : 1 : .857. In another trial with the same burners, but 
with gases prepared at another time, the average of numer- 
ous trials by the photometric process, gave the result as 1 to 
.945; condensation by chlorine was 12.5 and 11.5, and as 
12 5 : 11.5 : : 1 : .92. 

With jets and with other gases, the results were by the 
shadow 1 to 1.185, and by chlorine 11 to 14, and 11 : 14 : : 1 : 
1.272. Here the approximation is not so close as in some of 
the others. 

The chlorine test was then tried with a gas, the illuminating 
power of which was inferior to that of the preceding. The 
trial by the shadow was made at different distances, to secure 
accuracy. By the one the result was as 1 to 1.347, by the' 
other to 1.338, average 1 to 1.342. The condensation by 
chlorine was 10 and 14, which very nearly coincides with the 

The results above stated, very nearly agree with each other. 
In one trial, however, I found that they did not come so close. 
By the shadow they were 1 to 1.33, by the chlorine 11 to 17, 
now as 11 : 17 : : 1 : 1.54. 

In this instance the discordance may, I think, be accounted 
for. It is well known that when the illuminating power of 
a gas is high, as when it is prepared by the decomposition of 
oil, it requires a burner with smaller apertures than those used 
for common coal-gas, otherwise it is not consumed to advan- 
tage. Now, in the experiment last recorded, in which the 
condensation by chlorine amounted to 17, a coal-gas jet was 
used, by which the gas would not give the same amount of 
light that it would have given, had a burner with smaller 
apertures been employed. Hence the illuminating power in- 
dicated by the shadow does not come up to what most likely 

226 Dr Fyfe on the lUuminating Pawtr of CoalMasy ifc. 

it would have been with a differently constructed burner. 
May not this exception prove the accuracy of the proposed 

From what hafi now been said with regard to the test which 
I have proposed, I think we are warranted in placing implicit 
confidence in it, as a means of indicating the illuminating 
power of coal-gas ; indeed I have no hesitation in stating, that 
when the trial is properly conducted, it leads to results more 
satisfactory than those given by the shadow ; for it has this 
advantage, that while it is much more easily conducted, it 
points out the amount of light that ought to be afforded by 
one gas as compared with another ; whereas, unless all the 
different circumstances that affect the combustion of the gases 
are attended to, the results by the shadow will not be correct. 
One of them, in particular, is the kind of burner, — ^for when 
gas is rich in matter condensible by chlorine, and a common 
coal-gas burner is used, the illuminating power indicated by the 
shadow will, most probably, be below what it really is, owing 
to the burner not being adapted for the combustion of that 
peculiar kind of gas ; and hence one of the advantages of the 
chlorine test 

The process practised in the experiments I have detailed is, 
with a slight modification, the same as that formerly described. 
Two tubes of about half an inch in diameter, and 12 inches 
long, of the same calibre, and graduated to 100 parts, are em- 
ployed ; into the one 50 degrees of the gas under investiga- 
tion are introduced, and afterwards into the other there are 
put 50 of chlorine ; the water of the trough being heated to 
60, or thereabouts. The coal-gas is then transferred into the 
chlorine, and the tube instantly covered with a shade, to pre- 
vent the action of the light. In the course of five minutes, 
the condensation is complete. Should only one graduated 
tube be used, the coal-gas must be measured first, and then 
put into another tube, after which the chlorine is measured, 
and the coal-gas transferred into it ; for, if otherwise, a part 
of the chlorine would be absorbed by the water, during its 
passage through it, and thus lead to variable results. As 
chlorine is absorbable by water, a slight absorption takes place 
during the continuance of the experiment. Before proceeding 

Dr Fyfe on ike lUuminating Power of Coal-Gae, ^e. 227 

' to any trials, it is therefore necessary to ascertain the amount 
of this, and then to deduct it from the condensation occasioned 
by the action on the c^-gas. In the tube which I have .used, 
I found the absorption to be exactly 1 degree for every five 
minutes, and which continues in the same ratio, after the action 
of the chlorine on the hydro-carbon is over. I have, therefore, 
always deducted 1 degree for each five minutes, from the total 
loss, as indicated by the rise of the water in the tube. As, 
however, the action is over in five minutes, I have seldom con- 
tinued the trial beyond that time, of course deducting 1 de* 
gree from the loss sustained. As chlorine and the condensible 
matter act on each other in equal volumes, a condensation 
of 10, when 50 of each are used, indicates ten per cent, of loss 
by the coal-gas. 

Should this method of ascertaining the illuminating power 
of gases be ultimately found to be correct, another important 
result may follow its introduction into practice. If we can, 
by it, fix the illuminating power of one gas compared with 
that of another gas, the quality of which has been previously 
determined, and which is consumed with a burner that is 
known to bum it advantageously, and if the gas which we are 
subjecting to trial by the shadow test does not show such a 
high illuminating power as we are led to expect, from the 
known condensation by chlorine, the probability is, that the 
burners are not adapted for consuming the gas advantageously, 
and hence the necessity of altering the apertures, till the power 
by the shadow is what it ought to be, according to the chlo- 
rine test. 

There is still another advantage attending the introduction 
of the chlorine test in addition to those mentioned ; it is the 
i^ility of comparing different gases with one another, when 
they cannot be brought together, so as to try them by the 
shadow. The illuminating power may be considered just as 
the condensation by chlorine, and thus, then, we may state it 
numericdUff. Thus taking a coal-gas having only 1 per cent, 
of matter condensible by chlorine, its illuminating power may 
be considered as unity ^ and all others would be as the per cent-- 
age of condensation. Hence, also, the illuminating power of 

2dd Dr Fyfe on the lUuminaiift!^ Fewer of Cocd-Gasy ^c, 

gases may be ascertained as compared with other sources of 

It is evident from what has been s^d, that, in finding the 
value of a gas as compared with other sources of light, atten- 
tion must be paid to the qucUity of the gas ; a circumstance 
which by many has -been totally disregarded, and hence the 
very discordant results which have been obtained. In com- 
paring the gas by the shadow given by other lights, we must 
in fact not only attend to the different circumstances affecting 
the combustion ; we must also at each trial ascertain the 
amount of condensation by chlorine ; for the quality of a gas 
manufactured on different days, at the same place„ will be 
found to vary considerably. In the trials I am now to state, 
made with the view of finding the comparative expense of 
light as got from candles, oil. Sec, I have uniformly kept this 
in view ; ' and by doing so, we are enabled to judge of the 
expense, not only in this town, but also in other places, pro- 
vided, of course, we know the illuminating power of the gas 
by the chlorine test. 

The first series of experiments were those with candles, of 
which ten different kinds were tried. Tallow single wick, 
tallow double wick, cocoa, palm, composite, margerine, dia- 
phane, composition, spermaceti, wax, — all short sixes. 

Tallow.-^Yery different statements have been given of the 
illuminating power of coal-gas as compared with that from tal- 
low candles, and which has been accounted for by the difficulty 
of getting the light from the candle to be uniform ; the chief 
cause of the discordance is, however, more probably the differ- 
ence in the quality of gases manufactured at different i>laces. 
In conducting my trials, I have paid due attention to the former ; 
trying the candles at different times, so as to have a wick of 
various lengths. The standard gas light, in all the trials, was 
a jet burning under a uniform pressure, with a flame of five 
inches, and consuming exactly one foot per hour. 

From numierous trials, I found that the tallow (single wick, 
short-six), when compared with the gas, and taking the average 
of all the trials, was as 1 to 3.75. A short-six will be found, 
vhen properly snuffed, to last for six hours, or very nearly so ; 

Dr Fyfe on the Illuminating Tower of Coal-Gas, ^c. 229 

and supposing candles to be 7id. per pound, then the cost for 
each candle is 5 farthings. Suppose the gas to cost 8s. 4d. per 
1000 feet,* then six fee* will cost 2i farthings, or very nearly 
so ; accordingly, for half the expense, 3.75 times the amount of 
light is obtained ; in other words, for the same ligfat,the expense 
of tallow candles is 7i times that of gas. The gas I employed 
in these trials contained, on an average, 12 per cent, of con- 
densible matter. Should the gas contain more or less, then 
the comparative expense would be greater or less just accord- 
ing to the quantity. In Edinburgh I have found the chlorine 
test to indicate from 11 to 14, and 15, very rarely is it up to 
the latter ; of late I have rarely faund it to go beyond 13. Con- 
sidering the foregoing calculation as applying to the gas now 
supplied to Edinburgh, and presuming it to contain 12 per 
cent, of matter condensible by chlorine, then the expense of 
tallow candles is 7i times greater for the same light than that 
of gas consumed by jet burners. 

In England, where the gas is generally manufactured from 
English caking-coal, the illuminating power is inferior to that 
of gas got from parrot^coal, or from a mixture of it and com- 
mon Scotch coal. Now,'Suppose the price of the gas the same, 
and that the condensation by chlorine amounts to 6, then the 
comparative expense of candles and of gas for the same light 
would be 3.75 to 1. 

Similar trials were made with the other candles mentioned. 

Doubte-wicked tallow^ Is. per pound. — ^This candle burns for 
5^ hours at a cost of 8 farthings; the light compared to that of 
tlie jet is as 1 to 2.1, making the expense as 7.1 to 1. This 
candle has the advantage of not requiring to be snuflFed. 

Cocoa candle, lis. per pound, will burn for nine hours, at 
a cost of 7.3 farthings ; the light compared to the jet is as 1 to 
3.6, or the same as that of the common tallow candle ; thus 
making the expense as 7.3 to 1. 

Falm candle. Is. 2d. per pound, will burn for 6.6 hours, ex- 
pense 9.3 farthings, light 1 to 3, expense as 10.5 to 1. 

* I have taken this as being easy for calculation. It is not far from the 
price of gas in Edinburgh, and in other towns in the neighbourhood of the 
coal districts. 

2a0 Dr Fyfe on the lUnminatrng Power ofCoal-Gas, ^e. 

' Composite^ Is. Id. per pound lasts for eight hours, expense 
-8.6 fiarthiDgs, light 1 to 3, expense 8 to 1. 

Diapkane (French), 1. 8d., will last 6.6 hours, at a cost of 
13.3 farthings, light 1 to 3» expense 15.1 to 1. 

Margeiine^ nearly in every respect the same as diaphane. 

Spermaceti^ 2s. 6d. per pound, will bum for eight hours, cost 
20 farthiDgs, light 1 to 2.6, expense as 16.2 to 1. 

Composition candle the same. 

Wax 2s. 6d., bums nine hours, cost 20 farthings, light as 1 to 
2.6, expense therefore as 14.4 to 1. 

Thus the taUowe^ vn&i the exception of the palm, are nearly 
of the same comparative expense, light for light ; the composi- 
tion is a very little more expensive, the others are more than 
double the expense. 

In the foregoing calculations, I have supposed the gas to be 
consumed by jets; but I have already shewn in the paper r^ad 
before the Society, and published iu its Transactions for 1840, 
that this is the least profitable method of burning it. For eqttal 
consumpts, the light given by other burners is much greater ; 
thus taking the jet as 100, that from a fish-tail is 140, from 
the bat-wing 160, and from a properly constructed argand 180. 
Accordingly, by consuming the gas with these, the compara* 
tive expense will be still farther reduced. The following table 
gives the comparative light and expense according to the kind 
of burner used. 

Ik Fyte m the lUwrnnating Power of Coal-Gas, ^c. 231 

Expense of 
Candles for 
equal Light. 


















,H »HfHiHWiHtHtHW<H 


































































^j3 • 










































■ s 









Ill 1 























"oo. 5 




































































^ - 













) OG 







, ^ 



^ 1 






J 1 i 


. 1 






'3 C 





I4 £ 


^ B 



^ g 







^ t 











232 Dr Fyfe m She lUuminatinsi Power of Coed-Gas, ^e. 

In conducting experiments with the view of ascertaining 
the illuminating power of oil, compared with that of gas, I 
used argand oil-lamps of the common construction, and also 
others with contrivances adapted to them, which have been 
lately recommended for increasing the light. The first trials 
were made with sperm oil, the cost of which, at the time the 
trials were made, was 9s. 8d. per gallon, that is, Is. 24d. per 
pint. It was burned in a common argand, consuming the oil 
under the most favourable circumstances. In endeavouring 
to fix the illuminating power, I contrasted it with an argand 
gas burner, having forty-two holes, and consuming three feet 
per hour. I found, however, considerable difiiculty in coming 
to accurate results, partly from the variation in the flame of 
the oil, partly also from the difi^erence in the appearance of 
the shadow. Six trials were made at difierent times, and with 
the lights at different distances. These varied from 2 to 2.4, 
taking the oil as 1. The average of the difierent trials gave 
2-35. A pint of oil was found to burn 14 hours, at a cost of 
14Jd. ; the consumpt of gas for the same time (3 x 14) was 42 
feet, at an expense of 4|d., but the light was as 2.25 to 1. 
The comparative expense, therefore, light for light, would be 
as 14^d. X 2.25 to 4jd. ; that is, as 8 to 1, or very nearly so. 

Rectified whale oil was next tried, the cost of which was 
4s. 8d. per gallon. A pint, when consumed under the most 
favoiu'able circumstances, was found to bum 12 hours ; and 
contrasted with the gas argand as before, the light was as 1 to 
2.54. The cost of oil was 7d., that of gas for the same time 
was 3^d., but the light was as 1 to 2.54; the expense was, there- 
fore, for the same light, as 7d. x 2.54 to 3jd.; that is, 5 to 1. 

In the preceding trials the oil was consumed in a com- 
mon argand, due attention being paid to the different circum- 
stances affecting the consumpt, such as the kind of wick, the 
height of flame, &c. The next trial was made with the lamp 
lately introduced under the name of solar lamp. In this a 
cylinder surrounds that containing the wick, with the upper 
part bent inwards, so that the aperture being contracted, the 
current of air that passes up between the one cylinder and the 
other, striking against the horizontal part of the outer one, 
causes a contraction and lengthening of the flame ; a longer 

Dr Fyfe an the Illuminating Pander of CoaUQas, Sfc. 233 

and narrower glass chimney is at the same time required. 
The advantages said t6 attend the use of this construction of 
burner, are, that an oil of inferior quality may be used, while 
at the same time the light is greatly increased. 

The solar lamp, containing «o/ar oil^ with a flame as high as 
could be got to be steady, and without smoke, was contrasted 
with the gas argand as before, burning three feet per hour. 
On comparing the lights, and taking the average of numerous 
trials, conducted at different distances, and when the wick 
was in difierent conditions, they were as 0.98 to 1 ; so very 
nearly equal that we may consider them as so. The oil, per 
gallon, costs 3s. 8d. ; a pint was found to burn eight hours, or 
very nearly so, at a cost of 5id. The gas required for the 
same time is 24 or say 25 feet, which would cost 2 jd. ; ac- 
cordingly the expense is rather more than twice, or say twice, 
that of the gas. 

To ascertain whether or not there is any saving by using 
the apparatus adapted to the solar lamp, the solar oil was con- 
sumed with a solar wick in the same argand with which the 
trials with the sperm and whale oils were made, and the light, 
as before, was contrasted with the argand, burning three feet 
per hour. The light and the consumpt of oil were found to be 
the same as with the other oils. The cost of the solar oil per 
pint is 5id.| that of the whale oil 7d. ; accordingly the expense 
is as the cost of the oils. It has been already stated, that by 
using the solar apparatus, the oil gave a light equal to that 
from an argand consuming three feet per hour, and that the 
pint of oil will last for eight hours ; the expense is therefore 
as 2id. to 6 Jd., or say Id to 2d. Now when the solar oil was 
burned in the common argand, and contrasted with the gas 
argand, the light was as 1 to 2.54 As the oil lasted for twelve 
hours, the cost of gas for that time would be 3Jd., or very 
nearly so. The comparative expense was therefore as 5 Jd. x 
2.54 to 3id. ; that is, ai^3.98 to 1 ; whereas, by. the solar lamp, 
it was only as 2 to 1 ; thus making a saving by the use of the 
solar lamp of nearly one-half of the expense. This peculiar 
construction of lamp is therefore a very great improvement ; 
for not only is there a saving in expense in the outlay for oil. 

3S4 Dr Pyfe on the laumimai^ Power of Ooal^ae, fee. 

but for the lighting of large apartments a smaller nmnber of 
lamps is required than when common^ argands are employed. 
Naphtha. — This article has lately been recommended as 
an economical aovcce of light. Though naphtha gives a beau" 
tiful and steady light, yet it emits an offensive smell, and 
unless cautiously burned, is very liaUe to smoke ; the slightest 
blast against the flame causing dense black smoke iBStantly to 
appear. The appearance of the shadow is so different £pott 
that from coal-gas, that it is not easy to fix their illuminating 
power and consequent comparative expense. In the experi^ 
ments I have performed, I used the gas-argand as before, 
consuming 4 feet per hour. The naphtha-lamp had a wick 
of 4 inches in breadth, and bm-ned with a flame of about half 
an inch in height. In one trial I made the illuminating power 
of the flames, as naphtha 1 to gas 4.233 ; in another, they were 
as 1 to 4.239 ; — ^giving an average of 1 to 4236. The con- 
sumpt of naphtha was a pint in 24 hours, at a cost of 3s. 6d. 
per gallon, that is 6id. per pint. The gas for the same time 
would be 24, or say 25 x 4 = 100 — ^that is lOd. ; but the 
light was as 4.236 to 1 — ^therefore the comparative expense 
comes to be as 2.2 to 1, or very nearly so. Suppose that I 
have overrated the illuminating power of the gas as compared 
with that of the naphtha, say, that instead of 4.236, it was 
about 4, this would reduce the cost of the latter, and thus 
make the comparative expense as about 2 to 1. 

Table skewing the Camumpt and Expente of Oils, and of Oas,m Argands burning 
three feet per hour. 

Oils per Pint. 


of gas 
conn par- 
ed with 

Cost in farthings 

CovniMratiTe Ex- 
pense for equal 

pense of 
OUs for 

Sperm in Aigaad, 
Whale do. 
Solar do. 
Solar in Solar lamp, 
Naphtha lamp, 



















M. Dismeiil m ike General Movements of Serpenti. SS& 

TaUe shewing Con^paraHve JSxpeiue of Light frtm 4Stgl8eeta Ssmnrn; Ooal-Cfw 
eofUaimng 12 per cent. ofmaUer condennUe by Chlorine, takm at unity, 

AigandGas, • • 1.00 

PishTaU, . . . 1.40 Fish Tail, 1.00 

Single Jet, . . 1.80 ... 1.40 Jet, 1.00 

Solar Lamp, . . , 2.00 ... 1.56 ... 1.11 

Naphtha, . . 2.00 ... 1.56 ... l.U 

Solar Oil in common Argandi 3.98 ... 2.84 ... 2.21 

Whale Oil do. 6.00 ... 3.88 ... 2.77 

Sperm do. 8.00 ... 6.22 ... 4.41 

Tallow Candle (2 wicks), 12.7 ... 10.0 ... 7.18 

Cocoa Candle, . . 13.1 ... 10.2 ... 7.33 

Tallow do. (Iwick), 13.6 ... 10.5 ... 7.50 

Composite, . . 14.6 ... 11.3 ... 8.12 

Palm, .... 18.9 ... 14.7 ... 10.5 

Wax, .... 25.9 ... 20.1 ... 14.4 

Diaphane, . . 27.1 ... 21.1 ... 15.1 

Maigerine, . • . 28^ ... 22.6 ... 15.6 

Spermaceti, « . • 29.2 ... 22.7 ... 16.2 

Composition, « • . 29.2 ... 22.7 ... 16.2 

On the General Movements of Serpents. By M. Duhbril. 

The manner in which serpents move is evidently .the consequence of 
their absolute want of limbs ; at the same time, their destination to live 
in atmospheric air is indicated hy the presence of lungs. Serpents are 
besides under the necessity of providing for their subsistence solely from 
animal food, which they must seize in a living state, and swallow at once 
entire, since nature has not granted them, as with other reptiles, cutting 
instruments suited for dividing their food into regular portions. These 
circumstances united, have impressed the characters we find inscribed, 
not only on the exterior of the bodies of ophidians, in regard to their con- 
figuration, but also on the interior throughout the whole of their struc- 
ture. In the present case we are about to consider them merely in rela- 
tion to the movements which these animals execute. Even with this in 
view, we shall have occasion to describe some of the manners and habits 
of serpents, as well as the modifications which they have required in 
many parts of their organisation. 

The body of a serpent consists of a trunk considerably elongated, with- 
out any notable distinction a£ regions for the different parts of its extent* 
In the interior this body has for a solid stalk, or principal support, a very 
numerovis series of small baBes> which are moveable, although securely 
taxd sttonglj attuned to each other* These 9Xt verlebiae^ all of thoik 

236 M. Pmneril on the Oeneral M&^emmts of SerpewU. 

nearly alike^ which thns affoid a point of insertion to a great number of 
fascicles of moveable fibres destined to produce and repeat^ each by itself^ 
in a continuous and most regular manner, all the moTcments which are 
impressed upon them singly. This long spine^ or moveable frame-work, 
is moreover perforated throughout its whole length, forming a continu- 
ous canal, which receives and protects the nervous marrow prolonged 
from the brain. Through holes, symmetrically arranged between each of 
these numerous vertebrae, issue at like intervals pairs of nerves which are 
distributed and terminated in every part of the body. 

This general structure of the organs adapted for movement, seems to 
have necessitated the most important modifications in respect to their 
forms and relative situation, in all the instruments which exercise the 
functions of general or vegetative life, such as those of nutrition and pro- 
pagation. Yet the means which serve to establish the relations between 
these animals and the external world, by the aid of the senses, are nearly 
the same as in other reptiles. 

A serpent being deprived, at least to appearance, of instruments 
adapted to divide its prey, which must be swallowed without chewing, 
the victim must necessarily be pursued, stopped, laid hold of, and swal- 
lowed entire, as it were at a single mouthfuL These circumstances have 
caused faculties altogether of a special nature to be attributed to serpents. 
Sometimes an extreme and sudden agility, an excessive flexibility, sup- 
pleness, and rapidity in its movements, are conferred on a serpent, in 
order that it may be able to reach the animal it covets as a prey ; at other 
times, and more frequently, exerting a prodigious constrictive power, and 
the most active muscular energy, the serpent attacks animals greatly sur- 
passing itself in size. It darts upon them, envelopes them, squeezes them 
together, and suflbcates them, compressing and breaking their bones be- 
tween its tortuous folds and numerous circumvolutions, although they 
are often thicker than its own body. It can cnlaige the size of its belly, 
however, at pleasure, and succeeds in getting them into it after bruising 
their flesh within the skin that covered it. 

Other species, of inferior activity and strength, are capable of fascina- 
tion, a power which has been regarded as magnetic or supernatural, pro- 
ducing in the prey on which they ^n their gaze, a kind of stupor or in- 
stinctive dread, which paralyzes the animal's movements and efibrts, 
in viun desirous to withdraw and escape the fatal destiny which awaits 
it. In like manner, we see how a pointer dog can influence from a 
distance, solely by his look, the*game he has discovered ; the latter dare 
not move for the purpose of escape, for fear of betraying its presence by 
its motion ; it then appears arrested by a magical power which suspends 
all its faculties ; it seems impossible for it to escape from a danger so 
imminent ; it gives way to the torture of despair, and if its strength fail, 
sinks and is devoured. 

Finally, some other kinds of ophidians, after having borne very long 
abstinence, apd when they feel the urgent need of food, are all at once 

M. Dumeril on ike General Movements oj ^rpenU. 237 

excited bj an impetuous aidour of courage and unwonted eneigj. They 
become furious at the sight of an animal which thej wish to make their 
prey. In an instant^ and with the speed of an arrow> they dart upon it 
with an open mouth, in front of which are arranged the sharp points of 
some elongated and curved teetfa^ and throughout the whole length of 
these runs a canal or groove affording a passage for a venomous humour 
which is introduced into the flesh. I Lis is an active poison secreted^oc 
the purpose^ and reserved in a small bladder which nature has protected 
with wonderful foresight. Penetrating beneath the skin> these poisoned 
darts deposit there a small quantity of this deleterious humour, which^ 
soon absorbed, is not long in producing divers destructive effec^«. either 
suddenly paralyzing the movements of the animal wounded by luis sim- 
ple sting, or throwing it into a lethaigic sleep, happily, perhaps, thus 
releasing it from pain by the loss of sensibility, but in every case placing 
it out of its power to escape death, and avoid the destruction become 
necessary for the preservation of the seipent, which liad no other resource 
but this to obtain the mastery over it in order to feed on its flesh. 

We shall attempt to describe the forms and structure of the organs 
which, in serpents as well as in all other animals, produce the various 
movements which their locomotion requires. We shall then indicate the 
varied circumstances which determine the diversity of this action. 

The general form and dimensions, in every sense, of the body of ser- 
pents are determined by the number, always considerable, of the bony 
pieces which constitute the whole of their skeleton, that is to say, by the 
vertebree and the ribs. This spine, however, is most bimple and uniform, 
because it supports neither stemumi pelvis, nor articulated limbs. In 
respect to the bony parts subservient to movement, it may be said that« 
of all vertebrated animals, the ophidians are those whose skeleton is 
longest in proportion to its diameter, and composed of the most moveable 
pieces, perhaps the most numerous smd likest each other. 

The spine of serpents represents in the interior of the body a solid 
axis, which serves as a base of support to the general movements ; while 
at the same time its separate pieces, although extremely moveable upon 
themselves, and of very firm texture, transmit to each other the impul- 
sions they receive in the different regions in the length of the trunk. 

This insularity or independence of the vertebral column presents, in 
this respect, a very different mechanism from that found in other animals 
provided with an interior skeleton. In fishes, for example, the vertebne 
receive and support unequal fins, which represent oars in swimming ; 
then> in all the mammifera, birds, and the greater part of other kinds of 
reptiles^ the spine constantly serves as a support to the bones of the limbs^ 
and other solid organs designed to produce the motions of the body,, 
when such accessory parts occur in their skeleton. 

The character common to all the vertebras of a serpent, and: which 
may be considered as essential, is inscribed on the central region of these 


238 M. Dumeril on ike General Movements of Serpents, 

small bones ; it is the most solid portion^ the centre on which they move. 
It follows from the particular mode of their junction with each other^ 
hitherto observed only among these animals^ that every vertebra of an 
ophidian is scooped out in the anterior part in the form of a concave^ re- 
gular^ hemispherical depression^ cut somewhat obliquely at its circum- 
ference ; and that this same central part of the vertebra bears behind a 
kind of convex head^ regularly rounded^ corresponding in its curvature- 
to the concavity which is to receive and enclose it. This head^ or salient 
bone, is itself supported by a kind of neck or small constricted portion. 
The two articular focettes which thus correspond in their inverse curva- 
tures; are covered with a true cartilaginous incrustation^ and protected 
by a synovial membrane covering a fibrous capsule^ so as to admit of 
movements similar to those which mechanicians designate by the name 
of a knee'd joint It is an enclosed ball^ which can turn upon itself in all 

It is necessary to keep this arrangement in mind^ because the diffe- 
rences presented by the numerous salient points projecting from these 
vertebrse on the back^ belly^ and even laterally^ limit, check, and facili- 
tate, by their extent, inclination, and curvatures, the variety of the move- 
ments of the whole body. They indicate in the different races of ser- 
pents the particular mobility of each piece in the whole skeleton, and 
this examination enables us to comprehend beforehand, and explains the 
numerous modifications which have been required for .each special mode 
of progression. It enables us, in fact, to understand the mechanism of 
the movements of ophidians on the earth, both at its surface and in deep 
sands, their mode of clasping and twisting themselves round the branches 
and trunks of trees, and continuing suspended there for whole days ; and 
lastly, the means they employ to move on the sur&ce and in the depths 
of waters. 

What first strikes our notice in this series of vertebral bones in ser* 
pents, is their resemblance and uniformity in the two regions of the trunk 
and tail, insomuch that it would be impossible for the most skilful 
zootomist to assign its exact rank in the series to each of the pieces, with 
the exception perhaps of the hinder vertebras, which often diminish gra^ 
dually in size. They are the links of a chain so closely resembling each 
other, that they seem successively to have come out of the same matrix 
in which they had received their soUd forms and impressions, to enter 
into a concatenation so perfect and regular. 

These vertebr» are generally short, broad, and of a compact tissue^ 
consequently very solid and capable of great resistance, so that it is more 
easy, in violently striking the backbone of a serpent, to separate the 
pieces than to fracture them. Their number varies much according to 
the genera and species. It is observed that the number is not always the 
same in the regions ; it amounts sometimes to 400 in some Boas and 
Pythons. It is ^rarely below a hundred ; serpents, therefore, have in 

M. Dumeril on the General Movements of Serpents. 239 

reality the greatest number of vertebrsB of all animals^ as frogs and other 
tail-less Batracians have the smallest^ only eight or nine at the most 
It is remarked^ moreover, that the vertebral bones are comparatively 
longer and narrower in the climbing species which live habitually on 

It is owing to the prodigious number of bones composing the vertebral 
coliimn, and their great mobility, that the body of serpents owes its ex- 
treme flexibility, and the power it possesses of adapting itself to all sur- 
faces, whatsoever may be their curvatures, in order to find points of sup- 
port. Their movements take place principally to the sides, &om the 
right to the left, and reciprocally; sometimes^ but more rarely, fcom 
above downwards, and from before backwards. Although each of the 
pieces of the spine should turn very little on its axis, the smallest de- 
viation which can take place, becomes the centre of a flexible ray repre- 
sented by the prolonged part of the column from the side of the head, or 
towards that of the tail. As progression most frequently takes place by 
lateral movements, it is to that direction that the reciprocial gliding upon 
each other of the vertebral articulations seems best adapted. 

The ribs of serpents are prolonged levers, lateral appendages of the 
vertebree, which, although destined for the mechanical act of respiration, 
serve still more for progression. As they are not joined together by a 
sternum, they can recede from each other sideways, and from before 
backwards, in the different parts of the extent of the trunk. Their num- 
ber is considerable ; it amounts nearly to three hundred and upwards in 
some Pythons and Trigonocephali. Half that number is found in the 
viper, so that no kind of animal has in reality a greater number of ribs 
than the ophidians. 

We shall not examine in this place the numerous fascicles of muscles 
which, fixed to the different parts of the vertebm and ribs, produce uni- 
formly, and repeat on each of these bones the partial movements from 
which the acts of locomotion arise ; the latter are to be examined in a 
collective sense. 

Sometimes it is the weakness of a supple body, slender and very flexible 
throughout its whole length, that permits or facilitates agility and nimble- 
ness in the locomotive power; sometimes, on the contrazy, it is the 
strength and rigidity of the trunk which, joined to its considerable volume, 
and the energetic and successive action of the muscles, determine the 
prodigious power which very large serpents can exert when they envelop^, 
strangle, and orush in their tortuous folds the bodies of the animals de- 
stined to become their victims. 

When serpents creep, they change their place by alternate flexuose 
undulations or sinuosities. They then draw themselves in, and again 
turn outwards, and fold their body upon itself, forming so many curves 
in the form of the letter S, by numerous contours and varied revolutions ; 
but they can likewise stand erect and raise themselves into a nearly vei- 

240 M . Dumeril on the General Movements of Serpents. 

Ileal position^ at least in part^ by stiffening certain regions of their spine 
which they support and cause to move on another portion of their own 
body. Some of them remain Immoyeable^ and in ambush^ on trees^ hav- 
ing their long folds interlaced among the branches to which they clings 
suspending and balancing their mass in order to dart suddenly to a great 
distance^ as if by the movement of a sling. Others burrow in the earth 
or insinuate themselves Into subterranean galleries^ either for the purpose 
of shelter, or to prey upon the animals which live in them. There are 
some which swim and support themselves on the surface of the water, or 
plunge into its depths ; for it is there only that they can find and pursue 
their victims, which they must seize alive and swallow at a single mouth- 
ful, or at once, without dividing it. 

Creeping is the most general mode of progression among serpents ; 
this act is produced by a series of successive contractions communicated 
to their long spine by the numerous muscles inserted in the vertebree and 
ribs. In order to understand rightly how this act, or reptation, takes 
place, we nrast suppose that the animal, being stationary, or having made 
a momentary pause, has halted on a surface more or less resisting, on 
which it finds a point of support. Most commonly it is the l)elly or un- 
der part of the body which is applied to such support. It first raises the 
posterior moveable edge of one or more solid homy plates, with which 
the abdomen and tail are furnished, in such a way as to move forward 
the plates situated further forward, on which it then seems to glide, then 
successively on all those which precede ; for these plates act by means 
of the ribs which are inserted into them, so that they move like so many 
feet, wliich would nearly correspond to those we observe in the body of 
Juli and other myriapodous insects. These movements taking place at 
the same time, and in the same manner, follow each other regularly, and 
are repeated in a beautiful successive order along the whole length of the 
inferior region of the body. We may thus conceive how the direct dis- 
placement of the mass is produced, as it is necessarily urged from behind 
forward, so that the head is carried more and more in advance, and the 
tail follows nearly in the same direction. This progression, however, in 
the greater number of cases, takes effect at the same time on the lateral 
parts of the body by a serieiJ of undulations or sinuosities, which obtain 
for the serpent points of support on the objects which present some re- 
sistance to it on the right or left. It may then be observed to curve its 
spine regularly according to its length, to produce sinnous and arched 
lines in it, which are successively effaced, become formed anew, and re- 
produced as often as the obstacle encountered continues to offer resist- 
ance to the pressure. This is the mode of moving we observe in eels, as 
well as in certain saurians with a very long body and destitute of feet, 
sucli as the species of the genus Anguis ; and it is therefore likewise 
called;, when it takes place among these animals, a serpentine motioir. 
Such is the mechanism of creeping or reptation. 

M« Dumeril on the General Movements of SerpenU, ^41 

When a serpent requires to raise itself^ or place a portion of its body 
in an upright position^ if it then meet "with a solid object^ it applies its 
trunk to it^ elevates and stiffens its body by directing its efforts to the 
fixed pointy and making the series of plates in the anterior part of the 
belly, and consequently those succeeding, fonn an arch. When, on the 
contrary, the ground is level, the same movements are produced on the 
parts of the trunk which rest on the ground. The whole anterior region 
of *the body there finds a kind of solid fold, which supports it like the 
base of a pillar raised upon itself. The serpent is then seen to carry its 
head vertically, somewhat like a swan's neck, in order to turn and move 
it gently in every direction, as may be witnessed in the Najas or hooded 
snakes, when they assume various singular attitudes, appearing at the 
same time to follow the measure of music varied by the instruments or 
songs of the Indian jugglers, who often publicly exhibit these kinds of 
dances, in which the snakes have been previously exercised by various 

The active leap is produced, as is known, by the darting of the whole 
living mass, which all at once completely and voluntarily leaves the sur- 
face on which it rested, in order to spring freely over a distance more or 
less considerable. Although destitute of articulated limbs, serpents still 
enjoy this p«wer, but by processes as peculiar as can well be conceived. 
Thus at times the reptile, having its body rolled in a circle on itself, 
keeps it stretched like an elastic spring, remaining spirally twisted by 
the contractile force of the muscles of the internal lateral region, concave 
or concentric to the spine ; but all of a sudden it relaxes itself by the 
instantaneous shortening of the convex or external edge of the circum- 
ference, which, becoming suddenly elongated or extended, unfolds with 
great force and rapidity. Sometimes, in order to effect a more rapid 
change of place, to recede or advance with more celerity, the serpent 
executes in this way a series of successive bounds, which are produced 
in the direction of its length by means of undulations on the sides, from 
before or from above downwards, and reciprocally, with slight sinuosities 
which alternately correct each other. 

The act of swimming, whether it take place on the surface or under 
water, is likewise produced by these diverse undulations. It is a mode 
of progression similar to that which takes place on the earth or on move- 
able sand. In these circumstances the serpent, being able at pleasure to 
become heavier or lighter than the water it displaces, in consequence of 
the variable quantity or volume of gas contained in its very long lungs, 
can support itself on the fluid, and communicate to it an impulsive power. 
It avails itself of the reaction produced by the shock it gives to the am- 
bient fluid. It is principally by the tail and the hinder part of the trunk 
that the serpent supports itself in water. For this purpose the tail is 
often widened- and strongly compressed from right to left, in the form of 
a vertical fin, as may be seen in the Hydrophides, Enhydres, and Pla- 

242 M. Koyanko's General View of the Environs of Pekin. 

tores. Oiher species^ as certain Idnds of snakes (Gen. cohiber)^ can 
become hjdrostatically heavier than water^ and lie flat and immove- 
able at the bottom^ remaining on the watch in the currents of torrents 
and small rivers^ in order to seize upon the fishes and other aquatic ani- 
mals on which they feed, which they afterwards carry to the bank and 
swallow. It may be presumed that in such a case, and to enable it to 
keep under water, the serpent has diminished its volume by expelling all 
superfluous air from its lungs, and retaining only what was necessary for 
the purpose of respiration.* 

A General View of the Environs of Pekin, By M. Koyanko, 
Majcn* in the Corps of Engineers of Mines ; translated by 
Lieutenant-General Lord Gbeenock, F.R.S.E., from the 
Annuaire du Jonmal des Mines de Russie, ann^e 1838. 
Published at St Petersburg, 1840. 

Pbkin is situated in a plain bounded on the north-west by 
a series of mountains belonging to branches of the chain 
TkaM'Khanc, which takes its origin at the Yellow Rirer, and 
is prolonged to the north-east nearly as far as the sea of the 
same name. 

The Chinese distinguish these mountains as Northern and 
Western, according to their position relatively to the capital ; 
they are, besides, equally to be distinguished by the nature of 
their rocks. 

Limestone, together with dolomite, predominate in the 
Northern Mountains, and in those of the West, diorite (green- 
stone), with all its varieties, as well as sandstone and slates 
containing beds of coal. These two series of mountains being 
cut in different directions by defiles and steep valleys, it is 
difficult to determine their point of connection. 

The Northern Mountains are a day's journey from Pekin, 
which does not imply any considerable distance : the Chinese 
travel so slowly that they never go farther in one day than 
from 60 to 80 li,t or 34 or 44 versts. The road in the di- 

* An abridged extract from a manuscript chapter of the 6th volume of a work 
entitled Erpitologie Generate, by MM. Dumeril and Bibron, published in 
Comptea Rendus, No. 12, 20th September 1841. 

t The 11 i8 equal to 274i eag^nes of Russia. 

M. Kovanko's General View of ike Bnpirons ofPekin. 243 

rection of these mountains passes over alluvial clays contain* 
ing much lime. In very dry weather, this clay becomes so 
hard that it can scarcely be broken with a pickaxe, while in 
wet weather it becomes entirely liquid, and forms mud that is 
nearly impassable. In summer this road is yery picturesque ; 
vast fields extend beyond the view on both sides. Notwith- 
standing the labour and expense which are required at that 
season for the cultivation of this land, the farmer is amply 
repaid by the abundance of the harvest, which supplies at 
tiie same time bread for himself, food for his cattle, and 
even fuel, for the grain of the yellow millet (S^ao-mi-tsra), 
famishes meal, the only food of the peasants, and chopped 
straw for the cattle in place of hay, which is never cut, and 
of the use of which even they have no idea in China. 

It is with the straw of a kind of millet called Gao-lianes, 
which grows to the height of fifteen feet, that the peasants 
make f^ces for their gardens ; they employ it also for fuel in 
their houses, and to burn bricks. The grain is used instead 
of oats to feed the mules, and brandy is obtained from it by 

About 16 li (8 versts) before arriving at the Northern 
Mountains, is seen the little hill Syao-Tan^Chany composed 
of compact grey limestone, traversed by veins of quartz, which 
give it great hardness. This mountain, though of little ele- 
vation, deserves particular notice from the existence in its 
neighbourhood of two hot springs, which burst forth nearly 
vertically from an unknown depth. These springs, at the 
distance of a few sagenes from each other, have different tem- 
peratures, one of 40®, the other of 45° Reaumur (122° to 133® 
F.) The water from these springs flows into basins lined 
with a masonry of compact limestone, from whence it is con- 
ducted by leaden pipes into baths cut in the limestone, and 
lined with sheets of lead. 

A palace, surrounded by a garden, has been erected near 
the baths, destined for the imperial family. The stone-wall 
by which it is enclosed is in a complete state of dilapidation, no 
repairs having been made there for fifteen years, although the 
buildings of the Chinese are frequently in need of them. The 

244 Ml Kov2ji\icl's General View of the Environs of Pekin. 

water is perfectly transparent, and contains no salt in solu- 
tion. Its use consists in procuring the bathers a copious per- 
spiration. The baths are frequented by many persons of the 
inferior classes in the spring, who either come there for their 
health, or merely as an object for an excursion. 

Three li to the west of Syao-Tan-Chan, there is another in- 
sulated mountain called Da-Tan-Chany a little more elevated 
than the fbrmer, and formed like it of compact limestone full 
of quartz veins. The base of this mountain gives rise to 
many springs, one of which has a temperature of 16° B. 
(68® F.)'and the water is very pure. 

There was formerly at this place an establishment for baths 
of cold water, but it is now in ruins, as are also the temples 
which were in the neighbourhood of the spring. In general, 
the priests of the temples of the religion of i^^-iSAan and of 
Da-o. oxercise hospitality. Travellers may always find a lodg- 
ing with these hermits ; it is true that their services must be 
largely remunerated, but they must of necessity have re- 
course to them, there being no other places where accommo- 
dation can be obtained. In the convents, 10 roubles* is the 
lowest price io: a rest of a few hours, and, for a whole day, 
25 roubles are nut considered to be sufficient. From this it 
may be easily judged how costly even the shortest excursions 
in the environs of Pekin must bel 

The outline of the Northern Mountains is pretty uniform ; 
they are, generally speaking, nearly bare, their flanks being 
rarely covered by small bushes, and alluvia of little import- 

These mountains are of considerable elevation, particu- 
larly that of Sydo-Chan, situated 30 li to the north-east of 
the temple Loun-Tzouan-Sy^ which is distant 60 li north 
from Pekin. It is principally composed of granite, of which 
the lower part, being large grained, decomposes intovgravel ; 
the upper portions are small grained, and shew no signs 
of disintegration. This granite consists of red felspar, clear 

* lb roubles =11 francs 60 centimes ; d5 roubles = 28 francs 75 cen- 
times. • ' . ' ' 

M. KoTftnkoV General View of the Emirotu ^ Pdem. 245 

grey quarts, with a yitreous lustre, and black mica, alto- 
gether imperceptible in 8ome places. No other minerals of 
any consequence have been found in it. To judge from the 
name it bears (/n-iStoi), which means the mountain of sil- 
ver, there is reason to believe that it formerly furnished the 
ore of tiiat metal ; and, indeed, one of the hermits dwelling 
in the neighbourhood, a man of about seyenty years of age, 
assured me that in his youth a rein was worked in that moun- 
tain, die ore from which was taken out at ni^t and secretly 
smelted to obtain the silver. 

The shaft of the mine to which he alluded, is now filled up 
and covered with buildings ; there was therefore no means of 
ascertaining the truth of this tradition. 

At the foot of Mount In-Sham there existed anciently an 
immense temple of the religion of Khi-Shan^ inhabited by 
400 monks, the traces of which are still to be seen. A path 
made on the flank of the mountain led quite to the summit, 
and the steps hewn in the granite exist at the present day. 
The path is now obstructed by stones, and overgrown with 
bushes, so as to render it difficult to climb the very steep ac- 
clivity of the mountain. Having proceeded by this path 
about three verstes, I was obliged to surmount a precipice 
nearly vertical, in which small holes were cut of a size barely 
sufficient to enable the points of the feet to rest in them. 
But the trouble of overcoming all these obstacles is well re- 
paid, for the view from the summit of the mountain is of it- 
self an object for the sake of which it is worth undertaking 
this excursion. The plateau on the summit is encompassed 
by a balustrade of granite, very handsomely worked. In 
the middle there is an altar cut out of a single block of the 
same rock, and close to it, an enormous bell of cast-metal 
suspended to pillars of granite. 

Notwithstanding the number of ages these monuments have 
existed, they are in a perfect state of preservation, which 
proves the solidity of their construction. 

The heat was insupportable during my ascent of In-Shan, 
and I was dying of thirst ; but a fresh breeze, and some mul- 
berries which I gathered on the summit of the mountain, re- 

346 M* Kovsnko's General View of the Entdrcme <f Peking 

stored my strengiL A kind Pr<mdeiiee seems to haye tiirown 
some seeds of that tree into a &8snre of the altar expressly to 
alleviate the fatigues of the traveller . With the exception of 
this mulberry tree, there was not a single plant to be seen in 
that enclosure. 

While I was resting myself, the guide astonished me by his 
fool-hardiness. The abyss oyer which the mountain projects 
is so deep that it is hardly possible to look down into it with- 
out feeling giddy ; but this man, careless of danger, springing 
upon the top of the ballustrade, went twice round the pla- 
teau, jumping from pillar to pillar, distant about one and a-half 
archine from each other. It made me shudder to see him 
expose himself to so much danger, but he preserved the great* 
est coolness, and I did not observe the slightest trace of emo- 
tion on his countenance. 

The view from the summit of IfirShan is magnificent. It 
is the most commanding point in the country. Before me, 
the crests of the motmtains, illuminated by the setting sun, 
stretch out like the waves of the sea ; over head, is a clear 
blue sky, and in the horizon other chains appear, varying as 
much in their forms as in the beauty of their tints. From 
this spot the view embraces an immense space — a pure and 
light air is inhaled with delight. While I am observing, a 
majestic eagle hovers so near as almost to graze my head ; 
around me is the silence of the desert ; alone in the dbtance, 
on the flank of the mountain, a shepherd is driving his flock 
towards the plain ; and here and there rich pastures display 
their verdure. 

Water is very generally wanting in the noriiiem moun- 
tains, and only small rivulets, formed by the moisture derived 
from the atmosphere are met with in the valleys ; one of 
them takes its rise at the base of Mount In^Shan^ disap* 
pears for half its course under detrital blocks and alluvia, 
to appear again as a spring near the temple of Laun-Tzouan- 
Sff. Its water is very pure, and is reckoned the best in the 
environs of Pekin. It has been dammed up for the purpose 
of turning a flour-mill with a horizontal wheel. This place is 
extremely agreeable during the sunmier heats. However high 

M. Kovanko's General View of the Environs ofPekin. 247 

the temperature of the air may be, the water remains con- 
stantly cool. 

In the month of July, at the time of the greatest heat, it is 
much frequented by bathers : but until then the Chinese are 
afraid to yenture into the water, so great is their dread of the 
sensation of cold. 

The Russians who reside in Pekin astonish the natives a 
good deal by drinking cold water at their meals in winter as 
well as in summer ; while the Chinese warm even their wine, 
and never drink cold water except in the hot weather of July. 

A great number of fruit-trees, proceeding from plantations, 
grow in the ravines and valleys of the Northern Mountains, es- 
pecially many Indian fig-trees, as also peach, apricot, pear, 
plum, and walnut trees. It appears even that the trees which 
do not bear fruit, such as the fir, the willow, the juniper, and 
the cypress, owe their existence to artificial cultivation, which 
is the reason that not a single forest of any considerable ex- 
tent is to be met with in the whole chain of the Northern 

The rocks of which these mountains consist, belong, as has 
been already observed, to a formation of dolomite, which is 
there largely developed. 

It commences at the temple of Loun-Tzouan-Syy and ex- 
tends to the north-east as far as the base of In-Shan. The 
mountains of Syo-Tan-Shan and Do-Tan-Shan, are of that 
formation ; several varieties of dolomite are also found in it ; 
near the temple of Zoun-Tzouan'Sy it is very compact, 
small-grained, and the presence of particles of quartz gives it 
much hardness. All the monuments in the burial-places, the 
masonry of the door- ways and of the steps in the palace, are 
of this stone. The compact varieties are seldom white, but 
generally of a grey colour. When the quartz is absent in this 
rock, its fracture has the appearance of sugar, and, like that 
substance, is entirely white, and translucent when in thin frag- 
ments. It bears much resemblance to the marble of Carrara. 
We should not be warranted in assigning a very ancient ori- 
gin to this rock, although it does not contain organic remains. 
It has little cohesion of its parts, and is easily reduced to 

248 M. Kovanko's General View of the Eiwircns ofPekin. 

powder ; it is in this form that it is used to complete the pro- 
cess of cleaning the rice. Its texture has not the appearance 
of being foliated, but it is always divided by a great number 
of fissures into irregular masses, which renders the quarrying 
of it very difficult.* 

The limestone, in a half decomposed state, containing a 
great quantity of white sand, enters into this formation in 
subordinate beds. In some places this limestone decomposes 
to such an extent as to form a white powder which covers the 
whole surface. 

Sandstone, small grained, of a dark colour, traverses this 
formation also in beds, which alternate occasionally with those 
of the predominating rock. These beds of sandstone have 
only a thickness of 1 or 2 archines. 

The porphyry, which rises in the form of a mamelon, near 
the temple of Ba-or^Sy^ three li to the north-west of that of 
Loun-Tzouan-Syj appears to have had some influence in the 
formation of this dolomite. 

This porphyry, of a deep red colour, gives out a strong 
smell of clay. It has but little consistence, and its surface is 
fissured all over. 

The ferruginous red sandstone, which is divided into rhoni- 
boidal faces by joints, ought likewise to be classed as belong- 
ing to the dolomite formation. It does not constitute any con- 
siderable masses, and is only found lying on the flanks of 
the compact dolomitic limestone. The sandstone, in decom- 
posing, forms an excellent soil for cultivation. 

One li to the north-west of Loun-TzouiP-Sy^ a small outcrop 
of a chloritic slate, having a coarsely foliated structure, is 
seen bordering upon the dolomite, which disappears almost 
entirely under alluvial clay. Its dip is very highly inclined, 
the beds being very irregular and singularly contorted. Some 
traces of lime are found in it, but no other minerals. 

The Western Mountains, as has already been said, are com- 

* Note hy the Author. — About 6 francs (French money) are paid .&r tbe 
extraction of 150 pouda of this rock. The carriage of 15 pouda to t]Mj ca- 
pital, distant 60 li, costs about GO franca. 

M. Kovanko's General View of the Environs ofPekin. 249 

posed of different rocks. Three formations are distinctly ob- 
served in them. 

1«/, Diorite ; 2e/, compact ^ey limestone, which appears 
to correspond with the mountain or carboniferous limestone of 
England ; and, UisHy^ the coal formation. 

A formation is besides observed, the independence of which 

is not altogether demonstrated. This is a species of conglo- 

► merate intimately connected with the diorite, aud which will 

consequently be described at the same time with that igneous 


Dioritic Formation. — Diorite (greenstone) appears at the 
surface at the village of San- Ourad-Yan^ and extends in as- 
cending the course of the river Bourbouse to the village of 
Van-Pin-Koon^ a distance of more than 30 li. 

The diorite, small-grained, ef a light green colour, is di- 
vided by fissures, giving it the form of beds inclined about IS** 
to the east. This rock is not very hard, except in its inferior 
portions; but as it acquires elevation, it loses its granular tex- 
ture, becomes friable and slaty, and passes into indurated 
clay containing nodules of quartz and of greenstone, which 
frequently exceed the size of a nut. In some places these no- 
dules occur only in veins in the friable dioritic mass, but some- 
times they are accumulated to such a degree as to form enor- 
mous masses of compact conglomerate. 

The thickness of the beds of the latter, which have the same 
inclination as the diorite, is about 1 sag^ne. They alternate 
with ferruginous clay of a brownish red colour, forming in some 
places considerable elevations. This clay also contains nodules 
of quartz and of greenstone, which, by the decrease of their 
bulk, pass into a fine-grained sandstone without admixture, and 
are traversed in different directions by veins of white quartz. 

Every thing concurs to lead us to admit that this conglome- 
rate, so intimately connected with the diorite, does not, pro- 
perly speaking, belong to the dioritic formation, produced to 
all appearance by Volcanic agency (porphyry conglomerates). 
In my opinion it constitutes a sedimentary rock in the fullest 
acceptation of that term, in the formation of which the dio- 
rite might have concurred. 

250 M. Kofuko's General View of ike Etmrons ofPekin. 

It would appear that die conglomerate is more recent than 
the diorite, and that it would be better to class it in the coal- 
formation, considering it as an equivalent to tlie old red sand- 
stone of England. 

The diorite cropping out at the base of the mountain L(io^ 
Goua-Shan to the west of Van-Pinr-Koan^ as well as the con- 
glomerate which overlies it, has a dip nearly vertical. This 
peculiar inclination might be attributed to some more recent 
revolution which these rocks have undergone, occasioned ap- 
parently by the dioritic porphyry which rises from beneath 
the diorite, but which, however, does not form any consider- 
able masses. 

Vertical seams of coal lie in some places between the dio- 
rite and the conglomerate, having the latter for the roof and 
the former for the floor. 

Slate-clay, which has the properties of a combustible slate, 
from the great quantity of bitumen it contains, forms a bor- 
der to the coal on the side of the roof. 

The border on the side of the floor, although equally com- 
posed of slate-clay, contains less bitumen, and has not so much 
lustre as the former. This coal very much resembles an- 
thracite, because it is shining, of compact texture, difficult to 
ignite, does not flame in burning, or give out any smoke. 
Its substance is entirely homogeneous, and every thing re- 
specting it leads to the belief that there had been a great de- 
velopment of heat at the period of its formation. 

The beds of conglomerate occupy, in some localities, nearly 
a horizontal position. In this case the coal included between 
the conglomerate and the diorite, occurs in beds of more 
importance, as, for example, at Daor-Yao to the east of Van- 
Pin-Koon^ where the seam of coal is 1^ archine in thick- 

That which is worked at Daor-Yao is brittle, and breaks 
easily into small fragments of the size of a pea. The black- 
smiths, and those who work in copper, consider it preferable 
to any other coal for their use, on account of the intense heat 
it gives out. 

The conglomerate does not form thick masses. In its up- 

M. Koyanko's General View of the Environs o/Pekin. 211 

per bed it passes inta a true sandstone, which the quartz 
renders very hard. Occasionally the presence of particles of 
mica give it a slaty texture, and it becomes friable where 
clay is principally the basis of its cement. 

The brook Tsin'ScAoui'Kh6 flows 15 li to the north of 
Van-Pin-Koon^ and» in cutting through a mass of diorite, it 
has laid bare all the varieties of this rock. Granitic diorite, 
compact diorite, and porphyritic diorite, alternate with each 
other, all passing at length into a conglomerate, which ap* 
pears to differ from that to which the seams of coal are subor- 
dinate, and is the dioritic conglomerate properly so called. 
The beds of this conglomerate, and those of the diorite itself, 
alternate with beds of ferruginous clay, having a porphyritic 
appearance. This rock in some places passes into euritic 
porphyry, which being sometimes separated, and afterwards 
reunited afresh by the same rock, fcnrms a breccia, in which 
the imbedded fragments (^ porphyritic rocks are from 1 ver- 
chok up to i of an archine in diameter. This porphyry is of 
a brick red colour, with white crystals of felspar ; its hard- 
ness middling, and it forms continuous masses of an irregular 

Carhomferoua Limestone, — This limestone shews itself to 
the west of Van-Pin-Koon in considerable masses, which may 
be regarded as an independent formation. The mountains 
which are composed of it have their flanks so steep, that the 
summits are sometimes inaccessible. The texture is foliated 
in thick laminse, and in some localities the stratification of 
the beds is nearly horizontal. It is traversed by veins of per- 
fectly white calcareous spar, which gives to it a variegated 
grey colour. A great many caverns of different dimensions, 
and all of them vaulted, are met with in this limestdne, some 
of which contain stalactites, but they are destitute of organic 

The limestone is traversed in the defile of Yan-Li-Gaou by 
veins of galena and brown specular iron-ore, of a quarter of 
an archine or more in thickness. 

Small-grained greyish-yellow sandstone appears in subor* 
dinate beds in this limestone. It is not very bard, contains 

252 M. Kovanko's General View of the Environs ofPekin. 

a considerable quantity of clay, and its beds have a thickness 
whidi is rather considerable. 

The upper beds of this limestone have a great resemblance 
to that which forms such enormous masses in the Northern 
Mountains, and it is probable that they both belong to the 
same formation. 

The limestone of Mount Tzo-Tkhcdy which is distinguished 
by the great pagoda situated on its flank, near the village of 
Shim-En-Gin, appears equally to belong to the carboniferous 
limestone. It is very compact, and the particles of quartz 
give it so great a degree of hardness as to strike fire with 
steel. Its texture is foliated, but in thick laminae. In some 
places it has the aspect of a compact mass. It abounds also 
in caverns, one of which, Thao-Ydn-Doun, is remarkable for 
its size. It is situated on a very steep slqpe, which renders it 
difficult of access. Many persons ascend the mountain on pur- 
pose to visit this cavern, but there are very few who have the 
courage to descend into it. Many absurd traditions exist 
among the Chinese respecting it. They pretend that there is 
a subterranean passage leading as far as Kat^ane, and that 
there are stone-bridges over streams running through it, &c. 
&c. I made the descent into the cave out of curiosity. It 
appears like a steep gallery, at first tolerably high, but which 
becomes progressively lower, so as at last to render it neces- 
sary to crawl upon hands and knees. It terminates suddenly 
in a well ascending vertically. It was impossible to explore 
its farther direction, f(^ at this point the burning wood which 
served me as a torch gave so little light, that I could scarcely 
distinguish the nearest objects. The air in the cave is. very 
moist. There are two lateral galleries, one of which is under 
water ; the other descends very rapidly, and is not any more 
accessible than the others. The cavern may be about 150 
sagenes in length. On the bottoms stalagmites are met with, 
but no organic remains. 

Coal Formation. — Slate-clay is largely developed to the east 
of Van-Pin-Koon. So much coal enters into its composition, 
that in some places it might serve for fuel. The beds often 
change their direction, and sometimes have a dip nearly ver- 

M. KoY&nW& General View of Oie Envir&ni o/Pekm. 253 

tical : the compact diorite (greenstone) which is intruded- into 
this slate in subordinate beds, appears to have been the cause 
of tike irregularity of those which overlie them. The slate- 
clay alternates with beds of fine-grained sandstone traversed 
by veins of white quartz, which render it very hard. Beds of 
coal lie between the slate and the sandstone. 

The slate-clay is, as it were, pounded on the surface, and 
forms a kind of alluvium which covers its flanks. Thick beds 
of coal are likewise found in this rock, but their quality is 
very inferior to that of the coal which lies under the sand- 
stone. The coal which the pounded slate covers varies^ in 
its properties. It is often decomposed, and its particles have 
so little cohesion between them, that they are almost reduced 
to a state of powder. 

. Beds of ferruginous sandstone, of little hardness, under which 
are sometimes found rich beds of coal, lie under the slate-day. 
Thus the Western Mountains abound so much with coal,^ that 
two or three versts cannot be passed over without meeting with 
outcrops indicating the presence of a great quantity of this 
combustible substance, which has never as yet been touched 
by the hand of man. 

The coal used for fuel in Pekin, where wood is very dear, is 
worked on a great scale ; but whether in consequence of the 
sJ3undance of this mineral, or of the obstinacy of the Chinese 
in rejecting improvements, the result is, that the process of 
mining is still in its infancy with them, while the preparation 
of charcoal is carried on there with more success and economy 
than any where else. 

Generally speaking, we may consider that the art of mining 
is still in its infancy in China. They know nothing of the 
machines which give facility to the work; they have not even 
a notion of the pumps which are indispensable for the ex- 
haustion of the water. Vertical shafts are not used by them. 
The imperfection of the works renders the air very dense in 
the mines, often to such a degree that it is necessary to make 
openings above on that account, in which are placed ventilat- 
ing wheels put in motion by the hand. This wheel, although 
turning- incessantly, introduces very little fresh air i^^to the 


254 M. KoYWoko'B General View of the Emwrons of Pekih. 

mine. The galleries of the mines are so low that the work^ 
men can scarcely move in them except by crawling, 

MThen the horizontal beds are to be won, continued timber^ 
ing is used ; but in winning the vertical beds, only the roofs 
and floors are timbered, particularly the latter, in order that 
the trains which are employed to transport the coal to the 
surface should slide easfly upon them. 

The timbering employed by the Chinese is not above two 
or three vershoks in thickness. It costs, nevertheless, about 
two copecks per poud.* 

The winning of the horizontal bed is carried on in the fol- 
lowing manner : — ^A gallery is opened in the bed of coal itself> 
li archene in height. After having penetrated into it seve- 
ral vershoks, a cross beam is fixed in the roof, by the two ends 
being let into the walls of the rock ; having advanced another 
archine, a fresh joist is fixed, which is bound to the first by 
beams placed lengthwise above them. These beams having a 
distance between them of a quarter of an archene, are covered 
with brush-wood made into fascines ; when this work is finish- 
ed, they continue to advance within the thickness of the bed, 
and following its direction. 

The floor of the gallery is in like manner fitted with cross 
beams placed near together'; the gallery is thus pushed on un-^ 
til the want of air renders it necessary to put a stop to the 
work. Below this gallery a second is opened, to continue the 
working of the coal. 

The only difference in the process of working the vertical 
and the horizontal beds of coal is, that in the first the galleries 
are not only timbered above and below, but also on their side- 

The coal taken out is put into baskets, placed upon sledges, 
which are raised to the surfiice by manual labour ; one basket 
may contain about three pouds of coal, and one man can raise 
to the surface about eight in a day ; he generally receives at 
the rate of 30 copecks per basket. The water which accu- 

* Note bgr the author.--Wood in China is sold by wei^t. 

M. Koranloi's General View of the Enmnme ofPekin. 2d5 

dialates in the mines is emptied by means of small casks, 
brought up in the same manner. 

If tiie local circumstances are yery favourable, adits for 
letting out the water are driven ; but as they are very expen* 
sive, they are very seldom had recourse to ; at least if the ir- 
ruption of the water becomes too considerable, it often hap- 
pens that the works are altogether abandoned. 

The only instruments used by the Chinese in working the 
coal are the pickaxe, the pick, and the hammer. They cut a 
groove with the pickaxe, and place in it the pick, which is 
struck upon with the hammer ; it is by this means that frag* 
ments of coal, weighing from two to three pouds, are de- 

The number of workmen differs much in the Chinese col- 
lieries, for few among them make their agreement for a work 
of any long duration ; for the most part they never come un- 
til the period wh^i they have finished their labour in the 
fields. The pickers of coal receive about 1^ rouble for half 
a-day's work, and the overseers for the day about 3J roubles, 
and their nourishment besides. 

At the place where it is worked, at Lao-GaoShan^ the coal 
is sold for 60 copecks per poud: its carriage through the 
mountains on the backs of mules to Mem-Toou-Gaou, distant 
30 li, where are situated the store-houses of the depot, costs 
about 20^ copecks ; from thence the coal is transported to Pe- 
kin upon camels. In the city the price of coals is l^'rouble 
per poud. 

There is besides a kind of coal met with at Pekin, brought 
from the neighbourhood, which is much cheaper, particularly 
when it is mixed in the proportion of one-half with coal-gra- 
vel (or detritus). This coal sells for only 1 rouble per poud, 
but it gives out but little heat, and is very quickly consumed. 
The coal-gravel in question is previously mixed with yellow 
clay, to give it greater consistence. The process is very 
simple; eight parts of coal-gravel are mixed with two of clay 
pouring into the mixture as much water as is required to ren- 
der it a thick paste. When the whole of the mass has been 
well mixed, it is put into moulds, in the same manner as in 

256 M. Kovanko's General View of the Environs ofPelin. 

the manufacture of bricks. The pieces thus prepared and: 
dried are used as coal ; they produce little heat, and the fire 
must be constantly fed with fresh doses. This fuel is only 
made use of among the indigent classes. 

Ruuian Linear Measures. 

The Sag^ne, or Russian toise^ is divided into 7 feet, or into 3 arcbines. 
The foot, ... ... ... into 12 inches, . 

The inch, ... ... ... into 10 lines. 

The archine or ell, ... ... into 16 veishoks. 

The vershok, ... ... into i, }, }, 

The verst, or mile, is 500 sagenes in length, and is eqnal to 1.067 French 
kilometres. A verst is nearly | of an English mile, or exactly 5 
furlongs, 67 yards. 


The Russian pound is divided into 96 zolotniks. 

The zolotnik into 96 doleis or parts. 

The poud consists of ... 40 pounds, 

Theberkovetz 10pouds» 

The silver rouble is worth 4 francs (French), 
The copec is the Tiv part of the rouble, worth 0.04 centimes. 
The paper rouble varies according to the exchange, from 110 to 115 

The copper copec, the tIv part of a paper rouble, is consequently worth 

1 cent iV or 1 cent |, according to the course of exchange. 
The Chinese li is equal to 274^ sagenes of Russia. 

On the Cultivation of the Sugar-Cane in Spain. By Thomas 
Stewart Traill, M.D., F.R.S.E. (Communicated by the 
Author.) Read before the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 

The cultivation of the sugar-cane is now generally allowed 
to have been introduced into Arabia, Egypt, and the western 
parts of Asia, from India.* 

* Since this essay was written, I have seen the able and lahorioas memoir 
of Ritter on this curious subject, which completely establishes this point. 
It appeared in the Royal Transactions of Berlin for 1839. 

Professor Traill on the Sugar-Cane in Spain. 257 

The first distinct account in classic authors of this import- 
ant production is derived from the discoveries of Nearchus, 
the officer sent down the Indus by Alexander the Great to 
explore the Indian seas, in the year 325 B.C. According to 
Strabo, he describes it as a honey prepared firom a reed with* 
out the agency of bees. 
B/j^xf 3f xebi in^i ru¥ xaXot/AW^ Sri «Movtfi fAtyj, /Ai^Ojew fjkii hutfw. 

Lib. XV, 

Sugar is spoken of by Varro as a sweet fluid expressed from 
a reed. (Fragment, ap, Isidorum.) 

Dioscorides describes ifax^a^ov as a concrete honey obtained 
from reeds, which he compares to salt in consistence, and in 
crashing between the teeth.* Pliny's description is to the 
same purpose. " Est autem mel in arundinibus coUectum, 
gummium modo, candidum, dentibus fragile." Lib. xii. c. 8. 
He also states that sugar of India is superior to that of Arabia. 
From Arrian we learn that ga%xo^p was an article of commerce 
in the Erythrssan Sea. He speaks of it, among other merchan- 
dise, as wheat, rice, butter, oil of sesame, linen cloth, girdles, 
xo/ (Lih rh xaXafiovof rh Xtyofitm lax^a^t. Periplus Mar. Uryihr.f 

Sugar is also mentioned in a fragment of Theophrastus as 
(iitXarog ytn^ig S'tv roTg xakafitOiQ* 

We have now no doubt that the sugar cane is indigenous 
to India, and perhaps to China, although, as with other plants 
long cultivated by man, it may be difficult to point out the 
precise district where it was first discovered, The antiquity 
of the Indian cultivation of the sugar-cane is matter of his- 
tory ; and recent investigations have proved that the Chinese 
have, from remote epochs, been acquainted with the prepara- 
tion of sugar. 

The appellations by which it is known might almost lead 
us to conjecture the source from which different countries ob- 
tained their knowledge of the plant. The Sanscrit name 

JUiv^t »«a«flrt^ «Xfr; Lib. II. c. 104. 
Ed. Stuck. Ludg. 1677. 

258 Professor Traill on the Cultivation of 

iSiarA;ar09 cormpted in various Indian dialects into Bakkdra^ 
Sakar^ and Stdcir^ is evidently the root whence the name oS 
the product of the cane among all European nations is de- 
rived. In Sumatra, Java, and other Malayan islands, it is 
named Taba^ Tubbu^ or Tebu ; and from some dialect of these 
is very probably derived its appellations of Tao, Too^ and To^ 
which it obtains in the group of the Sandwich and Friendly 
islands, and in Taheite. In the latter, on its discovery by 
Captain Wallis in 1767, the sugar-cane was found growing 
wild in great luxuriance ; and such is the value of the variety 
of the plant produced there, that the British Grovemment have 
carried it to the West Indies from Taheite, while the French 
have also introduced that variety of the cane into their colony 
at the Isle of France. The Chinese name for sugar is said 
to be Tang^ which possibly is an adaptation of the more eupho- 
nious Malayan name into the monosyllabic language of that 
singular race. It may not, then, be an improbable conjec- 
ture, as similarity in the name would suggest, that all the 
western nations owe their knowledge of the sugar-cane to the 
peninsula of India, while the smaller islands of the Pacific, 
and perhaps also Chinay received it originally from the Ma- 
layan archipelago. 

Some writers have insisted that the sugar-cane is also in- 
digenous to America; but this opinion is founded on very 
questionable assumptions. A principal argument is derived 
from this plant being mentioned as growing in Hispaniola 
during the second voyage of Columbus. But it should be re- 
collected that a colony was then founded on that island, that 
this voyage lasted upwards of two years, and that the Spa- 
niards carried with them all manner of domestic animals and 
useful vegetables. P. Labat,* indeed, quotes Peter Martyr 
and some other authorities to shew the early cultivation of the 
cane in the other parts of the West Indies ; and Father Lafitau 
has pronounced his arguments as conclusive on this head ; but 
the evidence so much relied on, that of Peter Martyr, expressly 
mentions the sugar-cane, along with melons, cucumbers, and 
the like, among the useful vegetables cultivated by those Spa- 

* KouTeaa Voyage aux Isles de I'Ameiique, contenaat PHistoire Na- 
turelle de ces Fays, &c. torn. ii. La Haye, 1724. 

the Su^^ar-Oane m Spam. 258 

niards in their inclosed garden during the stay of Oolmnbna 
in Hispaniola. '^ Cannamm radices ex quarom sncco saochar 
mm extorquetnr, sed non coagolatns saccus, cubitalet cmmoB 
intra quindeeim diem emiserunt'* (Deeas L Hk iti. P. JIfiir- 
tyr.) This extraordinary growth shews how rapidly the plant 
might be propagated in the West Indies ; and had it been 
indigenous, what need was there of rearing it in their experi- 
mental garden ! 

We know, moreoyer, that the only plants mentioned by 
Columbus as growing in his New World that were known to 
him, were the paim and the pine. Had so yaluable a product 
as the sugar-cane been found there, he would scarcely have 
omitted it. 

We have, moreoyer, the direct testimony of Antonio de 
Herrera, who is lauded by Robertson as the most faithful of 
the Spanish historians on the discoyery of the New World, as 
to the importation of the sugar-cane. He states that its cul- 
tiyation was first introduced in 1506 by a Spaniard named 
Aguilon, who brought it to the West Indies from the Canary 
Islands.* The experiment of Columbus had shewn the con* 
geniality of the climate to the rapid growth of the cane, and 
this was a natural consequence among a people then the most 
enterprizing in Europe. 

The other authorities cited by Labat are too distant from 
the period of the Spanish discoyeries to decide the question 
respecting a plant so easily propagated ; and, besides, amount 
to no more than that the sugar-cane has been seen growing 
apparently without human care in America, in places and 
climates yery similar to those regions where it is found wild 
in the eastern world, yet not where Europeans had not before 
landed, and therefore might haye introduced it. 

We haye no certain data to fix the era of its first introduc- 
tion into Europe. Some writers ascribe it to the Crusades, 
but it certainly was known in the Morea, Rhodes, Malta, and 
Sicily before the Crusades. We know that it was extensiyely 
cultiyated in Egypt, around Assuan, as early as the year 766 

* HisiorU general de los Hechos de los castillanos m las Islas y Tierra 
Firma de mar oceano. Tom. I, p. 320^ fol. Madrid^ 1601. 

360 Professor Traill on ihe Cultivation of 

of our era ;* th&t it was first introduced into Sicily between 
1060 and 1090, and had become in that island a considerable 
agricultural object in 1166, when a sugar-mill is mentioned 
in a charter of Guglielmo 11. of Sicily .t 
. It is eyen said that the sugar-cane was brought from Malta 
to Sicily, and had been previously known in the Morea. 
• There is considerable reason to believe that the cane was 
introduced by Arabian or Moorish conquerors into Spain soon 
after their settlement in the peninsula in the year 714. It 
seems to have been well known in Andalusia as early as 1150, 
but the Spanish historians are totally silent on this subject. 

Certain it is, that the cultivation of sugar was greatly fos* 
tered by the Moors of Spain, and most successfully pursued 
by that active and enterprising race, who long held the foremost 
place in the career of European arts and leami^kg. These 
sugar-plantations extended over a great part of the eastern 
shores of Valencia and Granada ; and where the soil or climate 
were less fitted for this species of industry, the rearing of silk- 
worms, the cultivation of the fig, the orange, the lemon, and 
the olive, with wheat and barley of the finest quality, gave 
full employment to Moorish agricultural industry. 

I do not find any certain data in the Spanish historians from 
which to collect the extent of the sugar cultivation in their 
country ; but for some time after the final subjugation of the 
Moors of Spain, large tracts of land in Valencia and Eastern 
Andalusia were still under sugar-cane. The first severe check 
it received was from the extension of sugar cultivation in the 
West Indian islands, and its second from the barbarous and 
most impolitic expulsion of the Moriscoes from Spain in 1609. 
The arts and industry of Valencia, in particular, sustained a 
shock, from which they never recovered ; and the cultivation 
of the sugar-cane was soon extinguished in that kingdom, ex- 
cept a feeble remnant that lingered, even to this century, in 
the duchy of Gandia, a small territory about thirty miles south 
of the city of Valencia. As I did not visit that part of Spain, 
I am unable to state whether it has there survived the French 

* Edrisi. 

t Father Lafitau; Histoire des Ddcbuvertes et Conqu^ies des Portagais. 
^aris, 1736. 

tAe Sugar-Cane in Spain. 261 

invacfion ; htt in 1814 1 fotind sagar still a considerable article 
of agricultural industry in the eastern parts of Andalusia, espe* 
cially in the neighbourhood of Marbella, a town thirty*five 
miles south of Malaga ; and also at Velez-Malaga, a small 
town in a fertile valley, twelve miles to the eastward of that 
city. This cultivation, indeed, extends along the whole coast 
of the eastern projection of Andalusia to Torrox, Motril, and 
Adra, where, until the French invasion of 1808, it was also 
very flourishing. 

The whole sugar district of Andalusia may be considered 
as a narrow tract between a chain of rugged mountains and 
the Mediterranean, above 130 miles in length, with a medium 
breadth of four or five miles. It is not meant to assert that 
all this tract is under sugar, or even capable of furnishing it ; 
but merely that this cultivation may be traced throughout the 
district now mentioned. Its southern part is screened by the 
moderate elevations of the Sierra Bermeja and mountains of 
Malaga ; its north-eastern portion is overhung by the rocky 
crests of the mighty Alpuj arras ; a stupendous group termi- 
nating in the perennial snows of the Sierra Nevada, which 
among European moxmtains yields in altitude to the Alps 

Notwithstanding that snowy peakd may be seen in some 
parts of the sugar district, yet it possesses many characters of 
an intertropical climate. The heaths of the north are sup- 
planted by the dwarf palm, Chamcerops humilis; the fields are 
divided by hedges of the aloe. Agave Americana^ and of the 
prickly pear, Cactus opuntia; while the tall form of the date 
palm, Fhomix daetylifeta^ another remnant of Moorish times, 
is still occasionally seen to rear its graceful head against the 
deep azure of a cloudless sky. 

My meteorological observations, though necessarily imper- 
fect from frequent change of place, may serve to give some 
idea of the climate. During my rambles in that neighbour- 
hood, in the latter half of May, the average temperature 
At9 A.M. = 69^5R 
At9 p.M.= 62°.5 
1 found the average range of Deluc's whalebone hygrometer 
during the same period = 36^5. 

iei Professor Tiaill on ihe CulHvatUm of 

The average temperature at Gibraltar and its vicinity, 
thronghont Jane, at 9 a.m. = TS"". 

at 9 P.M. = 70^ while the monthly average 
of Delnc's hygrometer =» 41^ Daring this period, the hy- 
grometer was twice observed to indicate only 35^ and it was 
once as high as 52^ : the last was daring a Levanter^ or south- 
east breeze, with an obscure atmosphere and oppressive heat. 

In the month of July, while still to the south of the Sierra 
Morena, the average temperature from the 1st to the 24th of 
the month was at 9 a.v. SG"". 

at 9 P.H. 82^5. 
At the hottest time of the day, the thermometer in the shade 
usually stood from 92^ to 96^ ; and on one occasion I found it 
as high as 99^.5. An accident to my hygrometer rendered the 
observations with that instrument imperfect. 

For several months of the year, scarcely any rain, except an 
occasional thunder-shower, falls in Andalusia ; but the dews 
are most copious. In severe winters, there are sometimes 
slight nocturnal frosts, which are very injurious to the sugar- 
canes. But the climate along the Mediterranean coasts of 
Andalusia is so mild, that tropical plants in general need 
scarcely any protection ; and the nightingale is said to remain 
there throughout the year. 

It is well known that the range of the barometer is ex- 
tremely limited in the south of Europe, and it is still less in 
equatorial regions. By consulting the register of this instru- 
ment, kept at the Garrison Library in Gibraltar, at a few feet 
above the level of the sea, I found that for eight years the 
barometer had generally stood from 30.01 to 30.10. During 
the whole period, it had been once so low as 29.70, and once 
so high as 30.20 : the first happened during a thunder-storm in 
the winter of 1810 ; the latter in the summer of the same year. 

It might have been expected that a branch of agricul- 
ture so interesting, so little known in the rest of Europe, 
would have arrested the attention of British travellers in 
Spain ; but it has scarcely been noticed by any of our travel- 
lers. In the Antiquarian Travels of the Rev. Edward Clarke, 
'oublished in 1763, we perhaps ought not to expect to find any 
otice of this subject. But neither in the valuable *^ Journey 

fk^ Sugar-Oane in Spain. 26d 

ihrouffh Spain^^ of the Rev. Joseph Townsend, which abounds 
^th information on the agriculture and manufactures of the 
Peninsula, nor in the more superficial Narratives of Dillon, 
Swinburne, Semple, and Inglis, do we find any account of 
ihis branch of Spanish industry. Townsend contents himself 
with stating that the cultivation of the augar-eane^ of rice, 
and cotton, were introduced into Spain by the Moors ; as were 
the manufactures of silk, paper, and gunpowder, when they 
were unknown to the rest of Europe. Dillon merely states 
that the sugar of Andalusia is equal to that of the West Indies, 
and gives the number of sugar-mills along the eastern coast. 
Swinburne repeats the story ; but neither traveller appears to 
have seen a sugar-plantation. Semple was in too great a 
hurry to observe them ; and Inglis is equally barren on this 
subject. The only modem traveller in Spain that has afforded 
any useAil information on the cultivation of the sugar-cane in 
that country is Laborde, whose few remarks are scattered 
through the five volumes of his Itineraire. 
■ During a visit to Spain of several months, in the year 1814« 
among other objects of high interest, my attention was drawn 
to this branch of agriculture ; and I propose to lay before the 
Sdl^iety my own observations, with some statistical remarks 
which I was permitted to extract from the memoranda of one 
of the most extensive sugar-planters in the Spanish Peninsula. 
The cultivation of sugar in the kingdom of Granada has 
been subject to many fluctuations during the two last centu- 
ries : often firom the interference of an arbitrary government ; 
and once, at least, from religious persecution of one of the 
most enterprising planters, who died in the prisons of the In- 
quisition at Granada. It flourished exceedingly about 1808, 
when long continued maritime warfare had enhanced the price 
of colonial sugar. Sugar-plantations, both large and small, 
then abounded along the coast from Adra to the southward of 
Estepona ; and mills for crushing the canes, either moved by 
water-wheels or by mules, were established, especially at 
Adra^ Motril, Salobrena, Almuhecar^ Frigiliana, Torrox, Ve* 
lezmalaga, Churriana, Torre de Molinos, Mijas, Castillo di 
Fufiffirola, MarheUa^ and at Manilba, about 15 miles north of 
iSibraltar. Southward of Malaga, thwe were twelve of these 

264 Professor Traill on the CulHmiion of 

stigar-mills. Some of the works were ruined during the sub- 
sequent war ; but many of them were still in existence at the 
period of my journey in 1814. The finest and most perfect 
sugar estate I saw was that belon^ng to Messrs Grevigny and 
Kirkpatrick of Malaga, of which I shall presently give some 
details, furnished by the latter gentleman. The mode of 
cultivation there was on the most approved system of the 
English planters in the West Indies ; the works were very 
complete, and produced, in good years, 4600 loaves of white 
sugar — ^the produce of canes grown on not more than 38 
English acres of good land. Many of the other plantations, 
however, are very small; and such cultivators usually sell 
their canes to the larger proprietors, or several of them unite 
in erecting a mill and boiling -house for the fabrication of 
muscovado sugar. 

On large plantations the ground is prepared by the plough ; 
but on almost all those I visited the labour is chiefly perform- 
ed by the spade, and by a species of large hand-hoe. The 
principle, however, of preparing the ground is similar in them 

The soil best adapted for sugar-cane is a rich loam, light, 
and of a brown colour when recently turned up. The gene- 
ral soil of all this district is clay, much mixed with calcareous 
matter. The best soil usually rests on clay-slate, and this on 
mica-slate ; but around Velezmalaga limestone covers the slate. 
The soil should not be too retentive of moisture, but occa- 
sionally requires irrigation, which is ingeniously effected by 
means of earthenware tubes, that convey the water either 
from the streams descending from the mountains, or what is 
rais^ by means of the noriat or Persian wheel — ^a common 
mode of procuring water in Andalusia since the time of the 
Moorish conquest. The water is conveyed to the upper parts 
of the sugar-fields, whence it is permitted to escape into chan- 
nels cut for its distribution to the roots of the canes. 

When a plantation is to be formed, the land is duly prepar- 
ed, by digging or ploughing to the depth of 8 or 10 inches ; 
paths are left for convenient access to the canes ; the soil is 
enriched by compost manures of animal dung, mixed with de- 
caying vegetables and earthy matters ; and the field is divided 

the Su^av'-Cime in Spain* . . 265. 

by. parallel trenches, about 12 inches asunder, and 8 inches 
deep. The earth turned out is laid on the intervals between 
the trenches. The width of these trenches is different at 
different places. The trenches being finished, the planter 
proceeds to place horizontally in their bottoms the shoots or 
tops of the canes of the former season, which, for this pur- 
pose, have been carefully preserved. These shoots are of such 
lengths as to have four or five buds in each. The pieces I 
saw buried, in renewing the worn-out roots in a plantation at 
Velezmalaga, were about 9 inches in length, and two were 
placed sideways in each furrow. Each pair were placed about 
6 inches from the adjacent pair. A portion of the earth is 
then thrown on the shoots ; and as the buds rise above the 
ground, more soil is gradually added from the heaps, until 
about the end of five months, when the whole earth of the. 
heaps has been accumulated around the young plants. Dur- 
ing this period of their growth, they are carefully weeded, and 
irrigated, if necessary, as already described. The great enemy 
of the Spanish sugar-planter is an occasional, though slight, 
frost, which is very apt to kill the young canes. I observed 
in many places very high fences of the Spanish reed {Arundo 
Donax) used as defences against the chilling winds from the 

When the young canes are about 15 inches high, they are 
hoed up to 6 or 7 inches ; and hoeing and weeding are conti- 
nued during the growth of the plant. . 

The sugar-cane comes to its maturity in two years ; so that 
a plantation ought to have one-half of its produce ready for 
cutting annually. 

The cutting in Spain begins in November, and is a season 
of hilarity and mirth, like that of the vintage in every part of 

The ripe canes, when cut, are carried to the mill, where 
they are crushed between three cylinders of wood plated with 
iron, turning on vertical axes. The power is applied to the 
middle cylinder, on which is fixed a trundle-wheel or pinion 
applied to spur-wheels on the two other cylinders. In many 
works the apparatus is rude ; and in one small mill I observed. 
a horizontal water-wheel. But the whole apparatus at the 

266 Profesm- IVafll an the OAmOian of 

Marbella plantation of Mr Grevigny was i¥ett oonatmctedJ 
The expense of a good angar-mill is considerable. Laborde* 
states that some nulls cost 100,000 livres tonmoisy cnr npwards 
Of L.4000 Sterling. 

The expressed jnice of the cane is conTeyedfimn the mill: 
in wooden gutters, lined with lead or copper, to the boilii^-^' 
house. The best works have a series of three boilers, in which 
tiie juice undergoes purification, and hence are called darifiers. 
These are of different sizes, placed in brick-work, and each is 
heated by a separate fire. In the first copper, mUk ofUtne is 
added to absorb the acid always existing in eane*jmce ; the 
heat is raised nearly to the point of ebuUitiou, and then the^ 
fire is cut off by a damper. A thick scum has by this tfane^ 
collected on the surface, which is allowed to accumulate for 
an hour, when the subjacent clear liquid is drawn <tf by a 
cock on the lower part of the darifier. The liquid is next 
conveyed to the second boil^, when it is subjected to a boil- 
ing heat, to inspissate the juice ; but lime-water is added*in 
this step of the process, and the sciun which rises is laded off 
repeatedly. The clarified juice is usually subjected to a simi- 
lar process in a third clarifier, whence it passes into the [ndn- 
cipal boiler, or teache, as it is termed by our West Indian 
sugar-planters. Here it undergoes its final evaporation ; and 
when judged to be sufiiciently concentrated for crystallization, 
the syrup is laded off into wooden coolers of about 10 inches 
deep, with a surface of 20 or 30 square feet. Here it granu- 
lates ; and the imperfect crystals thus obtained are removed 
to the curing-room and drained, just as in the manufiEicture of^ 
West Indian sugar. In the sugar-works of M. Grevigny at 
Marbella, the sugar is also ciayed and baked, as in our re- 
fineries ; and the quality of both their muscovado and loaf 
sugar is excellent. 

The following particulars, extracted from the books of my 
excellent friend the late William Kirkpatrick, Esq. of Malaga, 
give an account of the state of that large establishment in 
1806, when he was manager. The plantation at Marbella be- 
came the property of his father-in-law, M. Grevigny, in 1800, 
tinder a royal charter. As these documents refer to a period 
previous to the operation of the famous Berlin and Milan de* 

A6 Sugar^C^me in Spain. ' 2fft 

eii^eed of Napokon, the calculation of profits is not affected bjr 
the adventitioas state of the coiBineree of the world conse-* 
quent (m those ebdUitioiis of the Imperiid hatred of Great 
Britain ; and they are more worthy of consideration, as pro-- 
ceeding firom an intelligent gentleman intimately conversant 
with the subject, and as conveying the only real statistical in-* 
formation, that has fallen under my observation^ on ihe culti- 
vation of the sugar-cane in Europe. 

^' The Marbella Establishment, on the scale it is now car** 
ried on, yields in every current year, free of frost, after the 
tithes are paid, 4600 loaves of refined sugar ; which, sold at the 
usual peace prieeSf and allowing for the value of the molasses^ 
will bring at least 10 hard dollars per loaf, or 46,000 durosv 
To produce this quantity, it is necessary to have 120 fane^adas 
of good rich land under canes.* Only one-half, however, of 
this land can be cut annually, so that the produce above stated 
is^tained from 60 fanegada& But, to be so productive, the 
lam must be fiilly manured, the canes must be well cleaned, 
and hoed, and the irrigation carefully performed ; under these 
circumstances, 60 fimegadas wiU readily afibrd that quantity 
of sugar and molasses, or even more. 

The first planting of the canes is, however, very expen- 
sive, amounting to 200 duros per ftnegada. But if this operas 
tion be judiciously conducted, the annual cost of maintaining 
the plantation, of hoeing and weeding the canes, of replanting 
the perished roots after every cutting, and again manuring the 
land, which must be done after every crop, will not exceed 
75 duros per fanegada. 

Our labour is performed at a very cheap rate. The daily 
pay of each labourer is, — 

For six months, = 7 Reales VeUon, = Is. 7^d* 

For four active months = 8 R« V. = Is. lOd. 

For two hottest months = 11 R. V, = 2s. 6id. 

They receive no maintenance, but find themselves in food and 
other necessaries. 

To make the plantation profitable, a sufficiency of water 

"^ A,/hcMffti dc Hffmtf xft Jtzng^fodctf is r= 25,920 J9pflEiUBli loet , or Higtxt x<a&6"' 
godas are rather less than fiye £9|;li6li acres. Ihur» Is the silver dollar. 

268 Professor Traill on the Culiwdtion of 

for irrigation, and dung for manure, must be provided. Thb 
last article is a work of some difficulty, and requires a con- 
siderable command of capital. In order to insure a suffident 
supply, besides 300 or 400 cart-loads of dung annually fur- 
nished by cattle reared on an adjoining farm, and those em- 
ployed on the plantation, there are 3000 sheep kept on the 
ferm, which are penned every fair night,-fTom December to 
the end of May, on the land which requires dunging. During 
rainy nights, they are kept in stables, from which the dung is 
collected in the morning ; and the floors are so constructed 
that the urine flows into a tank, whence the needy and back- 
ward canes are watered, a process by which they are materia 
ally advanced. 

A well-planned sugar plantation, if judiciously managed, 
and if the roots which have perished be renewed after every 
cutting, will last twenty or thirty years. But for prosecuting 
this branch of industry successfully, the additional one of 
farming should be conjoined* The work of the plantation, 
sugar-mills, and farm, employs eighty oxen, forty mules, and 
twenty asses ; fifty servantsand overseers are also to be main- 
tained, but their wages do not exceed those of the day-la- 
bourers. The cattle and servants annually require 600 quintals 
of wheat,* 1400 quintals of barley, for the horses and mules,' 
300 quintals of beans or other pulse, 5000 quintals of chopped 
straw, the ordinary food of cattle, all which is raised on the 
farm ; but this additional expense is well repaid by the pro- 
duce of that farm, the dung, and the work done by the cattle, 
which save a considerable sum to the sugar establishment. . 

As the proprietors of the Marbella estate have thus every 
requisite for the plantation, for two sugar-mills, and for the 
farm, within themselves, they have only to calculate the an- 
nual charges incurred in making 4600 loaves of sugar. This 
business should be performed in eighty dajrs, at the rate of 
sixty loaves every twenty-four hours ; but unavoidable delays 
with the claying of the sugar, bring up the working days to 
100, of which the expenses may be stated at 100 duros per 
day ; 180 men and 75 mules being employed during that pe-. 

* A Spaaisli qnlatal is 1021 lb. avoirclupois. 

the Su^ar-Oane in Spain. 269 

nod. If a sufficient quantity of cane-trash has been properly 
dried and laid up for supplying the boiling-house and kitchens, 
no. addition has to be made for fuel ; but if fuel has to be pur- 
chased, an addition of 25 or 30 dollars a-day must be made to 
the expenses of the establishment. 

The canes are ground by a water-mill; but when water 
fails, or any accident happens to the machinery, the mule-mill 
is put in operation ; thirty-six mules are set apart for this 
work : gix are yoked to it at once, and work it for two hours 
in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, during each 
twenty-four hours. This brings an additional charge of 36 
duros per day. 

Each form or cooler in which the sugar crystallizes regu- 
larly affords from 47 to 50 lb. of sugar, and 60 or 65 lb. of 
molasses daily. 

The establishment contains the two mills, stables for 80 
mtdes, extensive rooms for depositing the canes till ground, 
tvA'boiling-houses, and crystallizing and curing rooms. 

The erection of these works, purchasing a spare mill, and 
a dozen of additional copper boilers, have caused a heavy out- 
lay. But besides the sum required in these erections, the pro- 
prietors have expended in the purchase of 800 fanegadas of 
land, planting 120 of them, in stocking the farm with horned 
cattle, sheep, and mules, and in building stores and granaries, 
80,000 duros. 

Yet the returns of this double establishment have been, 
even in bad years, at least seven per cent., in middling^ seasons 
eleven per cent., and in favourable seasons from sixteen to 
twenty per cent., clear of all charges, on the capital embarked 
in the undertaking. 

These remarks will shew that the cultivation of the sugar- 
cane might still become an important branch of Spanish in- 
dustry, notwithstanding the competition of foreign sugar ; and 
that little is wanting but a firm and equitable government, to 
afford from this source a very profitable investment of capital, 
if managed with the judgment and skill displayed in the estab- 
lishment at Marbella. 


( 270 ') 

Notice of Experiments regarding the Visibility of Lights in ra* 
pid Motion^ made with a view to the Improvement of Light-- 
houses^ and of some peculiarities in the impressions made by 
them on the Eye, By Alan Stbteksow, LL.B., F.R.S.E., 
Civil Engineer. Communicated by the Author. 

In the spring of 1836, my attention was called, by our dis- 
tinguished countryman Captain Basil Hall, to apian by which 
he proposed to increase the intensity and power of fixed lights 
for lighthouses, to such an extent as to render their constant 
effect little inferior to that of the bright flashes which alter- 
nate with the dark intervals in revolving lights. Since that 
time Captain Hall has made some experiments on the subject, 
which he has described in the United Service Journal ; and I 
have lately, at his request, and with the sanction of the NOTth- 
em Lights Board, repeated his experiments, and also ^Kd 
some others which appeared to me to bear on the subject. 
The object of this notice is to state the results which were 
obtained from these experiments, as well in regard to the ob- 
ject for which they were originally designed, as in reference 
to some curious phenomena connected with the distribution of 
light and its effect in producing impressions on the eye, which 
were observed in the course of these trials. It is necessary, 
however, that I should, in the first place, give a short account 
of the instruments which were employed and describe their 
action, so that the purpose for which the experiments were 
made may be brought fully into view, and the nature of the 
results which they afforded may be made more intelligible to 
those who have not previously given any consideration to the 

In revolving lights on the dioptric principle, the annular 
lens of Fresnel is employed. This instrument consists of a 
centre lens in one piece, and several concentric zones arranged 
so as to form a square of about 900 inches of surface ; and it 
possesses the property of projecting to the horizon, in the form 
oione pencil or beam, all the light which falls on its inner face 
from a lamp placed in its principal focus. The consequence 

Mr Stevenson^s ExperimenU on Li^hU in Bapid Motion. 371 

of this action is, that when several lenses are so arranged as 
to form a right prism which circulates round a lamp placed in 
the common focus, a distant observer receives from each lens, 
as its axis crosses his line of vision, a bright flash, whidi is 
succeeded hy total darkneas, when one of the dark spaces in- 
termediate between the beams passes over his eye ; and this 
succession of In^ht fladies alternating with dark intervals, 
produces the characteristic appearance of a revolving light. 

The fixed light, on the other hand, presents to the eye a 
steady and unchanging appearance ; and the chief object to 
be obtained in its construction, is to unite the greatest bril- 
liancy with an equal distribution of the light in every direc- 
tion. This ccmdition of perfect distribution is most rigorously 
Ailfilled by the use of refracting zones or belts, which form, 
by their union, a cylinder enveloping the flames placed in its 
centre. This cylinder is a true solid of revolution, generated 
by the rotation of the mixtilinear central section of a great 
annular lens, round a vertical axis passing through its princi- 
pal focus ; and must, therefore, possess the property of refract- 
ing the light in the vertical direction only, without afiecting 
its natural divergence horizontally. The light which is inci- 
dent from the focus on the inner surface of the belt is there- 
fore projected forwards in the shape of a flat ring of equal 
brilliancy all round the horizon. 

This very brief account of the instruments used in the fixed 
and revolving lights on the dioptric principle will, it is hoped, 
be found sufficient to render intelligible the following outline 
of the plan proposed by Captain Hall for the improvement of 
fixed lights, and the account of the trials that were made with 
this object in view. 

The fietmiliar experiment of whirling a burning stick rapidly 
round the head, so as to produce a ribbon of light, proves the 
possibility of causing a continuous impression on the retina 
by intermittent images succeeding each other with a certain 
velocity. From the moderate velocity at which this conti- 
nuity of impression is obtained, we should be warranted in 
concluding, a priori, that the time required to make an im- 
pression on the retina is considerably less than the duration 

272 Mr Steyensoa^s ExperinumU on Ughis m Bapid MoHen.*^ 

of the impreflBion itself; for the eontiBiuty of effect most, of 
course, be caused by firesh impulses succeeding each other be- 
fore the preceding ones have entirely faded. If it were oth^- 
wise, and the time required to make the impression weee 
equal to the duration of the sensation, it would obviously be 
impossible to obtain a series of impulses so close or conti- 
nuous in their effects as to run into and overlap each other, 
and thus throw out the intervals of darkness, because the 
same velocity which would tend to shorten the dark inter- 
vals, would also curtail the bright flashes, and thus prevent 
their acting on the eye long enough to cause an impression. 
Accordingly, we find that the duration of an impression is 
in reality much greater than the time required for produc- 
ing the effect on the retina. It is stated by Professor Wheat- 
stone, in the London Transactions for 1834, that only about 
one nUUianth pari of a second is required for making a dis- 
tinct impression on the eye; and it appears, from a state- 
ment made by Lam^, at p. 425 of his Cours de Physique, tiiat 
M« Plateau found that an impresuon on the retina preserved 
its intensity unabated during one hundredth of a second, so 
that, however small these times may be in themselves, the one 
is yet 10,000 greater than the other. 

It has been ascertsdned by direct experiment,* that the eye 
can receive a fresh impression before the preceding one has 
faded ; and indeed, if this were impossible, absolute continui- 
ty of impression from any succession of impulses, however ra- 
pid, would seem to be unattainable ; and the approach to per- 
fect continuity would be inversely as the time required to 
make an impression. 

From this property which bright bodies passing rapidly be- 
fore the eye possess of communicating a continuous impression 
to the sense of sight. Captain Hall conceived the idea, not 
merely of obtaining all the effects of a fixed light, by causing 
a system of lenses to revolve with such a velocity as to pro- 
duce a continuous impression, but, at the same time, of obtain- 

* Lamd, Cours de Physique, p. 424. L'impression peut subsister encore 
lorsquela fiuivante a lieu. 

Mr Stevenso&'s Experunents on Lights in Bapid Motion. 273 

ing a much inore brilliant appearance, by the comj^ensatrng 
influence of the bright flashes, which he expected would pro- 
duce impulses sufficiently powerful and durable to make the 
deficiency of light in the dark spaces almost imperceptible. 
The mean effect of the whole series of changes would, he ima- 
gined, be thus greatly superior to that which can be obtained 
from the same quantity of light equally distributed, as in fixed 
lights, over the whole horizon. Now this expectation, if it be 
considered solely in reference to the physical distribution of 
the light, involves various difficulties. The quantity of light 
subjected to instrumental action is the same whether we em- 
ploy the refracting zones at present used in fixed dioptric 
lights, or attempt to obtain continuity of effect by the rapid 
revolution of lenses ; and the only difference in the action of 
these two arrangements is this, that while the zones distribute 
the light equally over the whole horizon, or rather do not in- 
terfere with its natural distribution, the effect of the proposed 
method is to collect the light into pencils, which are made to 
revolve with such rapidity, that the impression from each 
pencil succeeds the preceding one in time to prevent a sensible 
occurrence of darkness. To expect that the mean effect of 
the light, so applied, should be greater than when it is left to 
its natural horizontal divergence, certainly appears at first to 
involve something approaching to a contradiction of physical 
laws. In both cases the same quantity of light is acted upon 
by the instrument, and in either case any one observer will 
receive an impression similar and equal to that received by 
any other stationed at a different part of the horizon ; so that 
unless we imagine that there is some loss of light peculiar to 
one of the methods, we are, in the physical view of the ques- 
tion, shut up to the conclusion, that the impressions received 
by each class of observers must be of equal intensity. In other 
words, the same quantity of light is by both methods employed 
to convey a continuous impression to the senses of specta- 
tors in every direction, and in both methods equality of dis- 
tribution is effected, since it does not at all consist with our 
hypothesis that any one observer in the same class should re- 
ceive more or less than his equal share of the light. Then, as 
to the probability of the loss of light, it seems natural to ex- 

274 Mr Stevenson's Experiment on Lights in Rapid MotUm. 

pect that this should occur in connection with the reyolving 
systenii because the velocity is an extraneous circumstance, 
by no means necessary to an equal distribution of the light, 
which can, as we already know, be more naturally, and at the 
same time perfectly, attained by the use of the zones. 

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten, that although 
the effect of both methods is to give each part of the horizon 
an equal share of light, there is yet this difference between 
them, that while the light from the zones is equally intense 
at every instant of time, that evolved by the rapidly circulat- 
ing lenses is constantly passing through every phase between 
total darkness and the brightest flash of the lens ; and this 
difference, taken in connection with some curious physiological 
observations regarding the sensibility of the retina, gives con- 
siderable countenance to the expectation on which Captain 
Hairs ingenious expedient is based. The fact which has al- 
ready been noticed, and which the beautiful experiments of 
M. Plateau and Professor Wheatstone have of late rendered 
more precise, that the duration of an impression on the retina 
is not only appreciable, but is much greater than the time re- 
quired to cause it, seems to encourage us in expecting, that 
while the velocity required to produce continuity of effect 
would not be found so great as to interfere with the formation 
of a full impression, the duration of the impulse from each 
flash would remain unaltered, and the dark intervals which 
do not excite the retina would, at the same time, be shorten- 
ed, and that, therefore, we might in this manner obtain an 
effect exceeding the brilliancy of a steady light distributed 
equally in every direction by the ordinary method. Many 
persons, indeed, who have speculated on this subject, seem to 
be of opinion, that, so far from the whole effect of the series of 
continuous impressions being weakened by a blending of the 
dark with the bright intervals, the eye would in reality be stimu- 
lated by the contrast of light and darkness, so as thereby to re- 
ceive a more complete and durable impulse from the light. It 
is obvious, however, that this question regarding the probable 
effect to be anticipated by a revolution so rapid, as to cause a 
continuous impression, can only be satisfactorily answered by 
an appeal to experiment. 

Mr Stevenson's Experiments on Lights in Bapid Motion. 275 

In ejcperimenting on this subject, I used the apparatus for? 
merly employed by Captain Hall. It consisted of an octa- 
gonal frame, which carried eight of the discs that compose 
the central part of Fresners compound lens, and was suscep- 
tible of being rerolred slowly or quickly at pleasure, by means 
of a crank handle and some intermediate gearing. The experi- 
ments were nearly identical with those made by Captain Hall, 
who contrasted the effect of a single lens at rest, or 'moving 
very slowly, with that produced by the eight lenses, revolv- 
ing with such velocity as to cause an apparently continuous 
impression on the eye. To this experiment I added that 
of comparing the beam thrown out by the central portion 
of a cylindric refractor, such as is used at the fixed light of 
the Isle of May, with the continuous impression obtained by 
the rapid revolution of the lenses. Captain Hall made all his 
comparisons at the short distance of 100 yards ; and in order 
to obtain some measure of the intensity, he viewed the lights 
through plates of coloinred glass until the luminous discs be- 
came invisible to the eye« I repeated these experiments at 
Gnllan, under similar circumstances, but with very different 
-results. I shall not, however, enter upon the discussion of 
these differences at present, although they are susceptible of 
explanation, and are corroborative of the conclusions at which 
I have arrived, by comparing the lights from a distance of 14 
miles ; but shall proceed to detail the more important results 
which were obtained by the distant view. Several members 
of the Royal Society witnessed the results of the experiments 
which I shall briefly describe in the following order :— . 

1. The flash of the lens revolving slowly was very much 
larger than that of the rapidly revolving series ; and this de- 
crease of sisse in the luminous object presented to the eye, 
became more marked as the rate of revolution was accele- 
rated, so that, at the velocity of 8 or 10 flashes in a second, 
the naked eye could hardly detect it, and only a few of the 
observers saw it ; while the steady light from the refractor 
was distinctly visible. 

2. There was also a marked falling off in the brilliancy of 
the rapid flashes as compared with that of the slow ones ; but 

276 Mr Sterenson'^s Experiments on L^hta in Bapid Moiion 

this effect was by no means so striking as the decrease of 

3. Continuity of impression was not attained at the rate of 
5 flashes in a second, but each flash appeared to be distinctly 
separated by an interval of darkness ; and even when the 
nearest approach to continuity was made, by the recurrence 
of 8 or 10 flashes in a second, the light still presented a 
twinkling appearance, which was well contrasted with the 
steady and unchanging efiect of the cylindric refractor. 

4. The light of the cylindric refractor was, as already stated, 
steady and unchanging, and of much larger volume than the 
rapidly revolving flashes. It did not, however, appear so bril- 
liant as the flashes of the quickly revolving lenses, more espe- 
cially at the lower rate of 5 flashes in a second. 

5. When viewed through a telescope, the difference of vo- 
lume between the light of the cylindric refractor and that 
produced by the lenses at their greatest velocity was very 
striking. The former presented a large difiuse object of in- 
ferior brilliancy, while the latter exhibited a sharp pin point 
of brilliant light 

Upon a careful consideration of these facts it appears war- 
rantable to draw the following general conclusions : — 

1. That our expectations as to the effects of light, when 
distributed according to the law of its natural horizontal di- 
vergence, are supported by observed facts as to the visibility 
of such lights, contrasted with those whose continuity of effect 
is produced by collecting the whole light into bright pencils, 
and cauaing them to revolve with great velocity. 

2. It appears that this deficiency of visibility seems to be 
chiefly due to a want of volume in the luminous object, and 
also, although in a less degree, to a loss of intensity, both of 

-which defects appear to increase in proportion as the motion 
of the luminous object is accelerated. 

3. That thb deficiency of volume is the most remarkable 
optical phenomenon connected with the rapid motion of lumi- 
nous bodies, and that it appears to be directly proportional to 
the velocity of their passage over the eye. 

4> That there is reason to suspect that the visibility of dis- 

Mr Steyen'son's Experimeni$ on Lights in Sapid Motion. 277 

taut lights depends on the yolome of the impression, in a 
greater degree than has perhaps been generally imagined. 

5. That as the size and intensity of the radiants causing 
these various impressions to a distant observer, are the same, 
the volume of the light, and, consequently, cceteris paribun^ its 
visibility, is, within certain limits, proportionate to the time 
during which the object is present to the eye. 

Such appear to be the general conclusions which these ex* 
periments warrant us in drawing ; and the practical result, in 
so far as lighthouses are concerned, seems sufficient to discou- 
rage us from attempting to improve the visibility of fixed lights 
in the manner proposed by Captain Hall, even supposing the 
practical difficulties connected with the great centrifugal force 
generated by the rapid revolution of the lenses to be less than 
they really are. 

I shall be excused, I hope, for saying a few words in con- 
clusion regarding the decrease in the volume of the luminous 
object caused by the rapid motion of the lights. This effect 
is interesting, from its apparent connection with the cfiirious 
phenomenon of irradiation. When luminous bodies, such as 
the lights of distar4t lamps, are seen by night, they appear 
much larger than they would do by day ; and this effect is 
said to be produced by irradiation. M. Plateau, in his elabo- 
rate essay on this subject, after a careful examination of all 
the theories of irradiation, states it to be his opinion, that the 
most probable mode of accounting for the various observed 
phenomena of irradiation is to suppose, that, in the case of a 
night-view, the excitement caused by light is propagated over 
the retina beyond the limits of the day-image of the object, 
owing to the increased stimulus produced by the contrast of 
light and darkness ; and he also lays it down as a law confirmed 
by numerous experiments, that irradiation increases with the 
duration of the observation. It appears, therefore, not un- 
reasonable to conjecture, that the deficiency of volume ob- 
served during the rapid revolution of the lenses may have been 
caused by the light being present to the eye so short a time, 
that the retina was not stimulated in a degree sufficient to 
produce the amount of irradiation required for causing a large 
.visual object. When, indeed, the statement of M. Plateau, 

278 Dr Erichson on ike ClasHfieation of 

that irradiation is proportional to the duration of the observar 
tion, is taken in connection with the observed fact, that th^ 
ydiume of the light decreased as the motion of the lenses was 
accelerated, it seems almost impossible to avoid connecting 
together the two phenomena as cause and effect. 

On the Classification of Invertebrate Animais. By Dr W. P. 


It has, in recent times, been the practice almost universally 
to unite the articulated worms with insects, the two conjoined 
being regarded as forming one single principal division, the 
Articulata ; whether this division be considered (as it is by 
Blainville and others) as including all invertebrate animals pos- 
sessing to a certain extent a symmetrical structure, or whether 
(as Ehrenberg, from a more profound study of internal organi- 
sation, proposes) it be limited to animals in which the articula- 
tion of the body is shewn to be a true one, by the existence of a 
nervous system consisting of a row of ganglions with radiating 
nerves. It comes to be a question, however, whether symmetry 
and articulation of the body, and the form of the nervous system 
connected with the latter, indicate so much that is not afforded 
to systematic writes by other considerations. I have at least 
myself arrived at the conviction that we must return to the 
Linnaean classification, and, in accordance with nature, divide 
invertebrate animals into two great divisions, of which the 
one would correspond with the Linnaean insects, and the other 
with the Linnsean worms. I shall discuss this in the follow- 
ing remarks. 

The first distinction that strikes us between the two consists 
in this, — ^that the one group possesses a certain system of organs 
of motion, but the other does not, and, as no passage takes 
place, but, on the contrary, all the Linntean insects, at least 
during a certain period of life, are provided with these, while 
in the Linnaean worms there is nothing analogous, this &i$- 
tinction is constant and decided; and, as voluntary motion 

Intetiebraie Animals. 276 

is one of tbe most prominent aniinal chftraoteristics, this ap- 
pears also to be a yery essential distinction. In the Linnseati 
worms the progression of the body is accomplished in various 
ways, but where it is not by means of cilia, as in the infusoria and 
in the young of many radiata, the alternate dilatation and con- 
traction of the whole body perform the principal part. The 
lateral cirri and bristles of the majority of the Annelides are 
of themselves not in the condition to move the bodies, but at 
most serve as points of support, just as the Gasteropods do 
not glide forwards by means of the lower surface of the sto- 
mach, but do so upon it by means of extensions and contrac- 
tions of the whole body. The arms of the Cephalopods, like 
tiiose of the polypi intended for the same purpose, serve to 
seijBe their prey and to convey it to their mouths, and are only 
employed occasionally for dragging their bodies forwards. 
What are termed the feet of the Echinodermata also are not 
limbs, but belong entirely to the skin. In insects, on the 
other hand, the organs of motion form not only a particular 
system of limbs, which this whole division of animals possesses 
in a constant fundamental type, though one which exhibits 
various modifications, but they form a system which also gives 
rise to a peculiar external skeleton-structure, and stands in 
close connection with a further articulation of the body. We 
may assume that in the articulated insect each joint or seg- 
ment had originally a pair of articulated legs, as we find in 
the Myriapods, for example in the Scolopendridse, which 
apparently exhibit a passage to the Annelides and first of all 
to the Nereidae. Nevertheless, the fundamental type of the 
structure of insects is quite difierent, and we perceive, when 
we glance at the whole series of this large division of the ani- 
mal kingdom, with reference to the history of development, 
that with the appearance of limbs which take upon themselves 
the function of the progressive movement of the body, there 
are united other relations of the articulation of the body which 
are of essential importance for the organisation. 

The various functions of life of the Linnsean insects are more 
or less centralized in different segments of the body. First of 
all, there is separated that portion which contains the organs 
of the vegetative functions, or, in other words, the organs of 

280 Dr Ericfason on the Classification of 

nourishment and propagation ; that is, the posterior part of 
the body from the anterior part, which latter alone contains 
the animal functions, inasmuch as it is provided with the or- 
gans of motion and those of the senses. The separation in 
insects is still more apparent and decided, when viewed in a 
narrower sense ; for we find the anterior part of the body di- 
vided into two parts, viz. the head, with the organs of sense, 
and the thorax, to which are exclusively confined the organs 
of motion. In the Arachnidse, the body is divided into only 
two parts, viz. anterior and posterior ; and here also, the first 
alone contains the organs of motion. In the Crustacea, each 
of the segments of the posterior part of the body has a similar 
pair of feet, as have the segments of the thorax ; and thus the 
thorax in this class loses its original signification, and so much 
the more because the pairs of feet belonging to it, when those 
of the posterior partof the body either assume entirely or princi- 
pally the office of the progressive movement of the body (in the 
true Crustacea), at the same time become converted either 
wholly or in part into portions of the mouth. It follows, from 
the history of the metamorphosis of vai*ious Decapods, that no 
other type lies at the foundation of the structure of their bodies 
but that of insects, inasmuch as at a very early period of their 
existence no other legs except those of the thorax present them- 
selves, and which at that time exercise the functions of organs 
of motion. The Myriapods (Julus) also come into the world 
with three pairs of feet, and exactly those corresponding to 
the three pairs of feet occurring in insects. In the same man- 
ner, in the Lemaeadse, we find, for the most part, that they 
come out of the egg with three pairs of feet ; and it is only gra- 
dually that the posterior part of body, at first without feet and 
scarcely observable, is developed in a prominent manner. 

Another essential peculiarity of insects, considered in the 
Linnsean acceptation, is their possessing three pairs of jaws in 
the mouth, which, although variously modified, are always 
present. There is nothing analogous in the Linna&an worms, 
for neither the dental plates in the mouth of the leech, nor 
the hooks in the gullet of the Annelides, nor even the peculiar 
dental apparatus in the gullet of the Rotifera, have any re- 
semblance to the three pairs of jaws in insects. Aldiough iJie 

Invertebrate AnimtUs. 281 

jaws of insects are actually identical with the legs, as is evident 
from their conversion into legs (as in the Arachnidse), and, vice 
verm, from the conversion of legs into jaws (as in the true Crus- 
tacea), the assumption that the head of insects, like the thorax, 
is composed of three' segments, can in no way be made out. 
The constant occurrence of three pairs of jaws, however, ad- 
mits of the supposition that the head, even where it is appa- 
rently awanting, inasmuch as it is blended with the imme- 
diately following sections of the body, — ^as in the Arachnidse, 
the Decapods, the Stomapods, and the Entomostraca, — ^is 
nevertheless an essential portion of the body of insects. This 
also may be deduced from the constant presence of the brain 
as a central organ of the nervous system, even where, exter- 
nally, a determinate well-marked head is awanting. 

In the Linnean worms (Vermes), on the other hand, a head 
is. not present, in the sense in which it is in the whole verte- 
brate animals, in all insects in the more confined signification, 
and in the greater number of Crustacea, even in the Myria- 
pods, in which the further division into the larger subdivi- 
sions of the body is the least developed ; and I cannot con- 
vince myself that Linnaeus was so far wrong as he is thought 
to be by many distinguished naturalists, when he denies that 
the Vermes possess a head. A head, strictly speaking, can 
only be considered in contradistinction to the trunk. This 
distinction does not occur in the Linnaean worms, where the 
whole body is nothing else biit a living abdomen, where, even 
when the body is articulated, no other distinctions prevail be- 
tween the individual subdivisions than sometimes the ramifi- 
cation of the circulating system, and where, lastly, at the same 
time,the anterior porti(Hi is distinguished by the cirri and organs 
of sense (viz. the eyes) placed there, and this only because the 
mouth-opening is there situated. Thus, even in the Cepha- 
lopods, the anterior portion of the body not included by the 
mantle, presents itself not as an actual head, and so much the 
less because this part of the body is turned downwards, and is 
that on which the animal creeps ; and still less can the same 
portion claim such a title in the Pteropods, inasmuch as in that 
group the eyes are not even placed there. In the Annelides, 
it is true, the first segment of the body is frequently distin- 

383 Dr Erichson on the Cf^H/iciiHon of 

giiished by the stronger cirri which it sapp<vt8, altiiough ike 
oirri do not 90 much belong to it as to the mouth ; and how 
little distinction prevails between it and the following seg^ 
ments, is best observed where several eyes are fnresent, andsot: 
pn the first segment alone, but also on aeveral of the rooeeedr 
ing. Lastly, what is termed a head in the Cestoids is in fact' 
an oesophagus, as occurs often in the Annelides ; and we re« 
quire only to compare a nereid with an oesophagus, with a 
tape*worm, in order to be convinced of the identity of the part 
in question. This connection will be mora easily attained if 
we take a Sipunculus.or Priapulus, where the oesophagus is at 
the same time crowned with a circle of hooks. It appears to me, 
however, not altogether impossible that the Tsenise can expand 
and contract this part just as well as tlie Nereids and Sepun- 
cuius, although it may be immoveable in the Bothriocephahis.. 
As the Vermes are thus, generally speaking, headless, so 
likewise there is awanting in them a central organ of the ner« 
vous system, a brain, such as is possessed by the Linnaean in- 
sects in the ganglion placed over the oesophagus,* and which 
here really gives the head its actual meaning. In the An* 
nelides, the first ganglion (or the oesophagal ring) has not the 
same importance as in inisects, but the principle of life appears 
to be more distributed over the whole chain of ganglia, whence 
it is apparent how animals of this division, when cut in pieces, 
continue to live and are developed as individuals, whenever 
only a part of the ganglionic chain is preserved in the portion. 
In insects, limbs, at most, are reproduced. The principle of 
life is least of all centralized in polypi and planarise, in which 
separate pieces, divided at will, preserve their inherent life, 
and become entire animals. Probably the earliest centraliza* 
tion of the principle of life appears in the single portions of 
molluscous animals ; but upon this subject we are not in pos- 
session of sufiBteient observations. 

* Thus^ when in insects, the brain with the head ii separated from the 
trunk, the moYement does not cease^ although the yolnntaiy motiea dies ; 
at least I have neyer been able to conyince myself that, after the loss of the 
head, the moyements, which do not immediately cease^ indicate a will inhe* 
xe&t in the tmnk. 

It thus ftppears, from what has been siud, that between the 
two chief divisions of invertebrate animals whieh with Linr 
niBus we term Insecfa and Fermei, there is a clear distinction, 
nay, in many instances, a marked contrast, inasmuch as in*- 
sects are distinguished from worms by possessing a system of 
peculiar organs of ^ motion, by the division of the mass of the 
body into different portions for the various vital functions, and 
by the centralization of the principle of life thus produced; 
and as ihej indicate, at the periods alluded to, the foundations 
of a higher collective organization, although one which has not 
attained its development in all the individual parts. Nature, 
it is true, is anxious to round off the sharpness of her divisions, 
but still the boundaries drawn by her are not the less fixed 
and determined. Thus we have neither intermediate forms 
nor a direct passage between insects and worms,* just as we 
have no intermediate steps between vertebrate and inverte«- 
brate animals. 

The Airther subdivisions of the Linneean insects is sufficient* 
ly distinct* The first class includes the insects taken in a 
more confined sense, with their division of the body into head, 
thorax, and abdomen, where the thorax alone possesses or- 
gans of motion, invariably six (or three pairs of) legs, and ge- 
nerally also wings, whose occurrence is only possible here, be- 
cause here alone a thorax exists, which is shut off from the 
head as well as from the abdominal part of the body. The 
second class, the Arachnidse, are distinguished from the in- 
sects in this, that the head is blended with the thorax, and 
hence the constant want of feelers, and the conversion of the 
-third pair of jaws into a fourth pair of feet, thus giving rise 
to eight legs. In both classes the abdominal or posterior part 
of the body is without organs of motion, which make their ap- 
pearance in the third class, the Crustacea. In the true Crus- 
tacea the mouth lies before the legs, and the pairs of feet 
which belong to the thorax become converted either wholly 
or in part into portions of the mouth ; in the Entomostraca 

* Peripatus has been oftai inttaneed as a natural unitmg link between 
the Ifyriapods and Annelide«, but I miut say that I have never been aUe 
to find in it the slightest approach to an insert 

2B4 Dr Erichson on ike Cla$s^eaium oflnvert^rate AnimaU. 

there is no direct passage of the legs into parts of the mo&h, 
but the month lies behind the first pair of feet.* 

In the Linnafan' worms, an exact farther subdivision is much 
more difficult, because the external structure offers but little for 
this purpose, and our knowledge of their external organization 
still exhibits important blanks. The MaUusca undoubtedly form 
the first class, for in them the internal structure, viz. the com- 
position of their organs of nutrition, presents the greatest de- 
gree of perfection. A second close would be formed by all 
those worms which, with a symmetrical structurie of body, ex- 
hibit a linear type of that structure, and which, like the Mol- 
lusca, have a perfect intestinal canal, with a mouth and anus, 
therefore the Annelides, Turbellarise, the Nematoideae of the 
Helminthoids, and the Rotatoria. Here we find, along with 
a similar .type of the bodily form, likewise several approxima- 
tions to insects, such as in the Nereidse to the Myriapods, and 
in the Rotatorise to certain Entomostraca, which indeed can- 
not escape notice. A third does are the Radiata, with a. ra- 
diated type in the structure of their bodies, for the most part 
yfiik a central digestive cavity, and also a central mouth, which 
in the free-moving species ijs directed downwards, but in the ad- 
herent species is turned upwards. In the last classes the ali- 
mentary canal is vessel-like, and is simply branched in two in 
the HelminthoidaB (with exception of the Nematoideae), branch- 
ed in a tree-like manner in the Planariae, and leads to a mul- 
titude of simple stomachs in the polygastric Infusoria. 

It is much to be desired that we should possess as complete 

* Perhaps the most complete system is an apparently artificial one, inos- 
much as it draws the characters from one^^single part. In all the Linnseian 
insects, the portions of the month present a sufficient Tariety to allow of the 
greater subdivisions being determined by that organ alone. All haye origi- 
nally three pairs of jaw-bones. In insects, strictly so called, there is no 
passage from these to legs, but still apparently there are only two pairs pre« 
sent, for thethird is united to the under lip. In the Arachnidse, likewise, 
there are only two pairs apparently present, for the third is conyerted into 
the first pair of feet. In the Crustacea, on the other hand, there are appa- 
rently a larger number of pairs of jaws, inasmuch as the first (seldom the 
two first) or the three first pairs of feet, assume the form of jaws. In the 
Entomostraca there are three simple pairs of jaws, which lie in the opening 
of the mouth behind the first pair of feet. 



NoHee relative toCapiain Bou's Discovertes^ ^c. '^285 

'and comprehensive a work on the 'organization and' natural 
history of the Planarise, as Ehrenberg has given us on the In- 
fiisorta. (From the Archiv/ur Naturgeschichte^ 1841.) ; 

Notice of the Magnetometric^ Geographical^ Bydrographicaly 
and Geological Observations and Discoveries made by the Ex- 
pedition under the command of Captain Javss Ross, R.N., 
F.R.S. being copy of Extracts from a Despatch addressed 
to the Secretary of the Admiralty. — ^With a Chart on Plate 

I HAVE the honour to acquaint you with the arrival of 
Her Majesty's ship under my command, and the Terror, under 
my orders, this afternoon at this port. 

I have fiirther to report to you, for the information of my 

' Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that, in accordance 
with the intentions expressed in my despatch to you, dated 
from Hobart Town on the 11th of November last, I proceeded 
to Auckland Islands, and satisfactorily accomplished a complete 
series of magnetometric observations on the important term- 
day 'of November last. 

Under all 'the circumstances, it appeared to me, that it 
would conduce more to the advancement of that branch of 
science for which the expedition has been more Expressly sent 
forth, as well as for the extension of our geographical know- 
ledge of the Antarctic Regions, to endeavour to penetrate to the 
southward, or about the 170th degree of east longitude, by which 
the isodyhamic oval, and the point exactly between the tlvo foci 
of greater magnetic intensity, might be passed oVer and deter- 
mined, and directly between the tracks of the Russian navi- 
gator Bellinghausen, and our own Captain James Cook ; and 
after entering the Antarctic Circle, to steer S.W. towards the 
Pole, rather than attempt **to approach it directly from the 
north, on the unsuccessful footsteps of my predecessors. 

Accordingly, on leaving Auckland Islands on the 12th De- 
cember, we proceeded to the southward, touching for a few 
days at Campbell ' Island for magnetic purposes; and, after 

" passing among many icebergs to the southward of GS^'latitude, we 


S86 Notice relative to the Obeertationg and I}Ueofferies 

made the Pack Edge, and entered the Antarctic Circle on the 
1st day of January 1841. 

This pack presented none of those formidable characters 
which I had been led to expect from the accounts of the Ameri- 
cans and French ; but the circumstances were sufi&ciently un- 
favourable to deter me from entering it at this time, and a 
gale from the northward interrupted our operations for three 
or four days. On the 5th January we again made the pack 
about 100 miles to the eastward, in latitude 66** 45' south, 
and longitude 174'' 16' E. ; and although the wind was blowing 
directly on it, with a high sea running, we succeeded in enter- 
ing it without either of the ships sustaining any injury, and, 
after penetrating a few miles, we were enabled to make our 
way to the southward with comparative ease and safety. 

On the following three or four days our progress was ren- 
dered more difficult and tedious by thick fogs, light winds, a 
heavy swell, and almost constant snow showers.; but a stroiig 
water-sky to the S.E. which was seen at every interval ©f 
clear weather, encoun^ed us to persevere in that direction ; 
and on the morning of the 9th, after sailing more than 200 
miles through this pack, we gained a perfectly clear sea, and 
bore away S.W. towards the Magnetic Pole. 

On the morning of the 11th January, when in latitude 70"^ 
41' South, and longitude 172^ 36', land was discovered at the 
distance, as it afterwards proved, of nearly 100 miles, directly 
in the course we were steering, and therefore directly between 
us and the Pole. 

Although this circumstance was viewed at the time with 
considerable regret, as being likely to defeat one of the more 
important objects of the expedition, yet it restored to England 
the honour of the discovery of the southernmost known land 
which had been nobly won, and for more than twenty years 
possessed, by Russia. 

Continuing our course towards this land for many hours, we 
seemed scarcely to approach it. It rose in lofty mountain . 
peaks of from 9000 to 12,000 feet in height, perfectly covered 
with eternal snow ; the glaciers that descended from near Uie 
mountain summits, projected many miles into the ocean, and 
presented a perpendicular face of lofty cliffii. As we neared 

of Oaptmn Boss in the Southern Ocean. 29t 

the land, some exposed patches of rock appeared ; and steering 
towards a small bay, for the purpose of effecting a landing, we 
found the shore so thickly lined for some miles with bergs and 
pack-ice, and with a heayy swell dashing against it, we were 
obliged to abandon our purpose and steer towards a more pro^ 
mising looking point to the S.E., off which we observed several 
small islands ; and on the morning of the 12th I landed, accom^ 
panied by Commander Crozier and a number of the officers of 
each ship, and took possession of the country in the name of 
Her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. 

The island on which we landed is composed wholly of igneous 
rocks, numerous specimens of which, with other imbedded 
minerals, were procured. It is in latitude 71^ 66' S. and longi- 
tude 17r r E. 

Observing that the east coast of the mainland trended to the 
southward, whilst the north shore took a N.W. direction, I 
was led to hope that, by penetrating to the south as far as prac- 
ticable, it might be possible to pass beyond the Magnetic 
Pole, which our combined observations placed in 76° S. near- 
ly, and thence, by steering westward, complete its circumnavi- 
gation. We accordingly pursued our course along this mag^- 
nificent land, and on the 23d January we reached 74* 15' S., 
the highest^southem latitude that had ever been attained by 
any preceding navigators, and that by our own countryman, 
Captain James Weddell. 

Although greatly impeded by strong southerly gales, thick 
fogs, and constant snow-storms, we continued the examination 
of the coast to the southward, and on the 27th we again land- 
ed on an island m latitude 76* 8' S., leS"" 12' E., composed, as 
on the former occasion, entirely of igneous rocks. 

Still steering to the southward, early the next morning, the 
28th, a mountain of 12,400 feet above the level of the sea was 
seen, emitting flame and smoke in splendid profusion. This 
magnificent volcano received the name of Mount Erebus. It 
is in latitude 77° 32^ S. and longitude 167° E. An extinct 
crater to the eastward of Mount Erebus, of a somewhat less 
elevation, was called Mount Terror. The mainland preserved 
its southerly trending, and we continued to follow it, until, in 
the afternoon, when close in with the land, our farther pro- 

288 Notice retaiive to the Observaiions and Discoveries 

gress in that direction was prevented by a barrier of ice stretcb- 
ing away from a projecting cape of the coast directly to the 
£•0 .£• 

This extraordinary barrier presented a perpendicular face 
of at least 150 feet, rising, of course, far above the mast-heads 
of our ships, and completely concealing {torn our view every- 
thing beyond it, except only the tops of a range of very lofty 
mountains in a S.S.E. direction, and in latitude 79"" S. 

Pursuing the examination of thissplendid barrier totheeast- 
ward, we reached the latitude of 78° 4f S,, the highest we 
were at any time able to attain, on Ihe 2d February, and on the 
9th, having traced its continuity to the longitude of 191° 23", 
in latitude 78^ S., a distance of more than 300 miles, our tar^ 
ther progress was prevented by a heavy pads, pressed closely 
against the barrier ; and the narrow lane of water by means 
of which we had penetrated thus far, became so completely 
covered by rapidly forming ice, that nothing but the strong 
breeze with which we were favoured enabled us to retrace our 

When at a distance of less than half a mile from its lofty 
icy cliffs, we had soundings with 318 fathoms, on abed of soft 
blue mud. 

With a temperature of 20"^ below the freezing point, we 
found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any far- 
ther examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a pe* 
riod of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the 
westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to ap- 
proach the Magnetic Pole, and again reached its latitude (76!" 
S.) on the 15th of February ; and although we found Ihat 
much of the heavy ice had drifted away since our former atr 
tempt, and its pjace in a great measure supplied by recently . 
formed ice, yet we made some way through it, and got a few 
miles nearer the Pole than we had before been able to accom- 
plish, when the heavy pack again frustrated all our efforts, com- 
pletely filliDg the space of 15 or 16 miles between us and the 
shore. We were this time in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 
164°, the dip being 88.40, and variation 109.24 E. We were, 
of course, only 160 miles from the Pole. 

Had it been possible to approach any part of this coast, and 

of Captain Boss in the Souikem Oeeau. 289^ 

have foimd any place of security for the ships, we migM have 
travelled this short distance over the land ; but this proved to 
be utterly impracticable ; and although our hopes of complete 
attainm^it have not been realized, it is some satisfaction to feel 
assured that we have approached the Pole more nearly, by 
some hundred miles, than any of our predecessors ; and from 
the multitude of observations that have been made in both 
ships, and in so many different directions from it, its position 
can be determined with nearly as much accuracy as if we had 
actually reached the spot itself. 

It had ever been an object of anxious desire with us to find 
a harbour for the ships, so as to enable us to make simultaneous 
observations with the numerous observatories that would bo 
at work on the important term-day of the 28th of February, 
as well as for other scientific purposes ; but every part of the 
coast where indentations appeared, and where harbours on 
other ^ores usually occur, we found so perfectly filled with 
perenaial ice, of many hundred feet in thickness, that all our 
endeavours to find a place of shelter for our vessels were quite 

Having now completed all that it appeared to me possible 
to accomplish in so high a latitude, and at so advanced a 
period <^ the season, and desirous to obtain as much informa- 
tion as possible of the extent and form of the coast we had dis- 
covered, as also to guide in some m^asiore our future opera- 
tions, I bore away, on the 18th February, for the north part 
of this land, and which, by favour of a strong southerly gale, 
we reached on the morning of the 21st. 

We again endeavoured to effect a landing on this part of 
the coast, and were again defeated in our attempt by the heavy 
pack, which extended for many miles from the shore, and ren« 
dered it impossible. 

For several days we continued to examine the coast to the 
westward, tracing the pack-edge along, until, on the 25th 
February, we found the land abruptly to terminate in latitude 
70"" 40' S. and longitude 165'' E., trending considerably to the 
southward of west, and presenting to our view an immense 
space occupied by a dense pack, now so firmly cemented to- 
gether by the newly-formed ice, and so covered by recent 

290 Notice relative to Captain Roe^s Discoveries. 

snow, as to present the i^pearance of one unbroken mass, 
and defying erery attempt to penetrate it 

The great southern land we have discovered, whose con* 
tinuity we have traced from nearly the 70th to the 79th de- 
gree of latitude, I am desirous to distinguish by the name of 
her most gracious Majesty Queen Victoria. 

Following the edge of the pack to the NW. as weather, 
permitted, we found it to occupy the whole space between 
the NW. shore of the great southern land and the chain of 
islands lying near the Antarctic Circle, first discoyered by. 
Balleny in 1839, and more extensively explored by the Ame- 
rican and French expeditions in the following year. 

Continuing our course to the westward, we approached the 
place were Professor Gauss supposed the Magnetic Pole to be, 
and having obtained all the observations that were necessary 
to prove the inaccuracy of that supposition, we devoted some 
days to the investigation of the line of no variation ; and 
having completed a series of observations, by which the isody- 
namic lines and point of greater magnetic intensity may be 
determined, and which I had left incomplete last year, I bore 
away on the 4th of April for this port. 

A chart, shewing more plainly the discoveries and track of 
the expedition, is herewith transmitted ; and a more detailed 
plan, containing all magnetic determinations, shall be sent as 
soon as they are reduced. 

I have much satisfaction in being able to add, that the ser- 
vice has been accomplished without the occurrence of any 
casualty, calamity, or disease of any kind, and there is not 
a single individual in either of the ships on the sick-list. 

It affords me the highest gratification to acquaint you, that 
I have received the most cordial and efficient co-operation 
fi:om my well-tried Mend and colleague Commander Crozier 
of the Terror, and no terms of admiration that I can employ 
can do justice to his great merit ; nor have the zeal and per<* 
severing devotion of the officers of both ships been less conspi- 
cuous, under circumstances of no ordinary trial and difficulty ; 
and whilst the conduct of our crews has been such as to re- 
flect the highest honour on their characters as British sailors 
it has given to myself, Commander Crozier, and the officers of 

288 Notice relative to the Observati&ne and Diecoveries 

gress in that direction was prevented by a barrier of ice stretcb- 
ing away from a projecting cape of the coast directly to the 
£•0 .£• 

This extraordinary barrier presented a perpendicular face 
of at least 150 feet, rising, of course, far above the mast-heads 
of our ships, and completely concealing from our view every- 
thing beyond it, except only the tops of a range of very lofty 
mountains in a S.S.E. direction, and in latitude 79° S. 

Pursuing the examination of thissplendid barrier totheeast- 
ward, we reached th^ latitude of 78° 4f S., the highest we 
were at any time able to attain, on the 2d February, and on the 
9th, having traced its continuity to the longitude of 191° 23^, 
in latitude 78^ S., a distance of more than 300 miles, our far* 
ther progress was prevented by a heavy padc, (nressed closely 
against the barrier ; and the narrow lane of water by means 
of which we had penetrated thus far, became so completely 
covered by rapidly forming ice, that nothing but the strong 
breeze with which we were favoured enabled us to retrace our 

When at a distance of less than half a mile from its lofty 
icy cliffs, we had soundings with 318 fathoms, on abed of soft 
blue mud. 

With a temperature of 20° below the freezing point, we 
found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any far- 
ther examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a pe- 
riod of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the 
westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to ap- 
proach the Magnetic Pole, and again reached its latitude (76° 
S.) on the 15th of February ; and although we found that 
much of the heavy ice had drifted away since our former atr 
tempt, and its p}ace in a great measure supplied by recently . 
formed ice, yet we made some way through it, and got a few 
miles nearer the Pole than we had before been able to accom- 
plish, when the heavy pack again frustrated all our efforts, com- 
pletely filliug the space of 15 or 16 miles between us and the 
shore. We were this time in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 
164°, the dip being 88.40, and variation 109.24 E. We were, 
of course, only 160 miles from the Pole. 

Had it been possible to approach any part of this coast, and 

of Captain Boss in the Southern Ocean. 389^ 

have found any place of security for the ships, we might have 
travelled this short distance over the land ; but this proved to 
be utterly impracticable ; and although our hopes of complete 
attainment have not been realized, it is some satisfaction to feel 
assured that we have approached the Pole more nearly, by 
some hundred miles, than any of our predecessors ; and from 
the multitude of observations that have been made in both 
ships, and in so many different directions from it, its position 
can be determined with nearly as much accuracy as if we had 
actually reached the spot itself. 

It had ever been an object of anxious desire with us to find 
a harbour for the ships, so as to enable us to make simultaneous 
observations with the numerous observatories that would be 
at work on the important term-day of the 28th of February, 
as wdl as for other scientific purposes ; but every part of the 
coast where indentations appeared, and where harbours on 
other shores usually occur, we found so perfectly filled with 
perennial ice, of many hundred feet in thickness, that all our 
endeavours to find a place of shelter for our vessels were quite 

Having now completed cdl that it appeared to me possible 
to accomplish in so high a latitude, and at so advanced a 
period o£ the season, and desirous to obtain as much informa- 
tion as possible of the extent and form of the coast we had dis- 
covered, as also to guide in some measure our future opera- 
tions, I bore away, on the 18th February, for the north part 
of this land, and which, by favour of a strong southerly gale, 
we reached on the morning of the 21st. 

We again endeavoured to effect a landing on this part of 
the coast, and were again defeated in our attempt by the heavy 
pack, which extended for many miles from the shore, and ren« 
dered it impossible. 

For several days we continued to examine the coast to the 
westward, tracing the pack-edge along, until, on the 25th 
February, we found the land abruptly to terminate in latitude 
70"" 40^ S. and longitude leS"" E., trending considerably to the 
southward of west, and presenting to our view an immense 
space occupied by a dense pack, now so firmly cemented to- 
gether by the newly-formed ice, and so covered by recent 

288 Notice relative to ike Ohservaii&ne and Discoveries 

gress in that direction was prevented by a barrier of ice stretch- 
ing away from a projecting cape of the coast directly to the 

This extraordinary barrier presented a perpendicular face 
of at least 150 feet, rising, of course, far above the mast-heads 
of our ships, and completely concealing itom our view every- 
thing beyond it, except only the tops of a range of very lofty 
mountains in a S.S.E. direction, and in latitude 79"" S. 

Pursuing the examination of thissplendid barrier to the east- 
ward, we reached th^ latitude of 78° 4f S,, the highest we 
were at any time able to attain, on the 2d February, and on the 
9th, having traced its continuity to the longitude of 191'' 23', 
in latitude 78^ S., a distance of more than 300 miles, our far^ 
ther progress was prevented by a heavy pack, pressed closely 
against the barrier ; and the narrow lane of water by means 
of which we had penetrated thus far, became so completely 
covered by rapidly forming ice, that nothing but the strong 
breeze with which we were favoured enabled us to retrace our 

When at a distance of less than half a mile from its lofty 
icy cliffs, we had soundings with 318 fathoms, on abed of soft 
blue mud. 

With a temperature of 20° below the freezing point, we 
found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any far- 
ther examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a pe[* 
riod of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the 
westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to ap- 
proach the Magnetic Pole, and again reached its latitude (76f 
S.) on the 15th of February ; and although we found that 
much of the heavy ice had drifted away since our former atr 
tempt, and its pjace in a great measure supplied by recently . 
formed ice, yet we made some way through it, and got a few 
miles nearer the Pole than we had before been able to accom- 
plish, when the heavy pack again frustrated all our efforts, com- 
pletely filling the space of 15 or 16 miles between us and the 
shore. We were this time in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 
164°, the dip being 88.40, and variation 109.24 E. We were, 
of course, only 160 miles from the Pole. 

Had it been possible to approach any part of this coast, and 

of Captain Soss in the Southern Ocean. 289^ 

have found any place of security for the ships, we might have 
travelled this short distance over the land ; but this proved to 
be utterly impracticable ; and although our hopes of complete 
attainm^it have not been realized, it is some satisfaction to feel 
assured that we have approached the Pole more nearly, by 
some hundred miles, than any of our predecessors ; and from 
the multitude of observations that have been made in both 
ships, and in so many different directions from it, its position 
can be determined with nearly as much accuracy as if we bad 
actually reached the spot itself. 

It had ever been an object of anxious desire with us to find 
a harbour for the ships, so as to enable us to make simultaneous 
observations with the numerous observatories tiiat would bo 
at work on the important term-day of the 28th of February, 
as wdl as for other scientific purposes ; but every part of the 
coast where indentations appeared, and where harbours on 
other shores usually occur, we found so perfectly filled with 
perennial ice, of many hundred feet in thickness, that all our 
endeavours to find a place of shelter for our vessels were quite 

Having now completed all that it appeared to me possible 
to accomplish in so high a latitude, and at so advanced a 
period oi the season, and desirous to obtain as much informa- 
tion as possible of the extent and form of the coast we had dis« 
covered, as also to guide in some measure our future opera* 
tions, I bore away, on the 18th February, for the north part 
of this land, and which, by favour of a strong southerly gale, 
we reached on the morning of the 21st. 

We again endeavoured to effect a landing on this part of 
the coast, and were again defeated in our attempt by the heavy 
pack, which extended for many miles from the shore, and ren« 
dered it impossible. 

For several days we continued to examine the coast to the 
westward, tracing the pack-edge along, until, on the 25th 
February, we found the land abruptly to terminate in latitude 
70"" 40^ S. and longitude ISb"" E., trending considerably to the 
southward of west, and presenting to our view an immense 
space occupied by a dense pack, now so firmly cemented to- 
gether by the newly-formed ice, and so covered by recent 

288 Notice relative to the Observations and Discoveries 

gress in that direction was prevented by a barrier of ice stretdi^ 
ing away from a projecting cape of the coast directly to the 
£•0 . e)* 

This extraordinary barrier presented a perpendicular face 
of at least 150 feet, rising, of course, far above the mast-heads 
of our ships, and completely concealing {torn our view every- 
thing beyond it, except only the tops of a range of very lofty 
mountains in a S.S.E. direction, and in latitude 79° S. 

Pursuing the examination of this splendid barrier totheeast- 
ward, we reached th^ latitude of 78° 4' S,, the highest we 
were at any time able to attain, on the 2d February, and on the 
9th, having traced its continuity to the longitude of 191° 23", 
in latitude 78^ S., a distance of more than 300 miles, our far^ 
ther progress was prevented by a heavy pads, pressed closely 
against the barrier ; and the narrow lane of water by means 
of which we had penetrated tiius far, became so completely 
covered by rapidly forming ice, that nothing but the strong 
breeze with which we were favoured enabled us to retrace our 

When at a distance of less than half a mile from its lofty 
icy cliffs, we had soundings with 318 fathoms, on abed of soft 
blue mud. 

With a temperature of 20° below the freezing point, we 
found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any far- 
ther examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a pe* 
riod of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the 
westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to ap- 
proach the Magnetic Pole, and again reached its latitude (76? 
S,) on the 15th of February ; and although we found tiiat 
much of the heavy ice had drifted away since our former atr 
tempt, and its p}ace in a great measure supplied by recently . 
formed ice, yet we made some way through it, and got a few 
miles nearer the Pole than we had before been able to accom- 
plish, when the heavy pack again frustrated all our efforts, com- 
pletely filling the space of 15 or 16 miles between us and the 
shore. We were this time in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 
164°, the dip being 88.40, and variation 109.24 E. We were, 
of course, only 160 miles from the Pole. 

Had it been possible to approach any part of this coast, and 

of Captain Bcs9 in the Southern Ocean. 389^ 

have found any place of security for the ships, we might have 
travelled this short distance over the land ; but this proved to 
be utterly impracticable ; and although our hopes of complete 
attainment have not been realized, it is some satisfaction to feel 
assured that we have approached the Pole more nearly, by 
some hundred miles, than any of our predecessors ; and from 
the multitude of observations that have been made in both 
ships, and in so many different directions from it, its position 
can be determined with nearly as much accuracy as if we had 
actually reached the spot itself. 

It had ever been an object of anxious desire with us to find 
a harbour for the ships, so as to enable us to make simultaneous 
(d>servations with the numerous observatories that would bo 
at work on the important term-day of the 28th of February, 
as wdl as for other scientific purposes ; but every part of the 
coast where indentations appeared, and where harbours on 
other shores usually occur, we found so perfectly filled with 
perennial ice, of many hundred feet in thickness, that all our 
endeavours to find a place of shelter for our vessels were quite 

Having now completed all that it appeared to me possible 
to accomplish in so high a latitude, and at so advanced a 
period of the season, and desirous to obtain as much informa- 
tion as possible of the extent and form of the coast we had dis- 
covered, as also to guide in some measiare our future opera* 
tions, I bore away, on the 18th February, for the north part 
of this land, and which, by favour of a strong southerly gale, 
we reached on the morning of the 21st. 

We again endeavoured to effect a landing on this part of 
the coast, and were again defeated in our attempt by the heavy 
pack, which extended for many miles from the shore, ^nd ren« 
dered it impossible. 

For several days we continued to examine the coast to the 
westward, tracing the pack-edge along, until, on the 25th 
February, we found the land abruptly to terminate in latitude 
70** 40' S. and longitude 166° E., trending considerably to the 
southward of west, and presenting to our view an immense 
space occupied by a dense pack, now so firmly cemented to- 
gether by the newly-formed ice, and so covered by recent 

288 Notice relative to the Observations and Discoveries 

gress in that direction was prevented by a barrier of ice stretch- 
ing away from a projecting cape of the coast directly to the 

This extraordinary barrier presented a perpendicular face 
of at least 150 feet, rising, of course, far above the mast-heads 
of our ships, and completely concealing ftom our view every- 
thing beyond it, except only the tops of a range of very lofty 
mountains in a S.S.E. direction, and in latitude 79"^ S. 

Pursuing the examination of thissplendid barrier to the east- 
ward, we reached the latitude of 78° 4' S,, the highest we 
were at any time able to attain, on the 2d February, and on the 
9th, having traced its continuity to the longitude of 191° 23", 
in latitude 78'' S., a distance of more than 300 miles, our far^ 
ther progress was prevented by a heavy padc, pressed closdj 
against the barrier ; and the narrow lane of water by means 
of which we had penetrated thus far, became so completely 
covered by rapidly forming ice, that nothing but the strong 
breeze with which we were favoured enabled us to retrace our 

When at a distance of less than half a mile from its lofty 
icy cliffs, we had soundings with 318 fathoms, on abed of soft 
blue mud. 

With a temperature of 20^ below the freezing point, we 
found the ice to form so rapidly on the surface, that any far- 
ther examination of the barrier in so extremely severe a pe- 
riod of the season being impracticable, we stood away to the 
westward, for the purpose of making another attempt to ap- 
proach the Magnetic Pole, and again reached its latitude (76f 
S.) on the 15th of February ; and although we found that 
much of the heavy ice had drifted away since our former atr 
tempt, and its p}ace in a great measure supplied by recently . 
formed ice, yet we made some way through it, and got a few 
miles nearer the Pole than we had before been able to accom- 
plish, when the heavy pack again frustrated all our efforts, com- 
pletely filling the space of 15 or 16 miles between us and the 
shore. We were this time in latitude 76° 12' S. and longitude 
164°, the dip being 88.40, and variation 109.24 E. We were, 
of course, only 160 miles from the Pole. 

Had it been possible to approach any part of this coast, and 

of Captain Soss in the Southern Ocean. 389^ 

have found any place of security for the ships, we migL^ have 
travelled this short distance over the land ; but this proved to 
be utterly impracticable ; and although our hopes of complete 
attainment have not been realized, it is some satisfaction to feel 
assured that we have approached the Pole more nearly, by 
some hundred miles, than any of our predecessors ; and from 
the multitude of observations that have been made in both 
ships, and in so many different directions from it, its position 
can be determined with nearly as much accuracy as if we had 
actually reached the spot itself. 

It had ever been an object of anxious desire with us to find 
a harbour for the ships, so as to enable us to make simultaneous 
observations with the numerous observatories that would be 
at work on the important term-day of the 28th of February, 
as well as for other scientific purposes ; but every part of the 
coast where indentations appeared, and where harbours on 
other shores usually occur, we found so perfectly filled with 
perennial ice, of many hundred feet in thickness, that all our 
endeavours to find a place of shelter for our vessels were quite 

Having now completed all that it appeared to me possible 
to accomplish in so high a latitude, and at so advanced a 
period <^ the season, and desirous to obtain as much informa- 
tion as possible of the extent and form of the coast we had dis« 
covered, as also to guide in some measure our future opera- 
tions, I bore away, on the 18th February, for the north part 
of this land, and which, by favour of a strong southerly gale, 
we reached on the morning of the 21st. 

We again endeavoured to effect a landing on this part of 
the coast, and were again defeated in our attempt by the heavy 
pack, which extended for many miles from the shore, and renr 
dered it impossible. 

For several days we continued to examine the coast to the 
westward, tracing the pack-edge along, until, on the 25th 
February, we found the land abruptly to terminate in latitude 
70"" 40^ S. and longitude 165° E., trending considerably to the 
southward of west, and presenting to our view an immense 
space occupied by a dense pack, now so firn^y cemented to- 
gether by the newly-formed ice, and so covered by recent 

39S Ascent efihe Jmgfrau m 184l> 

We therefore discended the fields of fitto# Vkteli ish%tefi 
southwards, towards the Yalais. The snow was perfeefly ho^ 
mogeneons, without any trace o£ rolled rocks or foreign bodies 
on its surface. The crevices had almost entirely disappearecF, 
or if any were still to be seen, they were on the sides of the 
valley, never extending so far as the place where we were. 
We were thus walking on with perfect security, when we re- 
marked, at some distance from us, many smaU openings. Cu«- 
rious to know the cause, we turned aside to examine them, 
but what was our surprise, when, on looking into one of 
these sky-lights, which was not more than three inches 
broad, by a foot long, we saw that it concealed an im«- 
mense precipice ! And in this precipice an azure light pre^ 
vailed, wfaidi surpassed in beauty, transparency, and softness, 
all that we had hitherto seen amoi^ glaciers. What a pity 
that I have not the power of reproducing, in language worthy 
of the subject, all the poetry that was embodied in this simple 
combination of light and snow! Never had I seen a more attrac- 
tive spectacle ; our eyes were so fascinated by it that we did 
not^ at first perceive that the "crust of snow which covered this 
enchanted cavern did not exceed, in this place, a few inches ; 
I do not, however, think that we ran very great danger, for th6 
snow was very compact., and'the sun had not softened it that 
day. After contemplating the attractive eflect of this unique 
phenomenon, we were desirous likewise to become acquainted 
with its nature and cause. It was an immense fissure of more 
than 100 feet in width, and of a depth varying firom 100 to 306 
feet. At the place from which we exammed it, it had no other 
opening but the small loophole of which I have spoken ; but 
farther on it corresponded to a large crevice, open near the 
right bank, by which the light entered, and the intermediate 
roof, by tempering the reflection of the snow walls, gave them 
an indescribable mildness and beauty. The sides of these ca* 
verns, like immense walls of crystal, were composed of hori- 
zontal and parallel layers two (»r three feet in thickness, of 
a snow much hardened by pressure, but still crystalline, for 
it had not yet assumed the granular form of the neve met with 
further down. Between these layers of snow there was usu- 
ally a narrow belt of ice, but the ice was vesieolar and not 

eompaety akfaough of a deeper tint than tiie reet of the walls. 
Onr guides all agreed in affirming that each of these layers re- 
presented the snow fiedlen in one year, and this explanation ap* 
peared to us, in reality, the most natural. With regard to 
the narrow bands of ice which separated the beds of snow, 
they are undoubtedly owing to the action of tiie sun, which 
took effect successiyely during a summer on the surfaee of all 
the annual beds. 

On continuing oar route, we still met with many fissures 
mmilar to that just described, and, soon became certain that 
. the surface on which we walked was wholly undermined, for, 
on looking into an open creyice, we usually saw it prolonged 
into the interior of the mass, &r beyond its superficial limits ; 
others were open at the surface throughout their whole length. 

In order to account for the formation of these fissures, it is 
not necessary to have recourse to an inequality of tension si- 
milar to that which is supposed to act in the mass of glaciers, 
properly so called, or the n^e, when crevices are formed in 
them. Such a tension would be eyen inadmissible, as the mass 
does not possess sufficient adherence. Acc(Hrding to all ap-> 
pearance, things proceed, in this instance, in a much simpler 
manner. The creyices are nothing more than an efiect of the 
decliyity of tlie ground ; what proves this is, that they have 
neither the continuity nor the regularity of glacier-fissures, 
and that they are everywhere found on great declivities, where 
they in general attain a very considerable size (from 30 to 100 
feet, a breadth which is seldom witnessed in glaciers, properly 
so called). It is to be observed, besides, that when these rents 
are concealed, it is not, 9& in the h6ve or glacier, by a roof of 
iresh snow. I examined attentively the edge of one of these 
crevices, and I saw that the beds of snow in it were perfectly 
homogeneous from above downwards, and corresponded up 
nearly to the surface ; whence I concluded, that when a fis- 
sure is concealed, it is commonly because the separation has 
not extended to the surfaee. 

The fact that the crevices and cavities of these plains of 
snow exhibit an azure hue, is not unimportant ; it is a new 
proof that this tint is peculiar to the water of our mountains 
in whatsoever form it is found. Whether liquid, in tiie state 

300 Ascent of ike Jtmsfrmu m 1841. 

of snow, n^ve, or compact ice— 4;here is no diflforence^ except 
in the intensity of the tint, which increases in proportion as 

- the congealed mass becomes more compact. M. Agassiz, in 
his work on Glaciers, has already shewn that this blue tint of 
the fissures cannot be produced by the reflection of the sky, 
since it is equally obseryable in cloudy weather. 

After proceeding for nearly an hour along the^elds of snow, 
we entered upon the n^y^. As walking on the latter is much 
easier than on the snow, it is usually the part of the glacier 
preferred to every other. That of Viesch was remarkable, 
this year, for the quantity of red snow which it contained, and 
which, at a distance, imparted to it a rose-coloured reflection. 
We brought a few handfuls of it with us, in which M. Vogt, 
who liad the charge of the microscopical observations, disco- 
vered a new infusorial form, not found, it would appear, on 
the glacier of the Aar. As the minute organisms which com- 
pose red snow are usually accumulated in greatest numbers 

. some lines below the surface, it happened that we rendered 
them more apparent by trampling upon them ; and each step 

• we took left, as it were, a bloody mark, which the eye could 
follow to a great distance. The n^ve, which at first had a 
southern direction, soon turned to the south-west ; and eyery- 
where, on the steep inclinations, the mass was so rent and al- 

. tered, that it was very difficult for us to recognise the primi- 
tive direction of its beds. This displacement is here also pro- 
duced by the declivity ; for the adherence of the n^v^ is not 
sufficient to counterbalance the force of gravitation in the 
masses. . . 

The n^v^ which we had just passed, although very extenrnve, 
does not form the most considerable arm of the glacier of 
Yiesch. On going round the Rothhorn, which here f(»rms the 
extremity of the ridge of the Viescherhomer, we came to the 
great conflux which descends between the Griinhom and the 
ridges which the brothers Meyer have inserted in their n^ip 
under the name of Walcherhomer or Viescherh(»rner of Grin- 
delwald (Grindeltvalder Viesckerhomer). This cdnflux has no 
particular name ; it is called the Neve de Yiesch (Viescher- 

fim\ like the one we had descended. We had to cross it in 
order to regain the right bank ; and as it is very full of c^e- 

Ascent 0/ the Junsfrau in 1641. 301 

vices at the point of contact/we took nearly an hour to accom- 
plish it, although its breadth is not greater than a quarter of 
a league. A little below this confluence, the glacier of Viesch 
begins to assume that irregular appearance which gives it the 
character of being one of the most varied in the Yalais. Not 
far from this place, the first needles of ice appeared, and they 
seem here to be intimately connected with the median moraine ; 
for even wher^ the whole surface of the glacier is cut into 
small pieces, the needles along this moraine are remarkable 
for their bolder and more prominent shapes. 
' It was here, on the right side of the glacier, at a distance 
of about three hours from the village of Viesch, that we en- 
countered the most dii&cult passage. We had to decend 
a wall of rock, nearly vertical and very high, at the foot of 
which fell a beautiful cascade. The path was a kind of opening, 
which presented here and there some slight projections on which 
the foot rested. When these points of support were insuffi- 
cient, the passenger was obliged to cling, in the best way he 
could, against the walls of the opening, assisting himself with 
his pole, which is always ready to lean upon ; or he was forced 
to call for the help of one of the guides — a step, however, 
which his self*love made him unwilling to adopt. When we 
were again on the glacier, and looked at the descent we had 
accomplished, it seemed impossible that this could be the. road 
the shepherds usually take. But Jacob assured us that there 
was no other. We were still at a greater loss to understand 
how they got their sheep across ; Jacob knew nothing of the 
matter himself, but still maintained that they ascended by 
this passage. We were afterwards informed at Viesch that 
this is really the only way to the upper pastures, and that they 
hoist up the sheep by means of ropes tied to the homs^ or, 
when the latter are wanting, round the neck. The shepherds 
themselves do not often pass this way. When the sheep are 
once over it, they are left to themselves till the autumn, and 
are only visited by a shepherd from time to time, for the pur- 
pose of conveying salt to them. 

We had many opportunities, along the glacier of Viesch, of 
determining the manner in which the glacier polishes its banks. 
The predominating rock is gneiss, sometimes in fine grains, 


302 Aseeni of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

sometimes in large crystals, which does not prevent it being, 
in a multitude of places, as smooth as polished marble.. We 
likewise remark in it, in a very distinct manner, the parallel 
striae which constitute one of the distinctive characters of the 
polished surfaces produced by glaciers. These effects of the 
ice we contemplated with the greater interest, because it was 
on this same glacier that our friend Escher became convinced 
of the reality of the glacier's action on the rock, a sufficient 
proof that the evidences of such action must have been 
strongly marked. 

It was four o'clock in the afternoon when we made our last 
halt ; this was still on the right side of the glacier of Viesch, 
at a place from which we could descry, for the first time, the 
bottom of the Valais. Here we observed many ancient mo- 
raines, which extended to a great distance on the left side of 
the glacier, to a height of many hundred feet above its actual 
level. A quantity of erratic blocks were, besides, scattered 
about, at levels still much higher, and seemed to rise to the 
very summit of the mountain. Among the blocks of gneiss 
composing the moraine, we remarked one of enormous size, 
which was beautifully polished on one of its sides ; we con* 
eluded from this that it was a fragment detached from the 
walls of the valley, which are here polished to a very great 
height. On examining the bottom of the glacier, we «aw some 
pebbles of considerable size, enclosed in the ice on its lower 
face. At first sight we were somewhat struck with this, as a 
fact opposed to the general rule, that a glacier never retains 
foreign bodies within its substance. But we remarked, at the 
same time, that the bed containing them was of a duller tint 
than the rest of the glacier, and we were at last convinced 
that it was a layer of snow transformed into ice, and which 
had not yet had time, in consequence of its want of compact* 
ness, to reject the pebbles which were originally mingled with 
the snow. 

We had still two leagues to travel. No one was much fa- 
tigued, although we had been on foot for twelve hours ; but 
an exclamation of surpAse escaped us, when, on turning the 
angle of a mountain, Jacob pointed out the path which we 
must follow. It was a very steep ascent, about 1000 feet high, 

jtscent <^ihe Jung/rau in 1841. SOS 

along which ran a narrow and apparently a very incommodi- 
ous footpath. The disappointed air of some of ufi, and the re- 
signed expression of others, would have made a subject for a 
good picture, if there had been an artist among us not too 
fatigued to undertake it. At last we arrived, about ^ix o^'dock 
in the eyening, at the cottages of Moeril, where we were to 
pass the night. We were very cordially received by the shep- 
herdSi who promised to supply us with the best they could 

Ascent of the Jun^frau, 

Of all the mountains of the Bernese Alps, the Jungfrau is 
the one that enjoys the greatest popularity. Strangers arriv- 
ing at Berne are desirous, before every thing else, to see the 
Jungfrau, and, in the country, children learn to know it first 
This indisputable preference, and perhaps also its poetical 
name, have always made the public feel a particular interest 
in the attempts that have been made to ascend it; very ani- 
mated discussions have likewise taken place whenever the sub- 
ject has been brought forward. Before we thought of ascend- 
ing it ourselves, we had paid but little attention to these con- 
troversies. We merely knew that the ascent of the brothers 
Meyer, of Aran, was very generally disputed among the moun- 
taineers, who regarded none as authentic except that of the 
Grindelwald guides ; but when once we had succeeded in our 
enterprise, indifference would have been out of place ; and 
that we might not run the risk of giving a rash judgment, 
which would not fail to be ascribed to a mean jealousy if it 
had be^i void of foundation, we availed oiu'selves of every 
.opportunity of collecting information respecting the history 
of expeditions to the Jitngfrau, both by questioning the moun- 
taineers, and perusing what had been published on the sub- 

Perhaps I may be permitted to state briefly in this place 
the result of our investigations on this point. 

MM. Rudolph and Jerome Meyer, of Arau, conceived, in 
1811, the idea of ascending the Jungfrau and others of the 
most elevated summits of the Alps. Leaving Natters, in the 
Valais, in the course of the month of August 1811, they tra- 

304 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841.. 

▼ersed the glacier of Aletsch and others in its vicinity in all 
directions. The narrative they have published of these expe- 
ditions* states, that after a first unsuccessful attempt, they 
succeeded in reaching the summit of the Jungfrau on the 3d 
of August. 

But it appears that the announcement of this ascent was 
received with much suspicion by the mountaineers, since, in 
the preface to his second journey, t M. Rudolph Meyer him- 
self admits that this was one of the reasons which determined 
them to attempt a second ascent the following year. On the 
first occasion they ascended by the western side, consequently 
in the same direction we followed ; the second time (8th Au- 
gust 1812) they appear to have succeeded in reaching the 
summit by ascending the east side. Unfortunately the work 
of the brothers Meyer is not drawn up in such a manner as 
to inspire confidence in those who are prejudiced against Aem. 
The account of their journeys has one capital defect, an en- 
tire want of precision ; and a reader must be well predisposed 
to do so before he can recognise the road to the Jungfrau in 
their itineraries. But, on the other hand, it is unquestionable 
that the physiognomy of glaciers may undergo a considerable 
change one year after another ; such a route as was perfectly 
practicable thirty years ago, may now no longer exist, and if, 
at present, it be almost impossible to climb to the summit of 
the Jungfirau on the eastern side, it may easily have been 
otherwise in the time of M. Meyer. In such a case, it is best 
to avoid giving a decided judgment ; but if my opinion can 
be of any weight, I should say that I am more disposed to be- 
lieve in this double ascent than to doubt it. The principal 
merit of the brothers Meyer consists in the map they have 
published of their journey. 

M. Hugi tried, by various efibrts, to ascend the Jungfrau 

* Reite auf den JungfraU''Olei8eker und Esteigung seines Qipfds, van Jok, 
Rudolf Meyer und Hieronymus Meyer atis Aarau, im August-monat 1811 

1 Reise auf die Eisgebirge des Cmitons Bern und Ersteigung ihrer hSchsten 
Cfipfel im Sommer 1812. This journey, as well as the preceding, appeared, 
in the first instance^ in the Miszellen fur die netieste Wdtkunde, drawn up by 
M, Zschokke. 

Ascent of i/ie Jutigfrau in 1841. 305 

by the Rottthal ; but he did not even reach the col which 
separates that valley from the glacier of Aletsch. This na- 
turalist relates that, in 1828, some Englishmen made the same 
attempt, and that they had nearly fallen victims to their rash- 
ness. After having reached the Col du Rottthal with great 
difficulty, they were obliged to descend again by the same 
path. M. Hugi again returned to the charge in 1832. He 
ascended this time by the lower glacier of the Grindelwald, 
behind the Eiger, and would, no doubt, have succeeded in 
gaining the summit of the Jungfrau, if bad weather had not 
overtaken him when on the platforms of snow. 

M. Rohrdorf, attached to the museum of Berne, took the 
same route in 1828, but was not more successful than M. 
Hugi. However, this latter attempt was not altogether a 
failure, for some days later (8th September) the guides who 
had accompanied him, with J. Baumann at their head, ascend- 
ed, and fixed the flag, which M. Rohrdorf had given them when 
he departed, on the summit of the . Jungfrau. The account 
these men gave us of their progress, in every respect agrees 
with what we ourselves observed. No one, accordingly, has 
ever questioned their ascent, and hitherto they were looked 
upon throughout the whole of the Oberland as the only indi- 
viduals who had enjoyed a near view of the Virgin Peak. A 
last attempt was made a few weeks before our ascent by Mr 
Cowan, an Englishman, who ascribed the failure of his enter- 
prise to the unskilfulness of his guides. 

The cottages of Moeril, where we passed the night, are si- 
tuated in a little valley which opens above the valley of 
Viesch, at an elevation of about 6000 feet, and which abuts 
on the great valley of Aletsch.* Although not very comfort- 

* Tn fact this yallej is a direct prolongation of that of Aletsch. But as it 
is a few dozen metres higher than the Talley of Natters, which here meets 
the yallej of Aletsch at right angles, it follows that the glacier, instead of 
continuing its course in a straight line from north to souUi, in the direction 
which seems presented for it bj the topographical lines, turns suddenly to 
the west, and continues till it abuts above Natters. (See the map of the 
brothers Meyer.) 

A difference of level from 20 to 30 metres has consequently been sitfficiient 
to cause the glacier to deviate from its original direction. I inoi^ sax tliis 

806 Ascemirfike Jumafruu m 184L 

able, these chalets are of immense utility to natimlists. They 
occupy a central point in the midst of the glaciers, whence 
they can torn their researches in any direction, and penetrate 
in a day eren to the remotest comers of the Mer de Glace. 
About six months before, M. Escher de la Linth had estab- 
lished his head-quarters here ; and eight days previously, the 
same savant passed the night here with M. Studer. It was 
from this point also that we were to commence our journey to 
the Jongfrau. But an unforeseen circumstance had near- 
ly thwarted our design at the yery outset. In order to at- 
tempt such an ascent, a ladder was indispensable ; we had 
not brought one with us, because Jacob, who accompanied 
M. Hugi in 1832, had left the one he then used near the great 
fissure. He had not the least doubt that he would find it 
again, nine years afterwards, in the same spot where he left 
it What, tiierefore, was his surprise when he learned from 
a shepherd that his ladder had been carried away some years 
before by a peasant of V iesch ! He instantly despatched a 
messenger to the village to demand back his ladder, but the 
detainer refused to restore it, alleging that it was now his pro- 
perty, because he had had it repaired. Let any one conceive 
our disappointment when, at midnight, our delegate returned 
empty handed ! What were we now to do ! Were we to de- 
lay our journey for another day? That would have been to 
sin against our star which visibly protected us, for all the mists 
of the previous evening were dispersed, and there was not a 
cloud in the sky. Should we attempt the ascent without a 
ladder 1 Jacob assured us that was altogether impossible. Not 
knowing what plan to adopt, we decided on sending off a se- 
cond messenger to this refractory personage, to intimate to 
him that, if he did not instantly restore our property, we would 

fact, because it is, in my opinion^ a capital objection to the manner in which 
M. de Charpentler accounts for the progress of his ancient glacier of the 
Bhone ; an objection which I shall again refer to in a subsequent article, 
giving an account of the ancient levels of glaciers among the Alps. More- 
over, the valley of Moeril has likewise been at a certain epoch covered up 
by ice, as the polished and furrowed rocks on its sides prove ; at this epoch, 
the glacier of Aletseh must have had two outlets, one near Natters, and 
another abore Yiefoh. 


Aseeni of the Jungfrau in 1841. 307 

come down in a body to Viesch, to do ourselves justice. This 
second messenger left us at midnight, promising to execute 
our orders promptly. At four o'clock in the morning every 
one was awake, waiting with anxiety for the messenger^ who 
failed to appear ; five o'clock approached, and he had not re- 
turned, and still the sky continued as clear as at midnight ! 
At last we saw him approaching with the ladder on his back. 
A cry of joy resounded through the air. We proceeded at 
last to make ready for starting. In an instant every one was 
prepared ; but before setting out, Jacob called us around him, 
and harangued us nearly in the following terms : " We should 
have set out at three o'clock, it is now five : these two lost 
hours we must make up on the plain of the glacier. Let us, 
therefore, advance at a quickened pace ; those who do not feel 
strong enough to follow me must remain behind, for we will 
wait for no one.^ Such an address might well make those 
hesitate who, like myself, had not slept the whole night, ow- 
ing to the dampness of the hay ; but every one was filled with 
such ardour that none held back. I was delighted to visit 
again the Lake Moeril, with its floating ice, which had so in- 
terested me when I visited it for the first time with M. Agas- 
siz in 1839.* This small lake, situated at the bottom of the 
valley of Moeril, where it is bounded by the glacier of Aletsch, 
whose left side it washes, then seemed to me to be about a 
quarter of a league long, and some hundred feet broad. Now 
I was greatly surprised to find it completely changed ; it seem- 
ed to me much smaller than formerly, and its level consider- 
ably lower. The floating masses of ice were likewise less nu- 
merous, and of smaller size. I intimated my surprise to a Ya- 
laisan shepherd who accompanied us, and he informed us that 
the lake had been drained towards the end of last autumn, and 
had not yet attained its ordinary level This explained to us 
why, on the preceding evening, we had found the canal dry 
by which it discharges itself, on ordinary oqcasions, into the gla- 
cier of Viesch. This canal was cut by order of the governor 
of Yalais, for the purpose of afibrding a constant outlet to the 
lake, and thus prevent the mass of water which runs down 

* M. Agassiz has published a very beautiful lithograph of this lake it! his 
Etudei sur lei Glacwrs, PI. 12, 

308 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

froin the glacier accumulating in too great quantity. Fonner- 
ly this lake had no regular outlet, but it happened sometimes 
to empty itself suddenly, by breaking out a passage under the 
glacier, causing great disasters in the valley of Natters and in 
the Valais. Now that it can no longer rise above a certain 
level, it discharges itself less frequently under the glacier, and 
when that happens, it is usually not attended with any great 

From the margin of the lake we inmiediately ascended to 
the glacier of Aletsch. Here, at the place where the glacier 
bends, we enjoyed a magnificent view in two directions : the 
Dent-Blanche, Mont-Cervin and the Strahlhom* formed the 
back-ground of the picture to- the south-west ; while before 
us, to the north, we perceived at the bottom of the glacier the 
great peaks of the Jungfrau, the Eiger and Monch, which 
seemed to invite us to perseverance, so near to us they ap- 
peared. It is reckoned six leagues from the place where we 
mounted the glacier to the point where the ascent becomes 
steep ; but we were so influenced by Jacob'^s exhortation, that 
we accomplished the distance in less than four hours. The 
glacier is upwards of half a league long, and often nearly half 
a league broad. It is inclosed, throughout its whole length, 
between very high mountains, which are, on its left side, from 
south to north, the Walliser Viescherhomer, the Faulberg, 
the Griinhorn, at the foot of which the brothers Meyer erected 
their hut in 1812, the Trugberg, the Monch ; and, on the right 
side, the Aletschhorn, a mass of mountains separated from 
the Aletschhorn by the Col de Lotsch, to which I propose to 
give the name of Kranzberg^ and in the distance the Jung- 
frau.-|- The sides of these mountains have preserved nume- 
rous traces of the action of glaciers ; traces, however, which 
are not always very distinct on account of the friable, and 
often slaty, nature of the rock (gneiss and mica-slate). We 
remarked the latter rocks with polished projections on the 
sides of the Kranzberg, in front of the Griinhorn ; and what 
proves that we were not under the influence of a blind con- 

* It if the latter mountain which many people mistake for the true Mont- 
Bosa. . . 

t See the map of the brothers Meyer. 

A$ceni of ike Jwtgfrau in 1841. 309 

fidence is, that M. Hugi has ahready taken particular notice of 
these rounded forms. The better to shew their importance, 
this naturalist has even published a section of them in his 
work on the Alps*. (PI. XI.) 

The glacier of Aletsch is in general very smooth ; of all 
the Swiss glaciers it is the one having the smallest incli- 
nation (ijts mean inclination is 2° 58^, according to M. Elie de 
Beaumont). We walked for nearly two hours on the compact 
ice, after which we arrived at the region of fissures, which is 
at the limit between the ice and the n^v^. This region is 
more than a league broad. The nev^ which succeeds it is 
the most beautiful in Switzerland. It begins nearly at the 
height of the Faulberg. We can recognise it at a distance by 
a certain air of antiquity, which forms a very striking contrast 
with the sparkling whiteness of the superior fields of snow. 
It is moreover perfectly homogeneous, and without any traces 
of crevices over a space of many square leagues. Its sur- 
face is depressed and raised at the sides, which is an essen- 
tial character of all the n^v^s. We arrived at half past nine 
at the snow-fields, which commence with the ascent. It was 
here tiiat we made our first halt, at a place which we called 
the Bepose, because the passage we had made, and the im- 
mense heights which rose in stages in front of us, naturally 
invited us to take some refreshment. In the mean while, a 
discussion had arisen among our guides respecting the identity 
of die Jungfrau. The Valaisan guide affirmed that it was the 
peak we saw to our right; '* it was, at all events," he said, 
" that which was called the FrauelihortC^ (the name the Va- 
laisans give to the Jungfrau). The other guides, and Jacob 
among the number, asserted, on the contrary, that it was the 
highest of the great summits rising in stages on our left. 
Each brought forward his reasons ; but as I shewed some in- 
clination to acquiesce in the opinion of the Valaisan, Jacob 
was so much hurt that he got into a violent passion, and, throw- 
ing the articles he carried at my feet, declared, that to ques- 

* It is known that M. Hugi, who had then no doubts about the connec- 
tion of these polished rocks with the moyem^it of the glacier, looked upon 
them as different, in their mineralogical nature, from the rocks with un- 
altered angles which are lying above them. 

310 A$c€ni of the Juhofrau in 1841. 

tion hb knowledge of moontaiiis was to commit an out^ 
rage upon him ; that although he had not yet been on the 
Jungfrau, he was not on that account less acquainted with it, 
and that he would leave us on the instant if any doubt con-* 
tinned to be entertained about the paltry peak on the right. 
On Agassiz' suggestion, it was then determined that we 
should follow Jacob whithersoeyer he might lead us. In fact 
we ascertained soon after that he was not mistaken. The 
peak which the V alaisan pointed out to us, and to which we 
gave the name of Trugberg, on account of the error into which 
it must have led us, is a less elevated mountain, situated to 
the south of Mooch, and forming part of the mass of the 
Griinhom, while it is assuredly on the summit of the Jung- 
frau that the flag was placed, which still fleats on the highest 
point of the Bernese Alps. 

The Bepose is one of the most beautiful situations on a 
glacier that can possibly be met with. We here find ourselves 
in front of an immense amphitheatre, in whidi five great con- 
fluent branches of the glacier of the Aletsch become con- 
founded with each other. Two of the most considerable of 
these occupy the background. They descend, one from the 
sides of the Jungfrau — and it is this which many travellers 
name the Glacier of the Jungfrau — and the other from the 
summit of Monch ; this latter, which one is naturally inclined 
to call the Glacier of the Monch (as far as the name of glacier 
can be applied to such collections of snow), is in no respect 
inferior to that of the Jimgfrau. The three others are more 
lateral ; one of them is on the right side, and two on the left ; 
the most considerable of the last are connected with the same 
Trugberg, which some of our guides took for the Jungfrau. 
The Eiger sends no affluents into the valley of Aletsch. The 
Monch on the right, and the Jungfrau on the left, are in some 
measure the two columns of the great amphitheatre which in 
this place separates the Swiss plain from the Valais. The col 
lying between the two peaks is nearly 11,000 feet high. 
Rohrdorf crossed it in 1828, when he tried to ascend the 
Jungfrau. M. Hugi likewise passed over it, when he repeated 
this attempt in 1832. Although of no great breadth, the col 
here presents itself in an entirely different form from what it 

A^e^it of the Jungfrau in 1841, Sll 

has in the plain ; thus, he who was v^oX aware that it was the 
Jungfrau and Monoh that were under his eye, would have no 
doubt that the back part of the great circus corre&fponds to 
this same apparently rectilinear ridge, which, seen from the 
plain» seems to unite these two great peaks. To the west of 
the Seposey on our left, a yast hollow ran downwards between 
the Jungfrau and iCranzberg, and in this we distinguished a 
series of terraces rising one above another : it was by this we 
were to ascend. 

We left at the Bepose the greater part of our provisions, 
carrying with us only a little bread and wine, some meteorolo- 
gical instruments,* and articles of different kinds, among others 
a ladder, a hatchet to cut steps, and a cord to tie us together. 
It was ten o'clock when we set foot upon the first plateau of 
snow ; an hour after mid-day we hoped to be on the summit, 
if no accident occurred ; some of us even thought that we 
would reach it in two hours. Contrary to our expectations, 
we at first found the snow not in a very favourable state ; it 
was neither sufficiently compact, nor covered with a crust 
thick enough to bear us, so that we sunk very deep, in many 
places up to the knee. We soon came to the fissures, which 
are everywhere frequent where the declivities begin to become 
steep. These are crevices produced by sinking (crevasses de 
tassement), like those of the nev^ of Viescfa. We saw some 
of them here nearly 100 feet wide, but they were not very 
continuous, so that we were able to go round them, or else 
they were masked, and in that case our guides had to use the 
greatest caution to guard us from danger. On this account we 
advanced much less quickly than we wished, and, in spite of all 
precautions, many of us sunk down, but without sustaining any 
injury. In this way we scaled many terraces, and, always 
directing our course westward, we arrived at a vast expanse, 

* The reader will, no doubt, be surprised to learn that the most essential 
instrument, the barometer, was not among them. Unfortunately we had 
broken three during our abode on the glacier of the Aar, and the fourth had 
admitted air ; there was no means of getting them repaired at the time ; so 
that we had no alteraatiYe but to set out without a barometer. 

312 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

commanded on all sides by mighty peaks, the Ugliest of Whieli 
was &e Jangfrao. Jacob made us halt here a second time, 
no donbt for the purpose of reconnoitring the ground. With 
regard to ourselves, we saw nothing but insurmountable diffi* 
culties on all sides— on the right, vertical precipices ; on the 
left, masses of ice, which threatened to crush us by their fall ; 
and in front, the great fissure, to all appearance impassable, 
so widely did it yawn. I could not avoid asking Jacob in 
what direction we were to ascend ; but he refused to answer 
my question, contenting himself with saying, that we had only 
to follow him with all confidence, and that, for himself, he 
already saw the road we should take. I afterwards saw that 
he had good reason for eluding my question, for it is very 
likely we would never have arrived at the summit if every 
one of the company had given his opinion in the difficult parts 
of our passage. 

After resting for an instant, we again resumed our route. 
It was now near mid-day ; the heat was excessive, and the 
guides, in order to refresh themselves, placed handfuls (^ snow 
on the nape of their necks. Many of us did the same, in spite 
of the remonstrances of others, who, alarmed at such impru- 
dence, forgot that in these elevated regions the material or- 
ganism, as well as the moral nature, is much more indepen- 
dent of hurtful influences than in the plain. The reflection 
of the light from the snow was likewise most intense, and al- 
most insupportable. In such circumstances one can scarcely 
do without a veil ; but it has the great inconvenience of ren- 
dering one's steps less secure, and considerably increasing the 
heat of the face, by preventing the fresh air reaching it. On 
these accounts, Agassiz preferred nmning the risk of havmg 
his face broiled rather than use one. We proceeded straight 
in the direction of the great fissure, which we reached after 
surmounting a fourth terrace. It is a gulf of unknown depth, 
opening upon the declivity of the last terrace but one, and 
penetrating somewhat obliquely into the snow ; in no place is 
its breadth less than 10 feet, so that there is no means of cross- 
ing it without a ladder. Before going to the other side, we 
went to examine the debris of a fallen mass, which were lying 
on our left, and which seemed to have been detached a short 

A^e^ni ^ ike Juvigfrm in 1841 . 313 

time b^cre, for the marks tiiey hftd left by rolling ob the sur- 
&ce of the sbow were still quite fresh. This was the only 
avalanche we met with during our expedition ; and its con- 
fused appearance, which made it easily recognizable at a great 
distance, contrasted in a striking manner with the uniformity 
of the decliiritijBS of the snow*terraces, which, whatever a ce- 
lebrated geologist may allege, are here in no degree made 
smooth by the avalanches, although their inclination exceeds 
40 and 50 degrees, as we assured ourselves by repeated mea- 
surements.* We saw with interest that the fragments of this 
avalanche, detached from a peak of upwards of 11,000 feet in 
height, were composed of alternate beds of compact ice and 
congealed snow. These various layers, from two or three 
inches to a foot in thickness, alternated three or four times 
in blocks of a few cubic feet. This fact interested us the more 
warmly, because we saw in it the confirmation of an opinion 
expressed by M. Agassiz, and previously by M . Zumstein, on 
the mode in which bands of ice are formed in the midst of 
snow, even on the highest mountain summits, when the at- 
mospheric and topographical conditions of the place are fa- 
vourable, t 

Our ladder was 23 feet long ; it was consequently more than 
sufficient to stretch across the great fissure. But immediately 
above the latter, the steepness of the terrace was fearfully great 
for a space of about 30 feet. We estimated it at W\ and, 
moreover, the snow, which had hitherto been very incoherent 
and almost powdery, had suddenly become of extreme density, 
to such a degree that the guides were obliged to cut steps. 
Our courage was here put to the first proof. Jacob and Jaun 
were the first to mount When they were half way up the 
terrace, they let down the rope to us, holding it by one of the 
ends, and the other being fixed to the ladder, it served us as 
a kind of stair. All (^ us in this way arrived at the sum- 
mit of the terrace without mishap, but not without some 

c * M. Elie de Beaumont asserts, that ** all the slopes of snow with an in- 
clination i^proaching 30°, are smoothed down by avalanches, which renders 
them as rectilinear as the angles and cones produced by eruption." — Mlmoiret 
pour servir d une description ff^logique de la France j t. iv. p. 216. 
t See iny BOte^ftt the end of this article. 

S14 Jiecent of the J%msifrau in 1841. 

dii&ctilties. The guides themselves, perhftps, exaggerated a 
little the dangers of this first passage, for they were lavish in 
their directions to us, and so liberal in their assistance, that w» 
would have found it superfluous, if not injurious, some hours 

There now remained only one eminence for ps to surmount,' 
in order to reach the Col du Rottthal, which leads from the 
valley of Rott to the nev6 of Aletsch. The soft snow had 
again replaced the hard snow of the steep ascent, so that we 
walked with the greatest ease. But when we arrived at the 
centre of the last terrace, which we went along in a sloping 
direction, we encountered another fissure, which seemed as if 
it would stop our progress ; it penetrated, like the great fissure, 
obliquely into the mass of the snow, so that one of its walls 
was thinner than the other and ran beneath it^ a circumstance 
which rendered the passage more difficult. As Agassiz, Jacob, 
Jaun, and I, had gone a little in advance, while our companions 
were still engaged in climbing the first ascent, I proposed 
that we should wait for them, that we might at least get the 
rope. Jacob thought we could pass it well enough without 
this precaution. In fact he found a place where the fissure 
was sufficiently narrow to allow him to stride over it ; after 
having done so, he stretched out his hand and assisted us to do 
the same. While three of us were standing on the edge of the 
northern lip of the fissure, we witnessed a very extraordinary 
occurrence. We suddenly heard a dull crackling noise beneath 
us ; at the same time the mass of snow on which we stood 
sunk about a foot. The guide, Jaun, was at this moment on 
the other side ; and upon hearing the noise, he saw simulta- 
neously the space which supported us sink down. He was so 
alarmed, that he cried out to us, — " Um Gottes WiUen^ schnell 
zuruek'^ (In God's name, return quickly!) Jacob, on the con- 
trary, far from allowing himself to be disconcerted, told him 
instantly to hold his tongue; and making a sign to us to follow 
him, he continued the ascent at a quickened pace, repeating in 
his Haslian dialect, — " Es ist nili; Gan^et numme vorwdris]P^ 
(This is nothing; always go forward.) Although we had great 
experience in glaciers, and were in some degree familiarized 
with all the dangers they present^ Imust however confess, that 

jlicent of the Jungftau in 1841. 815 

at this moment I felt my heart beat quicker than usual ; but 
such was our confidence in our guide, that we hesitated not an 
instant in following him, although, in other circumstances, it 
would have appeared much more natural to go back. Our 
example decided the guide Jaun, who lost no time in rejoin- 
ing us. We then began to discuss the probable cause of the 
accident. The guides alleged that it was the layer of fresh 
snow sinking on the older layer, and Jacob mentioned more 
than one example of his having found the surface sink many 
feet under him ; and I myself recollected having experienced 
something similar the day before, when walking with a guide, 
on the snow plateau of Viesch. Proceeding a little further 
along the fissure, we thought that we could remark pretty ex- 
tensive hollows in the interior of the mass, for we felt our 
poles sink without any resistance, which never happened else- 
where, however soft the snow might be. From this we con- 
cluded, that these vacuities are the effect of the sinking of the 
lower beds, while the upper bed remains supported in the 
form of an arch, in consequence of the adhesion of its particles. 
When this upper layer is not very thick, it would naturally 
give way under a weight more or less considerable ; and it 
was this that happened in the accident I have just described. 
Our other companions joined us a few minutes after ; they 
crossed the fissure and the place that sunk without difBiculty, 
having no suspicion of the adventure that had occurred to us. 
It was two o'clock when we arrived at the Col de Rottthal, 
which is indicated in Plate V., figure 1, by an R. This col 
greatly resembles that of the Oberaar ; like the latter, it is 
bounded by two very high peaks, the Jungfrau on the north, and 
the extremity of Kranzberg on the south. I do not know whe- 
ther it has ever been crossed. Its breadth at this place is a few 
metres. The mists collected in the bottom of the Rottthal 
allowed us only a few transitory glimpses into this savage and 
disrupted valley, in which the people of the country fix the 
abode of those turbulent spirits, known under the name of 
Seigneurs du BottthcUJ^ 

* M. Hugi, in his work on th© Alps, endeavours to connect these fables 
with electhcal phenomena. 

816 A$emi of ike J^tngfrau m 184L 

We oonld not judge of the state of the n^v^ in tiiis direc- 
tion ; but all that we did see of it, led us to presume that the 
ascent would be yery toilsome. The accliTities which ex- 
tended immediately before ns, were at least as steep as those 
we had scaled. We rested for an instant on the col before 
encountering the last peak, which we expected to be the most 
difficult. Up to this time, every one was extremely vigor- 
ous, none feeling fatigue except M. de Pory. H& bad not 
taken care to provide himself with sufficiently strong shoes^ 
so that his footing was not sure enough to attempt so hazard- 
ous an ascent. Perhaps, however, he would have succeeded, 
by a great effort, in reaching the summit along with us ; but 
the guides were opposed to his making the trial, alleging 
tiiat they could not run the risk of compromising the whole 
party for an individual. It was with great regret that we left 
him, intrusted to the care of J. Waehren, who conducted htm 
safe and sound to the Bepose. 

We estimated the height of the last peak at from 800 to 
1000 feet above the col, and we hoped to climb it in less 
than an hour, notwithstanding its extreme steepness. We 
soon found, hewever, that the ascent was more difficult than 
we had supposed : instead of snow, we every where encoun- 
tered nothing but compact ice, in which the guides were 
obliged to cut very deep steps to prevent us slipping ; we, 
therefore, advanced very slowly. We continued ascending 
for an hour, without the summit coming sensibly nearer, when 
we were enveloped in a very dense mist, which scarcely allowed 
the hindermost of us to distinguish those at the head of the 
column. This occurred at precisely the steepest part of the 
ascent. Mr Forbes, upon measuring it, found the acclivity to 
be 45"". The ice was so hard and tenacious, that, for a short 
time, we could not accomplish more than fifteen steps in a 
quarter of an hour. The cold, besides, was very keenly felt, 
so much so that there was every reason to fear our feet would 
get frozen, in spite of the care we took to keep them as much 
in motion as possible, by assisting to enlarge and clear the 
steps of the stair. Seeing that our position, at this time, was 
really becoming critical, Agassiz asked Jacob if he still hoped 
to convey us to the summit He replied, with his habitual 

Accent of the Jungfrdu in 184t StT 

composure, that he never doubted it ; and, at the cry of tor* 
wdris^ we again commenced our ascent with as much ardour 
as at first. Here, one of the guides left us : he could no 
longer- bear the sight of the precipices on our right ; andj in 
fact, the path we were following was well calculated to alarm 
every one who had not full confidence in his head and legs. 
The uppermost ridge is nearly in the form of the section of a 
cone with vertical walls, overlooking on the east the fields of 
snow which we Jiad crossed, and on the west the glacier of 
Rottthal. The inclination is, however, a little greater on the 
west side than on the east ; for the fragments of ice, loosened 
by each stroke of the hatchet, all rolled into the last-men- 
tioned valley. As we had no time to lose, we ascended in k 
straight line, without making any zigzag. This was, besides; 
the most rational and certain method ; for, according to the 
laws of mechanics, a person has much greater strength resting 
on the points of his feet, and turning his head against the 
acclivity, than in mounting obliquely ; so that if, by mischance, 
one of us had slipped down, it would not have been impos- 
sible for the others to draw him up, while otherwise that 
would have been more difficult. Besides this; Jacob made 
us walk on the edge of the ridge, because the ice in that place 
was in general somewhat less hard, and this greatly accelerated 
our ascent It followed from this arrangement that we had 
constantly the precipice under our eyes, being separated from 
it only by a slanting roof of snow, the breadth of which varied 
from one to three feet. Often when my pole went farther than 
usual, I felt it penetrating through this snow-roof, which in 
some places was not more than two feet in thickness, and we 
were thus enabled, every time the fog dispersed for a moment, 
to look down through the hole made by the pole into the bot- 
tom of the great circus at our feet. Far from dissuading us 
from this, our guides encouraged all to do it who were free 
from giddiness, and I believe, in reality, it was an excellent 
means of giving us confidence. The mists, however, still con- 
tinued to envelope the summit ; the view was not open except 
eastward to the Eiger, the Monch, and the peaks which iri- 
close the glaciers of the Oberaar and Unteraar. Already 
we despaired of enjoying the spectacle which our imagination 


SIS A$cHit of the Junsfrau in 1841. 

was attempting to portray, when all at once the veil of okiidi9 
which concealed it from us rose, as if touched by our persever-. 
ance, and the Jungfrau displayed itself to our admiring eyes 
in all the beauty of its mighty and majestic forms. I leave 
you to conceive the delight we experienced at this unexpected 
change ! If I am not deceived, it somewhat resembles th^ 
history of human life. 

After ascending for some time in the same direction,. we 
suddenly turned to the left, in order to reach a place where 
the naked rock was exposed, thus traversing the inclined sur- 
face of a semi^cone, the breadth of which, even at this place, is 
many hundred feet. During this short passage the summit 
was concealed from us ; and when we arrived at the rocky 
place, we saw> as if by enchantment, at a few paces from us, 
the summit of the mountain, which hitherto seemed to recede 
from us in proportion as we advanced. Of the thirteen who 
formed our party on leaving the cottages of Mceril, eigU; 
reached the summit. These were M. Agassiz, Mr Forbes, 
M. Du Chatelier, and myself,* accompanied by four guides, 

* The notice of this ascent in the Paa-isian journals, cannot but make us 
feel the ignorance and superficiality of the French journalists in regard to 
every thing not comprised within the radius of Paris and ics jurisdic- 
tion. The following is the account of it giyen in the Journal dei Debais 
of 11th September. ''Six travellers, MM. DuchStelet; a young geologist 
of Nantes, Professor Agassiz of Zurich, Professor Forbes of Edinburgh, 
Professor Heath of Cambridge, Etienne Desoer of Liege, and Pury-Shod 
of Neuembourgy ascended, on the 27th of last month, the highest peak of 
the Jungfrau-hom, a glacier of the canton of Berne, the height of which 
is about 2872 French feet. After they had reached a height of about 800 
feet, they were obliged to cut, with a hatchet, steps in the ice to support their 
hands and feet. They were guided in this perilous ascent by six peasants of 
the neighbourhood, who were themselves directed in their march by an oe. 
togenarian shepherd (!) Jacques Leuthold, who had already ascended this 
celebrated mountain three times. On the summit of the Jungfrau-hom, the 
travellers made meteorological observations, and fixed a flag, on which their 
names, and the date of their ascent, are inscribed." 

I do not know how far it may be permitted to those who believe themselves 
to have a mission to enlighten the public, to suppose that there can exist in 
our latitudes a place where steps had to be cut in the ice at a height of eigh* 
hundred feet, and to be ignorant that the Jungfrau is one of the highest moun. 
tains in Europe, and consequently must be more than 2872 feet. (It is 
impossible to suppose this to be a typographical enror^ on account of ihe ice 

Ascent of the Jmigfrau in 1841. 319 

Jacob Leutholdy Michel Baunholzer, Johannes Alplanalp, and 
Johannes Jaun of Meyringen ; so that, as one of my friends 
has remarked in the Gazette Univereelle cPAngsbourgy Swit^ 
serland, England, France, and Germany, were each represent- 
ed in this ascent. 

From this point we could now view, for the first time, the 
Swiss plain : we were on the western side of the section of 
the cone, having at our feet the masses which separate the 
valley of Lauterbrunnen from that of Grindelwald. From 
this moment the scene appeared entirely changed ; the moun- 
tain masses, which seemed to us to repeat each other in pro- 
portion as we ascended, now enlarged to the whole height that 
we had surmounted. A little further on we reached a kind of 
small elbow, which is only about ten feet below the highest 
peak, and which can be easily distinguished from the plain 
with a good telescope, and even sometimes with the naked 
eye. ^Here we saw, not without some alarm, that the space 
which separated us from the real summit was an almost sharp 
ridge, in some places ten, in others eight, and in others six 
inches broad, by a length of about twenty feet, while the de- 
clivities on the right and left had an inclination of from sixty 
to seventy degrees.* '* There is no means of reaching that," 
said Agassiz ; and we were all nearly of the same opinion. 
Jacob, on the contrary, affirmed that it was not at all difficult, 
and that we would all go. Laying aside the articles he was 
carrying, he began to advance, passing his pole over the ridge 
so as to have the latter imder his right arm, and walked along 
the west side, where he endeavoured to make solid steps for 
us by treading down the snow as much as possible ivith his 
feet : for from the place where we found the rock cropping 
out, the ice had given place to a rough snow, very hard, but 
at the same time very porous, so that, notwithstanding its 

being placed at 800 feet.) I can easily fancy to myself this redacteur of the 
Jounial des Dehatt, who, appreciating heights by the measure of his know, 
ledge; imagines that a mountain three times the height of Montmartre must 
really be an enormous one. After that, what more natural than to deduct 
10,000 from the 12,872 feet of the Jungfrau ! 

* Fig. 2 of Plate V. represents this ridge, as seen from the small elbow 
where we halted. Fig. 3 is a ground plan, with the marks of our feet on one 
Bide, aa4 tbose of the pole)» on the other. 

320 Ascent of the Jangfrau in 1841. 

hardness, it admitted of being easily beaten down. A few mi- 
nutes were sufficient to enable him to gain the summit. 

So much assurance and sang-froid gave us courage, and 
when the guide rejoined us, no one any longer thought of 
staying behind. Jacob took Agassiz by the hand and con- 
ducted him, without difficulty, to the summit. It is a kind of 
triangle, about two feet long by a foot and a half broad, which 
has its base turned towards the Swiss plain nearly as repre- 
sented in figure 3 of the engraving, A bemg the base of the 
triangle, and B the ridge which led to it. As there was room 
for only one person at a time, we went by turns. Agassiz re- 
mained upon it for nearly five minutes, and when he rejoined 
us, I saw that he was greatly agitated ; in fact, he confessed 
to me that he never experienced so much emotion. It was 
now my turn ; I found no difficulty in the transit ; but when I 
was on the summit, I could not prevent myself, any more than 
Agassiz, from giving way to great emotion at a spectacleof such 
overpowering grandeur. I remained only a few minutes ; long 
enough, however, to remove any fear that the panorama of the 
Jungfrau will ever be effaced from my memory. After exa- 
mining attentively the most prominent points of this unique 
picture, I hastened to rejoin Agassiz, for I feared lest an im- 
pression so powerful should deprive me of my usual confidence; 
I had need of grasping the hand of a friend, and I venture to 
say, that I never felt so happy in my life as when I had seated 
myself by his side on the snow. I believe that both of us would 
have wept had we dared ; but a man^s tears ought to be modest, 
and we were not alone ; and such is the strength of the ha- 
bits which society makes us contract, that, at 12,000 feet, there 
was still a regard to etiquette I Mr Forbes and M. Du Cha- 
telier visited the summit in their turn, and I have reason to 
know that they were not less edified than we. It may be 
safely affirmed that he who could remain indifferent at such a 
spectacle is not worthy of contemplating it. 

It is not the vast field which the eyes embrace that consti- 
tutes the charm of these views from elevated mountains. The 
experience of the preceding year on the Col of the Strahleck, 
had taught us that distant views are, in general, very indistinct. 
Here, from the summit of the Jungfrau, the outlines of the dis- 

Ascent of the Jun^rau in 1841; 321 

tant mountains appeared to us still less accurately defined. But^ 
even had they been as distinct as the line of the Jura, seen 
from an eminence in the plain, I believe that they would not 
long have attracted our attention, so fascinated were we by the 
spectacle presented by our immediate neighbourhood. Before 
us lay extended the Swiss plain, and at our feet the anterior 
chains were piled up in stages, and they seemed, by their ap- 
parent uniformity, still farther to increase the size of the 
mighty peaks which rose almost to our level. At the same 
time, the valleys of the Oberland, which at the moment of 
our arrival were shrouded in thin mists, could be descried in 
many places, and we were thus allowed to contemplate the lower 
world, in some measure, through the openings. We distinguish- 
ed on the right the valley of Grindelwald, with its glaciers ; on 
the left, in the depth, an immense crevice, and at the bottom 
of the latter a shining thread which followed its windings ; 
this was the valley of Lauterbrunnen, with the Lutschin< 
nen. But, above every thing else, the Eiger and Monch 
attracted our attention. We had some difiiculty in forming 
an idea as to what these summits were which seemed nearer 
heaven than earth, when seen from the plain. Here we 
contemplated them, looking down upon them from above, 
and their near proximity allowed us, in some measure, to ob- 
serve them in detail, for we were separated from them only by 
the circus of the neve of Aletsch. Opposite, on the western 
side, rose another peak, less colossal, but more beautiful ; its 
sides entirely covered with snow, obtained for it the name of 
SUberhom (Silver Peak). In the same direction, we observed 
many other peaks, alike crowned with snow, the nearest and 
most prominent of which appeared to us to be the Gletscher- 
hom ; the other, which is visible from the plain of the glacier, 
is the Ebene-Fluh. These summits, and many others which 
have yet obtained no name, form, as it were, the immediate 
attendants upon the Jungfrau, which rises like a queen in the 
midst of them. a 

Beyond the Eiger and Monch, in an eastern direction, the 
mountain masses which bound the glaciers of Finsteraar and 
Lauteraar, form another group of greater extent and more sa- 
vage character than that in the midst of which we were placed ; 

322 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

these are the Viescherhomer, the Oberaarhom, the Schreck- 
homer, the Berglistock, the Wetterhdmer, and, in the centre, 
the Finsteraarhorn, the highest mountain in Switzerland. It 
alone rose above our level,* and its abrupt and rocky sides 
seemed to bid defiance to our ambition. Some weeks before we 
had been speaking about trying to ascend it ; but now when 
we had a near view of this immense ridge, we felt our zeal sen- 
sibly cool, and ^e could not but the more admire the energy 
of our guides, Jacob and Waehren, the only individuals who 
have reached the summit. 

On the southern side the view was intercepted by the clouds 
which had been collected for some hours on the chain of Mont- 
Bosa. But this disappointment was more than compensated 
by a very extraordinary phenomenon, which took place under 
our eyes and interested all of us extremely, but more particu- 
larly Mr Forbes, as a natural philosopher. Thick mists had 
accumulated on our left, in the direction of south-west. They 
always rose from the bottom of the Rottthal, and began to 
extend to the north upon the mountains which separate this ' 
valley from that of Lauterbrunnen. We were beginning to 
fear that they would envelope us a second time, when they 
suddenly stopped at some feet from us, no doubt from the ef- 
fect of some current of air from the plain which prevented 
their extending farther in this direction. Thanks to this cirj 
cumstance, we found ourselves all of a sudden in presence of 
a vertical wall of mist, the height of which was estimated at 
12,000 feet at least, for it penetrated to the bottom of the 
valley of Lauterbrunnen, and rose many thousand feet above 
our heads. As the temperature was below the freezing point, 
the minute drops of the mist were transformed into crystals 
of ice, which reflected in the sun all the colours of the rain- 
bow ; one would have said that it was a mist of gold which 
sparkled around us. It was a spectacle at once terrible and 

* The height oflhe Finsteraarhorn, according to Tralles, is about 13,428 
feet, that of the Jungfrau 12,870. M. Rudolph Meyer states that the Ya- 
laisan guides who accompanied him in 1812, accomplished the ascent of the 
Finsteraarhorn ; this is an error, for it is impossible to go in three hours from 
the summit of the Oberasrhoru to the summit of the Finsteraarhorn; as M. 
Meyer alleges. 

Asceni of ike Jungfrau in 1841. 323 

attractive; and in contemplating the ebnUitions of those va« 
ponry masses which continually rose from the bottom of the 
Rottthal) as from an immense caldron, it seemed to me that 
it was nearly such as my juvenile fancy had formerly repre- 
sented the mouths of hell, that merciless gulf, into which at 
pleasure I plunged all those who had the misfortune not to 
think and believe like myself. 

When we had all again returned to the elbow or projecting 
ftngle mentioned above, Jacob poured out a glass of wine for 
each of us, and we drank with great feeling to the health of 
Switzerland.* We then stretched ourselves for an instant on 
the snow to contemplate as naturalists the spectacle which sur* 
rounded us. I question whether there exists in the central 
chain a point more fitted to afford an exact view of the true 
form of mountains, respecting which ideas more or less erro- 
neous are generally entertained. Before seeing these colosd 
of the Alps near at hand, it often happened, when contem- 
plating them from the plain, that I was astonished at the con- 
trast which prevailed between the almost cutting ridges of the 
Schreckhom, and particularly of the Finsteraarhom, and the 
great pyramids of the Jungfrau, the Mdnch, and the Eiger. 
I constrained myself to find some vague explanation of this 
singular difference in the action of the raising force ; and as I 
saw the latter only in front, it seemed to me natural that their 
extreme breadth implied a proportional thickness* Here, on 
the summit of the Jungfrau, when we were so placed as to 
command them on all sides, I was not a little surprised to see 
that the Monch, which I had believed to be so massive, is no- 
thing more than an immense ridge nearly as sharp as the Fin- 
steraarhom, but running from east to west, while the latter is 
directed from north to south. The Jungfrau itself is far from 
being so compact as it appears from Berne and even from lur 
terlacken ; and in this respect it does not gain by being seen 
close at hand ; for, instead of forming a continuous mass, it is 
composed of a series of ridges drawn up one behind another, 

* It is^ no doubt, from inadyertence that the OoniiityiXyyimil Ne%t€hdteloi9 
has omitted this toast in the translation there published of a letter addressed 
by us to M. Schneider, Counsellor of SUts at Beme, and inserted iac tbe 
number of the VerfazmngBfrmnd for 2d iSeptember 1841. 

324 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

and separated by deep cuts or Valleys. These ridges are ar- 
ranged according, to their height, so that the first, or that 
nearest the plain, is the least eleyated, and the last the high- 
est. This particular disposition can be discoyered at a great 
distance ; for when we examine the Jnngfrau attentively in 
clear weather, we easily distinguish the deep cuts by their 
darker tint ; the last (that which separates the highest peak 
from the one next to it) is the most obvious. Lastly, the Eiger, 
although more massive than the Monch, is still much less py- 
ramidal than it appears to be. . 

I believe that we may find the explanation of these trench- 
ant forms in the nature of the rock, which is generaUy gneiss 
or mica-slate, that is to say, a rock more or less fissile, which 
splits in large plates, so that the colossal ridges of the Finster- 
.aarhom, the Monch, the Jnngfrau, the Schreckhorn, and the 
Eiger, represent in some degree, on a large scale, the slaty 
cleavage of the fallen masses which are detached from their 
sides, and which the glaciers carry along with them imder the 
form of moraines. Wherever the rOck is real granite or pro- 
togine, the peaks are always more massive, as may be seen in 
Mont Blanc, Mont Maudit, and others. 

This form of the Bernese Alps docs not well agree, I admit, 
with the opinion of those who regard the different peaks as so 
many links of one and the same great chain ; but Mr Studer 
has demonstrated that the Alps, far from being a continuous 
chain, are composed, on the contrary, of separate ellipsoidal 
masses, more or less independent of each other.* It has like- 
wise been long admitted that, in a geological sense, the high 
ridges are only accessory, while the essential phenomenon 
must be sought for in the masses which support them. 

Polished rocks never ascend to these levels ; we saw none 
beyond those I have mentioned above, as occurring on the 
right side of the nev^ of Aletsch, in front of the Griinhorn. 
Wherever the rock appeared at the surface, it was under the 

^ For details on this head, I refer to an article by M. Studer on. the geo- 
gnostical constitution of the Alps, which ^dll ax)poar in an early number of 
the Biblioth^ue Univefsellc de Gen«ve. 

Ascent of ihe Jimgfrau in ld41. S25 

form of dentelated and jagged ridges, eloquent proofs of the 
mighty convulsion the crust of the earth must have under- 
gone when the Alps were raised. 

The connection between these ridges and the surrounding 
plains of snow appeared to us, from this place, in quite a dif- 
ferent light from that in which it is usually regarded. When 
we say that such a glacier or neve descends from such a sum- 
mit, we always exaggerate the importance of the peak to which 
they are referred ; the ridges are supposed to be an indispen- 
sable condition — a sine qua nonr— of the glacier, while it often 
happens that they contribute very little to its sustenance. 
They can still less be regarded as lines of separation or waterr 
sheds between two different basins ; for it is only necessary 
to ascend to a height of 10,000 feet, to be convinced that all 
the plains of snow correspond with each other, and that the 
peaks which, seen from a distance, appeared to us so predomi- 
nant, are in reality only rocky islets rising from an immense 
sea of ice which surrounds them on every side. The brothers 
Meyer have already insisted on this feet, and one is therefore 
the more surprised to see quite a contrary state of things on 
their map, which represents the mountains as great continu- 
ous ridges, establishing marked separations between the dif- 
ferent glaciers. 

While we were making these reflections, the thermometer in- 
dicated— S"" C. (26^.6 F.) in the shade; but we were so engrossed 
with bur subject, that we did not feel the cold. Saussure's hy- 
grometer stood at 67°, notwithstanding the proximity of the 
column of mist I spoke of. The sky over our heads was per- 
fectly clear, and of so deep a blue that it approached to black ; 
we endeavoured to discover the stars in it, which are said to 
be visible during the day at great heights, but we did not suc- 
ceed. It has been pretended that this deep tint is only the 
effect of the contrast with the snowy surfaces which smrround 
the observer on all sides. But if this were the case, the in- 
tensity of the hue would be equal in every part of the celestial 
vault. Now, this is precisely what did not take place, for, on 
looking from the zenith to the horizon on the east, where the 
sky was likewise perfectly clear, we saw the azure gradually 

326 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

become paler as our eyes turned downwards. Unfortunately 
we had neglected to bring a cyanometer with us, which would 
have enabled us to indicate the difference in the degrees of 
intensity. Mr Forbes observed the polarisation of the sky, 
and found it perfectly normal and similar to what he had ob* 
served in the plain at the same hour, although a little less in- 
tense. Now, as the intensity of this phenomenon depends Oil 
the quantity of reflected light> it is natural that it should be 
less sensible when the sky is of a very deep colour. 
' The rock in situ, near the summit, on the edge of the 
ridge which overlooks the Rottthal, is gneiss. Although 
very compact, it easily splits into small fragments ; its sur- 
face assumes a coppery appearance from the effects of oxy- 
disation, but the fresh fractures are greenish, with large 
crystals of felspar, having a pearly lustre. The existence of 
this rock, in such a locality, is an important fact for geology, 
For this reason that gneiss being, to all appearance, a meta- 
morphic rock, its presence on one of the highest summits of 
the Alps is sufficient of itself to demonstrate, that the eleva« 
tion has not been effected here by crystalline masses rising 
from the bosom of the earth, and spreading over the summits 
of the crests, as must have been the case with many systems 
of mountains, among others that of Mont Blanc, the centre 
of which is protogene, flanked with gneiss and other stratified 
rocks. It is long since our most skilful geologists have ex- 
pressed the opinion, that true granite does not exist in the 
chain of the central Alps, and that all the crystalline rocks, 
even the most compact, shew marks, more or less distinct, of 
stratification (the demi-granite of MM. Studer and Escher), 
and are, consequently, metamorphosed rocks. Now, assuredly 
there is no granite on the summit of the Jungfrau, and it may 
be presumed that it is likewise wanting on the less elevated 
peaks in its vicinity. 

To our great surprise, we discovered on the surface of the 
exposed rock, as well as on the fragments detached from it, 
many lichens in a very fresh state, some of which occupied a 
surface of many inches in diameter. Our celebrated lichen- 
ologist, the minister M. Schaarer, recognised among theia 

A$€0ni of the Jungfrau in 1841. 327 

'fire species,* which are in part the same as those which Saus- 
fiure collected on the summit of Mont Blanc and the Gr^ant, 
and one new speciesi to which he has given the name of Umbu 
licaria Virginii^ in commemoration of our ascent. 

We could not expect to find living beings at snch a height ; 
it seemed that even the Podurella of the glaciers {Desoria 
glaeialu, Nic.) did not ascend thus far, for we did not meet 
with one. To make up for this, however, we perceived 

* These five species are : — 

1. Letidea eanffhmerata, Ach. Schser. Spicil. p. 121. Ejusd. Lich. Heir. 

exs., No. 169. 

2. Leddea confluent (var. sterUa), the same r/hich Saussure found on Mont 

Blanc and the Ool da Giant. 

3. ParmeUa elegane « mmt'ato, Schoer. Spicil. p. 428. XJjusd* Lich. exs.. 

No. 338 ; likewise found on the Col da G^ant. 

4. UmbUiearia atro-pruinoaa y reticulata, Schser. in Ser. Mas. Helv. d' His- 

toire Naturelle, I. p. 109, pi. 14, fig. 6-9 ; also found by Saussure on 
the Col da G^ant. 

5. UfMliearia Virffinii, Schaer. Mscr. 1841. 

The following is M. Schserer*s description of this species, from specimens 
communicated to him hj M. Agassiz : — 

Dxagn, U. glauca, subtus ochroleuca, hirsuta ; apotheciis superficialibus, 
disco eequabili; margine tenui prominente. 

Detcript Thallus coriaceus umbilicatus, juvenilis monophyllus, orbicu- 
laris, ambitu integriusculo ; adultior plores emittit lobos, ambitusque ejus 
crenatus fit et lobatus. Diameter in speci minibus quae coram habeo, a 
paucis lineis ad bipollicarem usque extenditur. Pagina adversa in juniori 
lichene sequabilis est, in adultiori rugosa et undata fere ut in Umb. pustu- 
lata ; color ejus in statu humecto glaucus, in sicco murinus rel obscnrior 
tennissimoque pnlvere albo obdnctus, unde adhibita lente tenuissime exas- 
peratus apparet. Pagina aversa ochroleuca est, ad ambitum fusca, Tel pilis 
validis simplicibus ramosisque concoloribus praeter umbilicum dense ves- 
tita, vel bulbilliscorum exasperata. 

Hactenus cum Umb, fdrsuta, Hoffm. ad assem fere conrenit Aliter veto 
Apathecia se habent ; non enim ut ibi janiora in thallum deprimuntur, sed 
jam ab initio superficialia ocourrunt et in unico specimine adultiore, cujus 
facies adversa rugosa est, et undata hisce asperitatibus coarctata sunt, in- 
deque thallo immersa videntur. Gyris etiam concentricis omnino carent 
discumque praebent per omnem aetatem aequabilem marginique cinguntur, 
non, ut ibi, crasso, sed tenui, in jnnioribus integro, in adultioribas vero flex- 
Mosa. Ftaeterea pleraqae specimina apotheciis abortivis verrucaeformibus 
apiceque impressis horrent. Apotheciorum denique color ater absque splen- 
dore. Quoad thallum hie lichen ad UmbiUcariat, quoad apothecia vero ad 
Leeideas pertinet. (ScuAEREBt) 

328 Ascent of ike Jungfrau in 1841. 

a hawk hoyering in the aii* above oar heads. One wonlJt 
have said that our presence excited its cariosity, for it de^ 
scribed many circles around us, but not sufficiently near to 
enable us to distinguish the species to which it belonged. 

There is another point on which it remains for me to say a 
single word, and that is the influence of the air, in elevated 
situations, on the human frame. Many naturalists and phy- 
siologists will doubtless expect that some new facts were ob- 
served by us ; but I must confess, that during the whole time 
we were on the summit, and also during the ascent, we ex- 
perienced none of those occurrences, such as nausea, bleeding 
at the nose, ringing of the ears, acceleration of the pulse, and 
so many other inconveniences which those who have ascended 
Mont Blanc tell us they were subject to. Must we ascribe 
this to the dtflerence of 1500 feet which there is between the 
height of Mont Blanc and that of the Jungfrau ? Or rather 
should we not seek the cause in the habit we had contracted 
while living for many weeks at the height of near 8000 feet ? 
But it ought to be remarked, that M. Du Chatelier, who had 
been among the mountains for only a few days, was not more 
affected than we. Without pretending to decide this ques- 
tion, which belongs more particularly to the domain of phy- 
siology, I am, however, inclined to believe that there is some 
degree of exaggeration in all that has been said on the sub- 
ject. Perhaps, also, some travellers have allowed their ima- 
gination to deceive them, like those students of medicine who 
believe themselves every day affected with the malady their 
professor has been describing. The German physiologists even 
pretend, if I am not mistaken, to have observed the most ex- 
traordinary symptoms on mountains of a few thousand feet in 

We could not quit the summit of the Jungfrau without 
leaving some traces of our visit ; and as we had not brought 
a flag with us, it was determined that we should employ M. 
Agassiz** pole for this purpose, as it happened to be the longest. 
For my part I was willing to sacrifice my cravat, and was 
about to attach it to the end of the pole by means of some 
holes I had pierced in the wood ; but one of the guides, la- 
menting the fate of the cravat, which he doubtless thought 

Ascent o/the Jungfran in 1841. 329 

too pretty to be delivered up to the fury of the tempests, asked 
permission of me to sabstitttte his pocket handkerchief for it 
We thus managed by means of a travelling pole of. fir, and a 
purple-coloured rag, to manufacture a kind of flag, which 
Jacob went and fixed on the summit we had just left. He 
sunk the pole nearly two feet into the hard snow, so that it 
rose only two feet and a half above the surface. 

It was after four o'clock when we again commenced our 
journey. The difficult moment was about to commence ; the 
ascent had been sufficiently painful ; what must the descent 
be ! I am certain that, in measuring with the eye the im- 
mense declivity we had to pass, the greater part of us would 
have been well pleased to be already at the bottom. The in- 
clination was too great for us to walk in the usual manner ; 
we, therefore, descended backwards. I confess that the first 
few steps gave me some uneasiness; for as Agassiz and I had 
no guides before us to direct our feet, we were obliged to look 
constantly between our legs to find the steps, which made the 
steepness appear much more giddy. But a few moments were 
sufficient for us to recover ourselves ; and such was the regu- 
larity of the steps, that, after a^few hundred paces, we knew 
them by the touch of our legs, and had no need of looking at 
the place where we set our feet. The slope, however^ was 
always nearly the same, varying between 40° and 45^ according 
to Mr Forbes's repeated measurements, that is to say, nearly 
equal to that of the roofs of our Gothic cathedrals. There 
was even one place where it must have been near 47°. In spite 
of this excessive steepness, we did not take more than an 
hour to reach the Col de Rottthal, for it was about five o'clock 
when we arrived there. We crossed without the least incon- 
venience the crevice near which the sinking of the surface 
took place which I have mentioned above, as well as the great 
fissure. : We had now. surmounted near all the dangers, and 
had only some platforms of snow to descend, in order to re- 
join M. de Pury and the two guides who awaited us at the Re- 
pose. So much assurance had we gained in this descent, that 
we ran rather than walked, no longer paying any regard to 
fissures, although they were perhaps more treacherous than 
in the morning, for the sun had softened the snow during the 

3S0 Agceni cf the Jm^firau in 1841. 

day. Jacob did not cease, accordingly, to- recommend eaa- 
tion, repeating with the same eaknness as when he ascended, 
HUbsekle, nur immer hUbtchle f (Gently, always gently !) 

At six o'clock we reached the Repose, thns accomplishing, 
in two hours, a distance idiich had cost us six in ascending. 
M. de Pnry was the first to meet us, and congratnlate us on 
the successful issue of our undertaking. Far from being dis- 
tressed at not haying formed one of our party, he thanked us, 
on the contrary, for having dissuaded him ; for on seeing us 
climb the last ridge, he was the first to acknowledge that his 
shoes were not fit for such an ascent. Thns every one was 
satisfied ; and as we brought from our journey an appetite 
such as may be conceived, we seated ourselves on the snow to 
refresh ourselves with a piece of meat and the remainder of 
our wine. The first glass was offered by Agassiz to our cap- 
tain Jacob ; we drank his health by turns, and I believe that 
never was toast more sincere, for it was obvious to us all» that 
without him we would never have reached the summit. 

Six leagues had still to be travelled to regain the cottages ; 
so that it happened, as we had foreseen, that we had to cross 
the part of the glacier most abounding in fissures after night- 
fall. But no one seemed in any way annoyed at this ; more- 
over, the moon would soon be up, and the clouds had almost 
entirely disappeared from the horizon. We traversed with 
accelerated pace the three leagues of neve which succeed the 
plateaux of snow ; it was done without any difficulty, for the 
neve there presents a perfectly regular surface, on which one 
walks with as much security and ease as on a turnpike road. 
Scarcely had night faUen, when we saw the moon rise oppo- 
site to us. 

We were then at the height of the two cols I have formerly 
mentioned — ^that of Lotsch on the west, and that which leads 
to the neve of Viesch on the east. The moon was directly 
in the axis of the glacier, so that the whole of this great river 
of ice was uniformly illuminated, and reflected a light which 
must have appeared to us the milder, from having suffered so 
much from that of the sun during the day. The entrance to 
the two cols of Lotsch and Viesch formed a most interesting 
contrast with this luminous surface, for as they lie at right 

9Xi^9^ with tb9 durection of the glacier, the mountains which 
bound them to the south there threw out shadows of fantastic 
grandeur, while large black clouds accumulated behind the 
Aletschhom, gave to the picture all the force worthy of such 
a subject. When to this it is added that a perfect calm in 
the atmosphere, and an absolute silence prevailed around us^ 
it may easily be conceived that we still experienced extreme 
pleasure in admiring this unique spectacle* although we had 
contemplated so many grand views in the course of this day« 

We soon entered the region of fissures. We then thought 
it proper again to have recourse to the rope, for although 
the moonshine was very clear, the light was not sufficiently 
strong to enable us to distinguish with certainty the old 
snow from the fresh, particularly during the first quarter 
of an hour of our progress. We flew top over tail, so to 
speak, each in his turn, the guides as weU as ourselves ; for a 
short time one might have entertained rather serious appre- 
hensions regarding the issue of this passage, for at each step 
one or other of us was obliged to retire from a crevice. How- 
ever, we learned by degrees to avoid the crevices covered 
with snow, and we again extricated ourselves from this un- 
pleasant situation, without having to lament any severe acci- 

On this sulgect I think it right to remark, that in general 
there is a tendency to exaggerate the dangers of fissures. A 
fall into a gulf, concealed by a bridge of snow, is no doubt a 
very serious matter, as we had too frequently occasion to ex- 
perience. But it is not without mitigating considerations, for 
it is rare that in such cases one falls to the bottom of the pre- 
cipice ; the snow which has given way under your feet al- 
ways affords more or less support, and, unless when leapii^ 
with the feet joined, one rarely sinks up to the breast. Strains 
are most to be feared in such cases. 

It was near nine o'clock, when, all of a sudden, we heard 
the cry of a shepherd in the distance. " Bravo !" we all ex- 
claimed, " it is our Valaisan." That we might not run the 
risk of fasting, in case of any accident happening to us, we 
had given him orders, on leaving the cottages, to start with 
provisions at six o'clock in the evening, and go forward until 

aaSf Accent of the Jungfrm in 1841. 

he met ns. After having exchanged with him some of those 
shrill and piercing sounds, which the mountaineers can make^ 
to penetrate to the distance of leagues, we perceived that he 
was on the left side, so that before we could join him, we had 
to cross a considerable part of the glacier, which in this place 
is nearly a league broad. The brave fellow was loaded like 
a mule, for besides the provisions we had required of him, he 
brought an entire hoiUe* fall of excellent new milk still warm. 
This was unquestionably the most delightful refreshment that 
he could have offered to us, and dmost every one left the wine 
for the milk. We seated ourselves in a circle around .our 
amphitryon, taking draughts in our turn from his immense 
vase, till it was nearly empty. This was the most picturesque 
repast, and, at the same time, one of the most grateful I have 
enjoyed in my life. 

After supping heartily we again set out to complete our last 
stage. Nearly three leagues yet remained ; but, with the ex- 
ception of the fissures which we had to stride over, the road 
was easy, and we arrived almost before we were aware at the 
banks of lake Moeril. Here we made our last halt, in order 
to admire an unique spectacle. The blocks of floating ice 
which swam on the surface of the water had a most attractivie 
effect, when seen by the beautiful light of the moon. At the 
same time the section of the glacier, in the background, ap- 
peared to us like an immense wall of crystal ; and what far- 
ther added to the beauty of this spectacle wasj that we arrived 
just at the moment when the moon was passing behind the 
mountain mass which overlooks the lake, and we saw -in a quar- 
ter of an hour the most varied effects of light, and the most 
striking and interesting contrasts. It was a finale worthy 6f 
such a day. But as the moon and its effects are a little out of 
fashion, as well as the loves of the shepherds which it formerly 
inspired, I shall not enlarge farther on the subject. If, how- 

* A provincial word to denote one of the large wooden vessels in which 
the shepherds carry milk. The Generese Glossary says : " Bolles, vessels 
of wood to carry milk on an ass ; un poire de boUet, a term known in our 
Alpine romances. Bomansch bouille, a kind of Seattle for the vintage, Celtic 
root 6otf; the belly," 

A^'ent of the Jungfrau in 1841. ^ 

ever, any naturalist happen to pa£S*the night at the same cot- 
tages where we found a sleeping-place, I would advise him toot 
to neglect to visit the lake. It is, besides, the only one in 
Switzerland, if I am not mistaken, in which there is floating 

At half-past eleven o'clock we re-entered the hospitable 
roof of our good Valaisan shepherds, after a journey wUch oc- 
cupied us upwards of eighteen hours. As for fatigue, we did 
not feel it even now, so pre-occupied were our minds with all 
the things that had passed under our eyes, and moved our 
hearts, during the day. Next day we descended to Viesch, 
where we met our friend M. Escher 4e la Linth, who regret- 
ted deeply that he had not arrived some days sooner, that he 
might have accompanied us. On the following day we again 
repaired to Grimsel, to our excellent friend Zippach, who was 
interested in us, more than any other, during our absence. 
With regard to our guides, they left us at Viesch, and we af- 
terwards learned that the two days they spent in their return 
were a continual triumph to them. There was not a hut in 
the valley of Conches, from Viesch to Obergesteln, which they 
did not enter and proclaim their success. 

And now that we have succeeded in this ascent, without ex- 
periencing too much difficulty, do we advise our friends and 
the amateurs of glaciers to follow our steps ? To those who 
have perfect confidence in their head and legs, I would say 
without hesitation, " Go, provided you find good guides ; the 
harvest is rich in these regions both for the geologist and na- 
tural philosopher. The whole journey is composed of a series 
of studies, every one of them more interesting than another : 
the glacier of Aletsch, which leads to it, is the most beautiful 
in Switzerland ; and if, after traversing it, you succeed in 
reaching the summit of one of those majestic peaks which en- 
circle it, the impressions you will then receive will not soon 
pass away ; you will find them always fresh in your memory, 
and the day on which you have contemplated the Swiss plain 
from the height of the Jungfrau will be reckoned among the 
most interesting of your life." 

VOL. XXXn. NO. LXIV, — APRIL 1842. 2 

834 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

Note fm the Ice of devoted Peaks. 

It may be perceived, by the preceding narration, that gla- 
ciers are divided into three regions, each of which has its pecu- 
liar characters ; these are— compact ice, the nlve, and the 
snow. Although the limits of these regions do not correspond 
to a certain level, they always present themselves in the same 
order of succession, so that in ascending a glacier from its ter- 
mination to its source, we first meet with the compact ice, along 
with its moraines and the other accidents peculiar to it ; then the 
n^ve, which is characterised by its granular structure and the 
absence of moraines ; and lastly, the fields of snow, which usual- 
ly occupy the highest parts of the valleys and the [sides of 
the mountains which bound them. These difierent states are 
the result of the transformations which the frozen water, falling 
in the form of snow, has undergone, in its course to the lower 
regions ; the compact ice, which is at the extremity of the 
glaciers, has previously gone through the states of ice and 
neve. But this order of succession is constant only in the val- 
leys : the high summits are often exceptions to the rule. Those 
who have read the preceding narrative will recollect the ice 
we encountered even on the summit of the Jungfrau, and which 
is consequently much more elevated than the nev^s and fields 
of snow which occupy the bottom of the circus of Aletsch. 
We likewise know that Saussure found ice on the summit of 
Mont Blanc ; Zumstein speaks of it on the summit of Mont 
Rosa ; our guides, Jacob Leuthold and Johannes Waehren, in- 
telligent men and worthy of credit, inform us that they met 
with it nearly up to the summit of Finsteraarhom ; and no 
one can cross n6v^ between 9000 and 10,000 feet of absolute 
height, without seeing some of those small glaciers, whose ter- 
minal portion is of compact ice, come forward to terminate at 
the edge of the abrupt walls which overlook the valleys. I 
may mention, as examples, the foot of the Strahleck; many 
small glaciers abutting above the nev6 which feeds the lower 
glacier of the Grindelwald; many small affluents of a similar 
kind on the sides of the Oberaarhorn above the neve of the 
Oberaar ; and lastly, some pretty considerable collections of ice 
above the n^v^ and snow-fields of the Aletsch* The ice which 

Ascent of the Jtmgfrau in 1841. 335 

<3overs the highest ridge of the Jungfraa has all the characters 
of the ice of ordinary glaciers ; the same hardness, the same 
Ungolar texture, the same roughness o£ surface, the same ca- 
pillary fissures« It differs only in being ofia less bluish tint, 
which is no doubt owing to the greater numbfu* of air-bubbles 
it contains ; in this respect it more resembles i]x^ ice of gla- 
triers in winter.. Its thickness probably undergoes «iore or less 
considerable variations ; we found it perfectly homogeneouSy 
without any trace of intercalated snow as far as the hatchet 
penetrated; that is to say, nearly to the depth of a foot. It is 
only close upon the summit that it begins to lose its hardne|ss, 
and for the last twenty feet it again becomes granular snow; 
No one, in my opinion, has hitherto explained this pheno^ 
menon in a isatisfisM^ry manner, although it in every respect 
deserves careful consideration, were it only on account of the 
difficulties it presents. All now nearly agree in admitting 
that the ice of glaciers is snow transformed into ice by means 
of water, which, by congealing, acts like a cement. The more 
frequent these alternate infiltrations and congelations are, the 
greater compactness the ice acquires. Thus, when, ascending 
a glacier,'we reach a point where the n6v6 gives place to inco- 
herent snow, we conclude that this arises from there not being 
enough of water to cement it, and that appears to us natural 
enough, knowing as we do that the temperature goes on di- 
minishing as we rise upwards. But how then does it happen 
that the summits, which are highest of all, and consequently 
surrounded with a colder atmosphere, are covered with ice \ 
Without pretending to solve this problem in a definite man- 
ner, I still think that we may find a partial explanation in the 
detached situation of these high peaks, which are more ex- 
posed than the lower plains to the action of the solar rays and 
to that of winds. Suppose the wind to carry off the snow as 
fast as it falls, the sun will then have time to change all that 
remains into ice ; in this case, the broad surfaces exposed to 
the south will necessarily be more affected by the action of 
the sun than the narrow surfaces and such as are turned to the 
north ; and this is, in fact, what appears to take place. We 
remarked, while ascending the Jungfrau, that while the south- 
era slope, on which we travelled, was covered wUh ic^ the 

336 Ascent of the Jungfrau in 1841. 

eastern, western, and northern sides were clothed with snow, 
and we even remarked numerous furrows of avalanches in it 
The fact of the highest summit being of snow and not ice, may 
be explained by its narrowness, which presents less scope for 
the action of the solar rays. 

The theory of the canon Rendu seems at first sight more 
conformable to the nature of the phenomenon. This natural- 
ist, in order to account for the ice accumulated on the summit 
of Mont Blanc, supposes that it is the product of the conden- 
sation of the Ti^urs which continually collect round the 
higher peaks of the Alps, and annually deposit upon them a 
layer of ice of greater or less thickness. But if this were the 
case, this ice would be spread equally over all the faces of 
peaks, which is by no means the fact ; we cannot, moreover, 
understand, according to this hypothesis, why the extreme 
summit should be a worse condenser than the rest of the mass. 
Lastly, as I have already shewn in a former article,* the ice 
formed in this manner should have an entirely different tex- 
ture ; it should neither contain air:bubbles, nor be rough on 
the surface, like the ice of glaciers, but should rather have the 
appearance of glazed frost {verglase). 

The bands of ice interposed between the beds of snow, 
examples of which were found in the snow-fields of the gla- 
ciers of Viesch and Aletsch, occur, according to observations 
we have made of late years, nearly every where in the pla- 
teaux of snow. Their formation is. analogous to that of the 
iceis which cover high summits, and is likewise to be ascribed 
to infiltrated water, since it is the only agent capable of trans- 
forming snow into ice. But if we consider that the quantity 
of water which can result from melting at such a height (fields 
of snow seldom descend below 10,0*0 feet) must be very in- 
considerable, on account of the great evaporation and the tem- 
perature, which does not often rise above O'' (32"" F.), we must 
come to the conclusion, as has been demonstrated by M. Agas- 
siz, that these bands represent the value of the melting influ- 
ence of the solar rays, and perhaps also of the rain, on the 
surfiftce of the fields of snow, during a given time. 

* See BibliothiqaeUniyerselle de Q^n^ye; torn, xxxii. p. 159 (March 1841. 

ReminUeences of JTemer and Freiberg. 337 

In the snow-fields of the glacier of Viesch, to which refer- 
ence was made in the beginning of this account, the bands of 
ice have almost a uniform thickness of a few inches ; it is the 
same with the intervening beds of snow (which are from two to 
three feet thick), so that, considering their regularity, we are 
naturally led to regard them as annual beds. Where the al- 
ternations are less regular, they may not improperly be ascribed 
to the reiterated variations of temperature in one and the same 

Care must be taken not to confound the phenomenon of 
bands of ice interposed between layers of snow with that 
of small beds of snow everywhere met with in compact ice. 
The latter occurrence is owing to other causes, which we will 
explain in another article.* 

Ifeminiscences of Werner and Freiberg^ and of Malte-Brun. 
Bj^ Professor HsNaY Steffens of Berlin.^ 

* I. — Werner and Freiberg. 

Our J first impressions of Freiberg were by no means agree- 
able. The barren hills appeared exceedingly dreary. We saw 
the mine of Himmelfahi% and Abraham on our left, and a bell 
marked at uniform pauses the revolutions of the great hydraii- 
lic wheels of the mines. It seemed as if the spirits of the mines 
were already engaged in their mysterious and noisy' orgies. 
We became silent as we passed through the streets ; and the ne- 
cessity of our remaining for some time resident there, was by 
no means agreeable to us. When, however, we had left the 
inn, and established ourselves in an agreeable lodging — though 
one surrounded by poor and wretched houses — our first dissa- 
tisfied feelings were soon blunted. The new occupations 
which lay before us — ^the descent into the mines, the subter- 
ranean activity which had existed here on so large a scale for 

♦ From Bib. Univ. de Geneve, No. 71) p. 112. 

t From Professor Steffens* very interesting work, '' Wat ich ErUhie^ now 
in course of publication. — Edit. 

X MoUer, a Norwegian, and therefore a fellow^countrynian of FrofiBSSor 
Steffens, wa8 his^companion.— Edit. 

S38 Beminiseencea of Werner ond Freiberg* 

centuries-— excited our curiosity ; and we^hart^ied to make the 
acquaintance of the two most distinguished men of the town, 
viz. of Berghauptmann (captain-general of mines) Yon Charpen- 
tier, and of Bergrath (councillor of mines) Werner. I was not 
entirely unknown to them, for my little work on min^alogy 
and mineralogical studies had attracted some notice at Frei- 

Freiberg had at that time reached the zenith of its celebrity. 
Throughout the whole of Europe Werner was unhesitatingly 
recognised as the first mineralogist of the day, nay, as the 
founder and author of the science. No one could compete with 
him as an oryctognost, and even Linnaeus never possessed 
more universal authority in botany than did Werner in oryc- 
tognosy. In geognosy the Neptunists had obtained a decided 
victory over the Vulcanists, and Huttpn's theory was scarcely 
mentioned. Mineralogists streamed to Freiberg from all 
parts of Europe and America. Humboldt, L. V. Buch, Esmark 
the Norwegian, Elhyar the Spanish Mexican, Andrada the 
Brazilian Portuguese, had been there during the preceding 
six years. In my time, I found still there Mitchel, an Irish- 
man, who had already obtained in England considerable re- 
putation in his department ; and Jameson, a Scotchman, whose 
services to geognosy had been universally acknowledged since 
his travels in Scotland. Among those who subsequently be- 
came distinguished as celebrated mineralo^ts, there were 
D'Aubuisson the Frenchman, Mohs, and Herder. Werner 
was then in the prime of life, being nine and forty years of age. 

His appearance was very distinguished, and struck me ex- 
ceedingly at my first interview. He was middle-sized, and 
broad-shoiildered ; his round and friendly countenance did 
not at first sight promise much, but, when he began to speak, 
he at once commanded the most marked attention of every 
one. His eye was fall of fire and animation ; his voice, from 
its high tone, was somewhat sharp, but every word was well- 
weighed ; a cautious clearness, and the most marked decision 
in the views he expressed, were apparent in all that he said. 
With all this, however, there was united a goodness which 
-irresistibly won every heart. 

Werner sufiered uninterruptedly from a stomach complaint, 

Seminiscenees of ITemer and Freiberg. 839 

and he was anxiously careful about his health. He was very 
warmly clothed ; his stomach was always covered with an 
animal skin, and when he was in pain he added a hot tin 
plate. The climate of Freiberg is severe ; but still I was not 
a little struck, on visiting him in the month of July, to find 
the stove lighted. He was exact even to pedantry. He was 
in the habit of taking with him in his carriage the pupils he 
was particularly fond of, to visit such spots as exhibited any 
remarkable geognostical peculiarity; and on such occasions he 
fixed with great precision the hour of starting, no one ventur- 
ing to be a moment too soon or too late. If one went too 
early, he not imfrequently continued his labour, and looked 
attentively first at the individual and then at his watch ; if 
he came too late, if it were but a few minutes, he was placed 
in embarrassment by finding Werner standing waiting on the 
stair, wrapped up, even on pretty warm days, in a greatcoat 
and fur. As it was my good fortune for a long time to ac- 
company him on such expeditions almost every week, I was 
particularly careful to set my watch exactly with his. I was in- 
expressibly attached to that great and remarkable man. I was 
myself not unfrequently a sufferer from cramp in the stomach, 
but entirely forgot my complaint when the pain was over, and 
never thought of attending to my diet or mode of life. Wer- 
ner, however, was constantly anxious about my health, and 
unceasing in his counsels about the system I should adopt. 
From respect to him, I was externally extremely attentive to 
what he said ; but advice in this matter went but a short way 
with me. 

I was present at an occurrence which, on one occasion, 
placed me and all his pupils in great perplexity. Werner's 
collection of precious stones was celebrated, and the suite 
illustrative of crystallization was one of the most perfect in 
Europe. At one of the lectures, a tray containing spinels 
was circulated, and every one, knowing Werner's peculiarities, 
endeavoured to move the tray with the greatest care and cau- 
tion, in order that there might be no disorder produced among 
the crystals, no one venturing to touch any of them. Unfor- 
tunately, one of those present inadvertently struck the tray 
while it was going round. It was inclinedi th« crystals were 

840 Be$Ainiicmee9 of JTerner and Freiberg. 

thrown together, and it seemed as if they were about to be 
thrown down. It was an anxious moment. It is well known 
bow great may be the value of even the smallest specimei^s, 
and how difficult it is, nay, almost impoesible, to gather up all 
the crystals in such a case, when they have been scattered on 
the floor, and have fallen into the openings between the 
boards. Werner became pale, and was silent. The misfor- 
tune did not take place. The students carefully pushed the 
tray to the middle of the table, so that it might be in perfect 
safety ; and we sat waiting anxiously for nearly ten minutes 
ere Warner recovered himself so as to ^e able to say, ^^ Do 
not be offended at my having been so much agitated ; the loss 
which might have happened would have been irreparable.'^ 
He then told us, that some years before, a tray of preeious 
stones had actually been upset in a similar way, and that the 
students had remamed to assist in gathering up the small crys- 
tals. It is well known that Werner wa9 the first ndio proved 
that the sapphire and ruby belong to one genus. ^\ I pos* 
sessed," he said, '* a sapphire of three colours, white above, 
ruby red in the middle, and indigo blue below. It was the 
only specimen of the kind in the world. The piece was large, 
and it disappeared on that occasion ; and if you should ever 
see such a specimen, claim it, for it must be the one which 
was stolen from me." The lecture was then abruptly termi- 
nated, and Werner did not entirely recover his composure fcnr 
some days. 

The chief service rendered by Werner to oryctognosy, was 
his sharp discrimination of the most delicate distinctions. In 
recognising and exhibiting these, his whole demeanour pre- 
sented a combination of earnestness and assured conviction. 
Every single obscurity annoyed him, and he almost compelled 
his hearers to distinguish, with the greatest possible certainty, 
the most trivial variations in the mixtures of colours occurring 
in minerals. All the characters of minerals were classified 
with the most extreme minuteness ; and every deviation from 
the arrangement so decidedly fixed by him, every case of doubt- 
ful apprehension vexed, nay, injured him. Although he em- 
ployed no mathematical formulae for the determination of 
crystals, yet his descriptions were the clearest and most exact 

BemnUcenees (f fFemer and Freiierfi, 341 

that had been given previons to the time of Hany, and were 
rendered so by the simplest means. The crystalline structure 
of minerals was first of all recognised by him ; and the num- 
ber of denages and Iheir relative positions, even then con- 
tained the germ of the idea of a certain fundamental form of 
all the varieties of crystallization of individual genera, a view 
which afterwards became so important. 

In oryctognosy Werner could follow every step of his pupils, 
could reprovingly notice any uncertainty and obscurity, and 
afford guidance for the acquiring that precision which was so 
characteristic of himself. In geognosy, on the other hand, he 
was obliged to leave his scholars more to themselves. But 
whoever, under his instructions, undertook a mountain expe- 
dition, received an extremely minute plan, according to which 
he was to make his observations. Every deviation, even the 
slightest one, from the rules thus laid down, and every nvgleet 
of any portion of them, was severely blamed. If one wished to 
derive any advantage from his intructiohs, it was necessary for 
him[to give himself up unconditionally tohismaster ; for the whole 
system was so intimately linked together, and the various ele- 
ments of discrimination in oryctognosy were so closely united 
with the mode of observation in geognosy, that the disturbance 
of any of these rendered all the others uncertain and doubtful. 
I have never, either before or since, known a second individual 
whose personality was locked up' with such decision in it- 
self. It was this, in fact, which produced that unlimited sway 
which Werner exercised in his science, and which only in his 
later years he saw (doubtless not without grief) giving way. 

There are examples enough of the triumphant power with 
which he not unfrequently dealt with his opponents. I here 
adduce one instance among many. Von Bom had attacked 
him, and Werner revenged himself by a sharp criticism on 
his account of the minerals in the Raab collection at Vienna. 
It is well known that Werner was not a great traveller, and 
hence Vienna and its mineralogical museum were quite un- 
known to him. Von Born had described a tray in the col- 
lection, which, according to him, contained crysolites : Wer- 
ner proved, in the most decisive manner, that the said tray did 
not contain a single crysolite, but that, most of the specimens 

342 SenUmseenees of Werner and Fretberg. 

in it belonged to the variety of i^atite, turned by himself as^ 
paragos stone. After the appearance of his criticism, Yon 
Bom avoided shewing this tray to mineralogical tourists. 

We all know that Werner published but little, but the notes 
of his lectures formed the foundation of many oryctognostical 
manuals which appeared during his time, such as those of 
Wiedemann, Emmerling, Reuss, &c. down to that of Breit- 

I have heard from bis publisher how anxious Werner felt 
during the publication of his " Theory of Veins,"* a work 
which must be regarded as a model of precision of its kind, 
and which is more particularly distinguished by its minute and 
exact distinction of the vein-formations, and of the peculiar 
composition of the various groups of substances occurring in 
veins. The printing lasted for years, and was often interrupted 
for months together, while Werner could not come to a de- 
cision as to the mode of illustrating his subject. Sheets al- 
ready printed, were, three or four times in succession, ca^ 
aside, and entirely remodelled. The publisher was in despair. 

As Werner printed little, his reputation was almost entirely 
founded on the complete devotion of his pupils ; and Esmark's 
description of the Hungarian Trachytes, by means of which 
he endeavoured to illustrate the Neptunian origin of pearl- 
stone, obsidian, and even of pumice, proves, in a remarkable 
manner, how completely the master controlled the views of 
his scholars. 

Werner was in every respect a patriotic Saxon, and was 
thoroughly devoted to his sovereign and country. His repu- 
tation in France was great and decided. The leaders of the 
Republic were anxious to distinguish him, and sent him a di^^ 
ploma as citoyen. The monarchical, and by nature anxious 
burgher, was placed in great perplexity. He communicated 
the circumstance to his court, as he himself told me, but I do 
not remember if he obtained permission to accept the honour. 

It is very remarkable how rarely the power exists of trans^ 
mitting a true historical judgment of a man distinguished at a 
previous period. Few are able to exhibit with clearness at the 

* An excellent translation, with additional noteS; by Dr Anderson of 
eith, was pablished in 1809.--£dit. 

Bemmacences of Werner and Freiberg. 343 

present moment the condition of science at a former time ; and 
it is more especially in the case of a science, like natural his- 
tory, which is deyeloped with rapid strides, and in a few years 
acquires quite a different form, that we almost lose the power of 
estimating properly what is no longer received directly, but is 
obtained indire6tly by means of the intermediate links of de- 
yelopment I cannot here enter into a scientific disquisition 
on the services of Werner. Probably most of my readers 
will say that I have dwelt too much on him ; but I must be 
allowed to make this observation, that, notwithstanding his 
errors, Werner probably did more for the establishment of his 
science than Linnaeus accomplished for zoology and botany. 
It is undeniable that less progress had been made in minera- 
logy, prior to the time of Werner, than in the sciences treated 
of by LinniEUS, previous to him ; and the former found an en- 
tirely rough material to work upon, which he left behind him 
in a state of good arrangement, and in many respects clearly 
defined. Even a triumph over him was only possible by means 
of the very aims which he himself had placed in the hands of 
his opponents. 

Werner had received me with great friendship, and I con- 
tinued to advance in his good graces, although I had some- 
times deviated from his views in the work already mentioned. 
He knew well how little a well secured structure like that he 
had reared could be affected or shaken by feeble and abstract 
sketches of that kind. — Charpentier was Werner's rival. Al- 
though the latter occupied himself also with the practical parts 
of mining, yet mineralogy was always his chief subject. Char- 
pentier, on the other hand, was, from his situation as Ber^- 
hauptmann^ and also from his previous occupations and incli- 
nations, more particularly a practical miner. His services in 
this respect are universally known. He had established the 
great and remarkable amalgamation work at Halsbriicke, and 
had introduced great improvements in smelting as well as in 
the mining operations. Nevertheless he was very fond of geog- 
nostieal investigations, and his observations on the occiurrence 
\oi basalt in the great Schneegruben of the Riesengebirge had 
durected the special notice of geognosts to that display. . These, 

344 Feminiscenees of Werner and Freiberg. 

it is true, did not appear till some years after I left Freiberg, 
bat they were made many years before, and his view regard* 
ing that singular phenomenon was then well known. Upon 
the whole, he was no friend to a decided theory which should 
include all geognostical observations in one point of view, but 
held that geognostical investigations had not yet reached that 
degree of maturity which authorized us to bring forward such 
a theory. He was inclined to assume the occurrence of great 
expansions of gas in the interior of the earth, and to ascribe 
to these a great influence in the formation of mountain masses ; 
while Werner endeavoured to explain every thing by mecha* 
nical and chemical precipitations, and by mighty floods. Thus 
these two individuals stood as scientific opponents to each 
other ; and probably they only met when on business. Some 
ideas in my little essay coincided with Charpentier^'s views, 
and met with his approbation, and I received a welcome re- 
ception at his house. His family were much distinguished 
for their talents as well as for their varied acquirements. One 
daughter was married to General Thielemann, one of the brav* 
est and best officers in the Saxon army ; and a second was 
the wife of Doctor Reinhard, who had attracted great notice, 
and was universally respected as a learned theologian, a cele* 
brated orator, and as the head of the Protestant Church in 
Saxony. I did not make the acquaintance of these merito- 
rious men, but their ladies often visited their parents. A 
third daughter, Caroline, w*as unmarried, and was distinguished 
for her varied knowledge, her talents, and her matured judg- 
ment ; she was also a skilful pianoforte player. The young- 
est daughter, Julia, beautiful, feminine, and with a melan- 
choly expression, particularly attracted my attention, for she 
was the bride of Hardenberg (Novalis). I was eagerly desi- 
rous of the acquaintance of that remarkable and original poet, 
whose aerial-phantastic nature and powerful lightning-like 
expressions had seized hold of my mind in a wonderful de- 
gree. 1 had not previously met with a family so ennobled by 
refinement, and in which so much was to be met with that was 
mentally exciting ; and a request to appear amongst them was 
at all times agreeable to us both, my friend MoUer having^ 
been also a welcome guest at tl)e hospitable mansion. 

JReminiicences of Werner and Freiberg. 34& 

WbUe our two most important individoals were Charpentier 
and Werner, our communication became extended with the 
most distinguished men of foreign countries, who were attracted 
by the high reputation of the latter. The life at Freiberg had 
now a great charm for me, in consequence of the new world 
which was opened up. We provided ourselves with mining 
dresses,in which we diligently traversed the mines. Werner had 
advised us to begin with the united mine of Himmelfahrt and 
Abraham, because its passages, &c. were the least complicated. 
We went there twice a week; and the mining world made a 
great impression on me. These subterranean regions, and 
the deep night which reigned in the shafts and galleries, pre- 
sented to me something irresistibly attractive. It certainly 
cost us no small labour to distinguish the veinous masses, and 
the minerals of which they were composed, in the darisness 
which was so sparingly illuminated by the mining lamps, and 
in the midst of wet and mud. It was still more difficult — nay, it 
appeared at first almost impossible — ^for us to follow the direct 
tion of the veins, in which we directed our course by the 
compass, and to learn clearly how they crossed one another, 
cut each other at acute angles, or were interrupted by fissures. 
When we descended the perpendicular ladders, when the blue 
of heaven gradually disappeared through the opening ; when 
the great wheel, by means of which the water of the day was 
set in motion, made its revolutions close to us in the narrow 
rocky aperture, and the sound of the bell indicated each turn; 
while around us, on all sides, the drops, quietly murmuring, 
unceasingly fell down : — ^we were at first peculiarly affected by 
singular and strange feelings. By degrees, we descended the 
more distant mines of Beschert Gllick, Himmelsfiirst, and Kur- 
prinz, with their rich ores. A stranger attending the academy 
receives, on application, directly from the Elector, the permis- 
sion to examine all the mines of the Erzgebirge, with the ex- 
ception of the arsenic and cobalt mines of AnnabergandSchnee- 
berg. My fancy was highly excited as I gradually witnessed the 
great extent, and the mighty, far-extending internal connec- 
tion of the subterranean workings. For a period of five hun- 
dred years, the interior of the rocks had been penetrated in 

346 BenUniscences of JTemer and Freiberg. 

all directions, the numerous veins which everywhere tra- 
versed them had been opened up, and not a few of them fully 
exhausted. The shafts were sunk perpendicularly, or more 
or less slantingly downwards to points the most different in 
ntuation. Sideways from these shafts, the vein-masses had 
been pierced and mined above and below. At certain depths, 
at an equal level, the different mines were united together by 
galleries running horizontally, which were conducted to the 
surface. Formed with a slight inclination, they serve to carry 
off the water from the mines, to transport the ore by an easier 
route than the shaft, and to introduce a fresh current of air« 
The deeper the gallery-connection, the more advantageous 
it is. 

I have touched on these well-known circumstances, because 
they made a deep impression on my imagination. I asked my- 
self the question : When thousands of years shall have passed 
away, what will remain of our times ? What that can be 
compared with the gigantic walls of former races, with the re* 
mains of Cyclopean buildings, with Susa and PalmjTa, with 
the ruins of Greece and Rome, with their roads and aqueducts ? 
Our slightly built towns will scarcely leave a trace behind; 
our palaces will crumble away, our largest manufactories, 
changeable as the speculations which called them forth, will 
speedily disappear. Here and there the walls of a church of 
the middle ages may support the tradition of a fine taste in 
architecture ; every thing else produced by the modem period 
will be swallowed up in the immeasurable mass of what has 
been written and printed, nay, will be as dimly perceptible 
from this abyss, as are the sagas and mythological fables from 
mere oral tradition. When, then, a curious traveller shall wan- 
der through the desert places of formerly flourishing states, 
when an accident of any kind shall open up the entrance to 
one of these deeply situated galleries, — ^when bold men shall 
have courage to penetrate deeper and deeper, when openings 
in different directions shall afford access to a knowledge of the 
connection of these subterranean workings, though they may 
not admit of their being directly followed through all their ra- 
mifications; then will subterranean works be encountered, gi- 
gantic like the works of the ancients ; and it appeared to me as 

B^miniBceneea of Werner and Freiberg. 347 

if It were by means of this vast series of mining operations 
alone, that we should leave behind us a monument of stupend-' 
ous art, which might be compared with the remains trans- 
mitted to us by periods long gone by. The more I became 
acquainted with the mines of Freiberg, so much the more did 
the importance of the whole system become apparent. Min- 
ing had enriched mineralogists with observations of the most 
important kind, while at the same time it was in fact intended 
to exercise a great influence on the interests of the state. The 
miners also did not interest me less, than the value and finan- 
cial importance of their labours. I visited their huts with 
great interest. They are a good-humoured, peaceable race ; 
but I could find but few traces in them of subterranean ima- 
gination, or any thing at all poetic that might have given a 
higher character to their laborious occupations. Pinching 
poverty and ceaseless anxiety for the immediate future, al- 
lowed neither pleasure, pain, hope, nor fear, to exhibit itself 
in a poetically joyous or sad form. 

I had a private course of instruction from Kohler on the ad- 
ministration of the mining system, and on mining itself, in so 
far as it was important for my purpose. At my desire he also 
added some historical information respecting the origin and pro- 
gress of the mines, and, in this respect, the organization of the 
Saxon mining system is very remarkable. It was naturally 
and quietly developed, as necessity gradually called it forth. 
This was the first time that I had clearly followed out the his- 
tory of any particular practical subject ; and this voluntary li- 
mitation to an entirely isolated topic, seemed to me to promise 
unexpected conclusions as to other branches of the development 
of the human species. The result, however, of this history of 
mining left a disagreeable, nay, a mournful impression on my 
mind. The mining operations began in the 13th century, and 
rumours of the unbounded richness in native metals and noble 
^ores form the foreground of this history. The oldest masses 
which were formed, clothed the walls of both sides of the open 
fissures in rocks. Newer foimations produced a new covering, 
and the oftener these formations were repeated, many of which 
were of entirely difierent kinds, the more were the fissures con- 
tracted. Thus, as Werner believed, were the vem-masses filled 

346 Beminueenees of Wemer and Freiberg. 

from above in the primitiye geognostical period. For the most 
part, howerer, there remained in the so-caUed npper-depth 
(fibere tiefe)^ a small space, which was for a l(»ig period empty. 
Chemical changes in the old rein-masses snrronnding this space, 
now took place. Crystals projected from the waUs into the 
cavity ; new products lined these walls ; various ores and mi- 
nerals were graduaUy produced there, and it is extremely in- 
teresting to follow out the accumulation of these formations. 
It is not alone in the veins themselves, but also in separate 
hand-^ecimens in museums, that we can observe the multifari- 
ous alternations of processes, the direction in which the crys- 
talline precipitates were deposited, and the limitation of the 
varied products. Here shot out the native silver in delicate 
twisted hairs, in a coralliform or dendritic form, or in thick 
compact masses. Here were formed the richest ores, acces- 
sible without much labour to the miner, and which were of 
such a nature as to be won in the fine metallic state by the 
simplest and least expensive processes. This richness of the 
upper depth had disappeared. By constantly increasing ex- 
ertions, and always augmenting cost, the less rich and more 
difficultly treated ores were obtained ; and thus labour and 
expense increased with the poverty of the rocks. Then came 
extraordinary expenses, the restitution of this additional out- 
lay, and but little real profit. The extraordinary contribu- 
tions afterwards increased, the restitution became rarer, aiid 
but few mines produced profit. I was interested and grieved 
by seeing how the slightest glimmer of hope was seized in 
every new mining operation, and I do not remember having, 
during my stay, seen such hopes realized. I am unacquainted 
with the present condition of the Saxon mines. I believe that 
the rapidly increasing manufacturing activity of the Erzgebirge 
must continue more and more \o take away, upon the whole, in 
a beneficial way, the hands formerly employed in the much less 
productive mining operations. This continued sinking of the 
mining interests, and chiefly of those at Freiberg, produces 
on me an extremely sad impression. I know of no bleaker 
sight than that^of the accumulation of the constantly increas- 
ing hills of barren stones round the mouths of the mines, in 
the midst of rubbish. Not only have the woods disappeared 

SektmM^neeg of Werner md Freiberg. 349 

from the.vieintty of sudi heaps^ but the soil admits of no sij^ , 
ing Tegetation, and even the grass is stunted; the wind 
whistles cheerlessly over the bare lifeless heights, which are. 
extended into long flat surfaces, and which, together with a^ . 
few isolated, dreary-looking huts near the shafts, constitute 
the whole landscape. 

But however much I endeavoured to limit myself volun- 
tarily to empirical clearness in follovnng up a narrower ob- 
ject ; however little of an attractive nature was presented to 
me by the barren sceaes I have described, yet all this was but 
the external portion of my being, and a richer life actuated 
me and was enjoyed by me in all its phases in the midst of 
apparent poverty. Although actually at Freiberg, I lived 
chiefly at Jena ; for, a constant correspondence, especially 
with Schelling, informed me of every thing that took place 
there. The Wernerian geognosy continued to acquire more 
and mOTe importance in my eyes ; these were moments which 
excited me to speculation, and a .view was darkly shadowed 
forth which was peculiar to myself, and which made a deeper 
and deeper impression on my mind. I could not conceal that 
which filled my soul, and I communicated my views confi- 
dentially to Werner. It was natural that one like him, so 
completely shut up vnthin his own views, should not be en- 
tirely pleased with me. - He openly expressed his dissatisfac- 
tion^ and seemed to hint that in the fuller delineation of his 
doctrine of formations, there was something hidden which oc- 
cupied his [attention, but which was not yet developed. My 
relations with him nevertheless became more intimate. The 
deep respect which penetrated me, the regard for his peculiar 
firmness and decision, the confidence which I shewed him in 
every case, even the hope that his doctrine might receive from 
me a deep intellectual signification, and i^ould enter as an 
important element into the great fermentation of mind which 
should call forjth a new element in history, drew him onwards, 
and caused a union between master and scholar which had 
not previously existed. And yet every modification, every 
gradation of expression was disagreeable to him ; and it was 
of no avail if I attempted to make it clear to him, that within 
the bounds of his scientific circle, his modes of expression 


350 SemMseeneei of Werner and Freiberg. 

would and must retain their raliie. He seemed to see mate 
distinetlj than I myself did at that time, that his last expla- 
natory reasons in opposition to my views might not be able to 
stand. He appeared to fear that, proceeding from this dan- 
gerous centre, his whole geognostical doctme must undergo 
a change, by which its peculiar characters would be destroyed. 
Werner exercised a most decided influence over his scholars, 
and, all the more distinguished among them at least, seemed 
to expect much from me, and yet to regard me at the same 
time as a foreign, disturbing, alarming element. 

I lived on friendly, nay, on confidential, terms with the 
more distinguished strangers who then resided at Freiberg on 
Werner's account, and more especially with Herder and Yon 
Herda, and with the Englishmen, Mitchel and Jameson. The 
Pole tt/Heleskj^now JB^g'JETaupimann in Westphalia, and Count 
Beust, now Ober-Berg-Hauptmanny although theli very young, 
especially the latter, were much witii me. I was requested 
by them to give lectures on philosophy, and I was glad to 
have an opportunity of speaking of what seemed to me so im- 
portant. Schelling's transcendental ideatismus had just ap- 
peared ; this work, which for its clearness, and for the ingenious 
and gradual development of his method, must ever be regarded 
as an unrivalled master-piece, constantly occupied me. I en- 
deavoured to make clear to myself, as well as to my hearers, 
the relation of the ideal part of philosophy to the real,^the ap- 
parent parallelism of the two, and their higher unity. But 
though I succeeded in attaining clearer views myself, I was 
scarcely able to communicate this perception to my scholars. 
Mielesky had a tutor called Haberle, who accompanied him to 
all the lectures, and he seemed the most interested in my dis- 
quisitions. He afterwards attracted notice as a meteorologist, 
by connecting himself with Howard^s doctrine on clouds ; and 
when at Erfurt, he entered into communication with Gothe. 
But even to him the sulijects of my instructions remained en- 
tirely unknown, and I did not win any proselytes to my views. 
Philcsophy was too far removed from the other occupations of 
my companions ; and in all Germany, it would have been im- 
possible to fincf a more unfavourable place, than Freiberg then 
was, for gaining supporters. The Englishmen^being Strang^, 

j^BMiniittihltii cf Mtit^Bfwh* S51 

wef e, it is truej curibtis to learn what Gernittti philoBOj^ij aetn- 
ally m^aati I sooti saw, however, that my prelections were 
t}uite fruitless^ 9sA I resolTed to discontinue them. D'Aa>> 
btiisson did not atteinl them, and Mohs alscH who possessed 
an acute togical mind^ and to whom a dear perception of a 
6ul]|ject was erery things took no part in our meetings. But 
with him I Was intimately connected in the field of minera^ 
logy. In geognostical investigations he was my guide and 
conductoi^, and- 1 mdde many excursions in his k)^ety» He 
followed entirely the directions given by Werner, and malh 
tered thetn entirely, and with greater pte^idA than I did. 

IL — ^MAtTB-BauKk 
Malte^Brun was a student in Copenhagen about the same 
time as myself; we sAw each oth^ often^ and friendly rela^^ 
lions existed between us; a confidential intercourse could not 
however subsist, as such was only possible with me when my 
internal mental tendencies met with some sympathy and ^i- 
couragement. Malte-Bruh had almost a boyish appearance, 
and although, as he himself said, he easily excited confidence, 
yet one easily discovered something changeable and undecided 
in his charac^ter. He wad strong and feir ; his person was 
somewhat effeminate, and his gait, like his demeanour, some^- 
what unsteady ; but, at the same time, be was extremely ax;- 
tive and restless, without being violent^ He had the re^utA- 
tion of possessing good school acquirements^ and the desire x£ 
making himself speedily, and in the easiest way, remarkable, 
was his leading propensity. Thus^ soon after his examinations, 
Jhe became a political Writer, and attained as such a certain 
reputation; He wrote pamphlet after pamphlet, and^ as little 
attentioti wtis paid to the first, he became Bo much the bolder. 
On one occasion, when his violenee was loudly complained <rf, 
he disappeared, ahd Concealed hntaself under the protection of 
friends. I generally knew his abode, and it of course hap- 
pened that the pui^uits of the police exdted greater isympathy 
than hk attabks had ever obtained for him. I scaarcely read the 
latter ; but the knowledge of his place of concealment, and my 
visits to him there, possessed for me a hazardous interest, as 
livery political secret has for the young. At last his position 

352 Bentiniieenees of Malte^Brun. 

became so precarious, that it was thoaght necessary for him 
to fly to Sweden, and his friends took it into consideration 
how his escape should be managed. Malte-Brun's personal 
timidity was well known, and one of those who took part in 
the deliberation having thought it necessary that he should 
be provided with loaded pistols, another of them, Rahbek, 
exclaimed, '^ Would you put arms into the hands of his ene- 
mies !" 

I met Malte-Brun at Leipsic in 1799. He had now, as 
Heiberg* had previously done, left his country for ever, in 
order to push his fortune in Paris. He possessed the power 
of easily obtaining the command of foreign modem languages 
for conversation or writing. The young man signed after his 
native country, but prophesied the overthrow of the govern- 
ment, and a speedy deliverance. As he was then dis- 
posed, he only wanted some one to direct him, who should 
be upright and bold, for his inclinations were entirely ruled 
by the opinions that prevailed around him. A few years 
afterwards his celebrity became known to us from Paris. 
He was the original founder of universal and scientific geo- 
graphy in France; he was the first to supply a national 
deficiency in that country ; and not there alone, for he treated 
his science in a fireer, clearer, and more comprehensive man- 
ner than it had ever been discussed in England or Germany. 
As Humboldt founded the new science of physical geography, 
so Malte-Brun was the first who employed it, though not to 
the fall extent necessary, in general geography. There was 
an emulation in France to out-bid for foreigners whose merits 
were acknowledged. It succeeded in this case ; geographical 
societies were everywhere formed, and Malte-Brun was long 
the recognised centre of these undertakings. But his early 
developed political tendency was not at rest ; he sold himself 
to Napoleon, and took an active part in the Journal des Debatiy 
which for some time was called the Journal de P Empire. 
When Blucher retreated after the battie of Epemay, in order 
to concentrate his forces, this journal was published at Napo- 

* Heiberg was originally a Tiolent democratic writer at Copenhagen, aai 
was afterwards employed by Talleyrand.— Edit. 

BenUniseenees of Malte^Brun^ 353^ 

leoB('s> head-quarters. The articles there printed, which an*' 
nounced that the battles of Brienne and Epemay were victo- 
ries obtamed by the French, and that the army of Blucher 
had been completely broken up, were, as was confidently as- 
serted, the compositions of Malte^Brun. When I heard this 
at the head-quarters of Blucher, recollections of the early days 
I had q>ent at Copenhagen recurred to my mind with renewed 
freshness ; and it was singular to reflect hpw Malte-Brun and 
myself were now engaged on opposite sides in the mighty 
warfare of foreign nations. 

I afterwards met Malte-Brun in Paris, in the district inha- 
bited by men of letters, in the Bue St Jacqms^ ^d he still 
had his boyish iqppearance, but now wore a white cockade. 
He lived very respectably ; and his little wife, a native of Laon, 
was .an interesting, pleasing person. I do not remember if 
they had been long married, but.they were very affectionate to 
each other. The following day he gave a splendid dejeuner^ at 
which there were several scientific men, and among oth^s 
Cuvier, whom I had already visited ; Humboldt had sent an 
apology. He was unfeignedly happy to see me after so long 
a separation, and expressed himself freely regarding his posi- 
tion. He would not admit that he had accompanied the im«* 
perial head-quarters, although I heard the report confirmed 
by several scientific men. I soon remarked that he had la-» 
vished on this break^t a large portion of th^ sum which he 
had at his command. It was evident that his circumstances 
were extremely straitened, and at last he made no conceal- 
ment of it. '' Brun/' I said, '^ it must be disagreeable to 
change your political opinions so frequently. You left Den- 
mark as a democrat, nay, almost a demagogue, in order to be- 
come the political servant of Napoleon ; you aqw wear a white 
cockade ; and though the protection, nay, even the honour, 
with which the conquerors of France shew you, should conti- 
nue, yet, in a few years, the country will rise up, acting a^ a 
mighty kingdom, and, feeling itself oppressed by a dyrofity. 
forced upon it, will supplant it by another. You will th^n have . 
to wear a cockade of a different colour, in place of the white, 
which. I think» you have adopted prematurely and too hastily. 
It is doubtful if you will be able to hold out under the Bourbons ; 

3&4 Beminiseenees of Malie-Brun. 

therefore leave Paris, and at Bonn, where a new university is- 
being formed, I do not doubt that your fame will secure you 
an honourable situation. You ean make your own demands, 
and such a place would be secured to you for your whole life. 
You will then be removed from all uncertainties in your ftiture 
existence, and from all politics ; living in the vicinity of France, 
you may devote yourself entirely to your science." 1 was en- 
titled at that time to persuade him to take such a step, for his 
reputation as the first in his department in Europe, was so 
decided, that, if I had but hinted to Hardenberg that his ser-* 
vices could be obtained, an offer would undoubtedly have been 
made to him. " My friend,'* he replied, ^* it is true that my 
position here is by no means a certain one ; at present it is a 
straitened one, and my immediate future prospects are doubt* 
fttl, but you err when you believe that this causes me much 
uneasiness. When one has money enough, there is no place 
where one can live more agreeably than in Paris, and also no 
place where one can live less disagreeably with little money. 
I have no children, and love my wife, who has not been spoil- 
ed ; actual want is still remote, and when affidrs are somewhat 
brought into order, and peace returns, my position will at all 
events be improved. J know the Parisian pubUc, and can live 
independently as a writer. But I shall never quit Paris, and 
shall never take my young wife to a strtmge country ; I can live 
no where but in Paris, the atmosphere of this town is to me the 
breath of life, and I should die injany other place ; conve- 
niences and pleasures are no where to be met with as they are 
here, whether one be rich or poor." He could not express 
himself sufi&ciently strongly on the necessity of living in Paris 
alone. During this period of narrow circumstances I found 
him but rarely at home, but we made appointments in the 
gardens of the Tuileries, in the Champs Elys^es, and at va- 
rious cafi^s, and he and his wife seemed always free from eare 
and happy. The Journal des Debats probably did not appear 
at that time, but he published for a short period a journal 
whose title I have forgotten ; I made use of it in order to in- 
troduce some essays, translated by. him into French, intended 
to inform the French of their position in regard to the victo- 
rious armies. They must have seemed too temperate in tiie^ 

state of things wliicb then prevailed, and, amidst the con. 
fusion which existed, they were probably scarcely read^ and 
certainly not attended to. 

lyf alte-Brun deserted his Emperor, in such an incompre- 
hensible manner, that it may well be supposed his want of 
feelmg w^ very distasteful to me, and was disgusting to a 
man of such determined principles as Heiberg. The latter 
hated suich weak characters, and Malte-Brun seemed to fear 
his countryman, so that they never saw each other. 

Some years after the war, I saw mentioned in one of the 
French newspapers, that Malte-Birun had opened a solan which 
was much ^equented. He died during the Restoration.* 

Notice of Professor Steffiens* Oeohgical JFritifigs. 


Thb author of the preceding paper, Professor Steffens, is 
one of the most remarkable men of the present day, for the 
diversity and accuracy of his acquirements, the multifarious- 
ness and brilliancy of his writings, and the singularly varied 
events of his personal history. He has distinguished himself 
as a naturalist, a theologian, a moral philosopher, a novelist, 
an orator, and a soldier. At present we propose giving a 
short sketch of his contributions to geology, which we borrow 
^om Hoffmann's Hinterlassene Werke, 

Although Steffens did not receive all his geological instruc- 
tion in the school of Freiberg,t yet he attached himself with 
peculiar zeal to the views there promulgated, and endeavoured 
to impart to them a higher philosophical meaning, by attempt- 
ing to prove the internal connection of many of the pheno- 
mena of the formation of the earth's crust. The natural- 
philosophical school, which was in the course of being formed at 
the early period of his career, and of which Schelling may be 
regarded as the first representative, endeavoured to explain a 

* Slalte-Bnm died suddenly at Pans in 1826, in the midst of his labours 
as Secretary of the Geographical Society, ffis widow received a small pen- 
sion from the Journal des DebaU. — ^Edit. 

t Before going to Freiberg he published his essay, ** Ut^ Mtnerdhffie 
und doi MiMrokgitcU StoidiumJ* AUoaa, 1787<^£i>iT' 

356 ifoHct ofPfffessor 8ieffieH9^ Geological Writings. 

great many natural phenomena, by the idea of tiiefar being 
placed in a necessary contrast to others, a contrast with which 
the phenomena of polarity, observed in so many natmral ob- 
jects, might be compared. Steflfens was the first, nay, the 
only one, who attempted, and that in a most able maimer, to 
apply to geology this mode of investigation, to which we are 
indebted for numerous additions to our knowledge of the na- 
' tural sciences. At that period he wrote a work, which was 
received with the most lively interest by his contemp^Nraries, 
and was entitled. Contributions to the Natural History of the 
•Interior of the Earth (Beitrdge zur innem Naturgedchichte der 
JErdey Freiberg, 1801). This book contains many attractive 
delineations, is filled with a rich c<^lection of geological views, 
and is altogether most remarkable for the time at whidh it 
was written. He regarded the alkalies and earths as metallic 
oxides (as had previously been supposed by Lavoisier and 
Bergmann); and his account is peculiarly animated of the 
' great contrast, which he hihiself first pointed out, between Ae 
siliceous and calcareous series of the newer formations of the 
crust of the globe, by means of which all rocks of the Neptu- 
nian origin can be arranged under two principal groups. He 
directed attention to the remarkable fact, that, of the higher 
extint^t' organisms, stratified rocks belongmg to the siliceous 
series contain chiefly remains of plants, the largest accumula- 
tions of which present themselves in the rocks of the coal for- 
' mation, and hence he concluded that the development of such 
organisms was necessary for the formation of the coal itself. 
In the rocks of the calcareous series, on the other hand, there 
is the same predominance of animal remains ; it is there that 
' the coral rocks and beds of shells are found, which seem 
'to require for their formation the existence of a consider- 
able quantity of lime in the surrounding medium. Beds of 
" coal in limestone rocks were at that time quite unknown, and 
are evenly et a rare and inconsiderable phenomenon. Steff^os 
therefore concluded that the origin and further development 
of nitrogen was connected with the appearance of lime, and 
hence considered that the great contrast which was expressed 
in the higher organisms,, by the simult^eoius advancing de- 
velopment of the animal and vegetable Idngdomsi bad.been 

Notice of PmfeMOr Sieffens^ Geohgficai Wntinfi. 357 

first established in. a more imperfect and lower grade at the 
appearance of the calcareous and siliceous series in the forma- 
tion of the crust of the earth. We now know that this can tie 
explained in a much simpler and more natural manner, by the 
consideration, that the strata of the siliceous and argillaceous 
series of the newer formations of the earth were always formed 
under circum&tances of disturbance, inasmuch as the surface of 
the earlier continents was at such periods broken up and the 
plants stripped off, which latter formed, as they do on the con- 
tinents of the present day, by much the prevailing mass of 
bodies of higher organization. The rods:s of the calcareous 
series, on the other hand, were deposited slowly and tran; 
quilly under a great ocean, and it is in the bosom of the deep 
that by much the largest quantity and the most varied kinds 
of animal beings are still produced. It does not, however, 
remain the less an essential and valuable service rendered 
to geology by Steffens, that he was the first to point out with 
exactness, and to illustrate this contrast ; and it is to the ap- 
pearance of this essay in a great measure, that we are to ascribe 
the greatly augmented interest evinced at the time in the pro- 
gress of our science. 

This is the most important of the works by Steffens devoted 
to Geognosy. He published a continuation of it at Hamburg 
in 1810, entitled, GeoffnoMtiMch-geologiache Aufsdtze^Yr\i\<Ai con- 
tains a variety of important observations. He there gives a 
lively and original account of the phenomena of the coal for^ 
mation, in which he explains the innumerable, often a hun- 
dred times recurring, parallel beds of coal, by the probably 
different nature of the climate of the earth at earlier periods, 
regarding them as the products of an alternation of energetic 
summers, and winters abounding in floods. The work likewise 
includes some very curious observations on geognostical pheno- 
mena occurring in the great plain of Northern Germany, on the 
two remarkable projecting gypsum hills of Liineberg and Se- 
geberg, whose age he endeavoured to determine, and which 
were not more minutely investigated until long afterwards.* 

* St^ens published a work on Mineralogy, entitled *'Handiuck der Oryh- 
.l(i^iM7ttV a vels. Halle; 18ll*ld.--'£9rr. 

853 ffoUt tmd Tabular Statement N. JT. F, Trade, 

Aipong tba subaeque^t scattered writings of Stevens there are 
also some geological essays, and there is one tb^t I must spe- 
cify,* in which he proves, in a very convincing way, that the 
deep hollow of the Hirschberger and Warmbrunner valley, oi^ 
the norUx side of the Riesengebirge, and which is surrounded 
by high mountains, owes its origin to a great breaking up of a 
previously ezisting^connection, and in fact to a great sinking, j 

Ncie and Tabular Statement o/ffoode exported yia, Delhi across 
the North West Frontier of India to Oabool,/rom May 1838 
to dOth April 1841. 

The annexed statement will shew the enormous increase 
which has taken place in the export trade to Cabool during 
the past year, aggregating on the three descriptions of pop- 
duce, no less than 38,08,873 rupees as compared with the pre- 
ceding year. 

Of the three denominations of exports, one only, being 
country produce, is prepared from official records (chokie re- 
gisters). No account being taken at the customs' chokies of 
free goods, I have been obliged to refer to the merchants 
themselves for information as regards them, and they have 
obligingly allowed me access to their ledgers, from whence 
the amount of exports under the heads of * British manufac- 
tures and Productions,' and Sea Importations, has been ascer- 
tained, not in exact details, but sufficiently accurate to meet 
the object in view. 

I may as well mention, that previous to the occupation of 
Affghanistan by our troops in 1838-39, the exports from these 
provinces were trifling to a degree, the returns for the imports 
being for the most part sent back in specie. Within the last 
year or two, however, the demand for our exports has so 
greatly increased, that instead of taking back specie, Hoondies 
to a very large amount are sent to Dehli from Cabool, to 

" See Stefiens' Schri/ten, alt Wi4neu, 1821. Vol. i. p. 190. 

t Many geological disquisitions are contained in Steffens' '' Anthropolo- 
gies^ published at Breslau in 1822, in 2 vols. The first half of the 1st voL is 
occupied with what he terms ** Qeologiscke Atahropologie.** The second part 
of his '* Polemische BUUter** published at Breslau in 1835, is entirely devoted 
to discussions on the recent progress of Gfeology.^-EDiT. 

Note and Tabular Statement N. W. F. Trade. 359 

meet the deficit caused by the excess of exports from these 
provinces, orer the imports from Aflfghanistan. Some time last 
year, one merchant sent us a single remittance, Hoondies on 
Delhi from Oabool for no less a sum than forty thousand ru- 
pees, to be invested in the purchase of British goods. 

Formerly the whole of the Export trade with Cabool, was 
carried on by the fruit merchants, who merely took back a 
small portion of their returns in British manufactures. There 
are now several higldy respectable merchants wholly uncon- 
nected with these traders, who confine their operations to ex- 
porting from our provinces goods for which, at present, they 
are unable to find a return in kind. 

As it shews how anxious they are to establish^ return trade, 
I will mention, that more than one instance has been re- 
ported to me of Russian goods (principally hardware and spu- 
rious gold tissue) having been brought across my frontier 
line, the packages having Moscow marked on them ; these 
goods were, however, of so inferior a description, as to be re- 
jected by the natives whenever ofifered for sale. Ii^deed the 
cutlery w^s inferior to that made at Monghyr and in the Delhi 

In reply to your second question, as to whether I can do 
nothing to help the Cabool merchants, I can only state, that 
I have done, and am doing, all in my power to encourage this 
enterprising and deserving class of men, in every way pos- 

In the mean time, I would suggest that the first object of 
Government should be to open the route for trade, through 
the Khyber Pass, by obtaining fr<Hn the intermediate states 
some modification of their present system of duties, which 
press so hard on the merchant as to drive him round by 
the circuitous route now taken, where they are subjected to 
exactions it is true, though less oppressive and vexatious in 
their nature than those in force in the Seik states. 

P.S. — To shew the enterprising disposition of the Cabool 
merchants, I will mention that a short time ago I gave one of 
them a note to Mr Clarke to aid him in his endeavours to 
take an investment of Indigo, Jewellery, Gold Lace, &c. to 



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( 362 ) 

Notices of Earthqtuike Shocks felt in Great Britdifh ofid espe- 
cially in Scotland^ with inferences suggested by tke^sie notices as 
to the causes of the Shocks. By David Mi lns, Esq. ^ F.R. S.E. 
M.W.S., F.G.S., &c. Communicated by the Author. 

(Continiied from page 127 of Ifo, bdii) 

In the immediately preceding number, ati account was 
given of the effects and impressions produced in the village of 
Comrie, by the shock of 23d October 1889 — the severestj un- 
questionably, of any tvhieh, within tbe memory of the oldest 
inhabitants, had been felt there. In the present number it is 
intended to describe the effects and impressions produced by 
the same shock, in localities more distant than Gomrie» from 
the apparent focus of violence. This detail is excusable, con- 
sidering the singular, and, in this countl^y, unexampled severity 
of the shock — ^the extent of country over which it was felt — 
the importance of determining the point from which all the 
Stratheam shocks emanate — and the value of many of the 
circumstances observed, indicating, as they do, the nature and 
progress of the shock. 

The accounts received from different parts of the country 
will be submitted in the following order i^^First, There will 
be given those which relate to the glen or valley of Stratheam ; 
and, second, There will be given those which relate to more 
distant parts of the coutitry. 


TuUyhdnOchet, about half a mile west of Comrie. — Mr 
M< Isaac writes : — '* On Wednesday 23d, at 10^ 15' p.m., we had 
the most alarming earthquake that has been felt in this place, 
and which was followed in rapid succession by other ten — ^the 
last of which was at a little past 12 o'clock. We had the first 
seven of these in the short space of 20'. I felt all the shocks 
come from the direction of the hill Dundownie, on which 
the monument in honour of Lord Melville stands, and which 
is due N. from my house. They commence like an explosion, 
and instantaneously the shaking commences, and is accom- 
panied and followed with a loud noise. There is no interval 
between the noise and the concussion. The noise continues 

NbHces (^ Earthquuke Shocks felt in Great Britain^ ^e. 368 

fttUy double the time of the concussion. The noise is like 
what one hears whto standing under an arch, and a heavy 
carriage passing rapidly over. The river Earn runs dose by 
my house, and did not rise on the 23d October as at other 
times, although it had rained" for tw6 days and two nights pre- 
viously. The weather was thick and warm^ with some diffi- 
culty of breathing. I have &\t many earthquakes before this 
year ; I heard many of them from 1795 to 1799, and they 
were generally in the harvest time. I felt a very violent one 
in September 1801. I do not think there t^ras any difference 
in their character, from those we had lately. But none were 
so violent as that on 23d October, and there have not been 
in any one year so many of them bib in this year. All of them 
proceeded from the ^ame quarter. In regard to my stacks, 
they were all standing right at nightfall of the 23dj and next 
morning one was found overturned, lyitig to the W.S.W., and 
another almo^ over, in the same direction. Others were 
swung about on the props, and leaning in the same direction^ 
and had all to be taken down. The stacks were of oats, and 
istanding on level ground, and properly propped with props 
10| feet long. At the bottom the stacks were lOi feet wide> 
and were 14 feet high." 

Lowers House^ 2 miles east of Comrie. — ^Mr Williamson^ 
who was staying there at the time, writes : — " Nothing parti- 
cular occurred between the 12th October and the night of the 
-23d, except that every day up to that date, more or less rain 
had fallen. The clouds were black and heavy, the mist hung 
upon the hills, and the atmosphere motionless. At 16. minutes 
past 10 o'clock in the eveningj without any previous warning, 
a loud and terrific explosion struck the ear, and instantly fol* 
lowed the shock, appeisa*ing to the sense as if a blow had been 
given to every piece of furniture in the room, and the earth 
for a few seconds was thrown into violent agitation. I did' 
not experience in this, or any of those previous shocks, any 
waving of the earth ; but a tremulous motion, passing along 
to the East, was imparted to every object. I immediately ran 
to the barometer (and I fortunately had set it at 12 o'clock 
on the day of the 23d), I found it had fallen nearly an inch ; 
and immediately nmrked it again^ standing at 2d^^y and re- 

364 Mr D. MEb^ m Eafikqu^e.Sh&A$fdiin Great Britain, 

tired to my room. Thirty miniites had now passed, whto 
we were all alarmed by another loud exploskm, and the dame 
tremnlous motion followed, bat not so severe. I immediately 
went to the barometer, and examined it minntely. I found 
the mercfffy which I had left presenting a conyex sorfiace, 
now evidently ocmcave, and tending downwards, bat no for* 
ther depression took place. I examined the barometer every 
half hoar ontil 2 o'clock in the morning, when it presented a 
convex surfiice; and by 10 the next morning, it had risen 
nearly half an inch. The effect in the atmosphere was very 
remarkable, after the first shock. The atmosphere, as I have 
mentioned, was motionless; but before 11 o'dodc it blew a 
gale from the east, — ^in a direct opposite coarse from which 
the report and the shock came ; by 1 o'clock it was again a 
dead calm. Having observed this on the day of the 12th, I 
was particular in making this observation on the night of ibe 
28d. This gale was also accompanied with rain. The th^- 
mometer stood the whole night at 52% and no change ap« 
peared to take place in the temperature until next morning, 
when it began to rise. I most remark what ajqpeared most 
extraordinary on the night of the 23d, was those repeated 
' explosions which w^e not accompanied with any tremulous 
moti(«. I counted twelve or fifteen that nig^t, but I under- 
stood the next morning that twenty had been heard. Those 
explosions I can compare to nothing but a six*pounder fired 
in a coal-pit, the report appearing as if miiffled, and some- 
times as if it was discharged in the open air. The excite* 
ment of this phenomenon led me the next day (tiie 24tii) to 
examine the house, the stables, and ftrm-oftces, as I under- 
stood that much damage had been done. I found at the fiom- 
offioes large quantities of slates had fidlen off, and I observed 
there was three times the quantity lying on the west than on 
the east side, and this was also the case at the stables. I also 
fouid that the chimney-tops and high objects that had been 
moved from the perpendicular, inclined to the west." 

Clathieky 3 miles east of Comrie. — ^Mr Colquhoun, who was 
at home when the shock occurred, writes that it was felt by 
him ** about 10^ KK p. v. I happened to be in my room on the 
setM>nd floor, and was standing.- The effect on me was as tf 

. and iipecialfyin Seothmi. : *' ' :: 386 

the room was fnlling, and the walls on each Bide oi theirotm 
closing together upon me. The floor seemed to rise uptmd^ 
my feet The report was exactly like the nearest and loudest 
peal of thunder, only instead of being over head, it seemed io 
rise up immediateltf under the house. The ladies^ Mrs.C. and 
her sister, were in one room ; the latter was woke from sleep* 
They were both so shocked and alarmed^ tiiat they ceiuld not 
explain their feelings. In all our house, the floors w^e 
coirered with little bits of plaster from the ceilings, which fell 
just like a light shovfer of snow. A wall of the stable, which 
rpns.E. and W., was cracked from top to bottom, and several 
of the lath and planter partitions had rents made in them. In 
the drawing-room, an iron plate at the back of the grate fell 
into the grate towards the west. A great deal of soot and mor- 
tar came down several chimneys. About 15 to 20 roods of dry 
stone dykes, previously in a sound condition, were partly 
thrown down, .partly loosened by the sltfK$k, on the hill as well 
as on level ground. These were quite entire at dusk the same 
evening. In a farm*house here, two large stone-tiles were 
loosened and. came down two a^parate chimneys with great 
force. The east gable of a farm-house, which runs N. and 
S.) had a rent made in it. In one cottage a. mile from this, 
the interior partition wall dividing two houses fell down. 

" A second shock was felt about half an hour after the.first ; 
report not near so loud, but shaking of the houses conirider^ 
able, and a rushiiig sound as if dying away to the south-east- 
ward. The rain had fallen incessantly for two whole days 
and two nights, the atmosphere being on M(mday mornings 
21st, so close and heavy, that I told several people we shoutd 
certainly have a shock of earthquake. The rain began that 
night, atmosphere continuing close and oppressive, so that 
even the working people felt it so, till the evening of tiie 
24th, when the rain abated. 

^^ The physical effects were most singular, but somewhat si- 
milar on most inmates of the house. The shocks which suc- 
ceeded the first, produced a feeling of sickness, like that felt 
before fainting. It was almost impossible to rally one^s sj^rits, 
iix .order to prevent others from being alarmed. JEven the 
workman .and fiurmers were completely awe-'Struck, aiadcdilid 

VOL. XXXII. NO. LXIV. APRIL 1842, fib 

M6 Mr D. Milne on Sartkquake Shoekgfelt in Oreat Britain^ 

say litUe till it was over. A maid-servant in the honM 
fiainted and became hysterical, and eren persons of stronger 
nerves felt very nearly as much depressed." 

Manhmrd Manse, about 4 miles E. by S. of Comrie. — '' Part 
of a chimney-top of a house at the south-west end of Monivaird 
Loch was thrown down. The chimney-top runs nearly be- 
tween south-west and north-east, and the stones fell towards 
the south-east. Two chimney tops of a lodge on the road«>' 
side, about a mile to the eastward of Monivaird Church, were 
partially shifted from their position. This house stands nearly 
east and west — ^the chinmey-tops, of course, run nearly south 
and north — ^the stones (all hewn and firmly put together) 
were shifted towards the east or south-east, and as regularly, 
I am informed, as if a mason had laid them in thdir positions ; 
one chimney-top corresponded so exactly with the other. A 
house at Greenend, on the Turret, and at the north-east side 
of Monivaird parish, suffered very much. The house runs 
from north-west to south-east. An inn^ wall or partition 
was thrown very much off the perpendicular, nearly twelve 
inches at the top, and it inclined towards the southeast; pieces 
of wood, &c. were thrown down from this partiti<m wall, and 
fell inclining in like manner to the south-east The east gable 
was also thrown considerably off the perpendicular, and inclines 
to the south-east. This is an old and clay-built house. At 
the Manse of Monivaird the shock was not preceded by any 
sound, it appeared to strike, with the force of some immense 
object, the house on the west side ; it shook the body of the 
house from the top to the foundation for two or three secondSi 
then seemed to retire eastward, or rather to the south-east, 
and a loud roar, like that of the blast-fiirnaces*in a large iron* 
work, was heard for about ten or twelve seconds, gradually 
departing eastward, and dying in the distance. I was not 
sensible of any heaving or undulating motion ; but different 
individuals have mentioned to me that they felt the ground 
heaving below them, the earth or floor first rising on the ea&t 
side and sinking a little on the west, and then immediately 
rising on the west side and sinking on the east. Persons have 
also told me that they observed the waUs or partitions of their 
bouses shaken, mi first incUning westward and then incliniag 

306 Mr B. Milne on Earthquake Shocks felt in Great Britain^ 

again to the eastward. My own feeling was, that an immense 
body struck the floor under my feet, as well as the other parts 
of th^ house, with g^eat violence." 

Moheiet about ten miles north-east of Comrie. — ^Mr Laurie 
writes : — ^* On the 23d, at 13 minutes past 10 in the evening, 
we heard the well-known sound again approaching. When it 
had continued a few secondsi we felt one or more abrupt con- 
cussi<HiS| similar to that of the 14th, but more severe ; this was 
fbQow«d by a violent trem<Hr which lasted a good many seconds. 
The coneussion afaneady described formed, in both cases, the 
commencement of the earthquake^ if we except the mere 
sound ; after the concussion, followed a geiMral shudderinsi of 
the ground where We stood or sat. The shocks of the 14th 
and 23d were preceded, accompanied, and followed by a sub« 
terraneaSQ noise* The quantity of rain that fell in October 
this year, was very great. The shock of the earthquake af«> 
fected the nerves disagreeably, and left a painful impression. 
It reminds me vividly of the shock from an electric machine ; 
you wish to experience it, but having once done so, you never 
wii^i it repeated." 

JStoVmore, about ten miles north-eastof Comrie. — MrBuchan, 
an intelligent farmer there, relates: — ^'I was in bed at the time. 
Of the sound that preceded, I had no consciousness. I felt 
confused, and had a strong presentiment of some approaching 
danger. In this state, which was but for a few seconds, I felt 
as if some one had taken hold of my body and given it a viOr 
lent shake, which added greatly to the confused and unplea* 
sant sensations I had befdre. This motion or shake, again, 
was followed at the distance of about two seconds of time by 
a sudden and fearful heave upwards, with great unsteadiness 
or quavering motion, and immediately an equally sudden mo- 
tion downwards, when all appeared to rest as before. The 
force by which the upward movement of the earth was occa** 
sioned, which appeared tremendously great, did not appear to 
me to act exactly perpendicularly, but rather in a slanting 
direction, as if something had been forcing a passage a little 
below the surface of the ground, from west to east, and going 
with great rapidity, for the bed on which I lay stands east 
and west, and the west end was raised^r^^, and seemed to be 

368 Mr D* Mifaie on Earihqudke Shocks feli in Great Britam^^ 

fallhig back again when the opposite end was elevated. I only 
state the idea I had of it at the time, but must confess that 
my sensations and feelings were so strangely agitated, that I 
could not attend to the diffident particulars aconnpanying it. 
You will observe I consider this last shock of earthquake as 
double ; first the tremulous motion or jumble, and then the 
angular roll or jolt upwards. The interval between the two 
appeared to be about two seconds. The sound that preceded 
the shock, althou^ likely from below the sar£Btce of the ground, 
yet appeared to me to be above it in the second instance, and 
in the first to be high in the air. I have thus stated simply 
my ideas and feelings of these visitations of earthquake, as I 
heard and felt them. It will be the province of wiser men to 
unfold their nature and tell us their cause.^^ 

Faults Manse^ about ten miles north-east of Comrie. — The 
Rev. Mr Maxton writes : — ^' The concussion remained percep« 
tible about four seconds. It was an undulation or movement of 
the ground, whereby objects on it were lifted up and let down 
again. I was in bed when I felt the concussion, in which I 
was sensible of three oscillations, which may be described in 
the following manner :— 


Suppose a 6 to be the surface, c to be the spot where I felt 
the concussion moving from north-west ; at c, I was lifted up 
to </; I was then let down again to e^ and then lifted up to/ 
Objects rocked like a cradle, or a boat lifted up by a wave. 
The shock was stronger in the first oscillation than in any of 
the rest. The shock, from the noise which accompanied it, 
speared to come from the north-west, and to proceed in the 
direction of south-east. There was a noise which preceded, 
and another which accompanied, the concussion, and the inter- 
val between them was about 4". The noise remained percept- 
ible about 3". The noise which preceded the concussion was 
hard and rattling, as if the stones of a wall or dyke had been 
falling down. The noise which accompanied it was hollow 
and rumbling, like distant thunder, and by some it was mis? 
taken for it. The former appeared to be in the air, the latter 

afid espeeialfy in Scotland, ' 369 

fn the earth. Both of them came from the north and died 
away in the souths and, although different in sound, were 
equally loud. The concussion was felt more in the uppei^ 
parts of houses than in lower parts. The appearance of the 
atmosphere, at the time of a shock* is sometimes calm and 
dense, but often boisterous rainy weather precedes or follows 
after an earthquake." 

From Crieff, about six miles east of Comrie, several reports' 
were received, from which the following extracts are made : — • 

(1.) Dr Murray Porteous, M.D., states:—" AtlO»» 15' p.m., 
we had the most severe shock within the memory of man ; and 
2(y afterwards, another shock, very severe, but not nearly 
so severe as the one preceding. Each shock of earthquake 
consisted of two concussions, with a heave in the interval be- 
tween the concussions, and noise both before and after the 
concussions, and very loud between them. Each concussion 
was therefore but momentary, though altogether the shock 
would last from 14 to 15 seconds. The concussion was the' 
same as that produced by the fall of some large and heavy 
piece of fomiture. Immediately after the first concussion, the 
house appeared to be lifted up and carried forwards^ the wes^ 
tern end being highest. It then fell back, and went into its 
proper position, when it formed the second concussion. Many 
walls were rent, but no mortar-built walls were thrown down ; 
dry stone-dykes were. Houses were so shaken asid distorted, 
that the doors could not be shut, without the aid of a car- 
penter. Of the two concussions, the first was always the 
strongest. To almost every person east of Comrie, the shock 
and sound appeared to come from the west or north-west, and 
to pass to the east or south-east. To those west of Comrie, 
the sound and shock appeared to come from the east. I have 
seen a very few at Crieff, who fancied the shock to come from 
the north-east I have seen no one, except one man, who can 
say that one part of a house was first struck before another. 
This man's house is situated on the hill-side, at a very consi- 
derable elevation above the low ground. He heard the things 
rattle in one end of the house, before it shook his bed and the 
things in the east end. But though none here can say which 

370 Mr D. Milne an Earthquake Shocks feliin Great Britain 

part of a house was first struck, to myself and others the wetl 
end or side was first heaved up, or the only part heaved up* I 
was, during one of the shocks, sitting in a chair with its back 
to the west. When the shock took place, I felt as if one had 
taken the chair by the back, and tried by a jerk to empty me 
out of it. I seized by its arms to hold on. The same hap- 
pened to others. On another occasion, I observed a chest of 
drawers, which stands against a partition-wall mnning north 
and south, to move eaatwardfrook the partition, and then regain 
its position with a crash. Some stacks of com near Crieff 
were turned round from the west several feet, so that that part 
of the stack which fistced the west now faces the north, and the 
props of the stack are twisted round its outside. This would 
be explained by the props not being applied so as to bear upon 
the centre of the stack, so that when the shook came, it struck 
the props' ends on the ground ; they communicated this shock 
to the stacks, and caused them to turn as on a pivot. This 
turning of the stacks happened on the night of the 23d. On 
the same night, several of my firiends, who were standing at 
the time, on feeling the west side of the house moving up- 
wards, staggered first eastwards^ catching at the furniture, 
and then westwards^ as the house subsided. This was on the 
low ground near Crieff, where the shock was very severe. 
Mbxlj ^abte-^valls have been rent, but I have heard of no side- 
walls being so in this quarter. Of the gables of those houses 
which stand by themselves E. and W., as far as I have heard 
or seen, it is always the eastern gable which is by far the most 
damaged. This applies only to all east of Cotaarie. In some 
houses, the eastern gable is entirely separated from the side- 
walls of the house. No trees or tall objects were thrown off 
the perpendicular in this quarter. During a shock, I observed 
a table-cloth wave eastward. Some doors were also thrown 
open ; they opened westward^ as they could open in no other 
way. A noise preceded, accompanied, and followed the con- 
cussions. It preceded the first concussion of each shock by 
about 3 seconds, and continued about as long after the second 
concussion. During the great earthquake, the noise* conti- 
nued about 15 seconds. The noise began at a distance in the 
west. It was like an immense number of carriages coming at 

and especially in Seotiand* 371 

full speed, growing louder as it approached. The house tiien 
received a concussion, as if struck near the foundation with a 
cannon-ball ; appeared lifted up and carried forwards ; after 
this first concussion, the noise was hideous. The house now 
fell back into its position with another concussion. On this 
second concussion, the sound became fainter, and died away 
in the east with a distant growl. While the noise was still 
distant, it resembled the rumbling of carriages ; but between 
the concussions, it was like the burr of a great many wheels 
running on each other. It was like thunder under the feet. 
It was in the earth only.. When the sound was first heard be- 
fore a shock, it was to the west side, but it died away on the 
east side. Concussions were felt far more in the upper parts 
of houses than in the lower ; some shocks being severely felt 
at the top, which were hardly felt at all at the bottom. The 
concussions were much more severe in houses built on clay, 
gravel, or loose soil ; also on houses on low ground, near the 
river Earn. The higher the situation of houses on the hills, 
the less severe the shock. During some of the shocks which 
occurred during the day, the river Earn is said to have ap- 
peared to stand still for an instant. A gentleman walkipg by. 
a mill-lead at the time of the great shock, heard the water 
dash against the sides, as if a steamboat were forcing its way 
against the stream. The sky was very heavy, the clouds 
creeping close to the ground. They had a sort of duU yellow 
colour ; the air was warm and close. The same kind of ap* 
pearances have always bad place here, before earthquakes. The 
inhabitants shewed their alarm, the women by fainting and 
cries, and the men by rushing out into the streets. Many did 
not go to bed at all that night, afraid that the next shock 
would bring the house down or swallow them up. The alarm 
shewed itself among the lower animals, by the gabbling of 
geese, the furious leaping of cats about the room ; cattle en- 
deavoured to break from their stalls, and moaned ; horses 
stood so as to prevent themselves from falling. Earthquakes . 
which occurred here in former times took place in OctobejTy , 
sometimes later. Those shocks had only one concussion, with 
a tremor, and no heave. They also appeared to come from : 
the west. The earthquake the most severe till the one of Oc* : 

$r2 Mr D. Milne an Earikquuke Shocks ftli in Great Britmn, 

ttlber last, occtured forty years ago. The sky liad tben the 
same appearance as it had on the late occanons, and the sound 
was as loud, but there was only one concussion, and no heave 
of the ground. It rained continually that day and the day 
before ; and at the time of the shock, the rain poured. The 
rivers have been larger this year than for forty years before ; 
and springs have been very copious ever since, and before they 
v^ere diminished for a short time by the shock.^' 

(2*) Dr Gairdner, M.D., writes : — " I was sitting in a room 
on the ground floor reading, when suddenly there was felt aind 
heard as if a large body was propelled with great force on the 
ground forming the north-west foundation of the hoiise, from 
whieh it seemed to rebound oti a part of the ground nearer 
the house, cauring a violent shake or tremor. The feeling 
was exactly as if the house had been driven an inch or two to 
the east, by some very powerful shock upon its westerly foun- 
dation. Immediately the shock occurred, I threw myself back 
in my chair, and planted my feet forwards ; I was sitting with 
my face to the west. And the question occurred to me. Was 
this an instinctive movement to preserve the equilibrium, dis- 
turbed by a change in the horizontality of the ground ? If 
s5, from the nature of the position taken, the ground must 
hiave been upheaved before^ and was at that moment (when 
the shock was being felt) returning to its former level. Being 
intently leaning over a book at the time, I could not pay much 
attention ; but it was always impressed on my mind, that there 
Was something strange immediately preceding the shock. 
However, although there were a number of articles in the 
room that would have been sensibly affected by this or any 
undulatory motion, I could perceive no sign of it in any of 
them. They, of course, partook of the tremor or vibration 
whi6h was general at the time. The shock, although double, 
was momentary, hardly a second intervening ; and the accom- 
panying shock did not last above a couple of seconds, but the 
duration of the vibration would vary with the body operated 
on. The rumbling noise which succeeded the shock appeared 
to last about 15". It resembled what we might suppose the 
noise produced by a number of carriages running over the 
maoodamised road. of a wide tunnel stretehing to the south* 

amd e^^iaUjf in Scotland. * 373 

east ; or, as. I have stated of the lesser shocks, lihe the noise 
(but now much increased) of the mail or stage coach, after 
thej have passed my house about thirty yards ; at which dis-* 
tance, the sound communicated through the ground, &&» is 
heard more than that through the air." 

(S.) Mr D. Drummond of Stirling happened to be in Crieff dar- 
ing the shock. He writes, that the first concussion occurred <'at 
10^ 16' P.M., andanother about35' thereafter. Both shockswere 
what are called double concussions. The first concussion of the 
first shock lasted 2^,th6 second concussion 3"; the period of time 
betwixt each was about 3^. I was in bed during the first shock, 
and on the fourth floor from the ground. The nature of the con- 
cussion was as if men were lifting the bed up and down, while, 
at the same time, it was shaken with great yiolence ; so much 
so, that the canopy of the bed struck the wall and broke the 
plaster. A tremor preceded the concussion about 2\ aad fol- 
lowed it, lasting 10" or 12". Seyeral walls were cracked ; one 
or two, I observed, from top to bottom. One gentleman, in 
the neighbourhood of Crieff pulled down a chimney, to pre- 
vent its falling on the roof. This chvnney I saw, with the 
stones shifted from their bed at least half an inch. When the 
concussion took place, I was lying with my feet due west, and 
on my hack. It occurred to me at the time, that the shock 
came from the point west and by south, from the circumstance 
that my left foot felt the bed move first. Immediately pre- 
ceding the tmdulation, I heard, with the most perfect dis- 
tmetness, door after door shut with great violence, the first at 
the far west end of the town, until it passed me, dying away 
at the fEir e€L8t end^ I might have heard ten doors shut in 
whole. The rate at which they travelled appeared to me at 
least double the speed of the quickest locomotive. This cir- 
cumstance, I am fully impressed with the certainty of. Gable- 
walls which stood north and south, were in most instances 
cracked horizont4ilfy ; whereas those which. stood east and 
west were cracked up and down. The waiter in the inn where 
I was, had been leaning with his shoulder on the west wall of 
the passage which runs north and south, when, with the con- 
cussion, he was thrown with considerable force on the opposite : 
walL The noise was as loud5 as if a sixty-pounder had been 

374 Mr D. Milne m Earihqmke Shocks fOi in Great Britain, 

difldbarged at the bottom of a ooal-pit 300 or 400 yards away. 
The concussion was felt much nuve severe in the upper flats 
of houses. When the first shock came, I was four flats up, 
and it was so severe, and alarmed me so, that I started out of 
bed and went down stairs to die ground-floor, and on this 
floor I felt the second shock, and then perceived the di£Per- 
ence. The shaking and lifting of the furniture was not half 
so much, although the noise was almost as loud as that which 
accompanied the shock which I felt up stairs. Water was 
thrown out of the ewers in tap flats, when there was no ap- 
pearance of this below. On the meaning after the shock, I 
learned from a gentleman who was passing a mill-dam at the 
time, that he distinctly observed (being moonlight) first a 
tremor in the water like water near the boiling-point ; then 
the whole dam agitated, like the flowing of the tide on a smooth 
sea-beach. The atmosphere was particularly dense and very 
warm--quite disagreeably so. Previous to the shock, a thick 
rain fell during 33 hours, and continued 18 hours after with- 
out intermission. The most remarkable effect observed was, 
that the first shock januned a room-door so close that it could 
not be forced open, until the second shock (35 minutes after), , 
relieved it quite as it used to be, and no crack was seen in 
that house. In Grieff, the inhabitants were so alarmed that 
hundreds ran out of their houses, uttering hideous screams, 
many of them in their night-clothes, and would not venture 
in again for long after, and several of them walked about the - 
street all night. I myself would have fallen into syncope, had 
I not, by a singular effort, thrown myself out of bed. Imme- 
diately after the shock, I got out of bed, and, on looking from 
my window, beneath which were a number of trees, I observed 
that the branches of the trees were all bent towards the east, 
as if a strong but steady gale had been blowing upon them. 
I looked until they recovered their erect position, after which 
not a leaf moved. During the time, I heard a hollow eugh in 
the air, resembling the draught of a furnace ; this continued 
about 20 seconds after the concussion." 

(4.) Mr James Young of Crieff says, that at the time c^the 
great shock he experienced ^' a kind of headache, similar to 

und espeeialfy in Scotland. . 375 

what I have often felt in a thunder storm, or in an apartment 
highly charged with electricity." 

. (5.) Mr Philips of the Glenturret Distillery, situated dose to the 
Bridge of Crieff, writes that there was a double shock, ^<the se-> 
eond shock following the first at the distance of about 12" or 16", 
with a much increased shaking, and noise. Our premises, you 
are aware, are situated low down in the bottom of the Strath. 
At first there was heard, by a young man in the counting-room, 
a noise low, heavy, and distant, like that of machinery, for the 
space of about 3"; then a shock, like a great weight falling against 
the foundations of the house, accompanied by a brisk continued 
shaking and a tremendous noise ; then about 12" or 16" after- 
wards, a shock much heavier than the former, the shaking 
and noise very much increased, even terrific. Dust, scales 
from the whitened walls and ceiling, and even pieces of plas- 
ter from a stone partition, fell in abundance. The young 
man ran out of the house into the open air amid the darkness, 
but the noise through the court or square was such as to actu- 
ally frighten him. He thought, indeed, that the chimney-stalk 
(new btiilt) and the houses were all falling, and he ran back in- 
stinctively to save himself. The shaking and noise then gradu- 
ally died away together. The whole, from first to last, may have 
lasted for one minute and a half. The shocks and the noise 
appeared as if proceeding from N,NW. to S. SE. The shake or 
motion resembled that of a wave, i. e. it moved rising and 
falling, as well as to and fro. Those in quiet places heard the 
noise, before the shock, while those beside machinery or other 
noise did not hear it until the shock was felt ; but then indeed 
the noise of the earthquake obliterated that of machinery and 
every thing else, and some of the workmen ran to ensconce 
themselves in places of safety, under the impression that the 
houses and utensils were coming down into a heap. These 
observations as to direction of the shocks and as to the motion 
and noise, correspond exactly with what the excise-officers and 
workmen throughout the rest of the premises felt, and with 
what I, with my mother and brother, felt in our dwelling- 
house in Crieff, distant say 600 yards and on higher ground, 
as well as with what we all felt repeatedly in regard to the 

376 Mr D. Milne m Earihqwtke SkoekifeUin Great Britain, 

6ther lesser shocks before and since. This desi^ption cor- 
re^onds also with what was experienced by others in Crieff* 
Astone partition built N.NW. to S.SE., 9 feet high and 16 long, 
and dividing this counting-room from the spirit warehouse, was 
rent in two places from top to bottom^ each open about ^ of an 
inch, and pieces of the plaster fell from each side 61 the open- 
ings to the floor, but the partition did not lean towards any ride. 
Plaster fell from many parts of the buildings (which are coarse 
but are firmly built with lime) to the floor, and particularly 
upon the N W. side of the different apartments. The chimney- 
top of an old dwelling-house about 400 yards northwards of 
this was thrown down, and a dyke, also hard by, built of round 
water stones, tumbled down in four or fire places, each place 
varying from 5 to 20 yards in length. In Crieff too, a few 
chimney-tops and canns and loose stones were thrown down, 
and one gable of a house of four storeys was rent from top to 
bottom nearly three inches wide. My mother, who has been 
in this neighbouriiood above 50 years, and has felt many of 
those shocks, says that she has felt them always proceeding 
from about the same airt ; but that the shock I have just de- 
scribed was by far the greatest and the noise the loudest of 
any she has felt." 

The Honourable Mr Drummond thus describes the shock 
asfoltat Strathallan Castle, situated about twelve miles S.SE. 
from Comrie: — '^ On the 28d the shock here came decidedly 
from the west, perhaps a point or two to the north. The vi- 
bration is described as from blows from the westward, and the 
undulation as first rising from the west, then donm again and 
rather lower than natural, and up again to its proper level. 
In this house a dock fronting the south, a point or two to the 
westward, had its glass-door opened to the west and left so/ 
At Crossbill, two women were sitting at the fire, facing the 
NE., and were both thrown out of their chairs on the fender. 
The door of a room in which several men were sitting, open- 
ing to the eastward, was opened but not closed again. A 
noise preceded the shock by one or two seconds, and continued 
till near the end of the shock. There have been more north- 
em lights seen this* year during September and October, than- 
for some years past. The following phenomena, although not 
connected with the Earthquakes, as they happened consider- 

imd e$peeiaUy in. SaMamd. 377 

ably after them, are perhaps worth mentioning^ as they are 
curious, particularly the latter. I was driving home from 
Abercaimey, on the 9th or 10th November between 12 and 1 
o'clock, with a groom, when a ball of fire seemed to fall within 
a few yards of us ; the light was as strong as a vivid flash of 
lightning, but lasted a good deal longer, rather more than a 
second perhaps ; the track of light continued in the thin misty 
clouds, till after the ball of fire disappeared. The night was 
warm and close, and very dark. On the night of the 11th 
of December the under-fact(»r was returning home about 11 
o'clock, and, whexi about a mile and a half from Strathallan, he 
saw a strong red light to the south-east, just over the Castie, 
and was convinced that it was on fire ; he immediately ran as 
hard as he could towards it, and on reaching the farm and 
finding all^quiet, he went up to a height above it, and again 
saw the li^t, which he says was then higher, being along the 
top of the Ochil Hills, and a good deal broader than when he 
first saw it ; he describes it as a very strong red light, stronger 
than the reflection 61 a house on fire. The night was very 
wet, and the rest of the sky quite dark. There had been a 
week of frost> and the weather changed that night, and a great 
deal of rain fell during the two or three days following, but 
without wind.*^ 

At CuUoquhey^ situated about two miles east of Crieff, three 
miles north of the river Earn, the effects of the shock were 
thus represented to the author by Mr Maxtone, who was there 
at the time. *' We were sitting in an upper room when the 
shock occurred. The whole house was shaken. Two explo* 
«ions were heard at the same moment, as if two cannons had 
been fired below ground. The west side of the house was first 
affected; and every one distinctly perceived either that the- 
west side was elevated or the east side was sinking. A lady 
felt herself falling off her chair towards the east, and seized 
hold of a table to save herself. The noise and the motion 
were distinctly observed to pass away towards the east.'* 

At JSellevue, a few miles SE. of Grieff, Lieut. Gramme, R.N., 
-states that " three undulations were felt, each of whidi was 
attended with a clashing and smashing sound, and was sepa« 
rated by an interval of from 3" to 10". At the instant of the 
second shock or undulation X was standing, and then foand 

S78 M. Flourens m tie Structure a/ Mucom Membranes. 

myself witii my left leg bending, my right leg extended id* 
wards the NW. The preserving the centre of gravity must 
have been divested of error. At the same time I felt exactly 
as in a vessel taking a heavy lurch, and suddenly recovering 
herself. In fact, the whole sensation was that of being 4a a 
ttewarc^s berths sanoaaied by crockery all in motion.'' 

It is natural to suppose that an earthquake, whidi pro^Med 
such effects as those described in the foregoing aecotints, 
should have produced no small alarm in the district of Strath" 
earn. On this point, it may be sufficient to quote the testi- 
mony of John C. Colquhoun, Esq., of Killermont, ^ho, within 
a few weeks after the shock, was resident at Lawers andCla* 
thick. He says that the effects now alluded to <* were most 
striking ; — ^people running out of bed, — flying in Comrie to 
the meeting-house (though at midnight), and remaining there 
for two hours engaged in devotion,-^-<abandoning all work the 
following day, — a commercial traveller, who felt one of the 
lesser shocks, flying the same night from Comrie, — a dissent^ 
ing minister, who had come to officiate, refiising to remain,-*^ 
several women fainting, and an impression of horror seizing 
upon the minds of men of the boldest youth and strongest 
nerve, which completely unmanned them« On the ni^t of 
the great earthquake, not an eye, I believe, wais closed within 
this whole valley. The most careless, who were curious to feel 
an earthquake, never speak of them now but vdth terror/' 
CTo be continued, J 

Beeearchee on the Structure of Mucous Membranes. 
By M. Floursns. 

M. Flourbms, at the meeting of the Acad^mie des Sciences on the 2&th 
November last, 1841> read an interesting memoir on the Stnictme of the 
Mucous Membrane of the Nose, Windpipe, and other parts, which we 
now submit to the notice of our readers. 

It will be recollected that this is not the first memoir on mucous mem- 
branes which has been presented by the able author. Upon former oc- 
casions, he availed himself of opportunities to explain the structure of 
the skin, both in the fair and dark coloured races of man; also of the 
mucous membrane of the tongue, mouth, (Bsopbagus, and intestinal tube. 
On the present occasion, those of the nose, windpipe, bladder, and arte- 
ries, are particularly dwelt upon.* 

* All these memoirs, ia extract, haTe been inserted i& previoun AttiBl>«fS ^ thia 
Journal. — Editor. 

M* FldufeAs jtm the Siructmre of Muams Membrmes. 879 

1. On Ihe Mu€0U8 MmbfWM i>f Ui€ Nf^M, sw»ri^^ 
iTARt MxMBRANB. — Even up to the present daj> the minute structure of 
this part is but little understood* About the middle of the seventeenth 
century, Schneider* completely overturned the erroneous and ancient 
notion which made the mticus descend from the brain^ and demon- 
strated that it was the mucous membrane of the nose itself which was th^ 
true organ of the secretion* Shortly afterwards, Ruyeht pointed out 
the distinction between the periosteum eovmsg the nasal booes^ and th^ 
mucous membrane which was wholly different. Haller was among the 
first who called attention to the epidertnit of the pituitary membrane ; % 
but neither Bichat, nor Meckel, nor Beclard, though much later than 
Haller, make the slightest allusion to it. Bichat, like Ruych, seems to 
have recognised only two layers in the pituitary membrane, the one being 
the periosteum and the other the mucous layer.§ Meckel's account 
corresponds with Bichat's ;|| and Beclard only says, that " in certain 
parts — ^for example, the nasal fossa — the disappearance of the epithelium 
is gradual and insensible, so that it is impossible to assign precisely its 
limits."1( Thus Bichat and Meckel only dwell upon the chorion and the 
dermis of the pituitary membrane ; Beclard speaks only of the epidermU 
at the external margin of the membrane ; and no one had previously, 
pointed out that the Mucous hody^ that hody and special layer which has al-r 
ready been. demonstrated in previous memoirs, and on which we are again 
about to insist, is invariably interposed in every mucous membrane be- 
tween the dermis and epidermis, — ^in popular language, between the true 
and the scarf Mn, 

We repeat, then, that three layers, superimposed the one above th0 
other, form invariably the mucous membrane ; and these three layers are 
very distinctly seen in the specimen No. 1 which I have now the honour 
of submitting to the inspection of the i^ademy. It is a portion of the 
pituitary membrane of a hone. There will be observed, at the bottom of 

* Oonradus Victor Behneider, Be Catarrhis, &«. *< lUa membrana pituitam oon- 

dit, continet et emittit ;" lib. ill. cap. 8. 

t And the perichondrium, which covers its cartilages. ** I^terea considera- 
tione dignum judicio, septum narium cartilagineum, non solum Investiri mem-' 
brana mucosa, verum quoque sub hac immediate membranula tenuissima. Heec 
continuatio est periostii, nasi partem osseam obducentis, atque perichondrum die! 
meretur." Epist. viii. 

X " Quam habet sibi superjectam epidermidem/' he remarks (Elementa Physiol.' 
&c. t. V. p. 144). It is curious that, as authority for this assertion, Haller quotes 
Winslow, whose account is contodned in this confused phrase : " Vers le bord des 
narines extemes, la membrane pituitaire est tr^s-mince, et y paratt comme un 
tissti d6ggn6rg de la pleau et de Pepiderme." (Exposition Anatomique de la Struc- 
ture du Corps Humain ; Traits de la Tfite, No. 336.) 

§ '* Un feuillet fibreux, ^ui est le perioste ou le p^richondre de cavit^s nasales, se 
joint, dit Bichat, au feuillet muqueux pour former la membrane pituitaire. . . . .' 
Le feuillet muqueux, dit^il encore, epais, spongieux et mou, est formfi d^un chorion 
tres-prononcfe qui lui donne cette epaisseur.'' (Anatomie Descriptive, t. ii. p. 673.) 

II Manuel de TAnatomie, t. ill. p. 279. 

^ Elements d' Anatomie G^n^rale, &c. p* 266r 

380 M. Plonrens 4m He Sirueiure </ Mucous Membranei. 

the prepelfttioo^ the durmit, all fiinowed 'with lines^ arraog«d like the 
maikings of a leaf; above the dernus is a fine membiane^ which is the 
fufieofif loyvr or the mueoui hody ; and above the mucous body is a layer 
finer still, which is the i^Mdennif. The dermis, then, together with the 
mucous body and the epidermis, exist united, and superimposed the one 
above the other, in the mucous or pituitary membrane of the nose. 

2. We now proceed to the 3ftieoif# MenirtUM of Ifts IRiMfptiie.— The 
structure of this new membrane has not been better descubed, nor is more 
accurately undecslood, than that of the pituitary membrane. Haller admit- 
ted that it possessed an epidermis,* and Bichat denied it Bichat says ex- 
pressly, '^ In no part of the muoous membrane of the air-passages, can the 
existence of the epidermis be demonstrated."t In opposition to this state- 
ment, I here exhibit, in the spedmens Nos. 2 and 3, the ejpidtrmiSi and 
the mucous body, and the dermis of the mucous membrane of the wind- 
pipe. These two specimens are two portions of the windpipe of the horse. 
The epidermis is exhibited in the former. It has been removed in the 
latter ; but still two detached and superimposed layers remain — ^the ante- 
rior is the mwxniM layer or hody, the posterior is the dermis. Hence, then, 
the mucous membrane of the windpipe, like that of the nose and all other 
mucous membranes I have hitherto examined, possesses a dermis, a 'mu- 
cous body, and an epidermis. 

3. It is the same with the MiMOUi Membrane of the Bladder. The spe- 
cimen No. 4. which I now exhibit, is the bladder of a rabbit ; and any 
one may clearly perceive three distinct layers, all of them very delicate, 
and superimposed the one above another. The anterior, or the most de- 
licate, is the epidermis ; then follows the mueoue layer, and then the der- 
mis, and behind the dermis is the manbraney or rather the muecular layer 
of the viscus. The epidermis of the bladder had been previously observed 
by Haller ;% it had idso been noticed by Ruych ;$ but both of these emi- 
nent men had seen it only as the result of lesions and diseases of the 

* " Epidermis est leviSyioi nmiiis, limplez. . . . Earn infiinesta pueroruxa an- 
gina frequenter a^groti reddunt.'' (Elem. Phynolog. 1 iii. p. 148.) 

t Anatomic Descriptive, t. iv. p. 56. " L'uniqae preuve, ly oute-t-il, que Ton puisse 
acquerir ici de I'ezistence de Tepidenne, Be tire des cas pathologiques o& des Arag- 
ments membraneux on iti rendus par ezpectoratian. Haller en cite plasieurs, 
at n'admet que d'iapres cela un epiderme muqueuz pulmonaire. Mais cette preuve 
est insuffisante, ces lambeux pouvant dtre analogues aux escarres plus ou moins 
profondes produites sur la peau par les bri^lures/' &c. 

X Membrana vesicn nervea . . . ex cute evidentur continuata, prsDcipua est 
vesicsB tunica. • . . Intima membrane, levissima • . . tenuior quam ner- 
vea, epidermidis est propago. . . . Cum epidermide, cui oontinuatur, id habet 
commune, ut secedat de nervea, de quo corpore exeat, . . . et perinde renas- 
catur." (Elementa Physiologise, &c. t. vii. p. 326.) 

§ " Pauca superadd! de interiore membrane, quas vesicas urinaria^ cavitatem uri- 
nas contiguam facit. De qua imprimis notasse juvet portionem ejus, a reliqua se- 
paratam posse per vlas urinas excemi. (Adversarior Anatomic. Dccas secunda, 
p. 24.) 

M. Flourens on the Structure of Mncou» Membranes. 881 

bladder — as the result of patholo^cal derangement. On this occasion^ I 
exhibit it isolated — detached from the other membranes by a process 
which is regular^ methodical^ and certain ; nor do I exhibit the epidermis 
only — I display the three, the epidermis^ mucous body> and dermis. 

The mucous membranes, then, have all one and the same fundamental 
structure, which structure is complex. None is simple. All of these, 
however attenuated and delicate they may be, are always possessed of 
three layers or distinct membranes. And this is so universally the case, 
that even the internal Membrane of the Arteriee, which some anatomists 
have already classed among the mucous membranes,* supplies the three 
layers or membranes, distinct and superimposed, upon which I am dwelling. 
The specimen No. 5, which I now submit, is a portion of the aorta of th^ 
ox ; and here the three layers are conspicuous as in the former examples. 

These layers, I now add, can be completely isolated and detached from 
each other by slow maceration, methodically conducted, the only means 
by which it can be effected^ and a good illustration of the vast import- 
ance of the kind of process we pursue in investigating anatomical struc- 
ture. Malpighi employed the process of boiling for the purpose of de- 
taching the several layers of mucous membrane from each other, and by 
this process he obtained the mucous net-work of the tongue. I, on the 
other hand, used a slow and careful maceration, and, instead of a net" 
work, procured a continuous and complete layer. In a former memoir,t 
I have shewn that this famous net- work of Malpighi is entirely a factitious 
one, and that the mucous membrane of the tongue is essentially a continu- 
ous and complete layer. The perforations which transform this continuous 
layer into a net-work are owing to the tearing open of the sheaths, which 
the mucous body supplies to the papilles of the dermis. Each of these 
papilke has, in fact, a double sheath, as I have already shewn ;:|; the one 
supplied by the mucous body, and the other by the epidermis. If, then, 
the method of boiling is employed, as was done by Malpighi, the epider- 
mis becomes brittle and contracts. Every one of the sheaths of the mu- 
cous body is thus ruptured and compressed in each sheath of the epider- 
mis ; and when, after this, the epidermis is removed, the whole of the 
sheaths of the mucous body are torn and removed. Wherever, then> 
there is naturally a mucous sheath, a vacuity is produced, and the whole 
mucous body, which is normally a continuous layer, now appears a com- 
plete net-work. 

« Bichat, Anat. Gener., t. ii. p. 52. ** What is the nature of this internal or 
common membrane of arteries ? On this point I am in complete ignorance." 
Beclard again, says, " The lining membrane has been compared to serous mem- 
brane, and to mucous or cellular tissue ; it may, however, resemble the arachnoid 
membrane." Elem. d'Anat. Gener., p. 371. Later anatomists, who have com- 
pared them with mucous membranes, have come much nearer the truth. 

t Comptes BenduSf vol. iv. p. 446. $ Ibid. 


382 Hydfomeirieal Observations, 

In the specimen No. 6> I ezlubit the tongue of an ox prepared after 
the method of Malpighi^ and here is certainly displayed a magnificent^ 
but wholly artificial^ net- work. In specimen No. 7, is shewn the tongue 
of a calf^ prepared according to the method I haye recommended, and 
the mucous body exhibits the appearance so often already described. 
Specimen No. 7 exhibits the continuous layer on its external aspect. Spe- 
cimen No. 8> prepared from the tongue of an ox, shews this same layer 
on its internal aspect. Finally, in specimen No. 9, the dermis, continu- 
ous mucous body, and epidermis, are exhibited in the tongue of the 

Hydrometrical Observations, By David Stevenson, Esq. 
Civil Engineer.* 

Feloeities of Currents, — ^For the purpose of ascertaining the surface 
velocities of currents, various methods may be employed. 

The most common, but by no means the most satisfactory, mode of 
proceeding, is to throw into the water a float composed of some small 
body (whose specific gravity is merely great enough to sink it to a level 
with the surface), at a point about 30 or 40 feet above the line of sec- 
tion, so as to insure its acquiring the full velocity of the current before it 
reaches the cord. An observer, stationed at the cord, notes exactly the 
moment at which the float passes, and follows it down the stream till he 
reaches the line of two poles, which have been fixed in reference to the 
observations, when he again notes the exact moment of its transit at the 
lower station. The elapsed time between the two transits is then noted 
in the book, along with the distance between the two places of observa- 
tion, which, owing to the irregularity of most rivers, with regard to 
width, depth, and velocity, can seldom be got to exceed 100 feet. This 
operation has, of course, to be repeated for every compartment of the 
cross section. 

Certain disadvantages attend this method, which render it not gene- 
rally applicable. For example, it is only adapted to rivers of limited 
breadth, owing to the impossibility of an observer being able to discover 
with sufficient accuracy when the float passes the station lines, if it be 
viewed from a distance, as from the bank of a broad river. There are, 
however, greater objections than this, which, when pointed out, will be 
sufficiently obvious to every one. In any part of the river passed over 
by the floats, the slightest irregularity of the bottom produces a disturb- 

* The interesting observations and experiments in this article are taken from 
a valuable work just published, and which we recommend to the particular atten- 
tion of engineers, viz. — '* A Treatise on the application of Marine Surveying and 
Hydrometry to the practice of Civil Engineering, by D. Stevenson, Civil Engi- 
neer, and author of a Sketch of Civil Engineering in America, &c. 1 vol. royal 
octavo, with numerous plates and plans, &x;. Adam and Charles Black, Edin- 
burgh ; Longman & Co., and L. Weale, London. 1842." 

Hydrometrical Observations. 383 

ance in the motion of the stream, and alters the velocity of the current, 
so that the result indicated by the elapsed time is more or less vitiated, 
uid the mean velocity deduced from such data, is not, in almost any case, 
that which exists at the line of cross section. It is also impossible, by 
this method^ to obtain a sufficient number of distinct and independent 
observations, applicable to each division of the stream, as the eddies and 
irregularities of the current vrhich exist in all rivers, generally cause the 
lines passed over by the floats to cross and interfere with each other in 
such a manner as to destroy all connection between any given series of 
observations, and the several compartments of the river^ whofic mem 
velocity they wete intended to ascertain. 

The superiority of the method which I am about to describe, consists 
in ascertaining the velocity of each portion of the stream, in the exact 
line in which the cross sectional area is taken. The instrument em- 
ployed for this purpose is a modification of the tachometer of Woltmann, 
which is in general use in France and Germany, both as an anemometer 
and a hydrometer, being made of the degree of delicacy suited to the 
purpose to which it is to be applied. In this instrument the velocity is 
measured by the current impinging on a vane and causing it to revolve, 
the number of revolutions made by the vane being registered on an in- 
dex, which is acted on by a set of toothed wheels. 

The construction of this beautiful instrument, and the manner in which 
it acts, will be best described by a reference to the accompanying cut, 
fig* 7., which is taken from 




384 IJydrometrical Observations. 

a tachometer or stream guage made by Mr Robinson^ optician, London, 
and is drawn to a scale of* one-third of.the^fall size. In this view,/*/, 
represents what may be termed the driving vane, which is acted . on by 
the stream, and of which ^ is a plan. The plane of this vane is twisted 
as represented by the dark shading in the cut, so as to present, not a 
knife-edge, but an oblique face to the action of the current, which, by. 
impinging on it, causes it to revolve exactly in the same way that the 
wind propels the sails of a windmill. On the spindle or shaft of this 
vane, an endless screw is fixed at e, which works in the teeth of the first 
registering wheel, and causes it to revolve, when the vane is in motion 
and the screw in gear. Letters a and h represent a bar of brass, to which 
the pivots on which the registering wheels revolve, are attached. This 
bar is moveable on a joint at h; and at the point a, a cord a c is fixed, 
by pulling which the bar and wheels can be raised, and on releasing it 
they are again depressed by a spring at d. When the bar is raised, the 
teeth of the wheel are taken out of gear with the endless screw, and the 
vane is then left at liberty to revolve, the number of its revolutions being 
unregistered ; but when the cord is released, the spring forces down the 
wheels, and immediately puts the registering train into gear, in which 
state it is represented in the cut. Letter A is a stationary vane (which is 
shewn broken ofF, but measures about 9 inches in length) for keeping the 
plane in which the driving vane revolves at right angles to the direction 
of the current, and k is the end of a wooden rod to which the tachometer 
is attached when used. The different parts of the instrument itself are 
made of brass. 

The moveable bar for the registering wheels and the application of the 
cord and spring which have been described, afford the means of observ- 
ing with great accuracy in the following manner. The instrument hav- 
ing been adjusted by setting the registering wheels at zero, or noting in 
the field book the figure at which they stand, the cord is pulled tight so 
as to raise them out of gear, and the instrument is then immersed in the 
water. The vane immediately begins to revolve from the action of the 
current, and is permitted to move freely round until it has attained the 
full velocity due to the stream. When this is supposed to be the case, 
a signal is given by the person who observes the time, and the register- 
ing wheels are at that moment thrown into gear by letting the cord slip. 
At the end of a minute another signal is given, when the cord is again 
drawn and the wheels taken out of gear, and on raising the instrument 
from the water, the number of revolutions in the elapsed time is read off. 
This operation being completed in the centre of each division of the cord, 
the number of revolutions due to the velocity at each part of the very 
line where the cross section is taken, is at once obtained. 

Before using the tachometer, it is obvious that the value of a revolution 
of the vane must be ascertained ; and although this is done by the manu- 
facturers, it is proper that the scale of each instrument should be deter- 
mined by the person who uses it, and that it be tested if the instrament 

Hydrometrical Observations. 


has been out of use for some time, before being again emploj'ed in mak- 
ing observations. A scale sufficiently accurate for most hydrometrical 
purposes (though not for the instrument when used as an anemometer) 
may be obtained by applj^ng it to some regular channel, such as a mill- 
lead formed of masonry, timber, or iron, -where the velocity is nearly the 
same throughout, and noting the number of revolutions performed du- 
ring the passage of a float over a given number of feet, measured on the 
bank. In this way it was found, by the mean of 62 observations, that 
each revolution of the vane in the instrument of which a drawing has 
been given, indicated the passage of the water over 46 inches. The 
number of revolutions at several parts of the stream was ascertained to 
be the same in equal times, at both the commencement and the end of 
the experiments. This number, therefore, becomes- in the instrument 
alluded to, a constant multiplier of the number of revolutions indicated 
by the vane ; and hence, the number of feet passed over by the water in 
the given interval of time is ascertained. 

The direction of the under current, which it is sometimes interesting 
to know, cannot, however, be obtained by means of the tachometer, and 
I shall describe a plan for obtaining an approximation to both the velo- 
city and direction of under currents, which is of easy application, and 
may be useful to those employed in engineering investigations. The 
plan to which I allude was devised and used at the Cromarty Frith in 
1837, by Mr Alan Stevenson, who discovered, by means of the instru- 
ment he employed, the interesting fact, that, at the depth of 50 feet, the 
velocity of the current, at both flood and ebb, is in certain places of the 
Frith nearly double that at the surface. This instrument, which of course 
.merely gave an approximate result, consisted (as shewn in the accom- 
panying cut, at letter a) of a flat plate of sheet iron, measuring 12 by 18 

inches, having a vane made of the same material, and measuring 4 feet 
in length, fixed at right angles to the centre of it. The lower edges of 
the plate and vane were loaded with bars of iron, for the purpose of 
causing the instrument to sink to the requisite depth ; and it was so slung 
as to preserve the surface of the plate in a vertical plane. This appara- 

386 Ifydromeirical Obiervations. 

tos was secured bj a cord of snfficient length to sink it to the required 
deptb^ and the whole was attached to a tin buoy^ letter b, which floated 
on the surface^ its form being such as to produce little resistance to its 
passage through the water. The buoj served not only to preserve the 
vane plate at the same depths but also indicated its progress through the 
water in a very satisiiftctory and often interesting manner. 

The pkte^ sunk at the depth of 60 feet^ when acted upon by the force 
of a strong under current^ was hurried along^ carrying the buoy^ wbich 
floated on the sur&ce, along with it, a circumstance which was ascer- 
tained by the buoy passing the floats thrown out on the water as gauges 
of the velocity and direction of the upper current^ one of which is shewn 
at e. The only precaution to be observed in making such observations, 
is to exclude that part of the commencement of the buoy's course, which 
is more rapid than it ought to be, owing to the efibrt made by it to over- 
take the plate, which, being sunk first, has been influenced by the velo- 
city of the under current before the buoy has been launched. It is evi- 
dent that, by means of this simple apparatus^ we can approximate to the 
direction as well as to the velocity of under currents ; but it must be 
kept in view that, in either case, tliere are several deranging influences 
in operation, which tend to render the results obtained merely rude ap- 
proximations to the truth. 

The direction of surface currents may be easily observed by means of 
A string of cork floats. Any change in the directi<m of the line traced 
by the floats is noted by observations made with the surveying compass 
or the sextant, by an observer stationed in a boat, which is rowed along- 
side of the line marked out. 

The last hydrometrical topic which shall engage our attention, is th^ 
method of obtaining specimens of water at diflerent depths, with a view 
to ascertain its qualities in regard to the proportion of sea salt which it 
contains, or the quantity of sand or mud held in mechanical suspension. 

The first observations made on this subject, so far as I am aware, were 
those instituted by my father on the Biver Dee in Aberdeenshire, in the 
summer of the year 1812, when engaged in surveying that river in refe- 
rence to a salmon fishing case.* '* He observed in the course of his sur- 
vey that the current of the river continued to flow towards the sea with 
as much apparent velocity during flood as during ebb tide, while the sur- 
face of the river rose and fell in a regular manner with the waters of the 
ocean. He was led from these observations to enquire more particularly 
into thia phenomenon, and he accordingly had an apparatus prepared, 
under his directions, at Aberdeen, which, in the most satisfactory man- 
ner, shewed the existence of two distinct layers or strata of water ; the 
lower stratum consisting of salt or sea water, and the upper one of the 
fresh water of the river, which, from its specific gravity being less, floated 

* Report to the Earl of Aberdeen and the other proprietors of the ** Raik'* and 
•* Stell" fishings of the Riv$r Dee, at Aberdeen, by Robert Stevenson, Civil En-, 
gineer. Edinburgh, Feb. 1813. 

H^drometrieal ObBervaiiom. 387 

on the top during the -whole of flood as well as ebb tide. The apparatus 
consisted of a bottle or glass jar, the mouth of which measured about 2^ 
inches in diameter, and was carefully stopped with a wooden plug, and 
luted with wax ; a hole, about half an inch in diameter, was then bored 
in the plug, and to this an iron peg was fitted. To prevent accident in 
the event of the jar touching the bottom, it was coated with flannel. The 
jar so prepared was fixed to a spar of timber about. 20 feet in length, 
which was graduated to feet and inches, for the conveniency of readily 
ascertaining the depths to which the instrument was plunged, and from 
which the water was brought up. A small cord was attached to the iron 
pin for the purpose of drawing it at pleasure for the admission of the 
water. When an experiment was made, the bottle was plunged into the 
water : by drawing the cord at any depth within the range of the rod to 
which it was attached^ the iron peg was lifted or drawn, and the bottle 
was by this means filled with water, of the quality at the depth to which 
it was plunged. The peg was again dropped into its place, and the ap- 
paratus raised to the surface, containing a specimen of water. In this 
manner, the reporter ascertained that the salt or tidal water of the ocean 
flowed up the channel of the River Dee, and also up Footdee and Tor- 
rybum, in a distinct stratum next the bottom and under the fresh water 
of the river, which, owing to the specific gravity being less, floated upon 
it, continuing perfectly fresh and flowing in its usual course towards the 
sea, the only change discoverable being in its level, which was raised by 
the salt water forcing its way under it. The tidal water so forced up 
continued salt, and when the specific gravities of specimens from the bot- 
tom, obtained in the manner described, were tried, and compared with 
those taken at the surface, by means of the common hydrometer of the 
brewer (the only instrument to which the reporter had access at the 
time), the lower stratum when compared with that at the surface was 
always found to possess the greater degree of specific gravity due to salt 
over fresh water." 

The appearance of the fresh water floating on the surface of the sea, is 
no doubt familiar to most persons. It occurs at the mouths of many of 
our rivers, and is most apparent when they are in flood, from the brown 
tinge given to the water, which is easily discoverable for many miles at 
sea. .The great American rivers furnish many remarkable instances, par- 
ticularly La Plata and the Amazons. On this subject, the following 
passage from the work* of Father Manuel Rodriguez, a Spanish Jesuit, 
is interesting, and its correctness, as regards the extent to which the in- 
fluence of the river is felt, has since been corroborated by the investiga- 
tions of Colonel Sabine, t " This river," says Rodriguez, in speaking of 
the Amazons, " is like a tree ; its roots enter as far into the sea as into 

* £1 Maranam y Amazonas. Madrid, 1684, p. 18. 

t An Account of Experiments to determine the figure of the Earth, as well as 
on various other subjects of philosophical inquiry, by Edward Sabine. London, 
1825, p. 445. 


Hffdroineirical Obierpaiions. 

the land, so that it eommunicates to it a flayour ; so that at 80 leagues 
within the sea, its waters are seen and taste sweet, and in a semicircle of 
JOO leagues in circumference, thej form a gulph not in the least brackish, 
so that the sailors call it the fresh sea/' 

The instruments now used for obtaining water from different depths, 
are more perfect in their construction than that already alluded to as 
having been used at the Dee, which, as has been seen, was made for a 
temporary purpose. Instruments of various constructions have of late 
been tried for experimenting on this subject ; and as I am not aware that 
any work on marine surveying, or on surveying instruments, contains a 
description of such an apparatus (to which I have applied the name of the 
hydfophoreX), the following account of two modifications of it, both of 
which I have been in the habit of using, may perhaps be instructive. 

Fig. 9. represents a by drophore used for procur- 
ing specimens of water from moderate depths, 
drawn qn a scale of one-tenth of the full size. It 
consists of a tight tin cylinder, letter a, having a 
conical valve in its top h, which is represented in 
the diagram as being raised for the admission of 
water. The valve is fixed (fecuf, or immovable, on 
a spindle working in guides, the one resting be- 
tween two uprights of brass above the cylinder 
and the other in its interior, as shewn in faintly 
dotted lines. The valve-rod is by this means 
caused to move in a truly vertical line, and the 
valve attached to it consequently fits the hole in 
the top of the cylinder witli greater accuracy than q^ 
if its motion was undirected. A graduated pole 
c, which, in the diagram is shewn broken off, is 
attached to the instrument, its end being inserted 
in the small tin cylinder at the side of the large 
valve or water cylinder, and then fixed by the 
clamp screws shewn in the diagram ; the bottom of the water cylinder 
may be loaded with lead to any extent required. The spindle carrying 
the valve has an eye in its upper extremity to which a cord is attached 
for the purpose of opening the valve when the water is to be admitted, 
and on releasing the cord, it again closes by its own weight. When the 
hydrophore is to be used, the cylinder is lowered to the required depth 
by the pole which is fixed to its side ; or if the depth be greater than the 
range of the pole, it is loaded with weights, and let down by means of a 
rope so attached as to keep it in a vertical position. Care must be taken 
while lowering or raising it, that the small cord by which the valve is 
opened be allowed to hang perfectly free and slack. When the cylinder 
has been lowered as far as is required, the small t:ord is pulled, and the 

* ulu^ and (po^iM, 

Hydro^netrical Observations. 



vessel is immediately filled with the water which is to be found at that 
depth. The cord being then thrown slacks the valve descends and closes 
the opening. The instrument is then slowly raised to the surface by 
means of the rod or rope, as the case may be^ care being taken to preserve 
it in a vertical position. This apparatus is only applicable to limited 
depths, but will generally be found to answer all the purposes of the civil 

The form of hydrophore, represented in this figure, is used 
is deep water, to which the small one is inapplicable. It 
consists of an egg-shaped vessel, letter a, made of thick 
lead, to give the apparatus weight, having two valves h and 
c, one in the top and another in the bottom, both opening 
upwards ; these valves (which are represented as open in 
the diagram) are, to ensure more perfect fitting, fixed on 
separate spindles, which work in guides, in the same man- 
ner as in the instrument shewn in the last figure. The valves^ 
however, in that which I am now describing, are not opened 
by means of a cord, but by the impact of the projecting part 
rf, of the lower spindle on the bottom, when the hydrophore 
is sunk to that depth. By this means, the lower valve is 
forced upwards, and the upper spindle (the lower extremity 
of which is made nearly to touch the upper extremity of the 
lower one, when the valves arc shut) is at the same instant 
forced up, carrying along with it the upper valve which al- 
lows the air to escape, and the water rushing in fills the 
vessel. On raising the instrument from the bottom, both valves again 
shut by their own weight and that of the mass of lead d, which forms 
part of the lower spindle. The mode of using this hydrophore is sufii- 
ciently obvious. This instrument weighs about half a hundred weight, 
and has been easily used in from 30 to 40 fathoms* water in making engi- 
neering surveys, and could, no doubt, be employed for much greater 
depths if necessary. 

In all these experiments, the water being emptied into bottles, is corked 
up, and labelled with certain numbers, which should be entered in a book 
containing remarks as to the place of observation, time of tide, and such 
other particulars as, from the nature of the inquiry, seem to deserve 
notice ; and the water thus preserved may be subjected to analysis, pro- 
duced in evidence, or employed in any other way required by the cir- 
cumstances of the case. 

The marine productions of an estuary, such as the fish, shells, and 
plants which occur in it, occasionally affect questions regarding which 
an engineer may be consulted ; but as it is not my present intention, as 
stated at the beginning of this chapter, to enter into the nature of the 
questions in which these investigations are required, or the manner in 
which they bear upon them, it is not considered necessary, in mentioning 
these productions, to do more than simply direct attention to the subject. 

390 Description of a New Boofing Tile, 

Description of a new Boofing Tile manufcictured by M, Courtois 
of Paris. Communicated by Sir J. Robison, K.H., F.R. S.E., 
to the Royal Scottish Society of Arts.* With a Plate. 

This form of tile possesses many important advantages over 
those generally used throughout Europe. From the way in 
which the tiles combine at the joints, they may be made, by - 
the application of a little mortar or cement, more completely 
wind and water proof than the best slated roof ; as the joints 
afford no lodgment for water by capillarity, none can be blown 
in, and there is none to be affected by sudden frost, the fre- 
quent cause of decay in other tiled roofs. 

An inspection of the plate will sufficiently explain the pe- 
culiarities of the form, and will serve to shew how the tiles 
are combined in covering a roof. 

It will be obvious that, to make the full advantages of M. 
Courtois' system available, the tUes must be accurately made 
by good machinery, and that due precautions must be taken in 
drying and firing them, to prevent them from being bent or 
warped, as a small deviation from the normal shape will pre- 
vent that accurate fitting at the joints in which their excel- 
lence consists. The size which is found to be the best for 
these tiles is about 10 inches square, over all ; their thickness 
half an inch ; the ledges turned downwards on two sides, and 
upwards on the other two, are each half-inch thick^ and a half 
inch above the flat surface of the tile, excepting at the upper 
and lower angles, where a small portion of the ledge (as shewn 
in the plate) has double of this projection to enable it to lock 
into the angle, and in the case of the lower angle, to enable 
it to carry the drip to the surface of the next tile below it. 

When manufactured in these proportions, each tile will 
weigh about 4^ lb., and sixteen of them will make ii square- 
yard of roofing, which will weigh 68 lb. 

The tile commonly used in Scotland weighs 6||, and six- 
teen of them likewise make a square-yard, weighing 110 lb., 
or 42 lb. more than the Courtois tile. 

* Bead before the Royal Scottish Sodeiy of Arte; 13th December 1841. 


jiaW JGl^usdiafMf Ckfe 


Bemarks on a Paper by Dr Scoresby^ 391 

The French Government appointed a Commission in 1839 
to examine M. Courtois' system, and to report on it to the 
Director-General of Public Works ; the report of the Com- 
mission was favourable in every respect, and dwelt particu- 
larly on the efficiency of the system in affi)rding protection 
against the access of water. 

Edinbubgh, iih Deoember 1841. 

Bemarks on a Paper by Dr Scoresby, " On the Colours of the 
Dew Drop^ in the Edin, Phil. Jour. vol. xxxi. p. 50. In a 
Letter to the Editor. By Professor Forbes. 

Edinburgh, list March 1842. 

My Dear Sir, — In Dr Scoresby's paper on the Dew Drop, 
in your Journal for July last, a variety of optical phenomena 
are described as new, or at least as unexplained. I wish that 
some other person than myself had pointed out to Dr Scoresby 
and your readers that the facts in question are only particular 
cases of well known results of optical laws. The description 
of the phenomena is so precise, as to leave no doubt as to their 
causes, which, in almost every particular, have been com- 
pletely explained.* I therefore reluctantly trouble you with 
a few words respecting the real state of our knowledge on this 
interesting branch of science. 

The ingenious observations of Dr S. are on two classes of 
phenomena essentially distinct ; though in both cases the re- 
sult is a series of circular coloured bands formed by minute 
drops of water. 

The coloured rings having a radius of 40° or 50® (p. 62 of 
Dr S's. paper), are true rainbows. The order of colours was 
the same nearly as in the common rainbow ; why they have 
not pure tints will immediately be noticed. 

" In the globules at small angular distances the reverse or- 
der of colours" was observed (p. 52). The origin of these ap- 
pears to be the diffraction of light, and is exactly similar to 
the glories of 6^, 12°, 18<*, &c. observed on clouds round the 

* A condensed analysis of this branch of Optics will be found in my Be- 
port on Meteorolog7i in the Beport of the British Association for 1840. 

392 Hemarks an a Paper by Dr Scoresby, 

shadow of the observer. The colours are always the reverse 
of those of the rainbow. Such phenomena have been for- 
merly described by Dr Scoresby himself.* 

The question then comes to be, (1.) how were the rainbow 
colours perceived at varying angles in the case of the dew- 
drop, whereas in the rainbow the angle is nearly constant ? 
(2.) how come the two sets of phenomena to be nearly mixed 
up together, so that it was impossible to tell where the one be- 
gins and the other ends? In a word, this arose entirely from 
the smallness and from the varying size of the rain drops. The 
phenomena described by Dr Scoresby are precisely what any 
one acquainted with the modern theory of the rainbow found- 
ed by Dr Young would have predicted, and which indeed form 
but a particular case of M. Babinet'^s very pretty experiment 
of shewing how the radius of any coloured arch of a rainbow 
produced in a fine cylindric streamlet of water varies as the 
diameter of the stream alters. The diameter even of the pri- 
mary rainbow varies with the size of the drops (Report on Me- 
teorology, p. 129), so that each drop produces a spectrum of 
its own at an angular distance from the sun depending upon 
the drop's diameter. But besides this, each drop produces its 
supernumerary bows, which are of greater distinctness as the 
drops are smaller, and of which M. Babinet has had the pa- 
tience to count sixteen interior and nine exterior repetitions 
of colour. 

The colours described by Dr Scoresby, even for the bows 
of 40° — 50°, are not pure^ since from the minuteness of the 
drops the interference of the light arriving at the eye from dif- 
ferent parts of the same drop determines their angular mea- 
sure, so whenever interference enters there must be mixed 
colours depending upon superpositions, as in Newton's rings. 

There were particular positions at which Dr Scoresby saw 
most light of any colour, which correspond to the dimension 
of the rainbow for the mean sized drop. 

The full range of colour was only seen in drops fifteen or 
twenty yards off (p. 52), whilst those much nearer the eye 
shewed only three colours. The explanation is, that the de- 

* See the Kcpoit above cited, p. 138. 

Dr Martin Barry on Fibre. 393 

finition of the colours depending upon the interference of light 
falling on different parts of the drop, when the drop subtends 
a considerable angle, the interference becomes indistinct. 

The aid obtained by the use of the telescope in Dr Scores- 
by's experiments does not, I apprehend, consist in magnify- 
ing the drop itself (p. 51, 55) ; and the most effectual focus 
would not be found to coincide with that which would give a 
distinct view of the drop. In the case of very minute drops 
only a feeble pencil of rays emerges truly parallel in any posi- 
tion ; but a telescope adjusted so as to concentrate approxi- 
mately all the somewhat scattered rays which fall upon the 
object-glass will give a more regular spectrum, just as a spec- 
trum formed on a wall with a lens is better than one which 
has not been concentrated. 

Finally, Dr Scoresby attributes (p. 54, 55) the variation in 
the angle at which the spectral colours appear, to the observed 
want of sphericity of the dew-drops ; and he farther proposes 
to apply this to the explanation of supernumerary rainbows. 
It is only necessary to say that this view was long since pro- 
posed by Venturi (Report on Meteorology, p. 126), but has 
been generally abandoned since the discoveries of Dr Young. 
I am, my dear Sir, yours very truly, 

James D. Forbes. 
To Professor Jambsox. 

Dr Martin Barry on Fibre. 

Martin Barry, M.D., read before tbe Royal Society of London, in 
December 1841 and January last, a memoir on Animal Fibre. In this me- 
moir the author observes, that, in the mature blood-corpuscle, there is often 
seen a flat filament, already formed within the corpuscle. In Mammalia, 
including Man, this filament is frequently annular ; sometimes the ring 
is divided at a certain part, and sometimes one extremity overlaps the 
other. This is still more the case in Birds, Amphibia, and Fishes, in 
which the filament is of such length as to constitute a coil. This filament 
is formed of the discs contained within the blood-corpuscle. In Mam- 
mals, the discs entering into its formation are so few as to form a single 
ring ; and hence the biconcave form of the corpuscle in this class, and the 
frequent annular form of the filament it produces. In the other Verte- 
brata> the discs contained within the blood-corpuscle are too numerous 

394 Dr Martin Barry $n Fibre. 

for a single ring ; and tliey consequently form a ooil. At tbe outer part 
of this coil, the filament, already stated to be fiat, often presents its edge ; 
whence there arises a greater thickness of the corpuscle, and an appear- 
ance of being cut ofl* abruptly at this part ; while in the centre there is 
generally found the unappropriated portion of a nucleus ; and hence the 
central eminence, surrounded by a depression, in those corpuscles which, 
from the above-mentioned cause, have the edge thickened. The nucleus 
of the blood-corpuscle in some instances resembles a ball of twine ; being 
actually composed, at its outer part, of a coiled filament. In such of the 
invertebrata as the author has examined, the blood-corpuscle is likewise 
seen passing into a coil. 

The filament, thus formed within the blood-corpuscle, has a remark- 
able structure ; for it is not only flat, but deeply grooved on both sur- 
faces, and consequently thinner in the middle than at the edges, which 
are rounded ; so that the filament, when seen edgewise, appears at first 
sight to consist of segments. The line separating the apparent segments 
from one another is, however, not directly transverse, but oblique. 

Portions of the clot in blood sometimes consist of filaments having a 
structure identical with that of the filament formed within the blood-cor- 
puscle. The ring formed in the blood-corpuscle of Man, and the coil 
formed in that of Birds and Reptiles, have been seen by the author un- 
winding themselves into the straight and often parallel filaments of the 
clot ; changes which may be also seen occurring in blood placed under 
the microscope before its coagulation ; and similar coils may be perceived 
scattered over the field of view, the coils here also appearing to be altered 
blood-corpuscles, in the act of unwinding themselves ; filaments, having 
the same structure as the foregoing, are to be met with apparently in 
every tissue of the body. The author enumerates a great variety of or- 
gans in which he has observed the same kind of filaments. 

Among vegetable structures, he subjected to microscopic examination 
the root, stem, leaf-stalk, and leaf, besides the several parts of the flower : 
and in no instance of phanerogamous plants, where a fibrous tissue exists, 
did he fail to find filaments of the same kind. On subsequently examin- 
ing portions indiscriminately taken from ferns, mosses, fungi, lichens, and 
several of the marine algee, he met with an equally general distribution 
of the same kind of filaments. The fiat filament seen by the author in 
all these structures, of both animals and plants, he states to be that usu- 
ally denominated sl fibre. Its appearance is precisely such as that of the 
filament formed within the corpuscle of the blood. It is known, he re- 
marks, that discoid corpuscles circulate in plants; and it remains to be 
seen whether or not filaments are fonned also in these. 

By gradually tracing the fibre or filament above mentioned into similar 
objects of larger size, the author endeavours to shew that it is not pos- 
sible to draw a line of separation between the minutest filament, and an 
object being, to all appearance^ composed of two spirals running in oppo- 
ske directions, and interlacing at certain regular intervals ; an arrange- 

Dr Martin Barry an Fibre. 395 

meat wliich produces in the entire object a flattened form> and gives it a 
grooved appearance. It is, in fact^ the structure which, for want of a 
better term, he has called tL flat filament. The edge of this filament pre- 
sents what^ at first sight, seem like segments, but which, in reality, are 
the consecutive curves of a spiral thread. A transverse section of such 
an object is rudely represented by the figure 8. This is also precisely 
the appearance presented by the minutest filament, generally termed 
Fibre : and the author particularly refers to the oblique direction of the 
line separating the apparent segments in the smaller filament, in connec- 
tion with the oblique direction of the spaces between the curves of the 
spiral threads in the larger one. 

The spiral form, which has heretofore seemed wanting, or nearly so, 
in animal tissues, is then shewn to be as general in animals as in plants. 
Nervous tissue, muscle, minute bloodvessels, and the crystalline lens, 
afford instances in proof of this. And if the author's view of identity in 
structure between the larger and the smaller filaments be correct, it fol- 
lows tliat spirals are much more general in plants themselves than has 
been hitherto supposed ; spirals would thus appear, in fact, to be univer- 
sal as a fibrous structure. 

The tendency to the spiral form manifests itself very early. Of this 
the most important instance is afibrded by the corpuscle of the blood, as 
above described. The author has also obtained an interesting proof of 
it in cartilage from the ear of a rabbit, where the nucleus, lying loose in 
its cell, resembled a ball of twine, being composed at its outer part of a 
coiled filament, which it was giving ofi* to weave the cell- wall ; — this 
cell- wall being no other than the last-formed portion of what is termed 
the intercellular substance — the essential part of cartilage. These nuclei 
in cartilage, as well as those in other tissues, there is ground for believ- 
ing to be descended, by fissiparous generation, from the nuclei of blood- 

The author then describes the mode of origin of the flat filament or 
fibre, and its reproduction in various animal and vegetable tissues, which 
he enumerates. He conceives that each filament is a compound body 
which enlarges, and, from analogy, may contain the elements of future 
structures, formed by division and subdivision, to which no limits can be 

He then traces the formation of muscle out of cells, which, according 
to hb observations, are derived from corpuscles of the blood, to the state 
where there exists what is denominated theyS^rt/. In this process, there 
are to be observed the formation of a second order of tubes within the 
original tube ; a peculiarly regular arrangement of discs within these 
second tubes ; the formation, first of rings and then of spirals, out of 
discs so arranged ; the interlacing of the spirals ; and the origin, in the 
space circumscribed by these, of spirals having a minuter size; which in 
their turn surround others still more minute; and so on. The outer 
spirals enter for the most part into the formation of (he investing mem- 

396 Dr Martin Barry on Fibre, 

brane discovered by Schwann, but for the only complete description of 
which, in a formed state^ we are indebted to Mr Bowman. The inner 
spirals constitute what are denominated the fibrilke. The fibril appears 
to the author to be no other than a state of the object which he designates 
hjlat filament ; and which, as he shews, is a compound structure. The 
fibril he finds to be, not round and beaded, as it has been supposed, but 
a flat and grooved filament ; the description above given of the structure 
of the filament being especially applicable here. This flat filament is so 
situated in the fasciculus of voluntary muscle, as to present its edge to 
the observer. It seems to have been the appearance presented by the 
edge of this filament, that is to say, by the curves of a spiral thread, that 
suggested the idea of longitudinal bead-like enlargements of the fibril, 
as producing striae in the fasciculus of voluntary muscle. In the au- 
thor's opinion, the dark longitudinal striee are spaces (probably occupied 
by a lubricating fluid) between the edges of flat filaments, each filament 
being composed of two spiral threads, and the dark transverse striee rows 
of spaces between the curves of these spiral threads. The filament now 
mentioned, or its edge, seems to correspond to the primitive marked thread 
or cylinder of Fontana — to the fnimitive fibre of Valentin and Schwann — 
to the marked filament of Skey — to the elementary fibre of Mandl — to the 
beaded fibril of Schwann, Muller, Lauth, and Bowman — and to the gran- 
ular fibre of Gerber. The changes known to be produced by the alter- 
nate shortening and lengthening of a single spiral are exhibited in the 
microscope by a fasciculus of spirals, not only in its length and thick- 
ness, but in the width of the spaces (striof) between the curves of the 
spirals. And a muscle being no other than a vast bundle of spirals, it is 
in contraction short and thick ; while in relaxation it is long and thin ; 
and thus there occurs no flattening of bead-like segments in contraction. 
The author has found no segments that could undergo this change. These 
observations on the form of the ultimate threads in voluntary muscle, 
were first made on the larva of a Batrachian reptile ; and have been con- 
firmed by an examination of this structure in each class of vertebrated 
animals, as well as in the Crustacea, Mollusca, Annelida, and Insects. 

He finds that the toothed fibre, discovered by Sir David Brewster in 
the crystalline lens, is formed out of an enlarged filament ; the projecting 
portions of the spiral thread in the filament, that is, the apparent seg- 
ments, becoming the teeth of that fibre. 

The compound filaments are seen with peculiar distinctness in the 
blood-vessels of the arachnoid membrane. In connexion with the spiral 
direction of the outer filament in these vessels, the author refers to the 
rouleaux in which the red blood-discs are seen to arrange themselves, in the 
microscope, as probably indicating a tendency to produce spiral filaments. 
To form rouleaux, corpuscle joins itself to corpuscle, that is to say, ring 
to ring : and rings pass into coils. The union of such coils, end to end, 
would form a spiral. But the formation by the blood-corpuscles of these 
rouleaux is interesting in connexion with some facts recorded by the au- 

Dr Martin Barry on Fibre. 8&7 

thor in a former memoir ; namely^ tliat many 8troctares> including-bloodr 
vessels^ have their origin in rows of cells derived from corpuscles of the 
blood. The human spermatozoon presented a disc with a pellucid de- 
pressiouy each of the two sides of the peripheral portion of which was 
extended into a thread ; these two threads forming by being twisted on the 
part usually designated as the tail. The occurrence of two tails> ob- 
served by Wagner^ is accounted for by the author by the untwisting of 
these threads. 

The author has noticed very curious resemblances in mouldy arising 
from the decay of organic matter^ to early stages in the formation of the 
most elaborate animal tissues^ more particularly nerve and muscle. Flax 
has afforded satisfactory evidence of identity^ not only in structure^ but 
in the mode of reproduction^ between animal and vegetable fibre. 

Valentin had previously stated that in plants all secondary deposits 
take place in spiral lines. In the internal structure of animals, spirals 
have heretofore seemed to be wanting^ or very nearly so. Should the 
facts recorded in this memoir, however, be established by the researches 
of other investigators, the author thinks the question in future may per- 
haps be, where is the '* secondary deposit" in animal structure, which is 
not connected with the spiral form } The spiral in animals, as he conceives 
he has shewn, is in strictness not a secondary formation, but the most 
primary of all ; and the question now is, whether it is not precisely so 
in plants ? 

In a postscript the author observes^ that there are states of voluntary 
muscle in which the longitudinal filaments (^^ fibrillee") have no concern 
in the production of the transverse striea ; these striee being occasioned by 
the windings of spirals, within which very minute bundles of longitudinal 
filaments are contained, and have their origin. The spirals are interlaced. 
When mature, they are flat and grooved filaments, having the compound 
structure above described. With the shortening of the longitudinal fila- 
ments (^' fibrillee") in muscular contraction, the surrounding spirals, and 
of course the striso, become elongated and narrow ; while in relaxation 
these changes are reversed, 

Dr Barry requests us to add the following, in connection with his Me- 
moir on Fibre. 

The " white substance of the nervous fibre," surrounding Remak's 
'^ band-like axis," consists of filaments having the remarkable structure 
above described, and often curiously interlaced with one another, as 
though each of them had a spiral direction. In examining the substance 
of the optic, olfactory, and auditory nerves, as well as that of the brain 
and spinal chord, Dr Barry employed for the most part such as had been 
preserved in spirit ; and, besides using extremely minute portions, he very 
often avoided adding any covering whatever, the weight of thin mica it- 
self being sufficient to rupture or to flatten this delicate substance, and 
thus entirely prevent its structure from being seen. In the parts last men- 
tioned, he finds led discs, which pass first into rings and thea into spirals* 

VOL. XXXII. NO. LXIV. — APRIL 1842. D d 

398 Dr Martin Barry an Fibre. 

In fiwoieuli from the spinal cbovd^ and torrounded by apiral fiUments^ h« 
met with a " band-like axis/' i¥liicb perhaps corresponds to that of Re- 
mak in the nenres : but if so, Dr Barry's observations go farther even than 
Remakes. Tlie " axis" described by this observer was fonnd by him to 
be susceptible of division into filaments. So also is the one described by 
Dr Barry. Bat the latter adds, that each filament is a compound objeet, 
which enlarges^ and, from analogy, may contain the elements of future 
structures, formed by division and subdivision, to which no limits can be 
assigned. The spermatozoa, mentioned in the abstract, were from the 
epididymis of a person who had died suddenly. The depression noticed 
in their discoid extremity— corresponding apparently to the " sugient 
orifice" of some authors — is probably analogous to the source of new sub- 
stance in other discs. In these examinations, Dr Barry has generally 
added to the objects dilute spirit (sp. gr. about 0.940), containing about 
7^7 th of corrosive sublimate. Spirals from the leaf-stalk of the strawber** 
ry, after the addition of this reagent, were seen to have divided into pa- 
rallel filaments having the same structure as those above described. Flax 
presented a quadruple coil of such filaments. In the early states of vo- 
luntary muscle also, there were seen double and quadruple coils, evi- 
dently produced by the same means^-division. Dr Barry compaies the 
appearance of the vegetable " dotted duct," in its several stages, with 
that of objects found in the mould, in the cornea, in the crystalline lens, 
and in voluntary muscle ; all of which are produced by associations of 
minute spiral threads. The distribution of the remarkable filaments above 
described is so universal, that they are found in silk, in the incipient 
feather, in hair, in the feather-like objects from the wing of the butterfly 
and gnat, and in the spider's web. 

Dr Barry informs us, that he has had the opportunity of shewing to 
several physiologists the principal appearances described in his memoir 
on fibre. And Professor Owen permits him to state, that he has exhibited 
to him spirals in voluntary muscle, — muscular " fibrill»" having a flat, 
grooved, and compound form, — the filamentous structure of the " white 
substance in nervous fibre," — the vegetable spiral becoming double by 
division, — a coiled filament within red blood-discs, — and the incipient 
unwinding of the coil in coagulating blood. 

Further Bemarke on Fibre. By Maktik Barry, M. D., 

Dr Barrt examined the following objects, from two of the 
MoUnsca, at the desire of Professor Owen, who dissected them 
out for the purpose, namely, from the oyster^ — the branchial 

Dr Martin Barry on Fibre, 399 

ganglion, and the branch connecting it with the labial gan- 
glion ; from the Loligo, — the optic and brachial nerves. In 
all of these, Prof. Owen recognised filaments (fibres) having 
the same remarkable appearance as those which Dr Barry had 
previously shewn to him in muscle. 

On a subsequent occasion, several physiologists being pre- 
sent, one of whom was Prof. Owen, there were seen muscular 
** fibril W — ^not only flat, grooved, and compoimd, but sepa- 
rated at the end into their single and simply spiral threads,-—* 
the really ultimate threads of muscle. In ^this instance chro- 
mic acid was substituted for the re-agent above-mentioned as 
usually employed by Dr B. in these researches ; and in >ex- 
amining muscle he now finds the chromic acid to be even pre- 
ferable thereto.* 

To find the muscular '< fibrillse'' of a size proper for examin« 
ation, and so loosely held together that they may be separated 
with ease, the heart of a fish or reptile should be employed. 
Dr Barry has used the heart of various fishes, as well as that 
of the turtle, newt, and frog, — and chiefly the frog. 

To find those states of voluntary muscle in which the trans- 
verse stride are produced by the windings of comparatively 
large interlaced spiral filaments (see abstract of the postscript 
to Dr B.'s paper " on Fibre*'), he recommends muscle from 
the tail of the very minute tadpole — when this larva is only 4 
or 5 lines in length (as at the present season), or muscle from 
the leg of a boiled lobster, as being very easily obtained. In 
these states of muscle, the interlacing spirals are seen to dip 
inwards towards the centre of the fasciculus, in a manner that 
may be represented by making the fingers of the two hands to 
alternate with one another. 

To find the filament in red blood discs, Dr Barry recom- 
mends the blood of a Batrachian, such as the frog or newt, 
on account of the large size of the discs in these animals. 
The blood should be examined just before its coagulation, as 
well as at various periods during the formation of the clot. 
Dr B. has usually added one of the above re-agents or nitrate 
of silver. 

* We are indebted to Dr Hannover for bringing into notice the oise of 
the chromic acid for such purposes. 

( 400 ) 

Froceeiings of the JFemerian Natural HUtary Society, 
(CoBtinned firom p. 185.) 

January 8. 1842.^Dr R. Hamilton, Y. P., in the Chair. Mr R. J. 
Hay Cunningham read a paper on the modes by which the older ciys- 
talline strata are connected with each other, and.illostrated it by nomerous 
coloured sections. The Assistant Secretary read a notice by Alan Steven- 
son, Esq., of a miniature mirage obsenred at Skerryrore in August 18il. 
Lord (jreenock described and exhibited a series of Fossil remains of 
Fishes from Diyden and Queensferry. 

Janvmry 22^ — The ^ght Honourable Lord Greenock, Y. P., in the 
Chair. The Assistant Secretary read an account of the Salt Mines of 
HaU, HaUein, Berchtesgaden, Reichenhall, Tnmenstein, and Rosenheim 
in Bayaria, by William Furbum, Esq. Portions were then read of an 
elaborate essay on the arenaceous formations as they occur in Scotland, 
by the late Mr Blackadder, communicated by A. Blackadder, Esq., Stir« 

February 5w-*Profes8or Jameson, P., in the Chair. The Assistant Se- 
cretary read two notices on the Meriones Labradorlcus, and Arvicola 
PennsyWanica, both by !• W. Dawson, Esq. of Pictou, Nova Scotia. 
He then read Mr Laurence Jameson's geognostical description of the 
district of Albany, Cape of Good Hope, which was illustrated by nume- 
rous specimens. Dr Traill exhibited a hen's Egg containing a perfect 
specimen of the Limax agrestis imbedded in it ; also a fine specimen of 
Hjrpersthene from Skye, specimens of Black Chalk from Horse-shoe 
Cove on the east side of Kerrera, and a fine specimen of carbonate of 
barytes from Rhualt mine, Flintshire. 

Fdfruary 19. — ^Professor Jameson, P., in the Chair. The Assistant Se- 
cretary read a paper on ancient Scandinavian tumuli by Professor Eschricht. 
Professor Jameson afterwards exhibited and described specimens of the 
bluish-grey breed of rabbits from the Island of Isla, supposed to have 
been derived from the stock that exists on the Island of May, which, 
again, is conjectured to have been accidentally brought thither from the 
East ; also a splendid head and antlers of the red-deer, from the Cromarty 
estate ; a fine specimen of the Egyptian goose lately shot near Eirkaldy, 
by John Fergus, Esq. ; and various other objects of Natural History. 

March 5. — Dr R. Hamilton, Y. P., in the Chair. There was read a 
communication on the tidal phenomena of the Cromarty Plrth, by Alan 
Stevenson, Esq.j LL.B., civil- engineer, which was illustrated by a 
chart, &o. A splendid specimen of the white bull from the park of Ha- 
milton Palace, presented to the Museum by the Duke of Hamilton, was 
exhibited, and also other objects of Natural History. 

( 401 ) 

Deseripiion of several New or Bare Plants nhieh ka»e lately 

Flowered in the Neighbourhood ofEdinburgh^ and chiefly in 

the Boyal Botanic Garden^ By Dr Gbaham, Professor of 


March 10. 1842. 
Acacia diptera, LindL 

A. diptera ; glauca, capitolis in pedancolo Bolitariis ; stipalia minimu, 
ciliatis, cMuds ; pbyllodiis bifariam decorrentibus, yelutiiiiSy apice 
incuryo-mucronatis^ nerro unico mai^em superiorem eglandulosam 
arete approximato ; intemodiis lineanbus, longissimis. 
Dbscbiption. — Stem mucb branched from the bottom (the whole plant in 
the specimen described being about 4 feet high). Branches long, diffu- 
sed, winged in two rows, intemodes long, linear. Stipides very minute, 
soft, ciliated, deciduous. Phyllodia decurrent, denseljr covered with 
short soft hairs, having a single nerve passing near their upper edge^ 
and terminated by an incurved soft mucro, entirely without gland or 
tooth, excepting the mucro at the extremity ; capitula solitary on short 
peduncles. Flowers of uniform pale vellow, and everywhere glabrous. 
Calyx 5-cleft^ segments ovate. Corolla twice as long as the calyx, 5- 
partite, segments ovate, concave. Stamens thrice as long as the corolla ; 
anthers of rather deeper yellow than the rest of the flower. PistU scarce- 
1;^ longer than the stamens ; stigma minute, capitate; germen slightly 
pinkisn, ' 

'We received this plant, native of Swan Kiver Settlement, at the Boyal 
Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, from the Botanic Garden, Glasgow, as 

A. pkUyptera, in 1840, and it flowered sparingly in the greenhouse in the 
CO urse of the second winter after. 

Acacia platyptera is precisely similar to this in habit, but easily distin- 
^ished by its bright green not glaucous colour, by the hairs with which 
It is clothed being less uniform, and some of them more harsh ; b^ the 
stipules being subspinescent ; by the phyllodia having their solitary 
nerve near the centre ; by their having a gland on their upper edge simi- 
lar to that in Acacia alata j by the mucro with which they are terminat- 
ed beinff recurved, and by the capitula being smaller and of deeper yel- 
low. Aca/^ alata, also nearly allied, is glaucous, the intemodes are 
shorty and the mucro terminating the phvUodia is straight, and much 
more rigid and pungent than in either of the others. I have native 
specimens of A, diptera from Mr Gould. They differ from the cultivat- 
ed plant only in being much more nearly glabrous. 

Brownea coccinea, Jacqu. 

B. cocdaneayioMoXvi 2-5 jugis, ovali-oblongis, acuminatis, floribus fascicu- 
latis, ramis petiolisque glabris. 

Brownea coccmea, Jacqu, Amer. 194, t. 121.--irii;W. Sp. PI. 3. 715.~ 
Pers. Synop8,2 236.— DC, Prodr. 2. All-^Sprtng. Syst. Veget. 3. 
Description. — Trunk (in the specimen described, an old plant, 10 feet 
high) erect, brown and rough with the dark desquamating cuticle, 
branched ; branches pendulous, twigs glaucous and warted. Licaves al- 
ternate, abruptly pinnated, pendulous ; petiole (3-9 inches long) slender, 
green and shining ; pinnee in 2-5 pairs, sub-opposite, oblong, acuminate, 
green and glabrous on both sides, subcoriaceous, the most distant (6-8 
inches long, 24-3^ inches broad) the largest, generally smaller towards 
the plant, midrib prominent below, flat above, veins oblique, curved, and 
terminating before reaching the margins. Fhwer-hud large globular 
terminal or subsessile in the axil of the petioles incased with lai^e, 
round, rose-coloured scales, which are villous on the outside, shining 
within. Flowers fascicled, of uniform, brilliant, vermilion rose colour, 
pendulous, the terminal ones expanding first, and the others gradually 
downwards. Calyx coloured like all the parts of the flower ; tube long, 

402 Dr Graham's Lut of Bare Plants. 

flMhjTy obcoftioal* slighUy angled, persifltent, jilahrous on the onUide, 
and also within except at the apex where it is pubescenti rising from 
the axil of a subolato-filiform bract as long as itself^ and incased bv two 
blont braett, which are of equal length, coalesce to above their middle, 
and are Tillous ; limb 6-lobed, segments as long as the tube, unequally 
cohering, adpressed, elliptical, blunt, glabrous, concave, thin, and deci- 
duous. CatvUa (H inch long) 6-petalous, funnel-shaped, petals obovate, 
tapering into long daws, inserted into the throat of the c»lyx, and pro- 
jecting half their length beyond its limb, subequal, undulate, emaigi- 
nate or entire^ nervation penniform. Stamens inserted with the pet^s, 
and nearly twice 9a lon£ as them, monadelphous and pubescent on their 
outside to the middle, free above the apices of the calyx limb, clefl to 
the base ; anthers versatile, small ; pollen orange-yellow, granules ob- 
long. PisHl shorter than the stamens ; stigma small, capitate, dark ; 
style straight, filiform, glabrous ; germen densely pubescent, stipitate, 
the foot-stalk adherent to the calyx-tube ; ovules numerous. 
Few things can exceed the elegance, or the richness of colouring, in the 
beautiful flowers of this shnib, but unfortunately they are rarely pro- 
duced in our stoves, and are very fugacious, scarcely lasting more than 
twenty-four hours. The specimen described produced several fasciculi 
in short succession in February 1842. 

Gesnera zebrina, Harhtl. 

G. idnina ; caule tereti, erecto, pnbescente ; foliis oppositis, longe pe- 
iiolatis, cordato*subrotundis ; raceme terminal!, erecto ; bracteis sub- 
ulaUs, involutlB ; pedicellis simplicibus, longissimis, erectis ; corolla 
nutante, see;mentis superioribus brevioribus. 
Qesnera zebnna, Paxt4m, Mag. of Bot. 8. 96.— ZtTua. in Boi Beg. Ann. 
1842, 16. 
Dbscbiption — Root tuberous. Stem (including the raceme, 2^ feet high 
in the specimen described) round, erect^ stout, branched, as well as the 
whole plant, exclusive of the flowers, densely covered with unequal 
spreading simple pubescence. Leaves (6 inches long, 5i broad) oppo- 
site, petiolate, ovato-subrotund, slightly cordate at the base and sli^t- 
ly pomted, or reniform and somewhat oblique, thick and velvet-like, 
3-nerved, reticulate, pale below, full green above, and darker along the 
nerves and veins, which are strongly prominent below, the reticulations 
flat, the lateral nerves generally divided at the base ; petioles nearly as 
lone as the leaves, the lower spreading, the upper suberect, deeply chan- 
nelled above. Raceme terminal, pedicels simple, 4 inches long, erect, 
tapering a little upwards, springing from the axil of a small subulate, 
involute, green, coriaceous bract Flowen suspended very gracefully 
from the apices of the pedicels. Calyx green, persisting, spreading pre- 
vious to the fall of the flower, afterwaras connivent over the germen. 
Corolla (H inch long) campanulatOi ventricose below^ compressed la- 
terally, glsmduloso-pubescent externally, and there of brilliant red colour, 
excepting in a broad yellow stripe along the lower side, on the inside 
yellow, ^abrous, and sprinkled with red spots, which are largest on the 
lower part of the tube, smaller and more crowded on the limb^ of which 
the lobes are subpatent, blunt, unequal, the two lateral ones bemg rather 
the laigest, and the two upper the smallest and least yellow. Stamens 
arising from the cartilaginous base of the corolla, included ; anthers ob- 
long, the cells being in front of a broad cartilaginous connective, and be- " 
coming coherent as in the Gtenus ; pollen white, granules very minute, 
abortive filament short and subulate. Pistil as long as the upper lip ; 
stigma concave, compressed dorsally, villous on the outside ; style stout, 

Ecent, filiform ; p^ermen pubescent, half superior, this upper portion 
surrounded at its base by the erect lobed edge of a thiu white didc. 
8 numerous. 
Even in this beautiful genus the species now described will be looked up- 
on as eminently attractive, both on account of its colour and its shape. 
We received it from the rich collection of BIr Low of Clapton, and 
both in the Botanic Garden and in Mi Cunningham's nursery, Comely 

Df Graham's Litt of Rare Plants. 403 

Bank, Edinbuigli, it flowered prof asely in the end of September aad in 

Goldfussia isophylla, Nees v&n Esenbeck. 

G. isophylla^ foliis lanceolatis, aequalibus; remote serrulatifl^ septupli- 

Goldfussia isopbylla, Nees von Etenbech in Wall. PI. Asiat, Bar, 3. 38. 
— WalL Cat. No. 7102,— Grah. in Botanist. 

Description.-- iSf^^m erect, slender, much branclied, angled, glabrous. 
Leaves opposite, equal, narrow lanceolate, much attenuated at both ex- 
tremities, distantly serrulate, entire towards the base, glabrous, dark 
green above, paler below. Flowers in terminal or axillary, lax, capitula, 
each subtended by a lanceolate glabrous bract. Calyx deepljr but un- 
equally 4-5-cleft, segments unequal, lanceolate, blunt, whitish but 
brown and pubescent on the sides and edges. Corolla Hlac, veined, an- 
gled, funnel-shaped, curved towards the upper side, undulate, sparingly 
glanduloso-pubescent, lower part of the tube white, hairy on its upper 
side within ; limb 4-lobed, lobes blunt or emarginate, the lower fre- 
quently bifid, the number of lobes of the calyx varying with those of 
the corolla. Stament included, didvnamous, without the rudiment of 
a fifth ; filaments hairy ; anthers suborbicular, attached by their backs, 
lobes bursting along their face. Pistil longer than the stamens, ex- 
tending nearly to the division of the limb of the corolla ; stigma linear, 
narrow, extending a little way along the back of the style ; style gla- 
brous, swelling towards its extremity, and terminating in a cone; germen 
obovato-laaceolate, compressed, ciliated at its apex opposite the edges 
of the dissepiment Ovules few. 

In habit this species exceedingly resembles that longer known one, Qold/uS' 
tiaamsophylla, but is at once distinguished by the uniformity of its oppo- 
site leaves, and it is a smaller plant. They are both natives of Sylhet. 
I have only seen the present species in cultivation in the nursery of 
Mr Cunningham, Comely Bank, where it thrives well, and flowers free- 
ly during a great part of the year in the stove ; but I have received a 
specimen in flower from the collection of my friend Mr Gray of Groen- 

Loasa pinnata, Grah. 

L. pinnata j foliis inferioribus oppositis, su^rioribua alternis, petiolatis, 
pinnatis, summis, intep;ris oblongs, pinnis lanceolatis inciso-serratis ; 
calycis lobis obovatis, mtegerrimis, subacutis ; seminibus reticulatis. 
Description. — Stem erect (above 2 feet high), pale green, with streaks 
which are at first dark-green and become white, greatlv resembling a 
miniature specimen of Sahlia arhorea, branched, paniculate at the top. 
Leaves (1 foot long, 9 inches across) opposite, pedolate, spreading hori- 
zontally, pinnate, pinnae opposite, in four pairs^ lanceolate, doubly incise 
serrated, the three lowest pairs generally auricled at the base, reticu- 
lated, middle rib and veins prominent behind, terminal lobe. 3-fid; pe- 
tioles round, slightly furrowed on the upper side, and like the whole 
of the plant, except the corolla, stamens, and style, provided with long 
stinging hairs, arising from the summits of large glands, of which they 
are the excretory ducts, mixed, as in other species of the genus, witn 
short capitate hairs, but not, as in them^ barbed ; towards the top of the 
stem the leaves are alternate, and the uppermost are small, simple, 
oblong, and indse-serrated. Peduncles (I4 inch long) solitary in the 
axils of the upper leaves, erect, cemuous. Calyx persistent 5-par- 
tite, lobes dark green, obovate with a short pomt, spreading, erect 
at the apices. Corolla (1 inch across when fully expanded) white, pe- 
tals 10, sdtemately alike, the larger ones spreadinG" horizontaJly between 
the calyx segments, and twice as long as them, boat-shaped, unguicu- 
late, sharply keeled, densely covered with short, capitate, soft hairs, ter- 
minated with two long, narrow, revolute points, and having two short 
teeth on their edges near the claw ; shorter petals, half as long aa the 
others^ opposite to the calyx-lobes^ erect, ovate, boat-9haped^ without 

404 Dr Grabam^s List of Rare Plants. 

keel, ciliated at the base, with hairs similar to those on the longer pe- 
tals, everywhexe else sub-glabrons, white, and marked in the middle 
with two transverse red bands, and a few red spots higher up, truncated 
at the apez« and there terminated with four blnnt revolnte teeth, of 
which the outer a